October 30, 2014

Nailed it!!!

This is going to be a very girly post.  I have never been able to wear nail polish for longer than a day, they chip or peel usually within the first six hours.


Forget wearing nail polish at the barn, there is no way. I always have short, short nails to.  I've since discovered some at home gel nail kits.  The system I've been using is called Sensationails.  The first test was with the light pink that came with the starter kit, see picture above.


I painted right over that after a day with a mauve color.  I was impressed it survived a grooming and hoof picking session!


So far I've tired a Cappucino color....


Then this lighter silver color which is called Disco Fever....


Finally what I have on now is a darker grey silver with blue and green tones.  I've moved my grandma, gone to the barn, cleaned the house, done dishes.....these gel nails rock and I'm slowly getting better at application (especially when I have to use my left hand to paint)

So just wanted to let horse ladies out there that have a desire for pretty nails that last, check out Sensationails or even Sally Hansen gel nails.  I love that I can go to the barn, groom Dani and then go to the store and not have to look at all the dirt under my nails or figure out how to clean under them before I can get home to running water.

October 29, 2014

What a Boon!!!

I feel special today!  I love watching and reading Julie Goodnight's shows and articles about horsemanship.  She has a great way of explaining things and breaking down issues into "digestible" parts.

http://www.equinekingdom.com/data/education/
horse_anatomy/digestive_system.html

Today, Julie Goodnight posted on her Facebook page that canter was the topic of the day; she and Heidi were working on an article for Horse Illustrated.  Somehow she had found my blog where I posted back in 2012 about the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo.  At the Expo she discussed a lot about the various gaits and I was excited about her input on canter transitions.

As you all know canter is the gait I've had most of my accidents and where most of my fear has sprung.  I look forward to the article since I think Dani and I can work on this very soon.



I have to say though, what a boon!!  Julie Goodnight's post on Facebook sent readers to my little itzy-bitzy blog where I ramble about everything, don't show my horse or compete, and often get off track from purely horsie things (kitties, trailers....etc) but I guess that describes a lot of us huh?  

Thanks Julie for the shout out!  I feel very special indeed and I think you know you have a groupie for life in me.  LOL

October 28, 2014

Scratches

Scratches is an odd name for a form of dermatitis often occurring on the fetlocks. It is
caused by a bacteria that can infect stressed skin of the foot. Similar to rain rot, the skin is
exposed to wet and muddy conditions and can cause microscopic cracks whereby
infection can take hold. The bacteria is naturally occurring in the environment and thrives
in moist conditions where it can take hold on the lower legs of our equine pals.


http://redponyfarm.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834529d8769e2017ee7758541970d-320wi
Dani didn't really have exposure wet conditions before her scratches formed but I think it
could very well have been due to the wetting of her hing legs due to her hoof clipping
injury. In the past I think she had this once and I just washed her legs really well thinking
it was mud. It very well could have been scratches and she was subjected to muddy
conditions at that time. These scratches cases have been very mild compared to really red
and swollen cases I've Googled online.

http://www.horsedvm.com/assets/img/images/conditions/skin/mud_fever/2.JPG

I've been treating Dani using Shapley's MTG which has sulfur in it as the primary ingredient.  It's not as concentrated as the above process for making a paste with sulfur powder.  If this continued too long I would have made a more concentrated treatment.

Dani's foot after only one treatment
Above is Dani's foot after one application.  Pretty much as it was, I thought it was mud at first so didn't know to treat it right away.  It's not the type of "scratches" image that I have in my mind!  

A week later the hard crusts have fallen off mostly, much less "stuff"

This second picture above shows her foot after about a week of treatment, I didn't treat daily, maybe every other day when I could get out there and since some days were raining it didn't make sense to treat her since it would just wash off.  There were only a couple "dirt clumps"/scabs left the rest was just dirt.  


Here are her fetlocks now, much better.  I'm still applying the MTG for a couple more days.  It's good to know what a mild case of scratches looks like.


I'm glad the MTG worked well. As a prevention I plan on using No Thrush, a white
powder used for treating and preventing thrush in the hoof sulci. The label and website
also indidcates that No Thrush can be used to treat and prevent scraches. This is good to
know and since it's a powder that is easier and less messy to apply than MTG or a sulfur
paste I could make myself. 


