Monday, June 26, 2017

Bel Joer Blog Hop: If Your Horse Were a Drink

It took me a bit to think of what Peebs would be for the Bel Joer hop.  My past ponies were easy, but Peebs not so much.

Phoenix would have been a nice wine; one that gets better with age. I'm not a huge wine connoisseur but he reminds me of a Mexican wine that I absolutely love.  Its a grenache, a pink wine.  I wasn't expecting to like it but it really grew on me and is now my fave. It's a bit fruity, which Phoenix was as well. When I first got him, he was in love with another gelding at the barn and the two of them were inseparable.  

He could definitely rock the pink
Buddy was, of course, a Budweiser.  He's your all America, basic been there, done that, do anything horse.  I mean his show name was play on Budweiser.  One Bud Wiser... 

McKenna is shots of Fireball. Their website states "If you haven't tried it yet, just imagine what it feels like to stand face-to-face with a fire-breathing dragon who just ate a whisky barrel full of spicy cinnamon." Only try riding that.  She was an explosive powder keg of energy that if you weren't careful, like the shots, would leave you on your ass on the ground wondering how you got there.

Peebs, I think, is vodka. He's pretty unassuming, but can pack a punch.  He also mixes well with other horses, and you can dress him up, like mixing cocktails. I'm a big fan of cocktails and mixed drinks, but I can't handle cheap vodka.  It knocks me out like nothing else.  Top shelf vodka I'm good with, just like Peebs on his good days.  When he's up and spooky he's like cheap booze in that he can rattle me pretty good. But when he's on his game, he's smooth and perfect like nothing else.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Dangers of Mesh Sleeves

At the show I wore an Essex Classic show shirt, that I've worn in the past.  It's one of the new designs, pretty sure a Talent Yarn with the quarter placket of buttons, snap wrap collar, and mesh on the underside of the sleeves.

Mine had different trim, but basically the same shirt

I have a mole on the underside of my right arm.  I've worn other shirts, and this one, with mesh before and never had a problem.  But on Sunday my mole somehow got stuck in the mesh.  I didn't realize it till I was taking the shirt off, and I kinda had to just yank it out. Sorry for TMI. Everything seemed fine at the time, but Monday morning my arm really hurt.  The mole was slightly swollen and it felt bruised, but there was nothing visible.  All week my arm has hurt and I've had to change shirts because they would either brush too close to my mole, or hit my arm at exactly that spot.  Today is the first day it hasn't hurt.

I'm kinda nervous to wear any shirt with mesh on the underside now, sun shirt or show shirt. I guess I'll have to start putting a band aid or something over the mole so this doesn't happen again.  And a word of warning to anyone with a mole under their arms; watch out for mesh sleeves!!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Here, There, and Everywhere

I feel like I've been saying this a lot lately, but the past week has been a crazy roller coaster. Between hauling horses, the show, crazy weather swings, and being shorthanded at work I feel like all I do is run around.

 Last Thursday I took Tia in for a uterine exam. The clinic was a little over an hour away, but they're one of the top repro vets in the state.  It had been raining off and on all week and cooler, in the 60s, but the day I was to haul her up called for 30-50mph winds.  Not exactly what I want to haul in.  Luckily the wind wasn't too bad, except for the last five miles home.  The exam itself went well; Tia was the picture of perfect uterine health. No cysts, no edema, no visible scaring. I did opt to do a uterine biopsy and culture just to be safe.  The culture came back negative but we won't get the biopsy report back for another week or so.  The vet recommended rebreeding her (hopefully next week!) and putting her on Regumate to make sure her hormone levers are sufficient to maintain the pregnancy.

Mare is not amused
Originally my show was supposed to be on Saturday, but because of the rain, they moved it to Sunday.  It was a USHJA Outreach show held during a rated show and show management was moving some of the rated classes around to save the footing. I was fine with the show being moved back a day, gave me extra time to prep and I spent most of Saturday getting everything cleaned and ready instead of rushing around Friday night.

