Politics

Apr
2014
12

posted by on Life with Jezebel, OTTB

Big bite!

Big bite!

My week day morning feed person who also happens to be my friend (her daughter and i share a trainer) texts me every morning after her visit with the girls and their report card, which i love. They tend to be good girls and behave for her. The other day I got a text with a picture of Jez’s butt with a big hunk-o-hair missing. Horse politics have begun for real. Its a pretty big bite though only hair is missing no skin broken. I’m thinking it was the only gelding in the group as Circe and Jez don’t seriously fight and the other mare is pretty old and doesn’t get around and tends to just move off instead of confront. Process of elimination… Jax is the culprit. I put some coconut oil on it to encourage hair growth and will also rub in some vitamin E oil. This is the first sign of any real squabbling among the new herd and actually thats pretty damn good its been mostly uneventful. I only hope that when Jax comes in with a big ole hematoma  from being kicked that it’s also superficial cuz Jezebel… well she tends to not take too much shit. Much like her mom.

Facebook fail

Apr
2014
11

posted by on Rant

So purty!

So purty!

As I’ve mentioned before I am addicted to buying and selling stuff on Facebook, specifically the ETT group. It’s a sickness I know but I can’t seem to refuse a really good deal. The other day an item on my dream list came up at a great deal and in my size. Herm Springer stirrups! I got to the ad early enough and since it was a “make me an offer” style ad I offered 5 bucks higher then the highest offer and since the seller was local-ish I offered to pick them up so no shipping hassles. I was in like Flynn. I went back and forth with the seller, on day time and location to pick up the stirrups. Everything was worked out those Bow Balance Herm Springers were soon to be mine.

The next day I got a message on Facebook  that said and I quote “Ok bad news came home tonight my dog ate my new irons” really the dog ate her irons? More likely she got a higher offer. Just fucking tell the truth. I get it people are looking to make money on their stuff. She could have said she got a higher offer and let me see if i could match it or just tell me she was going for more cash but what is this 3rd grade and your dog ate your homework? Unreal. I just said thanks anyways and moved on. I’ll get my stirrups if i have to buy them new down the road. It’s not really a big deal and the only strange experience ive had in that group. I think the older I get the more I get annoyed by people making up lies for whatever their dumbass excuse is. The older i get the less i care what other people think so really theres no reason to bullshit people with lies and i get annoyed when people do it to me.  I get that some people are non confrontational but come on, be a grown up! I think i’m going to use the “dog ate my…” excuse all week. Sorry babe I cant make dinner, the dog ate my hands. I’d love to pay my credit card bill but i cant cuz the dog ate my bank account. Oh id love to pick you up some OJ from the store on my way home but i cant cuz the dog ate my car. Just about as believable as the dog eating her irons.

 

Paddock fail

Apr
2014
10

posted by on Life with Circe, OTTB

I might change her name Cthulhu

I might change her name Cthulhu

Tried to ride Circe in the small paddock today. Id call it a fail from the moment i tried to mount and my foot slid out of the stirrup on a truly epic mounting fail until she baby reared at me when I was on the ground walking her back in to the barn. We only got around the paddock once then her antics made it too risky for me to keep on keeping on so i dismounted. I made her stand in the cross ties while i mucked stalls. There was no way in hell was going to reward her with going back to the herd, or standing in her stall eating after she was a total brat. In her defense she is still in heat however horse PMS only gets you the slightest amount of slack in my world.

On the bright side when i was leaving tonight they were dragging my field. I  have to say i love a well maintained field. A+ for that!

The big ring

Apr
2014
10

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Circe, OTTB

Hello!

Hello!

Circe’s first day in the ring. I was nervous of course i was. Its a big day. Circe would have to cross a big street, a ditch, a stream and be in a ring that is huge much bigger then anything shes experienced at least with me before. Plus available for general use in a public park. So theres a whole lot going on. Thats a lot for one day. I also had to separate her and Jezebel to get it done. Which was making me fret because last time Jezebel lots her horsey mind in the process.  This kind of thing just crystallizes why I have Michelle on my team. Its not something i wanted to attempt to do alone. I’m lucky to have her help with all things ponies.

