Tuesday, February 18, 2014

big fat horse.

We are having a heat wave up here in  the artic tundra North Dakota. Yesterday was the first day since January 17th that we were above freezing. And our almost record of consecutive days with a wind-chill advisory has been broken. You don't even know how great 32 degrees feels until you've been in the negative double digits for weeks and weeks at a time. Anyways, yesterday the temp spiked to about 36 so hubby pulled the blanket off of George. He tried to get Pistol's blanket off, but for whatever reason, Pistol has been a nightmare to catch since the fall. I mean he's always been a bit of a hard to catch monster, but lately it's been bad. Like really bad. When we first got him, we really had problems with catching him, until we had his teeth done, so I'm thinking he might need them done again. It's about that time of the year to get all of their teeth done anyways. yay vet bills!
Anyways, I got a text from hubby saying that he pulled George's blanket and that he looked really good. His topline needs some work, but you know what? I'm just happy that when his blanket came off he wasn't a skeleton! It's been so cold this winter and they have access to hay 24/7, but you just never know. Winter can be so hard on horses up here.
When I got home I went to the barn to take a peek for myself. He looks great! He's a bit fat though. I fussed over him for about 15 minutes, and if you know anything about George. He HATES that. But I think that if I do ever find time to ride this year, I am gonna need a bigger girth for fatso for a few months until he can slim down.
So I am quite happy with the monsters this winter. Now hurry up spring.

Also, George has his own Facebook page if you want to follow him :-)
Yes I am a dork.

Monday, February 10, 2014

stole this...

1. What is your favorite breed/s of horse, and if you could purchase a new horse what breed would it be?

Easy question. Thoroughbred. I’ve ALWAYS loved thoroughbreds, and would drool at pictures of them in my horse books as a child. But I figured that was as close to them as I’d ever get. Fast forward to my early 20’s and the seasons I worked at the local race track first as a patrol judge. (up in a tower on the back stretch video taping the races) watching them gallop their hearts out solidified my love for the breed. Then the next season I worked briefly for a trainer at the track as a groom. It was my first hands on time with my favorite breed… and decided that I would definitely NEVER own one because they were a bit ‘hot’ for me. Fast forward again, late 20’s and I met a little red thoroughbred named Pine Bend who completely changed my mind about the breed and is forever known as my “gateway horse”. He showed me that TB’s are amazing and have the best heart of any horse breed out there. I don’t want to ever be without one again…

2. What is your favorite personal tack item?

hmmm I have a lot of tack I love. So I will try to make this answer as short as I can. My Circle Y trail saddle is the first quality saddle that was ever purchased for me. I’d always ridden in someone else saddle, and this one was one I picked out, and was purchased to fit me. I was a present from my old bosses who thought I needed a ‘real’ saddle and not a silly English saddle anymore. I’ve played with the idea over the years of selling it, but to be honest, I am never going to spend that type of money on a saddle (hopefully) ever again. It also represents a lot of hard work and determination I had. I was working my ass off at that barn so it’s kind of my trophy for that. I also love my Wintec Pro Dressage saddle. Yep, definitely not a super expensive saddle, but it is the most comfortable saddle I own.

 3. Horse products you swear by?

Pyranha Wipe N Spray Fly Spray. The stuff in the yellow bottle. IT is amazing and the only fly spray that offers my monsters any form of relief from the bugs in the summer. You have to use it daily up here, but it works for about 24hours and it’s worth it. Gastrogard is also a product that is amazing. We used it on George get rid of his ulcers and there was a night and day transformation from when we started him on it, and from when we finished. He his condtion improved and he is no longer girthy and doesn’t try to bite me when I tack him up, he tries to bite me at other times, but that’s just because he is an ass…

 4. Rider products or items you swear by?

Like Mare over at Simply Horse Crazy… I swear by my Mountain Horse boots. I’ve been wearing them out and about doing chores, and even to work because they are just that warm and amazing. Acutally I even wore them in the summer…but they get a little warm…

 5. Favorite tack catalogs to shop from?
I hardly ever shop from catalogs or online. I do like to drool over them though. Dover, Smartpak, Schniders, Stateline etc…

 6. Is your home decorated "horsey", as in western or equestrian-themed?
Well we just bought a new house on Friday, and we are hoping to have a bit of a western theme to it. Our current home has a few little western themed things throughout it, like our cowhide rug in the living room, and there are a few paintings of life in the wild west, my kitchen even has a big portrait of a cow… that sounds kind of weird actually going back and reading this…

 7. Do you wear horse, Western, or equestrian-themed jewelry?
I have a bracelet with Piney’s name on it, and a few other little pieces of horse themed jewelry, but I don’t really wear any jewelry all that often.

