Friday, January 31, 2014

Tattoos and a Contest!

Thanks for all the nice comments on my last post. Loki had the day off again today and he still seems just fine. If he is still looking okay tomorrow we will try a nice, quiet ride.

In the meantime I did some research I've been meaning to do for a while now. My trainer bought Loki directly from the track from his last race trainer. He was supposed to send her his papers but he never did. That's not a big deal since I don't ever plan on racing Loki but I've always been curious as to what Loki's tattoo # is. So I finally got around to researching it. First I took some pictures, only one of which turned out:


I know Loki is a 2007 baby so the first letter in his tattoo is a K followed by 3953. When I looked it up on the jockey club website (very helpful site, btw!) Loki was the only horse that came up with those numbers except it said there should also be a 7 at the end. I put a question up on an OTTB facebook page asking if it was common for just one number of a tattoo to completely disappear because there is no trace of a 7 or anything else next to that last 3 on Loki's lip. The consensus seems to be that yes, due to poor placement or bad ink or other things it is possible for one or more numbers to disappear before the rest even begin to fade. So there you have it. Loki's tattoo #.

Maybe someday I'll use it in a tattoo of my own. My feelings towards tattoos on people is that I like them in moderation and when they are well thought out. I spent nearly 2 years of my life studying Arabic in the Army. So one of my tattoos is in Arabic. It is actually my kids' names transliterated into Arabic with their birth dates. I combined their names and then added a mirror image. This is how it turned out:


For the record their names are Weston: وستون, Evelyn (in red) آفلن and Elaina آيلينى. And these are transliterations so there is no right or wrong way to spell them. I've had a couple of people give me a hard time about the fact that it looks like a butterfly. "I mean how unoriginal can you be if you have a butterfly tattoo?!" But, that is just the shape it wanted to be. Honestly, in my opinion, liking something only because it is popular or the "in" thing is silly but not liking something only because it is popular or the "in" thing is even sillier.

Anyways, sorry for the rambling post. My best friend's (since I was 2) brother is a tattoo artist so I have always had an interest in the art. Someday I would like to come up with something unique that combines my love for horses, eventing and Loki in one simple design.

What about you? Would you ever consider getting a tattoo to commemorate your relationship with your horse?

Oh and don't forget to check out She Moved to Texas for a very awesome contest for a pair of sweet looking breeches. I would love to win!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Guilty

Let me start by saying that I saw Loki today and he looked fine. He was bright eyed and munching on his hay, between bouts of cribbing since someone forgot to put his cribbing strap on. His water bucket was almost empty which means he is drinking again as well and he had fresh manure in his stall. I definitely breathed a sigh of relief.

But, I am so, so mad at myself right now. I am pretty sure the main cause for this bout of upset tummy is my fault. I've had Loki's latest Smartpaks in the back of my car for about a week. I meant to drop them off at the barn last Monday or thereabouts but just forgot, completely forgot. I didn't even think about it until L mentioned that Loki hadn't drank much water yesterday which was very odd for him. Well, one of Loki's Smartpaks, Tractgard has electrolytes in it. So it makes sense that he wouldn't be drinking as much as normal if he suddenly stopped getting them. *Insert kick in the pants here*

I am thankful that this seems to have been a very mild case of upset tummy and L told me again that she was just being very proactive about it. With this weather she didn't want to take any chances and gave him the Banamine probably a little sooner than she would've if the weather had been normal.  I'm sure he's lost some if not all the weight he was finally starting to put back on but a skinny horse is better than the alternative right now.

And while I'm on the topic of this weather... BRUTAL, that is the word that comes to mind. I found out when I tried to refill Loki's water bucket today that absolutely every single pipe at the barn is frozen right now with the exception of one in one of the houses. So everyday they are filling buckets literally from the kitchen sink and then hauling them out to the barns. L said it takes them two hours, twice a day just to get water done right now. Ugh!! I can't imagine and this weather officially sucks!

Luckily the temps are going up for the next few days at least. I can only hope that we have seen the last of the seriously cold temps but I've heard rumors there is more coming. Either way I have to keep reminding myself that it can't last forever.