I pulled Circe from the field and though Jez stuck close to the barn she didn’t freak out or call out or anything while i got the red-head ready. The other two horses were still in their stalls when it came time to leave, i brought Jez in and texted my barn mate to ask her to put Jez out with her babies if i wasn’t back before she got there. Step one done, off to cross the street. Big street, double yellow line and sometimes they don’t slow down. It was empty on the way there and leading Circe and not riding her was the right decision. She wasn’t sure about cross the yellow line (i wonder how they view that) but she did cross it and viola, street crossing done with no incident and rather well.  Next up a small patch of woods and a ditch with a creek. I went ahead so Circe could see me on the other side. She was hesitant at first but Michelle was patient she let her stand still but if she tried to walk backwards she would get a small tap of the dressage whip, it didn’t take long before she was down the ditch at the waters edge. She put her nose to the water and decided it was fine and walked across. Yay Circe! Much easier then i had expected and she just walked and didn’t jump it like i feared.

IMG_6448Though the parking lot and over to the ring. She was very up and excited, lots of new things to see and she looked at them all.  Michelle took her into the ring which is huge and very well maintained and decided lunging her was probably best. We had a few watchers from their cars but over all it was calm and empty out. Circe decide she wanted to run on the lunge  so Michelle let her get a little energy out before asking her to listen to much. When she calmed some she was asked to listen and she complied and then it was time to mount. The mounting blocks are outside the ring so Michelle got on from the ground. The first time for Circe and low and behold she stood for it! What a good pony! She was put though her paces as the walk and the trot and eventually she was okay with being in the new place and the huge ring. She never spooked at anything, but she was very up the whole time. I was planning on walking her around after Michelle but we thought better of it as it was a lot for her to take in and once Michelle dismounted Circe was cooked and ready to go home. Baby steps.

 

Oh a creek? I got this!

Oh a creek? I got this!

The walk back to the barn was easy, the water was easier the second time, she even stood in it for a bit. A big truck driving fast at the street crossing freaked her out a little and she did a little ” the truck is going to eat me” dance but as soon as it was out of sight she was fine and then back across the street and to the barn. She was eager to get out with the herd. She had reached her limit. We had asked a lot of her and she did better then expected. It really couldn’t have been any better. So i un-tacked her and put her out in the field and watched her disappear at a full on run up the hill to be with her buddies.

As to Jez she never called out for her and according to my barn mate who turned her out she was a doll and happy. So i guess that screaming her head off thing for Circe was because they were in heat and still in a new place. I’m still going to keep working on them being separated as being herd bound is a nasty habit and i want to keep it to a minimum if i can. I then hung out, did my chores, chatted with my barn-mate and then went to visit M and Peanut who were waiting for the vet. I left the girls out side and went back after dinner just at dark to bring them in for the evening. Its getting warmer at night and im going to start keeping them outside on warm nights, like tonight! They really didnt want to come inside anyways so they can just stay out and be horses.

Busy busy busy

Apr
2014
09

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Circe, Life with Jezebel

Grass!

Grass!

A lot has been going on as well as a lot of nothing. I’ve been letting the girls get settled in and not asking too much of them besides learning their new routine. My morning feed person started and thats been great! Going back and forth to the barn twice a day is tough. Nothing that I’m doing anything too hard just the time spent on the road back and forth was making me exhausted. So now Monday though Friday I only have to do the afternoon chores. Both girls have been behaving in the mornings, it always makes me happy when they get good report cards.

New herd

New herd

Yesterday we introduced Jez and Circe to the big field and their new friends Jax and Sabrina proper. Me and my barn-mate opened the gate separating them and let the girls explore the big (6 acre) field. They ran up the hill exploring and went to meet Jax and Sabrina. It was really uneventful. Yay! Both my barn-mate and i were really happy about that. They were happy enough to meet with no fence between them. A little excitement and running around but nothing to write home about. By the end of the day they were one herd. Easy super peasy!

