Thursday, July 30, 2020

Reflections: July 2020

How the F is it already the end of July??!!

Cinder finds training exhausting

Loving: My new mattress.  Did you know you can wake up in the morning and not feel like a 90yr old crone??
Smelling: Burnt microwave popcorn. My supervisor moved some of us around at work so I'm now spending two days a week at a different facility and my coworker there has microwave popcorn EVERYDAY for a snack. The whole place smells like burnt popcorn in the morning.
Learning: How to care for germ free mice in isolated cages. 
Writing: Sadly, not much.
Reading: SOPs and articles on humanized and germ free mice.
Watching: Rewatching The Umbrella Academy to get ready for Season 2
Craving: Fall. It's been hot and dry and I'm ready for cooler temps and rain
Obsessing: Not over much lately
Needing: For Peebs to stay sound and keep his shoes on! I want to ride damn it.
Wanting: I guess I already said it above, but to ride.
Trying:  To keep my cool at work and not go postal on my coworker.
Drinking:  Water, tea, and lemonade
Feeling: Frustrated and like a babysitter. I know that's why I got paired with the coworker, because she needs someone to keep her in check, but that's not in my job description.
Hoping: This new change at work is reversed.
Listening: JVN's podcast, Curious
Clicking: Blogs to read

Monday, July 27, 2020

Again, Seriously Peebs?

I swear Peebs is on a mission to get all the time off. We're assuming his leg bump is a splint and after a few days off I started riding him again. He was never lame on it, so back to work he went.

We had a couple easy flat rides before a 2 day heat wave hit. He got those days off because I'm prone to heat stroke and don't ride if it's above 90. Our rides last week were pretty good, if a little rough around the edges. Peebs had reverted back into thinking he doesn't need to bend or listen to my right leg, but we did a lot of circles, transitions, and lateral work and ended each ride on a good note. I did pop him over a couple cross rails last Thursday before texting my trainer to set up a lesson for this week.

At least he's pretty

My plan was to lunge him Friday, flat Saturday and maybe jump Sunday morning. Yesterday (Sunday) was the start of another heat wave and Peebs was going to get Monday (today) and Tuesday off. Depending on the highs Wed/Thurs I was going to lunge or ride. But when I got to the barn Friday night Peebs was missing his right front shoe. We had added clips at his last farrier visit and at least he had pulled the shoe cleanly off, no missing chunks and didn't step on the clips.

My farrier can't come out till Wednesday, so Peebs gets almost another week off. At least he picked a year when there's no shows to try and get all the time off. I've told him that he needs to get it all out of his system this year so we can hopefully have a full show season next year.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Cinder Progress Report #2

Cinder continues to get good reviews at kindergarten. The round pen has been put up so Trainer S is working her in there and has started taking her for hand walks on the trails. The barn backs up to a big forest with miles of trails along the hills. S is a big proponent of getting the horses, young and old, out on the trails as much as possible.

Cinder got a new neighbor who she loves but Airy is kinda meh on her

Unfortunately Cinder's feet have taken a bit of a beating on the trails. She chipped off enough so she currently doesn't have enough hoof wall to nail a shoe onto, so I bought her some hoof boots. I got a report that she was NOT pleased wearing them for the first time yesterday, but too bad so sad mare. Hopefully we can protect her tootsies so she can grow enough to put shoes on.

S thinks shes close to being ready to be ridden, and she thinks it will be pretty uneventful. She's doing a little more groundwork to really cement some body control. Cinder can blow you off about yielding her shoulder or hip, but not in a bad way, more of "Oh, I didn't realize you actually meant it" kind of way. Both S and I agree that she's not mean, or naughty-minded, she's just not the most sensitive of horses. Unless she's in heat, but S called it a good kind of sensitive.

Hopefully she continues to be good, grow some hoof, and be under saddle soon!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Past and Future Photos

In prep for writing this post, I realized I never shared some pics from December of 2018 on the blog. I had a college student (C) who rides and does photography come out and do black background pics of the ponies.

