Hay suits

I have decided I am going to become an inventor. No, really. 54 years old, I am changing my life’s direction and vocation. Here’s why, hay. Yup. I cannot stand hay in my bra and underwear one more day.

My horses may not like me as much. I am sure that one of the reasons they love me, besides all food comes from me, is associated with my lovely alfalfa aroma. After all, i don’t really have 36DD breasts, half that is hay from feeding this morning!

I am going into making hay suits. They will be a lot like hazmat suits. But, they have to have a sealable pocket for my phone. Well hey, I have to carry my phone out to feed. If I don’t I will lose out on my Samsung fitness app counting those steps! That’s about all I use my phone for now. The pocket has to seal airtight to keep out the hay though.

Timothy hay is bad, mostly because it gives me hives, then there is that pesky shortness of breath. My horses do not really care for it anyway. The hay suit would come in handy if I did get stuck with Timothy. But I really need it for the alfalfa. I am not even allergic to alfalfa, but that stuff gets every where. I can go out to feed in a long sleeved, high necked shirt, tight jeans, laced up boots, feed just 4 horses, and have hay in places my dr never sees!

After feeding the horses their hay, a 20 minute job at most, it takes me several hours to feel as though I am not wearing clothes made out of wool, nettles and barbed wire. That is after I have changed clothes and covered the bathroom floor with 2-3 flakes worth of hay chaff. Now I know why they call it chaff. I also know where the idea for barbed wire came from and why animals stay away from it.

Nothing like going on a cruise and getting frisky with the hubby and he wants to know why there is parsley in/on your lady parts. Trying to explain it is alfalfa when you haven’t been around a horse for 3 days and have showered several times, went snorkeling and swimming in one of the pools just doesn’t cut it. So you end up making up some weird crap about an article in cosmo about parsley and female hygiene. Who knows? It could be a thing, right? I have read weirder things there! I once saw an article in a cosmo that I thought was going to be cool. Going to be relevant to me and my life. Pony play is NOT what I thought. I was traumatized. Really.

So my hay suit will cover you from head to foot. So I can actually wash my hair before feeding. If you don’t understand why that is relevant you have never gotten alfalfa in damp/wet hair. It doesn’t come out. No I don’t add parsley to my hair either. Go stand in line at any feed store, all the women have green leaves in their hair unless they pay someone to feed for them or dependable green headed children.   So no more hay in my hair, got my sealable pocket for my phone. A hay knife on one of the Curley springy cord things. Respirator so I do not inhale dust and that chaff. Little rear view mirror so I can see that one horse that sneaks up behind me, you have one too, we all do. Non slip boots for when I step in fresh poo or mare pee). Why is mare pee slipperier and smells worse? Does it smell worse so maybe you won’t step in it and fall on your butt, or does it smell worse so when you fall in it everyone knows why you fell and what you fell in?) The suit will be easily rinsed off, no hair, hay or mare pee will stick to it.

So if you are driving by a pasture, see an astronaut out flinging hay to a bunch of fat entitled horses, stop and say hi.

How to crash a dream.

 

So I get a phone call today from a guy who has a mare and he wants to know how he can make money breeding her to have babies. He wants to know how many babies a year a horse can have, how much a breeding to a stallion is, and how much he can sell resulting babies for once born. And how many days or weeks after being foaled they can be sold. I ask him a few questions about the mare he’s proposing to breed. First is she registered? How much has she been shown? Has she had babies before? How old is she?

So he tells me the mare was given to him she’s not registered, she’s not broke to ride,  she is 24 yrs old and you can barely even catch her. I explained the mares only have one baby every 11 to 12 months, And it is not worth breeding a mare that has never been shown had babies when she is not a useful mare. Also a mare as old as his will likely either not take when breeding, or may miscarry, or have trouble foaling. The mare will need her shots, deworming and feet done during all this time. Plus high quality feed. Also foals must stay with their mother at a minimum 3 months, 6 is better. Also the foals will need to be halter broke and be good with having their feet worked with. They will need their shots and dewormed. 

