Friday, May 7, 2021

Foal Pool 2021

 The promised Foal Pool post features a new mare this year.

Meet MHS Gypsy Jazz

Her as a foal

She is a 2016 Welsh Cob Bay Mare. 

She had a chestnut colt by Roscoe's grandsire.

Bred to Roscoe on 7/18

We actually tried breeding her mother too last year. Fingers crossed she takes this year. These mares are part of an established, well run breeding program and we are really excited they chose to utilize Roscoe.

Getting ready to do his breeding job

Same parameters as usual.
Basic: Date/Gender
Bonus: Color/ Chrome(head, body, legs)

Guess below until 6/1

Prize is $25 gift card from store of choice

Framed cross stitch.

Last years prize

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Say Yes To The Dress

 Ok I know I said the Foal Pool would be next, but this just happened so it jumps the line. Plus I needed another post because my bad news post was number 666, talk about coincidence.

Well Wednesday I had a long awaited lesson where I updated my trainer on Roscoe's issues and the need for a saddle. She mentioned that Sprieser was having a saddle fitter coming Friday and Saturday. Convientely Lauren Sprieser came in riding one of her fancy boys. She quickly agreed to fit me into the Saturday schedule. My pony is a hard fit and I really needed a used/demo saddle due to my finances. She was going to ask the fitter is she had anything close.

My lesson was the first time riding in draw reins. Roscoe was not sure about them, but quickly figured out he had to deal. He has a tendency to pop up in the transitions especially the canter. We worked on those with my trainer critiquing. 

Then at one point a different voice commented that the transition was better. Turns out while Lauren was half passing she blocked my trainers view, so she filled in on the commentary. Imagine being able to ride lateral movements and assess someone else's transitions. It was a bit startling to be watched, but at least we did not embarrass  ourselves. 

Afterwards I looked up the saddle fitter and the philosophy was different and refreshing. Here is one point:

The more complicated the horse’s back, the simpler your solution needs to be in order to work. Some horses are much more complicated to fit than others. In the face of weird body proportions, think sweatpants, not skinny jeans. Think generic horse- shape and please put the notion of “custom” way out of your mind.

I also figured out from the website, I would not be able to afford their saddles in new condition. No prices listed. So on Saturday we loaded a slightly confused Roscoe and went to Sprieser. He was even more confused to have his bridle on and go to the indoor, but not begin to work. He was really well behaved. It was a long process, two hours, filled with education and sinking feelings of what my pony has been going through with his current saddle.

He has had a hollow spot along his back that has worried me for a while. Turns out the saddle is curved so when he tries to lift, he hit the curve and was blocked. The saddle fitter tried a bunch on but they were not quite right. Roscoe is deemed a hard fit and needed a flat saddle.

Then Lauren brought out a brown saddle which had previously belonged to a dear friend of hers who passed away. The saddle was now being sold by a former Sprieser trainer. The fitter put it on his back and said "voila." I could not believe it was close enough to ride in and try. 

The goal is to make the saddle neutral for Roscoe, like a good pair of underwear. I felt a bit out of whack, it was a different feel. Plus my stirrups were a bit too long even though they are my normal ones. When I say the change was immediate, I mean right away in the walk it was noticeable. He was coming through the shoulder freely and stretching down. Even at the trot he stretched and was more open. Lauren, who has seen him a few times, could see the difference. At the canter, it was like a rocking horse. The fitter took some slow mo video and you could see him finally come through at the canter and lift his back. Sadly she had an iphone and could not send the video to my android.

Another telling sign of success was Roscoe stood square and did not immediately cock a leg. And he was quiet. They said I could take it for a trial, but I needed to know the price. I was having a total Say Yes to the Dress moment and worried that it would be too expensive. How could I walk away from that feeling?

 The fitter did the math and came up with a price and Lauren checked to see if I could make payments. I inwardly cringed at the price which was higher than I liked, but low enough I could swing. Once I agreed the fitter worked on fitting it to Roscoe. She does not believe he will outgrow this saddle and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

When we got back to the truck, we noticed the blue welt

So I said yes to the 3yr old Detente Spencer for $2880. By August it will be all mine. Fortunately the Bates Isabell sold today and will cover a payment and the stimulus check will be a big help.

