There’s some BIG BIG stuff in the works, but I am feeling vulnerable and a little paranoid about it so I don’t want to post everything here until everything’s For Sure™.
As a pleasant distraction, here’s my current Wishlist, in Friday Five form. Amazon links because it’s Friday night and I’m feeling lazy.
1. Total Saddle Fit English Girth
I bought the Western cinch earlier this year and so far have really liked it. I purchased it from the Amazon warehouse site, where products that have been returned or opened are sold at a discount.
Simon seems to roll out of his shoulder nicely at a dog walk and flat walk which wearing it. So now I’d like to get an English version so that I can get back in my cutback.
2. Canine DNA Test
When I adopted Monty, they said he was a German Shepherd/Mastiff mix. I figured he was actually part Pitbull… he’s got the short coat and blocky head. Basically, it’s been a mystery! I’d love to get a DNA test to find out for sure, but I know as of a few years ago they were still pretty inaccurate. I think they’ve improved, and now I’m chomping at the bit to swab Monty’s little puppy cheeks and see what the results say.
3. Gin Gins Candies
I had one of these at my massage therapist’s studio and it was amazing. They come in a few different varieties (original, super strength, ultra strength, double strength) and I have no idea which one I tried and loved. I’m PRETTY sure it came in a blue wrapper.
4. Air Bag Vest
I think it would be super cool to have an air vest to wear while riding. It’s been a while since I’ve fallen off been thrown (knock on wood) but I wear a helmet every time I ride. I would feel so dumb if I got a head injury simply because I was too lazy to put on a helmet. It makes sense to protect other parts of your body, too, and an air vest seems like a very reasonable thing to wear whilst perched atop a 1,000lbs beast.
5. Back on Track Sheet(s)
I have a few BOT products already. But I WANT MORE.
Not only for the pony, but the dogs, too, on the rare occasion they’re not on the bed (heated mattress pad) or parked in front of my faux fireplace. I’m surrounded by senior animals and I want them to stay comfy!
Lemme know what you’ve got on your wishlist these days!
The past couple weeks have been a flurry of activity. Now that the clocks have turned back, I feel like I’m at the precipice of the free fall that marks the slide of autumn into winter.
We’ve had some cold, rainy, and blustery weather that really dampened my spirits. Or rather, it lit a fire under my “time to eat a lot and hibernate” instincts. To be fair, it doesn’t seem to take much to call those to the forefront…
R and I hit up the Chanticleer, our favorite local restaurant, last week. I know I’ve posted about it before, because we go there constantly. This time I tried a new dish, one of their specials that evening, the chicken au gratin. It was, in a word, amazing. It’s a rich, creamy macaroni and cheese dish with sliced chicken breast on top. Thus, it is technically a chicken dish and technically the whole thing counts as “lean protein.” That’s just how it works!
I’m not the only one chowing down lately! Mr. Simon has been a hay hound, easily putting away double the amount he was eating in the summer. It probably has to do with the fact that the small pasture next to the neighbor’s pasture is eaten all the way down. Of course, he has another pasture to go into but he can’t see his girlfriend from there, so anytime I shut him into that I can hear the faint strains of “In the Arms of an Angel” while he emotes in the corner.
Our riding time is going to be extremely limited for, like, the next 6 months. Since there’s no indoor arena at my parents’, we’re at the whim of nature. Dusk at 4PM doesn’t help either.
I sat and thought about some goals for Simon. I’ve barely ridden him in the past 3 years, so a lack of saddle time is really not going to be a huge change. We’re going to continue to work on his mobility, flexibility, and strength through ground work. My goal is to get/keep him both physically and mentally fit enough that I could throw a leg over him if we get a chance.
My own fitness life has shifted. I’m on week 3 of a new program, focusing on the barbell power lifts (squat, bench press, and deadlift). It’s been a little odd getting back under the bar, but I think I’m starting to get back into the groove of it.
Bonus: I get to wear my awesome watermelon-esque squat shoes.
My roommates are dealing with their own November struggles, namely that I haven’t increased kibble rations. These two are in cahoots and cornered me this weekend. “We’ve seen you with the carbs and we want in on it,” they said menacingly.
“Aren’t they awful?” came Monty’s voice. “Such naughty naughty animals. We should make sure to note that on the intake form when we surrender them to the shelter.”
