How to survive the arctic tundra…

The Mid-Atlantic has turned into the arctic this past week and this coming week isn’t that much bettering (though it looks a little better even if next Friday/Saturday look pretty awful.


Needless to say, my focus has been keeping my ponies warm and surviving a trip to Connecticut that included a night without heat. On Tuesday before I left, I noticed Subi was having issues walking on the frozen ground and was sulking by his husband assured me that each morning he’s been at the round bale eating hay (my guys live out 24/7) so I tried not to worry and basically just dragged him forcefully from his tree to the paddock where we keep the round bale. Once there, he stuffed his face with hay. At dinner around 9pm, we moved him back to his tree and he happily inhaled a bucket of warm soaked alfalfa-timothy cubes, beet pulp, soaked sentinel senior, and omalene 200. We figured as usual, he’d walk back to the bale.

Freezing cold CT. Frozen lake anyone?

The next morning, he was still at his tree, upset and cold from having eaten no hay all night. In a panic, I found an old pair of Batts’s hoof boots and threw them on. While they weren’t the best fit, they fit and instantly I could see some relief in my old pony. He ate breakfast and a bucket of chopped hay and then I directed my husband to lead him into the paddock with a halter to the round bale. With each step, he grew more confident and sure footed and I breathed a sigh of relief and left the house only 15 minutes late to head to my mom’s to head to CT. For the next 2.5 days, after each meal, my husband led Subi back to the hay to ensure he ate properly. (To ensure Batty was drinking, he got extra water in his soup. Jiminy? He wanted to eat in the shed. No one catered to that request).

But I’m cute! Why doesn’t anyone love me?

Grumpy child. The Grumpy Chestnut. 

While I was away, I researched boots and chatted with my part time boss and friend. She has her senior in Easyboot Clouds. It was late by the time I got home Friday so on Saturday I measured him (there are things I trust my husband to do. This is NOT one of them), went back and forth on size, and finally placed an order through Amazon when I saw 1 day free prime shipping with Sunday delivery. Guaranteed 12/31 delivery.

So imagine my frustration when I get shipping notification for 1 of 2 boots. Yep. 1 boot shipped the other did not. New arrival date of Tuesday because this is so helpful. Meanwhile, the the right Cavallo is starting to rub Subi’s heal… but the Clouds fit so yay for that?

The Arctic tundra was also leaving my delicate flower cold as well despite 3 blankets (2 mediums and a sheet). Dover put their Northwinds on sale (@50% off) so we picked up a heavyweight detach-a-neck. Of course, while I wanted a detach-a-neck, I didn’t realize that’s what I bought and thought I just got the last 78″ heavyweight they had and the last medium neck cover. So now I have to go back and return the neck cover. But, he seems warm (FINALLY) with the heavy and a medium and a neck so that’s good.


The Arctic tundra was also leaving my delicate flower cold as well despite 3 blankets (2 mediums and a sheet). Dover put their Northwinds on sale (@50% off) so we picked up a heavyweight detach-a-neck. Of course, while I wanted a detach-a-neck, I didn’t realize that’s what I bought and thought I just got the last 78″ heavyweight they had and the last medium neck cover. So now I have to go back and return the neck cover. But, he seems warm (FINALLY) with the heavy and a medium and a neck so that’s good.

So happy and warm! Even though it was snowing… Evil snow. 


I braved the elements today to reblanket Batts and Jiminy. Batty was almost sweaty yesterday with his sheet and medium but with the 15 degree drop to our high he was shivering today so he’s got on 2 mediums as does Jiminy. Jiminy would prefer just to move inside the house though he’s making due with sharing the shed with Batts. Subi’s working on the round bale we stuck out this morning.

As for me, I still haven’t warmed up from late morning round bale/blanketing. And in 45 minutes, it’s time to go feed dinner.


He just got so much older this year… Between not tolerating the ground, the cold, and his arthritis bothering him… 😦 But he seems so content here (his eyes in particular). And he’s crazy fat under his blanket. But still, I hate seeing him like this!


May the arctic move on… now! And Happy New Year!

Dreary day and random thoughts about blankets

It’s a really ugly, rainy, dark, depressing, dreary, disgusting Wednesday (I started with the Ds and just couldn’t stop). I should be doing something productive, like work, but instead, here I am.

