Dressaging With Sniffles

My friend, and barn owner, had surgery last Friday.

A long awaited, much needed, ankle surgery that was very extensive and will keep her away from riding for several months.  You feel the pain right there…

In the end, this surgery will be a life saver, make for so much better walking, and a lot more fun!  Excruciating chronic pain is extremely draining.

During the long healing process, we’re three boarders running the farm. For an undetermined time, but until the end of the year for sure.

Nancy, your horses are doing great, and I promise to keep them in shape during this time!

Coming down with a serious cold and fever the day of the surgery was extremely bad timing on my part.  (Ever a good timing to that?)  Of course I’m already back to riding.  You would be too.  Let’s not deny it.  It’s just very.  Lethargic.  And dizzying.

Morning in the cross ties
Valiosa, expectant in the cross ties. Every day. We’re on the right track.

Tomorrow, I should mount the orange tractor and drag that arena!  Enough of sniffling and coughing already!  How was it again?  There’s no brake, use the clutch, and watch the front hopper or it will take down the entire arena fence poles, and roof?..

Good Morning
That’s the arena behind her…


13 thoughts on “Dressaging With Sniffles

  1. My barn manager broke her back a couple of months ago, so we’re all stepping up to fill in some of the blanks. Some of those blanks are truly physically exhausting…good thing there are a bunch of us, not just two or three! With 30-something horses to care for, there’s a lot of stepping up to do.

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    1. Ouch! A broken back… With 30 horses, there’d be A LOT of blanks to fill in. Our barn is small, and horses are out all day. Still, the chore list goes on for hours.
      Hope you’re getting some riding in despite it all!


      1. I sort of schedule my volunteer work for the day I would normally not show up at the barn. Two days spent clearing brush around the pastures so the electric fences don’t ground out. An afternoon raking mounds of hay left from the round bale feeders into a huge pile to be burned. I know that sounds weird to someone who doesn’t live where there are 4 real seasons, but we brought the horses into feed-lot areas early this year because the pasture was starting to get stressed. Even though we use nets on the feeders we still have to clean up after the spilled stuff. Then a few light daily tasks…a few minutes a week emptying the kitty litter box (LOL)–why can’t they use the great outdoors? And making sure the deck and entrance area to the indoor arena gets swept so all the dirt the horses track in and out doesn’t build up. That’s about it for me. Others are doing stall cleaning and twice a day grain rations. What’s neat is each horse knows where its stall is, and they all come in and most locate themselves with no help except for the occasional ditzy one who decides somebody else’s grain bucket might be more interesting. Somebody else also drags the ring and spears the huge round bales out to the feeder with the tractor as needed. Thankfully we have heated waterers outside so we don’t have to fool around hauling water in freezing temps! “Horsekeeping is easy”, said by no one EVER!


        1. I love it that they find their own way to their stall!
          Wouldn’t happen here. We have an intricate in and out schedule, with a bit of turnout rotated too. It never ceases to amaze me just HOW much time it takes to walk back and forth, at ANY barn.
          Forget one item, and now you’ve just added One MORE trip. Horsekeeping is a lot of “trudging”.

          So far, I haven’t been to a barn with large round bales in the field yet. Of ALL the barns, that’s the one thing that I haven’t seen the dynamics of. Perhaps a California thing, not sure.


          1. When the pastures die back in autumn and then get covered with snow for most of the winter, the most economical way to feed horses who live outdoors 23 hours a day is to put out 500-pound round bales for them. They go in a special round feeder, then we put slow-feed nets over them to keep most of the hay inside the feeder. Otherwise the horses would toss it out all over the landscape…and then poop on it!

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          2. I did not know there was special slow feed nets that would fit over a large round bale! Great!
            Thinking this probably works best with SEVERAL horses in the pasture at the same time, as the hay would go moldy quick with rain etc if it sat there for a very long time. Then again, if this was my horse, she would NEVER leave the round bale. Seriously. She would eat as if there is no tomorrow and swell up. I use hay nets for her, and while I know most horses slow down their eating quite a bit once they get the concept of not running out of food, I still have not seen that with her. She was on her way of becoming a total puff ball last summer… Then it does not get cold enough for them to burn it off during winter.
            Now I have to look at those large hay nets. Maybe I could do something with them..


          3. The nets are not cheap, I think about $175 for one. We have at any time from 15 to 20 mares in the large feed area, and three bales out at a time in separate feeders. The bales have to be replaced every 3-4 days. And you will have to be up to speed on your tractor skills, since you can’t move those bales around without one 🙂

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