8. A style of riding you'd like to try sometime?

I’d love to give reining a go. And I’d LOVE to do some cow work on horseback. I was a turn back rider when my friend was getting into cutting, and I even though I didn’t really do a whole lot with the cows it was so much fun.
 9. Biggest lesson you've learned about horses?
There is no such thing as a free horse. I know this all too well. Getting a horse is the cheapest part about them. I’ve actually only ever had free horses. Well we did buy Pistol, but he is both my husband and I’s horse. But my personal horses have always been free.
Also George is teaching me a new lesson. Everything I think I know about horses is wrong. Seriously this horse is challenging everything I know about horses. I’ve had to bend and break so many of my lifes learnings and manipulated them to work with him. Like seriously you guys need to come meet this horse… it’s a humbling experience to work with him.

 10. Is your significant other a rider too?
Yes he is. In fact that’s why we clicked when we first met. He had a horse and I probably asked him to marry me after he said that.

 11. What horse issues bother you the most?
Where to start…jk. The thing that bothers me the absolute most is these horse ‘rescues’ that take in horses that are 3 hooves in the ground already, bring them back to health and then act as if they are a burden on them. There are a few rescues that I follow on Facebook. They go to auctions and buy the most depressing creature I’ve ever laid my eyes on (AND DON’T GET ME WRONG! I’m so happy they saved that creature!!) Then they get that sad, sick, skinny, old, wild horse home and preach about how great that horse is. Said horse is so sweet, so kind, beautiful etc, and then start asking for donations. “This is the sweetest old gal I’ve ever met! But she needs to gain 600 pounds and needs this rare form of feed from Europe that cost about $800 a bag! Send me your money!!” “This horse is so sweet but her teeth are crooked and she needs braces! And horse braces aren’t cheap! Send me your money!!” “This dear sweet old gal, needs special diamond encrusted horse shoes! They are therapeutic and are handmade, limited edition Gucci signed shoes that our vet said she needs! Send me your money!” So people send money, and I’m so happy that they are helping save this creature. But then the horse gets better. And has put on weight. And is ready to find a new home… but no one wants it. After all, it is an old, wild monster that is barely halter broke, blind in both eyes with bad feet. The horse is offered for a couple hundred bucks and the owner reminds everyone how much money it has cost to bring that horse back to life… but still no one wants it.  So then the owner of the rescue goes on Facebook crying to the world that they are going to shut down their rescue because they can’t afford to run it anymore because they have too many horses, and can’t even give away the horses they have. So as soon as someone FINALLY takes the horses off their hands the rescue page is quiet for about 4 days before they are looking for money to go to ANOTHER auction and save another life. And then guess what? More pictures of the even SADDER looking horse. Give me money!
I think it is great that people are saving horses from slaughter. And the bigger problem we have is people that are carelessly breeding horses and not stepping up to the plate and owing up to the fact that they created this horse that no one will probably want/need in the first place.
we had this big neglect case locally a few weeks ago. 40+ broodmares in foal and a bunch of dead horses super sad situation. It made all the horse people go crazy to get a rescue mission in place. AGAIN that is so awesome that everyone stepped up and wanted to help these horses!! But the owner of the horses sold all of the horses to a horse trainer before the rescue people could swoop in and get them. And the rescue people were PISSED! Umm hi, excuse me but those horses are going to a trainer, who will turn them into productive and useful members of society. Horses that people actually want because they are well trained. The owner of these horse had posted them for sale for months, and months before the case made headlines. No one wanted them then… why now? Because they are rescues… NOTHING AGAINST RESCUSE! Please don’t think I am a heartless monster. I’m not. I’m just so confused with horse people sometimes. If people want to help out, they should bring a trailer to an auction and buy a couple skinnies, give them some love, and groceries, TRAIN them, and then find a good home for them. It will do a whole lot of good for your heart! I personally don’t have the resources or knowledge to break a horse otherwise I would! Hopefully my ranting doesn’t make you think I am some sort of terrible monster…And sorry this is so long…I just have a lot on my mind!!

