Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Puppy!

Finally a night at home and "real" sleep. Snoring dog on the floor kept me up especially because he kept getting up and poking me in the face with his cold wet nose to make sure I was still there. I think I really have to retire doing "in-house" pet sitting. Chevy doesn't really have anxiety issues but, he's just not himself when I'm away from home and won't let me walk away without knowing where I'm going. He sits on the couch by the window staring out at me pathetically every time I drive out the driveway. Plus, now that I'm working at a vet clinic he must inspect me when I get home and gives me that "you don't love me anymore do you" look... Like what the hell am I supposed to do with that?! At least he's not puking up bile when he gets upset anymore... That's always a plus!

Haven't been able to do much with ponies since working with K and Lucy the other day. He was stuck inside today so I took advantage of him and worked on being calm around an empty bag of shavings *FREAK OUT!* and then I jumped and climbed all over him. He was okay until I asked him to flex (yes, with cookies...) and then he was really nervous. He was better and I actually got to lay completely across him (legs clutched together on his butt). As long as I keep my legs and knees together, I'm technically not riding him (lesson every girl should know). I told some friends that I was going to jump on him this weekend... Maybe cut the ring in half. I may just ask if Mason (my youngest brother) can watch us and be my 911 dialer and just do it alone. It's sometimes hard to do my own thing and really get into the groove because I sometimes get worried about what people think when working with him and I get all these voices in my head. I'm usually pretty good about really not caring (or listening)... But with him it's hard because I get all these opinions from people on how I should be working him. And of course, me being me, I'm not going to say, "Please stop..." or a blatant, "SHUT UP!" Yes, I do things a little differently and some would call "unconventional" but it's how I work and it's my horse. But thank you!

I'm thinking I'm just going to have to get on, swing my arms around, and hold on... Reminder - must pick up "oh shit" strap for barrel saddle...

UPDATE : Yes... Can't get to sleep.

I was browsing the Clinton Anderson website and for a while have been contemplating sending in a video a 2000 max word "story" about Brantley and I and asking for help. It's called a "Casting Call". There are so many options and types of things to sign up for... I'll get some video this weekend and to celebrate our "1 year" I'll send it in. What's the worse that can happen? They say sorry... You're not special enough. BUT HE'S JUST SO DAMN CUTEEEEE! Wish me luck :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2 More Nights... **UPDATE**

I've got two more nights at the house down the street with Abby and the ponies. Spent a long time brushing them last night trying to stay awake as long as I can. I took use of their power wash shower and steamed for a while, trying to get myself tired and relaxed before bed. Unfortunately, it wasn't long enough and Abby and I curled up about 830-9pm. Night three of consistent nightmares. I can't even tell you what they were about because it's ridiculous and I can't stand it. My head is going to explode and my body aches... It really just needs to stop. This whole thing.

Of course, I wake up finally relieved it's a good time to actually get up and feed the horses and let the dog out at 545am. Then start my Jeep and head to take care of my own ponies. Check my phone and there's an e-mail saying I have a late fee charge on my credit card. This is the 3rd one in a row after setting up payments. I'm sick of it. I've called and e-mailed and they're always, "too busy" to talk to me. I'm seriously just going to write them a check and say this is all you're getting so go "f" yourself. I've spent enough money and haven't been late for the past 5 years. GET OVER IT!

So there's my mini rant for the day. There was a light cold rain this AM that's supposedly going to turn into snow later today so I just filled buckets, packed ponies with hay, and left them in. Head was still pounding... Coffee? Lucky me, I earned a free one! Came home with the urge to make pancakes, ended up on the couch instead curled up with my own dog. He always makes me feel better. It's 823 and I still can't kick the raised heart rate and shakes. I'll head to the barn in a bit and work the boy... We both need it. Go for a walk on Susanna maybe? Definitely jump on Pretty. Maybe fighting adrenaline with more adrenaline will help.

Bought Brantley a new toy from a girl on eBay!