Admit it, this made you smile. :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Call

I got that dreaded call today. The one where your trainer (who absolutely never calls, always texts) is on the other line. Loki isn't quite right. Didn't drink hardly any water today. Gave him some banamine and now just keeping an eye on him.

This winter has been brutal and I know of at least three horses that have died from colic just in the last couple of weeks. So I'm definitely concerned. My trainer is going to call me with updates as I can't get out there right away. She doesn't seem too horribly worried but still worried enough to call so keep your fingers and toes crossed, pray, send happy thoughts, whatever it is you can/want to do I'll take it. Thanks!

In the meantime here is a picture to remind us all of green grass and warm toes:

Feel better soon, buddy :(
*update* Trainer just texted and said he is looking much better. Hopefully a dose of banamine is all he needed. I'll still be heading out there as soon as I get the kids off to school tomorrow and L will still be periodically checking on him but at least we can breath a little sigh of relief. Thanks everyone who has already sent us good wishes, I really appreciate them.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Art Of Waiting

I finally got to ride today. It was actually really beautiful, about 34 degrees maybe a tad warmer but compared to what it has been I was very comfortable. There was plenty of snow on the ground as well so it just made for a really nice ride. I wish I had people to trail ride with because today would have been a lot of fun for a real trail ride.
Our very snowy hack today.
All of this cold weather has gotten me to thinking that as horse people we should be very proficient in the art of waiting. I mean if you think about it half of training and horsemanship is simply a waiting game. Wait until the horse has learned to go forward before we start introducing contact. Wait until the horse is accepting contact before we ask for any collection. Wait for the jump! Wait until the horse is warmed up before you start working. I could literally go on and on. There are so many things that we have to wait for to get it right. Of course so many horseman and woman don't get it right and it is rush, rush, rush and so goal oriented with only the "end" in sight that steps get missed along the way. That's why there is such a profusion of training gadgets and "problem" horses. 9 times out of 10 if you just wait until your horse is ready for the next step it will be okay even if you aren't the next best trainer to hit the saddle.
As for myself I have learned that if I start thinking I've waited long enough that means I'm probably about halfway there. Apparently patience is a virtue that must be taught over and over and over... and over again. But I think I'm starting to get it, maybe?
Loki's field completely snow covered.
Right now just waiting for some warm weather is trying my patience. I'm very thankful I got such a nice ride in today because it is going back into the negatives tonight and for the next couple of days. But today was one of those winter days that make you realize winter isn't ALL bad (and thank God for that!)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Favorites

I got this questionnaire from Viva Carlos. It's been so cold and I had a kid home sick today so no barn time, boo. It doesn't look good for tomorrow either but the weekend is supposed to warm up some so I am hoping to take advantage because next week is looking like single digits again.

Favorites

 




Breeches: I don't own a pair but I think if I had money to burn Fits would be my favorite. My trainer swears if you watch e-bay enough you'll find some good deals on them but I sure haven't seen any. For the money my favorite pair of breeches I own are Stickyseats. They don't have some of the fun details and frills but they fit great and really give a good grip in the saddle.






     
Not these exactly but similar.




Footwear: When you wear a size 5 you learn to not really get too into foot fashions. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at shoes, found something I really liked only to find out the smallest size available is a 6. I have pairs of shoes in my closet that are at least 10 years or older because I'm so afraid I won't be able to find anything to replace them. Most days you'll find me wearing my Ariats, though or my Dubarrys if I'm heading to the barn.




Comfort Food : Chipotle! and ice cream, not necessarily together.

Online personality: Is this supposed to be asking who my favorite online personality is? because I have no idea, I've never thought about it. 

Movie: Serenity, the LotR series and the original Star Wars series are my top three. 

TV Show: All time favorite was Firefly. Other shows no longer on TV: Dark Angel, ST:TNG & Voyager, Veronica Mars and MacGyver (yes, I loved MacGyver). Shows currently on TV: Elementary, Castle, Marvel: Agents of Shield, Almost Human (awesome show!), and Big Bang Theory.

Magazine: Eventing USA and Practical Horseman.





