Hey blogland! I Need Help!

Hey blogland.

I was going to post about Ranger today. Instead, I have to see if, in the collective blogland, someone knows someone or something about erosion or the EPA or environment and could help me.

See, just about 8 year ago, I bought my house. And, turns out, there was a really large pipe in the back yard. Like 30 feet long. And there is no permit. The EPA found out (thanks to a neighbor) because the township didn’t care about it.

We found someone to remove it. Then he fell off the face of the earth. Then January we found someone else, but we needed to find a neighbor’s property for access. This is hard when we’ve never met the neighbor’s (back up to us at the edge of our 4 acres) and you have to drive to get to their driveway so it’s about 2-3 miles to their house by car. I mailed a note, but never heard anything. The one guys wife died so that might have been it? The other property the owner doesn’t live on the premises and there are tenants. Plus there is a minor issue of a STONE WALL. But, evidently this is my problem. Do you all know how expensive it would be to remove a 100 year old stone wall?

But now we’ve waited too long. And they’re mad. Because I should never have listened to their advice. Or ended up in the hospital nor should my husband (it was a bad spring and summer with 2 day long ER stays and 3 weeks of still being sick for me). But, I angered the PTB because I can’t be slow but they can wait 4-5 weeks to respond to me or not respond at all…

Anyway, if we can find access (we’re going to try and locate the neighbor and/or send a certified letter), the excavator can remove it. But, now the EPA wants:

Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.

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Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (or E&S Plan) is a site-specific plan consisting of both drawings and narrative that identifies methods which will be used to minimize accelerated soil erosion and sedimentation (deposition of soil) before, during and after earth disturbance activities.  It is a means to minimize the amount of soil (dirt) that could get washed into the stream during the excavation work that will be done during the removal of the pipe and boulder obstructions in the stream.

An E&S Plan could include methods such as a sandbag stream diversion, silt fence, filtersock, etc.  Whomever will be doing the work to remove the obstruction will be responsible for following the Plan.

Does anyone know who or how I get that done? Anyone have experience? Can anyone help me in anyway so I can stop have a nervous breakdown?

The Batthorse is BACK!

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Red ears!

After not having ridden in 3 weeks, the drought ended Friday. And then the storms came. 4 rides in 3 days? Who am I?

My weekly lessons on Ranger started back up Friday night (thanks to horrific weather and flooding on Thursday) but I’ll save that recap for it’s own post. Still unpacking a lot from that lesson.

Saturday, however, introduced a different ride.

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I’m a little confused. Why is a piece of copper in my mouth? Retired here! — Batt

After nearly a year off, Batt returned to work. My trailer still needs brakes and I’m still trying to figure out if he needs medication pre-ride but I’d rather experiment at home vs out on the trail or when hauling out. And to be honest? I’m still not sure. He coughed some, but not at the walk and really not at the canter. Mostly at the trot and mostly when he was winded or annoyed. Verdict still out.

Coughing above but then downhill 2 seconds later…

I’m assuming he’s resigned to his fate? Or trotting downhill as to the right…

However, cantering was a bit more exciting… a quick “attempt” to “buck” me off was the only fireworks in 2 days (videos are from Sunday’s ride, but he did the same thing on Saturday). Fat quarter horses can’t buck.

Much better. We need to work on straight but…

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So out of shape! We did next to nothing Saturday… 

Right now, I think he needs endurance more than anything. He’s still on steroids and I’m planning to try Respi Free and possible Air Power. But, he’s 100000% fat and out of shape… The heavy breathing I believe is more endurance than heaves.

We mostly walked with some trot laps and a few canter sets to make him happy. And took a cool down walk through the neighboring development to make him happy — he stared longingly at all the driveways he couldn’t explore and shuffled his feet. And in the end was soaked in sweat. Getting back in to shape is hard!

It’s even harder when your MEAN MOM makes you work 2 days in a row…

 

 

Insanity.

Not much to update on or rather not much I’m choosing to update on. Drama in my life right now is pulling all my emotional energy.

But, Batt is chugging along. My car (last Tuesday’s drama involved a failed inspection thanks to a rodent chewing through a fuel line[unexpected] AND new brakes[expected]) is back to being alive. I still need new trailer tires and now that Batt is sort of breathing, I want to start riding again. (Trainer is showing with clients so no lessons last week and this week)

But, since I don’t feel like updating on anything else, here’s a short little video of my idiot horse. Saturday afternoon we had a crazy storm. The humidity dropped. Then another storm was rolling in. Bugs got really bad and the humidity increased dramatically in about 20 minutes. Subi wanted in NOW. This is how we respond to having to wait for evening chores to be finished…

Idiot.