 I then went on to explain the costs involved in the 18 months from breeding to sale of foal. These are bare averages, they could be more or less. There are many other costs, but start with these.

 Minimum cost of Breeding and mare care.                                $1000

 18 months of farrier care for the mare.                                        $450

 18 months of dewormer for mare.                                                 $110

 18 months of quality feed from a feed store.                             $3100

 Vet care for mare and mare/foal.                                                  $400

 Immunizations if done by owner.                                                   $240

                                                                                                           ————

Total                                                                                                  $5300

 Average price of unregistered foal $400

Poor guy was quiet for a very long time. Then he asked me if I want a free horse. 

 

Saddle for sale

You would think selling a saddle would be pretty straight forward. I can sell anything else, non horse related, without getting the crazies I get selling anything remotely to do with equines.

16″ western saddle for sale.

Old handmade roping saddle, has seen a lot of use. Still in very useable shape, well oiled and broke in. Has minor scuffs all over saddle and dally marks on horn, nothing major. Saddle over all sound. Semi QH bars. Medium oil with basketweave tooling. Very deep slick seat. All leather ties newly replaced. All rigging has been checked and oiled, fenders are solid, stirrups are rawhide wrapped oak. Solid sound rawhide wrapped hardwood tree. Weighs about 60 pounds. No trades. $275 call xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Now I think my ad is pretty complete. No confusion. (I am really stupid.) Just because I am sure this ad is full of information, pretty complete, answers many questions, doesn’t mean a bloody thing.

The following is a short list of some of the questions I received.

Is the seat adjustable?

Do you have an adult sized Saddle? My butt is a 42″ (I really like this one)

How do you remove the semi QH bars? I want to use it on my registered QH.

Will this fit a pony and my kids? (Kind of get a mental picture of saddled children)

If this is only 16″ isn’t it just a toy?

So this is only good for someone under 60 pounds!?

You can’t sell handmade saddles they are not safe, don’t you know that? (Cowboys and indians all over the West should have waited for factory saddles)

What kind of Horn is it made of? (WTH This one threw me for awhile)

Is this good for sex games? (Hmmmm, what?)

What happened to the seat to make it slick? Is the padding completely gone?

Ad says it is broke in, but doesn’t say where it is broken or if it can be fixed?

Do you still have the leather fenders? I don’t rope cows so don’t need solid fenders. (Mental pic of ’50’s Cadillac fenders on a saddle)

What are dally marks? (Marks on horn from catching the rope on horn to stop momentem of cows. This is a fair question, I only included it to add the following question.)

You spelled daily wrong. (Um nope)

How much would you sell if for without the rigging? I don’t rope. I just ride trails.

Will this fit my husband? (Does this follow the sex games question or ? I wonder if she a) wants to ride more comfortably on her husband’s  back or b) thinks I have intimate knowledge of her husband to know the size of his butt.

Has this saddle been used?

Will this fit other horses beside semi QH?

How tall a horse will this fit?

Will this fit my horse?

Will this fit a Cow?

Is it heavy?

I am just beginning to ride, Does it have a seatbelt? Or is that what the ties are for?

Is roping the brand name?

How old is this horse?

Has this horse been shown much?

What if my horse can’t put it on? (Now I am really confused.)

Can you ride in this Saddle? (I can, but not sure about you.)

Would it be lighter without the tree thing?

Do you have the title or papers for this?

Would you take $50? I don’t  think anyone will buy It is handmade, but I can’t be picky I need a saddle.

Is this good for dressage?

Is delivery or mailing included? (They are 1900 miles away. Mailing a 60 pound saddle with boxing heavy enough not to disinigrate under the stress would be prohibitive in price. And though I love road trips, nope.)

In the end, I donated it to the 4H.

