Sunday, December 29, 2013

Barn Thoughts

In the quiet mornings when I'm in the barn, mucking Siaga's stall and whatnot, I have lots of time to think. Today I thought about some revelations found in a book I'm currently reading (Hiking Through: One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail) regarding how we spend so much effort trying to gather physical wealth when, according to the author, the wealthiest person he knows is a man he knows as Sailor, a fellow hiker, who had both his sons AND his wife pop into the trail at scattered intervals to hike a section with him. The author, Paul, who went by the trail name of Apostle, never knew Sailor's real name, and certainly never knew his social or wealth status. On the trail, everyone is the same.

"If you can't carry it in your heart or on your back, you probably don't need it" -Sir Enity, another fellow hiker.

Anyway, in the barn this morning, I was comparing this to my own life. My family does pretty well, somewhere in the middle of America's middle class. We have several TVs and computers and live on a small tract of land in the country where we have a car for each of us, a barn, a horse, a dog, and two cats. There's always food and electricity. But ultimately, it's the bonds we have between us, yes, the animals, too, that makes us wealthy.

Over Christmas, I found myself irrationally jealous of my friend, who I will give a trail moniker of "Blind" to. Blind had received for Christmas something that I have been wanting for a while. Her family is not nearly as well off as mine, but somehow, my family couldn't afford to give me such a thing, nor would I ever even think to ask for it. I was happy to receive enough money from my dad to buy my next bale of hay.... even though I was still jealous.

But now that I think back on it, even though I still want the game that she got, I also look back on how unhappy she is. I chose "Blind" to call her because she can be very blind indeed. She's always unhappy, even during the best of times. She claims she's always tired, EXHAUSTED, even, but she only works one part time job. The rest of her life is free to be hers. She has a family that loves her and a boyfriend who she brags about, many adorable loveable fluff ball cats, and several friends who love her to death... but she's still unhappy. She's blind because she ignores the many wonderful blessings she has.

I, on the other hand, am perfectly content to work my two jobs, both technically part time but one with almost full time hours, and attend college part time, AND have to come home and do my barn chores every night and get up and do them every morning. Ultimately, very little of my time is *my* time... but I'm still happy.

The difference between Blind and I is that she looks up, at all the things she doesn't have, and says she doesn't have the energy to climb up there to get them because it's too hard, while I look all around. I look down and see the people and animals who love me, my strongest support system, I look directly around me and see I'm right where I'm supposed to be, and I look up at my future hopes and goals and dreams... and then proceed to climb. I'm not leaving my loved ones behind, because they climb with me.

Friday, December 27, 2013


I know I don't update much. Like, ever.

But you know you really don't want to read a post every few days that goes like this: It's cold. I fed the horse. He has a blanket. I hauled water out of the bathtub again. Hose is frozen.




...Yeah, really.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm craving sunshine and warmth! I'm ready to do some trail riding! Some hiking! Some swimming! Some camping! Hell!! I even want to go FISHING! (Ewww! Worm guts and fish stink!!) hahahah.

I'm going stir crazy in this cold weather.

Why do I live in Ohio?!?!

Also! On December 18th, it was officially 9 years that I've had Siaga. :)

Looking out his stall door in the morning, ready to go for a run in the snow.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Saving for a Rainy Day

So I've been saving my money. I've got a savings account that I opened with a mere $100 and I add to it every pay day. This savings account is my "Rainy Day" fund. But I don't mean "Rainy Day" like "in case of emergency."  No, indeed.

Since I've been attending school for business, I've started to see a slow rise of expectations in myself, this gathering of hope and joy and awe for the knowledge that my rescue I've been aiming at for so long will finally be coming to fruition within the next ten years or so. I've been thinking up names... because names give me a feeling of a solid goal to work towards, something more specific than just "my rescue." "Rainy Day Rescues" is one of the many. It's far to soon to settle on one, however, so I'm not going to list them all, I just wanted to share with you all this little tidbit of how I'm coming along.