Turns out she now rides with Trainer S and is still doing photography. So I’ve sent her a message and have talked about it with S, but I’m hoping we can get pro pics of Cinder’s first ride. Obviously C and S will need to coordinate and see if they’re schedules will mesh, and Cin’s still a few weeks away from being under saddle but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 

I do realize getting pro pics of my baby’s first ride might be a little extra, but I don’t care. If I’m at a barn with a photographer I’m going to take advantage of it. A first ride only happens once, might as we’ll document it! And if we can’t get her first ride, I would like either my first ride on her done or just a photo shoot in general. Either way I’m getting pictures!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Loose Horse

In my attempt to consume less coffee, I've decided that a weekend day can be a coffee day. So on Saturday I went to get coffee and a muffin from a local drive through. Kind of a treat yo self thing. In my half asleep state I started driving to work, rather than back home, so I ended up taking the long way home from the coffee place.

As I was driving past one of the thousands of grass seed fields, I looked over and saw a horse in the field. It was just standing around in the windrows, and had what looked like a blanket on. I slowed down to make sure my eyes were seeing thing correctly, then pulled into the field.

This field is open, no fences, and alongside a fairly busy road where people like to drive 60+. And as the grass seed hadn't been harvested yet, there was absolutely no way a horse would be turned out on it. So obviously the horse wasn't where it was supposed to be.

Turned out the blanket was a fly sheet

I was in my pj's, no bra, and flip flops. Not exactly horse catching clothing but oh well. I did have a bag of horse cookies in the car since I had gone to the feed store the night before. I hiked out to the horse, calling to it and it very calmly walked up to me and ate the offered cookies. It was a black and white mare who looked to be in good condition (though her feet needed to be done) but the right side of the fly sheet was all torn up. I called the sheriff's office to report it, and they said they'd send a deputy. I then called A (who lives 3 mins away) and asked her to bring me a halter and lead rope. Mare was good about me hanging onto the neck of the fly sheet, but I was worried that if she tried to leave I wouldn't be able to keep control of her.

A was able to find me in the field and the mare was more than content to hang out with us getting scratches and cookies. As we were waiting for the sheriff to show up (who never did), A and I decided that if we couldn't find the owner we'd take her back to our barn. I did post to FB about her and a few people quickly shared the post. I was contemplating calling our vet to see if she was micro-chipped when a passing truck stopped. It was the neighbor of the horse's owner. He was calling the owners as he got out of his truck.

The owners showed up very quickly and were so happy we had stopped to catch her. They hadn't noticed she had gotten out till the neighbor called. They lived about a third of a mile down on the other side of the road. Apparently Abby, the mare, is quite skilled at opening gates and letting herself out. They've only lived at this property for about a year and this was the first time she'd pulled the Houdini trick. They vowed to upgrade their fences and after many thank you's they started walking her home. While I was happy we were able to find Abby's people, I was a little disappointed I couldn't take her back to the barn and have her feet done.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Seriously Peebs?

Ever since he put his leg through the fence, Peebs has had a little bit of swelling in that leg. Not much, and it went away with work so I haven’t been too concerned about it. But when I pulled him out yesterday I noticed there was more fill than normal and that there was a firm, defined lump. 

No heat and he didn’t react when I palpated it. I tossed him on the lunge line and while very lazy, he was sound. I called my vet’s office and texted pictures. My vet replied that since Peebs is sound and the lump is firm, we’re going to take the wait and see approach. Peebs is on one gram of bute a day and in a standing wrap till Friday when I’m to report back to the vet.

Hopefully this is just a minor thing, but I would appreciate any crossed fingers and healing thoughts!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Cinder Progress Report #1

Cinder's been in training for a week now and I got a progress report from Trainer S on Tuesday.

I was/still am worried that I raised a crazy she-demon of a horse so I was so excited to hear that she had been good. I've gone out to visit Cin a couple of time, but missed seeing Trainer S both times.

Don't worry, she hasn't grown up too much

When I went out on Saturday, there was only one other person at the barn, and their horse was on the other aisle so I took my time loving on Cinder and trying to figure out S's shorthand on the barn board. Most of the horses have cute nicknames (Sparklepony is my fave) and Cinder had already gotten hers.

S also sent me a pic of Cinder meeting her paddock mates. Apparently those two love making new friends, which is Cinder's favorite thing besides groomies, so the three of them quickly became best buds. The fly sheeted one lives across the aisle from Cinder and the two mares make moon eyes at each other all day.
Did we just become best friends??

