Friday, December 31, 2010
I started Doodles to saddle! All by myself! We've had our good moments and our bad but all in all I'm super happy with Doodles! I never did get to take her to a clinic or event, but I wasn't sure if she was ready. This year we will be ready for some fun things. Doodles also helped me get over my fear of starting a horse by myself. I had started many horses to saddle before Doodles but had a nasty spill off one of my greenies years ago and lost my confidence in starting young horses. She has helped restore some of my confidence in working with horses. I will be forever grateful to her for that. She has taught me that I know more then I think I do and to believe in myself.
We bought a truck and horse trailer! That is something I have wanted ever since owning horses but was never able to buy.
The barn was finished! After being started by someone who didn't know anything about barn restoration, it was almost destroyed. Thankfully we then found the man who has done the amazing and saved our 100 year old barn. It couldn't have come out nicer! I am so happy with the new setup and best of all, it's safe for the horses! Not only did he do a wonderful job on the barn, he also worked on the house and became almost like family.
We had the dying christmas trees cut down. This place used to be an old christmas tree farm but the trees were never taken care of so they were dying. We had them all cut down so we could make more room for the horses. Then after the cutting of the trees, we had to get all the stumps pullled and land bulldozed. We eneded up making room for a wonderful riding ring and more pasture space. We put up new fence posts and ran new hotwire. The land clearing was a huge job and more money then we expected but it does look wonderful now without the sad dying christmas trees.
We seem to have fixed the mud problem that plagued me all last spring. That was in part due to the bulldozing and reworking the land.
We went bitless! And we love it! Doodles is almost always ridden in a bitless bridle and Gypsy has been being trained for it was well.
My jeep died and had to be taken away to jeep heaven :( I miss that jeep.
Eve tore her ACL and needs surgery. One of the few sadder events of the year and as it is a more recent event, it is the start to my new year. I can only hope things will look up for my sweet Eve and she will make it through her surgery and rehab.
2010 was a year of many changes, some that we weren't sure of and then grew to like, others that we wanted and needed to happen. I hope 2011 treats us well. I welcome whatever may come and hope for the best.
Goodbye 2010, welcome 2011!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
The Girls are doing good. Gypsy hasn't taken a lame step since this cold weather hit, which is nice. Watch, I bet I just jinxed myself. *Sighs* It's always something with animals. I just want things to go smoothly with my animals for once. I do everything to keep them healthy and happy and they still get hurt anyways. I think I'll bubble wrap everyone. Too bad bubble wrap won't help with the internal stuff though, just the bumps and bangs.
I have some time off this weekend (yay) so I'm going to try and go riding. I need a nice horsey ride, even a bad horsey ride will help my mood. I need to get the girls back into training. I've been slacking because of the cold. It's more then time for me to get back on those horses!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Eve, my sweet little pittie has a torn ACL. We have been thinking about surgery but she is 9 years old and we're just not sure if it's the right thing to do. I want to have the surgery done for her, but money is a problem. We just don't have the $1,500 to do it. Is it worth having the surgery done in an older dog? No one knows. Just like any thing, there are no guarantees. I hate seeing her in pain and other then her leg, there is nothing wrong with her. The vet said she is healthy otherwise. For now we are just keeping her on meds to make her comfy and trying to budget the money. I think I know where my tax refund is going....
There is a care credit that we are going to apply for, which I think would be a good thing to have anyways. Plus some girls at work are helping me to make a "chip in" page for Eve on facebook where people could donate money to her. I hate to do that, to me it feels like begging, but my co workers say it's ok because it's helping an animal that may not get a fair shot without the money. Then they brought up the fact that I have helped so many other people with thier dogs,cats and horses that if I need a little help I should ask, others may be willing to help me back. I hope that's the case. Even if just a few people help out, it would make a diffrence. Though I keep wondering why anyone would want to help me and my silly old pitbull. I hope this isn't an omen for what's in store for 2011. What a crappy way to start off the new year.
