Horse Life

Lame…Someone Is Always Lame

Yesterday the vet came out and cleared P to go back to work. She said he’d need a shoe on before he can really do anything, as one front shoe and one boot makes for unevenness. But I hopped on him last night anyway and we did a little 10 minute walk/trot, for which he was PERFECT.

T3
The Foot Hole on April 24th. All gone!

So naturally, this morning I got this text from BO:

T1
BO has been practicing with her bow to go hunting and I’m fine with her using P for target practice.

I mean…COME.ON.

T2

But you know what? Whatever. I’ve pretty much made my peace that P will not be my main competition mount any longer, so there’s really no pressure to get him back doing anything. Maybe I’ll text the farrier…maybe not (who are we kidding, we all know I will).

haha-sucker

 

Before I rode P last night, I rode C, who has now been sound for 4 days in a row. Last night I had to force myself to get off- he felt energetic and strong, which was quite different from when he arrived. He’s older so after talking with our vet and his regular vet, we’re putting him on Previcox just to make him extra comfy. But it appears the initial lameness he experienced was due to a stone bruise that is hopefully a thing of the past. If he can’t hold up to work, he’ll go back to his owner and I’ll be on the lookout for a permanent replacement.

T5
Best hill to build the booty

So after I got the text from BO about P, I was all, “At least I have C & S to ride.”

Web_Logo_FLW

Then I went to CrossFit…just like I do nearly every day. And we did lots of tall box jumps…of which I have done thousands over the past few years with nary a scrape. But today…today was the day my right leg was all, “JUMP!” and my left was like, “Nah, you go ahead.”

T4
There are multiple lumps and the whole area around the cuts are already bruising like a mofo. Just when it’s starting to get hot here!

So not only is my horse hobbling around like a cripple, but now I am also. And I had told myself that I would ride C every day this week to make sure he could stay sound and I had told BO that I would stay later at the barn tonight to ride S as well.

giphy.gif

So as not to scare small children (the Tiniest Dictator asked me if my leg was going to fall off), I’m wearing super loose fitting pants to work and every time fabric so much as brushes against the gash, I want to die. So how I’m going to put on breeches and half chaps on is beyond me.

tenor

Pray for me.

T8
Thinking I’ll just get the Tiniest Dictator to sub in for me.

 

 

 

 

Horse Life

A Future With P…or Should We Join the Circus?

I really loved reading everyone’s comments on the last post! I got quite a few texts/emails from some of ya and I seriously can’t tell you how much I appreciated being able to bounce ideas off of y’all.

I had originally included this post’s content in the Discussion Board post, but really…it needed it’s own post. It’s still messy and a bit all over the place because that’s where I am right now with this whole line of thought. Which drives me crazy. Sigh.

P is set for a re-check this Wednesday. At the vet’s request, I emailed her pictures of his foot last Friday and she made the comment that it looks great and he should be able to get back to work soon. Which should’ve been good to hear, right? But…it wasn’t. If anything, the closer he gets to being cleared, the more I’m finding I’m dreading it.

tenor

Of course the ideal plan is for him to go to Trainer B’s for awhile. Or at the very least, trailering him to Trainer B’s for rides, especially those initial jumping ones. But eventually I’ll have to take back over and, well, I sort of don’t want to. One guess why.

giphy

Awhile ago I wrote a post detailing how exactly my horse is so great. And it’s a loooong list…with literally one negative. The negative being that sometimes he stops at some jumps. And while I kept telling myself to just be grateful that my horse is so awesome in so many ways, the stopping really is a biggie. I love eventing and it’s what I want to do, but 2/3 of eventing is jumping. It’s hard to enjoy it on P because you literally have zero clue if you’re going to take off or not. He’ll pop over a Training level trakehner and then 5 minutes later, stop at a cross-rail. Every jump is a surprise with him.

giphy
All parties involved were shocked P went over this on the first try
giphy
ONE WEEK LATER

Now, I can’t pretend this is just P’s issue and I’ve had nothing to do with it. I’ve had P for just about 5 years now and this horse is so in tune with me it’s a little creepy. Looking back, he’s always been that way with me and while it’s so great in so many ways, I’ve made a ton of mistakes that I don’t know we can ever truly get 100% past.

