February 26, 2015

Cold and Snow

Last weekend I spent most of my time indoors until I had to shovel snow.  I'd seen pony on Friday and she was prepped and ready for the snow.  There are benefits to boarding full care!


Our front porch mini spruce, Piney Pete, was loving the snow.  What a happy conifer!


Aside form a brief interlude on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the week has been very snowy and cold.  February and March tend to be the snowy cold months in Colorado.  We'd had many days and weekends where temperatures ranged from the 50-70s with sunshine and fun.  We were spoiled.


Soon enough though the time change will occur and I'll have more opportunities to go out to the barn and actually do things with Dani.  Once the snowy weather passes we'll have a chance to get ready for some trail riding....aka trailer training.  I'm feeling antsy about my winter ending and the warmer weather coming.  Still....snow sure is pretty to watch falling outside my office window.

February 21, 2015

Snowpacalypse???

This weekend in Colorado there is supposed to be a large amount of snow.  The Emergency Operations Centers are on alert. Sadly I probably won't be able to see my pony this weekend.  I ran out after work on Friday to give her a hug and kiss.  I'm really missing her since last weekend with a pulled neck and snowy weather again reduced my pony time.


When I got out to the barn the skies were clearing from a flurry that had occurred that evening.  The sun was out and setting so it was actually pretty beautiful though cold.  Dani was looking good and cute in her blanket.  The barn owner was blanketing everyone in order to avoid having to chase horses around in the middle of blustery winds.


Beyjo is the arabian gelding that is now hanging out with Dani.  They like each other but the Arab tends to be bossy and mean about food.  Not sure if he is the boss horse but Dani steers clear of his heels at feeding time.  He's a cute little bay but very skittish.  His owners don't work with him that much.  I felt bad one day since he had a huge tornado knot in his silky black mane.  I got some of my Manely Long Hair product and worked it out for about 30 minutes.  Today I saw it's nice and silky.  This product is great!


Dani and Beyjo get fed last since the older mare, silky a cute palomino is 30 and needs enough time to get her food in her belly.  She is fed in the pen at the front of the pasture while Dani and Beyjo look sad and half starved.  She's just wasting away isn't she?



I gave her a few treats and just hung out with her while she watched N bring alfalfa to the chickens and no hay to her.  Eventually when Silky was pretty full Dani and Beyjo got their food.  




As the sun set and the wind picked up a little it was getting time to head home.  We should be getting the bulk of the storm between Saturday and Sunday.  Drat.  At least the time change is coming and I may be able to start getting riding in during the week after work.


As I left Dani was munching away at her hay and Silky was off by her hay tub near the run-in shed.  All ponies seemed content.  I'm glad Dani is here.  When I can't ride she still has lots of room to run and ponies to play with.  Still I await the day when she can be in my back yard. 


Here's hoping next weekend is more riding friendly! 


February 11, 2015

Ride Around the High School Running Path

I forgot my pony's pedicure appointment!!!  Luckily my farrier and my barn owner are awesome.  My farrier clipped Dani's hooves and M held her.  I was so thankful when I showed up later at the barn.  They were so great about it.  I always have things in my calendar for the pony!  My phone died the night before so I'm going to blame that I didn't get a reminder.

Well, aside form the crazy beginning of the day my ride with Dani went really well.  We are working on bridling a little since she's having some resistance issues.  I did something to upset her so now I"m having to rework our procedure and get Dani back to her happy content self.  It will take a little time and patience.

I decided today was the day to ride over to the school and go around that path.  Dani was alert and looking around but not nervous.  As we passed some run in sheds on the property next to the school she seemed a little nervous.  There was a big cattle truck parked there and a couple of horses.  I don't know if was nervousness or curiosity but I cued her to move on and she did.

As we got to the area of the path that was behind the school we passed a trailer park that had some fencing and a couple dogs that ran out after we passed and barked up a storm; luckily contained within their fencing.  One little start was all I got from Dani but I could feel her uncertainty so I stroked her neck and we kept moving.

She doesn't try to run or turn away from scary things which is good.  She will start in place, kind of a jumpy stop.  Sometimes she snorts at the object.  I hope to keep it this way; together it feels like we are gaining more confidence.

