|Only current source of horsepower|
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Friday, December 25, 2015
I was a little pissed that he went right to a possible worst case scenario when it could be a dozen different things. I know her feet are super soft right now from all the rain, and my farrier said almost all the horses he's done lately have been that way and some have been tender footed because of it. She doesn't look lame when I lunge her and feels fine under saddle. I'm also not super fond of this vet as I used him years ago and he butchered Phoenix's teeth so I'm trying not to hold that against him.
I dropped her price because I WANT HER GONE and even posted to Instagram and FB that I was willing to give her away. My mom, who has offered to help finance my next pony, told me to give her away and not worry about the money. They saw the post, and thought it over, and said they'd take her home if I was serious about giving her away. I thought it over and I know they're a good home and considering I got her for free I thought it was fitting that I pass her on for free. So they'll call me tomorrow and we'll work the finer point out.
I'm just so happy to have her gone. As much as I like her on the ground and her personality and her talent but I absolutely dislike riding her. I don't have to dread riding her or feel guilty for not riding her anymore.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
I've slowly, nor not so slowly, started perusing DreamHorse and may or may not have set an appointment to go look at a horse when I visit my cousin in NorCal at New Years. A little premature but hey, a girl's got to do something when it's 38* outside with 30mph winds and sideways rain.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Friday, November 20, 2015
Phoenix lived with my dental vet, PO, but it was her husband who found him down. PO wasn't at home but he called her after calling me. Husband isn't a super horse savvy guy, but he knows enough. He got Phoenix up and walking while waiting for us to get there.
Once I got out to their place, I knew. Phoenix looked absolutely miserable, covered in mud and sweat, shaking, thick green snot in both nostrils, straining hard to poop, and his breathing sounded like a rattle. PO got home just after I got there and while she's a vet, she only does teeth so she didn't have all the supplies to treat him. My regular vet who was on his way said it was fine for her give him banamine so she did. He was so dehydrated that it took her multiple tries to get his vein. We then put a sheet on him, as it had started to rain, and walked him for the next 20mins till my vet showed up.
After examining Phoenix, my vet wasn't optimistic. He did give him more drugs and tubed him and left us with the instructions to watch Phoenix and call him back if things got worse. PO's husband brought folding chairs out and we sat in the run next to Phoenix drinking beer and waiting. Even with a full dose of meds on board, he never stopped straining and the spark never came back to his eyes. I went in to his stall a few times and cuddled and talked to him but he never acknowledged me. Phoenix was always the biggest attention whore in the barn. He would leave food to come over for kisses and scratches, would hang his head on your shoulder while cleaning stalls, and generally loved to be around people. There was absolutely no evidence of that.
After talking with PO and working myself up I finally called the vet back after about an hour. We talked about how Phoenix wasn't a surgical candidate, but that I could take him to the OSU vet school and put him on fluids and see if he got better. Both my vet and I agreed that doing that would most likely only postpone the inevitable, and I didn't want Phoenix in pain any longer, so he came back. Normally my vet is advocates fairly strongly for doing everything possible before putting a horse down, but not that night.
He went down peacefully and I was able to hold his head and thank him for being my best friend for the past 10 years. I was incredibly humbled when PO said that they would bury him in their back pasture, next to two of her horses that have passed. After my vet left PO, her husband, and I went into their party/game room where they have an actual full bar that used to be in a restaurant and drank some more while reminiscing. Phoenix had only lived out there since January, but they loved his as much as if he was their own.
The past few days have been hard and I haven't slept much but I'll be ok. I had a long visit with my BO who had been gone for two weeks the next day and then yesterday some other friends took me out for dinner. I've mostly stopped crying when I think about him, expect for writing this. I'm sure it will hit me at random points, but that's ok. I'm just happy that he's out of pain.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Sunday, November 1, 2015
We've only had one jump lesson lately, and while it poured rain and we were forced inside, it actually was a pretty damn nice lesson. I had set up a baby grid a few days before the lesson, a cross rail one stride to a pole one stride to another pole and taken McKenna thru it. While she got a big rushy she handled it well.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
|Two years later|
|I got this mom!|
Monday, September 28, 2015
|Strike a pose|
|I don't like big girl bits|
I've been riding her in a French link but obviously that doesn't have enough brakes. I grabbed my slow twist and got back on to see how she would do with it on the flat. Other than stopping once when I half halted strongly she didn't seem too upset by it. Sunday we attempted the trot poles to jumps again and what do you know? I had a pony with brakes!! She was still wanted to go go go, but came back at my half halts and listened. I think I'll leave the slow twist on this bridle and set up the French link on another so we can have a jump bit and flat bit.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
|What Dollar Rent-a-Car gives you when you reserve a compact. Not the first or last time I'll drive a truck in a skirt and heels!|
|If you ever get the chance to see Kinky Boots do it! It was fantastic!!|
Between that and some new boarders moving in I've been trying to figure out my new barn schedule. The barn is a lot busier than it was this summer when, for the most part, I had the place to myself. Right now McKenna is still outside 24/7 but once it really starts raining she'll come in and I'll be battling for arena turn out time.
