Wednesday, May 27, 2020

MDW 2020

Last week I really made an effort to get back into a regular routine with the horses (why is this always the story of my life?). I'm still trying to figure out my timing with the WFH thing... like I may broach working later hours so I can return to riding in the morning, like my summer hours from a few years ago -- except with no commute... WINNING! Wednesday I rode Ruby, and shared the photos last Thursday -- I didn't write about the ride, but it was pretty damn great! Thursday night the farrier was scheduled to come out, so I didn't ride.
Farrier day!
Friday I was really stoked to ride Cinna, and she was pretty chill when I caught her and brought her out... and then things devolved quickly from there. Jack and Cinna got even more herdbound as a result of me basically letting the horses be feral for a year while we finished the house. So now when I take her out of the pasture, despite the fact that he can still SEE HER, and the other horses, he runs himself into a tizzy. That's how he ended up with the only colic episode I've ever had to deal with in my 14+ years of multi-horse ownership (knock on wood), so to keep the peace, normally I just toss him out with Trigger and Ruby so there's less screaming and idiotic behavior. This time, I made the tactical mistake of pulling her out and cross-tying her first, and then trying to move him. She was unhappy about that, busted the cross ties, and ran around like a lunatic. I sighed, caught her, fixed the cross ties, and started over. The minute she seemed to be calming down, I turned my back to grab her a cookie so we could move on... annnnnnnd she busted them AGAIN and took off.
First cross-tying attempt. 
Round three, in her bad girl halter. She also spent some solo time in her stall while I fixed the cross ties repeatedly, and screamed herself into a lather about that. Life is hard Cinna, and it's harder if you act dumb. 
Sooooo. Instead of riding, we had an hour of remedial cross tie/groundwork training and reminders that we, in fact, know how to behave like a grown, civilized horse. Which mostly consisted of me sitting on the tack shed steps replying to emails while she stood there and stomped her feet. That ate up most of my riding time (plus my mind was not in a great headspace to climb on at that point lol) so I decided to work on scrubbing some of the leftover winter grime off her instead. Despite lamenting my lack of a dedicated wash stall (it's on the list!), Cinna was actually pretty cooperative for ground-tying-ish for me to scrub her tail, and I KNOW she enjoyed me scrubbing the dirt and dead skin out of her roached mane (she is the itchiest horse I have ever met lol). It was still a little muddy so I took her out front to graze while she dried, because I'll be damned if I was going to turn her out wet and immediately watch her undo all my work!
Finally calmed down and standing like she knows how to do... awkward angle, since I was still sitting there answering emails lol. 
After her bath, making sure the golf cart was a safe place for me to sit and hold her lead rope. 
Just hanging out. 
The baby Robins got really big!
Despite some wild and wacky weather, I did squeeze in some horse time over the long weekend! Saturday I was hoping we might be able to go out and do something fun, alas, it was not to be. DH wanted to take the boat out, but the necessary parts didn't come in on time. I wanted to haul out and ride, but the nest full of baby Robins was still on my trailer, and there was nowhere to move them too. Sad day. So we did some work out at my mom's place, and Sunday was our designated house cleaning/errand running day (and the weather was intermittently sketchy both of those days), but Monday dawned bright and beautiful (albeit hot and humid) and I was ready to ride! The horses were both on board with this plan, and I had everyone worked, hosed, and back in front of their fans before noon! We switched back to night turnout over the weekend, because it got STUPID hot, and I forgot how much I love it and how much easier it makes my life!
Much less dumb about cross ties on Monday. 
A very good egg under saddle too. Didn't have to lunge first, no shenanigans, just a nice ride!
Never dumb about cross ties because she is too adult for that nonsense. 
Also a good ride, although she wanted to canter wayyyyyy more than I did, haha. We compromised ;)
She sweated through her fly bonnet and was not interested in my photos. 
What she thought about her bath and then being parked in front of the big fan to dry. 
The last time I checked the baby Robins they started kamikaze dive bombing me so I ran away. Apparently they were big enough to leave the nest, because I found this later! (One egg didn't hatch). I pulled it down and I need to fill that gap so they stop building nests there and I can take my trailer places! 
The bebe goats think summer weather is bullshit.
Since I finished with the horses before noon I got bored and baked cookies all afternoon. 
Literally all afternoon. Almond cookies.
Toffee cookies. 
Monday night's sunset.
It was a really busy weekend but I ended it feeling great. We got a lot done around the farm, the horses got worked, and I felt refreshed and ready to head back to work. I hope you got to enjoy plenty of horse time too!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Mid-Week Photo Dump

