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March 25, 2018: The Horse Life: Holding Pieces of the Puzzle

My very good friend Fran once remarked that her life was very simple before she got horses because she had few needs. The acquisition of horses – that changed things for her. Trailers, grooming tools, tack, feed, storage areas, the list of the home horse owner seems to grow exponentially. Oh yeah, and add to this maintenance costs – farrier work and veterinary care included.

I remember being told by Bill Long that horses are like boats – they are a hole that you keep putting money into. My thought then was that I’d be the exception. I had one horse, and all that one horse was going to need was a bridle, saddle, some grooming tools, and feed. I was going to

Alys and Tinni stepping over poll

be an exception to what Bill was telling me – that horses are a major expense.

I was wrong. I acquired a second horse. We moved Siggi and Raudi home and built them a facility. In short order we acquired Tinni. Signy, Hrimmi, and lastly Tyra followed suit. We acquired gear for our disciplinary interests, i.e. for trips: pack saddles and travel gear. I read that the amount of space will dictate how many horses one has. Last night I was thinking that if we were given two more Icelandics that I’d put them in the Playground of Higher Learning. Don’t worry Pete, it isn’t going to happen.

Okay. After a decade of ongoing expenses, I accepted the fact that the time would soon come in which I’d say “okay, I have all the gear I need. Pete and I are now adept at doing basic farrier work. And we’re both able to do basic veterinary care. I have taken every class in the latter the local college has offered.

But I am now at the point in which I am acknowledging the fact that the horses are going to continue to be an ongoing expense. I didn’t say accept, for the part of me that is and will always remain quite frugal will never accept this fact.

The latest list of things acquired includes a nice leather European side pull bridle. This was initially for Hrimmi who somehow got a laceration in the inside corner of her mouth and most likely will never be able to wear a bit. It also includes an exercise mat for proprioceptive work, a hula hoop for footwork, and a bicycle flag on a long pole – this is for teaching the horses to be more forward.

I have also acquired several horse related items, all related to my ongoing interest in movement science. This includes juggling balls, a second mat, and yes, the fat tire(d) bicycle. Our living room is now a gymnasium.

The list of things to acquire includes Pete Ramey’s book on hoof trimming, a must read since Pete and I are going to take his clinic in July. It also includes a second bridle, this one for Tyra who has done really well thus far with the conventional side pull. We are in May, going to need to purchase more hay since we are starting to run low. And we have an upcoming veterinary appointment and the upcoming veterinary spring vaccination/teeth floating/wellness exam.

I also am planning to build a human agility course outside, complete with a balance beam.

All this, and there is one thing that I want more than anything else in the world. This is more land for the horses to move about on. The more I learn about movement science, the more convinced I am that this is integral for their well-being. I do get them out – in the same manner that I vote, early and often.

If and when I do acquire this farm, I am going to call it “Windfall,” because the money for this is going to have to fall out of the sky.

Next: 84. 3/25/18: A New Mantra

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