Most of my days are spent rushing around trying to get horse chores done in the morning before work, rushing to work, rushing home from work and rushing to get horses ridden before I lose daylight. My hubby works nights so our schedules are opposite which makes it even more complicated.
This week they have finally started our paddock project. We are having our sacrifice paddocks completely scraped out and then adding in all weather footing with geotextile fabric to hopefully stop mud from happening. We designed our setup so that the horses can come and go from their stalls to their sacrifice paddocks which then open up into larger paddocks. I never have to walk the horses in and out and they live a pretty relaxed life because they don’t have to worry about being locked in/out of their stalls.
Well the easy setup is currently in disarray as we have taken down our fencing for the sacrifice paddocks so we have to walk the horses to the other fields. Really this is no big deal and I have worked this way for most of my life. Last night was a trial in dealing with lots of hungry horses who were cold and impatient. It went a bit like this. Kurt was inside sleeping as he had spent all morning taken down the fence. Only the mares had halters on because normally the horses don’t wear halters. This will prove to make the course of events all that more interesting.
Went in the barn and got the hot water for the beet pulp so that was soaking while I went to bring in the horses. Started with the paddock of four horses- Charlie, Shady, Parker and Sea Flip. We have the horseguard fencing and our gates are 12ft of electric but quite easy to work. Easy when the horse you are trying to walk out (yes, my horse) cooperates. Well boss man decided to rear up and kick out at Shady who then ran right at me so I dropped the gate and all four horses were out. None of them had halters on! Luckily, I do have a main gate that keeps all horses in the barnyard.
Charlie and Shady are best buds and of course Charlie runs right to the mares who then start whipping around. Can’t catch Shady or Charlie. Go the barn to get some grain and see Parker strolling down the aisleway and walks right into his stall. Did I mention he likes to eat because with 3 nutty horses running around he chose to come inside and eat.
Grain bucket was useless as they went whipping past me. Junior and Boppus were doing advanced level dressage moves in their field as the horses ran back and forth. My grain bucket did catch the attention of Sea Flip so he was caught! I managed to rope him and then get a halter on him. He really likes people so he thought I was coming to give him treats or something.
I have given up trying to catch the other two because they run from me when I get near them. Okay, Boppus and Junior can be brought in. Get the halter on Junior and get him in his stall. Screaming and running in circles commences. Boppus is a horse that is built like a tank and plays the tall game with me on a regular basis. I could not get his halter on as his head was up to high. I decide I can just put the rope around his neck and walk him in. I am brilliant ya know
Just about the time I get him out the gate here come Shady and Charlie at a full gallop bucking and running straight at Boppus. That rope didn’t hold 16.3 1200lb of the I need to run horse. Off he went. At this point in time I figured screw it and went in the barn to start feeding figuring they would come in when they heard the food. I peeked out once as they were rodeo bucking around the paddock but I could tell they weren’t ready to be caught. Then I hear some hoofs coming down the barn and it was Boppus. Yes, he likes to eat as much as Parker.
Charlie and Shady are still no where near being caught and the feeding is finished. I go to get the mares who are quite calm about the whole thing. Dee (new mare) is really shy but comes right up to me and I get her in her stall no problems. Excellent! Next up is Navy who was waiting patiently. The two loose horses are off somewhere but I don’t see them. I am walking her through her sliding stall door (rear dutch door with front door in the barn closed) when the boys come flying past. I hadn’t gotten her door shut all the way and she pushes right through.
Great…..now I have three horses running loose. Charlie loves mares so he is giving her the kissy face and I try and try to catch them but nothing is working. Each time I get close enough to them off they go again. At this point, my boarder shows up and is looking around trying to figure out what is going on. Asks if she can help and I tell her probably not. I go in to do some more chores figuring they will get tired and then I will be able to catch them. About this time Shady comes in the barn and I quickly shut the door behind him and shuffle him into a stall.
Jane and I try to go catch Charlie and the mare but they keep running from us each time we get near them. We had opened the barn doors and our plan was to get them to go into the barn and then shut the doors so they couldn’t get out. Took about 5 min but we did get them to go in.
All horses got halters put on and tonight I will make sure to get some help bringing them in. They were perfect angels to walk out this morning!
Jane and I trailered over to a local indoor and our horses were perfect which was a welcome suprise. I suppose all the running around helped them work off some energy. It was our first time at this indoor which is right around the corner. The owner runs a busy lesson program but she felt sorry for me and agreed to let me come over to ride. There were five of us in a pretty small indoor but it is good practice.
I will take Parker over this week but it looks like it might warm up enough to ride at home. That indoor is a bit to busy to ride Dee as she might be a bit scared and it wouldn’t be a good experience for her. I will work with her a bit at home first to see what she is like to ride. I know Parker has a lot of mileage in the indoors.
Here are a few of Parker’s videos
His first ever x-c schooling and I think is 3rd ride after the track. Adorable! You can see why I am so eager to get started.