Saturday, August 22, 2015

Barn chores and riding challenges: Win some, lose some

I think I can officially say that I've failed the summer horsemanship challenge.  To be honest, I knew when I signed up for it that it was a stretch, especially during the summer when I was at my busiest.  However, they are planning on having a fall version, so perhaps I'll have better luck then!

Despite having failed to ride, I've been at the barn plenty.  It's hard to believe it, but I've been doing chores there for two full weeks now!  I'm already developing a routine and the work isn't as difficult or as time consuming as I'd expected.

I have one more tough week, but after that, I'm hoping my new schedule will start working in my favor.
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Friday, August 14, 2015

Misadventures in watering

Last night I had my first misadventure in watering the horses at the barn.  I had planned to clean buckets today, so I only had to fill them and muck stalls last night after work.  I topped off the tanks in the front corral (where my boys are) and the 5-stall barn, but when I got to the 12-stall barn, there was no water coming out.

I mucked the stalls, checking the water occasionally, but still -- nothing.  The girl who trained me said that one of the neighbors fills his tank late on Thursday evenings, and that kills the water pressure for everyone else on the same well.  If that was the case, I'd just have to wait until the water pressure came back, but if the pump had broken I wouldn't be able to water at all.
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bone tired

This week is my first official week on the job at the barn.  Because the kids are still on summer break, I'm working long hours with them, swimming and such, and then going to the barn to do chores just before (and sometimes as) it's getting dark.  Every night this week, I've come home late, tired and exhausted, and fallen asleep before being able to accomplish that much.

Other than the exhaustion that comes from working too much combined with a lot of physical exertion, though, I don't find the work objectionable.
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Friday, August 7, 2015

First day of barn chores

This post is a few days overdue, which tells you how busy I am already -- and I haven't even started working at the barn in earnest yet.

I did, however, cover barn chores one day last week, on Tuesday.  I had a busy day, so I took V. to the barn in the morning and did chores while she rode.  All in all it took about two hours, longer than V. really needed to groom, tack, and ride... but I have it under good authority that I'll get faster as I develop a routine.

After my first day working at the barn, though, I have a few observations...
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The truth about colic

Colic is pretty much the biggest fear of all horse owners, because it's so common with horses, as well as because it's so often fatal.  So I was interested to see this article over the weekend:

5 Myths About Colic You May Still Believe

There are a lot of myths about colic, probably because everyone is so afraid of it happening to their horses.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Barn work

I decided to take on some barn work to cancel out some of my board, starting next month.  My morning family from spring, the preschooler I was taking to and from school in the mornings, will no longer need me, and that will represent a significant pay cut for me.

Luckily for me, the boarder who has been cleaning buckets and stalls decided to quit in August, so I'm taking over her job.  It should only be a couple hours a day, but it will reduce my board by a significant amount, especially helpful since I have two horses.

I've worked at a barn I boarded at in exchange for board once before.
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Ride no. 3 for the summer horsemanship challenge

On Thursday, I got a third ride in for the summer horsemanship challenge, adding another two hours of total horse time.  I am hopelessly behind on the challenge, since I'm so ridiculously busy in the summer -- I just have no extra time to devote to riding.   I'm going to continue participating when I can, though, despite knowing there's no way I'll catch up.  (The goal is 25 rides and 40 hours of horse time.)

I chose to ride with a saddle on Thursday.  The horsemanship challenge requires that four of your 25 rides be bareback, so I've ridden bareback twice already, but I noticed the second time that there were some things going on that I thought I could fix more easily with a saddle.
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