Friday, May 4, 2012

Guess what today is?

I will give you one guess what happened at my house today. 

Yup that is right, it is that time of year again when the weather is warm and flies are aplenty.  Here is a before.
Dirty boy!

Here is the after.......oooohhhh, aaaahhhhh....

One thing that became very appearant after Steady's first bath of the year is that yes Steady's body condition said he was healthy, his work says he is healthy but now I think it is official he can join the shiney coat club of healthy beasts.  The picture doesn't even really do it justice for how shiney he really is.  And his new summer coat is coming in a cool deep liver color that I have not seen on him before. He still has not shed out on his barrel and top of his butt but you can kind of see the darker color on his neck and  behind the flank.  He is the best I have ever seen him and it was a long road getting here so humor me a bit while I revel in it.

I cannot have just one topic, sorry.  I am too ADD for that.  Tonight I felt more "farmer" then ever before.  Can you guess what I am doing?
this is how I roll.

I will give you a hint, it has something to do with the look of my pasture. 

This should have been done months before a horse ever even moved into the pasture.  But instead, per ususal, I had NO patience and bought a horse 3 days before the fencing was even finished with that being my only option for pasture.  Last year we fenced in another acre or so and that currently has grass but considering we have to keep 2 horses, 2 ponies and a mini on it for the next 2 months we may need to replant that this fall, ugh. 

For all of you who board horses can I just say no matter how frustrated or annoyed or even mad you get at your BO just think there may be more to all of this than you realize. That it is not as easy or cheap as it may seem.  A pet peeve of mine is people complaining about their BO, really it drives me bonkers.  I understand if you have disagreements or real issues but most of the time the things I hear are, "our pastures aren't nice enough", "we have too little sawdust in our stalls", "the ring didn't get dragged this week", "my stall is not emaculate at all times", "they didn't bring my horse in and it got sprinkled on, can you believe it?", "they looked at my horse funny".  Ok I may have made up the last one but still I think they are all just as silly.  Keeping horses is tough, it is expensive and it is hard to keep up with everything all the time.  My stalls are not always clean, I have terrible pasture issues, hay is so expensive, fences always need repairing, my horses stay out in the rain (gasp!), my horses get minimal sawdust for the rare times they are even stalled and I am never even close to having all the projects done that need to be done.  They are HORSES people!  Animals!  They will be OK, trust me.  Just think of it this way, pampering them just makes them weaker and less able to fight off things on their own.  I believe in proper horse care but I think people take it way too far.  The way I see it is if you feel it is neccessary to pamper your pony then take it upon yourself to do so.  Don't go finding someone else to blame when they are not.  It is kinda like those parents who send their kids off to public school then get mad at the school, teachers, government when their kid fails.  Uh yeah those people bug me too.  It is time to take ownership, suck it up and fix somethings yourself and stop whinning, complaining and bitchin' that someone else didn't do it.  It is YOUR horse and YOUR responsibility.

Yes I realize you feel like you pay a lot of money for your horses care but do you realize barns make very little profit off of boarding?  You feel you pay good money but just think you aren't paying the morgatge on a barn and land, the vehicles it requires to maintain a farm, repairs to said vehicles and other equipment, property taxes (and they are high in IN I can't imagine other areas), fencing, hay, sawdust, pasture management, and there is so much more.  Then let's get into hourly wage, what if you have to pay employees to keep up the property?  When does the BO get paid?  Trust me expense is astronomical to keep up a farm and I can bet your BO is not getting rich off of your boarding payment.  It is a catch 22, if you have the land to board 3 horses you have to take on 5 to even pay for itself and then you knowingly are over taxing your land that will in a short amount of time be destroyed.  Or you have the land (and morgatge payment) for a farm that can take on 30 boarders but it is next to impossible to keep it full all the time chances are you are loosing money on boarding.  So next time before you open your mouth to complain about something at your barn, stop and think that maybe, just maybe there is more to this than you might think.  Unless you have owned a farm yourself you probably cannot even fathom the reality of it.

A little side note I do realize there are real problems sometimes when boarding that should be corrected by the BO.  I am not speaking of those things I am speaking of the complaints I hear come out of peoples mouths 90% of the time.  Only about 10% are real issues.