Gelding is not amused

 But of course Sunday dawned sunny and hot. It was over 20* hotter on Sunday than it had been earlier in the week.  And of course my classes didn't go till early afternoon.  We got to the show around 8 and I was glad I had gotten a day stall.  We threw Peebs in and went and watched some of the junior/AO hunters and the jumper ring. We also grabbed lunch of delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and the teen from our barn that I forced asked to be my groom/ground person found a $360 hunt coat marked down to $20 that fit her perfectly. She's mainly a western rider but is doing English pleasure and dressage in 4H and open shows so she needed a coat. I wish I could find deals like that!

Unfortunately Peebs was not in a horse show frame of mind.  He was super looky and spooky and tried to take off with me in the canter during our warm up.  We spent a lot of time walking around trying to get his head on.  I didn't even think to bring a lunge line, but he could have used a nice long lunge.  I will for sure be bringing one next time and doing an early morning lunge just to be on the safe side. I was debating trying to jump him in the warm up (would it wind him up more or calm him down?) when there was an open gate for our ring.  I said screw it, I'm hot and they're 18" jumps, and I think getting him in the ring and focusing on something will calm him down.  So we went in with no warm up jump.
Molly is not amused
We trotted into everything and cantered down the lines, and the first class was a shit storm. He was spooky, tried to run across the diagonal line, and wouldn't come back to the trot after our last line.  So I stopped him hard, made him wait, then walked out of the ring. I think that knocked some sense into him because our second round was much better.  Still jumper-in-the-hunter-ring like, but we actually got the correct number of strides, and decent transitions without having a battle over it. 

While waiting for our third trip and flat class they brought a water truck and tractor into the warm up.  Peebs lost his shit at the water truck and went flying backward and spun.  I hopped off to hold him and every time the truck came at us or close to us he'd try to vacate stage left. At one point he backed into a trainer who wasn't paying attention.  Luckily she was fine and I apologized profusely. I was really hot and done at that point so I scratched the rest of my classes and took him back to the stall.  I figured he was an ass in warm up and the first round but we redeemed ourselves in the second round and while I was pissed at him for being THAT horse at a show, I was never scared or felt like I was going to die.  I didn't get mad at him, tried to keep my hands down, and release in the half halts.  And the 18" fences looked tiny. Big wins for me! He was just not his normal unflappable Peebers self, but we survived and got better, at least until the water truck.

I wasn't expecting to place at all considering most everybody else in the class cantered the fences and we exuberantly trotted everything. But I checked the results online when I got home and we somehow managed a 2nd for our second round, out of 8.  I was shocked! Not shockingly we did place 8th out of 8 for the first round.

We're going back to the same show ground for a two day Outreach show in July and I will for sure be lunging him and avoiding water trucks!  Hopefully he won't be as much of a nutcase!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hands Breakthrough

Peebs and I had our last lesson and jump before our show on Saturday.  I wasn't in the best of moods going into my lesson.  Work drama, barn drama, and Tia have left me on a roller coaster of emotions.  And my lesson last week wasn't so great; damn you hands!  But this weeks lesson was actually really good and we fixed (most) of our problems from last week.

Last week we I had a meltdown trying to canter a single diagonal going right to left.  Peebs is worse going right, and historically has been strong and bargy going up the long side by the barn.  So of course, trainer sets the fence so we have to come up the long side by the barn. I wanted to pick and pull and get high with my hands, all things guaranteed to piss Peebs off. So he braced against me, got strong, and I got more handsy. We went back to trotting it and ended ok, but couldn't find a happy canter to it.

This week we started with that fence, first trotting and really focusing on finding my line.  I want to turn early so trainer stood where I was to turn.  It felt super late, but made the offside so much nicer. The first time cantering it I turned too early so our line was wonky, but I kept my hands down and didn't pick at him. Peebs was awesome and added to the fence and landed quietly.  The next time I turned when I was supposed to, and the fence was perfect. It was 1000% better than last week.