 

 

 

 

 

Trail ride adventure.

Giving riding lessons to teenagers is a gateway drug to them. Soon they are wanting to go on a ‘real’ ride, out on the trail. Eventually you have to capitulate and load up the horses and go out to an over used local horse trail.
The day was sunny but not too warm. A perfect spring day to go on a trail ride. So of course every idiot, including me and 3 students, all descended with various levels of riding ability, to the tolt line trail. I had misgivings after watching one woman back her horse trailer half up on a bright red Mazda while her husband who was suppose to be directing her lit up his cigarette. He then stuffed the cigarette he had just lit back in his shirt pocket, ran for the truck, only to start howling as he was ripping off his cheap cowboy shirt that was sending up layers of colorful smoke. Later I found out it had melted to the copious hair on his chest acting like a cheap wax job.
We got the horses feet cleaned out and checked for cracks and lesions. Ran a quick brush over the already groomed horses to get rid of road dust from the short trip, then tacked up and ready to ride.
To the right of us a woman pulled out a grey rangy looking horse that was glaring around with a murderous light in its single eye. He had red and green ribbons both tied into his tail. Taking this a teaching opportunity, I pointed him out to my students and explained that a red ribbon meant the horse was a kicker, and the green ribbon meant he was inexperienced on the trail or spooked easily. I told them we would give that horse a wide berth.
Across from us was a very pretty tall black mare and an adorable sorrel pony with a flaxen mane and tail. The pony had a white ribbon in his tail. I pointed him out to my students explaining that the white ribbon meant the pony was for sale. I quickly grabbed a white ribbon out of the trailer and tied it on my bay geldings tail. Maybe I could get rid of Bush. He was pretty enough, but not terribly bright and had a trot like bricks falling off a truck.
We waited about 10 minutes after the grey was out of sight down the nearer trail and we headed down the opposite one. A young guy on a little Arab mare asked if he could join us as his mare had never been on this trail before. She was still green and he didn’t take her on new trails alone, and his friends had not shown up.
The first hour was very pleasant. The young man was quite a good rider, and my three teenaged girls were drooling over him or his pretty little Arab. Both oblivious to being so admired. We were all having a good time. I was turned around in my saddle talking to my students, telling them something about trail and bridge etiquette as there was a much used bridge coming up. All my horses would happily splash through the knee high creek and get a drink. So to let them do so so others could use the bridge.
I heard shouting behind us and the young man helped get the girls off the side of the trail in record time. Then with the shouting I heard hoof beats. Running ones. Bearing down on us was the black mare and the pony. The pony was tied off to the saddle horn of the black mare. On the pony was a terrified, white faced girl of about 6-7 years old. No one was on the black.
I was young and stupid back then. I was also much more athletic. The gelding I was on was pretty green, useless for much of anything except walk trot on a trail, and lazier and dumber than a 4 yr old quarter horse had any right to be. I tried to move his fat butt in line to stop the black mare. She was not impressed and raked her teeth down his neck, scaring the stupid beast into backing into the rope securing the pony. He then leaped forward. Somehow I made the decision to jump onto the black mare to get her under control.
Somehow, amazingly I made it into the blacks saddle. She spun impressively on her haunches, leaping into the middle of the creek, dragging the poor pony with her. It was then I realized the mare had no bridle or halter of any kind on. Oh shit.
The mare was running down the trail and I was wondering what I was doing on a run away mare I didn’t own.
All thoughts right now were for the girl on the pony. I tried to work on the knot, but realized immediately that I was never going to get that knot undone under these conditions. I dug out my pocket knife and went to work. Catching every third branch in the face as I cut at the rope. After stabbing myself in the hand quite severely, I managed to get the rope cut.
The mare freed of her anchor, puts on speed. She was frothing by this time. I am trying to use my weight to slow her and also looking for a good place to dive off. Mainly I am hoping she is going to get tired and slow down and not collapse.
We are in an open area now. Ahead of us I see the rangy grey horse with the Christmas colored tail ribbons. What else does this day have in store for me? He also has no rider. He is looking at me with a surprised expression and a mouthful of grass.
