Horse Life

SUCCESS!

Two posts in a row with the title all in caps. Obnoxious, maybe, but also totes necessary. Because P went outside and didn’t die!

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I got to the barn at 1, gave P a generous dose of Ace, then grabbed the bottle of wine BO had thoughtfully gifted me and headed down to the arena to distract myself while the drugs kicked in.

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This is why I love boarding at an adults-only barn

Thanks to a few awesome friends + the most hilarious group text ever, the 45 minutes of waiting for the Ace to take effect passed by in a flash. Michele, Sara, and Bette– you guys absolutely rock.

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Like this gem. They had me in stitches for several hours

Then IT WAS TIME. Since August 30th, every time P has stepped outside his stall, I’ve been tethered to him in some way. Either I’m ON him or hanging on to him. So unclipping that lead rope and backing away was really hard. It was harder to exit the round pen than it was to drop my kid off on his first day of school. Maybe that makes me a terrible mom or too attached to my horse, but hey, just being honest here.

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Hay stretcher + alfalfa cubes = horse crack

P was too obsessed with the mash BO had made him to do anything but stand there and gulp it down. Once he finished, I fully expected fireworks to start then…

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He swung the feed pan around for a little while, then once he realized it was actually gone and started walking around, I tensed up, because surely this was it….

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And that’s really the whole shebang. He got to stay out for a total of 4 hours, which was more than I expected. The vet had said a few hours, depending on how he acted. But even though the Ace surely didn’t last that long, he still kept his brain, even when horses around him started running. He did have a mini-spook when he was right next to the barn dog and she started barking. But it was 4 steps then he got distracted by hay.

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And when I went down to the arena to set cross-rails for a couple of people riding, he just stared at me like the stalker he’s always been.

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I figured once he got away from me, he’d be in heaven. For 5 months now, my presence has meant a prick of the needle, monotonous walking/trotting around the arena, then being locked back in his stall. So this moment was gold for me:

He’ll hang in the round pen for awhile until the pastures dry out more, but between horses surrounding him, the never-ending hay BO supplies, the grass around the edges of the round pen, and the general outside-ness of it all, I think P’s going to enjoy this next phase of rehab.

Plus he’s now going to canter for TWO minutes every other day.

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Horse Life

Obsessive Compulsive Planning to Not Plan. Or Something.

I’ve always been an avid planner. While I do have my spontaneous moments, you’d better appreciate each one because they’re not all that common.

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My life is extra enjoyable when I get to make lists also. The more detailed, the better.

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Me looking at all my completed lists

At the beginning of each year, I create a new spreadsheet with all the shows I could possibly go to that year, and then I update once every month or so as new dates get added. Schooling HTs, CTs, Jumpers, Recognized HTs…it all goes into one place. I list the location, distance from barn, costs, and note any possible conflicts.

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Last updated 8/18/18…end of year options. Womp womp

So this stage of not knowing what comes next is killing me. KILLING ME, I tell you. I’m itching to make my list.

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The timing of P’s injury has been both a blessing and a curse. It’s definitely not ideal to first turn your horse out after 138 days in a stall during the winter/rainy season, and I fully admit to already having nightmares about the whole shebang.

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Clearly P needs my guidance to not be an idiot

But the blessing part is that for quite awhile P will be doing nothing but building fitness. Aka, long walks, lots of hacking out (which will be a welcome change from the arena), lots of boring work that just takes time.  And that boring stuff will be happening while Trainer B is down in Florida for the next couple of months, so we won’t be missing out on too many training opportunities, competitions, etc. So for that, I’m thankful.

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While P does make an excellent hiking companion, I’m hoping for more saddle time

 

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Can’t wait to return to this view…
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…And build that fitness back up

After talking with Trainer B at length the other day (where I babbled on and on about drug dosages for his first turnout…might’ve mentioned getting a tranq gun, and was then reassured that yes, Dr. H actually DOES knows what he’s doing and that yes, P WILL be able to handle some trotting/cantering around a paddock. In other words, “calm yo’self”), he expects P to be cleared for more cantering/trot poles/cavaletti at his next check up at the end of this month. And his work load will only increase from there, with the expectation that P will be able to start jumping either before or right around the time he gets back.

