sending off summer

Just a few more days before summer, it's wetness, heat & humidity, pesky bugs, and dreaded allergies, will be behind us. I hope. I love all four seasons. Really I do. We had a good summer, altho we didn't trail ride much. We just can't get Nemo's allergies under control...poor guy. I appreciate each season. They all pass too quickly, before the next one shows up with all it's good & not so good offerings. But I know first hand how allergies can rule your life. As I sit here with head fog, watery eyes and blowing my nose. This year allergies are ruling Nemo's life, and it sucks.

Right after my last post, our horse got switched back into the big pasture with shade. Nemo is still glued to Koda. It turns out shade isn't the only reason he follows him, instead it appears to be more of a comfort thing. Nemo doesn't follow Cierra around, just Koda. He has big lush Fabio like hair to hide under, and they've been together since birth. It is so uncharacteristic of Nemo (an alpha horse) makes me sad. In part his change in demeanor is the meds he is on. First one, then another, now two, higher doses, smaller doses - doesn't matter. None of it works. He is miserable. I can't wait for him to feel better.

The show season will also soon be behind us. One more show to go...Brad plans to compete in Ranch Trail for the first time, and also Ranch Pleasure and Conformation. It's a bigger show then the others, and I hope for Cierra's sake he finds a way to not be so nervous on day one. He is the only one who can.

My rides on Koda continue going well, and ever changing. He has switched back to favoring his right lead. Go figure. Darn counter canter really messed us up! We stopped working on that right after we barely started, guess we I am not ready yet. Need to get my lefts & rights, right. Right? No, left! Will be a challenge whenever we get back to it. Counter canter is so easy for him, and smooth. Such a smart horse, keeps my skills up. 

Among other things, we continue working on extended trot, two tracking and always soft releases & asks. I recently (re) started getting him to move his front half over. Turns on the haunches have always been my demise, and what happened to his side pass? In particular to the left...it's all good fun and Koda is being a really really good boy and putting up with me.

We haven't made any more progress with our land, other then checking on things...

securing the tarp

 ...and watching the alfalfa grow and grow, and grow. Sigh. We have had SO much rain this year! Much to Brad's dismay, we will have to cut a healthy looking fourth crop...and find a place to store it. The good third (first for grass) crop is in our neighbors barn, the stuff under the tarp got rained on while we were stacking. Not ideal, but most is okay. We won't have to cut grass again this year, the alfalfa on the other hand...

good problem to have?

Our gardens at home are weeds this year, I mean weird this year. Impossible to keep up with! We've enjoyed fresh veggies regardless. These Carmen Red Peppers are our favorite...

Other then that my life this summer has gone to the (grand) dogs. Thank goodness they eventually wear out...

10 weeks old vs 3 years old

We have some fun stuff planned for this Fall, horse and non-horse! It's hard to wait, but makes for good anticipation. Everyone will agree, Fall will be a nice change. Until next time, be well my friends!


learning new tricks

Every week seems to take on a priority, a focus, a flavor of it's own if you will. 

Two weeks ago it was about the land. We finished up field work. With the unforeseen challenges we faced, we had to do everything in two shifts. Pre & post equipment failure. It made the field work drag on for days, but we got 3rd crop done. Finally. I have a whole new respect for farmers that make their living off the land, and provide for others. 

Throughout the process, I learned a thing or two. Brad is determined to teach this city girl new tricks. All I can say is he is going to need a lot of patience *^* farming is harder then it looks. I process differently then he does "TURN NOW" doesn't work so well for this girl lol!! 

I learned the easy job of driving the truck & trailer, while Brad picked up & stacked bales with the bobcat, and hauled them so he could unload & re-stack. Load, after load, after load. I also learned to side rake. Sort of. The ends of most of my rows looked like hairpins. Oh well, I'll get better. Doesn't help I get a little distracted out in the field...

We also hashed out a few more things on the house plans...

This past week was all about the horse show, at least for Brad. He had a good ride the first day, placing third & fourth (out of 10). He scratched the second day due to tons of rain, kind of a bummer. Riding in a wet sloppy arena with standing water just isn't worth the risk. I did go to the show, but couldn't hang around long. I had twelve paws waiting for me to teach them new tricks...

My grand dogs,
 a young Labrador and a Bernese Mountain pup

It was love at first paw

Our old dog Sam (14 yrs old)
warming up to the new puppy

Let's just say Aurora's Doggie Daycare is now officially full!! 

Summer is fading out fast. Hope you learn some new tricks of your own, before **poof** it's gone!!


field of dreams

Hellooo, long time no type! I've been enjoying everyone's summer posts. Here is the not so skinny in our little speck of the world:

Koda is doing wonderful! He continues to be a willing partner and doing everything I ask - as long as I ask correctly and many times even when I don't. Unfortunately we haven't been back out on the trail, but continue to arena ride 2-4X a week. I am mostly working on my communication these days, and increasing Koda's conditioning. Summer treats him a little too well, me too. This week I added counter cantering for the first time in a long time. Felt weird to lope "wrong" after working so hard to get it right. I forgot how smooth his counter canter is. Koda was funny when I asked for it the first time. I could see his eye look back towards me, and felt him think something like "are you sure that's what you want?!" Ha ha! He's truly been nothing but pure joy. Pinch me! 

Nemo, poor guy is STILL suffering from allergies :( it weighs heavy on our minds. There have been beautiful sunny summer days when we are stuck riding inside, because we would rather be together. The days we find Nemo really bad, he just doesn't get ridden. Sunlight makes his symptoms worse. We've thought about taking him to an equine ophthalmologist, of course we have to find one first. Altho our vet is adamant nothing is wrong with his eyes. I agree with him.

This year during turnout our horses aren't in a pasture with shade. Koda is Nemo's only outside shade. It breaks our hearts. We are working hard to get our land things in order so we can bring him home as soon as we can, but it won't be this year. The barn he lives at is very caring and trying hard to do the best they can for him. From what I've read, Nemo's symptoms align with "photic headshaking". The big guy that loves being outside most, and is a stellar trail horse, is happy to find relief in his stall. During turn out he is double masked. Yesterday I bought him a new long nose version. Maybe that will help a little more. We have tried different schedules/doses of Dex that have worked really well in the past. Not this year. Today finds us with another call to the vet, to discuss a different treatment. 

Cierra is working hard with her guy and getting ready for a mid August show. They typically do two lessons a week, and just keep getting better as a team. They are looking great!

Harmony (yes, we have four horses) continues living at a different barn, where both she and her girl are finally happy again. Not sure if Harmony will be coming to live with us. Hope so, we would really like our little herd to be together again. They were so content together. When the time comes, that will be up to her owner (Brad) and our daughter. 

Our Land is producing a bumper crop of alfalfa, along with the rest of the Midwest. It is hard to find anyone who wants it, or even do the work. Brad ended up cutting the 3rd crop himself, or part of it. The borrowed equipment kept breaking. Isn't that how it always goes?! Now we are waiting on parts. Sigh. 

We decided on house placement, and got the nod from the builder & excavator. We also met with the architect and left with a first draft of our floor plan in hand. Boy have things changed since the last time we did this, 18 years ago. The floor plans were projected on a big wall screen and we made changes on the fly. Our hope is to put the driveway in this Fall, maybe build the barn this Winter, and start the house in the Spring. Until then, we find ourselves living in a field of dreams...