Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quickie

For lack of better things to do, and because Hubby got home early from work last night, we made a quick jaunt up to the barn to make sure Red was still alive and give him a spin on the lunge.

BO must have finally realized I was moving him because his stall card was wiped clean. CL and CL's Friend has rewritten theirs in. I hope for their sakes it means they're not staying. But really, what a retarded thing to do. What if one of our horses coliced or choked? A phone number would be key. Gah. But he's leaving this afternoon!

I just talked to the farrier right quick, but she was in rush so I wasn't able to ask her if she'll be able to come out to Benton to continue doing Red. I'll have to ask her this afternoon instead. I hope so. She charges $25 a trim and BO at new barn said her cheapest farrier trim is $60. Uhhhh.....yikes.

I started Red off to the right for ten minutes of w/t/c before handing over the line to Hubby to do him to the left. Hubby was not pumped, but I forced him to do it anyway. Red enjoyed it. He was all, "I know this sucker in the middle. I can do what I want."


hubby: walk on.
red: lol.                



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One more daaay!

Red is moving tomorrow!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!! He's getting his toes done at 2pm, I'm going to give him his dinner a little early, then Hubs is rushing over to the barn after work to hook up the trailer and haul us out of there. I cannot waaaait!!!!

I was going to add a picture of Red from this time last year, but for some reason all my pictures on my computer from 7/25/10-12/30/10 have disappeared. Strange....

So instead, here is Red in his only win:

Friday, August 26, 2011

LOL.

I mean, really. What else can you do but laugh?


I emailed a neglect report to the PSPCA a few days ago and it looks like they finally had a little chat with BO. Red was outside when I got there with a scrubbed clean and filled with fresh water water bucket; it's usually either empty or filled with grimy hot water. However, I never told BO he could turn Red out, and while I'm glad he was able to eat, his halter was on too tight and his fly mask was still hanging off his door. It was 85 and muggy out today so Red was sweaty from walking around trying to keep the flies off and he really wanted to come in when I got there at 10.

For more pettiness, BO also cleaned off the stall name/description white boards on CL's and CL's friend's stalls. He must have caught on that they're leaving. My fly spray bottle is almost totally empty, even though the last time I used it is was almost completely full. A bottle of my shampoo is also missing, and my tack box looks like it was riffled through though I couldn't find anything missing. Needless to say, I hauled all my shit out of there and put in call to Hidden Hollow to see when the earliest I could get in would be. We're moving Wednesday as soon as Hubby gets off of work. Red will get his toes done at 2, and hopefully we can pull out of there at 4. I cannot waaaait!!!

I skipped the lunging with Red today and hopped right on. We walked around two of the fields with a huuge fancy walk. Apparently Red was ready to show me that he can out-walk any 18 hand Grand Prix dressage horse any day of the week. Maybe he got fed this morning. >insert eye roll here<

I let him loose for the last long stretch of the third and final field and he jumped right into a canter. I let him go along on an long rein. He spooked at a dry patch in the grass, but other than that he was amazing. I even got a spot on flying change when I asked for it. Super star pony is back. I can't wait to move him and get him back to real work.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Riding Red

I got rid of another bunny yesterday, so it got me another trip to the barn. It was quiet for the first time ever when I pulled in because Bobby was always my greeter, a.k.a. screamer, reminding me that he needed hay pronto. Once I walked down the aisle to Red's stall though, he started his man-scream (Red likes to think he's still a stallion and has the deepest neigh out of any horse ever) which set the other horses off. So the silence was short lived.

I fed him and the other four horses (CL's horses and CL's friend's horses) before tacking him up to longe again. He was kind of pukey in his trot to start out because a huge pile of hay was in his stall and it was hot out, but I sent him off in the canter for his three circles halfway through again and he started reaching and stretching at the trot more after that. I think I'll start incorporating that into my riding warm up since it really seems to help him loosen up. We spent most of our time on trot-walk transitions yet again, and finished off the session after ten minutes.

