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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Less whining, more doing

So, this may surprise you, considering the wailing and feet stomping that went on in the last post, but out of all that drama did come an idea - contact some horse people I know in the area (like my FFA advisor from high school that runs a polo club here in town) and get their recommendation. 

There's a ton of private boarding stables that don't advertise because they operate only a small number of horses placed there on recommendation. 

So, as you might imagine, the stress over this issue is real, but probably magnified by the fact I have a test on Friday.  It's so frustrating to know what your horse needs, but not be able to provide it. 

In some ways, I don't blame people for not feeding grass hay - it's hard to get, especially in large quantities.  The feed store I'm buying from currently has a 5 bale limit on any one trip because they are running very low and don't expect to get another load in until spring because of the weather.  Alfalfa is very easy to get here.  It's not the super rich stuff with lots of leaf - looks more like a grassy alfalfa mix you see in other parts of the country.  I'll post an analysis on the Ca in an "average" (if there's any such thing) load of alfalfa versus grass that I had done when Farley tyed up so you can see some of the numbers. 

I'm still frustrated over how hard it is to get the 3 things I want - 2 of which I consider basic needs of a horse, and 1 which is entirely selfish - somewhere to get off the property and ride - even if it's along side a road. 

Off to drink a glass of wine, perhaps shed a tear at the unfairness of it all, and continue studying.

PS.  This is not blogging.  Blogs are entertaining, or at least informative.  This is more of a chronicle of the emotional break down of a vet student and wannabe endurance rider. 

PPS.  Why do I still feel like crying over the hopeless of it all.  It's not like Farley is in danger of keeling over any minute and I CAN stay at my parents 'til June.  Seriously.  Get a grip on yourself.

PPPS.  Being adult sucks.  Where's my chocolate and wine?  And why did I chose TODAY to start my primal 30 day challenge?  Oh that's right - as a vet student you sit on your ass all day and you can't afford to buy new clothes so you can't gain any more weight.  Especially with the 45 dollar parking ticket you got. 

PPPPS.  I did find a place that is an hour away that offers pasture and 50/50 grass alfalfa.  It's $350/month. 

PPPPPS.  I long for the days when I was an oblivious newbie endurance rider who didn't have a clue how important the type of hay or living situation was and COULD go back to doing things the way "everyone else" does in the area.  (and don't forget - they've done it for 20 years without an issue and therefore everything must be hunky-dory....

PPPPPPS.  Regarding the above comment.  I'm not bitter or anything.  Really. 

Comment away and I SWEAR not to go all psycho in the comments.  Maybe. 


  1. Enjoy your wine. I recommend Pinot Noir when you're feeling bitter and helpless.

  2. I didn't comment on the last post, because more than like 10% alfalfa is just Not An Option with Dixie. I would stall her before I fed her straight alfalfa. Hugs!

    Post to Ridecamp, yeah. That's what I'm going to do in April or so, when it's closer to time for me to move, and see if I can find a private situation... except my luck is 50/50 on private barns, they're either drama-filled hellholes or truly wonderful places. Argh. Now I'm angsty with you.

  3. I don't currently have a horse, but used to board in Davis/Woodland then East Bay area. My gelding was HYPP and not supposed to eat alfalfa. It was very, very hard to find a place to accommodate us and I never had really good luck. The last place fed crappy oat hay and I had to supplement with pelleted hay to keep weight on him. Why is alfalfa SO predominant here but not the rest of the US?

  4. I totally sympathize, Mel. I've boarded for the entire 15 years I've owned Mimi. In that space of time, I've been through 5 different boarding stables. The current one is the one I've been at the longest -- 7 years -- because it fits so many of my needs. Unfortunately, boarding is all about compromise, and the biggest compromise at this place is the fact it's 35 minutes away and there's no good endurance training trails without trailing out.