Monday, December 27, 2010
The storm wasn't really as bad as they said it was going to be. We didn't get as much snow as they thought. The winds, however have been bad. It's still very windy out and COLD! Frozen buckets, frozen toes, frozen fingers, the horses don't seem to mind the cold and are doing well with it. At least I got everything plowed out. I did a crappy job behind the barn and I may need to clean it up tomorrow. The plow has been acting up and making life harder for me. I kept having to get out of the truck and mess with the connections because sometimes the plow wouldn't lift back up. It's a huge pain in the ass! I need to have it looked at.
I kept the girls in the barn for most of the day because of the snow and winds. I don't blanket them and I thought today would just be too yucky to be out for long. I got out of work early and was able to let them out for a while. They loved playing in the new snow. The first thing they both did when they got out was roll of course! Then they chased each other around and played. It was nice to see. I didn't get any pics though, I wish I had.
I did however get some pics yesterday of the barn I thought I would share.
I will try to get some snow pics tomorrow.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
See that little purple spot on the map? The spot that's going to get 10 to 14 inches of snow? That's where I am. The Governor has already declared a state of emergency and it just started snowing. It's going to be a crazy one folks! The weather people are calling it a blizzicane or something like that. It's a cross between a blizzard and a hurricane I guess. Thankfully the barn is ready for the first big snow and so am I. We brought in hay and grain into the barn today. Brought wood into the house, filled water buckets and jugs. We are ready to be snowed in. Except that we're never really snowed in.
I can't get snowed in anymore with this! The plow has been on the truck for about a week now, ever since our first little dusting. I'm ready!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
That pic was from last year. This year I have been too tired to do much of anything. I got up at 5:30am on Thursday, worked, then had to dj at the club's nightmare before Christmas night, got home at 2:30am got a few hours sleep and then had to get up at 5:30 on Friday morning. We did our Christmas Eve dinner, but never made it to the lobsters. We were all tired. Today, at some point, we will eat them, though I'm still full from all the munchies we've had.
My wonderful boyfriend got me a saddle bridle set for Christmas. I was kinda surprised by that. I saw the box sitting in our room, he had put a blanket on the box to hide it but part of me kept saying to myself that it looked like the perfect saddle sized box. I kept telling myself no, that he would never buy me a saddle, but sure enough, it was a saddle! It's a Spanish style saddle used by bullfighters. It will be perfect for the SCA events I go to.
I know it looks kinda funny, but it's really very nice. I know most people would think it's the worst saddle in the world, but when you do SCA stuff, it's perfect. It fits Gypsy perfect, which surprised me. My boyfriend even proudly announced that it has full quarter horse bars, even though he doesn't know what that means. It was really cute. He was so excited for me to try it on the girls. It really does fit Gypsy perfect, on Doodles it's kinda big. Maybe if she fills out some more it will fit her better. The only problem I have now is that none of the girths I have will go all the way around Gypsy. Gypsy is a barrel, I swear. I'm gonna go to the tack store tomorrow and get a draft girth. I really need to start riding Gypsy again to get her back in shape!
My Mom got me a heated water bucket. I'm really happy about that one too since I'm worried about the girls not drinking enough water. Not having to chip frozen buckets out is going to be soooo soooo nice. I also got some horse and dog books which I'm mega excited about reading, some new sheets and new pjs. Tonight will be a comfy night!
Also, the barn is now done!!! It's been over a year and I'm super happy that it's finally done. I need to take some pics. I need to put batteries in my camera. There are a few finishing touches that need to be added before it's truly done done, but it's mostly all there. Now it's just some more electrical stuff and putting the bars on Doodles stall.