Brantley's New Side Pull Attachment!

I was looking for used grass and/or rope hackamores the other day on eBay and fell across a woman in Alabama who makes indian bosals, side pull attachment, head stalls, reins, and other fun stuff by hand. Not only does she make them by hand but she customizes color as well. I haven't had a chance to use it yet but I'm going to throw it on Brantley today and see what happens. I'm planning on starting him without a bit because it's one less thing to worry about in his brain and I'd rather pull on his nose than his mouth if something gets out of hand. The release is better as well. Once we're out and about, I'll probably purchase an indian bosal through her too. They work kind of like an english bitless bridle where it tightens around the nose and releases. I've heard mixed reviews about them in general but corresponded in e-mails with Tiffany (seller) and she said she experimented over and over to find the perfect release. We both agreed that starting B with the side pull would work out the best for us.

I'll let you know how it goes!

If you'd like to check out Tiffany's stuff, here's her eBay site: CLICK ME!

She is fantastic and if you have any questions e-mail her, she's quick to respond, and quick to send out your purchase. I told her I would write a review once I get to really put the side pull to use. Although I don't have many followers, hey, it wouldn't hurt!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

House-Sitting on the Island

My Children

I've been house-sitting (dog & ponies) down the street for the past couple of nights and they don't have an internet connection I can get to. Why I don't ask only someone else knows, I've been sitting for them for years. Anyway, now that I have a break at home I can do a quick catch up!

Life has been work, ponies, work, so I can't complain! Definitely been on a Brantley kick and getting back in gear which is great. I talked to one of the resident trainers at the barn the other days while I was working him and we talked about his muscle confirmation and how he's stuck in a position that makes it hard for him to really release. She talked about different stretches I can do, some of them I do, but trying to make him really stress by rewarding him with cookies and such, side to side, then down between his legs. Also "belly lifts" which he was really unsure of. But I already see a difference with him not throwing his head up when he gets nervous, he only picks it up a little bit.

So yeah, the cookie thing. I've never been a fan of the whole "carrot stretches" thing because all the horses I have had experiences with decide that your hand is the cookie and then they start biting. After the first day he was already nibbling my hands and getting in my face and standing on me so I said, "No, cookies are a 'controlled substance'. I will not coax, I will not feed them to you on cross-ties, you will only get them when you do something... You are now a dog." On the third day, no more biting, no more nibbling, he was lighter on his lead, trotted next to me without an issue, and even let me get him up to the mounting block. Ugh, cookies.

So the whole mounting block thing is that he wants to "give me two-eyes" when he's unsure and really just be with me at his head. Unfortunately, that doesn't work when you want to get on him... After doing the stretching exercises (which is basically what I do with the halter - but this he does on his own), he was able to stand next to the block and stretch his head around for a cookie and just stood there like, okay, get on. Yeah no... Not yet.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day


Roxie is my rottie mix who lives with my Mom and brothers. She turned 13... Or 14 today.
No, I don't remember because honestly I never dreamed she would've lasted this long.
She still runs to the door every time I come over and I'm still the only one she gives kisses too.
Love her!

So lots of stuff the last couple of days and hopefully I remember it all. Finally brought Kate a bareback pad to use on Ms. LuLu but Chevy got all excited and wanted to try it out first. A little big for him though! That's alright, made for a cute photo. I've been working with Brantley again, slow easy stuff! Lateral flexion with the rope halter (earlier post) as well as working on sending him around me without being in the center of the circle. I knew not being able to see me and give me both eyes would freak him out but he relaxed because I was still on the side of him. Enough for one eye. He kept disengaging in the beginning but finally got it.
Yesterday our eventing friend Cassie came for a visit. She owns two ponies, one being an OTTB (my favorite) named Wind. She's just starting a blog so check it out! CLICK ME! Anyway, so she came for a visit and I pulled Brantley out and we made our way over to the indoor. We had three others riding in the ring which is great for B to be around. I have a lot of control on the ground with him but I made sure that everyone was comfortable with me working him in there (I was there first anyway :P). He was a little wigged out when horses came up from behind him but after a few times he finally dropped his head and relaxed. We did some walk, trot transitions and again worked on him moving forward without me on the drive line. Finally, after everyone left, I pulled out two lounge lines, hooked him up with his rope halter and tested his feelings about long-lining. HA! Definitely something he had never done before... FREEEEAKKK OOOUUUTTT!

