Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Splish, Splash...Splat

Florence made her presence known in our area just before the September show. My farrier was convinced the show would be canceled, but there were too many signed up for her to that.
Mom and I made an effort to clean up Rosemary and Roscoe even knowing they would not stay clean. When we got to the show, it was very wet footing and misting.
Mom went first and Rosemary quickly said she was not happy with the puddles. She stomped her way around the warm up. She was more up than out and working harder than she needed to. I was proud of Mom. She worked through the drama and did her two tests. The judge was a tough one and did not give any feedback since it was raining. No pictures for the same reason. Rosemary, even tired, still managed to place with me in training 1.
Just picture Rosemary sandblasted. We had to brush off the saddle before we put it the truck.

Splish, Splash

We had a bit of time until Roscoe was up. This show I asked to ride T2, T3 and then T1. Unfortunately we were not at our best. I was tight and not sitting around him. I tired having Mom shake out my hips, but it was still an issue. Roscoe was greatly insulted to be asked to work in below standard footing. We had to have a serious discussion about him going through puddles when I say. Warm up to say the least, sucked. The show ring was actually better, but he still tried to avoid puddles. At one point I asked for a downward transition from the canter just as he was swerving around a puddle. He totally fell on his face. Not surprising we got "needs balance."

One of the smaller puddles

Despite the weather, footing and my tight hips we did manage to finish all three tests. They were not our prettiest and the judge hit all our weak points, but my pony did as I asked. I hope to be able to ride before this judge again on a better day.

Note I did not wear a white shirt
Our friend who got Winston rideable for us, was showing too. Her boyfriend managed to get some pictures of Roscoe. As for the Splat... that was me later. We were pulling the four wheel cart to load back onto the trailer, when I fell over the railroad tie and landed in the mud. What a way to end a rainy show day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Know Your Trailer

Almost 11 years ago we went trailer shopping at one of the Horse Expos. We did it on purpose so we could get a demo trailer at a discounted price. Going in we really wanted a Hawk trailer. They unfortunately did not take us as serious buyers and did not put any effort into selling us a trailer. So we walked out and looked at other brands. When we came to the Gore trailers, they had want Mom wanted in features and the guy working totally sold the trailer to us. When it came to financing, I set what I could pay a month and they made it work. They even gave us the ball off their truck when we came to pick up the trailer and ours was too big.

That said, since this is the biggest purchase I have ever made, I know that trailer and it's features. When the insurance came back with the first offer, I was sorely disappointed. My brother happens to be an adjuster and he told me to request to see the comparable. When they sent the report, I was ticked.
Hmm, my trailer does not have mangers

Uh, yeah not swing and the tires are only 3yrs old

How do they miss some of these features?

No dressing room! What???

They did not even have the right features on my trailer and they left some off which significantly lowered the value. The insurance person told me to send a list of missing features and my own comparable. My brother helped with that part. They missed things like the roof vents, the dressing room and the spare tire. And they also said my trailer had swinging doors instead of a ramp. This was a definite learning experience.
I worried the longer I did not hear anything back from the insurance. I sent a couple emails and finally heard back a week after. I guess they had to go back and forth with the appraisal company. I held my breath as he started to tell me the new value. I let it out with relief when he said the new value was $9805, just over $1300 more than the first value. With tax added I got my $10k. I did not request a copy of the new report even though I was curious.
At that point I was just happy to be moving forward. My loan was accruing interest and the bank holding the lien was not giving me the right information about how to pay off the loan. My Dad gave me the money to do it, but it still took so long. I hope no one has to deal with First Federal. Now I am waiting for them to send the title, so I can send it to the insurance and then finally I can get the money. Which means I still cannot buy a trailer until then.
We have one more show and DaVinci still may need surgery.

Someone rubbed his eye :(

Anti- rub protection

I hate not having a trailer. I really wish I could afford another Gore, but sadly I am not in the position to have another 12yr loan. At least since I knew my trailer I got the money to get another decent trailer. Whatever we end up with, I will definitely keep a list of the features and when we get new tires. I just need to find a trailer to use in a couple weeks. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Ember's Jump Chute Adventure

Finally I have a moment to write about the jump chute clinic. To say we were stressed was an understatement, but we needed to bring Ember to the event. DaVinci cooperated by looking better the day of and easing our minds about leaving him. A neighborhood friend of Peggy's loaned us a trailer and we were set.
Not bad for a rush job

Ember's time was in the early afternoon which gave us time to polish him up. I quickly did his braids even with bands breaking. Then we washed his chrome and scrubbed his body before loading him on the trailer. Bless him, he walked on the strange trailer and traveled well for his first solo ride since coming from Indiana.

