Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Big News!

Bar J Jingos Doc & I, on one of those perfect summer days.

My sunday Trail Ride had a few purposes. Namely, I needed to experience that forest stillness I mentioned, as well as just "get back to my roots" so to speak. You have no idea how comfortable my body was settling back into the rhythm of just heading in one direction, off into the sunset (cheesy, but true). I forgot how perfect the saddle I ride in out there conforms to my body. Old trails, and memories made were coming back to me. It was all very therapeutic for my soul.

However, I also wanted to discuss "my boy" aka that big adorable crazy-eyed paint in my header.. aka Jingle. You see, with the sale of the ranch, depending on the new owners, comes the realization that a lot of the horses may go to auction... and, as horse-lovers, we all know what that means. Especially here in Alberta, there's the reality that a lot of auction horses get put on stock trucks headed to slaughter. Obviously that's the extreme to what could happen to my baby, but there's lots of other less worse, but in my mind, still awful things, that could happen to him when the ranch changes hands. Honestly, even if someone I knew bought the ranch, I'm so emotionally invested in that horse that I just don't think I could walk away form him another summer. Especially with the lingering thought of another winter of him in some faraway pasture, without routine maintenance or check-ups. Nope. Not this winter folks.

So against all better judgement on my behalf I decided that Jingle would be heading home with me after this summer. This is huge - massive really - decision... I'm not the best at saving money, and now all of a sudden I'm going to have a 1200 lb kid, that will end up taking most of the money out of my bank account month by month. Screw it, I can't wait.

So... here I am rambling once again... I went down to ask if I could buy him, and offer up a deal. They took the deal! He's going to be mine! Plus, the saddle I used all summer was negotiated in the deal. (I'm praying to the higher power that he hasn't changed/the saddle is actually a good fit for him.. I know more about saddle fit than I did last summer, that's for sure.) ...I remember it being good though, pray with me please.

I also got to see his papers, and an itty bitty baby photo :) :) .. his registered name Bar J Jingos Doc :) I already know his papa, Gringo, who is a stud at the ranch, and his mama is a broodmare who i'm not familiar with. I also nailed down his official age... coming 8 in less than a month (April 28th is his birthday I believe) AND I also weaseled my way into asking if he could come home earlier than June. Apparently a lot of them will be coming home from winter pasture by the end of the month so I'm hoping my baby is on one of those trailers. Then I can bring him a horsey birthday cake, and groom the living hell out of him.

SO... this is all very scary, and suddenly super real, but also very exciting and makes my heart hurt with happiness because I get to see my baby so soon.

Now... I suddenly feel like I know NOTHING about horses... there is so much to know.. thankfully I have a good team of people around and behind me to nag, and I honestly feel like sitting every horse-owner I know down and grilling them about EVERYTHING horse-owner related.

Hey guys, guess what? I can do that... OVER THIS BLOG. So, if you're reading this, and you feel in a rambly mood like your author here, tell me everything. 
What are your essential products/grooming tools/tack and training tools/etc (I'm a bit of a product whore... I foresee myself going overboard). 
What are some words of wisdom you wished someone had given you when you purchased/owned your first horse? 
Random Advice? 
WHAT DO YOU FEED YOUR HORSES? (This is a huge one for me... he will be at a boarding stable, but I really am lacking in equine nutritional knowledge)

Basically, if you're reading this... tell me everything. :)


  1. Congratulations on the new addition! That's awesome news!

    Do you have a stable picked out already? I think that's one of the hardest parts of having a new horse.

    And the shopping! I love tack so much. The wish list never gets shorter.

    Words of wisdom? Buy the best stuff you can. That $29 bridle looks great in the shop but it's wrecked in a month and then you're buying another $29 bridle, and before you know it you've spent $145 on bridles but you still have a $29 bridle. It's the story of my life lol.

    My horse gets pasture time all day every day and comes in at night. In her stall and in the winter she gets about all the quality hay she can eat. For grain, well, she doesn't need any extra calories because of the hay and pasture but I still like her to have her vitamins so she gets a ration balancer. Doesn't make them crazy and you don't have to feed a lot of it for them to get what they need out of it. I play around with other supplements but those are the things that always stay the same.

    Random advice? Have fun! That's why we do this afterall!

    1. I do - the place i'm taking at lessons now is really low-key, I like the trainer a lot, and everyone is super nice. My boy can be a bit of an... interesting character... so I need a really laid back place that can handle his eccentricities haha.

