Monday, August 29, 2016

Super Surprise!

Don't get too excited. I believe I have established that little things make a big impression on me. Years ago Comrade decided to eat my tire cover on my trailer while waiting at a show. He also ate the breast bar. He is a bit destructive.  Anyway the tire cover bit the dust for good last year when we took it off when we had our tire issue on the road.
I have been looking for a new cover, but was not thrilled with the ones I found. Peggy decided to take matters in her own hand and ordered a white cover with black piping. Then she found a saying to put on the cover. That was awhile ago.
Well she came and said she had a better idea of a design to put on the cover: her farm sign. Peggy and Larry dubbed their farm Sixpence Farm back in 2000. This was a play on their last name and some of their roots. Peggy used the design found on the 1953 sixpence for the center.

The floral has the English Primrose (top), the Scottish Thistle (right), the Welsh Leek (left), and the Irish Clover (bottom) which represents the British Isles.

A bonus was that she was able to get it in a color that matches my trailer stripe. Plus my Mom has long wanted a decal to put on the trailer representing the farm. I am definitely keeping Comrade's chompers away from this cover. So here is my super surprise courtesy of Peggy:

Sunday, August 28, 2016

When You Have Two Horses, One Halter And A Two Lane Road

My Sunday started out at a later hour than normal. Little did I know that it would take even longer to get to the barn. The barn is about 45 minutes away from my house using a few back roads. Since I drive about 3 hours a day during my work week, I always have an audible book in the car to pass the time.
So about 15 minutes away from the barn on a two lane road, I was surprised to see two horses coming down the road towards me. This is a fairly busy road with a speed limit of 45, which means people travel up to 60. I have heard stories of horses being hit by cars on Virginia roads and did not want to see it today. Fortunately, my habit of tossing things in my car and not moving them to the house came in handy. I actually had a halter, though it was a bit green. I jumped out and went to the back of my car to get it. The horses were startled by cars passing and changed directions before I could walk up to them. I hopped back into the car and followed them. Soon they stopped again and I approached them. I could see one was a chestnut mare and the other was a paint gelding. I headed for the mare since she was the one leading the way. With only one halter, I wanted to use it wisely. The mare was great, letting me halter her easily. Then I had to find a lead line and grab my phone. Again my car yielded help in the form of a harness piece with a clip.
By this point a man stopped an offered to move my car out of the road. My dogs were in the car so I had him hold the mare while I moved my car. At least now I did not have to worry about them being hit by a distracted driver. Another couple drove down the long driveway we were by to ask the people if they knew where the horses were from. I hooked a dog leash on the mare so I would have a long lead and said bye to the helpfull man. Then I called Peggy who said she would come.
The two wanderers

The couple returned with news that the horses probably came from the house right across the road. Unfortunately, no one was home and there was a German Shepherd in the back yard. Yeah not going to play with an unknown dog. So me and the horses waited in the super sunny field. Peggy arrived and called the county animal control. The wait continued because this is a big county so the officier was not close by. Did I mention it was sunny? We put a call in to Larry to come get the dogs out of the heat. As we waited we watched the cars go by, thinking someone must know these horses. Our wait was rewarded about and hour after I caught the mare when a car slowed to let a girl jump out.
I asked her if the horses were her's and she said yes. She took the mare, Gypsy and said the paint, Ace, would follow. Well we decided to lead him since we had to go across the road. She said he was stubborn so good luck. I nearly laughed and said no surprise since he was a paint. I have not met one yet that is not the definition of stubborn.
This was the horses' first escape after 13 years possibly due to being turned out in a new field. The animal control officier took their name and contact info just in case it happens again.

We were all glad it ended well and fairly quickly. It could have been a really long day. My horses were not so happy with the delay and my excuse did not go over well. Ah, well at least Gypsy and Ace are where they belong.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Product Review: Dover Trailer Hitch Cover

Well I have just spent quality time trolling the Internet tack stores ordering supplements and a few extras. This takes me a ton of time since I go between multiple retailers checking prices and shipping rates. It is amazing how many times the product will be more expensive, but when shipping is added the total is cheaper than at another store where the price is lower.
Anyway one of my purchases was a replacement trailer hitch cover from Dover. I have had my trailer for eight years now and have used this hitch cover for at least six. Our first one was a Tent Sale find, but we were hooked. This cover is easy to use and fits great over the tongue of my trailer, protecting the hitch and electronics. Though I originally paid about $20 for the first and second, the current price is $29.99. Still not bad for about $10 bucks a year.

