Monday, June 30, 2014

A Trail of Painted Ponies: Addie

Years ago when Painted Ponies first came out, I loved reading the statues back stories. Then a lady who worked for Stateline Tack inside Petsmart and had helped me many times, died suddenly of kidney failure. Not long after her horse died too. Her coworkers put up a picture and a Painted Pony in memorial of both, I really liked the idea of the statues being a memorial and so our Trail of Painted Ponies was born.
This will be a series as we have quite a few now between Peggy and us. And since I can barely type, damn splint, I am starting with the most recent addition, Addie.

I worried about finding the right one for her since I have not been thrilled with recent editions. But they did not let me down. Here is her memorial piece:

Picture from Trail of Painted Ponies

Empress of the Winds               

They say that the winds are like a woman, always changing...There are the Winds of Time which span history and the Winds of Change, which mark transformations.  Then there are the Winds of Dawn, which signal renewal.  All of these, from The Empress of the Winds.

Like Addie this is not a flashy piece, but is bears stunning moments. And like the wind, Addie was a constant presence, mostly quiet. But she could make her self felt in a storm of mare energy. With her 21years she carried a history starting in the United Kingdom. In the US she bore a son, learned to drive and dealt with some major changes later in life. With Peggy she was blowing away the past and was definitely showing a renewed vigor for life. She was the queen of the barn, so of course empress suits her as well. Some days she would barrel through the aisle no matter what was in the way. Like the wind there was no stopping her.

We gave the statue to Peggy and Larry the day of the Welsh Show. I hoped they would get what I saw in the piece. They did and Larry opened it right there in front of the barn. This is a special tradition that has given us all some peace over the years. The statues remind us of the good memories without standing out as memorials.

So that begins the trail. I will add the others over time. Enjoy!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Halt, Rein Back and Canter

So before I went to the doctors and got trussed up in this massive splint, I got a few rides in. Once on Rosemary and twice on Comrade.

Rosemary I ended up riding bareback and bit less because her bit was off her bridle and I had no time to put in on. I looked at the bosal and figured what the heck. First thing I did was flex her laterally, to make sure I had bend. With only one point where the reins meet, I had to be sure. To the right she was fine. To the left she had to think about it, but gave the right answer. It turned into a fun ride using round bales to circle around. She of course thought they were there to eat.

Casual Cute, She knows it too

My Comrade ride was suppose to be an easy, go through the paces type of ride. Instead he gave me a really great trot. At times he got heavy, which made me play with rein back. He responded really well and only got a little crooked. So I upped the challenge and asked him to trot out of the rein back. Comrade seemed to laugh and say "is that all?"

Considering he had issues moving forward when I said, I started asking for canter. I did not care about the lead, I just wanted him to rock back and canter forward. You know what? He did wonderful and even picked up his right lead most of the time. The rein back was enough to set him back and get the push he needed. The canter it produced reflected the transition. To give him a break I would ask him to open his stride on the long sides then he had to balance himself on the short end. My hand was throbbing, but he was being so good I kept going. By the end I did not have to rein back to get him to sit and push off his butt into canter. A slight lift of the reins, then a swing of my seat with leg support and he was off. Totally worth my sore hand after.

Now I get to think about it until I can ride with contact again. It will be a long couple weeks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WW My Show Souvenir

6 days after, my home care elasticon wrap

11 days after, the doctors splint
Anyone see a problem?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

PMD Show Part 2: The Importance of Groundrails... to Comrade

Sorry this post took so long. Everything about this show was long, so I guess it follows pattern. Well after the breed classes finished, they took a 30min lunch. I noticed that everyone was warming up in the ring with the show jumps and jumping over them. Hunters blow my Eventer mind. So when in Rome, I tacked up and joined the crowd. The jumps were simple panels with flower boxes, set at 18".