Where I will happily hand him the reins.

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They love each other. And yes, I was lounging in a chair while taping this. And it was GLORIOUS.

The last time P jumped a jump was when we had been eliminated on XC at a baby log. Second elimination on XC in 7 days. So we didn’t exactly go out on a high note.

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You know your course will *definitely* go well when this is how jump #1 goes

Especially considering a short 3 weeks prior, he had nailed the Novice version of this like a boss.

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Just in case you forgot what this picture looked like.

I just want his reintroduction to jumping to be as smooth as possible, and know that if I’m this neurotic about P being lazy about trotting, then there’s no telling what I’ll do to a fence. Hell, I never know what I’ll do to a fence.

And then will, in all likelihood, commission B to take P in his first horse trial back as well, since I definitely get show nerves and again, just want everything to go as smoothly as possible for P. Key difference there between Trainer B and I.

Me before dressage: ::drills myself on dressage test repeatedly. Knows test forwards, backwards, and from any point in the middle. Goes down centerline and panics about which way to turn. ::

Trainer B before dressage: Hey, is this the test where I turn left or something? Cool. ::Goes in and wins.::

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Though with P soon being able to rejoin the land of the living (aka, the pasture), I maaay or may not be considering some dressage shows in the meantime.

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Throwback to P’s first show ever, doing Intro B in 2015. Pretty sure this is what we’ll look like.
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And maybe will be able to get back to this before long.
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Though the two of us seriously need to close our mouths. I wonder how many bugs we’ve swallowed between the two of us.
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Hoping we can avoid this particular move in 2019

did go ahead and sign up to volunteer this Saturday at a CT being held at Carolina Horse Park. It’s about a 2 hour drive from my house, which is why I really never volunteer, but at this point I’m sort of desperate to do anything horse-related that doesn’t include me thinking about a certain someone’s tendon.

get-out-of-my-head-300x224I hate driving but at the same time do have some catching up to do on audio books/podcasts, plus I give one hell of a live concert- maybe it won’t be so bad and I’ll be inclined to do it more often. CHP gives a $25 voucher per volunteering day, so if I can rack those up and get some good juju going, maybe the Riding Gods will smile upon me and P will actually be cleared for competing.

boys-this-plan-is-foolproofSo while I get a little green with envy while reading everyone else’s goals and plans for the upcoming year, I guess I have the tiniest bit of one myself. And I’m probably going to go ahead and make the competition list anyway. Just in case.
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Horse Life

The Day My Heart Condition Developed

Guys. Let me tell you about P’s first canter after 125 days of stall rest, aka the story of NOT ENOUGH DRUGS.

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Unfortunately I wasn’t wise enough to ask anyone to video. A video could best tell this harrowing tale of a horse who realizes that for the first time in forever, he’s being asked to go faster than usual and has flashbacks of his old glory days of yore (aka racing, where he won a whopping $17,000 in 11 starts…aka he sucked at it). But you’ll have to settle for my words.

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So for the 3 weeks leading up to Cantering Day, P has been on the following schedule:

Minutes 0-10: Walk

Minutes 10-15: Trot

Minutes 15-20: Walk

Minutes: 20-25 Trot

Minutes 25-30: Walk

Minutes: 30-35: Trot

Minutes 35-40: Walk

Exhilarating, I know.

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So for the canter, we were supposed to replace the middle trot set with one minute of canter. Total. Not one minute each lead. Oh, and only canter every other day. Not even every day. Contain your excitement.

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So leading up to the canter, all day I’m super nervous. What if he’s lame? What if this MAKES him lame?

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Actual picture of me the day of the First Canter

So the Big Moment arrives: a few circles of trot, then I oh-so-timidly asked him for the left lead canter.

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Pretty sure I turned this color from holding my breath

And P goes into this super calm canter, canters a few large circles, and comes right back to the trot.

