Monday, September 21, 2015

Chrome Ride 113 & New Shampoo

 He's so handsome!

First off I have to mention I am not a fan of selfies... they are annoying, especially on Facebook when people are posting them daily.  I have, however, tried to get one of me and Chrome... unsuccessfully.  I'm just not very good at it with my tiny cheap phone (that doesn't have a forward camera like smart phones so I just have to guess if we are in frame).  Here are my attempts from today...

At least I got his nose in the second one lol!!

So anyway, I just tacked up and rode around the yard for thirty minutes because it was getting late.  Chrome's stifle gave out several times during this ride so I'm thinking the last ride was too far, the galloping around like a lunatic this morning playing with Rocky was too much or it's because he was trimmed on Saturday.  Basically it's probably because he's horribly out of shape, so we will work on that slow and steady.  We did a lot of walking (even went up and down the road in front of our property practicing ignoring the neighbor's horses who were grazing right by the fence), a little trotting, a little backing and a little standing around.  It was a good ride.  He almost seemed tender footed on downhill slopes, but that could be his stifles too.  I'm going to do a separate hoof post tomorrow.  For now, admire the pictures of my pretty boy.

 We take our carrot stretches seriously... just kidding, he was scratching.

 "Mom, you take FOREVER to tack up!"

I bet you can tell which pictures are from my cheap cell phone...

 ...and which ones are from hubby's expensive work phone...

Yeah those were the only riding pictures.  This was after showing his meager sweat.... how did he sweat??  It was low eighties, low humidity and we barely did anything lol.

In fact I was worried it was too chilly for a bath... but after washing his tail I decided to go ahead and try out my new shampoo.

It's specifically for itchy horses and skin funk.

Sorry there are no pictures or video of the bath, but Chrome was an angel... oh you know how I always call him an angel??  I have proof!

 Look at that halo!

I do have a bunch of random after the bath photos though lol.

 Off in search of clover.

 So shiny.

 This is where he had his bath.

 That neck!  I trimmed his mane too because he had long hairs sticking up.

See here's a picture from yesterday.  See the hairs??

Here's one from yesterday showing his true colors 
and how DIRTY he was from playing in the pond.

After his bath I let him graze while he dried off.

Once his tail was mostly dry I combed it out.
It's much shorter than it used to be... dang goats.
They don't eat it, but they rub their faces and horns in it...
yeah they scent mark my horse's tail... have you smelled a male goat before??

Then we went for a walk up the driveway.  He felt cool (it was not that warm out and our well water is cold!) so I wanted to keep him moving.

 He yawned the whole way...

 ...until he spotted the neighbor horses again.

Then he struck a pose and didn't move for several long minutes!

 He looks butt high, but it's just the angle.  He's not.

 Seriously he didn't move... even when I posed with him.

 He was still soaked so my arm got all wet haha.

 After that I put him in the pasture and fed him.

 Zep tried to steal it... notice he's biting it in 
the first picture and tipping it in the second.  :)

After eating he walked over and started scratching his throat on the fence.... so I'm not sure how well the shampoo works...  maybe it takes a while.

"Who me?  I'm not doing anything!"

I didn't get any pictures after he was dry because it was almost dark.  He was so silky soft though.  I couldn't stop petting him!!  I'll definitely give the shampoo some credit for that at least.  I'll see tomorrow if the itching seems any less.

Last, but not least, here is a video of Chrome taking the bit!

He is so cute!!  I can't believe that's the same horse who was throwing his head up, clamping his teeth and backing away when I tried to put a bit in his mouth.  Gotta love positive reinforcement.

Also the reason he was raising, lowering and shaking his head is because he was cycling through his tricks.  He was impatient with me for being so slow and disorganized.  He doesn't do that every time so it's not as annoying as it looks.  I think it's kind of funny actually.  I didn't even realize I said that about him being spastic until I watched the video back and cracked myself up.  We are so weird.

Anyway I really, really need to get to bed so I'm not cranky at work tomorrow!  I'll do another post tomorrow about hooves and some other stuff I have questions about.  Good night!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Barn Raising

I have so much to say I don't even know where to start.  Ever since we moved here I've been wanting a barn... there is a three sided loafing shed, but it's tiny and stays muddy so I never used it for anything.  It's just for them to get out of the weather or away from the flies when needed.  The problem is last winter we were feeding the hay in there and it got so muddy we couldn't get the tractor in... that meant feeding the hay outside where it got wet and molded.  So I told hubby I wanted at least a roof on posts just to keep rain off the hay.  Of course he went overboard and is building me a huge barn!!

To be honest we rented the above auger because our ground is so hard and rocky that hubby can't dig it by hand with his messed up shoulder and even our hand held auger puts too much torque on his shoulder.  The big auger worked great... with two people laying on it and a ton of patience lol.  Our ground is sooooo rocky!  We had to keep stopping and using the 16 pound digging bar to break up the rock so the auger could do it's job.  Since we were renting the thing for a pretty penny we decided to dig all the holes we would need for our dream barn.  Of course digging holes in a pasture is dangerous... just asking for broken legs... so we had to set all of the posts too!!

 Our first post set in the ground.