 After warming him up, I pointed Comrade towards a fence. No problem. He did not even look at it. Now I shake up the arena. My Eventer eyes don't see straight lines between jumps and I started doing broken lines and roll backs. Comrade ate it up and I had a blast. And I should mention we were rocking all this in a dressage saddle, though we were not the only ones during this show.
I was doing one of my broken lines going diagonal to diagonal and decided to let him canter the last fence. I noticed that just beyond that fence two riders were sitting on their horses watching us. There was room for me to turn so I went with it. Comrade gave me a great jump and then, social butterfly that he is, went towards the riders. I was telling him to go left, but then all of a sudden I was meeting the lovely bluestone arena up close. Comrade spun and looked horrified that I was on the ground. His eyes got huge and he backed up like "Oh, SHIT." People probably thought I was even more crazy because I was so pumped about his jumping, I did not care about the fall. Ok, I did come up with commentary for the riders I was dumped in front of, "That's what you get for not doing straight lines."
After taking a short break, I got back on and made him jump a few more. Of course he decided that they were scarier now, but he still went over. I was not there to win ribbons, I was there to train and have fun. So as with the whole show, after warm up we had a super long wait. Comrade did not like that at all. Neither did I, as I thought of lovely scheduled times. Sigh...
When the class finally started, I had to decide between 18" and 2'. And no I could not do one at one height and the other at the other. Which I totally don't understand since they are all pinned together anyways. I went for broke and did the 2'. It's just a pole on top right? Little did I know how exciting the one little pole would make things.
When the rider's doing 18" were done they reset. I took Comrade into the other ring to trot him and he gave me a great trot. Then I went in the jump ring and got pokey trot. Seriously, I told him to get moving.
As promised, video plus peanut gallery comments: Course 1

The first two, okay.

The third Okay

and the fourth refused.

I circled and told him he was going over.

What followed was the craziest jump ever and a pulled rail Mom's phone lets you take pictures from the video, so you know what I did :) Here is the sequence

The next jump was good

and the one that followed his tried to run left, blocked and went over deep.

 I thought about cantering the next one, but decided to stay with trot approaches. The last two were not too bad.

 I broke the rules and cantered the last circle. I had a rail down anyway so what the heck.

And Course 2 video:

Our second round, just a reverse of the first was better. No refusal, but lazy butt still pulled a rail. I had to ride each fence and some were not pretty. He did it though and I was totally buzzed. I did get a baby buck at one point. Of course we did not place, but who cares, I GOT TO JUMP!!! Can you tell I was happy to jump.

As we were driving home, I talked through the ride. I told my Mom he kept getting in deep, then jumping big. For Comrade that is way too much work so that is when he tried to run out the sides. I did not have all that drama at 18". Later it dawned on us that warming up the rails used for the 2' were acting as ground rails. That is how we set them at home, so Comrade knew what to do. It was only when they used those rails as part of the jump leaving no ground rail that he had the problem of getting too deep occured. It also explains why he really likes oxers. So Comrade needs to learn how to take off confidently so that even if a ground line is absent he can manage.
I did have to laugh because they had flower boxes that were only in the middle of the jump. I think they thought to save money and give a center focus. Unfortunately, it seemed to cause the greener horses to veer off center away from the flowers. Hardly any of the short stirrup or low hunter riders managed straight lines. I did enjoy watching an awesome girl riding a Sec A pony who was a speed demon. That girl stayed out of the pony's way and did not get too far up her neck. Too many times you see pony riders leaning way forward and putting the pony out of balance.
So overall the jumping was fun and informative. I still am not a Hunter, but Hunter shows have the benefit of quantity at a lower price. Good for training and milage which Comrade needs. And let me say that my buzz caused quite a crash later. I swear I had a horse show hang over for days after.
I also have a souvenir, but will talk about that another time.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