I jumped on him to go for a walk around one of the big fields--there are four: three equally sized and one smaller. It took us about fifteen minutes to walk around it at a big walk for half of it and a spooky/naughty walk for the other half. When we first set out, he was soo bendy and flexible in his face and neck from the longe. I played around with him a little bit while I still had it, leg yielding a few steps each way and turning his head each direction for a few strides.

He was super responsive and walking out really well until we turned to walk to the final side of the field and he spooked at some weeds that moved. All he did was a slow half spin and he walked past them fine when I asked, but his stride had shortened up and bending was no longer on his list of things to comply with. I focused on keeping him moving forward and out and finally got it when we turned up the hill to head back to the barn. I let him stretch his neck and head down, but kept him moving big....and then I realized that this is what the free walk looks like! Tah dah! Now if we can get it in the ring, hoepfully we'll do better than a sluggish 6 on our next test.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Poor Bobby?!

We got Bobby loaded up and off to his new digs this afternoon without a hitch. Until BO shows up to "hay" (Call it what you will. Throwing a handful of dusty dead grass in is a more apt description.) just as Lillian was ready to leave. Fortunately, I had almost nothing left to do so I got out of there right quick, but I was royally pissed. In fact, I'm still royally pissed.

BO: You got rid of Bobby, huh? Poor Bobby. <---- Exact words.

Poor Bobby?!?!?! Maybe you should have been thinking "Poor Bobby" when you were taking hay out of his stall. Or only feeding him a quarter of what he should have been getting. Or "forgetting" to feed "Poor Bobby" his grain that I was buying. Poor Bobby? Are you shitting me?!

Me: Yeah, poor Bobby who hasn't been fed in three months.

I go to the tack room to throw his halter and lead in my trunk, then come back out and--true to form, BO is totally oblivious that he is an asshole--says:

BO: The kids should have fun with him, huh?

The kids? What about me? The person who's known him his entire life, begged to buy him when he first came off the track, then pounced when he finally became available, shipped him down from Upstate New York to Central Pennsylvania, and put a shit load of time, money, and feed into him only to see him starve under BO's care and become an impossible horse for me to keep when he should have been cruising around a Novice course with me by this time. Yep, I hope the kids have alot of fun with their free horse.

To be fair, I know he's going to a fabulous home where I think he'll fit in really well, but it's hard not to be bitter when you load up a horse that should have been your forever horse--and you've worked soo hard to make him so.

I just have to keep telling myself that I'm getting out of there in a week and a half and to just keep my distance and try to avoid BO at all costs so I don't do something rash. Like commit murder.

waiting for his ride.
On a positive note, Red put in a good lunge today. (For the record, I know it's not spelled "lunge", but I like it.) I upped his time to fifteen minutes total and I moved the side reins from his girth to the dee rings to try to get a more dressagey workout in. I put them on really loose and sent him out for a couple of spins first so he could try them out, but he could have cared less; I shortened them a bit then sent him on his way.

My main focus was to try to get a better gait out of him at the walk and trot. I worked on really getting him to stride out at the walk (which he hates on the lunge, preferring to trot instead), then streeetch at the trot without rushing. We also put in a million trot-walk transitions again. He picked them up faster this time, but he's still very sticky on them. I stuck his three circles of canter in in the middle of the trot work just to mix it up and I think it helped. His trot afterwards was much bigger and bouncier than starting off.

after the canter.

streetch, kind of!
I felt guilty when I woke up this morning to a gorgeous blue sky, a breeze, and mid-60s weather. I sold two of my bunnies last night for $30 so I had enough gas money to go up there first thing in the morning and turn them out before driving back again to work Red and send of Bobby. I think all that turnout (a whopping 4 and a half hours) tired Red Pony out.

must we?


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Red

Red before in September and December 2010:


um, hay belly anyone?

Red today. Red loves posing:



holy hollowed butt. right?!
He lunged really well at the canter each way today, but he did not want to come back down to the walk from the trot. So we spent most of our time working on that in each direction.

Bobby somehow got rain rot overnight. Ugh.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I would take a BO for you.

