Sunday, May 29, 2016

Psychologist My Ass

The clinic didn't go as I thought it would. In fact it was about as opposite as it could get.  If that woman is a sports psychologist, or has even studied psychology at all, I'm Beezie Madden. She was one of those old school trainers that barked everything, insulted and put down me, my horse, and my tack.  All I can say is that I was very proud of myself for not crying during our ride, but I think that's because I was in shock.

According to her Peebs is spoiled, and the fact that he's been shown, even as a lesson horse, is just unthinkable. The pelham is just wrong, the chain was too long and the person who sold me the bit (I bought it at the local tack/feed store) needs to be shot. My monocrown bridle was awful and she didn't see the point.  She had me switch to a borrowed bridle and full cheek snaffle that actually worked pretty well for us, but we didn't jump in it.  I'm willing to try different bits with him, but in the past he's been pretty adamant that he likes the pelham. My polos were also wrong, both in the way I wrapped and the feel of them, and I should just throw them away.  She doesn't like my wide MDC stirrups and told some story about the guy who makes them. And finally my horse needs a breastplate.

My position was wrong.  My body type is going to make riding hard for me. I need more leg and to carry a stick. I couldn't correctly describe a circle, or excecute a serpentine correctly or turn across the diagonal. I changed my posting diagonal too early. She had me carry my hands much higher than I'm used to, locking my thumbs around each other with my elbows glued to my sides and shoulders back.  The second my hands came apart or my thumbs weren't up I was yelled at.  It was unthinkable that Peebs doesn't have a lead change, and I didn't know how to do a proper simple change.

As I said before, we didn't even jump except to walk over a raised pole.  We mostly trotted with a little canter because the first part of the ride was spent switching tack and telling why everything I had was awful. She did say I knew quite a lot about riding, and had potential, but I need more supervision and help with the finer points. She said she's used to doing clinics with people she already knows, that this was the first time she's opened up a clinic to riders outside the barn.  She's apparently going to be part of Judge My Ride, and wanted to see how "helping" riders she doesn't know would work out.  Let's just say I don't think it's going to go so well. 
Both of us were mentally and physically exhausted.  Sorry Peebs

I ended up leaving Peebs there overnight, planning to ride again Saturday but then after sleeping on it and talking to friends I said "F*ck this shit" and scratched.  My friend came with me on Saturday and talked to the clinic organizer while I grabbed Peebs from his stall and loaded him up. I think she told them I was sick, but I'm sure he knew the reason.  I'm sorry, but if you bill the clinic as something to help riders overcome their fears, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, have a clinician that will actually do that, not some barky, harsh, judgemental bitch who wants to put everyone down.  I felt humiliated driving home Friday night, but I've gotten over that.  I know I'm a good rider, I know how to wrap polos, I know what my horse needs and likes, I know I don't have that Big Eq body, but I try my best. I will take some to the blame for this as I should have done more homework on her before, to see what she was like because if I knew what I was getting into beforehand, I would never have signed up for this.  Live and learn.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fourteen Weeks

I'm going I have to wait fourteen long weeks for this:

The County rep came out today and while I wasn't initially impressed with her customer service over email, I really liked her in person. She had a bunch of options for us to try, and even put me in her own saddle which is the one that worked best for us. 

This is going to sound a little odd, but she wasn't what I pictured at all. I guess I had this image of a saddle fitter for a high dollar brand as being snooty, wearing big name expensive clothes, perfectly done hunter hair in a helmet, custom boots.....basically someone that would fit in a BNT's barn. But what I got was a woman with half her head shaved and the other half died pink, gauges in her ears, wearing torn jeans and Converse. It made me feel much more at ease and relaxed around her. The first saddle fitter was way on the woo-woo, natural, spiritual, organic, vegan, homeopathic (insert other mystical out there words here) side, which to be fair, this IS Oregon and that's common. I never felt comfortable with her or really trusted what she said. 

And from what the County rep said, I shouldn't have trusted the first fitter. Peebs was between a medium and a medium wide in the Counties we tried, not a wide to extra wide like I was first told. Granted County runs wide, but that's a pretty big difference. Buddy was an XW and Peebs doesn't feel as wide as he was so it never felt right to me that he was as wide as Bud. 

Fourteen weeks is going to be a long time. Hurry up first week of September!!! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Every equestrian knows FOMTD...fear of missing the distance.  It's that crippling anxiety as you canter up to a jump and can't see anything and internally pray for Jesus to take the reins.  Or there might be some external expletives in the form of "Oh shit" or "We're gonna die". Or maybe it's all just me.