Book: The entire Harry Potter series will forever be my favorite books. One of my favorite series from when I was a teenager was The Chronicles of the Cheysuli. The series was about a race of people who could take the shape of their animal companions called lir. It was an epic journey; A struggle to fulfill a prophecy that spanned several generations. What animal loving teenager wouldn't love these books?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Do Miss My Buddy

A friend of mine posted these old pictures of Ghazal and me on facebook today:
Ghazal is a very touchy, feely kind of horse.
Or maybe he is just a very itchy horse, lol
Yes, I really did/do have a purple bridle. What can I say? And oh my gosh the doily on his head!!
These pictures both make me smile and make me a little sad, not sad-sad just... I don't know, wistful I guess. They are from when Jay and I were stationed at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. There were miles of trails just off the barn on post. My friend and I spent many hours riding together. One time I even rode Ghazal all the way to the back yard of my house. I don't think we were "technically" supposed to ride there but nothing was marked so you always had an easy excuse if you got caught. 

I also remember once when we ran into a company doing training exercises. The person in charge, I don't remember his rank, had all of his soldiers lay down, hidden in the grass along the trail we were riding. I'm not sure how we avoided not stepping on anyone because it totally freaked Ghazal out. This was NOT normal human behavior and he was pretty sure it was a trap. 

Man, it just reminds me of all the many, many wonderful memories I have with this guy. They were different than the ones I'm making with Loki, of course. We never really did any formal training. I was practically self taught after the walk, trot, canter basics. It's amazing we turned out as well as we did, honestly. But we had such a great partnership. I could just think about what I wanted to do and Ghazal was on it, well, unless it was something scary and then we had to discuss it sometimes, but really it was so amazing. 

It makes me realize I'm not quite there yet with Loki. That's okay, too, because Ghazal and I were partners for over 20 years and some things only come with time and experience. But, I think Loki and I are on the right track and I can't wait to get there. It's not that it will be the same, because it won't, but it will be beautiful and wonderful in it's own way. 

But I still do miss the old man and our many adventures together. I have been pretty good in keeping with my goals so far and have seen him basically once a week since the first week of January. I hope that I can increase that when the weather gets better. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow Days

This is the 5th snow day for my kids this year. I'm trying to remember if we had this many snow days when I was still in school. I'm sure there must have been some years similar to this but I sure can't remember them. Tomorrow we are supposed to be revisited by the Polar Vortex (cue music!). It shouldn't be as bad as the last one, though. Tomorrow the high is all the way up to 15 degrees! But, I still probably won't be making it out to the barn until Thursday, the earliest.

After our ride
I've gotten two rides in since our first lesson of the year. And one thing I forgot to mention that we've been working on is how I am practicing halts and half halts. A friend of mine suggested I try raising the rein instead of pulling back. And I've been trying that and I must say it has really been successful. When I pull back on the reins Loki responds by raising his head and resisting, when I raise my hands
and lift the reins Loki responds by dropping his head and slowing down and at times even rounding and bringing his hind end under him. (When I say lift it isn't some huge exaggeration of bringing my hands up but just being sure that the direction of the reins is up as well as back.) I don't mean to make it sound like we've magically found the key to all our problems but it IS making a difference. We're still a work in progress but his flatwork is really looking much nicer especially at the walk and the trot. We still have lots of work to do at the canter. (Also, I feel like this is probably one of those well duh things I should already know but for whatever reason it just clicked this time.)

My last ride we just did lots of canter to trot transitions in both directions. I think we have to start at just that basic level for now. I am asking for the transition, either up or down, then giving Loki time to get balanced and then asking for the transition again so it takes some time. Eventually I would like to be able to canter just a couple of strides and ask for the transition then trot for just a stride or two and transition again but we aren't there yet. And maybe we'll get all crazy and start working on walk to canter transitions. We just aren't there yet.

But, my sister was out and got to watch us a little bit and she said we were looking pretty fancy. Yay!

