Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jumping!

Ok, before we get into the excitement of a sound horse doing more than walking around in circles, I have to tell you all a funny story. BM has a big Aussie who is the dopiest dog on the planet. He's in love with Darcy and Emily though and he always gets so excited when they come to the barn with me. However, the girls have been on probation for the past week (imposed by me) for being very naughty the last time I brought them. Anyway, BM was talking to me while I was tacking Bobby up and Burton ambled in for some pets. BM asked him where his girlfriends were and he came hopping over to me barking. I had to tell him they weren't in the car so he wouldn't get to see them so he ran over to the phone on the wall, jumped up so his front feet were on either side of it, and barked at us. "Let's call the girls!" BM and I were hysterical. He must have made the connection that when the phone gets used, BO comes down with her dog so....phone = dogs appear! Poor Burtie. He's mentally challenged in such a smart way.

nom nom.
I was amazed to see that Bobby still had both his hoof boot and his bell boot on this morning, less a giant chunk where he tried to eat it off his foot. I tossed that one and found another one in BO's giant box of old bell boots that she gave me free range on. We'll see if this one lasts more than a day.

I took Bobby out to the outdoor since there was a lesson in the indoor and he was feeling awesome. I let him dictate what we wanted to do and he was totally go go go today. I warmed him up at the w/t/c for thirty minutes, then decided to test the hoof boot and pop him over a few jumps. The tire jump was at 2'3, the gate was at 2'6, and there was a 2' three stride vertical line.

Bobby beasted that shit. I didn't have to add any leg at all which was kind of nice because I could point him in the general direction of a fence and spend the time trying to fix my own position instead of worry about what he was doing. He did have one stop the first time I brought him to the line, but it was complete rider error. Apparently one of us is smart enough that when you get turned too soon and are face-to-face with the standard instead of the pole, you should probably press the abort button. Whoops. Sorry dude. Other than that, he was fabulous. We finished off with the gate which was set at angle off the rail and he killed it. So perfect. "I iz your Important Event Horsie and I iz jumping all the jumps!"

"i will be getting a cookie for this, right?"
The farrier that put his shoe on last week will be out tomorrow and after a talk with BO, I think I'm just going to switch to him permanately. He does a lot of corrective shoeing, and while Bobby doesn't necessarily need corrective work, he does need more than four plain shoes slapped on to fall off once (or twice) a week. He'll get clips on the front tomorrow and next time he's due he'll get quarter clips on the back too. Hopefully that will do the trick.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down.

Bobby got the thumbs up from the farrier yesterday to go back into full work, including jumping and trail riding. I rode him for thirty minutes in the indoor with a good canter to the right, and lots of good w/t work for the first twnety minutes. As we were cruising along totally content, I was thinking to myself, "Bobby has been so good lately. He's really do for a blow up."

Cue crazy cows.

There's a large herd of beefers across the road from the indoor and they were right up against the fence yesterday, mooing away to their hearts content. You might not think this is a big deal for a horse that was born and raised at an ag school and has been around cows for five out of his seven years of life, but you'd be wrong. Giraffe neck made its reapparance and we spent the rest of the ride working on getting his nose out of the clouds so we could finish on a semi-respectable note.


Today started off with a full load of laundry thrown into the washer because Oscar had peed on them, followed by a call to the vet to test for a UTI because Oscar is like a very tidy gay man and would never not use the litter box unless something was wrong. I got an appointment for him in the afteroon and headed to the barn early.

oscar hunting ants.
I swear I'm going to start going to the barn an nine at night so I don't have to be greeted by anyone. No one ever has good things to say to me when I get there. Today was from BM: "Your horse is still outside because he incited a riot this morning and got everyone running and no one would come down." Robert..... He's such a wild beast when he's turned out.

So I armed myself with crinkly wrapped peppermints and headed up to get him. As soon as he saw me come up the hill, he neighed and made his merry way to the gate, ready to be brought in. "Mom, that evil woman abandoned me out here and it's hot and buggy and I'm starving to death! What? No, I didn't do anything wrong!" Mm hmm.

Now, will it suprise any of you that when I led him out, he was head bobbing lame? No! Not by now, right? And I bet by now you're going, "His shoe was off, wasn't it?" Mother effer. Same shoe--LF. His bell boot experiment was short lived as he came in with only one the second day and none the third day. They're the double velcroed Proffessional Choice bell boots and he rips them off with his teeth. Because that is just too much fun.

However, BM scared me up a hoof boot and I tacked him up for yet another twenty minute walk. I pulled my stirrups off and rode the whole time without them. It wasn't very taxing, with the exception of my thirty seconds of two point work. "Is by bum actually out of the saddle?? Maybe? Ah, yes. There's the breeze. Two point achieved." His walk work was really great at least. I expect all 10s on walk movements next weekend. Or not.


The farrier that put his shoe back on last week is supposed to be coming out tomorrow so hopefully he can tack a new one back on. My farrier will be putting clips on next week regardless, mabye even by the end of the week if other farrier doesn't come out. This is ridiculous! It doesn't help that Mr Mouth thinks bell boots are more fun to toss in the air than actually wear.

