Monday, June 29, 2020

DIY: Horse Show Ribbon Display

Calling this a DIY might be a little bit of a stretch, but, here we are. It might surprise you to know that back in the day (like 5 years ago HAHA) I used to be a bit of a satin ho. I spent a year point chasing on two horses to win some big ass fancy year-end award ribbons and was marginally successful. Actually the point of all the showing that year was to overcome my crippling show anxiety, but nobody gives you ribbons for that... lol.
Swag from a single banquet after the 2015 show season, haha. 
Ruby (and Topaz!) won some sweet embroidered Irish knits. 
One memorable show that year gave out medals instead of ribbons!
In my previous job, I had a boring windowless beige office (which I referred to as the beige coffin), so I strung fishing line from thumbtacks and created an epic ribbon border around most of my office.
I even had my medals on my bulletin board!
I have no idea where the photos are from the week I moved out, I was definitely mostly done with the 3rd wall at that point. When I boxed them up, I knew I was going to have to figure out a new display at some point -- my new job started in an open office, so work was no longer an option. And even once I got promoted and back into a private office again, I didn't want to drag all those ribbons back in, so they just sat boxed up in the tack shed for a while. I had been idly browsing display options, including vases, shadowboxes, glass-topped coffee tables (that was actually what I was most interested in but it seemed complicated lol), and finally, lattice.
I am still spending my way through Menards rebates and this was like.. $13. Winning. 
We had to make a run to the hardware store for some ant killer (after a carpenter ant bit Cici on the nose, poor noodle), so I grabbed a 2x8 piece of lattice while we were there, then conned DH into hanging it in the guest bedroom once we got home. Next, I had to iron the ribbons, which were a little worse for the wear after being boxed for 2 years and moved several times. I used my iron on the lowest setting and mostly ironed the backs of the ribbons (so if I scorched it, you wouldn't be able to see it). I also had a pillowcase on hand for some of the more stubborn ones that needed multiple passes.
I'm not sure DH had ever really seen the extent of my collection. He got a little bug-eyed for a minute... haha. 
 Then it was just a matter of hanging them all up! I got a little OCD and realized there were 7 rows, which was perfect for ribbons from 1-6 with the bottom row for the BIG guys (champions, reserve champion, top 5, my single lonely neck sash, etc). So I started filling it up!
Less 6th, 5th, and 4th ribbons than I would have thought... although don't think that's because I'm some hotshot rider or anything, it's mostly because classes around here are typically very small lol. 
Once we got to the 3rds, I could easily fill the entire row. 
Had a second to spare! ;)
Too many blues for the bottom row, so I tossed some up top to fill in the gaps. 
Voila! I hung the medals on the closet track in the corner behind the stopper (so they're out of the way), but next I need to figure out something to hang those on....
I was perusing "medal hangers" on Google and about died laughing at this one. 
Someone suggested wrapping them around boards, and god knows I have plenty of those lying around.
They look better on the thicker board, because then you can read the words on the sashes. So that might be a project for another day!
 At any rate, for under $20, that's how you can hang boxes of ribbons in a relatively compact space.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Tack Shed Renovation: Storage

Okay so this is kinda gonna be a pathetic post and I almost ran it last night as a belated wordless Wednesday.... Buttttt. Here we are regardless lol. Earlier this week I was able to use part of a Menards rebate to nab a little storage cubby for the tack room, so after putting it together I organized a bit more.
I moved the saddle rack out of the way during assembly. 
Kind of awkward location for now but we'll make it work!
Once the saddle rack was back in place. First aid kit and my Leistner grooming kit on top (plus my cones!), boots tucked in the top and bottom right side (I still want Trones dammit 😆), and then some random stuff in those "drawers" -- extra browbands, bell boots, spare hay nets, my Equicube, the works!
Bandage racks are full i just need to...hang them.
That little teal storage cabinet is empty, I need to find a better place for it. I need to measure and see if my boot hangers will fit underneath the pads. 
Looking from the door at the saddles and cubby. The whips also need their rack mounted too... 
View towards the front corner containing the bookcase and "couch". It still looks messy because I've got all the remaining stuff to be hung sitting on the trunk (and a fan to keep me from dying last night assembling the cubby lol). But we're inching closer to completion. 
Slowly but surely inching towards the finish line! It's really been so fun to see it taking shape. I've got the last few measurements I need to get the last of the hooks hung I just need to... Cut and stain them. Maybe this weekend?

