Monday, October 30, 2023

Fast Five

OK I finally devoted enough time to finding a workaround where I can get photos in from my Chromebook at least, even if I can't blog from my phone. Maybe I'll try to start taking it to work to slap together blog posts on my lunch breaks. But since I'm so behind, here are five fast updates. 

1. Thank you to everyone who sent condolences about Jack. It was impossibly difficult to lose him after 17 years together. My heart still skips a beat every time I walk in and see the empty stall and I still expect to hear his girlish whinny for breakfast. 

Cinna has... mostly adjusted. We started her on trazodone the day he passed away and kept her on it for about a week. She's getting turned out with Trigger and he does a pretty stellar job of keeping her in line. The tough love is good for her. 

My lovely friends got this for his grave, and I'm looking into having a custom portrait done on his JC papers, which I would love to hang in the house. 

2. As alluded to in several previous posts, lesson scheduling has been a minor point of frustration this year - I am THRILLED that TrainerB has such a thriving program and attends so many shows/hosts so many clinics, but it also meant that for a significant chunk of this year I was averaging 1 lesson a month, and with 2 horses I want to keep progressing, that was starting to chafe a bit. I was able to connect with another good trainer (TrainerK) about 1.5 hours away who has the ability for me to haul in for a lesson one evening, spend the night, and then lesson again the following morning - so, further away, but as long as I can devote the time, a good value for my money. And bonus, I love sleeping in my renovated trailer, lol. I took Emmy down there once in August, and then once again earlier this month. The training is very complementary to what I get with TrainerB and I feel like balancing the two is definitely helping me make progress this year, particularly in my position. 

Also TrainerK got on Emmy my first lesson and thinks it's totally possible for me to get my bronze on her, just need to put in the work!

3. Despite not hauling out to ride as often as in previous years, I have been HEAVILY using our trail system at home and I have no idea how I lived without it. I can pretty easily string together 2 miles without having to do TOO many repeated loops, and my favorite thing this summer/fall has been to use it as a warm-up/cool-down space. One of the more direct loops is about 10 minutes of riding, which is perfect, and the hill work is so good for them. 

4. Farm improvements continue to chug on - it's always something, right? Last winter, it was VERY wet but simultaneously above average in temperatures which meant SO. MUCH. MUD........ DH and I prioritized getting some all weather lots set up this year, and although we cut it close, we did get them in. I'm sure we'll add more gravel in the future, but for now, they get the job done. 

One is between the barn and the hay shed, and it serves a dual purpose of making it much easier to get the big squares in the shed than just the single track gravel road we had originally. 

DH was quite proud that he repurposed this failed sewer tank (after THOROUGH sanitation lol) into two hay feeders - we are also using two old troughs that leaked, so his pack rat tendencies came in handy.  

Since this area needs to remain accessible, mostly used panels to block it off, so they can be easily shifted. 

Apparently I didn't take very many good photos of the one directly behind the barn, but it opens into the previous "dry lot" where we keep a round bale all winter. 

5. All is well on the NOT horse front as well - I can't remember if I posted but DH got another promotion this fall and is back at Central Office in a job where he is not on call QUITE as much as he was as a warden, so it's nice to have him home a little more often plus the shorter commute. Dogs are all good, and very sassy. I've been making some cool progress on work programs, and was recently offered the opportunity to sit on a board that I'm very excited about. As always, there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want, but I'm making it work as best I can :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

WW: the Hardest Goodbye

 A.J.'s Steel 
4/22/95 - 10/11/23
"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan. The life of a horse, often half our own, seems endless until one day. That day has come and gone for me, and I am once again within a somewhat smaller circle."
 - Irving Townsend - The Once Again Prince