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Some scary pictures for sure, and even more scary when they belong to someone we “know”.

With that tractor having a front loader, it would be huge help if it will start and there’s no water in the fuel system or the filters:)

Even if the bush hog is damaged, it’s the cheapest thing to replace. Hopefully someone in the family can assess the tractor to see if it is still work-worthy:)
 

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Glad you are okay! And thank you for making me appreciate snow storms so much more than being in a warmer climate and having to deal with this.
 

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Discussion Starter #183
So, blankets.

I know. We just had a hurricane and I'm talking about winter blankets.

But it was in the 60s all day long, and that means winter is coming. At least that's what it means in Florida.

Now I'm one of those people who really tries not to blanket whenever possible because I believe horses are tough and can generally handle the cold best on their own. That being said, Florida's "cold" is so sporadic that it's hard for the horses to deal with. It'll be 80 degrees one day and 40 the next, and pouring rain on top of that. The guy I mainly blanket is 25 too and struggles with being underweight so I don't like him burning an insane amount of calories shivering in the cold. If the cold was constant and they could get a proper coat and get used to the temps, then I probably wouldn't need to blanket at all. It's the constant variation of temps that messes with them.

The blanket I have for my old man now is lightweight. It's got filling, but it's fairly light. He's been fine with it before, but I'm wondering if I should switch his and my mare's blankets. My mare's blanket has twice as much filling, which might be nice for the old dude. However, while my mare's blanket fits him, his does NOT fit her. It's way too big. I have a couple options. I could either sell his blanket and get him a thicker one, sell his blanket and give him my mares, and then buy my mare a thinner one that fits her, or just straight up buy a third blanket so I have something extra to give him. Now is the time to sell blankets used, by the way. Everyone's looking for them.

Thing is, I'm not sure how much of a difference insulation makes for a horse. What I've found makes the most difference is a blanket that keeps the wind and rain off of them. I do have a fleece liner that I can put under old man's blanket if it gets really chilly.

Part of this is my ocd. My mare has a thick blanket despite being the one that could probably go without, and my boy has a blanket that's borderline too thin.

I could just sell all of them and start over, which is looking appealing (but expensive). Both blankets are well used but in great shape. Could probably get 40ish for both if I really try. And if I can get the sweaty horse smell out of them :/.
 

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Discussion Starter #184
I gave in and bought them new blankets. I'm selling the other two. I also bought a couple of leadlines because who doesn't need more of those?

Now I need to get me a hat. A leather hat. One that keeps the rain off. I have an oilskin slicker that works magic (it's totally going to be worth it for our wet winters) but I need something to keep my head dry. I'm torn.

We may be starting off on a new series of adventures. I'm going back to riding JR for a bit till my mare's hoof heals. He's pretty much just a slow, old trail horse, but I think we all could use a confidence builder like him once in a while. He's so fun to ride too. I love that old horse.

I can't decide how to spell his name. I've called him Jay, JayR, JR, ect. It's pronounced JAY-ARE but you can't spell it like that because it looks horrid. Maybe I should just go back to JR. That's what he's got branded on his shoulder anyhow.
 

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Discussion Starter #185
I really wish the Halloween ride hadn't been canceled. There's usually one put on by the local equine rescue to raise money and they typically have a costume contest thing. I have so many ideas. I know someone who owns a huge black percheron gelding and while I doubt I could loan him for the day, it'd be amazing if I could. The costume ideas. One of the wraiths from LotR would be my first choice, but if I had to pick something simple I'd just do Merida from Brave (though the historical inaccuracies in that movie bother me). I've always been obsessed with medieval things and just the thought of cosplaying with the help of a giant horse gives me the shivers. I could be anything.

Though interestingly, I was doing some research and one person said that most knight's horses weren't actually that big. Probably the size and build of a quarter horse and probably around 15.2. Especially during the early medieval period, massive horses weren't needed. It wasn't until the late middle ages that knights started wearing plate armor and therefore needing bigger animals.

Going back to LotR, that would make the Rohirrim cavalry even more "realistic" if you will, since most of those horses weren't huge. Though they weren't based on a high medieval culture either. Rohan was mostly based on early-medieval Anglo-Saxon culture. They didn't have as much plate armor as the Gondorian soldiers did, who seemed to belong to a more advanced society (which would make since, since their lineage included the Noldorian elves at some point).

