Monday, December 31, 2012

Equestrian challenge

New year starts tomorrow, time to do an equestrian challenge.

Day 01- When and why you started riding
Day 02- Your current riding goals
Day 03- Your Best Riding
Day 04- A ride that impacted your life
Day 05- Your first fall
Day 06- All the tack and riding clothes you have (brand/color/other details)
Day 07- Your favorite ribbon won at a show and why
Day 08- A little about the barn/stable you ride at
Day 09- Any injuries that occurred from riding
Day 10- How your family/friends feel about your riding
Day 11- Find a horse for sale online that you would want to buy
Day 12- Favorite horse color
Day 13- Most Embarrassing moment
Day 14- Your dream barn/farm
Day 15- If you could speak to any horse, dead or alive, what would you say?
Day 16- Your most recent fall
Day 17- Your equestrian idol
Day 18- Your grooming routine
Day 19- A discipline you would like to do that you’ve never done before
Day 20- Your favorite horse show
Day 21- Your perfect schooling outfit
Day 22- The importance of riding in your life
Day 23- Picture of your favorite jump/combo
Day 24- Your best riding friend
Day 25- Your dream trailer
Day 26- Biggest riding pet peeve
Day 27- You know your an equestrian when….. (Give 5 original ones)
Day 28- Helmet or no helmet?
Day 29- A style/trend in tack/riding apparel that you don’t like
Day 30- Your Future With Horses

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas gift.

I got this for Christmas. And I instantly started bawling. I absolutely love it, as it is one of my favorite pictures of us. I trained him to give me kisses and this was one of the only times anyone caught it on camera.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Oh North Dakota

Horse keeping on the plains of North Dakota closely resembles Antarctic exploration and requires one to dress like it...but I really wouldn't have it any other way :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Easy to shop for.

 
Tack ho's are super easy to shop for. Just don't get me any more saddle blankets ;-)
 
 
 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Funny.

My father in law got me a ton of old Western Horseman magazines from the past 30 years. When I have more time to go through them I will post some of the humorous things I find...the 80s was a wonderful time...



remembering.

Original heart horse.

Today marks the 4 year anniversary that I lost my first horse. Tomorrow will be the 5 month anniversary that I lost Piney. It’s little anniversaries like this that make me question myself as a horse owner. I lost two horses in 4 years. They were both 12 years old.

My first horse was a Palomino who’s registered name was this blogs namesake, Good Time to Review. He was the most beautiful palomino’s Ive ever seen. The funny thing was I thought he was the ugliest thing I’d ever seen when I first met him. A friend of mine was managing a barn that belonged to a family, so it was private. She would often trick me into coming and helping her with the horses after a long night of *ahem* consuming large amounts of adult beverages. I would crash at her place and she would wake me up bright and early with a “get up, we gotta feed the horses!” I did learn that the best thing for a hangover was to clean a bunch of horse stalls. Works almost every time. We’d usually go home and crash for a few hours. Finally she rewarded me for all my hard work, by getting the ok from her boss to let me ride one of his horses. She had planned on going on a big group trail ride with the Universities Rodeo team who she was friends with. She brought along one of the horses that I wasn’t too incrediably fond of for me to ride. He was a pissy and UGLY palomino named Charlie Yellow. (There were two other horses at the barn named Charlie. Charlie Red, and Charlie Brown. It’s bad luck to change a horses name). She unloaded him from the trailer and we tied him up to a hitching post. Apparently something was wrong and he flipped out and when I turned around he was pulling back from the hitching post. I remember thinking Awesome…can’t wait to ride this horse. Especially since I haven’t ridden in forever. But the rest of tacking him up was un eventful, and I hopped on, even though I was a nervous wreck. I started riding, and he was being a crap head. Prancing and fighting the whole time. I was not having fun, and he wasn’t making it fun for me. Then my friend looked over and said, he was a western pleasure horse, give him his head. Sooooo sure enough…gave him a bunch of rein, and I had an awesome ride. Walk, jog, lope, flying lead changes…yes when she told me he could do flying lead changes, I tried it...out on the prairie. You name it, he could do it. Apparently he was bought when another girl was managing the barn and the owner was interested into having a barn full of western pleasure horses. She did a great job filling his barn with awesome western pleasure prospects and show horses…but she got fired I think shortly after her ex husband came by and threatened to shoot all the horses. Securtiy around the barn got super tight after that too.

Anyways later on that same ride, we came to a bridge and I saw all these girls fighting with their horses trying to get them over the long, narrow wooden bridge. They had been riding since they were fetuses but were having a hard time. I thought, what the heck, I’ll give it a go and see what happens. I excused ourselves past and then sure enough, it didn’t even phase him and we clip clopped right over, followed by the girls who were quite rude to me earlier in the ride, when I asked for a bit of advice on what to do when Yellow was acting up. I believe one said “if you can’t handle your own horse you shouldn’t even be on this ride with us…”

I left that ride with a love for that ugly yellow horse. I say he was ugly because well, he was. He’d slipped on some ice the previous winter and knocked out some of his front teeth. His butt was a sooty, dirty looking color, that no matter how hard you scrubbed it wouldn’t come out. He was missing a large chunk of mane where he’d rubbed it off on his feeder. His attitude was what really made him ugly. He was a crab ass. Everytime you walked past his stall, he’d pin his ears and try to bite you.  After having so much fun on the ride with him, I made it a challenge to try and sweeten him up. I started by talking to him when I was at the barn, and I would always offer to be the one to take him to and from his paddock. My friend talked to the owner and I started helping out at the barn more. So that ment that I got to see my yellow buddy more often. The time I spent with him worked. And he quickly became one of the barn favorites. The owner even told me once that he was thrilled with how much he was starting to like that palomino. Yellow started to be referred to as my horse and I was allowed to ride him anytime I wanted to. He even started to look a lot nicer. The following year after I started playing with him, his coat lost the sooty grossness, and he was shiny with dapples. When we went places I’d get complements on him all the time. I even had a few people throw offers at me. Big offers, offers I was probably stupid to have turned down.
 

A few years later I got to the barn to do chores on my Birthday and I saw a big fat envelope on the table with my name on it. I opened it up and there was signed AQHA Transfer papers. Yellow was mine and it was official.
Someone feed that girl a big mac...sheesh I was a twig.

Yeah, I know the cheek peice is twisted...I paniced because the new fancy bit I bought for pictures was making him crazy, so I had to quickly switch back to my snaffle and I messed up the bridle.

My boy.

Well life takes us down different paths, and I ended up moving Yellow to a few different barns. Near the end, he had gotten kicked out of a friends place because he was being a bully to her pregnant mares and not allowing them to eat. I moved him to a barn close to town temporarily. I had decided that owning a horse at that point in my life was too expensive so I wanted him to go live with a family that would use him and enjoy him. I’d worked out a free lease with a family that was a friend of my dad’s friend. They couldn’t take him just yet so I boarded him until they could come and get him. Well I will never forget that phone call December 19th 2008. But then again how could you forget a phone call that included the words “your horse is dead”.