21557574_10214210794723130_404596991007303846_n
Husband jokes that we share the same brain. He may not be wrong.

Conversation to every jump:

Me: Are you going to jump this?

P: Do you think I should? I’m feeling some hesitation on your part.

Me: That’s because I don’t know if you’re going to go. So are you?

P: I dunno. You don’t seem too sure.

Me: No, YOU don’t seem too sure.

P: No, YOU don’t seem too sure.

And on and on it goes.

14
And then we end up here.

See, re-starting a young OTTB wasn’t exactly new to me and I did a pretty good job putting a solid foundation on him. He was reliably w/t/c, cruising around small courses and had had lots of field trips to become a solid citizen off-property. But about a year and a half in, we reached a point where I had zero clue where to go next. Kudos to me, I know my limits and reached out for help. Bad on me, the people I paired us up with were not only not good for us, but pretty detrimental. The result was a devastating loss of confidence all around- I had no confidence in myself or in P, and P had no confidence in me.

 

wSD_sx.gif
And we literally had to start all over when Trainer B came into the picture

I think we can all agree that Trainer B has done wonders for the two of us, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. But having P out of commission for so long has seen me riding other horses and I have to say, those were some of the best rides ever. Take cross country. I LOVE cross country, but with P, I never knew what was going to happen fence to fence. The best parts of XC with him are the long galloping stretches between fences (because he’s AWESOME to gallop) and going through the finish flags, because then there are no more fences to stress over.

WHESJuneHT'18_3347
Finish flags = relief

When I took S in his first little HT I had a great time on him during the course because he’s the kind of horse who, while you do have to ride him confidently to all the fences, is pretty honest. As long as you don’t screw it up, 9/10 he’ll go.

S_BN_XC.gif
S’ first time on XC and he popped right over the jump that P got us eliminated at 3 months prior

When I took C in the HT a few weeks ago, I had an absolute BLAST. For nearly two years now, Trainer B has told me that I want to feel like I’m being dragged to the fence. It wasn’t until riding C that I finally understood what he meant. He gives you that feeling that he’s not only NOT going to stop, but that he really enjoys what he’s doing. And I want more of that.

1
During my course walk, I’d pegged this fence as one I’d have to kick and cajole P to. C hardly noticed it was there.

So that’s where the possibility of Horse #2 started. My budget will always be green, baby OTTB. And that means a horse who’s not show-ring ready and needs some time and work. Which gives me time with P (or time for Trainer B & P) and also takes some pressure off P. Because I put a lot of that on him and on myself.

P10 (2)
P’s face when you put too much pressure on him

I have a few different scenarios for how this plays out and I’m not even close to deciding which one is the most likely outcome. Some of it is out of my hands and only time will tell. But I’ll likely have to make some decision at some point and I’m dreading having to do so.

 

It’s entirely possible that P will come back and we’ll go on to do some great things. Maybe we’ll get back to where we were when the suspensory strain happened, and get back to Novice with a goal of Training. But it’s also entirely possible that we’ll have the same issues together and I don’t know if I really want to pursue competing with P if it’s going to be such a struggle and so mentally draining. It’s also a possibility that P reinjures the tendon (or a different one…horses, man) or won’t be able to physically hold up to jumping. I’ve already been sidelined for nearly a year rehabbing P and the thought of “wasting” another stretch of time only to find out that this isn’t going to work makes my skin crawl. It’s the Type A in me.

P1
Literally my marriage summed up in cartoon form

If I were to give P and I, say, six more months to try out competing together and then finally had to face reality that it’s not worth it, I’d be kicking myself for having waited to start all over again. That would sideline me even longer while I searched for another horse and started back over from the beginning.

A 4 year old baby P learning to go through puddles:

 

Now, let’s say Horse #2 is coming along, but surprisingly, P is as well. That would be the best possible outcome here, as riding P at a higher level would only give me more tools with which to use on another horse. And I have to say, I wouldn’t hate the idea of competing 2 horses. Multiple XC rounds? Sign me up.

giphy.gif

Now, I definitely have thought about how badly it would suck if I were to have 2 horses injured at the same time. Hello, that literally happened when C arrived a few weeks ago (though it appears to be resolved so we’ll see how he holds up through this week), and it was no fun. It was also no fun when I broke my ankle running inside of a gym and had to be out of the saddle for 12 weeks. Things happen. Believe me…I know that all too well, but I still go to the gym.