Ranger Recap: Angry horse and Brain=FRIED

3 posts in one week? WHAT?

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Batt doesn’t take very good selfies…

First off, thanks to everyone for your support for Batt. He’s doing OK though I heard him cough this morning… Ugh. I’m going to need more ventipulmin soon so I have a call into the vet for it. Hopefully I can get a refill today so I have an extra bottle in hand vs risking an emergency vet call this weekend (I shouldn’t need it until Tuesday, but I don’t want to risk it).

My lesson last night was…interesting.

We did a lot of work on the flat, really trying to get a nice, round, uphill trot that encouraged Ranger to use his hind end like he does at the canter. I started off throwing away the reins so that didn’t exactly help… We did get there in the end.

Then at the canter, where last week I had too much input, this week, I tried to correct

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Subi’s selfie game is MUCH stronger

that and didn’t give enough. Ugh. I can’t win!!! So, I did try to change that and ride providing a little more input and use more hand. Seriously. I can’t win! We also introduced more circles, riding a large circle into a small 10m circle at the canter which actually worked once I had the right amount of control and use of my outside leg…

Next? The most god awful exercise ever. Well, almost ever.

Basically it was 3 bounces. Flowers (2 ft skinny flower box) — large crossrail — flowers (again 2 ft skinny flower box) on a diagonal. HARDEST. MOST IMPOSSIBLE. EXERCISE. EVER.

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These boys like to go inside the second the weather is less than ideal.

We struggle with this evil thing forever as I fought to use enough right leg and both hands to keep Ranger straight. It took us about 10 attempts before we made it through the first 2 parts (we did manage to walk over the first 2 parts a couple of times too) but then still failed the out another million and a half times and Ranger was PISSED. I could tell you the point of all of this but I had such an ANGRY HORSE who I managed to try and keep from bolting and dragging, but… after we got a guide pole next to the out, we did get over it, but… he was ANGRY. And we almost bolted a few times…

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Acting innocent… And begging for peppermints.

From here we ended with a figure 8 over an inside single around to an our inside broken line (we went around about 5 times). The first time, my canter was too slow and while the distance was nice to jump 1, everything fell apart to the line and we got slower and uglier and angrier. I tried to get more pace to the first fence and I did, but the distance wasn’t quite as nice and I still screwed up the in of the line and the rest of it wasn’t much better. Continuing around, the single got better and I stopped thinking about the last exercise, but we took a flyer to the in before surviving the out… Finally we put it together for the last 2 times through and had the pace, which allowed me to focus on the turns which allowed the distances to be there.

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Ranger says, “see ya!” and Coco stays to see if I have more treats…

The humidity was awful and we ended at that point. It probably took about 4 repetitions before Ranger let his anger over the previous exercise go and actually started listening… If it hadn’t been so hot, I’d had cantered him around a few times just to get his focus back on me, but… Oh well.

It was just one of those days. Angry Horse days.

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Photo wall at work

 

Recurrence of heaves: the saga of Batt’s struggle to breathe

Michele said she’d fall off her chair if I blogged 3x this week. Here’s blog 2 of 3. I’ll be shocked if she comments on all 3!

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This guy isn’t feeling too hot. 

I alluded to Batt’s struggle with mild heaves a little in the past. It’s never been completely under control, but it’s never been terrible. There are thing I could probably do better (such as, no round bales, but at the same time, the quality of his round bales are often better than my squares so… my round bale guy is fabulous about making sure I get non-dusty bales). In the past, I’ve supplemented MSM, which has helped, and turmeric, which has also helped, and also added in generic zyrtec. Flax helped A LOT but was a trigger for his impaction colic so the risks outweighed the benefits there. I’ve tried a slew of other supplements and some helped, some didn’t and many helped sort term (Heave Ho I’m looking at you).

With this past year’s crop of square bales basically being crap (thank you rain), I purchased a hay steamer, and that has helped a lot. But, like everything else, things help only so much…

The past couple of weeks, Batt has gotten more and more agitated as humidity has increased. I’ve increased grass thinking that if he were off hay, at least part time, that might help (no). Low humidity days, were better, high humidity days, not so great. My farrier came out about a week and a half ago and mentioned the obvious, humidity makes breathing hard. And with all the rain we’ve had over the last 2 years, there is so much more mold out there. Of course. ::head–>desk::

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100% humidity at 6AM. It’s soup outside.