To top it off, the poor Fat Cat does indeed have a UTI and will be having antibiotics shoved down his throat twice a day for the next two weeks. He will not be happy, and neither is the ole check book.

waiting for his test results.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Butt Ventilation.

With the hot weather starting up with a vengence, I've taken some time to sit down and plot how to best keep Mr Magee and myself cool. Bobby is a heavy sweater and I feel like I literally melt when it gets too hot and I don't have a pool or large water trough to lounge about in on hand. Before I share my tricks of the delicate flower trade, I'd like everyone to take a moment to acknowledge the name of this blog: Poor Woman Showing. There will be no fancy cooling sheets or shirts. There will be no ceiling sprinklers that mist deodorizing water upon my lovely helmeted head during rides. (Speaking of--yuck! did my gloves stink today!) This blog could just as easily be called "Good God, Carly! What are you wearing?!" or "That poor, poor horse that has to be outfitted by that slum lord." But that's one too many "that"s and no one likes a blasphemous blog title.

Moving on.

I've always been amazed by people who can ride in shorts.

no helmet? shame on me. but this was last year.
I've tried this methodolgy with very little success. Even with appropriately ghetto half chaps over tennis shoes in place, I still found myself getting rubbed a bit raw.

I've tried the not-deodorizing but heavily-misting rides.

gosh, i wish my muffin top was gone now...

 I don't mind riding in the rain, but there are three major problems with going this direction:

1) As if sweaty pants weren't bad enough to peel off your sweaty ass, now you have soaking wet sweaty pants to deal with.

2) Not all of us live in areas where it readily rains. I certainly don't. This isn't upstate NY anymore.

and 3) When you fall off, as you're sure to do....well, it's even worse than usual.

i love me a good mud bath.
You can take your trusty steed swimming.

afraid of water my ass.

Not all of us have trusty steeds or adequate swimming holes though. And it comes back to the soaking wet pants or riding in shorts again.

So where does this leave us? As far as ponies go, I'm a firm believer that there's no such thing as too much spraying in the face with the hose.



What's that? Your horse isn't a complete retard hose whore like the above dumb asses fine specimens? Well, start to convert them.

But what about my poor, melting self? Where does this leave me beside slightly wet from hose spray-back? Perfectly cool on my lower half because I dug out an old pair of jeans that has a very convienent hole for my derrier. It's not noticable when I'm standing as the back pocket scrunches down and hides it, nor is it visible when I'm sitting in the saddle. That is, unless, I'm in half seat or posting. Which is just fine by me because a) I have few inhibitions, and b) I hate peeling sweaty underwear off after the half hour ride home that follows a good (or bad) ride. Air flow, baby. Air flow.

So am I advocating putting a huge hole in your jeans for your riding pleasure?

Why, yes. Yes I am.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Weekend


Hmm. What did I even do Saturday? Heat stroke is starting to set in and fry my brain cells. Pretty sure I did a w/t ride in the indoor which must have been pretty uneventful since I don't really remember it. I dragged Hubby out with me both Sunday and today so I have photographic and video evidence that I did do something.

I do really appreciate Hubby coming out, especially when it's so hot and muggy out and there are far more fun things to be doing, but my over-controlling self would like him to stand in an optimum spot inside the arena to take pictures. And not get distracted by silly things. As it was, Saturday he parked it halfway up teh bleachers when I was in the outdoor and most of the pictures were over-zoomed and fuzzy or too far away. But they are pictures so I can't complain...too much!


we took lots of breaks. it was soo hot.
Saturday's ride, Mr Magee was much too hot and he didn't want to go forward at all. Plus, he's never particularly good in the outdoor unless he's jumping. I picked up a dressage whip for the first few minutes of the ride because I didn't have my spurs on and while it did get him to step out a bit more, he also instantly tensed up and I ended up dropping it not long into trot work.


The major things I see I need to work on:

1) Pull my awful shoulders back.

2) Keep my awful heels down. There are more parts of my leg that can both get Bobby moving more forward and bending than my damn heels and ankles.

3) Pick up my awful hands. What are they doing floating about down there?!

I gave into temptation and popped him over the tire jump. The first time, he was poking along and I basically had to lift him up and over the stupid jump, but he woke up and cantered back around to it to jump like a normal horse.

"whaaa? where did this come from?"

first canter in 3 weeks!

oh, so you can pick your feet up.

Today, Hubby had to work half a day so we didn't go up until 2:30 in the afternoon and it was hot. Mid-nineties and disgustingly muggy. Fortunately, no one was around so we had the indoor to ourselves. Not as much of a breeze, but at least it was shady.

I made a point to keep telling myself to open my chest, which is what my dressage coach in college always preached to me (really, I have no idea why....lol!), in hopes that I could improve my slouchy shoulders. I see--and felt--an improvement from yesterday, but still a long way to go. I also tried to keep my hands up more, but I think I'm going to have to really exaggerate this so they're kind of sort of where they're supposed to be. I forgot to put my spurs on, but I still tried to keep my heel not so busy.