MTG was simple to use but making a
concentrated paste with food grade sulfur is an option for a more difficult case. Zinc
olxide paste is another option stated by a vet. Diaper rash cream contains this. If needed
the area can be wrapped for a couple days to keep the ointment on the skin longer.
Now that I'm aware what mild scratches looks like I can be more vigilant on spotting and
treating it.

October 19, 2014

Serene Sunday

Dark evenings painting the trailer.....


Little black kitty doesn't like it when I leave.

October 14, 2014

Hold backs and hold ups

Steve and I got some hold backs put on the trailer doors.  I'm loving these with the windy days we've been having!  The tack room door was odd since it doesn't open all the way and lay flat against the body of the trailer so I purchased a couple different types before finding this rubber one with an angle bracket and extender.


I'm also happy that these hold back don't look as much like a penis as a lot of others.  Sorry but I don't want to have a penis sticking out of my trailer sides!


Rust treatments on the inside of the trailer caused an issue on the outside after a heavy downpour.  The window railings dribbled the black stain down the outside of my trailer.  I have to retouch this area!  Darn it!  Now that I was able to get out and prime a bit inside this won't happen again but I'm hoping that I'll have the inside totally painted within the week.  


Time is short with temperatures dropping and I want to make sure the temperature is appropriate for proper paint cure.  I plan on painting the entire inside and adding a rubber coating to the baseboards in the future.  I just don't know if I'll have the time to do that now.


Frustrated that I have to repaint this area or try and clean it but it could have been worse I guess.  

October 09, 2014

20 Questions

Here are some questions I found on Cash’s Steppin Up Blog.  She found 10 at one site and 10 at another.  It’s fun to answer this stuff so why not!




1. Is your horse spooky or bombproof? 

Dani is somewhere in between.  Her biggest issue is scary sounds.  For the most part she is pretty sensible and thinks things through.  Her spooks are more a start and stare type which I certainly like compared to spinning or running off


2. Does your horse have a long or short stride?

Shorter stride, at least that’s how it feels her walk is very active and her trot can be jolting but we are working on it.


3. Describe your current barn in 3 words? 
Peaceful, caring, pasture


4. If you could switch barns, would you?
Only if I found one really close to my house or had to move or was bringing my mare home to my own barn (someday!)

5. What is your favorite brand of breeches? 
Tuffrider


6. How many blue ribbons do you have? (Red if you live in Canada or Britain). 
None.  I don’t do competitions

7. How many saddle pads do you own?
I think I own around 5 saddle pads.  I’ve tried a few and sold ones I didn’t like.  Currently I use a felt pad and a pretty cover blanket for my western saddle.  Still have another one that I’m hanging onto and then I have my regular English green pad with a slip pad underneath for my dressage saddle.


8. Is your horse your phone background/lock screen?
I tend to change it a lot. Dani is on there often!


9. Do you go trail riding often?
Not yet but hope to very soon!  I may be going on a ride off the property with M sometime soon



10. Favorite horsey movie? 
Hidalgo perhaps? Dreamy man and pretty horses….can’t complain



And another set of questions found on Chasing the Dream!


1. If your horse was a person, who would they be? (you can generalize personality if you can’t think of someone). 
I'm not ever someone to really pay attention to stars so I'll just generalize Dani.  She's inquisitive, smart and responsive.  She aims to please but certainly has moments where she will NOT do something and you have to argue smartly with her.  You have to be fair with her, she dislikes anything she finds unfair.  She is dominant and will test that with you but will respect you if you show her you are boss and then she's happy to be with you.  She's pretty laid back most of the time and pretty easy to work with.  She can sometimes be like "That was a hell of a thing."




2. What is one (or two…or five) piece(s) of equipment you CANNOT live without. 
Rope halter and 14 ft lead


3. When did you start riding/ what discipline?  
I started when I was 8 and rode huntseat

4. Do you have a barn dog? If so, what breed? 
Nope.  My dogs have been to the barn but they are not very horse savy.  The new barn I'm at the owner has a large mastiff female.  She's very sweet and nice to be around but I don't like the slobber effect.  LOL

5. Do you like doing stalls or nah? 
I do, and I miss caring for Dani myself but I know she is happier being on pasture 24/7.  Someday I'll be back to caring for her myself when she's in my own backyard.


