The days of winter

Dec
2014
07

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Circe, OTTB

Rep and the better half before the bad eyeball

Rep and the better half before the bad eyeball

Stuff has been happening even things besides me bitching about the cold a tradition with me as soon as it gets below 40 on a regular basis. Interesting stuff, boring stuff and of course the daily grind stuff. Rep was hauled back up to New Bolton for his eyeball recheck and the results were giant big two thumbs up! He is healing great and that makes me very happy. My better half is happy too because hes been unmounted since Rep’s eye took a turn for the worse right when they were of course really doing well cantering around and doing walk trot transitions and poles. In a couple weeks Rep can get back into work and begin to be brought back after his time off. We hauled him up in my brand new shinny trailer (woot!) Im so happy i bought it because it sure makes life easier. Let me tell you theres nothing like traveling with kids. Adorable as they are they are bottomless pits when it comes to food and they have to stop every 45 mins for potty breaks. Our trip was long but it was worth it.

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Rigby and Sammy before ride #1

A new horse came into the barn for training. Rigby! Hes a 10 year old OTTB. He’s real easy to handle so far and went out on his first training ride with Sammy. Hes pretty out of shape as he’s been sitting in a field for a while but hes real cute and i predict that hes gonna aces in no time flat. He’s a high withered fella and after 3 saddles tries (his is still back at his old barn) we got the collegiate sr event saddle on him with a half pad. So now we have to geldings and two mares (pony Luna moved to a different barn on the property) My girls are very interested in the Rigster and have been making googley eyes at him over the fence. Well Jez has as Circe is a lesbian horse. For reals! Jez though is boy crazy and she thinks Rigby is handsome. Probably because hes an Argentinian OTTB and those Latin types all all swoon worthy.

working student and Circe!

working student and Circe!

The working student is really starting to shape up and shes been riding Circe (Jez is still on a break) She took her on a hack and rode her in a lesson the other day. It was fun to watch Circe be a lesson pony. She did really good, well the both did good. I’m looking forward to more time with the working student, she seems to fit right in with the team. Michelle’s been giving Circe some time too which is great because the red-head needs to get back into shape. Id like to get her back to where she was before her feet exploded by the end of the winter. Totally an attainable goal. Circe prefers to ride outside shes not all that thrilled with the indoor right now because there are jumps in it for the winter and her brain can not comprehend WHY there are jumps in the indoor! They do not belong there! So on weather permitting days she rides outside and on bad weather days shes going to have to get over the whole jumps in the indoor thing. I’m sure she will, just in time for spring and they jumps to go back outside.

 

posted by on Barn tales

With mangers!

With mangers!

When I make a decision, things happen. I don’t mess around. I decided after the stress of trying to get Rep to New Bolton in an emergency situation without owning a trailer, that I needed to just go out and buy one. So I did.  I am now the proud owner of a Featherlite 2 horse, straight load with a dressing room. Its a pretty awesome trailer. Its a couple years old but was barely used and its in amazing like new condition. My SUV though rated to pull it with one horse in it is having issues with the whole getting the hitch installed (Mercedes wtf!)  As a result Sammy is going to get her hitch upgraded and then we can pull one horse locally or for emergencies until I can get a truck which will probably be in the spring because … I just spent all my money on a trailer!

 

The blahs

Nov
2014
22

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

PortHorz13Circe got kicked and has a sore muscle and is off. Jez is still off from the mystery leg scrapes and her possible extensor tendon strain. She just finished her course of SMZs. Reps is getting his around the clock meds at home (every four hours, yo!) The only horse without issues in the barn right now is Luna, the pony. Its been cold as hell and I cant find my base layers that I packed away over the summer and I need more smart wool socks. I’ve been looking for excuses not to go to the barn cuz well winter… I hate it.

The good news is we have an official working student and shes great and I love her already.

Rep is home!

Nov
2014
21

posted by on Barn tales, Off Farm, Vet

Ready to go home!

Ready to go home!

Rep is home. He came home last night. His eye is sutured shut and medications will be administered though a subpalpebral lavage. He will need meds every few hours for about a week. Sammy and I meet up today to coordinate schedules to make sure Rep is covered and gets his meds on schedule. He will go back to New Bolton in a couple weeks to get everything removed. Right now i’m just happy hes home and that the surgery to save his eye went really well. It is also mad crazy expensive. Sammy set up a GoFundMe so please pass it around to all your rich friends!

posted by on Barn tales, Vet

Sammy and Rep

Sammy and Rep

The vet was scheduled for a Friday at 1:30pm She was scheduled for Rep my trainers horse who has been battling any eye issue. The right eye has had issues for the last couple of years. Usually its controllable, this time not so much. The vet has been out several times trying to figure out why hes not getting better. Turns out along with his chronic problem Rep also has a strange bacterial infection that eye and the regular antibiotics were not fixing the problem. Add to that a new ulcer and day after day the eye got worse. On Friday the vet said he needed more specialized care and he needed it now! Then the race to get Rep to New Bolton began.