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Someone is such a grown up, amirite? I was bursting with pride at my super mature poneh.

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So I turn him around, ask him to trot a few circles then ask him to canter. And P…TAKES OFF. That video of his spook from last week had NOTHING on this. All 4 off the floor and me, helpless, not being able to make any sudden movements…just glancing at my stopwatch periodically and watching a minute tick by…a minute and 30 seconds…until P was all, “Oh, this wasn’t what you meant? Cool, let’s just do an extended trot. No? Ok, regular trot. No? Walk? FINE.”

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P’s actual expression

I swear my life is now shortened by 30 years AT LEAST.

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The next day, I only rode him for the beginning walk, then hopped off to lunge him at the trot so I could stare obsessively at his right hind. And he was all, “canter now? Canter now?” but stayed in the trot so long as I did a zillion transitions so he wouldn’t get faster and faster.
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And the next day when I cantered him (on the lunge)? Perfect gentleman. And still sound, thank the good Lord above.

Then yesterday when I hopped on and asked him to trot for his first set, he would shuffle a few steps, then break to the walk. And I FREAKED.

“He’s lame, he’s hurting. Clearly he’s on death’s door because what horse in their right mind doesn’t want to trot at the EXACT MOMENT MY WATCH SAYS 5:00? I’ve done all this work, I’ve kept him jailed in a stall for 130 days, and he’s lame and we’re going to have to start all over and MY WHOLE LIFE IS RUINED BECAUSE HE DOESN’T WANT TO TROT.”
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BO (once I finally got him going): He looks totally sound. He actually looks really good.

The closer we get to completing rehab, the more neurotic I find myself becoming. I think this will all get exponentially easier once he starts going outside again, so if we can make it through these next 8 days, hopefully I’ll be able to CALM THE F DOWN.

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EIGHT DAYS, GUYS. EIGHT DAYS.

Horse Life

Needing a Post-Vacation Vacation

After 12 days off work, having family come in from Chicago, hosting Christmas at our house with family/friends, and closing on the sale of our rental home, I’m making myself post before heading off to check out what everyone else has been up to. While it was great to stay home this year (usually we go to Chicago for Christmas), it was almost as exhausting to stay home! Husband and I started off looking like this:

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But ended feeling like this:

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#holidayfeelings courtesy of the Tiniest Dictator

And speaking of the Tiniest Dictator, one of my favorite moments of the last few weeks was his first official riding lesson! Due to P’s current state of unpredictability, he hasn’t been able to ride him for the past couple months…which angers the T.D. greatly. So BO put him on the World’s Biggest But Gentlest Lesson Angel and gave him a lunge lesson. And it was ADORABLE.

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Disclaimer: The T.D. is a strange child who, if Husband or I are around, will typically not speak to anyone, including BO. So we hid up at the barn to watch/take videos so that he would actually acknowledge BO’s presence.

Balancing exercises at the walk (methinks I need to do this!):

And a little trot:

The next day he came out with me to the barn and when I started getting P tacked up he goes, “Which horse am I riding?”

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He got a riding helmet for Christmas and now demands to ride every day. So it begins.

He’ll probably reach Training level before I do.

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P is still doing alright. He is currently going through a phase where he pretends he has no idea what contact is and spends our walk times trying to drag the reins through my hands #stallrestproblems Normally I would do things like transitions or changes of direction to keep him moving properly but alas, rehabbing tendon and all. One horrible habit I’ve always had is loose/open fingers, so this at least is getting me to keep them closed.

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We do our final 10 minutes in the dressage arena. Not sure this look is going to cut it when he gets back to showing.

But the other day, P just COULDN’T EVEN:

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The look on my face is quite clear: If you re-injure yourself after the last 125 miserable days, I will shoot you.
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P: YOU WILL NEVER TAKE MY FREEDOM

No, it wasn’t a horrible spook. And it lasted all of 4 seconds. But I swear I heard tendon fibers tearing with every stride. I can still hear them. Because I’m neurotic like that at this point. But he’s fine and has trotted totally sound ever since. I swear though, my nerves can’t take this much longer.

