Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Roscoe and I are Inadvertant Liars

 Sadly we lost our trainer again to a move to Texas. But she helped Roscoe and I figure out leg yields and get us into First level. So I had to pick another trainer from those at Sprieser. I chose the newest trainer which turned out to be a good choice since the other trainer left soon after. 

I braced myself to see if this trainer could handle my low budget needs, recovering muscles and lack of skills. With all the shows a lot of the lessons focused on prepping for the tests. She was interested in how we did. Plus I texted to say he felt tired at the show after a lesson the same week and she immediately said she would think of how to up his fitness. It really felt great to have someone invested in our training.

In November we started digging into his movement and teaching him to half halt and sit. It was seriously rough going. I was getting to the point of wondering, Is it me or is it him? I finally asked Karrigan if she would get on him and see where he is at. If we are going to move up, we need the insight. She said yes and we planned it for the next lesson. 

I rode for the first 10min and then she got on. Roscoe is always a bit up when we first get into the indoor.

Me and Roscoe part 1

Me and Roscoe part 2

 We had to stop at put a half pad on him, since his saddle had gone too low. As she rode she was like "Wow he has no outside rein," " Wow you two are good liars," "He is really fun to ride." Roscoe and I certainly did not try to hide anything, but I guess we were indavertant liars. 

Karrigan riding Click the left arrow to go through the videos of her riding. I had to chop them up to send them from mom's phone.

The take aways:

He needs to be lower in the base of his neck. I have to work on lowering the 6in in front of the withers.

He needs to be truer in the contact. He will put on a pretty frame, but he avoids the bit.

I have to sit into him at the canter and he has to learn to keep moving.

She can get him to do lateral work no problem. Definitely me holding that up.

She gets along with Roscoe, so I don't have to cringe when she rides.

Roscoe and I worked our butts off on the canter and the truer contact in the time since that ride. I feel like I am learning to canter all over again.

Luckily at our lesson this month Karrigan saw a difference. Good thing too since Comrade decided the friesan having a lesson prior to ours was going to eat him and proceeded to spook, blow air and prance around making everyone tense. Ah well hopefully we can keep the progress going during the winter.

Friday, December 18, 2020


 October brought the last two shows for our local series. For these I added First 2, with the hope that the first test would get him settled. 

As with previous shows Roscoe got a bath the night before. An though he normally gets over it, I put the hated fly boots on his hind legs to protect his white. Well this time he decided to be a total tool about those boots. Long story short we prevailed in removing them, but there were injuries on all parties. NEVER AGAIN!

Needless to say I worried how the show would go. Super it turns out. I think Roscoe was really ashamed of his morning antics and wanted to be good. We still have plenty to improve. This was our best First 1.

The second test was nerve-wracking for me because of the leg yields. First time they were judged and my pony did well. We lost some angle going right because I felt like I would hit the rail too soon. To the left we had the angle but lost some forward.  After those I could breathe and deal with the canter. We had a great final halt and I gave Roscoe a big hug. The judge said he earned it.

I don't want to have stressful, injury filled show mornings to get scores in the seventies but redemption felt good.

The second show was less successful in scores but he listened to half halts. That was something we worked on the lesson prior to the show. Roscoe was a bit tired too, both caused a break in the canter. I gave points away to keep him moving.  This was a tough judge so our two 65 were okay with me. Now Roscoe and I are trying to better our fitness and improve our canter. It feels like we are learning to canter all over again. 

Well even with a short season and a new level to challenge him, Roscoe pulled off earning the First Level champion. Our journey is slowly progressing, the pony is happy and I'm healthier. What more can you ask of a year like 2020.

Roscoe says "take this 2020!"

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Third Times The Charm...Or Not

 Roscoe and I have completed two more First 1 tests after the June show. I have been working on the Foal pool prize so that is why I am so behind on my posts.

 The August show I was actually feeling good, had ridden my horse prior and taken a lesson. On show day it was hot. I thought I had the right amount of warm up. Then in the ring, pony boy seemed lazy. We actually broke rhythm twice. Plus a year off has caused me to lose my comfort in the ring. My spacial sense was off. We managed a 64%.

For September I was determined to fix myself and hopefully do better. I asked to have my lesson in the outdoor dressage ring so I could start to gain my comfort back. We also put Rosemary's saddle with a bigger tree I on Roscoe. The lesson went well even though I am late most of the time on my requests to him. 

