Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cold Snap

It's currently in the 20's and 30's here which is quite cold for us. In light of Emi's impaction colic during our last cold snap I'm being quite careful this second time around. Emi is currently well blanketed with a blanket liner and a medium weight blanket. I am hauling warm water from the house or heating their water with a bucket heater, even though it hasn't had any ice in it. This morning I also offered them one bucket of water flavored with some apple juice. This was in addition to their normal water, since I wasn't sure if they'd like it. When I took it outside Emi came over to check it out but she knew it had been doctored. She sniffed and sniffed at it but wouldn't ever try it. When I returned home this evening almost the whole bucket was gone! Then while I was carrying buckets to put in their big tub Emi drank around 3 gallons of warm water. That made me happy!

Other things I've done...1) I added a himalayan salt lick to their pen. It's on a rope and is hung on their gate. I know for sure that Emi uses it. They've always had a bigger salt block that's on the floor but I thought hanging something might make it more of a game and it puts it in their path all the time. 2) I also added some soaked timothy hay cubes to her meal time. I wasn't sure how well they would break down when soaked but they work great and are another way to get some extra moisture in to her. She gets way less grain than Roz so it gives her something to keep her busy while he eats.

In reality, I think there is just a little bit of luck that goes in to everything working like it's supposed to. I know that there are a lot of horses that live out, with out a blanket, soaked feed, or salt licks hanging nearby that do fine doing cold weather.  I think most of the things I'm doing fall under "can't hurt, might help" but at least they make me feel like I'm doing something to prevent further problems.  Does anyone have any great cold weather tips?

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Look Back at 2014


January was pretty low key. I was hauled Roz up to NDF to ride and practiced trailer loading (and unloading) with Emi.


We had our second big snow storm for the winter and I got to take some fun snow photos. I continued to ride Roz and Emi went on her monthly outing to NDF for some ponying and in hand practice, with the help of Tarra and Mystic.


Rozzy Ridge turned 22. I continued to ride him, although at the very end of the month he came up lame in the middle of a ride. Emi headed up to NDF for more in hand work to be ready for her first horse show. Spring was coming and we had some really nice weather. I was also 1 year post chemo. I love March!


More ponying practice for Miss Emi by Tarra and Mystic. Emi also went on her first tied up trailer ride. Things went smoothly which made me more comfortable for tying her when we traveled to her horse show. Emi got to have a sleep over at NDF and her first bath in their wash rack (with warm water) and her first time wearing a blanket. We also attended our first welsh breed show which wasn't really what I was expecting but all things considered Emi was pretty good.


We went on a fun beach trip with Roz and Mystic but the weather ended up being super duper windy. It was definitely the worst I've seen it over there and we really didn't ride much. Roz went to school for their lameness course and was determined to be 4/5 lame due to navicular. He became officially retired with that diagnosis. Emi got to go cross country schooling with Tarra & Mystic and Alyssa & Lola. She loaded easily in a big strange trailer and handled the outing very well!


Emi turned 1! With Roz being out of the riding picture I was looking for a horse to lease and I picked up Willow. I spent the month trying to figure out what made her tick. Some days were good, some...not so good. Emi went to her second show and improved in her behavior from the first one. We also had a fun photo shoot.


I hauled both ponies to work by myself and everything went smoothly. I got to attend a little "clinic" on how to turn your welsh out for a show. It was super fun to meet fellow welsh owners and to get input on how they should be presented at a show. After a terrible trail ride with Willow I returned her and picked up Jessica.


I made a white rope halter to show Emi in. She went to her third (and final) show of the year at the State Fair. She handled the traveling and atmosphere really well. What a star! Jessica returned home and I was torn trying to decide what to do on the riding horse front. I also celebrated 2 years since being diagnosed with breast cancer.


We were heading in to fall but Emi had one more big outing. She went to Perrydale trails with Tarra & Mylo and Alyssa & Jolene. All three babies were super and we had fun. 


This was a busy month. I was involved in a breast cancer fundraising effort called Puttin' on the Pink. I also bought Benny this month and got back in to the swing of regular riding! It felt so good.


I had lots of great rides on Benny and an awesome outing to the Mountain Trail course at the Oregon Horse Center. In the middle of all of this Emi colicked and spent a week in the hospital....not an experience I want to repeat anytime soon!