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And speaking of nerves…this afternoon will be his first day cantering (on purpose)! One whole minute every other day…exhilarating, right?

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Will at least be more exciting than this

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday-here’s to 2019!

Horse Life

Bloghop: Favorites of 2018

I’ve legit been writing ONE post for the last TWO.WEEKS. Organizing the media for said post has been the death of me, so thankfully Amanda started a bloghop where I can just use pictures I already have.

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Clearly 2018 has been a mixture of some pretty high highs and currently we’re making our way back up to the surface after a pretty deep low. I was struggling with how to write a recap of the year, because well, life sorta sucks all around when your horse has been on stall rest 112 days and the last 27 days are dragging on super slowly.

So without further ado…

Favorite show picture.

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Show of hands- who’s surprised I chose this one? Yeah, exactly no one. Because I love it. It’s literally my profile picture for everything and has been since it was taken in June- Instagram, Facebook., this blog…even the software program my CrossFit gym uses to track members’ results. Every single CrossFit member knows I jump huge solid obstacles. They better not forget that.

Favorite non-show picture


Driving

This picture could be best described as “typical downtime.” Some people work on perfecting 20m circles or getting the correct bend. I ride my horse bareback in an inflatable dinosaur suit, while asking him to pull an arena drag.

Favorite thing you bought.

Before:

After:

I already had the trailer, but we bought all the materials for Husband to turn the dressing room into some pretty amazing mini living quarters. It was absolutely worth all of Husband’s blood, sweat and tears.

Favorite moment on horseback.

Finishing our first Novice, no question. After staying at Starter for 2 years and having sort of a rough go of everything, I really never expected to get around Novice. I watch this snippet of the last 4 jumps nearly every day and my favorite part is how P digs in after the last jump to cross the finish line. I totes had tears in my eyes when we landed so I’m glad he found the finish line. Even if the speed was unnecessary (we had quite a few speed faults as it was).

Favorite moment out of the saddle.

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When Trainer B took P around his first Novice in Virginia. P finished 6th in a huge field of 25, with lots of big name pros riding their fancy young horses. This was the second to last jump, and definitely one of my favorites.

Favorite “between the ears” picture.

Snapshot 2 (7-8-2018 10-10 PM)

This was a surprise jump for me. We were XC schooling and Trainer B told me to gallop up the hill and look for the light colored log. When I saw it, my first instinct was to ABORT MISSION. But we ended up nailing it.

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Had to sneak that second picture in there as proof

Favorite horse book or article.

91OM5LEYOtLI purchased this back in 2010 when I first got back into riding as an adult. I didn’t have access to a trainer so I would highlight certain phrases and make Husband (or some other innocent bystander) stand ringside and read the highlighted parts to me while I rode. I still pick it up if I’m struggling with a concept because the imagery used in the book is amazing.

Favorite horse ridden (or groomed/cared for) aside from your own.

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Of course that goes to S. When P got sidelined, S got pulled from being a pasture puff to completing his first ever horse trial (including his first time seeing an XC course that same weekend) in like 6 weeks.

Unfortunately, after some lameness post-stifle-injection-gone-wrong, he’s currently dealing with a bout of cellulitis which has landed him on stall rest along with P.

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Tongue-Out Tuesday, courtesy of the Stall Rest Twins. Taking their bromance to a new level.

Favorite funny picture of your horse.

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This just so perfectly captures P’s personality. He absolutely LOVES the snow. It recently snowed here and on our walks to and from the barn and arena for rehab sessions, he’d try to drag me to all the snow piles to stick his nose in.

Favorite fence that you successfully jumped or movement that you conquered.
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Besides the Novice table from the picture above (I didn’t even look at it during the course walk), definitely P’s first Trakehner. You just sort of never know what’s going to happen with new fences, so this was a pleasant surprise.

Favorite horse meme or funny picture.

MemeHusband always says P is an ass. Sure, P’s a bit mouthy (not a biter, but will lip you to death) and ok, he does routinely steals Husband’s food. But Husband also does things like this to him, so I feel like they’re even.