The owner of the barn I was boarding at called to tell me that yellow had died, but he wasn’t sure what happened. He went on to say that the night before he was doing just fine but when they went out there that morning he was dead. He also went on to say that he’d had about 5 other horses die in the last few years and that the next one that dies he’d be getting a necropsy done to find out why. In hindsight I should have gotten one done. But I was too heartbroken. I didn’t even go out and see him after he died. I felt like I had let him down and I really, really didn’t want to see my beautiful boy like that. They told me he was on a trailer covered in a blue tarp. That was what really killed me. Blue tarps were the only thing that scared him.

Shortly after yellow died, I needed horses. I needed to be around them. So I looked on craigslist and found a barn that needed help with pm feeding. I started working there and it wasn’t long after that the barn owner started talking to me about her friend who had all of these retired racehorses that I should go look at. They were free. So obviously I went out there and got Piney. If it wasn’t for Yellow passing, I would never have ended up at that barn, and then with Piney. Everything happens for a reason and I need to remind myself of that. Yellow taught me everything that he could on this earth. Piney taught me what he could. I guess each horse enters our life for a reason. I just wish mine didn’t leave so soon…
One of my favorites.

This was the result of my awesome feeding program. Didn't need to use Show Sheen!

The "shack" that the owners of the barn I worked at lived in...he wanted a lake...so he built one...

Stay....good boy.

Montana trip!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

help from thoroughbred people please!


I have a question and I wonder if some Thoroughbred people can help me out. I have some experience with Thoroughbreds. When I was a spry young 20 something I worked at the North Dakota horse park a couple seasons up as a patrol judge. I videotaped the races up in my lonesome tower on the back stretch making sure there weren’t any naughty behavior from the jockeys. I did spend quite some time in the barns, and around the horses.  I also spent part one season working hands on with the horses as a groom for a trainer. Seriously, not as glamorous as I envisioned. I mucked stalls, hot walked horses, fed, bathed and did a little grooming. The horses dragged me around the barn, stomped on me, pushed me, bit me, slobbered on me, and all kinds of wonderful things. The horses were all strung out and in race mode. They were what I thought “typical thoroughbreds” should act like.

At my last barn were two thoroughbreds that never made it into race training. One of them a little gelding that was never registered but had ended up at the “Second Chance Ranch” and then picked out and delivered to the barn owner as a project horse, and a younger mare that was never raced trained that my friend picked out when I went and got Piney. Those two seemed to display “typical thoroughbred” traits. They were high strung, super prancy on the way to turn out, and were a bit skittish. Once they got into training and had consistent work they turned out to be fantastic mounts. The little gelding was fun to ride.  But they were still a bit spooky sometimes. I remember being in the arena on Piney, and my friend was on the TB mare, when one of the cats knocked a box of show ribbons off of a ledge, it made a big commotion. The mare about leaped out of her skin, almost dumping her rider and then stood there for 5 minutes breathing fire out of her nostrils. Piney didn’t move a muscle, he just let out a big sigh and then looked over to see what the mare’s problem was.

That was usually how Pinecone handled scary situations. (EXCEPT the trailer) If it was new and scary, he would check it out, then get over it. I rarely if ever found anything that would make him jump out of his skin. One time he was being a smart ass and started walking away before I was fully mounted, he got his foot caught in the step stool, it scared the crap out of him, he cantered for about 5 strides then stopped and that was the last time he ever did anything like that. I watched the riders with the two younger tbs and I always noticed that they weren’t’ so lucky. I saw bolts, and freak outs, and rearing, and bucking.

I guess what my question is are older Thoroughbreds, who have spent a lot of time at the track a bit more desensitized to scary situations? Are they a bit calmer and easier to handle? Piney only had 25 starts, and then 2 years off to spend in a 4,000 acre pasture. His breeders loved him and took wonderful care of him so I know that they had a factor in his personality. But I am terrified to get another OTTB because this time I am doing it without my riding instructor holding my hand. It turns out I wouldn’t have needed anyone really helping with Piney though. Some of the things I loved about Piney was that I could bathe him, and wrap his legs, and give him wormer, and his shots and he stood like a champ. He wasn’t spooky, and most things that would send a horse flying across the pasture, usually caused him to look up briefly, and then go back to grazing. A lot of commotion in the arena never did anything to him and even though he didn’t have much of a competitive streak, it completely fizzled away when he retired.

Basically what I am scared of is that I lucked out with Piney. He was easy, everything about him was easy (EXCEPT trailering). I’m so scared that if I get a TB, they are going to be a bit more like the younger TB’s I’ve worked with. Am I silly for wanting an older TB, that has spent a lot more time at the track? Probably. My thinking probably doesn’t make any sense and that it is just the luck of the draw. When my friend and I were looking at the TB’s that the Second Chance Ranch. She was looking for conformation in her horse. But her horse was not wanting to be caught and it took two people to chase her down and get her cornered in a smaller pen so that they could halter her. Piney came up to me, and was very loving right away. Even the mare I almost brought home instead of Piney, was very sweet and very interested in being with me. She had had a very, very successful career all over the country.

I guess I am just looking for some more firsthand accounts from Thoroughbred people. Any advice people have on TB’s is greatly appreciated. I am not as crazy as I sound in this post…I promise…even if any of it made ANY sense at all…

Monday, December 17, 2012

Moo.

We picked up some more of our free hay for the horses yesterday and we encountered these beauties. I love cattle...







Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ugh...

I wish someone would come to my barn and wash all of Piney's blankets, coolers and sheets. I was in my barn tonight trying to decide what I can let go in order to buy a new saddle, when I opened up a tote filled with Piney's cooler and a sheet. The smell of him hit me like a freight train, and I couldn't stop the tears. It stings just a bad now as it did a few months ago. I clung to that dirty old fleece cooler and just inhaled it. I miss him.

On a side note this tack ho can't let go of any of the tack she's hoarded over the years...I have a problem and apparently need 46 English saddle pads...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hypochondriac.

Yes, It’s true. I am guilty of this, but only when it comes to my horses. I have come to the conclusion that Pistol needs to be wrapped up in bubble wrap. When we first got him, well when he let us get a good look at him, we noticed that he has scars all over his legs, body and face. We figured he’d wrestled with some bad fencing. Our farrier asked if he was a Thoroughbred because it almost looked like he had been pinfired. Pistol also has a gouge out of his eyelid.