This brings us up to the present. Lots of good rides on Benny; a fun Christmas party, trail rides, bareback rides, and just generally enjoying him. Emi turned 18 months old and got to go her first outing since her hospital trip. I attempted ponying her from Benny and although it wasn't perfect it's doable. 

It's been a crazy year with some ups and downs (as usual). Looking back I can see how much progress Emi has made in the last year and I'm looking forward to seeing how she develops in the next one. I also can't wait to see where Benny takes me and how things progress with him. I'm so blessed to have found him and I'm really enjoying having a nice horse to ride again. Bring on the adventures of 2015!

Super Pony & Stinker Pony

When I arrived at the barn last night a fellow boarder had left a note asking if anyone was interested in a Boxing Day hack. I messaged her when I got home to let her know that I'd like to go. When I got to the barn this morning there ended up being 4 of us going out. We had a really nice ride; the weather was good and Benny was great.

Then in the afternoon I hauled Emi out for some work. She's been a bit neglected, with her last field trip being to Perrydale Trails in September. I can't believe it had been that long! I had plans to take her to the Mountain Trail course in Eugene but she colicked the night before she was supposed to go. Between her week stay at the hospital, lots of rain, and short days, she has been on the back burner. 

She hopped right into the trailer like a professional. When we got to the barn I let her play in the arena for a while and then we practiced some work in hand. 

I think she is looking really good for 18 months old. She ran around like a crazy girl for about 5 minutes and then she was done. She spent a little time hanging out Benny's stall while I went out to catch him. Once I got him in the barn I remembered that I wanted to practice trailer loading with him since it seems to be a weak point for him. He wasn't thrilled but I was patient with him and he loaded twice with minimal trouble.

After I had him ready to ride I took them both over to the arena to see if Benny would pony her for me. I thought he might be pretty snarky with her as he doesn't really love being crowded by other horses. She bumped in to him several times with out issue. He was not crabby with her at all but was unsure about having her crowd him. She can be a bit of a spitfire and was trying to run the show. Between giving instructions to Benny and keeping Emi in line, it was a challenge. 

Both horses were just settling in to their new rolls when they go startled and spooked. Emi started running circles around Benny and Benny was spinning around in the center of the circle. I ended up hopping off when Benny quit moving. In hind sight I think that I should have just kicked Benny forward. I think if I'd have gotten him going again Emi would have fallen in line and we would have been fine. As it was I petted them both, took them back over to the mounting block, and got back on with out further incident. It will only get better with continued practice. Once we start going out on the trails it may be easier since there will be other things for them both to look at. 

Stinker pony poses with super pony.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all!

 "And there were shepherds living out in the field nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.'" Luke 2:8-11

Pants as a yearling
Now as a 3 year old!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

10 Questions

10 questions taken from Viva Carlos.

1. What size horse do you prefer to ride? I like riding something that's around 15.2hh although I don't mind them being shorter than that if they have a big body.
15.2hh Rozzy Ridge
2. Do you school in tall boots or half chaps and paddock boots? I used to school in my tall boots but they currently have a broken zipper and I now have new smartpak half chaps which I really like. 

3. What do you do with your ribbons after shows? 
I am good about writing the date, class, and horse on the ribbons as soon as I get them but what I do with them depends on the horse I'm riding. If it's not one of my horses then I normally end up throwing them away. I have all of the ribbons I won with Roz and recently made a ribbon jar for his. Emi's will be hung up in my room for now; I will eventually probably do the same ribbon jar idea with hers. 

4. Do you ride/board at a large show barn or a small private barn? I board Benny at a small private barn and I love it! 

5. Have you ever seen a horse give birth? No. April and I missed my mare foaling by about an hour. We had slept at the barn and been up half the night then around 11am the next morning while we were both at work she foaled. It was a rip off for sure!

6. What is your favorite breed? I like most breeds and mainly feel like a good horse is a good horse regardless of their breed. 

7. Favorite tack brand? I don't have one.

8. Would you ever buy used tack? I often buy used tack. 

9. Ever been on a carriage ride? Yes, around Dublin Ireland. 

10. How often do you go to the tack store? I make a tack/feed store trip at least once a week if not twice. That's how it goes with having two horses at home!