December 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm
When I realized I wasn’t getting email notification of interesting posts, I contacted the forum folks and asked why this was happening. Guru Jennifer said she would find out. She and her staff turned themselves inside out for about three weeks, trying to pinpoint the problem. One tech even mimicked my settings so he would get exactly what I saw on my computer monitor. But I still wasn’t getting email notifications, and the days I forgot to check in became more and more frequent. Finally she suggested that I check MY settings. I had somehow (or maybe it was my cat, walking across my keyboard–and if it wasn’t, maybe I’ll blame Poppy anyway) changed my settings. I had 69 emails from this forum in “bulk mail.” Duh.
Smartpak, thank you for a super Christmas present!December 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm
I’ll say Yea Smartpak too. I’ve missed you Joan! Glad to see you back – and if you are so inclined – do brag about your weather. I can enjoy it vicariously. It is currently 37degrees and foggy here.
Regardless of the weather, daughter insists on our Christmas Day tradition of riding – horses in red polos and red saddle blankets – and Mischief will wear his Santa hat. (Carmagirl is too dignified to permit further holiday accoutrements especially those worn about the head.) We deliver cookies to neighbors and say Merry Christmas, so I hope it’s warm and dry enough to enjoy it. Send us some California weather, will ya?
Also in praise of Smartpak – the supplements that both of my horses are getting have produced wonderful results. Smartpak’s customer service is top rate, and dealing with them is always a pleasure. Well done, Smartpak.
Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...December 22, 2014 at 9:28 pm
I completely agree about the extrememly high level of customer service. Not only have I received several emails regarding a question, people spent ages on the phone helping me make a choice. It is rare, and to be cherished.
Wish everyone everywhere on every planet a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and good riding weather.
It is never the horse's faultDecember 22, 2014 at 10:48 pm
MERRY CHRISTMAS! to you too J-J! And in the New Year, may you require a tree two feet taller for Joe-Joe’s blue ribbon bounty in 2015!
Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...December 23, 2014 at 5:20 am
Thank you Mapale! Will this tree come with a room in which to put it? I have an older house, typical waterman’s residence (2 up, 2 down) and the ceilings are not even 8 feet high!
Can’t put one outside – we’ve had nothing but rain, mist, fog, mud and more rain for what feels like forever. I need a bigger boat (maybe a ferry), as it is getting difficult to get my pocket size car back to the field.
It is never the horse's faultDecember 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm
Really? You want me to brag about our weather? Okay–here goes! We’re having our second Indian summer. Temps warm enough yesterday that I rode Boo in the ring first, and then outside. She much prefers outside, and I am getting accustomed to four reins. (Two are connected to a running martingale which I suspect I will never use. Saddle seat people automatically put one on a trail horse whether the horse needs it or not.) Sunny and warm, but enough wind was blowing that I had a windbreaker on. Boo was fine up and down hills, and I KNOW she has never been in this kind of terrain before. She was also fine when I decided to see what she’d do bushwhaking–some horses want to think about it first when they don’t see trail ahead of them. Boo is not one of them. She walked between two live oaks that littered my jacket with twigs and leaves without speeding up or slowing down. Has a good mind, this one. I’m going again after I finish this. A little warmer, but also windier.
Another thing to marvel at. We had a very rainy week early this month, and grass is already coming up on the foothills. It’s actually green–in keeping with the season.
Everybody–I second Mapale and Joe-Joe. Have a wonderful Christmas with those you love, and may all your hopes and wishes come true in the New Year!December 23, 2014 at 5:08 pm
Our temperatures have been okay, but I don’t remember this sun you mention. Nothing but fog, rain, gloom, fogdrops and mud. It is over my ankles at the gates.
It is never the horse's faultDecember 28, 2014 at 7:38 pm
Oh dear–“this sun” I mentioned? That bad, huh? It was so beautiful in Acton that I really didn’t feel like interrupting my riding schedule to go to the mountains. But this is John’s down-time retreat, so I said sure, I’d love to go. I can actually get a lot done up here, especially if we don’t take the horse. That leaves only the dogs to worry about–no cats that think if they accidentally kick some kitty litter out of the box, then it’s okay to pee on it and not use the box at all. Darn orange cat!