Also I have an updated *possible* show schedule:
  • Spring Bay, April 5th & 6th
  • Penny Oaks, May 3rd & 4th
  • Greater Dayton, May 17th & 18th
  • May Days, May 24th & 25th
That is as far as we are planning for now. I have no idea how many of these I'll actually be able to go to but these are the ones my trainer is going to. We are talking about possibly spending the week in Tennessee for the two Chattahoochee Horse trials that are back to back. That would be a lot of fun I think but it is way too early to know whether we'll be ready either physically or financially. I do hope this summer works out better than last, though!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

First Lesson of the Year

 “If you do keep trying, there is no guarantee that you will succeed, but if you don’t keep trying, it is absolutely guaranteed that you will not succeed.” -Denny Emerson, How Good Riders Get Good.
Silly selfie pic for the day!
The weather was beyond beautiful last Monday when I had my first lesson of 2014. Of course the definition of beautiful weather in the winter time is vastly different from the definition in summer. But, it was mid-40's and sunny and best of all the footing in the outdoor was thawed and decent.

My goal in this post is to point out both the good and the bad from our lesson. Aoife from Pampered Ponies reminded me to look at the positives and not just dwell on the negatives and I think that is a very smart idea.

So, The Good:

Our flat work is really coming along. Loki is slowly starting to accept the contact and he is getting stronger, getting closer to being round and actually bringing his hind end underneath him. We're not there yet but he is getting better especially at the walk and trot.

We warmed up over some simple cross rails and Loki stayed nice and quiet and maintained a good rhythm. Honestly, he was pretty much perfect for the first half of our lesson. We didn't run into trouble until:

The Bad:

We put a small course together and everything went really well until we switched the course around and started jumping the last line going towards home. Lori also raised the height of the last fence at the same time. I suffer from what I like to call firstfenceitus (It's this illogical nervousness that comes the first time over a new fence or a fence I just haven't jumped in a while. Luckily it has been getting better, now it only raises it's ugly head at about 2'6" or so.) so it was probably a combination of my nerves for the slightly higher fence and the fact that we were headed towards home but the first time through Loki grabbed the bit and pretty much bulldozed through the line. He did make it over and kept the fence up but there was no adjustment or even acknowledgement that I was on his back. We went through a couple of more times with about the same results. Finally, the last time through I remembered something very important LET GO OF THE FLIPPING REINS! And we were able to at least end on a good note. He was still a little riled up but better.

The Conclusion:


Mostly I'm just mad at myself because I've been through this so many times before. When I snatch the reins Loki's reaction is to snatch back and run. I thought we were getting through this but obviously we still need to work on it. Mostly, I need to work on it! We also still need to work on our canter. The trot work is getting along so great but I realize I've been neglecting our canter work. Loki is just not as balanced as he needs to be and it is showing and probably also contributing to his fence rushing. *sigh* It feels like we've been working on this forever and will be working on it for quite some time to come. Well, anyways we have our work cut out for us during these next few months. Since the weather is icky cold again we will be back in the indoor cantering, cantering, cantering with lots of transitions thrown in.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The D. A. Award

I earned an award today. The D.A. Award, unfortunately, no that does not stand for Dumbledore's Army. :(

I was on my way home from the barn. It had snowed while I was riding in the indoor and instead of brushing the snow off of my side windows I decided to roll them down and push the snow off since it wasn't frozen yet. Well, when I went to roll the passenger side window up it got stuck. So, I got out of the car and went over to the passenger side and tried to "help" the window up. Long story shorter I got the window up but also managed to accidentally lock the car doors... and shut them, with the car running... and my phone inside. Uhhhhhh..... I went to both houses on the property and nobody was home. I was completely by myself at the barn.

I tried breaking into my car which didn't get very far. I finally decided to try and walk to the next residence. This is not the best part of town mind you so I was reluctant but desperate times and all that. I finally made it out to the road and remembered that there is a car dealership just down the road from the barn and across the street so I made my way there. Luckily the roads weren't horribly busy because of the time of day and with the snow every one I saw was driving pretty slowly. That might have had something to do with the accident that I could see up ahead at the intersection, though. Anyways, I finally made it to the car dealership. I could see the sign in their window that said open so I was feeling much better... until... I got to the door and there was this itty bitty sign that said "out to lunch be back in 10 minutes." Seriously? This was not my day. So I trudged back across the street to check out another building. I know it is a business of some sort but there aren't really any signs so I don't know what they do. There were some cars out front though so I was hopeful help was in my future. I knocked on the door and an old guy answered. I told him my silly story and he very nicely let me use his phone to call Jay to come rescue me. He then told me about the 7 horses he had at his home and one colt. After that I walked back to the barn to wait. As I was gone the barn manager had returned so at least I had some company as I waited.

