W is for Wandering through Trees

I went for a trail ride with my neighbor and her boarder on Sunday. I took Ava since I wasn’t sure how the neighbors horses would act. They haven’t ridden their horses all winter and I expected some frisky behaviors.

Ava is such a good girl. When I was tacking her up I just threw the rope over her neck and told her to stay. Buckets were clanging to the floor, my husband was refilling grain bins, and Joy was hollering for Ava in the pasture. Ava didn’t care. She only cares about treats and scratchies.

I had a good time riding with the neighbors. We saw a turkey, four deer, and a pie tin nailed to a tree.
No idea. Don’t ask.;)

I didn’t think to get any pictures along the way. It was just so wonderful to be with Ava, wandering the trails, that I completely forgot about phones or pictures.

Here are some after ride pictures.

Pretty sunlight.

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Ava wants more treats.

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I took this pic today (below). Ava is the shinniest, and blackest, she’s been in the four years I’ve owned her. She’s even got dapples! I’ve never seen her with dapples before. All I can attribute it to is the grain they fed her at my last boarding facility. Unfortunately, I switched her to a different grain when I moved her home (due to cost and location of supplier). But I’m seriously thinking I should switch them all to the previous grain. Ava is filthy in this pic and she’s still shinning like a new penny. Of course the cost per bag of the other grain is about 3 times what I pay for the grain they’re on now…. and the closest distibutor is 45 mins.

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Joy hurt her leg the other day. I checked it out as best I could, but Joy was extremely unhappy with me poking and prodding it. Of course it’s a cut to the inside of her hind leg. So I was trying to get a good look at it, but every time I touch her leg she holds it as high as possible and tries to pull it from my grasp. So I washed it as thoroughly as possible (while she’s jerking it around and threatening to kick me), then I dumped a ton of betadine/water solution over it.  She’s using the leg just fine. No swelling, no heat, no other indicators that it’s major. It appears to be a small cut from what I could feel (and the three second glances I could get).

I also discovered she is scared of spray bottles and the act of spraying her with it.  So now the poor pony is getting sprayed and touched with spray bottles twice a day. 

This kind of made me realize that she probably needs a lot of exposure to things I’ve forgotten to even consider anymore. I’m so used to Ava taking everything like an old pro that it doesn’t occur to me it might be scary to a youngster. So I’ve had to readjust my plans with Joy a bit. I’m going to spend some time each day just exposing her to different things (tarps, bags, flappy things, water spraying her, wraps on back legs, etc. etc). It also scared her when I accidently thumped my helmet while I was riding her. So I need to work with her on scary things from above too… otherwise, the first tree we pass under that scrapes my helmet is going to send her running for the hills.

A lot of work to do still… but she’s such a sweetheart that it’s enjoyable working with her.

U is for Unhinged

I am not having a good day.

It started with the dogs….

I was running late for work. I still needed to feed the horses. The dogs insist on coming to the barn with me in the mornings. Today, it’s wander, wander.. sniff, sniff.. they take their time heading toward me when I call. Ava’s kicking her stall wall now. Jessie is squealing at Ava. Everyone is banging walls to express their displeasure.

I hate rewarding the behavior, but I’ve gotta get them fed and out so I can leave.

I finally get the dogs hustled into the barn, feed the horses, toss the hay out, and the hose is frozen solid. They have a couple of half full buckets that are frozen over in the pasture. Aaaarrrrgghhhh…

Chastise dogs as they slowly walk back to house. They need to do their business eight million times in sniff approved places.

Get inside. I’m covered in hay. It’s down my shirt. It itches.

Con hubby into watering later am (when hose thaws).  I promise to be home by lunch to take Jessies blanket off and let her out.

Construction on highway. Crazy drivers.

Get to work 15 minutes late and one of my bosses is already there. It’s 7:15am. He’s chipper. I’m ready to rip the smile off his face.

Check the emails… people I’ve never heard of want me to demo code changes directly to clients. Ick.

Work on items. Nothing works. I can’t find the problem. Hours go by, and I’m still looking. I narrow it down to one file that generates a pdf. I can’t get it to run on my local environment. Nothing works. I try a hack on a QA link. I’ve done it a thousand times before with no problems… but today I break the link and no reports will run now. I spend the rest of the day trying to fix that. I fail. Repeatedly.

..

I get home and go out to catch Joy. Ava wont let me near Joy. She chases Joy off and shadows me. So I shoo Ava off. Joy high tails it out of there, then Ava runs off too. All of them ran away. And ran. And ran. And ran. I decide to try the old “make ’em run til they’re tired” approach. I kept it up for all of 100 feet before I was gasping and wheezing. My pasture suddenly seems like it’s 6 miles long.