In medieval stories (not so much the films for whatever reason, but sometimes) the author tends to make any horse belonging to a knight MASSIVE. Like, bigger than a Friesian massive. Friesians as a whole are pretty perfect as a knight's horse, or at least they were. I think the modern Friesians are probably less scrappy than their medieval ancestors. Many of them are bred just for looks nowadays, when back then they were bred for war (and looks too, but mostly war). In my stories I tend to picture my knight's horses as big, but not 18 hands or anything. Probably closer to 16hh. Breedwise they're something like a Percheron crossed with a lighter breed like a TB or Arabian. Something with endurance but enough raw power to barge through just about anything.

Come to think of it, medieval cavalry was seriously overpowered. There wasn't hardly anything that'd stop a charging wall of massive animals thundering towards you at 20mph. And that's just the heavy European style cavalry. What really fascinates me are the mounted archers and javelin cavalry of the middle east and then the ancient Mongolian cavalry specifically. I was doing a bit of research for a story that takes place just before 1200AD and during the Third Crusade. I knew this before, but I came upon an article that stated that mares, not stallions, were much better in combat. Both the Arabs and the Mongols preferred mares for their mounts. Everyone wants to instantly classify a powerful battle horse as masculine, when in fact, historically, they were mostly female horses!

I don't know if I should tell my mare this or not. It might go to her head.
 

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Sure enjoyed your post, as I like everything medieval. I rode for 17 years in a jousting show at Maryland Renaissance Festival. Also did joust shows in Sterling, NY and York, PA. And anywhere else they would pay us.

I wish you were closer. We are doing a costume contest at Black Horse Resort in Ocala on Oct. 24. My daughter is riding her "white" mare as a zombie bride. She bought a wedding dress at the thrift store for the costume. Last year she was a devil riding an angel horse. Windy wore wings. Her friend, who rides my big almost black horse, was a thestral, and she dressed as Harry Potter. It took us 3 months to get my big dark horse to accept the wings on his back. My daughter's good mare Windy accepted them the very first day we tried them on her.
 

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Discussion Starter #187
@knightrider Wish I was closer as well! Those pictures are absolutely adorable. Maybe in a few years. We'll see where life takes me, but there are quite a few big horse hospitals down in Ocala area that ONLY work with horses. Since I'm so far planning to specialize in Equine Nursing after I become a CVT, that might be a good place to go. Not sure the cost of living down there though, I imagine it's more expensive than where I am now.

I've always been completely obsessed with medieval history, especially European (people complain about history being Euro-centric or whatever but I find it fascinating). From a teeny kid I wrote stories about knights and castles and read as much as I could about ancient and medieval Europe, England especially. To this day my imagination runs away with me if I'm riding in a quiet wood through tall old oak trees that have a hundred years of stories to tell. I wish I could travel to Europe one day, but alas, money :icon_rolleyes:. I want to do a lot of things that will never come to pass. I'd like to learn archery, specifically the longbow. But learning to use an actual longbow that's comparable to the ones used in medieval war times would take years. I'd also love to learn how to use a broadsword and maybe fence a little, but again, I don't think I have the time.

I do write my fair share of fantasy, but it's nearly always medieval based. What saddens me is that there isn't a lot of entertainment (books, movies, etc..) that are anywhere NEAR historically accurate/realistic. I've only found a couple shows and books I like, The Lord of the Rings being at the top of the list. Recently I have read the novels by Alexandre Dumas, and though they're not medieval, I still love them. There's still plenty of swordplay because it's only the 1600s. A special pet peeve of mine is the fact that every few years they make a new retelling of the Robin Hood story, and it's usually an abysmal failure. I may or may not be writing a version of that legend on my own and I refuse to stray from the original legends or over-romanticize the whole thing.

Working with a renaissance faire sounds like what I'd call a dream job. If I get a chance one day to do that I may take it. Just thinking about it sends chills up my spine. It just...sounds amazing. Maybe that's just me imagining things and making up dramatic scenarios in my head, but still. I'd like to try it out one day.
 

