posted by on Barn tales

VCBHThe 7 deadly sins, Viva Carlos Magical Blog Hop! Im a big fan of the seven deadly sins and a big fan of talking about horses… so naturally…

Pride: Seven great things/strengths in your riding life

1. Determination to see it through now matter what

2. The funds to have 2 ponies

3. Being open to being a better rider and better horse person

4. Adaptability

5. Michelle my super dedicated trainer

6. Patty my friend and wildly talented farrier who has really done me right

7. A partner who is supportive of me and my horses and always pitches in without complaint.

hermes-equestrian-bag-mainEnvy: Seven things you lack or covet for your horse

1. A trailer and truck

2. A dressage and AP saddle for each horse

3. Enough hours in the day

4. Hermes everything!

5. Indoor riding ring

6. Custom made tall boots for my awkward feet/legs

7. Horse property to keep the ponies at home

Wraith: Seven things that make you angry

1. Barn cliques, bah!

2. People who are afraid of their horses

3. Horses with absentee owners

4. People who are afraid of MY horses

5. Not having the funds to take riding lessons and pay for training for the horses

6. Surprise barn bills

7. People who don’t do right by their horses

Sloth: Seven things you neglect to do or cut corners on

1. Cleaning tack, I never do it

2. Horse baths are short and never done well enough

3. When its cold I don’t ride as much as i should

4. Clipping bridle paths

5. Pulling manes, I have scissors and I’m not afraid to use them

6. Sometimes I ride with tangled tails because brushing them out takes too much time

7. My boots are never, ever clean

Greed: Seven most expensive things you own for your horse/riding

1. My bought brand spanking new saddle

2. Jezebels medical bills (ultra sounds, x-rays, shock wave, meds)

3. Two custom made embroidered show halters and fancy matching leads

4. Horse insurance on both girls

5. Monthly SmartPaks … for two!

Thats it there are only 5 everything else was bought on sale ūüėÄ

Gluttony: Seven guilty pleasure or favorite items

1. My $20.00 dollar silver fox bridle (I love it!)

2. My ever growing saddle pad collection (dressage pads too when i don’t even have a dressage saddle)

3.  Love, love, love, my fleece backed grooming mit

4. I buy all the pink stuff for Jezebel, its kind of a sickness

5. Just hanging out with the girls when I really should be riding

6. Organizing my tack locker so that its the envy of others

7. buying used tack online (also a sickness)

 Lust: Seven things you love about horses and riding

1. The connection between me and my horses

2. When they nicker to me when I get to the barn

3. Being part of a team/partnership

4. Their soft smoochable muzzles

5. Building trust with a 1000 lbs animal

6. When i’m sure i know what they are thinking

7. Time away from the outside world and life stresses

 

That was a lot harder then i thought it would be!

 

Paradigm shift

Mar
2014
06

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

Figure1Its been a rough week. Weather, sucks, blah blah blah. Its not just the weather though. I’ve been stressing out about the baby Bo and all things horse. Waking up at 4am fretting and worrying. Yeah, thats going over well in my house </sarcasm.¬† In an attempt to try to get all my horsey ducks in a row. My trainer gave me the name of the chiropractor (actually a vet, chiropractor, acupuncturist, horse bio-mechanic guy) she uses, he sounded pretty good. When I researched him up I saw he has a lot good feedback from people I respect. I watched a video of him working on a horse and I thought he might be a good fit for us. I called expecting to get his service and leave a message, he answers his own phone. I was lucky enough to get to speak with him and tell him about Jez and whats been going on. He asked me questions. How long have I had her, how long did she race, what kind of work was she in. He listened to my sad tale of Jezebel rearing woe. Then he said that he had a pretty good idea what was going on with her and that he gets a phone call like mine 4 times a week. He then said he only comes to MD once a week and that he would try to fit me in the following week. Which he did, I saw him yesterday. He saw both Jez and Circe and it was worth every single bright shinny penny I spent on it (thats a lot of pennies let me tell you)

Jez: Chart

Jez: Chart

Jez: Had¬† a lot of pain from the TMJ to the C7, again in the T14 and 15 and a couple of ribs were out. L2 to L6 were painful as well as the base of the SI (a few other places to) in some places she was a 4+ on a 0-5 scale. Poor baby was just intensely reactive all over but the worst of it was he was sure by her reactions. Hind… Gut… Ulcers.¬† Hind gut ulcers are very different from gastric ulcers and are treated differently. I watched as he did some work on her and i could see the change happen before my eyes. Points that were a 4 after he did his magic were down to a 1 or a 0. It was jaw dropping amazing. He said Jez is just at her tipping point and that this is really common for horses her age, who have been off track and in training the amount of time she has been. He also reassured me that I didn’t do this to her. It was nice to hear but i cant help but blame myself.

