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.

January 20, 2015

Mom Comes to Visit Dani

My mom came out on Sunday to see Dani and I.  The snow had finally melted in most riding areas but there were still muddy patches.  I rode in the arena so my mom could hang out with us.  She'd had a knee surgery in the early summer and hasn't been doing as well as she'd hope.  She uses a cane and gets around quite well but I still provided a chair for her while I rode.

Dani and I are both out of practice with riding really.  This has been the first weekend in a long time I've had lots of pony time.  I haven't ridden a lot in November and December because of time and weather.  We had not trotted in a while either and after observing some of the footing in the arena I found some spots I was comfortable trotting my girl.  That is something we need to work on, the trot.  Rating her to have a nice medium trot is my goal.  She has a big trot, great for the carriage that she was trained on as a youngster.  Great for traveling many miles if we were to do that but I just want a nice little trot I can ride comfortably to and maybe someday even sit the trot.  She speeds up and then will overcompensate and go back to a walk when I try to rate her speed.  We just both need to work on it and I need to figure out just the right amount of pressure to slow her down but not SLOW her down.  Headset is another issue with the trot and I think will help with her pace too.  I don't need her in a perfect dressage frame but a little less hollowed out would be helpful.

Another thing that Dani seemed to do was anticipate.  The first place I asked her to trot she kept getting ready to trot there whenever we reached that area.  I tried to make sure I wasn't sending her any misguided cues.  I think a trot and walk and trot and walk session would be good for us.  My mother enjoyed watching us and seeing her Grand-horse.

Another minor issue I've been working on with Dani is the cinching.  I think there have been a couple times where I maybe tightened a little too fast and since Dani has always been cinchy this just increased her sensitivity.  I've worked with a little bit of "pressure and release" technique.  I would pull the girth under her and hold it until she stopped moving about, rinse and repeat.  I'm taking every step much slower.  We have to realize that sometimes we don't pay as much attention to how fast we do things around horses and they can be very sensitive to it.  She'll always have the issue I think but as long as I treat her softly and don't tighten too fast she is fine.  Don't know how I caused this little relapse since I've always taken my time and tightened several times over many minutes while tacking up but it only takes a little change to upset dear ponies.

I'm very glad that it doesn't take much to get Dani back where she needs to be with most issues.  I've been pleased with her and the mounting block.  If you all remember I've had issues in the past when I first got her.  One thing I'd like to really work on though is getting her to move to the block a little more.  Right now I get her next to it and then since it's movable I re-position it.  It's definitely better to mount that way for the horse since there is less torque on her back.  I still need to make sure I can get on normally so I'll have to switch it up sometimes in practice.  

Still very happy that my mare is compliant and sweet as always.  My mother spoiled her with an apple and then the silly pony was digging in her pockets the rest of the time.  I do warn people!  It was a great day to be out at the barn with the pony.  The days between weekends are so long with not being able to see her.  The time change is coming up though!!  Can't wait!!

January 19, 2015

Snow, Ice and Wind

I was very happy that my long weekend actually had decent winter weather.  Saturday was warm enough for Steve to come out and work on the wiring in the tack room.  I rode Dani around the property in areas that were less muddy or snowy.  We stayed at a walk since the ground was slippery in spots.

Dani always gets excited to see Steve.  He's a new toy that lets her get away with things and gives her more treats than I do!  LOL.  The following Sunday Steve was at work and I headed to the barn.  The winds were horrendous and I wasn't in the mood to fight with putting the saddle blanket on or having to deal with the muddy riding areas and a potentially spooky mare.  She's not really spooky by any means but I don't like wind myself.

Instead we went into the barn and I gave her a really nice grooming and worked more Manely Long Hair product into her mane.  I'm liking this product.  It keeps her mane much more manageable and hopefully less breakage.  I rarely use it on her tail since that hair is pretty strong and long; I've had to trim it several times since I've owned her.  Not a bad thing.  After a nice pony grooming session I hugged her and headed back home.  Two days of pony fun in a row!  I can't wait until the weather and time change happens so I can get out there more!

January 14, 2015

Catching Some Pony Time

I went out to the barn on Saturday.  I think Dani ran around the round pen 5 times before I received a call that I needed to be activated for my job.  Ugh.  Sucks working on your "day off".  It was a gorgeous day so even sadder that I had to leave.  The following Sunday was a little colder and chilly but I was determined to get some pony time in.  I tacked her up and rode around the property.

Dani seemed more alert, she looked around and snorted at a couple of things.  She even started at some tumbleweeds.  Luckily when she shies it's not too big and she'll more willingly take a look at the scary object with my assurances.  After our ride my little mare took a long drink of water and then.....

Tried to kiss me with her wet dripping lips!  Ewe!  Pony slobber!!!  I tried to get a picture of her tongue with my cell but they timing was never perfect.  Such a silly girl.  Look at her billy goat beard!!!  I miss seeing her during the week.  I can't wait until the days get longer and the time change occurs.  Lacking pony time!

January 12, 2015

Horse Trailer Update

I have not realized that I never posted on the final interior finish of the trailer!

It's done, all painted and pretty.  It will need touch-ups every year I am sure but the painting is done, the flooring is done and it is fully usable!  I still need new tires this springs before I'll feel comfortable taking trips longer than a few miles.  Local trips will be fine, the tires still have good tread but I think they are older than they should be and I want to make sure on highway or longer trips that my Daenerys is safe.

Steve had been working on wiring for interior and exterior lighting.  I have one light for the tank room, two for the horse area and one flood light for the grooming area on the the right side of the trailer.  These all run off a separate battery that can be charged while parked via a solar panel that connects to the terminals.  It's meant for these batteries....for truck, tractors or ATV's that don't get used all the time.  We've had issues with Steve being home to do the work, then with the weather being so cold and the wiring being extremely brittle and unworkable.  Lastly we had an issue with the switch smoking when Steve tested the system.  Ugh.

So I still don't have exterior or interior lighting, I haven't really had a need for them just yet and when I come at night to see Dani I just drag some supplies to the barn and groom her there.  For now this last part is on hold until we get some warmer weather.  I don't see that occurring for a while though.

At least if I need it I have a solar lantern and then of course my tack room has been in use for a while.  I love having access to everything and even having my own little porta potty!  Dani doesn't seem to mind me taking a quick potty break before our rides, she often takes her own DURING our rides.  LOL.  It's been a great little space to have and I hope to do some hauling this spring!

Serene Sunday

Sleepy Stubs on my lap. Nice evening inside. Snowy outside