We are only going to have enough money to get the framing around the tops of the posts done (to prevent them from bowing which they are already doing) and we have enough tin laying around to roof maybe a third of it.  So we will have Woodhenge (Stonehenge, get it haha) out there for a while.  It will be a while financially before we can complete my dream barn, but I spent a little time (okay a lot of time) today making out a floor plan.  :D

Here is my original, but it's hard to see so I did one on the computer too.  Notice the Dover magazine I was using to draw on?  Hehe.

Okay I'll explain what everything means.  Each square is two feet.  The barn will be 60 feet by 40 feet.  The orange dots are the posts we have in the ground right now.  The black lines are solid walls.  The red lines are gates.  The dotted red line is corral panels and the dotted blue lines are crossties.  The red lines going off the page on the left will be my corral panels set up as outdoor pens attached to the stalls.  The red lines going off the right side of the page will be a 12x12ft concrete pad for a wash stall (water lines go really close to there so less digging lol).  We will also bury electric to it someday.

The solid walls around the exterior of the barn will be from roof to ground, but the interior walls (except for tack room) will be half walls with metal grating above it.  So the stall area will be fully enclosed against coons and stuff, but with LOTS of air flow and view for them when they are in the stalls (which will only be for feeding, injuries, grooming, etc. although I might bug proof Chrome's stall and put him in it at dawn and dusk for a few hours to keep him away from the gnats that cause sweet itch in the summer).   The open area is where the hay ring will be so they still have their free choice round bale, but it won't get rained on anymore!!  The hay storage area will hold 24 round bales doubled stacked.  The reason it is corral panels instead of a fence and gate is so that they can be taken down to give lots of room for moving the tractor around while stacking them.

For right now the part over the stalls and tack room is probably all we are going to be able to afford to roof, so we will store and feed hay under there until we have the money to roof the rest and them start putting up walls.  It will be a long process because we are paying as we go (trying to get out of debt).  It will be worth the wait though!

Here are pictures of the poles we have in the ground..

See why we call it Woodhenge?  

Yes they are leaning.  They are quick to bow when they aren't braced at the top.  Since they are so high (they are 4x6x16 set two foot in the ground approx.) we will be able to bend them back into shape as we put up the framing.

Here you can see him putting up the string so we get all the posts the correct height.  If you look closely you can see the orange string.  :)

I think that was everything I had that is barn related.  Below are random horse pictures.

 Looking good!  His black coat is coming back in slowly.

 He stepped forward and Jackal photobombed hehe.  
I didn't even know he was laying back there.

 Some fun black and white.

 Rocky has a nice, muscular booty even when not in work.

 Chrome's reverse blaze is rapidly disappearing and 
the fleabites are popping up in large numbers!

 Here are a couple of pictures of white goat.

 He did this flehman response for five minutes!

 Chilling on the pond bank lol.

Brown goat started limping so we caught him in the barn and discovered his hoof is infected.  We actually caught both of them and trimmed their hooves because they were getting long.  White goats face was all bloody where they had been head butting so much he broke the skin open.  Male goats are so dumb.  We treated his face, trimmed his hooves, dewormed him and turned him loose.  We treated and trimmed brown goats hooves, dewormed him and set him up in the barn.  He's going to stay there while we soak his hooves until the infection is gone.  I used some spray yesterday, but tomorrow I'm going to soak the infected one in Oxine (White Lightning) like we did Rocky's hooves.  Other than that they are doing well.

I also forgot to mention in my last ride post where my friend went riding with me that she rode Chrome when we got back.  She trotted and cantered him for the first time.  She said his canter feels just like her purebred Friesian mare's canter!!  Nothing at all like her Quarter horses.  :D  I knew his gaits felt huge, but I haven't ridden anything but him in so long I couldn't really make an accurate comparison.  I have noticed when he and Rocky gallop up his knees come way higher up than Rocky's does.  I'm going to try to get a video of it sometime.  It's really cool seeing it side by side.  Anyway she had fun riding him and he was a good boy.  A funny thing that happened is that her dog was running in front of them while cantering and Chrome lowered his head and was trying to chase the dog down.  I yelled at her to get his head up because I didn't want the dog run over and I didn't want him to start crowhopping.  She pulled his head up and he got bouncy for a second, but didn't really do anything wrong.  :)  He's such a good boy.  I was proud of him and it was fun watching her ride him.  I edited the original post and put this in it.

I think that's about it.  Chrome is still itchy, but his sores are healing up.  I found some new shampoo that I'm going to try tomorrow (it didn't warm up enough today strangely) that is supposed to help itching.  I hope it will give him some relief.  The neem oil helps prevent new sores, but it doesn't give him relief from the healing ones.  Poor guy.

Oh they got trimmed this weekend too.  Their hooves look great.  Rocky still has some old bruising, but it's much improved.  She said we can get back to riding him, but probably need to keep him off the pavement as much as possible.

Well I think that's it.  There's something I'm forgetting, but this post is way too long, so I'll try to remember later.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Watermelon Lovers!

Yum!  The horses love when we have watermelon hehe.  Here is the video.

For those of you who can't watch videos, here are some screenshots from the video.  :)

S sniffed it... but he didn't eat it.

Instead he pawed at it hehe.

I left it out there, but I don't know if he ate it or just pawed it to death later lol.

Next up is Rocky...

Rocky makes the cutest faces!!!!!

Zep too.

Last is Chrome.  He eats every bite of his watermelon, even when it's covered in dirt.  :)

He demolishes it!

Look at those muddy lips!!!

They are all so cute!  I already miss having S here.