With the decision to take a step back and cease (at least temporarily) the pursuit of endurance, I have felt a huge sense of relief . Instead of pushing myself to split what little time I have between 4 horses I have opted instead to concentrate on Pokey. Because when it really comes down to it, he still is and will forever be my favorite. My heart horse. For a while I felt like I needed to back off and leave him for my daughter, but he isn’t her only option. Wings was actually the first horse she ever rode, and the horse both my younger brothers actually cut their teeth on as well. He can be a turd at times but knows how to adapt to his rider and overall is a great horse to learn on. 

Justice also has taken on the role of teacher. My boyfriend has expressed interest in riding with me this coming year. Although I’m a tad skeptical as to how dedicated he is, I’m certain if I can get him to stick with it long enough, he will enjoy it. Pokey, however, is simply too small for him to learn on. Pokey is barely 14 hands and 850 lbs, with delicate  legs and tiny feet and being that he is my baby I don’t feel comfortable putting my 6’2″ 275 lb boyfriend on him regularly. Justice, however is much more physically up to the task at 16 hands and 1,200 lbs. And this past Tuesday, Joe rode him for the first time.

 
I kept him on a 10 ft lead, just in case. Joe had only ever ridden once before this and this was decidedly Justice’s first time toting a beginner rider (if you recall he was rehomed because he was just too much horse for his previous owner).   

However if there’s one thing Justice does have, it’s manners. I needed a horse I knew wouldn’t test Joe and J was him. They actually did extremely well together and I can’t wait to see how their partnership progresses in the future!

 I did finally get around to trimming Wings’ feet as well. It should have happened sooner but I admit I was hoping my brother would get around to doing it for me. 

 

Front feet, left hoof has been trimmed, right one has not.

 
Front feet – all done. For now.
 
I wish, wish, wish I had taken a before pic. Due to an old injury Wings’ hind feet are funny. His left hoof rarely needs touching up while the right tends to split badly. I thought I did a very good job of trimming his problem foot, if I do say so myself.
   
 
I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been feeling some guilt bout neglecting Justice lately. He has turned into such a lover! He craves attention and is clearly jealous whenever I pay attention to another horse. I feel horrible because I haven’t ridden him in a long time, and I see him on average once or twice a week. The reality is right now with working 2 jobs, it is difficult to make the 30 minute drive to the pasture with any consistency. And honestly even when it hasn’t been wet and cold I haven’t had the desire to trail ride as of late. I couldn’t tell you why. It’s a strange thing. 

Silly boy was sound asleep in the warm sun the other day. Suddenly 50 degrees is a regular heat wave!

My boyfriend and I have also been discussing the possibility of purchasing a home of our own. We have both been working our 3rd shift jobs and at the barn 5 mornings a week. And, in addition to that, I will shortly be going back to the company I worked for last summer to do some seasonal stuff for them as well. Needless to say we are both getting a bit burned out. Feeding and caring for 17 horses and cleaning 17 stalls and 2 barns everyday is no joke. We have talked about buying a cozy house with a few acres so we can keep the old ponies at home with us (while still boarding the boys at the pasture). But finding a place that actually works within our budget? And especially within this area? It’s no easy feat. 

To be fair, I did discover the home of my dreams. And, naturally, the very day we tried to set up a showing we were told it was already under contract (after literally 6 days on the market). I’m not gonna lie, I was crushed. It’s hard to explain but I really don’t care for this part of NC in general – the only reason I stay here is because both our families and my baby daddy is here. It’s hard for me to fathom putting down permanent roots in this area, and to finally find a place I actually liked (no, LOVED) and having it snatched out from under me was somewhat devestating. I know one can’t give up but I think for now I’m going to just take a step back and let my boyfriend take the lead on this whole thing…until I can get it through my head that this is actually happening and staying in/around Burlington long-term isn’t the end of the world.

 
  

Some good news – a coworker gave me a bunch of horse stuff. Long story but a non-horsey coworker inherited all the property an Australian millionairess owned after caring for her horses for 6-8 month preceding her death due to cancer. Since then she gave away her high dollar horses and saddles and her sons have turned the elite  multi million dollar log cabin home into the biggest teen party house in the county (complete with graffiti and all). You can’t make this shit up! Anywho there was a ton of horse stuff that got tossed out into the lawn for months and after 2 consignment shops and everyone’s 3rd cousin fell through, I was the very last person asked to take it all. Amazingly even after sitting in the elements for months, there was a ton of useable and high dollar items that I was able to salvage! Including 7-8 blankets (mainly Weatherbeeta and Rambo), a trunk full of fly masks, a trunk full of splint boots, 4 verrry nice saddle pads, 6-7 leather halters, about 10 water buckets, 7 tack boxes, a protective vest, numerous coolers and even some old bridles and bits and a trunk full of brushes and leather dog leashes…the list goes on. Oh and 7 pairs of name brand breeches from Germany! I have not owned breeches in something like 10+ years, but 3/7 fit me and I am saving the rest for my sister and a friend. Although the obvious thing to do would be to take everything to the consignment tack sale taking place in a couple months, I feel like these things were given to me so if I cannot use them the least I can do is show generosity myself. So I gave a sheet to my barn manager and I am saving a cooler for P, whose trailer we used all last year (although it is my understanding that she recently sold it). 

Moving on…a couple weeks ago my sister got some shots of me and Pokey…

Yes the hair is cray cray! But I still kinda like it 😉

 

Pokey was actually behaving HORRIBLY that day. But my sister was still impressed with how easy he photographs…his ears are always up!
 
I look half asleep (which I was) and like a complete hippy with my wind tossed hair…yet I LOVE this pic of the two of us! You can see my tattoo of him here also.

 

 And then there was the day I decided to jump on Pikey bare back and bitless and ride him around the ring that way…

Photo by my boyfriend…
 
Oh and this random shot. We got another dusting of snow! (Our color is red. I admit it! )
  

 
We have also begun practicing our flatwork and while it is definitely not our forte, I am actually surprised with how well we are both doing. There are a couple of local barns that host dressage/ct schooling series throughout the summer, and to be honest I am considering giving it a shot. IF I can find a way to get there, I think it could be fun – after all I’m willing to try just about anything once!

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