ready to go!

OKAY! It is up and running! You can now find my blog at http://lifefromhorseback.com/ complete with new posts and how to’s and the ability to subscribe. 

 

 

Advertisements

Big Changes

Well sort of! The somethingabouthorses you know and love is now to become http://www.lifefromhorseback.com! I will no longer be updating on this blog, rather continuing the horsey goodness on my new website, so please follow me there!

Your loyal following of somethingabouthorses is appreciated, and I hope you will continue to read of the adventures of Gunner, Fim and myself at my new blogging location 🙂

(It’s still under construction at this point, so be sure to check back frequently as I will be powering through set-up this week and ready to post about my favorite time of year COUNTY FAIR TIME!)

Rabbits…the gateway drug.

A few years ago, I was living in an apartment and feeling a bit lonely. I was always used to having a dog for company and missing having an animal companion. I had always been a fan of rabbits, and they actually make great apartment/inside pets as they are easily trained to use a litterbox, are absolutely quiet (except Rupert who used to tug on his cage bars at night) and are endlessly entertaining and cute to watch. So, upon deciding that I no longer wished to live animal free, I did some craigslist perusing and came across an ad for lionhead bunnies.

For those of you who aren’t animal obsessed and don’t know what a lionhead rabbit is, they are a type of rabbit similar to angora rabbits who grow thick downy fur that tends to concentrate in a ‘skirt’ around their legs and a ‘mane’ (hence the name ‘lionhead’) around their adorable little faces.

I went out and bought the supplies to make my new bunny a lovely little ‘rabitat,’ because while much of his time was to be spent out of his cage, he did need a place to call his own as well. I got everything ready for the little dude and recruited Joe, who was at the time my boyfriend and not my husband just yet (weird to think about!) and my very tolerant male roommate, because well, I was being lured by something cute and fuzzy to a stranger’s house and I figured a couple of body guards were a good idea.

After a bit of getting lost and wandering around, we finally found the house and went out back to check out my bunny options. There were a few left, a couple of baby bucks and a little doe…upon attempting to hold the doe, who wiggled profusely the whole time, I settled for the cuddly little male who snuggled under my chin. Good choice. On the car ride home, while happily cuddling my new little roommate, I decided ‘Onion’ would be his name.

 baby Onion (scallion?!)

Onion kept me company for a few months on his own, and upon much reading and research about how to keep my little guy happy, I learned that rabbits are much happier as a social pair. At this point, I did more craigslist shopping and found him a companion, a little fox colored lionhead bunny who I, after much deliberation, decided to call “Rupert,” or “Rupee” for short. Rupert was probably the weirdest looking bunny I have ever seen with his big bulging eyes and funky chicken feet…and as Joe would be quick to tell you, I am very fond of dopey, odd little things and so it took no effort for me to fall in love with him as well.

In case you are a rabbit-knowledgeable citizen (congrats!), you know that a same-sex pairing of rabbits does not always end happily. Rabbits are very territorial and do not always play nicely. However, both Onion and Rupert are neutered and with a little bit less testosterone flowing, they are a perfectly happy pair. (Rupert does occasionally pick on Onion, but Onion is incredibly tolerant.)

Weird little Rupert

Onion and Rupert have kept me company for the past 4 or so years, living in apartments that did not allow animals (rabbits are very easy to hide as they do not bark or meow!) and in our duplex where they were allowed and a huge curiosity to those who knew we had them. I often sat on our front step and let the two rabbits hop around the front yard happily, wearing their cat sized harnesses (Rupert’s is rainbow colored and Onion’s is blue with little cats on it) and most people thought they were puppies from far away, until they came closer and most always exclaimed “Oh! Are those rabbits?!” with delight.

 

 

Onion and Rupert lived in our new house over the winter, but with the introduction of Pete the Springer Spaniel, who would just adore chasing them around the house I am sure, had been stuck in their cages a little more than I liked. So after some more research, I learned that rabbits and ducks are more than happy to live together, and I moved them out to the duckhouse, which they love. Today I went out there to visit and trim their nails and after cuddling Onion for a bit, was reminded how much I love those little buggers. 

 

These guys definitely deserve their own blog post as they are truly the foundation of my hobby farm and will always have a place in my heart.

Crabapples For My Big Crabapple

Today was a day filled with hard work and lots of sweat…started with my usual chores (hay and grain and water for the horses, skipping out their dry lot and shed, let the ducks loose, hay and pellets for the bunnies, and so on and so forth) and waited for my hay guy to bring a pickup load over…he was supposed to come at 8am and after sipping my coffee and reading blog posts in my lawn chair next to the horses for an hour and a half, I decided to take Fim for a little ride while I waited. (Complete with bells on her bridle, which seemed to add an extra little spring to her step..adorable.) By 11 he still hadn’t showed so I changed out of my jeans and boots and into shorts to mow the lawn. Halfway through that he arrived and I had to put up the hay by myself…in shorts and a tank top. My legs look like I got attacked by a cat and I’m pretty sure I still have hay pieces in my hair. In hindsight, probably should have changed into jeans again! Oh well. The shed smells delicious like fresh hay at least. Finished the lawn, cleaned out the pool and did some work in the garden (and by work I mean driving the tractor over the plants and weeds that I don’t like)…

Our jalapeno plants have produced for us some handsome little peppers and so I picked those along with some asparagus that had popped up again as well…and then I noticed that our crabapple tree is totally weighted down with little red apples so I grabbed a basket and a ladder picked a bunch of those, too! The plan for tomorrow is to make raspberry  jalapeno jam, strawberry (maybe strawberry rhubarb I haven’t decided yet) and crabapple jam! And bread from scratch of course because nothing beats that! That was kind of a long and boring story, I’m getting to the point, I swear.

