Friday, June 24, 2011
Days like these may not be too fun for riding, but they’re great for getting less enviable tasks done. Tack cleaning, tack room cleaning, stall scrubing -- they all end up on that list.
Me? I gave my stock trailer some much-needed attention. I hadn’t used it in three weeks and noticed there was grass growing! Shavings and old manure had accumulated in the gaps between the rubber mats. Add a little neglect and a smidgen of rain from past storms and BINGO! Grass.
So I hauled out those lovely, 100-pound mats. They are so much fun to lift and maneuver, aren’t they? Like trying to wrestle a king-size futon, but one covered in muck, of course!
I finally got them out on the driveway, scoured them and then the pressure-washed the bare, aluminum floor.
What a whole lot of crud!
After nearly throwing out my back with the initial mat-moving, I recruited help to get them back in place. My three sons just loved that task. But hey, at least those awkward black mats were clean! Sorry horses, no more grazing in the trailer.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Mom turned 76 yesterday. I can’t remember how old I was when she and my grandmother (her mom) put me on a horse. Like so many girls, it didn’t take much more than that for me to catch the fever.
She encouraged me, paid for a few lessons, even sent me to horse camp one year. When a neighbor needed help exercising a hunter-jumper and a polo pony, we shared the duties.
She loved recounting her times as a young, adventurous trail rider in Ohio and always chided her trail-riding daughter to ‘walk the last mile!’ Doing right for the horse was always paramount.
She told me wonderful stories about her father's horse times. Click here
She is one of the reasons I love and am able to ride today.
Hats off to all those who passed on the love of horses! We owe them a big hug!
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
These past several days I've been neck deep in a Wilderness First Responder course offered by Wilderness Medical Associates at Chewonki Neck in Wiscasset.
It’s one of the most challenging courses I’ve ever taken. Sure, college was tougher. But when I was in college, I didn’t have teenagers, horses, dogs, small business, etc.
In course prep notes, they say, “Don’t try to do anything else while you're taking this course.” Even commuting is discouraged.
I’ve relied on friends, family, and the erstwhile teenagers to pick up the slack.
Meanwhile, the horses are tweaked!
They’re used to getting ponied across the way to green pasture. These days, there’s no time and they’re stuck in the paddock.
Peppermint, with her penchant for jail breaks, is stuck in Round Pen Prison while I’m away.
End of the day, I manage to give them a little run to get the Yeehah out of 'em... It doesn’t take much to have them racing around the two-acre space, kicking up and digging in.
Don’t worry girls, a few more days and we’ll be back on pasture!
Friday, June 03, 2011
Over the past few years I’ve gotten more involved in the world of “If Something Bad Happens.”
Ideally, I would like to say, "Yes, I can help."
I am certified in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue and have trained with and joined the Androscoggin County Emergency Response Team and the County Animal Response Team.
So, when it comes to helping horses and setting up pet shelters, I feel moderately competent.
But what would I do if there were human injuries, too?
Outside of the common sense stuff (which can elude me in a crisis), I’m fairly clueless.
That realization was part of my incentive to take a First Responder course. And because I’m in the woods a lot, I wanted to do a Wilderness First Responder course.
All this is one way of saying, “Out of Office.”
I’m taking this intensive, eight day WFR course offered by Wilderness Medical Associates at Chewonki in Wiscasset, Maine.
So far, so good.
My instructors and classmates are outstanding. It’s overwhelming and exhausting to be a student again.
Stay tuned for more on how a course like this can relate to horse work and horse situations.