I made Hubby saddle up his company truck today and give me a ride to the barn while he went trapaising around the gamelands looking for spots to trap cute little fuzzy animals this winter. We got there and sticking out of one of the bays was the front end of BO's yellow Hummer. (Yes, he drives a Hummer. Wah, wah, you can't afford to feed them enough hay--especially when you make your own, asshole! Anyway.) Fortunately, it was running which meant that he was about to leave. But being the blissfully ignorant dick that he is, he chummily greeted me as I went to get the grain out of the bed of Hubby's truck.

BO: Hey, how are you guys doing?

Me: Ughn.

BO: I haven't seen you all week.

Me: I was here Monday and Tuesday.

BO: Oh, I was at Ag Days so.....

And he continues his conversation with Hubby who got out of the truck at that moment as I stalked off. I grabbed my brushes to go over Bobby really quick so we could snap some body shots of him before his new owner comes to pick him up. Hubby came in a few minutes later singing, "I would take a grenade for ya..." Or an obnoxious, oblvious BO.

So here are some comparison pictures. Bobby before:


thick neck.

round booty, no back bone to be seen.

chunky monkey.
Those are from when I first bought him in December 2010. He was not at this barn yet. He was on pasture board with Red and Storm and at that point the three of them were eating five 40lb bales of hay a day, and Red and Bobby were on 4lbs of Safe Choice a day. And that's it. And they looked fabulous.

Fast forward to today:




Same horse? I think not. Disgusting. I think he's lost about 300 pounds. No shit. But he only has to make it through two more days and he'll be able to look like a rotund Standardbred again. Only, he's a Thoroughbred. But still.

I'll get after pictures of Red tomorrow. He doesn't look nearly as bad, but comparitively, to where he was in December, he looks dreadful.

I'm starting Red back into work sloowly. I'm not going to ride him until we move barns and he starts eating right again, but I'm going to lunge him in side reins a few times a week just to get him oot and aboot.

We went ten minutes total today, mostly walk/trot transitions with three circles at the canter each way.

red! we're not hunter pony anymore!

kind of dressage pony?
He did not want to canter to the right. He never does. It ended like this:


Me: Canter.

Red: No.

Me: Caanter.

Red: Nope.

Me: CANTER.

Red: Ok, fine. Proceeds to leap into canter, get tangled in lunge line, and take off across the arena where the gate is open.

Red: Oh, hey. I'm stuck in my lunge line. Help?

Ohh, Red. So we regrouped and finished our three circles with minimum fuss. He got a bath, Bobby got hosed off and put back out (He had to come in with us because he can't be out alone.), and away we all went on our hungry ways.



Friday, August 19, 2011

Hubby is like....

Ok, so in my infinite moneyless boredom, I decided to waste literally my entire day on the internet as I only have enough money for one more $10 squirt of gas, and I have to use that to get to the barn Monday to load up Bobby. After perusing several random blogs, spending far too much time on the Chronicle Forums, and chatting with anyone who was willing to stay online when they saw me being active of the facebook, I revisited the classic "Put your name in quotes on google and see what comes up" Game.

My results were boring. They were mostly soap opera drama. Apparently Carly is a t.v. vixen. " It's true, Carly is like OBSESSED with you, Logan!" "Carly is like 15 yrs younger than Sonny!" I also stumbled across some Carly Patterson (Olympic gymnast, for those living under a Carly-less rock) drama. "Carly is like the little kid who drank too much high-sugar fruit punch at the party and now nobody can shut her up."

Oh, no you didn't.

Well, then that game got tiring pretty quickly, so I put in Hubby's name instead. LOL. Waay better.

"Aaron is like cupcakes, blow jobs and Christmas morning all rolled into one atom bomb of a man."

Oh, yes. Yes he is.

atom bomb? yes.
 Of course, after seeing such an apt description of dear ole Hubby, I had to see more. So I followed the link. To further expand your knowledge:

“Aaron is like cupcakes, blow jobs and Christmas morning all rolled into one atom bomb of a man. I would show up to the opening of an envelope if Aaron told me he would be there. I have never felt more loved, more comfortable, more welcome, at any function than when my Guncle is there to greet me. And you know that envelope would be filled with hot pink glitter and naked pictures of Johnny Depp or something. You’re crazy to throw a party without this man. He IS the party. He cums sparklers and rainbows….He can make anything fun! He elevates the human experience and radiates generosity & love. I’m privileged to know him. A truly genuine, unique soul.” – Jessica Fechner

Who is this Jessica Fechner and how does she know??

