Saturday, February 25, 2012

More of a Weather Report

Rain and Wind

Seems we are getting some of the same weather other areas of the world have been getting lately--at least for a day or so.

Yesterday, it rained on and off all day. As evening crept in, the winds began to pick up, and today it is very windy.  Things are supposed to calm down by this afternoon, but right now it's a "rush" out there.

When the weather changes like this, I like to give the Boys bran mashes, so last night at late feed, I set up their buckets with bran and feed and brought them in the house. This morning, I added enough hot water to really soak the feed, a cut up carrot for each horse, and took the buckets out to the barn.

There is something delightful about both watching my horses dive into a nice soggy mash and listening to them kind of "slurp chew" it all up. I don't think any one of them pulled his nose out of the feed tub for a second once I'd put the mash in. I won't need to clean out those tubs.  They are licked clean!

I was out with some other horsewomen the other night and the discussion came around to "where do you keep your horses."  Two of us had ours in the back yard and when we were asked how we liked that, the duet of "Love it! Wouldn't have it any other way!" was loud and clear. We both admitted to being somewhat tied down--I, of course, have a marvelous horse sitter to call on now--but the ability to care for our horses exactly as we want to and simply be with them almost any time we wanted to was just too overwhelming.

I have boarded my horses at perhaps ten different barns in the forty years I've owned my own horse. I tended to stay at the good places for many, many years, and to be honest there were at least two places I still might be if the owners had not decided to sell their properties and move out of state.  When the care was good and truly "caring" I had great peace of mind.

Still, there were always the disadvantages. In both cases, the farms were about 15 miles from my house, so travel time was always a worry when something was wrong with one of my Boys. More than once, I'd have to get up super early before work, go to the barn to tend to something, and then go back again after work.  It was not that I didn't trust the barn owners to care for my horse properly, but as well all know, sometimes there are just things you have to tend to yourself, especially if your horse is ill or injured.

And then, there is the extra expense of boarding out. I never begrudge boarding stables the fees they charge, as long as they do everything they have promised as part of the agreement. But, it certainly is less costly to keep a horse at home once you have all the buildings and fencing built. I might have been able to continue to keep two horses boarded out, but Chance and Tucker never would have been part of my life if I didn't have the barn here at home. I simply could not have afforded three at one time.

You do have to have a "solitude" kind of mind, though. If you don't have other people to ride with or socialize with at your own farm, it can be lonely. And, at times, without the motivation of other riders around you, it can be hard to keep up the momentum of working your horse. But always having the arena to yourself or know that you're the only one who could possibly have lost that brush or lead rope certainly does afford a strange sort of peace of mind.

And just being able to look out the window to see the horses playing or simply drinking from the just filled water tub can be moments to treasure.

I really don't want it any other way.


  1. We've had the same weather up here. The wind is ferocious today. Hope it calms down soon.

    I'm with you about having the herd at home. I've honestly not had any good experiences boarding even at the nicer barns. There always seemed to be something that wasn't being done that was paid for and the owners had their own agenda and did what they pleased.

    I agree that the only thing missing at home is the socialization with other riders and the "pressure" if you will to work your horses. At home we sort of do what we want when we feel like it, not all that bad I think. It's just relaxing and peaceful and rewarding to see them playing and interacting, better than TV for me.

  2. I'm envious... I can only afford my two by keeping them where I work (or working where I keep them), but all the same, I prefer to have complete control over their care and I don't think I would take full care even if my budget allowed. I just wish they were out my window all the time, and not just during a few hours of the day. Some day...

  3. At first I thought you brought the horses in the house :-)!