Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Sibling Not So Similarities

 I've posted before about how Cinder is pretty much a copy of her mom and older half sister Izy (out of the same mare, by an Oldenburg stud). But now that Cin is at WCS and is stalled next to her younger half sister Kiwi (same dad, out of a Welsh Cob section D mare) we can compare and contrast them!


 Obviously the height difference is pretty evident. Cinder's going to be 17hh, if not bigger, while Kiwi is probably going to finish around 15.1hh. But that's to be expected. Abby, Cin's mom was 16.3ish while Peaches, Kiwi's mom is 15ish. Apparently Rogue (dad) added a little height to the mares. 

Not the same place in their stride, but close enough for me. To my (not so educated) eye, Kiwi looks more dressagey while Cin looks more huntery. But that could just be me wanting Cinder to be a hunter.  Kiwi does have some serious moves and UL dressage potential. Again, Cinder is obviously bigger and longer while Kiwi is much  more Cob-like in her build.

from Ellen Chappell Photography


It could be the blaze, but Kiwi seems to have a longer head and bigger muzzle. Cinder's muzzle has always seemed a bit small to me and when Kiwi's just seems more normal. But it could be small, just fit's her smaller size. I love Kiwi's tiny ears, compared to Cinder's giant ones. Seriously, Cider's ears fill out a bonnet that's too big for Peebs. But as they say, big ears help you fly.

After talking with KP and the barn manager, we've all agreed that poor Rogue really didn't contribute much to his only kids. Both seem to be slightly bigger versions of their moms. Also, Kiwi is for sale if anyone is interested!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

2020 Summary Blog Hop

 I really wasn't looking forward, or even planning to do a summary of 2020 for reasons. But then I saw Albera Equest's blog hop. I really liked hers, so here we go. 

What's the best thing that happened to you in 2020?

 Personal:  My parents moving 20mins away from me. I've spent the last 16yrs being 1,000 miles away, and for the last 5yrs they've lived in a different country. Having them so close, especially during 2020 has been amazing. I've been going over once a week for dinner, and having my mom's shoulder to cry on in person, as opposed to over the phone, in my despair over Cinder/Trainer S was incredibly comforting. 

Horsey: Finally getting Cinder going under saddle. I brought her home three years ago and it seemed like such a long time to wait. I'm so glad I have her at WCS and with Trainer A now. 

What's the worst thing that happened to you in 2020?

 Personal: Honestly, these past few months have felt like stab-Molly-in-the back-months. Between Trainer S and a coworker, my anxiety has been off the charts. And that's on top of covid induced anxiety, election anxiety, seasonal affective disorder, my cat getting sick and needing to be put down, and general life stress. I did have a small depressive episode a couple of weeks ago, but I've been in therapy and will continue to be. I feel better now, but am still having small anxiety attacks.

Horsey: Vet shit. Between Peebs putting his leg through the fence, colicking, and being NQR this fall, plus about $2k in bills for my dead cat, I would really like a break from vet calls and vet bills.

How Peebs feels about vet visits

What was your biggest purchase in 2020?

 Personal: Besides the vet bill for Eddie, my mattress would probably be my biggest purchase. I love it, and it was totally worth it. 

Horsey: Cinder's training bills followed by vet bills. As far as tangible things go, my biggest purchase was probably my new OneK MIPS helmet. 

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2020?

Personal: Surviving

Horsey:  Even though it took him colicking twice, I think this would be getting a better handle on Peebs' digestive needs. On my vet's recommendation he's on a really good gastric supplement, we have a better idea of what type of hay he does best on, and I've been able to bump up his hay intake and reduce how much hay pellets he gets. 


What do you feel COVID robbed you of in 2020? 

Personal: Vacations, and seeing family and friends. My uncle died in September, as well as a close family friend. Not being able to go to their funerals, or even offer more than a text or call of support sucks.

Horsey: Shows. Obviously we wouldn't have shown most of the summer anyways due to Peebs' leg injury, but even the opportunity to show, or go watch a show, would have been nice. 

Were you subject to any COVID Impulse Buys in 2020?

Personal: I did sign up for Hulu, but I think that's about it. 

Horsey: I did kinda impulse buy a new helmet, but since Cinder dumped me and I got rid of my Trauma Void after, it was a good decision. And the flower boxes I bought from a barn closing was impulsive, but needed.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

First Real Ride

 Trainer A started working with Cinder on Monday, and on Tuesday I got a message from her with pics and video. She had done ground work and lunging on Monday, and decided to hop on Cin on Tuesday.

Look at her!!!

A said they did w/t/c, and that once she settled in was very good. Apparently she was a little cold backed to start, which would explain her bucking me off 5 steps into my ride on her. A said she was very comfortable for a green bean and that she was fun. Steering is a little drunken but that's to be expected. 


 I knew that TrA is good friends with the breeder of Cinder's older half sister (same mom, different dad) Izy but I didn't realize that A had worked with Izy when she was young. A said that Cinder is very similar to Izy. Combine that with riding Rogue (Cin's dad) this summer, and A should have a pretty good understanding of what's going on in Cinder's head. I'm kicking myself for not sending Cinder to her in the first place. 

Low quality pic of two high quality horses. Cinder on left with her younger half sis Kiwi on right

And speaking of family relations, the barn manager at WCS knew both Cin's parents, Cin before I brought her home, and Cin's 2yr old half sis (same dad, out of Welsh Cob mare) Kiwi (she's for sale!) is on the property and is Cin's neighbor. I feel very, very comfortable having Cinder in the hands of people that know her and her family. And it's really cool to see how she compares to her family members. So far we've determined that both Cinder and Kiwi have almost nothing of their dad in them, both are clones of their mothers. 

