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Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to you.
:party2::appl::jamming::greenboun

All our horses are having their official birthdays today.

Daz is coming 14, his actual birthday is in March; and Harry is coming 10, his actual birthday in April.

And we're ready to start a whole new year of adventures!
 

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Knife Swallower
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Virgil is 17!! Seems incredible! I remember him when he was a gawky, lanky 16hh boy who looked way more TB than DWB...and while he jumped like an angel even then, he couldn't canter a 20 metre circle!

I first looked at him Jan 10, bought him Feb 6, then he came to the barn Feb 28...he is arriving into my life in 2000


Skinny little 4 yr old. He wouldn't eat in the isolation paddock (he was all by his lonesome self which he hated and still does), so he got moved into a different one where he had neighbours:


Virgil in his baby green line up with my trainer - he's super alert chestnut (how shocking) on the far left.


Our first 3' course, right after we broke our maiden the division before...got our first first place ribbon! (I think he was 6 in this pic)


Winning our first Eq A championship:


Then he was 9 and had grown 2.5 inches since he was 4 and muscled up. NOW he looked like a warmblood and we found out crazy spooky boy LOVED the jumped ring!


Definitely no longer a skinny TB looking guy!


Our first 3'9 jumper course - which is why my position is all crazy! Virgil blew my mind...we went in, I forgot how to ride, and he saved my butt!



Getting our mini prix ribbon...no big deal, but see the guy in the whites behind us? Spruce meadows trainer...we placed above him on our first mini prix! He then asked if Virgil was for sale.


sadly, that was our last show before Virgil had to be retired. Later we were at Spruce Meadows for the harvest classic and he spooked in the air when we were warming up, landed funny and was lame. That was the end for not only his jumping career, but his riding career.

Until yesterday! When I pulled him out of the field and we began to work again! just ten minutes handwalking but he loved it!!

Virgil shows his happiness!
 

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Wow, great pictures!! Happy Birthday, Virgman! I love his trot in the eq pic...lovely, springy. A lot of suspension! He sure has transformed over the years.

I remember when I got Daz as a 2 year old. It was a 10 hour trailer trip from PA. His first time in a trailer, first time being tied. After a lot of rockin' and rollin', thumping and bumping the trailer got really quiet. We stopped for gas and I told DH "Don't look, I don't want to know". Well, he looked and couldn't find Daz. We had put him in the first slot of a 3-horse slant load. He wasn't there!!!

He was in the second slot facing the opposite way. We figure that he reared up, broke his tie and flipped over on his back. He rolled to his left, rolled under the divider and stood up on the other side, facing the opposite way. To this day, I don't know why I didn't just take out a partition and haul him loose! Stupid stupid stupid. When I opened the trailer door to get him out, he had the most pitiful look on his face. "Are we there YET?" We're there. He was woobly on his legs but unhurt. He's been trailered loose ever since.

Harry had been trailered a lot so his trip, except for being 12 hours, was pretty uneventful. His 'problem' when I got him was that he was 6 and had never left home before except to go to shows with his mom. It took him almost 2 years to settle in, leaving home was very traumatic for him even tho he was safe and happy here. Now, he's completely settled in and for the last few rides, I've been on the horse that was advertised to me. It's taken me 3 1/2 year to 'get with' him. We both started out afraid and unsure of each other. Now I can get on him and let him wander off without reins while I put my gloves on or fix my stirrup, no worries! The other day I rode with one hand in my pocket.
 

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Knife Swallower
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Thanks Penny's Mom! He's got a lot of dressage blood in his bloodlines and once we had a dressage trainer, he muscled up so much that he got the most unbelievable extended trot...like, a 3 second pause to hold your post! I'm sure he'll be throwing that trot out the first time he goes under saddle next month!

Geez, that's so scary Daz flipped in the trailer! We had one pony who clambered up onto the chest bar and stuck his head out the trailer's window (4 horse load where you back them in) and I started honking at the driver, but he knew something was up. Poor pony was pretty shaken up but unharmed.

We started laughing at Virgil since he'd be reluctant to load at home, and yet couldn't get in the trailer fast enough at shows. Once he made the connection that trailering from shows meant going home, he'd start self-loading into any open trailer we walked by! Yet leaving the home grounds...not so much. It's crazy how clever they are!
 

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Knife Swallower
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Looks like I'm flooding this thread with pics of Virgil...sorry!

Some from yesterday, with Virgil enjoying his New Year's Day bran mash!

Chilling at the round bale with Stormy and Adam:


It was so frosty out (but only at the barn - the city was sunny and clear...it was so odd) that Virgil was all frosted up...even his hairy ears!


Frost on tail and legs...and his new $2 neon orange bucket. You could see that thing in a snow storm!


Super cute little pony that lives across the way. He kept stretching his nose out as if he could close the gap! So adorable! Look at all the hoarfrost, too...this was taken at 1pm!


Virgil's yak-like winter coat:


Spilling bran mash all over. Bran, molasses, apples, carrots, peppermints, and a little bit of complete feed that was left made up his bran mash.


