Friday, August 29, 2014

A Bit Emotional

12 years ago my parents worked hard to clean the barn so our horses could move in. Wednesday my parents cleaned the barn so we could hand the barn back. We are officially moved out.

My horses are happy and we are too, so I was surprised to be a bit emotional. The biggest reason was I got to thinking that we are leaving Barry behind. He is buried in the woods along side another horse he used to go out with. I almost feel like I have lost him all over again. Crazy I know. He is with me where ever I am at.

I found his shoes while we were clearing out the place. That probably opened the memories. Combined with the emotional environment, I think it put me over the edge. The owners said we can come visit him though, which helps. Barry loved that farm and he has a great resting place.

Along with clearing the barn, I also made the decision to stop trimming Jenna. I had all intentions of continuing with her, but Gretchen thought I would be stopping since we moved. At first, I was going to tell her she was wrong. Then I thought about all the problems she caused us in the last few months and the negative environment. The little bit of money I earn would not make it worth the drive and frustration.

Now that the old is out, we can focus on getting the new in order. Show preparations begin this weekend, show next weekend and hopefully lots of riding to follow.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Fabulous Red Boy

This will be a short brag. Roscoe and I went for a walk/jog on trail. He was super. He walked over all the jumps that I led him over and he even went over ones I did not expect him to. At one point I was standing on the downed tree, rubbing him when he decided he could go over that log too. When I asked him to trot next to me while I jogged, Roscoe stayed with my SLOW pace. Mom worried about him acting up and hurting my hand since he has been questionable in the arena, but they were no problems. And to cap it off, he even went over the blue barrels. His split legged look was funny and I figured he would back off of it. Instead he rounded and popped right over. I guess the little man needed a change of scenery.
Here is a video of him trimming trees. He also enjoys battling prickers to get to raspberry leaves. Not sure I love the scratched nose look though.

And for those thinking the Red Boy was Comrade, he is doing great as well. Contact and Connection work is coming back to him with the addition of being more forward after all our pace work. I still can't do long rides, but I have seem improvement in my hand since I have been really conservative. Hopefully it is healed by the Welsh show next month.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Blog Hop: Where Did That Come From?

Every spring when DaVinci sheds out, I am amazed at the scars on his body. His previous owners bought him at auction, so his history is unknown. I can't remember if he had some of these marks before he went to CA or not.
One is really interesting. It is a diagonal line about 14 inches long going from his ribs up to his hip on the left side. Can you just picture what this looked like after it happened? Gives me chills.
Pardon my out of shape butt, we are working on it.
Look at about two inches down from his pointy butt and you will see where the uppermost point is.

I always imagine that claustrophobic DaVinci tried to escape by going under something unforgiving or rubbing on something sharp. Then he probably was not treated with medicines to help hair regrowth. Maybe he was trying to connect his freckles :) The mark does not bother him at all, but it always gets me thinking.
Our horses sometimes live crazy lives before they come to us. If only they could share their stories.

Anyone else have unknown scars or marks? Or even interesting ones.

1. Equinpilot

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Happy Trails

Life is still crazy, but we are slowly clearing the old barn. Sawdust has been moved over to Peggy's and this weekend my brother with his friends should get a lot more hay moved too. Since I can't do much in the way of packing, I told myself that I would make sure all the horses worked.

And I did too :)

To help me time wise, I rode bareback. DaVinci felt really good. He had a huge swingy walk and was stretching at the trot. I even cantered and he gave me the same pace both ways. He was funny because he could not figure out how to trot over the little x's. He kind of hopped in the front and trotted in the back. But overall it was a  solid ride.
Then it was Winston's turn. I definitely put the saddle on for him and made sure Peggy was on hand. He really handled the arena well, even with the dogs playing and loud noises in the area. When I felt like he had a solid walk, I got brave and asked for trot. Well, more of a jog. I used a tiny bit of leg yield to get his focus, but again he really was not fazed. I think he was really happy to get back to work. Mom rode him the next day too and with me on DaVinci, he went for his first trail ride. He was a tourist, but not a nervous one. Mom even let him lead at one point and he slowly worked it out.
Well, then I asked Peggy if she wanted to ride one of the girls for me. She picked Dottie. Dottie continued with her awesome trot she gave me last week. So I guess it was not a fluke. Rosemary and I really just tooled around trotting over the x's and poles. When she was warmed up I asked Larry if he wanted to get on. He was in a bit of pain so he just walked her around. You could see her taking care of him. Those girls love Larry. Then I got back on and we walked out on trail. Peggy walked Dottie over a bunch of wood piles. Rosemary happily walked by Larry, not caring that Dottie was way ahead. Mom and Peggy took them out again the next day for a trail ride too. I thought about riding Comrade for that ride, but DaVinci tripped earlier and really hurt my hand, so I walked it behind them.
Happy Trails

