Thursday, March 26, 2015

Nuthin' But A Dirty ol' Snowman Happening

  You can see from the pictures...not much happening here.  It snowed today...and it stayed on the ground.  It's still cold.  The snow is melting in the slowest possible way.  I might be going a little insane if I can't get riding more soon.

  Nicoles brother took the opportunity to build a snowman here.  After Dirk had a little grooming, we went over to investigate.

that is Canadian sexy horse gear right can't find that shit at Dover..Kentucky Wildcats reppin'

you wanna piece of me?

such a suck now!

what, no nose??

  That was actually snowman #2, Ozzy saw the first one, darted out of the barn and destroyed him in about 2 seconds flat.

Winter, you can get the hell out anytime now.  Anyone down South want to get married so I can move?  Hanging on by a thread...signed frozen and alone in Canada.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Free Isn't Free

  But you already knew that.  Let's do a quick tally of the total cost of my 4th "free" horse;

  • Diesel for the trip to pick him up $140 
  • Meals for the trip up $30 
  • New halter $24 (Turquoise with zebra stripes - hell ya!)
  • New rain sheet (that it's too cold to wear) $59 - tax free sale - score!
  • 4 rolls of vet wrap, Epsom salts, wormer $30
  • Hoof heal - free borrowed from my mom - thanks mom!
  • Poultice - Nicole bought this for me - thanks Nicole and Dawn ;)
  • Emergency hoof trim - $40
  • Two bags of shavings added to the stall for extra comfort - $11

Grand total: $334.00

Not too bad so far!  I wish I could say the same for Indy's feet.  They are a disaster.  It looks like it was a while since his last trim, and they are full of thrush and the soles are extremely weak.  I was lucky to have my parents neighbor come over and do an emergency trim on him.  He has a really bad abscess in his right hind and is on three legs at the moment.  I was able to pierce it last night and some puss and blood came pouring out.  

day 2 before trim

ignore the poultice...see the shelf at the toe??

wtf is going on here

  We did a 20 minute soak and poultice last night.  Now it's wrapped and he's out with Miss Pen for the day. His feet look miles better already since his trim and daily washing.  We won't be doing any riding any time soon...which is fine because my ring is still covered in snow (I'm not bitter), and I think this horse has earned a vacation.  

  His manners are impeccable, him and Penny love each other to pieces already, and I mean really...his face is too cute for words.  So while a free horse may never truly be free, they may be worth the extra effort and cost if you give them a shot.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I Know What You're Thinkin'

  Yepp, I know what you're thinking.  This woman right here needs another horse like a hole in her head.  

How can she afford it?  How can she have time for it?  What about her other horses?  Why does she need so many?  She already has horses to ride, why does she need more? How will she have time to ride and show them all? And on and on and on. 

  These are the things said to me, to my face, and behind my back.  But you know what's great about being an adult?  I can make decisions for myself, with ALL the knowledge required, to make a good decision.  It kind of makes me laugh when I hear these things, because in my life I have made some really poor choices, but not lately.  Not in the last 6 or 7 years.  I'm an adult now, I think things through.  I know what I want in life, have a plan, and am sticking to it.  If I do make a stupid decision, guess whose shoulder it falls on? Mine.  I am the one that has to deal with the poor choices I make in life.  I am the one who knows the whole story, and if you want to know, just ask.  No need to go around making assumptions about my life, what I can or can't afford, what I do or don't have time for, and what I may or may not need.

 I'm sure you can see, I am ranting.  Mostly because people seem extra judgy these days.  Maybe it's the winter that will never end.  Maybe it's something else...all that really matters in this story - is Indy.

  Guys, this is Indy.  He's my new horse.  He's 9 years old this April, he is 16.2, and he is a built like a Sherman Tank.  He could be Pennys twin.  Indy is a Thoroughbred, retired racehorse type.  He raced his last race November 30th 2014 where he finished 3rd.  His racing career spans 6 years and 70 starts, winning a quarter of a Million dollars.  Indy retired sound, and was never lame once, in his entire career.  Indy was treated like a King, but when his racing days were over...there wasn't really a place for him to go.