2
When I went rogue and rode him in my air boot. Oops.

There are two main things holding me back from actually wanting to buy another horse, though.

Number 1: The possibility of having to get a new saddle. Yes, seriously. Saddle shopping? I’d rather run a mile barefoot over Legos.

ebNBXGt

Number 2: That I won’t like a new horse as much as P. For how much I hate P’s stopping, I love everything else about the horse. You simply can’t beat his personality. If I could shrink him, I’d bring him home to live with us in the house.

2
Definitely a huge part of the family

For me, the time it would take to ride/train/care for 2 horses each day was what I initially felt would be my biggest challenge. But after what Bree commented on my last post about having two, with one preferring a more easygoing lifestyle, taking the leap and getting another may actually turn out to be a good balance, with all hopes and dreams and plans not being pinned on just one unsuspecting equine.

t
P would honestly most likely be at peak happiness if he and T-Rex just ran off and joined the circus

So I’m really no closer to a decision than I was a few weeks ago when I first started thinking about it seriously. There are a couple of nice horses on the market right now, but there will also always be more down the line. Right now I just need to get through this week to see what the vet says about P and how old man C holds up to some actual riding.

 

 

 

Horse Life

Discussion Board: Multiple Horses

It finally happened.

-What-meme-12129Husband cracked.

Cracked-Egg-Funny-Picture

You see, I’ve been hopping on FB a bit more than usual lately and I pretty much just have 2 profile pages that I go straight to. Both are well-respected OTTB re-sellers, including the one I got P from, and both have a fairly steady stream of drool-worthy horses in their barns.

There’s one for sale right now that is the absolute spitting image of P when I got him nearly 5 years ago and I literally CAN’T. EVEN. I think I’ve watched his video perhaps 10,000 times. Some people see babies and want a baby. Not me…but give me baby TBs any day.

1513659_10203866195795260_6828661816681604235_n
Waaaay back when…to a time where I didn’t want to feed him to the lions.

So anyway, last night I mention to Husband that I talked to the seller of Pilgrim 2.0 to get some additional info, and Husband was all, “Cool, see what Trainer B thinks.”

what-trickery-is-this-Which I totally didn’t expect. Then Husband started talking about PPEs and the like, and I was all, “Woah, slow your roll. Nothing’s happening just yet.”

tumblr_lx38xdeG6v1r8058ko1_500

See…I’m not a very spontaneous person. I struggle with making decisions because I need ALL THE INFO. Then I need to dissect, analyze and interpret the info. Then I need a drink (or ten) to close down the dozens of internet-like tabs that are open in my head. It’s a problem.

untitled

So all night I was just thinking about the possible consequences of adding a second horse. And some alternative routes I might take, depending on what happens with P.

And I have no answers.

The Bad: I work full-time and have 2 kids, with a Husband who is frequently out of town, so time is something I don’t have a lot of. On days that Husband is gone, one ride is the max I’m getting.

Even on days where I don’t have to leave the barn early to get kids, it would still be hard to fit in two. Horse #1 from 5-5:45, then Horse #2 from 6:15-7, then home by 8? Not always possible, considering I do like to do things like eat dinner and sometimes see my family.

1

So if I were to settle on one horse per day during the week, that’d be Horse #1 getting 3 rides and Horse #2 getting 2 rides, then possibly getting both done on weekends?

Reasonable? Sure. Doable? Hmmmmm.

The Good: Uhhh…having two horses to ride is better than not having ANY horses to ride. Duh.

The Bad: 

82fb2a16dd2bbb10491fcb67217d92a0

If you’ve ever read my year-end blog posts where I insanely add up my annual expenditures, you know I spend a small fortune on the one horse I have now- the biggest expenses being board, lessons and showing. Obviously board would just double, but what do y’all multi-horse owners do about lessons and shows? Alternate or take both?

Another bad: Husband literally JUST built me living quarters in my 2 horse trailer, which means I use the 2nd stall in the trailer for equipment. Would I need a new trailer?