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Discussion Starter #188
I was looking over my Facebook (that place is trash -14/10 would not recommend) and there was one person on a tack sale page who was asking questions about a twisted mouth-combination bit. They wanted to know what kind it was and what brand. Naturally, half of the people in the comments are actually trashing the person and straight up accusing them of abuse when the OP never actually said if they'd ever used that bit or not. It turned into a massive crapping contest. Everyone was calling it a trash bit (but with ruder names) and being nasty.

Personally I wouldn't use that bit on a horse and I think that most of the time when a horse is ridden in that bit it's because either the horse or the rider has a training issue. However. Unless I have actual proof that person has bloodied the mouth of a horse with the bit or is completely unable to control the animal without causing some pain to them I won't say anything. Generally. The only exception would be one of those bike-chain spikey bits. That is abusive because the horse is caused discomfort by simply having that in the its mouth. But even then, I'm not going to be terrible about it. Being rude isn't the way to get your point across. In the case of the hack combo, while it CAN be a harsh bit, it's not NECESSARILY a harsh bit. If the horse isn't exhibiting any signs of discomfort and doesn't have any behavioral issues, then ride with what you want! Usually if that's the case with the horse then they won't actually "need" a harsh bit but that's not the point. That's not the hill we need to die on. If the horse is fine and there's absolutely zero evidence of abuse, then people can't logically accuse someone of hurting their horse.

Also, I find it funny that many of these "bleeding hearts" who think bits are abuse also have no idea how to take care of their horses, don't use a farrier, and feed their animals sweet feed.

People are rude and disrespectful and are very keen to gang up on those who vulnerably ask questions. It's like a kitten walking into a pack of coyotes. If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything. Even though it's often unnecessary, you can express your concern without being a jerk.

It's a fact that social media is mostly inhabited by argumentative toddlers.
 

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Discussion Starter #189
A friend of my mom's has asked me to come check out one of her horses and see if I can figure out why he's misbehaving. They've had him vet/chiro/saddle fitter checked, but he's still crow-hopping. His rider is very timid. They recently rehomed their other horse and are looking for another one. I'll have to see when I get out there but it sounds like a fin challenge. I probably don't have time for this but...
 

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Discussion Starter #190
Needless to say, meeting Pokey was interesting.

Pokey is a short and stocky pinto with a mind of his own. I've never met a lazier horse. When I first come out to see him I get his backstory. He was a leadline trail horse. He's 12. He was perfect to ride until recently, when he started misbehaving. It didn't help that the lady supposed to be working with him and his hooman was rude and nasty. Luckily that lady (and her hubby, who's the farrier) won't be working with Pokey anymore. He's been checked by the vet and the chiro. He has pretty good feet and is eating good feed. He does seem to have a bit of a hay allergy though, but his humans are soaking it for him and that's helped a lot. He's got a short back and high withers. His topline also isn't great, but that's fixable. He hasn't done a ton because he's been crow hopping and tossing his green rider.

The first thing I notice is that he's really a chill critter. He doesn't care. He doesn't mind you loving all over him. But when I bring the saddle out, he backs up to the length of the leadline and stares at me like I'm gonna kill him. I put the saddle down, untie him, and give him some loves. I lead him over to the saddle and let him investigate. I take the pad and after walking in circles for a while, finally set it on him. Then I take it off and set the saddle on to see if it fits. Surprise, it's phenomenally too wide. The "trainer" working with him apparently hadn't noticed this. I figure that's why he's acting up under saddle, but I want to see what he's like on the ground.

He doesn't have a good idea of what personal space is. Since he's a calm horse, he's not too bad about shoving you around. If he was higher strung I might have been trampled. He's a little treat sour. I was standing with him and talking to his mom when I feel teeth on my elbow. I then decided that maybe using treats as a reward isn't an option for this boy. He doesn't know how to lunge, or if he does, he knows how to get out of it. He likes to swing his rear end at you and seems pretty desensitized to the whip. He didn't respond to it much when I tapped his butt and asked him to step forward. We got in a couple of arguments over that. As much as I prefer being gentle with a horse, I have two rules they have to follow for us to be friends. No biting, and no kicking. Either of those will end with you getting the stink slapped out of you. That's my line in the sand. There's really nothing else I'd harshly smack a horse for, but there's a point when it's only the whip between you and an aggressive 1000lb animal. There will be no biting or kicking on my watch or we're going to have to have a come to Jesus meeting.

