Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sad & confused...

The sad is that my FIL passed Monday evening. He is/was a very dear man who will be sorely missed. He'd been born & raised in WV & moved back there just as I'd met my Hubs. His health took bad turns for a few years, heart surgery got him on the right path. Hubs was doing a lot of driving being there to be with & help him. It was decided with FIL in agreement after his wife passed, to get him closer to us and his three daughters. We decided to purchase another home for us, then move him into our then current home. It's a raised ranch with minimal stairs, two acres for him to mow to his hearts content, close enough to church, gas & stores to allow him his independence. He became part time minister again at church, as well as lead singer & thrived!  
He'd broken a hip late 2016, bounced right back. A week ago he'd fallen, thankfully we'd gotten him a life alert. While there was only minimal injury from the fall, it was discovered he had blood in his urine along with other things that weren't quite right that he'd not shared with us.  As Dr's attempted to figure things out, he crashed, 16 minutes of CPR brought him back "kind of."  He was now unresponsive with his body shutting down. Poor Hubs despite his own pain made the decision to allow his Dad & God the final decision.  FIL is now reunited with 10 of his 13 siblings & two late wives. His wish was to rest once again in WV, his past congregation have gladly taken the lead there assisting Hubs in making his wish come true. His three daughters, well let's just say we're blessed that one is sane and uncontrolling & that FIL knew who he could trust to abide by his wishes and be fair. Puts, so much on Hubs besides the pain of his loss but, he's getting it done. 
The confusing part: today I got a call regarding a gelding I'd checked out as I was selling Camryn-pre Grace. The owner is in her 70's and has had him since he was a two year old. She'd decided at the last minute she just couldn't part with him, which I understood. Before Merlin, I'd called her to see where she stood regarding selling Cha-chi, she still couldn't part with him. She called me this morning and left the message that he'd be for sale shortly, her health wasn't allowing her to ride much any longer. He's been being kept ridden by some of the people at her barn when she can't.  She plans to get him ridden more frequently, then offer him up for sale, I have first dibs. I left her a brief message regarding what we have going on and that I'd call her sometime next week to talk. What to do?   
Not the time to discuss horse things with Hubs, we have to clear the house, do some needed repairs, and get it sold!  Plus I have the Mini's & Grandsons to think about. Do I have time?
I've spoken with my friend who lives next door to my FIL's house. She has a boarding barn & a woman who Cha-chi's owner had keeping him ridden & trained now boards with her whome she trusts. Her thoughts were to ask owner if perhaps she'd consider a half lease, move him there, I'd be able to ride, get to know him, take lessons with her friend who's worked with him...she'd still of course be able to ride as she could & go from there?  Logic says no, BUT!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Out of the mouths of babes...

Oh my, Lincoln has such a way about him and I so love how his mind works. He's very into birds and has his own "Ohio birds" book which he grabs whenever he spots a different bird. Keep in mind at 3 1/2 he doesn't read but has become quite familiar with navigating the book. If he can't find it, he simply makes up what kind it is (black pidgyota aka red winged black bird)
This afternoon when his Mom came to pick him up he'd just spotted a Red-bellied Woodpecker and ran for his book. His Mom asked "is that bird indigenous to Ohio Lincoln?"  Without hesitating or looking up from his book he answered, "no, it's indigenous to Gramma's road!"  😂😂😂😂
Normally Grampa arrives home just as the boys are leaving, Lincoln always sadly tells Grampa, "you missed all the fun."  Grampa came home early today, so Lincoln hung out with him in the kitchen...
Hubs on his computer, Lincoln has a notebook pen in hand..."we're paying bills Gramma. You know, so we can go to the zoo an stuff!"  Bed head as he'd just gotten up from his nap. 

Kardashian much?  Lincoln also changes species pretty frequently, often enough that his teachers will ask what/who he is when I drop him off.  Upon my return from NC, he became his cousin Kennedy for the day, hence the butterfly clip in his hair.  Lincoln refers to himself as an "awesome imaginator!" You really can't have a bad day when Lincoln is around. His teachers all agree.  
I so hope his imaginator never leaves him. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

lesson #4...

