Sunday, April 28, 2013


Last Friday was teeth and shots for Josey and Dickie (Bre is in a few weeks). They weren't sure how much drugs miss Josey would take. Apparently drafts are cheap drunks and appys needs extra. She is clydie/appy. Josey took after her draft side and could hardly stand up within seconds of happy drugs. She also decided it was very comfy to lean on the vet tech. I couldn't resist snapping a shot of her trying to wake up from the drugs. She tried so very hard to watch Dickie have his teeth done. At one point she rested her chin on the stall door and passed out like that. Super cute. She had some hooks and points and should be a happier pony now!!

Very sleepy but still keeping an eye out for treatage. 

I wasn't sure what to expect with the monster child. He knows the vet well at this point. He met them for a once over after purchase, then with the cardiologist, then for shots, then twice for his sarcoid treatment. Overall he is much easier to handle. You can actually look at this teeth and mess with his ears. However, he has had some knock down drag outs with the vet. The first sarcoid removal wasn't too bad. The second one was a night mare. They had just been there two weeks prior so he knew what was coming. He wanted nothing to do with getting tranquilized and decided to rear and tear the barn down rather than let the vet get a needle in him.

We really wanted him to have a good experience this time so I gave him ace to calm him a bit. Ace doesn't do a thing for him. He was still tossing his head and trying to chew on anything in his reach when they were working on Josey. We kept hoping he would get a little sleepy but he was bright eyed up bushy tailed right up to his turn. This time we twitched him right away with one person outside of the stall and the vet reaching in the window. It was easier just to start in a spot where we could control him rather than wait until he was upset. As it turned it our plan worked perfectly. It took less than two mins from the time he was twitched to the time he got drugged. He didn't even know what happened and was still chatting up the vet and tech.

He was a bit sleepy when they first started on his teeth but woke up fast. His eyes were wide open for most of the procedure. He was about as sleepy from the ace + tranquilizer as most horses would have been from the ace alone. He didn't need more drugs though because he was happy as could be. I daresay he even liked having girls mess with his mouth.

I thought I was in for a sore and bloody horse when they said he had a wolf tooth but I was lucky on that front. His tooth was smaller than a human baby tooth. His baby teeth are falling out right on schedule and the big teeth are coming in straight. Bre had a few four year old baby teeth get wedged in between her big teeth but so far he doesn't seem to have those problems. I will keep an eye on the front teeth and have them check the back during fall shots.

Dickie loves being the center of attention. He doesn't even care if that attention involves power tools in this mouth. 

Wolf tooth. sooo cute and wittle

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Truckin' along

I know I haven't posted much about the beastie boy himself but that isn't because he's being ignored. Bre is at the same barn until the end of the week. It was getting hard to give them both love and still have time to make it over to the fancy barn. It is a bit of a trudge through the mud. I decided to focus on grooming and stable manners until the end of this month. I know that doesn't seem like much but at this point I don't want to push him physically anyway. I have been going out into the pasture and making sure he leaves me alone when I tell him. That is important because we will soon have another boarder and I am sure she won't want a giant monster chasing her horse off.

We have also revisited walking down the street. It is a short street but perfect for getting babies used to STUFF. Cars are few and and they go super slow so it is a really safe street. And there are plenty of scary things to look at. One of the neighbors has a goat farm and those little buggers make quite a ruckus when they get running. They have llamas for goat guard dogs and I think they are terrifying. Dickie is less worried about them than I am.

One thing I have noticed is that he often seems to be paying no attention to me but is in fact very attuned to my body language and commands. If Bre is looking into the distance without flicking an ear in my direction that means her mind is elsewhere. When she gets into that mode I have to first get her attention before she will respond to commands. Dickie on the other hand often surprises my by responding right on cue even when his mind seems a galaxy away. He can have his head way up in the air and looking a cow in the distance but will stop, back up, move away, all while still looking into the distance. He is such a dude, won't look me in the eye when I am talking to him!!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Out Of Town Visitor

About eleven years ago I was working with a trainer and her assistant in Alaska. I was exercising and grooming horses for them. The trainer was the person who set me up to ride Bre. At that time I was starting to see the dark side of this pair.  It started out as a great opportunity. The trainer seemed sweet and could be kind to horses and her students. It gave me a chance to attend A circuit shows, quarter horse shows, and exercise these horses. Over time I saw they were rough on horses, quick to take short cuts and use devices, and had very unscrupulous sportsmanship. It also became apparent they thought I didn't know anything when it came to horses and treated me like an idiot when it came to training. I am not big on name dropping but had ridden with plenty of world class dressage clinicians. When I reminisce with friends even I am amazed at all the crazy behaviors I saw in my time with them. 