The weather is strangely warm and will be warm tomorrow (high close to 70) which is really strange at the end of October. It’s going to cool off by the weekend, but looking at the long range forecast, we’re going to be back at 70 next Thursday? This fluctuation is driving me crazy. I had blankets on a couple weeks ago, we had frost as recently as yesterday (or was it Monday?), and now warm and rain (and 70s and sun tomorrow)? I don’t know what to wear to work anymore!

I also need to spend the time and go through blankets. Warm temps are not helping me find the motivation! Jiminy is all set (thankfully someone is!) but I need to figure out how Subi and Batt are doing. Subi should be good in terms of weighted blankets (though I really need to do some laundry as I never quite got there this summer… oops.), especially now that he has Hayley’s old (new) heavy weight that actually fits him nicely. He has his Horze Avalanche as well and that seems to be in good shape though I may need to re-waterproof that one just to be safe. He’s also got some various Rider’s blankets that fit (one in good shape, the other with misc. repairs) and a pair of old statelines (10 years old at this point) that work really well as backups. That said, his rainsheet isn’t great though I think it’s still waterproof? It should work if I can manage to reattach a back leg strap…

Batt, on the other hand, is king of hand me down blankets. His old rhino (originally Hayley’s) fits him really well, but the waterproofing is gone. His pink argyle smartpak blanket has seem much better days (again, a Hayley blanket) and doesn’t actually fit that well, but it’s a good spare. He also has a heavy Horze Avalanche (well, 2 if I repair Hayley’s old one) so he should be set. BUT, because he only has 1 that fits well that’s NOT a heavy and that blanket may never be really waterproof again, I’m debating getting him a new medium weight. Hopefully one that fits and then I can relegate the Rhino to be a spare (I’ve had it since 2009? and bought it used…). Thinking about getting him one of the SStack ones since I love Jiminy’s and while I’m at it, I could also get Subi a new sheet…

But, of course, do I really need MORE blankets? It’s really an unhealthy collection I have. But, if they’re not completely dead, I hate throwing them out. I also hate using the ones that don’t fit that well or are partially dead… While I do have a crazy amount of blankets, my guys live out 24/7 in ALL conditions. So, depending on the temps, Subi may wear either 2 heavy weights or a heavy and medium. He spent most of the winter in 2 blankets (usually heavy and medium) but ended up with more when needed. That said, he’s a wimp and shivers when he’s cold so it’s easy to figure him out. Batt wore either 2 mediums, a heavy, or a medium/heavy combo depending on the temps (and what blankets were drying out inside).


Catching up.

So I haven’t posted lately for a variety of reasons. Mainly weather, vacation (over a month ago! How did that happen? I want to go back!), and just the Subi Horse turning into a complete jerk.

So since January the weather has really sucked. It’s been cold and frozen and it’s just been miserable. Really, there is nothing else to say about it. I really haven’t ridden much. I had a good ride on Subi one afternoon in February and he was a saint for ¾ of our ride (I also rode the Batthorse and he was fine, but he always is). The dogs got loose and ran through the broken electric fence and were trying to hang out under Subi and he was fine and careful and really wasn’t bothered. We had a nice ride, he really used himself at the walk and even at the trot. I could have ended there, but… Then I decided to pop over a pop over a half X and all hell broke loose. Actually, he just jumped it as if it were 3ft and tried to buck and crow hop on the landing, but somehow I was actually prepared. We did it several times without much different results, dropped down to a pole, and had the same issue. I think we finally semi-calmly walked over it and I called it a day and hopped off. Walking out of the “ring” he started jumping around like an idiot… Who knows why, but he’s Subi. But that was that. He was 90% good for our ride. Batt was in the ring with us too because I didn’t trust riding Subi alone so that helped some, but honestly, other than the pole issue, he was a good boy.