The demon mare heads straight for him. I am wondering if she stops to take him on if I can get off and get out of this mess without injury. Or if they had this planned and she has brought me out here for the 2 of them to sacrifice to their evil god.
The grey leaps forward intercepting demon spawn (as I have not so fondly begun thinking of her), and checks her with his chest and shoulder. I am preparing to leap, but with the sudden lack of forward momentum of the mare I fly off over the grey landing better than I could of hoped, but directly behind that festively bedecked tail. I have the wind knocked out of me, so I weakly roll a couple of times hoping to get out of dangers reach. I lose a couple of minutes. Next thing I am really aware of is the young guy on the little Arab cantering up and the grey screaming. I find he is literally standing over me, in a protective stance. Now he is challenging the little Arab mare.
I drag myself to a sitting position and this one eyed grey is nuzzling me and ‘talking’ to me like a mare encouraging a new foal.
I finally wave off the nice young man and grabbing a hold of greys hackamore. I get to my feet. I pet and scratch the grey, check his cinch and bridle out, make sure he is not injured and with help from from my new friend mount him. I am in the saddle when I realize Demon spawn is gone. As we are riding back to my students, Bradly, my new friends name, tells me that when the mare leapt into the creek it divested the pony of its young rider. She landed in the creek, without a scratch but soaking wet. I had no idea she wasn’t still aboard. The pony came running right back to his little mistress. Her mother came running up and was with the group of girls and her daughter while Bradly came looking for me. No sign of Demon spawn.
We got back to our little group. It took some time. I didn’t realize how much ground we had covered. The grey was a very responsive beast! He was trained to a treat! He also had lovely gaits, and seemed to flow from one to the other.
There were about 15 other horses and riders and unmounted people around our little group. The grey’s owner was there, also the owner of Demon spawn, whose real name I was to find was Regal Midnight. I think my name fit her better. Also the couple who had tried to park on the Mazda’s hood.
I tried to give the grey back to her owner, but she was having non of it. She finally mounted Bush, my block headed gelding. Along our ride back to the trailers I got the whole story. The woman who owned the grey gelding had bought him only a week or two before. He was suppose to be a great horse, but was missing an eye. So she had gotten a good deal on him. Her friend told her that she should put the ribbons in his tail because since he couldn’t see well, he would spook at horses coming up behind him. (He never did.) She had tied him up to visit with some people she knew, and when she looked around he was gone. She didn’t like riding him because he had ‘too much go’. I figured that probably had to do with her tendency to grip with her legs too much whenever she got nervous. Not that Bush cared. To get him into anything over a walk or slow trot you had to have spurs, the other horses leaving him behind, or be calling him to grain.
The black mares owner had also recently purchased her mare. She had ridden her once before, in a covered arena the day she bought her. She was an ex race horse. As soon as she mounted and tied the pony to her saddle, the mare freaked out. Bucked her off and took off, bent for returning to hell. Probably never ponied another horse in her life. She had decided they were keeping the pony, selling the black.
When I got to the truck, I caught a look at myself in the mirror. I was pretty scary looking. I had a black eye, with a cut over it that had covered my face in blood. Red weals and welts from the branches that had whipped my face. I was missing a chunk of hair. I was filthy, and had random bits of grass, leaves and whatsit in my hair.
So at the end of the day, I got home with some money and 2 horses I didn’t leave home with and missing one I had left with. I had gladly traded Bush for the one eyed gelding I decided to call pirate Jack. Jack was a registered QH 5 yr old gelding, who had lost his eye when only 3 days old. It didn’t bother him a bit. I won quite a few trail completions and even some endurance rides with him. He filled out really well with good food and regular riding. He was also a great lesson horse, and a total sweetheart once he got to know someone.
I also had Demon Spawn. She was there for training. Also because I was able to catch her. She ended up being a lot better with a bridle on. I retrained her for dressage and she sold to a nice man who did very well with her.
The students went back to lessons, real trail rides were not the adventure they had dreamed of I guess.