Sadly, I don't have the time to work with him, so I referred them to a trainer friend of mine. Still, the mom wants me to come out and work with Pokey and her daughter once the horse has been worked with. I think the issues he's having are because he's figured he can push people around. That and the saddle not fitting. He's a smart little horse and not mean at all, but he's a bit spoiled. He only swings his butt when he's asked to do something, and I have yet to figure if he's frustrated or just trying to get back into the pasture. Even though he's rude he's not dangerous, but he may be if this isn't nipped in the bud.

I wish I had time to work with him. I feel like he'd teach me a lot. I will hopefully give the daughter lessons on him in a few weeks after he's been to the trainers. The ground manners are the first things that need fixing and I think everything else will follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #191
I feel like the dissociation method that I see many dog trainers using on aggressive/anxious dogs could be applied to my horse (and others) with great success. This is where I feel like treats can come in handy. She starts looking weird at something and getting stressed? Stop, give a treat, calm down a second. If I could get her total attention on me that would solve most of our issues.

But alas, she's an Arabian.
 

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Discussion Starter #192
I went and worked with Pokey again! I was worried at first because a couple days ago when the trainer (let's call her C since I don't wanna use real names and "trainer" sounds impersonal) first got on him he threw a fit. She put the girl on him that usually rides the rough horses and they had a come to Jesus meeting for 45 minutes in the round pen before he would stop trying to kill her. C was scared that the horse wouldn't be rideable for a 12 year old after that episode. They rode him for an hour or so on the trails later and he did fine.

We also learned a little about his history and what would happen if we sent him back to the horse dealer in GA.

He's 20, not 12. He's not a kids horse. He was "rode hard and put up wet" for most of his life, and being treated harshly is all he understands. He's got old splint injuries in his back legs (C said that makes her think he was a rope horse at some point). He's got spur scars on his ribs. He's seriously spooky of the saddle. C says they probably rode him in barbed wire. I'm sure that was an exaggeration but some people are capable of anything...

It's hard dealing with a horse like this because he only understands being treated roughly. He expects that and gets antsy when you treat him any differently. He can be retrained to respond to gentle hands, but not without speaking his language first. He knows he's 1000lbs and we're not. But his owner, C, and I all agree that he's in the best home ever and it's not time to give up on him yet. He's been given up on too many times. And if he goes back he'll end up being shipped to Mexico and turned into dog food.

His age is an advantage and a disadvantage. Advantage because he's old and doesn't have the spunk he probably had when he was 4 and seems to have some common sense. Disadvantage because he's been treated this way for a long time most likely and it might be a hard habit to break. But he's not a dumb horse. He watches your every move. He's learning fast.

I rode him without any issues at all in the round pen. We did work him on the ground first, so not sure if that contributed to him being calm, but he was good nonetheless. When I went to tack him up he set back when tied to the trailer and bucked once, sending the saddle (a nice one mind you) just about into orbit. We tried again and while he still shied away, we managed. His previous saddle didn't fit at all.

I don't know how much of it his him honestly being scared and how much of it is just he knows how to get away with murder. I think it's a combination of both. He needs to see the chiro too, a good one. He costs a quarter of what the chiro/vet charges and does a much better job IMO. I've seen his work and he does horses for most of the long time horse people in the area.

We'll see how this goes. His owner is a good friend of ours and was very upset when she heard of the bronco episode he had a couple days ago. It was really encouraging for her to hear that he's doing better.
 

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Discussion Starter #194
His little hooman rode him yesterday in the round pen and in the field and they did great! Also, his big hooman (owner) is going to get a round pen set up before they bring him back to their place. She wants to have a controlled area to work him. And C said he's much better with the tacking up thing. Maybe he's not as goofy as we thought he was and just needed one good conversation to get things sorted out.
 