      Hahaha.. that will indeed be the story of mine aswell, thankfully i've invested in some good quality tack, but I can see myself still going crazy. (Case in point I almost bought a used breast collar/headstall yesterday just because I thought the price was decent enough, so why not?!... oh jeez)

      What are you favourite grooming products?

      I was actually looking into ration balancers! In Canada the one I'm leaning toward is Purina Equilizer, plus maybe a little bit of beet pulp in the summer since he'll be doing such a heavy workload. I know people that feed Masterfeeds Senior, as well as Developer and Finishing Touch, but I don't think he'll need all of that.

      Thanks for the big reply - I appreciate it :)

    2. That's awesome about the barn. Great way to test a place out before giving them responsibility for your baby lol.

      I'm feeding a Purina ration balancer (Enrich 32) and absolutely love it! I've tried other brands and just keep coming back to the Purina. Dee does great on it and I love the consistency of the pellets. Never dusty, and what's in the top of the bag looks like what's in the bottom of the bag.

      For grooming products I love keeping a tube of Cowboy Magic Detangler and Shine around. It's the emergency bur and tangle product. It's so slick, nothing can resist! Another favorite is a people product, Infusium 23 Leave In Treatment. Just love that on tails and manes! I put some in a little spray bottle and mist regularly. And for bath time I like just plain old Mane 'n Tail shampoo and conditioner. I really like the Mane 'n Tail Spray-Away too. You can get a horse washed so fast and it goes a long way.

      I'm such an addict when it comes to this stuff!

    3. You and I are definitely on the same page with so much of our products :) Mane & Tail and Cowboy Magic are my two big ones for sure! Hmm.. I've never tried the spray-away, that'll be on the list for sure.

  2. Woo hooo! Congrats!!

    Make a tub/bin/bucket/basket of essentials:
    *Furazone and saran wrap
    *Some sort of linament--I love Absorbine
    *Epsom salts
    *Vet wrap (so many pretty colors!)
    *Thrush medicine
    *A set of standing bandages

    As for grooming:
    *Half a dozen hoofpicks--you will lose all but one in the first month. Oh, wait. Maybe that's just me.
    * Soft brush and med. brush
    * Mane/tail comb
    *Show sheen
    *Sponge, bath bucket, shampoo, and sweat scraper
    *Hoof moisturizer--I like Feibings or Rain Maker

    I think you'll find that working with horses a lot slides pretty seemelessly into owning your own horse. Surround yourself with knowledgable people and you'll pick up on things really quickly. Again, congrats!!!

    1. Thank you for the lists :) I really appreciate them. I'm not really so worried (okay I am), I suppose I know enough about horses, and have been around them long enough that moving into the step of owning one shouldn't be THAT BIG, it's just all the same things one needs to buy, plus... when you ride someone else's horse, if they are hurt, the owner deals with it, well now i'm the owner! haha

      I'll be sure to document all the shopping that will occur over the next few months ;)

  3. Congratulations! When I got my first horse, my Mum and I could barely hang up a hay net. When you have got people around to help you thought it makes everything so much easier (even if everyone's advice seems to be the complete opposite to each others!).

    My favourite grooming brush is what I call "the flicker brush" which is soft so flicks all the dust out of the coat (I have no idea of the real name and can't find it online, so that's no help!). I also love grooming blocks for when he is moulting as it helps to bring all the hair out. In the UK we have "mane and tail conditioner" that is a spray and helps to de-tangle all the hair which is really good in the tail.

    1. Haha.. you are SO right about everyone's opinion and advice... you just have to sift through all of it and take the best pieces of all of it I suppose!

      We have Mane and Tail here as well, I love it. One of my first "ownership responsibilities" will be giving the boy a big, massive, bath. haha

  4. On Em Geeeee that's exciting. Yay! I remember when we first got Pippi, I almost died with excitement.

    As for grooming stuff I am a poor college girl and love cheap stuff that really work so I use WD40 for mane and tail detangler when I'm not showing. It does wonders. Love it. I also use listerine and water for rain rot and itchie-ness. It does wonders. Another thing I use when Pippi gets thrush is bleach and water. Not a whole lot of bleach, like 1:5 or so. Instead of using blueing shampoo I use human shampoo for blondes or old people gray. It works just as well.
    I normally don't use show sheen bc I am afraid I will get it under the saddle and my saddle may slip.

    I hope your boy comes back on the early truck so you can love on him.

    1. Ooo I really like the cheap-product method, that would be a great blog post! haha I've looked into lots of cheap/natural remedies - you can apparently make tons of different types of cheap, non-chemically fly sprays!