The other day I went out to feed the monsters their supper. It was dark and I had just brought my little flashlight. When Pistol came in to the lean I noticed that his front white foot, looked like it had blood on it, and sure enough when I flashed the flash light on his leg it looked horrific. It looked like there was little intestines springing out…but then I reminded myself that it was like -20 and that blood freezes. So I took a deep breath, and then chipped off all the blood and it was just a scratch. So I grabbed some yellow goop and smeared it on there. There was no swelling or anything. But of course when I went into the house and googled what to do when a horse cut itself in the winter…I found nothing. Not one thing. Apparently horses don’t get hurt in freezing parts of the country like where I live. I asked a few of my horsey friends and they said that I did the right thing. But it is so strange that there is no artic first aid for horses guides out there…Maybe I am on to something…

Then the next day when I ran out to check on the horses again before work, I ran into the lean and saw Pistol butt against the wall, head hanging down. So immediately I thought, he was dying. Obviously he couldn’t be in a deep sleep…oh no, he was dying. The fact that I startled him when I went to touch him…nope that isn’t an indication that he was sleeping…it was telling me that he was 3 feet in the grave. So I grabbed his lead rope and walked him around, and sure enough he perked up and went about his normal Pistol routine. I spent the better part of the day researching horses and their sleeping patterns. And came to the conclusion that he obviously has equine narcolepsy. He has NONE of the other symptoms other than he was very sleepy when I saw him. I really shouldn’t be allowed to google anything. Ever.

Has anyone else had a horse that was always getting hurt? Is it actually something I should be more concerned about? Or how about heavy sleepers? He was standing up when he was sleeping, but he was out like a light. My mind is racing thinking of all kinds of things…like neurological diseases, and other strange things. Should I just save up all the bubble wrap at Christmas and make him a suit? He’s an old timer and the scars on his body tell me he’s been like this most of his life. But I keep telling myself what they told me when I worked at the horse track. “It’s a long way from his heart!”…but it always seems so close to mine…

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Brats.


There are some people out there that just don't deserve to be riding horses. I didn't grow up in the horse show world. In fact I don't think I even went to watch my first horse show until I was in my 20's. When I did see my first show I was appauled at some of the behavior. Mostly by prima donna teenagers. I watched one girl screaming at her dad because he bought her the wrong type of hair nets. I saw another girl bawling her eyes out blaming her mother for buying her the wrong horse because it "sucked" at western pleasure.
I really didn't spend much time at any of the area dressage and english shows. And I am not sure I really want to. I've heard stories upon stories of the "dressage queens" or more realisticly the "dressage bitches". The barn I boarded at had a strict no "DB"(dressage bitch) rule. We all helped each other out and we all cared very deeply for our horses. In fact I was talking to a friend who still boards at my old barn and she said they got special accomidations at the last show because the officals saw how much the riders from my barn loved and cared for their horses. 
Then there was this video of a girl and her horse. I'm not exactly sure where it is...but it solidifies my point about brats and witches.
 

I got mad after watching this. Have I ever fallen off my horse and been PISSED? Yep. Have I EVER lunged at him to hit him right after falling off...no way. Usually upon dusting myself off, and laughing my ass off (I laugh when I fall off, it's the only way to stop the tears) I go check to make sure my horse is ok. Then spend the rest of the day grumbling and cursing out the horse. I've been left on the side of the road and forced to walk home, never once hitting my horse when I got back to find them happily munching on the front lawn in the "No horse allowed" zone at my old barn years and years ago. They are horses. Beating them isn't going to get the point across. If this little brat could have had her horse if she wouldn't have went to hit him afterwards. If this was my kid...you better believe that pony would no longer belong to her.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

grooming it out.


Have you ever had one of those days, that no matter what you try and do, you fail. That was me on Sunday. I was having a hard day, and nothing was working in my favor. I had been pushed to the limit so I went to the barn. It was time to feed the boys so I mixed their supper and then grabbed a few brushes. I haven’t groomed like that in months. I wasn’t grooming with the intentions of riding. I wasn’t grooming because they were caked in mud. I was grooming for myself. I needed my horse therapy. To be completely honest here, since Piney died, I haven’t really wanted much to do with the horses. I feed them every day, and check on them. But I just don’t seem to interact with them as much as I did when Piney was with me. It’s not fair to them, but they are fat and happy and their every need is met.

I am not a huge fan of grooming. It’s actually one of my least favorite parts about horses. I’d clean stalls all day if it meant someone else would groom my horses for me. 5 year old K.K. would probably sucker punch me for admitting that. When I was a little girl, I promised that I would groom my horse every single day if I had one.  I think I don’t enjoy it because I can never get them sparkling clean like the fancy show horses. I brush and I brush, and I curry and curry, and I wipe and wipe, and they still always seem to look like hags. Maybe I am being way too hard on my skills but I just can’t seem to get them sparkling clean. Back when a friend and I were managing a barn together, we’d always take the half assed approach and clean the cinch/girth area and where the saddle pad went. And I am lucky now that we don’t have the mud and clay mixture that I had at my last barn. They boys are usually pretty clean, and they can’t ever seem to find mud. I really lucked out. But Sunday night, I needed to groom and interact with the two horses.

I grabbed my brush and started on Pistol and the tears started flowing. With each brush stroke that amazing horse smell got stronger. I needed it. It reminded me one of the reasons I love horses. Pistol is such a champ. He stood there and ate his dinner as I groomed and cried. And it hit me hard how much he looks like Piney. They have similar markings, and the top of his blaze is so much like Piney’s. I kind of just fell into him and cried for a good solid 5 minutes.  He looks like him, and sometimes acts like him. Pistol really has come a long way since he came to live with us. He seems to trust me, and I don’t have any problems putting a halter on him. He no longer flinches when I touch his face, head or neck. The sparkle is there in his eyes and he no longer has those dead eyes that he did when we brought him home. He seems happy to see me every day and he is no longer skittish.

I groomed him until my arms were tired, and then I kept going. He does not look like a million bucks, nor does he look like a fancy show pony. He still looks like a hag. His winter coat is coming in, and he has patches of hair missing where Duke took a few big bites out of his sides. But my grooming session wasn’t about making him look good. It was about me remembering why I love horses. They are my therapy. There is something in my heart and brain that makes me need them. So many times it would have been easy for me to just sell them and move on. We could have a nice house in town, close to friends and family, and fun activities. But the thing is, I’d be missing something. If we sold the two horses tomorrow, it wouldn’t be long before I’d be looking for another horse. I need them.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Oh Facebook...

Did anyone have this video on Facebook pop up?



With this caption...
"Girl on Horseback A deaf-mute girl on a horse that she has ridden for only THREE weeks!!, not to mention the song she picked out to dedicate to her deceased father! Listen to the announcer's voice crack! The horse she is riding is not even hers; she is training it for a client and has had it only 20 days at the time ...of the ride shown here. Note that she rides without a saddle or halter and bit and (obviously) without voice commands. She is using the method used by North American Indians. When you think your voice can't be heard I want each of you to watch this Video. She has no voice. She cannot hear. Yet she has persevered and achieved! Thought you all would enjoy this "
 
Apparently Stacy Westfall is a Deaf-mute that's been riding for three weeks when this video was taken. And for a deaf mute she seems to be doing a lot of talking to the people near the start of the video. The part that is true that she dedicated this ride to her father who had died 24 days before this.
I just had to shake my head when I saw the caption. This ride is amazing! and I'm sure if the caption were more true it would be even more outstanding...Don't always beleive what you read facebook land!

