Saturday, April 08, 2006

Have saddle

Mary went garage saling yesterday. Be afraid. Be very afraid. She s from a long line of garage sale queens. In fact, her grandfather talked her grandmother out of buying a Cadillac by telling her that it would diminish her bargaining power at garage sales.

But anyhow, Mary had a busy day yesterday. She took the kids to school (to save time, ironically), and went off to a garage sale in Manton. There, she bought a well used but fancy leather saddle, along with the blanket that goes with it. She got some other tack, but decided to go to TSC (Tractor Supply Company) and get the type of bit that Winnie the Horse Gentler recommends because the one she got with the saddle is less comfortable for the horse. Somewhere in there, she visited one of her home care patients, and went to the transmission shop to do a little business and retrieve the drive shaft that we had accidentally left there.

I hope the information in that set of novels is accurate, because it's where Mary gets most of her information. I have joined a few horse email groups, and have been lurking. There is a lot more to keeping horses than the uninitiated (like me) might imagine.

I don't even know how to install all that tack stuff on the horse. I'll read about it soon enough. I have been lurking in the horse training list, so I know enough to me dangerous... or, more accurately, I know enough to know what I don't know. I do know that I'm not going to be climbing onto that animal because I don't know how to tell her where I want her to go. Maybe she would just tell me where to go.

So, the plan seem to be to saddle her up and lead her around by the halter. We have been doing that enough without the saddle. Then, Paul can climb on and go for a ride (while being led, of course).

Maybe this will happen, and maybe it won't. I'll tell you later, of course.

There has been some concern expressed about our facilities. I have to admit that they aren't ideal, but they are certainly sufficient.

The main horse/goat shelter area is a roofed and enclosed area behind the pole barn. It's about 9' by 18', and has a dirt floor with plenty of litter. We use the deep litter method (I'll explain later if anyone wants) to keep the smell down. Very soon, I'll be tilling up the whole area, scooping out the composted stuff, and using it in the garden. Then, a fresh layer of litter will be added.

Attached to that shelter is a roughly trapezoidal area that's fenced in with Red Brand woven wire fence with electric fencing inside and out. The electric fencing on the inside discourages leaning and rubbing, and the electric fencing on the outside keeps the predators away.

The area itself is 28' wide at the top (near the shelter), about 50' wide at the base (away from the shelter) and maybe 100' long. I really ought to measure this thing, I guess.

I just put a 40 gallon stock watering tub out in the pen, and everyone except the ducks use it. The ducks spend their time going around every source of water they can find and dipping their beaks in up to their eyeballs and washing all the mud out. That means that we have to change the water a lot.

So, everyone is happy, including our new hay burner. She'll be even happier once we can ride her around and get her more exercise.

But I have to read up on how to install all of that tack stuff.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you should invest in a few riding lessons for one of your family members. Surely there's some places to do that there in "God's country"! That way, whoever gets the lessons can teach the others how to tack the horse (and also have the joy of sharing!) What do you think?

12:25 AM  
Blogger Nerd in the Country said...

Lessons are definitely in our future. We want to get Paul into an equestrian 4H group (the kids are now in a crafts 4H group). We are also looking into a couple other options.

9:01 AM  

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