PMD Show Part 1 and Birthday Boy

I was determined that this show I was going to be prepped early and get to bed at a decent time. Well, I got Roscoe's stallion bride cleaned and the brass shined the week before and his halter done during the week. The surprise addition of Comrade meant I had to ask her to clean his bridle and get him clipped. I ended up having to ride with a dirty saddle pad, but I could live with that.
Friday I took off work to get everything done. I loaded as much as I could preload and still ended up forgetting my jacket at home. I even had my sister helping me do normal barn stuff. By 2pm the rain started which meant no bathing at my barn. Luckily Roscoe was spending the night at Peggy's and she has an indoor wash rack. We loaded Roscoe with only a little coaxing needed and  headed out.
Roscoe acted like Peggy's barn was completely foreign and scary. The dodo was born there, sheesh. I decided to bathe Comrade first and give him time to settle. He of course had to posture at Comrade over the stall wall. What I liked was that Roscoe was the one to back away. Not the dominant one here. While we worked on Comrade, I let Roscoe into the sacrifice area outside her stalls. I had to keep an ear out because Peggy's 30+ year old Anglo Arab is stud-y and I did not want them getting into it. Roscoe did eventually find Sonny, but again he was the one dominated. He also found someone just as mouthy as him. Both of them had a blast playing and biting at each other. Roscoe did walk away with a small, skinned area on his nose. Ah, boys.
Roscoe sort of cooperated for his bath, though he tested my sister all during it. Then I double braided  his tail and using baling twine to tie it up for the night. We tucked them in and crossed our fingers they would stay clean. I almost think a lot of chrome is worse than having a gray.

I was homeward bound by 530pm. Perfect. That gave me time to prep the cooler and get the last bits I needed together. Well that plan was lost as the clock ticked away as I waited for my Dad to come home with the food and drinks. Turns out there was massive traffic and it took an hour and a half for him to get home. Which in turn means my Mom would be even later. So not good with a 2am wake up looming. When I finally made it to bed, I set my alarm clock for the time but set for PM. Yep, for the first time ever on a show day I overslept. I woke up at the time we were suppose to be leaving Peggy's for the show. But it gets better.
Peggy and Lisa had started getting the shipping boots on the boys by time we arrived. So it was just a matter of loading and going. Mom and Peggy took the trailer while Lisa and I followed in her car. Lisa had to stop for gas and figured we would catch up somewhere during the 2 1/2hr drive. That never happened though. We pulled into the show grounds and found... No Trailer. Uh, what? I called Peggy and she said they were 10min away. So 30min later I called them again and she said the word you never want to hear, LOST. I walked over to the secretary who lives in the area and had her try to help get them straightened out.
Fortunately when they arrived both boys were still really clean with only a little bit of spot cleaning needed. We got Comrade ready and had to deal with Roscoe's over stimulation. And it figures it turned into a hurry up and wait type of deal. The weather was great and we could breathe. To help Roscoe we decided to put him back on the trailer until it was his turn. He thought that was okay. We did have to shut his door when he got excited over his cute neighbor.

 Now the actual class. This show did all the geldings at the same time, which was great.
Comrade actually had competition. The class was Comrade, chestnut (D, 14.2h, VA), Black Cob (D, 15.1h, MI) and Victory, palomino roan (C, 13.2h, MD). Talk about cool to see the three of them. I was not sure about Victory, especially his color, but I met him later an he was pretty neat. The Black Cob was a great mover (driving pony too), but his head was a bit to draft like for me. Comrade took champion under both judges and the Black Cob took reserve. Neither went supreme, though.

Big Black Cob and a blue sky

Victory, or part of him.
Gelding supreme class

Comrade begging for the carrots Lisa has stashed

Who could resist a head shot of this handsome  boy

By time Comrade was done, Mom had Roscoe's bridle on and was ready to unload him. He came off and Comrade went on. Roscoe was not thrilled with his bit, I think because we tightened the lead chain so it would not slip over his chin. I told Lisa to leave his head loose and just ask for trot. His natural movement will show itself off. Plus these judges barely spent any time watching before moving to the next horse.

I Love his talking head belly spot

Oh, Yeah Airborne

"Hi, Mom. Did you get a good picture?"

Roscoe went in first, followed by Winterlake Tristan (half brother to Alanna's girl). He is a 7yr palomino C who competes upper level dressage and what ever else his owner asks him to do. Roscoe knew he was a more dominant stallion and spun around when he trotted up behind him.

His Breyer Horse pose.

Lisa was thrilled because Roscoe poofed up and postured, but looking on I thought he tucked up too much. I wish I could suck in my tummy to that extent. Anyway, the judge asked how old Roscoe was. Mr. Man turns 3yrs old June 19th. He still looks immature, but boy did he look bigger. Not surprising, Tristan took the class.

