Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

At the Barn #51 - Better living through chemistry

For the first time in ten days, the shiny yellow orb made an appearance in the sky this morning - burning eyes and singeing skin. The collective mood lifted.

Our mosquito population however, has reached astronomical levels now that the rain is finally gone. There is no way you can work outdoors for more than five seconds without protection. It's epic - no one can remember it ever being this bad before.

I generally avoid using bug spray, but right now it is a necessity, for humans and horses. They are suffering too. Val volunteers himself for spraying and scratching immediately upon my arrival to the farm, by galloping to the gate and screeching to a halt with some head tossing thrown in for emphasis.  He often gives sweet grooming in return to show his appreciation. Val has really lifted my spirits lately.

Yesterday I almost reached my breaking point upon discovering at dusk that the well pump wasn't pumping (again). Process of elimination led me to a faulty pressure plate, which my Dad and I repaired today, but tolerating the conditions while diagnosing - mosquitos flying into your eyes, up your nose down your throat - put me over the edge. (I capped off my pity party last night with Haagen Daz Creme Brulee. All better.)

Oh look Dad, surprise in the pump house!

There is talk that our road will be back in early October, but no confirmation yet. As of today, they've spanned half the breach... thank you so much road fixing guys!!!

Is tiny road fixing man getting ready to bust a move?!

This weekend we're expecting cool north winds and temps in the 60's. Perfect. Looking forward to leaving the post hurricane blues behind. Yes indeed.

Oh, and Seven is a big help too. Extra good snuggler, this one :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Keepin' your head above water, making a wave when you can...

Writer's block

First, my apologies for being a bad, bad blogger. I have kept up with reading your blogs, but writing was beyond me for a while.

This post has been started several times over the last few weeks. Each time upon review it pretty much amounted to a bunch of whining. Venting is satisfying, but very often not that interesting for others to read. Maintaining a good attitude has been challenging taken all my energy for the last few weeks. 

Rider's block

O-ver! On Thursday I rode for the first time in maybe six weeks. A very quick and easy ride, bareback, as a thunderstorm rolled in. What a relief, though I will be reinstalling forward.

So, a number of things have kept Val and I from working...

weather - hurricane then nor'easter + over fifteen inches of rain in seven days. We were in a severe drought and needed rain, just not three months worth all at once. Enough already.

abysmal arena footing, although better since the rain, sort of. I've finally met with the contractor for my new arena to plan out the project - weather dependent of course. A happy new development is that we've arranged a trade for the work. Theoretical progress here.

mysterious leg swellings - the last episode was my first experience with stocking up. My recently acquired leg wrapping skills came in very handy once I got a clue that standing around in the run-in for days could cause fluid build-up. Val's hurricane experience apparently instilled a new-found respect for staying dry via his shelter. Happy that he's staying comfortable and I'll wrap preemptively next go-round.

horrid cracked up feet with thrushiness. Treatment: daily picking, Veterycin gel applied around the frog, painting the sole with Venice Turpentine + a seriously unskilled trimming job.

A note about trimming. I absolutely adore my horse! He was an angel, putting up with my abject ineptitude. Clouds of mosquitoes and flies surrounding us and me with no hoof stand and not exactly speedy. I used a chunk of piling to do the leg pulled forward filing work. And my inexpensive hoof nippers behaved accordingly. Comical! Val didn't move a muscle throughout. My only aim was to address the bent upwards chunks that were exposing above his soles, even out the length of foot and to do no harm. Hopefully I accomplished my goals. Sadly it may be another three weeks before our farrier can get back. Pix of the two fronts, before and after... none of them are level unfortunately.

Some news about our dressage education / guidance / mentorship. We're presently looking for someone to study with, and have been for months. It's confirmed now. My trainer is closing up shop. Suffice it to say the economy is a contributing factor. Not that I could go anywhere for lessons any time soon. We're on our own for real now. Will be exploring a couple of options once we can drive off island. Sad.

On the move

Circumstances have pushed our moving date into October, but things are progressing. I luckily (sooo lucky) found a storage facility - they're almost all gone due to numerous folks having storm damage. Lumber for a deck around the shimmy shack is arriving Monday. Not having a road onto the island is screwing up lots of things, including the delivery date of my new half hay shed / half studio building, but I have arranged for the foundation to be built at any rate. The utilities changeovers are scheduled. And I have been bestowed a physical address - which I was told at one point could only happen with a building permit. Very handy for when lumber deliverers and utilities switchers drop by. The real work of editing belongings begins in earnest now - by far my biggest challenge. I have found numerous ways to avoid dealing with my crap. Which I have too much of. It's officially crunch time. ;)


I made it off island last week for a full moon marathon hay run. A seventeen hour day all told with two ferry lines + rides added in. The hay is beautiful seventy pound bales of orchard grass, and now I may have enough to last through the end of the year. Highlight of the trip was a sublime nap on the boat ride home with lovely breezes blowing right into my truck as I got the best sleep in months on the pillow I remembered to bring. Low point was when I managed to cap off the day by taking a spill out of the back of the trailer after the hay hook suddenly let go of the bale I was trying to pry out while standing on another bale. I went flying backwards, landing flat on my back, halfway on and off the ramp. No major harm done. Yet another horse related activity that warrants wearing a helmet! ;)

And finally - Seven is such a spectacular kit-tehn. Smart, super snuggly, gets along well with others. Update on the extra toe count - grand total of twenty four. I had to do a kitten to cat comparison to confirm that cats don't usually have hind foot thumbs. And no, we don't have the world record, not with a mere twenty four toes. That would require twenty eight.

early start
big moon
sunrise from the ferry
waking up
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...