Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rambling Thoughts on a Snowy Day...

YAY! This is my 100th blog post! :) I was hoping to have something exciting to share in my 100th post, but alas, nothing is very exciting around here right now. (ETA: Hmmm...interestingly it says I have 100 posts on my "dashboard", but it only shows 99 on the right side of the blog....ah, whatever. Close enough). :)

It is a snow day, so I am home. That means housework, which is not my favorite thing. It means I am bored and can only do so many barn chores until I am cold and tired. It also means I get to shovel out paths to the manure pile and horse trailer. Oh the joy of winter in Maine!

So because my riding life has been put on hold for a while, there is not much to post in the area of training. So instead I will just give a summary of each mare. Overall, Dreamy and Sparky are both doing well this winter. My only complaint is the same it always is around this time.....I am ready for above freezing temps!!! BRRRRR!!! Anything under 70 degree is cold to me.

Dreamy is now clipped and sporting her winter gear. I think she LIKES her blanket(s) a lot more than I would have guessed. She has never grown much of a winter coat and I can tell by the way she stands in the pasture that she is happier with blankets. Call me odd, I don't care. I have now owned her for almost six years, as of May 31. She is cranky when she is not in constant work, which is tough. Even if I was boarded at an indoor, there would be no way I could work her in this cold because of her RAO. So I have been doing as much riding as I can when the temps are tolerable for her and lots of groundwork in the meantime. She likes to use her brain, but she gets bored too. There is only so much fun with tarps and other scary things one can have before it is really old hat. LOL! I am excited to get back to work hopefully in the next six weeks or so and see where we have left off.


Sparky is 27 this year so I am always worried about her. But she has always looked great, so much of my worrying is unfounded. But having owned her for sixteen years now (as of Jan. 17!!) and because she is my first horse, I dread the eventual final day. Hopefully she will be with me for a LOOOONG time, but I also know that when the time comes, I will let her go peacefully and not keep her alive for my sake.


Anyway, Sparky is looking great this year. She has her signature woolly coat, easily 4-5 inches long. She always transforms into a super fuzzy mare in the winter. She also starts shedding in January and it lasts until May. Because of her Cushings in the last few years, I have been body clipping her in late April/early May anyway, so after suffering through the shedding for months, I just buzz it all off. LOL!

Her weight is great too. I have to be vigilant about getting my fingers in under that coat in order to see how her ribs feel, but this winter she has a nice layer of fat over them. She is right around 5.5 on the BCS, which is nice. Last winter she dropped a lot of weight (in my eyes anyway) and I had to be creative (with the help of my feed analysis guy) to figure out how to feed her. She cannot have too much grain because of the Cushings, so it was not like i could up her grain and call it good. She checked out fine with the vet in March for spring shots, so I knew there was nothing going on with her. Ultimately I feel it was because she has stopped eating as much hay as normal. For years, this mare would easily eat her 20-22 lbs. of hay and be looking for more. I had to be careful because she was such an easy keeper. But I have noticed over the last year she is only eating maybe 12-15 lbs. of hay a day. And of course, the hay she does eat no longer is broken down the same way as when she was younger. She is not able to utilize the nutrients as before. (Her teeth are fine...they are checked 2x a year.....in case you are thinking that. My horses have the most top notch veterinary care possible, trust me). In the long run, I have found the addition of alfalfa pellets to her diet has helped her TREMENDOUSLY! She looks better than most 27 year old horses I have seen in my short life!

Overall, I am happy when my horses are happy. And they seem to be! :)

An old high school friend of mine said recently, "I live by the mantra that your life is what you make of it. Do what makes you happy. Surround yourself with people who enhance your life, not complicate it. Keep a positive outlook and know that things are going to work out when they are meant to."

I think he said it better than I ever could have. This is exactly how I have been feeling the last few months. So many things have worked out well that I struggled with in the past. Many of them not horse related, so not only not appropriate for my "horse" blog, but really nothing that I wish to share. :p

I am happy with my life in the three important areas: personal, professional, and equine. I have made some decisions that have pissed other people off, but I have done it carefully and consciously, meaning I knew exactly what I was doing and was willing to accept the consequences. I became tired of my life being complicated and full of drama. I finally realized that I do NOT have to like or be nice to everyone in life and that people do not have to like me back! How liberating! Because of this, I have made a deliberate decision to end relationships that did not enhance my life. The same goes for ending any "official" positions I have held in the past. I have seen how people don't like my choices, but life is too short to worry about that.

I have a positive outlook in my life, and as long as I am happy, that is what matters. My life is no longer about pleasing others or making others happy. Having taken on this "new" persona, if one could call it that, things have worked out in a way that makes ME happy and when they were meant to. I am thankful I have finally been brave enough to look out for myself and my family and do what is right for us. I am pleased with all the horse decisions I made last year regarding both my mares. I am excited for 2009 in so many ways! :)

5 comments:

  1. We got about 5 inches of snow and now at 6:19pm it is like 55 degrees and pouring rain and foggy with ZERO visibility.

    No riding for me until probably OK April

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  2. UGGG.....the snow is bad (I refuse to measure it, because that is just too depressing) but I do think it is better than rain....which just turns into ICE! :(

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  3. Hello,
    I just found your blog through OnTheBit's blog. What a nice post. I can totally hear you on trying to stay positive and reminding yourself that not everyone is going to like every decision you make.

    I am always reminding myself that sometimes I have to do what is right for ME (and my animals) and not everyone is always going to like it or agree. It's hard...and I can relate.

    I like your Standardbred.. She is a beautiful girl. I have an adopted Standardbred myself but he hardly has the accomplishments that your mare does - WOW.

    Grif is more my trail partner and friend more than anything else. He's also 21 years old this year and has some arthritis from his racing days. His hard working days are over. I am just happy to be able to love him and give him the "light" excercise and easy retirement he deserves.

    Just like you said with your first horse, I plan to have my Grif until he passes over that proverbial rainbow bridge. I dread that day too as he is one of my best friends. We have been partners for 11 years now and he has always been my friend through thick and thin!

    I am on my lunch hour right now, but I will have to check back and read some more of your posts when I get a chance.

    It's been nice to meet you :)

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  4. Hey Carol! Nice to meet you too! Good to hear of another STB lover out there! What great horses, huh? Sounds like Grif has a great home. :D

    I love meeting another horse owner who values the idea of keeping a dear friend to the very end. Back when Sparky had to be retired from eventing/jumping (almost 11 years ago now when I was in the middle of college) my parents encouraged me to sell her and find a horse that could move me up the levels. She would have made a great packer for a little kid, but I refused, having promised my mare a forever home. I changed disciplines (to combined driving and dressage) to accomodate my mare. I will never ever regret that decision. :)

    I will have to check out your blog as well. :) Come back anytime!

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  5. Well, it's Sat night here in ri and I just heard MORE snow on Tuesday. This could stop anytime.

    My horse looks like a yak and the ice is so bad I'm not going to be able to ride him until Aoril probably

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