Monday 27 November 2023


 You can’t accuse me of clickbait titles. 

In my defence, I think that “uneventful” being first word that came to mind to describe this past week is a lot more exciting and indicative of success than anything else. 

Spoilers: The Chaos Tail was flying, but no chaos ensued

I had a pretty standard week, doing all the things both riding and horse care that I would hope to do on a regular basis. And there is nothing noteworthy to discuss. Keep in mind I currently have a Sophie and two weanling colts at home. Sophie is the queen of all things chaos and the two new guys are not far behind. They’re definitely more solid citizens than her by nature, but also they are 7 month old colts still learning about the world.

They grow up so fast, I saw them playing baby stallion games the other morning (the whole kneel down and bite at legs and faces, mixed with rearing and chasing routine)

At the risk of completely boring you, I have a list of all the things that happened this week with absolutely zero drama. (Sounding super dull? Consider reading anyway, I also have more baby pony pictures to sweeten the deal)

-Rode at home a few times after work in the cold/dark/rain after minimal turnout.

-Haltered, medicated, groomed baby ponies daily after work in the cold/dark/rain.

-Trailered Sophie out to meet up for a trail ride with a friend over the weekend.

-The boys had their first appt with my farrier.

-Everyone took turns doing trailer loading and manners practice, everyone got a gold star.

The boys were both perfect gentlemen for their farrier appointment and it was zero percent complicated or stressful. It felt like the last check on the list of things the baby horses needed to know and be reliable about ASAP. They’re polite and easy to handle, they’re feeling comfortable and settled in our routine, and that’s all either of us really need to worry about for now. Also, have I mentioned how much I love them? They’re the best, most willing and personable little guys. We’re so happy with our choices. 

Sophie. And me. It’s been a journey this year, to put it mildly. So I’m very happy and appreciative to just be out there doing normal horse people things with a pony that’s happy to be there too. She’s been super lately, I’m starting to think she just needed a bit more maturity and time and positive experiences. I’m going to protect this at all costs by being super choosy about when/where/who we ride with, but it’s feeling good. I’m especially not sure I would have believed she’d ever walk chilled on a loose rein out on the trail, but it’s a thing now and I’m here to celebrate it. I do love my flatwork and arena time (and no hard feelings if the wilderness isn't ever really the fancy pony's thing) but it's such a better routine for everyone if we can safely add in a nice hack every few days.

I really should clip her but also look at the dapples.

And do I really need to clip? I'm not boarding so it's not a big deal to leave a cooler on for and hour or two and take if off and give her a quick brush when I get a moment.

Also me, loading up my pony solo and driving us out for an adventure. It really wasn’t that long ago where that felt more anxious making than fun and I’d try to talk someone into coming with me, but it feels totally fine now and very nice to be independent again.

I feel like we’re also overdue for a little Bridget update. She’s doing fantastic and she’s very much appreciated and loved. She’s with a horsey friend Sophie and I see often, but with the intense herd bound silliness still feeling quite recent I’ve been cautious about Sophie and B meeting up again in the real world. Soon though, I think there could be a little Bridget meetup content.


Monday 20 November 2023

another (mostly) photo update

 Things are still just coasting along over here. There have been no big exciting 'I should write a blog post about that!' moments, but also there has been a ton of incremental positive progress worth documenting for myself.

Also playful baby ponies. They play, they eat, and they sleep. And I'm still obsessed with them and they're huge time wasters.

Every second day, I try to have them do one grown up thing. Reggie is still very opinionated about grooming, but it's getting better every time. His 'little' brother is way easier, but I'm careful to give him his own time too - I feel like he's just as sensitive, he just internalizes it a lot more than this guy.

Buck is about 2 inches shorter and already 50 pounds heavier than Reggie. I think they're supposed to end up in the same 14.3-15hh ish height range but I have a funny feeling he's going to be twice the width :)

I still feel like I'm missing out and falling behind on all the riding goals I have. Part of me wants to beat myself up for not trying harder to get out there and make it happen. This is always the time of year where I'm more susceptible to that. In the spring and summer I'm much busier and more practical about what I can or can't prioritize. 

I thought colts would like toys to play with. Not so much. But no prizes for guessing who loves to play and now has a pet yoga ball.

But, I have been riding. And yes, we're both much less than perfect feeling and despite those nagging goals that currently feel forever far away, I love riding just for the sake of riding. Any minute up there is a good one. 

The pivo skills are rusty. But this ride made me happy because the weanlings were going absolutely nuts and were within view of us. But Sophie was cool and unbothered - a very big change from the super tense and reactive pony of last winter. I'm holding out small hope these months of non goals and getting to the bottom of ulcer and saddle fit (and rider health) is going to create lasting positive changes.

