Monday, July 19, 2010

Horse Daze

It was a busy weekend!
We finished haying on Thursday. Well, the rest of the crew finished: on Wednesday, one of the boys got a harrowbed stuck, and in an effort to pull it out with "my" tractor, they busted up some sort of seal on the front axle, so it was out of commission for Thursday! But finishing meant the equipment was now available to deliver my hay to the barn. Scheduling got a little fouled up, so here came several tons worth Friday afternoon while I was in the midst of cleaning up Maddie and Beth for the Horse Daze sale on Saturday!No problem. My middle name is "flexibility"! The girls retired to stalls to wait for the rest of their beauty treatment, while Hank and the twins brought in three loads on the "squeeze".
After some confusion about delivery and waiting to hear back, I did get a chance to load the girls up and haul them down to the neighboring indoor Friday afternoon for a little trial session off the farm.
Beth went first, and although this was the first time I have ridden her away from home, the first time she's ever seen an indoor arena, and the wind was blowing up a bit of a ruckus outside, she did very well! Looked hard at a damp spot in the dirt, and at the dressage letters on the walls, and was obviously higher energy than usual, but did everything I asked of her willingly and with a pretty good attitude. I have sold my heavy stock saddle and got an inexpensive synthetic to substitute (and be a friend and husband backup saddle) until I can find the right replacement, so she was in a new saddle besides.
Then Beth stood fairly quietly while Maddie took a turn. I've ridden Maddie here once before and she was fairly comfortable. Nice walk-trot work, then what I really wanted to do: lope work in the good footing and with more room than at home. She was good about her transitions, but still very unbalanced and awkward. But she gave it a good try, and evened out a little as we went. I'm still thinking about having an equine chiropractor check her out.

Saturday started out early, but already warm. It ended up not as bad as last year (where temps hovered around 100) and there was a bit of a breeze to help soften the 84-ish degrees. I did manage to snag one of the pens with shade, which was helpful for the girls. Here they are hangin' out between the morning and afternoon presentations.

Morning showing went well, with a better crowd than last year (blame the heat or the economy, whichever). We forgot to take the camera over, but Maddie worked very nicely, relaxed and cooperative. Several people came to look at her between showings, with one fellow and his family pretty interested--he would have tried her out but he just messed his knee up last week, so I'm hoping they will follow up when he's moving better.
Beth, too, worked nicely on the lungeline (in spite of a little attitude she had given me earlier when I was showing her around the grounds). I did decide not to mount her there in the open among all the vendors and spectators, but when we got back to their pen, I did climb on, and she did okay for the little space. She got a little "stuck" once or twice, but we worked through it.

By afternoon the crowd had dwindled to about 15 (plus volunteers) and some of the vendors who had been set up around the showing area had left, so there wasn't quite as much hubbub as in the morning.
Again, Maddie did a fine job.
Beth worked well on the lunge again.... I sucked it up and climbed on!
She started out okay, a little hesitant perhaps.... ....but then she gave me some of her head pulling, a resistance to the bit.I didn't want to push things, so we just walked around for a few minutes (since we were the last horse to go) then dismounted and led her out.After that, they got some free time in the pen while I packed up, then loaded up and we headed home, where both girls got a little extra time in the pasture.

I might not have sold a horse, but I consider it a successful day's outing!


  1. The hay looks great! I'll be buying a bunch soon--with luck, my friend from Zillah will bring me a couple of tons.

    Glad to hear that your horses did well, too.

  2. Sounds like both girls did great! Hope the guy with the bum knee gets back to you.

    Now THAT'S the way to move hay! Only teenagers should have to buck hay by hand.

  3. Oh, forgot to say - I know they're cheap, but I think cordura saddles are vastly superior to leather ones. So much lighter, and the fenders are always comfortable.

  4. I love my Abetta saddle. I love that it's lighweight(for me and my horse), tough as nails, easy to clean, fits my horse well, and is so very comfy, too! I did swap out the nylon stirrup 'leathers', latigos and cinch for real leather, because they have more 'give' and a better feel. But otherwise I don't think I will ever go back to owning an expensive, heavy leather saddle ever again.

    Congrats on the successful day!


  5. Now THAT- is the way to move and stack Hay!!!! Yeeha!I just moved and stack a ton all by myself...woo I was beat!

    Your mare did very well...bless you horse looving heart to try in that heat and some wind too! GOOD for you!
    One good try after another..makes for the best horses!

  6. Now that's some hay. And a great way to move it. :) Looks like you had a GREAT day! :)