Saturday, November 28, 2015

Blog Hop 25 Questions

I saw this blog hop on Chasing The Dream (her post here) (it was originally started at That Red Mare - post here).  Since it rains every single day I'm not working and I've done nothing with the horses (other than treat Rocky's rain rot and get them trimmed and dewormed) I am thrilled to find a blog hop that I've never (I don't think) done before.  :D  We are all good though.  Just boring lol.

1. Mares or Geldings (why)?
Geldings!  Without a doubt.  I'm too moody to get along with a moody mare.  I clashed so much with my mare growing up.  I know there are some out there that aren't moody, but I still just prefer geldings.  They are so laid back and affectionate (not saying some mares aren't, just that the ones I've worked with have been more independent).  I'm glad there are mare lovers out there though or I wouldn't have Chrome lol.  His mom is awesome!

Baby Chrome with his mom.

2. Green broke or fully broke?
This is hard to answer.  I like starting from scratch (getting Chrome at five months old was awesome), but the older I get (and more chicken) the more I value a fully broke horse... it's a conundrum lol.  Maybe I should start from scratch, raise them and have someone else start them under saddle.  To be fair Chrome has been amazing to start under saddle.  It's not anything he's done that makes me chicken.  It's just not knowing what he's capable of... if that makes sense. With a broke horse you pretty much know from the previous owner what they like, don't like and what their response to fear is.  With a green horse you're flying blind!  I didn't know what he would spook at, how hard he would spook, if he would run, if he would buck, etc.  He's done a little of all of that, but it's been fairly mild and easily redirected.  Now I just hope it stays that way lol!!  Also you would think I'd know all of this from my extensive ground training, but being on his back off property is a whole different ball game!

First time ever riding Chrome on this third birthday.  He was so confused, but an angel!

3. Would you own a hotter breed?
I'd prefer not.  I like calm, quiet, brave horses that enjoy trail riding without all of the histrionics.  Chrome is a little bit hot for what I like, but I think with experience (on both our parts) that it will turn into a good thing when we start doing actual work, instead of spooking.

Chrome's "hot" side could totally be channeled into something awesome with lessons!

... but my heart is out on the trail and I hope his is too.

4. What was your dream horse growing up?
Black Beauty and the Black Stallion sums it up!  I wanted a jet black horse.  When I was younger breed didn't matter, but when I discovered Friesians it was love at first sight (not just because they are black, it's because of their personality, the hair and their movement... I'm shallow, who cares?)!  Friesians are still my dream horse, but my more responsible adult self has decided it might be best if they just stay a dream.  Besides Chrome is everything I ever wanted out of my dream horse.... except for not being black LOL!  Also I've decided a lot of hair is just a pain in the butt (part of the reason for Chrome's roach)!

Just say no to hair hehe.

 Me riding my best friend's gorgeous Friesian mare.

 Me with Chrome's Friesian sire.  Still LOVE them!

5. What kind of bits do you use and why?
I started Chrome bitless and wanted to keep him that way forever, but he got too strong for road riding without one.  Once he's more finely tuned I'll probably go back to it.  For now he's in a French link snaffe because it's mild. So far it's been enough even when he bolts.  He has a soft mouth.  :)

Before we started riding with a bit.

6. Helmets or no helmets?
I grew up never wearing a helmet (and riding western).  No one wore helmets in our area and I didn't compete so it just never crossed my mind.  When I started working at the dressage stable it was mandatory to wear one. Now it's just a habit to wear one.  I'll admit I'm not the strictest with it... If offered a ride and I don't have my helmet I don't say no and I will go without one for pictures sometimes.  I plan on being more strict about it though.  It's a work in progress.  :)  Heck I even convinced hubby to always wear one and he never wore one as a kid (working ranch), so I definitely am pro helmet.

 Hubby rocking the helmet.

Me without a helmet.... ummm......

7. Favorite horse color?
Black!  It will always be my favorite.  :D  Gray is definitely growing on me because of Chrome.  I also like certain shades of bay and buckskin (especially sooty).  I almost forgot, appaloosa!  I will always be a huge fan of appaloosas because of my mare growing up.  My favorite patterns are blanket and leopard (obviously in black or bay).  Oh and liver chestnut with flaxen mane (think Rocky Mountain horse) is gorgeous!  I just really like dark horses.

