Tuesday, May 17, 2022

my dumb ass......

Guys. Guyssssss. I've done some stupid stuff driving my truck and trailer over the years. Basically all of which is recorded here on ye olde blogge for posterity. 

We have, in no particular order:
  -  Blown the brake lines a few times. 
  -  Killed the battery tonsss
  -  Cruised down the highway with the trailer doors wide open, flapping in the breeze. 
  -  Punched a quarter-sized hole in the trailer tire sidewall.....

Ya know. Some stuff. It happens. So. Rather than try to recount for you my latest.... incident... in any sort of narrative form, I present to you the full story as told in pictures. All I can say is... Thank god for friends who actually know things!



Photo Close Up #1 :: The emergency cable itself



Photo Close Up #2 :: a shot directly into the brake control box on my trailer frame



Photo Close Up #3 :: Found the weird little detached plastic plug on the ground underneath the hitch


Photo Close Up #4 :: Weird little plastic plug back in its house, minus the connective emergency cable





Siiiiiiiigh. I **hate** when I do dumb stuff like that. 

But, eh, at least I was just detaching the truck to use it separately from the trailer. And the parts can be easily replaced. And I have plenty of time to do said replacing. And I have knowledgeable friends who could quickly guide me back to finding that weird little plastic plug thing. 

Nbd, thankfully!

In the meantime, learn from my mistakes kiddos!! Or just laugh at my idiocy, your choice ;) 

Monday, May 16, 2022

legging back up again!

Charlie had some sort of mystery foot soreness for the better part of 3 weeks, plus bumped his face on something -- producing a little trickling nosebleed to round out a complete 3 week vacation. 

true story: i don't like putting bonnets on charlie bc they cover his big beautiful star. that's nothing a little DIY action can't fix, tho!
It's a little bit of a bummer bc he had been going so well in lessons, plus we ended up missing a fun little jumper show (he went lame literally the day I sent in my entry).

plus bonus lightning bolts to accessorize your fresh-back-into-work TB on a jaunt across the farm!
And, naturally, it's starting to look like we've seen the last of what had been a very pleasantly mild spring. The weather has switched gears in no uncertain terms to muggy oppressiveness bleh.

last gate before wooded freedom!
So idk what that really means in terms of my motivation to rush back into any sort of heavy work lol. We're both feeling a little weak and wimpy, if I'm being totally honest. 

so cool, so refreshing, so GREEN!!
Charlie's first two proper schooling sessions under saddle after coming sound were very short, and very to the point. Yet it's hard to say who was more winded from the effort lol. Maybe me, bc... Well. Reasons and stuff. But also maybe Charlie, who had actual little rivulets of sweat foam squeegee-ing through the holes in his billet straps omg.... After, again, only 20min of mostly walking LOL...

i love all the little stream crossings
But ya know. It's a joy and a privilege to have this horse healthy and happy and ready to go under saddle. And if I'm really gonna drive the 20mi each way to see him, might as well make the most of it, right?

charlie does too
People always love to tell me that long slow miles walking over hill and dale are the best solution to equine fitness work anyway, never mind that the horse literally spends more time roaming hills in a single day during his turnout than I ride in a full week (12hrs, to be specific). 

fountain at the neighbor's house!
So, hey -- might as well, right? And let's be real, getting out into the woods is just mentally so refreshing too. Esp on these hot sunny days -- the woods are legit much cooler. Plus with recent rain we've been having (thus the mugginess), the leaves are actually all still dripping with water -- so it's like getting spritzed down every time your gigantic horse runs you into yet another tree branch!! 

wheee was supposed to be hand-held video of us jumping a couple logs but my finger slipped so you just get 3sec lol
Extra bonus -- the nasty biting deer flies and black flies aren't fully out yet (even tho, dear lord, the TICKS absolutely are omg...). So my fly whisk and Charlie's bonnet ended up being totally superfluous. Better safe than sorry, tho! 

heading back toward the main outlying pastures
And guys, the horse just feels so good right now. Weak and lazy as ever, but happy and relaxed and soft. And considering we basically always follow the same exact circuit through the woods, he really needs minimal input from me to find his way around. 

ooof, they're mighty overgrown tho --- those giant xc jumps are nearly covered! 
Plus he knows where all the fun canter spots are, and all the fun log jumps!! Tho, sorry, I kinda failed at getting footage of us doing the last little line toward home. It ain't much -- but it's fun, and Charlie always lands in this nice big rolling (but careful!) canter that I wish was as easily replicated in the sandbox LOL.

mmmm grassssss --- i think charlie's group will get turned out into this big summer pasture starting next week, fingers crossed!
Anyway. It feels so good to be back on the horse again. And I think he's happy too. It's not really clear yet what our plans or goals will be for this upcoming year. We definitely wanna go out and have fun and maybe challenge ourselves a little bit. 