Happy even cantering baby fences

In my past two lessons I've had major FOMTD.  I either can't see a distance and circle, or lock my elbows, raise my hands, and make my saint of horse wait till forever to get to the jump. The plus side is my horse IS a saint, and will happily wait to jump the fence until we are on top of it. And, when I do decide that we can do a forward stride and go for the extra, extra long spot he happily says "You crazy lady" and adds the short one so we don't take off a mile from the fence. Thanks Peebs, you're the best!

Hover mode activated!
It just so happens that a semi-local barn is having a clinic with Katie Frank, a h/j trainer, judge, and sports psychologist who specializes in helping riders overcome their fears this week and we managed to snag a spot Friday and Saturday.   Can you say awesome timing or what?!? We'll have a private lesson both days and I'm really hoping to get some good help and tips out of it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Say What?!?

What's the weirdest, oddest, WTF-est, thing you've heard regarding horses?  We had something come up at our barn yesterday that had both me and BO going WTF and it got me thinking about all the weird things I've heard horse people say.  So I though I'd share a couple of mine.

A few years back BO had a rescued TB that she sold then got back.  He had your typical TB shark fin withers, with white hairs from ill fitting saddles. It wasn't a good match with him and the girl and the girl's "trainer" was very concerned about some physical issues with him.  When they brought him home the "trainer" proceeded to tell us that with his broken withers she didn't think he'd be able to do what they wanted.  Cue WTF. When asked about it, she said that the white hairs indicated a broken wither.  She had trained with an Olympic dressage rider in Europe and learned that there. OK....... When we politely tried to tell her that no, white hairs come from bad saddle fit, she would have none of it and kept going on about how it was wrong to ride the horse and he was crazy and blah blah blah until BO's husband told her to get out and not come back. Our vet was out a couple days later and when told about it he busted out laughing saying he'd never heard that one before.  The horse was fine and is now eventing at training level, even with a "broken wither."

Yesterday one of our boarders had a horse that was in training sent home. He's a green broke 6yr old QH that hasn't done much and was out of shape when he left the barn.   He had been at the trainer's for two weeks.  Apparently the trainer believes he has ringbone and navicular and shouldn't do anything more than light walk/trot. He's also stocking up behind. She has a "strong feeling and believes he has it" but was very clear that she's not a vet and that the owner should get x-rays. Now, I'm not saying he doesn't have either ringbone or navicular, but considering that ringbone is usually pretty obvious to see, and he had pretty clean looking legs when he left two weeks ago both BO and I were a bit skeptical. And I fail to see how stocking up behind could mean ringbone or navicular.  And she said he didn't feel lame, she just "felt he has it."  What I want to know is, if she can feel debilitating conditions on horses after two weeks, why isn't she marketing these services?!  I mean she'd make money hand over fist if she can diagnose stuff like this on a PPE!

So, what's your weirdest WTF with horses?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

They Both Have an X

So the County I bought on trial came Friday and I skipped out of work early to run to FedEx and pick it up. I opened the box in my truck in the parking lot and found this:
Extra narrow when it was supposed to have been an extra wide. Cue massive letdown. I immediately emailed the tack shop I got it from saying it's the wrong size and I wanted my full refund. I never even took the saddle cover all the way off let alone tried it on Peebs.

The lady got back to me all apologetic and assured me once they got the saddle back I'd get my money back so I dropped it off Saturday. And I only cried a little bit Friday night about it. 

The Voltaire rep comes this week and the County rep finally got back to me and is coming the week after so hopefully something will work!!  At this point I'm almost ready to stick with the Dover Circuit I'm using even though I don't like it.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Oh Hell No

I've discovered a few things Peebs isn't fond of over the past couple weeks.

