Thursday, January 30, 2014

They're Here!

Our first lambs were born today! Better photos to come, probably on Saturday. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Problem Solved

I didn't end up riding today but the horses did enjoy time on the pasture. I also practiced loading & unloading with Emi. She was awesome! I used her breakfast grain and a carrot and we went in and out 4 times. One time was unplanned as she was eating in the trailer and she turned around to look at something outside the trailer. She jumped out on her own, with me still in the trailer. I was happy to see her feeling comfortable enough to do that on her own. I had a nice long rope on her so I was able to just let her go and then she climbed back in to get back to her grain. She's a smart girl! It will be interesting to see how she loads and unloads next time I take her to NDF. I'd be surprised if the problem isn't solved. She just needed a bit of practice!

Photos below are of her playing today. She's an athlete for sure! 




Saturday, January 25, 2014

Outside

I spent the majority of the day outside. It was 50 degrees and sunny, which was so lovely! It felt like spring! I hauled Roz up to NDF for a ride. He hauled a bit better than he did on Monday although he was still screaming for a buddy while we were alone in the arena. That didn't last long and we walked around the hay fields with friends before returning to the arena to work. Once we got home I turned him out and grabbed Emi.


On Monday I had trouble getting her unloaded at home, and that's not the first time she has been slow to come out. I figured it's time to actually practice with her. I grabbed a feed pan with a small amount of grain and some cut up carrots. She barely hesitated getting in or out. She's food motivated for sure! We did it three times, and she was a little slow to get out the 2nd time but not even close to Monday. I think we will practice again tomorrow and I have a feeling we will have solidified how in the world you get out of a horse trailer. I was impressed with how easy she was and it was a very quick practice session.
Snacking in the trailer
After we finished practicing I turned them out for the rest of the afternoon. It was so lovely and they were happy campers! More hauling, loading practice, and turn out is scheduled for tomorrow.






Annie lazing in the sun.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I thought I'd share some photos of Roz "back in the day." 
11 year old Roz the 1st time I owned him
The young version of Roz and I (he's 11, I was 15)

After I bought him back,  so 14 years old, and beyond
After winning our first one day horse trial


Jumping!
Second place in a one day horse trial, he won carrots.
Competing at the Inavale Farms Horse Trial in 2008
After Inavale he got the rest of the summer off, while I drove combine.
I did try take him for a spin on my day off.
Getting back to work...don't we look like we are working hard?! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tough Decisions

I took Emi and Roz up to the barn for a ponying session. The horses we out on the pasture for almost 2 hours this morning and I figured they'd be nice and relaxed for our adventure. Roz was super filthy, yet again, as he rolled multiple times while I cleaned Emi up.


Once I had both horses cleaned up I loaded Roz and then Emi. Emi was a bit slow to load and Roz banged around in the trailer while he waited. Once we got up to the barn I got them unloaded and got Roz's bridle on. At that point Tarra and Alyssa came out of the barn ready to ride, and they were planning to walk around the hay fields. Emi has only been ponied once, but I decided we might as well head straight out to the field. We had a little trouble steering right off the bat, but I got us straightened out. Emi acted liked she has been doing it all of her life, and picked right up where we left off a month ago.

We went in to the arena and were going to do a little bit of in hand work but the arena was pretty crowded and there was activity outside so we just stood in the middle for a bit and called it a day. For the most part Emi's takes things in stride and doesn't seem too bothered with much. I tied her to the trailer by Roz, while I untacked him, and she was great. Then Tarra held her for me while I loaded Roz. Pretty much as soon as I had him in he started making a ruckus; looking over the divider, leaning against it, pawing like crazy...you name it. While he was spazing out, Emi was standing at the back of the trailer with me telling her to get in. I ended up picking up one front hoof and putting it in the trailer. Once I did, she climbed in.

She was very slow to get out at home. We are definitely going to practice that again next week. The whole time she's standing at the edge of the trailer, considering her options, Roz was freaking out. By the time she got out and I got him out he had ripped the hay feeder in the front of his slot, and gotten a small cut under his eye.

I'm just really not sure what to do about him. He used to be a super good traveler and much easier to handle than he is currently. I've tried making the excuse that I'm just not working him consistently enough but he I've been riding him again since the beginning of January, he had a good workout yesterday, had time on the pasture today, and should have been good to go. Maybe he's trying to tell me he doesn't want to play any more. It's a bummer that's it's stressing him so much and it's definitely frustrating me. I'm also beginning to worry that he's either going to break something on the trailer or he's going to hurt himself (or both). I'm so tempted to just say he's really officially retired so I don't have to fight him anymore...but then I really have nothing to ride, and nothing to pony Emi off of. The tough decisions in life!

A local tack store is having a contest. If you are on facebook, please "like" Roz's photo for him to win some new grooming products!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Senile

It's been busy around here but nothing too exciting. Emi got her booster vaccine on Thursday. She was great, as always. Since I got off work early, I took the opportunity to ride Roz. The barn was pretty quiet when we arrived and I let him roll in the arena before hopping on. Pretty much as soon as I got on him he started screaming for a friend. Seriously!? This horse as never cared about company...until now! I decided that if he wanted to be a twit he could work. It's harder to scream for your friends when mom requires you to be straight, forward, and obedient. But...as soon as he was given a long rein for a walk break, the screaming was back. Ugh.

