Tuesday, September 22, 2009

An Update on the One-Jump Wonder Project

There are one-trick ponies and then there's me, the wannabe one-jump horse wonder.

I recently wrote about how I was embarking on several projects to have cheap fun with my horses in this cruddy economy. It's become my new passion to offer up as many ideas as possible for horse people to have fun, for cheap, with their horses.

One project I took on involved tearing down some chewed up wooden corrals to create an open space big enough to I could lope my horses (read that post here). In that space, there would be room for exactly one jump. My plan? To school my jumper mares over a single jump all winter long and be prepared to jump full courses come show season in the spring.

The Update
I promised an update and here it is. I am following my three-step plan of
1. Using what I already have
2. Bartering
3. Borrowing

As you can see from the pictures, the corrals have been taken down so I can now make use of a space I already had, but couldn't use before. I bartered with my neighbor Bill for this. He took down my corrals and I'm doing his chores for several weeks while he and his wife go to Africa on safari.

I have also borrowed jumps from my friend Heidi so that I can school my mares (see them all lined up like neat little soldiers?). I have six standards and six poles, so I can either make a vertical jump or an oxer, or even a Swedish oxer if I get really crazy. After all, I've got room for just one jump!

Thus far I have dragged the lumpier parts of the arena using the four-wheeler and have loped in it. The horses don't love the footing, but they are learning to deal with it. The footing is soft, but not totally even. I'll be working on that some more by mixing some old hay, horse manure, and grass clippings into the footing (not to worry, I don't let the horses eat the grass clippings).

Anyway, so far my cost has been $0. I'll be doing Bill's chores for a few weeks starting soon, so I'll have to invest a little gas money, but $20 ought to cover the entire cost as he lives just up the road from me. I'd ride my horse to his place to do chores but it takes too long to get there and back on horseback, so I won't do it except once or twice. My only other investment has been in poultices that I've had to put on wasp stings. Wasps have built nests in my hay barn (where I put all the old wood) and they are a little territorial. Oh well, a little acidophilus and blue-green algae mixed with spring water and baking soda took care of the stings.

So that's my report on cheap horse activities for a cruddy economy. My focus is on using what I have, bartering for things I need done, and borrowing everything else.

What ideas do you have for horse activities that are fun and cheap? I'd love to hear so please drop me a line or share a comment!

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1 comment:

  1. I think bartering is a good idea. last week I bartered my accounting skills for horse riding lessons for my daughter. There is this great site called thats where I do most of my bartering