Here's my attempt at catching up. Organized somewhat randomly, and hopefully not too incoherent.
Gardening requires lots of water, most of it in the form of perspiration...
The time I haven't spent in the saddle this spring, I have spent in the garden. I attempt to grow organically, so keeping everything weed and bug free is time super consuming. Plus "we" make all the dirt. The garden beds are filled solely with composted manure that I haul, turn and rotate in and out of four giant composting piles. It is good dirt - for reals.
The proudest accomplishment of this year's garden efforts so far is (drum roll....) carrots.
|carrots are the feathery ones|
Miniscule seeds sprout into delicate seedlings which must be thinned repeatedly (are un-transplantable) and the darn things can't tolerate any weeds. These better be the best (insert the f-bomb here) carrots in the history of the world. They're already the most expensive.
Also planted squashes, gourds, cantelopes, eggplants, cucumbers, beans, sugar snaps, greens, beets, radishes, peppers, herbs and of course tomatoes. The tomato total is eighteen, a considerable cut back from years past. All heirlooms - red, yellow, chocolate, purple and green. (!)
|sugar snaps... yum - vegetable candy|
|squashes, cukes, cantelopes - hoping for vertical growth|
|greens, tomatoes, basil - all waiting for the sun|
Still in the honeymoon phase of this years efforts - check back in when the temperature manages to stay above 70 degrees and the mosquitoes arrive.
Putting our best foot forward...
The farrier was here not too long ago. Great news - my interim trimming minimized Val's usual flare, and the white line / separation issues have resolved. Success ! :D
I got more instruction from W - this time focusing on hoof balance. My conclusion is that you can read all the books you want about how to trim hooves, but every horse is different. Their anatomy, conformation and movement habits are individual. Experience is so important when deciding how to trim. So is knowing your horse well.
Thankfully - W is very encouraging. I have so much appreciation now for what a difficult job being a farrier is. Working on Val, I get all trembly, my back cramps up, and I pour out sweat, as much from nerves as anything. Can't imagine trimming multiple horses every day...
We also found the exit hole from the abscess. Bonus! It was located underneath (caused by?) a large toe callous. What a relief to know the source of the mystery lameness. What a relief to not be an abscess virgin any longer. I can whip out a duct tape - diaper booty with the best of them now.
If you haven't got anything nice to say... (an excuse for not posting)
Val was out of commission for six weeks from his mystery lameness (now not so mysterious.) Then it rained for most of six weeks. Lack of sunshine and persistent cold windy conditions had me losing my mind just a little. I might have gotten in touch with my inner Haagen Daz lover. Bad news for rocking my breeches. Hello power walks.
Last year this time we were riding so much. The last month it's been hard to get two rides in per week. Now I have to build Val back up - slowly. The lack of work decimates his topline. He gets hollow behind the withers and our saddle fit goes to hell. It's like we're starting over, again. I get discouraged and feel like whining... then I think about friends, blogging and real world, who are facing serious illnesses, loss of soundness and end of the life decisions with their partners.
Recently I got the sad news that Teddy, a favorite tb schoolmaster from my former trainer's barn, is not long for the world. He's thirty now, and not coming into the spring well, after a move to upstate New York from SE Virginia. Medical issues plagued him over the winter, and he's getting bullied in turn out. Breaks my heart.
I learned more from Teddums than any other horse I've ever sat on. A plain bay 14.3 thoroughbred, too little for the track, he was kind and unflappable, but infuriating. He would not respond to anything except the correct aid. Unless he heard my trainer and she didn't spell the request. I spent many lessons (nearly in tears) where getting him out of the arena corner by the gate (staring longingly at his mares) was the only accomplishment. I also sat my first (and likely only) piaffe on him.
If that wasn't enough - my former boarder, sweet, funny handsome Cowboy, suffered a serious colic last week, likely a casualty of the crazy inappropriate weather. His gut twisted, and the six hour long trip to emergency medical care came too late. He had to be put down at NC State.
RIP Cowboy. I hope you are enjoying top herd status, first dibs on the eats, and freedom from cruelty, ignorance and neglect. After everything you went through down here, you deserve it.
These events have forced me to reassess my equestrian goals and priorities. Top of the list is take nothing for granted. To enjoy and make the most of the time I have with my horse, because none of it is guaranteed. To get out of my comfort zone and overcome the fears that are holding me back.
Someday is today.
Light at the end of the tunnel...
I spent my birthday (so old now...) last Sunday doing something very exciting and thankfully horse related - the culmination of eighteen months of researching and organizing. Details to come in my next post.
|there has been some saddle time|