Canada Bound - of family, dogs and horses - Page 25 - The Horse Forum
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post #241 of 306 Old 03-29-2013, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: An English Girl living in beautiful Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,606
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Just relaxing in the Rockies

Well, it's been a long time since I posted an entry, and I had been wondering whether i would wrap this up now my life has settled down to normalcy in a new country. But I think I will continue as I have enjoyed the process, and enjoyed the feedback very much. As spring comes (when spring comes, if spring comes) then I will start riding again and a whole new journey will begin!

It's week we have been ski-ing at Panorama Mountain Resort. A whole bunch of achievements right there:

- I found a Housesitter to look after all my animals. Quite an achievement as this kind of person comes from word of mouth. She is a lovely girl and I very much hope to form a repeat relationship with her

- we are on a family holiday that I am ENJOYING! This is a big achievement as I do not enjoy 'sitting around in the sun' and husband does not enjoy 'organised activities'.

- we are holidaying with friends. Never done this before as husband would have always pushed back on the suggestion but 'new country, new rules' he went with the suggestion and it's worked out really well. As we have separate apartments at the resort we are not in each other's pockets all the time. All three of us have enjoyed their company greatly and husband sees the benefits of son having friends at a resort.

- we can ski!! Couldn't do that this time last year

Tomorrow we will return home to our little piece of snowy heaven just outside of Edmonton. I will resume the daily grind of feeding, packed lunches, school collections, house cleaning, yadda yadda, but all this will be happening in keen anticipation of RIDING SOON!

I have all sorts of thoughts running through my head about plan of action but I think I need to get myself some sort of planner/journal to formulate my plans and make it all happen. I already see that one disadvantage of having my horses at home is there is no-one else there to observe my progress, offer encouragement etc. if I'm going to commit to a plan I must be my own judge

So, to all who read this, a thank you from me for your continued audience participation, and I look forward to my next entry!
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Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #242 of 306 Old 03-29-2013, 10:33 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: AZ
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Glad you are enjoying your vacation. Yes, w/out being in a structured lesson program-it's easy to let things slide. But you can journal here & note progress on what issues you want to address. With horses there's always something it seems. Look forward to future posts about your activities.
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post #243 of 306 Old 03-29-2013, 11:23 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Alberta
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Happy vacation! Skiing is one of the best ways to enjoy an Alberta spring.

With regards to riding, why not check out some local clinics? This time of year there are usually many weekend clinics going on in a variety of places. Many stables bring in clinicians from around or outside the province and host the event, while others provide their own in house clinics. This is a great way to meet people and work on your skills under the guidance of a variety of instructors.
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post #244 of 306 Old 03-29-2013, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Location: An English Girl living in beautiful Alberta, Canada
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Clinics. Koolio, thank you that is a genius suggestion! I will

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #245 of 306 Old 04-01-2013, 06:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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If you look around I'm sure you'll find places where they hold clinics and informal training shows that you can get involved in - maybe even a large local barn that has a resident trainer you could have lessons with - all helps you get integrated into the local horse community
I don't know what its like in Canada but I found everything so different here, we've always lived in horsey areas where you couldn't spit without it landing on someone riding and local feed merchants were good gathering places at any time of the day
Takes a while to fit in anywhere but when you move country its an even bigger problem
On the bright side it will soon be summer and they're having crap weather in the UK!!!
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post #246 of 306 Old 04-05-2013, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Oh look, more snow!

Well, it is snowing again, but thanks to the accurate mid-continent weather forecasts we enjoy here, I knew it was coming. All that lovely grass which had appeared over the last week has been covered up again and the forecast is for flurries over the weekend, and then cold until Wednesday I think. Then it will warm up again and hopefully the thaw will continue.

All winter I have been musing how to manage my pasture in the spring and summer, and now it is almost with me I must make up my mind! The boys have been finding grass where the snow has melted off and very noticeably not been hungry at haying time. And this is 6 months frozen dead grass! When spring really starts to grow that grass I am going to be very very careful.

I think I am going to attempt a temporary electric fence 'paddock paradise' set up for the spring and summer, so that decision is made. Now my only challenge is how to keep the boys off the soggy boggy pasture during the melt. Much as it will pain me and them to do it, I think I'm going to have to shut them out of the pasture completely when it is at it's boggiest and then dryING, otherwise I suspect the grass roots will take too much of a bashing.

I know it will go fairly quickly (by UK standards) from drying to dry and growing so we shouldn't have too long to wait and suffer
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Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #247 of 306 Old 04-05-2013, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Almost time to ride.......

Yes, almost almost almost there!

This snow is about to go (go snow go!!) which means that I will be able to:

1 lunge in the round pen

2 ride in the arena

3 start to do obstacle training with Ukon in the arena

4 take Riley and then Ukon out on the trail

5 get my sidesaddle fitted to Ukon

6 and so on

To be ready for this I must do the following jobs:

I must book my vet to come and do the boys teeth as I want to get on both boys with comfortable mouths..... I do not feel a need to predicate another bucking drama because of sharp teeth!! I am vaguely irritated that I will be using a vet, as I have always found equine dentists to do a better job, but I have a good vet, and I haven't found a good dentist - so that's where I am with that.

Speak to lovely dad-from-school about rototilling / rotovating the arena

Clean and oil tack

Find Jodphurs and check they still fit

Read all my unread 'how to ride better/neater/smoother/higher/lower on a trained/supple/well mannered/fit horse' books in the library downstairs while checking the weather forecast every 10 minutes for signs of the big thaw.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #248 of 306 Old 04-05-2013, 08:14 PM
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Rosie, altho the grass is brown and frozen, there are nutrients locked in there otherwise wild horses would never have survived their first winter. If horses have alternatives, they will eat limited amounts of spring grass then fill up on brown grass or hay if offered. You will notice that as the time of day approaches when the sugars are high in the grass, the flies are out and drive the horses inside. A dark building will keep the bugs out. The horses will emerge before dark and that is when the grass sugars are low. Feeding hay inside will encourage the horses to stay inside.
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post #249 of 306 Old 04-05-2013, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Rosie, altho the grass is brown and frozen, there are nutrients locked in there otherwise wild horses would never have survived their first winter. If horses have alternatives, they will eat limited amounts of spring grass then fill up on brown grass or hay if offered. You will notice that as the time of day approaches when the sugars are high in the grass, the flies are out and drive the horses inside. A dark building will keep the bugs out. The horses will emerge before dark and that is when the grass sugars are low. Feeding hay inside will encourage the horses to stay inside.
Thank you saddlebag, that is helpful advice.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #250 of 306 Old 04-15-2013, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Spring is slowly springing

The daytime temperatures are apparently 8 to 10 degrees colder than seasonal averages, but they are still above zero with plenty of sunshine! Which means that my grass is appearing inch by inch, buds are popping up on branches, birds are a-tweeting in the trees, horses are moulting, and sunshine is filling my world.

Hip hip hurrah

Last week an unseasonal snowstorm snowed on our parade, so horse-planning time included making lists, oiling tack, and day dreaming. Today I groomed Ukon, and dug out two gateways. Gateway between the back paddock and the pasture is frozen into place, but I think that by the afternoon I should be able to free it to get it swinging. Gateway into the round pen is deep in snow. I dug it halfway first thing this morning, but at 4 deg below after a warm slushy day yesterday, the snow is solid crystals. I will go back out this afternoon (family chores permitting) to see if I can clear it completely.

If I can get the round pen gate working, tomorrow I will take Ukon in there to

A) have him trample some snow down

B) remind him what the whole 'exercise under instruction' thing is all about.

I am sooo looking forward to getting going.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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