As far as Bobby goes, he's clearly nothing fancy right now, but (buuuut....what's with all the buts?) he's relaxed and obedient and he has some moments of looking like a good pony. Note the fabulous halt down the centerline. We got an 8 on our halt on our last dressage test. At least the big donkey can do something well! For a BN dressage test anyway.

cooling off.
I'm hoping Bobby's fitness baseline is enough to carry us through Plantation since we haven't done more than twenty minute rides for the past four days after having almost no work since Burgundy Hollow the first weekend of May. It's been so hot and humid, I don't even want to push it, but (!) I think I'll try to go out on some trails this week. Even if we're not out for long, at least they're hills. I'll see how he handles doing the whole BN stadium and xcountry course this Sunday for our schooling at BH and ramp things up or keeping plugging along until next weekend.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Knock on wood.

back under tack!
Hopefully I won't jinx anything this time and my naughty horse will still have all his shoes on properly tomorrow. He survived the night with bell boots intact and was ready to go this morning. I rode him for fifteen minutes at the walk and five minutes at the trot. Aaaand....he was sound! (Knock on wood.)

Sunday will mark three weeks since he last got ridden for more than just a short walk or w/t trot and he hasn't put a foot wrong yet. For a 7yo. OTTB with a propensity for throwing massive temper tantrums, he hasn't even needed to go on the longe. In fact, he's been more relaxed these past two rides than he's ever been. We just picked up right where we left off with the bonus of having massage work done. Long and low? No problem. Come up a little more? Fine. Steady rhythm? Check.

I really think he had a huge mental turn around after the show. He seems so much more confident in himself and willing to go to work. He actually lets out his shrill princess whinny when I walk into the barn now which he's never done. He is, after all, an event horse now and event horses have to be a little cocky. Just ask him.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Enough already!

Well, that riding victory was short lived. I needed some serious pony time due to unbelievable crazies going on in my life right now. However, BO greeted me with, "Your horse sprung a shoe." WHAT?! ARGHBLRGHGBLR!!!

Fortunately, there were two farriers at the barn so one of them was kind enough to tack the stupid thing back on for me for the price of a coffee. Of course it had to be the foot that he has the puncture in so he was too ouchie for me to ride. Urgh. The farrier seconded my farrier's venice turpentine remedy which he was due to start today anyway, so I dutifully slathered the sticky stuff on. I also strapped bell boots to his effing legs and left a note on the board that he had to go out with them on. I've tried this before and he tore them to shreds one time and lost them somewhere in his giant pasture the second time so I just gave up. Now I'm going to start a bell boot war with him. Stop screwing up your feet, Robert!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Roberto!

I finally got to ride my pony today! It was only fifteen minutes of walking, but still!

a couple months off the track.

There was a lesson going on in the indoor when I got to the barn and I wanted to ride him in there because of the soft footing, so I gave him a good grooming and put him back in his stall to wait while I rode Spyder first. As soon as I stuck Spyder on the crossties in front of Bobby's stall, he started whinnying until I gave him some cookies and he contented himself to keeping his nose pressed against the bars of his door. Now that he is a bonafide Important Event Horsie, he thinks being in work is imparative and these past two weeks have been too boring for him.

The lesson was just getting done as I got finished tacking Spyder up, so I decided to start him off in the indoor and, if he was being good, finish in the outdoor. He was a bit of a fruitbat the first few minutes, but finally settled in and got to work. We did fifteen minutes of w/t/c--4 minutes of two point at the trot and 4 minutes at the canter--and hacked up to the outdoor. He was not so good out there. I did have brakes this time and better steering, but still no attention span whatsoever. He'd be gazing off in the distance, watching other horses graze while I kicked and kicked trying to get him to move faster than a sick sloth and then he'd suddenly tune back in and be like, "Oh! You're kicking me!" zing!! Then we'd start all over again. I finally finished with some semi-decent trot-halt transitions and a few trips over the trail bridge before calling it quits.

Mr Magee was ready to do some work. He stood like a statue on the crossties while I tacked him up and didn't even make his grouchy faces when I did up his girth. He opened his mouth right up and stuck his head in the bridle, ready to go.

I let him dictate our pace when I got on and he started off pretty hesitantly, like he was afraid it was going to hurt. However, he didn't take a bad step and he was soon striding out nicely and we got to work on giving to the bit and bending. He could walk at whatever speed he wanted to, but he still had to do some thinking work. When we got done he was nosing me for treats, certain that he had earned them for being a sensible pony after two weeks off. He of course got them.

mr magee at his first dressage show last year.
About five minutes in to my fifteen minute ride on Bobby, Barn Girl (BG) came in with Trip. BG has been riding at the barn since she was a kid, like most of the people here, but she hasn't had a horse here for a long time. She seems to come and go as she pleases in phases and rides whatever horse she wants for awhile before she gets bored and goes through a no barn phase. That's the BO's descision, so whatever, but it kind of makes me scratch my head. In the ten minutes I was in the arena, she had done some posting trot, a lot of sitting trot, and had already cantered one way. When I left, she was cantering the other way. Now, I put in a pretty quick ride on Spyder, so warm up is what it is, but Trip's back has gotten so bad that when you curry him, he sits down. Running your hands down his back elicits ear pinning, kicking out, and snapping. The last thing the horse needs is sitting trot work and no warm up.

