I’m so excited to be sharing my art on Pinterest! If you’re an avid Pinner, please come follow me there. I plan on sharing not just my art, but also things that inspire me, products I love, funny things, and more. I’m still getting my boards and pins in order so please excuse the dust in my profile.
I realize that I didn’t post a blog on Wednesday. I injured my back on Monday and have been taking it easy this week when I can. This means lots of laying on the couch, taking Tylenol, and not sitting up at my computer much. I’m feeling a LOT better today, but still not back to 100%. I’m hoping that by next week I’ll be back to myself and will be able to do all the things I normally do.
I hope you’re all doing well right now. Please tell your horses that you love them!
This week I was able to start working on new Horses Of The World drawings! I have several planned, but was able to film the complete process of my Ardennes horse and turn it into a time lapse. You can watch the video below!
The Ardennais or Ardennes is one of the oldest breeds of draft horse in the world. They originate from the Ardennes area in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. The Ardennes history spans back to Ancient Rome. Throughout the years, many other breeds have been introduced to the breed, but only the Belgian breed has had any impact. The first breed registry was established in Europe in 1929.
There’s a “game” going around Facebook horse groups where someone posts a photo of their horse and answers some questions about them. I thought this would be fun to do here on the blog today! I’m going to do both my horse, Glory, and my best friend’s horse, Raven. I hope you enjoy learning about our horses!
My name is: Glory (Crescent Hill Glory Bound)
My nicknames: Grumpy, Glory-glory, Goofy, Glumpy the Bug-eyed Nag, Glory-girl.
My breed is: Morgan
My age is: 23 years old
My favorite food is: Mints, apples
My biggest fear is: Ladders. Bring a ladder out around me, and I will lose my mind!
My favorite thing to do: Eat, roll in the dirt after being hosed down, pull the cart.
What I hate most: Being in my stall for long periods of time.
Where do I sleep? Either out in the field or in my stall, if I’m inside. Mostly I sleep out in the field/paddock because we’re out most of the time.
Do I love cuddles? I will tolerate them if I’m in the mood to. Or if you have a treat for me.
Am I bossy? Only if I have to be. If no one else will take charge, then I will, but I’d rather be the follower.
My name is: Raven (Night Moves)
My nicknames: Waven, Rae-rae, Supervisor Rae-rae, Pretty pony
My breed is: Morgan
My age is: 22 years old
My favorite food is: Banana chips!
My biggest fear is: Being away from Glory
My favorite thing to do: Cantering, jumping, herding my girlfriend around the field, eating treats.
What I hate most: Standing still.
Where do I sleep? Sleep? What is sleep? I have to be always vigilant about dangers!
Do I love cuddles? I adore cuddles! Humans are the best, because they pay attention to me and give me cookies!
I seem to have come into horses at a time when the term “senior horse” is changing its definition. From what I understand, it used to be that a horse in its 20’s was a senior horse. But with current vet care, better dental care, better understanding of nutrition, and new medications, horses are living longer and healthier lives. I’ve seen some horses in their 30’s and up who are doing endurance rides and still look like they’re in their teens! It’s been said that “30 is the new 20” when it comes to horses right now.
I met Glory when she was 16 years old, and she became officially mine when she was 18. Next month, as of this writing, she will be 23 years old. So, I own a Senior horse. Some people would have considered her a senior horse when I met her. Sometimes it’s hard for me to think of Glory as a Senior, because to me she is still as sassy as she’s always been. But, she is starting to show signs of her age. She’s had Cushing’s since she was 18, so she turns into a wooly mammoth in the winter and is always just a little bit “ribby”. Her back is starting to sway a bit, and she’s getting gray in her mane and tail. When I met her, she had just a tiny bit of white on her forehead, but now the white is spreading between her eyes and I keep joking that in a few years I’ll have the horse with the big blaze that I’ve always wanted!
Owning a Senior horse is, in a word, interesting. I think in some ways it’s just as challenging as owning a younger horse. You just have different things to worry about.
The first thing I remember starting to struggle with as Glory aged was keeping her at a good weight. We’ve had to tweak her nutrition quite a lot in the past few years to keep her where she needs to be. And, to be honest, she could probably use some more protein in her diet at the moment so that she can maintain what muscle she has. Switching to a Senior Feed has definitely helped, and of course the Cushing’s doesn’t really help when it comes to the weight struggle (it’s not like she can just be let out in a big green pasture to fatten up, after all!).
