Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Confessions of a tack hoarder

I have to admit that when offered a HUGE lot of tack I’m going to say yes, even if I don’t need any of it. This is what happened to me over our Christmas break when visiting my in-laws. Do I need a box filled with show halters? Sure do! How about 15 cotton sheets with the largest being a 76 and about 2 sizes too small for any of your horses? Yep, I need those too! And what about all of these headstalls and reins, you already have a bunch in your barn do you need these? Are you kidding? Of course I need those! Pony driving bits? Yep better put those in the boxes for me too! Tiny little horse shoes? You can’t possibly need those! Yeah, I might make some crafts with those, you better put them in the box. How about this English saddle that has been in a box for 40 years, you are pretty picky about the saddles that go on your horse, are you sure you want this? Heck yes I want that! I am starting a horse museum in my barn!

I am a tack hoarder! I honestly didn’t need any of the things that I came home with. But I wanted it all! Hubby’s family was big into breeding and showing Arabians back in the 60’s and 70’s. So over the years they had acquired a LOT of things which over time were neatly packed away in the basement and then eventually forgotten about until now when my husband’s grandmother had asked my father in law to start cleaning out the basement and getting rid of stuff. Since we now have our own farm that we can fill full of treasures we were naturally first on the list to ask if we wanted any of it. And me being a tack hoarder couldn’t say no. I have a feeling that next time we go up to the farm we will be leaving with all the driving equipment and harnesses that are in the garage next to our restored horse drawn grain cart that we were given and need to figure out how to get home!

The stuff I did manage to take a peek at is pretty cool. The sheets are all brand new or used once or twice are the awesome well-made kind that you don’t find these days. They are all different sizes and I have a feeling just might be too small for my monster, but doesn’t mean that one day I won’t have smaller monsters. As long as I’ve got them stored away in a plastic tote they will stay perfect for many, many more years. I’ve got the room to store them! I also found a vintage parade headstall, it is the fancy kind that has thin little chains and diamond shapes that connect from the browband to the cavesson. I’ve always wanted one! It even has the matching reins. What I was most impressed by was the bag with the English saddle and tack. The bridle, reins and girth have the softest leather I’ve ever felt! I’ve heard leather being described as buttery soft and felt some fine leathers, but this stuff is amazing especially after sitting in a basement for 40 years. I’ve got leather belts in my basement that aren’t in as good of shape as that English tack is. I didn’t get a good look at the saddle, but I’m sure it is way too small for me and way too narrow for my beast. But it is a bit of my hubby’s family history and I’d like to keep it around. There were two western saddle blankets included in the lot. They were unlike any I’ve ever seen. (I really need to go and take pictures) I’m not sure if they were for showing Arabians in western tack, or if it was the style back in the day, but they look like normal woven western saddle blankets but on the back they have long yarn fringes. They are kind of neat. I also now have a black pair of tapaperos that are almost an exact match for my medium oil colored pair I got last time I visited the farm. They are amazing. I wish either pair matched my saddle I would totally rock those! I’m sure there are things that I can and will use in the many many boxes of stuff. Maybe once I start sorting it out and oiling and conditioning the leather I will have my monsters model it and I'll take some pictures.

So there you have it, if someone offers me a tack for free I’m going to take it. Even if it’s old and out dated, and I have no use what so ever for it. I am a tack hoarder.

Also I hope ya'll had a wonderful Christmas! I spent mine with both of our fantasic families. Since we have no snow it was perfect traveling conditions. Best we've ever had! I still can't beleive we don't have any snow. the forcast for the rest of the week is in the upper 30s! Unbelieveable!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

I hate this anniversary....

Three years ago I lost my best friend. He was a better friend to me than I was to him. I still miss him every single day and I still blame myself every day. I didn’t deserve a horse like him and he deserved so much better than me.  

Yellow and his two buddies that joined him across the rainbow bridge. They were both lost in a barn fire 2 years ago.

Friday, December 16, 2011

fingers crossed this works out.