Both the same height, but Roscoe looks bigger...Weird

Neither of them went Grand, though. That means Roscoe was done for the day and the wait began for the performance classes.
As nice as the day was, we left the boys on the trailer. Mom said when one tried to sleep, the other would reach over and playfully nudge. So proud of these two.

Look at that neck... sigh

Still keeping an eye on Tristan :)

So now I get to say Happy 3rd Birthday Roscoe and Happy 7th Birthday to his sire, Ffame. This day certainly brings wonderful animals to us as they share the date with Barry and our old Corgi, Kayla. Gone but never forgotten :)

Stay tuned for Part 2. It was just as exciting. If you have seen the pictures on FaceBook you have some idea, but I will also share the videos with commentary from the peanut gallery.,

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sleepy Pony and A Show Update

This would be a show review except that I don't have the pictures and videos ready yet. I will say it was a very long day and Comrade and I parted company for the first time. The boys were super and behaved. They each spent a lot of time on the trailer alone and together all throughout the day. We only had to shut the escape door at times when Roscoe got excited about the Appie/cross mare at the next trailer. I love that they just chill during the down time. We did not have any big wins, but we all were proud of them both. More about the show later.

Well Roscoe got lucky today. He got to have his wolf teeth pulled...Finally. I braided his forelock and tucked it up out of the way. Then I knotted his tail up so he did not step on it. When the vet came he explained that he would sedate him then put on a rig that would help hold his head up. Can you guess what my job was? Yep I held the rope attached to his head. That got some Cob grunts.
What a heavy head as he tried to use the wall to help

 Roscoe got some really good drugs though, right in the blood. He was out in no time. I wondered if he would stay up. He did. The vet located the nubs, then used what looked like a punch tool on them. Then he was able to pull them out. They were a lot smaller than I expected.
His wolf teeth

 Roscoe was happily in La La land and did not react at all since he was numbed too. The vet rinsed him before filing down some edges near the sites. At the grinding noise the grey boys were like "What the Hell? We just got that done." I had to tell them they were not participating this time.
Once he was filed and rinsed, he was released. Roscoe was snoring and wobbling. He only almost fell once while I watched, but boy was he out. I had to laugh when I really looked at him. Most boys drop when sedated. Well Roscoe had everything tucked up so high he looked like a gelding. I guess he heard my comment to the vet that Roscoe was lucky he was only losing teeth, when boys tend to lose their balls at the same time. He only let them hang again once he was waking up. Ah, Boys :)
The best part was that it ended up being $132 which was over $50 cheaper than the vet originally said. A couple hours later Roscoe was awake enough to go sniff poop and drop some stud splats. Back to normal and our cue it was time to go to work.

You can see his instability

Hang lip, still dripping some blood

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Cause and Comedic Relief

Thank you everyone for your thoughts about Addie. I heard from Peggy today and we all are in a state of shock. The results are not anywhere what we expected. It seems Addie died from peritonitis caused by a perforated stomach. Colic symptoms and fever are some of the signs, but normally they show intense pain. Her vet was baffled by how she little pain she presented. After reading about peritonitis, I am glad she went quickly because it is a hard road to recovery that may not even work. The rest of the results will take awhile longer.
Poor Peggy, who takes superb care of her horses, is now trying to see what she missed. I really think Addie ate something that went through an ulcerated portion of her stomach. She was the type to be prone to ulcers and Peggy fed her accordingly. Addie did not have intense weight loss which can be a sign of a chronic problem. Nothing seems to add up, making it hard to accept. It was hard to find the words that would help Peggy. I told her that Addie had 15 years to learn internalize and manage her pain and worries. Her only external sign of stress she really showed was cribbing. Recently her cribbing had decreased to the point of only doing it because it was a habit. She was moving great and more importantly willingly. Her 6 years with Peggy were the best of her life. Hopefully Peggy can soon see all the good and not focus on the end.

The good news is that the vet cleared Comrade. He can go to the show. It will be purely for fun and learning on the jumping part because with everything that has happened, we did not do all the preparation I would have wanted. Plus, I have to shake off the blues. He can at least show off his hot new athletic body in the breed classes though.

