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

 

 

Fall with Jez

Oct
2014
23

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

Its fall the leaves are turning

Its fall the leaves are turning

Jez is doing great, she loves her new job… Jumping bean. Shes had some really great rides with both Michelle and Sammy. I get great feedback on her progress all the time. Shes one pretty amazing horse. On this day the video was shot we were sharing the ring with another rider who was jumping 3.3+ so we had to splint up jump runs as Jez was jumping 2.6 (ish) There were 3 of us n the ground acting as ring crew. It was good for Jezebel to have to stand quietly and wait for the other horse to do its run. She did really well, was very patient and was an all around happy pony. She has a lot of work to do over the winter and will emerge this spring with lots of new skills under her belt. Now if i could only get a trailer and a truck. I keep looking but its unrealistic of me to be planing on buying a rig right now as i have other expenses that demand my attention. I have been offered and will take up a friend of mine who has offered to let me use her truck and trailer whenever i want with a little notice. So i do have transpo. As such Jez needs to get off property. Often.

In the video below i missed the first jump (2 before the grid) and it was stunning (damn video!) but i got the rest. I love how shes so happy when jumping.

posted by on Barn tales

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Party time

Oct
2014
13

posted by on Barn tales

The best barn poocher ever

The best barn poocher ever

My barn hosted a kids Halloween party. Many kids had an awesome time. My trainers 8 year old daughter and 3 year old son both were the party hosts for this barn event. Many kids from their schools came to enjoy the day, carve scary pumpkins, bob for tasty apples (then feed them to the horses), hit a candy filled piñata. There was food, drink and cupcakes. A good time was had by all. It was raining out so everyone had to be inside the barn, which was filled with scary music and impromptu dance party and lots and lots of laughter. The barn was decorated, the dog was dressed up and all survived to tell the tale.

Can i bob for apples too?

Can i bob for apples too?

 

...I'm the only one

…I’m the only one

 

I heard there was candy?!

I heard there was candy?!

Good news

Oct
2014
10

posted by on Life with Circe, Vet

First ride back

First ride back

Circe is Lyme negative! Not just a little negative but super negative. The test from Cornell finally came back. Thats good news for Circe. However it still doesn’t explain the lameness other then sole bruising which is just to in the wind of a diagnosis for me. Were in the second cycle of her shoeing and shes out of the corrective wedge on the right. We didn’t shoe all around but i’m keeping an eagle eye on her in case we have to go that way. So far shes sound.

Circe is beginning work again. Very, very slowly. Were started with 15-20 minutes of walking only. No circles. She’s calm, happy and looks good. Trot sets are being added, still no circles for 2 weeks though. So theres that. She’s her same old sweet self and i think shes happy to be a riding horse again. She also has a terrible case of rain rot. This popped up out of nowhere it wasn’t evening raining. Its on her rump. Shes furry girl over the winter and i was going to trace clip her in a month or so but because of the rain rot i might full body clip her i dunno. I’m giving it a week or so to see if i can get rid of the rain rot before i make that decision. In any event i’m happy to have my Circe back in work and im looking forward to her getting back into shape. She lost a lot of topline and muscle with her two months off but i’m bring her back slowly so thats going to take time.

Training day: Grids

Oct
2014
08

posted by on Life with Jezebel, OTTB, Training

Major grid!

Major grid!

Grid work its now on the agenda for Miss Jeza-bobo. She did great on her first day. She figures out whats being asked of her after just one or sometimes two shots at it. The grid was a tough one, very challenging. Sammy started with with trotting though, poles down. Once she understood the layout of the grid  we added jumps one at a time. She jumped the grid like a champ!