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Discussion Starter #195
My boss is trying to sell a couple horses. She's asking 12k for the 2D gelding with great papers and an amazing confirmation/temperament. I've ridden him and I like him. But I don't think she'll sell him for that, not where we are. Down here in the more rural part of the south, horses, even good ones, are practically a dime a dozen. You can get a patterned, green broke, healthy, sound, grade horse for less than 1k. Barrel racing is the thing down here and it's not too hard to find a horse with some barrel background. Sure, you'll usually have to work out the kinks, but for someone who's been riding for a while and isn't made of money, that's sometimes an ok trade. You get what you pay for, but down here you'll definitely get your money's worth.

Her stud colt she's trying to sell is 6k. He's beautifully bred and very sweet but again. Only a select amount of people (the higher end competitors who're made of cash) would go for something like that. A 6month old colt is a huge investment.

My critters were free. Both of them. Looking back, there were so many red flags that I didn't know about with them, but they ended up being perfect for me. You get what you pay for, but sometimes you get lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter #196
Haven't had time to go worth with Pokey because school has been rough these past couple weeks, but a teeny kid that lives on the property rode him the other day. He was so good.

And there's another storm headed into the gulf. It's got the same Louisiana path as the other ones that were bad this year. The forecast keeps saying it's getting stronger. I'm probably going to fill up gas today. That and I need to get my tire on my truck fixed. I got stuck in a bad part of town with a flat but luckily a friend of ours was behind me and followed me to a gas station. My dad and brother showed up and I'm glad they did because by the time we finished it was 10:30 at night. The tire was flat coming off of my friend's campus so I went and asked the police officer where the nearest gas station with an air pump might be and she grimaced, saying she didn't like sending me anywhere local because it's kind of a sketchy area. It ended up being alright, but the spare that's on now is 20 years old and dryrotted.

I might be taking the F550 to work/school on Monday. I'll have to park way far away so I don't get stuck (it's a massive truck and the college parking lots are narrow). It'll be a good joke but I'd rather take my little truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #198
@knightrider No damage! It hit South AL pretty bad from what I hear though. It was a 2 when it hit. We had a few hours of scary sounding wind but everything held. Anything that would have broken did when Sally came through. There wasn't a lot left behind for this one to carry off.
 

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Discussion Starter #199 (Edited)
I'm a bit worried about the state of the world. People are threatening to lose their minds if the election turns out the wrong way. Hope they don't start blocking roads and mess so I can't get feed. I have winter shopping to do and some tack I need to sell before it gets really cold. I bought a blanket for my dude but it's just the littlest bit too small. I also need to make sure I have spray bottles with liniment for his legs. That's the only thing that keeps him from stocking up really badly. Poor old man. He gets awfully stiff during wintertime too. I hate locking him in but the pasture can't take 24/7 grazing. I might get some quick wraps too, but I think I'll only do that if the liniment quits working. I hate spraying wet stuff on his legs in 30 degree weather though.

I then need to figure out what I'm going to feed everyone when they get here. They will be on a round bale all day and fed grain (or something) twice a day, then put in the stall with hay at night. Jay has his feeding routine that I'm not going to mess with because it works, but Tess. I'm pretty sure we had some stomach upsets with her so I don't want to feed her grain if I can help it. I'm thinking of starting her on alfalfa/timothy pellets and oats and having free choice minerals for them both. According to what I've learned about feed, that SHOULD cover all their nutritional needs, especially since I'm not doing insane competitions or anything. The only thing I'm worried about her missing is selenium and vit. E, but that's an easy supplement to find. The oats add a little fat and up the carb content but are still high fiber as far as grains go. Alfalfa/timothy is just high-protein hay. I'd like to switch out some of my guy's diet for alfalfa too since he eats so much grain. Not sure about the amount but I usually figure that out by watching their weight. Probably a 2-1 ratio of hay pellets/oats. I've looked at ration balancers but they wouldn't have the bulk I need for wintertime. Might feed it during the summer, but it's awfully high protein which creates a lot of heat when the animal processes it. I'm not sure. I think I'll stick to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Unless my horse has some weird abnormality going on, I shouldn't need to feed some new-fangled thing.

I will be feeding both of them MSM as well. And then they get fiber in their grain for one week out of each month as a gut cleanse (funny, when I didn't do that for a while my dude had a colic episode...). Ah. The money. If only oats and alfalfa was enough for my old dude.

Ugh. Guess I know what I'm putting on my Christmas list, my feed bill! Might give Santa a heart attack...
 
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