I can already feely myself start to spiral, just typing this out.

giphy.gif

The Good: Still having two horses to ride. I feel like I’m repeating myself here.

Those are just a couple of the thoughts swirling around in my brain. I’m sure I’m leaving out a whole host of things, good and bad, about dual horse ownership.

So- do you have, or have had, multiple horse? What are the pros/cons? If you don’t have multiple horses, would you ever? Why or why not?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horse Life

P: His Future As Lion Food

After a couple glasses of wine (ok, maybe a bottle), I texted the following to Husband:

1
Hence why I don’t often get on FB- it is DANGEROUS

I don’t know what I actually expected in response, but it quickly turned dark. I’d blame the wine, but I’m totes sober right now and still feel the same way.

2
Maybe I’m joking. Maybe I’m not.

See…besides being an idiot in the pasture and injuring his suspensory in August, thus forcing me to rehab him for 6 months, and then subsequently being an idiot in the cross ties in February and tearing a HOLE IN HIS FOOT, requiring multiple vet/farrier visits and special shoes, not to mention more time off, literally the ONLY THING I needed P to do was LEAVE THE SHOE ALONE.

no-touching

Whelp.

Clearly someone took off his listening ears

He ripped it off last Saturday, but AGF was coming out to do P and some of the other horses on Monday anyway, so I Magic Cushioned/vet wrapped/duct taped him, and put him back out. But not before snapping some pictures. And…? The FOOT HOLE looks BETTER than the rest of his hoof now.

P1
The Foot Hole is on the inside and the shoe damage is the outside. WTF P.

But check out the insane healing.

P12
March 4
P3_LI.jpg
April 8: No more exposed soft tissue and the sole has grown back rapidly

So AGF came out to see what he could do, but there was zero anything to nail a shoe into. Given P’s proneness to removing shoes, he didn’t want to glue anything and risk more damage, so I had to order a boot for him. No clue how long this is going to last, but it was $90 so if he damages it, he’s just out of luck. I’ll gladly amputate his leg myself.

P3
After AGF worked his magic. Now it just needs to grow, grow, grow.
The boot has lasted a week- 4 more to go

The one upside is that because there’s no shoe to worry about, he can be in a pasture vs the round pen.

P1
Out with a buddy for the first time in 8 months! BO chose Copper, who is in her 20’s and is the only horse who will put P in his place. Note P’s slightly scared expression.

But he’s still as happy as ever to see me, despite his freedom, and gallops to the gate whenever he sees me. Which sorta makes me feel guilty for so readily suggesting he’ll make tasty lion food. But only sorta.

On the C front, things have been a no-go. He was a little foot sore when he arrived, which may be due to the fact that his feet are mush from living outside in a wet field. He has extremely flat front feet, so I opted to wait to ride until AGF could check him out and possibly put him in pads. I say “opted,” but really I was swamped getting ready for my work’s fundraiser followed by an entire weekend filled with Spartan races, so even if I’d wanted to ride, I wouldn’t have been able to.

P4
A friend and I jumping over the fire to end the 8.3 mile Spartan Super on Saturday.
P5
Smiling now. A mere few hours later, I’d find out about P ripping off his shoe.
P1
Back on Sunday for the 4 mile Spartan Sprint with Husband and friends. Clearly this was before the race.
P2
Husband insisted on running the entire race (including obstacles) with THE COW BONE. It now resides in his office. Blech.

Anyways, AGF checked C out, put him in shoes 2 sizes bigger (C’s owner warned me the farrier she used back home was not the best…clearly), and did pads/EquiPak. C was starting to move better, even trotting to the gate, then suddenly went dead lame. Sounds like an abscess is brewing, so he’s on Bute and small turnout for now. If he’s not any better at the end of the month, his owner will be coming to get him.

P2
He’s better at selfies than I am

So basically nothing is going as it should. Story of horses, I guess.

P4
I need to blow this up and plaster it all over P’s and C’s stalls. Because COME.ON.
Horse Life

Foster Brother

I’m having a serious horse hangover today. Somehow I went from 0 horses to ride to 3. Well, 2.5.