It's when I'm out of the saddle that it's easier to talk myself into not bothering, or not having time, or start nitpicking at myself over my lack of progress towards where I really want to be. This is such a little thing, but I'm going to go back to scheduling riding time in my calendar a few days a week. Just having that time free makes me very's been a ridiculous year and I've felt run off my feet and stressed about having too much on my plate for most of it.

The floors are finally finished so it's time for moving houses chaos. Standard disclaimer the walls are more of a greyish green, I don't know why they want to be a bold grass green in every picture I take :)

This room was supposed to be the dining room but it has a view of ponies so maybe it's wanting to be my office because we're not dining room people anyway. I keep waffling over it so I think we'll just let the sizes of the furniture decide

New cedar stairs and exterior paint (which actually is more of a dark teal green than blue/grey lol) and a major yard clean up this summer, but also the new front gate is now crooked thanks to the bears climbing over it this fall. It's always something.


Thursday 16 November 2023

Photo Thursday

Not a thing, except here, this once. So, yeah, not a thing. 

 I've been trying my best to get a ton of media while the new guys are still so little, but the weather has not been cooperating - it's been dark and gloomy out there more often than not so the quality isn't what I'd hoped. Still, I have a long tradition of posting whatever media I've got and that won't stop now.

It's chaos out there lately.

I slightly envy people have actual quiet and well mannered weanlings...mine are definitely on the semi feral side of average. I can do everything I need to and they are good boys, but there's a bit of thinking required to set it up for success.

I just love them though

When you've got a welsh cob rib cage and appetite but your chest hasn't caught up

They're getting bigger so quickly, but they're still long legged enough that grazing looks awkward.

Pro tip - if you want cute baby horse pictures and you live on the west coast in winter maybe don't purchase black or dark bay ponies. A nice grey might be more the thing, one that prefers to stand and pose, rather than run everywhere.
Because even the palomino is slightly too quick on a dark day for my camera to track and focus well

So fast

We had a sunset that one time at 5pm

But I have lights! I'm happy

Sophie desperately wants out to play with the little guys. Hopefully by spring that will be safe.

Barn Kitty portrait. She always looks slightly disapproving

I've been riding and Sophie's been great

There are always ghosts beyond that corner but she waits until after we're done to fixate on them. Compromises :)


Tuesday 14 November 2023

Operation Lite Brite

Every fall, the clocks go back. Every year I manage to be simultaneously surprised and annoyed by how dark it suddenly is. One of the downsides to living on the west coast of BC is that it's generally damp, dark and gloomy all winter I guess do what you will with the clock, most of us are just entering hibernation anyway. So, see you again the next time the sun shines! 

Sophie doing her annual 'new winter raincoat' dance this week. Is not planning to hibernate.

Just kidding, I have horses. And I like being outdoors and busy. The obvious solution to my dilemma was that I needed some better lighting around the place. 

There was a missed opportunity the run power from the house out to the barn and ring last year, when we already had it all dug up for water lines. We opted not to, thinking the annoyance of potentially sharing a hydro bill with a tenant wasn't going to be worth it. I briefly explored the option of having a separate service and meter, but they only do that for secondary residences, not horse barns (despite the fact I arguably spend more time in the barn than my home :)

Obviously now with us deciding to move on site and live in the house, we could rethink the situation and run power everywhere, but I'm reluctant to spend time and money digging everything up again.

So, for now I wanted my barn and arena power to be off grid. We explored the usual options as far as solar and batteries and more permanent off grid solutions all and I just wasn't feeling it...I had a set cost for this in mind that was not high, because I do still have those longer term plans of having power out there.

So, here's what I've ended up with:

I bought mine last year, so this is the newer version of what I have. Website Link

Amazon lights (x2 packages of 2). They were $60 when I bought them, and I didn't need the color I'm pretty sure this can be done cheaper.

75' of Christmas lights (x2)

I ended up spending about $500 of my canadian dollars with some extra solar lights for fence posts thrown in. I wouldn't say my expectations were high, but also I had hopes of this being semi functional for a few years until I figure out what it actually is that I want.

It's hard using my cell phone to give you accurate lighting pictures, but I hope you can get the idea, the christmas lights are very low power consuming, and wrapped around the ceilings of interior areas are adequate to muck out and feed with. Also, it's festive :)

So far, I'm happy. The power box has been in use for a little over a year now and gets regular use in the winter. In the summer it lives in my horse trailer and has come in handy for changing phones and laptops and running lights and air compressors for camping or other off grid horsey adventures. It's super small and light (I think the website says it weighs 6 pounds) so it's no big deal to move it around or pack it away when I'm not using it. Downside is it only lasts 3-10 hours depending how many lights I'm using at any time. On the plus side it has a big digital readout giving you an estimate of how much time you have left with current power consumption, and it only takes about an hour to charge when I plug it in at the house, a little longer if I use my truck to charge it when we're camping. I arguably could have gone for something bigger since arena lighting is not a small ask, but I don't find it overly inconvenient and like the flexibility of it being small and portable. It would be rare for me to be out there running all the lights for 3 hours straight - with my normal use it lasts about a week between charges.

solar lights on the posts and in the sand marking the perimeter of the ring.

