Friday, January 31, 2014

Blankets Are A Real Pain


Poor Jack has developed a blanket rub in a rather awkward spot. I've never seen anything like it  before, it actually took me a few minutes to figure out what had happened.  The culprit seems to be an oddly placed seam on the inside of the blanket.  You can see it in the picture, there.  A fleece cooler underneath the blanket will take care of it, I'm sure.  Trouble is, Jack is a giant beast of a baby and I don't have a fleece cooler that fits him.  The local tack store didn't have one either, which means I have to order one.  But, I sort of need it now!

I managed to find a stable sheet that would cover his butt, hopefully it won't rub his chest or withers.  The material is a little thin, though.  I'm hoping it will be enough.  I also fashioned a "patch" for the seam out of my favorite material:

If it can't be fixed with duct tape, it's probably not worth fixing.

While I was at it, I repaired the rip in Vinny's blanket with some duct tape, too.

This weekend it's supposed to get up into the 50s (tropical!), I'll be able to pull the blankets off and do better repairs then.

Hopefully we'll be able to get the tractor up and running this weekend, too.  At this point, we're not 100% sure of what all is wrong with it.  We know it got too cold, and we know we killed the battery trying to get it started again.  (It died in the middle of the driveway, too far away from the heater and the garage.  We had to get it moving again by any means necessary.  We weren't exactly nice.)  We think the fuel filter is also clogged and that it might need new glow plugs.  Who knows.  We'll get it figured out this weekend.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Polar Vortex Can Go Suck An Egg.

A frozen, busted egg.
My girls are dutifully laying still, despite temperatures that are barely getting into the teens.  Unfortunately, the eggs freeze and crack before I can get out to the coop to collect them.  I am not amused.

The tractor still won't start, either.  I'm stuck moving bales of straw and hay around and mucking stalls with a little hand cart.  It's ridiculously time consuming to lug things around one little cart load at a time, but it's not like I've really got anything else to do in this weather. On the bright side, I will be very fit once spring comes around!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pushing Back My New Year's Resolutions...

Not that I really make resolutions, but whatever.

Shortly after the new year started I got a nasty virus that just wouldn't go away.  The virus then turned into bronchitis, and then a into a severe sinus infection and now I've strained my ribs coughing.  I haven't done anything with any of my horses since this year started, and it's not looking like I'll be starting up any time soon.

Compounding my misery is about 6 inches of snow and temperatures that haven't gotten out of the teens in over a week.  Adding insult to injury, my diesel tractor won't start because of the frigid temperatures.  With no tractor, I can't even clear the snow. And it's snowing again now.


I shudder to think how fat and out of shape my horses will be by the time I actually get around to riding again.  Of course, maybe that's not such a bad thing, as I'll be pretty fat and out of shape, too.  Except for the abs of steel I've developed from these coughing fits.....

...and the 40lbs of winter layers.

I'm just going to start my New Year on January 31st with the Chinese.  It is the Year of the Horse, after all.  If that doesn't work, I think the Persians start their New Year sometime in the spring......

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish!

Good bye, 2013! You were a rotten year, and I'm not sorry to see you go.

It's 2014 now, and I'm looking ahead.  It's the Year of The Horse (Well, it's not technically The Year of The Horse until the new moon, but whatever).  I'm sure it will be an auspicious year.

I will be continuing in my role as Show Secretary/Manager for my local USDF GMO.  We've got seven shows planned for this year, so that's going to keep me busy.  I really enjoy doing it, too.  It gets me out and about and meeting new people, which is important because, left to myself, I'm quite happy to be a hermit. But, there can be no progress if you're living in a vacuum, you've got to get yourself out there. It's important to go out and see what's going on, be exposed to new ideas, have your ideas challenged. Plus, I've met a lot of great new people this year by putting myself out there.

Speaking of having ideas challenged, I'm terribly behind in updating about Jack's progress.  He's definitely a challenging horse, but not in the way most of us think of when we think "challenging horse".  At first I thought he was really dumb, but then I remembered that intelligence is simply the ability to solve a problem. Jack's not dumb, he just doesn't see any problems, ever.  He's a very happy-go-lucky fellow.  So, I've changed my training with him entirely.  We're doing mostly positive reinforcement now (aka "clicker training", although I'm not doing strict, purist clicker training). That's a post for another day, though...

Right now, I need to get off the computer and go ride Spider, because I entered him in a schooling show this weekend and I haven't ridden in over a week.  Yup, I'm already getting off to a good start this year!


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