I feel like I should say something to BO, but BO is one of those people that if she doesn't "discover" the issue herself, than no one else can possibly know what they're talking about and brushes it off. Hmm. At least Bobby is sound. Small win?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hallelujah!


trip and spyder wanted to come in with robert.
Nothing exciting to report from yesterday. Same foot as the one from the days before. However, the farrier did actually come out this afternoon, and....

It's not an abscess! I wanted to know why the stupid thing hadn't blown out yet and Farrier was like, "Well, it's acting more like a puncture wound." Hello, Farrier. If you had been there on time when I was waiting around to talk to you, I could have told you that we yanked a nail out from where the spot was. Oh, well. I probably would have been doing the same thing anyway. It was weeping a little bit when he poked around in the hole with a nail, but Bobby wasn't bothered by it so that's promising. Farrier said he was astonished at how much Bobby's feet fell apart in just four days. He got all four shoes back on, with brand new shoes on the front. Farrier dumped iodine on his toes and sent him on his way with a new treatment plan.

Bobby will be soaked two more days once a day for only ten minutes just to make sure the hole stays clean, and then he'll get ichtammol on it after his soak. Then I'll start putting Venice Turpentine on it to toughen up the area. Hopefully I can get back on him this weekend!

In other good news, turnout got switched all around so now Bobby is going out from 2:30pm - 7:30am instead of the other way around. He'll still get to be with his friends Spyder, Trip, and Ranger, and his other herdmate Bennie with a new addition of one of the cutest Arabians on the planet, Ty. Memphis will be getting turned out with Sarah's other horse Blackberry who will hopefully teach him some manners. More turnout and no bullies? I'll take it!

artie. so handsome.
I rode Spyder again this morning. Much, much better after some tack changes. I rode in a jump saddle with a running martingale and my Micklem with the slow twist. It all came together for the happy, responsive horse that I fell in love with last year and a really great ride. I equalled my seven minutes of two point in a jump saddle. My legs were burning with the short stirrup length, but it felt good to be riding again with a nice horse. I'm going to try to get on him a few more times before Bobby comes back into work so I don't get too rusty.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Come on already!

I went out this morning with fingers crossed that the stupid abscess had popped overnight, but no such luck. However, it's definitely starting to move down because after soaking, there was a squishy pocket where the nail had twisted in and he was very ouchie there. He was walking better all around though, so I went crazy with Gorilla Tape, dug out his fly mask for the 85* weather, and tossed the poor pony out. He was quite sensible and walked up the hill, but he did not want to come back in this afternoon.

"my fly mask means i get to play outside,
so why do i still have to stand in this tub?!"
I really, really thought walking around outside would make the stupid thing open. But no. There's a teeny, tiny crack on the spot and I think I could pretty easily open it up, but just poking it with my finger made him go up on the crossties. Grrrrrrrr. It better be open tomorrow!

sporting giraffe print vet wrap this time around.
I decided to ride Spyder while I was out, but now I wish I didn't. He was awful. It was like riding a two year old. I had no steering, minimum brakes, and negative zero attention span. We were up in the outdoor and my first ten minutes of riding consisted of yank-tug-yank-kick-tug-tug. He literally walked over the mounting block and fell on his face, and I let him hoping it would wake him up to where the fuck his feet were. Nope. I figured I'd let him do a few laps of canter to see if it got some sillies out, but I quickly put a stop to that when he started careening around the arena with no steering whatsoever. So I stuck him in the roundpen.


I finished off riding him with a little w/t in the roundpen and called it quits. It was too hot to make a big deal about it. I was pretty disappointed though. I started riding him not long after he came to the barn from the track and he was way better back then than he was today after being used in lessons. Sad face.

Fingers crossed Robert's damn foot starts pussing tomorrow!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Footsie.

I was super happy to see this news story this afternoon. Why? Todd Bixler is one of Hubby's clients and one of our first real friends we made when we moved down here. Jesse, his son, took care of my horses (Red, Storm, and Bobby) whenever Hubby and I were away when I was leasing a pasture down the road from their farm. You know he's a cool kid because out of those three, his favorite horse was Red Pony. Todd was out of the hospital in three weeks after the accident, but Jesse stayed in an induced coma for several months. Todd's hands were burned the worse and he still has to wear gloves when he's outside, but obviously Jesse took the brunt of the explosion. It's awesome to see him not only alive, but functioning pretty normally!

finishing his breakfast hay during his soak.
On the pony front, the bad news is that Other Farrier did not make an appearance today. At least, I'm asuming he didn't because BO said she would call me if she heard back from him that he would be coming out. It's now 6pm and no word. However, BO did say that my regular farrier will be out Monday. Apparently he didn't trim Robert's feet because A) without the shoes, his feet would have crumbled into nothingness in the four days between visits (this is true--Bobby has awful feet) so he'd just have to trim them again, and B) Robert was in so much pain, he was not cooperating at all even holding a foot up.