Kitten update.

Yesteray morning was spent at the vet with my little barn cat. I swear I have spent more time there this year than I have any other year. But I am really lucky to have such a great veterinarian clinic so close to my house! I called them up when they oppened and expalained the situation and they asked me for her name...and i paused. They don't really have names, because they all look identical. But their names are Bubbles (the male), Cory and Trevor (the females). Maybe someone will get the Trailer Park Boys reference. But I told the lady on the phone that her name was Cory. I got a few raised eyebrows later in the day when I schedualed the other two for their rabies shots. Aparently girl cats name Trevor are strange.
I tell people that my cats are infact Russian Blues, that way I don't feel so bad spending an arm and a leg to fix them up.

Cory seemed perfectly healthy other than the cuts all over her body. The one on her front leg was by far the worst. So much skin was missing the vet was a little worried about how she was going to stitch it up. We also noticed that she had a cut on her butt, near her lady parts but it wasn't until after they knocked her out and shaved her up that we realized how big of a cut it was. The vet even came and got me from the waiting area to show me. It was a cut about 3 inches long and half an inch deep. She was really lucky it wasn't a bit closer or she would have lost her lady parts. Had she been a male she would have gotten neutered accidentally.

But as I was sitting around for Cory to wake up from her little surgery, I enjoyed a couple dozen cups of coffee. And then started flipping through a book to help people deal with the loss of a pet. Yeah great idea, KK. Read that book and then realize you were sitting in the exact same location when you had to come to face the reality that you were going to have to let Piney go. Great idea... These were a few of the quotes that absolutely destroyed me

 
So there I sat like a crazy person crying for no apparent reason.
 
I stayed at the vet clinic most of the morning. If they hadn't been so crazy busy I would have asked for a tour of the place. I've always been interested in vet clinics. Ever since I was the luckiest kid in my 3rd grade class that go to go and tour the vet clinic in town for our projects on career day. I even got to watch a dog get neutured...It was shortly after watching that I decided that I no longer wanted to be a vet and that maybe becoming an accountant was more my speed. Yes, as a 3rd grader I wanted to be an accountant. I asked my friend who is a vet tech at the clinic and she said that she could arrange for me to get a tour someday. The vet clinic is top of the line and the best of the area. For horses there just isn't any where that comes close within a 300 mile radius. People actually haul their horses from all over the country to get one of the vets at the clinic to look at their horses. She specializes in equine gastrointestinal and orthopedic surgery and she was the one who worked with Piney when he came in. (She even was the vet that got to stich my Cocker Spaniel back up when we had a unfortunate mishap with the clippers) So when she told me that Pineys' chances weren't good for him to survive a surgery, I took her word on it.
 
After Cory was cleared to go, I brought her home. and set her up in a nice kitty condo in the basement. I don't know how I am going to evict her when it's time for her to go back outside. She has it pretty good in the house. She gets canned food (a friend who does the extreme couponing gave me a couple hundred dollars worth of canned cat food), she gets a little scartching post, bottled water, warm blankets and a clean litter box. Now don't get me wrong my barn cats don't have it bad either. They get two HUGE bowls of food each day, a nice kitty bed made out of an old insulated barrel, tons of blankets, and wraped up in an old horse blanket. They have anything they desire to use as a scratching post, all the mice they can catch. and they use the world as their litter box. Pretty sure they have a pretty nice life.
 
I've also realized that giving cats medicine isn't fun. I would much rather give a horse meds orally, than give a cat her meds orally. The good thing is I will have a lot of practice since I have to give her meds twice a day for two weeks...
 
Oh and last night i managed to freak the husband out a little bit. Kitty had an accident in her travel crate and messed up the blankets so the vet tech put them in a black plastic bag with a knot on top. I had set it outside by the front door and had forgotten to bring it in to wash it. When he came home he asked what was in the bag and I casually said "oh....it's the cat". and then had to let him know that the cat was doing great, and that was just some towels. I'm an awful person...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Life sucks some times.

Well I kinda knew it was only a matter of time...one of the kitty-kitties found out why sleeping in the hood of a pick up truck isn't a good idea. She is alive, but she skinned the backs of three of her legs. I cleaned her up and made her a nice warm bed in the basement. On one hand she is a barn cat, their life expectancy isn't as long as house cats. But on the other hand she is my kitty-kitty and my heart is bleeding for her.
I took another look at her and she has a pretty deep cut so I am thinking it best to bring her to the vet. We wrapped her leg, and fed her. She ate all her food and seems comfortable. But I just think she needs stitches. Why are all my pets falling apart this year?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sale Ads.

For every good horse sale ad I find on the internet, I find a handful of awful ones. for example I found this one on good ol Craigslist. Click on the pictures if you need to get a better view.


Are you seeing what I'm seeing?


Yep, that horse is definately peeing.
But the horse does look very sweet. I can't seem to wrap my head around the idea that some people just don't have many, if any good pictures of their horses. If I was to sell my two boys today, I have at least 5 good ones of each on my phone. Also I keep pictures handy incase they decide to make a jail break again, and need to show someone what they look like. In this digital age, how hard is it to take more than one picture? not very hard!

And then there are ads that make me sad for the horse. This one has a mare that could use a bit of groceries, but still looks pretty good for this area, but she is tied to a tree. I know that some people tie horses all the time and that that is fine, but I have a panic attack looking at it. What if that horse spooked? what if that horse stepped on the rope? ugh.

 I enlarged these pics and blured out their faces.
 
I mean they did a good job showing that anyone can ride this sweet mare, from little kids in sandals, to grandmas in just a halter and lead rope too. But that first fella in the orange shirt bugs me for some reason. I can't seem to pin down what it is though. I really hope that mare gets an upgrade. Someone posted a response to this ad a day later saying that the horse was lame, and that the people have no clue what they are doing with a horse. But that seems to be par for the course. "Hey I have an acre, I should buy a horse and keep him in my back yard!" I am so thankful for my years, boarding and working in horse barns for the knowledge I picked up. You can read all you want about horse care in a book, but it doesn't come close to what you learn first hand working with horses. I picked up so much information from hanging out at my barns. From just hanging around listening and asking questions when the vet was there, to picking my farriers brain, to bouncing ideas and thoughts off my riding instructors. I value every second I spent in the barn. If it wasn't for the experience I picked up walking colicy horses at my last barn I would have had no clue how serious colic can be, and probably would have just brushed Piney's first and last bout with colic, to him being "really lazy". He would have suffered much longer than he already did, if I didn't know the symptoms or what to do.
 