Around Wednesday/Thursday, the coughing increased to the point that I tossed a dex packet in his dinner grain to see if it would help. And by morning? Much better. So we reduced it down to a half a packet for a few days. Monday night? I completely forgot (bad mom). Yesterday morning? He had reached a point where I stood there at his stall at 6am considering an emergency vet call. He was hacking, gasping, and spewing food everywhere as he tried to breath and eat (world’s sloppiest eater anyway).

img_0381I tossed in some dex just to see how quickly it would work any headed inside. By the time we went to turn out, he was already looking better. Some coughing, but you could see the dex doing its work. Emergency vet call averted.

Calling the vet during business hours resulted in an Rx for prednisalone and Ventipulmin (we were able to bypass the visit for now as she had recently seen him). Other than crying over the cost (OMG a 100ml bottle of Ventipulmin directly from the vet, ::cries:: I don’t know if my vet writes Rx as legally, in PA, they are not required to), he is feeling SO MUCH BETTER as of this morning. He can breathe, he isn’t coughing, and seems comfortable.

img_0822Going forward, he’s on a decreasing dose of ventipulmin for the next few days though if it works, we’ll talk about keeping him on a tiny dose (NOOOO), seeing how he does without it, or saving it for bad attacks (hopefully). He’ll probably be on the prednisalone (thankfully not prednisone as I can handle this without fearing allergic reactions!) daily after a 2x loading dose last night for the foreseeable future before dropping down to every other day if possible. If that doesn’t work, we may consider a lower dose (right now, it’s 250mg/day). My wallet cries, but I’m hoping he can at least breathe.

As I now have an insane vet bill, if anyone want to buy a belt, let me know. Sample of some below but I have lots of other patterns as well. Will take pictures of other elastics later.

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Some belts, lots of other possibilities exist! Fully adjustable. 

Ranger Recap: Through the storm

I rode. 2 weeks in a row. What is this witchcraft?

That said, riding was probably NOT the smartest idea. Wednesday night I was nearly knocked unconscious by my idiot chestnut. It was a perfect storm. Bugs. Darkness rolling in. And a stick up his butt. He reared and came down on my head (with his head, but whatever). 5 days later, I still have a sore spot. But, no concussion symptoms yet. But I’m a 7-10 day person so…

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So exhausted (pre-lesson), lol

And Thursday, the weather people were calling for storms. But, it was looking OK. Sun. So I rolled out, humidity and all, tacked up, and hopped on. The previous lesson was running over (as usual) though it was no where near as crowded as before. We got our trotting in. And eventually some cantering. I was doing a decent job riding his back legs, but it took me a few strides to find the balance between riding with too much hand and trusting that he’d stay where I wanted him.

See, I’m probably the only person who asks this of him so…

By the second direction? We found the balance. Ask in the beginning. Lift in the corners. Ask him to lengthen and support himself down the sides. And let go. It was just there. And then our halt? Just there. He was under himself. It was perfect.

So we hung out for a few minutes while the clouds rolled in and the other horses finished jumping. My trainer asked if I minded a little rain… Nope, what’s a little rain? As long as there’s no lightning?

So funny.

We made it into the indoor just in time.

The skies opened up like I’ve never seen before.

Through the deluge, we started in a circle over a cross rail, just keeping him on his hind end, and jumping out of stride. Holy crap. I cannot even explain how much easier everything is when he’s cantering properly like that. Long stride, short stride, IT DOES NOT MATTER.

Next we worked on the long ride down the inside single around to the short ride to the other inside single. I typically have struggled with the first inside single because coming around the corner, Ranger gets strong, drops and drags and in the past, it’s so hard so keep him in check. I can get the stride and the jump, but not out of the canter I want.

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Did I mention this was going on during my lesson????

This lesson? I picked up my canter at the far side and balanced him, making sure out canter was coming from behind. The first time we turned that corner, I felt him try to drop but because he was cantering from behind, I just tugged up and steadied and bam. Everything was there. Single best fence ever (until the next time). I didn’t keep enough leg coming out so we hit a longer spot and, because he was cantering from his hind end, it was all good. But, a touch more energy would have made it nicer.