Friday I was getting stuff out of my car, which was parked next to the round pen. I heard hooves and look up to see P just casually trotting around the round pen, trying to get my attention. Sound as can be.

2
Wut…I didn’t do nuffin

Challenge accepted.

4
Maybe a little shell-shocked. We FINALLY got to try out the PS of Sweden bridle we got from Megan!

This was the first time I’d gotten on my horse since February 23rd. Lined him up with the mounting block and prepared myself to get run away with. But…nothing. He waited until I got settled and asked him to walk, then we ambled around the arena.

3

Now…am I supposed to be riding? No. The vet had said he could go back undersaddle when his foot has grown out. But mentally, P needs something to do other than sit in the round pen by himself for 18 hours/day. He can’t go back in the pasture because of the mud, and that shoe absolutely has to stay on. And if P can trot and canter around the round pen, he can cart me around the sand arena at a walk for 6 minutes (which is how long I stayed on).

Then after those 6 minutes of non-excitement, I hopped on S for a bareback hack around the farm.

5

I’ve been back riding S for the last 2 weeks and he’s been super. After fighting (or playing…with S, who knows?) with a copper head and needing lots of time off to heal, he lost a lot of weight and muscle, but he’s packing it back on and feeling great.

6

He’s for sale, if you know anyone looking for a solid, safe horse! I’m pretty sure he wants to event.

Cabin
S’s first event at BN, where he KILLED it

And then Saturday….oh Saturday.

2791104267_8659e167b1.jpg

I hopped on P for a few minutes. Then did a dressage ride with S.

12
Finishing with a quick visit to P

And then…C arrived!

1
The C who could treats BN fences like speed bumps

Came off the trailer after a 6 hour ride, blinked a few times and walked to his new pasture like he’d lived there forever.

14
Why u staring at me? I haz grass to eat

Later I brought him into his new stall, and he immediately chowed right down.

9

He’s got some scratches on his hind legs, as his home was hit hard by all the rain and is quite muddy, but some Coat Defense will clear those right up.

8

Then after 8 hours at the barn, Husband and I went out to hang with some friends. I’ve been sorely lacking the in the social life department lately. Because…horses. Duh.

10
Love this guy who’s been cool about me paying for 2 horses

And among 6 of us, ordered 60 tacos. I wasn’t sure what the rest of my friends would eat…

11
Hugging tacos makes me happy

So the next morning, having gained about 15 lbs, I went out and rode S and then C. C and I just did a 20 minute light w/t/c ride, and finished with a hack around the farm so he could get to know his new digs.

13
C will become quite familiar with this hill in the near future

And ended our ride with a trip past P, who by now is used to seeing me on S but had no idea what to think of his bay replacement.

15
P: Who dis? Me: Your foster bro because you’re an idiot P: Oh. Right.

Then after that, I went home and Husband had added C to my Wall of Winning in our library.

16

C will spend the foreseeable future gaining a little bit of weight and building some muscle, then will hopefully be good to go for a spring debut!

giphy.gif

Horse Life

Quick P Update

In the excitement of actually doing a thing on a horse again, P has sort of been pushed to the back burner. Well, not sort of- he definitely has. There’s not much I can do with him other than bandage his stupid Foot Hole, then put him back in the round pen.

P1
At this point I’m convinced he’ll be in there forever

After P lost his special shoe on the 19th and the vet did a re-check of the Foot Hole where she declared it to be healing nicely, AGF (Almighty Genius Farrier) came out on the 21st to reattach the shoe. Then on the 23rd, while I was in VA, I got a text from BO that P’s special shoe had slid a little, along with the following picture:

1111111
Worried this clip will get embedded

I didn’t want to pull the shoe because the vet was adamant that he needed it on so he wouldn’t do any (more) damage to his foot or the structures around it, but I also didn’t want the clip to break off additional hoof wall. But AGF responded and said that as long as the shoe is tight, which it is, that the clip would be fine and the hoof wall is too broken to do anything else to. So cross your fingers the damn shoe stays on until we re-check on April 17th.