Honestly, I can't tell you shit about what Guncle is, but there are plenty of fabulous quotes on there and it made the whole game worth it.

Try it yourself. I'm off to find the scoop on some more people.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pictures are in!

Pictures finally went up on facebook from the High Standards Horse Trials July 30th. So did the pictures from BCHP. Those can be seen here. There are a couple of Red and I's sloow start in the public gallery (Elementary X-Country), including one of me trying to go under a tree without getting knocked out. My mom bought me a couple, including one of us killing the stone wall. Whoop!

big smile after going over the ditch.

final fence!

stadium

second to last fence in stadium.
Bobby looks seriously cute in his cross country pictures. I'm so bummed I'm not going to be able to bring him along myself. He's so fun to ride and I know I've brought him along in huge leaps and bounds from where he was when I first got him. Sigh. A COTHer is coming to look at him tomorrow and it sounds like a really great fit, but I'm still seriously bummed.

Hubby and I took a look at Hidden Hollow Farm yesterday, and......Red found a new home! We're moving him there the first. Originally, we'd planned on moving him as soon as Bobby found a new home, but the Saturn got new brakes, and calipers, and rotars, and tires. Ugh. So that was a month's board and Red's going to have to tough it out for a couple more weeks. The woman that owns/runs the place seems like a tough old bird, but in a good way. She knew every little thing about every single one of the horses, boarders included. All her horses, even several 20-30 year old ones, looked fat and shiny. She feeds hay hay 24/7 and she's always out in the barn or giving lessons so she misses nothing. About 75% of her land is pasture with wood fencing and every paddock has a run-in. The barn itself if pretty rag-ma-rag with several different sized stalls, but there's a ton of shaving, everyone has fans, there's no dust, flies, or cobwebs anywhere, mats on all the aisles, and each boarder gets their own tack locker. Her husband and son both died a few years ago so her jumps, xcountry included, are looking pretty sad, but she does have them. She was also super interested in working out something with Hubby (who used to build jumps with an eventing trainer) building and restoring the jumps. She'd buy the materials and he'd get to work. We didn't decide anything final, but at least we got it out there.

Gahh, I can't wait to move on from the shitty point in my ponies lives and get to some place better!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Glimmer of Hope

I had Hubby take me to the barn this morning in the middle of workday so I could try to catch CL and her trainer to talk to them about Bobby. (Best Hubby ever, needless to say.) We got there and no one else was around, but I stayed while Hubby went off and worked in the area. I weight-taped Red: 930 pounds, down from 959 pounds three days ago! I noticed that his hips look way more sunken in and I basically started flipping silent shit. Bobby's weight has remained steady for the past week, though certainly no gaining.

Finally, CL's friend pulled in and was like, "How are you doing this morning?" And I broke down into violent sobbing. Again. She gave me a big hug and was like, "I know, I know. We're in this with you." It did make me feel better to realize that they do know what's going and totally understand the situation because they're out every day dealing with the same shit, too. So we sat down and talked for awhile and she told me that her and CL are moving their four horses out at the end of the month, too. They already found a place in Jersey Shore which is about half an hour past the current barn, so that'd make it about an hour to an hour and fifteen minute drive for me. No can do.

However, she did say that she'd talk to their trainer and send out an email to the local 4H about Bobby. That made me feel better that at least he's getting out there now and I'd know he was going to a good home. It really, really sucks that I'm going to be losing some serious money on just giving him away, but at the same time, I want to do what's best for him and I just can't afford to bring him to a better barn and obviously this barn is horrible for both horses. I'm going to just have to make sure he goes to a great place and start with a clean slate making sure I finally give Red the amazing care he deserves at a new barn.