      Thank you! I can't waaaait. :)

  5. LV! How exciting for you and your new baby! You are so smart getting your first horse when you are only 20 - I was 40 and wasted way to much no-equine time. Here are my grooming must haves: for baths I use Orvis Paste/white vinegar/iodine because it really helps with any fungus or rain rot (as does basice listerine as a spray on), metal shedding "comb" to help get shedding hair as well as caked mud off; I mix my own fly spray with water/pyrithrin/citronella oil - natural is ideal but we have way to many ticks in OK and they MUST all die! Our "pasture" is to small so the horses are out all day (with added hay) and then in stalls at night with hay. Sounds like you already have the best plan of finding great horsey friends and getting your equine therapy together. Enjoy the ride.

    1. Thank you very much! Great tips :) I love hearing all of your guys slightly different but ultimately similar suggestions. What a wonderful blogger family :)

  6. I just happened across your blog and I can't help but comment to say congratulations. About four years ago I was in almost exactly the same situation. I had a horse as a kid and rode all the way through college, but then moved across the country to a town where I knew no one except my (now) husband. After living horseless for a year I couldn't take it any longer, so bought myself a mostly untrained 7-yr-old APHA gelding. I was one of those cocky youngsters who knew everything about horses until suddenly I found myself standing there with my own horse on the end of a lead rope and no one to get advice or support (or financial assistance) from.

    Here are what I consider the most important tidbits I've learned in the last few years (I hope you meant that bit about wanting rambly advice):

    -Less stall time is good, no stall time is better. If your horse can stay at a healthy weight without grain or rich feeds, that is the best way to go. Free choice grass/hay is the ideal situation.

    -I had a thrush problem with my horse for years, and what finally beat it was this powder called "No Thrush."
    -Neosporine. Seriously. Buy it in bulk and use it on minor cuts and scrapes.

    -Remember that training isn't just riding. You are teaching your horse something every single time he lays eyes on you.
    -Try to find a "school" that suits your long-term goals. I spent a long time dabbling. I'd be infatuated with dressage one week and reining the next. I did too much experimenting and changed my methods too frequently. Finally last year I went to a Buck Brannamen clinic and learned about the vaquero horsemanship methods of Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance. Since then I've learned everything I can about this way of riding and training, and it's helped me a lot. But I don't think the particular school of horsemanship is so much the point as having a larger system to observe and learn from, and true masters of horsemanship to inspire you.

    Doom and Gloom:
    -This is sort of horrible to say, and I don't mean to be a downer, but have a plan for worst-case scenarios. If your horse has severe colic, do you operate or not? How would you handle an injury that leads to chronic lameness? Who can stand in for you if something happens when you aren't there? Make decisions on these big questions and share them with the people who own your boarding facility. The bad things that happen to horses are so much worse when you're not prepared for them... (plus, I'm of the superstitious frame of mind that when you anticipate the worst, it won't happen.)

    -If you can, marry a guy who will ride with you. :) Hint: Men can be converted into horse-lovers if you let them come around to it on their own time and you have a goofy APHA gelding to help win their hearts.

  7. Robin! Your reply made me smile - thank you so much. I'm definitely excited to read more about your boy and journey with him! Jingle is pretty green but he can also have some serious issues - pulling back is one, freezing on the spot is another, but he's only ever been honest in his try and his fears so what can you fault him?

    Great advice! I honestly appreciated the doom and gloom part because you are so right, you definitely need to think of those things and i will have an emergency fund/backup plan/in case of... And the random part made me smile :) how nice for you to find someone that embraced horses :)

    Welcome to the blog can't wait to check yours out!!

    1. Jingle sounds fantastic. If a horse is willing to try you can get anywhere. (with enough time and patience - lol) I'm glad you didn't mind the doom and gloom part. It feels a bit odd appearing out of the ether and spewing forth cautionary monologues on someone else's blog, so I'm glad it was received as it was intended. :)

  8. Thanks for following my blog! I agree with Robin on feeding grass hay- another product available in Alberta is Hoffman's Horse minerals- great stuff, UFA carries it as well as a few other places. I feed it free choice, just hang a bucket on the fence with a couple of cups of minerals in it. They usually eat a bunch at first, then level off to a few mouthfuls a day.
    Looks like you have the grooming products covered, the only thing I'd add is a proper hairbrush foe the mane and tail, preferably with rubber tipped bristles so you don't break the hair- it takes sooooo long to grow.

    1. I am well aware of Hoffman's, definitely something I'll be adding to the "list". haha

      Your boy Beamer is absolutely stunning! Congrats on the first foal of the season =)