 

Kristopher with a K

Kristopher with a K

The barn next door had a new arrival yesterday as well. Another OTTB named Kris. Kris is an eventer AND he ponies at the track. His owner gallops at the track and i already really like her. Shes tough as nails and really nice and friendly. Her horse is gorgeous with a very kind eye. I met a friend of hers as well that she events and works with at the track and she was totally cool and she keeps her eventer close by. The group is really shaping up. We have two leaving mid month. Self care was just too much for her and her two horses and shes moving to full board but i’m trying to keep the girl who was leasing one the exiting horses. I’ve offered her ride time in exchange for a few barn chores and shes interested. Super sweet girl who has just begun showing Jumpers at a local horse center. Shes very excited about learning more then riding about hoses. One of the things about riding programs is they generally don’t teach you horse care just horse riding. I’m happy to show her all about the other side of horse ownership in exchange for a little help and shes eager to learn.

All and all its been a great week, exhausting but great. Today Michelle comes and we take Circe across the street to the big ring for the first time. I’m hoping that Jez with her new two pals will not lose her mind when they are separated and that Circe adapts to the new experience like a champ. We will see. Brand new experiences at every turn.

Separation anxiety

Apr
2014
04

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Circe, Life with Jezebel

At the gate waiting on noms

At the gate waiting on noms

The girls are settling in the new barn. I’m at the barn twice a day right now. My morning feeding and turn out person doesn’t start until next week and though this barn is closer to the house making the trek twice a day can be rough. In other words I’m tired as all get out. Both mares are still in raging heat, in fact all three mares are (Sabrina too). I think that means its spring finally so i’m keeping them in the smaller turn out until everyones horsey hormones calm down no point making it harder then it has to be. Once they are all out of heat my new barn-mate and I will pick a time to introduce them all to each other proper.

Lookin' around

Lookin’ around

In the mean time I’ve been doing a little bit of work with them on the ground starting with the cross ties. The aisle is very wide, much wider then my last barn and that was already a wide isle. Jez was up first and she definitely picked which way she wanted to face. Out to the street cuz she loves to look around. She always picks her direction and get nervous if shes asked to stand in the opposite one. The cross ties were just barely long enough to hook to either side of her bridle and miss bossy pants likes to be able to move her head around. She did okay she swung her butt around some but i just let her work it out while i tried to brush some of her shedding coat out. During all this i decided to buy some new cross ties longer ones. Theres a local tack shop on the grounds of a horse center by me. I try not to buy stuff there cuz the mark up is high but i really didn’t want to wait for shipping so i got a really nice pair of red cross ties that work much better for horses that need to move their heads around.. yanno like mine.

Circe was a champ in the new cross ties, no fuss no muss. I scrubbed the dirt off her and tried to get some of her shedding coat out. Since she now has to wear her cribbing collar i rubbed all the places where the collar is and she was very appreciative and rewarded me with horse snuggles. When i put her away she looked almost clean, almost. I’m hoping it will be warm enough this weekend to give her a bath because she needs one. Brushing her was like brushing Pigpen from the Peanuts, a cloud of dust where ever she goes. If there’s dirt Circe will find it.

Besos

Besos

I then tried to work on separating the  girls a little. I really though that this was not going to be an issue. Umm yeah wrong! I brought Jez inside with me and left Circe out in the field and Jezebel lost her mind. Shes always been a horse thens been just dandy on her own. I’ve had her on stall rest… alone. In a small paddock at a friends house for two weeks… alone. I think being in a new place, in heat just made her lose it. She had a total melt down, screaming for Circe, walking in circles, calling out some more. She was anxious and nervous. I tossed her some alfalfa thinking she couldn’t scream her head off with a mouth full of alfalfa… wrong! Talented pony. I only kept them apart for 10 minutes but it was a loud 10 minutes. I’ll work on this every day. I’ll bring Circe in next and leave Jez out in the field where she can hang over the fence with Jax and Sabrina see if it makes a difference. I talked to my barn-mate about this and she said its always an issue with such a small heard there are days when they just lose it. I’ll work it out eventually but i have a feeling it wont be easy.

trotting around

trotting around

Next up is grazing them both out side of the paddock closer and closer to where the street crossing is to get to the ring. Theres a dressage show over at the ring this weekend so i wont be able to take anyone over there until after the weekend which is fine it will give me time to work n the separation anxiety. Also maybe i should have Michelle with me the first time i take one of them across the street. It might be better to have back up!

