Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tent Sale

Every year around this time Dover Saddlery has a tent sale at their Chantilly, VA location. And every year it rains, even if just a little. This year was no exception.
I think it is the location, because Dominion Saddlery who Dover took over, held the same tent sale and always had rain.
Anyway, Mom and I did not rush since the sale started yesterday and we only had a few things to look for. We of course had to get through the throng of people who wanted to pet the dogs. One lady even remembered them from last year. Corgi's and horses just go hand in hand.
The sale seems to get smaller and you have to look harder for the deals, but we did OK.
Here is what we got:

1. I have no idea what it is called, but it is an awesome product to use on leather with a foreign name. We saved about $4 on the product.

2. Roscoe as a yearling is growing like a weed, so we wanted a cheap fly sheet. In the "Dover Basement" tent there was a Sarasota size 58 fly sheet. A little short for him, but at $15 his tail can handle his butt.
Not too bad a fit
3. Also in the "Dover Basement" tent I found a pair of beige breeches for $15. I only ride in breeches during lessons and shows so I am happy to get a new pair. I wish I could afford enough to ride in all the time.

4. Now for our "purely for fun" purchase: A lead line saddle :) I have a niece and nephew that are just at the age to start riding so Mom and I just had to get it for $60. What is great is that the saddle is synthetic and the panels are velcroed on and can be adjusted for the horse.

Those were our tent sale deals. Inside the store we picked up a few everyday things:

 Gallon of B-L for DaVinci and Dottie  Really a great supplement for the older horses.

Cashel fly mask for DaVinci. Roscoe keeps taking off his old one and has about killed it.

Gallon Vetrolin liniment, for all our hard working ponies

Fly spray nozzle and eye holes

and something called a bucket hanger, a clip that loops through a foot long nylon piece. We are using it to attach to our bungee cross tie. Roscoe killed our short bungee we used to extend the cross tie. Our center aisle is too wide for just the cross tie.

Overall it was a successful trip. Now I need a kid to try out the new saddle. Time to sweet talk my brother into bringing my niece. If I succeed, I will post pictures.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rosemary Goes on a Field Trip

Well, the trainer canceled and we thought Rosemary would miss another driving session. When my called Peggy to let her know, it turned out that she was able to play. So we brought Rosemary and planned to make an excursion outside the arena.
Mom warmed her up by ground driving her in the arena. Then she ground drove her on the road, while Peggy and I dragged our feet through the gravel. Rosemary wiggled a bit but kept walking. There were garbage cans, mailboxes and a flag, but the only thing she looked at was a darker patch on the road.
Once back in the arena, we set to hooking her to the cart. While we were doing this a bunch of kids came by riding bikes. Rosemary was interested, but stayed still. That all changed when a Bay horse, which she of course thought was Dottie, came walking after the bikes. And as an aside, that horse was a saint. The girl riding bareback had no helmet and no shoes and I do not think she was holding on to anything but the mane as someone else led the horse. Anyway, Rosemary called the other horse answered and she got impatient. Luckily the kids, bikes and horse cleared out so Rosemary could settle.
Peggy started her out in the arena to get her focus back on working. Then she burned some carbon off by letting her trot. When her head was back, we headed out. We went first down this little hill to a dead end in case she got loose it would be into the woods. She handled the hill great managing the weight of the cart while maintaining her stride. You will notice the video is very shaky. Trying to tape and keep up with Rosemary was hard to do.
Peggy had her make the turn and head up the road. Rosemary settled into her ground covering walk and enjoyed the area. Then she went down a bigger hill and made a much tighter turn around to come back up the same hill.
She really has to push against the shafts to make the turn.

Oh and when we got to the top of the hill, a UPS truck came driving by. The driver slowed, but Rosemary did not even bat a eye. Peggy decided it was time to get in. They headed back down the first road to the grass turn around again. This time Peggy let her trot up the hill. Peggy thought about continuing down the road, but decided not to push it since she was being good so she turned into the arena. Rosemary picked up a jaunty trot and cruised around. She came to a nice halt when Peggy asked.
Driving really seems to satisfy Rosemary and she loves all the new aspects. She had not been driven for nearly a month before this exercise and had no major issues.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Surgery Tomorrow