Later today, CL called me and left a message saying that the owner of the barn they're moving to might be interested in taking Bobby and she might come out Thursday to take a look at him. I also posted on the COTH Giveaway forum and got literally seven responses within the afternoon. It makes me feel better that he'll find a home fast and it's up to me to make sure he gets the best one. One more huge step to getting the eff out of there!

Monday, August 8, 2011

BCHP ST - EH

We finished an entire event!

But wait. Didn't Bobby and I finish the event at Dansville last weekend? Yes we did. But Bobby got replaced by Red the morning of Bucks Co. Horse Park Schooling Trials so this was the first event Red and I finished together.

Saturday, Hubby dropped my off at the barn to get Bobby ready. Bobby, while his weight has remained the same according to my weight tape, has looked even skinnier than usual. To the point where I am seriously ashamed of myself for riding him and he is not going to get ridden again while I have him. But more to that later. I started giving him a bath, throwing around how to break it to Hubby that our $80 entry fee couldn't be refunded when I noticed a huge swelling on Bobby's stomach. Great. I poke it. He ignores me. I poke it some more and he whips his head around to try to bite me. So, despite common sense, I crawl under him to get a better look. Lo and behold, there's a tick buried in his belly, just in front of his sheath! Yuck. I yanked it out, but if I was selfishly on the fence about withdrawing him before, there was no way he was going now.



It went down to nothing more than a little pouch where the tick was by last night, but still tender to the touch. No temperature, so at this point I don't think it's infected or anything; I think he just had a bad reaction. While I was waiting for Hubby to come back to pick me up, I decided to practice my braiding skillz on Bobby while he ate his alfalfa. He was mostly patient with me, and I think he looked rather cute when I was done.


ohh, boredom.

Hubby picked me up about half an hour after I braided Bobby, cleaned literally all of my tack, groomed Red, and sat around for awhile. We sat down and had a looong discusion about the state of the boys and the boarding situation. Basically what we came up with was that BO can't be trusted for shit, this situation sucks, and we really need to make some changes. But more on that later, too.

Then Red came into play. He was ridden all last week and a few times the week before so while he hasn't just been sitting there like a big potato, he's certainly not in tip-top shape either. But since Bobby was only entered in Elementary Horse and Intro Horse was so ridiculously easy the week before, we figured why not take a chance with Red, and if he gives us any indication he's not fit enough, we'll yank him. So we made some last minute phone calls and emails, and at 6:30 am the morning of, we heard back that it would be no problem to switch the two horses out. Onto the trailer Red went, bathed and clipped in world record time.

And guess what? We got there with warm up time to spare! Tah dah! I let him have about forty minutes to warm up so we could do alot of walking and stretching and bending work. He was great in warm up, picking up his right lead like a superstar, and totally attentive to me.

cheesing while trying not to cause any collisions.

trying to revert to hunter pony mode.

I went into dressage with a great mindset. I wasn't spot on with my test as I had barely practiced it, so I was a little early into some of my transistions. I totally blew the canter transition to the right, not giving Red enough time or set up to nail it, so he kind of trantered half of the circle before picking up a great canter on the correct lead to finish it off. We got a 5, but the judge commented that it was a better quality of canter. She also commented on his free walk that he should stretch deeper and was sluggish. I'll agree with the latter part because he was just poking along, but Red is a champion stretcher at the free walk. His nose goes almost to the ground and he reaches out and swings along really freely. I thought her scores were pretty hard overall. She gave us a 39.0, but I still felt good about the test and kept a great attitude. We ended up in 10th out of 12.

Hubby only managed to video half of the test before the puppies decided to maul innocent bystanders--a.k.a. beg for attention by wiggling and barking.

video

We walked the cross country course in timely fashion as well, and I was totally impressed by the BN riders on course. I was not prepared for how much of a "real" event this was! The show last weekend was seriously a backyard get together compared to this. Anyway, I thought the course was very straight forward and I didn't see any potential problems with the exception of a fence between two trees leading into the woods.