We are headed to the cities tomorrow morning to go look at a horse trailer. I am trying not to get my hopes up, because I am sure it will either fall through or end up being in worse shape than we think. It’s a two horse slant load with walk in tack/dressing room and it in our price range…it is in the top part of our price range, but it is still in our price range. I’m sure it’s just going to end up being a big bucket of rust held together with some bolts. The pictures on the ad make it look like the inside is nicer than the outside hopefully the outside isn’t too bad where it cannot be repaired for less than we paid for it. But a fully enclosed slant is hard to find for the price. I haven’t ever tried loading the Cone-man in a slant load, but it can’t be worse than a straight load.

When we picked up the pony we borrowed a trailer from the seller, a guy I knew. He is the manager of a barn just outside of town and had been having some drama out there so he agreed to meet us in town with pony loaded in the trailer. When we met up with him he told us the drama was bad and that he was leaving town and that he wanted to sell his trailer for cheap. So we told him we’d think about it and let him know in a few days. The trailer was almost exactly like the one that sent me to the hospital before so I was a little nervous about it but it was a really good deal. So the next day we got a good look at it and it was in excellent shape. It was extra tall and extra-long, and had a ramp. We decided to try loading the monsters in it to see what they thought of it. Piney took a little time to get in there, but he did get in and he fit. Next up was Duke, who “will load in anything”. Apparently not the case that day. That poor guy had never been exposed to a ramp before and he was NOT having anything to do with it. He’d put his front feet on it, and then once his back feet got on it, he’d back up. We tried and tried to get him in with no luck. I think we tried a bit too much and I could tell that I’d lost him completely. So we did a quick little ground work exercise to end the day on a good note and then called it a day. The next day we gave him some tryptophan to sort of settle his nerves a bit and to mellow him out. And after a bit of patience we got him in the trailer. We loaded him up and his big gut fit in there so we decided that since both horses fit and could load in we wanted the trailer and we weren’t going to find a better trailer for the money. When I called up the guy who owned the trailer to let him know we wanted to buy it he said that he wasn’t moving anymore, things were good and that he didn’t want to sell the trailer. MAJOR disappointment. Especially since we spent so much time trying to get the horses to load. We were pretty bummed, so that’s why I try not to get my hopes up. It seems that all summer in our quest to find a horse trailer we’ve had the rug pulled out from under us. So that’s why I’m trying not to get too excited about it. But it was exciting that loading Piney wasn’t a 3 man operation this time. AND it didn’t involve a trip to the emergency room for me or the use of powerful drugs for him!

The people that are selling the trailer are also having a HUGE tack sale in their garage the same day we will be there to look at the trailer. So if we don’t get the trailer I can maybe get some sweet deals on some stuff I don’t really need! AND since we will be closer than we are to Ikea now, we will have an excuse to stop by and buy all the stuff for our bathroom that we are remodeling. I use any excuse to go to Ikea really. I love that store because it makes me think of the year I spent in Sweden. Walking through the show room I get homesick for good old “Sveirge”. And just think, if we do end up getting that trailer, we can just LOAD it up with all kinds of new treasures for our house!!

Way to go Isabell Werth!

Isabell Werth wore a gold helmet to a FEI level Dressage competion to make a statement. You can read the article here
I think its awesome that she wore not just a helmet but a gold one and had a jacket that complemented it.


Hooray! there are TONS of merchants offering free shipping today! I did a quick search and even found two tack shops offering free shipping today.

Here is the list of ALL the stores that are offering free shipping

As for online tack shops with free shipping Millbrook Tack is offering free shipping on all orders. Big Dee's Tack & Vet Supplies is offering free shipping on orders of $70 or more. They had TONS of really good deals there.
So hopefully you can get some sweet deals today and finish up your Christmas shopping today!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New blankets!