However, the good news is that, while still very ouchie and lame, he walked out of his stall much better this morning. We even ventured up the hill for fifteen minutes of grazing. Nothing like knee high wet grass for an extra foot soak!

NOM!

darcy grazing as well.
If he's even slightly improved tomorrow, he's going outside. I know he's got to be footsore all around without shoes on, and I know his LF has got to really hurt, but I hate having him in his stall all day. I'd imagine walking around outside would help get the juices flowing to pop this friggin' thing as well.

I dug a little more out, but still no explosion of grossness. Grr.
I may have to also cave in to BO's suggestion to get on another horse while I'm out there. I'm starting to miss riding!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Poor Robert!

Bobby did not have a very good day yesterday. I went out all geared up for a fun, easy ride expecting him to feel great after his massage and his new feet. Instead, I walked into the barn and BM greeted me with, "Your horse is dead lame. He could barely walk into his stall." My first question was whether he'd gotten his feet done Tuesday or not. Nope. The farrier wouldn't be there until 6:30 last night. Argh.

I grab some cookies and go to see him. I opened the stall door and immediately see a giant gash just in front of his right flank. No questions where it's from; I know where it's from--Memphis. He beats up on every single one of the horses out there. Every day Bobby comes in with a new mark somewhere on him. I've complained to every single person with some semblance of responsibilites in the barn, and still nothing has been done. Maybe now that Bobby is sporting a huge bite mark on him, some turnout changes can be made. Bobby's not smart enough to walk away when someone picks on him, and he certainly won't try to fight back. I scrubbed it with some iodine then sprayed it with Blue Kote before I even looked at his feet.

Back in the stall, I asked him to step over so he wasn't crowding the wall and he just looked back at me with a sad Bobby face. That's when I notice he's not putting any weight on his LF. I pick it up and his shoe is barely hanging on and one of the nails is half out, assumably poking him painfully. No problem. I'll just yank the shoe since the farrier will be there that evening. Of course, this quickly turns into the pulling comb situation where all farrier tools except for dozens of rasps have magically gone missing just when I need them. BM and I tear down the barn and we can't even find a pair of friggin' vice grips to at least get the nail out. But guess what I did find? A pulling comb. Haaaahaha. Ha. It would have been funny if I wasn't pissed.

So for lack of farrier tools and regular tools, I wield the newly discovered pulling comb and get to work on Bobby's mane. In case a nail digging into his foot and a stinging bite mark wasn't fun enough....

Finally, one of the barn workers comes in and he has vice grips. I hold up Bobby's foot while the worker braces himself and tries to yank the nail out without twisting it around. Bobby was a good boy, craning his head around to watch the proceedings without attempting to bite either one of us. The stupid thing finally came out and while still not totally comfortable, he put weight on it and started eating his hay.

I had to leave before the farrier got there because I'd left the dogs tied out under beautiful blue skies and it had started to pour out at the barn. We usually don't get the same weather at our house as the barn, but I didn't want to risk my poor puppies melting in the rain. They both have huge trees to chill under while they're out there, but still. I got home and it wasn't even sprinkling, and Hubby had gotten home by that point anyway so it didn't matter.

"but everyone else is doing fun things! why do i just have to stand around?"
I got a message from BO late last night saying that the farrier had found an abscess in the LF. As much as that sucks, it does make sense. I stopped by the grocery store on my way to the barn and grabbed some diapers and a new bag of epsom salts since I have about a cup left of my old stuff. I was expecting to see shapely hooves and perhaps a hole or some sort of indication of the farrier doing....something....but there was nothing.

His shoes had been yanked and that was it. He didn't even get trimmed! I. was. pissed. I get the pulled shoes--no problems there. I can understand him not digging if he thought the abscess was too deep. But why the hell did he not trim his feet? He's three weeks overdue at this point! Grrrr. Supposedly the other barn farrier is coming out tomorrow so he's going to do a trim and a little digging if he thinks he should.

I soaked his hoof in epsom salts for twenty minutes and did some massage work on him while we were waiting.


I've always wrapped abscesses with an epsom salt paste polutice messy mix, but BM said to use icthamol so I gave it a try. Opinions on which is better? Slapped the diaper on and used fancy vet wrap since I couldn't find my duct tape.

"really? are we done with the pictures now?"
I gave him half a gram of bute chased with a healthy dose of probiotics with his dinner. I felt so bad for him. Even the short trip from his stall to the wash stall made him Gimpy Magee. Hopefully this doesn't take too long to resolve. Mr Pony Face is making me feel like a horrible mother.

In better news, I talked with BM again about Memphis in turnout. She figured out a new rotation and said she'd see what she could do to make it work. It sounds promising, so hopefully no more giant bite marks!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bad news on the clinic front.

I've had to cancel my spot for the Jimmy Wofford Clinic in June. Insert super sad face here, followed by lots of self pity tears. The clinic takes place on the first weekend of June and that Saturday just so happens to be my birthday. Hubby was all gung-ho for taking the day off (he works Saturdays this time of the year) when I sent in the check and entry back in March, but as I was getting things organized last week and trying to find a hotel room and a place for the dogs, he decided he couldn't possibly get the day off. Really? Really. He doesn't get paid for overtime, he just has his head up his boss's backside. I'm trying not to be childish, but I'm really kind of pissed. It wouldn't be a big deal at all if the stupid P.O.S. truck we bought so that I could do things on my own this summer worked, but it doesn't. It's sitting in the driveway still sporting a hole in the gas tank. Fabulous.

