Tuesday, April 21, 2015

No I Didn't Fall Off the Edge of the Planet

Okay maybe I fell off the edge of the earth for a little while but I finally found my way back. And it's finally, officially, weatherly SPRING! There are flowers and warm days, green grass and enough hair shedding off my horse to make a winter coat for a bald Shetland pony!  Yeah there is some rain in there and mud but I'm so happy to finally be rid of winter that I just don't care.

So what's been going on at the farm since my last post in February? Tons! Firstly I wasn't able to go volunteer at the Carolina International this year.  I was set to go and then Superhubs got diagnosed with a pretty big hernia which scrapped my plans of leaving him to take care of the farm and our menagerie of animals.  It was during this time of forced inactivity that Superhubs decided that what the farm really needed was ducks. Excuse me? Now I had talked about wanting ducks and a pair of swans, I have a desperate need for a pair of swans. But I meant for the next farm that we will have when I retire from the Navy in four or so years and we decamp the farm permanently to North Carolina. So when he brought getting some ducks to raise in to the conversation I was a little thrown.  But I realized that Superhubs needed a project to focus on so that his impending surgery didn't take up all his mental space.

I did a ton of research, looked around at various places and finally decided to purchase six Blue Swedish ducklings from a reputable farm.  They were delivered via the US Postal System (who knew you could get ducks in the mail?!) about a week after the ducklings hatched and are currently living in a repurposed water trough in our garage.

They are adorable, fun and like horses messy. But they will lay eggs we can eat and they in turn will help keep the mosquito and fly population in check. Which are all good things. Just before the ducklings were delivered Superhubs had his surgery and everything looks good for a full recovery.
During Superhubs recovery and learning the ins and outs of duck care I used the greenhouse Superhubs bought me to plant lots of vegetables for this year, tend the yard, get farrier visits done for all the horses which is now even more complicated because Fox has a separate farrier to tend to his special needs.

Yeah I have a special needs pony.  The Farrier Fairy K. was reluctant to do the first set of shoes Fox would have since I had his front shoes pulled a year and a half ago. It wasn't FFK isn't a fantastic farrier, she is but Fox has really thin hoof wall and she recommended an excellent guy who take great care of my precious pony. Who now has shoes all the way around! Not that I didn't like his Easy Boots but I love not having to put them on every time I want to ride.

Riding wise I've been kind of hit or miss.  I was able to take Fox on a trail ride at the farm just down the road for which Fox was good and bad.  He was great walking down there and even passed the 3 three super scary mini horses (Seneca would have left for home at the point, she doesn't do ponies) and hung out happily while I waited for A. to tack up Charm.  Oh did I forget to mention that Charm moved just down the road from me in March and is now a happy pony at his new residence?  But for the actual trail ride Fox was less than stellar.  I don't know why but he just became a complete hairy pig on the trail.  He didn't want to walk in the back, he jigged, he spooked, even hopped up on his back feet once.  BAD PONY!

But as soon as we got back to my friend's farm yard he was completely content to hang and look around.  He was especially in love with the chestnut miniature horse. I was wary of letting him approach their pasture due to Seneca's previous tantrums but he really enjoyed them and spent several minutes watching them and touching noses with the chestnut.

Last weekend was truly the beginning of spring for me.  We weren't ready to compete at the local horse trial so I decided to lend my skills as a jump judge and spent an awesome day jump judging on XC at the ditch complex.  I got to watch lots of do's and don't's for ditches and lots of nice horses and ponies flashing by in the Novice, BN and Intro sections.  I later went home mowed the pastures and road my own pony who was pretty perfect.

That Sunday I spent a good portion of the day shopping at the local tack store with my friend A. who is transitioning from Hunter Princess to Eventer Chick. So we spent a happy afternoon cruising the tack shop and trying on protective vests.

What's up next? I've a lesson scheduled in a couple of weeks with my coach K. and then there is a XC schooling day in our future at the farm that does the local HT.  They completely revamped their entire XC course with new and improved jumps everywhere.  This will be A's first time schooling XC and Fox's first real schooling so it should be fun. 

After that who knows.  My work schedule is going to get crazy but I'm hoping to get to a horse trial of some flavor some time this summer/fall.  But that's if Fox can give me a publically acceptable canter which he hasn't done yet.  So we'll see.  Until then keep it between the flags everyone!