I hope everyone is having a wonderfull and safe Christmas! I will try to post some pics of everything soon. I have lots of time off this week which will be nice since I really need it.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I have to admit, I'm lacking the Christmas spirit this year. I feel like I'm just going through the motions of decorating and wishing everyone a "Happy Holiday". Maybe it's because I'm in retail and working in retail sucks the Christmas right out of you. I normally decorate the barn and hang stockings off the stall doors. I've done none of that this year. The most Christmasy thing in the barn is the all Christmas music radio station I leave on for the horses at night. To me Christmas is all about the all mighty dollar and since I don't have a lot of those (thanks to the horses) I feel left out of this holiday. I'm trying to get into the spirit of things, I really am, but for some reason, the magic just isn't there for me this year. Maybe I need to help out at some animal rescue or something just to give something. Sadly though, even time is something that I don't have a lot of and even giving that is a lot. I know I will have to work on Christmas Eve, and won't be home until late. Our family normally does a big dinner on Christmas Eve and this year we may not be able to do that. My family takes a back seat to my job and customers who have waited until the last minute to buy dog food. Not only does my Christmas get messed up by my work but my work also wants me to be happy and cheerful about this. So yeah, while most people are enjoying time by the fire with their family, I will be with my work family on Christmas Eve wishing crabby people "Happy Holidays" while they shop for that last minute hamster gift or that last minute bag of dog food. My advice to people who do their Christmas shopping late on Christmas Eve, please be nice to the people working, they don't want to be working on Christmas Eve, it's not their fault that you waited until the last moment to buy gifts and that the store is out of that hot sale item that everybody wants. Remember the niceties. Please.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The girls are loving the beet pulp. It's quite easy for me to feed and I don't mind the small amount of prep work it takes. They seem to look forward to their warm din din and I like it since it gets a little more water in them and it makes hiding Gypsy's supplements easy. So yeah, so far the beet pulp is a big win!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I've started feeding beet pulp at night. I figure for the winter it might be a good idea, at least for Doodles. Gypsy is getting some too, although she really doesn't need it. They seem to really like it and I figure it gets a little more water in them since I soak it before I feed it. We'll see how this goes.
We've gotten little dustings of snow here and there but nothing to really stick yet. I hope it holds off for a little while longer. Just until we get the run in done. We had the concrete poured yesterday and now we are just waiting on it to set. The building begins sometime this week or next, weather depending. I'm glad we got the holes dug and concrete poured when we did, if we had to wait any longer we wouldn't have been able to do it until spring because of the ground freezing. I can't wait until this barn is done.....
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I am thankful to have both my girls in my life and a wonderful new barn to keep them warm and dry in. I am thankful for my Mom who has made it all happen. I am thankful Gypsy is not lame right now and is doing pretty alright. I am thankful for my other half, who helps out with the girls when he can. I am thankful for all that I have and even things that I don't have.
Gypsy is thankful for carrots, apples and peppermints. She is also thankful for epsoms salts, vet wrap and duck tape and my never ending love for her and all my work to keep her sound.
Doodles is thankful that I brought her home last February and that she is living here and did not end up on a truck to Canada and then on some french man's dinner table. She is also thankful for carrots and peppermints and any food that is put in front of her.
And in case you were wondering, no, we do not have any snow here in Maine yet. Those are pics from last year, on Doodles first day home.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The back of the barn fell down! Well, we knocked it down before it fell down. The back part of the barn was knocked down yesterday and now the cleanup begins. It's the part that will become the run in shed attached to the barn. The old part was unstable and most likely wouldn't have lasted the winter and the weight of the snow so we had it knocked down safely
I keep tyring to take pictures of the barn and of the girls but my camera won't cooperate and then when I do get pictures, my computer doesn't want to import them. It's lame. I need a new SD card I think. Anyways, Gypsy's abscess has subsided for now. I swear, epsoms salts, betadine, vet wrap and duck tape are staples around here. The barn building boys have showed back up after a long absence. I'm happy to have things rolling again. It won't be long now before we have snow on the ground and I need as much done as possible before that happens. I still need to move the horse trailer in front of the barn but until some of the wood gets used up and moved, I have no room for it over there. I don't want to leave it where it is since I will have to plow it in over there and I really don't want to plow the trailer in if I don't have to. I'd like to have it ready it case I need it.
