You give me fever

Aug
2014
19

posted by on Life with Circe, OTTB, Vet

I no feel well mom

I no feel well mom

I got the call from my friend Stacy who was doing evening feedings and turn out at my barn while Sammy was out of town. Circe was off her food. She hadn’t really touched her hay, drank very little water and was picking at her grain aka ration balancer. She seemed really “mellow” and Stacy who knows Circe was concerned. I asked a ton of questions including.

1. How much poop? only 2.5. piles and she was in all day

2. Gut sounds?  low gurgling on both sides but faint

I called the vet. Not something i wanted to do being as it was Saturday night (I could hear the money flying from my wallet as i made the call) I wasn’t sure how serious this was though so i made the call. My vet called me back within minutes and we went over all the info. What she really needed was a temperature and since a thermometer was on my list of thing not yet gotten, it was decided that i would drive to the barn with my digital thermometer from the house and take Circe’s temp. I was also to check her out for a possible choke and see if i could get her to graze on grass for about 5 minutes and the vet would call me in one hour. My better half and i jumped in the car and he raced to the barn in record time.

Circe’s temp was slightly elevated at 101.3. I checked her for obvious signs of a choke, found nothing and took her out to graze. Where she munched grass. The vet called and we again went over all the info and decided to turn her out for the night and see how she was in the morning. Stacy was again going to be there in the AM (about 7:30am) and would check her temp and report to me and the vet was going to call me at 8am. If her temp was not normal then the vet was going to come down take blood work to see how serious this was and what we might be dealing with. I had anxiety dreams all night involving horses. needless to say i didn’t sleep well.

In the morning Circe’s temp was back into normal range back down to 98.8.  So the vet didn’t have to come down on a Sunday (cha-ching averted!) My vet instructed me to check her temp twice a day for the next few days (ive been doing it three times cuz im a freak) and to keep a close eye on her. Which i’ve been doing. Shes eating, drinking and her temp has remained in normal range its been 4 days now and all is well. So it was likely just some kinda little bug less then 24 hours and so far all is well. All the other horses in my barn are right as rain including Jez who shares a field with Circe. Though you can bet ill be keeping a eagle eye on all of them. Oh and i’ll be sending off a bottle of wine or something to my awesome vet who took the time to talk me off the ledge and was so super responsive to my fears on Sat night. That was the first time i had to call a vet for either of my horses after hours after from hearing from a third party something wasn’t quite right. Do…not…like! However i’m grateful and so lucky to have such an amazing team of people around me to help with my horses that that includes Stacy who not only did my morning feedings when i was at the self care barn full of crazy but who has been pitching in while Sammy’s been out of town (who texted me every day to check on The Circe Effect) But most of all i’m lucky because Circe is feeling better. I love that red-headed mare to pieces.

 

 

 

Sidelined

Aug
2014
14

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

Not broken

Not broken

Circe has a stone bruise. Shes getting some time off and I’m crossing my fingers it doesn’t turn into an abscess. Time will tell. The redhead has thin soles and this isn’t the first time shes had a bruise. I’m using Durasole her feets (i swear by the stuff), giving her some time off and crossing my fingers. Thats pretty much the plan. Oh I gave her some Bute first day just because i don’t want her tootsies hurting her to bad.

While she has time off Jezebel is being ridden everyday. Perfect example of why two horses is a good thing, when ones broken….

Jezebel is starting to look really good. Her excess weight is coming off and shes starting to muscle up. I’m really happy with the progress as to her fitness.  Her training is coming along too. Her canter is more balanced and shes caring herself better spending less time on the forehand. It’s taking less time to warm her up at the trot as well. Her trot work is really getting there. Shes a jumping machine with a ton of scope! It’s really coming together for miss Jezebel though theres is a ways to go with her and I together. Jezebel is a long term plan.

posted by on Life with Circe, OTTB, Training

Jump 2, scary blue blocks!

Jump 2, scary blue blocks!