About 20 minutes later Jay showed up and we had to bee line it out of there to make it to a meeting we had schedule at my son's school. We did at least make it but I apologized profusely for being in my barn clothes and told them I hoped I didn't smell too badly, lol. Okay it was a little bit funny. Hopefully by now you have figured out what D. A. stands for!
I was going to write about our not so great ride on Monday but I think it will have to wait one more day. We did have a really good ride today, though. Our flat work is really progressing which is something. I also took some new body pictures today. He's only been getting the extra hay for about two weeks now but I think I am seeing some differences. Still a little ribby but better.




Wednesday, January 15, 2014

$100,000

First of all, thank you to everybody who wrote advice and encouragement about our weight issues. I appreciate each comment and I'll let you know how things progress.

I had a lesson yesterday and it was not great. I'm continuing to go over the events and I will eventually write them down in a post but for now I am going to stall because between that and Loki's weight I'm afraid my post might be something only Eeyore would care to read!

So I'm stalling by answering a question that Amanda over at An Eventful Life asked. (Fun blog, btw, you should check it out.) The question is this:

Imagine someone gave you $100,000 free and clear. Assume taxes are already taken care of and you can spend the whole amount. The catch: you have to spend the whole amount on horse-related things. What do you buy?


So here is my list:


#1 Two custom saddles. One jump and one dressage. Price around $10-14,000. Oh how I would love to have saddles that actually fit me and my horse at the same time! This would be the very first purchase I would make.
Random saddle from the internet but I really want a brown dressage saddle, pretty!
#2 New Trailer. I don't want anything super fancy because I don't plan on replacing my Expedition right away so it has to be a bumper pull, two horse and I want a slant load with a swinging tack wall (I have my reasons.). Price would be around $10-15,000 I imagine.
Another random picture from the internet but maybe some red would be fun.
#3 Shopping spree with about $2,000. I would buy some Fits breeches, another pair of boots, and all kinds of stuff. For Loki I would buy new bridles, halters, boots, etc.


#5 I would keep another $10,000 around just for showing and miscellaneous horse expenses. It would be nice to be able to show one whole season without worrying about where the money is coming from!


#4 Assuming this wouldn't break the rule of having to "spend" it on horsey things I would put the rest into some kind of savings. Anywhere from $59-68,000. My dream is to own my own place someday but that can't happen while Jay is still in the military and unfortunately $100,000 would not be enough for him to get out. So, it would be tucked away for when we "retire" from the military and used for a hefty down payment on our dream farm.
Depending on if my girls ever decide they want to ride or my son for that matter I might get some of it out of savings to get a kid friendly horse for them as well as lessons, board, etc.

This is a fun game, I love to play what if...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Weight Issue

I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of Loki's weight. I took these before the big cold snap, polar vortex thingy. And the good news is that he doesn't look any worse. In all fairness or maybe just to make myself feel better I have to say that these pictures make him look much, much worse than he does in person. I'm not sure if that means the camera exaggerates the truth or simply brings it out. But really he is mainly just ribby, very ribby. He has weight everywhere else. We have started giving him extra hay. I'm not sure what else to do with him at this point. I would love to give him free choice hay but there is no way to work that out in his current situation. He is still nice and shiny even with his winter coat and bright eyed and energetic.
This angle makes him look the worst.
But really you can see he's got plenty of weight on his hiney.
Maybe he will always be a hard keeper in the winter?
So does it look as bad as I think it does? Any other suggestions to try? I was thinking maybe adding some beet pulp or rice bran...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Zelly Belly

I made it out to see both boys today, hurray!