Hopefully Roscoe's saddle saga is over. Now to save up money for Ember and for brown tack. All my stuff is black because I am a bit traditional. But just like you don't ride the color of horse, the saddle color does not matter either. I will learn to love red on red. At least it is a darker brown.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Wave Bottoms

 In life we have highs and lows like waves. Recently there have been a bunch of wave bottoms, so I decided to get them all out in one post. Most have following highs.

Well I mentioned after camp the repercussions were ongoing. When I rode Roscoe there was a bit more resistance than normal. Now if you have been following us for a while you know that he can object quite loudly when learning new things. As the objections increased, so did my doubts. Was I too in his face? Was I pushing too hard?   

So I looked forward to my next lesson and a trainer ride. The lesson was seriously rough with tons of attitude. My trainer forgot she was going to ride, so the fun was all for me. Roscoe was throwing his head around, bucking and generally not happy. The trainer thought he needed draw reins. Those scare me, since I have seen them abused in the past. Hopefully I can use them correctly with her help. Even with all the steps backward, she still thinks we can show 1-3 and 2-1 by summer, eek!

As we drove home Mom and I thought he was also in pain. She scheduled him and DaVinci was a chiropractic adjustment the following week.  

The next hit came when the saddle fitter checked my saddle. A big fat NO. The tree size will work, but the gullet narrows too much at the back. This probably caused some hard nodules to develop on both sides of his spine. Roscoe is a tough fit, short backed and wide. We went through all our Isabels and found one she was able to fit to him by way of a Mattes pad with shim pockets she filled with wool. So my Bates is for sale and I have to start saddle shopping.


Wondering why someone was kicking the stall

Then a week after the lesson, a collection was requested for one of the mares that did not take last year. We had made and canceled so many appointments by this point we were wondering if the mare would ever be ready. Roscoe seemed ready to go and did all the expected actions…but nothing came. The vet tried different things with the phantom and mare placement, but nothing. Eventually we had to call it a no go so he would not get sore. That was an awful call to the mare owner. Luckily she had some frozen she could use for the mare. Unfortunately that cost me $70 and we did have to do a trial run before his next collection which cost me $135. Fortunately Roscoe did provide the goods. I worried since the handler was a small female and he was way quieter than he normally is in the breeding shed. I think he had to realize he was allowed to be a stallion with her. The collection was pretty dang smooth. Never thought hearing the word "ejaculating" would be such a relief. Of course a few days later heading to a requested collection, the same mare owner called to say cancel. The mare had ovulated. Ah well now we are even.


After the lesson and collection drama, we were happy to have our chiropractor come the next day. She worked Roscoe over and did find an issue with his right hind. As she had him lift and flex his back he did not want to load the right hind. Fortunately after her magic, Roscoe was so much better. That afternoon he was doing stallion stuff and we told him he was a day late. His under saddle work was night/day difference. I had my pony back. Such a relief. He got Magna Wave the next Tuesday to help lock in the chiro adjustment. He is getting more frequent Magna Wave mini sessions just in case prior to collection or lessons. 

Happier Boy


The relief of Roscoe was numbed as we brought out DaVinci. For about four months now we have noticed an instability in his gait. He cannot really stand well for me to do his shoes. He even has to walk a bit as he pees. Mom saw him fall down after missing the railroad tie. He is not well, but nothing we could point at say “there, fix that.” Our dread was confirmed by the chiro vet. Most likely he has something neurologic going on in his neck. She said a vet would not hesitate to put him down that day. We are heartbroken, but will continue palliative care. Hopefully we can see the right time before a crisis point is reached. DaVinci has been better since the adjustment and acupuncture. Way more mellow than he has been in a while. He actually could stand still and pee. He got Magna Wave this week and we could tell he enjoyed it because he stood still.

Must be careful he doesn't fall

Somewhat improved posture 

 When I typed this post, I did not realize the biggest low was to come. My Dad had a heart attack. If he had done the typical male thing and waited to call 911, we would have lost him. Fortunately he did call, the rescue station is a mile from our house, the hospital about 15m, so when he coded hospital staff was there to provide resuscitation. Two visits to the cath lab, three stents and lots of stress later, he was on the mend. Three days in the hospital,  two days home and then an emergency room visit which showed additional issues, had us on edge. Now two weeks later, he is much improved. He and Griffyn have Magna Wave appointments together. They commiserate about their pain. 