1111
Convo with BO. She gets me

Our bandaging routine for the last 4 weeks has consisted of me soaking a gauze pad in betadine, sugar and MSM, and stuffing it in the Foot Hole, then wrapping vet wrap and duct tape around it to keep it in there. The betadine keeps it disinfected and the sugar/MSM granules dry up the soft tissue. It’s been a daily part of my routine (yay for me), but in the past few days I’ve had an increasingly harder time getting the gauze pad in there, and then yesterday it just didn’t fit at all, despite me shaving it down to almost nothingness.

Because…

111111111
March 28th

Compared to:

P8
March 4th

 

I stopped using Keratex on it last week, as I wasn’t sure if the hardening of the hoof wall was contributing to the cracking of it, so now he’s just on his regular Pro-Elite Senior feed/balancer/hay, along with Double Strength Farrier’s Formula, and then gets the WunderHoof rub on it daily. I’m almost out of the tub of Wunderhoof, as I’m quite generous with the stuff, and will definitely be ordering more. I don’t know if that’s what’s doing the trick, but I’m not stopping it to experiment!

So that’s about all there is to talk about on P. He’s sound trotting and cantering around the round pen, and walks fine even over gravel and rocks. He’s definitely itching to go back to work and stares like a total creeper at me the entire time I’m riding S in the arena (which is below the round pen).

p2

When he is cleared to go back to work, which according to the vet, may very well be sooner than originally expected, I’m planning on sending him to training straight away. After the last 6 months of doctoring the horse, I’m ready for some time apart.

tumblr_inline_og5fqeuWGz1rkf363_500.gif

 

 

 

Horse Shows

Professional BN Rider Part Deux

So when we left off yesterday, I had decided that, despite having ridden this particular horse all of 90 minutes, I’d compete him at BN. Which yes, BN is the lowest of all the recognized levels and not exactly hard. But seeing as I’d completed 4 horse trials at BN/N in the last 12 months, I’m not exactly, uh, what you’d call a seasoned competitor.

i-dont-know-what-im-doing-here.jpg

Did I mention I had only jumped 2x since last October at this point? And maybe ridden a grand total of 7 days in the past month, since P broke off his hoof?

Did I mention the horse had sat in a pasture not doing anything for the last 3 years?

Yes? Ok, we’re all caught up.

be91e360505e91e174af3e9a0034b67efdf19a4a11892512dfd6034f5f34d0bc.jpg

So Sunday came and we loaded C up and headed off to Loch Moy. I’d never been there before but definitely want to go back. Their MDHT Starter Series is similar to Carolina Horse Park’s War Horse Event Series, where the courses/fences are what you’d see at recognized HTs, but for a fraction of the cost. #Winning.

I got on about 30 minutes before dressage and C came out ready to work. He felt great until he took a weird step as we tried to avoid colliding with a man who clearly didn’t care who or what was in his path, then took some head-bobbingly lame steps. And I thought hard about quitting horses forever.

200.gif

But after a minute or two at the walk, we picked the trot back up and C was just fine.

C8
Winning warm-up, so the potential is there

Still, as we circled around the arena waiting to go in, I was nervous that the lameness would come back and we’d get thrown out of the dressage arena, which is probably why I didn’t notice that I WAS ON THE WRONG EFFING DIAGONAL LIKE A BEGINNER.

PcevUk.gif
I swear I’ve ridden before.

From the little I’ve ridden him and the little his owner has told me, C’s canter is hard. The horse gets a break because he’s not fit, though, and I didn’t exactly help him by being on the wrong diagonal and not knowing him well enough to predict his reactions. So we landed the wrong lead in the first circle and when I brought him back down to fix it, C had, uh feelings about that.

Fj2rIW

The walk was slow and disconnected (something I’d already been warned about by his owner), and the right lead canter was very emotional.

s82ByG.gif

Afterwards the judge was nice enough to explain her scoring, but she definitely wasn’t a fan of C’s, and wasn’t a fan of mine until she asked if he was my horse and I said no, I’d only ridden him a couple of times. She changed her tone then, and said I was a good rider despite him being difficult with some upside down muscling, gave me some tips on things to work on, and we were finally set free. After that, I figured we’d score like a 70 (in penalties).