I'll leave you with this glorious video of Cinder's first real ride. Sound on for some great commentary.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Peebs Progress Report

 First off, thank you for all your comments on my last post. I'm mostly over my anger and disappointment at being taken by S and am really, really happy with Trainer A so far. I do want to add that if S had come to me at any point in the 4.5 months she had Cinder and said she didn't think Cin was ready to be ridden, or needed more or something different in terms of turnout or whatever, or even if she said that there was a personality conflict between her and Cin I would have been accepted that and worked to rectify the problem. And I would have respected her. Since she never communicated any of that, I've lost all that respect. 

 But this a Peebs post, so onto our main man. When we last left off with him, he had been NQR, mainly on his left hind, his bad leg. I had had an appointment with my vet scheduled before Thanksgiving but he had to cancel because the underwater treadmill was being delivered and installed at his new clinic. Since I would someday like to use the treadmill for my ponies, I said I was ok moving the appointment to a week later. 

Tis the season for candy canes

I hadn't been doing much with him, mainly some easy w/t/c rides not asking for much. We did have some nice rides where I was able to ask for him to work in a frame and bend, but it was hit and miss. At his appointment, we did flexions and he flexed at a 1.5 on his left stifle, which I was expecting, and at about a .5 on his right stifle. Vet also mentioned he has a slight wobble on his hind end, partially due to him not being out of shape, and partially that's just him. Vet felt like the NQRness I had been feeling wasn't necessarily just the stifles, and since it kinda came and went, that it was more of whole body stiffness. It had been off and on very cold so Peebs is probably just feeling the affects of winter on an aging body.

Because of the colics, and that it's only been 10 months since we lasted injected the stifles, vet was a little wary of injecting a bunch of steroids into Peebs. So we put him on a low daily dose of Previcox. If it seemed to upset his GI tract in anyway, we'd stop it. Once you pump them full of steroids via injections, and bad shit happens, there's obviously no way to get it out of them. We're also going to put hind shoes on him at his next farrier visit.  

Happy Hanukkah from my ponies to yours

He's been on the Previcox for two weeks now, and homeboy feels GOOD. Like too good. Like, get off and lunge because he bolted in the canter good. Right now we're just focusing on building up his fitness and slowly asking for more connection and bend, and reminding him what a half halt means. We've started doing some ground poles and he was so excited he nearly face planted trying to jump a set of trot poles. I'm so glad he's feeling better, but I wish he wasn't quite so exuberant about it.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Suspicion Confirmed

 When you get a message from someone that starts “Ok, so well...” you know bad shits going to follow. That’s how Trainer S started her reply to my message asking about what she’s worked on with Cinder under saddle. Turns out she only got on Cin a handful of times in August and has been lunging her since then. 

I had had my suspicions about how much S was actually doing with Cinder and that message confirmed it. I had basically paid $2.5k for my horse to learn how to lunge. Awesome. When pressed for more details, S  made noise about how hot Cinder was and that she felt terrible sending her home like that. Which I interpreted it as Cinder wasn’t getting enough turn out, probably intimidated S, and S felt bad about not telling me but still taking my money. 

Bruise on my left thigh from my fall

I’m taking full responsibility as owner for not checking in on S more, and not being persistent enough in trying to set lesson times with S. I totally understand why she didn’t want to, because all she had to show me was how well Cinder lunges and that she started wearing side reins. I feel like the world’s worst owner in letting this happen, and completely betrayed by S. 

I told S to not bother coming out to show me what she’s worked on with Cinder, because I can lunge my own horse. I did flat out ask her if there is anything else I, or another trainer, needs to know before I send Cinder to someone else. She said no, but I’m positive she’s still not telling me everything. 

And as far as sending Cin to someone else, as luck would have it, her breeder has an open stall at her barn and the eventing trainer there has an open training spot. So Cinder moves on Friday. My intention was to basically give her the winter off and work her lightly, but since she really hasn’t done anything since August I feel ok sending her back out for training. I’m going to make sure I get to watch Trainer A work her, but I feel like breeder KP will let me know if things are going wrong. Trainer A rode Cin’s dad so it’ll be interesting to see how they compare. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

It Happened!

 I had my first ride on Cinder yesterday. And my first fall on Cinder. Also, my first fall in 6yrs. All within the space of about 10 seconds. 

So, I have been under the probably wrong assumption that Trainer S was riding Cinder. After a week of ground work and lunging at home I scheduled a lesson with my Trainer, J. We showed off our lunging skills to J, and then proceeded to the mounting block. J held her while I put weight in the stirrup and laid across her back. No reaction from Cinder. 

With my heart beating out of my chest, I got on. My saddle shifted a little, but other than putting her head up Cinder seemed fine. We took a few steps away from the mounting block, J leading us, when I felt Cinder's back come up and then was flying through the air. J let go because I was coming down on top of her, and we both landed in the dirt. 

I sat in the wet arena sand for a minute, not really hurt just so mad and upset. I already had the feeling that things weren't going well at boarding school and this seemed to confirm it. Cinder should have been fine with being ridden, or if she wasn't S should have told me. Both J and I think Cinder acted out of not being ready for me on her back, not maliciously trying to dump me. Its possible she wanted to see what she could get away with, but if she pulled these moves with S, I really need to know about it. 

I messaged with S a little bit last night, but she hasn't answered my questions about Cinder under saddle. We tentatively have a plan for her to come out to TCF on Saturday and work with Cinder, and I really, really want to see her be ridden and get some answers.