I go back inside. I’m angry now, so I log in and try to fix the link I broke. Still broken. Still no clue how to fix it… even more frustrated.

I kick the empty wastebasket as hard as I can. I flies up, bounces against a box and hits me in the chest.

..

Still trying to fix the stupid link….

Horses are back up near the barn so I go back out to catch Joy. Nope. As soon as I get close to Joy, Ava flattens her ears at Joy and threatens her. I shoo Ava away, Joy goes flying toward the far end of the pasture… Ava galloping after her. I throw the halter and rope as hard as I can out of the pasture. I threaten to turn them all into dog food and stomp back to the house.

Link still broken.

Horses still being free agents.

Wastebasket is unrepentant.

T is for Tasers

I bet life would be a lot more amenable if I could Taser everything I wanted. 

Friends stand you up? Taser.

Long lines at the check out? Taser ’em!

Family not co-operating? Light those suckers up!

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……

Every month we have a software patch release. What this really means is the last week of every month is a mad dash to get all of the items done. Just because you got yours done, doesn’t mean you won’t be given more. Or you might get someone else’s items if they can’t get them done before cutoff.
Either way, it is always hectic, long hours, and stressful.

I finished all my items, so my boss gave me another item (which will be impossible to get done by the cutoff date). He asks can I get it done in time?

Well, of course!

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Tasers… useful in office environments too.
………

I haven’t worked/ridden Joy since Saturday. Almost a week. It’s not very easy to keep to a consistent schedule when the weather won’t cooperate. I miss having an indoor. Like REALLY miss it. Heck, I’d be thrilled to just have a level surface at this point…

I feel guilty about not working with her more.

I need to get a spot to ride set up. It’s too difficult using the pasture. I have to bring in Jessie and Ava and lock them up first. It works ok, but I’ve found that anything that makes things take more time, or effort, are easy things to use as excuses. For instance, today it’s very very cold, windy, and I’ve been up since 4:40am. I’m already over it just thinking about it…

That’s pathetic, isn’t it? I should be out there every day working my ponies. Rain or shine! Real horse people do that!

Screw it! Tomorrow it’ll be above freezing again. I can’t stand the cold!!!

S is for Silver Linings

It is snowing today! With the sun shining, and big flakes of snow, it kind of made for a pretty view.

It can go away now!

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Joy’s grazing while Ava tries to con some treats out of me.

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Ava has long chin whiskers.

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My neighbor, who’s been in Florida the past month, is finally home! She also has horses, and enjoys trail riding. I’ve been dying to go trail riding with her. This is the same lady I boarded Ava with a few years ago (when I first got Ava). Anyway, she brought me flowers! She’s so sweet!
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……….

I hacked Joy’s mane off tonight.
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I didn’t do a very good job with the top part. I’ll have to even it out later when I can tie her somewhere where there’s more light. She was bobbing around, trying to sniff everything. In person, it makes her look more streamlined, less disheveled. Then again, I’m partial to the shorter manes.

…….

Like I mentioned, it’s cold and snowy today. It snowed so hard for a while that it actually coated everything. Thankfully it melted quickly. However, I went out to clean stalls after work and found the old gal, Jessie, shivering. The only blankets I own were Ava’s, and Jessie looks like she’s swimming in them. But I threw that on her, shut the barn up, and brought the other horses in for communal heat sources. She’s fine now, but I had assumed that because she had shelter that blocked the wind, and plenty of hay, that she’d stay warm enough. She’s still got most of her winter hair! I guess I was wrong.

She is 30… if she were human, she’d be living in Florida by now.

I’ll have to invest in some Jessie sized blankets for different weather conditions.

I spelled weather wrong when typing that and my phone auto-corrected it to “eat her”.
Sick phone I’ve got here.

……….

A few months ago I inquired on a young warmblood mare listed for sale near me. Beautiful horse, awesome mover, fantastic temperment, and priced low (6k). The issue was that she had a hind suspensory injury previously. And the owner stated there were ‘irregularities’ in that leg. I really wanted her, but hubby and I decided we don’t have the money for “irregularities”.

Anyway, an acquaintance (who is a professional) bought the mare. I’m curious to see how the horse develops. I’m betting she goes like a top, sound as can be, for the next 10-20 years for this lady. If I’d bought the mare, she would’ve ended up lame two days after I got her home, with a career ending “irregularity”.

Money makes horse buying so much simplier. You can take some risks, you can handle the vet bills, you can go all out to determine how risky an irregularly is.. I’m going to have to save up for a long time if I ever plan on getting a warmblood in the future.