I do sympathize with mud, though. I have gotten stuck only twice back home. Once I got stuck in our driveway (!) because in the winter, the low spot is actually a seasonal stream bed, and the ice across it was so slick I couldn’t get any traction. Called Triple A, got a kid who was confident he could just drive the car out without using the tow truck. “I grew up in North Dakota,” he bragged as I handed him the car keys. No deal. Then he COULDN’T tow it. Had to wait for more of that sunshine and then I drove it out myself. The next time I got stuck was on the road itself, one of patches where it was pure mud as slippery as lard. I had to walk home. Hope things have improved, Joe-Joe!December 28, 2014 at 8:24 pm
Joan – they were improving, until the weather monsters promised us lots more rain. At least it isn’t cold, but still we can’t really ride much. The mud is just too deep.
It is never the horse's faultDecember 28, 2014 at 9:28 pm
I rode yesterday and it was so muddy, we slid even high parts in the pastures. Some of the trails were six inches deep in water, and I almost lost a knee on a tree trunk trying to avoid one deep patch of shoe-sucking mud on the trail. Carmagirl sank in a hole and I had a panic attack over her tendons. The horses needed some exercise, so we rode for just a few miles – very carefully – but I worried the whole way. Cold hosed and swabbed on the liniment afterwards and kept an eye on her with the cameras. All fine today. I really really hate this mud. Oh and grooming is wondrous fun, brushing all that mud off after they roll.
Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...December 29, 2014 at 5:39 am
And the rain keeps on coming! Joe Joe manages to get matching stripes of dirt over each eye and behind each ear, but keeps the rest of his face clean. No idea how he does this. I feel as if I haven’t ridden in years because I worry about his skinny little legs. It is so bad at the gate that I have to take care not to get my boots sucked right off my feet. But, it is better than snow or ice. It is nearly as bad as the winter of ’02-’03, when I could hardly get out of the driveway. Need a bigger boat, or at least something with 4 wheel drive, rather than the Matchbox car I currently drive.
It is never the horse's faultDecember 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm
I think I have the answer about The Dodger’s face decoration. I’ve seen similar markings on my horses. First you need very muddy legs, then you get an itch over your eye so you put your head down and rub it with the back of a muddy leg. TaDa! Mud eyebrows.
I credit the SmartPak Rehab Carmagirl gets for the preservation of her tendons in this muck. I was a bit skeptical at first, but am seeing daily evidence of how much stronger she is. I only wish I’d known about it years ago.
Sometimes the smaller cars are easier to dislodge from the snow. I had a Corolla for many years in Colorado. If I got stuck somehow, I’d just get out and shove it out. I wasn’t badly stuck unless the car was buried (Blizzard of ’82 when it snowed four feet for example). 4×4’s are sometimes more trouble than they are worth. Hubby bought a Bronco and took us out into a snow field to try and get stuck so he could use the 4×4 to get us unstuck. Daughter was 9mos. old at the time, so I told him that if he was not able to get us unstuck, he would not have to worry about freezing to death. He would be bludgeoned. He got us out. MEN!
Poor thing ordered a new saddle for me for Christmas. Then they notified him that it would not ship until late January. I received a piece of paper with the order on it for Christmas. La. He made up for it though by buying automatic feeders for the barn.December 29, 2014 at 3:37 pm
He is just so symmetrical – must be a Type A personality. His legs are really just fine, but compared to some of the other horses we have (most of them), they look spindly. I guess it is partly the difference between a purebred hot horse and a not so hot one.
With the exception of his whiskers and ears, he never needs any trimming when spring arrives, because his coat is so fine. Makes life easier, considering his attitude towards clippers. He hates the sound of chainsaws, so maybe he thinks clippers are mini-saws?
It is never the horse's faultDecember 29, 2014 at 7:27 pm
Luckily I have never ridden in mud like the two of you describe. Since we live in the foothills, what “soil” we have is mostly decomposed granite, so the drainage is excellent. (I do have to dig a channel in the riding ring so the water runs off.) We have occasional pockets of greasy clay, which is what makes parts of our road so treacherous. Only once was the trek up the hill to the corral so muddy that it did literally did suck one of my rubber boots off. What worries me more than anything about riding when the ground is wet is quicksand. Nearly every spring we get at least one rider who decided to follow a streambed because the footing looked so good. And then somebody has to airlift the poor horse out.
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