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Tack Shed Renovation: Organization Part 2

Yeah sorry I kind of slacked off on this. I ran out of trim board and also a little out of steam after our first big organizational push a few weeks ago, lol. I like to make fun of my husband for starting and then only completing like 85% of a project before moving on to something else, but apparently that's a trait we share! The tack room had been done enough that it was relatively easy for me to get in and out of it for riding (which I've been doing a lot of, yay!), so it got a lot less urgent on my impossibly long to-do list. But then Liz shared an awesome post about her completed tack room earlier this week and it gave me the much-needed kick in the pants to push through this last 15% and get mine DONE (well, closer to done, if not actually done lol).
They also lack motivation. 
At any rate, a few weeks ago I picked up some more board, so this week we got back to the next stage of organization. First up, super easy. Helmet hangers. Four screws into the stud, voila. I didn't put them on the teal trim pieces because it seemed like overkill. I actually own more helmets than this, so I'm casually considering picking up a few more hangers down the line, but for now, this will suffice.
So much teal in one photo lol. 
Next came something I'd been putting off that was a smidge more complicated -- building auxiliary saddle racks. I currently own enough racks for all my saddles, but they're all freestanding saddle racks as opposed to wall-mount, and they take up A LOT of space. So much space. Seriously the entire back wall of the shed.
One of my first attempts at trying to arrange the saddles without losing too much wall space. 
When I finally realized I have TOO MANY RACKS and needed to look at wall mount ones. 
I really love all the saddle racks I have, but it was time to look at a different solution. After looking at a ton of different wall-mount ones, and discussing options with DH, I decided to do a mix of two of my existing freestanding ones (matched pair of two-tier ones on wheels), and then do two wall mount racks over them (to better utilize the vertical space, instead of taking up so much valuable floor space). While I do own eight saddles (which I'm aware some of you consider excessive HA), I really only primarily use four, so my priority was easy access to those four (my two dressage and two western), and then I would use the upper racks that are slightly less accessible for the less-used saddles (my Spanish saddles, hunt saddle, and endurance saddle). Due to *blah blah blah* construction logistics, I can't have ALL eight saddle racks be wall-mounted, but this was a doable compromise. I don't really love most of the wall-mount style racks, because they can have weird pressure points on the bottom of saddles, so I decided to DIY some.
1 - eight foot landscape timber, cut into 4 equal lengths
Playing around with the measurements. The existing racks I have are 16" between the top and bottom rack, but since I bought those braces and they come down a little farther than I was comfortable with, we scooted things a little farther apart. 
Screwed to the board ready for stain.
Initially I was just going to stain the board, because the landscape timbers were way too rough to even consider sanding (ain't nobody got time for that). I bought some (teal, naturally) pool noodles to cut up and staple around them for padding and to protect the saddles from the rough wood.
But then I slapped stain on them anyway. I had plenty of stain, why not?
We left them to dry overnight, and then put them up yesterday. The extra board length is to run the entire stud, for stability (screwed into the stud at multiple points). The pool noodles were a good idea in theory, but a bit of a pain in execution. They would probably fit perfectly around the round metal of most saddle racks, but trying to get them to stay curled around the landscape timbers was a bitch lol. We finally stapled them down.
The noodles resisting my efforts to wrap them around the timbers. 
Stapled down.
Installing them in the shed. The braces were actually probably overkill, but on two of the racks I am going to store my HEAVY Spanish saddles, so I built bigger than necessary.
Not too shabby! Depending on the saddle style though, the top brace does eat into the available space on the lower rack, so maybe wouldn't work well for a western saddle with a horn/higher cantle.
Finishing up. 
He ran out of screws and went to get more and while he was gone I put saddles on the first two lol. 
I am so ridiculously excited about these. Even just folding up the single rack and moving it out of the way helped immensely, so I can't imagine how much better the space is going to be once that three-tier rack is also out of the way (already had someone interested in buying it so hopefully it's out of there by this weekend). Now that I have a better idea of what the remaining available wall space looks like, we can start working on the last few pieces -- more girth hooks, whip holder, the last few bridle hooks, a tack cleaning station... and I need to get some sort of storage cabinet or cubby system to neatly organize all my bottles and first aid supplies and all that miscellaneous junk that accumulates in tack rooms :)

