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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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.

Horse Life

Gray Horses SUCK

So uh, if you’re ever in the market to buy a horse and someone offers to show you a gray one…RUN.

S was going to head to a jumper show this coming Saturday, then plans were scrapped for the final CHP schooling show, instead re-routing us to the VA Horse Trials the first weekend in November.

Until…

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S got his right stifle injected Monday of last week and had a few days off. I got back on last Thursday and Friday and he flatted just fine, but Saturday I popped him over a couple small jumps and then through a grid and he trotted up short after that, so BO called the vet this past Monday.

So there went the jumper show, but at least I could still ride, right?

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Ok, so S has had this whole week off, and we’ll try again next week. But that means a no for VA HT….aka, the last show before Trainer B heads to FL for the winter. So that’s our season, folks. Finito.

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While S has been out, I figured I’d just busy myself with P. Due to time constraints, I’d been just doing his rehab in-hand vs riding him, so this would be a good time to remind P he was still a riding horse. Until Sunday, literally the day after S trotted a bit lame, when I went out to do his rehab and found his fancy egg bar shoe twisted, with the inside quarter clip embedded in his hoof wall….naturally on his right leg.

20 minutes later, after watching multiple YT videos, soliciting the help of BO’s husband, and scrambling around other boarders’ lockers/trailers for farrier tools, P’s shoe was finally off.

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BO sent this picture to our farrier, who was quite amused
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P’s face: HALP ME

But what to do about rehab was super stressful. The egg bar shoe is there to provide support so the tendons don’t stretch. But he still needs to get out to help the fibers strengthen. And naturally it was Sunday and the vet’s office wasn’t open. Because of course.

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So he got the standard treatment of Magic Cushion/Diaper/Duct Tape to tide him over

I ended up cutting his trot sets a little shorter than usual, but he remained sound, and my savior of a farrier made a special trip out to stick the shoe back on, so P got back to business after only 2 lighter than usual days.

Another stressor has been keeping P amused in his stall. He’s been incredibly sane, but as of today, he’s been stalled for 23 1/2 hours/day for the past 57 days. I was buying him Likits, which are usually a special show treat because he finishes them off so fast (typically 30 minutes or less). He’s shown zero interest in the ball in his stall, and now ignores his salt lick. So BO had a great idea and hung his Likit in the middle of the stall so he couldn’t pin it down and munch on it.

Cost of each Likit: $7

Likit hitting P in the face: Priceless

The Tiniest Dictator has proclaimed P to be his horse, so he got to learn how to pick hooves and tack up. P was perfect, as per usual.

Though he couldn’t quite get the saddle pad just yet.

And he continues to do well in his rehab sessions IF and ONLY IF, he’s fully tacked up. If you take him out and attempt to walk/trot him in his halter, he goes nuts. Like full on bucking bronc. If you take him out in all his gear, he goes like this:

I think someone is missing doing work.

He’s even better if another horse is in the arena working at the same time. Though it was a little sad watching him watch one of the lesson horses jumping last night. He followed along with them throughout the entire course 😦

 He’s currently in the 2nd week of walking for 10 minutes, trotting for 2, walking for 5, trotting for 2, walking for 5, trotting for 2, walking for 5 minutes. Next Wednesday he’ll do the final stage of trot rehab, where he trots for THREE minutes three times per session, before going back to the vet mid-November. Riveting stuff, I know.

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Still handsome

And with his shoe back on, I FINALLY got to climb back on. Even if I just walk him for a few minutes, it’s seriously feels so homey and right.

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Horse Life

S & P Update

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? Not really exciting to report on 30 minute handwalks with P and basic flatwork rides with S.

But here’s an exciting report: P can TROT!

I took him to Tryon last Wednesday for his final shockwave treatment and for an ultrasound. The vets watched him trot off- first trot in 30 days- and he was completely sound. Completely.

So off to ultrasound he went, which was just another beacon of good news: all the fluid has been reabsorbed, all the swelling is gone, and the fibers have filled in. It’s healed.

BUT. It’s still fragile and the vets have him on a gradual rehab plan. They stressed again that he should make a complete recovery as long as he doesn’t injure himself during rehab. So no turnout where he can go wild and twist that leg. He’s still on stall rest for at least the next 7 weeks, then he’ll go back to see if turnout and cantering are in the cards for him then.

But trotting is better than nothing. His rehab plan is as follows:

Week 1: One set of 2 minute trotting

Week 2: Two sets of 2 minutes

Weeks 3-4: Three sets of 2 minutes

Weeks 4-7: Three sets of 3 minutes

He continues to be super calm in his stall, and can still be trusted with the 4 year old:

But has recently become a little wild during walks, so a small dosing of sedative will most likely be needed from here on out.