Ember decided he would only be difficult about walking into the arena. He has a thing about different materials abutting each other. In this case cement before the footing. Once he was in, he took it all in quietly. We chatted with the host who remembered Roscoe. She decided she really needs a Roscoe baby. She just needs to find a good Cob mare first. What does it mean when people ask if your horses are for sale?

We handed the lead over to Martin to do the in hand portion. I will always pass on to someone with long legs. We told him he would have to work harder than with Roscoe. Ember was a bit lazy to begin with, but he moved on with encouragement. Once he had done the poles a few times in hand, they let him loose to do them on his own. The clinicians were amazed by his big stride. When they saw his canter, Martin said it would be tough for Ember to package so to be patient once he was under saddle. Ember has his moments of looking like he does not know what to do with his legs at times.

When the jumps began going up, Ember said he could do this stuff. I love when even I am impressed with my horses. Ember took time to think and relax in between jump sets. He did not seek us out like his social butterfly father, but he takes new things a bit quieter than Roscoe. Plus Roscoe was the only child and learned to demand attention. Ember had too many siblings to get that way.

Thinking time

Ember had jumps with square knees and some with dangly feet. We were happy that he never seemed over faced and stayed willing. I am even more excited to see him in a couple years. And best of all, we made it back to the barn with no layovers.

His final jump, Definite potential
"Home please!"

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Its 5:00 Somewhere

Even in heaven. I always joked that my Aunt Ann's year in review on FaceBook would be a series of drink pictures, my cousins and her husband.

We lost her unexpectedly on Tuesday. She was diagnosed with Leukemia the end of July. We all thought she would beat it. She is a vibrant, happy person. But worse case scenarios kept cropping up. The doctors had problems treating some of her issues because of the Leukemia. Those issues involved her liver and kidneys shutting down. We still kept hoping, but the late night phone calls were worrying. Then that one call came. After a 3 week battle, she was gone.

She leaves her parents, her husband of 32yrs and her two daughters. Till the end she brought her humor to those around her. I was not able to see her often, but she was a blast when she visited the barn one time. Roscoe thought she was great. She also enjoyed a drive with Rosemary even when it got exciting from sudden rabbit appearances.

Roscoe loves Aunt Ann

So if anyone has a drink on Thursday, raise one up for my Aunt Ann. The world is a dimmer place without her humor and love.
Gone too soon

Monday, August 27, 2018

Unexpected Show: High Five and Hugs

I am still battling the insurance company and it stressed me out completely before the show on Saturday. Mentally I was exhausted. We seriously considered not going to the show, but that would mean losing $120 in show fees. Plus I did not want to lose more this year.
I skipped Ember's adventure because I still have not taken the videos off Mom's phone. It is coming though.

We of course needed a trailer and the one we borrowed for Ember would not work. Luckily my farrier offered his. It is for sale and we hoped it would be a possible replacement. That is not going to be the case since our horses seem to think the butt guards are for going under. Plus I don't think we can handle not having a dressing room. Our Gore spoiled us.

The show was in the evening and gave us time to give them a quick scrub. Rosemary was up first with her Training level debut. I was slightly worried about it due to the lack of riding caused by the dang rain. She warmed up wonderfully and I thought my timing was good. Except we ended up having a few more riders to go.

I lost some of her by test time. Overall it was a solid test scoring between 6.5 and 7 with one 8. She got a bit strung out during her right lead. Fitness will help her with that if Mother Nature decides to let us ride. I worried about if she would have enough left for Mom's tests.

Bless her, she was super for Mom and gave her both leads. It was great for Mom's confidence. Her scores were, T1 68.26% (3rd), Intro-B 65.63% (4th) and Intro-C 67% (1st).

