Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday Breakthrough

He cleared everything out of the barn aisle: tractor, manure-spreader, lawn mower, then closing the aisle doors, which left the wide-open aisle to work with the Blacks. He thought it would be a great idea to again put Alli in the cross-ties. She was practically falling asleep, resting her head in his arms. With the saddle blanket on. It is very sweet!

Beau was another story, being afraid of the rope. Had a couple scary movements in the aisle, but he also came around and stood in the cross-ties. The farrier is coming out on Monday, and we'd like them to be able to stand for him!

They both look pretty good. The daily grain, good hay and wormer has brought them around. Their rain-rot is almost completely gone. They both (actually all of them) are shedding and their new summer hair is going to be beautiful.

And we say good-bye to March. Warm and windy, with a splattering of rain now and then.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Catching Up ~ Learning Curve

After the strenuous ordeal with Alli and the halter on Saturday, she seems to have made great strides forward, catching up with Beau in the civilization category. She looks really cute in the bright blue Weaver break-away halter.

After I fed everyone, and they were all in the barn, he went out to 'work' the Blacks. Part of the work is grooming and getting them to pick up their feet. The new farrier is coming on Monday, April 4, and we'd like to have maybe a chance of getting their feet trimmed. It might be a fantasy, but we'll see.

Last night, after I groomed her, both sides, top, bottom, left and right, and picked up her feet, he came in and managed to not only put a lead rope on that pretty new halter, but he was able to lead her around, and around, her stall! After that he put on the saddle pad, again and again. I am so proud of her! And him. This is just the most awesome move forward.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Windy Day

The evening was seriously windy, but not cold. But 45 degrees at 20 mph is pretty cold, to me. If I'm cold, they're cold, right? I put hay flakes out and they blew away!

Everyone is shedding. Coming off in clumps. The birds love this! Nest-building materials are flying around the barn. Spring is really here, just wish the lows weren't so low. I left the boys' coats on for the day because it was too windy and I could.

This is not my house or my yard, but pass this every day (twice) going to work. Some things you want to bottle and bring out later when you need it. This is one of those moments.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Rainy Monday

Honestly, we need the rain. Started raining last evening and is still fairly mild out, breeze has laid down. He spread seed and fertilizer week before last and this moisture is what is needed to get things sprouting and greening up.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday Ride Time

Haven't ridden in so long I really can't remember when. With the weather, and the truck being out of commission, I can't recall!
We did spend time catching up with friends, and time to have a great lunch, too. We were interrupted by an illegal ATV'er near Ivy Hill, and the serious devastation that these motorized vehicles are doing to our trails. Some of the trees are spray-painted with directional signage, and some of our 'jumps' have been cut and moved.

Easter Sunday

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Saturday

Bright sunny day, but with a seriously stiff breeze. In the shade it was downright chilly!

Last weekend I left my wallet on my mother-in-law's front car seat. I've been without my wallet a whole week, and it's time to run errands and retrieve my wallet. It was a lovely drive down-county, so many trees are budding out and blooming.

Besides the errands, grocery shopping and like that, the MOST IMPORTANT thing that happened was that we got Alli's halter on! This is EPIC. And it wasn't pretty. But it worked. Afterwards she allowed me to brush her on all sides, top and bottom, front and back AND pick all of her feet. I'm sure she was exhausted, and so were we.
We worked her in the round pen, until the three of us were winded, then brought her into her stall and roped her, winching her up to the bars on the stall divider. It took some doing, but it is on!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

A beautiful spring day! He worked like a dog on the water mitigation project around the round pen. From the down spout to the far fence, he dug a trench and placed the PVC piping into the ditch. It is beautiful and will not have to be revisited, maybe forever.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring-Like Weather

I need to pick up more hay (why are we going through so much hay??? because we have SIX horses and #1 has no grass and the Littles are in the dry paddock.) I go through nearly ONE BALE a day - $6.50 each.

Last night he was able to get her forth hoof up! The rear left has been nearly impossible to pick up (or approach) in the last couple weeks, and we thought she was regressing, because we skipped messing with her for a couple days, because of other things going on, and she reverted back to feral - don't touch me there - status.
Beau is coming along nicely - he is friendly and easy and cleans up nicely. They both have put on weight and look pretty good.

We need to concentrate on getting the Blacks civilized - and with a 'free' weekend with decent weather - the round pen is in great shape (dry) and we'll work with Beau (maybe Allie, too) tonight in there. He's off on Friday, and the ditching on the one side is done, water mitigation project.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Quicksilver Kid Clu

Today is KC's birthday. He's thirteen!
He was a cute baby, and had a good mother; he was her last foal.
I have four horses younger than KC, but I still call him 'baby' and he knows I'm talking to him. I can stop him with my hand; he trusts me to look out for his best interests. I do think he loves me back. We have a 'connection' and he lets me know how he feels. He is my heart. He is my joy. He easily carries me through so much adventure and memorable days.

