Barn Rats

Jun
2015
21

posted by on Barn tales, Rant

Future Barn Rat

Future Barn Rat

I was recently criticized for using the term “Barn Rat” I called myself (and others) barn rats in a blog post about about the woman who taught me to ride. I didn’t come from money, in fact I grew up rather poor. I got a job when it wasn’t even legal for me to work in order to buy a horse of my own. The barn rat route was what was available to me to learn everything I could about horses and maybe earn more ride time. I was kinda stumped at why offense would have been taken at the term barn rat and let me tell you LOTS of offense was taken. In an effort to educate those who might be clutching their pearls that one would deem to call themselves and others barn rats I give you Denny Emerson….If you don’t know who Denny is do yourself a favor and Google him. You can thank me later, hes awesome. Excerpt from Tamarack Hill Farms Facebook page:

Barn rats are the horse crazy kids who don`t want to be anywhere else. Not the mall, not the fast food joint, not even(sometimes) the Junior Prom, if there`s a horse show the next day.

Some barn rats get paid, but many trade work for the chance just to be in the general vicinity of horses. The parents of barn rats can`t be the obsessive kind who drag their kids from piano lessons to French lessons to figure skating lessons to soccer practice, because implicit in the definition of “barn rat” is is that they spend most free moments after school, on weekends, and on vacations, at the barn.

Barn rats are not the kids who arrive at the stable, take their lessons or ride their horses, get back in the car and disappear.

What barn rats get in return, although they may not put a name to the concept, is that they learn by osmosis. By spending so much time with horses, and not just on their horses backs, they gradually learn what makes horses tick. They learn what horses eat. They learn what constitutes a clean stall. They learn about turn out, blanketing, and how to do it without getting kicked, about grooming, braiding, hoof care, supplements, medicines, tack care, types of bits, helping the farrier, the vet, the myriad small and large details that make up “horsemanship.”

Theres more read the full post, its worth the effort. It is about the clearest dissertation on what being a barn rat is and means that I have come across. Denny hit the nail on the head. Yeah, I was a barn rat and proud of it. I still am in lots ways. I will hang out at the barn all hours holding horses for the vets and farriers, watching lessons and riders, asking questions when I see something new. Being a barn rat is in my blood. Its part of who I am and i’m well over the age of consent.

So i’ll take the whole barn rat thing and wear it like a badge of honer, I followed my passion, I wasn’t given anything i worked for what I had. I never had the best tack, the fancy horse trailer or breeches in every color but i had the passion to learn and learn i did… just like the barn rat i am.

posted by on Barn tales, Off Farm

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Jump Jive And Wail

Jun
2015
13

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Jezebel, OTTB

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Standing on the trailer! Hanging out!

Jezebels first show was a great day. She loaded easy, she stood on the trailer for part of the day, she tied at the trailer for the rest. She ground tied by the end of the day with Kaitlyn working with her and only screamed out for her pony friend ( who was also competing) for 3/4 of the day. She really wants to be a show pony and was excited to be there and though she was pretty interested in all the happenings she didn’t lose her mind and really enjoyed herself out on her first show adventure

She did a great dressage test with a score of 31.9 and jumped clear on the show jumping round. She took 2nd overall ad was just .09 off of first place. At Wardaca they put all the combined test together and only offer one set of ribbons and if they hadn’t we would have taken first in our class.

Watching the dressage riders

Watching the dressage riders

Sammy rode her ass off and they were a great team first time out! They got big things ahead of them if they keep this up. Oh Jez did rear in the warm up ring. Sammy held on and then the went on to kill it in dressage! She warmed up big in the jump warm up and then went on to clear all the things. Things she had never jumped before that were all scary looking, what a wonder pony!

Jez’s show name has been registered with the Jockey Club so let me introduce to you Jump Jive And Wail! Aka Jezebel, Aka Jesdarand, Aka Bobo, Aka Circus Pony, AKA My lovely beautiful amazing mare.

 

Spring time

May
2015
13

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Circe, Life with Jezebel

View out my new window

View out my new window

Got married, bought a farm. No big whoop… okay really huge whoop.

My better half and i tied the knot a a few weeks ago and then 2 days after the wedding we closed on the farm. Its been exciting and stressful all rolled into one. Moved into the farm a few days ago and i’m spending time putting my new gorgeous house all together. 8.5 aces, 3 stall barn 2 fenced pastures but i’m not moving the ponies. They are going to stay at the eventing barn where they are flourishing. My fields are being hayed this season and my share of the hay is going to be put up with the ponies so not only do i not have to mow 8+ acres but i get hay out of the deal. Winner!

