Monday, November 24, 2014

No Shave November!

Now, if you are under the age of fifty, you've probably heard of No Shave November... It's pretty much a guy's excuse to go full lumberjack. Or hipster. Either way, it's not sexy. Not sexy at all.
Beards: Not sexy. Ever
Anyhow, in keeping with my rebellious nature I just cannot embrace No Shave November. And not just me, but my horses (and poodles, obviously).
Now, there are tons of things to love about Texas: the ability to knock out two shows before the new years, not having to shovel roofs (sorry, New York), an overdose of state pride. However, this lovely pseudo-tropical retreat leaves my ponies feeling like they brought the wrong wardrobe on vacation
See the difference?
 So what is the conscientious rider to do when every ride ends in a lathered, sweaty horse?

Shave them!

Be Forewarned: This is a picture heavy, super adorable and probably itchy post.

Scratch that. Very itchy. There will be little itchy horse hairs everywhere. I think I need to shower again. Maybe twice.

Since it was a lovely 60 degree day and the arena was still too wet to ride in so it seemed the thing to do by starting my day off with a pony bath.

Tilly is not impressed
Of course, my normal handy (lazy) front of barn area proved to be too wet me to continue my morning baths at that location. So we moved to our otherwise abandoned wash stall.

Bucky in all of his fluffy glory
Really, it's super handy... but we dumped a yard of lime in front of the barn door that leads to the wash stall... so you have to walk out the front door and around the side of the barn.
Tedious. But at least my feet dont get  wet and there is no mud. Win-win!

Then it was time to whip out the clippers!
 By the time I finished with half of Tilly and all of Bucky, my elbows were buzzing and i was covered in hair. Not my own.

Why only half of Tilly, you ask?

Because I'm freakin' creative. And honestly, I kind of assumed what could go wrong?
 So I took a quick lunch break and made a stencil out of a manila envelope. Like a boss...
I taped the stencil onto Tilly's unclipped butt, and let the fur fly!
It's all about the bass
Now.... wait for it....

Brace yourself. 
For So. Much. ADORABLE.

Ready? Are you really?


Encouraged by my success, I had to find an appropriate stencil for Delight.
I mean, the Blackfish cannot do bout sporting bows and hearts. That's just not her. And there's a distinct possibility that she would buck me off just for offending her. It's a risk.

So the list began.
Bows? Adorable on Tilly, but Deli doesn't want to be a copycat.
An Orca? Perfect! But too tricky for an amateur body clipper like myself. And no one else would get it...
A shamrock? Celtic knot? Blah.
 So, in the spirit of the season... And for ease of application, Delight earned some Christmas Bells!
Not quite as vivid as the chestnut
 All in all it's not too bad of a look, if I do say so myself.
Now I need to see if I can get a picture of the clip jobs out in the sunlight.

And now I need another shower. I feel itchy again just thinking about all over again. So many tiny itchy little hairs!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Comes Early

Well, here at Chez Alison, the family is spread out all across the country. Well, less so now that I'm back at Texas, but you get the point. When we all come together by sheer happenstance, we make the holidays happen when we want them to. Like today, for instance, is Thanksgiving for us. Suck it Traditional Thanksgiving, we have out Christmas carols starting 5 days early.
When this kid is in town... Shit gets real.

And it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

I was originally going to type something up in response to a forum post asking if anyone regretted bringing the horses home... but tis the season to be thankful and really, I have no reason to be all negative anyway.. .which kind of tied into my original post so I'll just continue to expound on it.

I love love love having my horses at 'home'. I cannot think of a better way to live than to be able to sit out on the porch sipping coffee while everyone eats breakfast.
Not a bad view, amiright?
 Sure, there are no days off. Horses need to eat, be turned out, stalls cleaned, brought back in and fed again. Fences need to be fixed, arenas need to be dragged, yards need to be mowed... There are easier life style choices, to be sure. There are no days off- not in the rain, snow or when you have a 104 degree fever- Horses still need to be fed. The logistics behind planning a vacation or night out are not easy... Thank again my most significant relationship is with a little white velcro poodle named Bacon, so its not like I spend a lot of time out on the town anyway.
"I cannot stay out after dark!"
 Of course there are much less complicated ways to keep your own horses. Some horses live outside (I've heard rumors); some don't get grain daily, let alone twice daily; Grass arenas are simple and easy to maintain... But that's the perk of having your own place: you get to keep your horses in exactly the manner in which you want. Want a different blanket at ten degree intervals? Done. Want Pookie out only in perfect weather? Done. Want turnout boots/flysheets/SWAT applied/ the rain dance done before turnout out the Bucastan? You can make it happen! All that limits you is time and money...
Now, I have had some pretty nice boarding situations. Maybe not high dollar, but good personal care and a descent riding space. Then there have been the situations where the care was not as advertised and I had to be out every day to make sure that the Ponitas were still alive anyway. Having my Ponitas at home is a cheaper (because the Family already owns the land) option with that guaranteed peace of mind that only comes when I have total and complete control over my horses.

 There is certainly something to be said for having an arena all to myself and being able to schedule your day around when the weather should be nicest.... And with only six horses at the moment, the barn work takes about an hour (not including the semi-annual chores like spreading the manure pile, or fertilizing or cutting and stacking hay). That leaves plenty of time for me to get three or four horses worked in a day and then teach a few lessons.
Have I mentioned how nice it is to have a mother with the same passion for the farm life? This way if someone needs a day off, the other one covers the chores. And let's face it, it's nice to see someone else who actually enjoys this lifestyle so I don't feel like a total anomaly.
Perk: Farm poodle loves his life!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Soooo.... this is Awkward.....

You know when life gets really really busy and you kinda sorta forget to call that guy back who you kinda sorta saw a few times?

Well, this blog is like that. And you guys get to be that guy. Harsh, I know. My bad.

So very much has happened since October.

I shipped Bucky to Texas after the championships. He loved it.

I closed up my house, painted GTT on the door (yes, that's a seventh grade Texas history reference...) and got the heck outta the Yoop before Snopocolypse hit. We all knew that it wsa going to hit and turn the area into a wintery snowy wonderland that kills Dressage Queens. It's happened before and this time I was not going to haul through it.
You can suck it, Snow. 
So yes... Here I am, back home sweet home in the lone star state. 
Farm poodles, hard at work. 
 I drove down with only two ponies in tow and about fifty bales of hay. Oh, and those poodles (of course). The poodles are loving the weather. it's not cold, there's no snow... poodle heaven!
 The ponies have assimilated nicely. Of course, they know all of the horses on the Texas Headquarters from last year (and RC and Bucky still don't get along). So there are six horses in four pastures/paddocks/pens. It all works out as long as Bucky goes out with a pony. He does love his ponies.

Who can blame the guy? I have  soft spot for the little monsters too...

Of course when this cold front blew through last weekend/this week everyone blames me. Uh, guys... I'm here to escape this weather.

And honestly, I knew better than to complain, I'l take 30 degrees and cloudy over 15 degrees and snowing any day... I keep my weather app on both Texas and Michigan locations just in case I ever feel the urge to complain about anything. It could be worse. There could be snow...
A jacket? really?
 And now, while I plan my next post... just so no one misses me too too much..... I leave you with some quarter horses...