Bring on 2019!

Horse Life

First Trot- Didn’t Die

So P has been doing lots of trotting, but zero of it has been with me in the saddle. One of the main reasons being that if he were to spook or flip out, I could get control of him quicker from the ground. But another (unspoken) reason has been because I’m terrified I’ll feel lameness. So thus far I’ve done all his trot sets in-hand, then hopping on him for his last few minutes of walking.

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Favorite view

But the day where I trotted him under saddle had to come sometime and yesterday the Millbrook stirrup leathers arrived, so it seemed as good a time as ever. BO graciously videoed the momentous occasion, and P and I trotted for the first time under saddle since AUGUST!

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Horse Life

Black Friday Goodies

So…y’all are the best. For real. I know I don’t post a ton anymore (since there’s only so much you can say about walking in a circle for 30 minutes), but I teared up a bit at pretty much every encouraging comment I got on the last post. So, uh, ::looks at ground, kicks some dirt so you don’t see the red eyes:: thanks, guys.

Despite the bummer riding situation, Black Friday comes but once a year. And while you won’t catch me at the mall at 6 AM, if a local-ish tack store gives you a 40% off coupon if you’re outside in line before 8 AM? You make that happen.

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A few barnmates and I caravanned about an hour away to Waxhaw Tack Exchange– a place I’d never been before. I had two things I needed- river boots and tall riding boots. The lining in one of my Dublin River Boots finally tore and my tootsies were feeling quite vulnerable handwalking P in sneakers. Another pair was needed, stat.

I really liked the Dublins because they lasted quite well. I bought them a little over two years ago and wore them A LOT. They go with everything. Even gym shorts.

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Don’t be jealous of this outfit

I had tried the Ariat H20s before purchasing the Dublins, and they lasted all of 2 months, so I knew I wanted Dublins again. And this time I went for the fancy ones that seem even more durable. Here’s hoping they wear as well as the other pair did.

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Just as gorgeous in person

Alas, they had zero riding boots in my size, so I took it as a sign that I was meant to go ahead and buy the EGO7s that I’ve been eying for, well, years. That brand is carried by another tack store that was going to have it’s own sale, so I figured I’d wait a few more days and buy them then.

UNTIL I got on Riding Warehouse’s website and saw that the Mountain Horse Sovereign Field Boots were already on sale, then marked down AGAIN with their Black Friday 25% discount. Damn it.

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So those are coming to me as well. Unfortunately they only had my size in Regular height and not Tall, so we’ll see. I tried on a barnmate’s pair that was already well broken-in and they’re not as tall as I would like, but for less than half the price of the EGO7s, I feel like I can ignore the 0.75″ difference.

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While I was on there, I restocked my dwindling supply of Higher Standards Leather Balm and Saddle Soap. That stuff is fantastic and the only reason why my Ariat paddock boots still look decent after 6 or so years of almost-daily use.

And because after the discount it was $17, P got a cooler.

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And a new rope halter w/14 ft lead. P’s favorite thing to do in the crossties now is to shake his head up and down repeatedly for as long as he’s in there, making his leather halter and the crosstie clasps jingle, so BO started using her own rope halter to spare her from P’s music-making. The silence is heavenly, so I ordered my own.

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Then I made the mistake of hopping on Facebook. Something I really haven’t done in weeks.

This immediately greeted me:

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The turquoise stirrup placed in the front was clearly a trap. The whole thing was obvi a setup, as I actually needed a new girth. This is what happens to an HDR girth when it has been used for 8 years:

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P: Stop taking pictures of the damn girth and WALK ME

I had actually been gearing up to get the County Logic girth, as that’s the girth S uses and it’s soooo cushy. But with the ME girth at less than half the price, and with the promise of fancy new stirrups thrown in, I couldn’t resist. So this baby is on it’s way to me:

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I got the removable liner option for the extra $10 and really hope it works for P, as our XC boots have held up remarkably well. I waffled back and forth on which color stirrups to get- turquoise is obviously our thing, BUT his ITBF bonnet for the jumping phases at competitions is purple.