6. What treat(s) does your horse go nuts over?
Any!  I rarely give her treats because she won’t leave me alone afterwards and will wiggle her muzzle into every pocket


7. If you've switched disciplines, why? If not, also why.
I ride more western now.  Honestly I like the security and comfort, I feel safer doing faster gaits in the western at this time plus more places to put saddle bags for when I do trail rides.  I do like my dressage saddle and find I can feel the horse better and it’s great for training lateral movements etc.


8. What is your least favorite discipline and why?
I’m not into bucking bronco rodeo stuff.  I don’t see the point in riding a bucking horse.  I feel bad for the horse and think the riders have a few screws loose.  It doesn’t go with the natural horsemanship philosophy and working with the horse to have a partnership.  I can't stand that cowboy up, male machismo type attitude.


9. Who is currently your favorite rider/trainer? 
Julie Goodnight, she is awesome


10. What is your BIGGEST pet peeve regarding horses? 
I think when people are closed minded about how things are supposed to be done.  There are many ways to reach and end and we can always learn from each other.  Even if we disagree on how to work with a horse on a certain thing we need to just live and let live.



October 08, 2014

Trailer Price Comparisons

A long while back I was asked to keep tabs on my costs for trailer renovation in comparison with newer models for a higher price.  For this, I've only compared 3 horse slant bumper pull trailers with a front tack room.

The newer or new aluminum trailers can start in the low teens and go above $20,000.  I like a lot of the aluminum trailers but from a horse perspective lots of openness makes a trailer more likable.  A lot of the trailers have smaller windows that could potential create a claustrophobic environment.


Someday a really nice aluminum trailer may be a good step up.  They aren't maintenance free but they are less so than a steel trailer, weigh less but cost more....much more often.  It's a pipe dream, I don't want to accrue that kind of debt at this time and in the future would be great to find a good deal on one and pay cash.  


Some trailer windows are better than others if you go with the more stock combo style with a tack room.  It gives a nice open feel to the horse, not so much the feeling of a trap.


Steel trailers have a broader price range.  Calico has some bad reviews and I've priced newer ones from $7-9k.  Ones only a few years old have rust already showing in many of the ads I've seen.  Makes you wonder what corners have been cut in making them!

New Calico looks nice now....

There are several 4-6 year old trailers that I've seen for sale: prices around $4,995, $4,000, and $4500.  All of them had a decent amount of rust started.  A 1979 WW trailer, similar to mine was quite rusty and they were asking $3,200!! Check out this WW Trailer, almost the exact one as mine but it's a 2002 and they are asking $4,800:

Overall in good condition but rust starting in the usual areas and the trim/gravel guards
should be checked to make sure water doesn't seep into areas behind them

Rust is already beginning in the typical seam areas,
this needs to be arrested and sealed

Already a decent amount of rust starting on the tongue and front and the fenders.  WW
doesn't have the best paint job so for longevity this trailer would need still need work

I don't see much improvement compared to my 1995 model.  There would be so many additional protection measures I'd expect the newer trailer to have.  I think I overpaid on mine, $2,500 but it had good bones and I haven't really put a ridiculous amount of work and $$ into to make buying a newer trailer more appealing, especially if these new trailers are already rusting within a couple years!  Some makers charge more and hopefully that means they have treated the metal and used good paint to prevent the rust.  Right now I didn't want to spend $15-20k on one of those.

Take an older trailer with good bones, put in some elbow grease and you probably have a trailer that is protected and will last longer than some of those new ones on the lot.  That's just my two cents.


~costs of materials to renovate traile

Maintenance for any trailer, aluminum or steel is a must!  With mine I will regularly check for rust spot development, even pinhole sized, then treat, seal and paint.  I will inspect all caulking to make sure no seepage occurs at the seams.  I will sweep and clean the floor regularly and keep the mats off the wood for airflow, I will inspect the wood annually and replace boards as needed.  Overall I feel my time working on the trailer has given me many insights:

*Familiarity with trailer construction
*Better sense of maintenance needs
*Security in knowing metal surfaces are well protected
*Understanding of what to REALLY look for in a trailer purchase
*Knowledge about all the various options you can have or add to a trailer



Granted this weekend is my last push to finish the horse area before snow temperatures drop and I can't paint still I love my trailer in it's almost complete state.  I've calculated the additional paint I need to buy for the last paint job.  The trailer is exactly what I wanted, a 3 horse slant, open stock/with dividers style with a tack room.  It totally feels like all mine now and feels a bit custom in a way.  Sure it's not fancy but it's mine, it's secure and safe and hopefully Dani will begin to love Rusty like I do!