He told me it was time for a paradigm shift in how I approach working with my horses and asked me if i was ready to do that. I am. I have worked with non western medical professionals in my own life because i have epilepsy (surprise!) and a very low tolerance for the brain altering drugs doctors dole out to treat it (I’m no longer on any medication and haven’t been in years ) So I’m already sold on what alternative therapies can do and did do for me, so of course i believe its possible they will work for my horses. Bring on the paradigm shift…

1.  get her hind gut in order and rebalanced.

2. light (laser) therapy to try to bring some healing circulation to points on her body.

3. myofascial releases and stretching

Those are all the things i can do myself with guidance from the new doctor and as we move forward he will give me more things i can do to keep her happy and pain free. He wants to see her again in a couple weeks to make sure were on the right track see how shes progressing with me doing work on her. He told me that Jezebel was likely being misunderstood for a long time and I had to choke back the tears as to not look like a fool in front of the new doctor.

Circe Chart

Circe Chart

Circe: TMJ though C7 much more on the left then the right and lots of reaction and pain in the right hind at L2 and L5. Which of course would correlate with her being over on the right hoof and would explain that mystery right shoulder weirdness (technical term!) i always thought was there. As well as some other random spots. Circe it seems is more all over pain not as localized and intense as Bo. He also noted that Circe is much more stoic then Jez and that her cribbing likely started as a way to self medicate. Now of course its just horse crack and shes a addict.

1. myofascial releases and stretching (in different places and different techniques)

2. light (laser) therapy to try to bring some healing circulation to points on her body. (only a couple of spots)

He he doesn’t need to see her again for 4-6 weeks and said of i stay on track with her, he should have to do very little with her when he returns to see her.

It was a very enlightening experience. My jaw literately dropped at times because i could see actual results right in front of me. No wonder its so hard to get an appointment and why so many people are clamoring to get this guy into their barn. I spent some time last night ordering all the things i need for Jez and im ready to go. Jez is still on a break and wont be under saddle until the new doctor clears her. Which would be a lot harder if the the weather was nice, which its not. Its frozen and gross and cold. I felt a little relief as i always do when i have a plan to execute. I’m not good as the whole wait and see thing. I also have someone to commiserate with as M’s horse is still dealing with a laminitis flare up and we can support each other with our horses medical issues. I think her horse is on the right track and I’ve become an expert at finding pulses in an effort to help M out and take a little pressure off her. Yesterday i took the morning shift checking Willa for pulses and making sure she had her food at the right time soaked and in the right amount. M’s issues are a lot more serious then mine and i know its really upsetting her. Kinda puts mine in perspective and aids in not letting me get all self absorbed.

I’m ready for the paradigm shit.. bring it on.

Links:

Light therapy

Myofascial release

Horse Acupuncture

 

posted by on Barn tales

Bonnie on Jayburger Her OTTB Gelding

Bonnie on Jayburger Her OTTB Gelding

When I first head what she was doing I was in awe. I mean it’s rather amazing and its someone I know and respect doing it. Someone who changed my life with the simple act of approving me to adopt my horse(s). She kept it to herself¬† for a while until it was official but Bonnie Hutton was selected to ride in the Mongol Derby, the words toughest and longest horse race. Even better she was riding¬† for charity in hopes that she can raise some cash to support the 501c (3) she founded to find homes for OTTBs. You see Bonnie loves horses and especially thoroughbreds from off the track. She loves them so much she has dedicated her life to them founding After The Races. The TB placement and rescue i got both of my lovely horses though.