Rocky is my black horse. :D

8. Least favorite horse color?
I'm probably going to offend some people.... the list is long....  I don't like anything with a lot of white.... gray used to be on that list but has changed because of Chrome (although I'll probably go back to hating it when he's solid gray and I have to keep him clean lol), so that includes pinto, double dilute and even palomino (white mane and tail would be impossible to keep clean!).  Also pretty low on the list is chestnut.  Now the reason for the pinto and chestnut is because EVERY HORSE IN MY TOWN has always been pinto and chestnut!  I swear on my block there is one black and one appaloosa... the rest are pinto and chestnut!  Well, bay too.  I guess after drowning in pintos and chestnuts I just wanted something different.  :)

Now before I really offend everyone keep in mind that I have seen gorgeous horses in all colors!  I'm not lying when I compliment your horses on your blogs.  Sinatra is the most gorgeous cremello I have ever seen and I'm a huge fan of all the chestnut OTTBS (and other breeds like O of course!) on the blogs I follow.  Just because I don't want one doesn't mean I don't like them when they are owned by other people.  Also if I found the right horse personality wise it wouldn't matter what color they were.  If Chrome were chestnut that would probably be my favorite color hehe.

9. Dressage or Jumping?
Dressage.  I haven't really ever jumped much (just on trails over tiny stuff like fallen trees) and don't see myself being brave enough to ever pursue it.  Obviously if given the option to ride a trained jumper in a lesson I would totally go for it, but I don't ever see myself jumping anything huge.

10. How many years have you been riding?
Twenty five years with only a two year break in there where I was horseless.  I didn't do much riding when Chrome was a baby, but I did ride several times a month with my best friend during that time so I did ride.  I don't have any pictures of me riding when I was a kid on this computer (they are actual film photos lol).

Training Chrome was so much fun.  I don't regret those years without a riding horse hehe.

11. Spurs/whip or no?
I haven't ever tried spurs.  I probably won't either unless I needed to for some reason.  Whips are a helpful tool to have in certain circumstances, but I don't carry one right now (just one more thing I'd have to keep track of lol).  My favorite use for a whip is to play my Chase the Tiger game with Chrome LOL!

Chrome LOVES Chase the Tiger!

12. Your first fall?
I was riding Tony my buckskin pinto pony (ahhhh pintos ahhhh!!!) when I was five or six.  He was my second pony (we gave the first one away because she was too hot for us kids).  My mom had him on a longe rope in the neighbor's yard.  We were just walking around in circles (mom isn't a horse person and kept us on the longe, but when dad was there we got to ride on our own).  Tony decided to turn back in the other direction, but he turned his butt to the inside so the rope dragged me off his back.  Mom was worried I was hurt, but I laughed and told her it was just like falling off the couch.  I was a weird kid LOL!

13. When was the last time you rode?
Ugh October 4th....... wow.... I didn't realize it had been that long.  :(  My job is killing my soul... seriously I hate that place.  I work ten hours a day, so by the end of the day I only have the energy to shower, take care of the animals, eat, get things ready for the next day and then fall into bed.  I don't do well with having to get up early.  On my days off it has been RAINING!!!!  It has been raining for days!  It rains EVERY WEEKEND!  I'm seriously wishing I had an indoor arena....  so yeah I haven't been riding.  :(

My last ride.

14. Most expensive piece of tack you own?
Saddles.  Most of my stuff is sale items, gifts, yard sale scores, etc.  I'm CHEAP!  So yeah saddles are the only thing I've spent a lot of money on.  After that it's probably his blankets (pads and turnout).

It took me a long time to get used to it, but I love my Aussie saddle.

15. How old when you started riding?
When I was five.

16. Leather or Nylon?
I prefer the way leather looks and feels, but I hate taking care of it and I can't afford it usually.  I like the ease of nylon (and the colors, LOVE Chrome's halter)... that's why I love the beta biothane of the Two Horse Tack halter I won in a contest for Rocky (haha cheap remember?) because it looks like leather, but it can be washed with a hose!  If I had the money I would seriously exchange all my stuff for beta biothane.  :D

LOVE beta biothane.  Looks like leather.