 Indy's groom contacted me in December to see if I would take him.  She was the one who I got Parker from.  She knew I would offer a forever home full of pampering, but I just didn't feel I had the room with the rough winter we were having.  A friend of mine had plans to go and see him, but his owner/groom changed her mind last minute, and decided she was going to try her best and keep him.  Although she had the best intentions, she just couldn't afford the cost of a horse, and she listed him for sale a few weeks ago.  I messaged her and let her know if she couldn't find him a suitable home, I would be happy to have him here.  I could make it work.  I know how special this guy is to her, and he is truly a war horse.  I couldn't really bear the thought of him going just anywhere. My first event horse raced till he was 9, stayed sound, and was the most amazing event horse ever.  I felt a connection.

not downhill...just my wash area is on a slope

here he is where I picked him up

such a hunkster at the track!

  She messaged me back right away and said I could have him.  She didn't want the money from a sale, she just wanted a good home.  He needed to move pretty quick, so on Sunday, Jessica and I road tripped it up to the big city to pick him up.  As promised, he was stunning.  He was a pure gentleman to get on the trailer and take home.  I don't think he moved the entire trip.  He is extremely quiet and well mannered.  He is so polite and such a big suck, I'm afraid I've fallen in love with him already.  We have some work to do with his feet before I can try him out under saddle.  He can enjoy a nice holiday and get accustomed to his new life.  After racing around 11 races a year since he was two, I think he's earned it.

 So that's the story of how I became the owner of another beautiful OTTB.  Hate it or love it, it's their world, I just clean the stalls.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dressage Clinic Fundraiser Success

  On March 8th our Weenie Eventers Team hosted our first clinic together - as a fundraiser for our trip to Hagyard Midsouth Three Day Team Challenge.  It was a dressage clinic with up and coming rider and trainer Duncan Wood.  I've known Duncan for some time, from Pony Club way back, and also through eventing.  He recently stepped out on his own and trains out of Porcupine Hill Farm.  My mom has her new young guy in training with Duncan and he is coming along superbly.  We filled the clinic within a week or so - and were very excited with all the interest we had.  My mom generously donated us her arena and stalls for the day also, so thank you mom!

  Jessica and I both signed up, her in a private and myself in a semi-private with Dana.  Since Penny has been out of work for most of the winter, I just planned a 1/2 hour of walk and trot only.  We trailered Ellie and Penny over to my moms place and they both settled into their stalls well.  We had a yummy canteen set up for spectators and participants, as well as collecting bottles for a bottle drive, and goods to donate to the local animal rescue.  We were very pleased that lots of people brought us their donations, and empty bottles.  We figured if we are trying to fund our trip by donations, we should also do something to give back to the community.  It will be a great day when we can drop off all the animal goodies to the rescue.

  Penny was quite up when we entered the arena so I opted to let her go for a rip on the lunge.  She zoomed around a few times each direction and then settled and was stretching down nice and freely.  This was a surprise to me since she has never done that on the lunge.  A good sign for sure!  Onto the lesson, we worked mostly at the walk.  The biggest hurdle with Penny is her unsteadiness in the contact.   After having the tooth issue, I have been waiting to see if there is a difference now that the tooth is gone.  At first she was worried and flipping her head a bit.  Duncan had me concentrate on rhythm and relaxation, before thinking about the contact.  We worked at the walk, trying to establish rhythm, then added in leg yields from the quarter line to the wall.  This helped Penny settled into a nice rhythm and she then dropped into the bridle nicely.

  We continued with this exercise, then added a trot transition at the wall, trot around to the opposite end, circle and walk again.  Penny was quickly relaxing more and keeping a nice steady contact into my hand.  From here we practiced trot walk transitions on a 20m circle.  Slowly and quietly asking her to walk staying steady until she accepted the walk.  At first Penny would evade the bit and raise her head but keeping with the steady rhythm in mind, she started to stay in the contact through the transition and then relaxed right away in both the upward and downward transitions.

  We finished with some trot large around the arena and adding leg yields down the quarter line and shallow loops.  For the first time since I have owned Penny, she was steady and consistent in the bridle throughout our exercise.  I am confident she is feeling like a different horse since having her tooth removed.  I am really excited to see where our dressage goes this year.  Coupled up with Duncans quiet and methodical teaching, I really enjoyed the clinic, and Penny went fabulously.  Duncan commented that he thought she was a really nice mare, with very nice movement for a Thoroughbred.  It is great to work with a dressage instructor who understands eventing.  He asked if we wanted to work on the canter but I decided to end it there on a good note.  No need to push her, especially since she was such a good girl.

  We surpassed our fundraising goal for the day, and had great feedback from the clinic.  It was such a success that we are hosting another one on April 18th, and it is pretty much full already!  Looking forward to a fun summer with lots happening for the Weenie Eventers.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy Birthday Pan Am Penny!