Yesterday when I got home from doing some final Christmas shopping with the hubby we arrived home to a big box by the front steps. We both looked at each other and said at the same time “what did you buy?!” We were both pretty confused and then he looked at the label, it was from a tack shop. He looked at me with a puzzled face and I said “I swear I didn’t order anything!!” so we dragged it in and opened it up and it was two winter blankets for the horses. Apparently hubby’s father bought them for us. It was a very awesome surprise. Especially since Piney’s was ripped to shreds by that awful monster he was sharing a paddock with at the old barn. I wanted Piney to wear a blanket this winter because he is so hard to keep weight on, that I didn’t want him to burn all of the calories he ate by trying to keep warm. I had one blanket that was still in perfect shape, but it is more of a thin fall blanket, and it was Yellow’s. I don’t want it to get destroyed, because it’s one of the only things I have left of him. It’s totally silly, and I need to move on and actually use it. But I am still clinging to it. When I washed it after he died I wrapped myself up in it and cried before I put it in the washing machine. If anyone was to see me they probably would have thought I was a complete nutcase because I was wrapped up in a smelly horse blanket crying. I really am quite pathetic at times lol!

Since we still haven’t had any snow, and the weather is still pretty awesome, I don’t plan on blanketing them until mother nature decides we’ve had it easy for long enough and she unleashes the fury I know she is capable of. The horses seem happy enough and their coats are nice and thick. But a little extra warmth won’t hurt once we get to the -40 degree temps. Hubby’s horse has never been blanketed, he’s never been stalled, he’s never had a feeding regime that included supplements and vitamins, he’s never been on a regular hoof trimming schedule, and he’s a lot heartier and healthier than Piney. When the farrier came out to trim the horses, Piney was really long and overdue (miss communication at his summer camp about trimming schedule!) and the farrier said “uff, this guy has bad feet!” Then we went and brought in Duke. He took one look at his feet and said “I’m not even sure I need to do this guy’s feet!” Duke hadn’t had his feet trimmed in over a year…are you kidding me!! Duke has lived a very natural life and it just goes to show how horses benefit from living as nature intended! Piney’s life was polar opposite of Duke’s. His breeding was carefully selected, he was brought up in top notch facilities and had a strict training schedule. He went to some world famous race tracks and won thousands of dollars before his retirement. Duke was, more than likely an accident, the cross between a paint horse and an elephant, he’s always lived outside, he was broke to ride but spent most of his youth as a companion to an old man who spent most of the time scratching him and spoiling him before my hubby bought him at auction. The only time Duke ever went anywhere was his occasional trips to the badlands to go trail riding and then finally to our place. Hubby rode him a lot when he lived close by, but other than that he lived in a pasture and did whatever he pleased. Both horses had very different lives. They were both obviously very much loved by someone in their past because they LOVE people and love when people interact with them. But Duke is just heartier than Piney because he has been a horse. When Piney was first retired he was shipped out west for some rehab that no doubtedly came as a complete shock to his senses. Having spent most of his life in a stall he was now free to roam about the countryside. Even with his suspensory injury he wasn’t put on stall rest he was turned loose on 4,000 acres with 40+ other OTTBs, a couple Quarter horses, two draft horses and a cow. If I knew now what I didn’t know then I would have had him on outdoor board when I brought him here. It was super convenient to have him in a stall and ready to go, and it was nice that he got his grain and he didn’t have to compete for his hay but he’s doing great now. He’s been out of a stall for almost 9 months now other than that problem we had this summer where he lost a lot of weight (due to his mom not being there to check on him every day) he’s been doing great. He’s got a big fat hay belly, and he’s happy! While I’m not sure he ever had ulcers all signs pointed to the fact that he probably did have them….heck 90% of race horses have them at one point or another…it appears that he no longer has them. He’s doing great living life as a horse. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him as content as he is now. Which makes me happy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas card fail

The weather here in ND has been unreal this year. Not only is it December 12th and we have no snow but yesterday I rode my horse outside in only a light jacket. We had planned to take our picture yesterday and it was a complete fail. We got to the farm and I hustled to grab my monster and get him ready as we were losing day light. I got the majority of the yuck off him but he was looking dusty so I figured I’d photoshop him the correct color. I tacked him up and handed him to my mom as I ran into the house to grab my camera. It was no where to be found. A quick and frantic search of the vehicles still no luck. My mom said she could use her little point and shoot and take some pictures. So we went with that. We got on the horses and positioned them by our evergreen trees and snapped a few and then…battery died. So then we used hubby’s phone camera. It was just nothing but fail. I’m hoping we have something I can sort of work with. It was later in the evening I quickly glanced down into our creepy basement and saw my camera bag. I had forgotten that I had it down there as I was taking pictures of the chest of drawers I’m refinishing. I’m such and idiot so of course I burst out crying about the failed pictures yet again.

