Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Figured it out...I hope.

I think we have it narrowed down to what may have caused Piney’s weight loss. I wrote my last post after I got back to the barn from the pasture and I hadn’t had a chance to look him over closely. Piney wouldn’t let me anywhere near him. He’s a jerk in the pasture and acts like he doesn’t know me. But when he is in a corral or smaller paddock he is a snuggle bug and will follow me around. Hubby brought in the horses and put Piney in a smaller corral where I was able to check him over more thoroughly. The great news is that overnight he seemed to have put on weight and looked 10 times better. I could tell he was feeling better by the fact he was calling out to his buddies (who never called back to him by the way). And the fact he looked A LOT better! My phone decided to freeze up on me and I haven’t been able to turn it on since shortly after I posted.

First off the bugs were driving him nuts!! So I’m sure he’s spent most of the calories he’s taken in by fighting the flies. He’s got pretty thin skin and is a bit of a drama queen about bugs. His long full beautiful tail is worn away. (Is that even possible to wear it away by swishing it too much?) It’s about half as thick and has been shortened up to his hocks. He swished it nonstop even after I dumped a bottle of fly spray on him. I would have left his fly sheet and mask on him but without someone checking on him a few times a day I figured it would be ripped to shreds and lost forever. When I get my own place (made ANOTER offer on a house btw) I’ll have him in full on fly armor. I HAVE to remember that for two years Piney was a living in a herd of WILD mustangs…I mean OTTBs. His herd and him roamed over 4,000 acres together. They didn’t have fly spray, or fancy fly masks, or a mom to give them kisses and cookies or even anyone to brush their hair and tell him how handsome he was. He was a horse, living as god and nature intended him to. Of course he looked like a ragamuffin when I got him. But wild horses look like that. He was also due for his wormer so I took care of that.

The second reason he was thin was he was dehydrated. We did the pinch test on his coat and it piled up. He drank a lot when I brought him up to the water tank. I’m not sure if he just doesn’t come up to the barn to drink or what his deal is. I seem to remember him being dehydrated when I got him too. It was harder to tell because he resembled a highland steer with a long shaggy coat. But when I put him in his stall for the night he drank like he’d hadn’t had water for days.

The third reason is something I don’t even want to write about. I feel it is my fault for not being able to check on him every day. Horses on the farm are horses. They live on a pasture with a barn to go into whenever they please. They have access to water 24/7 and in the winter they have plenty of hay to eat. They don’t have a whole lot of human interaction. But they get their shots and feet done when needed. The horses are living how I would like to keep them if they were on my property. The one thing I don’t like is that they have halters on in the pasture. The halter Piney was wearing as a bit too snug and rubbed his chin leaving a big yucky scab. I’m assuming that it caused him pain to eat so he didn’t eat as much as the other fatsos did. Had I been around to check on him more often this never would have happened. I don’t even want to write about this because I feel that everyone will scold me and lecture me about keeping a halter on in the pasture. I know that it’s a bad idea to do so. I don’t like him wearing a halter unless he needs one on for leading, grooming etc. I’m taking full responsibility even though I wasn’t the one who made the decision for him to be wearing a halter. He was the only one who had trouble keeping weight and I assume that it was because of the cut/scab on his chin. We decided that to be safe we would take the halters off the rest of the horses. I still feel like shit because of this whole thing. Had I been up there more often it wouldn’t have happened. But he’s my horse and I need to take responsibility for him.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Anyone have any idea on what to do with a horse on pasture 24/7 who is a skeleton? Piney is droping weight. Lots of it. I don't know what to do :-(

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2 months later I'm going to see my horse!

Well after almost two months I’m headed up North to see my horse. It SUCKS having him so far away. But it’s what has to happen until we can find a place to live here. Every option we have had has fallen through or is too expensive. It’s kind of heartbreaking but we will find a place someday. Piney is fine up north. He isn’t costing me anything and I know that he is leading a happy existence as horses were meant to live.