Will I ever redo another trailer in the future???  Probably not, it takes a lot of time and I while had fun I'm pretty much done.  There are other projects in my future.  I'll save up for the big future trailer I may get someday but I have one now that will last a while and I'm pretty content.

October 06, 2014

Musings about a Serene Sunday

Can I just say that I love having my horse trailer at the barn with all my gear!  Dani has been tied a couple times to the trailer for grooming and tacking.  She's really curious about the tack room.  I guess if she loads in there the back will be a cinch right?


I came out Sunday to do some touch-ups on the trailer.  I still have diamond plate caulking to do to prevent water from getting behind the material, then I have the tack room door that needs final coats of paint before I can install my hanging grooming sorter.  The back still has caulking to be removed and rust to be treated.  I have the whole back horse area to paint and need to get that done in the next week or so as October will bring colder temperatures.


I was getting frustrated with the caulk gun so decided I needed to take a break and have some pony time.  In the saddle time was not a good idea with my frustration so instead I took pony on a walk across the street to the high school.  M rides here and so does Baruk's owner.  There is a path that goes around the whole property.


Near the track there is a big sandy area that M often likes to ride since it's nice and soft.  Dani liked it and I'm sure if she'd been able would have rolled around in the soft silkiness.  Behind the school is a beautiful cemetery.  Dani was blowing a lot as we walked by so I didn't stop to take a picture, unsure if she was nervous or just curious.  Ghosts you think?


We came back to the barn, and I applied some meds to her scratches on her hind legs.  This is something that developed in the past couple weeks.  At first I thought it was mud but it seems to be scratches.  There doesn't appear to be any skin irritation or inflammation so I'm applying MTG for now.


I came back after bringing her to her pasture and started back on the project, attitude adjusted.  I painted the interior of the tack room door, touched up some extra holes we created when attaching some door hold backs and added a layer of paint to the inside of the horse door.


Here are some pictures of the tack room in use.  I made little fleece pillows to stable to the wooden posts and nailed a horseshoe on the end of each saddle rack.  It's great for handing helmet bags or random tack.  Looks nifty too.  Don't mind the mess I am still getting my tack room organized!


All day this little black kitty was hanging around me supervising.  It was nice and relaxing out there, calm and beautiful day.  It was great to have his little meows keep me company as I plugged away.  I've so run out of gas to finish these last things for the trailer, I'm so tired and soooo done.  But I'm not done and have to keep going to get it all complete before it's too cold to paint.


October 05, 2014

Serene Sunday

Close your eyes and take a deep breath....the crisp breeze of fall is here.



September 29, 2014

Ride around the Property

I went out Thursday to the barn, I wanted to only staple gun a cushion to the saddle rack...will take a picture of the complete saddle rack asap.  My main purpose was to go for a ride on my pony.  I groomed Dani and got her all tacked up.  M wanted to ride too so we waited for her to grab Scotty her Morgan gelding.  I'd been wanting to ride with her for a while so it was nice.


Since it had been a while since I'd ridden Dani I didn't want to venture across the road to the loud and scary high school so I suggested we just ride around the perimeter of the property.  The area was almost wide enough for two horses but my mare wasn't liking being so close to Scotty.  I reprimanded her but had to work on rating her since she wanted to be up front.  Not a shocker for sure but she needs to ride at all positions for a trail ride.  It was really nice to chat with M.  She asked me all sorts of questions about what hobbies I had besides horses.  I tried to ask her a view things to, she's really nice and will be a great partner to ride with.  We plan on driving to Homestead Park nearby, I just need to get some trail loading session in on Dani first and also see how she is riding at the school.

So this was a semi trail ride, soon we'll have a real one I hope!  I'm starting to tie Dani up to the trailer to groom and tack up.  That should help a little with positive associations near the trailer.  I want so badly to have trailering become a much smaller issue.  Think positive thoughts!