 Yesterday was Penny's 9th Birthday!  She is such a young girl to have accomplished so much.  To celebrate, Nicole and I went for a little ride around the property.  We had a few warm days and some good melting, but then it froze over night.  It warmed up a bit again but the footing in the ring was a little hard still so we ventured off for a ride down the driveway.

  Penny has been absolutely fabulous since she is back into work.  She feels so much happier and like a whole new horse.  I think removing that tooth has made a world of difference.  She is happily accepting the bridle and relaxing - which was basically mission impossible before.  Maybe she just likes her fancy new bridle from Perfect Sit of Sweden.  Who can blame her, they are just that nice!

I see grass... :)

  Oliver continues to be the easiest horse I have ever started.  Meaning, I have ridden him once, and Nicole has ridden him a few times.  He just trucks along like he has been doing it his whole life.  He is starting to understand the concept of leg and doing walk-halt transitions.  Nicole does such a great job just staying quiet and letting him figure things out.  She is a really talented young rider.

  So Happy Birthday Penny, I love you SO much!  Looking forward to many more Birthdays together.  Also a Happy Birthday to my husband Jesse.  Still makes me laugh they share a Birthday.

A video posted by jealoushe (@jealoushe) on

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Weighing My Options

  Thank you everyone who read and commented on my last post about William, both on and off the blog.  Really interesting to hear others opinions on what it may be, or what route you may take if you were in my shoes. William isn't going anywhere, so it's not exactly a huge pressing thing to me - just more of a concern for his happiness and comfort.  The reason I find it a tough choice is because of having multiple horses - I have to choose where I spend my time and money wisely.  Obviously I love all my horses and none are more important than the other - but I just don't think William would care that much if he became a pasture puff.  He is comfortable when he is not being ridden at the very least, that I am sure of.  I am trying to get one horse to the upper levels, and have to be sure not too waste my resources and time on something that won't transpire.  I at least have the luxury of keeping my horses pampered, even if they don't have a job.

 From here, my course of action will be;

  • Put him into light work once the snow flies. See if there is an improvement from last year.
  • Do another treatment of Ugard (or equal ulcer meds)
  • Chiro and acupuncture in early April.
  • Full vet evaluation in May (what can be done on the farm) - asses how he is going under saddle and decide on whether to pursue further options - like scintigraphy or back x rays.
Another option may be sending him to my friend Danas for the summer. Since she sold her mare Quartz, she now has 2 horses at home.  As she will be competing Archie quite a bit this summer, she doesn't want to leave her old guy Bud, home alone all day.  This situation could benefit us both, and give William some more time off if he needs it.  For now, I am going to take it one day at a time and see where we are at in May.

Thank you again for your thoughts and kind wishes.  It's so nice to have the blogging community to lean on when you need it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

WWYD - Opinions Please

  This post is going to be hard for me to write, mostly because I have been spending a lot of time thinking and trying to figure things out.  You can't always trust your own mind though, and I really appreciate the knowledge and opinions of fellow bloggers.  I am trying to decide what is best for my horse at this point.  This is not about me, but about him.

  I am struggling with whether or not I should continue to pursue a riding relationship with William.  Those who have read my blog for some years will know the long road and struggles that have come with breaking and starting him.  He is still a very difficult horse, but also, an extremely talented and sweet horse.  I want to lay everything I know about him out there for a completely unbiased opinion from readers.  Regardless of the decision he will always be my horse.  He isn't going anywhere.

  I got William fall of 2011.  I re-started him as he had a bad start with his previous owners.  This includes flipping over and falling down on her.  It also includes him broncing throughout the barn a few times while being saddled.  When I got him he was not in great condition.  He was wormy and his feet were shit.  He was malnourished and ugly. I spent the next 6 months doing basic ground work and long lining, spending a lot of time using the John Lyons method of sacking out.  He would hardly allow you to touch him at first, and gradually got better.

  When I started him under saddle he did this thing I called the "scoot".  He would scoot forward and attempt to buck, but nothing serious.  Eventually we worked up to walk, trot, canter consistently.  He would still scoot in our rides but it never bothered me.  After the first year, we started doing more challenging work including jumping.  The spring of 2012 I moved to my farm and when I brought William back into work he was extremely sucked back.  When I would mount he would refuse to move for 10-15 minutes.  This would gradually get better when ridden every day.  By the third day he would be completely normal.  If he had one or two days off it was back to square one.  When he was really defiant, he would stop mid stride and buck from a standstill.