In other news, Siaga is getting fat and is a happy hoofer, and while I don't necessarily want him fat, I prefer fat over winter than skin and bones over winter, of course, so we're stocking up as much as we can. :)

I have a new tack box that started out as a 4'x4'x4' shipping crate, and the back of the barn is cleaned out for hay storage. I've got a round bale out side under the shelter he's munching on, and one inside that I use to hay him for over night, though he doesn't eat as much at night as he does in the day, so the outside bale is inevitably going far faster than the inside bale!

I haven't been riding much, but maybe this is a weird confession to be making. I love horses, and I love riding, but it's not the riding that does it for me. It's that simple bond, that trusting feeling I get. Riding Siaga makes me nervous and I'm sad to say that because of that I don't ride as much as I should. I am simply happy to be around him and take care of him and give him a happy life... though that nervous feeling isn't going to stop me at all from eventually learning to canter with him. I can canter on many other horses, I just get in my own way with Siaga. If I had the money for a trainer, I'd have him go to the trainer for a month just to get his directions and everything down. He's still so green, even though he's a wonderful fellow on the ground. I don't know. I'm considering starting mild endurance training with him in the spring, which will help give us the miles needed to relax us both lol.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A week and a half in

Siaga's been home for a week and a half and while the renovations aren't complete, the basics are done and Siaga now has a nice big paddock with safe fencing and a run in shelter, and a giant stall (that's cleaned out every day unlike the stall at the barn I was working at, hrmph).  I've settled into my new routine and he has, as well. I've had the chance to take a small ride and it was hilariously awkward as it seemed he couldn't remember ANYTHING about directions.

Anyway, enjoy some pictures!

In his new giant stall with new mats.

Coming out of the run-in like a bronco.

LOOK MOM, GREEN STUFF!! And my dad in the background.

Enjoying his new space to run. :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Barn progress

Well. Here's what's done so far:
The double cattle stand stall (about 6'x11' in size) has been joined with the pony stand next to it, making it nearly 11'x10'. The old hay has been raked out and burned. Trees in the back and most of the old fencing have been removed. Ground has been mostly cleared. Fencing and posts and new stall mats have been bought.

But we still have holes in the roof to fix, a main post to fix, the stall gate to rehang, trash to be removed, and fencing put up. D: Not to mention we're bringing in gravel to put under the mats and in the carport that we're turning into the run in. Lot of work but I'm glad to see it getting done.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Trust me, you haven't missed much

It's been forever, I know. But then, I've barely even looked at my horse this year. Since I've started school, and I'm working two part time jobs (though one has the hours of a full time job, somehow) I've got maybe two miles worth of riding in this year. But that's going to change, I promise!

We are currently in the middle of renovating my barn so that Siaga can come home from the barn I've been working at and so that I can also leave that barn. We are expanding his stall, the pasture, creating a run in shelter, putting up new fencing, fixing holes in the roof, fixing wall beams, and so on and so forth. Siaga will be returning home in the first few days of July.

One thing that did happen that I should have blogged about was my trip to Last Chance Corral in Athens, OH. Since my dream is to open my own horse rescue (probably not around here, I'd really like to move to a warmer place with less dramatic winters and a lot of my ancestral heritage (perhaps New Mexico or Arizona?)) it was really amazing to go there.

The place sits on like a single acre of land in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio, with the house and the foal barn atop a cliff overlooking the single turn out paddock. The paddock is front and center, with two curved hills to either side that lead to the house and foal barn directly above. On these hills are the two "big horse" barns. All the horses are turned out together, but there was no skirmishing or fighting, only a love of life.

Honestly the whole place was amazing and I'd really love to go back one day, and I can't wait to build my own little horse sanctuary.

Can't forget the pictures! Enjoy!