The next area we passed was the little cemetery.  I didn't take a picture and I need to, so pretty.  There were no issues there just some muddy spots we walked around.  Dani was not jiggy at all but she certainly walks faster when she's in a new area.  She's just more alert is all.

Afterwards we crossed the road again and headed back up the barn's driveway to our trailer.  I try to dismount in different areas so she doesn't get in the habit of stopping right at the trailer for me to dismount.

Dani had a small cut on her inner hind fetlock and then her front white fetlock had an area that looks like the starting of scratches.  I'll have to keep up on all her legs since the weather has been wet and then dry and then wet again.  She seems to be prone to scratches.  At the end of February I'll be trimming her fetlocks since the muddy season will most likely be in full swing by then.  As the weather warms and the footing is good we'll be getting back into trailer training I think!  I really want to get out and about this spring and summer with my girl.  I think she'd really excel with trail riding!

February 09, 2015

February 02, 2015

A Tale of Two Kitties

It came from above.  Dani didn't see it at first....but she knew it was there.  Stalking on the stall panels like a demon.  The mare was worried.  Should she fear for her life.....or her sanity?


The silver one appeared as if to say hello between the stall panel bars with it's cute little stripes and it's hazel eyes.  Awe yes, misdirection!!



The other one, with it's innocent looking copper eyes, attacked the human, clawing at her legs with the ferociousness of a butterfly.


Then the silver striped one approached the mare with a purr. "Oh, I guess you aren't so bad," said Dani in relief.  "Not at all beast of burden!  I shall free you from the ties that bind you," cried the mighty stripe one.

"Alas I only weigh 2 lbs, I cannot release you...I have failed in my mission..." the silver cat murmured in shame.


Their mission aborted the two kitties decided to rub on all of Dani's legs and play with her curtain of a tail.  This was all done while the human laughed out loud and took pictures; much to the chagrin of her red steed.

January 30, 2015

Muddy Muck and Slush

Last Sunday was a grand day with sunny skies, and barely a cloud.  The ground though, was an entirely different matter.  The ground was wet and muddy, very sloppy.  There was no place I felt safe riding her.  She slid a bit just with me leading her.  My thoughts were that extra weight could aggravate the slop conditions and make her more prone to pull something.


Instead we walked around the property.  I was in my winter boots, nice and warm and WATERPROOF.  I slid a bit but it was still a nice time to walk the path with her by my side.  Always good to work on ground manners.  She rarely goes back to her old ways of crowding or pulling ahead.  Still to remind her who the boss mare is I asked for simple hindquarter movements away and for some backing.


I also did a good grooming that included more mane treatment.  Her torn out spot is slowly growing in but not fast enough!  Again, I'm glad it's in a barely noticeable location.  We groomed on the southern side of the trailer, which made things more difficult.  My normal side of use, on the northern side is where the tack room door is located.  Today because of the melt off there was a 3 inch deep puddle by the door.  Even though I didn't ride I still feel that things were accomplished with the mare and of course, any day at the barn is better than any day away!!


When I walked Dani back to her pasture I passed Scotty and his miniature friend Prince.  I had to say hello on my way back and also go in the barn to see the baby kitties. So many critters to love on!


This coming weekend is calling for snow on Friday and Saturday.  Sunday should be warmer with no snow but I don't know how the footing will be.  I'm awaiting spring with great expectations!

January 29, 2015

Snow Ride

Last Saturday was a nice day, it was overcast but around 40 degrees and snow covered the ground still.  Dani was laying in the snow....bed the patch she found was like a soft blanket.  Lying ponies are always so sweet looking.  For the ride I kept Dani in the arena and at a walk.


We worked on turns, serpentines, stops....all sorts of simple maneuvers.  I tried to teach her turn on the forehand but I think we are having communication issues.  She either does a small circle, backs or keeps walking forward.  I think we'll utilize the fence some but perhaps I need to read up and work on it from the ground first.


She's so cute and fuzzy right now but I know that slick summer coat is growing in right now.  It hasn't started making the winter coat shed but February seems to be the time of year that she starts to shed.  I've been regularly putting the powder No Thrush on her back fetlocks.  One of the many infections this powder treats or prevents is scratches.  I'm also keeping an eye on her frogs too.  With this wet snow, melt, then mud sequence happening nearly every week I want to prevent any issues that could cause her irritation.  