Big mean Appy

So some people make me scratch my head and say ‘What the hell.’

Ok, so almost all people make me do that, but let’s not go there. Horse people in general have a bit more common sense than other people. Because they don’t stay horse people very long if they don’t. But sometimes, there is that one you wonder how they ever get through a day. Case in point is the next story I am about to share with you.

I get a call from a woman who has a friend with a horse who has some issues and needs a retrain. I don’t know this woman. She saw me the day before at the trail challenge and asked for my card. I almost remember her. Have no idea who she is, but she is talking to me like we are related, old friends or some such. Her friend has a few spot Appy who is aggressive and has no manners and keeps going through fences and then is hard to catch. ‘Because you know how bad Appies are!’ The owner is planning on taking him to auction if something can’t be done with him.

Now, I love Appies. Always have. People keep telling me that Appies are hard headed, mean, untrainable, un catchable,  not personable, standoffish, pissy, don’t like people, all this bull crap. I have no idea why poor Appies have this designation. Most people are way bigger asshats on a good day than my Appies. Mine are all large puppies who want nothing more than a belly scratch and a cookie and love to go for rides or to pull stumps as long as I pay attention to them. Hell, mine will come in the house looking for me if I forget to shut the door. Hard to catch? Hell no! I can’t get them to go away! Trying to work on the fence and they want their butt scratched and licking the back of my head until my hair looks like I got it caught in a cotton candy machine. I am flapping my arms, yelling at them, throwing horse poo. They steal my hammer and dump my bag of nails and begin masticating my hat. One shit in/on my can of Pepsi. Sigh.

Anyhow, I call the woman with the problem horse. Make arrangements to go see him. She is telling me how he is not friendly at all. Runs her over at the gate. Beat the shit out of her barrel horse. Knocked her down when she was taking feed out to the pasture. (Hint, don’t carry feed out. Throw it over the fence. Hungry horses, dogs or teenagers can be over enthusiastic.)

So I go see this poor horse. Yes, I am on the horses side before I even see him. Rarely are issues with a horse the horses fault. 85% of the time it is the owner. If you are driving a car and hit a tree, you were most likely texting, drunk or speeding right? How many times have you heard of the throttle getting stuck and steering locking up? The tree trying to commit suicide by car?  Yeah, see there?

Something wrong with your horse? One of 5 things. 1) Pain issue. Your fault. Get a vet, chiropractor, whatever. Figure it out, fix pain, problem usually goes away or the horse gets retired. 2) Lack of training, yours or the horse. Your fault. Train horse, take lessons, get a horse more suited to your level of riding,  get a trainer, stop confusing the poor horse. 3) Too much, too little or poor feed. Not enough exercise, kept in too small an area or lack of social interaction with other horses. Your fault again. Fix it! If you don’t know, ask someone. Ask a trainer,  your vet, someone who can see your horse, your feed, the place your horse is kept, not idiots on Internet chat sites or Facebook! Get a clue people. Beware of idiots offering advice. If their horses look like crap and try to bite your face off, or they don’t have horses, or they pay someone else to care for their horse, they have had horses less time than you or less than 5 years, they are probably not an expert! I have had horses for most of my 51 years and I still research stuff and ask questions. So if they have all the answers, they are an idiot, and you are a moron for listening to them. Rant over. 4) Bad maintenance. You need to keep their feet done properly. That means the best farrier, not the cheapest. Angles all correct. Feet cleaned regularly. No fungus. Clean coats and skin. Fly control, tick control. Fly masks when needed. Shade and shelter from wind and rain. Regular interaction from you to meet their emotional needs as well. Tack that fits properly, is in clean good condition. Free of stiff spots, creaky places, rough spots, pokey jabby spots. Anything that can make them hurt or uncomfortable. If you don’t get to shower, feel dirty and itchy, your feet hurt, your pants are too tight and your bra (or tighty whiteys for you guys) is full of hay or bugs, you have been ignored by your best friend until they want you to do something for them, no coffee, you are going to be a bitch. They feel the same way! Your fault, your fault, whack upside the head! 5) The horse is a phycho, abused, or an asshole. Could be your fault, but not relevant. Also less than 15% of problem horses I see are in this category.