This is the trailer load of donations that we took with us. It might have started out as a small two person road trip, but it ended in a community donation of 50 bales of bedding, tons of blankets and horse tack, horse treats, and foal milk/colostrum replacement, and a hearty dose of monetary donations as well!

The view from the road as we pull in. Willow trees everywhere.

The house and foal barn sitting above the paddock. The cliff isn't that huge, but it's enough. :)

Frolic and play! The big horses!

BABY BUTTS!!! They all seems to think that if they turn their butts to the crazy humans, the crazy humans no longer exist.

But not all were scared of people. This little tyke, named Paparazzi, a TB/Arab orphan who's mommie died when she had him premature, though not feeling well at the time, was inquisitive and loved attention and nuzzled me quite a lot and I loved every moment of it. I wish I could have brought him home.

And of course, at least one of us couldn't leave without taking a baby home, so Jeni came home with this TB/Draft cross, a lovely huge bay fellow she named Comet. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

More trotting and a new goal

Siaga and I are trotting more and more every ride, though half the time he has ZERO sense of direction while riding the trot, mostly because he's focused on getting back to the gate so we can just STOP ALREADY, MOM! lol

Anyway, I think this Sunday Kathryn and I and a few other people at the barn are going to go on our first trail ride of the season. As long as the trails aren't total mudslop, Siaga should be perfectly ok with this, he actually has shown me to be a more relaxed horse on the trail than in the arena.

I've decided that I'm going to attempt to learn mounted archery. When I was a kid, I loved playing with my brother's compound bow and I had good aim with it. It's been a while but since I've borrowed his recurve and got some new arrows for myself, it's all coming back. So my goal with Siaga is tackless riding, which is what we've been working on in the arena, going at a walk/trot with minimal interference from my hands, and I've been accomplishing this by riding him in just his halter and bareback and carrying a crop to tap him into the right direction if he doesn't listen to my seat and legs before I go for the lead rope that's tied as his reins.

Not bad for being a little rusty at it still, eh? All three large holes in the box are from me. I hit it a few more times after that, but I admit most of my shots missed. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Just ride the trot!"

So today at the barn I took Siaga to the indoor for a little bareback ride. I had my helmet, Siaga had his halter and a leadrope looped around his neck and tied at the clasp like reins on a bosal.

After about 20 minutes of just walking around and reminding him of how to change direction, whoa, and go, from my seat, I lifted my ribs, pushed my hips, and asked for a trot. Now normally Siaga is either "Nooooope, I'm waaaaalking." OR he goes "You want fast? I'll show you fast!!!" But today, he was like "Oh, trot? Ok." And he took a few pattering strides and stopped, and I praised him wholeheartedly.

And we kept doing it until we got a span of trotting half way around the indoor. It was lovely! He has such a nice trot and it's so easy to ride, even bareback with no bridle, as I wasn't focusing on guiding his direction, just keeping him moving along at a trot. Next time will be a "cruise control" lesson, I think, with pretty much nothing but trotting.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Holy Moly!

Wow, yeah, I've been gone quite a while, haven't I!?

Let us update, yet again.

So I've started back to school, I'm officially enrolled in all online classes at Ivy Tech of Richmond, Indiana, and I'm studying Business Administration, aiming towards that dream goal of mine to run a rescue.

Siaga is getting wonderful at moving off of my seat. I don't normally have enough time (between working two jobs (even though I still am employed at the tractor place, I am laid off until spring) and going back to school) to fully saddle up and actually RIDE, so Siaga and I just don a halter and a lead rope looped around and tied like reins on a bosal, and my helmet, and we just putter around the arena like that. Because of the decided lack in contact to his mouth, I'm getting more forceful with my seat and making him listen to that, and gradually I have been able to relax and give him lighter signals that he responds to.

I also thought lately that it would be really amazing to take up mounted archery, since that will really help he and I work as a team and as one rather than two separate beings with two minds working not together.

We'll see. I have to get a bow and arrows first and master my aim from the ground before I climb up there for that. lol