Monday, 31 March 2014

Nutrition Plan

After a lot of humming and hawing I've decided to get the herd started on a proper nutrition program.  Apollo and Mystic both look great and are a little heavier than I would like.  But that aside, Apollo needs a bit of joint assistance and Mystic is still a growing horse who needs essential minerals and nutrition.  Henry needs to put on a little bit of weight and improve his general body condition. 

I've decided that I can commit to feeding every morning before work.  Otherwise when I work at night I wouldn't be able to make it on time.  As much as I hate early mornings....that's the only time I have consistently available.  I will be starting in April - which is tomorrow!

These are some of the products I purchased:

 (this is Safechoice by Nutrena):

There are also three new jazzy feed tubs in there!  I already have beet pulp, vegetable oil and mineral from my farrier. So this is what I have in mind for each pony:

Two cups of beet pulp
1.5 scoop of bio equine
0.5 scoop of devil's claw
1/4 cup of mineral

Two cups of beet pulp
1 cup of safechoice
1 scoop of bioequine
1/4 cup of mineral

3 cups of safechoice
1 cup of beet pulp
75 ml of vegetable oil
1 scoop of bioequine
1/4 cup of mineral
I'm a little bit tentative about the devil's claw.  I worry a bit that Apollo is slightly IR, so I wanted to find something that wouldn't interfere with that.  But I have heard that devil's claw can cause ulcers as well, so I will keep his dosing low.  I will be gradually increasing the amounts of the supplements/feed over the next two weeks.  I will take some before and after photos as well (perhaps some weight/height tape measurements as well!). 

I'm hoping the weather will turn around soon.  I'm excited to spend more time with my herd without freezing my butt off!

I'm hoping to attend this in the fall:

And I will wrap up with a quote that I love:

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Summer Move Conundrum/Henry Photos

Henry is all settled in back at the barn.  He didn't trailer as nicely as last time but we were on a slippery patch in a blizzard.  Todd came out with me on the weekend and took a few snaps of Henry and I.  

How cute is this horse!!!!:

Now I’m trying to figure out what to do this summer with my big man, Apollo!  We have a lot of activities planned in May/June.  In May he has a starring role in my wedding photos and leaves for the Wild Deuce groundwork clinic the day after my wedding (with me in tow!).  In early June we have our big trip up North to Beaverlodge to meet Nettie Barr and spend a few days sponging information from her groundwork clinic.

Here is my conundrum.  I’m quite happy with Apollo’s current home.  But it is a bit lonely as there aren’t many boarders.  It’s close to my house, well-maintained and the horses are treated extremely well.  It’s pretty much horse paradise.  My friend, J, suggested I move out to her barn so we can trail ride together.  I would LOVE that.  I don’t really know where to go on the trails near my barn and don’t feel super safe going out solo.  But her barn is quite a bit farther than mine, although board is cheaper.  I am not interested in wintering him out there (they feed roundbales and he’s too much of an easy keeper for that!).  Maybe I could bring him there for what’s left of June and then haul out on weekends where the weather would be nice to ride to Janice (and he could sleep over).  It would be good exposure for him to get out and ride elsewhere.  I don’t really want to stress him out or overwhelm him.  It would be great fun to get out and hit the trails together!
Hmmmmm…have to think on this one a bit.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Potpourri Post

Lots of little things to mention today - so it's kind of a potpourri post!

Tomorrow is the big day for Henry's move back to my other barn.  It will be nice to have all the horses together again!  Too be honest, it's a little bittersweet to be leaving.  There is a nice crew of people at this barn.  But it's better to summer him at my other barn (more room and more green grass!) and he needs to be part of our wedding photos - he's family! 

I took a few photos of him on Friday night last week. 

Look at these adorable huge ears!:
  Helper dog:

Confused by Molly's digging:

I'm sure all will go well tomorrow with the move, he is such a good boy!  He's come such a long way since December 2012.  I was reflecting on that as I took these pictures.  I remember how long Todd and I spent even trying to touch him (it took a month to get a halter on him!).  He was so scared and now he is much braver.  He has really blossomed into a quiet mellow kind of guy.  While he was snacking all of the other horses started galloping around.  He pricked his ears and looked over but didn't move a muscle.  He was enjoying his snack too much!