Today was best lesson so far, trainer agreed, lots of high fives after! Started out with me harnessing up on my own, a quick check, then off to the arena. 
The first 15 minutes or so were our normal, trainer with lead rope walking alongside. I was feeling really good & in sync with my pony.  Trainer only speakers when instruction is needed, lots of silence thruout today. 
 I'd just had the thought, "I wonder when she'll allow us to go on our own", when trainer turned and unclipped the lead!  I was "really", she replied "your ready!"  And off we went, I'm not sure why today felt so good, I was remembering how to check her speed, not allow her to set the pace, go deep into corners...  I did run over one cone LOL. Turned into a backing lesson, oops!  
Several times I thought, how odd to not be riding but, have that feeling of being connected!
We practiced a lot of stopping & standing, you all know how important a good whoa is. I even got a pic, her ears are back listening to me even!

Meet Suzy!  We're practicing just chilling while another student is hitching up for their lesson. Lines relaxed a long her sides puts her in neutral.  A big deal here as Suzy had to calmly stand, while her arch enemy Inca was lead beside and behind us. She thought several times of moving towards Inca but, with gentle reminders, she stayed put eventually cocking her hip just totally relaxed.  These two mares hate one another. 
As we moved off again, she was totally tuned in. We just drove around for quite a while after our hour, while Inca & he student worked. I'm only doing every other week as lessons are really quite $$. 
Hubs did great taking care of the boys in my absence, lovely visit with daughter & her family. While the weather sucked during my visit, it really didn't matter. Perhaps even added to the visit as we all just spent time together.  
I'd saved Jillians fave baby doll from her toddler days and took her along...
All snuggled in together ❤️

Friday, March 17, 2017

And a Happy Saint Patrick's Day...

While I'm away, the boyz will play. Being its Saint Patrick's Day, just gives them an excuse to party. Hmmmm, quite similar to my sons in many ways!
O'Pippins mane as usual,
 just suits his party frame of mind!  

O'Merlin I believe is watching for wee leprechauns in the mud. 
Happy Saint Patrick's everybody!  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gone visiting...

I left this mess in Ohio...

Off to North Carolina...

To do lots of this...
Reading to my dear sweet Granddaughter Kennedy 💞
She & my daughter Jillian Sykping with Lincoln & Jefferson. 

And of course the prerequisite horsey shirt from Gramma. They'll be moving to Japan in July, so such snuggles now are even more precious to me. Thankfully they'll be coming to Ohio for most of June before the big move. 
This visit is a much appreciated gift from my Hubs. While I'm here in chilly NC snuggling with Kennedy. He's back home taking care of the four leggers in single digit temps. Sorry hon, had no idea winter would start while I was away. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hay Chix review

Disclaimer, I'm not being paid for this review. In fact Hay Chix is unaware I'm even blogging about their products here.  I just feel if you come across something that works, frees up your time & benefits your horses, you should share the experience. 
I'll be leaving the Hubs in charge of the fourleggers next week while I head to NC to visit my Daughter & her family 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻 Hubs hasn't had to horse sit in several years & never in winter months. Meaning he's never wrestled with hay nets, that & he's clueless in tying proper knots. With the boyz, if it isn't tied properly as in out of their reach, the slow feed part becomes a free, all you can eat buffet. They simply untie and go to town. Don't ask how I know this. 
So to simplify things for Hubs, I ordered two of Hay Chix Free-Up Feeders...

Hubs got them mounted easily, great instructions & they have video on their site you can watch first.  I can take closer pix if anyone wants or you can go to the Hay Chix website. 
All I have to do its pull up the pin at the top, pull down front piece, dump hay in, close, push pin down & WALLA hay net done!!!  Seriously, why did I wait so long to get these?  I've wasted so much time for to many years wresting hay nets!
 I mean I've gotten pretty good at it, placing in clean muck bucket, folding sides over, filling, basically crocheting a long string of knots, takes about 5 minutes per bag except when your fingers are numb and the rope stiff from cold, then it's 10 minutes per bag. 
With these free-up feeders, it takes all of one minute if that & none of the wrestling!
Pippin: "Hay, this doesn't smell like my bag!  Never mind, it's food."