I sent him around in the a circle with the inside line a bit shorter and the outside line loose but laying on his wither. I wasn't going to stick him with lines on either side just yet. When I tried to toss the outside line down his back, I couldn't do it. This it what happens when you're used to one type of a lead like my heavy Clinton Anderson leads and you're basic Lounge Line. I like a heavier lead, even thick cotton versus flat cotton, because there's more feel and it's easier to maneuver versus trying to throw a lighter more "flimsy" line. (Everyone is different though!)

I finally got the both lines on either side and right away he sat on his butt and panicked not knowing where to go. I put pressure evenly on both sides and when he relaxed for a split second I released and let him disengage and relax. I didn't move, I didn't pat him, the release was enough of a reward, and we started again. 

This was our final product: (Thank you to Cassie who recorded it for me) - Sorry about the quality, we used my phone. I really should get a camera!

Afterwards I tacked up Pretty and helped Cassie with Kid... It was an interesting ride... Kid hates Randi's (a young girl at the barn) horse Ben... Like really hates. I ended up getting on him and playing crazy cowgirl. It's hard to get after a horse that you don't know either the horse or the owner. Kudos to Cassie for getting on though! I think we ended on a good note. Maybe she'll come back for more! HA!

Lucy <3's Brantley
By the way... 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lateral Flexion

When you talk "lateral flexion", what do you think about?

The concept of "less is more" does not apply what-so-ever to this step in training. Doesn't matter the age, doesn't matter the shape, doesn't matter the attitude or temperament, doesn't matter bit or halter, or wether you ride your horse or take them for walks. Working on your horse's lateral flexion can be helpful in all ways. It's good for your animal, and your sense of peace that when you ask him to be supple, he complies and gives you his head, his mind, his trust.

First thought in the natural horsemanship world is the infamous "one-rein stop". Your horse gets quick or spooks, you slide your hand down one-side of the rein, pull his nose to your foot, throws him off balance, and disengages his hind-end. Bam, your off again with your horse's head on straight. Yes, it won't happen over night BUT I promise that when you do it right, they'll start to feel your hand slide and they'll start to slow, and think. Horses are creatures of habit, they learn cues like Pavlov's dogs. Ring a bell, they'll start to drool (yes, that's dogs, but Brantley drools too!). One-rein stop is an emergency brake but you need to introduce it to your horse with some give and take. It's all in timing!

Stand on the side of your horse, slide your hand down your lead (rope halters work the best for this because there is more feel, you can also use a bridle with a bit but remember, TIMING TIMING TIMING), put pressure on the lead and wait for some give. Most horses at first will put their nose out to resist. Hold until you get a little from them and release. Give them a moment and do it again. First you'll wait for them to drop their head and give to your pressure, then they'll start to tip their nose to the side you're asking for, and then finally they'll reach to you. A lot of people use cookies for this and that's great for stretching, but you're not teaching them to be supple to your hand. A good pat or face rub is good enough of a reward AFTER the release. Your release is key. After you do this a few times, switch sides (you own one horse, you actually have two!). Don't ask for too much, just a little at a time. They'll learn faster that way. Crayons before permanent markers.

Nothing changes when you're in the saddle with your bit. Slide your hand down, ask to tip his nose, and slowly work your way to your toe! Then switch sides. Release and timing is key, you can't stress that enough. Every time I mount a horse (okay, not Pretty because... I slack with her), I flex them side to side, then ask them to drop their head - like you're trying to collect them (vertical flexion). Pressure... Release... Pressure... Release. When teaching your stop take a few steps at the walk, ask them to halt, flex side to side, then walk on. Repetition, repetition, repetition. They'll start to associate the two with halting. Then you can work up to a jog, or trot. Emergency brakes!!!