Bonnie and Zippity Kick

Bonnie and Zippity Kick

The Mongol Derby is tough, its not cheap, its exciting and its amazing. There has been some press coverage but not enough. Only a handful of riders from America have been selected to ride. 640 miles over 10 days in Mongolia on semi wild horses. The race is run like an endurance race with check points and vet checks every 25 miles when you switch mounts. You camp out on the Mongolian Steppe. You get cold, you get sick, you get hungry and you get hurt. No American women has ever won. Bonnie is going to race to win and hopes to change that. Shes an amazing brave horse person and knowing how determined she is its not surprising she was selected to participate but bravery and determination is not enough you need to raise funds, you need to get the word out and you have to get sponsored. You also have to come up with the 12k (yes, 12 freaking K) just to get there to the race. Which for a soft spoken women like Bonnie isn’t an easy thing to do, asking people for help, support and of course cash. I’ve donated some of my time with some marketing, I’ve steered a sports journalist friend of mine in her direction and now i am imploring you my blog readers to help me get the world out on what Bonnie is trying to do. I’ve complied a list of some easy things that anyone can do to help get the world out on Bonnie. Yanno the whole i tell two friends, they tell two friends, they tell two friends strategy… Its in full force.

1. If you have a blog mention Bonnie and her slot in the Mongol Derby. Link her Mongol Derby Race Blog, or maybe even interview her for your own blog! I see a lot of people who have series on professional horse people, add Bonnie to your list to interview!

2. Tell your friends and family about what shes doing. You never know where that possible sponsorship will come from. Maybe your uncle Joe who works for Nike will get her story in front of the right person. It can happen.

3. Donate your skills. Are you a marketing expert? A communications major? Aspiring journalist or actual journalist who writes for a paper, blog, magazine etc? Bonnie needs your help!

4. Cash. Bonnie needs cash. Shes set up a go fund me page. Every penny helps. Even if you cant donate actual money pass around her Go fund me on your Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or in the horse forum you participate in, anywhere and everywhere. The more people who know about what it is she’s doing, the more likely the people who can donate will see it.

See easy peasy. There’s an official press release and a few people have picked up on the story but more needs to happen. The race is in August 2014 and that will come up fast! Help me help my friend Bonnie. I owe her so much for bringing my amazing OTTB mares into my life.

Bonnie Hutton Mongol Derby press release

Sports Journalist Jeff Perelman’s “Quaz” On Bonnie Hutton

Unionville Times article on Bonnie Hutton

Bonnie’s Mongol Derby Blog: Bonnie for The Win

Donate to fund Bonnie at the Mongol Derby

About the Mongol Derby

Nightline’s story on the Mongol Derby

“Ride um like you stole um!” – Mongol Derby Motto

Hanging out

Feb
2014
25

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Jezebel

photo 1Even though i was bummed i dragged my ass to the barn. I walked down to the field and got baby Besos. It was sunny but very cold (i’ll never get used to that) the wind was gusty and blustery. I brought her into the ring un-hooked the lead and just hung out with her. We did some stretches and she is super tight on the right.¬† I dragged the mounting block into the middle of the ring and Beso and i just spent some time together. Then Bootsy showed up. Bootsy is one of 4 barn cats.¬† She was asking for pets and i obliged her, then Jez came over and it looked like this.

Hey pet me!

Hey pet me!

I soy with my little eye... something that is a cat

I spy with my little eye…

friends?

friends?

photo 5

interspecies smoochez!

Its funny how Jezebel can melt my heart….

Baby Besos

Feb
2014
24

posted by on Life with Jezebel, Training

jez-b-wI woke up with a start at 3am and was up almost all night. The weekend had been rough on me. It was predicted to be a sunny and warm 55 degrees on Sat and i was finally going to be able to ride both my horses. I was pretty excited about it. I got to the barn and both my horses sheets had been removed for unknown reasons and they were covered in the thick wet deep mud that covers their field right now. Other horses in their field had their sheets on which added to my utter and complete anger over the situation. My one day to ride in two weeks 20 days had turned into a day to give both my horses baths. I ended up being at the barn until after dark because i needed to wait until they were both dry, groomed and with sheets on so that they same thing wouldn’t happen on Sunday. The plus side being they were both pretty good in the wash-stall. Which isn’t always the case. I cried and cried when i got home covered in mud and dirt because this winter is just killing me emotionally, and this just pushed me over the edge. I’m sure i’m a nightmare to live with and be around. I know I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up for riding my girls, but fuck man its not like i live in Alaska i should actually be able to ride once in a while and if i cant it shouldn’t be for something like that.