Barn C is where rep is staying

Barn C is where rep is staying

We don’t have a trailer and a truck. Theres about 20 of them at my farm but on a Friday  end of the day before a big show weekend we couldn’t find much help at the farm. I started making calls going down the list trying to get us to New Bolton before 6pm about 1.5 hours away in PA. ( I’m in MD) My friend Stacy was able to hook me up with a rig. She’s got a truck and uses her neighbors trailer and calls were made and we could borrow it. We raced to her house to hook everything up and pick up the rig. Talk about coming though, Stacy is a life saver! We hauled ass back to the barn and got ready to get on the road. Loaded up 2 kids, 1 dog, phone chargers, snacks from the vending machine all while getting Rep ready for travel and bringing in the other horses feeding them, etc. It was super chaotic but we got it all done and got on the road only 1 hour late. Which wouldn’t have made us too late if we hadn’t been given wrong info on the travel time. Turns out its a 2 hour ride to New Bolton.

In the exam room

In the exam room

We kept Stacy informed as to out progress though text and New Bolton in the loops as to out ETA. We got there with out incident. If you’ve never been to a horse hospital of this caliber let me tell you it’s impressive. Super impressive. We pulled around and followed signs to emergency and finally saw someone walking among the many beautiful rows barns. “Can you tell us where emergency is” His response, “Are you the eye case? let me call the admitting nurse” and from there it was a whirlwind of activity. We signed in the horse, they unloaded him, weighed him on the scale next to the barn. We all got to come in and see him being examined in a horse sized exam room in a heated barn. It was a freezing  25 degrees outside. Rep was a trouper and Sammy was holding it together but i could tell she was distraught. The plan was try to save the eye. We had 3 options. Treat medically, treat surgically, take the eye out. All of course at much expense. After listening to the DR the decision was made to treat medically though the weekend, see what happened then go from there. The DR said not only did Rep have a ulcer, rare bacterial infection but it looked like a fungus as well. We all kissed Rep good bye, left him there with a flurry of doctors working on him  and then took the long drive back home to MD only stopping to shovel food in our faces for 20 minutes like hungry wolves. I got home well after midnight.

Being worked on

Being worked on

Sat and Sun no change to Rep. He was comfortable but around the clock medications were not fixing him. Surgery began to be discussed yesterday and thats probably what will happen today. This is not going to be cheap, not by a long shot  but he DR thinks this is the best way to go to save the eye. He can come home a day or two after surgery is done. Rep is an amazing horse, hes an event horse thats gone training, Sammy has had him since he was only 2 years old. He’s the horse my better half rides. Hes a sweet guy with a lot of personality. I feel terrible this is happening to him and that Sammy has to go though this with him but i’m really hopeful he will get better and then its just figuring out how to pay for it all. Why wasn’t i born with a trust fund!

This whole experience has taught me a lot though. Among a few other lessons is i need a trailer of my own.The stress of a sick horse and then having scramble to get a ride from him on a Friday evening was almost unbearable. A trailer is imperative. So thats what i’m doing, i’m buying a trailer. I’ve been looking at options all weekend. Never again will i be in a position to not be able to get the animals in my life i love where they need to be in an emergency. That will not happen again. Thank goodness for Stacy for stepping up and helping us get there or id be writing today about Rep having one eye.

posted by on Barn tales

photo 2

photo 1

photo 4

photo 3

 

Colder weather

Nov
2014
07

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Jezebel, OTTB

Let me in or I will shoot laser beams out my eyes.... ooops too late

Let me in or I will shoot laser beams out my eyes…. oops too late!

Its getting colder so the ponies are coming inside some nights, though theres not a strict schedule were trying to give them as much turn out as possible. Weather permitting the are outside night time. The weather decides the turn out, not some arbitrary schedule. (which is awesome!) Soon it will be too cold for overnight turnout for but for now they are outside at night while we can. On cold nights though they know they come in and wait by the gate.

 

 

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

Jez loves jumping the coop

Jez loves jumping the coop

It  was that time of year again, fall shots. I also had my vet float the girls teeth. My vet does a hand float and though i was thinking id use a dentist this time around seems “horse dentist” in this area is synonymous with “never return voice mails” Since my vet does a bang up job and she was out for shots anyways i decided to go with her. Jez did almost all of her float with no sedation, we only had to use a little bit to get the way far back. Seems my girl has a narrow but highly arched palette. Which might facilitate a bit change for her in the future, well see how she goes over the next couple of weeks.