I haven't done much with the horses, I've been busy with work and learning that zero dark thirty comes along really fast now. Gotta love Maine winters! We may get our first snow on saterday so some things need to be taken care of before then. I'm hoping we'll only get a dusting and it will melt off within a day. I'm soooo not ready for snow yet! I really need to get back into working with the girls soon. I want to go to a few shows this spring and summer and also do some SCA stuff, but I need to get some more training in on them before then. I really need to take the nice days that we have and use them but it's just been so hard to get anything done. When I was a kid, I used to ride everyday, no matter what. Now as an semi responsible adult, I can't seem to do that. I seem to spend more time at work or fixing and cleaning things here at the farm rather then riding. Like I said before, it gets dark waaayyy too early now. I wish I had the motivation that I had when I was younger.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Epsom salts, vet wrap and duck tape are my friends......again.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Anyways, it's late and I'm tired and yes, I know the time stamp is messed up on this blog, it's really 10:50pm and not whatever this blog post says
Gypsy's once duck taped hoof and swollen leg. I like the flame duck tape, it added fun to a normally awful task.
Thankfully Gypsy was really good about her hoof soaking and made it easy for her sick mommy. Now with her mystery lameness solved (for now anyways) I can start riding her bare back and at a walk around the pasture to help tone her up and get her some much needed exercise.
Small steps and things we will get there.
Ok, bedtime now!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
On friday I got the horse trailer all ready and hooked up to pick up my friend's horses so we could take them to an SCA event. SCA stands for Society for Creative Anachronisms. "The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our "Known World" consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more.”
After a rocky start, the truck kept stalling out at every light and stop sign, we got the horses and made it to camp.
All of Friday was spent wondering what Saturday's events would be and if the horses would be able to do what was asked of them. Though, I must admit, some drinking was involved, as you can see by the bottle of raspberry beer in Shannon's hand.
Saturday morning we woke up early, a little too early, and got the horses ready so we could authorize to ride. Authorizing was much easier then I expected. It was all about how well you could ride and control you horse, being able to ride and steer you horse one handed, and how well you handle the weapons, yes, I said weapons.
There were staffs and wooden swords that the horses needed to get used to. Shannon did a great job on her horse!
The games were knock the head off the pole, hit the quintain, throw a spear at hay bales or a fake deer, and use a lance to get the rings off an overhead pole.
Our horses did really well. I borrowed a horse just because I didn't want to overwhelm Doodles with everything and Gypsy hasn't been ridden in so long, plus I wasn't sure if she'd be sound enough for the day's activities.
I rode Ari, the painted Icelandic, and despite his worry, he did very well for me. Though he was a little hard headed at times, we did ok, I think, for a horse I've only ridden a handful of times. I can't wait to do this again next year but with one of my horses. I'm already thinking of ways to make the equipment they had there so I can start training my girls to do this.
I think some of the other riders were much nicer turned out then I was, but it was still fun watching them.
It was such a fun weekend! I can't wait to do something like it again but with my own horses!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I've also noticed that with the new English girth I got her, she is now trying to bite me when tighten it. I don't think she likes mohair. I'll need to find something that is more to princess's liking. I should have just bought the leather one like I wanted.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I've got Doodles cantering! She's still very unbalanced and unsure. She'll go for a few strides and then break back into a trot. Though I was able to get her to canter the whole length of the ring with no stops, so that was good. She's learning and trying so that makes me happy. Also, she is getting better with the stiffness issues to that one side she was having. She's still not perfect, but better. Today when I rode her however, she was a total pill. She kept spooking at everything and didn't want to move forward as nice as I know she can. She did settle into working over some ground poles but that was the most I could keep her focused. She was convinced that there was something in the back corner of the ring that was going to eat her. The Crows and chickens were going nuts so maybe there was something over there, but I couldn't see it. I'm guessing a fox or a deer if anything but the woods are so thick on that side, I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. I'm hoping tomorrow will make for a better ride.
She seems to be coming along very well in the bitless bridle. I think she's getting the idea of how the cues work now and is giving me all the right answers when I ask the questions. I really like it a lot and am happy with it. In fact, I'm thinking of buying one in leather. I have the beta one but I would like a leather one someday. I'm hopeing I'll be able to show bitless. I don't think there are any rules against it, but I'll have to look into it. There have got to be other people who show their horses in bitless bridles. Somewhere anyways.
