Monday 31 December 2018

One Day I'll Ride

I promise that I'll have a post where I actually ride my horse one day soon. I had great plans for this week. Unfortunately, weather has been a bit of a hindrance.

A week ago Friday I dashed out to the barn after work to bundle the horses up in warmer blankets as the temperature was taking a plunge the next day. My drive home from work was fine. The promised winds picked up while I was getting changed. When I turned onto the secondary highway on my way to the barn, the wind was blowing the snow straight across the road from the open fields, and visibility sucked. It sucked so bad that there were 8 vehicles in the ditch on the 8km stretch of highway - three tractor trailers, one truck and trailer, and four cars. When I arrived at the barn, I was far more concerned about the snow that was piling up on the road to the barn, so I just dashed in, dragged each horse inside to swap their blanket, and chucked them back out again. Note that they were both perfectly happy standing outside in the snow and wind and probably could have cared less about the fact that I faced danger to make sure that they were toasty.
Santa came early!

Then I had three days off over Christmas. I totally vegged the first day - I think it was the first day in almost two months that I nowhere I had to be and nothing I had to do.

I got out to the barn on Christmas Eve to stuff the ponies with their stocking treats: candy corn, mints, teddy grahams and ginger snaps. Santa did good on picking the treats this year, unlike last years selections of fruits.
Moar candy corn!!

Both horses also got a chance to go for a spin in the arena, which they both needed. Especially Phantom, who set off in a lovely canter, and then three strides later tucked her butt under her and turned on the turbo boosters. I had to stop her earlier than she would have liked because I'm worried she'll tie up again - there was still lots of energy in there.
I was a terrible horse mom and didn't notice Phantom's fat leg from an itty bitty cut when I put on her bell boots before playing in the arena. I guess the fat leg explains the lameness she started out with. (The line you see is dripped blood. The actual poke is higher up and wee, though she acted like her leg was broken when I touched it.)

Christmas Day was a wash since I had to do the family thing. So boring.
Christmas Eve dinner was lobster claws, baked potato and Red Lobster biscuits.

I had great plans to ride on Wednesday after work. The weather forecasters got the forecast wrong - it was -17 C on my way home from work, and since it's always a few degrees colder at the barn, my car read -22 C out there. Far too cold to ride. I just fed them and checked on Phantom's fat leg from Monday (which was better and of no concern).
So much fluff.

The weather was supposed to be better this weekend, but again, the forecasters were wrong. We got way more snow than we were supposed to on Saturday, so roads sucked. It didn't warm up at all on Sunday, and it was windy -  it actually cooled off through the day, so the afternoon was -16 C with a windchill of -25 C. That's Netflix weather.
New barn kittens!

And now the weather is supposed to do the crazy prairie swing with a forecast of +2 for Tuesday. That's a swing of 22 degrees Celsius over a 36 hour period (for you US peeps, that the equivalent of going from -4 to 32 above). I actually have Tuesday and Wednesday off, so I really hope the forecasters are right this time! It might actually be tail washing weather.

I have no plans for New Year's Eve (except eating the rest of the lobster) so I'm hoping to get out this evening to let them loose again so that I can ride both of them on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fingers crossed that the forecast doesn't change!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope everyone has a great day with friends or family and lots of great food!
Wondering where Santa was keeping the pony I wanted.

And to my Secret Santa from the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange - I picked my parcel up at the post office this morning! Santa delivered right on time! I'm putting it under the tree to open on the big day since there usually isn't too much with my name on it under there.

Friday 21 December 2018

Empty Stockings

The stockings were hung on the tack box with care, in the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

Thursday 20 December 2018

I Rode!

I finally got back on the horse!

Work is starting to wind down - the end is finally in sight. Like this weekend in sight. Wednesday was my day off, I had nothing planned (except for a 90 minute massage in the afternoon), and I have been getting 8ish hours of sleep most nights, so everything aligned to allow me to hop on Phantom in the morning.

It was a terribly not exciting ride. Not a bad thing when she hasn't been ridden in 7 weeks! Especially when there was another horse in the arena who was on her second ride of rehab and kept throwing in some extravagant airs above the ground. Just made me really appreciate my happy to walk on a loose rein horse.
My favourite sight.

Since Phantom has known respiratory issues and a history of tying up in the winter months, I always start her back really slowly. I generally use some type of interval training program like I've done in the past when doing suspensory rehab on my old gelding. We're starting pretty well at the beginning - 1 minute of trotting, 2 minutes of walking, repeated 5 times. My Garmin running watch is great for this stuff.
Interval training makes for a very satisfying symmetrical graph.