Circe's new clip

Circe’s new clip

Circe needed more work and we didn’t even attempt to do her with out being dosed. I had had her teeth done soon after i got her and at that time my previous vet thought maybe her teeth had never been floated. We did what we could at the time with an eye toward she would need to be done probably sooner then later. Skip ahead a year and yeah she needed a lot of work again. I don’t know if she just has fast growth or not. Her front teeth, yanno the cribbing teeth, were in much better shape then my vet expected. Thats good news cuz when crib face is an old lady horse you know i’ll be mixing her up a mash to eat with her toothless mouth.The longer i can put that off the better.  We’ll check her again at spring shots and maybe she will get a second float in 6 months. She was good for the float but only because she was drugged. Her tail was flapping like an angry beast. Her pet girl held her lead rope the whole time so Circe knew she was safe and in good hands.

Both girls got their shots including the botulism shot cuz round bales will be fed here.  Side note the girls still have grass in their field so the longer we can wait on the round bales the better for everyone. Both girls got the day off and sent out into the paddock after their vet visit. It was unusually warm for this time of year with the low only expected to be 46 so they stayed out. I fed them in the field put their sheets on and got myself home by 7pm. My days at the barn are getting longer and longer. With Winter just around the corner its hard for me to get my work done and spend my days at the barn. Its always like this in winter. I have to be more resolute in my schedule and its hard because i hate the cold and all i want to do is drink hot coffee drinks, stay warm and pay with ponies when im not freezing. However i cant because someone needs to pay for said ponies. The life of a freelancer y’all.

My vet also cleared Circe for regular work (walk, trot and canter) which is great. Shes not fit so shes still being eased into it but we can get back on track with her. I think ill have Michelle take her for a hack on Weds. Circe will like that.

Eric Smiley Clinic

Oct
2014
31

posted by on Life with Jezebel, OTTB, Training

Eric Smiley, Jezebel & Sammy

Eric Smiley, Jezebel & Sammy

Eric Smiley was coming to town. He’s a very sought after clinician and also an Olympian. I just missed him last  spring when he was teaching in this area  and really none of my horses would have been prepared for a clinic at that level last spring anyways. I personally think its important to be prepared. To make sure your not wasting anyones time (your instructor) or your hard earned money as these clinics are not exactly cheap. Sammy decided to ride Jezebel both days in two jump lessons. One was private the other was a semi private.

Being as the clinics were being held at my farm i had the opportunity to audit sans big piles of cash both flat and jumping lessons. It was really great to see riding at that level. I saw a 3 star horse and rider working on their canter half pass, (amazing) a Jr rider at training level with her new horse working on the flat and i even saw one person make a total ass out of themselves by showing up with a horse that clearly wasn’t ready to work at that level. It was a really fascinating couple of days with both inspiration and cautionary tales.

Day one with Jezebel is was raining in the morning but right before the lesson the skies were miraculously clear. Jezebel was ready to work and both her and Sammy had their game faces on. Eric has a keen way of keying into the team before him and giving them the direction they need, all with a very positive outlook and he’s very encouraging and positive. They worked on ride-a-bility to the fences. Eric would give them direction, they would make whatever adjustments he asked for and then they would do the exercise correctly. Jez has the tendency to rush fences, she gets very excited and they worked on exercises to help correct that. One being a canter circle where the fence just happened to be there and it was no big deal to jump it. Lots of emphasis on the trade of responsibility riding fences between rider and horse.  Where the rider was responsible and where the horse was responsible. It was great stuff and both my horse and my trainer did a really great job. In fact they were rewarded with the compliment that Jez was very business like. Ha! She really is blossoming into quite the show pony.

Day two the Jez and Sammy team shared the ring with a women and her beautiful, huge, chestnut, warm blood mare. This horse made my 16H Jezebel look like a pony. The rider was a jumper so it was a good mix since thats the direction we are headed in. It was the novice level lesson but they were jumping a 3 foot oxer at one point (go Jez!). Again Jez did pretty much whatever was asked of her with only a little rushing. Sammy’s job was to keep her mind quiet and focused and when they were in lock step it was really beautiful to watch. Jezebel is a very brave girl. Lots of great direction and lots of great exercises. I could see the improvement happen before my eyes. Sammy and Jez are really coming together as a team, its lovely to see.

Eric comes back in the Spring and i’m hoping he will see lots of improvement next time as we spend the fall and winter working on the things he outlined. Hes got a great manor and so much knowledge to share. I can really see why he’s so popular to clinic with.

Heres to fall

Oct
2014
28

posted by on Barn tales

Michelle and Jezebel

Michelle and Jezebel

The leaves are changing big time around here. The colors are rich, warm and glowing. I better enjoy it while i can because soon enough the leaves will all drop off the tress and the cold will set in and winter will be upon me. Winter my least favorite of all seasons. I grew up and lived most my life in southern California where winter meant a light sweater and 65 degrees. So you had to put the heat on with the top down on your car. I had never ridden in an indoor until i moved to MD where an indoor in winter is a really nice thing to have. Thankfully this winter i have one, last i did not.

So heres to fall and all the beautiful colors, they never last long enough.

Rhiannon and Baby

Rhiannon and Baby

 

Dave and Beans

Dave and Beans

 

Holly and Beau

Holly and Beau