A short hack away from my barn is Covered Bridge Farm. A really nice private barn that has recently put up a nice ring with lights and everything. They have been putting on some casual schooling jumper shows and Sammy thought she’d take Circe to her first show as one was coming up. Awesome! The better half got off work early to watch (evening show) and i brought my camera, of course i did. The ring was really nice. Good footing, lights for night time riding, and a 2 story observation room! The ring was divided in two (cuz its huge) they had a course set up on one half and two warm up jumps on the opposite side. It looked like my entire barn of Jr riders was there (and they were) Circe was pretty up and nervous at first. She couldn’t hold still so Sammy let her move around walk, trot, canter and a few jumps and find her horsey center. When it was her time to jump round one Circe was presented with all kinds of new challenges, the first being jump one… the gate! Circe had never seen a gate jump before and was really confused by it. She didnt know what to do and it was scarly all 18 inches of it. Sammy got her moving forward towards the jump but at the last minute Circe decide to go up on two legs instead of jumping it. Sammy being a champ hung on, got her back to earth and organized, told her it was alright and Circe jumped the gate. Crisis averted! She then trotted to most of the jumps and cantered to a few others and made the course clear!

Miles AND ribbons!

Miles AND ribbons!

She did this in two more times on two different courses. After the first one was done Circe was calm and centered and just hung out waiting for her next round. It just took her the first round to understand what was going on but she did figure it out. She waited until her turn,  jumped clear then when back to waiting for her next turn. She was great and all her nervous energy was gone and she had her game face on and knew her job. The goal was for miles not ribbons but she got a few of those too. For a first time show this was perfect. She jumped clear, she figured out her job and she had fun. Score one for The Circe Effect!

In the Equiery

Aug
2014
07

posted by on Barn tales

Published!

Published!

I have a couple of photos in this months Equiery. The Equiery is the local horse paper in MD (and some parts of PA and VA) but its Maryland based. If you are looking for horse support services like boarding, hay, training or ring building its the go to place. They also keep you up to date on local horse laws and zoning changes. Its a really good resource and the paper is free at tack stores and feed stores around MD. Their actual offices are just a couple miles from where the ponies are kept.

I’ve submitted a couple of photos from a couple of different events i’ve shot in the last month or so and they’ve used pictures from both events. The Thoroughbred show at Plimlico and the Maryland Open horse show in July! The best part was texting Michelle with a photo of the photo of her and Moon in the ribbons from the MOHS in July in the paper. Surprise! I have a few more events planned to shoot in the next month or two so I’ll be submitting more pictures and hoping to get them printed. When trying to get your name out there for equine photography its always a good thing to get a few photos in the Equiery.

Also it helps when you have good subjects with cool horses to shoot…

Plugging along

Aug
2014
04

posted by on Barn tales, Training

The better half and the event horse

The better half and the event horse

Everything is plugging along according to plan. The horses are doing well, progressing and thriving. Ive been getting plenty of ride time on both horses and my confidence on both improves daily. My better half is taking lessons every week on my trainers event horse (an un-raced TB) and getting better with each ride, its really nice to see him figuring the whole thing out. I on the other had need improvement. Besides being out of riding shape it seems i’m posting from my hands. Thats not something i’ve done before. I’m going to chalk it up to me having had too much time off regular riding and my unfitness. I’m using my hands for balance.. bad! Michelle was kind enough to spend some time watching me ride yesterday where the hand posting was discovered. I knew i didn’t feel right but i thought i was me just being tired. Nope, tired maybe but tired and unbalanced. So now i need to work harder and post from my core. Which is fine because id rather have actual things to work on while i get myself back into riding shape. One of the things about being at a high performance barn is that you really are inspired to be a better rider. Everyone around you is great from the Jr riders in pony club, to the working students all the way up to the 4 star international rider sharing the ring with you. Getting on your game is imperative.

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

horse politics

horse politics

Wednesday: Michelle’s day to ride and it was a but of a hectic day for me. The better half needed a new helmet my Troxel which he had been riding in was not working anymore for him and my Tipperary didn’t fit quite right so we went to Dover at 10am mind you and spent all the money. He got a One K (its pretty awesome) Then a mad dash to get to the barn by noon and meet up with Tina and Sammy. Tina is still thinking about selling Wasabi and i thought hooking her up with Sammy to this end was a good idea. So varoom the the barn we raced and Michelle was already riding Jez in the upper ring. I know this because i got a text “I’m in the upper ring with Jez bring your helmet” which of course i didn’t get to do because Derp, i double booked people. When Michelle was done with Jez and back at the barn she told me that i had to give her Jezebel because she was so good today. Which is a big switch from the millionth time Jez reared with Michelle on her and she told Jez she didn’t like her anymore. So yanno improvement. Michelle then rode Circe and the whole brood (me, my better half, Tina, Sammy and the two kids) all watched Michelle ride. No pressure there!