I got some pretty cool mail today - Mystic's 2nd place ribbon for our practical horsemanship class!  I haven't won a ribbon in a lot of years so I'm pretty pumped.  I'm hoping to get a picture of her wearing it tomorrow to share with her rescue.  She is such a bold horse, I'm having a hard time being patient about starting her! :)  My farrier suggested I bring her to a groundwork clinic at the end of August.  I'm seriously considering it.  I feel like Mystic wants a job!

I've been doing some more research on joint supplements for Apollo.  I've found a few that will work with his potentially IR status and contain more natural ingredients.  My big issue is that I'm worried I won't be able to administer them daily and at the same time.  It's kind of a big waste of money if he isn't getting a consistent dose.  With my current schedule it's pretty much impossible, hopefully things will lighten up as the summer rolls around.

I have been feeling very happy lately.  My new job has eased a lot of the financial stress that was consuming my thoughts.  Now I can look forward to things without panicking about money! This isn't exactly horse-related.  But after hearing the stories of sick/abused children and having financial struggles the last few years - I am an absolute pro at not sweating the small stuff.  It's been an interesting few years for sure!  I wish I could spend more time enjoying my happy state but I am still working a ton (I didn't expect to have a full-time position so quickly so I had committed to a lot of hours at my other part-time jobs).  I do need to scale back on my part-time jobs in a big way.  It's hard to do when I still have some debts to pay and some things I want to save for - but I'm working on it!

I have to organize some filming dates for Apollo's practical horsemanship test and dressage test (eek!).  I have two new green saddle pads for him, which will look lovely for our test. 

My pup Toby has been very sick and I've had an awful cold myself.  This is my desk at work:
A wide variety of medicine, caffeine and kleenex!  I'm feeling much better today and am so grateful that I won't be feeling like a zombie for Henry's big move tomorrow.  Now that I am on the mend I am really want to focus on my health (financially and physically).  I had a hare-brained idea to teach a fitness class geared at equestrians and I need to work up to a level three pilates instructor level to sign up for the very cool "Equilates" course. 

So much exciting stuff happening!  I plan to take a lot of pictures and hopefully some videos of Henry's reunion with the herd tomorrow :)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Happy feet!

Today was hoof day, the whole herd was trimmed.  I don’t have anything particularly exciting to report, just a couple of notes on each horse.

Mystic – I’m so proud of my girl!  She was very well-behaved today, leaps and bounds from last time.  Her hooves are looking good and coming along well.

Apollo – Mr. A. was quite good today, still a bit stiff on the hind legs as always.  My farrier is very happy with his weight so far this year and was excited for our adventure this summer with Nettie Barr.

Henry – Henry’s front hooves were overgrown more than she would like and they had some heat.  He seems to be wearing his hind hooves quite well on his own, which is a good sign apparently!  He will be put on a shorter schedule for next time.

In a few other side notes:

I’ve been looking into some joint supplements for Apollo.  Turns out glucosamine, yucca and a few others can negatively affect his IR status (it has been suspected by my farrier that he is slightly IR).  I did read that Devil’s claw is a good alternate so that might be the ticket. 

Henry will be returning to the other barn soon, very excited!

My three horseshoe frame (with a frame for each of the ponies!) arrived today, it looks so awesome.  Can’t wait to get it hung up. J

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Happy news!

I am happy to report that I now have a full-time job.  I am over the moon! The amount of relief that I feel is beyond words.  I celebrated by going for drinks with my fiance (long island iced tea - yum!).

I have lots of other goings-on to report but will save that for another day!  I have some other horse-related financial goals that will be greatly helped by this new development (horse trailer!). 


I'm a bit behind with updated photos.  Below are a few of Apollo and Mystic from December, I can't believe how dark she gets in the winter!