totally me right now

totally me right now

Sunday Michelle was coming to work with both girls. Jez was up first and after filling her in on what the vet said she got on board and Jez was really good and looking beautiful … at first. She spooked about 10/15 mins into her ride and and then trotted into a rear. Yes you heard that right she fucking TROTTED into a REAR. Then she was terrible for the rest of the session. Anytime she was engaged with leg and asked to go forward she would rear or threaten to rear. For a while there she decided she would just try to rear at the gate anytime she was asked to go by it. The ride was supposed to be short productive and happy but we couldn’t even get her going nice for long enough to call it a win and put her away. It dragged on and on and on. Eventually we put some trot poles out and they got her engaged into something new long enough for her to behave with out threatening to rear long enough to call the session over. I was devastated, my hear sank. Luckily Michelle is more positive then me. She thinks we can work her out of this. Today im not so convinced. I was up half the night trying to figure out a plan for her moving forward, trying to pinpoint what the issue is. I love Jezebel and i want her to he a happy horse that has fun. She used to be so willing and brave under saddle. Not so much any more.¬† Reading everything i can on rearing horses im at the ragged edge of my horse knowledge. I’m asking every person i trust for their thoughts, insights and input. I’m desperately trying to figure this out and I’ve made a few decisions.

1. No more alfalfa. My farm owner buys it and feeds it on the regular. For me its always been a treat food. I’m going to become the alfalfa police its too rich and could be contributing to excess energy and i don’t want her eating it anymore.

2. Get Jez out of the ring. I’m not sure how im going to make this happen but it needs to. Maybe getting her on the trail will help to distract her ease her mind and make her happier.¬† With the manic up and downs of the weather IE footing this is almost impossible until spring. I will talk to Michelle about this tomorrow.

3. Give Jez time off under saddle work. If i cant work out the trail/footing/weather thing i will give her the rest of the winter off of working under saddle. I will do lots of things with her from the ground. Poles, hand walks out on the bridle path, games, trick training. To keep her engaged and listening but until i can get some consistency, i think she might need a break. I know that i do so she must need one.

4. Continue with the vet, chiro, fitter plan. Stay on target with all that stuff. Slowly and steadily start knocking those issues off that table by addressing them one by one.

Other then that i don’t know. I’m trying to muster the energy to go to the barn today but i want to do is hide under the covers. M texted me to meet her¬† down there and i’m going to try to put on a brave face because even though i dont have answers to my beautiful horses problem others have more pressing problems. One of M’s horses is having a Laminitis flare up and i need to be supportive and not all wrapped up in my own horse issues. Its one of the things that helps me get out of my head, a trick i employ in other areas of my life when i get wound up. Focus on helping others.

Circe was a good girl on her ride, shes still not terribly balanced at the canter and needs lots and  lots of transition work but she went over those trot poles like a champ. Were expecting more bad weather in the next week and i can already hear the wind howling out there which always makes for spooky horses. I need spring to get here in the worst way.

posted by on Life with Jezebel, OTTB, Vet

Derp

Derp

I have a multi pronged attack plan to figure out/deal with Jezebels acting out issues. Vet, Chiro, Saddle fitter, training. Yesterday I had the vet out. The plan was to give Jez the once over and see if there were any physical issues that could be the cause of her, kicking out, bucking, rearing and all around bad attitude when working. It was the first time the new vet was going to evaluate her. We went over her history with the right hind and what issues she¬† currently having so that Dr. L could get the full story. Then we went to the lunge. The ring was an icy, slushy, snowy mess but i was determined to get her out there on the lunge. Which i did, then Jez decided that walking was good enough and she really didnt need to jog for the vet. Really? Yes, really. Jez is usually good on the lunge today ..no jogging. Ugh. We took her out to the driveway and jogged her in a straight line on the flat. She jogged fine. She did do a little one foot in front of the other in the back but it was very subtle and likely caused by the muddy terrain. Back into the ring this time with an actual lunge whip and Jez decided trotting was doable. Both directions but the footing was dicey and not exactly easy to pick up very subtle issues. Ice, slush and snow… story of my life.