So this lateral flexion? Not just for your brakes (as I mentioned before). It helps you gain control, and helps your horse learn to give to pressure instead of fight it. All they want is a release. A lot of time when asking to slow down or halt, we use both reins which works for some horses, but if your horse tends to stick is nose out or flip up their head? Try to sit back and use one rein, move them off your leg, or work on a one-rein stop.

If this helps anyone let me know! I wish I could put up a video but this was just a thought after working with Brantley today. Lateral flexion I think will definitely be a huge part of his training and him trusting me. It's like a reset button for when you get stressed or frustrated. It's always said if you get frustrated on your horse, don't stop, keep going. But sometimes you just need to stop. FLEX YOUR PONY! It keeps their mind going. Flex, then change direction even. Check out one of Kate's posts about her "reset button". Giving to pressure is a good start to teaching your horse anything.

P.S. A good tip on this is don't do side-to-side. Make it random - left, right, right, right, left, left, left, right, left... etc - That way they don't memorize the pattern :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pictures Old and New!

Had an awesome, relaxed day with Lucy, Kate, and Mr. Brantley. Kate walked around on Lucy bareback (can't forget to bring her my pad!) and I did some work with B on the ground. Either he's maturing or the SmartCalm is working because he was really relaxed. Still kept his head up but he was not as stiff when I flexed him side to side. He's having a hard time flexing away from me and Kate made a good point about the pressure on his nose and my not being on the other side is cueing him to back up. He got it a little more and more as we worked. Mainly walked and bent him around me, sending him in a slight circle until he dropped his head. Then we switched direction and did some hind end disengaging. I always walked him up to the mounting block and he did an awesome job to a reintroduction. He wants to keep his head in my hands on see me all the time. I need to get him to trust me when he can't "see me". He was great. It was like I had worked with him all week... Which is a lie. We'll see how he is tomorrow.

I never really posted pictures of Brantley and Me the my girl Bre came down an took when she was visiting from Maine! I also have some more pictures of me and Pretty from yesterday I wanted to post. You have to definitely check out Ms. Kate and Lucy's photo shoot. GORGEOUS! CLICK ME!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Make the Best of Some Snow!

Chevy and I passing time before they lifted the ban.
So yeah, we got a little snow over the weekend. Like... enough to make a state wide travel ban and force me to be stuck in Jamestown on Saturday because the bridge was supposedly closed. Don't worry, I put up a fight, but with no prevail. Stuck finding someone to feed the ponies and luckily Pru was able to come to the rescue and then Ms. Kate came later and turned out (yes, we're crazy and we put our ponies out in the snow! Oh my!).

Brantley happy to see me!

I finally got there later about 130pm to find Kate and her wonderful hubby had cleaned the WHOLE barn and did some shoveling and waters and just everything! Plus happy ponies. Yes, I felt guilty that I wasn't there, but so lucky that I had such awesome people to board with.

I went to my mothers to kill some time before feeding and found that their cat had escaped during the blunt of the storm. She came home today...

The day before the storm I was let loose from work early and I met Kate at the barn. Blizzard Nemo was underway but who better than us to be out playing with the ponies! Kate jumped out of her car and yelled "PHOTO SHOOT!" I was all in. Learned my lesson with LB. When someone wants to take pictures of you and your pony? Don't say no. You'll regret it... Forever.

This is normal...
Match made in heaven.
Pony Love <3
I took a few shots of LuLu and kate riding around the paddock. I was definitely jealous. I did jump on Kid and ride around but it wasn't the same. :) Maybe next blizzard!

Saturday went by and I fed the horses, no power, no heated outside water buckets... Nothing. Brantley was not happy to go into a black as night stall but he finally jumped in and put his head down to let me take his halter off. Poor boy's so scared of life...

