Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dirty (and Clean) Pictures

Dirty butt...

...leads to dirty blanket.

A hose, a bucket, shampoo, and a sponge leads to a clean, happy horse...

...and a clean blanket.

I am happy to say that I got a lot done this weekend to make up for the personal time missed when my employer went into crunch mode. Most people spend their weekends sitting in front of a TV or shopping for fun. I spend my weekends shoveling manure, grooming and training horses, sewing, marketing, cleaning house, getting oil changes, watering pastures, and doing all the things I can't do during the week with a 40 to 60-hour a week desk job. If I miss so much as just a few hours out of my weekend, my personal needs don't get met, nor do they go away. They continue to build up until I have time to address them. I worked all through last weekend, so I had to cram two weekends worth of chores into this one weekend.

My husband and I knocked down some hay. It was getting to the point where I couldn't reach the next available bale without a ladder. I filled up the cupboards and refrigerator with food. I washed all of my dirty jackets and coats. Obviously, I bathed Lostine and washed her blanket. I cleaned up every speck of manure on the property and bedded down the stalls. I scrubbed and refilled all the water troughs. I groomed all the horses. I vacuumed the floors twice thanks to the endless shedding of dog hair, clumps of grass, and mud. I wrote a product review that I've had on my list for several weeks now. I somehow even made time to ground drive Gabbrielle and ride both Lostine and Bombay.

I worked on teaching Lostine to transition into a slow lope and stay with it. I had been having problems with her getting faster and faster until she was galloping like a racehorse. Several people suggested that I stop her each time she goes too fast and start over with the transition. So, that is what we worked on and she seemed to understand, though it will still require a lot of work to help her learn that she can lope much slower.

Bombay did great in my neighbor's back pen at all paces until a llama decided to come out of its pasture to get a closer look. I was working on his lope and he saw the llama off to the side and broke into a gallop. I stopped him and then transitioned up to the lope again, but I could see that he was half out of his mind, blowing snorts that sounded like a steam engine. I turned him to face the llama and he got ten-feet taller.

It's been a while since I've chickened out and dismounted because I felt impending doom, but that's what I did today. I walked Bombay over to the fence to watch the llama some more, and then led him back home once he relaxed. I'm thinking I'll stick with Lostine for the trail riding for now. At ten years old, one would think Bombay would start settling down, but it looks like he's going to need a couple more years of maturing and experience before I'd consider him a safe horse in unfamiliar surroundings.

Tomorrow it is back to the grind. I'm really looking forward to the Thanksgiving weekend. I will praise the heavens if we have good weather for those four days. It seems the majority of holidays are in cold, wet weather. Who decided on those dates for the holidays anyway? ;)


Callie said...

OMG! What a busy life! I couldn't hack all of that!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

You make me tired just reading. Where on earth do you get the energy?

Saddle Mountain Rider said...

Wow. You got a lot accomplished. You deserve a break. What would you do, if you could count on the time to do it?

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Wow, slow down! life's too short for that much craziness. But, you must feel very pleasantly tired for doing so much. I know I feel really good about myself when I get a lot accomplished.

It was such a nice day yesterday, that I washed my horse's tails. It's far too cold here for full body washes. And I filled their water troughs too, although I didn't "scrub" them.

Hopefully as Bombay enters his teens he will start settling down more. Thank goodness you have old reliable Lostine meanwhile.

Mrs Mom said...

WOW! look at how nice and clean your lovely lady is.

I hope that things settle down for you there, to a more manageable level. The pace you have been keeping lately is just insane!!

Heres hoping for perfect weather for all of us, no matter where we are for Thanksgiving!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Callie - I can't hack it most days myself.

BEC - Energy? What's that?

SMR - I hate to say it, but the first thing I'd do is complete everything on my To Do List, which just grows and grows, and I'm lucky if I can get five out of the fifty tasks on it done in a weekend. If I could find someone who I can trust to be left alone around my pets and property, I'd hire them to do half the work so that I can ride horses, do some fabric art, and read a few good books without having to skim as fast as I can.

FV - I've nearly died enough times to know that life is short. I have more pressure than normal on me since I've got one kid in college and another on the way to college in a lousy economy. Student loans aren't guaranteed, so I want to work hard to keep my job or get a new job in order to assure that we can continue to afford to part with $20,000 a year for the next seven years between the two kids. Nothing would upset me more than to see them have to give up their futures because of money and employment issues. In the meantime, I don't want the household chores to fall on the wayside.

MM - Yes, that would be incredible if we had warm, dry weather everywhere Thanksgiving weekend. I do tire of having to spend my time off sitting in the house listening to rain pouring down or sitting by the window watching the snow fall. Holidays should always come with encouragement to get outdoors.

Flying Lily said...

NM, your posts need to come with a consumer alert - I need a nap reading about that weekend. :)

KD said...

Must have been in the air..... I washed my two horses as well. My Appy was so furry, it took me a LONG time to get her rinsed.

Shirley said...

Just a comment on the lope speeding up; I'm not so sure I agree with stopping the horse and starting again; I'd prefer to ride the horse in a circle, and make the circle smaller, which is more difficult for them, and usually results in slowing them down. This is something I work on at home a lot- riding circles and using my body to rate their speed, alternately asking for a small slow circle, then a larger faster circle- sometimes only half a circle before I sit back and ask him to come back to a nice soft lope. Stopping them does not adress the issue of loping slower, but can teach them that galloping will be followed by being pulled on to stop, whereas circling brings their focus back to their rider and makes them pay attention to where they are going as opposed to giving in to the primal flight instinct.

Andrea said...

You sound like me. When you have a spare minute, it's out to the horses!!

Sounds like you have been super busy, and boy you sure got that blanket clean.

I can't wait for Thanksgiving too!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like you've been very busy lately, but also enjoying some quality horse therapy time, too.

I'm impressed that you do so much. We're very low-key, laid back around here. Stuff gets done, but in a slower more relaxed way. We all have a bit of procrastination in our bones, too. But we are enjoying life every day. Life is just so short not to, ya know?

I'm also amazed that you're able to wash your horses, too. Did you get some nice warm weather?

Baby Doll's coat is just way too thick and fuzzy right now to give her a full bath. It's in the 60's during the day, but drops down to the 20's and 30's at night. She'd never be dry by nightfall. Brrr.

Lostine is a true beauty, though. She's just gleaming :)

Take it easy, NM....and take good care of yourself, ok?

New Mexico

Vaquerogirl said...

Girlfriend, you need a different job! Of course I don't have a real job right now, but somehow that is ok- its working out. I understand about the horses being a salvation, everything seems better when viewed from the top of a horse. Love the overhead picture too!

Take a deep breath and try to relax this weekend!