My barn needs a little work mostly some elbow grease and some stall matting and leveling. I’m also going to need to work out my composting and storage situation. Plus  i have big plans to build an outdoor wash rack. So there are some long term and shot term goals with the barn. Its a fall project for now, im in no rush.

Jezebel is doing great in her rehab! So much so that there are some show plans for her in the works. She’s looking really gorgeous and getting many compliments all over the farm. Shes fit and getting fitter every day. Circe is doing much better, shes sound on her sensitive hooves and is working though her spooking issues but shes still spooking too much for me. Shes took a giant step backwards with that this last year and its just going to take time to get her back to where she was. Both Sammy and Kaitlyn have ridden her i have not. Mostly because ive been way to busy with wedding plans and farm buying plans and moving plans to put in the work with her and frankly this is what i paying the big bucks for so i don’t have to take that injury risk with a spooky horse. A sweet loving horse but spooky none the less.

All 4 horses are on night turnout and they all go out together now. My girls, Mr Rep and the cutest pony known to man. Reliant little pones, all of them.

Family Ties

Apr
2015
07

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Jezebel, OTTB

point_given1

Point Given makes great babies

Jezebels half brother is going to Rolex. Which I think is pretty cool. His name is Nonsensical. His rider/owner  Emilee Libby and though I wont be able to watch much of Rolex this year (more on that another time), I’ll be secretly rooting for him. It has to be as sorta secret rooting because my farm has its own rider at Rolex this year with 3 entries. I think she’ll kick ass. She usually does and the entire farm will be rooting for her. As they/we well should when you have one of your own at Rolex! I keep telling people Jez has amazing potential (when shes not F’in injured) and now a half brother is riding in the top event in the USA.

Winters Break

Mar
2015
08

posted by on Barn tales

The merry go roundAs i’m sure its obvious to anyone paying attention by now, i’m taking a blogging break. I’m taking a reading blogs break too though there are 2-3 i’m still keeping my eye on (i’m looking at you The Owls Approve. Happy to see Archie’s improvement!) I was getting burnt out saying the same things over and over and over and over. I found writing about the days horse activities were stale and if I was getting bored writing I can only imagine that it was boring to read as well. Couple that with its winter nothings happening but cold, snow and bad footing. Add to that volatile mix a couple of broken ponies and who had anything interesting to say. Too often I read so much filler and if i’m speaking honestly really long self involved blog posts about lets face it nothing. How does one write 1500 words on nothing? I’ve read the blogs clearly it can be done. So I had nothing to say, I found reading blogs annoying so i stopped writing and reading.

Personally a very good friend of over 35 years died suddenly after Xmas leaving a wife and two young daughters and it has devastated me. The loss i’m feeling is deeper then expected. My friend was one of the last people I made sure to visit before moving to MD 3 years ago and if I had known he was sick I would have flown my ass back to CA to laugh with him one more time. That didn’t happen, he was too proud to tell anyone how sick he really was. Which I get. He always did things his own way. It was one of his better qualities. There was a giant memorial party for him (I couldn’t bring myself to go) multiple writes ups about his very interesting life in the papers and every time id read one or a friend would reach out to me about his death id just lose my shit.  I’ve had people close to me die before, I’ve always handled it. This time not so much. I needed a break from a lot of things… writing and reading horse blogs was but one.

I’m not quite ready to return but i do want to give a pony update for those who have asked.

Jezebel: Shes recovering really well from her extensor injury. Better then expected. She’s had 3 ultra sounds and another one is coming up in half a week. She’s still on stall rest but can have some controlled exorcise when the ground isn’t a frozen ice rink. Soon I hope she can be worked under saddle (with chemical help) then turn out. I’m taking it super slow with her and being very conservative with her recovery. If theres a slower way to do something i’m opting for that. Her spirits are well and shes settling into being inside when everyones out. Though there are days shes very upset about that.

Circe: Just finished a round of ulcer meds. She was very off and I had Dr Jim out. Ulcers and body issues with her poll and right hind. All likely from when her feet exploded and it took us 3 months to get her sound with corrective shoeing.When shes not losing her mind shes looking good. She went for a snow hack yesterday and didn’t lose her mind so thats progress. Dr Jim came back for a recheck and though shes not 100% shes much improved and he wants to see her again after 2/3 weeks of regular steady work.