Skinny

Skinny

She wasn’t so sure of the skinny though. That makes sense as with a skinny you have to remain straight and Jez is still wiggly sometimes as evidenced by her second run at the grid (on the video above) Jez was asked to acknowledge the skinny and touch it with her nose which she did. Then we lowered one side until she felt comfortable. We then put the jump back up and wham, now she jumps skinnies. Okay so she jumps them huge (as she does with most things). Shes got the scope for sure, the focus now is control. As she learns how to use her body better it will all come together.

turning a 2" skinny into a 4" skinny

turning a 2″ skinny into a 4″ skinny

The last jump of the day was the oxer. It was probably a 2’3-ish oxer with a 16 inch-ish spread. Not huge but nothing to shake your fist at either. Jez however decided that with the big jump she should take the long spot and sail over it like she was showing in central park in the grand prix jump off. Cuz yanno shes lives for excitement. It was a really good training day for her. We’ve got skinnies, planks, verts, cross rails and oxers under our pony belt now.  Shes a wonder pony who is really doing great learning her new job as a jumper.

Amazing in all ways!

Amazing in all ways!

Oh she’s also now crossing water out on the trail. True, she first jumped the creek from a stand still straight up in the air like a deer but after that one jump over the water now she’s crossing the creek when asked.

posted by on Life with Jezebel, OTTB, Training

Weee!

Weee!

Jezebel is back in full work, shes finished her round of ulcer medication and shes on a maintenance program. Theres going to be a little trial and error for that but a plan is in the works to control her ulcers. Seems Jez is just a thinker or rather an over thinker she must get that from me. She’s been doing well both on the flat and over jumps at home so it was time to school off property. Step one, ride over to a local barn and school in their jump ring. Which is exactly what happened. Sammy rode Jez to Covered bridge (I drove over) it’s on the far side of our farm and its where Circe did her first schooling Jumper show this summer. There were a few jumps set up when we got there but we rearranged them and put them down to Jez height. We started with 2″ and 2″3. One cross rail, one plank jump, one oxer and one vertical with canter poles. The jumps at covered bridge are colorful and we stuck some colorful jump blocks under the vert and the plank both to be used as a ground poles and for a little desensitization to jumping over weird stuff.

Plank!

Plank!

After a quick warm up Sammy took Jez over the cross rail. Yeah, she pretty much trotted over it cuz it wasn’t high enough for her (probably 18 inches) so on to the orange vertical with canter poles. Jez was not sure about this jump at first so we lowered one side and she went over like a champ. In fact she thought it was a 4 footer. She’s still figuring out how to tell how high a jump is. To her most are big and she over jumps them. Once she figured out the jump we put it back to a vertical and Sammy moved on to the cross rail to plank combination. Jez had never before seen a plank jump and wasn’t sure about it so Sammy had her acknowledge it. Stopping in front of it and tell her to “touch it, touch it, touch the jump!”  She did and then they jumped it, easy peasy.  She was a little rushy with the double but figured it out and then went back to the vertical and then the oxer. Then we moved the vertical up. Turns out we were schooling her 2″9′ on the vert with out realizing it. I found the measuring stick after we were done. So Jezebel schools 2″9′ now and she did it off property. She has tons of scope to go much higher but we want a sane, happy horse so were gonna keep them lower for now while we work on her learning her new job.

Warm up

Warm up

Sammy’s going to start the grid work this week with her. I’d like to school her again at Covered Bridge this month and then get her off property to school somewhere we have to trailer into.  We (Michelle, Sammy and I) have a plan for miss Jezebel to keep her moving forward in her jumping progress (her flat work too), keep her bad ulcer belly under control and keep her sane and happy. Shes got real potential to do great things, she shows amazing promise as a serious Jumper and i have a dedicated team in place to get her there.

Oxer

Oxer

If you listen closely a horse will tell you what kind of job they want. I try to listen, i never want to be that person  who tries to pound a square peg into a round hole. I’m cool with adjusting my wants in favor of dealing with the horse i actually have. I have Jezebel and Jezebel has spoken. She wants to be a jumper. She loves to jump. She’s extremely athletic, she rocks back and springs herself over the jumps getting amazing height in the process. She also loves doing it, she gets bored with too much flat work and really wants to go, go, go. Maybe thats the Seattle Slew in her. I hear Slew babies work it all out in the air in their second careers and Jez is no exception to that. In any event, exciting things on the horizon for Jezzy-Belly and i’m excited about the possibilities and all the places we will go.

posted by on Review

Awesome!