Double derp

Double derp

Dr L palpated her back and Jez is muscle sore on the left from the back of where the saddle would end to the high point of the top line of her hip. She also has more fluid in the left stifle then the right. Which could be normal, or could be due to the spectacular fall she took out in the filed running around like an idiot. Oh i didn’t write about that fall? Probably because i just wanted to forget that shes really a Corvair and not a horse. However the good news is the right hind looks great. Hazzar! Cuz re-injury on suspensory injuries is high. Looks like the shock wave was well worth the money. During the whole exam Jez was chewing on her lead shank like she used to do when she was brand new to me. A nervous habit, something she does when she needs to calm herself. She hasn’t done it in a long time. I suppose it was because the vet was new to her, even though she knows Dr L and has seen her around a lot since shes also a majority of the boarders vet including the farm owner. The bottom line is there is nothing glaringly obvious but Dr L wants to see her in the lunge when the footing is better in a week or two so she can rule out any low grade lameness.¬† So this exam will be two pronged. We will likely flex her at that time too. If theres no low grade lameness that will give us a baseline since shes never been flexed when there hasn’t been an issue. The Doc was on board with the training approach that Michelle and i had come up for her moving forward and wants me to document any acting out so we can see if there’s a pattern. Which i will happily do.

The Cribmeister and the treat hound

The Cribmeister and the treat hound

We also discussed taking Jez off grain and putting her on a ration balancer. Which Dr L thought was a good approach. Horses at my barn get an abundance of hay both in their stalls and now that its winter there are round bales AKA hay vending machines in the fields. Jez though muscling up some is not losing the weight she gained on stall rest. In two weeks the grain is going buh-bye and then hopefully when the weather gets a little warmer and more stable between feed changes and regular work i can get her in better shape. I will just continue on the path i am on after the vet rules out any underlaying issues, i will then move onto the chiro. Training will continue as planned with small baby steps forward, lots of transitions and lots of positive reinforcement. Short happy rides.

A friend is coming to visit me at my barn today which i’m looking forward to and my farrier comes out today. I’m always happy to see her and i’m real interested in her evaluation of Circe’s feets (i’m hoping for even more improvement, shes been doing so well). Have i told you guys i have the best farrier in MD? Cuz i do!

 

Last gasp?

Feb
2014
16

posted by on Barn tales

The sand ring in two feet plus of snow

The sand ring in two feet plus of snow

Maryland at least in my part yanno the DC burbs doesn’t get much snow. In theory and usually. This winter has been a little different from everything everyone is telling me who have lived here longer then the three years I have. Its unusual to get snow like this. I’m actually more annoyed with the frozen ground then the snow its self. Under all that pretty white fluffy stuff is really hard ground that often has been chewed up a bit leaving hard points and mounds that can bruise hooves, especially in the paddocks. Cie la vie, it is what it is and theres not a lot i can do about it. No indoor means less riding time on the frozen days. Its actually no comfort to me at all that barns in my area who are lucky enough to have indoors are experiencing similar issues with frozen ground but in their actual indoors. So everyone is feeling the pain this winter.

giving the other horses the stink eye

giving the other horses the stink eye

On Valentines day i headed to the barn. It was the day after 2 feet plus of snow was dumped and after my car got dug out I went to see the girls. The big roads were mostly clear and the driveway up to the barn was plowed. I parked and walked down to see the girls in the field. Walking into the field in some places the snow came up to the top of my boots. Thats pretty deep. I fed the girls some carrots but Jez was guarding me from everyone else with a really mean face and honestly with the snow that deep it would be hard for me to get out of the way if she spun and kicked out at another horse. I opted to stay on the other side of the fence to give the girls their treats. Since the drive was clear another boarder was walking her her horse on the pavement, its about 3 quarters of a mile up and back. I walked with her and we bitched about the weather. Good times. Then M and Peanut showed up and I walked with her up the drive and back with her horse. Then we decided to go for a walk with peanut in the snow out the back on the bridle path. Yeah that was a challenge. The snow was very deep and just walking took a lot of effort. Little peanut had to take several breaks and lay in the snow. Your legs felt like you were walking in very deep sand.¬† I was bitching and moaning and M was all “This is what we do when we cant ride! would you rather be on a treadmill” Oh hell no, i walked. We went half the normal distance we have been walking and i was twice as tired. I could totally see why the ponies were all just standing around. I couldn’t really blame them. When i got home I read a weather report that said this might be the last gasp of winter.. i’m crossing everything i have that’s true.

Nutter Butter on a walk break

Nutter Butter on a walk break

The switch

Feb
2014
14

posted by on Barn tales, Vet

doctor-horse

Horse Doctor?