Taking it all again, brought us to our NICEST JUMP EVER. Through a monsoon. Because, the indoor windows were open and we were riding past a beach wave? So, soaked we both were. Despite being inside. Lol.

But, this time, less fight and more response. And, I was able to add leg for the second fence and it took out the awkward massive spot.

What I notice here, was that if he’s canter from behind, using his hind end, it is SO MUCH HARDER for him to drop and drag. It’s a multi-step process. But if I can keep him here? He’s a different horse. And it’s so much harder for him to drag, get behind the leg, and all that.

Anyway, we ended with our outside line in a 6. Working on our canter coming in–energy–past the in gate and continuing to more forward. Jumps were just there that night and I was able to keep Ranger cantering correctly the entire evening.

Now if we could always ride like that…

25 Questions Blog Hop

Because all the cool kids are doing it. Thanks LWilliams for the blog hop!

1. What is the first thing you do when you get to the barn?

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Waiting for breakfast…

Feed the idiots breakfast. Technically my husband gives everyone a cookie and I all do is feed Subi breakfast while he feeds the rest, but that’s a technicality…

2. Is there a breed that you would never own?

Anything gaited?

3. Describe your last ride?

I blogged about it so go read that…

4. Have any irrational riding fears?

Getting run away with? I don’t like riding horses who have NO BRAKES. Especially horses with no brakes whose mouths you can’t touch (and who take off when you touch their mouths). Not my idea ride… I much prefer having to add leg…

5. Describe your favorite lesson horse?

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Perfection. 

RANGER. No contest at all. Seriously. He is 100% the best. Even if I did buy Batt years ago, he’s no Ranger. Back in pony land, Willy was pretty awesome too, but Ranger is the most amazing lesson horse ever.

6. Would you ever lease out your horse?

Anyone want any of mine? Please?

7. Mares: Yay or neigh?

I’m not a mare person. Hayley doesn’t count because she was more of a gelding than Subi. But I am not a mare person. Granted, she loved my husband and tolerated me so…

8. How many time per week do you get to see your horse?

7 days a week, 2-3-4-5 times a day?

9. Favorite thing to do on an “easy day” with your pony?

Stuff them with treats?

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Anyone want this thing?

10. Conformational flaw that bothers you the most?

Bad feed. Seriously. I hate bad feet.

11. Thing about your riding that you’re most self conscious about?

My build…

12. Will you be participating in no stirrup November?

Nope not my thing.

13. What is your grooming routine?

I’m terrible at the grooming routine. This is partially due to having horses that, until January, lived out 24/7. Once I have electric in the barn, I’ll try and get better with the grooming… Plus, 2 of my 3 hate it so… But, typically it’s a quick brush if they have dirt on them and fly spray now before fly sheets in the morning. Or, brush at night and the other stuff in the morning. Otherwise, just some brushing on the weekend while grazing on the good grass. I’m a terrible mom! Much more grooming happens during shedding season!

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Batt and his new version space alien/superhero fly mask 

14. Describe a day in the life of your horse?

Breakfast is fed in stalls between 6:10-6:20 (weekends around 7-7:30).Turnout around 7:30 (weekends 7:30-8:30). Stalls cleaned after work (or whenever I get to it on weekends). They come in usually before dark between 8 and 8:30 and eat dinner (and stay in for the night).

15. Favorite season for riding?

I like spring ONLY because I have an unnatural hatred for fall. Everything is dying and getting dark. I HATE LOSING DAYLIGHT. I also really hate the angle of the sun in the fall…

16. If you could only have 1 ring: indoor or outdoor?

I prefer having an outdoor with really nice footing. However, at home, I’d love to have an arena. And, I’d actually love to have an indoor so I could use it for turnout too. So, indoor at home (yes, I’d need a different property for that).

17. What impresses you most about the opposite discipline (english vs. western)?

I love some of the ground manners of western horses.

18. You have unlimited funds to buy one entire tack set for your horse, what is he/she wearing?

I don’t need anything for my horses (except maybe a better bridle for Batt), but in general? Just a really nice well fitting set of tack for a unicorn horse would be nice…

19. How many blankets do you have? When do you blanket?

Let’s not discuss this… too many? Probably 25-30? Blanket when needed. It’s in the low 60s today and Subi is wearing a rain sheet because it’s pouring…

20. What is your horse’s favorite treat? Favorite place to be scratched?

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Free horses, anyone want one? Or 2?