In the end, I couldn’t resist the turquoise, something I’m sure surprises exactly no one.

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No turquoise in sight here.

Note on Majyk Equipe’s customer service: My total for the girth came to $99.99 ($89.99 for the girth + $10 for the removable liner option), and when I went to checkout it automatically tacked on nearly $20 in shipping charges since the purchase was under $100. So I messaged them via FB to ask about the $0.01 for free shipping, but didn’t expect to hear back because it was, well, Thanksgiving day. So imagine my surprise when my phone dinged a few minutes later and it was them responding with “We’ll make a note and you won’t be charged,” message. Love customer service like that. It’s really what will get me to continue buying from a certain company.

So now I had new stirrups coming to me. Excellent. Except the fact that they’re turquoise and most competitions around here are one-day, where you go straight from SJ to XC. And at least at some venues, heading into show jumping with turquoise stirrups may be frowned upon. Ok, maybe it’s sort of an excuse to justify my next purchase, but it’s sort of the only excuse I’ve got. Anyway, without further ado:

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Damn, I need another hiatus from Facebook. That place is dangerous. One of my friends has a pair of these and I just love the way they look. And I have a few friends who have their half chaps and rave about the leather. The Voltaire ones I have are just fine, but at $190, I wasn’t about to buy those again.

So….why, you might ask, would I need new stirrup leathers?

Well, here’s the way I see it. Changing over from SJ to XC for P & I already requires a pit crew. P’s not allowed to wear XC boots in SJ ever since the ONE TIME I put them on for SJ and he knocked down 3 fences. See Exhibit A:

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Just casually bumping jumps because Majyk Equipe XC boots do their job a leeetle too well

Aaaaand we have to change from his Lund bridle with the Nathe bit that he uses for dressage/SJ to the figure-8 with the gag bit he needs for XC. So we don’t plow face first into jumps.

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Pre-gag what I would be yelling at P the entire XC round

Soooo…why not change out stirrups as well?

ap,550x550,16x12,1,transparent,t.u2Psssttt- the above is a rhetorical question. If you have a good answer as to why I don’t need new stirrups or stirrup leathers, you will be banned from my life. I already used the above long-winded explanation with Husband and he bought it. No one better tell him differently.

So I’m super excited for everything to arrive—– so I can go walk/trot my horse.

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Horse Life

Light at the End of the Tunnel

The only thing that makes a 2 hour haul to Tryon for a 10 minute appointment worth it is that I get to see Bette! Oh, and the WEG-worthy vet. I guess he’s alright, too.

Tryon’s barn is legit nicer than my house

Good news: All the fiber loss is filled in, scar tissue is in place, and he’s completely sound.

Bad news: I was wrong in my assumption that this would be the checkup to determine suitability for turnout. So very wrong. Turns out Dr. H just wanted to be sure the 9 minutes of trotting wasn’t doing more harm than good, and has given the green light for…drum roll….increased trotting. For 6 more weeks.

Good news: His new trotting schedule (3 weeks of 3 sets of 4 minutes of trotting, then 3 weeks of 3 sets of 5 minutes of trotting) will bring back some fitness.

Need to get those muscles back

Bad news: Next checkup is at the end of JANUARY. So, like, a million days away.

Good news: After the 6 weeks of trotting, we get to add in the canter- 2 weeks of cantering 1 minute every other day, then 2 weeks of cantering 2 minutes every other day.

Wut iz “cantering?”

Bad news: SO BORING.

Good news: If all remains well at the end of the ten weeks, he will finally be cleared for turnout.

Where this will once more be my life

Bad news: 10 weeks is January 30th- the middle of winter when everything is wet, muddy and either frozen or soggy. Not really optimal for being turned out after SIX MONTHS in a stall.

What January looked like last year…

Good news: January 30th will be 154 days since initial diagnosis/stall rest began. We’re currently on day 89, so 58% done!