I was feeling good about the show. Roscoe was his typical idiot self the morning of, but we arrived only a little late. I planned a short warm up which was bad. Cool weather brought out the goblins. Roscoe acted like he had never been off the property. And hey, he is fitter so he can be stupid for a longer period. 

As in, the whole test. He did not settle in as he normally does. And of course we rode in front of the judge who gave us the 68% in June. She knows we can do better and we ended up with a 62%. Somehow we got third in our group, fourth out of the seven first 1 tests. Not going to lie, it hurt. 

So time to make shows boring again for both of us. I have two shows this month and will attempt two tests at each. My trainer wants me to do recognized shows next year to work towards getting the 2nd level scores Roscoe needs to be approved. Can't even believe that is now a possibility. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Catch Stallion

A big part of the equestrian world is chance. Taking a chance, getting a chance and giving a chance. So I try to give Roscoe all the chances he can get.  Many riders have gotten their start as catch riders, filling in when there is a need. Roscoe is a catch stallion. He is not normally the first choice. I am not a breeder and don't have my own farm, so he does not immediately come to mind when people are looking for stallions. He and I work with recommendations from other breeders.
When they cannot help with a mare owner's needs they send them my way. I do everything I can to be accommodating. Most have already tried another stallion or the stallion they had in mind backed out. So I work with our collection center to pull off same day collections and last minute visits. I provide all the information about Roscoe I can. It helps that he provides quality semen at the upper end of normal and that I can honestly say he has received no negative reviews. Even the three mares that did not get pregnant did not blame him.

These breedings always have a chance to promote repeats and are worth the effort. Tawe is a prime example. Her first breeding was because the prior stallion was not available and Roscoe filled in. Ever since, she has been bred to Roscoe and produced quality foals.
I am really excited this year since a breeder who produces quality Cobs has used Roscoe for two of her mares. One was a last minute addition and after two breedings she is pregnant. Her dam was the other mare, but she did not settle. The other mare bred this year did not settle either. I felt bad for her owner. They spent a ton of money trying to get her pregnant. This is the second time she did not with Roscoe as she was bred once before with a different owner and the breeding transferred to the new owner. Surprisingly, she wants to try again in the spring. 
Next year could be busy for Roscoe with two rebreeds and a number of breedings people have not used yet. But at least there will be one Roscoe foal next year.

And here is Tawe's 2020 colt, Aderyn Du Flyboy. He is a super friendly boy.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

In Her Own Time, Tawe's New Colt

On the 14th Tawe's milk pH showed she was not ready to foal. Some people even said she probably had a week.

Well instead at about 330am , Tawe's preferred time, on the 16th she decided it was time. Her breeder missed the birth. I checked my phone as soon as I woke up, but no message. As I was leaving the house Mom said there was a notification on Facebook about the birth.

Tawe has a new colt! He is black with a star and stripe and snip,  two front socks and two rear stockings. Is he not a cute boy?

This was another close foal pool. The winner is Liz! Send me an email at so I can send your RW gift card.

And the damn close RW gift card goes to Teresa who was only a day off.

The grand prize cross stitch goes to Teresa! She scored 39 points between the two pools to take the overall win. Let me know if your email is still the same.

Here is Chanel's Colt, KML Mischief Managed, Manny

Fingers crossed that some recent breedings result in some pregnancies and we will have another pool next year.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Dancing Shoes

I am finally recovering from my downturn after Rosemary. It is amazing how weak you can feel after not being able to eat. But there are things that only I can do at the barn, including trimming feet. All the cobs were due, so I divided them between the days. First up was Roscoe.
I had two pairs of Rosemary's shoes that are too big for DaVinci. I made the decision to see if they would work for Roscoe. He has great feet, but he is a wimp about the rocks. He also has some really round feet which required me to open the shoes enough to accomodate. Bless my pony, he stood in the cross ties while I had to tweak the shoes over and over. I slipped once and hit my thumb holding the shoe. Thankfully I did not cripple myself and could finish the job. This was the first time I had done the intial shaping of the shoes all by myself. My farrier helped me start Rosemary.


Then came the fun part of nailing the shoe. I held my breath to see how Roscoe would be. I loved Rosemary dearly, but she did not appreciate her shoes and made it difficult to nail. Roscoe on the other hand acted like he had been shod his whole life. I always feel more confident once the toe nails are in and the shoe is set in place. The other nails tend to be easier. Another first for Roscoe and I, and another success. He is literally filling his mother's shoes, and rocking some new dancing shoes.
Sadly, I nearly cried as I walked him out of the barn to turn out. Dottie started calling, because the only one besides her and DaVinci to clip clop was Rosemary. She is still grieving and I really wish she had the chance to say goodbye. Mares can be so tight.