S is doing well- we’ve gone to Trainer B’s a few times and his honesty to fences has allowed Trainer B to fill in an important hole in my jump position- the hip hinge. Something completely new to me, really. When you ride P, you almost have to be behind the motion if you want to have a prayer of staying on should he decide to forego leaving the ground.

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Sitting back is highly recommended

So the last couple lessons have just been grids upon grids upon grids. S is not as athletically gifted as P, so when the fences got higher (3′) the sound effects were quite hilarious. But he’s a trier and I really appreciate the opportunity to ride him.

We did play around at home with the new jump fillers Husband made! P hopped over them on the lunge once, but since then they’ve been sitting at the edge of the arena. BO told me S would give them the hairy eyeball when he’d see them, so sorry S, but now you have to jump them.

And while he did peek a little, especially to the brick side, his honesty came through and he popped right over.

He’ll be going back to Carolina Horse Park next weekend to do his first HT at Beginner Novice. Maybe. At first I was going to put him in the BN CT since he’s never really even schooled XC (besides the one limited outing we had a few weeks ago), but after talking to Trainer B yesterday, decided to enter him in the full HT. We’ll do the schooling day the day before and if there are issues, I’ll just show him in dressage and SJ, then withdraw him. If he’s great for the schooling day, then I won’t be regretting not running XC.

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My biggest concern is the water. Yesterday after we did our million grids, Trainer B had us go through his new water complex. Much like he did when I took him to KHP for schooling, he said “Hell naw,” and sidestepped around the entire thing repeatedly until another horse led him in.

Sooooo, that could preclude him from running XC. We’ll see.

Signing off now to FINALLY go catch up with what everyone else is doing!

Horse Life

Drowning

In work, that is. Luckily the hurricane didn’t reach us here other than some wind and rain, and as far as I know our Jacksonville house is still standing and dry. People are slowly trickling back to that area, so I’m hoping we find out 100% by next week.

P is still rocking the stall rest game; though for the first time gave me trouble under saddle on Tuesday. I hopped on and within 2 steps hopped right back off. Homeboy wanted to FLY about, so we handwalked those 20 minutes. In his defense, he has been a complete star and the 3 days the hurricane was dumping rain on us, he didn’t get out at all.

I had Husband video a snippet of our ride- you HAVE to turn the sound on.

And then The Tiniest Dictator wanted to hop on as well. P was just as careful with him as always.

I opted yesterday to handwalk him to make sure all the hops were out of him and he was great, so I’ll try getting back on today. If he’s still too jumpy, then I may have to break out the drugs.

Husband just texted me a video though, and he seems quite calm.

He got his first shockwave treatment last Friday, and they’re coming back out tomorrow for round #2, then he’ll go back to Tryon for his final treatment and to re-ultrasound.

S continues to come along. I took him for his first little XC school 2 weekends ago and he did pretty well. He needed some convincing to get in the water at first, but he hopped up and down the baby bank with no theatrics. He was a bit excited when we first started jumping, as he’d never jumped out in the open before, but settled down. Very little media exists, sadly, as my friend was on her wiggly green bean and videos were hard to get.

This weekend we’re heading with Trainer B and team for what was supposed to be XC schooling + HT, but turned into a CT, thanks to the rain from the hurricane. It’ll be a few firsts for S: his first overnight show (and 3rd show ever), his first show jumping, and his first show with me. He’s been hopping around BN+ courses at Trainer B’s, so the plan is to school the BN course the day before, but compete in the 2’3″, since that ring is quieter with less distractions. Sort of boring, but that’s ok.

Ok, signing off to catch up with what everyone else is doing now!

 

 

Horse Life

New Ride

First of all- everyone please say a small prayer for our rental property in Jacksonville, NC…right where dear Hurricane Florence is predicted to make landfall as a category 4 hurricane.

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Our house’s neighborhood is literally on that line, 8 miles from the coast

Specifically I’m going to need prayers that the house gets flattened and not just flooded, as we have extensive windstorm insurance coverage, but no flood insurance.

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The first house Husband and I bought. Sweet memories and all, but please die a complete death.

Everyone on the east coast, stay safe!

Ok, onto horse business:

12 days of rehab in!

P got his new shoes on.

Somehow managed to get a cut right on his poll under his forelock.

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Which meant the bridle was out and rides would have to be done in a halter…not nerve-wracking at all to ride a fit TB who has been on stall rest the past week and half. Not at all. Luckily he’s been a complete star (knock on wood).

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Even when we ventured outside of the arena.