Bobby's had the past few days off to let his body recover and wait for his feet to get done (today is the day). I'm going to try to get out tomorrow or Thursday, but it might have to wait for Friday. So everything is kind of on the "blah" front right now with nothing to blog about.

Plantation has been penciled in for June 10th with a schooling at Burgundy Hollow the Sunday before. If I go through with it, the plan would be to warm up Mr Magee like I did at the show and just run the BN course straight through and individually school any issues afterwards. Hopefully the lack of start-stop work will keep his brain focused. I'll keep you updated!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Horse people are such snobs.

Really, we are. Even the nicest of us have a little hidden snob in there somewhere.

Example: Massage Lady (ML) is talking to me about teaching Bobby shoulder-in from the ground and as Bobby was quite pissed with us after nearly three hours of being poked and prodded, he wasn't cooperating.

ML: Well....I don't know if BO can teach you this as she's not trained solely in dressage like I am...

Puh-leaze. Pretty sure I have a book written by an endurance rider that shows how to do shoulder-in from the ground. Get ovah yourself.

That's just a small example, but I won't spend a whole post going into ridiculous snobby horse people things. We all think too highly of ourselves.

such an awkward looking creature.
Bobby was already a little pissed that he got brought in so early he didn't even get to head out to grass with everyone else so I had to shove lots of cookies down his throat to make him somewhat amiable before we started. ML did a quick evaluation of him and pointed out the main spots she thought she was going to have to work on: the right side of his neck, his shoulders, and his right hip.

Being the genius I am I told her that his back was causing him the most trouble, but being the genius she is she said, "No, no. It all stems from the neck." Well maybe ML, but I ride the dumb beast and I know that when he gets nervous and/or tense, his back is what clenches up. Not that I'm a snob or anything. ; )

She started on the right side. His neck took half an hour, but he wasn't showing any pain--just, "Ooh, that feels good!"--until she got to his shoulder blade/whithers. He kicked her when she started working there so she switched up her method a little more and put me in charge of his teeth while she went to work. She said where he was feeling the pain was where his girth goes and I should get him an elastic dressage girth to help him out. The front half of his back was so-so, then the back half was very sore. His hips were tight, but not out, so she released his hamstring and checked his stifle. He bit me when she did that--Bobby's stifles have always been awful.

To the left, she let me do most of the work as we'd now been going at it for an hour. His back was a hot mess and took a lot longer than she'd anticipated on. Holy cow is massage hard work. My arms were aching! He released his neck much easier to the left as he'd figured out what we were up to, and I got his shoulder freed up right quick all by my lonesome. Then she turned me loose to work on his back, standing from a safe distance coaching as he tried valiantly to kick the crap out of me. He was seriously pissy having to stand there for two and a half hours at this point so once his back was done, she did his hips really quickly and I walked him for the prerequisite five minutes before turning him loose.

He'll be off until Wednesday to give him time to figure out how his new and improved muscles work and to get his awful toes done, then we'll go back to long and low work for awhile. She said that before each ride I should release his poll and his shoulder. And for those doing the two point challenge? She said to make sure not to squeeze with your knees at all as that can put a lot of pressure on the horse and make him/her uncomfortable. Are your calves and ankles now giving you the finger? Well, pooh-pooh, calves. Go do work. Us horse people know it all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Walking.

I got in my seven minutes of jump saddle two point yesterday during my forty minute ride, but it was a push to do that as thirty five minutes of my ride was spent at the walk. Fascinating, right? Mr Magee was off at the trot to the right. Not head-bobbing lame, not "Ouch, this hurts! I want to stop." lame, just...not quite right. He was tripping a lot and the girl I was riding with said he just looked sore. Hmph. So since he felt completely fine at the walk, walk we did. I focused exclusively on long and low and a big, forward walk and he was actually pretty fab. He even got some nice bending to go with his long and low. I checked him over when I got done and didn't find anything amiss.

for lack of pony pictures, here's a large chicken egg v. a goose egg.
wild!
Today, I trotted him after just a few minutes of walk to see if he was still off. He was. So another walk ride, this one only twenty minutes. I actually had a lot of fun this ride. We were in the outdoor so we played with some of the trail exercises that were set up: our first time riding over the bridge, a skinny "chute" to walk through, cones, and some poles I practiced making him halt after each step and then backing up over. I also played around with going from long and low to more collected with his neck up and his nose tucked in. He's not a hundred percent confirmed in that transition yet, but he wasn't getting fussy and he was trying hard. I also dropped my stirrups to practice our halts since I tend to brace against them and our halts get sloppy. He was awesome for the halts and we ended on a really good note.

