Friday, March 30, 2007

Busy week

One of our boarder's horses, Queenie, lost her foal this week. We bred her to AA Decadence (Dekker), a black Arabian stallion, in August last year, so she was due to foal in July. Out of 5 mares bred to Dekker, only one is still in foal; my mare Sheba is on track for her foal in May.

The vet came out to check Queenie on Tuesday after she miscarried and checked Sheba at the same time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a safe birth in May for Sheba's foal. The vet says that Queenie is okay and that we can breed her again this summer.

My daughter's dog, Tinkerbelle, visited the vet on Wednesday to be spayed. She's home now and feeling good. The vet said to try not to let her do too much - she's a Border Collie cross with a strong herding instinct. She's being pretty good about it all, but doesn't understand why she can't chase the horses or play with Daisy in the fields right now.

Charlie, the 4-year old, is going to Sunset Farms just down the road for a month or so so that he can be ridden more often. The ground at the farm is just too mucky and slippery for any real work, so he'll be boarded there and worked in their indoor arena. Even when the snow was on the ground a few weeks ago, there was enough ice under it that he could only be worked at walk and trot, even on the lunge line.

Shadow, the horse that was at the farm just to be sold as her family couldn't keep her, has been sold. The new owner hopes to pick her up in the next couple of weeks as soon as she can arrange trailering. Shadow is going to be a broodmare for Canadian Sport Horses and and share a pasture and barn with a couple of other mares. She will also get some light riding work (she wants to work) but not enough that it will make her sore. Her new owner is thrilled to have her and can't wait to have her home.

It's hard to believe that March is almost over. Time is really flying this month - must be because I had so much work to do. I did the permits list for Ottawa Construction News, my regular job, and some work for a Human Resources Consultant. Add that to my "volunteer" work at my daughter's place and for the condo board, plus Plenty of Fish events, and I'm a busy person.

April doesn't look like it will be any quieter, either, and plans for May are already starting to be made. Pony Club activities are beginning to pick up, so my daughter and I will both be out testing and teaching kids and ponies on the weekends.
Pony Club Quiz is in April in Smiths Falls and the first Pony Club Rally of the year will be held at the Rideau-Carleton Raceway on the long weekend in May. Contact me if you want to volunteer - even if you're not a horsey person, we can always use more hands to build jumps.
This is a teaching and testing rally, so the kids and ponies spend the weekend taking lessons in small groups and looking after their ponies - and being judged and tested - with a riding test that covers flat work, stadium jumping, and cross country on the Monday. Everyone goes home happy, tired and dirty after a busy weekend - and most can't wait to do it all over again the next year. This will be our first time at Rideau Carleton - in previous years we held our rally on the Maxville Fairgrounds.
Well, time to start the weekend!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Snowflakes and silly horses...

March 3, 2006 - My dear daughter (DD) and dear son-in-law (DSIL) had just started moving into the farm - no horses on the property, stuff in Orleans, Nepean and at the farm - and had lots of work to do. It was pretty bleak outside. There were no fences, no shelters, and lots of snow.

March 3, 2007 - Now there are fences and horses and a shelter. You can see six horses in this picture. We have two more in the paddock behind the barn. There's still lots of work to do - it's a farm, after all, but there is progress.

I took both pictures from the same vantage point - the back door - but zoomed in a little tighter on the horses than on the empty field. The pool is still in the same place, just not visible.

Seven paddocks are fenced and hot wired. We're only using four through the winter so that there are some clean ones for the horses once the snow starts to melt. We feed huge round bales in each field. Some of the horses come in for grain at suppertime, but most are just on hay and water.

DD and DSIL took Charlie and Reba out for a ride in the snow flurries this morning. Daisy and Tinkerbelle went along for the run. They rode around the 1/2 mile track, but couldn't stay out too long as DD had to be at work at 1 pm.

Bart the cat thought about following, too, but he decided to stay behind with me while I took pictures of the horses in the paddocks.

Bart certainly has personality - and charming good looks. He fancies himself a great stalker and hunter, but we think only hunts toes and fingers. He's supposed to be a barn cat, but he'd rather loll around on the couch, or steal the dogs' toys.

Charlie decided that he was tired and hot after the ride and once his saddle was off, he had a big roll in the fresh snow in front of the barn. I was laughing too hard to get the best shot in focus - Charlie sat up on his butt and shook all over to get the snow off his back before he stood up.

You can see Tinkerbelle and Daisy watching in amazement. My DD has the reins in her hand as well as the saddle and she's laughing pretty hard, too.

There are snowflakes melting on my camera lens, as well as snow falling all around us.

Once the horses were back out in the field, my DD and DSIL fixed a fence wire that was pulled down by the silly 4-year olds (Charlie and S'Heir). Then it was time for me to head home again.

So much has changed in the last year: Fences, horses, work, and even pets. Sometimes it seems as though you're not making any progress, then when you look back at the photos, you see just how far you've really come. It's amazing!

Sneakers - 2006

Sneakers - 2006
The incredible Sneakypony!