If that little mare was a gelding, I would scoop her up in a heart beat, get her some groceries, a vet check, farrier visit. She looks like a really sweet little mare. Plus she comes with a saddle and "bridal"
 
 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A little venting about shopping...

I've been looking at a lot of horse sale ads. I have yet to go and look at a horse in person, but I am just giving myself time. But so may for sale ads make me shake my head... I mean really...

13 year old Gelding For Sale
Broke to Ride-Trails,Trailers,Farrier Safe!
He Needs another Horse to Ride with-He don't go by himself >>lol 
Sorrel-Saddlebred Quarter Horse
4 white socks
His Name is: TOO TALL
Luvs his Treats-& Comes when you call his Name-But you better have a Treat Ready For Him : )
Jordan, MN Location
Reason for selling-I don't have time-
His front feet hurt at times-
Mounts Mares-will Kick a Horse close by-or Bite the other Horses Butt Ahead on Trail Riding LOL
$1,000.00 Cash Best Offer
Emails Welcome


Putting LOL next to his bad habits? Doesn't make them cute or funny. A buddy sour horse that mounts mares and bites and kicks nearby horses on the trail...Awesome, where do I send the check?

Another thing that really bugs me, is people that have their sale ad saying "I need to get rid of this horse, we don't have room!" but at the end of the ad will say "Will trade for well broke, bomb proof gelding" Did you not just say you don't have room for one horse...so you will fill the space that you don't have with another one? Why not be honest and say "the horse is too much horse for us, we didn't realize we aren't able to handle this much horse, please take it off our hands so we can get a horse we like better".
I have just been shaking my head a lot when I read horse ads lately. I've also found myself doing something I never thought I ever would...I've been looking at a lot of ads for Arabians... Yeah, I know. There is just something about them that makes me click on every ad that mentions that it might possibly be an arab. I would consider a few test rides on one...
This holiday weekend we had planned on going to Deadwood, South Dakota for a little vacation, and we were going to stop out at the ranch where I got Piney and see what there was available. But we decided that we should probably stay home instead and work on house projects. Probably for the better. It would be kind of nice to just feed two horses for this winter and then head out there in the spring. Especially since I have no clue what type of winter I am going to have this year so I don't know if riding will even be an option. Even though I have looked at ads for all types of horses...I think my heart is with OTTB's.
There is one OTTB that I have been somewhat obsessing about lately. Here is one link to him. He has an ugly knee where chips were removed. And he will never be an upper level horse, but lets not kid anyone...I am never going to be an upper level rider...Ever. I trail ride, and occasionally like to play "dressage queen" but that is about it. The pony also has a video. I've watched it a dozen times. He doesn't have the same floaty, pretty movements that Piney did, but he still looks like he would be a lot of fun.
 
So that is where I am these days. Online shopping for horses. Not a whole lot of other exciting news in my life.

Friday, November 16, 2012

New ride.

It was time for an upgrade and we needed something that could haul ponies easier. It's got a Hemi :-)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

One of those days...

I am currently watching the Breeders Cup, but am really missing a certain red racehorse that used to run at that same track.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I got a horse...sort of.


I’m still alive and kicking. I’ve just been busy with life and it never seems to slow down!

Yesterday was my Birthday. It was the 10th anniversary of my 21st! Hard to believe I’m getting old. I still feel like I’m 21 somedays, but my recovery time and old bones and joints just aren’t what they used to be. Yesterday I got a horse for my birthday. I don’t have him yet, but hubby said I can pick out what I want when the time is right and get it. Obviously I have no idea when that will be but now I have the green light to start actively searching. Nothing has caught my eye on the local classifieds, or craigslist. But I was randomly searching equine.com and found this mare.
 
The reason I clicked on her was because she was listed as a free thoroughbred in Rhame, North Dakota. That was where Piney came from. Turns out the "Second Chance Ranch" has teamed up with a pet rescue and they are listing a few of the horses for giveaway to approved homes. This mare is beautiful. The name listed with her profile doesn't match the equineline pedigree information. But  here is what was listed about her

Very sweet mare!

Her groom made these comments: she used to be really spooky but since he's worked with her she's really improved. He patted and touched her all over while she stood loose in the stall. He said she will get nervous if lots of people are around her. It seems she's stiff in her back especially during gallop workouts. He said some days she runs & plays in turnout like she's fine & other days she just seem stiff. He thought maybe she just doesn't want to run.

Loaded onto the trailer well, great manners


She is stunning.  But she is a mare. And she gets stiff, which I'm sure could be fixed with some chiro work. I do like that she loads into the trailer well and has great manners! That is definately a plus! I don't like that she was spooky and gets nervous with a bunch of people around her. I'm sure she will make someone a great horse if she hasn't already!

Then there was this little guy.


Here is what was listed about him

Off the track TB, very sweet. Loves kids. Has bone chip in left fetlock.

Oh and his name translates to Crazy Person...haha! He is cute, but when I look at him I don't think "that's my horse!" I feel the same way when I look at the mare. They are both beautiful creatures.I feel like I need to be there and meet the horse. What I liked about getting Piney was, I stood there in a pasture filled with horses of all shapes, sizes and colors.He was the one that came up to me. That horse picked me. Which is why I think that when time allows I want to go back to the second chance ranch and stand there in that pen of horses and see what happens. Maybe one of these two are my horse. I think I will just know when I see him.
For whatever reason my heart keeps telling me I want another OTTB. There is just something about them. For those of you who have never bonded with a TB i just don' t know if you can understand what it's like. I've had a quarter horse, and he was my buddy. Maybe it was me but we just never felt as connected as I did with Piney. I'm sure it was something to do with me and had nothing to do with the quarter horses. Every OTTB I've worked with seems to enjoy human interaction much more than the aqha's I've worked with. I duuno maybe I am just a crazy Thoroughbred lady...
So who knows. Maybe we will make the trip to the second chance ranch this fall, maybe we will make the trip next spring. Maybe I will find something tomorrow posted on craigslist that is NOTHING like what I am looking for. Maybe I will find a tiny white pony  instead :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

dreaming.