A year later (about ten years ago) I was trying to gracefully distance myself but had a huge blowout the previous summer when the trainer (in her 40s) gave the teenagers alcohol at a show. I told the parents and quite the war ensued. A big name AQHA trainer was part of the alcohol incident and went around the five day out of town show saying she was going to beat me up. I was 23 and she was mid forties. Anyhoo by the next winter we were on speaking terms and being cordial at that point. There are only so many barns and sometimes you have to pretend to get along. During this time I observed the assistant being mean to a girl who was cleaning stalls for lessons. I can put up with a lot but being mean to kids and animals is not cool. There is never any reason for it. Just about this time a year I was also given Bre when the owners couldn't afford horses anymore. Bre was the main reason I was keeping on good terms with them. When I didn't own her I had to make sure I was the one doing the training. I saw a sweet hardworking kid being undervalued and I had a gorgeous young show horse. 

I offered to give the girl lessons and let her use Bre to show if she would continue cleaning stalls for the owner of the barn (not the bad trainer). I weathered some drama for stealing her but it was worth it. I was impressed with this girl from day one. She was wise beyond her years but still full of fun. She loved everything to do with horses. Even when I confused the heck out of her or asked her to try something new she was still happy to be on a horse. She learned how to ride on a young hot mare. And they did wonderful. I remember their first away schooling show. They were warming up in the big dressage arena and I was watching with some other adults from across the show grounds. One of the ladies asked with awe "Who is that over there" I replied "That is Bre with a new rider *&^" on her. They said "No THAT horse over there" They remembered the skinny crazy mare as a three year old and her rider certainly didn't look like a beginner. They didn't believe we were talking about the same pair. Then went on to win junior high point in dressage and a variety of other ribbons at the show. To this day I think Bre liked showing with her better that she ever did me. 

My goal through my time with her was to instill the importance of approaching horses with kindness. I wanted to show her that you don't need harsh bits, draw reins, and whips to win. I wanted her to finish her high school years with a well rounded riding background and a love for horses. Even the richest parents usually stop paying for horses once kids hit college. If they don't understand how to assess and ride different kinds of horses many of them stop riding once the money dries up. I hoped she would be a sensitive rider allowing her to other peoples horses once she was on her own. I didn't care if she won ribbons or was an amazing rider. But she turned out to be just that. I was impressed by her every day. 

She was one of those kids you just knew would turn out good no matter what life threw at her. She has an AMAZING family and I always looked forward to family dinner. When I left for Oregon I missed them all very much. 

Fast forward to now...... She called me recently to say she was making a trip through Oregon. She has friends in the area and was doing a lecture nearby at the university the graduated from. Her trip was going to be her last big Oregon tour before heading off her get her PhD in England. She has been working in Europe and an Archaeologist during the summer for the last three years. I was lucky enough to have her for a night. It seemed like I had seen her yesterday even though its been since she was in high school. She is now a grown up version of the same wonderful girl. She is still wise beyond her years but with a refreshing youthful exuberance. And I am happy to say she has continued to ride. She far surpassed my riding skills years ago. That made my heart swell with pride. She help me get the horses over to the big arena. She even gave miss Josey a spin. Josey loved her. She even trotted Josey over some poles. I was impressed by her calm horse centered approach. So was Josey :) 

The only bad part about her visit was sending her home. I wished I could have had her for longer. 

She is probably going to read this and kill me but here are some photos from way back and a little video from now......

Here are my girls at their second show. I don't really count the first one because it was a closed in barn show. She hadn't been riding long and Bre was five but they looked like pros. 