|McKenna also turned into the thing from the black lagoon and earned herself a bath today.|
While I was gone I had my BO's dressage trainer ride McKenna for me a couple times. She's seen me ride and we've talked quite a bit so she was familiar with the mare. She absolutely adored McKenna, saying she has much bigger movement under saddle than she expected and that she has tons of potential. I was really happy that when I got on this week McKenna was a lot softer on the right rein than before. I think I've worked a deal with BS to have more training rides in the mare's future.
Monday, September 7, 2015
|Obviously they were terrifying|
This time the mare was all over it. I barely stepped back from readjusting it and clucked to her and she took a few canter strides and jumped it the opposite way I had set. Then she landed, went around the corner, did an awesomely tight rollback and came directly back to the fence. I'm so upset I didn't get it on camera! It was something out of a jump off, they way she sat on her hind end and flipped around. And best of all, I just stood there and watched her, I didn't have to do anything. The mare has definite talent as a jumper.
|I really like how the gif slows down and you can see her form. She doesn't normally have that much hang time.|
Saturday, September 5, 2015
We started with Tia who was walking normally but still had some sensitivity on her suspensory. Both the vet and I thought that she probably got worked up in her paddock last weekend when we had some thunderstorms roll in and re injured herself. So she's on stall rest with hand walking for another couple weeks then recheck.
|If you look close you can see it|
With McKenna I told the vet about the on and off lameness and the slit on her coronary band. When we pulled her out of her stall she had a very obvious spot of blood on it and when the vet pushed more blood/pus mix came out. He did put the hoot testers to her and she wasn't reactive. He recommended a few days of Epsom salt soaking to draw anything else out then switching to an iodine spray to dry it out.
We did her first soak later that night and she was surprisingly good for it. She didn't want to stand still for very long but happily put her foot in soak. She likes to put both her front feet in her water trough in the pasture and splash around so I was expecting some that to happen but she didn't.
|At least she's cute!|
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
|New fav pic of McKenna|
The plus side is that I'm super, super, super happy about the new job and can.not.wait! to leave my current one. I know a lot of my lack of riding/blogging/general unhappiness is due to stress from my job. I fully expect stress and issues at the new one but it can't be as bad as where I am now. And it's going to shave 30mins of my commute each way so that almost equals out the extra hours.
|A good 95% of our field rides look like this. Whoa crazy mare!|
I was starting to do some ride on Tia, including three or four really nice and relaxing field rides with friends, until she came up lame and wouldn't work out of it. We had the vet out and she was very reactive on her suspensory. Our vet doesn't have a mobile ultrasound so we didn't see what was going on but he felt like it wasn't something major, probably a strain. She never had any heat or swelling in the leg and was only slightly more lame then she normally is when she first starts out. She's on 15mins of walking with twice daily Surpass for another week and then we'll recheck. If she's not better we'll take her in for the ultrasound. The plan was after I sell McKenna to lease Tia thru the winter but we all know how the best laid plans with horses usually turn out.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
Saturday we had a lesson/trainer ride while trying to get some video of her. I opted to lunge her first, not that she's been wild, but because they were harvesting the grass seed fields across the street from the barn and wanted McKenna to get a look at the equipment. She barley batted an eye.
Trainer got on her first and it was pretty ugly. McKenna is very much a one woman type of horse and she was mad that mom wasn't riding her. I was going to video but gave it up as she had short, choppy strides and was pretty resistant in her head and neck. After 15 mins or so I got on and she immediately relaxed. We just focused on going forward with a nice soft trot. She was really nice going left, but more resistant right. We did a little bit of canter then trainer wanted her to jump before she got too worked up.
|Trainer said, after seeing the pics, that she needs a bigger fence to jump|
We started with a crossrail and it was like the mare had jumped every day of her life. Trotted up nice and quietly, popped over it no problem, and cantered away quietly. I actually had to push her forward after the fence because she wanted to break after only a couple strides. We did the crossrail a few times then trainer put it up to a little vertical. We haven't done verticals since last summer and even though it was only 18" it seemed huge to me and I was sure she was going to turn into a fire breathing dragon and kill me in the process.
