Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Haffie Math Quiz - Thanksgiving with Haffies

Let's have a quick recap of our last quiz question, shall we?
If you clip half a Haffie, how many Haffies do you have? 
The overwhelming choice for the "best" answer was:
Option 3: A Haffie and a half - the original Haffie, plus half a Haffie of hair  
Paddington is slightly disappointed that more people didn't think he was adorable even with the bad haircut, but I fed him some treats and he's mostly over it now.

This week's quiz is all about Thanksgiving. Paddy is thankful for the special half-flake of alfalfa he got yesterday, and for his poofy forelock that makes him even more adorably irresistible. 

Poof is important when you are mooching treats.

But he wanted to invite some of his Haffie friends over for Thanksgiving (especially Shyloh, he thinks she's cute). This got me thinking about how many pounds of sweet potatoes and apple pie I'd have to provide if I had to feed a herd of Haffies. So this week's question is:

If you invited a dozen Haffies over for Thanksgiving dinner, how many apple pies would you need? 

  • Option 1: 6 pies - half a pie for each Haffie (they're all on diets) 
  • Option 2: 12 pies - one pie for each Haffie
  • Option 3: 18 pies - one for each Haffie and then seconds for half the Haffies
  • Option 4: Paddington gave all the other Haffies bad directions and they got lost on the way to Wyvern Oaks. Therefore, Paddington gets ALL THE APPLE PIES.

Remember to vote for the BEST answer (not the "right" answer, because this is Haffie math and there IS no right answer!) over on the poll on the right. Paddington promises an up-close-and-personal pic of his adorable nose if you do!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tack Sale!!!

I've finally gotten around to cleaning out my tack room, and I have a TON of stuff I need to get rid of. Most of it's from Saga and Oberon (sniff) that doesn't fit anyone else, so if you need size 81 horse clothes, I've got extras with the extras. I've added a new tab with all the items on it, and I'll keep it up until I've gotten rid of everything.

Leave a comment or email me directly if you see something you want! jenjobst at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why I blanket and clip

It seems like the debate about blanketing and/or clipping horses rages every year this time. Clipping is cruel! Clipping is necessary! I never blanket! I blanket when it gets below 60 degrees! Everyone has their opinion on the subject, and everyone’s opinion is different. I’m curious what everyone else’s thoughts are, so I figured I’d share mine.

We have three very different horses with three very different sets of needs. While I would prefer NOT to blanket and clip (because let’s face it, when you do self-care at home, you’re the one pulling blankets on and off twice a day!), the reality is that I do both.


Cash is 25, and while he started out the year in great weight, he’s steadily lost it since September. He’s not as interested in eating as he used to be, and it can be a real struggle to get him to finish his 2 scoops of Senior twice daily. And yes, his teeth have been checked, he’s UTD on wormer, etc. Older horses just sometimes don’t eat as well, and for the first time, he’s showing his age a bit.

Cash grows a thick winter coat, but because he’s not as fat as usual and is not eating well, I don’t want him to waste a single calorie on staying warm. Therefore, he gets blanketed when it’s below 50, and below 40, he gets a liner plus his blanket.
Eat, liebschen, eat!!!


You’d think that Red, with his pony-esque stature, would grow a winter coat like a yak. In reality, he grows less hair than most OTTBs I’ve met, so he gets cold pretty easily. And while he’s in good weight right now, toward the end of last winter I had to switch him from his usual Lite feed to Senior to keep the pounds on. Given that, I also don’t want him to burn any calories staying warm. He usually gets a sheet around 50, and below 40 gets a blanket. If it’s cold/windy/rainy, then he gets a fleece under his blanket too (his blanket is older and not as warm as it once was).
I prefer my fleecy jammies when it's below 40, tyvm.


Paddington was all set this year for a Michigan winter, and then he moved to Texas. He’s got a coat about like a woolly mammoth. Unfortunately, last week it was 82 degrees, and the poor guy was drenched in sweat just standing there in the shade. While 82 is not the norm for winter here, mid 50s to mid 60s is, and even that is too warm for the amount of hair he’s sporting. A clip was in order, but I wanted to take off as little hair as I could get away with.