I hope to get as much Piney time in as I can. I jokingly told hubby that I should train Piney to drive so that at Christmas we can go for sleigh rides. The more I thought about it the more I thought it might be kind of fun. I seriously doubt that I can get that accomplished in one weekend especially since I have no clue how to do it. Hubby has driving experience as do his uncles. But I’ve got nothing! I’ve done a little long lining with Piney and he did awesome and Last time I was up there I tried some desensitizing exercises with him. I threw his lead rope all over his body, and around his legs and he didn’t even flinch. Maybe if I can dig through all the tack in the barn and garage I can find a harness that will fit Piney and we can try it on for size and do a little walking around the yard. This is probably not going to happen since it seems that I always have way too much to do when I’m up there that my piney time is minimal. But it’s fun to think about doing that! I just think hubby’s family would get a kick out of having sleigh rides again at Christmas time. Plus since Piney is freeloading out there I think it would be nice for him to earn his keep. He’s already impressed the family with his “pony rides” for the little cousins. I just think dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh would totally seal the deal on Piney being a fantastic family horse. But we must take baby steps in teaching my little tb how to pull a cart. I don’t even know if he can or will pull one but it will be fun to see him all harnessed up!

The main reason I’m headed up north this weekend is to take senior pictures for my hubby’s cousin. I’ve never done senior pictures. I’ve done newborn, infant, family and wedding pictures but never just senior pics. I am a worrier and have been worrying myself sick over it but I know I will do just fine. I always panic before a photo shoot. I just need to remember to breathe and take my time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

a survey.

I love surveys. plus I have no horse to write about theses days so here you go...

1. Do you have a horse (or do your ride one)? color, breed, etc – I have an 11 year old Chestnut Thoroughbred Gelding.

2. How long have you been riding? – on and off for about 12 years.

3. Synthetic or leather reins?- Leather.

4. English or Western? why? – I prefer English because I can feel my horse a bit better and it seems like I can more effectively communicate with my legs. With my western saddle I seem to have so much leather between me and my horse.

5. Favorite breed? - Thoroughbred. I’ve always loved them I just didn’t think I was a good enough rider to handle one. I love their heart and I love their work ethic.

6. Favorite color? - Grey is my absolute favorite. Palomino is a close second.

7. Rubber or leather boots? - Leather for riding, rubber for working!

8. Pony or Horse? - Horse

9. Show, games or trail? – I love showing, but I HATE getting my horse ready for a show. I suck at grooming and can’t ever get him spotless. Trail riding is super fun with Piney because he is so calm and ready for adventures.

10. Sunscreen or bug spray? – Both, but I always forget them and end up sunburned with bug bites

11. Nylon, rope or leather halter? – Leather. I think it just looks classic on my little tb’s face.

12. Saddle or bareback? - For a long time I was riding bareback because I was lazy. But I prefer a saddle or at the very least a bareback pad.

13. Mares or Geldings? ... Stallions? - Geldings!

14. What type of saddle do you use? – My dressage saddle is a Wintec Pro Dressage and I LOVE it! It’s super comfortable, it’s light and it’s easy to take care of. I especially love the equisuede that acts like glue and keeps me locked in the saddle. My western saddle is a Circle Y park and trail saddle. When I got it I was absolutely in love with it. I bought it to match my headstall and breast collar. It’s a great saddle but it isn’t super comfortable. It does it’s job well, and I love how Piney moves in it. plus it fits him well!

15. Something silly about your horse’s personality? – He is the world’s laziest Thoroughbred. He will fall asleep in the arena if I let him stand long enough.

16. Jumping or barrels? – Jumping. Although….barrels looks like something I’d give a try if I could get Piney going.

17. Favorite gait? Why? - I love the canter because on a smooth horse it feels like you are riding a big rocking horse. Piney’s canter is amazing! He’s got a huge stride and covers so much ground and he is super smooth. BUT he doesn’t do it unless we have a big conversation first….he needs some work…

18. Favorite horse movie? – The horse in the grey flannel suit!

19. Favorite horse websites? Greenhawk, Dover, Chicks saddlery, Stateline Tack and Blogger...hahaha I follow a ton of awesome horse blogs :-)

18. What color saddle pad, halter, etc.? – My saddle pad depends on my mood and outfit. My halter is dark brown leather, but my nylon halter is a sage green. My saddle carriers and other “luggage” is hunter green. Piney’s winter blanket was tan and navy plaid. His lighter blanket, sheet and hood are hunter green. His cooler is bright blue. His fly sheet is red.