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He’s also been hanging with Husband every morning, who takes him out to graze while I’m at work.

That particular video earned him a few frantic texts back, but I appreciate the thoughtfulness. The more he can get out, even just to hand graze, the better.

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But as exhilarating as walking in straight lines for 20 minutes per day IS….the thought that that would be my only riding for the next months was a bit painful.

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After I snapped back to reality after my meltdown, BO and I talked about my riding S. Funny enough, of the 3 people that asked me to ride their horse, 2 of the horses are grey OTTB geldings. I don’t even LIKE greys, yet they keep finding me.

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S is not particularly new to this blog, as he’s most commonly known here on the blog as P’s lover.

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Like that time they had to be tied on opposite sides of the trailer and P tore up the ground pacing back and forth trying to get to his man.

They also sometimes pass as each other’s body double.PandS

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But for how much they look alike, they’re veeeery different horses.

-P is more relaxed, S tends to hold some tension pretty much continuously.

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One is almost asleep while toting a small child, the other JUST CAN’T EVEN.

-P is wildly inconsistent in his gaits- we zoom, then crawl, then dip right, then dip left (all in one 20m circle), S just keeps going until you tell him differently.

-P quickens towards jumps and waaay overjumps everything,  while S is all, “No extra energy shall be expended.”

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S over 2’3″

 

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P over 2’3″

-P has a wonderfully elastic walk and trot, S takes much shorter and choppier steps.

-P’s canter is sort of hard to sit to, S is like sitting on a rocking chair. Seriously, when I would ride with BO, I’d be super jealous of how she could so easily sit the canter…until I sat on him and could instantly do the same. Majikal.

Considering I’ve pretty much ridden just one horse for the past several years, getting on another one was hard for me at first. Luckily S can take a joke, and I really liked riding him. I flatted him a couple times, jumped him a couple times, then the final test was an outing to Trainer B’s…

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Super weird for a horse to be in P’s spot

Since I went alone, no media exists, but it went well. S is pretty out of shape (BO has horses in training so S has been on the back burner for quite some time), and hadn’t been off the property other than a trail ride or 2 since May. He was a bit spooky in the arena, which wasn’t unexpected. If your horse can survive Trainer B’s arena, it can handle anything. There are flags waving, banners flapping, baby horses running, chickens walking about, and lots of shiny and spooky jumps/water trays, fillers, etc. After a few mini-spooks, he settled in pretty easily.

I warmed up then we got straight to the jumps. Trainer B said to warmup over the gate and I said, “K,” and turned S away. Then he goes, “Wait…can he jump this high?” And I said, “Uhhh, I don’t know.” So we were about to find out together. For reference, it’s this gate (P’s favorite):

So I picked up the canter, may or may not have held my breath, and S popped right over it.

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Next we popped over the shiny shamrock jump. Nary even a peek.

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And through a 2 stride- again, zero hesitation.

Until we finally found a weakness. These barrels:

The first time, I cut the turn to the barrels too short and he just did a bit of a drive-by. Ok, fine. Approached again, and he popped right over.

The we did the entire course again- Shamrock, to the 2 stride, to the gate, and finish over the barrels. This time he popped his right shoulder and again, went right past it.

Now…yes, it was wrong of him. But I literally couldn’t be mad or upset. Because it was so….gentle. I’m used to the psych-out move perfected by P:

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But still, not jumping is a no-go, so we schooled it several times, with a strong right leg and open left rein, and he went over it with no additional issues. Came around and did the course again, and he was good as gold.

So he passed the Trainer B test, so I’ll be mainly riding him until P recovers or he sells. We definitely have some things to do- increasing his fitness being the first priority.

a9ad56fa5c7d8ca399d0983fa5dc2d2c--crossfit-memes-workout-memesTrainer B did nail him on his lack of adjustability at the canter (something he’s quite picky about with every horse), so yay, I get to work on that some more. But it’s something that was quite obvious- I would go to press him forward and nothing would happen. Then I would go to collect slightly and he’d break to the trot. So we’ll be addressing that ASAP and I know will become easier as he gets back into the groove.

While I definitely wish I could be on my own horse, I have the feeling S is going to be quite fun.

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Insert crying face here
Horse Life

The Suspens(ory) Is Over

Recap:

August 3rd: P goes to vet for chiro/acupuncture. Is body sore all over and vet puts him on Robaxin for 2 weeks with no jumping, and suggests potentially injecting SI in 2 weeks if he’s not better.

August 20th: P goes back to vet for re-checkup, is still pretty body sore but shows most uncomfortable-ness when flexed in the hocks, especially the right one. Vet decides to inject both hocks, finds arthritis in right one.

