Monday, December 15, 2008

Wind whipped and mudified

It's only December and I already hate this winter. It's muddy. It's cold. It's windy. And of course, we have these wonderful periods of icy rain and sleet that just make outside chores and driving a delight.

I haven't been able to do much of anything with the horses. I hate that. I just want to ride and I want to play with Gabe. I did get him out for a drive yesterday, even with the 45 mph winds snatching the lines and whipping them around bringing tears to my eyes. He was prancy and jiggy, but for the most part good. The wind was certainly not helping our communication through the lines and our steering is still sticky. But, I drove him down the driveway, further than he'd been, and let him look around at all the "new" stuff. He was definitely interested in the cows across the way! We practiced halting and speeding up, slowing down our gaits as well as turning left and right. It takes him a bit of time to turn and at the moment he handles more like a tank than a Porsche. No power steering on this baby! But we are installing power steering as well as air brakes...slowly but surely.

Kayleigh and I went for a short ride on Saturday. It was, once again, windy as heck and cold, making for a cold, not very enjoyable ride. The horses were being silly and snorting at everything and the footing was slick and swampy. I wish the mud would just freeze and stay frozen instead of this back and forth between crispy top layer and slimy, sucking under-layer of mud.

Calypso has not shown any more signs of lameness at all, so I'm thinking she just hit a "funny bone" or twisted something. Thank goodness!

My horses were not overly fond of the last load of hay we brought home. It was grass hay, no alfalfa in it at all. It was okay quality hay, not moldy or musty, but not nice and green and soft. Kind of stemmy with lots of fescue in it. They really don't like the fescue much at all. So, they aren't eating it all and I've had to feed MORE of it to make sure they are getting enough. Gabe is being particularly pissy about eating this hay. He has a TON out there, but he's turning it into bedding instead of eating it. The other two are eating it better, but not finishing it off like they should. They are picking through it. It kind of pisses me off. I paid the same amount for this hay as I do for the nicer hay, but I'm having to feed twice as much to make sure they are getting the same amount of calories, nutrition and bulk. Plus, having to feed a little bit more because it's been cold. So, at the end of it all, I went through this last load of hay almost twice as fast as I planned. Grrr. I'll have enough to get us through Wednesday and I'm crossing my fingers that my hay guy will 1) have a better load of hay in the barns and 2) be willing to set up a weekday appointment so I can go pick up a load. He usually prefers to do all his hay dealings on the weekend but I'm hoping he'll work with me. If not, I'm going to have to buy a couple of bales from friends, which I hate doing, but you do what you have to.


  1. Dont you just hate it when they are picky about their hay? Mine do that sometimes too.

  2. Yeah, that's a bad deal when they need twice as much and they waste half of it. With prices now, hay is worth its weight in gold. Too expensive to use as bedding, that's for sure. I feel your pain!
    Hope you are weathering the cold ok. Merry Christmas!

  3. You're not along in hating this winter. It's a tough winter to own horses.

  4. I have found it strange these days of teen temps and the mares doddle with the hay and pick it around..what's that about?
    Glad to hear that the funny limp is not to be seen!

    I have not ridden in 8 days...and there is not time for it anyway though I have been at the stable most of these crap days...all the other horses are getting out of thier stalls in the arena! Insta- vaca for WA I guess.
    B-day...missed that when?
    You are special and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    imistcha = I do the cha cha in the mist

  5. hmmm...I have a feild of fatties who wouldn't turn their native noses up at anything :P
    The racehorses used to drive me mad though...I have days and days of notes in old diarys saying things like "max left all his lunch...Verro ate 2/3 of dinner...yay Sid ate up !!" How amazingly exciting and yet also incredibly dull lol
    Hope the weather does..something soon...I hate that in betweeny stage...just snow or freeze or thaw...not a bit of everything !! GAAAAA.....
    Have a good Xmas , hope santas good to you :)

  6. Merry Christmas everyone!

    Reddunappy...It drives me crazy! I look at what they've picked through and think "just eat the stuff!" And then I look at what they've ground into the mud and think about all those dollars just wasted.

    C-ingspots...I try not to be very stingy with the hay...I'm more than happy to give them as much as they can eat during the winter...but when they keep turning it into bedding and stomping it into the mud, I'm more inclined to really parcel it out carefully. Little turkeys.

    Rising's been actually warmer her this year than usual, but WET. Nothing has been dry since summer. It rains, then freezes, the rains and thaws and freezes. Gah. I either can't ride because everything is underwater or the horses are sinking up to their teeth in mud.

    Amy...thank you! I'm OLD!

    Allhorsestuff...I've given up trying to figure them out. I just toss 'em the hay and hope they don't waste TOO much of it. Then I bitch and moan and complain with they do waste it. I haven't ridden in about two weeks. The temperatures haven't been bad, I will ride in single-digit temps...but this frozen ground and mud and neverending darkness is killing me. If we'd get some snow on top of the frozen ground, I'd be out there riding. But it's frozen with a layer of ice on top and it is like riding on slippery pavement.
    Thank you for the birthday wish! It was Dec. 20.

    Kelly...The pickiest booger is the TB. He'll pick through the alfalfa and turn his nose up at a stem that is a millimeter too thick for his liking. And it's just the hay, he cleans everything else up and is in pretty good weight for being so picky about the hay. The other two pretty much eat what I toss out there, most of the time.