Snapped!

Snapped!

Thursday: I decide hey I’ll take Circe out alone on a hack on the trails that surround the property. I tacked her up and off we went. We started out walking and trotting around the paddocks on the bridle path and she was doing great. We moved up to along the back side of the property past the big house and past the corn field. Circe was was being a superstar, calm, engaged, walking and trotting. A deer (a big one) jumped out in front of us and Circe was all “oh was that a deer, i hardly noticed” and on we went. We turned around at the end of the corn field because i wasn’t sure about which property i could ride on as its all private property. We headed back, we were about 30 minutes out from home. We got to the end of the corn field where in front of us to the right was a huge open space and we could see the top part of the barn when Circe suddenly stopped and her head went 50 feet into the air. She was sure something was out there in that big open space where you could see everything. Maybe an invisible cubacabra, or maybe Circe just sees dead people. I encouraged her forward, gave her her head and squeezed with my legs all the while telling her it was alright and she was a good girl. Nope Circe wasn’t having it, she started to back up at the fastest pace like one of them reining horses (new career?) and then she turned and bolted. Now this was new shes never bolted before and she was bolting away from home! I wasn’t going to have it so i one rein stopped her before she could get up the full racehorse head of steam and thats when it happened. My rein snapped. Mid turn, mid stop and i went flying off. I landed and yelled out “REALLY?!?!” Circe to her credit didn’t run over me or run away she stopped and gave me one of those “what are you doing on the ground looks” I took an assessment and i was fine nothing broken, just my pride. I got up and looked at my snapped rein and began the long walk home. Circe was good on the walk of shame home, she walked right past the scary spot with just a tiny bit of trepidation. I made her work on the way home, lots of stop and back up so that this walk home wasn’t a vacation for her. As i walked hone I thought about our mishap and decided that had the rein not snapped the odds were good i would have stayed on. Also yes, Circe sees dead people. My supersensitive mare must have seen the ghost of General Lee or something.

Cantering

Cantering

Friday: Sammy’s day to ride both girls Circe was up first and Sammy took her down to the gymnastics ring and did some flat work then some jump work. Circe is becoming quite the jumper. Shes careful and i’ve only seen her knock a rail down once. Shes still figuring things out but shes doing really great. One of the other trainers at the barn was watching her too and comment on her continued improvement. I was a wash in pride for my redheaded mare. Next up Jezebel who it was clear from the start was pretty up and excited to be out. She also went down to the gymnastics ring and was soon joined by two girls (one Sammy’s daughter) in a lesson on their super cute ponies who were going to jump too. Add to that a group of small boys running and playing and one puppy who was sick of the boys and well you have a lot of commotion. Jez was unfocused and for some reason thought the 18 inch jumps were gigantic. Huge, enormous and they only way to get over them would be to jump off with all for feet in some kinda weird giant hop. Sometimes jumping the full height of the standards. It was kinda amazing to see but i was a touch worried she would start to get too upset and start acting out. Thankful she didn’t and Sammy kept her as focused as possible. Jez needs to work on resilience and become better at not being phased by outside elements that are beyond her control. Like kids playing outside the ring or other horses in the ring jumping as well. It will come with time i think. Not her best day but not her worsts, thats for sure.

I ended the week with two bottles of wine… between my first fall off Circe and my typical end of the month crunch for getting my work done and my better halves work stresses,  i felt like we needed a vacation in a red wine bottle. So i made Lasagna (which i rock at) baked some mini bundt cakes and my better half and i sat out in the back yard at sunset finishing off bottle number two.. soon after that i passed out cuz my booze tolerance is pretty low these days… Derp.  Getting old sucks y’all

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

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posted by on Barn tales, Life with Jezebel, OTTB

Riding Jezebel

Riding Jezebel

I’ve been riding Circe but i haven’t been riding Jezebel. After she out me  on the ground last Feb and was acting out so badly i gave her the rest of the winter off to figure out what her deal was. Ulcers.. hind and gastric was the diagnosis and since that time we’ve teated the ulcers and moved twice Jez is back in steady work with both Sammy and Michelle. Since i’ve moved to the fancy eventing barn I’ve been on her one time. After Michelle rode i cooled her out and was super nervous. Which pissed me off, i haven been nervous like THAT with her before. As a result i’ve been sticking with Circe working on building my stamina (which sucks) after every ride my confidence growing. Jez has been good for both trainers and though shes got her pissy moments all four feet have been staying on the ground except for when shes been asked to jump, which shes been really enjoying.