Pretty & Me
So this morning I slept a little late and went to the barn hoping the area would have power, which they didn't, so I fed and hauled hay and water out to the paddocks. Horses hopped and plodded alongside me, happy to go out in the snow. I broke the ice off the windows and opened them up so there was no chance of doing stalls in the dark. I went home for a while, opened my doors to my friends who didn't have power, and then headed back to the barn for a wild ride in the woods with Ms. Kate, Lucy, and Pretty. BLAST! That's all I have to say. I felt bad because Kate got down and shook the snow off the trees so we could sneak by. After taking some shots on the straight away (would've gone to the field but yes, we can move branches, but not trees) we went back to the barn and her hubby met us for more pictures. Once again, success!
My favorite pic of Kate and LuLu!
Romp in the snow on a Roley Poley Arab!
Tomorrow it's back to some ring work because it's supposed to rain all day. I was hoping it would be nice to bring Brantley in a paddock to play fake dare devil... Soft landing and all. But with the weather, it looks doubtful. We shall see! Half day tomorrow at work. So much fun today.

Pony Kisses are the Best!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blizzard Nemo

First off Brian Phillips... Although you're hilarious, Nemo was a clown fish... Not a blow fish.
Also, everyone else, did you forget that Nemo was also the Captain in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea...
Which do you think that this storm is named after? Let's hope the clown fish.

Also, another blizzard question - Why do people panic about buying milk? Bread and carbohydrates I understand. But milk?

On to other news. If you haven't read Kate's blog yet (CLICK ME!), we went on another trail ride with Princess Lu Lu and the roly poly Queen Pretty. Quick lunge first to see both ponies had their brains and we did, then off for another fun-filled heart-stopping adventure. Decision to head down the long stretch was made so we could pick up a little trot. And then... the couch. I mean, people have dumped tires... Christmas trees... bicycles... dead bodies. Okay just kidding. About the Christmas trees...

Okay okay, back to the couch. The ears popped up and the noses flared... Was it the couch? Or the horses standing next to the couch? The other two horses walked by the couch with a flinch, walked by us, and there went Pretty... Basically screamed, "I'm going with them!" And Lucy just stood there in despair. When asked to move forward towards something scary, the little arab is usually quite brave, but of course she took two steps forward and sat and started spinning any which way she could. Lucy of course reacted to her dance steps and backed into a tree. Before anyone decided to take off down the trail either with or without a rider, I jumped off and took the reins. She was ready for battle at first and charged towards the couch like it was nothing and then realized it made noise when you touched it. OOOOOHHH NNNOOOOOO!!!

After she realized it was okay and Lucy saw Pretty relax, she took a few steps forward but it wasn't enough. Kate dismounted and walked Lucy over and pulled out the cookies. They were fine, until it moved and also made noise.

Pretty walked back and forth by it and decided it wasn't really that scary. Lucy really needed a good look. Kate walked her around the couch to see it from all sides and she was finally stopped giving it the googley-eyes like it was going to jump up and eat her (I mean, it was a couch, it could've). And then Kate did the unspeakable! SHE MOVED THE COUCH! There are 24 hours in the day... And these 30 seconds were what made the day.

Couch or Death? Why not both?

I will never forget this day. It was a complete success for the entire trail ride. Kate helped me back on and she jumped on Lucy and we made it back to the barn, after Pretty saw the two horses from earlier and became a dressage Olympian, successfully and accident free. Who needs ring work?

Found out today that I have tomorrow off. Snow ride anyone?!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Day Off

So I have a day off today and I'm proud to say... I took complete advantage of it. Woke up this morning, fed the horses, fought the urge to do all my pony chores, came home, ate some cereal, and fell asleep on the couch. I woke up about 10 minutes ago (noon) and felt great. Yes, a little guilty because of all the things I could've done already but I think I needed it... Dad did too. For once he didn't come in tapping me on the head yelling, "Madeline! Maaaadeline!" He let me sleep! ON THE COUCH!

