Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Catching up ...

... well, I'm at least touching base! It's been a crazy few weeks!

I've taken photos at 2 horse shows, one weekend after the other, and then followed those up with a 6-day stint at work!

Somehow, I survived them all ... and am, needless to say, in great anticipation of my 90 minute massage tomorrow, to soothe my aching muscles!

Here are a couple of my favourite photos from the two horse shows:

Now that the disruptions to my regularly scheduled programming have concluded, I hope to get back into the swing of things, with weekly posts ... and more horse introductions!

Keep your weight in your heels!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Introducing: Lutzen

I admit it. He's my favourite in the barn.

At 23 years of age, Lutzen is well into retirement, so I don't get to handle him as much, or as often, as I'd like. He's grumpy, too, playing keep-away in his stable if you try to groom him without putting his head collar on first ... and half-heartedly promising a nip if you tickle him while grooming and aren't paying attention.

I reckon Luzten stands at least 18 hands high. In other words, he's pretty tall, coming in at a lofty 6ft or more, measured from the top of his shoulder to the ground.

More than once, my fellow barn workers have had a good chuckle, watching me take Lutzen out to his paddock, or being marched back into the barn by him. Picture this short (5'4" on a good day), round human having to almost run beside him, just to keep up with his walk!   :D

I wish I'd known him years ago, when he was still in work. Even now, I can see that he's a dream mover, floating over the ground. He doesn't do much above a walk during his liberty hours each day, but watching him enjoying his "kick and fart" lap of his paddock when he's released first thing in the morning is always a treat!

Keep your weight in your heels!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

You Can't Beat This Commute!

I realized this week that I have the best commute in the world:

It takes about 10 minutes each way.

There are 2 stop signs on the way to work ... and none on the way home! That's it!

About half the drive is at 50kph, and the rest is at 80kph, so rarely any speed demons to deal with. Aside from the weekend warriors (and a handful of local yahoos), that is, and loaded logging trucks that no-one's going to argue with, anyway!

For your photo this week, I spotted this newly baled field on my way home from work on Tuesday afternoon, pulled a U-ey to go back and get the shot. I knew rain was forecast, so the bales wouldn't be there the next time I drove by!

On the physical side, my feet are much happier this week! By Tuesday evening (my Friday) my entire body was aching terribly, but waking up on Wednesday morning, I was almost pain-free! There's hope for me yet!

I can feel that I'm getting stronger all the time, that my endurance is improving, and hope to be shopping for a few more pairs of work trousers soon (to replace the single pair I have right now, that are starting to break down with the abuse!) ... if only this excess baggage would start dropping off in earnest!

And yes, I know, you're waiting to meet the horses ... I promise, as soon as I get the opportunity, I'll get them posted for you!  :D

Keep your weight in your heels!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Snap, Crackle, Pop!

That is the sound that my feet made every day when I took my first steps out of bed!

Yesterday afternoon, I had my first post job-change massage ... Kateri at Pemberton Valley Wellness gave my feet and lower legs a whole hour of attention!

And this was no relaxation massage! Plenty of "breathe through it" was involved! But so worth it!

No more rice crispies!  :D

A couple more photos from around the area (click on images to view larger version):

The photo above is a 10-shot handheld panoramic taken from the roadside, at the only place from which you can see the barn "from outside". It really shows that, while the facilities are pretty big in themselves, the environment they're set in is even more impressive!

Looking south, the barn roof-line with magnificent Mt Currie as a backdrop.

Looking north up the Pemberton Meadows, just so beautiful. One day, when I win the lottery, I'd love to be able to secure a piece of this heaven for our family!

Keep your weight in your heels!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Farmer's Tan

The forest is tinder-dry right now, and gardens are browning with water restrictions in effect. There's a total fire ban, too.

It's been a very hot week, with highs in the mid-30's Celsius. The heat is forecast to continue through next week without the possibility of a quick thunderstorm, let alone a cool rainy day, on the horizon.

Magnificent Mt Currie as seen from one of six entrances to the barn

Speaking of browning, my farmer's tan is coming along quite nicely! Funny how one's ideas of "good" and "bad" tan lines (if any tan is de rigueur these days) changes over time!

In spite of the uncomfortable weather conditions and physical challenges, I did survive my first week of work at the yard. I was pleased that I could still walk at the end of it, but will be seeking an RMT to give my feet some TLC! Lifting a slice of toast to my mouth for dinner was a challenge, though!

I'm grateful for small mercies in that my week is just four days long at the moment!

And, it goes without saying, I'm LOVING getting to know our five charges! I'll be introducing them all to you in due course.

Keep your weight in your heels!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

No Hoof, No Horse ...

... as the expression goes.

The same applies to stable hands: No Foot, No Groom!

After my first day of work in late July, when I experienced "burning soles", I purchased a pair of Blundstones to replace my hikers that were so worn that the soles gave me no support or cushioning at all. I have never had blunnies before, but often see them worn around here, and have heard great things about them as work boots.

I wore them to the office for my last four days of work there, to break them in gently, then two days at the yard last week.

At $200 plus taxes, they'll qualify as my birthday present, and hopefully they'll last a couple of years!

They performed well for my first two-day work week, although the (cardboard?) footbeds that came with the boots didn't seem to help with the burning soles. I've now replaced those with gel inserts, so hopefully my feet will be a bit more comfortable from now on!

After working two days in a row last week, my feet really took a beating simply from having to haul me around all day, instead of being comfortably ensconced behind a desk where they've been for the past couple of decades! I had a couple of good blisters which, luckily, hadn't burst. I wasn't even aware of them as they were just part of the tired/burning feet, until the end of the second day.

I spent my three days off this week resisting the urge to pop and drain the blisters. Instead, I've been rubbing my feet with alcohol to try to toughen them up. Can't say I've seen any hardening, but both blisters have been completely reabsorbed without leaving any trace of having been there. Hopefully they'll stay away.

The fronts of my shins also came out in nasty red welts. The socks I'd been wearing were regular el-cheapos that I'd worn hundreds of times before without incident. Perhaps the constant damp of sweat inside confines of the boot ankles caused a reaction with the washing detergent we use? If so, odd that my shins were the only places where the reddening occurred ... take my word for it that a great deal of me was "glowing", but nowhere else showed any ill effects!

I've now got some thicker, natural fibre socks, that I'll be trying from today.

This week is my first "full work week". Four consecutive days, 9am to 5pm. The forecast is for sunny skies with temperatures into the mid-30C's. The vast majority of my work is done indoors, and for that I'm grateful when conditions are as warm as this. That said, if you're experiencing cooler weather, even if it's raining or snowing, please feel free to send some our way!

Keep your weight in your heels!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Week Two - Short Week

As I'm still in the training / orientation phase, I was scheduled to work with the yard manager again this week. She works Monday-Friday, so that meant that my work days this week were just Monday and Tuesday.

Two strenuous days in a row were tough, but I survived them. Sore again, different places this time. But I know that will pass!

Still staggered home with a great smile on my face, despite the knackered state of physical being!  :D

As promised, I managed to get a couple of photos, to give you an idea of the place. The view from my lunch room, the picnic table (when it's not freezing cold or raining!).

If I remember rightly (it's been so long since I've posted on this blog) you can click on the image/s to enlarge them.

Looking back towards Pemberton Village - that's Mt Currie shrouded by cloud.

Pegasus, the weather vane.

Approx. 90deg to left of the Mt Currie view, is the main barn.

The REAL test starts on Saturday, when my "normal schedule", four consecutive days of Saturday through Tuesday, begins.

Keep your weight in your heels!