Thursday, July 28, 2011


I got an email from the woman that came out to massage the horses. Basically, she had "talked", aka whined/lamented/bitched, about the "starved horses" at the barn I'm boarding at to the woman that owns the barn where I took Bobby for the dressage show. (Sidenote: This woman was obviously at the show and she walked past Bobby and I several times. I also waited in the officed for ten minutes to get my test back. She had plenty of opportunity to connect that the only girl in a black polo riding the only huge bay TB that's supposedly starved was standing there in a private place to talk with. But clearly she did not. Because Bobby is not near death.) She reiterated that I should call the SPCA on BO. (Sidenote: BO has had the SPCA out twice this year--because he called them to come pick up horses that boarders have stopped paying on. They are well aware of the condition of every single one of the horses in the barn. They know BO by name, and have worked with him in the past picking up horses.) The gist of the email was, BO of dressage barn "cannot stop thinking of those poor, starving horses" and she knows she "can't adopt the world and take on every starving horse", but she would be oh so kind enough to offer me discounted pasture board (normally $375/horse) if I could do stalls a few times a week.

Now, I know this is a really nice thing for her to do, melodrama aside. But there are several things wrong with this. A) Mind your own business. Massage lady knows that I am feeding my horses adequately. The fact that I paid $120 to have her out shows, to me, that I'm not oblivious to the care of my horses. It's a matter of hay from BO (which I'll get to later). B) Dressage barn is half an hour away from current barn. Current barn is forty five minutes from my house, making dressage barn an hour and fifteen minutes from my house. C) Pasture board does not include grain. I spend $220 a month on grain for both horses. $375 board for two horses is $750. Plus $220 is $970. I spend $10 in gas for one trip up to the current barn. Add at least $5 more to get to dressage barn. If I go to the barn four days a week, that's sixteen times a month, which is $240 in gas. Add that in and it's $1,210 total expenses a month. I don't work. Hubby makes $2,768 a month. Our rent is $700 a month. That leaves $850 a month for bills, groceries, and extra gas. I can tell you right now, with a student loan payment of $213 a month along with various credit card, phone, internet, and electric bills, that will not work.

Maybe I'm being a crazy person and I should just find a way to make it work. But I'm making it work at where I am now and I'm actually satisfied with the progress that's been made since Massage Lady has been out. BO made some really nice second cut hay and my horses have been getting it three times a day every single day of the week. Bobby is actually getting to be pretty hot off of it. Both horses have gained weight steadily since they've been getting their extra hay. (I've been weight taping them every time I go out and recording their weights.)

To sum up the week quickly, I jumped Red once over our newly built ghetto jumps. He was a superstar, not refusing or backing off once, and clearing them easily, just like old Red. All I got was one crappy video off my cell phone because I forgot the camera, but here's Red going over the 2'7 "coop":

Bobby and I escorted Madison and Eve on a mini trail ride Tuesday. Bobby was being his usual princess self about the bugs and he let out a huge buck that spooked Eve to try to get a fly off his stomach. However, when I jumped off to kill anything I saw, there weren't any bugs on him! But it might have been within five feet of him so I guess that justifies bad behavior. Riiiiiight. I set out to do trot and canter sets (which there really is no science behind at this point. I trot twice around the field each way, then canter twice around each way.), but it quickly turned into a crazy battle between me and hopping, bucking, galloping Bobby. He's getting plenty of hay now. He took off with me the first time around at the canter and I had to toss aside my lovely eventer canter/gallop position and revert back to my survival galloping a crazy racehorse equiation--which isn't pretty. After several strides of seesawing and standing straight up in my stirrups, we got back down to the cantering business and only had one baby bucking and head snaking play session that I just let go before we finished up.

Yesterday, I lunged Red in the round pen. We did a million and a half transitions from walk to trot, trot to canter, walk to canter, trot to whoa, whoa to canter, etc etc. He was a superstar again. He is for friggin' sure enjoying being back in work.

dear god! that horse is one day from death's door!

I warmed Bobby up on the trails behind the barn, which I hadn't been on before. Bobby was too busy sightseeing most of the time to pay attention to his feet so he stumbled several times over rocks, but we both came out unscathed. We crossed a stream with no fuss and got in some trotting and cantering before heading back to the arena to put in a quick jump school.

I should have learned from yesterday and put in alot of trotting and cantering before going to the arena. I did ten minutes of trot and canter work in the arena before starting to jump. I took him over the 2' "rolltop" first. He jumped it very willingly, though also very high. The second time around was spot on with him cantering up to it, jumping it very calmly, and cantering off on the correct lead. With such a good start, I was feeling great about how the rest of it was going....and of course stopped riding him like I should have. I went to the 2'7 coop next. Ears up, picked up a great canter by himself five strides out, I didn't give him any leg, any guidance at all, and he threw on the brakes with a sliding stop a reining horse would have been proud of. I went over his shoulder. Again. Rider error completely and I deserved to fall. I scraped my elbow up and bruised my butt again, but my head hit the hardest. No headache after, but I think I can say that's the end of using that helmet safely. I got back on and did several circles to get his attention back on me, then rode his ass into that jump like we were going into war. Of course he jumped it after that. And he jumped it twice more with no problems and minimal encouragement from me.  We also went over the gate twice, then over the rolltop once more.

He was still yanking my arms pretty good, so I worked a while longer on getting transitions within the canter--which is so much easier to ride in halfseat! We ended on a really good note with those, so even though it was a bit of a rough session, I was happy with the results in the end.

Hubby secured us a stall at a neighbor's barn for this weekend. Bobby's eventing debut happens to fall on the same day as Hubby's family reunion, so Bobby gets to stay in NY all weekend with us. He'll have a fat Haflinger to keep him company and all the hay he can eat.

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