So while I was at the barn last night packing up and finding all my stuff (of which I found my cinch and back cinch off of my saddle under someone else sheet, my old lead and halter, my riding crop, tie down, and breast collar, but not my lunge whip, either helmet, my hoof pick, old dandy brush, or spare spunge, and also discovered after I got home that my horse shampoo (which I hadn't yet even OPENED is almost half empty! Gah) Anyways. While there, I was looking at the hay on the floor in the isle way, that another lady had pulled out of the hay she gave to her horse. There was a mysterious plant in it that I thought was Ragwort. I'm not entirely certain, so I've got pictures. I found one on the floor in my own barn, I'm assuming it came from old hay, from long ago, because it's sure as hell not in the new stuff.
Anyways, I've got four pictures, and if you can identify it, I would be most pleased!
He's coming home on Thursday now (thank you Jeni!!) and I'm really excited... but really nervous too. It's been a long time since I've had this level of responsibility and I've prepared myself as much as possible. The stall is all ready, other than hanging the water bucket. I've got the bedding and the grain ready, and will be picking up the hay tomorrow. All the latches and hinges are back in working order thanks to a bit of WD40. I've also got to run the hose back up and get my corral panels back from the neighbors, guess I need to give them a call today, too, along with the hay guy. I'm apparently going to pay Siaga a visit on Wednesday to pack up my stuff and get everything ready for the move, while Jeni cleans out the trailer. I also have to get Shannons agreement on bringing home a bale of her hay and some of the grain she serves the horses, so that I can wean him over. He's had colic many times in the past and I'm not looking to have him get that again. The grain I bought is DuMor from TSC. I'm not exactly a fan of their feeds, and it is a sweet feed, which I don't really like, but it'll do for now. It's the 12% Pleasure Horse feed. I also bought him a salt block... brick sized. Guess I'll drop that in his grain bucket, too, since he tears up the wire holders like nothing. SO EXCITED!
It's all I seem to spend my time doing. It's really amazing how much disrepair happens in a year and a half of no use. ....and in about five years of constant use. Apparently, I never once raked out the hay that fell on the floor. So now I have about three inches of old hay and stray to rake out and haul, one wagon load at a time, to the fire pit to burn.
I've leveled out his dirt floored stall, and dad's given me permission to take sand out of the old sandbox that no one uses to lay in there and level it further. I bought a shallow rubber bucket for grain, a flat backed five gallon bucket for water, and a half inch thick, 4' x 6' rubber mat for his stall. The grain bucket, I already know he's going to pick up and fling around, so I'm going to drag an old tire in there, line the inside with rocks to hold it down, and settle that bucket right there.
Also, I nearly cried when I got the measurement for his stall... because the stall was Amish made to fit two calfs standing side by side, and not an actual box stall, it's a glorious 6' wide by 11' long. lol. I don't even know what to say about that. At least he's tiny though, and has no problem turning around in it. So I'm laying the mat length ways, with an allowence on each side for a foot of bank. He only uses the bathroom on the one end of the stall, anways, and not at the front where his food is.
Siaga's coming home on April 2nd. I'm so excited. I've been working in the pasture and the barn, leveling the stall floor, removing debree and branches and sticks. I've still got a lot of work to do but it's coming along. I can't wait.
I'm going to hold off buying a load of sand to lay in the floor, I don't have the money for that and I'm more concerned with whether or not I've got the cash to get his hay and grain this round or if my parents will have to do me a favor and get it this month. I've got a limited supply of cash until I get a job, after all.
Anyways. I'm going to TSC tomorrow to get the buckets and hopefully some rubber mats. I also want to get a garbage can with a snap on lid to store multiple bags of grain in, but that's not necessary just yet, nor is a heated waterbucket. So long as he has a comfy bed, grass, hay, grain, and exercise, oh... and a farrier visit, he'll be ok.
I'll have to call around and find a good farrier and also got to get the vet out for a check up. My vet hasn't seen him in a long time.
One very big issue, though. The barn owner is charging a dollar for every mile they have to haul him. That's about $60 bucks. If they charge for the return trip, too, then there's $120. I'm hoping to get my old boss to haul him for me, since she's close by, and since I'll have to go, too, to get all my tack and supplies that I can find. Hopefully I won't have any issues with that. If I can't get my old boss to help, then I'm going to have to ask a big big favor of my friend's family or something. Gah!
Either way, I'm so excited to be able to see him every day and make sure he's happy. We might have issues though, since he won't have any stable mates other than me. The neighbor has a horse though, maybe she and I can go on rides together sometimes.
I'm getting my first pay check today. First thing I get to do is mail out a check for the stable Siaga is in for the month of March. This will probably be his last month in Triple S. Which means I need to call the BO or send her an email and let her know that fact.
Anyways. Next weekend, I'm moving back in with my parents. I do not plan on moving Siaga back there, though. I'm going to look around for other, nearby places to board if the current plan does not come through. I'm really hoping it does, because I need a nearby place to keep him, where I can visit him like, every weekend.
If it does fall through, and I cannot find another nice and cheap place to keep him, I will be forced to bring him back to my parents. Before I do that, however, there are a lot of changes that I want to make for him. First of all, I've got to re-wire the electricity, since dad took the light down after I left. We seriously had our electricity by running multiple heavy duty outdoor extension cords from the garage to the barn, and had it all tied up to hang from trees on it's way to the barn.
Second, I would really like to increase the pasture size, if I can. It's too tiny for an active horse such as himself. I would like to include a healthy dose of the wooded area up there. The only thing is, because it's wooded, grass does not grow well, so it's a good bit of undergrowth and thorn bushes and quite a lot of junk that I'd have to remove that would provide hazards to him.
Third, I need to tidy up that stall. The floor of it is dirt and it doesn't drain well, which means that's nearly impossible to keep it clean. This barn, by the way, is an old style amish barn. Anyways, I plan to shovel it out, now that, a year and a half later, it's dry and cured, and level the floor, or angle it so that anything really wet can flow out under the barn wall. I'm toggling between either laying a hefty layer of pea gravel over the dirt floor, OR laying a cement floor. I'm not sure which to do. Above that, if I use pea gravel, I'll likely lay sand or something, and then rubber matting on the top. On a cement floor, again I'll probably lay sand, and then either rubber matting or look in to getting something like a stall skin, which is highly permeable and helps to save bedding. I just want my stall floor to be comfortable for him, but I want it to be capable of draining well and easy to clean. Any suggestions?
I also need to find a way to store wood shavings. What should I stow them in, so I can buy in bulk? Is it possible to find old dumpsters for sale, or something big like that?