Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas eve and I'm getting ready to start my last minute running around. My husband and older daughter went to Monroe for some last minute gifts, so I'm waiting for them to get back.

We need to run to Costco for Christmas pies and I'm sure we'll find one or two other things that we must have. The horses will get their very own huge bag of carrots for tomorrow. It looks rather unlikely that we'll have a white Christmas, which is just fine with us. While snow is pretty to look at, it sure makes taking care of a bunch of horses much more time intensive.

Then, we'll start thinking about our goals for next year. This year has been pretty good all around and I think we can have an even better 2011!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All the Young Horses..and the old ones

I've been spending a lot of time recently working with my youngsters (horses, that is, kids pretty much take care of themselves these days). I have 1 weanling, Scooter, who is a lovely little guy, learning about such basics as "don't get into my space", "give to pressure", "grooming is fun", and "being by yourself isn't all THAT bad". Then, we have our coming 2 year old colt, Goshen, who Monica mainly works with. He's been so easy, but does test a little from time to time. He's recently discovered that he has some power (over Scooter, mainly), so we have to enforce boundries. "No, I'm not holding Scooter for you to chomp on his butt". He's learning things like "cross-tieing", "leading down the road", "beginning round-penning" and Monica is working on various tricks with him. I hear that some other things are in his future too, perhaps some long-lining and in-hand trail.

Next, we have the coming 3 year old filly, Mahri. Mahri has just been growing up, has learned all the basics that Scooter is working on now and we just moved up to "Medium Round-Penning", not to be confused with "Beginning Round Penning". She's doing very well and really enjoyed her grooming the other day.

Then, there is the coming 4 year old filly, Slari. Slari knows all the stuff the younger horses are learning and is moving into the 'riding zone'. This is where she'll learn about lunging on a lunge line (no big deal for a good round penning horse), wearing a saddle, bridle and bit, and we'll get to getting on her by the end of next summer. She's learning about voice commands on the lunge, we'll work on some in-hand work and probably do some trail walks in the great wide world. She is such a pretty, dainty little thing - makes me wish I had a 110 lb teenager to help me out!

Then, we get to the 'bigger boys', such as Andre, who is coming 5 and Danny, also coming 5. Danny is doing well under saddle and just needs miles. Andre was a late bloomer, so we're just starting to get to sitting on him. I expect it will be no big deal and he'll be a riding horse supreme. He looks like he's going to be so smooth that you'll think you're in your recliner in front of the TV.

Then, there are the 'boys in work', Galen and Willie (Monica's horse). Both are doing great, compete and are learning jumping now.

What is left? Well, the 'rehab', Ari, who is recovering from a knocked-down hip sometime in the distant past. He's doing pretty well, but we're going slowly, so as not to reinjure him. He's slotted to be my husband's trail horse. Then, there is Maz, who is a 'been there, done that" kind of guy, who unfortunately has some arthritis issues and some hoof issues. He needs maintenance and light riding. Same with Khan - he's also paid his dues and is deserving a comfortable retirement. I hop on him every once in a while and lunge him a few times a week. Keeps him happy and semi-fit. Annie, our broodmare, gets groomed every now and again, just so we can let her know we appreciate her. Salam, our senior stallion, gets occasional grooming and loves to just hang out.

That's pretty much our horsey family - keeps me busy, Monica helps out a lot and I'm sure not bored. Not enough hours in the day, but that is OK.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sunny Day!

Ah, those sunny winter days! So much better than gloomy, dark, winter days. I seem to have 3 times the energy when the sun shines.

So, today (sunny), I went to Costco and Fred Meyer, stocking up for the rest of the month and rode Galen, working on our canter and a few little jumps. Wednesday, (gloomy), I barely got myself out of the house, cleaned the stalls and picked up kids. Hmmm, am I solar powered? You bet. Why do I live in Seattle? I have asked myself that a few times in the past 25 years.

Of course, there are GOOD things about Seattle winters, such as being able to trail ride in December in your sweatshirt and not owning long underwear. Bad things include: not much sun, too much mud and rain. Tradeoffs!

It does bring to mind an episode of "Northern Exposure" from many years ago, where one character had a hat with a full spectrum light on it. I have a full spectrum light right beside my computer and my overhead lights are full spectrum too. (love them!) Maybe all I need to be more productive during our dark winter months, is a light attached to my ball cap.

Hmmm, might spook the horses though.

Of course, they are Tekes, so maybe not.