There is a open show happening in October that I would love to go to. I'm thinking I'm going to try with Doodles and only enter in a class or two and use it as a training experience. I've got to expose her to events and shows and how else am I going to do that unless I take her to some. I'm doing my homework to get ready for this show and hopefully by the time it rolls around we will be semi-ready. I don't have much in the way of show gear. I'll need riding pants, boots, a shirt and jacket. As far as tack goes, I might be able to muddle through with what I have. I think I can make a nice turn out for not too much money if I put my mind to it. I really want to do this and I think that we can. I'm thinking that since it's a open show at the end of the season that it won't be too crazy and it should be kinda laid back. I'm also thinking I won't need to be turned out in top of the line show gear to do it. I just want to get our feet wet, not jump in the deep end. I'll only need water wings and not an inner tube. Maybe?
Thursday, September 9, 2010
1.Make sure your horse’s ground manners are generally good. She should halt immediately when you say “Whoa! WHOA! Good gir—no, don’t move! Don’t mov—good girl. Stand there. Just stand. No, WHOA!”
2.Pick a strategic location to start her training. Avoid the barn aisle outside her buddy’s stall or a place in sight of the feed room/hay shed.
3.Place your brushes, saddle, bridle, and everything else you need to tack up nearby.
4.Lead her to the location where you want her to ground tie. Halt her and tell her she’s a good girl and feed her a treat.
5.Move away a step or two to grab a brush. Remove horse from back pocket and return her to the location where you want her to ground tie.
6.Repeat Step 5.
7.Repeat Step 5.
8.Move away a step or two to grab your saddle. Fetch horse from the far end of the barn aisle and return her to the location where you want her to ground tie.
9.Repeat Step 8, this time fetching horse from the hay shed.
10.Give up, tie horse, and finish tacking up. Go ride.
11.Repeat above process after your ride, in reverse.
12.Turn horse out. Watch her immediately bury her head in the grass/hay and not move for the next half hour. Success
Monday, September 6, 2010
Here's a couple of videos of me riding Doodles today. Please ignore my fat bum and bad riding. I have a bunch of other videos from today but they all are pretty much the same so, yeah, this is what you get. I think she looks pretty good for a horse that was just started this spring and doesn't have that many rides on her yet. I'm really excited to keep working her, I think she's going to turn into a really nice horse. The best $250.00 slaughter house special ever!
Friday, September 3, 2010
I will rock you like a weak hurricane. I hope, anyways.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Gypsy is still improving. She is no longer lame but has been tender footed. I haven't used her boots on her in a while and she still is ok. I'd like to get some weight off of her but with not being able to ride her, it's going to be tricky. I guess hand walking is in order then. I could use the walking too, I guess, grumbles.
I tried Doodles in the bitless bridle today. She did ok, but she needs to get used to it. She's not flexing to the left very well. I'm wondering if this is a new thing or something I just never noticed before. To the left, she bends and flexes very nicely. To the right, it's not as nice. It's like pulling teeth to get her to keep her head where it should be. I never noticed her that rigid on that side before. A little tense, yes, but not out and out stiff as a board. I kept working with her and finally got a nice response. I'm not sure if it's just the new bridle or what, but it's something we will be working on. I could have pushed the issue a bit more and gotten more out of her, but it's been soooooo hot and I didn't think it was fair to her to keep asking for more when she really was trying. The heat has been awful, it's been in the upper 90's and it has sucked. I am not a hot sun kind of person. I like the heat but even this has been too much for me. I hope it cools down a little.
I did end up dusting off my dressage saddle and using that today. She did well with it. I like the way she looks in english tack. I need to take a pic or a million to show her off! I do, however, need a new girth since all of my english girths are crap and are too big for small little Doodles. I also need new reins for the new bridle. It's an english bitless bridle but for some reason, it came with western reins on it. They are nice reins but they just feel a little odd in my hands. They will have to do for now since I can't afford much until Friday. I did find a really nice pair of reins at the local tack store that I'm looking forward to picking up soon.