Loki was much the same except a little naughty on our way to the outdoor arena, giving me a few 
little bucks on the way down the hill. The horse who has really never bucked under saddle (for me anyways) decides the time to try it is while going down a somewhat steep hill?? 'splain that to me, please! They were pretty small and I'm not entirely sure what set him off. We go through some trees so maybe he goosed himself or maybe he was just feeling full of himself, who knows?
The ride was okay, not great, but we've had nearly three weeks off so not too surprising. I'm hoping to get a lesson in this week to see where we are. If I ride without any trainer input for too long I feel like I lose my focus and just start spinning my wheels without knowing whether or not I'm actually in drive, if you know what I mean.

After the ride I took about an extra 50 minutes to do some cleaning and put Loki's BoT boots on for a bit. Then I headed over to my sister's to see the old man, a.k.a. Ghazal, a.k.a. Zelly Belly.

Other than being dirty and having pretty much no muscle tone he looks pretty darn good.

The sun was not in an ideal position for picture taking but you can basically see his round, fuzziness.
I'm always showing pictures of Loki so I figured I'd share a few of my first love for a change:

This is his stall built by my very talented brother-in-law.
Zahir, a.k.a. Zee, Ghazal's half-brother also somewhat related on the dam side as well.
Ghazal and Sharea, they have been together on and off for their entire lives.
I am very blessed to be able to keep Ghazal with my sister. Not only does it save me quite a bit of money, which is what enables me to have and do so much with Loki right now, it also saves me from worrying. Ghazal is fat and happy and enjoying his pampered life. I am really hoping I can work the time out to get him working a little bit this summer so that my kids can start riding some. I think/hope it is time.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Show Me Your Barn Blog Hop

I've been enjoying seeing all the different barns from this blog hop. There are a lot of fancy, beautiful farms out there. My barn is most definitely not fancy, a little rough around the edges maybe but still has great amenities for the price.

The barn:

There are four different barns on the property. This is the main barn behind us with the round pen across from it and a garage and a house behind.
The Buff barn and one of the indoor arenas is behind us in the following photo and you can see another part of the round pen.

Horse's Living Space:

Loki's stall



View of the Tack Room:

I don't keep my stuff in the tack room. I have a converted stall that I use basically all to myself. There was one other person using it but she moved. It wouldn't work if I didn't have my tack box but since it is air tight I don't have to worry about the damp and or things being moldy.
(Like I said... NOT fancy.)

View of where we ride:

The outdoor sand arena
Outdoor jump field
I want to jump the picnic table someday!
Indoor arena:
We have two indoors but they are both pretty small and dusty

My favorite feature:

I love the small "trail" that surround the property. It is the best place to warm-up, cool-down or just have a nice relaxing hack.
Thanks Sprinkler Bandit for hosting the blog hop!

I finally made it back out to Loki's barn today. The kids are all back in school and Jay starts back on Monday. I'm hoping to get back into a routine. I was looking at the calendar and really it isn't long before spring. Only 89 days until Equine Affaire and then Rolex is shortly thereafter. I'm really psyched for this summer!

I plan on riding again tomorrow and also getting out to check on Ghazal.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Playing

I decided to make my own logo in photoshop today. Why? Umm, well, just for fun I guess. Certainly not because I need one or anything. But I was just imagining what I would want if I had my own training business. This is what I've come up with so far. I may play with it more later because I really didn't spend a ton of time on it but anyways...
The reason I started playing around with photoshop is because Jay and I have been working on some items for my sister to go with a swag pack she is putting together to help promote the release of her next book which is coming out on the 21st of this month. If you have any interest in science fiction you should really check it out.

It is worth mentioning that this is NOT a distopian like so many YA books that are promoted as sci-fi are. This is an actual science fiction with cool space ships, gun fights and new worlds. Here is the book description from Amazon:
For fans of Josh Whedon’s cult classic television show Firefly comes a fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi thriller from author Mindee Arnett, about a group of teenage mercenaries who stumble upon a conspiracy that threatens the entire galaxy.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew have made their name stealing metatech: the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light. In a world where the agencies that patrol the outer edges of space are as corrupt as the crime bosses who control them, it’s as much of a living as anyone can ask for. For years Jeth’s managed to fly under the radar of the government that executed his parents for treason—but when he finds himself in possession of information that both government and the crime bosses are willing to kill for, he’s going to find there’s no escaping his past anymore.
With pulse-pounding action, a captivating mystery, and even a bit of romance, Avalon is the perfect read for hard-core sci-fi fans and non–sci-fi fans alike.
My sister and I are both huge Firefly fans. If you don't know what that is you are really missing out. If you don't like it I'm not sure if we can be friends. Okay, I'm just kidding, well, sort of. The world of Avalon is very similar to Firefly and if you liked the one I'm fairly certain you'll like the other.