Today the sun is out and its going to be 50 degrees out which means the snow might melt. I’m hoping and then we have some warm days ahead and hopefully no last gasp of winter. Time will tell. Maybe with brighter days and the prospect of my horses doing better i will be in the mood to once again document their lives. Or maybe not. Sometimes you just need to step back and give yourself some breathing room.

PRP two week check

Feb
2015
04

posted by on Barn tales, Injury, Life with Jezebel, OTTB

IMG_8474Jez had her two week check after her PRP treatment. The results are great!  Shes healing really nice and my vets is really happy with how her progress is going. Shes gotta stay inside for another two weeks until the next check which she isn’t thrilled about but she  the stalls at my barn are stall suites (double in size) so its better then being stuck in a tiny box. Plus… drugs help.

Circe is turned out with Rep now and the two redheads are getting long well. Sometimes they are in love and want to make red-headed babies and other times they are bickering like Lucy and Ricky.

Other then that… winter can suck it.

Special Snowflake

Jan
2015
15

posted by on Barn tales, Injury, Life with Jezebel, OTTB

My Special Snowflake

My Special Snowflake

Right Hind Lateral Digital Extensor Tendonitis approximately 5% lesions – Starts 2cm distal to tendon sheath extends to 4cm proximal to union with common digital extensor.

Fuck… My… Life…

Its Christmas time

Dec
2014
25

posted by on Barn tales

Rep is my horse today

Rep is my horse today

After the morning Xmas festivities my better half and I took a drive to the farm to see the ponies. The roads were clear as was the sky. I had a few treats for their Xmas stockings i needed to drop off and lets face it, on Xmas I need to see the ponies. They were already out and at the hay vending machine (round bales!) and were no how, no way going to walk up to see me. So I took some photos of Rep who was looking for a smooch or two and i’m pretending he’s my horse today.

Merry Xmas from the ponies and I!

 

posted by on Barn tales

Mounted police!

Mounted police!

What can I say about the Lisbon horse parade. Its billed as an “old fashioned horse parade” and they sure aren’t kidding. Especially if by old fashioned, you mean before organizational skills were needed in setting up a horse Christmas parade. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t wonderful and amazing because it was in fact both those things but it was also a mess. A hot, hot, mess.

Robert Taylor, hunt master of the Goshen Hounds

Robert Taylor, hunt master of the Goshen Hounds

Maybe 500 horses were in this parade. Mounted police (the only police presence at the event I might add), eventing farms, horse rescues, the Goshen Hounds hunt club, local schools and so much more participated. It was a spectacle and being that the weather was good (last year it was rained out) and by good I mean it wasn’t raining or snowing but it was about 35 degrees out, lots of people showed up… thousands in fact.

Alex and Luna on route

Alex and Luna on route

We arrived early because Alex and Luna were riding in the parade. Luna loaded like a dream because shes the worlds best pony and being one of the later groups we unloaded on the road. Yeah you heard me right ON … THE… ROAD…. The trailer parking lot (a giant cluster-fuck of trailers) all on top of each other in one big pile was full so the overflow parked on the road and unloaded there. Sammy, me, Alex, Sammy’s 3 year old and my better half all worked together to get the pony brushed, saddled up and decorated for the parade. Then Sammy had to literally walk with Luna and Alex in the road maneuver around traffic, over an over pass, about a mile or two to the staging area so Alex could meet up with the other riders in her group. We then picked up Sammy in the car and drove to watch the parade. We scored killer parking and ran into other people from our barn right away which had to have been divine intervention.

Mule train!

Mule train!

The parade was amazing, people were dressed up in all kinds of wacky, fun costumes. There were several homages to A Christmas Story, mule trains, covered wagons, a knight, several Santa’s, lots of equine reindeer and lots of kids on ponies participating. About 90 different groups and the whole thing took about an hour. I had a blast in the freezing cold watching all the groups ride by. The kids were all ecstatic and I’m sure this event will live in their memories for years to come. Alex was beaming the while time.  There was no police presence it was as my better half put it “where amateur parade and horse people collide”. Which means very little organization and safety precautions. No crowd control, and I think one port-a-potty. No one got hurt and there was no instances of horses going nutso and running into the huge crowd. Everyone was in the Xmas spirit from parade watchers to participants and it made me happy to be a part of such a fun (albeit crazy) community. My hats off to you Lisbon Old Fashioned Horse Parade, my hats all the way off!