Trainer got on and the first time McKenna wanted to leap at it, but she made her wait and while McKenna wasn't exactly sure where to put her feet jumping close to the base, she did it. She was good on the off side and cantered away quietly. They did it a few more times, waiting for the close take off, and then I got back on. The first time thru I really didn't ride or help the mare, and she was unsure of what to do with her feet again but she went over anyways. Second time over felt really, really nice; probably our best jump yet. Never did she feel forward or explosive. I was so, so happy. Almost makes me reconsider selling her. Almost.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Since I started riding Tia and hope to show her my Q2 goals are going to include her.
- Get her out and go places! My plan is if/when I show Tia to get a stall for McKenna and park her in it at the shows. And time/space/energy permitting I'll hand walk/lunge/ride her around the show grounds as well. Pretty much a fail. We did haul out to a friend's house on Monday but that was after Q2 ended.
- "Jump" more. She gets so excited over the little crossrails that it makes me nervous doing them outside of a lesson. I guess that just means I need to lesson more! For the most part we did lesson and jump more. She still scares me jumping.
- Work on clipping her ears. Did do this, but she still hates getting them done.
- Continue grid work, adding in bounces. I don't exactly remember when I rode Tia last, but we did do some grid work and bounces.
- Work on more eq/jumper style courses Haven't been riding the mare so this didn't happen
- All the counter canter! See above
- Show in the 2'6", either hunter, eq, or jumpers. I'm not picky See above
- Stay happy, fat, and adorable!Win!! Old man is super happy and super fat!
- Sell her! Hopefully sooner rather than later because for the next two weeks I'm going to be utterly swamped at work and won't have much time/energy to put into her. Sorry in advance mare!
- Trainer rides. My BO has a dressage trainer riding one of her horses 4-5 days a week at our barn and I'm hoping I can afford to have her do a ride or two a week on the mare. I really like how BS rides and it'll be good for McKenna. And I'm hoping to have my jump trainer rider her a couple times as well.
- Stay happy, fat, and adorable
- Ride some of the other horses in the barn (I'm riding a friends two mares while she's gone, they're reiners but super nice and super well trained and/or Tia) to get back into a happy riding place. Riding has become work and something I don't look forward to with McKenna so I need to change that!
- Buy a new pony after McKenna sells.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
I had never worked with that green of a horse before. Looking back I know I made mistakes, and would have done a lot different but these past ten years and that special pony have turned me into the horsewoman amnd rider I am today. There were times I wanted to sell him, and probably should have as we weren't the greatest match, but I'm so glad I didn't. I know him inside and out, forward and back, and he is my heart horse.
In many ways McKenna and Phoenix are very similar. McKenna's more bold and take charge were as Phoenix was much more timid and submissive. I've done a lot of looking back lately, and I think it's helped make my decision to sell McKenna. I've done my bringing up baby trial by fire, and right now, have no desire to do it again.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Riding is supposed to be fun. We all love horses and find great enjoyment from being around them. That's why we spend thousands of dollars, and pour our blood, sweat, and tears into this sport. But what happens when its no longer fun?
Part of my silence lately has been because, for me, riding McKenna is not fun. I love her on the ground; she's sweet, cuddly and has so much personality. But under saddle she intimidates me. She's hot and bold, and at times feels like a ticking time bomb. For the most part riding her is hard work and not something I enjoy.
For the past few months I've gone back and forth about selling her. Why keep subjecting myself to something I don't like when I'm going broke doing it? And it's not fair to her to be trained by a nervous amateur who's afraid and scared. She has so much potential and I'd never tap into all of it.
So yesterday the mare was put up on DreamHorse and a few Facebook groups. A couple friends have mentioned that they know people looking, including her former owner so I'm hopeful that she'll go someplace where I can get updates on her. I am more concerned about where she goes than price. She needs a confident rider that can bring her up, not someone like myself.
I'm in no rush to sell her and will continue on as we have been till she's sold. And then the search will begin for the next pony.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
|I'm a big kid now...maybe|
|Soon after that lesson her favorite spot to spook became next to the tree of doom!!!|
|It always makes me laugh looking at his big belly and super long stick legs. He really should be hand shorter than he is.|
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
|Go home rear view mirror, you're drunk|
Welcome to the family big blue!! She's a 2012 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7 liter Hemi with all the bells and whistles.