12. Favorite horse magazines to read, or do you just read blogs/online sites?
I mostly just read blogs…

 13. String along some thoughts that summarize your involvement of horses......
go to barn, put pony hay out, put pony bucket out, get pony, put her out, shout “I love you horses” to big horses, to go work and worry about horses/pony all day, get home check on big horses, get pony bucket, get pony hay, get pony and put them in the barn….
Winter totally sucks for horse keeping ….

 14. Do you ever look on Craigslist or Dreamhorse or Horseclicks.com for horses or tack? For fun or real?
I look on Craigslist all the time. But it’s just for fun. Our horses came from auctions or friends. Never really done any real horse shopping other than an auction.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Equine Seminar and Beaded Browbands.

Why hello there. I thought that I should maybe post to let ya’ll know I am still around. I haven’t really been that interesting as of late. I have been busy with the possibility of buying a new home and having it moved to our property. That’s been keeping my mind occupied. And I’ve been busy talking to structure movers, general contractors, etc… There is a lot of work involved in moving a building. The city of Fargo bought out a bunch of houses that are located by the river, and are at risk of flooding every year. These houses haven’t been flooded in the past, but to prevent them from being flooded, as well as others, the city bought them out and wants them moved or demolished so that they can put more permanent flood protection in place. they've been having a few auctions each year. We went to one a few weeks ago and houses went for cheap. I’m talking 7,000sq ft homes for $1500. There were two we liked and could have gotten them for $500, but something in my heart said to wait.

As far as horse news. Obviously since it is colder than Antarctica, riding has been out of the question. I’ve just let the horses be horses and they spend their days around the all you can eat round bale buffet. Pony made a wonderful recovery and has been living the life of luxury. She gets to come in to the barn at night. She is sassier than before and I just really enjoy having her around. I often think that had I gotten into ponies or minis before I got into full size horses, I might not have ever had big horses. The little ones are just so much fun. She is my little buddy.

The company my husband works for sponsored an equine wellness seminar at our vet clinic last weekend. As always I learned a ton of interesting information. One of his vets from down south came up and talked about parasitology. And a lot of people were shocked to learn that the old method of rotational worming, just doesn’t work. Hey, it’s what I learned about worming, and it’s what just about every one of those almost 200 people in attendance probably learned about worming. The most effective method is to run fecal samples and then work to rid the specific types of worms you are dealing with. Some horses may not need to be wormed every few months, while in other parts of the country they may need to be wormed more often. There are so many factors that play parts in your worming schedule which is why it is important to work with your vet. The cost might sound scary, but in the long run it can actually save you money.  Which reminds me… I need to get my horses wormed.
George and Pony are super easy to worm. But the two big red horses, are a bit more difficult. Duke thinks you are murdering him, and Pistol is so head shy, that he also thinks you are going to murder him. So what works for those fellas is to mix their wormer into their grain, and I add some molasses and apple sauce. Duke is a bit skeptical, but he will eventually eat it. I’ve even asked vets if this is an okay method to use, and they said that it is.

At the seminar I also learned a little about western saddle fit.  It just makes me realize that everything I’ve learned in the past is wrong. Which is why I love going to seminars and learning. If only we could get someone who is knowledgeable in English saddle fit. But it’s time to go through my tack room and get rid of some western saddle pads that just aren’t doing their jobs properly.

Last night, a friend of mine that I used to ride with, invited me over to make some custom beaded browbands. She used to have a jewelry making company and had thousands of dollars’ worth of beads that we got to play with.  She had ordered browbands with empty channels in them, and we got to use our imaginations and create flashy new browbands. My imagination wasn’t that creative yesterday and my browbands aren’t that flashy. BUT I love them!

This one is an homage to his old training stable who's colors are red and blue.

I was drooling all over this $300 strand of blue freshwater pearls... next time... next time.

Really boring, but it is very springy in color. IRL it's more of a coral and light green...