It's always nice to get out on the weekends to see her.  I can't wait until the time change and when the days are significantly longer.  I miss her so much!

January 23, 2015

3 Horse Slant Bumper Pull Restoration- Before and Afters

I purchased my 3 Horse Slant WW 1995 trailer in January of 2014.  That summer I spent time dismantling the trim and other areas to get at rusted spots.  I scraped the rust and then applied a converter which made the thing look even worse than it was!






The trailer had rust in screw holes that held DIY plexiglass covers for the windows.  We took those out since ventilation is important for a horse trailer (hence the reason I like these stock styles).  A horse can always have a fly mask on and a warm blanket if needed.  I may in the future look at removable screening though....



The inside of the tack room had a leaky roof due to an issue with a seam.  The rest of the "damage" was just from scrapes of tack and other seam condensation.  All this was scraped, treated, sanded and painted after first the roof was addressed.



The worst thing was all the ridiculous amounts of caulking the prior owners used to try and fix the leaky seams!



I didn't like the saddle rack location or size.  It didn't make the best use of the space so we unbolted it and sold it to another horse owner.



The worst seam, as stated earlier was above the tack room.  Seam tape for RV's was utilized  along with a polymerized coating for the roof.



The process was pretty simple, path the seams and bigger holes (from a hay rack not rust) with the fabric and polymer.  Then apply the roof coat to the entire surface once everything is dry.


Sealing of Seams

Trailer Roof


After the roof was addressed I finished up treating the rust on the outside of the trailer.  I filled in holes from various screws that held onto arms for fencing, a hay rack or the plexiglass windows.

Holey moley


Even in the worst rusted areas it was still just surface and there were no rusted out areas which made me very happy.



Once that was complete I could prime the entire outside.  I tried at first to use my paint sprayer but I was having issues so went the brush and roller route.  It turned out nicely.






After the primer came two coats of paint.  Then I started adding trim and reflective stripping to the trailer.



Next up was the inside of the horse area.  I wasn't comfortable with the flooring, it was older and it was tongue and groove.  It's best to have gaps between the wood planks for drainage and to prevent the wood from rotting.


We removed the wood and then treated the frame.  It was in great condition, rusty looking but no different then if you looked are your personal cars undercarriage.





I researched the best type of wood to use and the best prices and found a pine treated with a certain type of pressure treatment that would not corrode the metal.


To bad the floor will get pooped and peed on right?!!!



Obviously the inside horse area had the most rust with past pony legs creating dents and scratches since 1995.  I treated the rust and sanded the dividers; this area needed the most amount of paint.  Eventually I want to apply rubber paint or some type of padding to the lower "foot area" of the trailer.


The matts were in decent condition but when I hung them to prevent wetness staying on the floor underneath they all tore in half.  I'll probably be buying new ones this spring.


The dividers will continually need WD-40 and perhaps repainting due to the sheathed nature.


The trailer is done.  I have some touch-ups and of course regular maintenance I'll need to perform in order to keep this trailer looking good.  I certainly will not let it sit for over 15 years without paint touch-ups.  


With maintenance I should never have to overhaul the entire thing.  The new lights are clean and bright.  We are adding some interior lighting to run off a solar powered battery but the working lights are functional and perfect when attached to the truck as they should be.




It's so pristine looking now!




The fenders and gravel guard added are black diamond plating and look so sharp on the trailer.  Very custom!


I also added a horse decal to the front of the trailer that matches the one on the back window of my truck.  It's makes a nice pair when towing. 


The tack room was the last, and honestly most difficult, to be completed with a custom made wooden saddle rack set in the corner.  The amount of seams and caulking made this room torture!  This opens the room up nicely and allows for lots of storage like my three drawer supply bin, a stool, other containers, buckets and a mini porta pottie.



The saddle stand has little fleece "pillows" adhered to each rack so that the saddles are on something soft.  I also put horseshoes at the end of each rack for looks and as an added hanging hook for helmets or strapping.



This trailer so far has been really functional.  Working on the exterior and interior lighting has been a challege since the cold weather is making the wires easier to break so we've left somethings on the To Do list for now.  I still need new tires but won't get those until this spring when I actually start hauling.