Merlin: "Hay, these holes shrunk!"

The boys came in, the noticed first off the nets didn't smell like their nets lol. Some snorkeling ensued, Pippin dug right in pretty quickly, he was a net pro from the get go. Merlin didn't like the holes being a tad smaller, he pawed a bit, just as he did when I first introduced him to nets in the fall. I pulled some hay thru & he settled right in. 
We might've hung them a tad higher but, that would've  meant Hubs adding a board to the stall wall, this would've meant the boyz wouldn't be able to even peak out when stalled. The areas I hang them are in the run in area,  out of the wind & keep their butts separated enough that kicking out doesn't ensue.  Neither are shod, the holes are 1 1/4 inches, so I doubt even their briny feet can get in a hole. 
Replacement string is also included in case of tearing, very sturdy, well made & you can special order hole sizes. These are Slow Feed size at 1 1/4". I have used their products before. Some readers may recall when our old neighbor would barnsit Camryn, I ordered Hay Chix Cinch Net for small bales it held an entire two string bale and was very easy to load, it simplified things for the neighbors as they only had to go over once a day to water and hard feed rather than filling the normal net thrice daily. Even with Camryn the full net lasted 72 hours, hers was the Slow Feed Extreme with 1" holes.   As the boyz can argue over food, I don't use it any longer. Anyone want to buy it? 😉

Friday, March 10, 2017

Yup, it's March...

After balmy days, windy days, rainy days...
It's a snowy day, this Robin is like WTF!

Theo on the other hand is...
Just throw the ball would ya...

Such a handsome dog. While he has your typical ACD OCD behaviors...

Despite his cattledoggieness, Theo is the best kids dog ever. They wear one another out playing ball, he's even got little Jefferson trained in the ways of fetch. Lincoln insists Theo naps with him. After all no monsters can lurk under the bed with Theo there. At home it's his Pitbull Emily that assumes the "no monsters allowed" role!
Love my boys...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lesson #3 &...

Busy, busy day, first off trimmer. Thankfully she always messages me a reminder & was able to bump us up an hour, as I also had a lesson scheduled. 
The paddock is a horrendous mud pit, So I let the boys out of their stall as usual but, kept the barn door closed. They'd normally stay in by choice munching for an hour before heading out anyway. They were quite unhappy at not having an option & my changing things up.  I'd guessed they'd be unhappy, so rather than going back in I hung out and cleaned their stall. Hooves nicely trimmed & looking good, Pippin's gotten the hang of this trim thing and was a good boy all way round for once.
Headed out for my lesson, sorry once again forgot pix, guess that's a good thing as I'm focused on learning!  Changed ponies from Suzy to Frankie, he's a Shetland just a few inches taller than the boyz & very much a "pony attitude."  He wasn't happy at being brought in to work, wasn't happy to be alone without friends, so I got quite an education in control today. Wasn't going very well at first, he was tense & very up,  I became tense, he became more tense, you all know how that works. Once I began relaxing, he did as well. Part of his problem of course was me, I kept finding myself sitting with my torso leaning forward, this causes the harness to put more pressure on his neck. Once I consitantly sat back, he was more comfortable. I really have to remember that and soooo many other things. You wouldn't think that while seated behind in a cart that your body position would make such a differance but, it sure does.  Even turning your head in the direction you wish to go is just as big a deal in driving as it is in riding!  Fortunately that's something I'm familiar with, I'm ahead of the game in many ways having ridden. Makes me wonder how Hubs will do one his lessons begin?
We've had wind warnings & advisories all day, gusts so strong Semis were being blown over!  Found this meme on FB, shows what I probably looked like heading out to the barn a little while ago...