Here is Mystic having a big roll to celebrate completing her practical horsemanship class!:

Me waiting for her to finish!:
Here are a few of Henry from earlier this week, he dumped his bucket of beetpulp on his head...he wasn't too upset!  I will be sad to see the cute horseshoe blanket go...he's growing again and it won't fit next winter for sure.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

March Plans

February flew by!  I just could not get everything I wanted to do crammed in.  I remain in job limbo...which is giving me grey hair but I hope to have some news by the end of this week (maybe some good news for a change!).  I was able to defer Apollo's interdressage entries for practical horsemanship and walk/trot dressage to March.  So this is our focus for the month.  Mystic will be entering practical horsemanship again and I bet we will win this time! :)  I really need to get myself on some sort of schedule.  I'd really like to see all the horses every day and it seems like that only way that will work is if I visit them each morning.  Considering I want to be giving each of them some supplementation and grain every day it makes sense. Henry will be moving back to Mystic and Apollo's barn April 1st which will help! 

I have a few non-horsey things in mind for March.  I will be keeping an "Gratitude Journal" on my phone and will be listing one thing I'm grateful for every day (will post at the end of the month).  I'm also going to do a random act of kindness every day, starting today (the 4th) for the remainder of the month.

In other news.... we have pretty much chosen our honeymoon!  We will be leaving May 26th for Nice, France to a fabulous clifftop resort.  I am so excited!  The wedding is fast approaching now and it's starting to feel real.  I'm seeking a horse/house sitter for our time away and I'll feel a bit better once we have that sorted out.    Also - the departure date for our honeymoon leaves time for me to do the Pinto Show...which has been on my list forever and forever.  Currently considering it!  My horse goals are completing my interdressage tests with Mystic & Apollo.  Would like have 10 visits with each baby this month too.  Will track that also!

I have been so stressed out (wedding and money stress) and I'm trying to focus on the positive and keep working towards my dreams.

Notes from the Judge

I am very pleased with our score and the judge for Mystic's practical horsemanship test.  We lost most of our points for our trot (which I expected, considering it was her first trot in-hand ever the night we filmed) and our umbrella exercise (which I actually did incorrectly).  I expected to get a note about her turn-out and that wasn't mentioned.  We scored 65.38% and placed 2 of 3.  I watched both of the other videos before the scores and placings came out and expected to place 3rd so that was a pleasant surprise! 

For a horse that isn't quite 2 years old I think she did amazing.  Can't wait to try again next month with the judges comments in mind.



Halt and salute at beginning and/or end

Horse slightly distracted
Walk and trot led from the left and the right

Walk good, horse rather bargy and a little unbalanced in trot.
Presentation (including turnout, general impression, harmony between
horse and handler)
A generally harmonious picture, but more confidence could be shown by both horse and handler.
Walking over tarpaulin
Horse slightly hesitant
Horse pulling wheelie bin
Good, apart from hesitation at 1 min 23
Rub all over with plastic bag
Good on left, horse slightly unwilling to accept handler on right
Backing between poles
Horse slightly crooked
The umbrella should be put up on each side of the horse, and the horse led with the umbrella above its eye level on both sides


Tips and advice.

Hi Kate!

You had some nice work in this test, but dropped quite a few points over misunderstanding the umbrella exercise. It is important to show that the horse can deal with something that suddenly gets bigger (opening the umbrella) and with something above its eye level. If you check the detailed description of the exercises, it does state that the horse must be LED from both sides, not just the umbrella presented. If he gets upset when it goes up higher, just lift it a little at a time, lifting and lowering. Stroke him for each time he accepts it, and gradually life it higher.

The trot let you down rather, as well. Practise keeping him moving forwards on the circle in walk, until he has a steady, energetic rhythm, then pick up the trot. If he starts jumping around, you can either send him forwards until he settles, or bring him back to the walk and ask again, but be careful not to just stop asking, or he will think that jumping around is the “right answer”. You can also trot alongside him, if the trot on the circle presents problems – but again, the trot must be calm and regular.

All the best


SCORING EXPLAINED:0= not performed. 1= very bad.2=fairly bad. 3= bad. 4=insufficient. 5=sufficient. 6=satisfactory. 7= fairly good. 8=good. 9= very good. 10=excellent half marks may be used