Finally later that first day I got to the red boys. Roscoe was so mad when I left. He though it was his turn. I tried to work him on the line, but holding the whip in my bad hand proved to be too much weight. Without my normal adeptness, Roscoe was getting away with doing movements wrong. I had to find a way to end on a high point and be done. He is too smart to work with when I can't keep the standards where they need to be. Mom put him through his paces the next day. She got some tips from Larry, who helps with Wounded Warriors riding program in our area. They use the Clinton Anderson methods and have soldiers who have been trained by his clinicians. It will be nice to have his discerning eye to help with Roscoe's training.
For Comrade, the ride was a reminder that he can move with contact. For the first time in 2 months, I shortened the reins and asked him to put himself together. His muscles more than anything had to work it out, but then it was not too shabby. I had to use some rein back when he got heavy and some lateral to get him straight, but his movement was steady. I had to call "Uncle" and give him to Peggy when my hand said enough. After Peggy let him know she meant business, he gave her just as nice a ride.
While I am not thrilled about the early mornings we have at Peggy's, the benefits are out weighing the negatives. The horses survived the rain after we juggled turn outs and the set up process is slowing moving forward. It was a little bittersweet to hear that one of the farms we had looked at to buy, sold recently. I have not given up, but it may be further in the future than I hoped. For now, we can enjoy our new situation.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Done Deal

3 stalls open and they end up in 1

Well life has kicked into high gear. My Dad decided that since the move has gone so well we should give notice. After checking with Peggy, he gave notice that day. Which okay saves us $200 next month, but leaves us trying to move 12yrs worth of stuff and 500+ bales of hay in less than 30 days. What makes it even worse is that my hand is still not 100%. Do you know how hard it is to watch 3 older people sweat while moving hay and you can't do anything? It got to the point where I tried to help. I was able to sort of carry bales. Stacking was a no go. Once the bale caught on a lower bale, pulling my fingers down which shot pain through the hurt area. They told me to stop and would not let me do anything the next day. Luckily my brother, who does P90X and tough mudders, came to help stack. That was great. Now we only have 300+ left.
This weekend I may say screw the finger and work through the pain so I can get some stuff packed. The doctor took xrays this week and confirmed there is no bone damage. The pain will hopefully subside over time. I don't have to tape my fingers anymore which makes me feel better when I ride. Those fingers sticking out made me have visions of broken parts if a horse did something. Now I can make an almost closed fist.
The horses are doing great. We have had some interesting moments between Sonny and Roscoe when the girls shared a fence line. Sonny is dominate to Roscoe and charges him when the girls are near. At one point he had charged Roscoe and was then faced with dodging Rosemary's heels when she came at him. Nobody is allowed to go after Roscoe when she is nearby. Such a good mother. So now we make sure the girls only share a fence line with Sonny and not both of them.
Riding/work wise all but Winston have worked twice in the last week. Dottie is like a different horse, I did not even need a whip when I rode her. She happily trotted over low x's. I am so excited that my horses will finally get into shape. Roscoe has had some mental exercises, namely learning how to stand in the stall with his door open. Peggy has no stall guards so he really has to learn not to go out the door until asked. I open the door and when he steps any part of his foot onto the cement, I tell him to back up. Then he inches up to the door way and waits nicely. I stand further away, open the door wider and take some pictures. The camera clicks seduced him into stepping onto the cement, so back I had to push him. Eventually he cocked a leg, yawned and chewed about 6in inside the doorway. Lesson success for the day. He did have to have a refresher yesterday, but he remembered quickly.
Thinking Hard :)

Camera Seduction

When we are more settled I will take some pictures of the place. Peggy says she enjoys having a full barn again.