19. Do you like natural horseman ship? – I don’t really know a lot about it. some of it looks interesting.

20. Biggest achievement with horses (so far!)? – Every ride is an achievement! But I think Piney getting reserve champ at his last show is my biggest acheievement.

21. Appaloosa, paint or both? I prefer real loud paints that are mostly white. I am not a HUGE fan of Appys because they tend to have creepy eyes and pathetic whispy tails…but some of the snowflake blanketed ones are really pretty.

22. Weirdest thing you've ever done with a horse? – I watched the movie Racing Stripes with my old horse.

23. Ever ridden on a beach? - No, but I’ve ridden on the shore of a river.

24. Ever gone camping with your horse? - Yes! And it was a blast!

25. How old were you when you fell off? - 17

26. Trail ride alone or with a buddy? – Well when I trail ride I’m always with my buddy Piney! Lol! But I like having company, sometimes I prefer going alone. It gives me more time to think and relax.

27. Helmet (i hope) or not? Both….yes I know shame on me!

28. On a scale from 1-20. How much do you love horses? 17…I love them but sometimes they can really piss me off! Especially when I was paying board, or vet, or farrier, or I’d been kicked, stomped, pushed, dragged, or if I had to miss out on ANOTHER fun event because I was on call for horse chores.

29. Ever been really scared on a horse? Yes.

30. Did you like this survey? It was just fine!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tucker gets tutored.

Today is a big day for Tucker.

Trailer hunting :-(

One of the problem with owning a horse is that they sometimes need to go places. While it would be fun to ride them to their destination, it's just not an efficent use of time. In North Dakota going anywhere from October to May is pretty darn cold, so riding long distances across the open, windy plains would be just plain cruel for horse and rider. A trailer is something that I realized I need.

One of the problems with trailering my horse is my almost paralizing fear of them. When I was a young filly I had no problem loading horses. I'd leap right up in to the trailer and fearlessly secure the horse then hop right out.Back then I had a horses that loaded like a dream and the trailer we used was a 3 horse slant with living quarters. After my accident, where I learned first hand how hard a panicing thoroughbred's head and the side of an escape door are, I have been a lot more fearful in and around trailers. It doesn't help that when Piney sees a trailer he starts getting nervous. If I even lead him near a trailer his nostrals get really big, and he'll snort and prance around a lot too. Obviously leading me to beleive he's had a bad trailer experience somewhere along the road. When I got him, the vetranarian who gave him to me tranqualized him, just to be safe. The next time we trailerd him, he was a pain to load, and kicked my friend as she was trying to secure the butt bar. Later that day is when he smashed me against the escape door in his attempt to flee with his already escaping buddy. Shortly after I was able to catch him. we temporarily stalled him and flagged down the vetranarian who gave him to me and was luckally at the horse park doing teeth. He tranqed him again and helped me load him. Piney did NOT want to load into that trailer...even zonked out of his mind!

This is almost identical to the trailer Piney had troubles with. Except it had escape windows instead of doors.
How terrifying for a horse right? That cave is certainly filled with bears and other horse eating monsters.

In a perfect world I'd have a large slant load horse trailer with living quarters. The problem is that this isn't a perfect world and my large slant load horse trailer with living quarters is just a dream. There is no way that we can afford one right now. We'd have to live in it year round!
I'd gladly take this trailer off their hands. Its listed at $53,500.

or this one I think its listed at $45,000

and we could camp in style too!

I've looked at older horse trailer with living quarters and they are usually straight load...which make me panic. Yes,  obviously I am going to work on my anxiety AND Piney's anxiety with whatever trailer we end up with. But I'm just not crazy about straight load trailers. The idea of me standing directly behind a horse to secure a butt bar or close a door makes me feel uneasy. It was never the case until I met Piney.
Since i've ruled out my dream of  a 4 horse slant with living quarters, I've started hunting something a bit more realistic. Something in my price range which sadly isn't huge...The following are trailers we are considering.
$400 trailer

$350 trailer

A steal at $300

another $400 trailer.