I hit a yard sale the other day and the lady was selling some horse stuff. She had a small horse and it looked like most of his stuff would fit Doodles. Mega score! I got some bell boots, a horse first aid kit, a fly sheet AND a winter blanket all for twenty bucks! I needed a winter blanket for Doodles. I have some that fit Gypsy well but nothing seems to fit Doodles because she is so small. I swear she looks more like a Thoroughbred or an Arabian then a Paint. I have her papers though, so I know she's a Paint, but she really does not look like one.
So, my goals for August were a fail. I wanted to take Doodles to a clinic but that did not happen since I had to work that weekend.
Goals for September:
1) Take Doodles to a clinic!
2) Start some canter work.
3) Get that right side stiffness smoothed out.
4) Buy new reins for the bitless bridle.
5) Buy a new english girth.
We are moving forward! Yay!
Sorry no Pictures from today. It was too hot and my head was melting so I didn't think to bring the camera out.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Gypsy Is still improving, today she was running around the pasture with Doodles. I haven't had her boots on in a few days. I can see she's a tad tender footed but she's not dead lame. I'm going to Give her the rest of the year off and maybe start again with her in the spring. Right now I guess I'll just focus on Doodles and keep up the ground work and manners with Gypsy.
I've been kinda stuck in my own head lately so I haven't been riding much. I don't like riding when I'm more focused inside then out. I'm coming out of it, but I'm still not there yet. Tomorrow I will be riding Doodles, if it's not 100 degrees out like it was today and I can keep focused for more then 5 minutes.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Gypsy still seems to be getting better. Lots of soaking and epsom salts later. I'm happy she's feeling better, but still I haven't seen an abscess break through. There are a few spots that seems suspect, but nothing yet. The easysoaker boot has made things a bit easier. It still doesn't fit quite right unless I fill it with hot water first to make it more flexible. Without it though, I would be fighting with buckets and Gypsy has never been one for keeping her feet in a bucket.
The easyboots have made her walk much better. I noticed the other day when I left them off for a while she seemed very sore. She even seems to like them. When I came out to put them back on after her hoof soaking she picked up her feet so easy for me. I like to give her an hour or so with them off to let her feet breathe. I need to find out how long I can leave the boots on.
Ok, that's it. I blame my boring yet somewhat informative post to the fact I am on a 9 day work spree with no days off. I am tired. If I don't post anything more for a while it's because I'm working. I'm always working.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Let me say that even though I questioned my vet's hands off approach to my horse's care, he was kinda right on this one. Today I bought some epsom salts and an easyboot soaker and soaked 3 out of 4 feet. The easyboot soaker made it a bit easier then the hoof in the bucket method, even though the boot I bought was a tad too small. I should have bought the next size up. I was doubtful the soaking would do anything but sure enough, later after I soaked her feet she seemed to be walking a bit better, a lot better in fact. I didn't expect to see any results so fast! I also bought some easyboots for daily wear around the pasture. These have also made a big difference in how Gypsy walks. She seems much more comfortable now. She is taking less short choppy steps and now is starting to walk normal again. I'm loving easyboots! A lot!
The funny thing about the hoof boot that I bought is that they have sitting at the feed store for about a year now. They were brought in on consignment and though I have looked at them many times and wondered if they would fit, I never dared to buy them in case they didn't. The price was right on them and I was told that if they didn't fit i could bring them back, so I took the plunge and bought them. And they fit great!!! They are a bit older and they were used but hey, they are doing good things for my girl. I don't care that they aren't new, and I don't think she does either. Just think, the boots I have needed for Gypsy have been right in front for me for a year now and all I had to do was get brave and try them out! I'm so happy I bought them. Gypsy is happy I bought them. I'm happy that she's happy. And I bet the lady who had them on consignment for a year is happy to sell them! Everyone is happy!
My goth ninja rooster got killed the other day. He was a black silkie. I'm kinda bummed about it since he was such a neat little roo and took good care of his girls.
So to replace him in the flock I got this new, more flamboyant rooster. He got his ass kicked by one of the hens when I first introduced them, I had to break up the fight. I cleaned him up and put him back in his cage for a while to relax and then tried to introduce them again. The second time was a success.