The big move

Apr
2014
02

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Circe, Life with Jezebel, OTTB

Circe, Jezebel and Jax

It was moving day. The day started out with heading down to the new barn to finish up installing buckets, bed stalls and just get everything ready for the girls. My better half was really awesome making sure i was calm as even though i was excited moving is always stressful. We got everything done pretty fast then headed over the the soon to be old barn to pack out saddles and horses. The girls were muddy (even though they had sheets on) so i did a really half assed job washing their legs and tails. Cuz thats how i roll. While the girls munched on hay and dried off we got everything ready. Loaded M’s truck up with a couple bales of hay and their mid-weights and hooked up the trailer. Right on time at 3:30 we were ready to load and my better half and i walked the girls down to the trailer. As a friend in a lesson with her trainer both waved good bye and wished us luck! They were pretty happy and cheerful as the trailer was right by their turn out and i bet they though they were going back out in the field. Surprise! Load Ponies!

All the blue buckets

All the blue buckets

Circe was up first but she was really unsure about getting on. She just stopped short of the ramp and i think trailering to her has always meant going to a new home and a new person. Poor pony was experiencing some stress i think. So instead i grabbed Jez and hot damn if she didn’t just walk right up and load first time no issues no worries. This is my willing, amazing horse! No fuss no freaking muss. Circe seeing Jezebel load, walked up the ramp and loaded on try two. Super easy! M and I  closed up, got peanut in the truck  and headed out to the new place about 20 minutes away with my better half following us in the SUV. Unloading was even easier. I backed Jez down first and she came off straight and happy. My better half backed Circe down. I have to say im pretty thrilled at him just jumping in and taking this horse thing by the reins (pun intended!). I’m sure he never thought in his life hes be unloading horses. He did a great job and after letting them look around for a bit we put them in their new stalls where they both ate hay, drank water and looked out their new windows! They love their windows! I hugged M good bye and thanked her for all her help moving my girls. I couldn’t have done it with out her help and support!

I love you window

I love you window

After they were all settled we decided to turn them out in the small adjacent paddock so they could get to know their new barn friends  Jax and Sabrina over the fence. We walked them in the paddock down to the in ground water system so they would know where it was and they were very excited to see grass in the field.  Then we let them loose and expected them to lose their shit and be all crazy. They didn’t. They ate grass and trotted around a little flagging ther tales. They met their new friends over the fence and it became clear that both my girls and  Sabrina (and older ex trotter) were in heat. Jax  the only gelding has all the sexy ladies! Jezebel was very sweet on Jax. Circe not so much. There was a little squealing but that came from Jax and Sabrina my girls were much calmer then i expect. I let them hang out for about an hour then put them in their stalls for the night. I got a message from my new barn mate late in the evening ( she goes down at night!) That all was well. Awesomeness.

Feed room!

Feed room!

It was a stressful but very successful day and once again my horses made me proud and happy. Owning OTTBs is a great thing, they are super resilient horses. They did a great job on the move. Today i’m heading over  there early to turn them out and give them time to just be horses and munch grass in the field while i put my new space together. Im feeling really good about it, really very good.

posted by on Barn tales

Move me out of this mud!

Move me out of this mud!

With only a few days left until i move the girls i’m starting to get excited. My better half and I went to the new barn to start setting some stuff up. My commercial shelves (24 inches deep baby!) Circe’s stall needed to be cleaned and all her hooks needed to be put up. Jezebel’s stall wont be vacated until the end of the day on the day before i move her. We will go out early  on moving day to get her stuff ready. My new Barn mate was there and she and i worked out some logistics of the move and she will strip down the stall shes leaving (shes moving over one) so we can get in and get out on moving day and then just move um in, hopefully quietly and easy with M’s help. It was a longer day than either of us expected, the shelves were a real bitch to put up but they look great. Of course i didn’t take pics cuz i was just to busy IE i forgot. Derp. I couldn’t do much in the tack room as its not vacated yet but i was able to make plans and unpack some stuff that will fit in the main locker. I will have two lockers and half the room. One of the bonus of having only two of us is we just divide the space in half and let me tell you.. TONS of space!

