Friday, March 20, 2015

Bale bag update; convention notes; ACTHA year #2

If I don't write something now, I'm never actually going to get around to posting, and then it'll be time for the monthly recap with nothing having been said.  Oops.

The dam is still up.  Our conditioning rides are still trucking along, and we're still not hugely enthusiastic.  Not much to say on that front!

Bale bag/slow feeder: we seem to have reached our happy point!  Confetti is now going through a bale a week, or approx 130-150# of hay.  It took about two months.  I'm still using the bag for 2-3 days of hay rather than putting in the entire bale; right now that's an entirely satisfactory solution.  In the future we may revisit the idea of bagging the entire bale in one swoop.  One perk to filling a third of a bale at a time: it's possible to mix in a few grass/alfalfa flakes with the straight grass.  I may up that to 50/50 grass/alf and straight grass.

Convention: was most excellent.  I'd never been before, and it was a lot of fun.  Lots of vendors, chatted with the Renegade folks, got some neat Renegade swag (photos hopefully forthcoming), chatted with American Trail Gear, sold some stuff, bought a little bit of stuff.  I also got to meet Aarene - pestered her with various questions and bought a paper copy of her book.  One can never have enough good books.  One of my questions for Aarene: how to speed up a slow horse?  Her answer - which I think she's given on the blog, too! - is to sing.

Shiny mane!
I put some music on my phone and we headed into the arena yesterday.  The music should be excellent motivation to keep going with arena sessions rather than getting bored ten minutes in.  In fact, we managed to sustain trot/canter circles and serpentines and direction changes for probably 25 minutes.  Woohoo!  My choices of music need to switch to those with a faster tempo.  Even so, they served as an excellent mental preoccupation and it's an experiment we'll keep working on.  (Aarene gives song suggestions here, now that I thought to look.)

Other convention notes included reassurance that some alfalfa is good for helping with ulcers (no, I do not want to switch to only straight grass), slowfeeding is also good prevention, turnout is ideal.  There were way, way more topics covered and things I took notes on, but migraines have left my memory a little bit lacking.

It was really lovely to get to see/talk to/socialize with all sorts of people, drop in on interesting seminars, and generally feel like I got something out of it.  Very worthwhile.
"Tied to a tree. Whatever."

This year I judged an obstacle rather than drag riding. Way better for Fetti's sanity even if she was full of herself on the way back to base.  She stood, well-behaved, tied to a tree for a bunch of hours. Except when she rolled with the saddle; then I was not quite so happy with her. Overall, though? Pretty good.


  1. Music is the BEST for riding motivation! I am completely addicted and always play music when riding solo, whether on the trails or in the arena. There are some really cool wrap-around headphones that don't cover your ears that I love bc you can still hear outside sounds. They are called Shokz and you can find them on Amazon.

    Fetti is looking GORGEOUS!! I laughed at that picture of her tied to the tree. She looks so pissed!

  2. my first instructor had speakers in the arena and loved playing military drill music - and picked specific songs with tempos suitable for walk trot and canter. the horses would really perk up with the music too - and get all twinkly-toed haha

    glad you enjoyed the convention and actha even so much!