And now for the comedic relief after the heavy stuff.
"You only said I had to wear my muzzle..."
With Cobs and Corgis you can't go long without laughing. Saturday I ended up having to find and replace fly masks on both Cobs and Rosemary's muzzle. She is bad about using her mask to take off the muzzle. Plus they have tiny ears that are no help what so ever. So we use baling twine to loop around the muzzle and then braid her mane through it. It works, but she is finding tough weeds to pull out the braids in addition to using her fly mask. I told her she had to wear it and proceeded to put a loop of baling twine on her fly mask too. Both were attached to a braid.
Sunday they all went out on pasture, except Winston, because the house was having a party and we wanted them away from all the people. I suited up Rosemary and sent her out. Monday she greeted me in the above picture. My braid stayed in and she carried her mask and muzzle around as she happily grazed on the grass. I swear this pony is an escape artist. She is going to have to deal with flies while on grass because it is more important she keeps the muzzle on. Luckily she did not kill the muzzle. Peggy says Comrade is finding ways to get his off too. Ah, Cobs always keeping us on our toes.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Forever 21

My birthday was Saturday and it was a tough one. It was not because I gained another year, but that a horse I know never would again.
Friday evening at work I received a call from Peggy saying she had bad news, Comrade can't go to the show next weekend. My mind races trying to figure out why. Well it seems her Cob mare Addie came down with a virus and was running a 103 degree temperature. With incubation periods of 10-14 days we could not chance bringing him around other horses. To say I was bummed would be an understatement. I also was worried about what Addie had and how she was doing. While on the phone Peggy mentioned she seemed a bit more aware and wanting to move. Plus she wanted more mouthwash bathing. Peggy's substitute for alcohol to help cool her off. I did not hear anything else Friday about the situation. I figured I would see them all on Saturday.

Well about 730am on Saturday, Mom's cell phone rang. At first I thought it might be the vet, who never called to reschedule Roscoe's wolf teeth removal, but it ended up being Peggy. A very upset, grieving Peggy. My heart dropped and when Mom knocked on my door I was worried. She said "Addie passed away. They found her dead in the stall this morning." Worst birthday ever.
As I cried in my room and pondered "Why???" I sent the notification to Roscoe's breeder. She helped Peggy connect with Addie's owner when she was looking for a older horse and she had handled Addie at some shows. I was also so happy that I took that vacation day on Wednesday, because the last thing I did at Peggy's was give Addie some neck stretches and hugs. If I had gone to work after finding out he dentist was not coming, I would have missed seeing her one last time.
I decided to write a post for her on Facebook with some of the pictures I have of her. Addie was special and it took me time to find the right words, but Peggy liked what I came up with so I am glad.
Our friends lost their wonderful, Welsh D Mare Addie (Minyffordd Maid of Adfa). She taught us to drive, helped Rosemary through pregnancy and birth and taught Roscoe some manners. She was a champion in hand, and opinionated under saddle, but was always up for a trail ride. She was an adventure that always surprised. Addie will be sorely missed after touching us all during the 6 years she was here with us. Rest in Peace, beautiful Addie.
It made us all feel great to see the response from other's. She was remembered beyond our family and friends. I even got a message from her previous owner, who I have never talked to. She imported Addie as a yearling, I believe, from Wales and had her for 14yrs.
Addie had a striking head that I absolutely loved. It was not the pony type that Comrade has nor the more elegant that Rosemary has, but it was stunning. That head carried the brain of an opinionated mare that knew what she liked. And that was not arena work. One of the first times I rode her, she laid down. Her round tummy saved my legs, so I stepped off. She also took off in harness once with Peggy and my Dad on a picnic drive. She had to be driven into a briar patch to be stopped. They all came home bloody. On the other hand, Peggy could put raw beginners on her for a trail ride and she would take care of them. She also supported Rosemary during the last months of her pregnancy and when she went into labor. After keeping watch all day, we found her laying down on the cement aisle way in the evening, tired. With baby Roscoe she was so polite to Rosemary and avoided him. When he persisted in coming near her, she made sure he was not too forward and sent him back to Rosemary.
In recent months she was my trail buddy and we even played over some jumps. She had been more active and looking to work as the weather got better. She showed us all what a truly awesome driving pony is suppose to feel like and taught us to have soft hands. Peggy and Larry gave her the best 6 years where she was the Queen of their barn. Addie got to roam the barn and back paddocks as she wished. She truly discovered that she was loved and worthwhile. The barn did not feel right today as I walked in. Her halter was there and her pink fly mask, but the steady presence was missing.
Our small consolation was that it looked like she literally fell over dead. Larry said there was even hay still in her mouth. If she was eating, she must have felt better. But due to the circumstances, they had to send her to the state lab to find out what happened. Hopefully tomorrow they will have some news.
So now we wait. And as I gained my year, Addie will forever be 21 years old.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

