Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coming Soon To A Blog Near You...

I know it has been way too long since I posted. New stuff is coming soon, I promise. I just have to finish some horrible finals first. One 4 hour suicide inducement down, only four more to go. They could have a blog all to themselves, but I'd rather not relive it. Be on the look out for new pony pictures. A new addition arrived at the farm on Tuesday morning. Don't get too excited though, he comes with plenty of emotional baggage (not his, but there is a backstory). Studly also has news to report, some good, some not so good. I will be ranting! Oh, and my super good new method of mane care for Studly totally did not work. It wasn't as bad as a gallon of vinegar and a couple boxes of baking soda combined in your mom's kitchen, but it definitely didn't work. I guess its back to the old way for now. I'm sure I'll come up with something new and kooky very soon. Until then, I hope a pic of Snoopy-longstocking trying to scratch his best bud, who is ignoring him will keep you entertained.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rapunzel Rapunzel

Riding Studly is going well. I took him for a spin on Sunday, and he was great. Turns out the snort-like sound is just his motor. You know the more horsepower the louder the engine idles. I'm not a mechanic, but I'm pretty sure that's how it is anyway. He is a little heavy on the forehand, but I think that's just laziness. He can easily roll back and spin because I tried it. He isn't ready for much of that though, so for now I'm mostly concerned with fitness. Don't get me wrong he is in good shape, but of course riding is different than fitting from the ground.

He does seem a little short on his left side. He doesn't always step with his rear all the way into/past his left front hoofprint like he does with the right. I am able to get him to step through a little longer with some shoulder in exercises (gotta love those dressage books), so I think it must be a balance issue and not actual soreness. But, I haven't ridden him enough to really know him, so I've determined to keep him on the workout schedule until I'm done with finals. Again, I love my lil sis. She's going to work on his fitness for me while I have to do boring law school stuff.

The other thing he has no clue about is a mounting block. He's not afraid of it, but looks at me like I'm dumb when I want him to stand next to it. He will gladly stand 2 feet away from it, or at a 45 degree angle to it, or with his neck next to it so that the stirrup is just out of my reach. None of which merits any sort of come to Jesus meeting, but still annoying. He just won't go where he is supposed to. I've tried to explain to him that I invested in a block because I don't want to spend money on a chiropractor to fix his withers after my big butt torques them out of whack by mounting from the ground with a bad knee, but he's old fashioned. Jeez, I sound like a whiner. Really, I chuckle about my bronc of a Studly.

Sunday is also beauty parlor day.

As lovely as Studly's hair is, its a curse. He of course could care less about mangling it on the fence or tangling it up by annoyingly shaking his head. Come on pony, be still, breyers can do it, why can't you? On the bright side, at least he doesn't have half the white that Snoopy does.

I came up with a new novel hair care idea. Having Snoopy for the last ten years, I've gotten very schooled in long mane care, but Studly's mane is more like a couple tails attached to his neck. It just isn't quite as easy. Normally I would braid his hair into 5-6 large braids (changing the number/spacing to prevent breakage) and then sock each big braid. Well I decided that smaller braids would have less surface area (my science degrees at work) at the base of his mane for him to get messed up. So, I braided each large section into three individual braids and then braided those braids together. Overkill, maybe, but in two weeks I will see. I also decided to try a second new idea of only braiding half his hair. This could prove to be a problem. I'm worried that the loose ends will tangle inside the sock, but if they don't, I just saved myself a good 45 minutes.

My poor jealous Snoopy also got his hair re-done, but taking care of him is only half the production of Studly. I've quit experimenting with him and have settled into an unchanging personal law of how its done. (Don't feel bad for him though, he's the only horse in the barn who got any treats from me before I left, and he knows it)

Note that it is dark out, and some horses are waiting for the beauty king to finish so I can bring them in.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Studly's Mind Is A Steel Trap Afterall

My arena is finally dry enough to use. Yay, but...

Yikes! First ride on Studly. It has been so long for him that I was all nervous. Thankfully, my sister is home for tri break from chiropractic school. We saddled Studly up in the barn. I had to go through all kinds of tack and saddle pads to get him fitted. I settled on one of Snoopy's pads, which is too long for him since his back is a couple inches shorter than Snoopy's. I had to bust out a 34 inch cinch, even though he looks like a fatty now, he just isn't as big as all the other boys. I also decided on Snoopy's nice myler bit. Don't tell him though, he's really jealous of little brother.

We headed to the arena with Studly blowing and snorting the whole way. Jeez, I'm not a trainer, I'm wondering what I'm getting into. He was really laying it on thick, putting on the scare show for us. I walked him a few circles around while he pranced and chomped at the bit. I made my poor little sis get on him first because I knew if he did blow up, I could hold/stop him alot faster than she could. Well, my God I'm a worry wart. He didn't do anything. She rode him around for a few circles. It's obvious he is really rusty. He's got no power brakes, which is basically when you push your hand into his neck while shifting your weight deep into the saddle and he is supposed to park his butt instantly. On a positive note, the steering is all intact though. I wanted to work this horse so bad. It would have been awesome to pull out the dummy and see what he remembers, but he's not ready. It will be a couple weeks of just riding before that will happen. First show is in just six short weeks, so we have some work to do.

