Thursday, August 30, 2018

Question

Did you all get emails from noreply+subscribe@blogger.com asking if you want to maintain your subscription to each of your blogs?  Are these legit emails? Is this the "fix" for us not getting notifications of comments?? I'm too chicken to click on the subscribe button in the emails so I wanted to see if anyone else has gotten them. Thanks in advance for any help!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Happy Memorial Day! - Ride 154


We went for a fun, short ride around the property today as our way of celebrating the holiday.  The ride was shorter than I intended at twenty-twenty five minutes because someone showed up and interrupted the ride.  I was irritated, but it was probably for the best since Chrome is so out of shape.


I was going to work on walk/trot transitions, but Chrome's right stifle gave out with every downward transition.  After the ride I looked at his hooves and his toe on that side is getting too long so it's time for me to rasp them again.  I'll do that before the next ride and see if it makes a difference.  It usually does.

Chrome gets excited about having neighbor horses across the street again.

After a ten plus walking warm up and a few failed walk/trot transitions I trotted him the entire length of the driveway.  On that downward transition his stifle didn't give out so I did it again and cantered him for a few strides.  After that his stifle never gave out again no matter what we did.  We trotted, cantered, backed up, turned circles, etc.  It's so weird how he seems to warm up out of it.  I just need to do his ground work again with backing, stepping over things, etc. to strengthen his stifles back up.  Time off just does not treat this horse well at all physically.  Mentally it's like we never took a day off.  He's such a good boy. 

Look at how fleabitten his cheeck is!

Other than the stifle issues, the one random fly and getting interrupted it was a good ride.

 Look how flexible my boy is!  his tail is touching the ground!!
Just ignore how filthy it is lol.
Well I guess..... the end!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Happy Birthday Chrome!!! - Ride 153

The dark spots on his shoulder is where his hair grew back in dark after he rubbed it out...
he actually doesn't have any open sweet itch sores on his shoulders this year so far.

Happy birthday Chrome!  Can you believe he's nine years old?  Where did the time go??  I spent a long time brushing him before these pictures, but I didn't bathe him until after our ride because he would have gotten sweaty and gross, making the bath pointless.  I rode for about thirty minutes, just casually around the yard.  Mostly walking with a little bit of trotting and cantering.  Please ignore my eq... I'm very out of practice.



LeeAnn standing on the fence cracked me up when I was looking at the pictures.  I was using a branch full of leaves to try to get Chrome's ears forward.  I was waving it around in my right hand and LeeAnn was standing on the fence watching longingly lol.  I wish I'd noticed her and I would have fed it to her after the pictures, but we were being attacked by buffalo gnats and I just wanted to run away.


He's going so gray!!


He would not stand square in any of these photos!  Grr! 


You'll notice he has a bonnet in some pictures and not others... he decided he didn't want to wear it and shook his head until it came off...


The neighbor across the street had removed his horses for a month or so.... and of course chose this day to turn them loose in the field again.... 

 His ears were touching the clouds!

 He was surprisingly calm even though they were galloping around right across the street.

 No clue why I was leaning forward so far... his enthusiasm caught me off guard lol.


 After the ride he got his bath.


Then I completely forgot to get pictures of him once he was clean!  Fail!!  Just trust me that he looked very handsome and white lol.  Sorry there aren't a whole lot of photos and that we didn't dress up fancy.  It was over ninety degrees and I was tired from lack of sleep.  I also shaved my goats and did a bunch of other chores.  I hope you enjoyed what few there are.  I'm still blown away that Chrome is nine.  It makes me sad that he's basically a pasture puff and that we never learned dressage or competitive trail riding together like I wanted to, but things outside of my control have prevented it.  Hopefully someday we can still do those things.  I'm choosing to focus on the positives instead.  Chrome is happy and healthy and I love him with all my heart and I get to see him everyday for hugs and scratches, so that's what is important.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter & April Fool's Day! Chrome Ride 152


I couldn't pass up the chance to ride today since it was the first time in sixty years that Easter and April Fool's Day landed on the same day (I do still have a goal to ride on every holiday hehe).  This is supposed to happen again in eleven years if I remember right, but why wait that long? 

Sorry I only got one picture, it was starting to rain so I just snapped a quick one and got on with my ride.  I rode bareback, only for fifteen minutes.  I wanted to see if he felt sore from the ride yesterday.  He started out a bit stiff, but worked out of it quickly (we only walked with two very short trots).  I worked on some backing up and I could hear and feel him dragging his right hind leg back instead of picking it up.  That makes sense because that's the side his stifle is weaker on.  I'll get back into his stifle exercises during the week when I feed since it only take a few minutes in hand to get him strengthened back up for riding.

He felt really good and was happy to mess around in the yard again. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and April Fool's Day!!!!!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Chrome Ride 151


Finally!  A weekend without rain! It was a gorgeous day and I was so excited to get back in the saddle.  Chrome seemed happy to be doing something different too.  I actually forgot to get his sugar cube until he started trying to grab the bit out of the air!  I completely forgot about the training we did with taking the bit.  So I ran inside, grabbed a piece of sugar and then held the bit up for him.  He took it without hesitation and I gave him his sugar.  So funny that he remembered and I didn't.