Dover's product page picture

The cover has a zipper for easy use and a strap to go under the tongue with a clip to secure it to the trailer. There are small vent holes by the hitch so it breathes. The nylon is durable and seems to last about three years. I love this cover and highly recommend it to any bumper pull trailer owners. Definitely a trailer must have!

And for those who like Riding Warehouse, I found that they have one similarly made for $25.95. I almost tried it, but decided to go with the one I knew worked for my trailer. So if anyone gets one let me know how you like it. The shape is slightly different and it does not have a zipper or vent holes (that I can see), but otherwise it looks like the same concept.

Monday, August 22, 2016

I Need a Groom!

We finally have a break in the heat which means I can get back to steady riding. What I really need is a groom who can hold one horse or warm up a horse while I ride another. I would be so much more productive. I tend to lose steam or get distracted by barn work in between rides. I can dream right?
So tonight I tacked both Comrade and Rosemary and brought them to the arena. Comrade was "tied" to the fence with his halter while I worked Rosemary. He was really good and went right to work when I switched. At one point we had to intercept Rosemary who was headed to the garden. I made her pony with Comrade for a bit before letting go back to eating the grass along the arena. They both got about 20 minutes and I felt better having worked more than one horse. Of course I really need that groom if I want to add Roscoe to the mix. 

Meanwhile my Mom is getting back into working with the horses by starting Roscoe with the pvc poles working toward the drag for driving. He is more sensitive and questions things "following" him more than Rosemary ever did during training. So he is taking a longer, slower training route. On Sunday he dragged both long poles without getting quick or spinning. I am just glad my Mom is getting involved again. She will keep this up until it is boring for him. Then she will connect the two poles to a chain to make the drag. 

And to add to the fun we have this in the works

Falling down

Yep, fence work. All the outer fencing that is 20+ years old is being replaced. The fence guys will start with the smallest area so that we have some place to put Roscoe. Then we can combine all the others if needed while they work the other areas. Hopefully this is completed before Peggy and I leave to visit the babies.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Funny: Salt Lick Art

We are still alive and have even managed some rides. But I am too tired from watching the Olympics and the heat to put together a post. So I give you Salt Lick Art created by the the Red Boys. They have been working on it for about a month. It is an ongoing project, so we will see how far they take it.
The Artists (Proof they do get worked):

Comrade, aka Salt Master Manipulator

Roscoe, aka Trusty Assistant
 And the Art (Warning this is created by boys and could be offensive to others):

Front view

Back View
Ha, ha Yep I posted the pictures :) :P They have worked hard on this.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Sticker Shock

When we moved to Peggy's, some things had to change due to the new location. This included getting a new vet and a new dentist. Last year the vet served both functions. I was a little unhappy that the only option was a power float requiring sedation, which is extra money. We dealt with it. This year we have since changed vets and used their dental service.

Well again we were stuck with the power float and sedation. Unfortunately the horses seemed really sore after the work. And the ones that were the most sore were not the ones with ulcers. I do believe you can do too much at one time. This vet used a head stand and everything.
So at the end Peggy and Mom waited for the totals. Peggy got her bill first for Comrade and about died. They charged $220 for one horse. Mom was amazed and worried what hers would be with five horses. It was $995. That was almost 3x what we paid last year. Insane. Not happening again. We may use the other vet for dental and this vet for everything else. Or we may just use an actual dentist and pay for the vet to sedate.

It kills me because a power float is supposed to be a more accurate, easier method especially since the horse is sedated, but you pay so much more for it. Plus I can't understand why the sedation is not included in the cost of the float since you have to have it. If your horse needs more than average, okay charge extra.

So much about owning a horse has increased in cost, but somehow we make it work. I hope I can start taking a lesson a month soon. It's tough since for the price of one, I used to take four. Ah well, I don't plan on giving up the horses, so time to tighten up the finances.