Stormy was hovering around Virgil, so Virgil kept making faces and mock charging him to get him away.


Making a face:


Chasing him away again!


Stormy tried the other side to no avail


Eating and keeping his eye on Stormy now


Finally, Virgil really chased Stormy away...but ended up leaving his bucket unprotected...


So adam saw a chance and left the round bale for the first time, trying to sneak in on the other side!


So Virgil handed me his bucket to hold for him


and that's it!
 

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Kate
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I'm loving all of the pics<: Cold as they look... I mean frost ON the horses! o_O

My barn lady rolls her eyes at me every time, but I celebrate my guy's birthday right on his birthday. Which is May 11. :D

I need to get out to the barn... just dreading the cold. >.<
 

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I'm avoiding the barn today. Not only is it cold but it's Jennifer's last day of vacation. She's been off since the 21st and has been getting in some quality ALONE barn time...something that is basically all mine when she's at work. She's had 4 lessons on Hershey, trailered him about 60 miles west of here. Today she gave him a bit of a clip...shoulders, chest and belly because he's getting so sweaty during his lessons. She's planning on one a week as long as the driving is safe.

Tomorrow, I'm back at work cleaning and feeding. It's supposed to warm up a little in a few days...I'll get in some rides then. But no clipping for me, western horses don't get sweaty.;) At least not mine!
 

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Knife Swallower
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Yeah it was cold out. -15ish C. The weird thing is that the city was so sunny and only -4, then I was driving out to the barn and there was this weird low cloud on the horizon. Turns out it was fog! I drove in it and it was like entering a new world. No sun, everything covered in thick hoarfrost and the temp dropped to -15. Stayed like that all day, too. Drove back into the city and it was bright and sunny. So bizarro.

And it's supposed to warm up to +10 today! What the hell! It's so hard on the horses right now. I'll be stripping Virgil's blanket off him and giving him another mash to make sure he's getting enough water in him. This is the time of year colics are so prevalent in this area and the vets think it's the fluctuating temperatures. So, Virgil got 8 cups - 2 L - of water in him yesterday just from his mash. Need to do that again!

Megora - I usually celebrate Virgil's b-day on his actual b-day, too! May 20. I always joke that both halves of him need a celebration. His TB half gets b-day celebration on Jan 1st...and his DWB celebrates b-day on May 20.

I'm so happy with my orange bucket, too. I keep it at home so I can make bran mashes at home instead of at the barn since there's no kettle out there. Make the mash, cover it with a towel on the way out to the barn, add a few more ingredients and serve to Virgil. Works great! and his red bucket stays out at the barn for his every day feed. Sounds like he's eating his corta-flx a little better now, too. Not being quite so fussy!
 

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Hi everyone! I hope you all had great holiday seasons! I am just back from my trip to Nova Scotia with my husbands family who is all out there.

Glad to be back!

I am out to the barn tomorrow to lunge Belle, Wednesday to ride Spud and lunge Belle and then lesson on Belle Thursday, can't wait, but it's going to be COLD!

Love the pics of Virgil....yak like winter coat, I totally LOL'ed.

This came up in discussion over the holidays and I am going to ask horse people, thoughts on pregnancy and riding? I know every pregnancy and every horse person is different.....but what are your opinions?

-14 without windchill here tonight, I am going to have to have the long underwear on tomorrow!

Mer's non-Jan 1st birthday was March 19th, but today would have been the 9th anniversary of when I purchased him! Also my parents Golden's 9th Birthday today :)
 

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Knife Swallower
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Ooh lots of horse time! Nice! I'm very excited to have Virgil back in his work program - light as it is - so I can do more than go out to the barn, brush, and feed him. I was digging through my bins of horse stuff in the garage trying to find some vetwrap (for ranger) and i found a ton of saddle pads...and I'm so excited i can use them again! Even if they are just going to be under a surcingle for the next month!

Pregnancy and riding...I know people who rode up til their 8th month, but their horses were super calm and non-spooky. Nothing hard either, mostly walking, definitely no cantering or jumping. I had to stop a trainer from riding my horse when I found out she was pregnant. My horse was 4, spooky, flighty, etc. and while she was okay with it (she was 3 months pregnant) I definitely was not. I never would have forgiven myself if he'd done something or caused her to fall off. My dad was furious when he found out she'd been riding Virgil for 2 months when she knew she was pregnant.

I, personally, wouldn't do it. Not even on calm horses, let alone mine. I've seen calm horses flip over at a walk, trip and go down to their knees, decide to spook at nothing...the craziest things can happen in the blink of an eye. I'm willing to put myself at 'risk' but not an unborn child.