If nothing else, this relaxed work schedule is making us friends. He seems to genuinely be enjoying himself and I like not having to fight with his punk ass. Plus, and only you fellow crazy horse people will nod your heads in agreement, Bobby has gained a little bit of confidence in himself since the show like he knows he rocked it and we hold him in higher esteem. He just seems happier to be worked because he thinks he's an important Grown Up Horsie now.

i tried to take a picture of how great his neck is looking.
instead....
I looked him over again to see if I couldn't find some strange and out of place lump or bump or heat, but he looks fine. Except:


Clearly his toes are overdue! He was actually due to get done the Tuesday (our farrier comes out every Tuesday) before the show, but I didn't want new shoes slapped on the week of a show so the farrier just tightened the nails. The next day, he half pulled a shoe off and the farrier was out to tack it back on. He was then supposed to get done this Tuesday, but I forgot to put his name on the board and the farrier will only do horses if he has the owner's permission. So I made sure to write his name up there this afternoon to get done this upcoming week.

He's also getting his massage tomorrow at 10am. I'm curious to see if Massage Lady finds any problem spots outside of what I already know--his pelvis not getting adjusted right from Chiro Lady, his sore back from being a tense mess, and his old neck injury. Ohh, High Maintanence Pony. Why can't you be more like Red?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Horse Hair Bracelets

I think I'll try to make a little icon for the sidebar, but in the meantime the contact info for Jen of bracelet making fame is:

getoverit414@hotmail.com

I'm sure she'll ask you what you want anyway, but she can do charms, beads, or just plain horse hair. Give her the measurement of your wrist.

It was $1.95 for shipping in a little padded mailer from the post office and she paid the same to ship them back out. Like I said, she told me she would be charging people $5 a bracelet, but I would confirm with her.



Enjoy! I'm sure she'll appreciate your requests!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Video, Pictures, and a Ride

Sunday's dressage test. Observations: I need to ride instead of just sitting there like a hot mess. That is all.

Dressage Pictures. Continue on page 12. The only one where it looks like we kind of, sort of look like we know what we're doing is the trot at H.

Stadium Pictures. Also continue on the next page. Robert looks adorable and my leg stayed where it was supposed to. Double win.

No xcountry pictures! She has one of the girl before me and one of the girl after me, but none of me. Fail.

I checked on him Monday and his legs were nice and tight. He got yesterday off as well, and had an easy thirty minute ride today. I did my dressage two point during warm up and while I really wanted to at least equal my previous 10 minute time, I only got 5 minutes done. Yikes. Needless to say that I'm going to be working on that every day.

BO observed in our last lesson that Bobby looked a little "stuck" in his neck at the withers where his old injury site is which might be why he was throwing such a hissy fit about dropping his head. He's getting worked on on Saturday so I'll see what Massage Lady has to say. In the meantime, instead of working on a dressage-y frame, I asked him to go long and low today. He did pretty well--nothing pretty or fancy, but he was very responsive to my aids for once. We finished off with a few simple changes across the diagnol which he nailed every time. It's time to start working on flying changes, I think.

When we were done, he had baby foamy lips! Nothing too crazy, but even a little bit of foamy lips after an obedient ride counts as a success to me.


Aaaand...best of all, my old college roomie, Jen, made me a bunch of bracelets from Red's tail.


blue and gold beads, of course.
I love how tight and smooth she made the braids. Jen makes custom bracelets for $5 a piece. If you want one, let me know and I'll get you in contact with her. She did all five (!) of mine in two days and sent back the extra hair. I think she also does key chains. She needed very little hair to get them done, so you can totally take a snip of your current horse's tail.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Burgundy Hollow HT--Starter

Sorry, guys---no death-defying trailering incidents to report this time. We were actually right on schedule to the minute and got there a full hour and a half before my dressage test. Plenty of time to check in and guage how Mr Magee was feeling.

wearing red's halter for good luck.
Dressage:

I went into warm up way too early. I was expecting to have to work him hard to take the edge off of crazies. He bounced into the warmup area snorting and looking around, but since we were the second divison and the second rider of our division, it was still pretty empty so he had plenty of time to just walk around on a loose rein and look at things.



I didn't canter him at all because I was worried he'd lose his cool so instead we spent a lot of time walking and trying to avoid the little kids in the Intro division who glued themselves to the rail and practicing our trot-halts.


We finally got to go in for our test and I completely blanked out. I can't count the number of times I've ridden this test yet when I trotted in I was like, "Oh, shit. What now?" Bobby, however, was so good. He tried his big, silly heart out but I totally let him down. I couldn't get my shit together fast enough for each movement and he was constantly getting caught off guard when I asked him to do things. I didn't even bother to check if I was on the correct lead when we picked up the first canter and he corrected it by himself. I didn't even check to see if he had switched to the wrong lead or the right one when he did break! Fail. I want to say I should have ridden a lot more aggressively, but honestly I just should have ridden period. Bobby got 6s and 7s down the board (with the exception of a 4 for the "late fix" to the left canter and a 4 for his break in the trot) and I was lucky to get 5s and 6s for my riding. We ended with a 40.

First show of the season rustiness I guess. I can promise you I won't make that mistake again! Overall though I checked off the first goal--we stayed in the arena and Bobby was totally calm througout.

I'll post the video of our test when the pictures go up. Blogger doesn't want to load it right now.