Three years ago Griffyn went through what most male dogs go through, getting neutered. No big deal. Well after the procedure the vet wanted him kept on a leash to protect the stitches.
At the barn a day a so after, disaster strikes.
I received a frantic call at work from Mom saying that some how Winston tangled with Griffyn's leash and took off dragging Griffyn. He was tossed around horribly. Poor Mom had to move him into a stall and go after Winston who was loose. Then she had to borrow a truck to bring him to the vets. I hurried to the vets to find Mom panicked that he may have broke his back, as he was not moving his hind end. We had to wait while they stabilized and xrayed him. It was a hard one, let me tell you.
The xrays showed that he did not break his back, thank God, but he did break both his back legs. One above the hock and the other below. Griffyn had to spend the night at a care center and then go to a specialist for surgery the next day. Dad transported him from our vets to the care center with an air cast.
He had a rough night, but the surgery went well. Because Corgi's have such short legs, they had to use pins in his legs. Since he was 6months old the vet told us that it was possible the bone would grow to cover the pins. There was a chance that a pin could move.

6 month old Griffyn  in his cast. The other leg was the higher break.

Recently, we noticed him licking a spot on his hind leg, the one that was in a cast. When we looked closer, there was a sore near one of his scars. Feeling around it felt like granulated tissue. He kept worrying it so we asked the vet to look at it when he got his annual shots.
And of course it was a pin pushing against his skin. Since it was the weekend we had to wait for the surgeon to look at the xrays to let us know if he could do the procedure or if we would need to go back to the specialist.
We received the call that yes he could and it would happen on Tuesday. So Griffyn is on his fasting period and early tomorrow we will drop him off. Keep your fingers crossed that the surgery goes smoothly.

And a funny note. After his injury we make the dogs go in a stall when the horses go out. We say "IN" and they go straight to their stall. Well yesterday, the farm owners had friends and other dogs causing Griffyn to bark and be annoying. For some peace I told him "IN" and he went to the stall. He and Kayla stayed in the stall the whole time Mom and I tacked the girls up. As we mounted and left the barn we had to call a couple times before they would leave the stall. They have trained themselves so well.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yay, They are OURS

Thanks to my parents and Peggy, Rosemary and Roscoe are paid off. Today it is official with the new registration paperwork with our names as owner. So at the next show we get to be the OWNERS.
Roscoe's breeder allowed me to make payments, very small payments and it would have been another couple years at least before I could have paid them off myself. The Cobs worked their magic on my Dad and he put up a third of the total amount. Then Peggy decided to pay off the remaining amount.
The support of family and friends is priceless.

All ours now, two wonderful Cobs

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Warning: Going to Gripe

This week is shaping up to be on of THOSE, in a completely negative way. Plus the heat does not help any.
Well, yesterday we left the horses in the barn tucked under their fans with hay and water. Typical for these hot days. After work we headed to the barn to turn them out. When we got there, we could tell the college girl had been around not long before.
We have asked her before to fill the girls water trough if it is low. So yesterday when we noticed nearly all the horses buckets were low, we were a little annoyed. How do you go into a barn full of horses on a hot day and not check buckets? UGH
On a lesser scale it bothers me that she never cleans Dottie's stall. By clean, I mean picking manure to a corner or into a wheelbarrow. Maybe because I earned money growing up by cleaning stalls, I always pick stalls at barns I am familiar with. Also if I rode a horse, I made sure to take care of her stall. Geez, she even had to move a wheelbarrow out of the way to get a whip,

Heck I think I would be happy if she would shut the doors correctly and remembered to lock the tack room. The other day, the tack room was wide open with the girls in the barn. Thank God they did not go in, since we had a new bag of grain sitting inside. Little details drive me crazy, but I bite my tongue.

I know she is helping by giving Dottie work and Dottie is in better shape, but horses need more than physical challenge. They need care and attention.

Ok, now that I have vented I am ready for bed and facing the rest of this week.

Dottie with her shorter mane. My hard won work :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012