-14...hope you got some nice gloves! I always liked my full chaps for cold days. They cut the wind, gave me extra grip when horses were a little flight due to the cold and they were WARM. Silk long underwear is also great since it's not bulky under breeches. The worst are toes. My toes were always cold when i rode, even if the rest of me wasn't. Even if I wore smartwool or woolie boolie socks. Even in the indoor ring. My toes would be numb by the end of the rides in the winter! I could never teach lessons in my paddock boots in the winter, either. I'd ride, then quickly change into my warm boots and crack open some toe warmers! I don't know how people ride without indoor rings. No way. I'm way too much of a baby!
 

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Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it's off to work I go. Penny's Dad is putting the down liner back in his coat and about to go get grain. Jennifer let it run out...she's not used to this barn managing thing. ;) They got fed last night so no biggie, just had to laugh a little.

Then we're off to feed and clean. Today is very cold and windy so I'm sure we'll be bringing them back in around 4. Three hot-house plants!!!
 

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-22 with windchill. I was just out with Fin for a walk and omg, COLD. He had frosty whiskers within moments of being out!

I have warmer paddock boots, but am a sucker for my field boots. I always ride in breeches and field boots, bought perfect paddock boots and half chaps and they collect dust because I still flop back to field boots. My feet always freeze.....especially in this weather!!! Thankfully just lunging today so I am going to layer up and wear my biggest warmest boots and my coveralls! When I boarded I didn't have an indoor ring, and now with one....I can't imagine not having it!! The one I ride in is 70' x 200' so it is absolutely awesomely huge with fantastic footing. So how could I ever go outside again, lol.
 

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Every year we go round and round about putting up an indoor arena. But at $60,000/ min for a medium size, we just not comfortable with mortgaging or cashing in for that big amount. So...we work outside. I just got a balaclava to wear under my helmet and insulted breeches. Too cold today but we're have some 30s and a 40 with sunshine this week so I should be able to get in a couple of rides. Nothing much, just keeping in touch with it all instead of laying off for 4 months and then having to refresh.
 

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Knife Swallower
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Laying off for 4 months? FOUR months? Up here winter is usually at least 6 months...if not longer. :(:yuck:

70 x 200? That is nice big ring!! I spent years in a little ring, then moved to a place that didn't have one - which was okay since Virgil was retired - and now we're back to having one. It is so nice and big! I love it. It'll be great for Virgil once he's back under saddle. Bigger corners, bigger circles, longer straight lines. I'm going to try to get someone to come out with me to the barn today so I can get pics of him handwalking with his side reins. They are sooo long (since he's out of shape and can't possibly hold a frame for long), but he keeps stretching into them and putting himself on the bit. I take it as a sign he really wants to get back into work!
 

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Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb. I usually started conditioning March 15, once the snow has melted and riding beginning of April. We don't have 6 months of winter; 4 is bad enough! ;)

I think Jen would like the indoor so she could ride at night, after work. I'm not that particular about it because I can pick my days and get a few in, barring any long, frigid cold snaps. Or very deep snow. We have a warmish week coming up, no rain and no snow.
 

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Hey all I am enjoying the pictures and your COLD adventures but have nothing for you yet! Just getting back to work and have some pics to download, but not until I actually do some real work! Be safe, keep it up and Happy New Year. Thanks E. for starting this new thread! Kimberly (&Mystery The Morab)
 

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Kate
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Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb. I usually started conditioning March 15, once the snow has melted and riding beginning of April. We don't have 6 months of winter; 4 is bad enough! ;)

I think Jen would like the indoor so she could ride at night, after work. I'm not that particular about it because I can pick my days and get a few in, barring any long, frigid cold snaps. Or very deep snow. We have a warmish week coming up, no rain and no snow.
You are a hero to my mind... o_O

With an indoor arena, January is still a really hard month to get out and ride. You have shelter and solid dry ground under your feet, but you are dealing with dust + it's still freezing. I had a brush of frostbite when I was a kiddo even with riding in an indoor barn. :( If I ride at all, I generally wait for lesson days and see if I can sneak in while they have the big heaters running.
 

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yes, Megora, sometimes I think outside is better because at least there's some sun. Barns can be very cold and 'hold' the cold. We have to deal with a lot of wind at Jen's place...no tree lines or breaks and hard to get anything to grow and thrive in the sand.

I think I'll look like a Ninja next time I ride but at least I think I've found something that will work under my helmet.
 

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This post is a bit picture heavy, I hope I don't bore you all! I got a new lense for my camera for xmas and was trying it out at the ranch. yes, wonderful northern CA weather..dry and in the low 60s last week but hey, it is really expensive to live here so no haters! :)

These are all of the ranch critters including my own Mystery...he will now be 26 in Feb. The dogs are Cannella and Max, the guy I babysat. He got to visit 2 horse barns and was a very good boy!

I hope you enjoy mine as much as I have enjoyed yours! No riding for me though, Mystery was too stiff and sore after night time temps in the 30s...
 

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Kate
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yes, wonderful northern CA weather..dry and in the low 60s last week but hey, it is really expensive to live here so no haters! :)
...
Ah... but you pay for that nice weather with -

Mudslides
Forest Fires
Earthquakes
SINK HOLES?!

I'll take normal four season weather any day. :D
 
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