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Oddly enough it's true...

Yesterday while speaking to my SIL on the phone (she's unaware of my blog, basically she's typically just unaware) she mentioned one of her goals. Her goal is to "RIDE" one of my "BABY" horses!!!  
When I found this FB post I nearly pee'd myself laughing...

Yes, she's not the brightest of bulbs in the pack, even after I'd explained that they aren't babies, nor will any adult be riding them. She repeated her goal again. Jeez, my head hurts people. 
I do have to mention in her defense that my non horsey DIL, along with Hubs have apparently thought ponies are baby horses as well. My Hubs disclosed this even after my having a horse for 10 years. AND he's got multiple college degrees to boot!  At least when DIL & Hubs were informed correctly, they got it. SIL, yeah not so much!
Are Chihuahua's Great Dane puppies?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Yup, springs coming...

Days are getting longer, horse hair galore, sure hope the birds get in on the flying fur, springs a coming...
Just one sweep of the shedding blade across Merlins bum!  Had faded black fur flying every where. Merlin was loving it, especially the underside of his neck and chest. Pippin even stood nearby without interfering!  
After Merlin it was Pippins turn, he had other ideas. He'd push his head into me, then try to shoulder me over as if I were another horse to be pushed about. He wasn't haltered so while I could easily stop him, that was the best I could do. He wasn't being mean, it felt like a testing game, similar to what Lincoln might do to see what I'd allow. So, off I went, grabbed a halter and long line, then back out. Haltered him and began grooming, he started the pushing at me again which I expected, I simply took the end of the rope and sent him out. He was not happy about the new game plan at all, poor baby. I kept in mind he's only 4ish, going to be 5 sometime this year, ground manners training sorely lacking. As sent him around me I was prepared for his attempt to pull away, foiled that several times. Once he literally laid down and rolled, not sure what that was about, felt like a tantrum!   I just spun the end of the rope a bit & he popped back up with another bolt attempt. After mad trotting in both directions, it finally dawned on him id never asked him to run, rolling hadn't done the trick, bolting wasn't working out as he'd hoped, he quieted down to a walk. He'd trot a bit when asked to change direction but, quieted pretty quickly each time. Once he was with me, we simply walked a bit, I brushed him a few strokes, gave him a treat and called it a success & left him to think. I never put to much pressure on him, starting small, only upping the ante if needed.  Rather like Lincoln, he's got to test me to find out what the answers are. Good thing he's cute. 
Spent most of the day at tack sale down the road, they'd advertised only on FB, hadn't even put a sign out front!  Soooo, while there were some customers, it was low volume. Had fun visiting with my friends (3 of us shared space) & making new friends. Most of the sales everyone had were from others there selling!  I did net a little over $100.00 selling odds & ends mostly.  Spent $20.00, found a saddle cover and a lead rope that matched Merlins royal blue saddle, rethinking red for him having forgotten his saddle color. And picked up a wee furry rocking horse for little Jefferson. I teared up a bit when a guy bought my halter/bridle combo. I'd had it since my first horse 10 years ago, the leather was broken in so nicely, it was old but, loved.  The guy could tell I was having a hard time with it, the fact that it was going on another Haflinger helped a lot though. 
The B.O., knew I was the Mini lady down the road and attempted to send me home with two more LOL. I still only have my boyz!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Changing like the weather...

Yup, here in Ohio the weather changed once again!  I'm sure many areas have similar sayings, "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. It'll change!"  Just like the boyz LOL
First the kiss...

Next up,
Time to RUMBLE!  Still a love/hate thing going on!

Had to reschedule last lesson, we'd had some major winds along with a power outage. We have a generator wired in, so we had what we needed aka heat. I didn't feel it safe to leave with the generator running, so next week I'll have #3!
Tomorrow one of the big barns down the road, I'll be taking a lot of my horse tack down to sell. Rather depressed letting it go but, the $ will come in handy getting Merlin his own little cart. I'll be keeping my favorite bridle. Just in case 👍🏻