    But there's a 3+ acre turnout where Mimi spends most of the day, they feed grass, and until recently, I had access to state trust land about a mile away...until the cattle ranchers leased the land and locked all the access gates. *sigh*

    But I'm sipping on wine right now, too, so I raise my glass to you in commiseration from a like-minded boarding stable sufferer. I completely second you on the "being an adult sucks" part. Chocolate sounds like a very good idea.

  5. I think a private barn would be more likely to work out, though I'm sure they're more expensive. I pay way more than I should, but pasture, grass hay and trail access is worth it for me. I did have to compromise on herd vs alone. I'd rather a herd situation, but he just has to play with friends over the fence. Truly can't have everything. But you have time! Don't panic, drink wine, study!

  6. A private barn needn't be more expensive...the trick is finding a good one.

    I personally would skip the wine and head straight for the rum. But that's just me.

  7. Are you sure you haven't been in the wine already? Just that crazy procrastinator of the evil study-monster speaking I presume ;-)

  8. It took me a long time, but I found a private barn. Start asking around. Those people don't advertise, but they're out there. I HATE buying hay and do not envy that aspect of your routine at all. I prefer to be deaf and blind to the whole ordeal.

    And drink away! Didn't you see my post from several days ago? My drink(s) of choice: red wine, margaritas, and hard cider. Hubby's so smart that he knows his best bet for a less freaked out wife is one simple sentence: can I make you a margarita? :0)

    And I REALLY enjoy reading your blog! :0)


  9. You familiar with HALT, eh? No decisions while hungry, angry, tired, or lonely? I am not sure where vet school tests fall in there, but possibly it could be pluralizes to add stressed.

    That said, I totally lost my shit last week over something deeply frustrating but not urgent or dire, just because I have an overdeveloped sense of justice. So you know, sympathy!

  10. I officially have the best readers ever.

    Just started raining. Because you know, the weather does have to fit my mood.

    Told hubby I had a bad day and he asked what happened and I told him to just pretend something really really bad happened, because if I told him the truth than I would get a condenscending look and very little sympathy. He agreed.

    Yes I was hungry, AND tired, AND angry. Not sure about lonely. Hard to be lonely with Tess at my side 24/7. But 3 out of the 4 isn't bad.

  11. So it looks like I might have a lead already. My FFA advisor saw my post on facebook! I'm not even going to think about it 'til after the test, but I'll keep you guys posted.

    Studied Pharm until 10pm last night and I'm pretty sure I'm just going to have to go into research or something like that because after hours of studying, the only drug I'm remotely familiar with is Albuterol. The other 49 drugs on the list are a haze of things I can't pronounce that treat diseases I've never heard of, through mechanisms I'll never know, no matter how many times I stare at the table with my eyes glazed over.

  12. Hang in there, Mel. You'll find the right place. Just keep putting it out there.

  13. Gave a friend a ride, was late, parked next to machine and then forgot to buy the parking pass. :(. $45.......

  14. Hang in there - all work work itself out. I'm sure that your care for your equines is well above what some "average" horses receive. They manage - after all the are "foragers" not "grazers" :-)

  15. (Apart from keeping my horses at home), the best arrangement that I found was keeping them on a small (private) property. I kept both of my horses together in a paddock, so they got companionship, movement and grazing. Even when there wasn't much grass, because they were in together (without other horses) I could feed them whatever and as much as I wanted. None of these places were advertised. Here are the improbable ways I found them:
    1. I letter-box dropped pamphlets in the area I wanted, asking people if they had room for my horses.
    2. I gave a scary-looking hitch-hiker a lift (not something I'd recommend, nor something I do... but I stopped for some reason that day?), and he turned out to be a really lovely older guy on 12 un-stocked acres.
    3. I rang LOTS of boarding places, and somehow one of them gave me the number of someone they knew that had their own horses at home, with a little room to spare.

    Word of mouth - ask EVERYONE you know if they know someone...

    Hang in there Mel, you'll find somewhere for Farley ;)


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