Friday, March 22, 2019

Fixing the Left Lead

We were finally able to conquer our issues with cantering fences on the left lead, especially single diagonal fences. I'm sure I'll screw it up again at some point, and I'm interested in seeing how Peebs does in six months to a year after his stifle injections, so I'm sure this will crop up again, but for now it feels really, really good.

We hauled over to A's again Saturday afternoon and rode with her and Scottie. Scottie has some going forward issues, and thanks to an unfortunate incident during a lesson with a dressage trainer, he's regressed a bit.  We played follow the leader a little on Saturday to encourage Scottie to move forward, since following Peebs is one of his favorite hobbies. It reminded me of little kid lessons and it was fun to goof off a bit.

A post shared by Molly Basney (@mollybasney) on
I really wanted to focus on our left lead issues during my lesson on Sunday.  I felt like Peebs just needed a good, solid ride over fences, and since his going sideways freaked me out I felt like I couldn't give that to him. I talked to my trainer about her doing a schooling ride and she was all for it, until I explained why. She gave me the look, and told me I was more than capable of giving Peebs a good ride, we just needed to start at the beginning. She did say that if things went south during the lesson she'd get on him.

Between the super weather and A's bright jumps it definitely felt like spring!
We warmed up over a few cross rails, then tackled a three stride line. My trainer took down one of the single fences across the diagonal that we had warmed up over and told me to add it after the line. It was the long approach single off the left lead. She told me to just point his nose in the middle of the standards and do nothing else.  She didn't care if he went through it crooked, bulging sideways, or on the forehand.  We just had to canter through the standards and I had to not do anything. Since I've been told to do nothing for a few lessons in a row now, it doesn't feel as terrifying as it first did and I was able to execute the plan. We manged to canter through the standards only slightly crooked on the first try.

The full chute
We did a few more tries at cantering just through the empty standards with me slowly picking up on Peebs more. My trainer added ground poled to help keep him straight and I was told I could only pick up on him after the second pole. I was to turn off the rail, let him be, then 3-4 strides out half halt him.  I figured after doing a few times through with nothing between the standards, she'd add a pole but she set up a cross rail and told me nothing changes. And what do you know, nothing did change!  Our first time to the cross rail was crooked and we got there on a half stride but Peebs figured it out and landed without issue. Our second time through I was better about our turn and the distance was perfect. We ended the lesson there, but I was told to do it again the next day.

It was 77 when I went to ride on Monday, which felt like a heat wave.  Peebs was tired and lazy, I was tired and lazy so I didn't set up all the ground poles. In fact I set up no ground poles. We warmed up then went straight to cantering the single cross rail. I kept hearing my trainer's words from the day before in my head, and reminding myself to not do anything till 3-4 strides out and it worked. I know I've been told to not try and find a distance as soon as you make your turn to the long approach single, but this really seems to have made it stick. Hopefully I'll be able to remember once we enter the show ring!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Out with a Bang

Peebs and I had another great weekend at A's this past weekend, with a breakthrough lesson and a couple good hacks.  But the real terror excitement happened when I was hauling Peebs home, about two minutes away from the barn.

To get to my barn, I take a little connecting road that goes between two main roads. It's maybe 2 miles long, if that.  In the direction I was heading, there's a S-curve going downhill and into the setting sun. Since I was hauling the trailer, I was going maybe 30 around the corners, which is the posted speed.  Once you drop out of the curves, there's about a 3/4th mile long straight stretch, ending in a four way stop.  One side of the road is grass seed fields, and the other has a couple houses, a hay field/cow pasture, a fruit and veggie farm, and a kid oriented boarding barn.

Apparently people were anxious to get home because a Jeep passed me, then a little blue sedan tried to pass me as we were on the straight stretch.  The Jeep gave me plenty of room but the sedan tried to pass me about a quarter mile from the stop sign.  I was worried because the sedan didn't step on it, and I knew there was no way they'd make it around me and be able to stop at the intersection without cutting me off and slamming on their breaks. So I started backing way off because I didn't want to rear end them.

As we passed the boarding barn, a silver car appeared in the driveway and I could see the driver look left to see if any cars were coming, then she started pulling out. She didn't look to the right, or else she would have seen the blue sedan trying to pass me. Blue car was at the front of my trailer, and had no where to go.  If they swerved, they'd go directly into the trailer. I was able to watch everything in my side view mirror. Blue car slammed on the breaks, but hit the silver car not quite head on. The crash was super loud and because it happened almost directly across from where Peebs was, and I had his window open, I could feel him spook and scramble in the trailer. I slowed down and stopped as quick as I could, debating weather to go back and check on the people, but I saw doors open and people get out of both cars so I continued on to the barn.

Peebs was super nervous when we unloaded and was calling to the other horses, something he usually doesn't do. I was super shaken and once I put Peebs in his stall I went and sat in my truck till I stopped shaking. All I could think about was what would have happened if the blue car had swerved on instinct to avoid the silver car. I'm sorry they hit the silver car, but thank the deity of your choice they didn't hit me. I drove past the accident site on my way home, and everyone only had minor injuries but both cars are probably totaled.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Finally Foto Friday

I finally got my fifth place year end ribbon in the mail, two months after we were supposed to get them.  So I of course had to take pics of Peebs with his big ass ribbons. The ribbons are about twice the size of past year end ribbons I've gotten so at least the size made up for the wait. Because seriously, size matters amiright?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

First Rides Post Injections

Peebs was cleared to ride last Wednesday, 4 days after his injections.  Unfortunately that was farrier day, and after holding him and Cinder for the farrier in 36* I was too frozen to ride. So Peebs got a light lunge and I bumped our first ride back to Thursday.