Fast forward to the weekend and sucky weather. Then the next week Sandra came out to ride and Subi was a complete jerk. He pretty much has a bug up his butt and wanted to jump, play, and buck. I was NOT enjoying it. After a few too many crow hops I jumped off and walked for a minute where he proceeded to be a jerk again. Then we just stood at the mounting block. I ended up back on him and walked a tiny bit in a small circle and then once around, but pretty much called it a day with a tiny bit of success. Sandra and I chatted and I pretty much decided he’s just going to be off until the weather consistently improves and I can ride 5-6x in a row for 2 weeks. Honestly, he’s got energy and needs consistency and I can’t give him that right now. I also need a fenced in area to ride or lunge (or rather free lunge as that’s usually safer with him) which I don’t have. I thought about trying to board him for a month, but I don’t have the money and even if he’s boarded, who knows if I’ll get out enough to make it worthwhile…

I realized though that I need a round pen. Of course, who has $1000+ to spend on one? Not me that’s for sure. However, I have since learned that they are easy to build and Erik’s 100% with me putting one in the yard so hopefully in a few weeks/later this month we will have a round pen! It’ll be on grass for the time being, but hopefully come fall I’ll have the money for a load of sand to stick inside. Then I’ll more or less have all weather footing to keep him in work. My round pen plan is to work him in the pen on the ground for about a week and then work him in the pen on the ground, riding after in the pen for another week+ before I venture out to the “ring” again. I think just having fencing will make me 1000x more comfortable. But, I’m excited about this! Just not necessarily excited about the prospects of renting the 2-man auger again… I still have bruises from putting in our fence this past fall! Oh well… Anyway, the only issue is that the area we’re going with isn’t completely flat, but honestly, who cares… It’ll work for our purposes and I can really get Subi’s butt in gear (and since it’s an enclosed space, I can work on using the actually lunge line seeing that the jerk of a horse is well versed at getting out of his circle when lunging. Add walls.. ha! Success will be mine!).

Meanwhile, me and Sandra are sharing the Batthorse. Rode on Saturday and he was wonderful. Spurs and a dressage whip and he quickly started to understand that he needed to use his butt and carry himself. We got a nice working walk and later a gorgeous working trot. He had one hissy fit but got over it and was a star. He seems to be enjoying his hoof boots as well which helps a lot. We popped him over a pole and later a half x (I need to bring my jumps/standards/poles from my mom’s house…) and he really started enjoying himself. I rode again Sunday and while he wasn’t as good (what can I say, he likes Sandra better), he still tried. Plus I let him canter some which made him happy.  Both days left me with a tired Batts.

We’re also manually clearing out the “ring” better known as the woods where we ride. The previous owner cleared out a oval trail, but there are a lot of small trees/brush/plants/etc. everywhere else. This limits how much we can do. Anyway, Erik has started digging out roots and plants, section by section, so that we can have a bigger ring. We’re going to keep the smaller trees for now, but they may come down in the future. Anyway, he’s trying to make it as same and functional as possible (I have a good husband!). It’ll probably take a few months so finish everything, but it’ll be well worth it. Once we get our harrow this spring, we can drag the ring as well. In the next year or so I would like to put sand down as well and maybe fence it in? I just feel better with a fence! But, the fence is negotiable, the sand is not. But, it’ll be a next year project.

I’m going to try and ride Batts later this week if the weather holds out, but with this snow/rain/who knows what storm coming, we’ll see how things work out. Weather this weekend looks nice though. Mid 50s! I’m just ready for spring!

How things go.

So I’ve been fighting weather and business and haven’t managed to ride much. Of course. I’m finally off from work and the weather has been miserable. Or, the weather is fine and I’m busy with family, holidays, etc.

So I’ve managed to ride twice in the last week. All things considered, that’s not actually terrible. Subi was fabulous on Friday. Lots of carriage work. We even managed to add in a little trotting while working on carriage. He was fabulous. That said, he was also completely exhausted from the effort and once the tripping and weakness started showing, we called it a day. We’ll get to do more soon.

We had some snow the other day and then crazy wind so it wasn’t until yesterday that I hopped on Batts. The ground was a little funky but we did the best we could, just a little trotting and cantering. The other day with Sandra he worked on trotting a log which he seemed to enjoy, but unfortunately, his log was covered with snow so we skipped that. But again, he was very good. That said, he’s still way out of shape and that played a role in the length of our ride. But, nonetheless, it was a success. Success is what I’ve been looking for lately. That and staying on.

More later when I have more motivation to write, but there’s a brief summary…