Another problem that stems from the Cushing’s is her winter coat. Glory turns into a Wooly Mammoth when winter comes, and that long winter hair is a pain to shed out! The first year that I fully owned my horse, she didn’t finish shedding out until the middle of a hot summer- just about time to start growing in the next winter coat! I have tried a variety of shedding tools, including Striphair, SleekEZ, and Hands-On Grooming Gloves. (To see which ones still live in my grooming box, check out this post of my favorite grooming products!) This year has been one of the easiest ones as far as getting her winter coat shed out, and I think that’s partially from good nutrition, partially from a good balance of medication, and partially because I gave her a trace clip back at the beginning of the year, so there was less hair to shed out!
This next subject might be a bit controversial, because there seems to be a big debate in the horse community about whether or not horses should be blanketed. My personal opinion is that if the horse needs extra help, they should have a blanket. Because of the weight gain problems that Glory began having the past few years, I’ve acquired a moderate collection of blankets to keep her warm and dry in nasty weather. It started with one medium-weight turnout, and has grown to include a turnout sheet, medium-weight blanket, heavy-weight blanket, fly sheet, fleece cooler, and a second-hand stable sheet.
Owning a Senior horse means that you also start thinking about things like joint supplements. Glory is having some time off right now because she’s begun to show signs of pain in her rear right leg, and we think it might be arthritis in the hock or stifle. So, until our next scheduled vet appointment in a few weeks, she’s living the good life of just being fed, brushed, loved, and fed cookies.
And that brings me to the hardest thing about owning a Senior horse: I know that, someday, I’m going to have to say good-bye. We had a scare the other weekend where it had gotten really cold here suddenly and Glory wasn’t eating anything. We thought she was acting like she was in pain, so the vet advised some Bute and just keeping an eye on her. Every time Glory seems to be a little off or acting like she’s sick, it scares me half to death if we don’t know what’s causing it. When she wasn’t being herself the other week, I was so upset that I cried myself to sleep that night with worry. I nearly stayed out at the barn instead of going home that night, but I knew there would’ve been nothing I could do if I was at the barn. She’s been fine since then, but it was a terrifying experience.
I think we always know that our time with these incredible animals is limited, whether we get them when they’re young or when they’re in their golden years. But as Glory’s gotten older, it’s becoming more and more likely that I’ll need to let her go at some point. She’s 23, so I may get another 10 years with her or I might only get another 2 years. There’s no way of knowing when she’ll be gone from my life, and I think about that a lot. It’s heart-wrenching to think about losing her, but I know it will happen one day.
My one hope is that when that day comes, I can do whatever needs to be done for my horse. And that she knows I will never love another horse the way that I love her.
Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. I finished up the “Medicinal” series this weekend with Hibiscus, which I filmed and turned into a timelapse for YouTube. You can watch it below! I even have a new video intro and an outro, so I’m feeling pretty fancy right now!
I also talk in this video about blogging, my struggles with blogging, and my past failures at making art my career. If you aren’t interested in that topic, feel free to mute the audio!
Ever since I’ve become a horse owner, I’ve been asked a lot about how much it costs to have a horse. Not always by people who are looking to buy one themselves, usually by friends and family who are just curious. And the answer is… well, it’s complicated.
Horses can be a serious investment of both money and time. The stereotype is that every horse owner must be insanely rich, but the truth is that there are budget-friendly ways to get and keep a horse so long as you are crafty, know where to look, do some research, and are realistic about what you want. The short answer is that a horse will always cost more than you think it will, but if you are well-informed before making the purchase, you can better plan and budget.
If you’re looking to buy a horse for the first time, you need to consider what type of horse you want and what you want to do with the horse. Are you looking for a pasture pet that won’t be ridden? Are you going to ride or drive the horse? Will the horse be for recreational use, or are you planning on entering horse shows? If you’re going to ride the horse, what level of rider are you? Do you need a bomb-proof horse who could give a child a lesson, or are you an advanced rider who can do some training yourself? Sit down and make a list of goals that you have for horse ownership.
If you simply want a pasture pet who won’t be doing work, look in your area for horse rescues. Rescues can sometimes have younger horses who are in riding shape, but often they have older animals who are looking for a place to retire. Be sure to carefully read adoption requirements before contacting a rescue to come to look at a horse!
If you have no experience buying a horse, it is helpful to get someone you trust to look at horses with you. If you have a riding instructor or trusted horse trainer, ask if they will help you find a horse and if they will accompany you to look at horses you’re interested in. Having a second opinion is always handy, and if you have a riding instructor they can help match your riding skill to an appropriate horse.
The breed of horse you want to buy can also make a huge difference in the cost. More common breeds are likely to be cheaper than something more exotic, for example. Lineage and genetics can be a factor in cost of a horse, too. You’ll pay more for a horse who is related to a famous racehorse, for example!
