Sunday, September 27, 2015

The balancing act

Well, I haven't been doing a great job of balancing work, horse care, riding, and life lately. I've been pretty consumed with work and although horse care always gets done, riding sometimes gets put on hold. This isn't necessarily a good thing as the summer winds down and we start to prepare for winter where riding often doesn't happen at all.

Although I wasn't able to ride this weekend, I did get some other things done which made me feel better, but I wish I had gotten a ride in!

Speaking of balancing, I'm also trying to find a balance between too much bedding in the run-in shelter and not enough. I've always put a little bit of bedding in the run-in shelter, but as P has gotten older, I think she lies down in there more and could probably use more cushioning for her joints. However, she also uses it as a bathroom, so it's a little tricky to give her enough bedding to lie down but not enough to make a big mess!

How much bedding do you like to put in your stall or run-in? A few inches? A foot? What kind of bedding do you use? I've been using a mix of shavings and pelleted bedding which seems to keep things slightly cleaner.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Warm-up work and P's teeth update

Once again, apologies for not blogging for so long! I've been extremely busy at work and also trying really hard to put in more pony time. It's not easy and sometimes I just want to sit down and not do anything!!

But I think it's important to keep P moving as much as possible. She has 24/7 turnout but I think regular exercise helps her a lot. I've been doing a lot of warm-up exercises at the walk such as circles and serpentines and figure-eights. I do this on the ground or in the saddle and I also do a variety of leg-yield exercises on the long sides and the quarterlines. If anyone has any suggestions on warm-up patterns, please let me know as I'd love to try them out.

P has also been having more trouble with her teeth. She quids her hay more often, including chopped hay, so I've been looking into other forage alternatives for her. I tried one brand of hay stretcher in the past and didn't think it soaked very well - there may be other brands out there that work better.

I'd like to keep her on something as close to hay as possible. She's a pretty easy keeper, so I don't really want to feed a lot of alfalfa, but alfalfa cubes are really common around here. I know they make a nice soaked mash. I've also seen alfalfa/timothy cubes which would be less alfalfa. I'm not sure that I've ever seen straight timothy cubes. Does anybody feed straight timothy cubes? Has anyone tried any other forage alternatives for horses with bad teeth?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tail care help!

As you may have read in previous posts, one of my goals for this year is to take better care of P's tail. I'm a bit envious of all the shiny, silky horse tails that I see in other blogs and I've been working on P's tail to get it in better shape.

Earlier this year, I started using Show Sheen while the weather was still too cold to bathe. Although I know Show Sheen can be drying to the hair, I feel like it helped start the detangling process.

Once it was warm enough to bathe, the bath alone helped even more. I ran out of Show Sheen and decided to try Cowboy Magic detangler. I vaguely remember not being impressed with Cowboy Magic several years ago and unfortunately, that was still the case. It did a good job of detangling but I felt like all the dirt stuck to it and it left P's tail rather dry.

So I'm on the search again for a good conditioning/detangling product! At this point, I think P needs more of a conditioning product to soften and strengthen the hair. What do you think, bloggers? What's your tail care routine and what's your favorite tail conditioning/detangling product?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A rainy weekend leads to organization

Unfortunately, this weekend did not involve a lot of pony time - partly due to my choice and partly due to the monsoon-like weather. I was overly tired from a busy week and didn't think I had much energy to devote to the pony - and then the weather really made the decision for me.

While the rain poured down and P and AP were snug inside their shelter with hay, I focused on getting stuff organized. I did some cleaning out of pony stuff - every so often I like to go through the supplies and clean out anything unneeded or old and expired. It helps me keep track of what supplies are needed, and I make out a pony shopping list.

I also got some other paperwork organized and cleaned a little bit. I wrote some e-mails and relaxed for a while - and I'm even writing a blog entry!! So while very un-horsey, it was a weekend that I really needed just to catch up on life. I hope that everyone also had a productive weekend, whether you were riding or just getting organized!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Off balance to the right

P and I went for a really nice little hack last weekend. The weather was very nice, and both P and I had fun.

One thing I noticed is that P was especially stiff to the right that day. I don't know if it's just aging or if it has to do with some past trauma. We do suspect that she was injured at some point but don't know the details. It's probably a combination of both.

In my 2015 goals, I had mentioned getting P some bodywork if I could afford it. I was thinking about massage at the time but am now considering chiro. What do you think, bloggers? Has chiro helped your horse? We do have a veterinarian in the area who does chiro work. The reason I'm considering it is because it sounds like it would have more of an effect. I'm less familiar with the massage therapists in the area and have seen some in the past who are nice people but don't seem to be very effective.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Remembering to schedule pony time

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working a lot of extra hours lately. My daily schedule looks something like this:

1. morning horse care

2. work

3. evening horse care

4. work

5. sleep

Yes, I've been working overtime in the evenings. Right now other people are making my job extremely difficult - they're not meeting their deadlines, so I'm unable to meet my deadlines - unless I work overtime in the evenings. It's extremely frustrating.

It also means that I spend my weekends trying to catch up. There are often so many household and barn chores to be done that I forget to have fun with my pony.

I'm trying to be better about scheduling my time - including pony time! I keep a things to do list and try to organize it in order of importance and what time I'm going to do which task. It helps a lot, but I still feel like I get behind on things. I know it's important to schedule pony time, though - whether it's riding or just grooming.

What works for you? Do you have trouble finding time to get everything done? How do you make time for everything plus pony time?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Busy busy busy - and bugs

Many apologies for the lack of blogging - both reading other blogs and posting to my own. The last five or six weeks have been one thing right after another. I've been working a lot of extra hours and have also been doing a lot of extra horse chores. Spring is finally here and we're already on the cusp of summer, so that means a lot of maintenance around the farm.

