Wednesday, May 22, 2024

What's Up Wednesday


It was a wet week around here, but we still managed to a lot of things... Just not as much riding as I'd have hoped. But what can you do? You can't change the weather! So Thursday, as anticipated was a rain day. It was actually considerably less wet than Wednesday, but the footing was saturated and so we had a rain day at the farm. But I made sure to use my rain day productively instead of being lazy. Even though lazy was kind of enticing. The horses all had their manes pulled and their fetlocks clipped. They look much more civilized now. 

Befores on the left, afters on the right

Having all different colored horses makes for a pretty mess after mane day:

Friday we were able to ride but it was just a muddy flat day. Nothing too exciting. And then Saturday we were rained out AGAIN. Can you believe it? Chores took a little longer than normal because of the weather and the fact that I thought the Gator was broken. But once those were done I went on a little mission to collect some things for jump decor. It was time to change the course and refresh the jump fill. Sunday was another muddy flat day. I was POOPED by the end of the day though. According to my watch I was entitled to feel sleepy.

Monday I was up early to call the mechanic for my fake broken Gator and they were able to come right out. Which was great because I was able to meet a friend for a quick breakfast. It was actually a gorgeous day, so after that I took Rita for her walk. She refused to take a nice photo though. That pup hates having her photo taken.

I had contemplated riding since it was so nice and the horses had so many days off last week. But I decided to stick to our Monday off schedule ultimately. I had a few things still on the to do list for that day anyway, and I had to be up really early Tuesday so I didn't want to be out in the barn until late. Instead, I got to work on my jump projects (and did so much laundry). 

I had been contemplating getting some astroturf and covering the last of my wooden jumps with it so I could have a turf jump. I keep seeing them in the hunter derbies and they look so pretty and inviting. Well, when I was shopping Saturday for flowers and what not, Ocean State Job Lot had a roll of turf that was 10'x8' for under $40. Obviously that was a sign. My jumps are 10' wide, so that would mean minimal cutting. I like things that are minimal work. So that was my Monday job, and they came out so nice!

I had two of these planks and one rail that matched them. They are all turfed now. I might have enough to recover the green box too. I just have to decide if I want to do that or not. Currently undecided. 

I also drilled flower holes in the flower boxes I got (I just got plastic ones and am using them upside down. You'll see in a little bit how they came out!) I had ordered some of my flowers so they weren't all in yet Monday, but would be for Tuesday evening when I did the course. Perfect timing! 

Tuesday was a LONG day. I was up at 5 to braid a horse for a photo shoot. KL Select was shooting catalog photos at one of my braiding customer's farms. So my braids will be in some ads! Kinda fun!

This horse is adorable!

I stopped for a breakfast sandwich and then some glue to finish up my jump fill repairs. Next I got to work on said repairs. And finally I rode all the horses. Al's been super spooky so he's especially time consuming lately. By the time I was done riding and everyone was fed it was after 6. I popped in the house to feed Rita and then got to work setting the course. I am so excited about this one! It came out great, and I can't wait to ride it! Here are some photos. They're dark because it was almost nine by the time I finished. But I think you can still see everything well enough:

Just the flower boxes are new on this one. The other
side has blue flowers

same with this one, just got some new flowers/boxes.
This one is the same on both sides.

I think this is my new favorite jump. You'll see the 
palm trees better in tomorrow's post. But they bring
me more joy than I ever expected a fake tree could.
Eros better notdestroy them. Trees came from 

Close up of the flower boxes on the palm tree jump.
Yes, those are FLAMINGOS! They were actually 
sidewalk lights, but I removed the light strings. I 
intertwined some leis around them for some greenery/flowers.

I'm not sure how well these ice cream cones will last, but we're
giving them a try! They are giant cups from the dollar store.
I took out the straws and added these little bees instead. They're on 
the green oxer.

Okay, so the turf jump came out even better than I hoped!
It's right up there on my favorite list. And I am SO HAPPY
with how the flower boxes turned out for this one too. 

These are the flower boxes. They actually match the planters
I already had for the sides of the jump. 
For flowers, I used faux grass stems and these little butterflies
from Amazon and just squished them all together. 

Had another day of validation from my watch too. 