Horse Life

Not Dead, I Swear

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus recently. Not that I’m on social media regularly as it is, but I at least used to be good about checking out everyone else’s blogs. Life has just been crazy and if I’m being truly honest, I needed a break from seeing everyone else riding their horses (pretty much all that fills up my FB/IG feeds).

For me, riding has been sporadic at best. I ride B (grey OTTB gelding #3) here and there, but P’s rehab takes up most of my allotted barn time. And rehabbing with P is nothing that anyone wants to read about. Usually for the 30 minutes, we just discuss how bored we are. Ok, I ramble on about being bored. P just tries to eat me.

Or tries to eat the lead line. Whatever.

I remain highly impressed with how he’s kept his sanity (today is day 82 of stall rest). So far, BO has had to give him 2mL of Ace ONE time (cold weather had horses running); other than that, he still is as chill as ever in his stall. I give him Ace to go out now that it’s cold and horses are always out when I get there to do his rehab, since P cares deeply if horses are tearing around. Had it been me locked in a room for months on end, I’d have fully lost it by now.

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I’m hoping beyond hope that there’s an end in sight, though. P goes back Wednesday for his 7 week re-check and as long as he hasn’t been secretly melting down, he should be cleared to canter. The vet had said if the tendon can hold up to cantering, he can start to go outside again, but I’m not sure if he meant that being cleared to canter will mean he’s also cleared to go outside at the same time, or if he wants him cantering for a period of time before he can be cleared to go out. I’m hoping for #1. I’m sure P would gladly vote for that option as well.

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Pretty sure he’ll never go in a stall again once he gets out

Though the prospect of turning P out gives me a knot in my stomach. Especially with the wet winter we’ve so far been having- everything is muddy. BO joked that she wanted to keep him in until May when the ground wasn’t so soft, but it might not be the worst idea.

Don’t tell P I said that.

On days that I have the time, I still get on him so he knows he’s not exactly retired. I tend to get on for the last 5 minutes or so, but yesterday got on for 10…and then didn’t want to get back off. I’ll admit I may have shed a tear or two as I walked him back up to the barn- I really just want to go do the fun things with my horse again.

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I’ll even settle for doing a dressage test. Clearly I’m desperate.

While we definitely had our share of rough times, I miss riding him so much. Last November for sure beats this one.

And if/when he’s cleared to jump, it’s going to be awhile before we’re doing anything super fun again.

Less of this:

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July 2018

More of this:

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First jump; January 2015

Though I for sure won’t be the first one jumping this horse. I’d probably expire from sheer terror that he’ll fully snap his tendon. So that honor will be going to Trainer B. I’ll likely be rocking in the corner with my eyes screwed shut and my fingers in my ears like a full-on crazy person.

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Cross your fingers for good news Wednesday!

 

Horse Life

BlogHop: 25 Questions

I’m going to make the understatement of the day here: blog content has been lacking around these parts. One gray horse is on stall rest for what seems like eternity..

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Flashback to better days

Another gray horse is headed to the vet today to hopefully get some answers after coming up lame after a stifle injection:

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So with both horses out of commission, another boarder approached me about riding her horse….I’ll give you one guess as to what he looks like.

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This is B!

I swear I don’t seek these horses out. Really.

And thanks to friends like Michele, I may or may not be walking on eggshells around this one.

Capute

Anyway, on to the blog hop, so graciously started by The 900 Facebook Pony.

  1. Why horses? Why not a sane sport, like soccer or softball or curling?

I have absolutely no idea. I’ve been obsessed with horses since before I can remember. As a kid, my bikes were horses, sometimes I was a horse, all my toys were Grand Champions and Breyers, all my books were about horses, etc. I would even do weird things like practice my riding position on my dad’s mounted lion (his name was Harry and he was quite tolerant of my posting).

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2. What was your riding “career” like as a kid?

I took lessons as a kid while my parents could afford it, then when they couldn’t, I worked at the barn to get riding time/lessons. I would work for hours cleaning tack, mucking stalls, grooming, turning out, etc, all for any scrap of riding time I could get.

Worth it.