I'm happy to report that P and AP are doing well. We do ride occasionally, mostly just a short hack. P is definitely not getting any younger, but it's good for us to get out and enjoy the weather.

What we don't enjoy is bugs! The bugs have come out in force this spring, and we do try to be careful about bug control on the farm. We keep manure picked up and put it in a pile to compost. Has anyone used fly predators? We've used them for several years and find that they do help a lot. We also use sticky traps for the adult flies and other kinds of flies. And of course P and AP wear fly masks and are sprayed with fly spray. If anyone has any more bug control tips, please share!

I also wanted to mention that Show Sheen has done a pretty good job on P's tail. I've used up almost all that was left in our bottle and I've decided to try Cowboy Magic detangler next. I think I tried it in the past and wasn't impressed - but I'm thinking that I just didn't use enough and P's tail required a lot of help! Cowboy Magic is a lot more expensive, but maybe I can use it more sparingly after the Show Sheen.

Hope everyone in blog world is doing well and having fun with their horses!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spring and Show Sheen

Sorry I've been missing from the Blogger world for quite a while now. Life has gotten extra busy as spring has arrived, and I really don't have enough hours in the day. What time of day do you usually blog? I've been trying to be extra careful with managing my time, but I still feel very crunched!

After snow season is done, we immediately enter mud season, so we're still waiting for things to dry out a bit before riding here. I checked the ground today, and it's a little squishy but improving quickly. P and AP are enjoying moving around without dodging the snow banks, and I'm sure they're perfectly happy to delay riding for a while.

And they've been shedding a lot, so we've been grooming a lot. It's that time of year when all hair coming off the horse somehow ends up on the human!

In an effort to make both of their tails more manageable this year, I've been spraying some Show Sheen every week or so. They really need a couple of thorough washings, but I thought the Show Sheen might at least start the detangling process. I've heard both good and bad reviews about Show Sheen and we just happened to have a bottle in the barn, so that's what I'm using for now.

I may eventually try a different detangling product with P. The Show Sheen seems to be working on AP's tail but P has a really thick tail and it's pretty tangled. Any recommendations?

I hope everyone is doing well and having fun with their horses!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Doing some horsey reading

Since the weather has been very uncooperative lately, I've been spending some time reading about various horse topics and products. Not only am I finally catching up on reading other blogs, but I've been reading some of the online horse forums. Both are really good sources of information from real owners and real horses.


I think that P may need a new blanket next year, so as this year's winter comes to an end, I've been reading about people's experiences with different blankets. There are so many brands and styles of blankets now - it's overwhelming! And they all seem to fit a little differently depending on your horse's size and shape. I don't even know what to try first! I may borrow an older Weatherbeeta just to see how that fits P. Luckily she is fairly easy on her blankets, but I do want to purchase one that will last for a while.


With winter ending and spring on the horizon, that means it's almost allergy season. I have trouble with allergies myself and I've been reading about different supplements that are supposed to help horses with allergies without resorting to steroids or other prescription medicines. There's quite a range of supplements out there - from spirulina to MSM to various herbs. I just read recently that antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E also help. Again, it's hard to know what to try first!

I guess the end result from all my reading is that the old saying is true - ask two horse people their opinions, and you will get three different answers!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Failing miserably at blogging

I'm sad to say that so far I've failed pretty miserably at my goal to blog more this year. I've been really busy over the past few weeks. I feel like I just haven't been able to get out of the routine of horse care/work/eat/sleep - there isn't time for anything else!

Winter weather also makes things more difficult with the snow and ice. P and AP get a very extended vacation during the winter and have been spending their days munching lots of hay. I think they're actually a bit bored and I wish I could do more with them.

I hope all bloggers are doing well and having more horsey time than I am!

Monday, January 12, 2015


Since riding is completely out of the question right now due to weather, I decided to work on one of my other goals for 2015 - grooming!

P actually got a pretty thorough grooming this weekend. I usually just use a curry comb and soft brush, although I also have a softer curry for the legs. I don't know how P manages to get her legs so dirty! It's hard to get all the mud and manure off the legs at this time of year.

It's also hard to do anything with the mane and tail right now. P's mane and tail could really use some detangler, but first I think they need to be washed. Unfortunately, horse baths are also out of the question due to weather.

So I ask fellow horse bloggers - are there any products out there that can be used to clean and detangle dry hair? I wouldn't want to get the hair really wet in the cold weather, but if I could use it on a few spots on a warmer day, that would be nice.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 goals

I've had a lot of fun reading everybody's 2014 reviews and 2015 goals, so I decided to write down a few goals for the coming year:

1. Ride more and have fun

Sometimes life gets so busy, or I get so caught up in just getting everything done to take care of P - and we run out of time to ride! We do have a lot of weather-related issues (bad weather, bad footing), but we definitely need to make more time to ride and have fun in 2015.

2. Blog more

I'm a terrible blogger, and I'll try to be better!

3. Pamper P a little bit, especially as she gets older

This goal actually includes a few things:

- Start P on a joint supplement. I'd like to see if a combination of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid help her at all.

- Be more diligent about grooming, especially mane and tail care. When I get busy, I tend to slack off on grooming. I would like P's mane and tail to be a little less tangled.

- Possibly schedule some massage sessions for P - if I can afford it. I've seen bodywork do a lot of good for horses, and I think P would really like a massage!

4. Try to eat healthier and lose a little weight

This goal could actually be for both P and me - but it's mostly for me! Because I'm so busy, sometimes I don't eat healthy foods, and I always eat on the run. If I eat a little better and lose a little weight, I think it would help my riding.

I think that's it for now. Thanks, bloggers, for inspiring me to write down some goals. Happy New Year!