We then did an outside line.  We trotted in the first time in a short five then cantered in.  I saw the short distance coming in, and miracle of miracles, kept my hands down and waited for it. My go to bad habit when I see a bad distance is to pick my hands up, which raises his head, which makes the distance harder to see, which makes me get handsy.  Not a good cycle.  I had to hold for the four, but again, I managed to keep my hands down and Peebs happily loped down the line.  Trainer said I did exactly what I needed to, and that while the line wasn't perfect, I schooled it perfectly.  I rode the short, icky distance coming in and kept him packed for the short four while keeping his mouth happy. Peebs is more than willing to do the short stride, or add a stride, I just have to learn to ask for it with my hands down.  Once I raise my hands and his head comes up, its all over.

We finished by doing the little white fence above.  It wasn't as good as the other diagonal or the line.  I couldn't get Peebs off my right leg on our approach but, for the most part, was able to keep my hands down even with a bad approach. On the landing side we had a tight turn around an outside fence and Peebs kept landing on the wrong lead.  Between the tight turn and a lead change Peebs got worked up and we had to halt on a straight line a couple of times.  As you can see above, he didn't really like that.

Monday, June 12, 2017

To Good to be True

Tia went in for her 30 day check up on Friday afternoon, and they weren't able to find the embryo.  Sometime between day 16 and 31 she lost the pregnancy.  I had been thinking that everything had been too easy, going too well and I was right.  For an older mare, that has had reproductive issues in the past, I was shocked that she took on the first try and everything looked good at the first check.

I admit to crying the whole way home from the vet's. Which is about 5 minutes, but still. Once at the barn and after unloading Tia, I sat in the truck and cried some more while texting my mom and BO. The vet asked me if I wanted to try again, and I had said I didn't know.  My fear is that we'll rebreed her and it'll happen again. At that point I was too upset to even think about trying again. I don't recommend trying to back up and park your trailer while crying; I might have almost hit another trailer. Damn tears make it hard to see.

I spent most of Friday night/Saturday morning crying and trying to figure out what I want to do. I looked up repro specialists and after talking with my mom, BO, and another boarder I decided to take Tia into another vet about an hour away and get her opinion. If she thinks Tia could hold a pregnancy we'll try again.  If not, I  think we're going to try embryo transfer.  Our barn manager, LT, has offered her husband's trail mare up as a surrogate, pending vet approval.

 It's expensive, but as my mom put it, not that much more than going out and buying another horse.  And I don't want another horse, I want Tia's baby. I adore the mare and would love to have a piece of her for my own. If I could have bred Phoenix, Buddy, or Peebs I would have.  It's not about having a fancy, upper level horse for me.  It's about having a piece of a horse I love. I never plan to have human children; my horses are my kids and I didn't think I'd be so upset about losing Tia's foal. But it feels like I've lost part of my heart.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Happy 10th Birthday Peebs!!

Happy 10th birthday Peebs!!! Can't wait to see what the next ten years of your life will be like!

Newborn Peebers known then as Little Scotch

Yearling Scotch

4 years old and showing off his classic high head at attention position

The day we met, such a sad Peebers, known then as Paddington

iPhone black backround pic of a much happier Peebers

Winning his first division champion

First year end award

Monday, June 5, 2017

Catching Up

I feel like the last month passed way too fast.  How are we already in June?!  Peebs moved into his summer paddock 24/7, which I love because I don't have to clean a stall every day, and he loves because there's grass! 

Don't bother me, I'm eating
As far as catching up on my riding, I feel like there isn't much to tell. For them most part Peebs has been good, if not lazy. I'm having problems seeing distances (like that's a new thing?), especially to diagonal fences. I know it's because I loose his shoulders in the turn, and we don't finish the turn. Hopefully I can get some help in my lesson tomorrow because my entry for our first USHJA Outreach show has been sent in.