$500 for the beauty.
i am KIDDING about those being my options. i wouldn't even haul my couch in these traps! Can you even imagine hauling a horse in one of these? you'd have to have a SAINT of a horse to go near them!

I can't even beleive how much trailers cost in these parts! The following trailers are better than the previous ones but I still wouldn't load my horse in them!


this one for $1200!
What I have decided on is I think that I want to buy a stock/combo trailer. Something that I can convert into a slant load trailer. I don't as that it be the prettiest trailer in the world but all I want is for it to be safe. We hauled Piney up north in an older 70's stock/combo trailer that belongs to my hubby's family. They used to haul 4 horses in it. I don't see how 4 modern horses could fit in there! It had a gate in the middle and piney had to stand slanted in order for it to close.  He's a long horse! Even thought I think he is tiny! :-) Piney loaded ok in that trailer, Hubby had to do it for me. All I could see was everything going wrong with me loading him. But he loaded and un loaded as well as to be expected. Next time I am up north I plan on working on loading in the trailer with the Coneman.

This is the trailer I'm looking for.

But the hunt continues. I know my trailer is out there somewhere waiting for me. I just need to find it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I love the Badlands!

This past weekend I went to my favorite place on earth, the badlands in western North Dakota. It was just a quick trip and we didn’t get to spend as much time as I’d like to out there but it was still awesome. For the most part, North Dakota is flat especially in the Red River Valley region where I live. The soil here is rich and fertile which makes it very valuable farm land. But if you head west you start seeing much different terrain. Halfway across the state, in the capitol city of Bismarck you start seeing hills, and then once you get further west you will see the badlands. It’s almost like they appear out of nowhere. You will be driving and driving and DRIVING and then all of a sudden you have the most beautiful canyons and buttes and hills! VERY opposite of the eastern part of the state where I live.

me looking all touristy

I absolutely love it out there. I’d live out there if I could! When I’m out there I always find myself daydreaming about what it was like to live there in the 1800’s. Here is a little fun fact for you. President Theodore Roosevelt once said "I never would have been president if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota.” He was referring to area where we were last weekend. We watched a video at the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and they described the outfit that TR was wearing when he showed up. It made me giggle, to know that he showed up out west wearing a custom buckskin suit from brooks brothers and carried a silver hunting knife from Tiffany’s. I can only imagine what people thought when he arrived there!

Anyways being out west made me incredibly “horse-sick”. I wanted to ride out there SOOOO BAD! Everywhere I looked was something horse-y. When we stopped at the painted canyon scenic rest stop there was a trailer with halters tied to it which meant some people were having fun riding through the canyons. Then when we rolled up to the town of Medora, we passed the Medora riding stables. It’s a dude ranch that I’ve ridden at a few times. I was actually hired to be the assistant manager there for a season years ago but I passed on the job and I have kicked myself for every single summer since. Ugh! It would have been amazing to work there for a year!

We then decided to drive through the park. It’s a 36 mile loop through the canyons. I of course kept daydreaming that I was on horseback exploring. We had to stop in the road as a trail riding group passed. I was sad that I wasn’t up there riding. I always think it’s funny to see people riding that have never been on a horse. I found myself mentally correcting each rider as they passed. “Lengthen stirrups”, “get off that poor horse’s mouth!” “fix your reins!” I am a jerk…lol.

We saw a bit of wildlife in the park. But we didn’t see any of the wild horses. Most of the horses that are living in the park are descendants of ranchers horses and cavalry horses, but most of them are modern ranch horses that have gotten away and joined herds. We got real close to some prairie dogs and a small herd of bison though. Hundreds of years ago, bison herds were as big 10 miles wide, but of course they were hunted into almost extinction when white people came west. I can’t even begin to imagine seeing a herd as big as 10 miles wide! We saw one herd with about 25 and the one we drove right up next to had about 15. The cows were scrawny but the Males were HUGE! And of course the calves were adorable.

