dancing horses

dancing horses

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Competing Priorities

The Roaming Rider's most recent post was about the joy she's finding in having her horses at home. I am not going to write about that because I very likely go on about it a bit too much.

But I do want to explain why, if you drop in to visit in the morning,  you will often see my barn aisle dirty and other chores not completed. It has to do with the amount of energy I begin every day with and how I allocate it throughout the day.  When I first brought Irish home I spent a lot of time making sure that everything was spic and span before I even thought about riding. The problem was that by the end of the day I didn't have much energy left and would end up not riding.

when you're really tired but don't want to miss dinner

What I learned was that if I rode first I would always make sure that the chores were done. However, if I did the chores first I wouldn't always ride. So now I work with the horses first and then tackle everything else.  This is working out for me quite well - I might be more exhausted but it's a happy tired.

How do you manage to balance the horse 'work' with the horse 'fun'?

******************
And because I know you really want to know: Guinness is settling into the routine. He is only getting up once in the night and then making it to morning. His protests over being crated are less and less. His accidents are by the door so I think he's trying to get out but can't. As soon as he goes near the door, Ed and I jump up and take him out.



he now has one ear up and one down and it's really adorable. I was surprised at how early it happened but I understand that it may flop again when he begins teething.

I'm starting to do short 'walks' with him around the property. At first he was unsure of leaving his 'yard' but now he comes along. I find his personality to be fairly quiet and measured. He can play and carry on but he's not a hyper dog. That's probably coming but I don't think that's who he will be. I jokingly call him 'old man'.


D'Arcy is doing a good job helping us parent. He will tell him off if he's too annoying. Initially, Guinness would run away, now he sits and barks back. 
stick thief! 

Now I have to balance the priority of training Carmen with training Guinness. I'm hoping I don't neglect one or the other but we shall see. Keep your fingers crossed- the ring is clear but the temps are due to drop again this weekend. I hope not, I want to get in the ring! 




39 comments:

  1. I love, love, love having Val at home, but the chores vs riding struggle is real. (especially when you throw a little OCD in lol)

    And seeing pictures of your adorable Guinness is stoking my puppy desire. It's in the plans, but I'm holding out until my house is built, because - house training in the Shimmy Shack? I think I would lose my mind.

    Looks like you're doing a great job with him. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know- wouldn't it make sense to train in a shack that you don't care about then a house that you do? :-) Just trying to be helpful.

      Delete
    2. I like where you are going with this (!), but the crappy non-removable carpet is super accident unfriendly. Also the other denizens take up all the space already - otherwise...

      Delete
  2. Giunness is looking great!! He looks very happy, and he is beyond irresistible! Looks like D'Arcy makes a great big brother, and I am glad to see he is not feeling put out because of his new pup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He gets a little out of sorts but I remind him that he's getting far more walks and treats and sticks thrown then he has recently. :)

      Delete
  3. I have been trying to explain that to my friend Susan about riding first then everything else will happen. But shes so worried about her yard and garden she cant until they are perfect. I said turn on the sprinkler and go ride lol cause cant do anything else then ;)
    Guinness is so adorable, almost makes me want a puppy

    ReplyDelete
  4. We had some rain on Monday, then the deep freeze returned and now everywhere you look on the farm it's a sheet of ice; there will be no riding until further sunshine makes it less than TREACHEROUS. I feel like a Geisha, tied in at the knee by a kimono (of terror), taking itty bitty steps over the ice carrying heavy pails; if I fall & hurt myself I'd probably freeze to death & the men not even notice that I'm gone until they're looking for their next meal. Haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I can see them coming across you laying half-frozen and asking 'what's for dinner?'