 This is the summer after I left. She riding a lazy green quarter horse who had limited talent for jumping. The fact that they were jumping three feet by the time she finished with him is a testament to her skill. 

They dressed as hula girls for the costume contest. Bre was totally unconcerned by the streamers. I even had people ask me if she was drugged. Bre LOVED her rider and I think would have tolerated anything from her. 

The two of us being rebels and riding double without helmets. Don't worry we got off right away. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Why I've Been too Busy to Blog

If you've been reading my blog for long you know what I staring working the graveyard shift as a nurse last July. I work three 12 hour shifts. That means I get to work at 700pm and off the next morning at 730am. Even on the best day twelve hour shifts are crazy. As a nurse you run up and down the halls doing plenty of physical work. You don't really get a lunch break most of the time. Charting takes so much time you don't get enough for patients so eating lunch while charting means you can actually get off at 730. Don't get me wrong I LOVE MY JOB!! I worked mental health for years so I am used to running around, no lunch breaks, and I used to get paid next to nothing for it. Now I get to work with an amazing team (instead of being isolated), have patients who are grateful for my care, and I earn a more than decent wage. However, graveyards+12 shifts+horses don't mix. Especially baby horses. It isn't like I can take the wild man in and ride or lunge with lessons going. These are the easiest lessons to  ride with but I don't want to subject them to his royal wildness. That means going in the morning which is a killer. Not to mention shows...... Anyone who has been to a show knows there is a day of prep, then you have to wake up at four the day of the show. Ponies need to eat, get clean, and stretch their legs before showtime at 800. I have only shown a few times but Romeo's girl is showing too.

This has all meant way to many days of getting off at 730 and not going to bed. It only takes doing that one time a month to really mess a person up. Anyhoo I STARTED DAY SHIFT!! Last week I started days and it was an adjustment. I also started school again two weeks ago. It was crazy the week before getting paperwork in order. The week before school I had an orientation that required me to work until 730am, being at orientation from 9-3pm, then back at work at 11pm.

Last weekend (my first week of school) an old riding student was in town (more on her later). It was so wonderful to spend time with her. She helped me work all the kids and I wished I could keep her. She is all grown up now and a real gem of a grown up.

Today my honey and I watched Breaking Bad all day and I pretended like I don't have horses and am not in school full time. Tomorrow I will go back to the real world......

Long time no post!!

I am sure no one is shedding a tear over my lack of posts. I do feel bad that I haven't been keeping up on my responses!! I have been too busy to post but have been keeping up on my favorite blogs. I have been mostly checking in via phone and it is so hard to respond to a post on my iphone.

My last few weeks have been busy!! I had the horse show with Bre then decided I am sick of having all my tack be a mess. I have paid off a few bills so I can spend some cash on getting organized. One of the things I dread most about showing in getting all my stuff packed up. Between working long hours and now school the tack room looks like a tornado after a show and takes a week to get put back in place. My plan is to keep a trunk packed and ready to go. That means I will need doubles of some things but that is fine. Two sets of brushes, two braiding kits, longe line, show cooler than stays packed etc......

It's been like Christmas with all my organizer bags arriving. Sadly I haven't had enough time to get out there and rearrange.

I picked up the purple boot bag version of this bag because I was carrying my boots around in a plastic sack. It was the cheapest bag and I liked it so much that I got myself the garment bag, helmet bag, and saddle bag. I think Josey's momma would approve of all my matching. Usually I just have a hodge podge of stuff and generally try to keep similar colors but not always.

I had a bridle bag but it only fits one bridle. Between longe lines, halters, and bridles it doesn't all fit back in the one bag. That means nothing goes back and end up a hot mess at the show. Romeo's girl got a super cool bridle back with hooks in it so I picked up one of the same. It doesn't match with rest of the set but I did get black. I actually like not having too much matching pattern and the colors all still match so my dear barn BFF won't judge me too harshly. I ended up with a purple grooming organizer. I fell in love with it because it zips up so the brushed don't fall out while packed in the tub and traveling. 