Stadium:

After a boring two hour wait where the hounds and I did our xcountry walk alone so Hubby could stay with Bobby who was quite certain proper trailer-tieing behavior was pawing your way to China (he's never been tied alone before), he got tacked up and we headed to stadium warm up. I had Hubby take the reins while I was adjusting my stirrups since Bobby was being snorty and prancing, and Bobby was now sure he was being led to the track and turned into a frothing, bit-chomping, sideways-walking, ready-to-run Baby Racehorsie. Once I got my stirrups, Hubby let us loose and I cantered him around a few times right off. Having to canter downhill a few times was enough to convince him we weren't at the track and he walked around with restored calm.

burgundy hollow: home of overhanging branches to wipe out
the unsuspecting rider.
We went over each of the warm up fences a few times a piece starting with the X. Bobby broke into the trot and started trantering almost in place all the way up to the jump, but went over. I was like, "We are not starting this bullshit again!" so when he broke again the second time, I really put my leg on and asked him to canter his ass up the hill and over the jump--and he did. "Jeeze, lady. It's about time you participated in this riding competition, too!" He didn't have any problems after that. He just needed to be told what I wanted and he did as I asked.


We finally got a chance to meet the COTHer that helped us get started in eventing last year when she approached us as we were walking around and her daughter was warming up for dressage. We talked with her for awhile as Bobby got a quick lesson in standing still for more than two seconds. Very cool.

After waiting for the judge to run back up to get a chair, and then run back up again to see if there was a bell or whistle she could use (there wasn't), we were finally funneled in to start jumping. And you know what this means....Paint Jump Course Design!!!

blows me away every time.

As you can see due to my excellent talents, this course had zero flow to it. Even just finding a spot to start jumping was tough! We trotted in and Bobby was looking at every jump ready to rock and roll, but I had to weave him in and out until we were semi set up to start in a straight line. However, as soon as I gave him a notch in the reins, he put his game face on and owned that course. He wasn't going to say no to a single fence. I was so proud of him, but I was also proud of myself. I actually rode him the whole time and gave him leg when he needed it and checked him back when he needed it. Team work! Finally!



 







Coming off Fence 6, it was almost a 90* turn to get to 7 and you didn't have a lot of room to turn with the hedgerow to your right. Bobby was gung-ho upon landing and I had to almost sit him on his butt to get him slowed down enough to make the turn. He was caught off guard and I really rode him up to 7. When we got out of the arena, the rider going in was like, "Nice save on seven!" Love eventers. They become insta-friends when you're competing against them instead of the person you have to beat. Although I'm a little suprised people even talk to me when I come out of stadium. I am all about verbal praise while jumping and I'm so loud and crazy with my compliments even I think I sound a little crazy.

Cross Country:

Your virtual course walk.

We headed down to the start box only to find there wasn't a judge there yet. Hm. Fortunately, he was right behind us. Unfortunately, we soon had a pile up of people waiting to go as we all circled around and around and around and around waiting for some word of what we were waiting for. The judge finally got a new radio and then we had to wait for the rest of the judges to check in at their fences. Thirty minutes later, the first riders were off. Let me say again how fun eventers are. Most of our division was either baby horses in their first or second show and a couple of first or second time riders. There was one Eq girl doing her first HT on a too adorable Perhie mare. After seeing one runout after another at the first jump, she was super nervous to head out, but she got over on the first time and we all cheered for her from the sidelines. Talking with her after we were both done, she said it put her in such a good mood for the rest of the course, she just kept kicking and didn't get scared. Woo hoo!

Bobby had his game face on. He didn't think twice about a single one of those jumps and after he made it over the coop that he had his final meltdown at schooling and was looking for the next jump, I had a huge grin on and just sat back to enjoy the ride.

fence 2.

"yeahhh, i'm a xcountry horse!!"
The best part of the course was when we turned off of fence 6 and Bobby saw the bank in front of him. He was like, "A fence I know! I can do this one! Let's go!" And we then proceeded to gallop up and over it to the laughter of the people watching. Oh, Robert. He was pumped after that and I actually had to take more of a hold on my reins because he was pulling me around with his ears pricked ready for whatever was next. Over the log, then you had to go in a diagnol line to get to our fence along the hedgerow. Bobby was locked onto the Novice log that was in his line of sight when he landed and I had to do some Pony Club steering/pulling to refocus him on our baby jump.

I asked him to go through the water even though it wasn't marked for us, but he wasn't feeling it so I let him circle around and we finished the last jump. There was a photographer there this time so you'll have to wait until those pictures go up to hopefully see some good ones.

Scores:

Out of our division of six, Bobby was one of only two horses to finish the xcountry course. We all agreed it was a pretty scary course for babies and apparently the other baby horses thought so too. The other horse/rider to finish? The Eq girl! We got a Mane 'n Tail prize package and Bobby's first blue ribbon.




He was so funny when we were done and waiting for scores. He'd take a few bites of grass and then beg for treats from me or Hubby. He was also happy to just stand there and look around as we gave him pats. He totally knew he'd done a good job and was eating up the praise. Well done, Grown Up Horsie!