I thought I'd take a moment to post some pictures of my recent ponies. Susanna is on the left, Pretty on the right, and Mr. B right straight center. My friend Bre came down to visit from Maine and we had a little photo shoot with the pony. I should definitely post some pictures. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow night. :) I got some great shots of the two of them.

I had time yesterday to play with the kids, and I finally took Brantley out and threw him on a lunge line just to let him jump and buck and get those baby kicks out. My plan is to do that again today. I walked him around the indoor to cool out and he was so sweet and happy that he got to come out. I rode Pretty afterwards and we just trotted and worked on easy direction changes. Trot trot trot, circles, direction change, extended trot across the diagonal, trot trot trot, circles. She was great. Hoping to get out on the trails with Kate tonight. Apparently she had a fantastic ride off 'solo', click here to read about it! Trail rides are great for weeks like this. Snow is supposedly rolling in. Yay snow shoes!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Routine?

Have I finally done it? Have I finally found a routine with this job? I think so.

Some days I work at 12pm, other days I work at 730-8am. Yes, I do run a split shift or half day once a week but those can be my "break" or "extra time" days. :) Days I have to be in early, Chevy jumps in the Jeep and we feed the ponies. Days I have to be in at noon I take the dog for a walk, 5:30am and go straight to the barn! That way I can get stalls done and work ponies without Chevy getting all worked up where he can't see me. Success! Yes, Chevy still looks at me sad when I walk in the house and I didn't take him but I can only do so much.

In other news, IT FIT! She only grinded her teeth a little but wasn't girthy like she has been (Pretty I mean, that rollie pollie Arab). I'm not supposed to use other equipment on her that does not belong to her which is some cases when you come from larger barns, I can understand. But I would hate for her owner to have to buy a third girth when she already had to buy a smaller girth last summer when she was "fit 'n trim". It would probably be a good idea just in case she moves her and I can't ride her and she gets chubby again. Hopefully not! She's 15-16, and it's just not good on her joints. She's not mine so I can only go so far.

I jumped on Pretty about 730am and she felt awesome. I've been working her slow in my barrel saddle because the girth fits better and she was getting nippy. I hate when horses do that, I'd be a hypocrite. Cantered her for the first time yesterday when Kate and I were warming up for Trail Ride #2. Unfortunately, no brains for either ponies so we didn't get to go out but we both ended on a good note. When brushing Pretty down I saw that something had rubbed right under her elbow but in front of the girth area. I felt crappy because I knew she felt funky and uncomfortable and against my usual better judgment, I just thought she was being spooky and flighty. Nope, cinch must of slid down her round belly and pinched her pretty good. Damn you Maddy... So I rode in the HDR. We had a really nice, consistent lengthy trot around the indoor as the snow began to fall. No spooks, some googley eyes, but no scooting or throwing her head up. We did a lot of easy direction changes across the ring. Over the summer I learned more about contact and it worked well for Pretty but when starting to work her again, I really like to let her stretch out her neck and let her trust her feet more... And me. We cantered a few times around, had to pick up some contact of course so she didn't go too crazy. Can't wait to see how she is tomorrow.

After putting Pretty away I carried my barrel saddle over to the main barn and tacked up Ms. Susanna and went for a nice little walk. I really would've loved to take her out on a little snow ride out on the trail. The snow was really starting to stick and she was calm and easy. Of course my phone died so if anything happened, I'd be screwed, so we walked for about 15 minutes in the indoor. When I started her over the summer/fall I really had a tight rein on her because that's what she was used to and what Prudy wanted me to do. Of course, when I ride alone, I do what I think I should and it worked out to my advantage. She stretched out her neck, she was less skiddish, less short, she really picked up her legs and walked out long. It was fantastic! Success!