Awesome!

When the good folks over at Horze contacted me to review their products I was thrilled! I also had two sound horses who were going really well. Yippy! By the time the products arrived I had two horses out of work. One with ulcers and one with still unidentified issues (come on Cornell give me my test results!) That made reviewing products quite the challenge. Luckily one was Horze No Turn Bell Boots. So I was able to use that product and put that review up but was forced to wait out the review for the Horze Reflex Stirrups as no horse was ridable enough to have a use for stirrups. Eventually Miss Jez got back into work but I’m only sorta riding her and I wanted to really put these stirrups though their paces. I made the decision to put them on my saddle but grilled Sammy who has been the one riding in them on her thoughts about them. Samantha Bilodeau is my trainer and works with me, my horses and even trains my better half on her event horse. (awesome right?!) Shes also an eventer as well as a equine massage therapist. She makes up a big part of team My Ex Racers (and i couldn’t be more grateful for all her hard work). I’ll try not to break with my general review format too much but these are Sammy’s thoughts that I collected (after grilling her) on the Horze Reflex Stirrups.

Pros: The are really light weight, I mean super light weight. They have a wide foot pad that give you good traction and stability. The price point is extremely reasonable at $39.95

Cons: The only con we could come up with when discussing these stirrups is that they are pretty wide and my pink custom made stirrup covers I bought barely fit over them. They do fit but its a bit of a struggle to get them on and off. Seriously thats it, thats the only con!

Lowdown: Sammy was sure she wasn’t going to like these stirrups. She’s a very straight forward trainer and gimmick and gadgets are not her thing but she was won over by these stirrups after using them.  She didn’t have a bad thing to say about them, for reals. She liked the way her leg felt in them. There’s a touch of give on the pad for those with sore joints. She felt secure with out the stirrups interfering with her leg. She used these both on the flat and schooling jumping and since my horse over jumps (by several feet, yo) you need  leg and foot placement thats not going to slip when you don’t want or expect it to. These stirrups fit the bill. They are a really good price and i would encourage anyone who’s thinking about buying composites to give them a go. They are staying on my saddle my traditional irons are spending time in my tack trunk!

Tick tock

Sep
2014
29

posted by on Barn tales, Life with Circe

Still waiting …..

lyme__tick2cornell-university-logoHurry up!

posted by on Life with Circe, OTTB

Farmdouble2It was kinda on a whim. I wasn’t out shopping for another horse when Bonnie at After The Races (where i got Jezebel) posted that she had a couple horses coming back to her, no room for them and needed them placed/housed/fostered. For some reason I picked up the phone and made the call. Bonnie told me about the two horses and when i heard one was Syllogism, a horse that I not so secretly coveted all over the Facebook i couldn’t help myself, i said “I’ll take her” I then called my better half at work to try to explain to him what I had done. A few sort days later a shinny, sweet, chestnut mare came off the trailer and was in my barn.

CirceEye1Over the past year i have learned a lot about The Circe Effect (the show name i’ve given her) That she is the most sensitive mare i’ve ever known, put a little leg on and she’s half way across the ring. Shes easily rattled and you have to be very sure not to get rattled with her or its all over and she will show you her Man From Snowy River impression.  That she sees dead people (for reals) as demonstrated by our mishap in the woods. That she hates cows and will stand on her hind legs to ward them off HER round bale. That if there is mud, Circe will find it. So much so that her name really should be Pig Pen. That she likes to snuggle and get hugs and that shes in love with an 8 year old girl. Circe has been a joy from day one and i never, not once regretted making that phone call. Here’s to many more years with my sun kissed, sensitive, sweetheart of a horse. Happy one year anniversary my beautiful red-headed mare.