Suck_Again.0

But we scored 7’s and 7.5’s for the trot work, and 7’s for both centerlines (booyah), with a 7 for gaits and for rider, so that evened out our score to a 40.3 and put us in the very competitive position of last place.

tenor.gif

But…whatever. We stayed in the arena, he wasn’t lame, and who actually cares about a dressage score when there are jumps to be jumped?

untitled.png
I feel ya, C

Stadium was next and when it came time to hop on, I found myself with my usual knot of trepidation that comes along with SJ + an extra heaping of nerves that I wouldn’t be able to steer. The warmup was a zoo, so I just walked a few laps until it thinned out some, then popped him over the vertical and then oxer a few times. It seemed to go well until he did his whole, Right-Side-Is-Stuck-Must-Plant-Feet-Solidly thing when coming off the left lead, and I figured all hope of steering around a course was nil.

giphy.gif
How I predicted our course would go

Naturally the course started with a bending line off the left lead, so I planned to trot the first fence and take it from there. He either doesn’t have flying changes or is just not strong enough, so I figured if he landed on the wrong lead I’d trot the next fence, rather than re-enact the emotions he had when I corrected his lead in dressage. And I stuck to my plan- we had some really nice fences (including NAILING the TWO-STRIDE) and went double clear!

C6

C7

When I finally got him pulled up (we lapped the arena nearly 2x before I could stop him), I was honestly thinking of maybe just ending it there. I suck at stadium and somehow got this strange horse around clear while looking semi-decent, so why not end on a high note? But I really couldn’t make myself do it, and figured I’d pop him over a couple XC jumps and make a final decision then.

Because, ya know, I’ve never jumped this horse XC, and while I myself haven’t been on an XC course in 5+ months, he hasn’t been on one in ohhh, ya know, YEARS.

7cc.jpg

But again…YOLO? So I aimed him for the BN log warmup fence and he went over it with zero hesitation. Ok then. Let’s do the damn thing!

tenor.gif
C & I on the way to the start box

Since the first fence was so close to the start box, I figured I’d come out trotting instead of messing with his canter and then take it from there. Besides a biff at fence 3 (seriously, NO ONE took that fence nicely- everyone chipped and I was determined I could do better, but clearly not), and the part where he almost ran off with me past the water, he was an absolute machine.

C2
Clearly uphill fences are not even slightly a challenge
C4
Burning some rubber. Well, turf
C5
I think someone is locked onto the fence

And the helmet cam view! The last 3 fences of the course were ones that, during the coursewalk, I had targeted at those P would definitely have a hard look at. Check out C’s reaction to the speed bumps.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Capture.JPG
Note: I purchased this picture already and am just waiting for the photographer to send it to me, but couldn’t wait to publish this post.

And that clear round was good enough to bump us up a few spots so we could take home some satin!

no-other-than-me-winner-meme.jpg

Capture

C3
C got a ribbon and I got Taco Bell- then I took his ribbon #SorryC

And while that was awesome and all, one of the best parts of the day was meeting Emma finally!

C9

And realizing at the same time that we’re both terrible at taking interesting pictures.

C10
“What do we do? We dunno.” – Us, when told to do something funny

So looks like C will be heading down to spend some time with me starting this Saturday!

C12.jpg
Still not sure what to do with a plain bay…

 

 

 

 

 

Horse Life, Horse Shows

Professional BN Rider

We all know how long it took for me to eventually get P around a BN, right? ::cough cough:: 2 years ::cough cough::

giphy
I think this was attempt #3?
Jump16
FINALLY completing BN

Then I started riding S when P injured himself the FIRST time. And it was sort of a miracle that after only 4 weeks or so, I took him around his very first event at BN (and really only my third).

Cabin

Last month I headed up to VA for a weekend of riding ponies with my friend, and got to take her guy out for a spin:

C1

And after a day of flatting, took him to a little jump clinic where I jumped a few little fences for the first time since October 2018. We made tentative plans for me to come back up to VA in March to compete him at Loch Moy and then possibly bring him back with me to ride while P continues to recuperate.

But I had some serious doubts. I mean…I’d ridden the horse all of 60 minutes or so, not to mention the teensy fact that I’ve done nothing besides w/t/c rehab rides (when I could ride at all) for the last 5 months. Not exactly a professional here, y’all.