She didn't feel as stiff as I thought she might. And after the initial trot, there was definitely some extra pep in her step. She was looking for an excuse to get silly but was a very good girl and kept herself contained.

I felt only mildly loose and floppy. I can't tell if I'm sore in the evening due to riding or because of the whole body massage I had after I rode. Since I hurt everywhere, I'm thinking it's because of the massage.

The weather changes for the worst this weekend so I might have to bundle myself up to get back in the saddle next week.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Spending Freeze Starts Now

I admit it. I'm weak. I have a hard time passing up a good deal. Thus the pre-Christmas shopping season always takes me for a ride.

But I'm done now. No more.

I've unsubscribed to a bunch of emails so that I won't be tempted. As soon as Christmas is over and the 12 days of Christmas contests on Facebook are over (one day I'll win something good) I'm unsubscribing to those pages too.

I just need a way to get my computer to filter Amazon so that it only shows me household things I might actually need, like toilet paper and laundry detergent.

I actually needed most of the things I bought this fall. Cisco did need a new, shorter girth - his regular girth is up pretty high with only a couple of holes left. And it does need to be the forward girth groove type of girth. Thus the Total Saddle Fit Stretchtec girth.
Cisco modelling his new Rambo shipping boots.

The Gel-Eze leg wraps are going to be used as a non-slip underpad for both horses - it made a huge difference on Cisco so I'm hoping it will work the same way on Phantom, who likes to throw me to the right at a canter, and I totally like to oblige her.

I'm still waiting for Phantom's chaste tree berries - this apparently is a necessity to her, as evidenced by last winter's tying up episodes when I skimped out and didn't put her on it at the start of the year. I'll start her on it as soon as it arrives, which will hopefully be this week.

I totally succumbed to an email from netequestrian. I bought a pair of Kerrits winter full-seat breeches, which I've been eyeing for quite a while, but hadn't bought yet. I have a couple pairs of knee-patch versions, but knee-patches are so slippery when you are used to riding in full-seats! So I'll save those ones for the colder days when I'll throw my full chaps over them.
They are cob sized - the right height, but I wish they overlapped at the front. Not sure if they don't because they're a bit stiff, and if it will go away once they break in. I can always throw on a set of bell boots if I feel I need to. 

I did not need the Rambo shipping boots. I bought a set of Amigo ones last year from the same place. But who wouldn't want Rambo instead of Amigo? The Rambo's were $37 USD, and I should be able to sell the Amigo's for about the same price that I paid for them last year since they've never been worn. I think they were only a couple of dollars cheaper than the Rambo's when I bought them.

I'm still waiting on a bungee trailer tie that I can use to tie Cisco up since he's discovered that he can untie lead shanks. He hasn't figured out how to set back and release a quick release clip yet, so I'm hoping that this will work. Plus it's fun to watch him see how far he can stretch the bungee.
The lining is so pretty!

I didn't really need the new Flip Belt that I ordered this morning. I already have one in aqua. I really like to wear them when I'm riding to keep my phone on me, or when I'm wearing breeches that don't have back pockets. The teal one gets dirty really fast. When I take it home to wash I keep forgetting to bring it back out with me. So I've been looking for a deal on a second one. Unfortunately, the deals have only been happening on the fluorescent green or pink colours - I just couldn't do that. Today a purple one that I've been watching dropped to $26 instead of the regular price of $40 on Amazon. So it's on it's way to me.

I also bought an Instant Pot this fall - and it's amazing. It could be considered a horse expense - when I get home from the barn at 10 pm and haven't made supper yet I can make something faster and avoid picking up fast food on my way home.  I'm also getting better at freezing some of the rather large dishes that I've made so far to be able to pull some leftovers out of the freezer when I'm in a pinch. There have been some accessories to buy (again, off Amazon) but so far I'm super happy with it.
Taco pasta might be my new comfort food.

So that's it. I'm done.

I have a few planned expenses for this winter/spring - Phantom needs her hocks done, Cisco might need his teeth done, I'm looking to buy a Wow saddle. Once I get some free time in January I'm determined to hit up my garage and figure out what I can sell. I really hate selling things online, as people are idiots. However, I don't want to pay the consignment fee at the local store. I'll probably take a table at the spring used tack sale, but that's not until March. 

Please feel free to harass and publicly berate me should I fall off the wagon and talk about something I bought that isn't a necessity!

Friday 14 December 2018


So this arrived yesterday.

 My certificates and confirmation for my NCCP Instructor certification!