You never know what life will bring. The wave bottoms make us appreciate the highs even more. A happy post will be next, 2021 Foal Pool.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Griffyn Update

 Well Griffyn has been a great sport about his injury and the multiple vet visits and treatments. He was a favorite between the vet techs. We had a balancing act between keeping him comfortable without getting him blocked up. Fortunately Magna Wave helped with pain enough to cut out the Codine.

His many bandage colors

 He received Magna Wave twice a week since the initial injury and the results were amazing.The vets were extremely pleased with his progress and lack of further infection. The necrotic tissue really could have been a big problem. I wish I had the picture my Mom and sister saw at the two week mark. There was a ton of bruising and the black covered each area. I do have a picture of the three week mark and the difference was noticable. It will be at the very end, so people can choose whether or not to look at them.

PEMF pad, perfect for a corgi

And now at the five week mark, he is free from bandages. We have to put antibiotic ointment on one area until it looks more like the bottom area. Since it is uncovered our friend added light therapy to the PEMF and we could see a big difference that night.

He sleeps well after a session

Griffyn is much happier even with his really bad hair cut because he gets to go to the barn again. Plus since we want him and Deliah right by us, they get treats when they come.

Hopefully in a couple more weeks he will be completely healed and it will be warm enough for him not to have to wear his blanket all the time.

See below for the pictures of the big injury.

three weeks
A week before the black was heavier on all areas, and the bruising was visible.

Five Weeks


Friday after PEMF and Light therapy

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

2021 Adult Camp Lesson Three

 Sunday brought an 830 am lesson with my trainer. I told her I took a hit to the confidence the day before and that Roscoe might be sore. The plan was to work on canter. Roscoe was a bit put out with my spur choice and decided to protest by not transitioning.

 We worked through that by moving him and suppling before tackling the tougher stuff…canter serpentine. He is getting smarter about the difficult stuff and will just change leads or break, so it has been a process. We started with shallow short curves which were improved since the last time she saw them. It took a bit of timing since a really nice Morgan gelding was having a lesson at the other end. We moved onto two curves. Right was okay, left is much harder.

Roscoe says this is hard

 She then added some trot lengthening where Roscoe thought he knew better. A discussion turned him into an inverted teenager before he finally attempted to do the exercise. His final one was probably the best of the weekend. I would not say he was a 100% at the lesson, but it was good for him to realize he can still work. At least I felt somewhat better going home.


Roscoe was thrilled that we were taking him home to a stall bedded deeply with sawdust. He has very specific standards. Once we unloaded the car, cleaned the trailer and put him out with the boys, we had a little time to chill out. Our Magna Wave friend was coming to treat Griffyn, who my sister was bringing, on her day off. It seriously pays to have her down the road. Since she was coming I asked if she could treat Roscoe again and hopefully help him recover better. She did and both red boys enjoyed the treatment.


Sadly the cavaletti lesson and other factors continued to cause issues in the weeks that followed. We had to call in the big guns. More on that later.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

2021 Adult Camp Lesson Two


Waiting... and admiring the muscle he has now
After the first lesson I was feeling good, riding the positive wave of my trainer seeing growth even after a month of riding only 5 times. My mom and I settled him into the stall, which Roscoe said did not have enough sawdust for a good roll, and then headed to the arena to watch the cavaletti lessons. This camp divided people into groups of three or four for four sessions. I though the lessons were ½ hour to 45 minutes, but they ended up being an hour… ish. Not going to lie there were a lot of poles and it was interesting. As we watched it got intimidating. The instructor was an event rider who demanded perfection but did not give much direction. I could see areas that would be hard for Roscoe and I due to our weaknesses and the fact that we had not cantered poles a bunch. But he and I normally enjoy cavaletti and there was a chance for jumps.

Sadly this lesson fell into the category of a bad choice.


The instructor could not stay within the scheduled times and went over a half hour the session before mine. So my 4:30  lesson did not start until nearly 5:00. And yes we stood around with tacked ponies for that half hour. The lesson started well with working trot over the poles and finding our spots. Then she had us work one at a time doing canter circles over the single poles. That was not bad, though we missed some of our spots. What was tough was her directions were hard to follow. I remember dressage tests and jump courses, but could not get her directions.