But anyways after the failed Christmas card attempt hubby wanted to ride a little bit, so did I, So we rode out into the field to the west of us. Piney is obviously feeling better about life. But when he is feeling better about life it means he doesn’t want to listen to me. At.All. I asked him to speed up with a little leg, nope, he wasn’t having any of it. He ignored almost every one of my cues. At one point I felt like one of those barrel racers with my legs flapping straight out to the sides trying to get him to go. Before we left I thought “hey maybe I should grab my dressage whip, or a crop or something” but figured “nah, he’ll be fine once we get out following Duke.” Not so much. He was like 6 lengths behind Duke the whole way. No wonder he was never a world famous race horse! I could barely even get him to speed up to walk next to Duke. I had flashbacks to one of those dude ranch trail rides I was on as a kid where I kicked and kicked and kicked to get the horse moving and he just stood there until the wrangler had to come pony me the rest of the ride. If hubby wasn’t having a bit of “baby” rearing problems with his horse (Duke wasn’t full up rearing, he was just hopping up a little bit. I am beginning to wonder if it is his bit or tack that is bugging him), I’m sure he would have had to pony us around. I am certainly glad that Piney doesn’t have the “typical” naughty horse behavior like rearing, bolting, bucking, etc. But I am starting to think that this extremely lazy behavior is just as bad if not worse. I can’t blame the fella. He HAS had almost a year off, and I think he’s only been ridden a handful of times this year. I’m sure if I get out the whip and we start working a bit more regularly he might remember that work is fun! And oh yeah my mom means business!! It seems that I only need to carry my whip and let him see that I have it for him to get a little more pep in his step.

If only it was still light enough to ride when I got off of work I would get some time in the saddle, especially since there is no snow and ice! Maybe this year will be a fluke and we won’t get any snow! Hahah…year right. I have a feeling we are gonna get hit HARD it’s just a matter of time!

Friday, December 9, 2011

life is good

Busy, busy, busy. That about sums it up. Hubby wants to be entirely moved out to the farm by December 31st I’m thinking more along the lines of January 31st. We’ll see who wins this argument. We have gotten a lot of stuff moved out to the farm and we even stayed there last Saturday night. We went out to dinner in town and had planned on just eating then heading home, well we ended up staying for a couple beers and then we started meeting some of the locals, and before we knew it, it was closing time. Everyone came up to introduce themselves. It’s so nice living in a small town because everyone is so welcoming. I knew a few people from when I used to live in the area a couple of years ago, so it was nice to see them again.

The horses are doing well. I can’t believe how fat my husband’s horse is! I need to go and take pictures of him. He looks pregnant! His horse is very sweet and likes to be scratched and interacted with, but he’s a bit of a crap head when riding him. He’s very spooky, I think next spring I’m gonna work with him on desensitizing. He’s also VERY barn/buddy sour. So that’s something else we will need to address next spring.