.....but I love Chrome's nylon halter too!!

17. Leather or synthetic?
Synthetic for the same reason as above.  It's easier to clean and maintain and it's less expensive.

18. What "grip" of reins do you like?
I don't really have a preference or I've never really thought about it.  I have laced reins.  They are a pain to clean, but they are fine for riding with or without gloves.  :)

19. English or Western?
Both.  I prefer trail riding in a Western or Aussie saddle because it's more comfortable for my knees for long rides, but I also love (and miss) dressage!  I would give anything to have a dressage saddle and lessons again.  We need it so much, but finances are so tight!

20. How many horses do you currently own/lease?
I own two horses and one donkey.

 My horses (and hubby).

My donkey.

21. Do you board your horse?  Self-care? Full board? Half board?  Home board?
I keep them at home.  I have always had my horses at home.  I've never boarded before.  I like having my horses home because I can go see them whenever I want and have complete control over their care and I always know who (people and horses) and what they are exposed to.  The drawbacks are no facilities, no arenas, no trainer, no lessons and no riding buddies.  Doing without those things sucks, but it's worth it for the peace of mind (highly anxious horse owners raise their hands with me!).

Facilities are under construction at least hehe.

22. Have you ever put down horse you loved?
Not yet.... hope I never have to, but I'll do what is necessary.  Storm was the first dog I had to put down and it still hurts two years later.  :(  Tony, the pony I mentioned above, died of colic when we had him (he was OLD) and I had one die of a twisted gut after I gave him away, but the rest of them are still happy and healthy.  I even know where most of them still are and can go see them whenever I want to.  :)  My appaloosa Lady is twenty five this year.  I really need to go visit her, but her current owner is in the hospital with Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever, so I'll have to wait until he's better...

23. How many saddle pads do you have?
Seven I think...  Most of them were gifts hehe.

24. Slant-load trailer or straight-load?
Ugh this is another hard one to answer.  I honestly don't really know.  To be perfectly honest I'm terrified of all of them.  I have severe trailer anxiety.  I'm on the edge of panic every single time Chrome is in one.  I really want one of those horse stock trailers because there are no mangers, dividers, etc. for a horse to get hung up on in a wreck and Chrome has always traveled loose.  I'm scared to tie him up, but I'll have to teach him to one day...

25. Why do you ride?
Because I always have and I can't imagine a life worth living without it.  Horses are a part of me.  The two years I went without a horse were the most miserable in my life.  To be honest I don't necessarily even have to be riding.  As long as I can go hug my horse, groom him, teach him tricks, take him for walks, etc. I'm happy.  Obviously riding is icing on the cake though.  I miss it so much when I'm grounded due to the weather!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Grand Slam!!

He did it!!  American Pharoah won the Breeder's Cup!!!!!  These are obviously old pictures since race pictures aren't posted yet.  I even heard them say he made a track record.  His time was 2:00:07 and the previous record was 2:05:36.  He smoked them!  I love this horse.  :D  I'm so happy he gets to retire safe, sound and happy.  Go Pharoah!!

Edited to add his race photo!

Here is the race replay for anyone who missed it.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Barn Building Progress (long post)

I have been horrible about updating on the barn progress!  Oops!  Of course my reason for not posting is because we've been busy building it.  We were in a rush to get the hay stored before the rains showed up (several months of no rain is handy when it comes to building lol.)

So let's catch up.  Back on September 12/13 we rented the auger as mentioned in my previous barn building post here.  It took us two days, but we got all of the posts up.  The above picture shows why we were calling it Woodhenge instead of Stonehenge haha.

 The next step was bracing the posts so they would stop warping.

Then we had to find the angle of the roof.

Next it was time to set up and build our twenty foot roof beams.

Our beams.

 Our cat thinks they are her beams.  :D

At this point hubby took his vacation and worked on the barn for ten days straight. I was working until 6pm most of those days so I missed a lot of picture taking of the progress, so you'll see big jumps lol.  He got the twenty foot beams up, then the 2x4 hangers and then the joists.

 We got a great deal on some mismatched tin.
He built a fence around it to keep the horses from cutting themselves on it.

 Shows how tall it is and this is the short side.

