I awoke to a vast white void out my window. Firefly Farm has been infiltrated once more by a fluffy white blanket of frozen moisture.
We have workmen (FINALLY!) who are busily putting together the new horse shelter in the field for the girls. They’ll be moving just as soon as it’s completed. I can’t wait! Last I saw, they had the siding up and were getting ready to work on the roof. Then afterward they’ll put up the trim. This is how it looked as a skeleton, without the outer shell.
I’m looking forward to having it completed. We’ll jostle the mares and geldings around, and give everyone a lot more room to roam.
Next spring, the plan is to fill in all the old gopher holes out in the back pasture, and create a driving lane where people can ride or drive horses out back. We can also use it as a grazing area. Next spring, I also plan to improve the outdoor arena and fence in the entire riding area with RAMM fence, like the kind we put up as a barrier to the road.
I’m grateful this morning worked out as it did. Today, I fed everyone and let everyone outside except Honey and Melody. Then, I proceeded to ride each horse for about an hour. Honey was perfect, as usual. I’m riding her in a full-cheek simple snaffle, but I think I’m going to step down to a plan loose-ring snaffle instead. She doesn’t have any problems turning, so a simple snaffle seems much kinder.
Then I was able to ride my wonderful Melody. I rode bareback and had a great time. She’s so sweet and entertaining–I rarely have an issue with her. Even bareback, she’s so smooth and well-trained that I can do anything with her.
I cleaned the barn and put some of the extra buckets up on top of the tack room loft. The stalls look fantastic, and I’m getting to the point that I know what we need and how much of something we’ll go through. For instance, we’re using three bags of shavings per week. We’re going through a bag of grain every-other-day. We’ve hit our stride and it seems like everything is running smoothly. I’m thrilled. Beyond thrilled, I’m ecstatic.
The horses are so much fun. I keep hugging Dusty when I go hear him, and he’s started bobbing his head down to mimic the hug. Coffee is being his adorable self, and begging for candy canes (which he receives) when he sees me. The girls are doing well, too. Senorita has started to eat her grain in the indoor arena. She’s not windsucking if she doesn’t have stall walls to crib on. She will take a few bites of grain, walk through the aisles and greet the other horses, then walk back to her food and eat again. I think it’s reassurring to her that she can walk through the stable and see the other horses. It can’t happen every time this way, but Senorita seems much happier with this arrangement. I want happy horses, so I’m willing to try anything.
Honey is the sweetest little pony in the whole world, of course. Savannah has been a little sore for her owner lately; just a little lame, nothing major. I’ve been fortunate because she hasn’t been sore for my lesson students. She is, however, very sensitive to the frozen ground on her hooves. We may end up putting the Cavallo boots on until she adjusts.
Melody has been relaxed and sweet. she’s loving the fact that she and Savannah run the herd. She is queen bee some days, other days Savannah is the boss mare. It’s fun to watch them share this responsibility.
Lexi is finally coming into her own. She and Savannah are becoming best friends–along with Melody, of course. It’s amusing to watch her become more comfortable and relaxed. She shared a hay pile with Senorita the other day, and this morning, she shared a hay pile with Braz.
Braz and Honey are still inseparable. Braz is such a sweet mare. I’ve never had a bit of trouble with her, other than having her really hate to be separated from Honey. I don’t see that as a problem, however; simply a best friend who doesn’t want to be without her “soulmate.” I know how that feels. Savannah’s owner is my best friend, and I miss her dearly when she can’t come out and ride.
I’ve started to insulate the water troughs with bubble-wrap insulation. It’ll be interesting to see who trys to rip it off first–the mares or geldings. My bet is on Coffee. He’s so curious, I can just imagine him ripping it off, head high, waving it back and forth with a little horsie “smile” on his face. It’s not expensive insulation, so it won’t be a big deal if they do play with it. I’m just hoping for a reduction in my heating/electrical bill for the next few months. Running heaters in water tanks isn’t cheap. Eventually I’ve decided I’m going to build boxes around each of the water tanks to help keep them warmer. I have plenty of wood for this project.
I also want to use plexiglass to replace the broken barn windows. Eventually I’ll get to all my plans–but for now, I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished today and what I’m having accomplished today. Once the new shelter is complete, life will be much easier, and warmer, for the horses.