I get to her house, her horses are in the back yard. The first one I see is a fairly nice looking horse, but has halter rub marks on its face. Big pet peeve of mine. Don’t leave halters on your horse. No reason I can accept. She brings me to see the horse. He is a body score of about 1.8. Very thin. I can tell by looking he has been this way for a while. Why is it that when ever I see a horse like this the person tells me they rescued the horse and they used to be so much thinner and they have gained so much weight, but they have no pictures. Also she told me on the phone she had him a little over a year. Hmmmm? So she tells me if I want to get him out I can, but she won’t as she is pregnant and he has no ground manners and runs her over.

I go in with him. He comes right up to me and I scratch him all over. He is digging it. I am a Master horse scratcher, just so you know. I put a halter and lead on him. Check his feet. His teeth, his back and legs. He hasn’t been brushed in a coons age. His feet smell like cabbage, clothes left in the washer for several days wet and 2 week old broccoli. His breath is almost as bad. Smells like asparagus farts. His sheath is swollen and hot. I am not going to describe that smell, this is a family channel and just the memory makes me a bit queasy. He has a bean the size of a Buick. His teeth need floated and he has some fungus on his back. He tries to push to the gate, but I ask him to stand then lead him through just fine. His head dives  for the grass as soon as his feet hit the green. I am impressed by this ‘big mean appy’ letting me poke and prod him all over. But she starts in on how I can see how he went for the grass without my permission, how he tried to push through the gate, how he stepped on her foot and pulled the hay away from her when she was trying to feed ‘her’ horse. And how he beat the crap out of ‘her’ horse when she was trying to give that horse grain.

I pick up my jaw off my chest and ask her if she gave this horse grain? Nope. He doesn’t get ridden so he doesn’t need as much feed. He doesn’t need grain. Also she has been told if she doesnt feed him he wont be so aggressive. Uh huh. Problem found. (BTW starved dead horses are rarely aggressive, but still not a good plan!) This horse is freakin hungry. He is beating up ‘her’ horse to get food. Running her over to get to the hay or running through the gate to get grass. Here is the problem. I try to explain it to her. Next thing I know. She gives me the mean Appy for a heck of a deal.

He is fat in my pasture now. Feet clean and sweet smelling. Coat shines and clean except when he rolls in the mud. (What the hell gene do white horses have that makes mud rolling imperative?) Fly wipe, grain, attention, a retrain, sheath cleaned, bean removed, teeth floated, horsey friends and Leo (new name too) is one of the sweetest horses on the property. I am going to bawl my head off when he gets a new home. This is easily a $1500 horse now, if not more for a sweet 8 year old 15.2hh ++ gelding. But because of ‘user error’ he almost went to auction. And my friends wonder why I am anti social and prefer my horses to people?

Horse sales rule #7

If any of your potential buyers makes reference to just having seen any horse movie, ie; Black Beauty, Seabiscuit, National Velvet, or any other, tell them you have sold all your horses or have the plague. This is the buyer who knows nothing about horses other than the 3 times they rode on their Grandpa’s farm when four years old, and just remembered horses when they saw the latest movie. Beware, the have the potential to make you pull out your hair while they compare every one of your horses to the movie horse or Grandpa’s plow horse. None of your horses can measure up to their imagined ideal.