I rode him again today and had the exact same issue. He is working nicely but he really wants to be upset over being by himself.  I can't decide whether he is really that attached to Emi or if he is getting senile! She's at home happily eating hay and he's at the barn throwing a fit! It's so unusual for him, but I have not noticed any other weird behavior from him, so I'm thinking he's just attached. He will be happy tomorrow because we are taking her with us for a ponying session. It should be fun!
Trying to get two horses and one girl in a photo is difficult!

When I brought Roz home I took Emi out for some hand grazing. It's great for her to explore the farm and spend some time hanging out with me. I measured her today and she's grown an inch in the past month, so she's currently 12.1hh. 



Checking out my mom's raised garden bed

Mane training is going well!
Kisses!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fancy Browbands

I got a wonderful Christmas gift from Tarra this year. A fancy browband for Emi, from Dark Jewel Designs. Check them out! They are gorgeous, customized, and totally affordable. The browbands are made with changeable beads strands. How cool is that!? I don't know about anyone else, but the normal catalogs have limited options, and have never had exactly what I was looking for.

Half of the fun was designing my browband with Amelia. I'm a total pink and purple girl so I knew I wanted one strand of each. Amelia was so easy to work with and there are a bunch of options! I think my bead strands turned out beautifully, and I cannot wait to use my browband on my beautiful girl.
Purple Pearls
Pretty in Pink
I've decided that Roz is going to need his own fancy browband, for his birthday, in March. A know a new browband may be a funny thing to buy a (almost) 22 year old horse, but I think he deserves a fun browband too! Plus, the bonus of this system is at some point Emi can inherit his bead strands.

A big "thank you" to Tarra for the gift, and to Amelia at Dark Jewel Designs for being so awesome to work with and designing such a great browband.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Oh Boy

As predicted, a big rain storm blew through here Friday night through Sunday morning. Saturday I spent some time grooming Emi and braiding her mane, but otherwise I stayed inside. Late in the afternoon I looked out the back door to see where the horses were standing with all of the wind and rain we were getting....and I saw this!


Apparently the horses were tired of being in their paddock and managed to get the gate open, out to the field. As you know, I haven't been turning them out together (in the pasture) with out supervision. I guess that's not necessary anymore....They were both good ponies coming in.  I latched the gate like normal, and I tied it with bailing twine for good measure.

Sunday afternoon it had quit raining and I was planning to ride Roz. I turned the truck and trailer around before going out to grab Roz. He's a little too smart, and when he heard me moving the trailer around he went out and rolled. He looked like this....on both sides! Seriously!? This horse LOVES to roll. 

I ended up hosing off his legs, belly, and washing his nasty tail. He was so disgusting! I cleaned up his head and neck as well as I could, before leaving for the barn. He was less than cooperative, as grooming is not on his list of favorite things. Oh well, cleaning up a muddy mess, like him, isn't on the top of my list either. He nipped at me a few times and threw in a little kick for good measure, when I was brushing his belly. I was quite irritated with his naughtiness and was ready to give him a hard workout when we got to the barn. Instead we ended up doing a lot of walking! There was a young green horse in the arena when we first got there and I knew Roz being crazy wasn't going to be helpful. Once the young horse was done, Tarra came out on Mystic and we spent a lot of time walking around and talking. Roz was spared the hard ride I intended, which was probably fine anyway. When we got home he was being a total sweetie and sucking up. Don't let his innocent face fool you.

Can I pretty please have a treat? I'm so sweet and cute....

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Blog Hop: Show Me Your Barn

Currently both of my horses live at home....and it's really a hobby sheep farm, that my parents are gracious enough to squeeze in a couple of horses on.  Lambing season is coming up, so be prepared for more photos like this!

View of the Barn:

Here's a photo of our small barn.


Horses Living Space

The barn was originally set up with one horse stall, a pen for our 4-H steers, and then storage space.  The horse stall has been turned in to a dog kennel, and the steer pen is now the horses stall. Rarely do the horses get locked in their "stall" for any reason. Especially with two of them now, I'd only lock one in temporarily if I needed somewhere to put them. Roz really dislikes being stuck in a stall and Emi hasn't ever been stalled more than just an hour or two when I've taken Roz away.
Roz locked in the stall for visitors to pet him last spring
The view from the back of the barn in their paddock. The gate for the stall swings out across the barn isle, basically giving the horses 12x24 barn space.

The view of their barn space from the front side. The stall front on the left is the dog kennel, although it was used for my horse many years ago.

The paddock this fall after laying down more hog fuel. Sadly it doesn't look like this right now. 
When the ground is not too soft they are turned out on the pasture. Once summer hits they will be out 24x7.
View of the Tack Room

Sadly I don't have a tack room...but I do have 2 tack trunks, and I use my trailer tack room during the summer months. It was never really the plan to have horses at home since we don't have an arena. I've boarded for years, but having an old horse and a baby has made keeping them at home a really nice option.

One tack trunk that has my saddle, their halters and Roz's bridle, and then their brushes. 
View of Where We Ride:

I'm super blessed to be able to ride Roz at NDF. This is the barn I boarded at when I had a real riding horse. It's about 10 minutes away, and if it weren't for a third of the drive being on gravel it would be even less than that. This is the same place that Tarra keeps Mystic, so it's nice to be able to ride together. 
The arena
Hay fields for riding in during the summer and fall 
University owned forest land with in walking distance of the barn
Coming back to NDF after a trail ride
My Favorite Feature:

I love having my horses at home. I would love to have my own property at some point, with an outdoor arena. I enjoy taking care of them and being in control of every aspect of their care. It's definitely more work than boarding but I find it to be very rewarding and I love spending time in the barn with them.