Friday, November 28, 2014

Bacardi Has A Fieldtrip

What is this, TWO posts in one day?

I don't think this has ever happened, for me, in the history of blog, so can we please just take a moment..

OK! Today was adventurous. In many positive, and some kind of negative ways.

Bacardi went on a fieldtrip, as we have gathered form the title. He was a mostly good baby OTTB and it was a mostly positive experience.

I say mostly because we had....some learning experiences.

Yesterday we worked on getting in the trailer. After 2 hours, we came to an understanding and he got 2 feet on. That was HUGE. I was determined to get somewhere with him in a non aggressive way. It took 2 hours of insane patience, but we got there. And I think deepened our bond a bit too.

This weekend my boarder and I planned to move the babes to an indoor arena about 10 minutes from our farm. She's letting us pasture board for the weekend and utilize her MASSIVE indoor for an insanely cheap price. So happy I could die.

The biggest road block was getting there.

This AM though I was confident he would load and he did! After about 15 min he loaded all the way on and was just OK. He was a little scared, but trusted me enough to remain calm. Something bad must've happened to him in a trailer...feel bad for B. Lilly loaded right up, surprisingly, and we were on the way.

Just want to give myself a huge high five for stupidly loading two flighty beasts on a trailer by myself and not injuring any of us. That was dumb...but successful. Go me. I would say I'll never do that again, but I seem to be shorthanded on barn bitches, so it will definitely happen again.

Getting OFF the trailer was another story.

Not only is he afraid to get on, he is also terrified to get off. The other 2 times we've trailered I've attached the lunge line and then stood waaaaaay out of the way behind him, opened the divider up as wide as it would go and he would just turn himself around and come out front first. Always went well.

Yeah he wasn't having that today. Took him about ten minutes to muster up the courage to get leave, and when he did he slipped on poop on the way out and fell on his bum.

 Excellent. Really great in building confidence. Face fucking palm.

Luckily just a few scrapes, no blood...but he was a bit rattled so I left him for a few hours with hay and decided to come back later to ride.

He was truly excellent for our ride, even with all the buzz and a new place. He was a little tense at first but relaxed into stretchy walk and trot within 5 minutes. A little stiff in the canter, assuming from his little fall, so I just worked him at the trot-which was more than enough!

It was so delicious to ride on solid footing for once. It been 6 months since I've even seen an arena and it was heaven. I almost died of happiness. Like, I think my heart stopped for a second or two when I walked into the arena.

Here's some super grainy, really terrible, self taken video screenshots.

Ugh, he's so awesome
Schooled transitions, halts, being round and through, serpentines and 10, 15 & 20m circles. It was a dream. Bacardi didnt even lose his shit being alone. That horse is a true eventer. He pours his heart into every workout. He was never distracted, not one time while his feet were moving. Phenomenal. Claps for B.

After about 45 minutes the workers showed up and began bringing horses in & he started to lose grip on his sanity a bit. I figured that was a good time to stop, and we called it a day.

For a baby, he's shown up to the party every time. Yeah, hes a bit spastic and has his issues. But for everything he's been through in the last 2 weeks with Yankee leaving, and even getting IN the trailer, I couldn't be more proud.

Little B is going place someday, I can feel it!

How stinkin cute are these nuggets
Tucked him in with his barnmate for the night and left him to mull over the days activities. If horses even do that. Can't wait to go back. Hopefully we can get actual pictures and more fun updates for tomorrow!

The American Way

So Thanksgiving has passed and we are hardcore into the holiday season. Christmas dec's are going up, holiday music is on the radio and Black Friday madness is upon us. We've even already had our first snow!

In true American fashion, you know, wanting for things we dont need to survive/function but still lusting after anyways because Americans, I am now silently wishing for Santa to bring me a few things this Christmas.

 I love Christmas; I enjoy giving gifts to my friends and family, I love spending time with said friends and family and I love eating! The holidays just make me a happy person!

As an equestrian it is really hard to come up with an answer to "What do you want for Christmas this year?" Well obviously everything. But I cant exactly expect anyone but myself to drop hundreds of dollars on a gift for me. I wish I could ask for the things I can't afford, but really, its not about the gifts-its the thought people put into it! I try to keep that in mind during the season.

That being said.

I have 3 lists. Not because I'm greedy, but because I am a realist and practical...but still also wanty.

List 1: Things I Want & Cant Afford and Other People Cant Afford Either Without a Second Mortgage
List 2: Things I Want But Shouldnt Get Because...
List 3: Things I NEED But Don't Want

Let us please swoon over the first item on my firs unrealistic list at a cool $2900, used, ...Voltaire saddles

The Lexington

The Elkton
Can we please just take a moment of silence to appreciate the sexiness and practicality of these saddles.

I of course don't want BOTH because that would be excessive. But I cant decide which one I would love to own. I have a stupid long leg and have been riding in saddles that literally fit no part of me since forever. I've always fit for the horse first and dealt with the saddle.

