Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I have been reading Andrea and Gogo's blog for quite a while.  Gogo has had a recurring tendon injury that is suddenly falling apart.  This is so sad, what a cool horse.  You can read the bad news for yourself here at Eventing-A-Gogo!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

At this rate...

... I am actually going to look forward to winter. 
We went from winter to HOT and haven't had a break since.  I went to the barn this morning, rode Ned before noon and then Nina got her Masterson therapy.  I left the barn around 2ish and ran errands for a while, watching the temps creep up through the afternoon.  96, 98, 100, 102.... *sigh*
One nice thing though - the kids are back in school and the barn was so quiet!

Monday, August 22, 2011

apropos of nothing

I drove through my first lights-flashing-20 mph-school-zones today.  (While being threatened by tailgaters who slow for NOTHING.)
I believe that this means that someone, somewhere has scheduled the end of summer. 
I wonder if we will go from 90 to snow.  We did go from snow to 90 in the fake spring this year.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I don't have much else today. 
I went to the barn armed for bear; Tuff Stuff, iodine, assorted hoof picks and brushes and a bucket of hot soapy water. 
I scrubbed Nina's foot until I could see exactly what is going on.  The 'hole' is really just a shallow groove, about the size of the last digit of a finger.  It is not terribly deep, but it is deeper than the sole is thick.  With everything shiny clean you can see the edges of the sole around the edge of the hole.  The top and bottom edge of the sole.  So the bottom of the hole is actually the interior of her foot and not a section of sole (missing some, of course).  My first thought was that it was never going to grow out - she would have this hole forever because it is not filling in with scar tissue.  My next, more rational thought, is that it has grown out almost completely and at some point the sole will cover it again.

So I waged war on it as far as sensitivity - cleaning it this well took a protracted tug of war, some stomping and swearing on both sides, it is sensitive. .

I painted just the sole with Tuff Stuff - which you are not supposed to use on soles because it makes them hard *sigh*.  Before I did that I painted it with iodine.  I will continue the iodine, I think one shot of Tuff Stuff is more than enough. 
I would like for it to toughen up before it grows out and give me a chance to ride before - oh - Christmas?  We will see.

So instead of a post about training and fun stuff.... here are some photos that I took today out of utter boredom.
first up  - Nina
Her best pics are always going away - hmmmmm
See, butt shot of a trot....

I think that for a lopey, on the forehand kind of canter - this is a pretty level back, I like this:

And here I asked her to trot around again to try for a better picture.  I did not have a whip, I was not chasing or driving her, I just calmly asked her to trot - even explained that I needed a better picture....the ears say it all....

And this is Pixie
I have been trying to work a little fat weight off of her for the past month.

and this is Porter...
Porter is a mustang out of the last Mustang Makeover here in Colorado.  He was lucky enough at the auction to pick a very nice owner who wants to do dressage with him.  They are taking lessons with me and right now we are just continuing the 'get em broke' part of basic training.  He is a very cool horse, you will hear more about him in the future.

LOOK at that mane!

You can see his freeze brand in this one...

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Nina is still off.  The hole in her foot (which is VERY shallow) is still tender to pressure. 
I am out of work and really cannot afford a $100 vet bill to have my vet say,
'yep, got a sore foot, sole most likely, probably grow out fine'
But I am getting frustrated and would LOVE a magic pill. 

OTOH, trying to see some good in this... we are doing lots of walking under saddle.  Ok, not lots because between the heat and the flies we really need to stir up our own breeze to do a lot of anything.  But we did a little lateral work today and plodded around like dedicated nuts in a herd of flies. 
AND, she is gaining some weight.  She had stomped off a lot of weight, I increased her feed and she is hardly working it off so she looks pretty good.... except for that lack of muscle along the topline... but still, a little weight never hurts a TB. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

tiny bit of trotting

Again looking 99% sound I got on Nina for a bit.  We walked a while on a loose rein and then did one trot length of the arena, about 200ft, without that familiar flat tire feeling.  Honestly, if she wasn't such a nice floaty mover it wouldn't be so obvious when she is just a tiny bit off. 

I did have a good day on her.  We worked a little on inside leg to outside rein.  Doing some circles and spirals and serpentines just at the walk but off of the outside rein instead of leading her around like a camel. 
She was quite good, I have to remember not to repeat things more than twice since she switches on the auto pilot and then is pissy over having to change. 

