Sunday, March 25, 2012

Preparing for Departure to Venice

Before you get excited, let me specify Venice, FL. In 4 days we will pack us and the dogs into the car for the 14 hr drive to my grandparents house.                                                                                   
  But first we have to get the barn and horses ready for Peggy to take care of while we are gone. So my To Do list was pretty full this weekend. It helped that Saturday it rained so no riding. All the horses were mud balls, but DaVinci was a horse of a different color.

 In these pictures he had just come in when it started raining again. As you can see he is very good at getting even coverage.
Once the horses were in snoozing, I started my list.
First up Setting up Food for eight days
Each horse has their own bags for dry food, 1/2 cup ground flax, 1/4 to 1/2 lb of balancer pellet and lysine for some.
For each day there is a bag to be soaked overnight with about 2 cups of beet plup and a handful of alfalfa cubes.

I boxed up all the bags and can check that off the list.

Next up, Trimming all the barefoot horses. By this time the horses had dried some, but they were still filthy. So I trimmed and then scraped some dirt and hair off. Roscoe was in no mood to cooperate. We did get the trim done though. During Rosemary's trim we worked on her ground tying. She did really well and needed only a few corrections. The boys were great. I was creaky by time I finished. Its been a while since I did four horses in one day. Now they got to go out. And the first thing DaVinci does is roll in the mud...again. Why did I even bother brushing him? Oh well, another check on the list.
I decided that I would do the next bunch on Sunday. On the way home, I stopped at Peggy's to drop of sawdust and carrots. We get a big load of sawdust at our barn then bag some to share with Peggy. The carrots were overflow from Dad's shopping. Her horses enjoyed them though.
At home I had to work on the written instructions. I never realize how much we do until I have to explain it all to someone else. Luckily my horses are flexible so I can simplify in some areas. I had to put special Roscoe instructions, such as:  Do not trust the cute face, he can be trouble. This will be the first time we have left him long term since he was born.
Today, no rain so it was tempting to ride. I knuckled down and went to work. First was Filling Hay Nets. We use landscaping mesh to make our own kind of Nibble nets. The mesh slows the horses down and is more like grazing. Given a choice the horses choose the nets first. I filled up our Overnight size nets, so that maybe Peggy won't need to change them while we are gone. Just in case I filled four of the smaller nets to have a back ups. Still need to drop some more bales for giving hay outside so no check yet.
Then I had to make sure there was fly spray made up and bug balm readily accessible. This led to cleaning and organizing the cabinets where grooming supplies are kept. It is amazing how things migrate from where they are suppose to be.
Once I finished there, I fed the horses, cleaned stalls and cleaned and filled the troughs. Then I thought about riding, but we only have a grass arena and I did not want to chance tearing up the ground. So I called Peggy to see how her sand arena was after the rain. It was okay so I set off to ride Comrade the last time before we leave. He had the greatest walk when we started. I was really enjoying the swinging walk when the dogs started running through the woods. Then I had a poofed up, snorting Comrade underneath me. Oh yeah and I was bareback. So I started doing quarter turn on the forehands and transitions. He started to listen and really work well, then those darn dogs started up again. This time I asked Peggy's husband to nab Shadow. Then I made Comrade work. I used what we worked on last week to get his attention. Two steps and move on and repeat. Today I felt the move on part. There was a noticeable difference in stride. He gave it to me both directions and ended with a great stretchy walk. Now I have to wait until we come back to ride him again.
3 days of a crazy work schedule and final preps for the animals, then I have to get my horse fix from the internet.


  1. That is why I don't ever want a grey horse, they seem to make it their life mission to grind as much mud into their skin as possible.

    Have fun in Venice!

    1. I thought it would be better with Rosemary since she is black, but black seems almost as bad as grey.

      Pray for low humidity!

  2. Sounds like you've got it all under control. As for filthy horses, we've got a dirty bunch here too. Amazing how they can get mud into every crevice on their bodies. Have fun on our trip.

    1. Thanks.
      After the rain stopped and DaVinci dried, he actually rolled a lot of the dirt off. He was somewhat cleaner:)