After two weeks off, I finally got to ride Comrade again. Our last ride was so great, so I did not know what we would have after the time off.
We had worked on canter over poles then small jumps the last time. Mom set up a row of 8 poles end to end down the center of the arena. Then I started at trot doing a circle over the poles. The circle became a spiral down the row while Comrade maintained his trot rhythm. Once he was smooth at the trot, we moved into canter. He did great maintaining his canter down the spiral. Next we moved into a figure eight asking him to change his lead over the pole. He did exactly that with only a slight cue from me. Now onto the jumps. The set up was pole, "X", pole, "X", pole, "X." Again we started with the circle, pole to jump at the canter. I made him figure it out and rode what he gave me. He had one moment of discombobulation, which had mom and Peggy in stitches, but he worked it out and left the jump standing. Plus he continued to change his leads over the jumps. I was really impressed and began to think about doing course work with him. Then the heat wave came causing him to have time off.
Today Mom and I headed to Peggy's early. Mom set up a course of poles. The whole time Comrade watched her closely. Once she was down, we started at trot working the poles. Comrade figured out the distances pretty quick at trot and he decided that it was time to canter. He was ready to go, so we went. He was nicely forward easily making the poles and changing leads. Mom then put up three small jumps, in the middle, on the straight and on the diagonal. Comrade actually got strong working canter over the course, but it was wonderful. At one point I even looked down to make sure I was not actually riding my Arab Barry. This ride was reminiscent of the rides he gave me that it brought back memories.
Anyway Comrade was planting and pushing over the fences and landing with the correct lead. I love how these Cob's remember previous lessons. Comrade had a bit of a melt down, when a scary, ha ha, tractor started mowing up the road and a big horse fly though he tasted good. Then his energy started going towards bucking. Time to slow things down. I used lots of bendy lines and lateral to get his attention back on working. Finally the tractor finished and he started to focus. The work that followed was more obedient, but he lost some energy. I guess Barry left his body :) We ended with him completing the course while listening to me and waiting.
Peggy got some pictures, mostly around the melt down time and after, but not too bad.
A great jump and he landed on the correct lead

Cantering off

Connecting the middle jump with the straight jump

Bendy line to find his focus

Baby shoulder in

Ugh, bad hands

A horse fly was causing him to buck

Happy pair

Wow, look at that step

Low energy, taking in stride but still pushing from behind

In stride, though he came down to trot from canter

Monday, July 9, 2012

Woo Hoo 20 degrees Cooler

I feel like it has been forever since I have written anything. The crazy heat wave made for really long days. We kept the horses in the barn during the day and then would turn them out when the sun started going down. Since sunset is now about 9pm, that meant a long day. By time I finished doing barn work after they went out and made the hour drive home, no writing was happening.

Saturday was so hot and humid. I think the high with the heat index was 108. I did not do much at all, except torture Roscoe by working on his bush.... otherwise known as his mane. He was wiggly, but eventually he stood still for longer periods. His neck at times was almost too relaxed making it hard use the blade. I worked down his mane evenly so one section did not end up shorter. After all the pushing up of his mane to get the long strands he looked like he touched a live socket. I still have more mane to take off and unfortunately, for me at least, it looks like Roscoe's light patch of fur will show once his mane is at the right length. Mom keeps telling me it is the "thumb print of God," but I am not thrilled.

Are you not done bothering me yet? It is time for my nap.

As the sun finally started to set, I decided to brave the temperature. It was only 98, ha ha. DaVinci and I headed out to the front field which has some nice small hills. I knew I would not work him long, so I made the most of the time using the hills to get pushing up and sitting going down. He was a bit distracted by the music coming from the high school down the road, but we managed. And that was the extent of my riding for the last week.

This week is starting much better even with all the fore casted rain. The temperature was only in the upper 70's and only a little humid. Even the horses were brighter without the oppressive heat. All of us, mom, my sister and I, decided we were going to ride. Once we chipped the horses out of the mud, we were off. I rode Rosemary bareback and worked on our bending. She still does not completely grasp the concept of moving off my inside leg, but she is getting better. Mostly we stayed at walk. She did well changing directions with cues from weight aids. Her motorcycle impression kicked in when she was paying more attention to where the other two horses were at instead of me. I found that if I lifted my hands up and over to the outside, keeping my hands even, she gave me the correct bend and took the weight off the inside shoulder. Once through a turn I lowered my hands and centered again. After a little while, I did not need to lift as high or move as far to the outside to get the bend. I really enjoy seeing how Rosemary learns. She makes me think about the movement and not just take it for granted.

Now let's hope the rest of the week will allow riding. Comrade has had way too long a vacation.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mysteries abound

I  hope everyone has had a great 4th. We were able to see three different sets of fireworks from the barn and had a continuous light show as we drove home. The dogs were not so happy though, sounds too much like thunder.
Can we come in now? Winston was still hiding in the run in
The ponies have been trying to stay cool. To help we let the girls come in the barn. Normally we pony proof and don't have any issues. Today we pull up to the barn and see a wheelbarrow across the doorway and the rope is sagging. As we get out of the car I hear Rosemary call. Funny it sounded like her neigh when she is in her stall and everyone else is outside.
Mom and I were confused. Yesterday my sister and I did a fly by feeding before work since Mom did not feel good. I figured my sister must have used the wheelbarrow instead of closing the barn doors. Not wrong, just not what we do. But then we went in the barn and found Rosemary inside Roscoe's stall. Dottie was still loose, so why was Rosemary in a stall? There was no message saying she escaped or any reason why she was in there.