The next step added a curved bounce line of poles. At the trot Roscoe wanted to cheat and we worked to get it right. At the canter to the left we did better than I expected. 

The bad choice really became apparent when we switched directions after 15 minutes of standing. I should have insisted we start with the lowest setting, but she had it rolled to the middle height. Going right is when I lose his shoulder when we are stressed. Needless to say we jumped over the end of the cavaletti and had major misses. I tried counting which the instructor was big on, we missed. She said he was going too fast and I was messing him up. Confidence direct hit. I approached a couple more times and passed the poles not comfortable with the probable outcome. She said if you pass again you will never get him through. I got him through, but without watching the video I can’t even remember how it went. I was beaten and done. I kept apologizing to Roscoe for choosing to continue this lesson and put him in a bad spot.

I was the happiest when it all ended, sad to say.


The next time I have a bad feeling about something I am going to refuse to do the exercise. It was overly ambitious to do for a second lesson with horses that may not have ever done such specific work. Unfortunately, Roscoe felt the effects of the lesson the next day and is even still be dealing with something now. Roscoe got a ton of treats and his dinner. Mom and I still had to get to the barn and feed the rest of the herd.

  I don't shy away from sharing the good, the bad or the ugly and all of these apply so I included all the videos except the early flat minutes. 

The next morning I was so glad not to be riding with the cavaletti instructor which was the normal camp setup. My trainer changed it around so that her students rode with her. My mom and I did mention that we did not think the cavaletti lesson was suitable for the situation and the lack of punctuality was a problem. Turns out we were not the only ones to say something. I am the kind of rider that puts a fair amount of trust in the clinician to guide me to have the best ride I can in that moment. That does not mean it has to be perfect, but if I or Roscoe do something wrong, I would hope for direction on how to fix it. I am still kicking myself over this lesson.

Monday, March 22, 2021

2021 Adult Camp Lesson One

 February turned out to be a total bummer of a month for riding and a bit for life in general too. So I looked forward to a weekend of riding at Sprieser’s camp to close out the month. Roscoe and I both had our Magna Wave PEMF therapy on the Tuesday before and we were supposed to have a saddle fitting on Thursday . Well the saddle fitting got put off to March, very sad, so I was going to work that day. That plan changed though.

On Wednesday my Mom messaged saying she had to bring Griffyn to the emergency vet. For the sake of friendship I can’t go into details about what happened, but he suffered a severe injury. My poor mother was traumatized and our small animal vet was not able to take him, nor any close by. My parents had to take him over an hour away to receive treatment. I went to the barn to take care of the horses and pick up Deliah. When I made it home, Griffyn was there pumped full of pain meds and looking like Winnie the Pooh in his red vet wrap shirt.

Poor puffy puppy

 We were in a wait and see mode as to whether he needed surgery to remove necrotic tissue. I immediately contacted my PEMF friend and asked to schedule a time for him the next day. She was great and even came to the house. Griffyn received 20 minutes and looked less inflamed and my sister said he did not whine as much at night.

Inflamation way reduced

My what big feet you have

Needless to say the stress level was a bit high in our family. That made the weekend a little iffy for me tummy wise, but fortunately did not result in a full flare up. 

One day his name will be spelled right

Roscoe’s first lesson was with my normal trainer and had quite the audience. My trainer watched as we warmed up with leg yields on the rail and shoulder in. She could see improvement which is always good to hear.  She had us work on our lengthenings. He is getting better even though he tries to canter sometimes. In a few months hopefully he will resolve the urge. 

Then she threw something new into the mix, renvers. I have heard of them in a vague way and knew only they were a four track movement. Beyond that I was clueless. We worked it at the walk first. Beginning in shoulder in and then changing the bend and aids to ask for the renver. This was definitely easier to accomplish with the mirrors. 

When I went away from the mirrors it was a difficult to keep him together. We did have our moments of correct movement that felt amazing. Most of the time I felt like I was rubbing my head and patting my belly. Especially when we tried it at the trot. Going right we had to play with small bits at a time because he would get stuck. She was okay with 30 seconds of stuck, but no more than that.

To end the lesson we let him stretch at the trot.  This was a mental and physical work session. One lesson done, two more to go.

He just barely can look out the window

Dealing with the digs