Posts Tagged With: shelter

Ol’ Man [Winter], He Just Keeps [Snowin’] Along

The afternoon chill has each pony standing still, head down, tail to the wind. Breath huffs out in gray clouds from each nostril. The mist quickly dissipates in the harsh winter air. Snow falls from the top of a blanket as a hoof stomps.

This scene is wholly different from the image that occurred two days ago. On Wednesday, most of the ponies played naked. There was no need for blankets or turnouts.

Instead, today was the worst of both worlds. Snow blew sideways during the entire day while the ground stayed soft. The horses rarely moved unless it was to come inside and eat. Everyone enjoyed warm bran mashes both morning and night to chase away the chill.

Lexi has steadily shown improvement and is eating again. Her pasture mate, Senorita, is leaving Firefly tomorrow to start life at Dreamfields. The two girls have become great friends. Once Senorita leaves, Honey will be considered an outdoor boarder. She’ll be Lexi’s new companion at night to keep her company. Braz and Misty will be joining them during snowy, windy, or stormy days.  (The RAMM pasture doesn’t have any shelter, and Braz and Misty are both in stalls at night.)

Melody and Savannah have been stuck inside since this morning. Though they both enjoy time outside, the weather has been uncooperative. They’ll go with the other girls in the mare pasture tomorrow if it continues to snow. I’m unable to keep the run-in stall doors open when the snow blows in–otherwise, the stall shavings become wet and freeze.

Hopefully winter will subside sooner than usual and spring will suddenly, miraculously appear. If not, the ponies of Firefly Farm are prepared to brave the elements.

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Shel(ter) Shocked

I owe a great deal to many people after this weekend. My best friend and her husband were the driving force behind the horse shelter. A potential lesson student’s family came yesterday, and the father was instrumental in beginning the project. We also had almost every boarder out to help at one time or another. It’s incredible.

The rest of the shelter will be set up by the workmen who frequently help us out around the barn. They have the ability, the tools, and the training to complete the project. I’m excited we were able to accomplish the enormous amount we did, and floored that so many people were so kind to help out Firefly Farm. It’s difficult to imagine a kinder and more generous group of friends. Thank you all.

I had a delightful ride on Honey this evening after the end of our shelter raising and finishing night chores. I let Senorita and Lexxi out in the back (with seven flakes of hay spread out–lucky ponies!) Then I took Honey into the indoor arena to groom. She was grumpy, but once I started to use the curry comb, she forgot everything except how much she was enjoying her “massage.”

I saddled, bridled, and mounted uneventfully. We then worked on walking, stopping, reversing on the haunches, trotting and western jogging, and cantering. Throughout this entire training session, I worked on getting her nose in and haunches underneath, giving us impulsion. The girl goes really well, and has gotten to the point I don’t have to urge her on. I give her a signal and she goes until I give her a signal to stop. She’s such a delight to train! I love working with her. I’m so fortunate she’s my horse. I have the feeling once she’s trained, she’s going to be sought after as someone’s personal horse. She’s so wonderful, I’d have a hard time giving her up. I’m thrilled with how easy she is to train, and elated she remembers our training sessions no matter how far apart they are.

Tonight we have three horses inside. Braz, as usual, but we also have Melody and Savannah inside tonight. Savannah came in for dinnertime but just picked at her grain. I noticed she was a bit gassier than usual, so I gave her a small amount of banamine. I walked her around, trotted her and cantered her on the lunge line. She had noises from her intestines and passed a movement, so she’ll be fine–she’s just a little gassy. I figured she and Melody should stay inside so when I go out to check on them later I won’t have to search for them in the dark. By the time I left the barn this evening, Savannah had eaten all her grain and was enjoying her hay. She was still gassy, but she seemed to be getting better.

Again, thanks everyone who helped us out this weekend. It means the world to me that we could get such an amazing amount done on a seemingly enormous project. Every person who helped was instrumental in completing as much of the project as we did. Thank you.

One last note–to cousin Erika, I’m delighted you’re now following the blog. I’m looking forward to having you come up to our barn for a week or two. I hope you’re having a great time at your new barn and are eager to see ours. Come visit soon.

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