Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Save me from the swamp moles!

Ahh...fall. I love fall: The changing leaves, the crisp, cool air, spirited horses, Halloween, bonfires and prepping the gardens for spring. I've already planted about 200 more tulip, daffodil, narcissus, anemone, crocus and iris bulbs/rhizomes. I'm looking forward to seeing them come up in the spring!

However, I can really do without the mud. Rain, I like. Mud, I hate.

I hate the mud pit the paddocks so quickly become after a week of rain. And those silly animals prefer to stand IN the rain, in the mud, instead of going to hang out in their dry, cozy run-in sheds. Chief and Calypso aren't all too fond of their shed, but Gabe, he LOVES his. My family refers to him as Eeyore when he's out there, standing in his run-in, napping with his head down. He kind of does resemble Eeyore a bit, especially on those gray, gray rainy days when there's really nothing to do but hang out in the shed and sleep. I can almost hear him mumbling to himself in Eeyore's deep, woe-is-me voice!

I hate that the mud ruins my training program. I can't very well get out there and work on transitions or lateral work when the "arena" is pastern deep with sucking mud. And we've a recent infestation of MOLES which have done no favors to the condition of my turf arena. Ugh. Just when it was starting to look really, really nice the moles moved in and destroyed a big section of it practically over night.

Yes, I did put poison out for them, much to the dismay of my youngest, Kayleigh. However, when I asked her if she'd rather me kill the moles or have to put her horse down because he broke a leg in one of the mole hills, she was a bit more understanding. I certainly don't relish poisoning the moles, but they can't make their homes in my arena. I haven't seen any dead ones yet, so hopefully they'll just die underground. Wow, that makes me sound horrible. But having your horse tripping through mole hills, holes and tunnels is NOT a fun experience.

We've had the wettest October ON RECORD here. There hasn't been much riding because it seems like it's constantly raining. Constantly. As in every. single. day. I've been able to ride a few times during the month, but, of course, when I can't ride Gabe consistently each ride is a "reminder" session instead of a session where I can introduce something a bit new or work on something we had issues with last time.

If I don't ride regularly he behaves like a nutty juvenile for the first 10 min. of each session before he'll settle down enough to get to work. Some days, his work ethic is non-existent and we do nothing but very basic things like going and stopping and turning because he just can't seem to concentrate on anything other than the basics.

Other days, he's all for giving it his best effort and we can try harder concepts, like lateral movements, changes within the gait, bending, connectedness and transitions. I never know which horse I'm going to get when I climb up there! It's a good thing I truly enjoy the challenge that is Gabe, but I admit, sometimes his "baby behavior" can be incredibly frustrating.

I have upped my own fitness program to keep up with him, especially as he is gaining muscle with the work we are doing. I'm weight training 4 days a week, doing Pilates and Yoga 3 days a week and on those three days, I also do some kind of cardio (walking/jogging, jump rope, one of my cardio videos). I'm already feeling stronger, more balanced and improved overall.


  1. We don't have moles (thank heavens) but we certainly have had rain, and mud, and more mud . . . It's hard to believe, but I can't wait until the ground freezes!

  2. Doesn't sound fun, between the mud and the moles! I admire your fitness regime though, that's what I need to get back on track with.

  3. How I remember all the mud, lost horse shoes, lost boots, not fun at all.

  4. We FINALLY had a nice weekend! It was a terribly wet October for us, too. In our area, rained 17 out of 31 days. Ruined my favorite riding month for sure! We got snow in mid-October which was about 6 weeks premature! So I feel your pain.

    Yep, need to up my exercise regiman, too. Been rather lazy about it lately. :(

  5. must have gotten our rain there last mo.
    Moles...we have them at the barn as well...drat. I remember now-what we did for them at home that worked nicely. CASTOR OIL! You get it at the lov=cal farm store and it has a spray nozzle for the hose...down the holes it goes!
    They did not come back! I liked the less-poison aproach.