Monday, May 25, 2015
|I like this one because it looks like she's doing some fancy jazz dance step with her hind end.|
Tuesday was our now weekly jump lesson. I'm committing to at least one lesson a week thru the summer. I definitely realize that I need help figuring out a well rounded riding plan for Miss McKenna and in the two I've already had there's been great improvement. Like last time we started inside with some w-t-c. She was a bit strong in the canter but really turning my body to the inside and lots of little half halts helped. We then went outside and trainer had me immediately go over the little crossrails set up from the previous lesson.
McKenna got Wednesday and Thursday off and Friday I set some poles up in the indoor since it was raining. We trotted back and forth and she was great so I added a crossrail after the poles. Again the first time she was caught unaware by the jump and hopped over it no problem. The following times she wanted to get strong and stumbled a bit through the poles. She ended up figuring it out and I think I'll continue with the placing poles before the fences. The more I can get her thinking about her feet and slowing her down, the better!
Friday, May 15, 2015
We were put right to work on a circle asking for a forward trot. Trainer thinks I've gotten too worried about where her head is and getting her round, and that we need to take a step back and get our flow back. The trot was actually pretty decent, she was just a bit harder to get going and soft tracking left than right. The training wheel really came off in our canter work. We'd canter a circle or two then McKenna decided she was done and would break to the trot. Being the nice mom that I am, I would let her, then trot around till we had a nice soft trot and ask for the canter again. Trainer said McKenna was very easily taking advantage and I needed to nip it in the bud. As soon as I started to feel her break in the canter I was to kick on and boot her forward. Forget about it being pretty, or soft, or where her head was, she needed to go until I said stop.
|But she's too cute to get mad at|
We had been riding inside (and sharing the ring with a western pleasure rider) but trainer wanted to see how she'd be outside and work on some trot poles. It had been raining off and on all day but was currently not raining so we headed out. The ring was wet, with some little puddles but McKenna's a PNW born-n-bred pony so she didn't care at all. We started trotting around and of course it starts sprinkling but trainer made us stay out there. McKenna was more up and alert outside but I was told to not worry about it, just get her going forward and focus on the trot poles. The poles were set at about a stride and half and my job was make her wait and add for the two.
It for sure wasn't our prettiest trips through poles but that wasn't the goal. We did four or five trips through the poles, fitting in the two steps, and each time got better. McKenna was still not as round and soft as she could have been but she was listening and not taking off or being naughty, even when it started raining harder and we were going directly into it. She did lay her ears flat back and hump her back up but I kicked on, and she went through the poles and halted nicely after. Yay mare!
Sunday, May 10, 2015
|We attempted to canter but it was more flailing and leaping|
Friday she got lunged as I was completely exhausted after a long work week and barely had the energy to clean my stall and feed. We did have a pretty decent ride Saturday considering she hadn't been ridden since Monday. McKenna was full of energy, but it was controllable. Lots of transitions, lots of circles, lots of keeping my calm and focus and riding her through it.
About five strides into our first canter she gave me the equine middle finger and took off. Her head was as high as my martingale would allow, she had the bit between her teeth, and I had very little brakes. I pretty much had to run her into the wall to get her to stop. She's taken off with me before, but it's always been an "I'm so full of energy and baby OTTB" explosion involving some bucks and/or leaps. This was an "I'm pissed off and f-you bitch" type of take off. She had let her inner witchy mare come out to play and she's never done that with me. I got off and took of the flash and she immediately rubbed her nose on the wall of the arena.
I got back on but she was having none of it. She would hop up and down in the canter, try to take off in the trot, way over bend and go sideways when I asked for leg yield, and almost ran my leg into the wall multiple times. We did another 20minutes or so and I just asked for some nice, soft work but she was beyond reason. We finally quit with some somewhat relaxed walk leg yields. So note to self: The mare does not like flashes and we'll probably never rock a figure 8 in the jumper ring.
Monday, May 4, 2015
|Looks almost like a legit dressage pony|
As for the lesson, we only did walk-trot but it was some of the best and hardest work we've had yet. TS was really getting after me about not getting after McKenna. I'm being too easy on the mare and it's time to up the ante. We really focused on our leg yields going left. The mare absolutely doesn't want to move off my left leg, or will move her shoulders but not her hind end. I was given a dressage whip and told to lightly tap her with it. McKenna had the predicted melt down, "OH MY GOD MOM IS BEATING ME!!!!!!!!" but after a couple half hearted hops up and down she gave it up and went back to work. I was really happy with the fact that she could come back to work after losing her little pony brain. That almost felt better than the leg yields we ended with!
|Nom nom time|
Friday, May 1, 2015
|It's hare to get pics of her, she keeps following me around|
|She has the prettiest mane. Blond, gray, and liver chestnut all mixed in.|