Wednesday, May 8, 2024

What's Up Wednesday


Phew! What a week! Things have been busy getting ready to bring the horses home and then readjusting to having them here. And now? ALL THE LAUNDRY. The horses have a separate wardrobe for the other barn, and I like to pack everything away clean so it's all set to go when fall comes. But they each have eight items of apparel for over there... (Stable clothes:sheet, heavy sheet, 100 gram, 300 gram, 450 gram, turnout clothes: Sheet, heavy, fly) They didn't wear their turnout fly sheets this year, but that's literally the only thing I don't have to wash. My washer is big enough for the blankets, but with how twisted up they get in the dryer, they never come out ready to pack away. They always need to hang to finish drying for a day or two (depending on humidity...) So it's slow going. But we're plugging along. So far there are 6 clean ones drying. 18 to go! Lol. Oy. 

Anyway, prior to moving home and starting on all the laundry, I got to have a last lesson at the other barn with both Al and Shiny on Saturday. Our favorite instructor was back from vacation too, so it was a great last day. Al went first. And let me tell you about the chaos that ensued. 

We decided to lesson indoors because my lesson mate hasn't had her horse out to jump yet. Her horse is also a Casall (so a half brother to Al!) and well... you know how Casalls can be. So I didn't blame her. Of course, Al would have been better OUTSIDE, but also there was a lot more traffic out there, and it was nice to have the ring to ourselves inside. Plus, the doors were open which makes for a happier Al too. So things started out great. We were flatting pretty well with minimal snorting. He was forward and happy. And then some very confused delivery driver drove past the end of the ring... TWICE. (We don't drive around this ring, the parking lot is on one side, but the roadway does continue out to the outdoor and also around the indoor. But generally, we don't allow cars over there because the horses can't see them and it's spooky.) So the horses aren't used to that. Al did spook a little at the car, but just because he didn't expect it. He went right back to being a good boy. So anyway, we're flatting. And then barn owner decides it's time to bring in the mare and new baby who were out in the paddock just outside the scary doors. Now, I know very little about baby horses. So I have no idea when they are typically taught to lead. This baby is just a few weeks old, and has not learned that skill yet. So they just lead the mom through the indoor and the baby is supposed to follow. But this baby is spunky. So we're flatting in our lesson, and they start bringing the horses in. So we halt. (Also not sure why no one told us they were bringing them in.) Baby gets the zoomies all around the indoor. Mom could care less. Al is like WHOA! BABY! IS IT MINE?? Al's brother was sure the baby was a demon. 

Something to know about Al, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, is that he's very good about horses running around him loose. I know this because it's happened quite a lot to him. He's like a loose horse magnet. They just want to run at him. If he was a human child, he'd get beat up a lot. Anyway, thankfully, Al was pretty fine about the baby running around after the initial excitement wore off a bit. And his brother, slightly less okay, but he held himself together thankfully. No amateurs were harmed in the running of the baby. 

Eventually the lil guy finally followed his mom back to his stall. Al and the other horse in our lesson took a few minutes at the walk and then both went back to work nicely. We even jumped ALL the fences in the ring! Not only that, but we jumped down the lines heading toward the scary doors! Both sides! I was so proud. It was the very best last lesson we could have asked for. Now, did we jump big jumps? NOPE. Maybe they were 2'3". But with Al, the height is never the issue. So that concerns me zero. I thought this was a fabulous lesson. (Running babies aside.) 

Shiny's lesson was next. I opted again to stay indoors because barn owner was doing training rides outside and I was again, very happy to just have the indoor to myself. The horses had gotten their second round of vaccines on Tuesday, and Shiny had a bit of a harder time with this round. So even on Saturday, she was still a little stiff and sluggish. I had said to my instructor that it might just be a cross rail day, but we'll see what Shiny has to say as we go. The flat was... slow. So slow. Lots of Shiny Shuffle. She also was tripping a bunch. But once we cantered a couple cross rails she seemed to perk up and wanted to do more. I guess the flat was just too boring for her? I dunno. Mares! Anyway, she ended up jumping around a couple of courses. I think the fences were 2' ish. She ended up great. I was also very happy with this last lesson. We're going to be unsupervised for the next few weeks until our other trainer gets back from Florida. So glad we finished on a great note!