The University of Maine says that the average cost of a horse for regular recreational use is around $3,000.
Buying the horse itself is usually the cheapest part of having a horse! If you don’t have the facilities at home to keep the horse, you then have to consider how much board at a facility will cost. Boarding facility services vary from pasture only to full-service stall care. Some facilities charge extra for other services, such as changing blankets or holding the horse for the farrier and vet. Many facilities have a riding arena, and some may even have fields and trails that can be ridden on, as well. Some facilities will charge less if you come to clean your horse’s stall and feed them daily instead of having the boarding barn staff take care of these chores. Costs for boarding also vary according to the location, services offered, and availability of riding facilities. Do thorough research in your area and compare the different facilities to choose the one that is best for you.
Some facilities provide grain, while others have you purchase your own. The price of grain can vary depending on if you are getting a high-performance feed for a show horse or just getting a feed for a smaller horse who is out on pasture most of the time. Horses also need hay when pasture is not available, and hay is, in my opinion, the one area of horse care you should NEVER go cheap on. Purchase the best quality hay that you can get your hands on, your horse will thank you for it.
Most boarding facilities will supply bedding for stalls, but will likely charge if you want your stall bedded thicker than their normal bedding amount.
After those things are considered, then you must also factor in health care! Horses need regularly-scheduled deworming (that can usually be done by the owner), and a first-aid kit is a necessity when having horses around. Non-emergency vet costs include vaccines, dental care, and Coggins testing. Of course, if you have a horse with an ongoing medical condition, such as Cushing’s, then medicine for those conditions need to be taken into account as well. Emergency vet care is expensive, so make sure you have some savings for that put aside if you can!
Horses also need their hooves done every 4-8 weeks by a farrier. Shoeing a horse is significantly more expensive than just trimming bare feet. Whether your horse needs shoes varies according to your geographic location, the condition of the horse’s feet, and the activities that the horse participates in.
Now that you’ve taken care of the basic needs for the horse, you can start to factor in other expenses, such as tack purchase and repair, grooming tools, buckets, riding lessons, horse training, show fees, trailering fees (or purchasing your own truck and horse trailer), riding clothes, boots, and other items needed for working with the horse.
If buying a horse isn’t in your budget, try looking for a horse for lease! It’s a great way to get a taste of horse ownership without being on the hook for every expense. Make sure that you have a contract that specifies who is responsible for what expenses before entering into a lease!
Is spending all that money worth it? I think it is! Especially when I get to the barn and hear my horse nicker in greeting when she sees me. Looking into her big brown eyes and feeding her a cookie makes all the work and sacrifice to afford her totally worth it.
Hey there blog readers! I have a writing deadline for a paid project that is fast approaching, so today’s blog is going to be a lazy one. Enjoy some of my favorite funny horse gifs that I found around the internet!
Do you pronounce GIF as “jiff” (like the peanut butter) or “gif” (like “gift”)? Let me know in the comments!
It’s time for another YouTube video! In this one, I am working on my “St John’s Wort” horse, the 5th in my “Medicinal” series. I decided to do something different with this video and tell the story of how I got into horses, how I met Glory, how she became my horse, and how I started my horseback riding journey. Please let me know if you like this type of video more than the ones with just music! If so, I’ll do more like this.
We had a scare with Glory this weekend where she wasn’t acting like herself and it was really scary. So instead of the blog post that I wanted to write, I have only this video to offer. I hope you enjoy it! If anyone wants, I’ll blog about the health scare on Wednesday. It was really awful and I was afraid I was going to lose my horse.
What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to your horse? Let me know in the comments!
As an independent artist and writer, I’m blessed at the moment to be able to set my own schedule. Because of that, I don’t really have a set schedule from day to day. However, I do have some typical activities that I do daily and I try to keep on as much of a schedule as I can, mainly because having my days planned out allows me to keep on track and also helps to curb a good bit of anxiety for me. I just like knowing what’s going to happen in my day!
A “typical day” in my life begins around 6-6:30 a.m. Lately I’ve been trying to get in the habit of getting up and going for a walk in our neighborhood if the weather is nice, or doing a workout video in the living room if it’s rainy or nasty outside.
After a walk or workout, I have yogurt and a piece of fruit, then head out to run to the barn and feed the horses. Driving to the barn takes around 10-15 minutes, depending on traffic and whether I hit every light on red through town.
Our horses usually spend the night outside in the dry paddock, unless the weather is really cold/wet/windy, in which case we bring them into the stalls for the night. If the horses are out, I bring them into their stalls to eat their morning grain. While they’re eating, I go out into the paddock and open the gates to the fields, check the water troughs, and clean up any manure in the run-in shed and paddock.