Roscoe had the full set of Training tests to do. He was full of it, even kicked at the mounting block. I did very little warm up, mostly because there were some inconsiderate people in the ring. I did not want to cause and issue. I basically used my T1 to warm up. He actually was not too bad. We still have our issue of getting off my inside leg going to the left, but it was not at the same level as previous shows. As I approached the judge, I was hesitant. She asked how I felt about it. I told her it was warm up and she gave me a high five and said it was great. Then she shocked me by telling me she scored his right lead canter with a 9. My jaw dropped.

I only had one test before T2. It really was a rinse and repeat. Left was bracing and needed better bend. Then we cantered right and it felt amazing. It was more apparent after her comments. She again came to talk and said she wavered about what score to give me. She said he was straight, which has been a challenge previously. In the end she said we got a 10! She gave me a hug and I almost cried.

On the way to a 10

A couple more rides and we were back for T3. This test I knew would be tough. Roscoe was a bit tired and the canter corners especially to the left caused us issues. I have only ridden the test in a small arena so the large ring was tough. This time Roscoe actually got a 10 for his right lead transition. A total win since that is normally a trouble spot. No where near fabulous, lots to work on. He was amazing for me in my brain fried condition. I am still in shock. This judge has seen us twice before and her reaction helped me realize his training is on the right track.

And if the day had not been surprising enough, as I finished my last test another rider said I inspired her and she wanted to be like me. Peggy mentioned people commenting on my hands. Seriously it felt like a I was in La La Land.

We left before the results and they finally posted today. Roscoe had a clean blue sweep; T1 69.78%, T2 73.27% and T3 73.41% (high score of the day training level & up). This was an unexpected show, but exactly what we needed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Thank you all for keeping DaVinci and us in your thoughts. We needed them. As we expected DaVinci did colic Thursday night, but since the vets took my mom seriously they were on top of it. Friday we waited anxiously to hear whether or not he would need surgery. His fracture was not repairable, so it would depend on the fragments and his eye.
Added to the wait we had the worry of having the ability to pick him up. Larry had a trip to TN scheduled, but their Acura ended up having a bad break. So Peggy said he needed the truck, which we need to pull the gooseneck. Well we ended up sending our truck with Larry but we had to clean it before because it somehow got moldy.
When we finally got the call to come get DaVinci, traffic was a mess. Dad and I were originally going to go to empty the trailer, but we could not make it. We went to the vets and found out the trailer was traveling like crap. Not great considering it was 1.5hrs away from the barn.
DaVinci was ready to leave and the vet was okay letting him go for his health. The walk from his stall to the trailer was reminiscent of his walk when he arrived to us 12yrs ago: I was the one being walked. Bless him, he walked right on.

hospital tag

Getting belly scratches

Peggy and I started bringing him home. It was hellish. The truck shook so bad. If anyone remembers the Indiana trip where we had a trailer tire blow, this was worse. We made it to within 10 miles of the barn before Peggy felt something give. We both jumped to look at the trailer and found nothing. We turned around and saw the truck tire was flat. We did not think that would be an issue since my Dad was following.

Nope our bad luck continued. It took over an hour to get the spare out of the under carriage. Then it was difficult to get the jack placed and up. Finally we could get the lugs off. And the tire decided it was not coming off. The trailer jack saved the day by lifting the tire enough to let it release. By this time the darkness was coming. I worried about DaVinci who was quiet on the trailer, but had not pooped. My farrier kept messaging me and asking if we were moving yet. He was all set to come and help if he could. Finally by 830 we were on our way.

We pulled up to the barn and was greeted by Comrade on the front lawn. Oh shit! I jumped out to see if his merry men were out too. Some good luck, they were still in the field. Comrade had pulled the eye screw out of the board and walked through the people gate. He knew he was wrong because he booked it back into the barn and to his gate. Peggy set to securing a new eye screw and I went to get DaVinci.

He trotted around the little turn out, taking small nibbles of hay. His face was a bit puffy and sore. That day and all weekend he wanted nothing to do with wet food. I think they tried to hide meds in it at the vets. We had to put him with Dottie because he would not settle alone. I was kinda freaked on Saturday because his swelling felt crinkly. He looked little a wrinkled old man. The vet said he has air under his skin due to the fracture involving the sinus.

We all have made it to his follow up today and he is looking better. Our vet was pleased with his progress. His face is looking more normal too. He has to finish the antibiotics and then we watch.

As for the trailer, it is totaled. I cried when I saw it. Now I am beginning the fight for its value.