Real quick since I want on an unexpected rant here is an update on our rides this week.  This will be short and sweet. They have been wonderful.  Each time I get off and wonder, "will this same horse show up next weekend at the clinic?"  I sure hope the answer is yes.  I don't like hauling 8 hours and paying a small fortune so that we can work on things we already can do but because he acts like a tool it makes it look like we don't.  But I am paying that small fortune because both Dorothy and Peter are amazing professionals and can see right to the heart of the issues.  Dorothy especially has an incredible wisdom of OTTB's that is invaluable.   Each ride I have been focusing on just keeping things calm and relaxed, stretching, long and low and even tempo.  And each time I get beautiful results.  He is cool as a cucumber and giving me what I ask on a light and responsive contact.  Just beautiful.   So today the count down begins to Lexington.  This time next Friday I will be at Dorothy's farm tacking up and getting ready for my lesson with a 4 hour drive behind me ready to spend 3 whole days doing this thing I love SO much!!!!

and for good measure here is a video.
I am so glad that rules have been put in place over the years to prevent things like this.  It is so sad to watch.


  1. Steady looks great post bath:) I was hoping yesterday would be bath day since the kids were going to grandma's for a few hours but nope, 47 and raining and today is no better so enjoy your spring!

    I totally get what you are saying about keeping your horses at home, honestly, other than wanting land so I don't have neighbors and I could raise chickens for my own eggs and let the boys have acres to play on, I don't want horses at home. Maybe because we did it when I was a kid and I knew how tough it was. If I'm sick or the kids are sick, I don't need to get up early and feed or clean a stall and I don't need to be worried about being gone until late because I don't have horses to put in or feed. Or worry about where to get shavings or hay or when the pipes freeze and on and on. And people that think boarding barns make money, ha!! Some lady at the feed store asked me what full care board was and I said $425. She looked at me in shock and said she was in the wrong business, what a killing she would make running a barn. Both myself and the cashier shook our heads. Most places barely break even. Shavings are $500 a truckload, employee pay is over $1600 a month, feed, water, electricity bills,taxes, insurance. How many horses do they think they need to take in to make this a "killing?"
    There are pros and cons to both though:)I do put a lot of money into my gas tank going to visit my horse!

  2. Steady is looking like a serious hunk! And I hear you about pasture management/cost. I was SO anal about rotating pastures at our place in NY to keep down on reseeding and fertilizer costs.

  3. holy cow does Steady look sexy! :)
    Also, will you facebook the time and location of that clinic? I'd love to come watch you and take pics and videos!

  4. i love this post! i used to work at a large Dressage barn and people were always complaining about something, i was the only employee i cleaned 26 stalls every morning alone i took out and brought in all the horses i blanketed fly sprayed and custom fed ALL of the 26 horses in the barn and the other 30 outside i did the custom feed for them too! Its crazy i did all that alone because the barn didnt want to have to pay for more staff but people were constantly on my case, the worst was if it rains im one person i am not able to bring in 26 horses in one shot so sorry some horses got wet lol and unfortunatly the $250 000 horses had to be brought in first. Thats why i am at a co-op barn with my horse.. i clean his stall, i bring him in and put him out and if i want to feed him something fancy i need to be there to feed him something fancy.

    Steady is such a handsom boy he has come so far since you first got him!

    Hope all is well!!

  5. Steady looks awesome! You sound proud of yourself for that, and you should be. You've made so much progress with him. :-)

  6. He looks GREAT and super shiny!
    I hear you on the BO thing, I try to be thoughtful and since switching to a pared down place, I've let go of a lot of 'things' and am really happy. I also pitch in when I can to help out. I only ask of a few things. Feed them. Provide ample clean water. If he's dying, let me know. ;) (now I need to knock on wood)

  7. Wow!! That video is nuts! Why could they not make the landing in the water? Was it slick or too deep? Poor horses. You got me looking at old videos now lol. Check out this one The first thing I noticed was no helmet and body protectors LOL! I forget that was standard way back then hehe. And the way they just toss them back in the saddle and send them on their way is crazy. They are brave or nuts!! Wow.

    Steady looks awesome after his bath! He is sooo shiny. I'm glad he's doing so well. :)

    I also agree with the complaints about BO rant. People don't realize how much work it is and how expensive it is. I've always kept my horses at home, along with other farming (gardens, cows, chickens, etc.) so I know how much work it is and how expensive it can get. I've also been an employee at a dressage boarding barn so I know what that's like too. If I ever had to board my horses I would never complain about my barn owner for such lame reasons. You're right that they don't make much off of boarding either. My trainer told me she breaks even (most of the time) on boarding and make her income on lessons!!! That should provide some perspective for some people. :)


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