The last thing I have really needed is a helmet. I have a great lami-cell schooling helmet that I love. However, I need at least two helmets. I need one for Dickie's barn and one for Bre's barn (she is going back the end of this month). I tried carrying a helmet back and forth but always forgot it. I own an IRH velvet show helmet, and an IRH schooling helmet. They are really old though. It is suggested that you get a new helmet after five years. Riders for helmets had a lovely little article on this if you are interested: When to buy a new helmet. I have been going back and forth over which helmet to buy for over a year. A GPA is totally out of my price range but I like the look. I love my IRH dial a fit but the show worthy helmets don't have dial a fit. I do have an IRH velvet helmet so I thought there was a good chance one would fit but no tack shop here carries them. I have seen some good prices on the nicer IRH helmets on ebay but most of them were made years ago and I one recently manufactured. So I have been on stand off not sure of what I will get. Last week I went into my tack shop and decided to try on the low end Charles Owen. I tried the COs year ago and they didn't fit my head. I have a giant really round head. I tried several of the COs at the shop and they just didn't work . Then the saleslady got out a brand they just got in. It was a bit out of my price range but not too bad. I really really liked the helmet!! My head size seems to change and you can change the size of the helmet with a snap in liner. Here it is:

The brand is One K. I have been looking at them for awhile and was actually excited to see one in person. Rumor has it they are made by the same company in the same factory as Samshields. It is comfortable and I love the changeable liners. It was more money than I have ever spent on a helmet but I am really happy with it. I have a hard head to fit and these days show helmets are just expensive, no way around it. I plan on it being my Bre riding helmet. There is a much less chance of falling of her and needing a new one!! 

Bre moves back to her old barn at the end of the month. I am looking forward to feeling organized again with the help of my new totes. It will be so nice not to be spread between three tack rooms!! I have some things at Dickie's little barn, things that Bre and Romeo share at the main fancy barn, and all the stuff you don't use often back at the old barn. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Poor Breedle Dee and More Show Photos

The weather was fantastic for our show last weekend. We couldn't have asked for anything better. It was a low key schooling show with rail classes. The show is put on by a local TB club but was open to all breeds. Bre hasn't been to a show in years but has left the stable many times for trail rides. I thought she might be a little fussy in the ring but Bre showed me you don't have to be a three year old to be crazy. She will be 15 this month and I known her since she was three. In that time, for all her faults, being herd bound was never an issue. Bre says "Even old girls can learn new tricks". She screamed bloody murder all morning and was in a panic looking for her buddies. She was even obsessed with the horse she only knew in the twenty minutes it took us to trailer over. 

By the time our pleasure class was over Bre was a hot mess of nerves. It was supposed to be a fun last show outing for us and I felt terrible to see my happy go lucky mare so upset. She was kicking at other horses and tossing her head obsessively. This is the mare who will let geldings walk with noses under her trail on a ride. It broke my heart to see my girl so upset. I felt guilty because I drug her into it. I decided to scratch the rest of the classes and babysit her at the trailer. My biggest goal was to have a fun day with the prettiest mare in the world so I was just as happy to hang out with her at the trailer. She was quite pleased to relax at the trailer as long as she had hay in front of her. She cried a little when she spotted one of her buddies but as soon as they were gone she went  back to eating. We didn't want to leave her alone so we took turns sitting with her and watching the show. She loves people so she thought this was pretty cool. Once she settled down I think she quite enjoyed hanging out with the people and sunning herself.  My groom fed her gummy peaches and we were even able to leave her some at the trailer after lunch. 

She did decide to get riled up again near the end of the day when they set up a trail course in the field next to our trailer. I am not sure what her little pony brain was thinking but she was in a tizzy unless she could watch horses on the course but the trailer was set up so tied horses had their backs to the field. She got mad she couldn't turn around and see the trail course and threw a fit with rearing and pawing and all that cra cra stuff. We found an acceptable solution to this problem by hand grazing her in the field where she could see the horses performing. I had to laugh by then. She is such a princess. First she didn't want to be ridden so she got to eat hay at the trailer while everyone else worked, then a hay bag full of green eastern hay wasn't enough so she decided red mares must get fresh green grass. I almost wondered if she got upset because she thought those other horses were eating up all the grass. Oh, did I mention that she wanted her water held by humans? She would suck down the buckets if I held it. She also preffered her mash to be held as well. I love that silly mare.