Oh, and one more cool thing about this book in particular:
Yep, that is me! and how cool is that?! I'll tell ya, really, really cool! So if you are looking for some fun reading in a couple of weeks check it out!

Well, back to horses tomorrow. The temps are warming back up and I will be back out to the barns to check on the boys.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Why Super Models Should Envy Horses

Well, some horses anyways, ones like mine who seem to have the ability to lose weight in the blink of an eye or the snap of a cold spell at least.

I took these pictures of Loki just after Christmas:
At least he is still nice and shiny in his winter coat!

Sporting his Back On Track easy wraps.


Whatcha doin' Mom?
His weight really doesn't look so bad here. But I was out to check on him again this past Sunday and there was a remarkable difference. I was hoping that he would be an easier keeper this winter compared to last but it doesn't seem to be going that way. Unfortunately the lighting was not conducive for picture taking so I didn't get any. I will be back out tomorrow and get some photos then. I think I'm going to try to take pictures at least once a week to compare and keep track of what his weight looks like. I'm very anxious to see how he has fared through this frigid weather. I know horses are more equipped to handle this kind of weather than we are but it has still worried me.

And my plan for now is to buy my own hay to supplement what Loki is already getting. I know more than anything extra hay will make the difference in how well he keeps his weight. So hopefully sometime this week Jay and I will be finding and picking up some extra bales. I don't have all the details worked out yet but hopefully it will work. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hibernating

I'm sorry for disappearing on you all. I'm not sure what happened but somehow I got sideswiped a bit by the winter-time blues. I have no good reason to be feeling down but I've had the hardest time getting motivated to do much of anything lately. Of course part of that is this crazy weather we are having. And of course there just really isn't much to write about right at the moment. I'm a bit behind in my blog readings but will hopefully catch back up once school starts back tomorrow. (As long as there isn't another snow day!)

I did get out to the barn to check on Loki today. Supposedly it is getting down to about 5 degrees tonight and in the negatives tomorrow so we are all bundling up for the next three days. I had to repair Loki's 300 gram liner (thank you needle and dental floss). Loki got all cleaned up and I took him to the indoor for one last chance to stretch his legs before this possible snowmaggedon.

In the indoor I let Loki loose to run around but all I got was one lap of trot/canter and then he came back to me. I shooed him off and got another trot circle and then back again. We repeated that about four times and then I decided to just play since he was not interested in running around. Just for fun I asked Loki to follow me at the walk without a lead rope. He obliged very nicely so then I asked him to trot which he also did. He followed me all over the arena, stopping when I did and staying at my pace the entire time. He even backed up all without me touching him when I turned and walked towards him. That was kind of cool!
Loki says, "got treats?"

Right after that a friend stopped by and we got to talking for about 10 minutes or so. Loki was free to wander off but didn't. Apparently he decided he wanted my attention back on him b/c out of the blue he reached over and bit my finger! It wasn't hard, no more than a pinch. I scolded him but then laughed b/c while it was naughty it was also kind of funny that he wanted my attention so much. Apparently I've become important to him. :D

After that I did make it out to see Ghazal. Go me! I gave him a decent grooming and made sure he was also tucked up in preparation for the storm. Ghazal actually stood and leaned into the brush. This is the horse that usually HATES to be groomed and back in the day we had a stall walking/grooming ritual that worked fine for us but would probably drive most other people crazy. My sister even commented that it seemed like he was enjoying it so much because he missed me. I'm not sure if that is really true but it was nice to hang out with the old man for a bit. I will definitely be doing my best to keep up the once a week (minimum) visits.