Tomorrow is another noon day. Early morning. Then Thursday off... These days off? Probably will not get used to it. I think I'm going to make it "Maddy Plays w Doctors Day!" Think I can get into the dentist and my physician on the same day?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Seasons First Trail Ride

So I'm staring at Ms. Pretty thinking... What happened these last 3 months. You've been lounged, not ridden, I haven't been giving you the amount of hay I know your mom wants you to have... How have you gained so much? Roley Poley little Arab. Can't be good for the joints... Then it hit me! We spent hours out bushwhacking through the trails and we must begin again. Slow and easy.

Went out for the first time yesterday with Ms. Kate and Princess Lucy. Pretty followed close behind with a quick step, asking her to slow back was a constant. It was the first time we'd both been out and I knew Lucy was looking over here and looking over there. They didn't need a little red headed arab mare up their a**. Of course, never fails, little Pretty being so out of shape finally took a step back and walked like a normal pony. Ears flopping, head bobbing, nice "calm" little walk. SUCCESS! Maybe we'll have take 2 today.

Jumped on Susanna as well yesterday. Oh Susanna is a morgan mare owned and loved by Melody Farm's barn owner Prudence. She's in her mid to late-teens but has had a very eventful and successful career in the past. Over the years she's developed some tendon/ligament issues in her hind legs. Last summer I began to rehab her again, 10-15 min walks around the arena, moving up to a few strides of trot, to trails, to large circles. We were doing well and then a girl started to lease her and they were having a great time! A month or two went by and Susanna developed the same issue in her other hind leg and she was laid up once again. Over the winter, Prudy played with the idea of sending her to a therapeutic facility as a riding horse but they needed to be able to canter for a short period of time. Susanna wasn't in the right shape for that so she looked at a retirement home in Virginia. Right before the transportation service was going to come pick her up, they changed their mind, wanting to keep her closer to home. The week before last I decided to start rehabbing her again to help her get back in shape and keep her busy so if someone did want to take her out on a walk/trot trail, she'd be ready.

So how's Brantley you may ask? Since this is his blog... Neglected. Spent time brushing him yesterday. I wish I could pony him out on the trail. We'll see if I get a chance to play with him today! I know we both need it. I miss my pony. <3

Friday, February 1, 2013

Weekend Plans, Spring Was Almost Here!

Worst and best part of New England? THE WEATHER!

One day of 50-60* weather? Rain all morning, then work all night. No time for pony play or fencing repair. Now we're back down to 20s with a wind chill bet never fear, I'm getting back on the horse today. Literally. Not Brantley of course, need a 911 dialer for that. Riding Pretty today and starting Susanna again tomorrow. Getting back in shape for when the boy goes back into training (SO EXCITED!). Maybe it will warm up enough where I can at least get some tape up and fix the box. I really want to extend Kid's paddock so Brantley has less shitty paddock and more good paddock and Kid gets more space... But of course, ground frozen. We'll see how the cookie crumbles tomorrow! Off for the weekend. My 90 days at the Animal Hospital are yet to be up but I now have MY OWN NAME TAG! Yes, I am a person. Finally.

Planning on some ground exercises with B. Bending and disengaging. Just a slight review to start us off. I had mentioned to my vet about a muscle relaxer instead of bute for his back when he goes back into training and she wasn't totally thrilled with the idea. The tenseness in his back is probably the top reason of the soreness so I decided hey, I want to put him on SmartHoof (Lucky had awesome luck with it... pun) so maybe I should try a calming supplement. I added SmartCalm Ultra to his Pak and it's Day 2. Obviously I haven't seen a difference because I haven't really been able to work with him. Jeff came and gave him a foot trim the other night and we decided to pull his shoes. So far his feet have held up really well. I find it amazing that my thoroughbred had better feet than this guy. I worked really hard for that too and I have an awesome farrier! By next year he'll be barefoot :) And I'll be riding. And everything will be back to normal... I hope.

Support! Support! Support! Tear Drop Winken: February 2013

Tear Drop Winken