I finally managed to crawl on Roscoe this week to see how he felt with the shoes. He does not seem effected by the shoe weight and his movement is not changed. He is much more comfortable walking on the rocks, so I am happy I made the choice.
And I did get the other two trimmed. Three down, three to go. Now let's see if I can handle the vintage guys. My farrier retired and they are on my to do list. He helped by changing Dottie's shoes to the same kind everyone else wears. If we could get a break from the heat that would help a lot.

Meanwhile baby #10 is filling out really well and is really fun to watch. Here is KML Mischief Managed:
Watch this to see his opinion about wearing a halter. He also tried to roll to get it off. The wait is on to see what Tawe will have.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Trust Your Training

Roscoe and I worked really hard this year to take on First Level. Luckily I did not lose training time due to Covid, but I did have a UC flare that derailed me a bit. New medicine helped get that somewhat worked out, so I made the leap and signed up for a show. Little did I know my wheels were about to fall off.
Losing Rosemary knocked me back health wise. I started to feel hungry, but then eating would make me want to throw up. Ugh and the cramps were the worst. My energy level dipped and Mom started doing more of the work. I was still determined to do my show. It changed from a Sunday to an evening Saturday, which gave me a day to recover before work.

My only worries were what I would wear and if I would be able to do Roscoe justice. I did have a moment of maybe I should back out, maybe ask Kelly if she could ride, but Roscoe and I have done our 'firsts' together and this was one of the biggest. I did find some pants that were a little big and some boots that were not falling off.  The other worry would have to wait and see at the show.

My Mom was my hero. She pulled his mane, bathed him and loaded the trailer. Roscoe was his normal drama king self which I am used to. Sadly he popped a rivet on his name plate, so I had to duct tape it so he did not catch on anything. We loaded him saddled for the short drive and Mom bridled him before unloading. We were set.
As the first rider, I had the arena to myself for warm up. Roscoe, not having been ridden in ten days, was full of it. I had to work hard at redirecting his energy into a more productive gait. When I had him working, we played with our lengthening and our canter. He felt amazing! If we could have gone in the show right then, it would have been great. Sadly we still had ten minutes to kill and a big fancy horse had come into the ring. His rider ran into us at times. He did not seem very aware of who was in the ring. Well when I went to put Roscoe together for our test, the big fancy horse came up fast behind us and scared Roscoe. After that warm up was a battle to avoid the other two horses who were now out to eat little pony stallions. I called uncle since I had limited energy.

Unfortunately that meant that the horrible shoulder bulge which is Roscoe's default came out. We lost our bend. Our test was tough, but we pulled it together enough to not have to hide our faces. The sun came out and I was zapped. Roscoe saved us by remembering his training. I knew the test was not our best effort, but considering the circumstances, I was happy to have finished. We did not get comments at the end due to Covid. I made Roscoe carry me all the way back to the trailer because, I was done. The heat and lack of energy did me in. We sponged him off and loaded him up. I did not know if my test would be ready, but decided to walk over and check on our way out. Turned out it was ready and had a score I could not believe, 68.44%. The judge saw our lack of bend, but also took into account his energy and gaits. My tiredness effected my position, so I lost a bit there. I watched the test and decided that as bad as it felt, it came out better than that. I was not crazy to trust our training and make this debut. If we can do this when I am not all there, just imagine what we will have when we are both ready.

We would not know placings until Sunday, but I won just by doing the show. There were six others doing first level tests. I nearly fell out of bed this morning when the results posted. Roscoe and I won the TOC First Level and had the high score of the show. I thought my score was because it was a judge that likes Roscoe, she gave us our tens two years ago, but maybe just maybe we are doing better than I thought. Roscoe does not get the recognition he deserves for being the amazing pony he is since I am not a well connected person in the horse world. But how many ponies can you ask this of and they deliver big time? I love my boy drama and all.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

It's a Colt for Chanel

This morning my phone pinged with a live video notification and I found this handsome boy had arrived.

The breeder really wanted one of Roscoe's illusive fillies, but this boy is pretty fantastic. He has a super cute head and a great shoulder. He has three stockings and one sock, with a nice blaze.

Being born is hard work
So how did the Pool turn out...a tie.