I had hoped to jump Al and Shiny around the course today. But you know how plans like that tend to go... Today was the first really warm day around here (not that hot, just in the 80's, but the horses aren't used to it yet) which would have been fine. But the WIND! It was wild. Paired with the neighbor who was alternating the entire day between mowing his lawn and banging on things with his hammer, it was a tough day in the ring. Which was a bummer because I thought I'd have nice quiet horses in the heat. How disappointing! (Also, the neighbor has 1.1 acre of land. Which includes his house. And some of it is wooded. So he doesn't have much to mow. Yet the only days he hasn't mowed the lawn since I've had the horses home is when it's raining. And Monday. Which really makes me think he's just trying to drive me crazy. The horses don't care that much about hearing the mower hum along. But they really don't like when he stops and starts it over and over again. Or when he runs something over.) 

Anyway, back to the horses. I set up Pivo today in hopes we'd get to jump so I have some media, but I'm saving it for tomorrow since I wore my Thursday's Threads outfit today. 

So Al. I knew he was going to be special today because he was in his stall staring out the window snorting before I even got started. I often wonder if the spookiness is something I've cause because I seem to have had a lot of spooky horses. But then I see him acting that way on his own and it does help me realize that I did not cause this. This is innate for Al. So there's that I guess. Anyway, I popped him on the lunge line which has been our routine the last several rides. I let him trot around near where he tends to spook until he relaxes and then I get on. Some days it's quick and he's pretty relaxed from the get go, and other days it takes a lot longer. Today was a long day. And then went I got on it got worse. I opted to use half the ring today. We really didn't get anywhere in this ride. I managed some trot and canter and we had a few nice moments, but he was edgy and tense the entire ride. It was pretty frustrating. He was really hot and sweaty in the end, but I really only was on him for 15 minutes. He was on the lunge awhile, but it was a lot of walking and trotting. Nothing all that strenuous. What was strenuous was his anxiety level. I had to laugh as we were wrapping up though. I have these two crows that have been hanging around (I've named them Cheryl and Russell). Well I was cantering Al toward the barn, and out of the corner of my eye I see what looks like something running up to us (like a cat or something). Turns out it was a shadow from my crow friend flying past us to land on the fence RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. 
Do you see it there on the right?? I'm not sure if it's
Russell or Cheryl. I can't tell them apart. 

Does Al spook at this? Nope. A freaking crow flying at his head is just fine. But the leaves blowing on the trees is not okay. I will never understand horses.

Shiny on the other hand, is still the MVP. She comes out the same pretty much everyday. And while she has many opinions on what I ask her to do, she generally does them all. I didn't jump her around the full course today though. She seemed like she was having a little bit of a hard time with the warm weather, so I did work her, and popped her over a few fences, we kept it pretty light and quick today. But I cannot wait to actually jump her around the whole thing. What we did do rode great. 

Eros is plugging along with his rehab. We are up to 16 minutes of trot (total) and two laps each way of canter. Plus 16 minutes of walking too. (8 to start and then 8 to finish.) I still am undecided on how he feels. I filmed our ride today, but haven't had a chance to review it yet to see if what I'm feeling is what it looks like. But he's also kind of testing his boundaries so I'm also wondering if some of what he's doing is evading rather than being unsound. Horses are hard. He was similarly afflicted like Al today with the terrifying wind. Thankfully, Eros is better able to control his emotions. For him, I can put him together and put his focus on his job and most of the time that's the end of it. Every now and then something really startles him, but he generally takes me with him. (Except for that one time awhile back...) While I wish he wasn't feeling spooky at all, it is kind of reassuring for me that I can get his attention back on me. It reminds me that my struggles with Al aren't because I'm terrible. Which like I know I'm not terrible, but sometimes you start to wonder when things are just always the same. Ya know? So thanks E for being my constant therapist. What a guy!

And that wraps up the week! I have some things to try with Al for the next few rides, so fingers crossed something helps him. I REALLY want to get him going over jumps again so when our trainer gets back we can find some little shows to go to. But alas... it's looking a little bleak right now. I KNOW it will get better though. It always does.


  1. I love the updated fill - so creative!

  2. ok your jumps are the actual cutest omg.... and i lol'd at the pic of the crow + Al haha

    1. Thanks! The horses seem to like them too!
      Haha, wasn't that funny? The things this horse doesn't spook at always amaze me.