Stadium brought us back to our old friend the stone wall; the same that got us eliminated at Plantation in June. Red decided to be a diva about the flowers and refused the third fence--the first that had them--but I kept my head and brought him back up to them from a good spot at the trot, gave him a smack on the butt, and over he went. The next two went fine, then came the stone wall. I think this time it was as much the stone standards that were scary than the wall itself. He refused, despite what I thought was a good effort on my part to get him over. But again, I stayed cool (unlike at Plantation), brought him back around at the trot from a good spot, gave him two solid smacks on the rumpus, and he jumped it! Mission accomplished! We could have ended it there! He went clear the rest of the way, but we ended up with 22 times faults and 12 faults overall. He didn't have a pole, so maybe I went off course at one point? Or got a fault for using my whip on his shoulder to a fence (the stone wall, of course)? That knocked us down to 12th out of 12.

warm up.

fence two

fence five leading up to the stone wall

"GOOD BOY!!"
We walked the twenty-ish minutes between stadium and xcountry to give him a breather. There were two small log jumps right out of the box, and I let him trot those. Why? Bad decision making. We trotted the third fence--a tiny ramp, then trotted the fourth--a coop. He stopped at the coop, but I dug my spurs in and he stepped/hopped over it. He must have taken a step back though because it got counted as a refusal. I put my thinking cap on after that and asked him to canter and he jumped the next jump perfectly fine--as he would have done the previous four.

Fence six was down into a ditch (not a jump ditch, a water runoff ditch), up a hill, over a raised log, straight down hill again. I made Red trot down the first hill, he picked up the canter by himself, jumped over the log, and cantered down the hill by himself. I would have preferred to trot down it, but he thought that was nonsense. Good thing he's part mountain thorougbred!

getting into the groove.
Fence 7 was a gate after an immediate left turn from the log....


...to the jump between the trees....


...to the railroad ties....


 ...to a sharp turn around two trees to the planks.....

partnership right there, boi!
red: where to next, mom?
me: to the right, brave stallion!

.....to a really chopped up road that I made Red trot over before cantering off to finish over another coop.


and we finished our first event together!
We moved up to tenth after xcountry, but one rider was elimintated, so we really only beat one person. I was a little bummed, but it didn't last long. I know exactly what mistakes I need to fix and what to do next to go clear both rounds. Red came out of it a little tired, but when we got back to the barn, I turned him out in the field to stretch his legs and he bullied Bobby around for awhile before rolling in a fresh mud puddle and trotting off to find a good place to graze. I think he was proud of himself and all the cookies he got.

Which brings us to:
Total BULLSHIT.

While Hubby cleaned out the trailer (thanks, Hubs!), I put all my stuff away, gave both horses hay, then checked to see if they'd been grained yet or if I needed to give Red his dinner myself. Well, BO had set out AM bags of grain already. For both horses. Which means he had already fed out the PM bags of grain. Both bags. Confirmed by the empty PM bags. So I checked Red's feed bucket, thinking he had just dumped it in. Nope. Empty. Hubby walked in just then and I burst into hysterical sobbing. BO had fed Red's PM grain, but not to Red! Who the fuck knows who he fed it to. Red gets his SmartTendon in the PM, not to mention its 4lbs of grain and 1/2lb of Calf Manna. Who knows if he's been feeding him OR Bobby their own grain at all this whole time?! No wonder they're so fucking skinny!! IT'S NOT FAIR that I'm doing EVERYTHING I can to get weight on these horses with zero help from BO and now THIS!

They will be out by the end of the month and you can bet your fucking ass I'm not telling BO that until I'm pulling out of the driveway. I cannot afford to bring two horses somewhere else or they'd have been gone months ago. So Bobby has to find a new home. I will give him away for free to the right home, but if I can't find someone by the end of the month, I'm going to put him down. I'm not going to let him literally starve to death where we are now because of BO. I'm going to talk to CL's trainer tomorrow to see if she can take him, or if she knows someone that will. Red will either go to Walnut Hollow Farm or Hidden Hollow Farm. Board is $400/horse, which is what I'm paying for both horses now. This is such a fucking unbelievable situation I'm in right now, no one not boarding there can even understand it.