I spent a little time getting to know the barn cat that mostly lives in our barn. Hes adorable and i was told loves to catch birds.. um come on kitty its mice you want! His name is Dash and he and i will have a conversation about mice as we get to know each other. He also talks which i totally love, usually its the males that are real chatty and he fits the stereotype.  We all will be expected to pitch in for the care of the barn kitties, there are two (both barns) and they seems to be a bit pampered for barn cats. I’m all for a little extra in the cold months but barn cats need to earn their keep and i will bring up my thoughts at whenever the first barn meeting i go to is. I’m happy to pitch in for food and vet care but i want Dash and Sasha working for that keep! Catch mice kitties!

After a long day of fixing up the new space we headed on out to explore the area AKA look for food (I will search for a Starbucks soon enough because i need my god-damed Starbucks) We found what i thought was a little sushi shack in a strip mall. It was actually a fancier sushi place then i expected but we went anyways, dirty boots and all. It was pretty good for the middle of nowhere sushi. In fact the presentation was above average. So they will get a second go at another time, maybe when my boots are less dirty.

All in all i’m less nervous about moving and more excited about moving. The scales are being tipped in the its going to be good to move direction. The more time i spend at the new barn the more i’m sure moving is the right thing to do.

posted by on Barn tales, Tack

Oh Charles you look good on my head!

Oh Charles you look good on my head!

Once a year I get older. I’m not happy about this but it happens regardless of what i think or how i feel about it. This year for my birthday i got snow…. oh and a new Charles Owen Helmet. Cuz my better half knows what i like. Last year i got snow too. When I lived in LA i got rain every year for my birthday for as long back as i can remember. It’s because who ever controls the weather pretty much hates my guts no matter what state i live in.

So now with my new awesome helmet i can ride the girls in style. Right after i break the sucker in and get the girls settled into their new barn and teach them not to freak out crossing the street to the ring and fix Jezebels ulcer’s .. and, and, and, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Though every year i secretly hope to get this… Shhhh

Saddle adventures

Mar
2014
27

posted by on Barn tales, Tack

We finally got saddle number two. I went back and forth on what to get because i really want a dressage saddle and i really like expensive saddles. But with moving the girls and all of Jez’s new medical bills money’s not as free flowing as it usually is. So looking for something lower end and used was in my future. Because this saddle is really my better half’s saddle and even in the best of situations he will be a weekend rider we couldn’t at this time justify something pricey.

C_S_EAs luck would have it a women at my trainers barn was selling something that Michelle thought might work for me/us. A used Collegiate Senior Event, 18 inch seat with changeable gullet. She wanted 400 which is about right for those saddles, not a super deal but not a rip off either. When she sent over the photos i decided to give it a try as this saddle was in almost new condition! The trick here is to get a saddle that fits the horse (Circe) and then my better half. Think 6 foot tall man with a long leg and then me 5’9 and picky as shit about what i ride in. Good times. First up we tried it on the horse. The fit was pretty good, it cleared her shoulders, withers and had a lot of room in the channel. No bridging and just about even. I would say just looking at it on Circe that maybe the front flocking needed to be adjusted just a touch. Then i rode in it and it fit me pretty well, being an AP my stirrups were longer then i normally ride in them and posting was hilarious cuz clearly i need to work harder but the fit was pretty good with me. Then my better half rode in it. The fit wasn’t bad on him either we took a long time watching him ride around to make sure it was alright because asking a new rider how does that saddle feel will get you not much of an answer. They just don’t have the experience yet. Then Michelle rode in it for Circe’s session and then you could see there needed to be a little adjusting as she was putting Circe though her paces. I will likely get a shim-able half pad for now until i get the fitter out to make this saddle perfect for the redhead and the boyfriend. Yes, that means we bought it.

So thats done  and was relatively painless, except for the part where I need to buy 67 inch leathers and stirrups for the boyfriends saddle. Yeah, not too many people make the 67 inch leathers in brown. Passier does and so full price i will pay. When i sent my better half to the SmartPak website to look at stirrups he of course picked out the Herm Springer Bow Balance ones. Um thats not happening just yet. Id actually like to get them before i get all crazy and buy them for the better half.  He does have excellent taste though! So now i can obsess about all the things i can get HIS saddle cuz thats how i roll. He will be the best outfitted weekend horse husband in the group… thats for sure.