Eros obviously hasn't lessoned, but he's doing just fine, plugging along, adding on trot minutes each week. More on him in a bit.

I didn't ride Sunday since it was moving day. It was supposed to rain later in the day, so I wanted to get the move done on the earlier side. Plus, the barn was also packing up for a horse show, and it was such chaos there, I really just wanted to wrap things up. I had to make two trips. I can stuff all three horses in my trailer, but I wouldn't have room for all of their stuff if I did that. (Yes, my trailer has a tack room, but it's full of show stuff, so there wasn't room for all the other stuff.) So I figured two trips was the way to go. I only live 7 minutes from the barn, so it's not like it's a lot of driving. Anyway, I spent the morning getting everything packed, and then brought Eros and Shiny home first. It was so nice having the side ramp because I didn't have to get someone to help me unload. I like being self sufficient, but none of these horses know how to load and unload themselves. I probably should teach them. Anyway, the first load went well. I got them settled in and unpacked the few things I brought home on that trip with them. Then I went back and loaded ALL THE STUFF plus Al. He also shipped great and unloaded nicely. I think they were all happy to be back home. I spent the rest of the day unpacking everything. The horses all had turnout before coming home, so I just let them settle in inside. 

I was happy with myself because not only did I get them all home pretty easily, but I got the trailer unpacked, cleaned out, AND put away all in the same day. I have to hype myself up a little to put it away because I have to pull it out onto the road and then back it into its spot. I live on the corner of two state roads, so it can be busy. But Sundays are generally pretty quiet so I told myself if I didn't do it right away, I wouldn't do it until next weekend. And I need to keep driving the truck so the mice stay out. <<Pats self on back>> Got it done! 

I still gave them Monday off because the farrier was coming but I wasn't sure when. And I had a lot of stuff to do aside from that. They were all idiots in turnout that morning so I knew they got plenty of exercise anyway. It was a nice productive day, and the horses were content. 

Yesterday was our first day riding at home. I gave them all fairly light rides. My footing is just sand and the ring isn't completely flat, so they have to work a lot harder here at home than they do at the boarding barn with its flat rings and fancy GGT footing. I like to take it easy the first week to let their bodies adjust and hopefully avoid any pulled muscles or strained tendons. Also, I was a little worried Eros might have done a number on himself being an absolute fool in turnout the day before. Thankfully he felt just fine. Phew. He's supposed to technically canter this week (which he certainly did on his own...) but I'm waiting until the weekend to add that. We're not in a rush, I'd rather be careful. 

Al has been oddly quiet. And like, relatively not spooky. I mean he's Al, so he looks at things, but he's kind of looking to me for the answer when he's not sure, and then accepting my reassurance. I'm not sure if this will last, but it's lovely. Yesterday was gorgeous when I rode him, but today was cooler and pretty windy. (We had very heavy rain and thunder move through in the morning, so the ring was really wet, and the wind was still blowing the storm out when I rode him.) The footing wasn't ideal so I wasn't even sure we'd canter, and he felt like he was being a little careful with the footing. But he was great. A little lazy, and randomly tried to walk a bunch of times, but I don't mind that so much. That I can fix. I'm just really thankful he's feeling relaxed. 

Oddly, Shiny has been the most interested in her surroundings back at home. I think the difference is that the boys both have their turnout in the ring, but Shiny has her own paddock. So the boys have explored on their own, but Shiny hasn't. She's not spooky or anything, she's just looking around more than the boys are when we ride. She hated the footing today, and was especially pokey, but she's been overall just fine too. I'm hoping the ring will be dry enough to pop over some cavaletti tomorrow, but we'll see. 

But that's catches you guys up with all we've been up to! Busy times, but things look calm from here on out. Hopefully it will stop with the rain and I can bust out Pivo next week. 


  1. uhh lol i don't think i'd be quite so zen about a loose bebe horse running around in the middle of my lesson!! i don't even like to walk my horses past the foal on our farm, ngl LOL

    glad everybody is settling in well at home!! one of these days you should do a proper home barn tour post!!

    1. Haha! I think I've have been more concerned if I was on Shiny. Al is oddly good about things like that. (He's so weird.)
      I actually did do one a long while ago. I should probably update it, but not too much is different.