  This behavior improved but never went away completely.  He had the chiro multiple times and was always in good shape and would get complimented on his topline and muscling.  The vet saw no reason for his behavior.  Fast forward to last year.  Same issues with sucking back and bucking but much improved - until I went to his first event.  There, he refused to move and I almost missed my dressage test.  It took me half an hour to get him to move forward.  Once he got going he was fabulous and won the event.

  His next events he did the same thing but not as severely.  He was second and first at those events.  He is difficult to get going but once going he is phenomenal.  He was 1st, 1st, and 2nd in his three events last year.  He was jumper champ at his first jumper show and won his dressage classes in the one dressage show I was able to get to with him last year.  After his third event he was sidelined with his leg injury and that was that.  Now I am planing on bringing him back to work for this season, but I have been wondering if it is the right thing for him.

  When I would go to catch him to ride him last year he would always run away from me.  Once caught, he would refuse to leave the field.  It would take me 20 minutes to get him out.  He would just plant his feet and refuse to move.  I have never seen a horse do that.  After a few days of work he would even refuse to leave his stall.  Obviously the horse is not wanting to be ridden. Is it obvious? I can't figure out if he is just lazy or in pain.  He is certainly not a lazy horse in general.  Overall his demeanor is very gentle and sweet.  He aims to please when he is going under saddle.  He is VERY fun to ride, even when he is being difficult.  He is sound under saddle, and has the movement of an upper level dressage horse.  I don't think there is anything in his legs.

  He is tense when girthed and often scoots when he walks out after first being saddled. He is resistant to take the bit into the mouth when bridling.  He has a parrot mouth, low palet, and small lips. He has seen the chiro, vet, and done acupressure.  Nothing has changed.  He is on a regular foot, vet, worming and tooth care cycle.  He is an easy keeper.  He is fat and shiny.  He is healthy and retained all his muscle and fitness from last summer even though he had 8 months off.

  My head tells me he is in pain.  Kissing spine maybe?  Maybe something going on in the mouth?  My heart wishes it were an attitude problem because he truly is a fabulous horse.  I could send him for a body scan but in reality I have three other horses.  Is it worth the cost if he does have kissing spine in the end?  He seems quite content in his day to day life otherwise.  Have you ever experienced anything similar?  Do you have any other suggestions of what it might be, or things to try to find out what might be the cause?

  This isn't a case of not being fun for me, because he is still my favorite horse to ride.  I just feel sick thinking of pushing him to be ridden this year if there is something in there causing him major discomfort.  I am curious to know what you would do if you were in my shoes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Horses are Hayless Again

  On my way to work yesterday I saw the horses down the road were out of hay.  They still didn't have hay last night.  Again, on my way to work this morning I checked them and they still had no hay.  They aren't thin...but they certainly aren't healthy or cared for.

  That's two days with no hay, and we had a crazy blizzard last night. Ughhh.  Time to call the SPCA again. :(  This picture in no way shows the state of this property....the barbed wire fences and junk everywhere is to the left.  I hate these people.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Finally Went For A Rip

  It happened last weekend and last weekend only.  It was finally nice enough, and my leg was feeling up to snuff to take Penny for a spin! Jess came over and we gave the girls a good grooming.  Penny was thoroughly enjoying the attention and back scratches from the long winter of wearing heavy blankets.

  I put on her new Perfect Sit Flying Change bridle and her new tiny 4" Mylar and she seemed happy to be bridled.  Her past issues with this are completely gone since her stray tooth was removed.  We headed out the ring which is knee deep in snow.  Good thing because that snow was an energy container for Penny.  Having nearly two months off she certainly had a fire under ass.  She had a good fire though, just speedy gonzoles style fire.

Miss Pen and Miss Ellie

love this this browband :)

  I tried to give her a good warm up to loosen her tight muscles but she wasn't having any of this walking business. We trucked around in the deep snow at a brisk trot for a few laps then I let her open up into a canter. 

  She behaved herself and we took a nice  rip around the ring several times to let off some steam.  Not long after I forced her to walk and we cooled out.  We don't need to strain ourselves our first day back!

the craziest OTTB. Text and ride tisk tisk lol

view of a lifetime

 It was amazing, fun, and just like I remembered.  I need the weather to give already so I can get back to doing what I love!

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