August 24th: First time getting on P. Dead lame in the right hind.

August 25th: Back to vet, who agrees he’s lame, but says no infection and thinks there’s some leftover inflammation in the hock and/or is not used to the feeling at the injected sites. Prescribes Bute. Trainer suggests suspensory based on previous nights videos. I drink heavily.

August 26th: Lameness is gone, but still has the right hip drop that was evident pre-injections. Gets Bute.

August 27th: No Bute, no riding, just turnout.

August 28th: Get back on, is pretty normal at walk, is uncomfortable at trot and repeatedly tries to stop. BO observes right hip drop. Tell vet, vet says to give Robaxin for 2-3 days and see if it gets better. If not better, will x-ray or ultrasound hock the following week.

August 29th: Wake up, realize waiting sucks, call Tryon Equine Vet Hospital and schedule appointment. If the vets there are good enough for WEG and the FEI, they’re (probably) good enough for me.

August 30th: Haul P to Tryon, meet Bette who was kind enough to come for moral support, vet watches him go, then blocks foot, which makes P worse. Based on that, vet blocks suspensory. P trots off with a gait Totilas would be jealous of. I wish I had thought to bring tequila to my 10 AM appt.

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So it’s official, we have a diagnosis. No more waiting to see if he’ll get better in a few days and try again. So that’s a relief.

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The vet used ultrasound to determine the damage, and is optimistic P will make a full recovery. There’s no tear, no lesion, the damage isn’t close to the cannon bone, and there’s no swelling or impingement. He called it “slight mixed fiber loss,” and said it was caught extremely early. The most likely scenario is that P’s hocks were bothering him and caused him to compensate most heavily on the right one (the one with arthritis) in an unnatural way, putting more stress than usual on the ligament.

Prognosis given by the vet was good- he said fall season is out, but we should have a spring one. That over 80% of horses with his injury make a full recovery and go on to resume their normal job. He’s treated Grand Prix dressage horses, Grand Prix jumpers, and 3* event horses that are back at their full workload with no further issues. His wife’s own Prelim horse is sidelined with a similar injury for the rest of the year, but is expected to get back to it early next year. The most important thing is to keep P quiet and follow the rehab schedule.

So P is on stall rest with 20-30 minutes per day of walking either by hand or undersaddle. I’ve been doing both: 10 minutes of handwalking in the AM and then 15-20 minutes of walking undersaddle, which is super boring but also keeps P more mentally engaged. The vet gave us some ace to keep him quiet in his stall, but so far he hasn’t needed any. He’s been enjoying having the door open with just the stall guard up, so he can get all the itchy places:

Eating his Licky Things:

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And salt lick:

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Cooling off with the leaf blower:

Supervising the arena and pastures (he has the perfect view of his lover, S):

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Being Husband’s puppet:

Getting hugs from kids:

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And still doing horse things:

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Happy I still get this view!

I did look into a rehab place, because the vet had said he could do some aquatread, but it’s over $3,500/month. So yeah, love ya, P, but nope. You’re stuck with me.

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He’s getting steel egg bar shoes on tomorrow, to relieve some pressure on the suspensory.

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Trainer B has had similar experiences with horses, and made a list of stuff for me to get (some holistic, some medicinal) to help healing any way I can.

I added SmartTendon to his SmartPaks. Yes, I’m quite aware that this is probably nothing more than a placebo effect for me but I couldn’t NOT.

The vet said IRAP, PRP, and stem cell injections were not options because there was no hole to inject anything into and he wasn’t about to create one, but that shockwave could be beneficial. Since there’s not really inflammation and it’s not near the bone, it’s not something he said was necessary, and was up to me, since it’s expensive ($1200 for 3 sessions). But it’s covered by insurance, so P is scheduled for shockwave with the hospital’s mobile division the week of the 10th, the week of the 17th, and then will get the final treatment when he goes back to the hospital the last week of September to get re-ultrasounded.

Then as long as it looks like it’s healing, the vet will start to add some trot into his daily routine.

On the riding front, I’m considering leasing or half-leasing BO’s horse, S.

He’s a good egg, and BO isn’t really riding him because she’s busy riding client’s horses. I’m taking him to Trainer B’s tomorrow to get his opinion, but I’ve ridden him a couple times now and have enjoyed him. Yesterday I also got to hop on a horse in for training for her first little gymnastics!

That was my first non-TB ride in years and when I first swung my leg over wasn’t sure my legs would be able to separate that far. But it was still a blast and I will literally ride anything I can.

And now I’m headed off to catch up on everyone else’s blogs and live vicariously through you all!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my meltdown.
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