No one’s getting surrendered and no one’s getting more kibble and we’re all going to have to learn to cope with it!
I’ve gone 20+ years now with a red Walking Horse in my life, and Beam was the gent who started it all off.
Beam’s Wildfire was a handsome old man when I got him. He was owned by family friends who I would later work for, board horses at their house, and who basically became my second set of parents. They were planning to breed some mares and needed some more space, so they offered to let me buy Beam for the grand sum of $1. Somehow my parents agreed, and even more amazingly I did not pass away from excitement over getting my very own horse.
Beam was perhaps the most hilarious horse I’ve ever met.
Beam’s Claim to Fame #1: An Undying Love for Delight
Beam arrived at our farm, fresh from the bachelor/gelding pad where he’d spent the last several years. Next door, our neighbor had his stock horses: Skipper, the big black and white paint. Louis, the beautiful black champion Quarter Horse. And Delight, a stocky little bay Quarter Horse mare.
I think it was love at first sight, and Beam was suddenly no longer an elderly old man, but a snorting stallion in his prime. The transformation he underwent was hilarious and probably awe-inspiring for men of a certain advanced age. Delight obviously felt inspired, too, as the two of them were rather… crude… about showing it. That’s farm life for you, though: animals don’t care if who is around to witness their amour. Apparently they also don’t care if one of them has been castrated for 20+ years.
Beam’s Claim to Fame #2: Heaves
Beamer had terrible heaves. In the autumn, when pollen and dust were high, he would wheeze like an asthmatic kid trying to run the mile in PE. The first autumn we had him, we had a vet out to see him who told us his lungs sounded like a washing machine and that probably should be put down. I wept uncontrollably, as you might image. We learned to wet down his hay, keep dust down in the barn, and he’d get Azium powder when it got bad. Beam lived another 11 or so years, until the ripe old age of 32.
Because we’re not heartless, we didn’t ride Beam when he was suffering from heaves. In fact, being the kind individuals that we are, we’d unsaddle him at the first sign of a cough and tuck him away in his comfy stall with some grain. It didn’t take long for that to click in Beam’s brain, and soon enough he’d start coughing every time the saddle appeared.
We were new horse owners and totally blind to the idea that our horse could be scamming us. The only thing that tipped us off is that Beam struggled to maintain his web of lies: he’d be coughing and near death when it was time to ride, and once we’d given up, he’d go prancing away to show off for Delight.
Beam’s Claim to Fame #3: He’s Stuck
Beam had an uncanny ability to get stuck. One winter, Beam escaped from his fence and (surprise surprise) went to visit Delight.
There was a channel between our two neighbor’s fences. We’d had a severe snow storm and a huge snow drift had formed in the ditch of the channel. It was at least 5 feet deep and heavy, wet snow. Beam was probably super excited to go see Delight and plunged into it. Maybe he was resilient or maybe he was carried by momentum, but he made it about a third of the way through before becoming completely stuck. The snow was up past his belly and his feet couldn’t touch the ground. He was stuck.
I found him there, calmly waiting for rescue, near nightfall. I ran into our house, panicked and sobbing, to tell them that BEAM WAS STUCK. My parents, sister and I all had to go out and dig him out. He laid there while we dug a channel for him, sweating through our snow clothes. We finally got him out and got him into the barn, dried off and with some warm water to drink and a hot mash to warm his belly. He was totally fine, of course, because a little snow can’t stop The Beamer.
That was the most significant time he was stuck, but I can’t even tell you how many times we had to help him get up. He liked to lay down in the pasture for a nap, but between some Old Horse Stiffness and the fact that he insisted on laying down with his back slightly downhill from his feet, he couldn’t get himself back up. He couldn’t get enough momentum to heave his body upright without some assistance. He’d just chill out while I went to go get the wheelbarrow, fill it up with bedding or dirt, and come back to him. He knew to kind of lean forward onto his legs and let me dump the stuff behind him, close to his back. He’d rock back and then lean forward again so that I could shove it under him a little more. We’d repeat the process until he could actually generate enough momentum to get up.
He was smart enough to figure that whole system out, but not to avoid it in the first place…
The Best $1 I Ever Spent
Despite – or perhaps because – of his quirks, Beam was a great initiation into the world of horse ownership.
I feel like owning your first horse is usually at least a little bit of a comedy of errors. He was kind and forgiving and he definitely kept us on our toes!