I sat here for a while and thought about writing a real post, but the words just aren't there. Thanks writer's block. It's been a minute. Instead just enjoy some snapshots from the last 24 hours. It was a busy Wednesday!
My new papasan cushion came. It was vacuum sealed and packed into a deceptively small box, and then exploded out of it's packaging once I tried to open it. It's still "growing", but I couldn't be more pleased with how well it matches everything else!
I bought the ombre riding tights from SmartPak after FB advertised them to me approximately 19349472 times. No regrets. I love them. That's not an affiliate link or anything, I just really like them... lol. 
Ruby was absolutely fantastic for our ride last night. I could probably just get right on instead of lunging first at this point, but I'm still playing it safer than necessary I think. 
How many different shades of teal can I get in one photo?
Even more if I'd gotten her bonnet in the first shot! It's my infamous "LOOK UP" ITBF bonnet, haha. 
I beat the storm for a really good ride. The left lead was so accessible and adjustable, it was like we'd never taken so long off. The right lead was it's normal kind of shit show, but god that left lead canter. Amazing. 
Then I puttered around in my tack shed organizing and throwing out old stuff. I had completely forgotten I owned these two pairs of half chaps, lol. 
Just sitting in my chair, staring at my bridles. 
Trying to figure out where to hang my whip rack. For someone who rarely rides with a whip, I own a lot of sparkly whips, haha. 
DH had to come try out the chair. 
That horse trailer cookie jar is going to be perfect for horse treats, lol. 
Anyway... just trying to make it through the week so I can relax and enjoy a 3-day weekend! How about you?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Tack Shed Renovation: Organization Part 1

I'm not actually sure how long it will take me to get all of the organizational things sorted out, but we got started on those last weekend as well!
Installing the curtain rod -- eventually I'll get some thermal curtains (teal, naturally) to help make it a bit more energy efficient. Probably not right away, but I did snag this curtain rod to match the one I'm using for the bits so I figured might as well just install it now. 
Installing shelf brackets -- later on Saturday I bought some white pre-finished shelf boards, but they ended up being like three inches too short, so I'll have to return them and probably custom cut (then paint) a shelf out of plywood. Which is fine, just more work. I was hoping the pre-finished boards would do it. 
I bought these like a year ago when Schneiders was running a sale and they've just been sitting in a box since then, haha. I LOOOOOVE it. 
Frequently used pads will go here, the rest will go on the shelf over the door to save space. 
I dithered incessantly over the bridle hooks -- my last set that DH made were too close together and it was always annoying trying to get bridles down and put them back. Of course, I gave them away before I thought to measure the distance between them as a "what not to do". I tried some creative googling for standard distances, but didn't find much. Naturally I also polled my friends, and got a variety of responses ;) best case scenario sounded like 11 inches between hooks, but if I did that, I could literally devote an entire wall to bridles and still maybe not have them all hung.
Eyeballing some spacing. 
Practicing on some scraps. 
Me, being a genius as always, sank the screw all the way through the board without thinking about the fact that the once the only thing in the board was smooth metal, the threads wouldn't hit the wood to come back out. Um. This is why I'm not typically allowed to play with power tools, haha. 
This is not even all the bridle hooks I ordered. I... might have a problem? Huh. 
I had some scrap lumber so I tried setting it up, and I finally decided on a distance (8 inches center screw to center screw), bit the bullet, and hung most of the racks on my two boards. Those were boards we still had from the house project, which is why they're mismatched lengths, but it actually worked out fine because it gave me a chance to stagger my bridles. The long one went up top for the bridles that don't get much use (show halters, Spanish bridles, etc.), and the lower one is for daily use stuff to be in easy reach. There was a little space on each right side -- not enough for another hook, but an awkward opening. They were perfect for the weird little wrought iron horse head triple hooks I bought! So that's where lunging equipment hangs.
This board sat in our three-sided shed for like 6 months before I pulled it out, and it is no longer any semblance of straight. We were able to fix the worst of it, but it did splinter around one of the screws. I don't think you'll see it behind the bridles though, so whatever haha. 
Getting this one to hang level was also an interesting experience. It still looks wildly slanted but both the level and verified measurements say it's straight sooooooo 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️
Testing to make sure I had room for the top reins not to overlap the bottom hooks. You can see the wrought iron horse head hook on the top right of the upper board.
Hanging the curtain rod for bits and one of the girth hooks. I won't need to reach this stuff too often, so I was okay hanging it up high to best utilize my space. 
I don't swap bits that frequently, and I hung up my long girths and least frequently used dressage girths. I still have a TON of S-hooks left over, so I think I'm going to get another curtain rod and hang up fly bonnets!
Hung the "daily use" pads and I still had hooks left over! The show pads and ones still in packaging will go over the door. 
Filled all the hooks! I still have a few more to hang on another board (whenever I have time to buy/stain more boards), but my daily use bridles and lunging caveson are on the bottom row. Top row has leather halters, show halters, Spanish halters, Spanish bridles, hunt bridle, and all of our western show and trail bridles (and hackamores). A few things are still doubled up, which I will fix when I hang the last few hooks :)
Ended up hanging my old hunt breastplate with martingale on the girth hook too, since I didn't know where else to stash it. 
The "above the door" pads are currently hanging out in my papasan chair. Helmet and grooming bag are on the cedar chest for any riding in the near future. I need more organizational stuff before everything has a home :) I'm thinking either a cabinet or some cubbies like I currently have in my closet. 
This is obviously not how the saddles will stay, but I have my Spanish saddles in the back right, my western saddles in the back left, my hunt saddle on the single rack on the left (currently buried under boots and western wool pads), and my dressage saddles/endurance saddle on the right front rack. My plan is to build 4 saddle holders for the wall over the back racks, and my least frequently used saddles will go up high on the wall. I didn't realize quite how much space the floor-mount saddle racks take up. Sooooo if you're local I'll have a really nice lightly used 3-tier saddle rack plus a single folding rack available for sale in the near future lol. You can also see the shoe organizer that is holding all my horse boots on the floor under the bridles. 
So while it's still FAR from done, it at least looks and mostly functions like a tack room again!