Exhibit A:

Long legs do not fit Burney
Exhibit B:

Long legs do not fit Crosby either & actually put me in a terrible position

Both of the Voltaire saddles are known to fit high withered TB's and stupid legs people like myself. I cant imagine how much better I might ride in a saddle that ACTUALLY fits me & is literally made for XC and jumping. And pretty. Cant handle it. Now if I only had a spare $3000+ laying around....

Second item I am currently obsessing over would be the FreeJump stirrups.

These are seriously divine and would look smashing on my future Voltaire saddle, blue please. Or red. Or silver. At about $280-$440 +shipping depending on where you aquire them.  Thats not terrible in contrast to other expensive items...but I don't think I would ever have the balls to ask for fucking stirrups that cost almost $300 for my birthday or christmas. Because they're stirrups. I put my stinky boots in them. I literally only want them because they look sick...and might have some practical usage. I can see how this would improve grip and possibly position. They are also composite which are all the rage. Also, the outside edge is a flexible material allowing for foot to slip out in a fall. Yay safety!

If you're feeling super wealthy you can buy the stirrup leathers that were made specifically for them at another like $100, but plain leathers would work. I just want them okay?

Getting a hold of them is another story! Theyre sold out on the FreeJump website, along with almost everything else they sell.. But I did find them at another online store after some google searching.

Last item I want but know I can never have would be Parlanti Custom Made Tall Boots

Because fucking Parlanti.

No but really, these are beyond gorgeous and I also have never had a pair of tall boots fit my freakish body. I have stupid long legs, as we established before, coupled with man calves from hell. For reference, they are 19 1/3 inches around.... that is extremely uncommon in size 9 measurements. AKA, not offered. I have NEVER had boots that actually reach my knee like theyre supposed to and I've always had to customize them after I buy them anyways with darts or extensions put in the calves.

Exhibit A:

Bout 5 inches too short.
Another prime example of how my saddle doesnt fit me either!
To FINALLY have a pair of boots that are not only gorgeous, but would last forever if I took care of them and actually FIT my body would be a dream come true. Plus you can put an American flag at the freaking cool is that!

Cool enough for about $1042

*GASP* Maybe one day along with the Voltaire....

A tack whore can dream right?

As for List 2, it includes a few things I'm a little wanty about but arent exactly NEED needs. Like a jumping bit for B since I shipped out the one Yankee and B were sharing with Yanks. And it would be excellent if someone could pay to register B with USEA, I've been putting it off. While I think about it, I need to renew my USEA membership for 2015. One day it'd be cool to fork over the $1000 and register for life. I could really use a few more pairs of breeches since all of mine have holes in them, and some riding gloves for the same reason. I also keep forgetting that my XC vest was stolen and I kind of need one to compete. That being said, I've also fallen wearing my beloved Charles Owen helmet about 4 times, and REALLY need to replace it....

Which bring me to the dreaded List 3. The responsible adult list. The one I actually NEED to take care of. But dont want to because shiny horse things that I also kind of need but dont really to function as an adult in real life.

I've pushed a lot of things by the wayside in lieu of horsey bills. They do eat a lot.

I've had a seriously cracked windshield for almost a year now and haven't bit the bullet to fully replace it. I'm sure I will owe taxes this year too like I did last year. I have a huge routine vet bill to pay. I need to get new license plates and a license since I moved states and my tags expired last month. I need to activate my dogs microchip. Medical bills. The adult responsibility list goes on and on....

The strugg is real during the holiday season!

Is there anything that you're truly lusting after for this season?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What Do Wednesday

Another round of What Do is here!
First off, is it seriously almost Thanksgiving? Did another week really fly by? Did I really ride 0 times since the last post?
Also, B thanks everyone for siding with him on his clip job. He thinks he's too hot to trot.
Here's a picture of my mud monster since I did nothing else this week.