When I first got Jezebel I used the vet at the barn i boarded her at. 3 days after bringing her home.. abscess. I liked the vet well enough and the BM really encouraged us to use the vet she wanted us to use. I had pretty much no resources so i used that vet. I liked him and his Jr. associate who’s husband i later took lessons with. They eventually moved out of state and my vet brought in a new associate who I liked very much. A seasoned horse person as well as being a vet. She was young, enthusiastic and had a very keen eye for lameness which i found very helpful being as my horse was injured with a long rehab. When i moved barns last summer i kept my vet. I wasn’t really comfortable switching vets in the middle of Jezebel’s rehab. I did however spend a lot of time watching and talking to the vet my farm owner and a lot of the boarders use. I liked her. I liked her attention to detail, i liked her thoughtfulness and i liked her demeanor. I also liked that she was herself a seasoned horse person. However I was still with my vet from the other barn. Being one of only two people who used them at my current barn, barn calls were getting expensive. The health program alone was around 800 bucks a year for both horses (without the barn call, yeah a barn call fee on a health program.. oy)

After new years i received a letter from my vet that prices were increasing. They had already increased once since i’ve been with them and i had come to find out that they were one of the higher priced vets in the area. This was pretty much what solidified my decision to switch vets. In the letter they couldn’t even list what procedures were going to be increased because there were too many to list. If you had a question were to call. Umm yeah whatever… I’m lucky i live in an area where there are lots of options for horse support services. I liked them well enough but with two horses i need to get them good care AND be as cost effective as i can. This vet was pricing themselves out. The level of service hadn’t increased, the services offered hadn’t increased, just the prices.

I called and got copies of my records. They were so nice about it that i thought to myself, many people must be calling to get copies of their records to switch vets. They all took it in stride. So i was stressed out about calling them to switch for no reason. I still really like them for lameness and would consider using them for that again but for regular horse health care i’m moving on. I also saw in those records that It was recommended that Circe be put on a joint supplement when they did her first once over after i got her. I don’t remember being told this but its written down in her records so i called good old Smartpak and did a little noodling with both her and Jez’s supplements. So that little phone call doubled my monthly supplement bill. It is what it is, but i cant help but marvel at my inability to cut costs. Find a vet i like thats a little more cost effective and immediately double my supplement bill. Story of my life.

Time will tell

Feb
2014
13

posted by on Life with Circe, Life with Jezebel, OTTB, Training

Hi mom!

Hi mom!

It was finally unfrozen enough to ride! I had been going down and hanging out with the girls but riding was kinda not an option. I made arrangements for Michelle to come work with them both. Nobody had been on Jezebel since i got tossed though i had lunged her to make sure she was sound. The last time, she looked stiff in the right hind and left neck but not really off just stiff. When I got out to the field i was greeted by a happy Circe and Jez with her blanker half off making a fashion statement. Ha! I guess she didn’t want to wear it. I brought them both in and they were amazingly good. Sometimes bringing in two horses at once can be a challenge as they are not always well behaved. Today, angels.

IMG_3692Circe was up first and i put out a trot pole just to keep things interesting. I haven’t done poles with Circe so it was going to be interesting to see how she reacted. Yanno with Michelle aboard cuz shes been rather spooky lately. Circe was doing really well. Michelle kept commenting how she really liked her head placement and how she wasn’t totally freaking out with leg pressure. She took her over the pole with it laying on the ground. She didn’t even bat a pretty chestnut eyelash. Went right over with out a second thought. Eventually we raised the pole a couple inches off the ground. The first couple of times she went over it, she crashed right though knocking it with either front or back feet. Though eventually she figured it out and really lifted her horse tooties up and over the pole. She looked lovely and ears were perked forward. It looked like she was having fun. Michelle was really smiling as well because Circe was doing so good. I don’t know what kind of (if any) training Circe has had before i got her but i do know that the girl who had her before me wanted to ride hunters. Circe knew this was a trot pole and really had no intention of ever jumping such a small little rise. Just trot, trot, trot. Totally un-fazed, doing everything that was asked of her. Eventually she did jump the tiny little pole but it was at the canter and with a lot of leg right before and …jump! Not miss judging the height with feet tucked and everything. Maybe it will be Circe going to jump school.