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

OHC Jump-a-Round

So Peebs' big adventure a week and a half ago was to haul down to a local show facility and participate in their free schooling day. I was waiting to do the recap to see if the photographer got any pics of us, but when he finally posted his photos after a week, we weren't in any. Boo. So you'll have to make due with blurry screenshots from my phone.

Peebs was good, just very distracted and wanting to look everywhere

The main goal of the schooling day was to get out and jump somewhere else, especially for A and Scottie who came with us. A can get nervous riding somewhere new and Scottie can feed off of her, so Peebs and I were moral support. We spent a long while just walking around the indoor schooling arena getting A comfortable before making our way outside to jump the course.

This facility has an open outdoor sand arena next to a small xc course. The Jump-a-Round course included both, but since neither A nor I have a xc vest, we could only do the stadium course. Which was fine. The way the day worked was that you warmed up then added your name to the list and waited to jump your round. It was slightly disorganized as some people were jumping much bigger and then the fences had to be reset if the next person was jumping smaller. My trainer came with us, so she was able to reset fences for me, and in her sneaky way claimed "There was only time to make some of them smaller; you can do it." when I said they still looked big.

We had a stop at this fence going the other direction but he's obviously not concerned about it this way

Peebs had been good in warm up inside, but was super distracted by everything outside. There were horses turned out grazing, a hay field getting baled, the xc field, and who knows what else capturing his attention. The course started with a line and we trotted the first fence pretty weakly. I realized he needed more from me than he usually does at a show, so we came back to trot the second fence and I went to my crop over it. That snapped him out of his funk and the third fence rode well. Fence four, the skinny x above, was off a tight turn, with another tightish turn to another outside line after. I brought him back to the trot and his distractedness took over and he very calmly stopped at it. It felt like he just wasn't paying attention and didn't realize he was supposed to jump it. So we circled back and I rode with purpose and we made it over just fine.

The rest of the course flowed pretty well after that. I passed my trainer after fence four and heard her say to relax my arms and follow and wouldn't you know, that worked. The second outside line was an easy five, then a long approach to a single on the diagonal back to the skinny cross rail (which we trotted again but did jump on the first try) then another long approach to a single diagonal. While definitely not our best round, we did school what needed to be schooled and that was the point of the day. We could have signed up for another round, but I was tired and starting to get sunburned and since it was only the fourth jump school in three months for Peebs, I didn't want to overdue it.  I hope they have more schooling days because I will definitely go back!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Cinder goes to Boarding School

I promise I'll update about Peebs' adventure but I'm still waiting for the pro photog to get back to me. Apparently he only posts some of the pics he took and if none of yours got posted you have to email him. So fingers crossed he gets back to me and took pics of us!

Anyways, Cinder left for boarding school yesterday. I was surprisingly anxious about it. Even though Trainer S seems super nice and sweet, I had visions of Cinder getting judged, or somehow flunking out. I was also trying to figure out what tack I should send her with. I didn't want to be "that" owner and bombard S with a ton of questions, or show up with a tack room's worth of shit, so I narrowed it down to brushes, Cinder's boots, and her bridle. And she's only 25mins away so if I need to bring something else over I will.

She wasn't too sure about the decorations till we gave her her grain then they became perfectly fine

Tuesday, the day before she left, A's mom, J, gave Cinder a going away party. She and A decorated Cinder's stall front, bough a goodie basket of treats, and then got pizza and a cake for us humans. J was almost more worried than I was about Cinder leaving. She's super attached to Cinder, since Cin is such an attention whore. I've already told J I'll take her over to visit.

Treats, a jolly ball, fly spray, lickit, and a salt block

I realized as I was hooking up the trailer that Cinder hasn't been hauled anywhere since she came to TCF last year. A was helping load and coming with me and thankfully it only took about a minute to get Cinder on the trailer. She did pitch a big fit during the first 10mins of the drive and arrived drenched in sweat. I guess I should haul her more than once a year.

I've only had a couple nightmares about her deciding to jump out of her stall

She settled in at VVF relatively quickly. Trainer S had just thrown everyone dinner so there was hay in her stall and after investigating Cinder quickly started eating.  Currently she's right next to the cross ties and tack room, so she'll get getting everyone's attention as they go past her, which she'll love. Trainer S and I talked a little bit more and I reluctantly said good bye and told Cinder to behave. I am going to check on her after work but S said she'll text me updates.