I spent a bunch of time grooming him.  There was snowy fur flying everywhere.  He is shedding like crazy.  He enjoyed the full grooming immensely.

 This is a view I missed!


It's funny because the days leading up to this weekend I was actually nervous.  It had been over a year since I had last been on Chrome and I was worried he would be stupid or I would just suck at riding or something.  Once I had him groomed, tacked and I got on I wasn't nervous at all!


We goofed around in the yard for thirty minutes.  I had him do several short trots and even a few canters, just to see if he could still do it and to see if his canter scared me again.  None of it did at all.  Even when he ducked his head and felt like he wanted to crowhop the first time.  I corrected him and he didn't try it again.  He was very eager to canter and we had fun.  I haven't felt that carefree cantering him probably ever.  It felt so effortless and easy.  His stifles gave out a couple of times and he was doing the whole slow walk away from the house and fast walk toward it, but overall he was great.  We also worked on some backing and learning how to yield his hindquarters from the saddle without a ground cue (needs work lol).

He sweated a little, but never even got his heart rate up.  I was worried I could hurt him even though that makes no sense.  I was relieved to see him galloping around and bucking in the pasture when I turned him loose later (I trimmed and soaked his hooves after the ride).  He was so wound up and obviously felt good.

He was a total butt during his hoof soaks (but fine during the trim that we did beforehand) and I think it's because hubby left and he couldn't see where he was, but he could hear him feeding the goats.  He was such a brat that I didn't feed him when I put him back in the pasture.  I can't stand when horses act up in anticipation of food.  It put a damper on my mood after such a fabulous ride, but I'm not going to let it get to me.  He was just feeling good and being a turd.

It was a wonderful ride to get back into things and I can't wait to ride again.  Also I really want to thank you all for your comments on my last post. I don't know why weekend warriors have such a negative association in my area, but you're all right.  If I'm smart about it and take things slow, he will be totally fine.  So thank you all so much.  Also thank you for sticking around.  I know I've been very absent.  I appreciate my loyal friends.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Weekend Warrior?

Hey guys! 

I wanted to give you an update on the hay net and ask you a question (if anyone even still reads my blog since I'm so absent).  The hay net is doing great.  I can't tell for sure if it's actually slowing them down at all, but it definitely helps with boredom and prevents a lot of waste.  Rocky also seems to chase Chrome off less because he's distracted with pulling hay through the net instead of being a brat.

Now, my question.  What do you guys think of weekend warriors?  Growing up I was always told it's really bad to only ride your horses on the weekends.  Of course the people they were talking about were people that would take horses who've sat all week in the pasture and then ride them ten miles with no prior conditioning, so that is definitely bad and I know that.

What I need to know is if it's done right (start with short rides, gradually build distance and duration, proper warm ups and cool downs, etc.) is it still a bad idea?  Is it even possible to build a horse's fitness level if you only ride once or twice on the weekends?  I have to always keep his locking stifles in mind and I'm terrified of having another tendon injury (although I have no idea what caused the previous one.... probably him being overweight, but his weight is really good now that we have the hay net).  I can't longe him because circles are bad for his stifles and our ground is really messed up right now from all the rain and flooding.

The reason I'm asking is because I work anywhere from 7:30-8:00am to 6:00-7:00pm every weekday.  I have to do chores after work, then take a shower and eat supper.  By then it's late.  We rarely get inside or eat supper before 8pm.  I also have to keep a very strict sleeping schedule or I have insomnia, so I can't just stay up late a couple of nights a week.  I barely fit in all of the chores I need to do after work, so fitting in a ride is almost impossible.  Now that the time has changed, if the weather is decent, I could probably just throw on a  helmet and a bridle and toodle around the house for fifteen minutes but really it seems pointless because we can't really do anything productive and walking circles in the yard by myself gets really boring, especially in the dark.

So what are your thoughts?  I was looking back through my blog and realized it's been over a year since I've ridden my horse.  I've only ridden him 16 times in the last two years since I started working at this extremely stressful, fast paced, mentally exhausting job.  I have time to ride on the weekends (when the weather is okay), but I keep talking myself out of it because I don't want to be a weekend warrior. 

So if you work full time and/or a lot of overtime, do you ride only on the weekends?  Is being a weekend warrior as bad as a lot of people make it sound?  I miss riding and I know Chrome needs the exercise for his stifles, but I'm terrified of hurting him. 

I'll stop rambling.  Please share your thoughts!  I would really appreciate any advice.  Also because I know someone will mention it, having someone half lease him or come over to exercise him when I'm at work is not an option.  Thanks in advance!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Round Bale Slow Feed Hay Net


The slow feed hay net finally arrived!!  It's only been a few days, but so far I think this thing is going to be worth the money.  The horses figured out how to use it in a single night.  I was very impressed.  When they eat from it, it really is just like grazing.  Here is a short video showing them eating from it.  Sorry for the horrid quality... stupid cell phones...


Here are some more pictures.


This next one looks like my hubby has a horse head lol.