I rode Piney a few weeks ago! It was just a quick jaunt around the yard and down the road a little ways but I rode. I brought him in from the pasture and he decided that he doesn’t like the 4ft gates we put up. so we managed to get through them after a little talk about life. Then I brought him into the machine shop…I mean barn. Hubby has been fixing the four wheeler in the barn because it’s the only building with electricity and a cement floor at the moment. Once in the barn I looked over our saddle collection, (we have 4 there right now and I still have one more at my parents place) and decided that I missed riding in my dressage saddle so I picked that one. Except we had a bit of trouble girthing up. Seems someone has a great big hay belly. Which is funny because his ribs are showing. But I got him all tacked up and went to hop on…apparently someone is extremely out of shape and couldn’t even sort of get into the saddle. I had to go searching for my step stool but once I was up there life was good. We headed down the road a little ways and then turned for home APARENTLY someone has for gotten who the boss is. We had to have a little conversation about who is running the show. He was full of himself! I am so glad that Piney being full of himself doesn’t involve rears, bucks, bolting, jigging or any other naughty behavior. It was just wanting to go to the barn…slowly…and it was not wanting to listen to me…slowly. We spent some time walking and trotting in the area in the yard that I hope to put an outdoor arena next spring/summer. After I got his mind back to working he was great, but I was losing daylight and I decided to call it quits. He is a good boy, he just needs to be reminded after having almost all summer off, that I’m the boss. I can tell that he is feeling better than he was this summer. He’s actually happier now than I think he’s ever been. I also noticed when girthing up, that he didn’t try once to bite me. So I think that he probably did have ulcers from living in a barn. Being on pasture and having the ability to graze 24/7 did wonders for his guts! I just can’t believe how good he is feeling these days.

Last night I had to run out to the farm to pick up something and take the water reading to send in. Rural water is going to take some getting used to! But I went out to check the horses, It was about 8 and of course pitch black. I looked off to the corner an I saw the white ghost face of Duke and started over that way, as I got closer I saw two blobs on the ground a big one and a real little one. As I got even closer the ltitle pony blob got up, but the big blob didn’t…start to panic, keep walking, blob still down, heart beat increase, walking faster, then the big blob rose and then started walking to me. I being a hypochondriac put my head against his stomach to listen for grumbles, I checked to see if he was sweaty, I listened to his breathing, and everything was fine. Apparently he was just laying down for a snooze with pony boy. (who by the way he can’t stand) I stuck around and watching him a bit more, and he was eating and then I saw that he was drinking. BTW we got our automatic Richie waterer working and SOOOO glad that the place came with it! and SOOOOOO glad that we were able to fix it! I was hauling water buckets from the bathtub in the house for a few weeks and I was not a fan of that!

Anyways, this weekend we are doing our Christmas card pictures. I am definitely going to include the horses in the picture. And I hope to get them posted on here once I get them!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

what kind of sick people...

I’m not sure if anyone was following the story of the 5 horses, trailer and tack that were stolen from Southern Arkansas University in November. But they arrested an 18 (her 19th birthday is today) freshman from SAU in connection to the crime yesterday. They found 4 of the horses in bad shape, tied to a tree and barely surviving on nearby pine needles. (One of the light colored horses was spray painted camouflage). Sadly one of the horses, a sorrel gelding named ‘Credit Card’ had been brutally slaughtered and they only found his remains.

The girl is being charged with three felony theft charges since three of the horses were worth over $25,000 as well as three additional felony charges for thefts between $5000 and $25,000 and some felony charges for transporting stolen property over state lines.

You can read the affidavit here.

She WATCHED Credit Card get shot, have his throat slit and then watched him get quartered. Her reasoning for killing him? Because she had been in a romatic relationship with his owner and it went bad. Are you kidding me???? I had relationships go sour when I was her age I didn’t go around killing their horses, dogs, fish whatever. I didn’t even key their car, or anything remotely crazy. How do you even think up this revenge plan? She kidnaped the other horses because apparently their owners treated her badly. Are you for real? Who does this? Her MOM helped! Her mom’s boyfriend was the one who shot and killed the horse then chopped him up. Why did this happen? When I called my mom freshman year and told her my boyfriend broke up with me she didn’t drive down so we could poke holes in his tires, or kidnap his roommates dog or anything crazy. She told me that life goes on, there are plenty of fish in the sea. What kind of messed up family plots revenge this extreme? A seriously messed up one, that’s for damn sure. The more I read about this case the angrier I get. She wanted Credit Card dead…how can you be that hateful? That screwed up in the head? That you want someone’s horse dead?

Sorry for the extremely poorly written post, I just needed to vent a bit about this.