Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Progress and Frustrations

I haven't had a lot of words for this blog this summer. It's been hideously busy, and I lose myself to the outside chores every evening after work without fail. But I miss blogland, and after riding last night, I have some feelings I need to process.

First, let's talk about the farm's doings lately: we got our first crop of hay in, and the horses seem to approve. I'm feeding broken bales as my night time hay for the girls, and while it was SO MUCH WORK OMG to get 350 bales (ish) into the barn in one night, we managed it (albeit, not in an organized fashion, but we tried) and I spent the next day stacking them into semi-organization. It destroyed my hands (like, this happened two weeks ago and my hands are still showing where I blew out blisters on my first three fingers) but it was rewarding as hell to put up edible hay. My husband is trying to talk me into doing rounds for the next cut, but I'm having a hard time deciding. I feel like we don't have room for rounds, and I literally just sold my round bale net, so I don't know what to do, yet. Smalls are a pain in the butt to put up, but are a more efficient use of our storage space. Is there a way I can justify smalls to my husband besides "easier to store"?

The pastures continue to hold on; they aren't hugely thick, but they're holding on. I'm planning to spray them for weeds and seed this fall, and am hoping they can hold on until then. We are a bit short on pasture acres for 3 horses, so I need to figure out how to get the most out of what we have until I close them off for re-growing time before it gets too cold.

Home life wise, we've been away for a weekend, and it was glorious to spend a few days wandering around Ely, MN with some friends, napping, enjoying a beautiful home on a beautiful lake and staying in the most magical tiny house ever. I left my dad in charge, and all of the animals were healthy and happy when we came home, which made me happy. I got a pair of Steger Mukluks for winter wear when we were up north (hello, serendipity, they were selling returns/seconds for CHEAP the weekend we were in town) so I am stirrup shopping to find something ultra wide so I can ride in them come winter.

Horse wise:

Bizzy continues to hang out and be an awesome pet. She did get a kick from Arya, which resulted in a comical goose-egg swelling sticking out of her left butt cheek, but it's slowly re-absorbing. She's also got a few ribs showing. We've had a bad time with bugs, and I've changed her feed, but while she is shiny and happy, she maintains a slightly ribby look. I'm tempted to try oil or some other means of calories, and will check her poops for sand and deworm her. Does anyone have any other tips for a horse who is a touch ribby, but hasn't had a lot of diet changes?

Arya has been an utter superstar, and I've been dealing with a lot of guilt because I want to ride her and only her lately. It's been so rewarding to feel her make progress in allowing me to be in control and stay rideable when we encounter moments when she previously would have melted down hardcore. We've re-introduced poles into her life, and while she thinks her life's calling is still to hiccup over said pole at a canter and then zoom off, but she's really progressing quickly and is walking and trotting and cantering over poles on the line, and is walking and trotting over poles under saddle. We're also doing a lot more canter under saddle, and her ground work is going really well. She's finally starting to slow down and react more logically and I'm loving every moment of riding her.

It feels terrible, because lately, I've hated riding Bailey. It doesn't help that she's out of shape, and doesn't get worked very often where I am much more strict with keeping Arya in work. And while the training is still there, she doesn't have the muscle to really do things easily at this point, and asking her to work involves her brushing me off and being like "nah, pass". She just doesn't have the work ethic that Arya does, and its just been hard to be motivated with her. She's pleasant enough to jump, but doesn't really want to take input from me, so we get awkward distances and I feel like I'm being ignored when I'm pulling and having to chase when I shouldn't to get her jumping better out of stride. On the flat, I usually have to kick her ass to carry herself, and then things go swimmingly from there. I feel lost, because she doesn't really seem to want to do anything - with Arya, I can tell that she is a mix of anxious and excited to work with poles again, and she normally really tries to do what I'm asking her. Bailey, on the other hand, doesn't really seem to be driven to please in the same way, and it's hard to be motivated to kick her butt when it's like... why am I making you do something you clearly don't want to do. Maybe she just needs a new job or a different way of riding? I feel like I'm missing something.


  1. With bizzy is she a little dehydrated? That's one thought I have in the summer with bugs, heat, and no diet changes. With Bailey just try experimenting with different things a bit.

    1. That's a good point. I've been adding electrolytes on hot days, but I may just throw them at her every day for a week or so and see if that helps. Great idea! I'm trying to think up fun things to do with Bailey - I think I am a little bored, too.