To break the tie, I did a random draw. The winner is Betsy! Let me know if I send your gift card to the same email address as two years ago.
Keep your guesses coming for Tawe!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Fun Exercise

I see recommended exercises all the time while skimming FaceBook and other sites, but I don't always try them. For some reason this exercise from USDF Exercise of the day drew my attention. Maybe because we have been working on Roscoe's lengthening. The exercise consisted of Medium Trot/ Walk Pirouette submitted by Eliza Sydnor Romm.  Here is her description from the article.

I learned this exercise from Conrad Schumacher. Medium trot down the long side, walk before the corner, walk pirouette in the corner, back to medium trot, repeat, repeat, repeat! The walk pirouette engages the horse for a better medium trot. And the medium gets the horse active and in front of the leg for a better walk pirouette. When repeated, the horse begins to anticipate the medium trot while still in the pirouette, making them think forward. And they begin to anticipate the walk pirouette at the end of the medium trot, making them bring themselves back without the rider pulling too much!

Video of three levels of horses doing the exercise included in the article.

When I played with Roscoe, he responded immediately and the anticipation was there. He is sticky turning to the left, but he still did a engaged trot. I was pretty impressed with him. I did this as a warm up and it helped the rest of his work. His front end lightened up and he had some great push from behind. The exercise could be adapted for a lower level horse by using a turn on the haunches into a gradual lengthening. This is how I started with Roscoe. It is a simple yet effective exercise. And it was fun too. I enjoyed seeing his progress.

I even tried it a bit with Comrade. He decided canter was an easier option then a big trot, but even he eventually settled with repetition.

 Happy foamy mouthes for both boys!

And the foal countdown continues! There are a few more days for Chanel's pool and another week for Tawe's. 
Bottom pick is the most recent...

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Foal Pool Reminder

Hey, only two weeks left to enter. The breeder posted a picture of Chanel a day apart and she may go sooner. I don't have any idea of her history.
So her pool may end early, guesses can be made/adjusted until next Friday.

PS thank you all for your comments about Rosemary. The vet called Tuesday night and said her culture came back negative for bacteria. So nothing would have helped and we did make the right decision. Mom and I still hurt, but are lighter with that knowledge.

Monday, June 15, 2020

A Fall From Hope, Farewell Rosemary

Life can change in a moment especially when you own horses. A couple weeks ago Rosemary had some swelling between her front legs. It looked like what happens when a kick to the chest drops down. I decided not to ride her in case it bothered her. As the weekend progressed I noticed she also had fluid retention on her belly. I had a niggle of worry. DaVinci has that on his belly from his heart mummur. Rosemary had a cough, but with her history of breathing issues, we took that in stride. Then Sunday into Monday she had labored breathing. On Tuesday she received PEMF treatment and seemed to feel a bit better. But on Wednesday she stumbled into the stall for breakfast. Mom could actually video her breathing it was so bad. The vet said he would come after he saw the video. I was totally stressed at work as I waited.

It turned into almost full blown panic when Mom said she had to go to the vets because she had a temperature and fluid around her lungs. Of course thanks to Covid, Mom could not be with her at the vets. They came back with plural pneumonia and a 50% survival rate. We had to wait for labs to determine the cause/type. Mom and I both kicked ourselves for not calling for help sooner and worrying that we caused it with her nebulizer. The vets continued to battle her temperature, ice her feet to prevent laminitis and monitor the drain tube. That first day they took off four liters of fluid, which helped her breathe easier. The tech would bring her bananas for a treat. They were leaning towards bacterial and we began to hope.

Thursday the check up call began positive, but guarded. Our biggest worry was how to pay for the $12000 treatment. I began to research borrowing against my 401K. Then there was a fall from hope with one phone call. What seemed treatable, became devastating with the diagnosis of cancer. Trying to drive home while crying with Mom on the phone was a trial. So not fair to lose our just turned 13 yr old fun and sassy girl. Of course now we wonder if all her issues over the last year  or two has been this brewing.We had to wait for the vet to call on Friday. It was a long tearful wait.
Peggy and I took Roscoe to a collection in the morning. It was touch and go as to whether Roscoe would let me catch him in the stall. He did not know why I was so upset. But he had the best collection to date. The vet even asked if I switched stallions.  I had to distract Peggy with politic talk to keep her from crying all the way home. One of us needed to be able to drive. It was heartbreaking to pull up to the barn and hear Dottie call, thinking Rosemary had come home.
Mom finally got the call from the vets in the afternoon. We would get no miracle. Rosemary had mesothelioma and treatment was not an option. Plus our cob girl was losing her appetite. We arranged a time to go be with her. Rosemary was burning up and the swelling was increased. She was so uncomfortable. We spent over an hour grazing her and giving her treats. She did relax a little, but could not really stand still. We knew it was time. This was honestly the hardest  to watch because of her discomfort. She went quickly almost even before the second syringe. Nearly 10 years of sassy pony girl lost in a moment.  We had no other choice. but it hurt. I could not handle her going in the ground so I pushed for cremation. She comes home on Tuesday. On top of the vet bill, it is not the cheapest option, but it was the one that worked. We will figure out finances later.
The barn does not feel right without her. So much of how we ran the barn revolved around her. So hug your ponies tight. Life can change so quickly. Off to cry some more.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Status Check