Here's two quick cell phone videos from right after she got on. I had a third one, but apparently my phone thought it would be funny to delete it. Some of the reining is atrocious, but she was having a hard time getting a feel for him at first.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No Swimming in the Ocean.

Well just a quick update because its like watching reality TV without the dumb blondes. (mostly because I took the pictures so it was hard for me to be in them, lol.)

My parents backyard 4-13-09 9:00am

Roughly the same views of the North Pasture as before. Only its almost all under 18-24in of water. Taken 4-13-09 10:30am. For some reason it looks like the sun is setting and its getting dark, but what can you expect from a cell phone camera.

The flood refugees all getting along nicely in such close quarters up in the not all that dry, drylots.
Studly was a little confused when none of the other horses cared about him. They were too busy eating, so he decided to chow down too.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Swimming Anyone?

Well, the house and hay-shed are fine for now. Something about a crest being expected Wednesday is what I hear. The internet was out from last night until now. I'm not sure if it was just us or what. The only problem so far is that the river is so full its moving into an old oxbow (dead river channel left from when they streamlined the river in the 50's and 60's). The oxbow runs around the property and dead ends on the west border of our south pasture. The water from the oxbow has managed to find a culvert (don't ask me how water figured out gravity) and is now flowing into my main North Pasture. The North Pasture was essentially dry last night, and the photos are how it looked at 9:30a.m. A flooded pasture wouldn't normally be such a problem, but my drylots are mudpits and my South Pasture only has water when the frost is out of the ground enough for us to turn it back on. Which is usually about now through the end of September, but we're still waiting for all the snow to melt.

The far side where the water is coming in.

The center show how far the water has come through. Poor Scooby wants to follow me.

The oxbow which is being filled by the river. This is at least 3x fuller than normal.

From my parents back deck at 8:30p.m. You can see the river is getting full and leaking into the low land. This is still quite a few feet from the house and a pretty big drop off.

Friday, April 10, 2009

So it begins...

Its official, we are likely to be sandbagging this weekend. Other people have already begun. We had hoped the flooding would not reach us (it still might not), but what do you expect with record snowfall measured in feet, not inches.

My lovely truckloads of sand sit waiting at the front end of my arena. They were supposed to be spread over the back half of my newly extended arena last fall, but it started snowing just two days after everything was leveled off. So they sat, pretending to be mountains until the snow became so deep that all was flat prairie once again.

We are moving 15 tons of hay out of the hay-shed and into the main barn storage first thing in the morning when the ground is more firm. My sad little old hay-shed with with a great roof, but no doors and a 4 foot hole in its side is starting to look more like a tar pit every day, or if I were an optimist some mudbath at a fancy spa. (No worries, though, my OCD ensured that every bale was perfectly stacked on pallets because heaven forbid one of my horses eat a spec of dirt.)

Here's to hoping there will be enough sand for my arena when its finally dry enough to use.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Frustration - feeling of dissatisfaction resulting from unfulfilled needs

I've been really frustrated lately.

My entire April book canceled because of recent flooding events and other personal issues. Of course, I'm a nice person and want these people to either breed in another month or some other time in the future. Well maybe I'm not all that nice and really just practicing good business by not holding anyone to booking fees etc. I want them to come back and then tell their friends to come to me too.

I've dropped his fee to $500.00 which is much less than my original $850. The $850 was already a break from his previous fee, which I decided could not be attained in ND.

I just thought that I had a nice horse and it wouldn't be this hard to book mares. I knew being in ND would be a slight disadvantage, but with shipped semen, who cares. I mean I haven't even gotten to turn away any fuglies. I'm beginning to wonder where have all the mares gone.

I know that my website gets great hits. I have an awesome stat counter that gives me great feedback. I know what pages are popular and so forth, that way I can edit the site and get the information out there. What really frustrates me is that I know there are people who have visited multiple times and have not contacted me. I don't understand that. You know at least shoot me an e-mail saying you like him or ask a question, even a dumb one. I don't care, I would love to answer any e-mail. (To the nice people in Minot, ND; Langdon, ND; Wilton, ND and Minneapolis who have visited the site, please shoot me an e-mail.)

On a good note, I started a Facebook and Myspace account for Studly. Facebook has been great, and he has a good amount of friends. Yay, networking! One May booking is the result of his Facebook page. Well technically, it is with someone I knew from before, but I wouldn't have booked anything if she hadn't seen him on facebook.
I'm also thinking of starting an e-mail/mailing list and adding that feature to my website. Maybe over Easter I'll get that done, but I've got two wooly beasts that the weather will finally allow me to body clip. I know its not really the right time to do it, but they have to live out in the winter and won't finish shedding until July if I don't help out.