Missed that view
We had a nice long walk warm-up, with lots of lateral work because someone was feeling a bit fresh and needed to engage his brain. We did about 30 mins of walk-trot, mostly walk, and the whole time I was second and third guessing myself about his soundness. He did feel stiff, but it was more of the "its cold and I haven't loosened up yet" type of stiffness than the "I'm lame" type.  Peebs did get a lunge before we rode Friday, and felt much better.

Used to be terrified of puddles.  No fucks given Saturday
Saturday I hauled him over to friend A's to ride and spend the night as we were having lessons on Sunday. I had to work last weekend and wouldn't have time to work and haul over before my lesson so A was kind enough to let Peebs spend the night. It has snowed and rained Friday and A's arena was wet and a bit deep in spots, but it worked great for us.  The footing was just deep enough to make Peebs work a bit harder and tire him out, but not deep enough to be unsafe. Also, he apparently has gotten over his phobia of puddles, splashing through them without a care in the world and standing in one so I could get a pic.

We kept the jumps small for our lesson Sunday, mostly trotting cross rails. Peebs still wanted to get crooked and bulge right while tracking left cantering away from some of the jumps but it was better than our last few jump sessions.  My instructions was to disengage during those moments, let him be, then continue on like normal.  My normal reaction is to ride hard and try and correct him which usually makes him more upset, so trying the less is more approach is hard for me.  But I did it and we had some decent rounds.  We managed to string together a little trot course including cantering through a line on the left lead without incident.

BFF for lyfe!!
My original plan was to take Peebs home Sunday after lessons, but the weather was supposed to be nice Monday and A offered to let me stay another day to take advantage of her arena. She also wanted to use Peebs for an experiment. Her gelding Scottie can be a little herd bound when turned out with other horses so he's been on solo turnout for a while now.  She wants to try him back with other horses and since he and Peebs are BFFs we put them out together. Scottie really wanted to play with Peebs, but Peebs was more interested in eating.

When I got to A's Monday and took Peebs out of the paddock he and Scottie called to each other once, then both seemed fine.  In the past Scottie would call and pace almost nonstop but the couple of times I checked on him he wasn't pacing and seemed fine alone.  Hopefully he can start getting turned out with buddies again.

It felt like spring for a day
I'm so happy A let me stay for an extra day because Monday afternoon was perfect!  It was 60* and sunny and felt like spring might actually be on it's way. I took advantage of the jumps being up and did the same course we had done the day before then put a couple of the fences up to verticals.  We still didn't have issues cantering through the line, but Peebs wanted to get crooked cantering to singles so we went back to trotting.  Cantering off the right is fine, so we did some fences that way.  We have another lesson at A's this weekend and I have a couple ideas I want to bonce off my trainer about our left lead issues.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

IRL Blogger Meet Ups

On Saturday Nicole from Zen and the Art of Baby Horse Management came down to play with the ponies.  She's moved about an hour or so north of me, and we've been trying to meet up for a month  and the stars our schedules finally aligned. It was probably not the most exciting blogger meet up ever, since Peebs was on turn out only after his injections.  And I failed at getting any photographic evidence of us together.

But have a pic of Peeb's new shoulder guard. Superhero style for a super pony!

We hung out at the barn for a few hours, letting the ponies play (and in Peeb's case, take a nap in the sun) in the arena while we chatted.  I then whisked her off to Inavale, the home of Oregon's only rated 3day event which is about 10 mins from my barn.  We walked a very tiny portion of the xc course and wandered around the barn for a bit.

It was in the low 50s during the day over the weekend and Peebs was loving it. It's currently raining with some sleet mixed it and I'm NOT loving it.
I did take Nicole to my favorite taco shop ever and we scared down some delicious tacos.  Honestly, I could eat there every day. More bloggers need to come visit me so I have an excuse to have Taco Vino more. We finished off the day by heading over to the feed store to scope out baby chicks. Fluffy baby birds are always cute!

Monday, March 4, 2019


Do you, or someone you love, own or lease horses and pay vet bills? Have you, or someone you love, ever experienced nausea, sweating, dizziness, guilt, and/or anxiety when seeing your vet bill? If so, then you might be suffering from VBIPA or vet bill induced panic attack. Treatment can include drinking copious amounts of alcohol, eating ice cream for dinner, and/or calling your mother to talk you down from the panic attack.

I decided to have the vet out to check Peebs over on Friday.  He was still feeling a bit stiff, but wasn't actually lame. I was wondering if his naughtiness when jumping was more than naughtiness and wanted him checked out before show season started.  We did a lameness exam and Peebs was sore in his lower back, sore in both hocks, and very sore in both stifles. He also had the occasional funny step on his left front.

Dr. W and I talked it over, and decided that since his stifles were worse we'd start with injecting those. Dr. W felt that Peebs' sore back could be from the stifles, but we'll have to wait and see.  And the injections could help with his front end issue, or make them worse. Yay!

The bill ended up being about double what I was expecting. I honestly thought we'd maybe start him on Adequan or pentosan, maybe think about doing his hocks. The stifle injections are $350 more than the hocks, and Peebs need extra sedation. $$$$$$. I guess I'm luck though, I haven't had this big of a vet bill in 9 years, since we were diagnosing Phoenix's ring bone. And it's still nowhere near the vet bill from my first horse's colic surgery when I was 15.  My mom kept that one and gave it to me when I moved into my own place and it's still up on my fridge.

Peebs is on hand walking/turnout till Wednesday, then walk trot work till Saturday.  I tentatively have a lesson scheduled for Sunday but we'll see how things go.  I'm having Dr. W come back next month for spring shots so we might do another lameness exam and see where things stand.