      Delete
  5. This stage of puppy-hood is so much fun and goes by so fast, embrace it and treasure it while you can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am trying. It's harder at 4 a.m. :-)

      Delete
  6. I'm an afternoon barn cleaner more out of habit than anything else. When I worked outside the home I'd clean after work. Now I'm Granny Nanny & it's winter, once the boys leave I head for the barn. Really helps me wind down. Once it warms & Jeffersons walking skills improve on uneven terrain, I expect Lincoln & I will be cleaning together earlier. I can see Guiness has already grown. Perhaps hang a bell at his exit door, ring it whenever you take him out, he should pick up on the fact that ringing the bell means go out and begin ringing it himself. I know he already gets carrots, they're perfect for building up the muscle & cartilage for getting & keeping those ears up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I use it to unwind after work too. I like the bell idea. I'm going to try it

      Delete
  7. There's something nice about having the horses at home but honestly, it's more of a hassle than boarding. No, wait! I didn't say that! Don't tell Ben!
    But really more often than not I get chores done and don't ride when it comes to weekdays. I kind of hate that I spend all my time with husbandry and less with equitation :) Ben of course loves it because he prefers to snuggle.
    I think when I'm not injured I don't mind really expending all my energy but now I can't even make it through cleaning stalls before I ache all over. However there's something cathartic about cleaning stalls and nothing beats the quantity of time you can spend with your herd when they love at home.
    Guinness is looking even more adorable with one erect ear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a trade off to be sure. I have boarded for years and liked the convenience.

      Delete
  8. I have everything set up to be as easy as possible. It took a few years to figure it all out, but now the whole farm can be spic and span pretty quickly and with minimum effort on my part. You'll get there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can get mine done fairly quickly as well. It helps that there are just two horses.

      Delete
  9. During the week, daylight permitting, I like to help clean the pastures. From Nov-March, that really isn't possible but just this past week I've been able to do the mornings. On the weekend, I always work with the horses in the morning and leave the garden and everything else for the afternoon "if I have the energy." Otherwise, I don't ride because I'm too tired. Fortunately, I have an OCD husband with an Everready battery so he makes sure things are spic and span.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine is OCD too but avoids the barn... :)

      Delete
  10. When I did barn chores as an employee I would definitely try to fit riding into the hierarchy of priorities. Some things were more important - like feeding, haying and watering the horses. And turnout. But sweeping? Stalls? General tidying up? That could wait ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm like you, I prefer to actually be doing something with my horses. I try to minimize barn chores by keeping the horses in turnouts rather than stalls. They can choose to go into the stalls, but they usually don't. Right now, I have 2 in stalls because it has been too slick to introduce them to the herd, and it is causing a lot of extra work. This spring or summer, we're going to build a 12x36 run-in shed in their turnout. I'll bet any amount of money, that is where they will mostly hang out from there forward. And the good thing, I can clean it with the tractor. If I had to do over, I would have built a small barn for hay storage and convalescence/foaling--but all the rest would have been run in sheds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good idea too. I like having the barn because of our weather.

      Delete
  12. Puppy man is so completely adorable!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I used to do the same thing. Turn out and then clean the barn and half the time I was too tired to ride so I ride first (when I can) and then the barn gets cleaned. It just works out better.

    Guinness is just too adorable! Love the one ear up and down too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I totally appreciate your strategy with riding before chores. I spent years running myself into the ground taking care of other people's horses, not accepting less than perfect. I finally decided to loosen my grip on perfection and make enjoying my horses a priority. I don't regret it one bit!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't even keep mine at home and often find myself prioritizing care/projects over riding. I'm hoping the return of DST will let me ride more often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to get your priorities straight! (ha. just kidding)

      Delete
  16. I have to apologize! I accidentally hit 'delete' instead of publish for some comments. I am so very sorry. That's the problem with doing it on an iPad!

    ReplyDelete
  17. It is funny that you say that, because one of the things I always say that I like about boarding is that I am paying to not sweat the small stuff. I know myself and I would have a very hard time justifying riding until everything else was perfect (because I think of riding as being a reward) so it is nice to come in to a clean barn and not have to think about it ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the advantage! I had to change my view that riding was also part of the 'work' since the horses need it too. That helped a lot. It's not my fault that i enjoy the chore, is it? ;-)

      Delete
  18. I struggle hard with "Fun" horse time because horses ARE my job. This has been extremely relevant lately especially. I'm glad you found your balance and it sounds like a great solution!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can imagine. Although when I read of your trail and distance rides it sounds like you are having fun.

      Delete
  19. That's a really great tip/point about riding before chores. As I explore the option of buying land and doing it all 100% myself, I'm definitely going to keep that in mind!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. I love the feedback.