I still keep in touch with Piney’s breeder/original owner. She is such a nice woman and I am glad that I was able to track her down and get in contact with her. She always enjoyed little updates every now and then about “one of her favorite horses”. She was saddened to find out that he had passed. I let her know the day that he died, and she told me that we should still keep in touch. And she said there is a reason certain people are brought into your lives.
I wrote to her the other day just to say hello. I told her that I missed Piney like crazy and hadn't found the right horse to fill his place, but that I still had the two boys. She told me that she still thinks about her first horse and misses him too.  She also told me that sometimes they have great thoroughbreds that just aren’t good enough to race, but are great horses. And that she will keep her eye out for one for me. She said that they had one last year that they gave to her friend and he is loved to pieces. She also said that another one of her friends took one of their client’s horses and she is a great riding horse.  You don’t even know how amazing it would be to get another horse from their barn. I would do almost anything. Everyone that met Piney commented on how sweet he was and that someone had loved him dearly when he was younger because it showed in his personality. I know for a fact it was his first owner. When I still had him she told me to kiss his nose every single night because that was what she did with all of her horses.  It’s a long shot that I would ever get another horse from them but it is something I can dream about. I don't ever expect it actually happen, but it's nice to have daydreams.
I have even been invited out to their ranch if I ever visit Arizona. They want me to come and visit the place where Piney was born and raised. It’s a pretty awesome place from what I can see from the website. She had all of the fences shipped from Kentucky and they are designed to be safe for the horses. They also have a horse shoe shaped lake used for aqua therapy for the horses. They train and rehab horses at their ranch. I really hope to make it out there someday because I’d love to see it in person and I would love to meet the people that raised my beloved Piney. They really shaped him into the horse that he was. Care and love really does have such an impact on shaping a horse.
I am so glad that the people that raised him were such nice people. When I was terrified when I first contacted the ranch telling them that I had adopted a horse that had been bred by them. I expected someone to snap at me and tell me not to bother them. But surprisingly they were more than excited to find out where one of their horses ended up. They loved to hear that he was being spoiled rotten and that he had someone to love him. They filled me with all kinds of information about his past and his up bringing and told me about how much they cared for him. It's people like them that the horse world really needs especially in the Thoroughbred industry. I've met so many snooty and snobby horse people that I am pretty gun shy around most. It was such a breath of fresh air to have met such warm and caring people.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

It's sometimes little things that hurt the most.

I today it warmed up a little bit but it was still a bit chilly so I decided to pull Pistol's blanket and put a lighter weight one on. I dug out a medium weight blanket that was originally Yellow's but Piney wore it for the first part of winter the first year I had him. I put it on Pistol and it was a bit small but will work for the night. I buckled him up and as I was adjusting the front buckles for the last time I looked down and saw that the barn I boarded at had written "Piney" on the strap. It broke my heart. It really didn't help that it still smelled like Piney either. It sometimes is really small things that hurt the most.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pistol the Saint.

Well today there was snow on the ground. YUCK. I am not thrilled about the thought of winter. Especially since we had such a wonderful winter last year. I mean wearing sweatshirts and riding in January was awesome!
Last night the wind was howling and there was rain or sleet or hail or something that was coming out of the sky and smashing against the house and windows. It was just about the time I was due to head out to the barn and feed the horses. I had gotten home after dark, because my mom was in town and she brought me shopping and out to dinner. Anyways I had planned on working with blanketing Pistol all summer, and then all fall, or at least when I had daylight and nice weather. But do I ever follow through with any of my plans? Sheesh procrastination award goes to me! When I got to the barn after mixing the boys their supper I noticed that Pistol was shivering and his coat hasn't come in as thick as Duke's. He's still a bit on the thin side so I decided that since it was just going to get colder over night I might as well bite the bullet and throw his blanket on.
I dug through the barn, trying to remember just where exactly I had hidden the winter blankets to keep them safe and obviously they were the last place I looked...in and old army footlocker underneath another old footlocker. I dug out the larger of the two blankets, threw it over my arm and grabbed a halter and lead rope, and said a little prayer as I headed for the boys. The wind was blowing at about 40 mph and therefor shaking the barn making all kinds of creaky sounds. Perfect time to blanket a horse for the first time!! The boys were still munching on their supper when I haltered up Pistol. I shook the blanket next to him. He sniffed it and went back to his dinner. I rubbed it against his body, and he kept eating. I draped it on his back and still nothing. I let the buckles drop and he didnt' even notice. So I started buckling him up and he stood there like a champ. Didn't even freak out as I tightened the buckles to fit around his belly and legs.
So either this isn't his first rodeo with a blanket or someone really did an awesome job to desensitize him to scary things when they owned him before. OR Piney's ghost has entered Pistols body ;-)
My phone had just died when I went to take a picture so I can't show him off. The funny thing is now that he has a blanket on he looks like a fancy horse. :-) Even this morning when I looked out into the pasture I thought that he looked so handsome. He looks really sharp in navy blue. He also looked quite happy this morning when I went to check on them. I'll probably take it off in the next day or so when the temps warm up. It was in the high 80's last weekend and now we have snow on the ground the horses aren't quite ready for winter. Next week looks like we will be in the high 50s and 60s so hopefully we will be back to normal fall weather!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Carrots

Looks like the horses will have enough carrots to last a little while! A coworker of mine was nice enough to donate all these carrots to my monsters. Pistol and Duke were quite happy.

In other news I finally got a new phone! I kissed my old timey blackberry good bye and upgraded to an iPhone!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Going public.

Not horse related but it's related to my life.
Today I launched my photography business's facebook page. For anyone who knows me personally will know how nervous I was about going public but I took the plunge and it is now out there!

Here is the link if you are curious.facebook.com/karikayphotography



This was the logo I decided on. I actually kind of just threw it together in about 5 minutes. And then after I published it I thought "hey that actually had some kind of meaning" So my subconsious wanted it to be horse related.  The color an yellowish/orange was similar to the color of my very first horse and the namesake of this blog "good time to review". He was a palamino that was a goldish orange in the summer. and the pine tree, well obviously a tribute to Piney as well as a tribute to my upbringing in northern, NORTHERN Manitoba. So there you have it. My not horse related logo that ended up being horse related. :-)



 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2 months.



 
Today marks the 2 month anniversary that I let Piney go. Some days are easier than others. I find that if I don’t think too much about it my day will be easier. But then some days something will come up and remind me of him. Like when I was going through my tack the other day I grabbed a piece and set it aside because I wanted to try it out on Piney. Then I realized how foolish that was. Last week I went out to Big Iron, which is a HUGE farm show out at the fairgrounds in Fargo, that showcases all the newest farm equipment, technology and all other things farm related. I work for a farm so I went to do some research, even though If I really wanted to see the newest technology in farm equipment I would head on out to the shop and have a look around. But we went into one of the buildings that the new John Deere equipment. They had all the equipment in one of the arenas and had the dirt covered up with big fluffy pine shavings. My heart sank. I used to love the smell of fresh pine shavings but now when I see them and smell them I think of this.

This was the last picture I have of Piney. I have no idea why I took it, but I probably did because I thought that he would bounce back and I’d have a picture as a reminder of the time I almost lost him. I was going through my phone pictures last week and I saw this. I didn’t know if I should keep it or not. I decided that I should. It was part of our story and journey. Which is why I posted it here.
 