Friday, June 12, 2020

EOTRH: One Week Check

Short and sweet entry today! The vet was out this morning to do a one week check on Jack's mouth (or as I affectionately refer to it right now, his teef holes). He has been on the soaked grain and grass diet as recommended, mouth holes rinsed daily with diluted chlorahex, and twice daily antibiotics and bute -- although how much of that I get into him is anybody's guess. I'm real bad at pills with a horse who won't eat them out of my hand like the girls, haha.
I can get him to eat one pill out of my hand usually, but then he gets suspicious. That was not helpful for the 26 pills a day he is currently on!
At any rate, the vet was pleased with his healing so far! They lightly sedated him and gave the holes a really good rinse (they had a different, far more effective rinsing tool, lol). I'm supposed to keep rinsing the holes for another week, as long as he continues to be an agreeable patient. Since he's retired, no worry on a timeframe to put a bit back in his mouth or anything, but she said he should be pretty well healed up in another 3-4 weeks. We'll be keeping an eye on the bottom incisors, there are two that are questionable right now and might need to come out eventually, but they were not as bad as the tops so that's why we started there. Trigger will have a check up in a few weeks for his pulled molar, and another 6 month check on a root from another tooth he lost on his own, so they'll probably put eyes on Jack's teeth then so we can formulate a plan.
Rinsing the teef holes
Picking some alfalfa debris out of the cavity
Some more targeted rinsing
(he was so amenable to us sticking phones in his face for pictures, poor guy haha)
Hanging out waiting for the drugs to wear off. 
While it can be a little hard to gauge his comfort level (you know, since he can't speak), he does seem to be eating a lot more alfalfa in his stall than he was in the past 8+ months. I'm tossing it on the floor (so he doesn't have to rub the wounds on a hay net, that seemed counterproductive) so he's wasting a little, but I feed the scraps to the goats and everyone wins. Summer is always a tricky time for him, he HATES flies and bugs and heat and humidity, so he usually drops some weight and is relatively miserable any time he isn't parked in front of his jumbo fan in his stall. But I'm hoping maybe if I can get more alfalfa into him he won't drop as much weight this summer, and maybe we'll get into winter a little ahead of his usual curve!

