This is my first blog hop, and it will not be my last! It has rained basically non stop since Friday, so I have no fun riding stories. I basically did chores and fed while getting wet. Then on Sunday, my parents and I got the family Christmas tree. I finished decorating it last night with the help of wine. The decorating is almost finished. Normally, I would be finished with Christmas deco within a couple days of Thanksgiving, but given the events of late, it just has not happened.
I digress, I am going to jump on the TB pedigree blog hop bandwagon eventually, but I can not remember who started that one? Cheetah‘s dam was an OTTB and has a fun pedigree. I did all the research while I was in grad school. It was great for procrastinating.
No secrets here, I am a Texas gal. I reside in the ‘southern half’ of the state, in a big city. My horses stay at our family farm an hour away. That makes things difficult for me and my fuel consumption. However, it is an easy hour drive and I can go out after work whenever I need or want. The time change makes it hard to ride when I go after work during the winter, but I can blanket the old guy and feed him before it gets dark on cold nights. I will be doing that the latter half of this week.
Demographic? Most people that live in and around the city board their horses if they do not have property outside of town. There are several equestrian friendly communities outside of town where you can live and keep or board horses. We are probably 50/50 mix of western to english riders of all kinds. There are many shows and clinics in the ‘general area.’ Most shows and clinics are just far enough away from where the horses are to not be ‘convenient’ (1.5-2+ hr haul). This is very frustrating for me as I am hungry for more knowledge and do not want to let my riding get stagnant. BUT there are many great trainers and I have a few that I plan to haul to for lessons in the near future. We have a few good tack stores in town (good or bad considering how you look at it!). There is a big tack store in the area. It is generally an hour from town or an hour from the farm, but I ride horses for people out that way sometimes.
Costs of horse keeping in my region of the great state:
- Trim-$35 (Lito just gets a trim, as do the other geldings and Petunia)
- Front shoes-$70 (I keep front shoes on Cheetah Beets)
- Average cost of a month of full time training-$800
- Average cost of monthly pasture board-$400
- Average cost of monthly stall board-$600 (All kinds of board and prices range wildly. These averages might be on the high side, but there are places I have seen that have exorbitant prices. The ones that I have looked at and work for me are not all that much closer than the farm)
- Hay, good horse quality Bermuda-$8.00 (I have not looked at the prices for this year yet)(We high quality pasture and have had good rains this year…I do not think we will need to buy too terribly much this year)
- What I consider priceless? Feeding in my pj’s. That Texas sky. Sunrises and sunsets viewed from the back of my horse. When I am at the farm, I can do whatever, whenever.
Weather? In the summer it is hot and humid. The only ‘good thing’ about the humidity is that it keeps us from generally having too many 100+ temp days. The heat index is the killer…and the bugs. All of our cows have some percentage of Brahman in them to help with coping with bugs and humidity. I ride all year round. In the summer on the weekends, I wake up and feed in the dark so I can be tacked up and mounted by the time I can see with the first light. I generally ride 2 horses (groom, ride, cool out, hose down) and get some chores finished by 11 AM. I do not do much else until 7 PM when I will ride another horse. It also limits when I haul. I do not like to haul during the hot, middle of the day. During the work week, I hustle out there and get 1 horse ridden and get back home late. Sometimes I stay out there for the night and come back super early in the morning for work. Winter is pretty easy by majority standards. It will freeze a few times. Lows are generally in the 40’s. A cold night is in the 30’s. It will only do that for a few days. It is not uncommon to be riding in short sleeves in January.
Other notes? Hunting season. It cramps my style a little bit because some in the family like to hunt at the farm. That is all fine and good except that requires me to not ride. That bugs me. Other than that it is fine. Our property is on a river and there are some duck hunters that like to come and park themselves behind the barn. The barn is not right on the river, but it is close. Anyway, I can hear them and let me tell you, it is funny. They are not very good at their duck calls and I can hear them talking. That is not how you do it!
- The drive. I wish they were closer. However, I like not having to pay board. I have contemplated it so I could have at least a horse closer. I also like them being able to live like horses. It is also simpler to have them at the farm with the others. I have also contemplated moving to a place somewhere in the middle.
- I miss the barn community. It is a great thing. I have horse friends that I ride with, but most of them are not in our neck of the woods.
Join in on the blog hop if you have not already! I have had fun reading them!