back into civilization, sorta. charlie's winter paddock is to the left
But most importantly, I want to keep him sound and happy and healthy, and am not particularly inclined toward anything that's gonna really stress me out or make me work too hard in too unpleasant conditions lol.... 

sweet trail pony <3
We'll see, tho. I've got a couple ideas :)   Anybody else feeling like summer is coming on faster than expected?!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

bee-autiful farm animals

Charlie's farm is old. And enormous. And, as it turns out, home to many many many various critters --- well beyond horses and ponies and barn cats.

critters. everywhere.
A whole bunch of them are right out in plain sight too, tho, it's actually pretty easy to miss them. 

i spy, with my little eye!
This weekend, I was particularly enamored with our resident carpenter bees <3 <3 

and hey look, there's another one!
These sweet fuzzy bumblers have moved into what must be ancient nests. If they're anything like the carpenter bees from my back yards growing up.... they've probably been living in these holes for (bee) generations.

morning ablutions, bee style
Can't say I've ever actually caught any of them hangin around. Actually --- I only noticed these guys bc I just about smooshed one by resting my broom on the wall right next to where his little bumble bum was sticking out.

well hello there!
Eventually, tho, even bees gotta get up and get their days started haha. And this one seemed just a little bit surprised to be watched in the process lol...

buzzing off lol
But bee life ain't gonna take care of itself, so off they gotta go. Bye, bee!

more critters!
For as interesting as the bees are, gotta admit I kinda like our standard fare barn animals. Like Mikey!!

lol and illustrations of critters
And the ridiculous barn pig Goose, who has been on a diet these last few months for... um, illustrated reasons lol.

lol when art imitates life
Honestly, the variety in animals is kinda nice -- just one more reason why long weekends at the barn are such a nice change of pace from the 9-5 drudgery, amirite?

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

april showers bring may.... dirtballs

Even tho it's been a surprisingly dry spring so far, our horses are still finding new and creative ways to get absolutely filthy. Charlie's still pretty fuzzy too -- his coat is apparently clinging on until the grass is fully up... So yea every day is groundhog day with grooming this animal. 

it's hard to photograph brown mud on a brown horse, but charlie works hard to help me out lol
(also, yes omg the grass in his winter sacrifice paddock is so pitiful rn...)
And since Charlie's been off for the last few weeks and we haven't been up to literally anything else.... Let's carry on with the recent theme of chatting about products and processes relating to more general care. 

brosef... you, uh.... got something on your face lol
My favorite tool for the dirtball job remains, as always, an old school hard plastic curry comb. Probably 85% of my grooming time is spent using the curry, over every inch of Charlie's body. 

(Including lower limbs.... true story: I've literally never understood why people say you shouldn't use a curry on the lower limbs, am I the only one?? That's legit how I end up discovering most of Charlie's little dings and dents down there anyway....)

ah yes, that static dust that we all know and love....
The curry is great for loosening everything up, including shedding hair, chunks of mud, any sweat crusts, etc etc etc. Plus, in my experience, the curry comb is also the best tool against skin funk and fungus. 

this stuff tho, omg it's like $11 and is absolutely a game changer
i think charlie would rather just get the carrot tho, not gonna lie lol
I used to literally refer to Charlie as a 'veritable botanical garden' when it comes to rain rot etc, esp during periods of shedding or coat growth. But... Honestly aside from the occasional cannon crud, he's been funk-free for a long long time. Probably bc of all the obsessive currying lol...

i know the light is different but it's the same dusty horse, after getting spritzed down.
also... dear lord, that mane....
Only problem is.... ugh, the static dust haze that always seems to cling to winter coats. Sometimes I swear, the longer I curry, the dirtier the horse looks lol. My nice natural bristle body brush does a decent job of swiping off dust and dirt etc, but it can only do so much against static.

pic from back in the day when we were still riding lol. more riding = less grooming, apparently!
Which... Y'all already know about Charlie's struggles and suffering with static electricity. I bought this kid's hair detangler as a way to reduce the zaps (which it does!! tho hand lotion has proven the best weapon in that eternal war lol), but it's GREAT for the dust.

apparently you don't have to be clean to hack out while spring is springing!!!!
I actually use that spray after almost every time I curry the horse these days. It smells nice, makes him look smooth and silky, and seems to actually almost bond with the dust to make it easier to swipe off. Plus it's inexpensive (at least relative to most horse-specific products I see), and made from good safe ingredients being that it's intended for human kiddos.