Hopefully, by now I’ve checked out the weather forecast for the day and decided if the horses need blankets, rain sheets, fly sheets, or fly masks. If not, then I pull the weather up while I’m at the barn and look at the forecast. Horses get “dressed” appropriately for the weather and their coat conditions, and out they go to eat in the field until dinner time. After the ponies are out, I do any cleaning up in the barn that needs done, reset feed, then lock up and head back home.
What I do when I get back home depends greatly on the day. If I have a blog post that needs to be written, then I try to do that as soon as I get back home and get it posted as early as I can. Ideally, I have blog posts written a few days beforehand, but that doesn’t always work out! It’s been especially hard to get things drafted ahead of time with the pandemic going on, but I’m starting to get back into the groove this month. This is also the time I spend answering emails, updating accounting, and packing up any online store orders I may have that need to go out.
I eat lunch around 11 a.m. Yes, I know that’s pretty early for a lot of people, but I also get up at 6 so I tend to be hungry by 11 and feeling ready to put some fuel in my body to tackle the afternoon.
On a typical day, I’ll spend the afternoon doing art or whatever other work needs to be done, like editing a YouTube video, writing social media posts, etc. I most like to spend my time creating more art, of course, but sometimes other tasks need to be done! On Mondays and Thursdays, however, I have dogs that I regularly walk so I leave after lunch to take care of them. This is also the time when I try to do any errand-running that needs done, as well, since I’ll be out of the house and up in the next city north of where we currently live.
I’m usually back at home by 2:30-3 on Monday and Thursday, depending on how much I needed to do while I was out. If I get back early, then I do some more art or administrative tasks for a bit. Most days my best friend will feed the horses their dinner when she gets off work, unless we’re riding after dinner, in which case we’re both there and do feeding together.
I work until my husband and I get hungry for dinner. Then one of us cooks, we eat dinner, and the rest of the evening is usually spent sitting on the couch watching YouTube videos while he plays video games. Unless, of course, I’m out riding! I try to get to bed between 8-9 p.m., depending on how tired I am and when I get back from the barn if I’m out having pony time.
Wow, I can’t believe how long that post got! It’s amazing that I never really thought much about my daily routine until I sat down to write this post. I don’t know if anyone found it interesting at all, but if you did then I’m glad!
I’d say that out of my daily routine, the top three things I look forward to the most are seeing the horses/riding, working on art, and spending time with Byron in the evening after dinner.
What do you look forward to the most in your daily or weekly routines? Let me know in the comments!
If you know me or you’ve spent any time at all on this website, then you know that two things are really important to me: horses and art. Some people would think that those things weren’t alike at all, but they have more in common than you’d think! In my opinion, they are very much alike, and here’s three reasons why I think so!
1. You’ll never know everything there is to know about either.
I get bored and lose interest in things pretty easily, unless there’s something more to learn about that thing. If I get interested in one subject and then run out of things to explore about it, I’ll stop being interested in it. But with art, you’re always learning something new and refining your skills and style. The day an artist stops learning is the day they stop growing and improving their craft.
I feel like it’s the same way with horses! Even after seven years of being around them nearly every day, I still learn new things about them, their care, and about riding. I absolutely love that! I’m always researching something new, learning something, and getting better at what I love.
2. Both are great forms of therapy.
Art has often been a form of therapy for me. When I’m feeling sad, or happy, or angry, I can channel that into a piece of art and work through those emotions. As long as I can remember, I’ve turned to art when I’m feeling bad.
Horses are also amazing therapy! There have been studies to prove it, but I don’t need a scientific study to tell me that horses have therapeutic properties. Horses make me laugh when I’m feeling down, they calm me when I have anxiety, and they are always there to listen when I need someone to talk to. Over the past few years I have cried into several furry necks when I just couldn’t handle things any more.
3. You can see the progress you’re making.
Looking back over the pieces I’ve created just in the past three years, it’s nice to see how my style and skills have evolved. As an artist, you evolve over time as you practice and hone your craft. I feel like the same is true when you ride horses (and even if you just care for them and do groundwork!)
When I first started being around horses, I was very timid around them. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t even know how to lead a horse, much less how to brush or tack up or care for one! Just a few years ago, I was too scared to canter my horse, who is notoriously difficult to get cantering because she rushes into it. But now I can canter around and around the arena until we both get tired, without fear of going too fast or losing control! Thinking about how far the two of us have come in the past years as a team is just crazy, and it gives me the confidence to keep on going forward and improving- in both my art and with my horse life!
In what way have horses taught you things about other areas of your life? Let me know in the comments!