1111
Pretty much sums up all my recent riding history

So I made the decision to get there, ride him Friday & Saturday, then decide. He was already entered under his owner and the office said we could make a last minute rider change.

Here’s a little background on C: he’s 19 (but you’d never know), and my friend has owned him for about 10 years or so- she completed her first BN/N on him, and schooled Training, but said she could never put all the Training phases together to actually compete at the level. She bought a different horse 4 years ago, and C pretty much has sat since then. He briefly came out of retirement in 2016 when a friend tried to show him at BN, but they didn’t get along well, so back into the pasture he went.

So the horse hasn’t been to a show, hasn’t schooled XC, has now jumped exactly ONCE (with me in Feb) in nearly 3 years, and I think I can just saunter around a horse trial?

giphy.gif

Friday I hopped on, my friend set some jumps, and off we went. At this point, I was under the impression that my friend had worked him over fences at least a couple times, so afterwards when I found out she hadn’t jumped him at all, I was actually quite impressed with how he was.

C1

But he does have the tendency to bulge to the right and get sort of…stuck. He did it a few times off the left lead as I was turning to jumps, and it was a little un-nerving. I’m told that’s one of his quirks, which is totally fine since all horses have their “thing,” but it didn’t exactly inspire confidence that I could steer him around a SJ course.

C11.jpg
Not as fun as jumping

But I figured…YOLO, maybe? I really can’t explain why I decided to go along with competing him, but found myself paying the rider change fee the next day.

Shrug-Emoji

Waiting on some media…we’ll finish this story tomorrow!

Horse Life

Surprise Foot Hole Re-Check

Yesterday I went out to the barn for P’s daily bandage change. But when I cut through the vet wrap and duct tape, half of his uber special shoe flopped down.

200.gif
Literally my face when I realized the shoe was no longer attached

So after BO’s husband and I removed the entire shoe…

T4
BO calls us the “Farrier Dream Team” because we suck at farrier-y things

…I wrapped his stupid shoeless foot and might have gleaned the tiniest bit of pleasure in his obvious soreness walking back to his stall.

P3
Definitely won’t be doing this today

And P’s just plain old out of luck,  because AGF (Almighty Genius Farrier) had already told BO (who has a horse with a loose shoe) that he was booked solid this week. I do have a text in to him, offering to trailer P to him, but I’m also feeling fairly cold-hearted ATM.

giphy.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I went home and got in the shower with Old Faithful.

1
Luckily we have a bench and grab bars in the shower

 

The vet came out earlier today on an emergency call for another horse at the barn, so while she was out and P was barefoot, I had her look at P’s foot, even though she and AGF weren’t supposed to come back until April 1st to re-check and reset the shoe.

P11
March 4th
2
March 20th

All the soft tissue has gone back to the way it should be, which was great to hear. As the hoof sole and wall grow out, it will cover up what you can see, but there’s no more inflammation.

P3
March 4th
1
March 20th

She was surprised at how much growth has occurred in such a short period of time(maybe the Wunderhoof stuff actually works?) and said he should be back in work sooner than we thought.  She said we can skip the re-check on the 1st and just wait another 4 weeks, so that at least saves me some $$.

Now, here’s hoping AGF is able to squeeze P in to get a shoe back on! Until that happens, he’s BACK in the round pen, walking like he’s about to die.

tenor

Horse Life

Lying McLiar Face

P5
Yes, THIS face

For the first time since August 2018, P is finally back in a pasture. When he was first cleared from stall rest in January, the pastures were so wet that P was assigned to the round pen, lest he slip in the wet grass/mud and reinjure his tendon. Then he tore half his foot off, went back into the stall for 7 days, and then was back in the round pen.

P1.jpg

But BO and I figured this was as good a time as any to get P out into a small pasture, as he’d likely be sore enough thanks to The Foot Hole, and wouldn’t be so inclined to tear around.

P2
Day 1: GRASS

Which was true. For, ya know, a couple days.

P3
Day 5: All weight on The Foot Hole

So with one grey TB back in action…

P4
Looking at the faker through some S ears!

…I’m thinking P can handle a few laps of walking under saddle in the arena.

sorry-not-sorry-gif.gif