300th Post: M.I.A

Sorry, I have been missing in action. I am back to limited internet at home and with the nicer weather have been spending longer hours at the barn.
So what have you missed?

1. Rosemary turned 7yrs old on May 31st. Our beautiful girl looks so good this year. I am determined to get her better under saddle. With that I took her out to ride and we just flew through the fields. She needs to get comfortable with canter and that means doing it. Love this pony! She has been awesome to have in our barn.
Eating Mulberries

2. More barn drama which includes lying women, plus a quote from the "Good" boarder. "This is my barn and I should be able to open doors how I want. I don't even know why you use the run in shed since it connect to MY barn." Yep, she went there. All this over the fact we wanted the dutch door top to be closed if she kept hay near by where my horses could see and be tempted to break into the barn. While she insists she needs it open for ventilation. We compromised, the door is opened and she keeps the hay away. So over this crap :(

3. Roscoe and Comrade are signed up for the Eastern Regional Welsh show in Maryland on the 14th. Both are doing the breed classes and Comrade will be doing the Low Hunter jumping classes. Even though he can do higher, I am sticking with 18in. I have been raising the fences in training with some great results. Peggy will try to get him to Bobby for some training over fences too. That will be a bit  since Bobby went to the Rolex earlier and now is at Bromont. Fingers crossed he ends better than at the Rolex. Anyway, today Mom set up an Oxer. The first time just a small X with a straight rail in front and a ground rail. Comrade looked but went over the first time. Next was a bigger double straight rail oxer. That resulted in the perfect jump. It felt effortless. Reminded me why I love jumping. Now I need to play with some courses before the show.

A cleaner Roscoe, looking chunky at this angle :)

4. Pictures, pictures and more pictures. When I get them I will totally share. My friend came and took pictures, with her fancy camera and lens that cost more than the camera, of the horses and dogs. I bathed Roscoe and put him in his show bridle. We did standing, moving and jumping shots of him. The little I saw on the viewer was awesome. Baby boy even surprised me by doing 2 jumps on a circle. Totally unplanned, but it worked. She also took shots of Rosemary as she moved around the turnout. At one point she even jumped the doggie pool. I am so excited. I can't wait for her to finish the editing.

5. Roscoe was supposed to get his wolf teeth pulled today. But the vet, unbeknownst to us, passed us onto an associate because he was out of town. So yesterday they said he would be late due to having to put a horse down. Then today we get a call saying the associate does not have the tools needed and can we reschedule for Saturday. Ugh! I took a vacation day from work. Well, I told Mom we had to do something special so the time was not wasted. I decided to let Roscoe me the driving drag. This is a PVC contraption that helps horses get used to having a noisy thing behind them and the stiffness of shafts. We harnessed him, minus blinkers and then led him while one of us pulled the drag. He followed, walked next to and in front of the drag with no problems. We rubbed and bumped him with the long shafts. In the end we were even able to put the shafts on either side of him and pull the drag behind him. No turning yet but straight was okay. He tried to swing his butt at times but always faced who was leading him. So proud of him. We think some of Rosemary's drag training while she was pregnant rubbed of on him.

Forelock braided and no Dentist coming

6. We got HAY!!! I feel so much better now that we have 200+ bales in the loft and have another 200+ on order. Tough part was stacking it on end so it could have good air flow since it came straight from the field. Of course the horses are whining after getting to clean up two busted new bales and then going back to the old stuff. Poor sad ponies.

The half I stacked alone, still standing

And that is the last week or so in a nut shell. Now we get to deal with more rain and look forward to a crazy weekend.