Monday, December 15, 2014

Bits and Pieces

It was such a nice weekend, weather wise, we got all three rideable horses worked. In the process, we even got Otto worked too because he joined us in the outdoor arena and ran around, making a general nuisance of himself in the process. T

Tom actually did some liberty work with Otto off of his horse Cassidy , which was kind of cool to watch.  Otto has the attention span of a knat so he would only pay attention for a couple of minutes and then run off bucking and playing but he's such a curious colt, he would eventually make his way back and engage for another few minutes. Ofcourse, all his running around made it a bit challenging to concentrate on what I was doing on JB but we managed. JB was so patient with Otto's frequent drive-by's ... There was a time JB would have probably tried to get after him. I love older geldings!

JB and I took a ride out into the barren snow covered wheat fields just as the sun was setting.There is something special about riding a horse in the crisp clear  air of a winter evening as the sun is setting, the mountains cast in a pink glow from the last light of the day and hearing nothing but the horses soft breathing and the  crunch of snow under their hooves. It's almost a bit magical..I love rides like that.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my phone on me because the battery was dead and didn't get to snap any of the afternoon's events...

Otto also got his feet trimmed a bit. It wasn't a complete trim because he wasn't cooperating 100% of the time. He seems to do ok until Tom takes his foot between his legs to hold it in place so he can use the nippers, which requires two hands. Otto does not like that part at all. I don't think it's the nippers, I think it's more about having his foot held that way. Something to work on I guess. On the positive side,  his back feet are getting much better to handle.

A couple of weeks ago,  I finally had to break down and get Otto a new blanket. The one he had been wearing was two sizes too big and while it was getting him by, the last cold stormy night he had to wear it , it seemed it had somehow lost most of it's waterproofing. We had gotten a rain/snow mix that night and by morning, it looked like he had gone swimming with it. I even had it re waterproofed this summer when I had it cleaned but  apparently, the blanket might just be too darn old.. Otto also managed to break one of the front buckles in the front so only one to hold it on.

His new shiny red model arrived last week so we tried it on him. Perfect fit with just a little extra room to grow into , a size 68. He looks rather dashing in it and red is the perfect color for the season.

Sorry, again , no photo so you'll just have to use your imagination.  I always get the Schneiders  blankets. They wear well, fit well and stay in place for horses that are turned out 24/7 . Even with the coldest of temps we get here in Montana,  I find the midweights keep our horses plenty warm during the cold snaps we have, but then again our horses  (other than Otto) have thick fuzzy coats.

There is an article that has been flying around the internet about why horses should not be blanketed. You can read about it here It's making quite the buzz among horses owners. There are some interesting points in there and certainly some valid points. Alot of the reason why we blanket have more to do with our own emotional responses and desires to keep our horses what we consider "comfortable".

 I , like many other, hate seeing my horses shiver. I worry that they stand a greater chance of colic when they are cold because they are not moving and often won't walk to the water tanks if we are in the middle of one of our arctic blasts. Horses need water for thermal regulation as well.
For the most part, our horses do fine in the cold. But there are certain weather circumstances that I will continue to blanket in . When the weather goes from  temps in the 30's and raining, to temps below zero with wind, I will blanket.  Drastic drop in temps or changes in barometric pressure seem to cause problems for horses in this area. While we keep our horses  in as natural of a state as we possibly can, and it's certainly better than being stalled or penned up,  they really aren't in the ideal setting that horses were intended for.


CG said...

I've seen that blanketing article on facebook but haven't read it. If I want to ride in the winter- I have to blanket. Western Wa. is one big mudpit from Oct-June!
It still takes me about 45 miutes to clean up the non-blanketed parts enough to ride :)

Jonna said...

Yep, I totally get it.. I don't disagree with alot of the points in the article but any time someone tried to convince me of a situation that "you must do it this way or doom will ensue".. I get a bit leery.. I think if as horse owners we can be smart about our blanketing habits, it's not the end of the world.