Those little led floodlights are the thing, though. I currently have 3 set up in trees around my ring, and one up by the barn where I groom and tack up. The single one at the barn is almost too bright for that purpose, but very handy. The ones in the ring area are honestly barely enough by normal standards (I should put the fourth one there instead or just have gone for the higher wattage option, but at the time I was worried about battery consumption and also annoying the neighbours). So, I wouldn't be using them and setting up a jump course, but for walk/trot/canter on a dark night on a horse that doesn't mind the odd shadow, they're more than adequate lighting. Again, my photos are letting you down, so I'll describe it as better (but trending close) to one of those old school indoors that used to use rows of regular lightbulbs.

They came with an app, which was actually super handy - I have all the ring ones set in a group so I can turn them off and on or adjust brightness in unison.

I somehow missed the memo these can also change color or be set to music, lol. I noticed there is a rave/party setting but I'm not convinced that's what Sophie needs while I ride this winter.

I'm pretty sure there are endless ways this could have been done better, but I'm liking the flexibility and cost effectiveness of what I've ended up with. When I was searching for ways to make this work I didn't see a ton out there for equine specific options and reviews, so I thought I'd post this just in case it helps someone else out there. 


Monday 6 November 2023

Sugar and Spice

 It feels like baby ponies have lived here forever and we have our routine, and then I unthinkingly do something it turns out they have a problem with. Chaos reigns for a second or ten and I remember that they are brand new at grownup horse things and I shouldn't assume anything. Last week, I learned Reggie is actually not cool with ropes around him. At all. Didn't occur to me to 'test' that since he actually leads nicely. But it turns out if he can see the rope 'following' him or it touches his body it's an issue. So we backtrack to work on that.

Dramatic reenactment of how catching the little beast was going for me last week - simultaneously annoyed and appreciating the fancy.

He's a super sensitive little dude and is genuinely scared and while he'd like to trust me more we are not quite there yet. It's fun trying to walk the line of setting up little positive experiences for things he really needs to know now, without sending him over (to be fair to myself a very, very low) threshhold. I had a mare (Ginger) when I first started this blog, that he currently reminds me strongly of. I'm excited that in this case I have a 6 month old and am not walking into buying a 4 year old who's similarly untrusting and spicy. Ginger turned out wonderfully because once you win her over, she does anything for her person. I'm hoping we're on a similar path here and once we win him over and he can relax a little it will be smoother sailing.

Thinks he's all that

but we all would like to add some better manners to him. You keep working at it, Buck

Buck is much more your standard Welshie and is learning and adapting like the curious little baby sponge he is. Smart and sensitive without being over the top.  It's nice he's here because I'm not sure how I would be feeling about a Reggie and Sophie show and that energy feeding off each other with out some sort of a balancer.

posing for the standard over the shoulder shot - going to be a blogger pony yet

Speaking of Sophie, she's been the most fantastic girl. I haven't felt like blogging about medical issues (not something I want to focus on at any time, but with baby ponies to obsess over it's even easier to turn it into a non topic). I've been pretty stiff and sore and generally not feeling my finest. That's to be expected, progress is never even. I've also not made any final decisions re: footing for the ring since it hasn't seemed a priority with the amount of riding I've been doing (I'm quite conscious I am still unbalanced and unevenly strong so I am so I continue to work on that outside of horses. I'm uncomfortable using riding as much of a pathway to improvement, it's unfair). 

here comes trouble

So, for those reasons Sophie and I have mostly just been walking around and stretching our bodies every day...something you'd think would be a recipe for disaster with a spicy banana pony in cold weather. But no, she's wonderful and happy to have the job. The routine of riding most days, even if it's just for a relatively short time, keeps me pretty happy too.

starting to rock her winter beard

I do have a test load of sand (with a little pea gravel mixed in) incoming because I am hoping to be able to ride properly at home this winter. The house renos, however need to take precedence. We're SO nearly there. I'm hoping to seal the floors this weekend and get the bathtub plumbing done. Then we are good to go! I can't wait to move's coming up on a year of working on it when I have spare time, but it's going to be worth it.


Wednesday 1 November 2023

Coming Soon to A Theater Near You

 I totally got sucked into the 'make your horse into a Pixar movie poster" AI trend.


"Disney Pixar movie poster of two foals playing. one is black, one is bay. title is Buck and reggie" :

"Disney Pixar movie poster of palomino horse causing chaos. background is a destroyed city. title is Sophie"

"Disney Pixar movie poster of palomino horse. Title is Sophie"

"Disney Pixar movie poster cute black foal with a white star. title is buck"

"Disney Pixar movie poster bay foal running. title is Reggie"

Warning - it's addictive and the results are often completely unexpected and hilarious (and in the case of horses, often contain a disturbing number of legs).