IMG_3755Jez was up next and was being such a good girl while getting tacked up. We discussed how to approach her issues. I’m going to have the vet out, the chiro out and the saddle fitter out. This will be over several months because to my great sadness i’m not made of money nor do i have a trust fund. Michelle thinks also that Jez’s confidence might have taken a hit and that were going to take a giant step back with her training. Were going to work on the little things, make all rides positive (and short) and slowly work her up. Michelle popped on her and did a lot of walk halt transitions. Jez has lost her brakes in all this and we’re starting from almost scratch. At the beginning of the ride Jez was not stopping until about 12 steps after she was asked and with her head all giraffe like. She was asked to give and put her head down after she stopped and eventually she got it. Stop, head down, relax. (with lots and lots of praise) All at the walk. There were a few trot to halt transitions but only a few then Jez was done. All in about 20 mins.

IMG_3770Also Jez needs to learn that she doesn’t make the decisions. Shes happy enough to plug around all day in the ring at her own pace but when you ask her to trot out, or be more forward¬† or hold her body straight or not throw her shoulder in (or out) she gets mad. So a lot of the transition work will be to remind her that i ask, she complies. The key according to my trainer is to be firm with her while not pissing her off. A delicate balance for sure. Um okay… i’ll work on that.¬† I’m going to replicate my trainers ride when the weather permits¬† me riding her¬†(ugh snow storm) and were going to build up her confidence. I’m also going to continue her lunge work. Well see how the rearing goes. First day back she didn’t pull any shit, no kicking out, no bucking, no rearing but she wasn’t asked to do too much. So we’ll see how her attitude is as we go on and begin to ask her for harder and harder things. My trainer has a lot of experience with rearing horses, two she currently rides have the issue. So she’s got ideas and some tricks up her sleeve if we need um. It really is gonna be a time will tell kinda thing.

My latest obsession

Feb
2014
10

posted by on Barn tales

FBStoreHorsesMy latest obsession has been buying and selling tack on Facebook. Yeah you heard me right Facebook. I dabbled with Ebay but honestly i put an item up and got pretty much zero views even though it was tagged properly and the right categories it just wasn’t getting any eyeballs. Then i stumbled onto the tack buyers on Facebook. Huge groups of horse people all buying, selling, trading tack. Buy huge I mean thousands and thousands of people, totally a micro niche. I watched the groups for a while to see how they were run. Some are more of a free for all a “make me an offer environment” others are for specific kinds of tack like western or english only or just blankets. Some are heavily moderated with a long list of reasonable rules, some are the wild wild west. Its actually kind of fascinating.

I started with buying. I found an all leather lunging cavason with brass fittings that looked lovely and i bought it for 35 bucks. The retail on this thing was over 120 new. Its used but in amazing shape though i think it might be too big for my girls. Well see when i take it down to try it on them. Its horse sized but big. That of course is the risk you take buying online and from a group on Facebook. If it doesn’t fit i will just try sell it for what i paid for it and try again. I also bought a M. Toulouse leather girth to match my MT saddle. It hasn’t arrived yet but the nice girl i bought i from (for less then half the price new!) sent me a picture of the tracking number on her postal receipt. Wicked cool way of handling that, so much better then typing out the number. Of course theres the typical people pricing out their used items for the same price of new, theres always gonna be that person but for the most part people are reasonable in the prices they want for stuff. You have to keep a good eye out though because the really good deals go fast, in a blink of an eye and most people employ the first come first to pay rule.¬† Also the group I find i’m the happiest with has a “no pricing police” policy so theres not really people getting all pissy about how someones prices are too high or posting links to other places to buy the same item. So that keeps the drama to a minimum, though it does sneak in from time to time. Another great feature is the ISO post, that IS a free for all. Post you are looking for item A and you will get responses in the comments and if someone says i don’t have that exact thing but i have this other thing thats close other people can make a deal on your ISO thread. Ha! You can watch the deals go down and watch your ISO thread turn into a tack trading fright train.

I then jumped into selling. I took some snaps of fly boots, a shirt and some breeches and let me tell you within an hour two of my items were sold and they money was in my paypal account. Granted they were really good deals, i’m sure i could have held out for a few bucks more but im not greedy just looking to get move some unwanted horse stuff taking up room. All and all its been really fun little pastime with the weather being so terrible and all. I listed some girths, a hay net and i have some saddle pads that have been sitting in the overflow tack trunk in my basement for a year now… I mean why wouldn’t i want to get rid of that stuff so i can make room for other new bright shinny stuff. Its a little slice of tack trader heaven.