Well things are beginning to open up again... including shows. So I began to think about finally making our First Level debut. I wanted to do a status check. In April I had a UC flare up, that scarely escalated enough I called the doctor. Since I know how bad it can get, I wanted to get this figured out. I could not afford to pay for the lab work to immediately tell if the medicine was working, so the doctor put me on two more medicines. So far they seem to be helping, but the down time knocked me off my riding schedule and exercise time.
I was really pleased when I rode Roscoe and found he was ready to work. I glanced at First 1 and did a light warm up. Then we rode the test. I still have to think hard about where the letter RSVP are in the arena, but we did an okay test. I will need more warm up to wake him up and pick him up a bit more in the front. I am a bit more confident about possibly doing a show in June.

The fence helped video the test.

The next day Roscoe asked to work again. I love that he wants to play. This time after we did our long and low warm up, I picked him up to work canter. We have been trying to work on straight and stepping under. He tries for me and sometimes we get some really nice movement. Mom worked with us on our lengthenings. She had me do shoulder fore around the bend and breathe into the diagonal. Then I let him go long and low before picking him up again. Our last pass he stretched and used his engine.  Big difference.

I also managed to get some leg yields on video. We just might actually be able to do first level.
Don't forget to get your guesses in for the foal pool!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Adventures With Ember

Mom has had more time off at the same time as me during this time. So we have taken the time to put some work into Ember. Ember has redeemed himself since the bucking bronc impression. We started by opening up the arena so he had more room. Before each ride I lunged him, with a butt strap and with side reins. It was fun to watch him figure out how to carry himself.

Then I would ride him for about ten minutes. As he has improved and become more comfortable, I have been able to put the dressage saddle on him and attach the reins to the bit. He was quick to bulge out his shoulder, which made working on turns difficult. Finally one day my Mom told me to drop my inside rein. Well Ember had nothing to pull against and he actually stopped bulging. So he will teach me to let go of the inside rein. Our turns are getting better since we figured out that trick.
The only other change we have made is we put a straight happy full cheek on his bridle instead of the three piece. He seems to be happy in it and it is a little clearer to him.

We have expanded his riding to include another horse in the ring. First we did Rosemary, who keeps him honest out in the field. Ember quickly figured out that what grandma does, does not effect what he does. He was better about her moving quicker than he was and did not try to "play."

Comrade was the next to ride with Ember and that was a bit tougher for him. He really could not understand why he could not follow Comrade. Unfortunately Comrade was NQR, so we ended the ride pretty quick.

Ember has also branched out to the trail. He did a solo walk with Mom walking with us first. Surprisingly he was really brave until we came across some roots sticking up off a down tree. But he settled quickly and I hopped off while he was good. Next we followed Rosemary. Again Ember was great and having a horse did not change anything. Then we went with Comrade. Can you believe it was the 15yr old that was the problem child? Ember took the lead and did not tell me Comrade was doing anything behind us. I made sure to get off him earlier after he was really good. I looked up to see Comrade acting like he did as a 5yr old, jigging away. The closer we got to the hill leading to the barn the more wound up Comrade got. Mom had to turn him away and then we put him behind Ember so he would not pull his "buck n run" trick he used on Peggy way back.
Overall Ember has been improving with each ride. We still have not attempted canter again. I would like him to be less spooky about the jumps before I ask. Well on Tuesday he decided he would canter off down the long side. I finally stopped him after the curve of the short end. Once I got my breath back, I put him to work. We worked a little on opening and closing his trot. And I even got a little side step out of him at the walk.

So our adventures with Ember have only impressed us. He is just like Roscoe and such fun to watch grow. He is almost to the point where I can ride him alone. Not bad for the pony we thought would need a pro to start.