Monday, September 1, 2014

Failure is The Answer

Sorry I've been gone so long.  It's been a busy summer and I'm not even sure I could sum it up in a blog post or ten.  I took Licorice to a week long horse camp at a nearby farm and learned a ton of stuff.  I'll sum it up rapidly, because I have bigger questions and bigger news.

Things I Learned at Camp:

1.  Licorice is more uptight than I'd like.
2.  He's still not spooky, but he's uptight when he's nervous.
3.  I'm not afraid of wind, storms, birds flying up, bears etc.  I'm afraid of horses hurting me.  Hmmm.....
4.  My riding needs work (doesn't everybody) but I'm a pretty decent rider.  I have quiet hands and a good seat.  Mostly what needs work is my fear.
5.  My horse doesn't like dark trailers.
6.  Licorice is VERY sensitive to his handler, which shows up when trying to get him to load into a trailer.
7.  I can ride Licorice the first day at a new place and be just fine.
8.  Ground work.  Ground work.  Ground work.  Since putting more boundaries in place, Licorice has been happier, calmer and easier to handle.  He's learning how to just stand around and do nothing like a good horse should.

Bigger News:

I am moving Licorice at the end of September.  I am leaving my current facility to pursue something different.  I need to fix my relationship with my horse and with horses in general.  My facility is marvelous in many ways, but this is not their strong suit.  The riders at this barn already have this in place and are working on their riding.  I need to start at the beginning.  I need to be free to fail in order to learn confidence.  REALLY learn confidence, not just learn how to get someone to hold my hand.  The new place is a place where I can try things, possibly fall on my face (hopefully not off the horse) and step outside my comfort zones.

Bigger Questions:

The new place feeds Timothy Hay.  Currently Licorice gets Alfalfa Hay.  I am struggling to find information about the two hays that isn't skewed or so scientific that it makes my brain hurt.  The barn I'm at feeds alfalfa because the horses are mostly Thoroughbreds and are in consistent hard work 5-6 days a week.  The new barn is much more laid back and says that Timothy is better for calcium/phosphorous ratio and to help with Licorice's uptight nature.  Any thoughts?  Good, clear articles on feeding?  It seems like horse feeding is so loaded and controversial!

Licorice also currently gets 1/4 cup barley and 1/2 cup beet pulp.  I will be weaning him off those after a while most likely.  I don't need him to have more energy and since the new place is much more low key, we will probably not be working as hard.

And finally, our new home does not have a covered arena (eek!).  I will also desperately miss the wash rack.  I will need new equipment.  Like a waterproof jacket, better gloves and a waterproof quarter sheet.  I wish I liked shopping better, but I get overwhelmed by choices and colors and should I buy the $100 quarter sheet or will the $50 one work just as well?

Anyways, I will try to update more often but it's challenging with all my other life changes and I also want to be sensitive to the fact that this is on the internet and I want my transition to be as smooth as possible.

I hope you all have had great summers with your ponies!  I will leave you with a picture of my daughter and I taking a riding lesson together.  Her little pony is called Muttley and he's hilarious (and a handful!).  She's working up to half leasing a different pony at the barn so we can ride together.  Yeah for mommy-daughter riding!


  1. Sounds like you've got a plan, which is good.

    I've always preferred grass hay over alfalfa - unless you've got a pregnant or lactating mare or a horse in very heavy work, alfalfa can be too rich and too high protein. Most horses do very well on timothy hay - if it's good quality.

  2. And you may find he's calmer/more settled, on grass hay . . .

  3. Timothy hay is a staple - as long as the hay quality is good that is all you have to worry about. I would try and bring some alfalfa with you since its a big change to move from one to other without mixing them for a few weeks first.

    Beet pulp is an excellent filler, not sure what the barley is for but if his weight is good I would stay with the beet pulp, and if he starts to loose weight add something like a simple roughage filler like Masterfeed Roughage Chunks. Add loose salt and you should be good to go. Hope your new place is a better fit for you. Best of luck.

  4. I do know horses that are spooky/edgy/otherwise not themselves on alfalfa. Timothy may be helpful in calming both of you down!

  5. You and Licorice look good together. :-) You have really put some thought into moving Licorice to the new place. Best wishes and have fun!!

  6. I think you are making a good choice :) So excited that you and your daughter are riding together!

  7. Thanks everyone. And sorry for the crap formatting and my pictures being gone. No idea how that happened....I'm using a tablet now instead of a computer so maybe that's it. Stupid technology. :)