How is your 2019? Ours has been a bit wetter than normal, but riding is still a top priority. We ride differently in the wintertime compared to other times of the year. We take easy on the horses. The rides are generally walk/trot and geared more to running the dogs than working the horses. Do you have different styles at different times of the year?
As horses age, it gets a bit more challenging to ride like we rode when they were younger. Dusty is 23 and Jessie is 19 years old now. And, of course, Ranae and I are in our mid-sixties, so we are no spring chickens either. We vaccinate regularly, but Dusty came down with a case of the flu. He was off his feed and his temperature was 105! We got him to the vet. He was treated with immune system stimulants, long-acting antibiotics, fluids, and mineral oil. Thankfully he rebounded quickly. In a week or so he was back to his old self.
Having a Spare Horse
A reoccurring, nagging injury plagues Jessie, my 19-year-old mare. It’s one of those very frustrating types of injuries. It first appeared 3 or 4 years ago as a mild lameness. A workup and evaluation by one of the top vets in our area came to no definitive conclusion. After stall rest and a month of hydrotherapy (swimming on a treadmill), she bounced back nicely.
In early January we rode with a group in the foothills. The terrain was a lot of up and down and the footing was a bit rocky. Yep, you guessed it. The lameness came back.
Scratch, the Tehachapi mustang, is a blessing. During Dusty’s illness, my wife rode Jessie. When Jessie was down, Scratch stepped in.
So other than keeping the horses healthy, it’s been a challenge keeping the pens dry. Here in central California, rain and dry weather alternate. Just about the time the pens dry out, another storm arrives in to dump more water. It’s good for the countryside and the farmers. I’m not complaining. It just takes a little more diligence on our part to keep the horses comfortable.
The Podcast and Other Projects
Producing new shows is challenging. Currently, I’m enrolled in two classes at Bakersfield College. I’m trying to improve my storytelling skills by taking a video production class. A woodworking class helps maintain my sanity. All the back episodes are still available through iTunes and on the website. I could use your help. For years learning more about your horse and horsemanship was the focus of the show. Do you think that is still a valid area to focus? Many people get their information from a local trainer, online program, or barn mate. There are stories about horses and horsemanship I want to tell. They take a little more work to uncover. Not everyone wants to talk to a guy with a microphone, but I’m trying.
If you have an idea for a story please pass it along. Thanks again for hanging out, and go have some fun with your horses!