Monday, March 21, 2016

First Day of Spring: Cold & Windy

I left the boys' coats on because it was not going to be getting much warmer and the wind was supposed to be sustained, all day. Unfortunately the weather prediction was right, it was frightfully chilly with serious prevailing wind.
Last week I threw a little bit of grass seed out in Max's field, before he later spread seed out. The seed is coming up! Even though the day is cold, the sun is bright enough and shining long enough to make a difference. Still need a good coat and gloves.

I can see that the 'no trespassing' saw-horse is lying down on the job.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Ditch Digger

He told me that his mother had said if he didn't go to college he would be able to only get a job being a grave digger. How times have changed. Ironically, today's grave diggers use machinery and that takes a certain amount of skill; the ditch he dug today didn't pay one thin dime.

The round pen with sand pit is located behind the barn and between the two downspouts on the overhang. The overhang is really a large amount of metal roofing, translating into a lot of water to mitigate. He wanted to divert the water around the sand pit and round pen and not have it swamp the area, like it has for years. Sometimes it has looked like a pond back there!

He worked pretty darn hard all afternoon, while I ran errands. I got back and helped him dig about another 20 feet of trench to lay this PVC pipe. Of course it is beautiful, and works marvelously. Today was mostly cold, with some snow bursts here and there. It does not feel like spring!

I made a corned beef, with all the trimmings, for dinner. We missed St. Patrick's day because it was during the week, and if you don't put the beef brisket on early enough you won't be eating until 10:p. It was delicious.

Winter does not want to give it up, and tonight it is going to be cold, freezing, and I think the boys will need their coats.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Rainy, Snowy Saturday

It snowed off and on, pretty much all day. The flakes were enormous, as big as pancakes! We ran errands, going to Frederick to pick up PVC piping to divert downspout water around the round pen. The amount of piping needed for this project costs over $300.

We stopped by Southern States, too, and the snow was really coming down, but not sticking to the roads.

It is also the night of the TROT dinner and I am planning on going. I think the horses need to stay inside overnight, too.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day

Green is my favorite color, but I did not wear any green today!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

'R'Ides of March

Alli seems to have taken several steps back in her knowledge bank. Last week I was able to groom her, head to toe, left and right, end to end. And pick up all four feet, getting her ready for the impending farrier visit. Since Saturday she won't pick up her back left foot. No way, no how. Not going to give it up. And getting her groomed on her left side is becoming more and more difficult. She can tuck her butt and spin faster than a dreidel. She'll bang her hip or nose on the wall, but she won't give that side.

Beau, on the other hand, is getting softer and even pushier, wanting to be petted and loved on when I'm trying to move him from field to stall or gate to field. Last night we introduced him to a wool saddle pad and he took to it almost immediately. Even when it fell off his back he wasn't freaked out about it.

Also, METRO has shut down for 'emergency' maintenance and consequently his office is shut down, too. He'll be home all day doing this and that, which couldn't be done this past weekend because of the weather.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Rainy Days and Mondays

With the change to day light saving time is the promise of longer daylight in the evenings. Monday it was raining, and drove to work and back with my headlights and wipers on. A sopping wet day with cooler temperatures. I took Max for a walk after work, but for some reason couldn't keep my eyes open and although I wanted to crawl into bed, my jeans were wet so I napped on the chaise lounge for a couple hours!

We didn't get to use the round pen because it was slightly under water and a soft, sinking mess.

Pi Day!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday - Mid-month

Overcast, mild Sunday. Rain breaking out from time to time. We probably should have gone for a ride, but we didn't. Instead we worked with Beau in the round pen.

Later in the day it really rained, hard. Didn't get a chance to do other things, like spread fertilizer or orchard grass seed. With the longer daylight in the evening I'm sure we'll find time to that soon.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring Forward

This really is the official start of a horseman's year. And this year it is the start of the Blacks' education. This is going to be a great adventure!

Enter Sandman

The 'sand man' delivered this morning, pretty early, backing into the driveway all the way, through the red gate, through the yellow gate and into the dry paddock. He was a pretty good driver. Dumped it exactly where we wanted it.
We made quick work of moving the sand into the round pen site with the tractor's bucket, mixing it in and leveling the area with the tiller attachment. Found four golf balls and one sterling silver fork. And some rocks. We used hand tools minimally to get all the sand in the right place.

The round pen is essential for getting these horses started, with a safe yet confined space to address their learning journey. Now the fun can begin!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spring is Early!

We've been spending evenings in the barn with the Blacks. Beau now has his halter back on, but Alli still doesn't have one. We are both working on getting them to lift their feet, one of these days the farrier has to deal with them and I'd like everyone to be prepared for that event.

Everyone is shedding. Some worse than others, but the hair is really coming out. And everyone seems to be blowing through water, it actually is feeling hot around here.