Then I went up to the hayloft to drop some bales and saw hay piled where there was not hay before. Cue the Light Bulb. The appie's owner had hay delivered and he had to make two trips. He is our hay guy too, so when he had extra in the cart he just put it in our loft for us. This explains why the doors were open and in retrospect why hay was all over the barn.
This made us wonder if he put Rosemary in the stall when he put the hay in the barn. Very unusual for him though.
Later in the day, I saw the appie's owner and she said when she came yesterday Rosemary was leaning over the rope across the door. Since she knows we do not normally leave the doors that wide when the girls are loose, she went over to close the doors. One of the doors sticks and would not close for her so she put the wheelbarrow across the door. Things are finally making sense now.
This means that Rosemary was not put into the stall by the hay guy since she was loose when the appie's owner saw her. So how did the pony get into a stall with a stall guard across it?

That silly girl went UNDER the stall guard, then she could not get out. Mystery solved.

Life with horses is never boring.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stand Still and Sweat

That was the theme of this weekend. Of course just standing could not happen, so work hard and get drenched was also a theme.

We had a crazy storm on Friday night with insane winds. Power flickered at home, but stayed on which is more than most can say in the area. Driving to the barn the next day we noticed a few lights out. Luckily the barn had power, this equals water, the horses were all fine and there was only a branch down by the house and mom had to chase down her tomato cages.
The day was already getting hot and we had a farrier appointment. He showed up early so I did not have shoes pulled like I normally do. So I nabbed DaVinci pulled his 2 shoes and handed him off. Then I put Dottie in the cross ties and pulled her 4 shoes off. She cooperated as much as Dottie does on a good day. By that time after some chatting the farrier and I could switch horses. I filed, rounded and smoothed the toes, then clinched the nails. It is a system we have developed over the last few years which saves time and money for us. Dottie got new shoes and was not happy about the extra time it was taking. She was less cooperative by time I started finishing her feet, but at least she did not rip my pants like she did with the farrier. Even with a fan blowing, we were both sweaty. No dainty dewy look for me.
Once the appointment was finished, we settled all the horses with hay in their stalls. We decided to just go home and come back later to put them out. At home on the computer I found that Peggy's home took a big hit during the storm with trees coming down on fences and one stall flooding. Plus her trails were covered with debree and new downed trees. Hmm, maybe future jumps.

Sunday brought more hot weather and lucky me more hoof care. My barefoot guys were due and unless something comes up, I like to keep them on schedule. The girls were already in the barn since we give them access on warm days to stand under fans. Roscoe came in easy, but the grey boys decided to check out the girls sacrifice area. I was going to feed them first, but our wet beetpulp/alfalfa cube mix had an ice chunk that needed to thaw. The day was not getting any cooler, so Rosemary was up first. She was really good, standing and cooperating. The hard part was the sweat going in my eyes and causing my glasses to slip. I need glasses to see far away, but it is annoying to have a wobbly field of vision as I am filing. At least I am finally staying ahead of Rosemary's long hind toes.
After a break in front of the fan, I went to face Roscoe. We had to have our normal conversation about standing still in the cross ties and he had to check out my hoof stand. For 3 of his hooves, he is almost perfect, but just like his mother the 4th is always a pain to work on. The right front, he just can't seem to leave it in the cradle and tries to pull away. Rosemary does the same thing, I think even with the same foot. Who knows why? Anyway he was much better than last month. Considering that by this point it was near 100 degrees, I was thrilled with his behavior.
Well two down and one to go. Winston and DaVinci finally decided to come in and the beetpulp mix melted, so I put them out of there misery and fed them. I then took the poor starving Winston, HA HA, away from his hay to finish my trims. He does not grow as much as the Cobs, but he gets a few flares that I try to stay ahead of. Mostly he just needs a bit of rounding. He is probably the easiest horse that I trim though that could be that I have trimmed him the longest time.

So this weekend may have sweated a few of my extra pounds off, but not much else happened. And when I got home I found out that my work does not have power. Which means generators power the main retail floor and registers, but no AC anywhere and no power for my office or the upper floors. Ugh, that means I will have to figure out something to do without a computer. The audit I am working on was at the point of researching data which can't be done. Maybe I will go straight to reccounts.
Keep your fingers crossed that my work and all the many areas without power will regain service soon.
Stay cool and your animals too.