Image

Out of curiosity I decided to see if the horses might enjoy a tart little apple…(after double checking online that horses will indeed not die from eating crabapples)…Fim ignored my offering completely but Gunner was happy to eat every little bite I gave him, bobbing his head with pricked ears and bright eyes and licking his lips at the sour little treats, and nudging my pockets for more when he was finished. Glad to know that Gunner enjoys treats that grow for free on our tree instead of those spendy pepppermint ones I have been spoiling them with 🙂

A little bit of self promotion…

Just a short post today, as this one is in the spirit of promoting my business………

As you know, I am a seamstress (or ‘maker’) by trade and I love to spend my days coming up with new things! So the other day I had an idea and went for it…

I have heard of people using beads on their horses to learn rhythm while riding and how to pick up the right diagonal and lead and so on…I put my own spin on the idea as I am apt to do and made ‘rhythm bells’ instead…

Very simple but very useful, these little buggers are great for tying to the rings on the front of an English saddle–and I am recalling and cringing at my first few riding lessons trying to learn diagonals and my instructor yelling out NOW NOW NOW NOW every time a horses leg came up and I was supposed to be standing–I would much rather stand to the rhythm of a pretty little bell :)…….anyways, they work well and they are cute and probably would be a hit with little girls (or people like me who are suckers for shiny pretty things) at riding lessons for all you instructors out there…

Imagehttps://www.etsy.com/listing/105730841/saddlerhythm-bells?ref=pr_shop

I was also thinking of deer hunting and how Gunner kind of resembles a big fat doe and would probably benefit from an orange saddle blanket, halter, etc…

They will come in handy for us during deer season, last time I checked, deer don’t jingle as they walk. Also helpful for trail riding (no more sneaking up on hikers and giving them hard attacks) to alert people and other riders of your presence without having to shout ‘HEY BIG RAMBUNCTIOUS HORSE BEHIND YOU!’…And they are good for desensitizing, too! I tied one to Gunner’s bridle last night and had fun being entertained by him bobbing his head as if to say…”wtf is that?” Also…I’m looking forward to delivering Christmas cookies to our neighbors this winter to the tune of tinkling silver bells. Who doesn’t want to jingle through the snow? I do.

Anyways, I’m done advertising. If you are interested they are on my indianpony shop on etsy. The saddle ones are $5.95 each and the pair for on the bridle (which look pretty dang boss on a fine Arabian head by the way…please note Fim’s modeling debut) is $10. Made in your color choice. And because I love you all for following my ramblings and putting up with my shameless self promotion today, 10% off for you guys! Use the coupon code GUNNER at checkout 😉

http://www.etsy.com/shop/indianpony

Jackets and aprons at my main shop right now, by the way! http://www.etsy.com/shop/MeyerTextileCo

Image

https://www.etsy.com/listing/105732926/bridlerhythm-bells?ref=v1_other_1

Hopes and Dreams

When I was a younger and equally horse crazy version of myself, I had a very strong interest, not only in horses in general, but in three day eventing. With no access to a horse or riding lessons, my dreams of someday competing at Rolex and the Olympics were certainly aspirations that would never come to fruition. But when you are 11 or 12 you dream big and you dream with passion. So I coped with my horselessness by reading every horse book ever, especially those about jumping and dressage, and while  I couldn’t put to use the knowledge I picked up from my intense studying, I filed it all away in desperate hope that someday I would be able to either get a horse of my own, or at the very least, take riding lessons.

Oh, and don’t worry, I had a whole ‘barn’ of stick horses to pretend and ‘practice’ with (I may not have had a horse, but I had a hell of an imagination) and I set up many a cross country course and show ring built from buckets, broom sticks, lawn chairs…etc…in our front yard. This was all very surely much to the chagrin of my supportive parents and embarrassed older siblings…I even recall drawing a lettered dressage arena at the end of our road and playing out dressage tests…

Anyway, it was many, many years before I was actually able to take regular lessons and luckily my reading really paid off. Big time. At my first lesson, I knew enough to surprise myself profoundly. When you have read over and over again precisely how to do something, it is easy to put the words into practice and it was amazing to put my knowledge from over a decade ago to use.

While I have thus far showed a definite lack of focus on a single discipline in my riding and have spent the last year eagerly trying my hand at about every event save for polo and racing, I have found that my main interest (aside from riding for pleasure) lies in jumping and dressage. Hmm…jumping and dressage…wonder which event would allow me to do both of those things? Oh, I know…EVENTING! Guess that early passion was rooted a little deeper than I thought!

I dare say that neither of my horses is ultimately all that well suited to carry me off to win ribbons in London or Kentucky…and let’s be honest, my lack of riding abilities might hinder me in that pursuit as well…:P But come on, let’s not totally crush the dreams of 12 year old me. I may not be actively dreaming of Rolex anymore but the little girl inside me did manage to easily persuade me to build a totally epic novice cross country course in one of our back fields…and well, I guess I never grew out of my vivid imagination after all.

Image

Not the most daunting lineup of obstacles, but a good place to start!

Yesterday, as I cooled Fim off from our less than clean, far from graceful, but very valiant effort at jumping our little course, I closed my eyes for a moment and I heard the imaginary cheers of the crowd, cheering for the little girl who knew how to saddle the horse she didn’t have, could list every type of fence and dressage movement,  and eagerly devoured every new horse book she came across…hurrah to the little girl for riding her own horse through a jump course and for never giving up hope.

Image