Monday, June 8, 2020

EOTRH: Extractions

A few weeks ago, the vet came out for our annual Coggins/rabies/FEC/dental day, and I get some less than great news about the state of the boy's teeth (refresher, for if you forgot), specifically Jack and his EOTRH. I immediately called up to schedule both Jack and Trigger into the vet hospital for the necessary x-rays and extractions, and due to how booked up they were, that appointment wasn't until last Friday.
Unrelated media - all four of the feral kittens we've been taming are off to their new homes and I am LIVING for these updates. They are all in GREAT homes where they are spoiled friggin' rotten and I LOVE IT. 
And because if I didn't have bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all, the prior Sunday my truck had to go to the mechanic for some basic maintenance that very quickly spiraled into a clusterfuck of epic proportions (as in it's still there and we have no timeline on when it might be done UGH). Thankfully, my neighbor was more than willing to jump in and give us a ride up to the hospital. Due to covid concerns, they aren't allowing clients to accompany horses for procedures. Also I guess they don't usually WANT clients to watch teeth extractions of this nature, so we made a handoff in the parking lot in the pouring rain, and I told my boys to make good choices. My mom recently transferred from the small animal hospital to the equine department, and I was hoping to get some pictures of the process. Trigger had one cracked molar removed, and Jack had all of his top incisors removed.
I should have remembered that my mom is the worst at taking photos so this is literally all I got of the entire day. 
These were some of the rads they sent me, they're supposed to send more (and if they do I'll add them here). I'll admit to being wildly unfamiliar with trying to read dental rads (I'm more familiar with legs lol), but apparently two of the top incisors were fractured and came out in pieces. 
I won't lie, I was kind of a walking bundle of nerves waiting to hear some news about them that morning - neither of them are spring chickens (Trigger is 23 and Jack is 25), but the vet called me at noon to tell me that everything was done and both procedures went well. We were able to pick them up (again, my neighbor is a hero) in the afternoon once the sedation wore off a bit. I got a goodie bag full of teeth and meds and lengthy discharge instructions. Both horses were perky and happy loading in the trailer, and when we got home, Jack immediately dragged me over to the grass to start trying to gum it. He also kept doing this weird licking thing, I imagine his mouth felt pretty different without all of those teeth!
mmmmm bloody teeth. Trigger's lone molar on the left and Jack's incisors on the right. 
In case you wanted to know what $1K worth of teeth looks like!
I was under strict instructions to soak their food, rinse Jack's teeth holes daily, and also make sure they got their painkillers (both of them) and antibiotics (just Jack). Of course, despite eating soaked food for the last 5+ years (Jack has been on supplemental beet pulp and alfalfa pellets for ages, and we started Trigger on them this winter when he seemed to be struggling with his weight a little), they've both decided that soaking their (expensive) senior feed is UNACCEPTABLE so I've been scraping a lot of slop back out of their corner feeders and tossing it in the manure pile... assholes. In the beginning I was crushing the pills up and sprinkling them on their feed, but I was worried they weren't getting all of it. Yesterday I just dropped the whole pills into Jack's feed and he ate all but one of them. Today I tried crushing up the pills and dissolving them and attempting to syringe the pills (mixed with a bit of syrup) into him, but I ended up wearing quite a bit of it. So I guess it's back to sprinkling the pills on top and praying.
Mouth holes this am. Note the leftover antibiotic residue on his lips and the top of his nose was sticky from the syrup lol. 
The vet who pulled the teeth will be out Friday to check him, so we'll talk about it then I'm sure. I'm getting most of the pills into him, I think, and he's certainly happy and perky and appears to be feeling much better. Every morning when I bring him in from the pasture he DIVES into his alfalfa, which is something he's never done before. And he's definitely grazing at night, based on how much grass I flush out of the holes.
The vet said his bottom incisors will probably need to come out next, but they weren't nearly as bad as the top incisors so we can hold off a bit to make sure he's fully recovered from this round before we worry too much about them. We discussed his weight and my concerns about some of that, and we're hopeful that without those painful teeth, he'll eat more and put some pounds back on (he has free choice third cutting alfalfa in his stall all day but usually only eats a flake or so). Since the extraction he's regularly going through about 3+ flakes now, yay!
I'm gonna have a lot of horse tongue photos to go with all my dog tongue photos!
Trigger will have a follow up appointment in a month to remove the packing from the molar hole, and they noted he also lost a molar on his own on the other side, so they want to check on that root in about 6 months and make sure it's still not causing any issues.
Trigger would like to go on the record that his only issue is not being able to reach Jack's feed bucket to clean up his leftovers. 
At any rate, despite the cost and the PITA factor of meds and flushing mouth holes, it was obviously completely worth it to keep my old men healthy and happy! And I got to learn more about a medical condition I've never heard of, so you better believe I'll be watching everyone else's teeth like a hawk from now on.