1) Fly Spray
Otherwise known as death spray. I don't know if it's the sound it makes, or the smell, or spray bottles that freak him out but Peebs hates getting sprayed.  As in he backs up in the cross ties, runs sideways, and tries to turn around and exit stage left when not tied.  The whites of his eyes show and he snorts at it. 
Death sprayyyyyyyyyyy

2) Mud 
I've been hand grazing him almost daily in prep for turning him out for the summer and to get to the field, we have to cross a small muddy ditch. It's maybe two feet wide by six inches deep, more of a depression than anything else. But it takes a lot of convincing to get Peebs over it and when he's forced to step on it he gives you some serious mare glare. Because while he loves to roll in his manure and urine and get crusty and filthy in his stall, God forbid his delicate little hooves get some mud on them. 
Nope, I'm good right here

3) Western Saddles
Being half QH I would have expected Peebs to be ok with a western saddle, but apparently he's not one of THOSE QHs. He is a hunter, thank you very much! He does pretty much the same thing when you bring out a western saddle as when you try to fly spray him. I did get the saddle on and rode but bubba was not pleased. His ears were back almost the whole time, he didn't soften or give to my hand, and I could tell he was close to flipping me the bird. I want to be able to trail ride in the western saddle this summer so he's going to have to get over it. I am going to try a different saddle of my BOs that has a shorter, round skirt and no flank straps to see if that helps. 
This is his not happy face

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Anatomy of a Peebs' Dinner

Going off of Carly's post about Bobby's feed, I've decided to share Peebs' grain. He gets his at night and he's the easiest keeper I've had yet. Thanks bubba!!

He gets a quart of rice bran but since he's weight is looking really good and he's starting to go out on the spring grass once I run out (which will be sometime this week) he'll stop getting it. 

Then two quarts of Haystack Special Blend. This is a local feed designed by a vet whose husband owns a feed mill. It's a mix of beer pulp, alfalfa, Timothy, rice bran, flax, and canola oil. 

For supplement he gets a 4oz scoop of Horse Guard. It's a general vitamin/mineral mix with added selenium and vitamin E for horses in the PNW where grass and hay is very selenium deficient. 
He also gets two scoops of LMF digest 911 probiotic. 

Last is a squirt of Excel Eq which is an anti-inflammatory omega 3 mix for joints, ulcer aid, and skin/coat.  My BO started a couple of her horses on it and really liked it so she got me a jug of it for my birthday.  I've only had Peebs on it for a couple weeks and I'm not sure I notice anything so far, but we'll see.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saddle Shopping Sucks

We all know it to be true, saddle shopping sucks.  Especially if you have a hard to fit horse and a hard to fit rider on a budget.  I'm also about an hour and half away from any tack store with any decent used saddle selection and I've already called them twice about their inventory. 

I've been looking mainly at used County's, as I really liked them when I've ridden in them in the past and according to the saddle fitter they should fit Peebs.  But finding a wide or extra wide tree with short flap in my seat size was damn near impossible.  I finally said screw it and emailed the local County rep to bite the bullet and get us a new custom saddle.  I had to email her multiple times, and she said it would take a few weeks to get demos in for us to try.  That was over 3 weeks ago and I haven't heard anything since. I know I'm not a big circuit rider, or a big name trainer with a barn full of clients all buying saddles, but when you have someone ready and willing to drop $$$ with you at least email them updates. I can definitely say I'm not impressed with her customer service skills at all.  I'm not holding my breath for a new, custom County anytime soon.

So fancy!
Even though the first saddle fitter said French brands probably won't fit the Peebs as well as English brands, I thought I'd just try.  I contacted the Voltaire rep and she got back to me with in a half hour and said she'd be down my way next week and had a couple for us to try.  A+++ for customer service!  I've never sat in a Voltaire or seen on in person so I'm interested to try them out.

And of course, the day after making that appointment, I find the exact County I was looking for used. Right seat size, wide tree, short flaps, barley broken in. So I paid to take it on trial and it's being shipped from Virginia today.  Hopefully it will work, or a Voltaire will because I am DONE with saddle shopping!
Please, please, please work!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Coworker complaints

Since I've ridden all of twice since our show and was out of town, I don't have a lot of exciting news on the Peebs.  He did get his spring shots and my vet and I talked about his watery poop and basically I can try the BioSponge but there's not much else.  Vet said he sees this often, and unless Peebs is actually colicky or has legit diarrhea we'll just have to live with it, and lots of butt and hind leg washing. Poor pony!

So I've decided to join in on Redhedlins' blog hop!  So what complaints would I turn into HR for Peebs?
  • He's lazy and tend to get cranky when you crack the whip (or smack him with it, either way).  He also doesn't appreciate having to go back to work after a vacation.
  • He has questionable personal hygiene.  Always covered in something sticky or crusty, smells like poop and urine.  It's like he just rolled out of bed every day. And we have to play "What's that stain" on his white articles of clothing almost daily. Is that blood, urine, or who knows what?
  • His socks never match! Three white and one brown.  What is this insanity?!?

Don't listen to them, I'm perfect!!