He was tightening the net because I wasn't able to tie it completely closed when we first put it on (I'm a wimp).  It's going to be so much easier to put on when the tractor is fixed and we can put it on while it's in the air.


The reason Rocky has so much hay in his mouth in the second picture is because hubby pulled some out and gave it to him.


Here is a further out picture so you can see the net.  It looks like they've eaten a ton of hay in a short period of time, but it's just because they pulled on it so it fell down on the sides making it look wide and flat.  I'm curious to see how long a bale lasts with the net.


Look at how filthy my horse still is.  I'm glad for the rain because we've been in a bit of a drought (we were under a burn ban) but I'm so tired of the mud....

Anyway I'll update more after we've fed a bale or two out of it.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Gross Gray!!


It rained so now I get to enjoy the disgusting side of having a gray horse hehe.  When you see his right side he doesn't look that bad.... all things considered.... then he turned around.....

Ew! Just ew!

He's still so cute though lol.  He actually looks really good when not fat....


 Just had to share my gross boy.  I hope you all are having a great weekend!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Rocky and Led Zeppelin


I just wanted to share a few pictures of Rocky and Zep too, so you guys don't think they are ignored.


Rocky giving his classic side eye while I photograph his icky coat.  They sure love winter mud lol.

 Zeppy is so cute.


He's still as feral as ever.  I'm beginning to think the only way I'll be able to tame him is if I trap him in a stall.... maybe when we finish building the barn I can try it.  I just don't 100% trust him because he has kicked and threatened to bite before.  Hopefully if trucks and tractors will stop breaking and if animals will stop needing vets maybe I can get him gelded finally.  That should help.  I know someone who had a twenty something year old jack that they gelded and it completely changed his personality, even though he had been breeding for years.  Zep has never been bred so maybe the change will be even more drastic.  We shall see. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Two Horse Tack - Buckle Nose Halter Review

Doesn't look bad for four days post colic...

I have two things to say before we get started in this post. First I'm sorry my horse is filthy and for the low light crappy cell phone pictures.  I'll get better pictures eventually (if it stops raining).  Second, I LOVE this halter!!  I have one other halter from Two Horse Tack (see post here http://rdxhorses.blogspot.com/2015/05/two-horse-tack-new-halter.html), but it turned into Rocky's halter, so I'm so excited to have another one for Chrome in blue!!

I was contacted by Two Horse Tack (click here for their website) asking if I wanted to test out and review their buckle nose halter (click here for the direct link to this halter).  Of course I said yes because I love the other halter so much.  In case there are people who haven't heard of Two Horse Tack I'll explain a little about their products.  They use beta biothane which is an alternative to leather.  It's stronger, more durable, easier to clean and more comfortable than leather or nylon and it doesn't fade or crack.  You can read more about it here (click here for link). In my experience all of their claims are true.  I honestly will probably never go back to leather.  I'm not going to get rid of the leather and nylon halters I have now, but if they need replaced I'll likely go with biothane tack from here on out. 

Now on to pictures and more specific information on this particular halter.

 Eating clover in January, just days after a snow, gotta love the South!

I LOVE how adjustable this halter is!  It has the buckle on the nose obviously, but it also has the throatlatch clip and buckles on both sides of the crownpiece. It is the most adjustable halter I've ever used.  I was pleasantly surprised that it has the throatlatch clip because that is a required feature in all of my halters.  I love it.  I also love the double clips on the crown because it makes it so much easier to fit it to the horse.  I've never used a nose buckle halter before (with the buckle on top), but I can tell I'm going to be a fan.  It makes bridling so much easier because you just unbuckle the nose and let it drop, then put the bridle on and the horse is never loose.  You don't have to unbuckle the halter, drop it off the nose and buckle it around the neck again.  It makes me wish I had cross ties because this would make it so much simpler to tack up in cross ties.


You can see how many ways there are to adjust it in this picture. My other halter (blog post linked at the beginning of this post) has an adjustable nose, but the buckle is on the underside which I love for making it fit Chrome's smaller nose, but it is still awkward for bridling.  I definitely think I'm going to prefer the nose buckle being on top.  I can't wait to try it out some more.  I'll update again when I have better pictures.

 Munching on his beet pulp.

I didn't know exactly what I was getting, so I was a little surprised how narrow the straps are, but I think they look really good on Chrome!  It looks less clunky than the other one and doesn't drown his face.  I really like it!  Obviously you have a choice on which size to get, so if you don't like narrow they have the thicker straps too.  I love how many options they provide.

 He found the hay bale in the truck hehe.


Chrome should totally be a model!  I'll definitely have to get better pictures on a less dreary day.


I had to share this picture.... classic example of why you have to pay attention to the background when taking pictures... it looks like he's eating Coral's head!


Here is an example of the nose piece unbuckled.  It can easily be slid back on the neck and then you are free to put the bridle on with no interference.  I love that!  Anyway I'll update again when I have better pictures.  If you've been on the fence about getting something from Two Horse Tack I vote go for it.  I'm a huge fan of the biothane and I've always had good experiences with them and they've always shipped very fast (keep in mind if you order something custom it's going to take longer to ship than something like this that they already had on hand).  Feel free to share your experiences below.