R is for… R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me

Who doesn’t love that song? Go listen to it https://youtu.be/6FOUqQt3Kg0

I’m teaching Joy to wait for me to give the okay before she attacks her food. She’s not terrible about food, but she is a bit demanding about it. I’m trying to reinforce that I get space to do whatever I need to do and she has to wait for me to finish. So far, she’s a quick learner. And she’s so sweet, that all I really need to do is wave my hand a bit and she backs off.

I bought a new helmet. Nothing fancy. Mine was old, and I’ve needed one for a while. Now that I’m on a green horse again, I figured I’d better invest in noggin’ protection. It’s blue. It’s ugly. I don’t really care as long as it works.

I have video of riding Joy finally put together. This is from this past week, and it’s the second and third time I’ve ridden her since I brought her home. Please overlook the crappy riding, yucky bridle, and overall unsightliness of the entire endeavor.

By the way.. it’s crappy music, but my hubby is NSFW so I muted the actual sound. It seemed odd as a silent film. 😉

Thank you to my wonderful Hubby for video taping and lending me moral support!!

Q is for Quality or Quantity

If I clean the house super well for 5 minutes, that should be the equivalent of 30 minutes of ‘normal’ cleaning, right? Doesn’t quality vs quantity apply to house cleaning?

I suspect it doesn’t….

We now have a bit that (I think) fits Joy. It’s 4.5 inches long. Its so little!!

She seems to be much more comfortable with it in. I haven’t tried riding her with it yet. We’ll see.. I suck at fitting bits. I’m never quite sure if it’s right.

All I need now is a super short saddle, under $400, that fits my tubby butt. Then we’ll be rockin’!

…….

Saturday I was supposed to meet two friends at a speed and action show. Neither showed up. One was stuck at a trade show all day, and I knew she was a maybe from the get-go. The other one though… She was the one that had asked to get together. I had to drive an hour, round trip, in order to get stood up. Not my idea of a fun Saturday night.

Jerk.

………

We moved a treadmill out of our basement yesterday. My poor hubby. I wasn’t strong enough to lift the darn thing. I gave ‘er all I had… totally not enough. Hubby was at the base of it (heavy end), while I struggled in vain with the light end.

I want a do-over weekend, with no heavy lifting.

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P is for Possibilities

Last week I was looking online for a bridle for Joy. Nothing I have fits, and the cobbled together piece o’ crap had flappy check pieces, no nose band, and was very stiff. The only thing I needed prior to ordering a new bridle was to measure Joy to determine if I needed a Pony or Cob sized bridle. But I kept forgetting to measure her.

Friday I was talking to my hubby about using $70 to buy a pony bridle I’d found online. He tells me he already bought me one. Not only did he already buy one, but it had just arrived in the mail.

What a sweet heart!!

It’s an HKM dressage bridle that fits Joy really well. Plus, it has the cutest little crystal heart on the brow band.  It looks great on her (I took the flash off of it).

Joy Bridle Joy Bridle Side View

I was telling my husband that all I need now is a bit, and he chimes in that he’s already purchased one and it’s on it’s way here.

HA!

What an awesome Hubby!!

I think Joy looks fabulous in her new bridle!

This little pony is smart. I don’t have anywhere to really tie her in the barn yet, so I’ve been making her stand in the middle. She just stands there. I might have to remind her not to move once or twice (which consists of simply putting her back where she was), and then she just stands patiently while I go about whatever I’m doing. It really says a lot about the training her previous owners did with Joy. You can tell they put a lot of time into her.

 

I really like this pony.  I’m working on putting together some video of her being ridden, but I haven’t had much time to spend on the computer. Hopefully will have something uploaded by Monday. It’s nothing fancy.

O is for Outstanding

The weather lately has been absolutely amazing. Sunny, warm, brilliant blue skies, and just enough breeze to keep things cool.  We’ve been spending a lot of time working on cleaning up the poop piles around the house.

There’s soooo much poop.

Literally, piles and piles of it in the back yard. And not neatly tucked in a corner away from general traffic, but smack dap in the middle of the back yard.

Ugh.

Yesterday I was cleaning stalls (they were nasty). I went to start the little tractor we have that pulls the cart I was filling with poop, and it wouldn’t start. Dead battery. I tell the Hubby and he sets off to rectify the situation. He pulls out a box thing with knobs on it, and jumps the tractor with it. I’m blissfully going about my work when he asks why I didn’t jump it.

Me: “I don’t know how.”

Hubby: “Do you want to learn how?”

Me: “Uh……”

I’m terrible. I wanted to learn, but at the same time… once you know, you can’t pull the excuse of not doing something because you don’t know how.

Anyway, he shows me. Very simple procedure. I’m sure I’ll only shock myself the first several times I attempt it.