Love birds

Love birds

Today the better half had his lesson (he’s taking them with Sammy on her event horse Rep) Usually i tack up Circe and ride around while he takes his lesson. Today i decided to tack up Jez. She’s been doing really well and i’m getting really sick of being nervous about riding her so i employed the WTF strategy. If she was terrible id jump off and try again another day. I tacked her up and after a fight over tightening the girth i mounted and rode her up to the upper ring. A Jumping lesson was just ending so i had the whole place to myself i was surprised at how not nervous i was. The plan was to just walk around, get comfortable, be successful . That was my plan Jez’s plan was to walk around, trot around and see if i would let her jump out of the coop. I agreed to the trotting but not the jumping. So it turned into walk/trot and Jez was great, not a bad step, not a spook, no pissy attitude, nada. She did so well that i decided to ride her down to the indoor where my better half was taking his lesson and catch them as he was finishing up. Which i did with out incident. Jez didn’t even give me tude when we passed our barn and kept riding on down the road. She was a very good girl and i was happy with the progress and annoyed at myself for not getting on her sooner. Every one was happy to see me ride into the indoor, including Rep. The only gelding in our bunch. Him and Jez have a little love affair going so we didn’t get too close because Rep can sometimes decide hes not a gelding but a stallion when a pretty girls around. Sammy snapped a photo, the first photo of me and my better half on horses together.  I then rode Jez back up to the barn on the buckle. Yeah i was being a dork before. Though i will have to be aware with Jez that she can get annoyed in a flash if i pay attention to the signs i should be fine to start riding her as much as i ride Circe.

Again i have to say how amazed and thrilled i am at their progress at this new place. They both love it and adding Sammy to the mix has been the best thing since sliced bread… seriously. My ponies love her and so do my better half and I. I have goals now and not only that i have goals i think are attainable. As soon as my stamina gets a little better im starting lessons again.. gotta be a better rider if i wanna run the the big dogs.

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

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Moon gets miles

Jul
2014
21

posted by on Off Farm, OTTB

Just chillin' pre-class

Just chillin’ pre-class

It was that time again, The Maryland Open Horse Show. They do these nice low key schooling shows about once a month and i’ve been shooting them.  They are held at Schooley Mill horse park which is the ring i used when i boarded the girls across the street. The only thing i miss about that place is the ring. My horses however don’t miss a thing about it, they hated the ring. Too over whelming for my sensitive OTTB mares. This time up it was Michelle’s turn to take her horse Moon and put some show miles on him. Shes taken him before but the last time he was rather jumpy and nervous. This time however he was great. She keeps him close to where these shows are held and can ride him over. Since its a hunter show you have to estimate when your class is and wait and wait and wait. Moon was entered in the Schooling horse division. Walk/trot, walk/trot/canter and over fences.

I got this

Flowers? I got this!

Since i was there i shot some of the Jr division. They younger riders over fences. about 2’3″ since last time i focused mostly on the Sr riders. It was nice to see some of they younger girls working on broadening their experience. I didn’t soot a ton because Michelle’s mom showed up and i was having more fun talking to her then shooting as i dont see her that often. Michelle’s mom rides too though though has been dismounted for a while because of an injury and is getting frustrated by not being about to ride until this fall. I hear that. When i was injured last year it was about 4 months until i was back on a horse and even then it wasn’t one of my own. So we hung out and chatted while Michelle waited until her class was called.

Winners!

Winners!

Michelle and Moon did great in all three classes and Moon jumped everything he was pointed at, flower pots and fancy colored jumps and all. He was a really good boy all day. Michelle and Moon were rewarded with 3 blue ribbons and more importantly more miles on Moon, who is for sale since he’s the project horse. He’s got a really great head on him and having ridden him once hes super fun. Lots of potential with this guy. Hes the kind of gelding everyone wants. A sane, tall, ottb with heart. I’ll be sad when she sells him because hes such a nice guy but i’m sure she will make sure he goes to a good home where he has the chance to meet his potential. Until then I’ll have fun shooting him at shows while he gets more miles on him and i’m sure earns more fancy colored ribbons.