Subi: Peppermints or my homemade cookies. Plus carrots. Will not eat: apples or stud muffins or similar treats

Batt: Anything except for bananas or fig newtons. Favorites include stud muffins and apples and carrots

Jiminy: anything. Favorites include stud muffins and apples and peppermints

They also all like nicker makers.

Subi likes to rub his head against my back which he usually isn’t allowed to do. Jiminy likes head hugs.

21. Something about your barn that drives you crazy?

That I don’t have all weather footing and don’t have more land or a place to ride?

22. Roached manes, pulled manes, or long flowing manes?

I like pulled manes but I don’t pull mine as Subi hates it and he’s retired so I don’t make him. Batts is thin enough so I just trim as needed when I’m not lazy… Jiminy? Well… He has Tina Turner hair… Or Albert Einstein hair depending on the day…

23. Can you handle a buck or a rear better?

I. Don’t. Do. Rearing.

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Marble hanging out with the new load of hay

24. I would never buy a horse who ___________________?

Rears.

25. Favorite facial marking?

I like stars.

Ranger Recap: I rode a horse again!

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Not Ranger but these 2 fools are worthy of photos too.

After almost a month off from riding, I finally rode again!

Between my conference, 1 short, wonderful lesson (that I may or may not have recapped), getting seriously sick, and then Devon, I basically did NOT ride at all in May.

But, it’s June now and I finally got to ride again. And, I remembered how to tack up! I’d say I remembered what I horse looks like, but I sort of deal with those daily. But tack? Yes, I remembered how to do that!

Ranger. I love that horse.

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No photos just food.

Anyway, I was running a touch late and got to the barn to see a whole bunch of trailers… It was strange as Thursdays are usually dead. Anyway, I tacked up, rushed out to the outdoor to see all these people I didn’t know. Seriously. No one. Well, Forrest was in the ring, but other than him? I knew not one horse, pony, or rider. So, I got on, said hi to my trainer, and realized right away that things were running behind. Lol. Anyway, instead of warming up, I walked over to the rail and chatted with my trainer’s sister instead for about 10-15 minutes (because even though I was late, I still made it into the ring with 10 minutes to spare before my lesson started…)

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This duo… no words. 

Finally, I had brief trot warm up before another long walk break… Then to canter? I basically was used to teach a rider in the previous direction her leads. So, I’d canter some, she’d tell me if I were right or wrong (FYI, I always picked up my correct lead), then I’d walk or halt, and try again. It was… an interesting exercise for her and annoying for me and Ranger.

Eventually they all finished up and left the ring and norm restored.

We warmed up over our outside line (far side next to the pasture), working on riding Ranger’s back legs in a bouncy collected canter in an adding 7. No issue at all. Next, same line in a more forward 6 but still riding the back legs without adding speed. Fail. I got the 6, but rode his front end not the back end. So, we went back to the 7 to get the feel of the bouncy short stride coming from behind, no issue before maintaining that and just letting go and adding leg. Got it. And the 6 was right there.

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ring from my last lesson but I’m pretty sure most of it hasn’t changed

From here, we moved on to our next course: inside single (stone pillar standards) towards the barn/in gate, inside broken line (straw bales to straw bales — white standards by both mounting blocks to the white wing standards) in a 7 around to the outside line in a 6.

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Barn kittens in a stall… 

The first time we were heading directly to the single with a perfect canter to a perfect distance and suddenly chipped. A certain idiot (you choice who is at fault) decided that it was A-OK to drop and drag at the last second so chip we did… a quick halt and back and we started over again. Take two included a tug up and no drop and drag and a lovely forward distance. The broken line was nice (I’m getting so much better now at riding the bouncy canter and his hind end) the outside line was good as well. I would have even been happy to end there.

But, we don’t do things just once. After all, since I haven’t ridden in a month, why end on doing some well once? So we did it again. And you know what? It was even better. Ranger was bolder on both lines so I didn’t need to add as much leg while also focusing on keeping everything rocking back. He was just there. I’d say eventually he’ll get there naturally, but… I’m the only one asking so probably not. Still, he fights me less and less each time so, yay?

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Ranger says later!

In turnout news, it appears Ranger has divorced (been divorced from) his BFFs Mikey and Forrest and now has a new BFF Coco. He’s less than enamored with Coco but give him time?

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Ranger’s new turnout buddy, Coco