This weather has been a real downer from the rain to the freezing cold temperatures it makes riding difficult. I am lucky to have access to a beautiful indoor which is about 30 min from our farm. They have a lovely course of jumps and the most amazing footing. It’s like riding on air. I have been trailering horses over 3 days a week to keep them going.
Dixie is still nursing that abscess although last night he looked pretty good. I admit I didn’t jog him out or soak him but it was so cold I just told myself he would be fine. I turned Dixie and Indy out in the front field with the run-in shed. They had been in the smaller sacrifice areas on either side of the barn due to the rain but since it was frozen they couldn’t tear up my fields so out they went. Indy just wandered around but I wanted to see Dixie move around so I was running around like a crazy woman clapping my hands and throwing some dirt at him. At first he looked at me like I was nuts..yep he is right about that but finally he got trotting around. He looked pretty sound and then he went around bucking and it was so funny to watch. I am not sure i have ever really seen him buck in the field but I think they were glad to kick up their heels. As I was running around chasing him my neighbors were pulling in their driveway. I am sure they really thought I had gone crazy. 20 degree weather and wind blowing. I was all bundled up with my crazy hat that has ear flaps and a big ball on top, snow pants, snow gloves and a big jacket. Dixie was more afraid of my puffy jacket and hat then he was of me. Indy..well couldn’t be bothered to run. The ground was hard and he had his hind shoes taken off recently so he was in no mood to run on the frozen ground.
The horses have been driving me a bit nutty lately. Dixie is pretty agressive in the field and he was turned out with Indy and my older horse. Indy is the worlds kindest horse to the point of aggravation because he won’t stand up for himself. My older horse is barefoot and does not move as quick as he used to. Twice I have come home to him having the butt ripped out of his blankets..expensive blankets. I can almost guarantee Dixie is responsible for the rips. Love Dixie but he needs a change in fields.
As a horse owner/farm manager the decision of matching up horses in turnouts is difficult.
Indy- 100% mild mannered
Joe- my older tb who is middle of the road boss of the whimps but not top in the bunch (funny cause he was the worlds biggest whimp as a young horse)
Dixie- top of the pack
Boppus- my 5yr tb also quite agressive
Mick- 4 yr ottb who is middle of the road but accident prone
Charlie- 4yr tb cross who is middle of the road
Junior- my conn/tb is on stall rest but he is the top dog to the point of being over the top aggressive.
So far we have had nothing but rain upon more rain. I like my horses turned out so I have sacrifice areas on either side of the barn off the stalls so they can come in and out onto the stonedust areas so it’s not muddy. These areas are small though so you need to make smart choices about who goes out with who. One side is all open but the other side is divided in half.
I suppose there are many ways of looking at how to match up horses but I tend to figure out their personality and go from there.
My current thoughts:
Charlie and Mick can go together. They are both 4yrs and love to play but aren’t mean to each other and play nicely.
Joe and Indy- Joe is old and although he likes to play when the ground is frozen he isn’t about to run around and Indy is young but not much for playing. He might run a few laps but won’t pester Joe to badly.
Boppus and Dixie- Boppus won’t hesistate to let Dixie know whats up and won’t tolerate Dixie pushing him around. I know he won’t hurt Dixie and he has no hind shoes on. They both like to play and they should buddy up.
I will just have to see how that works out. I am getting another horse in at the beginning of the month to board and Junior either gets surgery or will start getting some turnout (he fractured his knee 3-4 months ago).
Owning my own farm has been an interesting process. I think we set it up really well but I find myself becoming fussy. I am glad I built the small sacrifice areas because I don’t want the horses tearing up the grass and with all this rain it would be nothing but mud anyway. There is nothing out there for them to eat so they get plenty of hay and are able to walk/trot around their little areas and they all get ridden. If the fields are dry they can go out there. Before I owned my own place I would have said turn them out regardless of the mud. Now I think about having pretty grass come spring time so I can feed less hay. I set it up for 8 horses but we only have 11 acres. Ideally, six horses would be perfect but that never seems to happen Imagine if I had more stalls..we would be in trouble. I only own three of the horses so not to bad and I am going to try to sell one so maybe I will be down to two horses but I really like all three that I own and one is injuried so I justify having the other two. It’s a sickness I tell you
I like that they have the ability to come in and out of their stalls into their areas right now. When the weather is bad they get shut in but otherwise they can just be horses. Out 24×7 if they want or in their stalls if they don’t want to be out.
I have been taking horses over to the indoor. Dixie has been out of commission but Indy has gotten to go over. Hopefully, we will be hunting this Friday on Wye Island as long as the weather cooperates. I really miss hunting! Indy has some prospective buyers coming to see him as hunt horse. He needs to move on to a new home so hopefully it goes well. The economy has not been great for trying to sell horses. I am keeping a positive attitude and just continuing to add mileage to all the horses I have for sale.
I am going to try and get some holiday pictures of everybody this weekend.