Thursday 13 December 2018

Rules of the Road

I had to go out to the barn on Sunday evening to swap blankets on the ponies since the weather was supposed to go back up on Monday. Not crazy up, mind you, but like a whole degree above freezing. Which meant that it rained for three hours on Monday, but that's another story.

I was exhausted and didn't want to be out there for long, but also wanted to spend some time with the kids. So I thought I would put them in the arena together to play. I've done it before without incident, although it's been a while, so I prayed that it wouldn't be a decision that I would regret and result in me going out every day to ice a leg.
Just two wild and crazy ponies.

Phantom and Cisco very much have a big sister/little brother relationship. Cisco looks to Phantom for comfort when he's worried, and Phantom puts up with him wanting to stand in her bubble until he's gone a bit too far, then she'll nicely put him in his place.

When loose in the arena, Phantom likes to use the whole arena. Cisco likes to stay down at the safe end.

When I started to chase them, Phantom took off at a trot to the scary end. Cisco followed directly behind her - his nose couldn't get much more up her butt. In the beginning, Phantom let him.
A bit close.

That changed when they went back to the safe end of the arena. Phantom wanted to head back up to the scary end, Cisco wanted her to stay safe in his happy spot. So he kind of tried to herd her back to that end. Big sister did not like being told what to do by her big brother. So she squealed, tried to kick him (well, half-assed tried), and took off back down to the scary end.
Maintaining a safe following distance.

Thankfully, Cisco is smart and realized that he pissed her off and that he'd better keep his distance. So from then on, he maintained a safe following distance as he followed her around the arena.
Defensive driving.

They didn't really do too much - I don't like to chase them into galloping when there are two of them in there.
Parallel parked

What I found interesting was what happened after I stopped chasing them.

When he's loose by himself in the arena, Cisco isn't overly relaxed. He wants to follow me around - he'd be in my pocket if he could manage it. If I dash into the bathroom, or even leave the horse area to turn off the lights, he follows me along the fenceline and tries to shove his way through the gate.

What was interesting was that even though Phantom was in there with him, he still stayed attached to me. He followed right behind me when I went down to the scary end to pick poo. Phantom slowly followed him, just in case there were going to be treats involved.
The view in my rearview mirror.

Don't know what means, but I found it interesting!

Thursday 6 December 2018

The Parcels are Arriving

My Black Friday purchases have started to arrive. There was a partial postal strike in Canada, but it surprisingly didn't really delay any arrivals.

I picked up three horse parcels at the post office on Wednesday morning.  One I knew wasn't going to be terribly exciting - Phantom's spirulina. I can't get too excited about powdered seaweed.

The other two parcels were easier to get excited about - one was from Total Saddle Fit, and the other one came from the UK - so it must be the Gel-Eze wraps I ordered from eBay. I took them out to the barn with me to open up.

Cisco was super stoked about his new girth. He got the neoprene lined Stretchtec girth from Total Saddle Fit.

He could barely contain his excitement.

I have one for Phantom (leather lined) and the picky princess seems to like it. Cisco was in need of a shorter girth than the Prolite that I currently use on him, so I was waiting to catch a deal on the TSF girth. 

The neoprene liner is very soft. It's also quite a bit wider than the leather exterior of the girth. Cisco is going to have to wait until the end of the month to try it out and give his review on it. 

Then I opened the bag up that had the Gel-Eze wraps in it. Except that it didn't - it was a bra that I had ordered last week on Amazon. Oops.

It's still sort of horse related - it's a Freya Sonic Underwire Spacer Sports Bra. In whore red. (Actually, it's in cherry glow.)  Kinda forgot that I ordered it, and surprised that it arrived so fast. It was $36 on Amazon, so worth taking a risk on it.

Initial impression is that it's very similar to the Panache bra - which is my favourite everyday bra, but not my favourite for riding. It would be okay if the Freya bra became an everyday bra since the Knixwear sports bra that I received last week seems like it will make the cut for riding, despite a poor initial impression. I'll give full reviews once I actually manage to ride with them. Which will be sometime around Christmas.

Otherwise, Phantom got a chance to yahoo in the arena (which she totally took advantage of), and Cisco went for a very slightly enthusiastic lunge. Then they both got bundled up in their snowsuits. We had a dump of snow over the weekend - on Saturday morning there were just some icy patches on the grass. It started snowing at about 11am on Saturday and didn't stop until the wee hours of Monday morning.
I measure snowfall by how much is piled up on the barbeque.
The weather is supposed to warm up this weekend so that might give me some incentive to make another trip out to the barn to get blankets swapped. Two and a half weeks to go until the work craziness slows down and I can get some regular pony time!