It’s been a rough week and if I don’t post this, I will fall behind in my thoughts about stuff. Remember, this blog is not all about you. It is about me trying to keep track of when I did things but sharing with you (whoever you are) along the way.
I’m enjoying the space I’m creating for myself as well as making a nice pasture and nice stalls, etc for the boy and girl.
My first solar light arrived today. Also, one of the two used metal lampshades I got from eBay arrived today, too. These two items are not the bulb/shade combo I have planned, so I can’t put them together. Besides, I want to spray paint the under side of the shade white. Also, I still have a lantern from the first farm, it’s battery powered, but it will work great until more lights can be purchased.
I forgot to mention my exciting news. . .this is hugely happy news. I am going to be employed as temporary help for Dover Saddlery during their Fall Tent Sale as their face painter!! Woot woot! So, yes, I am happy as a pony owner can be. I’m going to be paid in store credit and will be able to receive the employee discount up to as much as the wages I have earned. So, if I earn 50 smackers in face painting hours, I can spend 50 smackers with the employee discount. . . with my store credit. How awesome is that? My horses already have a somewhat complete wardrobe for winter, but my hope is to get them each the most perfectest blanket I can find. Then I’ll look into winter water buckets while trying to figure out how to get a solar panel/battery/converter/outlet thingy set up.
Pioux’s Corner is going solar baby!
Ok, back to cleaning tack. I’m using kite bags for clean bridle storage. I let things get a little moldy this past week. After barn gear cleaning, I’m moving on to sweeping the floor. Life is so exciting these days. I can hardly stand it. Oh, also, I’m going to put up official wall hooks in the shed instead of the crappy nails that I’m using. Anddddd. . .I think I’m going to put up a mini-shelf in the hay shed part so I have a better place to store some stuff. I need away places so I can put things away. I need that at home, but that just seems so far from possible right now. So I will create away at the farm.
[later that same day. . .]
I really love my solar light. It’s not bright enough to illuminate the stalls enough to push the winter blues away but with a few more, ideally a total of 4 would be fine and six would be amazing. It wasn’t enough to illuminate the gray day, though. With all the rain, so many d ays of rain, there was a lot of work to do. The stalls needed to be stripped, so the horses got turned out in one of the sand rings. There’s enough grass growing in there to be distracting to the horses when I’m trying to work with them at liberty, so having them graze it on a drizzling afternoon is perfect. No mud in their feet and they feel like they got to eat grass after being in all day and night. It took me several hours to get the light up in the rafters of the barn, clean the stalls, put up the hooks, and simply do some rearranging. Things were cluttered and I was feeling as irritable as the horses seemed to be.
[the next day. . .Sunday]
My wheelbarrow tire went flat, so I replaced it with a Never Go Flat Tire. Those things are expensive! However, clearly worth it if the tire I had went flat after two months. I did a lot of rearranging of my shed. At one point I kept thinking about putting down some fresh sawdust in my part and would think, “No, no. I should save it for the horses’ bedding.” Then finally I though, “Ok, so having a drier and brighter area for me to store stuff and be in when I’m not with them isn’t worth the $6 for a bag of sawdust, but it’s ok for them to poop in it?” With that logic, I put down a nice layer of sawdust for me. It did a world of good for my p eace of mind. My dad calls that space my office, and he’s right. I will look stuff up on my iPad, make notes about hay, grain, weather, and more, I even take breaks. I made the space a little bigger because, at least for this winter, I will only be storing up to three round bales at a time in there, so I can take a little more room for the horses food and halters and grooming supplies.
I used the battery lantern, the flash light on my iPhone, and I took down the bulb from the stalls and set them up to illuminate the dry lot. Then I took the 2 remaining orange cones and one old water bucket and made a triangle in the larger area. I got my treat bag and opened both stalls. Before I could even finish getting squared away, Sioux came over and started playing the clicker game. She spotted what I was doing right away. I can’t remember the last time I was able to do this with them, but she remembered it. She went from cone to cone to bucket as we formed new cues (physical and verbal) to get us toward lungeing at liberty.
Before too long, Pie’s need to be awesome got the better of him. It was great because usually Sioux learns the lesson plan from watching Pie go. There is more to this story, but I really need to get busy working on the children’s book. I’m having a hard time focusing on that and getting everything done at the farm that I want to do.
The thing that was great, though, is that my horses and I were very comfortable doing the training that I had always been using with them. No, my training, positive reinforcement (clicker) training, is not for everyone. But it is what I used to train Pie and it is what Kate, Sioux’s first owner, used to train Sioux. The down side of this form of training is that the environment needs to be a certain way for it to really work.
I think it’s almost there and I think that I’m finally getting my head back around this approach. I know the horses are happy to have things heading in that direction. If Sioux and Pie are volunteering to do the training, I know I’m getting it right again. 🙂