We're making great strides with the civilization of the Blacks. The sound conditioning continues and hands-on interaction is bringing them along. Once we get the round pen up with a decent bed of sand in it, it will be go time!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I Can See Clearly Now

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I've been praying' for
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

Look all around, there's nothing' but blue skies
Look straight ahead, nothing' but blue skies
~~ Johnny Nash

What a beautiful morning, what a beautiful day! Next weekend we turn the clocks forward, gaining daylight in the evening. Officially starting the possibility of riding during the week after work.

My Daffodils and Tulips are coming up, although they are already blooming in town.
The Maples are budding out, too.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Last weekend we ran out of propane for the grill - this is a crisis situation, as I don't cook much without using the grill. Last weekend the turbo went out on the truck, too. What a disaster! We were 'rolling coal' and we really are not that kind of people!

Our truck keeps this farm mobile. We don't use it as a daily driver, don't run errands that could be done with another vehicle, but without that truck we are farm-bound.

Generally the truck stays hitched up to the Glick, ready to transport the horses at a moment's notice or pick up hay, easily fitting 30 bales and getting up to 50 in that trailer.

He researched what was actually wrong with the truck, looked at how-to YouTube videos, endless opinions and options on open forums. He set the plan in motion, three trips to various local Ford dealers and one Sunday special delivery.

We both have been dealing with some kind of head cold, lingering cough, congestion, sore throat thing, which is wearing us down. We ain't as young as we used to be and bouncing back is not very quick or bouncy.

We got this truck the day after Christmas, 2003. Brand new from Miller Brothers, a local Ellicott City institution going back when cars were first invented. As a child my uncle would look at cars at this dealership on Sundays, when, by law, they were closed.

This truck was literally hand-picked, with an internet sale making the car-buying experience completely painless. The warm-fuzzy continues to this day with the salesman, Joe Wyatt. I believe my husband was relieved that he was married to a closet redneck: This was one honking beast of a truck. He had successfully talked me out of getting the 'dually', the model I had said I wanted for years while driving the Chevy 3500. Cooler heads prevailed and we've loved this truck since the moment we started it up.

We've driven the truck, while pulling a trailer, to Canada, to North Carolina's beaches, to Kentucky and all parts local. It's been a great truck for us. The truck is 22 feet long, and had everything we wanted (heated leather seats, electric windows) and all the power you'd need to pull a hill hauling live-weight horses.

I can recite the spec's: 2004 F-350 Turbo-diesel 6.0 crew cab long-bed, True Blue over Arizona Beige 4X4. As I said, a honking big-assed truck.

It was also a bone of contention, back in the day. He didn't want me to get a horse until the truck was paid for. I doubled up the payments and removed all the obstacles in my way. The sale of the 1989 Chevrolet 3500 helped finance the new truck purchase, too.

We have three trailers, all have to be pulled by this truck. The truck is a work horse; when we play it works for us.

He spent evenings and much of the weekend up under the hood, getting compression bruises from laying on top of the engine assembly. The truck is essential, but he is the master-mind and glue that holds this place together and afloat.

Friday, March 4, 2016


I had everyone spend the night inside overnight. Woke to see snow on the ground, and actively snowing. Wasn't sticking to the bricks or the roadways, but everything else.
It was pretty, and the 'right' kind of snow, promising to not get in the way of driving and melted by afternoon.
This Maple is budding out, soon it will be making shade!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Cold Wind

Rained a little overnight, although it was mild, mid-50s, but kept everyone in and first thing put coats on the boys.

So windy, had difficulty prying the kitchen door open to get Max out. Blustery? I'd love it to be blustery, it is crazy-windy, with gusts up to 45 mph or better. Yikes!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

From The Get-Go

Had problems (or opportunities?) dealing with feeding the horses this morning. I planned on bringing the Blacks in first because the boys were way down the hill in #3, didn't secure the red gate. While the Little's were eating, and I was inviting Beau with his stall door already open, he didn't go towards the barn, he was heading to the overhang instead. That's when I realized the boys were now in the dry paddock. Horses can be so quiet, this fact I know.

Yelling NO loudly seems to get everyone's attention, the Blacks went back into #1, Skip went into his stall, but KC proceeded to move Fred away from his feed bowl and eat all of Fred's breakfast. I got KC's stall door open, but not until most of Fred's feed was gone.

I honestly don't know why neither walked into Beau's open stall. I then got the Blacks in, but the Little's were in the dry paddock, which came back to bite me in the time clock.

I manged to hay the fields and fill water troughs while they're eating, then get the boys into #3, but while getting the Blacks out, Fred slipped out into #1 after Alli, gleefully evading me, me wearing a house coat, Muck Boots™ and a buggy whip.

After going around and around, chasing Fred, the Blacks figured I wasn't after them and ignored me and Fred. Finally he got religion and allowed me to get him through the gate and into the dry paddock, but wasted my 'Max' time and shower time.

The weather, always the weather, is rain overnight and a cool front with seriously strong winds blowing in. Everyone is staying in overnight, so I prepped the stalls for that.

He worked with Beau and managed, with a little bit of doing and a lot of slight-of-hand, to get a halter on him! This is seriously awesome!