For this round, I am wondering what you all do for bedding. I know this sounds lame, but for anyone with horses at home, like me, you know it its the largest PTA.
Even if you don't have horses at home, I want to know what your barn does! Because I am an idea thief. So tell me your secrets.
I've battled with what to do for bedding almost my entire horsey life...approx 16 years.
There are 7 things I take into account when I look at bedding:
1) cost 2) durability 3) actual usefulness (this should have a coefficient of 2) 4) ease of cleaning 5) storage 6) availability
As new owners way back in the day, we naively bought bagged shavings.
WORST EVER. I hate shavings from a bag. Hate hate hate. Expensive as all hell @ $6/bag with a min. of 5 per stall. It also only looks pretty for a day. Absolutely useless in terms of soaking ability and cushioning power. Also sticks to everything, Impossible to muck & literally becomes part of blankets and tail hair. The only plus I give it is its storage superpowers. Can be stored outside or inside and stackable. Literally you can get this Satanic shit everywhere. TSC, Rural King, Walmarts, Pet Stores and other grain Stores. 2/6.
Then we started buying from the sawmill.
Which, hands down, is THE BEST. Not only is it cheap ($30 a trailer load), but it stays clean longer, absorbs more, doesn't stick to poop nuggets, easy to muck, provides adequate stall coverage/cushiness and brushes out of coats easily. Also downside is finding a place to store it. If you do not have an indoor area, storing it outside is miserable. More than 25% I would say gets thrown in the wind, literally, and gets ruined by moisture. Also freezes in the winter making it impossible to use. I do prefer this bedding though for summertime. Some people have issues with availability and finding random shit in the sawdust...but I've been lucky. 5/6
Other things I've dabbled with is the bagged pellet bedding.
 Its very expensive for one. About $7/bag. It takes many many bags for one stall. I would say 4 wetted down and 2 dry, for a total of 6-7. The GOOD news is that this bedding last FOREVER, especially if you use 2 dry bags.
It absorbs like WHOA and one of the pluses is you can LEAVE the wet spots and stir it up. It reabsorbs into the dry bedding! You do have to wet the other 4 bags down, to get the bedding to plump up, which is a PTA. Overall though I love this stuff on limited use or used in tandem with sawdust. Brushes out easy, doesn't stick and is SO easy to clean. Storing it outside can be tricky- if their are holes in the bag the bedding will expand and get ruined before you use it! Best to store inside, but since its bagged, stackable! Also, it seems to be widely available at TSC, Rural Kings and other grain stores in the area. I would give this 4/6.
Lastly, I've recently discovered the holy grail of bedding when I can't use sawmill bedding.... Ground corn cobs.
Seriously. THE BEST EVER. Might be better than sawdust. $3/bag. Takes about 4 bags per stall, more if you want. Absorption level: MAXIMUM. You can also stir this bedding up like the pellets.
When it comes to cushion it is very "bouncy". My horses LOVE it. When it comes to cleaning, it is a BREEZE. Nuggets sift right out and you stir up the wet spots. It lasts ages and you only need to add a bag every so often and remove the super soaked spots after about a week. Store inside or out and stackable! Super duper light bags too. It sticks to blankets but brushes right off. Only downside: Bacardi sometimes munches on it. I don't know how available it is nationwide, but I get them at Rural Kings as they are not avail at TSC. 6/6 in my book! 5/6 for everyone else if you don't have Rural Kings.
So, dear tell, what do?!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Stuff & Things

Since the last traumatic ride, I gave B a week off to chill. He also lost his best friend, so I gave him time to cope.

He handled it rather flawlessly considering the Winter Wackies. I can't tell if he just doesnt give any fucks, or he's depressed about it, but he's been surprisingly chill. His QH friend was gone for the entire weekend too, and he literally did not care. He might be defective after all.

It warmed up to a balmy 60* and I begrudgingly purchased a new set of clipper blades (UGH Y U SO EPENSIVE), so I was finally able to attempt to finish clipping the B.

He's not exactly the best little horsie when it comes to clipping. I've been super spoiled by Yankee who would fall asleep while being clipped. It certainly was nice.

B is rather...flinch-y.

Like, more than normal ticklish. I'm guessing hes also only been clipped once, judging by the fear in his eyes. All that considered, he was relatively OK for his second round. I learned he will NOT tolerate his asscheeks being touched, and HATES his neck being clipped. Surprisingly the elbow area was easy, but he did not care for the belly being touched or his flanks. Which pretty much leaves his rump and ribcage. HAH.

Drum roll please.....
like...what is this

srsly what are this
So that happened. Its rather...unique. He literally refused to let me shave his belly or the stripes you see, so he now has a rad, very interesting body clip. I see a new trend starting...maybe?

Most likely not, but I'm pretending that it was on purpose and I'm just gonna roll with it.

The more I look at it though the more it hurts me, so I might twitch the poor lad and shave those stripes off to even him up a bit. He really looks ridiculous.

The side pictured is the prettier one. He had about had enough by the time I got to the other side, even with The Boy force feeding him cookies to distract him. He was twitchin so badly my blades were skippin. He has some lovely crooked lines and track marks on the other side and he's not exactly even either...

Oh the joys of baby horses.

His other adventures this week include rolling in mud and working on some tricks.

He's ridiculously smart when it comes to clicker training (which I've been using for trailer training) & I taught him a few basic tricks in two 15 min sessions.

We've been working on leg holds, with all four paws. Target with nose. "Follow-me", he follows me forward and back. See my instagram for the video! Its pretty neat. Also, he learned the beginning of a bow.
Note the very fashionable barn wear I've spoken of in previous posts

Eventually I think it would be insane if I could could get him to Spanish walk, bow fully, stand on a podium, kiss, count and smile. I think that's what we shall work on this winter in addition to his regular training.

He's so eager to learn and as soon as he sees the whip and clicker hes like GOD YES FEED ME TREATS I WILL DO ALL THE TRICKS.

Its been fun.