When we got back into town we stopped in a bunch of touristy shops which had tons of western inspired souvenirs. Both hubby and I have been looking for new boots so we tried on a bunch of pairs. We don’t NEED new boots but we WANT new boots lol. But we couldn’t find a pair we had to have. We were walking on the boardwalk when two girls rode up on horseback. Super jealous. They were laughing and having a good time. I wanted to be on my horse riding through town, laughing and having a good time as tourists took my picture and little kids asked to pet my horse.

The hubby took me over to the Mah Dah Hey trail that his uncles and he go on when they bring their horses out there. It had a horse campground with trailer parking and little corals. We both really wished we had our horses. So we got to talking and now our trailer hunt is getting serious. We want to find one soon so we can maybe even get out there this fall! (I have another post planned about trailer hunting for tomorrow.)

After we did some shopping and eating ice cream we went and watched a little “gun fight”. Bless their hearts they tried, but it was the worst acting ever. I probably wouldn’t do any better but it was kind of fun to see. I wish we lived closer so I could dress up in old time clothes and shoot guns every day in Medora! Maybe one day when I’m older haha.

We then went on a quick tour of the ND cowboy hall of fame museum. I loved it. We watched a video on the history of man and his horse in the west. Of course it made me want to ride my horse lol. I just love the history of the west and I love that they acknowledged that horses were a big part of the western expansion and the cowboy lifestyle. It also had a large portion of the move about how horses were a major part of the plains Indians culture and way of life. I am fascinated by Native American culture.

All in all it was a great little trip out there. I love the badlands as much as I ever have. And can’t WAIT to bring Piney out there to explore with me! He’s actually been to the badlands. Of course he was in the trailer and we were hopelessly lost but next time we’ll be riding and not lost in a trailer haha.

Oh and I DID end up getting a new pair of boots. They are winter boots but I love them. I wore them home yesterday even though they made me feet really really warm haha.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


This is where I was today

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Bucking Song (and a little update)

This song makes me giggle! Mostly because it reminds me of a little mare I used to know. 

I haven't had much to write about these days. I've got no horse and i've got no house. It's been a month since the last time I've seen Piney. A MONTH! The farm hunting has been a mess. I mean i'm not compltely homeless. We still have our town house but it's starting to sufficate me. My dogs hate the neigbours dogs and there are 3 on the north side, 2 on the south side and 3-4 on the west side. Every time they go out it sounds like there is a dog fighting ring in my back yard. I want to let them out and have them go about their business and then come in. Not me having to pry them away from the fence each time.
We went and looked at a house on Tuesday. It was about 20 miles from town. It was on 7 acres but it had no pasture and no barn. There was a chicken coop and a little old grainery or mini barn that had been used as a shop. I think the mini shop could be used as a little run in shelter for the horses and there was a large grassy area that could be fenced off along with the rest of the property after we cleared out some brush and trees. The house was kind of adorable but small. It was an old old farmhouse that had an addition added on. The old part of the house was pretty charming and had really old hardwood flooring and the kitchen was pretty cute. But the problem is that there was alot of unfinished work in the house. In the additon I don't think there was any trim work done.If they accepted a much lower offer I think we might look into buying it. But who knows! 
Tonight after work I am headed to WeFest its the countrys largest country music festival. It's a blast! Someone asked me last weekend how many wefests I've been to and I wasn't sure. I sat down last night and figured I've been to almost 15! That means that i've basically been going every year since I was 15! Now I haven't really gone every year since I was 15. I've gone a few years with my mother when I was younger. When I was younger I was there to enjoy the music. As I got older I realized that The party was just as much fun as the music! I remember going with my mother when I was about 18 and she said "I'm getting to old for this" and I said "I'm getting to be just the right age for this!" The hubby and I decided not to camp this year. I've camped for the last 3 years. But It just gets to be too much partying and not enough sleep. So we are staying at my summer home which is about 5 miles from he concert site. I can't wait to get there tonight! A lot of our friends are camping there so they got there yesterday morning. They have been posting on facebook how much fun they are having. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011