Thursday, December 4, 2008

Catching up;

I failed to mention that I did decide to join the AERC for the 2009 year. After much consideration, I decided that for the fairly low cost of membership it was worth it. I was hesitant mostly because I am still not certain if endurance will be a fit for JB. With the 2008 season having been a bit rough for us with his teeth, then substantial growth, and then the bruised sole, I have to believe he will make marked improvements in 2009, but it is an unknown. That being said, we do plan to give it our best shot and while we are at it , we may as well get credit for what we do accomplish. If he does begin to come into his own, which I suspect he will, I would hate to not get those miles accounted for. I should be seeing an envelope any day from AERC with my official paperwork!

On January 10th , I will be attending the Hooves and Company awards banquet and meeting. There is supposed to be some discussion on the possibility of the hosting an AERC event for the 2009 season. I hope that they do consider this carefully. Attendance has been down for the local rides and by hosting an acutal AERC sanctioned ride, I suspect it may help to draw a better crowd. If they decide not to put something on, I will be planning on doing some traveling in order to attend a sanctioned ride.

Other things happening at Acer Farm….well, this weekend is scheduled as worming time. That also means it’s weight tape time and Rebel is quite concerned about his weight at this point. He has a striking resemblence to a wood tick these days, being the one horse that seems to get the lion's share of the hay! Since he heard that he will be joining JB in a conditioning regimen this spring, he is certain he will need a lot of extra grain

Weight tapes are not 100% accurate but I have found they are usually within 20 -30 lbs of accurate weight. That is fairly insignificant when worming adult horses.

We have had a couple of good hard freezes now since the last worming in late August. We had such a warm fall , that we waited a little longer in between worming cycles. I prefer to wait until we have had a couple of good hard freezes before the winter worming. That has now occurred. We even have a dusting of snow on the ground.

I prefer to rotate between Quest, Pyrantel and Ivermectin and have had good luck. We seem to have problems with tapeworms here on our place and it never fails that the geldings start rubbing their tails in late winter. At that time, I like to use TapeCare Plus. It seems to do the trick. In addition to a routine worming schedule, , I have considered getting a few chickens around the place this coming spring. I have heard they help with the worm load situation but I haven’t actually done any research on that. Anyone have any insight on that? I do know chickens can help tremendously with flies because they clean up the nits in the manure, interupting the egg laying cycle. I am not a big fan of chickens but after this past fly season we suffered through, something has to be done in that departement. Besides, it’s always nice to have a few fresh eggs available. Why not, we have the horses, dogs , and cat.. what’s a couple of chickens , right? Right???

In years past, we have purchased liguid Ivermectin from our vet. We could get 100 ml bottle that would get us through two cycles of worming with one rotation of Quest in between but the manufacturers have had some problems with shelf life. So, I could still get the 100 mL bottle but I wouldn’t be saving myself any money because any unused portion would have to be discarded.

Instead of running to the local feed store and paying $8.99 a tube, I thought I should do a little price shopping. Don't get me wrong, I like to try to support local business whenever I can but I also know that it's important to save pennies where I can.

I checked out some of the online suppliers that I frequently receive catalogs from. Just so happens that I found a great deal at Valley Vet Supply on Ivermectin paste for $2.99 a dose! So I saved myself, after shipping cost, approx $5 a dose. Not too shabby! I am fairly certain I can find something to put that $20 towards; maybe a snug pax or a new saddle pad????

I may have mentioned that I had shipped back my Troxel Sierra helmet for repair. The adjustment strap that helps fit the helmet to your head broke off. I did drop the helmet one time in a clumsy moment but other than that I can’t remember any other event that would have caused it to break. Unfortuantely the helmet was outside of the warranty for replacement so I sent them my CC information in the event they could not fix it , with instructions to just send me a new helmet. I guess they couldn’t fix the strap that came apart. The box was returned with a brand new helmet enclosed but no receipt, which seemed odd.

I had assumed that they just charged my credit card that I had provided them but when I called my CC company, there had been no charge made to my account. HOT DAMN! . Maybe it’s just good PR or maybe they were feeling generous for the holiday season . Either way, I am sending them a thank you card and will most definitely be a return customer for that good customer service. That goes a long way in my book , especially these days!

Tom and I have started discussing plans to get the trailer set up a bit different to make it more 'camp friendly' for me since purchasing a new trailer isn't in the budget anytime soon. This past season I used the one man Eureka tent but sleeping on the ground is just not my idea of getting a good night sleep. So, we are going to close the stock trailer in a bit more so I can put a cot in the horse trailer and set up my sleeping quarters in there. Not sure how we will do it yet but we have some initial ideas. I will keep you posted on the progress.

This weekend should be a bit warmer so the plan is to steal a ride or two. The horses are quite fuzzy these days and with the temps dipping into the 20’s at night, I will have to be thoughtful about how much of a workout JB gets. It’s been more than two weeks that he has had any ride time. I am sure he will be feeling his oats.

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