I started off just clipping the underside of his neck, his chest, and part of his belly, but he was still sweating buckets. I ended up doing what’s called a blanket clip, and that seems to be working really well for him. When I’ve ridden him, he’s gotten a bit damp on his back but dried and cooled quickly, and he’s stopped sweating when he’s just standing around. Since he’s clipped, he gets a blanket at around 45 or so, although even with the clip he could probably do without, or even with just a sheet. His ears and sheath have been toasty warm despite the near-freezing temps we’ve had here – it hasn’t gotten above 40 since Friday! And I certainly don’t mind if he burns a few hundred extra calories keeping warm!
I must eat moar to grow moar hairs!

Other benefits

One thing I have noticed is that when the boys are blanketed, they eat significantly less hay (even if they have it in front of them) – sometimes as much as two flakes per horse per day less! This makes sense since they don’t need more calories to stay warm. While I am not really watching our hay bill (it’s only money, right?), it’s kind of interesting to note that I can “save” roughly half a bale per day by blanketing. I’m good with that.

Final thoughts

So, do you clip and/or blanket? Why or why not? If you board, what is your barn’s policy on blanketing temperatures? It’s been forever and a day since I’ve had to fight with barn staff to blanket or unblanket my horse, so I’m curious what everyone else is doing.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Haffie Math Quiz - Clipping a Haffie

I know, I've been remiss in my Friday Haffie math quizzes. I got off to a good start, and then I failed. Good thing someone's not paying me to keep up this blog, lol!

Let's have a quick recap of our last quiz question, shall we?

If two Haffies make a whole, how many is two and a Haffies? 

By popular vote, the overwhelming choice was option D: I suck at math, but Paddy is adorable!  

Paddington approves of this answer choice and grants each of you that voted for him a generous hand-lick. (Yep, he's a licker.)

Now, on to this week's quiz. I know lots of you have been clipping - 'tis the season - and Paddington is also  sporting a new haircut. So our question this week is all about clipping:

If you clip half a Haffie, how many Haffies do you have? 
  • Option 1: A whole Haffie with a bad haircut. 
Definitely not what the cool kids are wearing this year.
  • Option 2: Two Haffies - you can spin a new one with all the hair. 
We all want another one of these, right? RIGHT?!?!
  • Option 3: A Haffie and a half - the original Haffie, plus half a Haffie of hair. (Try saying that three times fast!) 
Half a Haffie of Hair.
  • Option 4: Paddington is adorable, even with a bad haircut! 
Paddington also likes cookies and hasn't had any in the last 30 seconds.

Remember to vote for the BEST answer (not the "right" answer, because this is Haffie math and there IS no right answer!) over on the poll on the right ---->. You know you want to, and Paddy loves you for it!

Special thanks to MC for providing all the pictures for this post.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Paddington the Brave

One of the reasons we bought Wyvern Oaks was because of the miles of trails right out our back gate. Unfortunately, I didn't feel 100% comfortable taking Echo out on those trails without a buddy, so I haven't gotten much trail ride time in the last 6 months. But Paddington has tons of trail miles under his belt, and I trust him, despite only having owned him for a month. I never realized how much I missed the freedom of just being able to head out for a quick, relaxing ride, but man, it's awesome.

Crappy blurry picture taken about 30 seconds before things got exciting.

The other night, Fuzzypony and I were riding on the trails to the big arena, which takes about 20 minutes to get to. Paddy was walking on the buckle with Taran behind him, when all of the sudden two full-sized Great Danes came careening around a curve of the trail. They slid to a stop practically under Paddy's nose, snapping, lunging, and barking at him. My heart stopped and I clutched the reins, expecting Paddy to spin and bolt for home. With two huge dogs about to attack us, it certainly seemed like a good idea to me!