The funny thing is that sometimes when I look at Pistol I see Piney. Pistol has warmed up considerably to me, but he still isn’t at Piney’s level of “love all the people!”  He wants to love people but he still has some lingering trust issues. They are fading with time and I hope he realizes that I love him and won’t hurt him.
Pistol is such a sweet horse, and he's got alot of the same qualities I loved in Piney. Like the fact that he isn't bothered when there is a ton of stuff going on around him. Especially when I feed him and not only do the cats try to help him finish his food, but the dogs do too.  Or when the cats rub up against his hind legs and he doesn't flinch. The same action causes Duke to blow up and bolt across the pasture. He doesn't realize that the 2 pound cat is not a huge tiger trying to attack him. Pistol knows that fly spray is helping him and he doesn't "forget" every single time I bring it out like his buddy Duke. I swear I sprayed that horse once a day and Duke still thought that the fly spray was trying to kill him.
I like riding Pistol, but as I said I still have a bit of fear that I try to leave back at home when I take him out. Obviously he is recovering from his hoof isues and I haven't ridden in a while. But I need to remember that I am a good rider, and he is a good horse. Even if he pulls some crap when we get back home to the driveway. That is something we can work on and I wouldn't put a beginner on him until that is figured out. But he's a good horse and he is fun to ride because he is actually going somewhere when he walks, Piney was the slowest horse in the world. I wish more people could have ridden him so they could experience what the laziest horse in the world felt like. 
Piney really was my once in a lifetime horse. But it's time to make new memories with new horses.
 

Friday, September 7, 2012

I don't need to buy this horse.


Years ago I had the most beautiful palomino in the entire world. Seriously, he was the perfect color, had the right amount of chrome and a beautiful wide blaze. I had him temporarily boarded at a barn, as I waited for a family that was going to free lease him at their farm, to pick him up. Well that never happened. I got a phone call on December 19th saying “your horse is dead.” Heart stopping, gut wrenching, awful phone call. The owner of the barn called and said that he was fine the night before, and that when they got there in the morning he was dead. I suspect something was up and there was many things they weren’t telling me. Especially when he said “yeah we’ve had 5-6 die here in the past couple years. If one more dies I will pay to have an autopsy on it to see what is going on”. Not what you want to hear and not something you think to ask when boarding a horse at a new stable. But it should be. I was so grief stricken that I never got an autopsy done. I should have, but I couldn’t bring myself to have it done. Idiot, because know I will never know.

Anyways the same phone call that they told me my horse was dead the owner told me that they had plenty of horses for sale and they would be willing to work with me on payments if I found one I liked. He called me a few times telling me about horses they had for sale. I, being a very polite person, always declined in the nicest possible way. I think I said that I’d maybe come on out and have a look at some of them. One of the horses he thought would be perfect for me was a Swedish Warmblood qarterhorse mix filly. She was a yearling, but he thought that he could have someone at his barn help me train her (at a discounted rate of course). The price he offered her to me at was $2500. Now I’m not excellent at pricing horses but I thought that seemed a bit much. The next year she was offered for sale as a 2 year old at $1500 and then $1000. This summer I saw her for sale (from a different owner) at the beginning of the summer for $500 OBO. She is currently $300 OBO.

I really don’t know why I keep going back and looking at her sale picture. The price is right, but firstly it’s a mare. Secondly she is only 14.3hh and I would more than likely look REDICULOUS on her. And thirdly she isn’t broke, she’s had the saddle on, and has had weight put on but never ridden.  And LASTLY she is red. I don’t want more red horses.

Here is a picture of her when she was for sale before
 

And here are some videos from before.
 
 

Pics of her now on her sale ad.

 

 

I really don’t know why I keep going back to her. I’m sure conformationally she is a wreck. If she was even one hand taller I would be more serious about going to check her out. But  I need to keep telling myself. She is too small, she is too small, she is red, it’s a SHE, I don’t need another horse right now. I don’t need a LITTLE horse right now. I don’t need a little red horse right now that isn’t broke.  BUT I did know her mother and her father. Both were super, super sweet horses. I don't need a little red horse...I don' t need a little red horse.
Her ad was reposted today, so I hope someone swoops her up this weekend, because I HATE seeing her ad and wondering about her!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

yesterday was bad but ended well!


Yesterday I was about to give up on ever owning horses. Yesterday I was worried that I’d have to make the same decision with Pistol that I made with Piney just a few short months ago. Yesterday was an awful day that thankfully ended well.

We had noticed that Pistol was lame on his left hind before we went to my husband’s hometown on this weekend. He is and older horse so we figured that maybe he just strained himself, or was sore from kicking at flies. (Nothing works for keeping flies off of him! NOTHING!) So I wanted to give him a day or two and see what he looked like. When we got back, he was worse. Like way, way worse. He was not putting any pressure on it, he had heat and swelling up in his stifle, he was hopping around on three legs and he wasn’t moving very far or very much. He was creaky and cracky sounding and it just didn’t look good. So I called the vet first thing yesterday and the vet came out in a couple of hours. It was a new vet that I hadn’t used before, but I have to say that of all the vets that I’ve had come out and look at my horses he is my favorite. I like when vets can make you laugh especially when you are freaking the f out.

He looked at Pistol and asked some questions like if Pistol and Duke get along and how long he’d been limping. He took a look and started feeling around his stifle area and said that it felt very, very strange.  He also said he’d never seen or felt anything like it before. Awesome.  He also said that he had been dealing with strange things lately. Like the camels at the zoo he was working with. He’d never worked with camels before but they had him out there to look at them. But X-rays were needed to figure this out. He thought that maybe the patella had slipped, or that maybe there was a fracture. He couldn’t be sure until he got the x-rays back. He was very interested in what was going on so he said he was going to shoot 5-6 x-rays but would only charge us for 2.  He said he tried to get the portable x-ray machine and bring it out to the farm, but someone had already booked it for a pre-purchase exam. I laughed and said “what the heck is a pre purchase exam?” Because obviously I’ve never had one done on any of my horses.  He gave us the okay to  trailer Pistol to the clinic and we could get some better answers there.