3. If you could go back to your past and buy ONE horse, which would it be?

This one horse at the first barn I worked at named Easy. Despite his misleading name, he was a difficult horse that hated people and I got to know him while he was on stall rest from an injury he got when he ran through a fence. I was the only one he’d let come near him, so he became my patient. When he went back to work, I didn’t see him much after that, and he ended up reinjuring himself and was euthanized. I was devastated.

4. What disciplines have you participated in?

Hunters/jumperse/eventing.

5. What disciplines do you want to participate in some day?

I’m good where I’m at. Never a shortage of things to learn in eventing!

6. Have you ever bought a horse at auction or from a rescue?

No, though I’ve always wanted to go to the pony sale at Chincoteague. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to resist if I do ever get to go.

7. What was your FIRST favorite horse breed – the one you loved most as a kid?

All I wanted was a palomino. I didn’t care about the breed- but I was convinced I needed a palomino to survive. 

8. If you could live and ride in any country in the world, where would it be?

Ireland.

9. Do you have any horse-related regrets?

That I stopped riding for a period between high school through college. Financially and time-wise I couldn’t, but I wish I had found some way to stay involved with horses in any way possible.

10. If you could ride with any trainer in the world, ASIDE from your current trainer, who would it be?

Not falling for this. Tried other trainers and was much worse off for it. Sticking with Trainer B.

 

11. What is one item on your horse-related bucket list?

Foxhunting! I’ve gotten close to being able to go a couple times, but something has always happened to make it fall through. 

12. If you were never able to ride again, would you still have horses?

Ya, I’d teach P to drive. He’s halfway there.

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T3

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13. What is your “biggest fantasy” riding goal?

Right now just to ride and jump my own horse again. The goal was to go Training level, and it even looked like it’d eventually be a possibility a few months ago, but now everything is up in the air.

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Like that time we easily jumped Training level stuff and didn’t even know it. 

14. What horse do you feel like has taught you the most?

Cliché, but P. I’ve only owned 3 horses, and the horses I rode as a kid were typically for sale, so never around too long. I’ve owned P for 4 years now, since restarting him off the track, and learn something new all the time. Especially what not to do. Like lean forward. He’s definitely taught me not to do THAT.

 

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That feeling when you lean forward and your horse chips. Doh.

15. If you could change one thing about your current horse/riding situation, what would it be?

That he’d be done with rehab and back to normal riding.

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I even miss DRESSAGE

16. If you could compete at any horse show/venue in your home country, where would it be?

Kentucky Horse Park. I’ve been there a couple times to spectate at K3D and think it’d be cool to ride in the same arenas/XC course. 

17. If you could attend any competition in the world as a spectator, what would be your top choice?

Probably Burghley. The area itself looks like a place I’d love to visit!

18. Have you ever thought about quitting horses?

Yes. I did for a long time and never thought I’d get back to it. I’m so glad I did.

19. If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the horse industry, what would it be?

How dishonest some people are. Of course that’s not specific to the horse industry, but it seems to be quite cutthroat and the result is people/horses get hurt.

20. What’s the dumbest horse-related thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?

Buying P sight unseen. That could’ve easily gone very wrong.

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First time I saw him was in an abandoned gas station parking lot in Waxhaw, NC after he had traveled 8 hours from Ocala

21. As you get older, what are you becoming more and more afraid of?

That I’ll never be any good. 

22. What horse-related book impacted you the most?

Centered Riding by Sally Swift. I still re-read it constantly.

23. What personality trait do you value most in a horse and which do you dislike the most?

Sanity is quite important to me. A bad work ethic is a deal-breaker.

24. What do you love most about your discipline?

The comaraderie. There’s always someone to commiserate with.

25. What are you focused on improving the most, at the moment?

I want to stay in as good of riding shape as I can while P is sidelined, so that I stand a fighting chance once he’s cleared. I struggle A LOT with the mental side of jumping- I automatically ride as if the horse is going to stop- so we’re working mostly on that aspect of it, which will hopefully transfer to P once we start back up again.