Friday, December 11, 2009


Ups and Downs

The ground froze last night. The up side is that there was no mud. The downside is that means the hoses to the water tubs will freeze too. That means either a "bucket brigade" to fill them should need be...and I can only carry one gallon at a time....or the curly annoying spiral hose I keep on the back porch for just such events. Right now, the tubs are full, the heaters ar working and all is well...but down the line. *sigh*

At least Tucker and the other Boys are out together both in the arena and pasture. While it was windy and cold, they have ample shelter. The windy side of the pasture itself backs up to the woods with a line if nice thick trees to block the winds from the west. Should the wind come from the east, the tree line can protect them on the other side of the fence inside the riding arena. Then, of course they have the three sided run in shed at the west end of the arena as well. The only thing better is when they have full access to the barn for protection.

I managed taking care of the Boys just fine again this morning and it does make me feel pretty good to get out there, even in the cold. I may have carried a little more hay than I should have--nothing pulled or hurt when I did, but I had to make note that perhaps I will cut back next time. All in all, the basic exercise is good for me and three well behaved horses just makes it all a pleasure.

For basic handling like this, I do not put halters on the Boys. I have cotton "neck" ropes with a snap and ring on them that I fasten around their necks to lead them that way. They are all gentlemen about it, so I usually don't have any problems. Times like this it really pays off to have all the basic handling/training finished on a horse. You still have to be careful should something overly exciting happen when you are leading, of course, as I know very few horses who are perfect every moment of their lives, but when the basics are solid, you usually can handle most situations.

But, there is the phrase often used around here, "Save yourself!!" At that moment, it's time to just let go of the lead line, whatever, get out of the way, and let the horse "do his thing." When horses explode and panic, there is no point in getting yourself hurt in a vain attempt to protect the horse. It may seem irresponsible, but if you get injured, then there will be nothing you can do to help the horse out once he settles down again. "Save yourself," is the extreme warning cry and well worth heeding.

The wind seems to have calmed down now. Not sure what the evening plan is, but I hope to see some friends tonight at some point. Two other friends stopped over yesterday evening and brought me a big basket of fruit. Once more, I have enough food for a small army. My appetite is OK, so I've been eating, but there is a limit to just how much one person can eat. I blush to say it, but I did share some of the apples in the basket with the Boys. I know they appreciated them.

So much for today. Donna will be over later to do the barn chores. All appears well at Follywoods and I am definitely on the mend.


  1. It's good to hear that you are getting out there, even if it is cold. We have such wicked wind here, they are all blanketed today.

    I'm sure the boys appreciated the apples too, it's so nice to have horses who are all gentlemen. I'd rather spend time on basic training than have dangerous incidents if they can be avoided.

  2. Anonymous3:42 PM

    The boys must have been happy for the apples!

    Couldn't agree with you more about saving yourself. The first rule at our barn is that no people get injured, and second that horses not get injured - but people come first. Most of ours are pretty well-behaved even under stress, and that training foundation is critical.

    We have two frost-free hydrants, one near the paddocks and one between the dry lots, and another way out in the pastures. In the winter, we keep a hose in the heated bathroom off the office, and I carry it out to fill water tanks. I wouldn't be able to do it if carrying buckets were required.

  3. I had to laugh at the thought of you sharing apples meant for you with the boys. The sender must have expected that, don't you think?

    I have been much more aware of safety since Rob had such a bad accident this summer.

    Don't you carry any buckets!!!!

  4. I agree don't you even think about carrying buckets, you deserve a smacked bottom!!!!

    I am sure the boys can wait for Donna. Take it easy, and "save yourself", your recovery first, then teh boys!

  5. i am never sure in the winter whether i prefer warm and seriously muddy, or cold and no mud but risk of slips and fractures....

    and stop carrying buckets ! :-)