omg cabbage!
Anything that makes it easier at this point is worth it in my book. Bc oh my god it's every day lol. And there are some days where.... ugh, who can really bother haha. The horse doesn't need to be all that clean for his busy life of eating and going to and from his field anyway, right?

and sheeepies!!!
But since grooming is the only thing we've been doing lately (these trail pics are from a few weeks ago before the hoof soreness, womp), might as well make the drive worth it!! 

ooooh i also chopped off his mane again.... 
Which also explains the motivation for Charlie's recent haircut LOL. Yep I'm still up on my bullshit of blunt cutting his mane with scissors haha.... hahaha. And yep, you can still definitely tell. 

sweet squishy-nosed pony <3
But hey, if you're gonna be lame buddy, you can be a little ugly too haha. Tho I like to think I've gotten kinda good (ish) at the bad way of mane management lol -- I'm trimming it more often now but taking off less length each time. Idk. It'll grow back LOL. 

is this the face of horse ready to make good choices???
Anywaysssss... last I checked, the horse had finally jogged sound. Tho obvi he followed that up with a bashed face and bloody nose, so we let him stay off for a little bit longer just to be safe. 

lolz obviously absolutely not!!
Hopefully tho.... The time is coming soooooon haha. Clearly the horse looks ready to go, right? Brushed and trimmed and apparently bursting with thoroughbred energy lol...

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

(topical) drugs of choice

Just about 7 years ago, I learned some hard truths about wound care and management. Isabel and I were a few years into our lease and finally feeling like the pieces were coming together. She was a hardy mare, tho, and I'd never owned before. And let's be real, some stuff you just plain old can't suck out of your thumb. 

heel slice. look closer and you'll see a grab from last year growing out toward the toe
For those who don't remember, Izzy's a chromey red arabian. At that particular moment in time, she had a minor interference wound on an inside hind cannon (right smack in the middle of her fantastic socks). I treated with my absolute favorite liquid bandage spray -- Alushield.

suspicions are that *somebody* was climbing thru the tensile wire reaching for grass
And. Lo and Behold, that entire leg blossomed into a months and months long battle with scratches. Maybe bc red and chromey. Maybe bc some topical sprays have exactly the right characteristics to covertly cultivate some nasty fungus.

some of the blue stuff is from prior treatments
Either way. Right then and there I resolved to avoid EVER using Alushield in skin-funk-prone lower limb areas --- really anything below the knee or hock. Not bc I don't love Alushield (it's legit my liquid bandage of choice for basically everything-not-a-puncture). But... Bc... #NeverAgain.

for real, tho, i hate coronet band wounds
True story, tho. Horses will still wound their lower limbs, regardless of whether you have a solid treatment method lol. So I've kinda been lowkey searching for a new favorite for these types of ouchies. 

locals know that bartville orange sticker lol
A couple trusted barnmates have always sworn by Red-Kote for general wound care (I understand it to be like a wound spray similar in application to the Alushield), and was especially interested when I spied Blu-Kote (same manufacturer) at Bartville a couple weeks ago. 

i've gotten a little nuts about reading labels since izzy's scratches fiasco
The key to this stuff seems to be its fungicidal and drying properties. Which... Naturally, Charlie immediately put to the test by getting hung up in the high tensile fencing back in March. 

No worries -- no serious injuries or lamenesses resulted from that encounter.... But the horse walked away with a very raw pastern and heel area. Not unrelated, those same areas are also often very skin-fungus prone....

tidied up and treated
I was really impressed with this stuff tho. There were maybe two back to back days of more intensive cleansing and rinsing with betadine etc before spraying on a Blu-Kote treatment. 

But... Honestly? After that? The wounds basically immediately looked dry, stable and protected -- and I stopped fussing with them entirely for the rest of their healing process (beyond occasionally testing a scab or two bc #pickersgonnapick).

don't believe that sad pony face --- he recovered fully, much to his chagrin
So it's official. While the Alushield silver spray remains a favorite for generalized bodily dings, dents, scrapes and scratches.... This Blu-Kote stuff pretty immediately secured a permanent spot in my medicine drawer. Specifically for lower limb woes.... but maybe more too! 

Obviously every horse person has their very favorite tinctures and tonics, ointments and oils etc. We all kinda know what we like and gravitate toward prior experience etc. But this was a useful lesson for me that, ya know, there are a LOT of really really fantastic products out there, only a fraction of which I've ever actually used. 

Which leads me to my question to you... Do you use either of these wound care products (Alushield or Blu-Kote)? Have you had similar experiences? Or maybe you have an entirely different roster of go-to products? Have you had to learn the hard way about using a treatment incorrectly? Or do you also have tried 'n true Old Faithfuls that you'll stick to thru thick or thin?? Curious minds want to know lol.