Monday, August 20, 2012

Horse keeping

A solid trail horse is more than safe for their rider. They exude a calm that can help every horse in it's company. Woody is one of those horses.

The few times he has startled, it's been so surprising, he seems quite chagrined about the experience.

He also has a funny side. He loves watermelon. He swings his hips in the water like a salsa dancer. He now likes to actually swim a bit and we are giving him the nickname Michael Phelps.

Even Mireya, who is still a bit cautious about the horses, actually rode him in the water, and proclaimed it the best day ever. She asked if  we could go every single day.

He flips his feet out in the trot, bending his head at the poll, looking like he belongs in the Queen's livery.

He and Lily have worked through hay sharing, and Lily will buck and have a fit if she doesn't get to go with us. So more often than not, I ride with both, ponying one or the other, and they stay in synch. It's lovely, really.

I've learned a great deal in this first horsekeeping experience. For example:

  • Scorpions hide in hay at night. Wear gloves.
  • Mud in egg butt shoes turns into concrete in 6 hours. Pick out often.
  • A black horse is impossible to find at night.
  • Mud must be rolled in. Period.
  • Manure disintegrates quite quickly. Unless your horse rolls it into his coat.
  • Fly predators work.
  • Round bales last longer, but some are baled in a way that makes them impossible to pull hay from.
  • Grooming becomes less important than simply being with your horse. Especially after they rolled in the mud.
  • Riding is just one goal. 
  • There is such a thing as too much twine, netting, and wire. Stop hoarding.
  • Alfalfa is harder to get out of your boots than hay.
  • Horses at home are pretty affordable, if you ignore the added cost of the land. :)

I look forward to the day when horse keeping is a permanent fact of my life and not merely a fun summer vacation.


Margaret said...

Riding is just one goal

I loved this!

aurora said...

I agree, horsekeeping is what it's all about. Altho ours are at "home", I look forward to owning the land they live on. Someday, somewhere else...

Your learned examples made me chuckle, except for the scorpion part! Of course, that could be replaced with snakes in just about any part of the country. Nice area for riding, and swimming - lucky you! I've never.

Woody sure sounds like a special horse. Glad you & family are making treasured memories!

Kate said...

You can keep the scorpions . . .

Woody sounds like the perfect trail companion, and nice that Lily likes to get into the act too!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks for the news about Fly Predators working and scorpions hiding in the hay. This morning my husband woke me up to tell me that a scorpion was in an empty water trough. No problem, I thought. I'll just drown it when I fill the trough. Nope. Apparently, they swim really well under water. So, I dumped it out with the water and refilled the trough without the scorpion in it.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Nice post. I agree about a good trail horse and fly predators. We have the advantage of having sandy soil so when Morgunn and Sugar roll in our wet sand, it falls right off as soon as it dries.


Cheyenne said...

All good points, and very true!lol.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

"There is such a thing as too much twine, netting, and wire. Stop hoarding."

lol! I think you were pointing a finger at me. I'm terrible at this. I always feel guilty about throwing any hay twine/wire just never know when it will come in handy. lol! I use it mostly for scrubbing out water buckets, but have used it for fixing fences, saddle bags, bridles, and for tying stuff down. lol! But you're right, too much of it, really is hoarding.

Woody is a gem! My Apache mare is a lot like him and we often are asked to ride with people because Apache is so laid back, confident, willing, and calm. I'm grateful to have her for sure.
I love the image of you riding along with both Woody and Lily, too. Sounds so peaceful and joyful.


Paint Girl said...

Love your keeping horses at home list! All so very true!! Even though it is a lot of work, I just love looking out my windows and seeing all my ponies out there!

lytha said...

oh so true! especially the mud parts and twine.

i always used to ask riders on solid trail horses, "Can we borrow your calm?"

Wolfie said...

I loved your list! Interesting about the fly predators. I am going to mention it to my BO. So glad that you are enjoying "being" with your horses. You look lovely in that picture.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Woody sounds wonderful. Glad he and Lily have sorted out how to share. It sounds like an idyllic summer you're all having...except for the scorpions.

John and Regina Zdravich said...

All of your points are right on. And I agree that they are affordable to keep at home. The biggest expense is the barn. Other than that, it is much more affordable than people realize. I LOVE having my horse with me -- it is all we have ever known. We have been fortunate enought to have never had to board ours.

John and Regina Zdravich said...

love all your points -- you are dead on. i can relate to a lot of them (especially the part about the black horse at night)except, thankfully, the part about the scorpions!