 The tractor made great scaffolding.  :D

 Got all the joists up for a twenty by thirty six foot area.  

There are still two more twelve foot sections to the right of these, making this side a total of sixty by twenty feet.  We haven't even started on the other side.  The total barn will be sixty foot by forty foot.

  See the bright green patch of grass that Chrome is eating?  That's where the trailer was parked lol.

 Then it was time to start putting the tin on the roof.

I was standing on the tractor and holding the phone 
over my head to get this picture because it's so tall lol.

 The reason the tin was so cheap is because the paint was put on the bottom instead of the top...

 So the ceiling inside my barn is rainbow colored!

 It's really cool.  :D

 Last weekend we started putting up walls.

The walls are of extra tin we had laying around and are temporary just for the winter.  They will eventually be replaced with wood walls and stalls.  Right now it's just important to keep the weather off the hay for the winter.  :)

Here are a bunch of pictures from last weekend showing how curious and bothersome the horses were LOL!!

 Rocky walking through the walls before we got the tin up.

They were in the middle of everything the whole time.

 Checking out the progress on the walls.

 Suddenly he can't go through them anymore haha.

 That's okay.  He liked it inside the barn and just chilled out for a long time.

 Chrome thinks tool belts hold treats.  Hubby is on the ladder, not on Rocky's back.

 Squeezing between Rocky and the ladder.

 Chrome still wants the tool belt.  Rocky just wants Chrome to go away haha.

 Ladders are great for scratching itchy noses.  

Chrome's shoe fetish...

 Inspecting the walls.

 Now Rocky is going for the tool pouch while hubby is carrying the ladder lol.

 What Chrome thinks of the new barn lol.

 I completely forgot to get pictures once we got the hay in the barn so I ran out today in the rain to get some.  :)

 They were all eating hay when I walked up.

The three completed sections are in full use already.

It doesn't look like much yet, but it will one day.  Because the other side of the roof isn't done we obviously can't put a ridge cap on yet, so we had to lean tin up against the hay bales to keep them dry.  That's obviously temporary.  The rain got here too quick lol.  So the left section with the tin has nineteen round bales of hay in it.  The middle section that we fenced off with round pen panels is where we're parking the tractor for now.  The right section has the bale of hay they are currently eating.  Their section is 12'x20'.  So their butts hang out in the rain, but at least the hay is dry.  We are going to roof those other two section this winter (so much better than in the summertime heat), but it will just have to be done between all of the rain.

 I don't know if I've ever shared it before, but here is our hay ring.

They normally don't waste nearly that much hay!!  This was a partial bale that was out in the open and we moved it under the shed when we got it done.  When he picked it up with the tractor it obviously fell apart since they'd been eating on it a couple of week already.  We moved the main section over, put the hay ring around it and then used the tractor to scoop up and pile on all the loose pieces.  Since it was no longer compressed into a bale, it piled way higher than the ring and some fell out on the ground.  That's not the horses' fault.  My hay ring is in three pieces which makes it so much easier to move.  We put wire around it to keep the goats from climbing up on the bale.  So the horses eat over the top and the goats eat through the wire.  When it gets low we just push it up against the sides so they can eat.  It works great and there is normally very little waste!!  Now that it can't get rained on there will be even less waste. I love it!

 There are 19 round bales of hay under there.  :D

 We tied the round pen panels to the wood fence he made around the tin.
So not the horses can't reach the tractor.

 That look on Rocky's face lol!

 This is why the sides are temporary! 

They don't match and the white stuff is pretty old and beat up.  Eventually my walls will be made of rough pine, but that will be next year.  I have to save up some money again!  I'm just glad we had this old tin to use for temporary walls to keep the hay dry.  We ran out of time and didn't finish the top of the wall on the side, but the hay is staying dry so it's okay.

I leaned the extra pallets up against the hay to keep the goats from rubbing on it.

So it may not be pretty, but it's serving it's purpose!  I can't wait until it's done, but that will have to wait until next year.  We will finish the roof on both sides this winter since we have the tin and lumber, but walls and stalls will have to wait until I save up more money.  This project blew through all of my savings.  :(  It took me a year to save up for this part so far.  It will be worth it in the end though!  I'm so excited to finally have a barn (even if it's still only a run in shed right now haha)!