Instead, Paddington stopped dead and eyed the dogs suspiciously. I considered hopping off in case he decided to leave, but decided that if the dogs made good on their threat to attack, the safest place I could be was on Paddy's back. I took the opportunity to yell in my meanest voice, "NO! NO! BAD DOGS! BAD DOGS!" in hopes that would keep them back long enough for their owners would show up. Did I mention the dogs were off leash and had no recall? Yeah, that was awesome.

What seemed like a million years later but was probably only about three seconds, the dog's owners appeared and grabbed their dogs. Y'all, those Danes were HUGE, and they growled and barked the WHOLE TIME. I apologized for yelling at their dogs, they apologized for their dogs. Paddington stood until I asked him to move on, tense but obedient. I told him what a good man he was and how brave he was, and he carried on like he faced down dogs like that every day.

We've ranted about this a million times, so I'll make it a million and one. If your dogs have sucky recall, DO NOT LET THEM OFF LEASH. What if they went after a jogger, or a child? I get it, the Danes may have been in "attack" mode because they'd never seen a horse before, but even if I had been on foot, I would have been SUPER intimidated by a 150-lb bouncing, barking off-leash dog. And I'm a dog person!

We scored the jackpot with Paddington. He's cute, awesome and brave, and I owe him.

Payment should be rendered in cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where I've been (Vienna) and what I've been doing (visiting the SRS)

Sorry for the blog silence, y’all. I’ve had plenty of posts banging about in my brain but not really the drive to sit down and write them.  All is well with the boys (especially Paddington, who has been working diligently on his Haffie math problems), but more on that later.

Last week, I had a business trip to Brno, in the Czech Republic, to visit one of my company’s offices abroad. It was my first time there, and despite it getting dark at 3:30 pm (icky Daylight Saving Time!), I had a great time and my coworkers there were wonderful hosts. Unfortunately, 8 am meetings combined with 10pm or later pub crawls meant that I didn’t have much time to sight-see.

For touristy stuff, though, the highlight of my trip was the day I got to spend in Vienna. And what does a horsey person do when in Vienna? Visit the Spanish Riding School, of course! I’d last been to Vienna 20 years ago (yep, I’m that old) but the School was closed due to a barn fire, so I’ve never actually seen the Lipizzans perform in Vienna. All I can say is, if you have the opportunity to go, you must. It was magical!

Note that you are not supposed to take pictures of the actual performance, but I admit I snuck a few...

The young stallions (4-8 years) make their entry.

More of the young stallions. Check out the riding school! Wouldn't you love an indoor arena like this one?

Dimming the lights between the performances. The chandeliers were amazing!

Older stallion performs the piaffe.

The riding hall. DROOOL.

View of the hall from the super $$$ seats.

If you can't take home your very own Lipizzan, why not take home a used saddle pad? These were in the gift shop, but I resisted (seeing as how I have millions of old saddle pads already).

I also took a tour of the barn, which was fantastic. The horses were gorgeous as ever, and I wanted to take two or three home. Of course, we weren't allowed to touch them or take pictures, so you'll just have to use your imagination. Picture short fat white ponies that can do amazing things ;) 

Courtyard with stalls facing out.

Helloooo handsome! Wanna come home with me?

And of course, what would a visit to Vienna be without a tasty schnitzel for dinner, followed by an apple strudel? Perfect end to an amazing day!

Next up: Paddington is the BEST PONY EVAR!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Haffie Math

I have been having a little too much fun with math lately.

I know, it's crazy. Math when you don't have to?

But Haffie math is totally different! You can make things up! Correct answers don't matter! Paddy is cute even if you hate math!

So I give you our first Haffie Math Quiz. Today's question:

If two Haffies equal a whole, how many is two and a Haffies?

Options are:
  • 2 Horse and 1 Haffie
  • 5 Haffies
  • 10 Quarter Horses
  • I suck at math, but Paddy is adorable!

You can vote for the best answer (not correct, remember... correct doesn't matter!) in the poll in the column on the right. ------>

How many of these Haffie Math Quizzes can I come up with? Probably a lot... I've been tormenting friends and my husband with my horrible Haffie math. Beware!

Yep, still adorable.