I we got Pistol loaded into the trailer, but it took a bit longer than usual. At times like that I am thankful that our trailer has a ramp. Getting him in there was easier because of it. I am also thankful that he trailers so well. We got him settled in and it’s off we went. We live about 15 miles from the vet so it’s pretty nice. When we got to the vet he unloaded quietly and for the most part as easy as he could. Even with a horse tied to a trailer FLIPPING OUT. The horse was climbing onto the trailer’s steps and fenders. I have no idea who would let their horse freak out like that. But not my place to judge I guess. We got him inside the clinic. And the vet started feeling around and said “it looks like it’s fixed itself”. Ummm what? So all it took was a trailer ride? He had another vet come over and take a look. That vet was the one who worked on Piney when he was last there. She is a specialist in horses gastro systems as well as their legs. She said that things didn’t feel so incrediably weird but they were weird. But more than likely his strange conformation had something to do with it. They took a few x-rays and found out that nothing was wrong. Which was a relief but then they took x-rays of his hoof. Sure enough we found the problem. An abscess caused by a nail puncture. Obviously when he said that I feel like a big ass. But he said I could sweep the farm for nails, every single day for years and it still could have happened, It’s just the luck of the draw. He had the same problem when he lived on his grandpas farm. So he cleaned up the foot, and got the abscess to spew puss all over. The vet did have to block his foot and twitch him while the did that. But other than that he got a big gold star for being a great patient. The vet tech said that most horses need to be tranqued when they get x-rayed even when they are as lame as Pistol was. He just stood there like a champ in a strange and unfamiliar place while they poked and prodded him. When the vet was finishing up the vet said that we had a pretty great horse on our hands. I like hearing that. It’s the third time I’ve had someone tell me that about him.
We soaked him in warm water and Epsom salts, and then they put a baby diaper duct tape boot on him. Which is still think is pretty funny. That a vet’s office uses baby diapers to wrap a horses foot. Like there is nothing else that has been invented specifically for that purpose. I’m sure there is, but it just seems funny to me. By the time he was soaked and booted up he was feeling 10 times better. He was even walking on his foot. It was such a relief to be bringing home a loaded trailer. I was pretty sure that we were going to be bringing an empty trailer home with us. I know that sounds extreme for something like a hoof abscess, but if you would have seen him yesterday morning, you would probably have the same thoughts as I did. He looked like he had broken something up in his knee/hip. The fact that he was 3 legged and hopping mixed with some Google induced hypochondriac thinking I was not thinking positively. We had to look deeply into the issue and even though Pistol was a fantastic horse he is old. If he had popped something out of socket and it was going to be a reoccurring event was that something we wanted to put him through often? If he was going to be in pain all the time, was that any type of life for a horse? I am just glad that it was something easily fixable. The vet sent us on our merry way with instructions and a great big smile. We asked if we had to do anything special like put him on stall rest, because we do have stalls, but they are currently a tack room and a feed room. We told him that our horses are on pasture 24/7 and he said that is the absolute best life for a horse. Which if you would have asked me a few years ago I would have fought you to the death that having a horse stalled at night was the best life for a horse.  

By the time we got home Pistol was doing even better. Which is such a relief! I’ve never been so happy to see a horse walk on all 4 hooves!

So I am one happy horse mama. The bill was huge but not as huge as I thought it was going to be. I just have to start stepping up my photography gigs to start paying for these beasts! Which luckally I have been lucky enough to be hired by a few different people lately. I’m loving it, but it’s keeping me busy!

 

Oh and one more funny story from yesterday my cats totally freaked out the vet tech. She said she would see one nearby and then it would disappear, and she’d see it further away almost instantly and that kept happening. She couldn’t figure it out, until near the end when they were getting ready to leave and she saw all three in the same spot at the same time. She thought she was going crazy. It was pretty funny.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

we gotta build some trust.


I decided last Friday to saddle up Pistol and go for a ride. It was my first solo ride since way before Piney left me. If I was to tell you it was easy, to tack up and ride on down the road I’d be lying. It was pretty tough. I’ve let my confidence as a rider slip away from me. I was so comfortable with Piney. I knew how he was going to react to most things, or really not react. I knew that when he was being “bad” and not listening, he’d never rear, or bolt, or buck. He would just be naughty until I reminded him he was the boss. It makes me nervous to ride Pistol because I just don’t know him. I don’t know how he’s going to react to certain things. I should know by now I’m a good rider. I can handle most situations and have been around horses long enough to know what to do. The trainer said that Pistol didn't ever buck, rear, or bolt. He rarely put a foot out of place and was a great horse. I need to start believing that he isn't a monster, he is infact a good horse.

Pistol is a very sweet horse. He is a different horse than the one we brought home from the auction this spring. He no longer has a dead, cold look in his eyes and he doesn’t take off or tense up when you try to touch him. He has been coming up to me in the pasture and he loves to be snuggled. His eyes are sparkly and he seems happy. While he does sometimes resist a little when trying to snap a lead rope to his halter he isn’t as bad as he was when we got him. He leads like a champ and tacking him up is so easy.  He’s obviously been handled a LOT in his day. I wish I knew his history,  but obviously that is something I will never know. He’s changed hands so many times that finding out anything about him is just never going to happen. I think if his owners back in the day would have gotten his teeth done they would have probably kept him. I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason he was dumped at a few different auctions is that he was head shy, and did NOT want to be caught in the pasture. Getting his teeth done pretty much cured that. I often joke that Piney’s ghost entered Pistol’s body. He sometimes acts like Piney. Not nearly as clingy in the pasture but he does have some similarities I love those similarities.

Anyways, I tacked up Pistol and he was great as usual. He’s easy to saddle and bridle. He doesn’t even freak out when you touch his ears like he used to. I’ve been riding in my western saddle. I’d love to try my dressage or English saddle but as far as I know he’s never been ridden English. Does it really matter if I switch to English from a western saddle?  I mean every other horse I’ve tried my English saddles on they haven’t even blinked an eye at. Most of them almost feel relieved when I switch them. I’d like to ride in my dressage saddle, because that thing is the most comfortable saddle ever! But it’s a Wintec and I only have the medium gullet and I am just not sure if he is a medium boy. He’s thin, but he’s got a big barrel. (and speaking of being thin, the boy has been packing on the pounds and is looking less and less Ethiopian). Plus my English saddles are just so might lighter than my giant western saddle and I’m a big baby. Pistol is so tall it’s hard to throw all 400lbs of saddle up there sometimes!

I started walking him across the yard and he seemed a bit cautious. It didn’t help that Duke was screaming his lungs out like he was being slowly tortured instead of simply being left behind. But once we got on the road he was fine. He’s got a nice big walk and it’s kind of nice to be on a horse that is actually going someplace when he walks, unlike Piney’s slow barely moving walk. Once I had him warmed up I trotted him a bit. And again it’s nice to be on a horse that trots and you don’t have to keep encouraging, and asking to not break his gait. I briefly thought about asking him for a bit more, but the fear kicked in to high gear and I brought him back down to the walk. I don’t know what it is, about the canter. I can’t do it. I want to so bad, but I just can’t. I need to just man up and do it. We rode for awhile. We went down the road and then down a prairie trail, by a corn field. When I turned around he was aware that we were going home and his pace quickend. I had to remind him a few times that we don’t rush home and then he was fine. Until we got to the driveway. If I didn’t know what I was doing, he would have galloped to the barn. He did NOT want to listen to what I had to say. That’s when I got a bit nervous, but was still able to keep calm and let him know that we do NOT run across the yard, even if your best friend is screaming his guts out that you ditched him and that he was being eaten by wolves. (There were no wolves and he was perfectly safe at home). I pulled him into some circles and won a tiny battle but he was still an ass about getting back to the barn. We have work to do.
On our ride I was able to relax and enjoy the ride (before we got home that is). But in the back of my head I’m expecting something bad to happen with him. I know we need to build our relationship and trust. It’s coming along but it’s just coming slowly. Someone has put a lot of miles on that horse, he knows how to behave and is a good boy, but I just don’t know him. Obviously putting time on him is going to cure that.

He is a good boy.