Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tough Choices

Back in January Stinker got his SI injected. The plan was to give him a six week break from riding and use the equiband to keep him in shape and working correctly. Unfortunately, shortly after my dad fell and broke his hip so I ended up trying to juggle helping with him, keeping my mother from having a total meltdown, and that little thing called a job. Stinker got put on the back burner. Then our weather turned to crap and I got slammed at work. When I was finally able to come up for air it had been four months since he had been in work.


Ever since the EPM he has had a hitch in his right hind. With careful hill work I was able to eliminate it. But with all the time off it came back. I’ve been struggling with what to do with him. He has terrible conformation which will probably result in early retirement but he is also a horse that loves to have a job. I’ve started him back with the equiband but I really needed to get him out on the hills. But since he is so chunky and out of shape and I’m trying to strengthen his back/butt I didn’t really think it was fair for me to start riding him right off the bat.


I got the bright idea of stealing Cowboy from my mom and have her ride Stinker. I wasn’t really sure how that would go because typically when he gets a new rider he gets really nervous and riding through that until he settles is super annoying. But she got on when he hadn’t been ridden since January and he was foot perfect for her. I am not sure I will be able to get him back from her but in the meantime he is climbing hills with her and I’m driving him with the equiband. I’ll see how he comes back and then make a decision about his future. In the meantime Cowboy is doing dressage with me.


I didn’t really think it mattered to Stinker if he had a job but he turned into a complete crank when I was doing nothing with him. Since I’ve had him back in work he has turned back into the affectionate playful horse I know. So long term he is going to have to have something to do even though f it is a slow wander around the park.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Barn Layout

I have always loved seeing how people have their places set up, so I thought I would share my set up. Our place is just under 5 acres (I believe it is 4.92 to be exact) and it was originally designed to have an HOA, but the market crashed and no HOA was set up. I suppose at some point in the future it could potentially be put into place, but that is highly unlikely plus it was always designed to be an equestrian area.

It makes me giggle that google maps labeled the barn as home

Our plot is a funky shape (the bare area in the picture), but the layout is perfect. In the top left corner is my dressage ring, it is the length of a full court and slightly wider. The barn is set up with three stalls that each have their own runs off of them. In the picture I have all of the gates open and latched against the fence. There are gates so the runs can open directly into the paddocks. In the right hand paddock there is a run in shed that is split into two stalls and on the north side there is a heated automatic waterer. I also keep a 100 gallon tank of water for them, since the horses prefer that to the automatic waterer.

The barn

One of the runs off of the stalls

The three sided run in shed

Automatic waterer on the north of the run in shed

Paddock with the shed

Ideally, I would like to put a second shed in the left hand paddock prior to getting another horse, but apparently that costs money or something. The paddock with the shed has sand around the shed and then transitions into the normal dirt around here. The left hand paddock is all dirt. As you can tell, we do not have grass. In order to have grass here you have to have irrigation, and that kind of land is very high dollar. So we feed hay year round and the horses have been doing extremely well on it. Stinker gets to have grass when I go to the fancy barn for lessons. If I am paying $15 to trailer in, he is going to eat that $15 in grass.

 

The barn is a metal barn with doors on the north and south ends and the stalls on the east side. The drainage is pretty good, but soon I am going to have to fill in a couple of low spots in the runs from where the wind has blown the sand away. The stalls are 12'x16" and have mats plus heated automatic waterers. The aisle is extra wide and you can easily drive into it. They actually pull the hay trucks in to unload the hay, which makes it super handy for them. Everything is light and airy for the hot months, but also can be closed up against the wind in the winter. On the lower left hand corner of the barn there is a wash pad with the same rubber pavers that are in the main aisle.

One of the stalls

Wash rack area
Across from the stalls there is the insulated tack room that has a heater, sink, and tankless water heater. And then the other two stall spots on the left hand side of the barn are used for hay storage. There is enough hay storage to feed three horses for a year based on what I have been feeding the two horses. I don't mind having the hay in the barn, because the horses are rarely in the barn plus we have a really good hay source.

Dark empty tack room
The layout is really functional and I have zero issues with it. The only two things I wish for are the second run in shed and that the wash rack had hot water to it. Neither of them are critical at this point and can be added relatively easily at a later date. One of my favorite things is if you go out our driveway and follow along the very right edge of the picture (equestrian easement) you can go directly out into the state park. From there you can cross the main road in two separate places to access the BLM. From the BLM I honestly don't know how many miles of trails you can access, but I know you can make at least a 50 mile loop. Plus the views are hard to beat.

In the state park

From the back yard

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Blogger Secret Santa: Pi Head! Edition

I love the blogger secret santa that Tracy does each year. I always have so much fun picking things out for people, but it is also fun to see what people do with my terrible instructions. This year Jen absolutely nailed it. Of course I was so excited that I didn't take pictures of things.


Stinker got a thinking cap aka Pi Head! I am a massive nerd and pi is actually my favorite number (which I don't think Jen actually knew) so this makes me giggle. Probably more than it should. She also included some amazing socks (no pictures of them because they are on my feet and dirty) and candy (that has been eaten already).