Since her normal reaction is that touching her with a leg is BARELY tolerable (down a notch from unthinkable) and touching her mouth is almost torture (to be addressed by ducking her head between her knees), to have her bending and turning and relaxed was great. 

We quit before we pissed each other off.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I don't usually pass these around - they are everywhere.  But this one I needed to save for myself.... so enjoy...

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Ride Badminton

Paul Tapner narrates his 2011 ride around Badminton Horse Trials, the most prestigious and probably the toughest 3-Day Event in the world. It is the one eventers dream about. Helmet cam and TV footage makes this a fun one to watch.


97 degrees

Saturday, August 13, 2011

another quick update

I rode Nina, briefly, today.  While trotting around in the turnout she looked very slightly off, sort of, part of the time.  So I got on her and she was fine at the walk, fine for a little while at the trot and then slightly off again, getting worse as we went on.  I only rode for a few minutes, I think that foot is just still tender but getting better everyday. 

We also walked over the tarp again.  She was a little balky, let me know that this was stupid AND did I notice that there was no grain scattered on it?  (That is what I used yesterday to get her to touch it.) But she gave in after a few minutes and walked around on it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nina, a tarp and me

I got Nina out this morning and trotted her around a little.  She is still just a touch off so I decided to pass on a ride.  A few people were playing with tarps out in the arena and I thought we might as well do something constructive.  One tarp was a dark, shiny green one, layed out flat on the ground with poles holding it down.  As we walked into the arena Nina's focus went to that tarp and her eyes never left it.  We walked up to it, I stepped on it, then stepped across it.  Nina took a very hard look, hesitated for a few minutes at the edge and then proceeded to follow me onto the tarp.
When her first foot hit it she flinched at the noise (tarp on sand), when her second foot hit it that was enough and she jumped over it, about 8ft.  She tried to avoid me, standing in front of her like a dork and just brushed me with her shoulder, knocking me down and trotted off.  She barely touched me, it was really more like losing my footing and sitting down than being knocked down.

Note to self: they are big, fast and have the reflexes of a bird in flight.  You would think after all these years that they wouldn't be fast enough to be a surprise, but no........

She went a little way around the rail and then stopped and turned back.   She got hemmed in by a horse and rider at that point and stopped.
I walked her back to the tarp and she wanted nothing to do with it.
So now I am kicking myself.  She trusted me enough to follow me onto the tarp and I did not do everything possible to make sure it went well.    I should have considered that jumping it would be a very TB thing to do.  That trying to jump into my pocket is a very TB thing to do.  I should have had a long line, stayed out of her way, let her jump and not fallen down and turned her loose - all of which surprised her.

On the other hand she went FORWARD to get out of the situation, she did not run backwards.  And I really have no problem with jumping a scarey obstacle.  Go event horse!
So we watched the others play around on the tarp, we played with another one that was wadded up on the ground.  She would walk up to the edge of anything and then turn her head away and practically close her eyes.  Maybe this will all go away.   She would also lash out with that lightning fast kick with a hind leg while glaring at the tarp.  That kick is a sign of utter frustration for her.
We did find that 4 geldings just walked right over the tarp and 2 mares thought it was the horse eating pit from hell.  The mares obviously had NO trust in the geldings blase attitude.

Stupid geldings, why would anyone follow a gelding?  (Chorus from 2 mares)

Eventually everybody but Nina walked over the tarp.  I put the poles away and left the tarp on the ground.  We walked around and around it and Nina accidentally stepped on it and froze.  Then she picked up her foot  s l o w l y  and inspected her foot from all angles and then the tarp where she had touched it.  She put her foot down, carefully not touching the tarp.  Then she looked at it again for a while, gave a big sigh and walked across it.  We walked all over it, stopped and stood in the middle.  It was a little scary from the direction that she had jumped, her head came up and the steps were quick the first time.  The next time was fine.
So she does trust me, she still trusted me even after we were nearly killed by the dangerous tarp

I nearly was eaten, I escaped by leaping, when I looked back it had Barbara by the ankle and was dragging her in, she somehow escaped and came and got me.

It took a while but it was a good morning.  All mistakes forgiven, treats for the big brave mare.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quick update

I didn't get to ride Nina today but I turned her out to run around for a while.  She was still very slightly off but MUCH happier and moving easier.  I am tempted to put something on that hole to toughen it up but my farrier asked me not to because he doesn't know what it is or what caused it.  He thinks it would be best to leave it alone and see if it gets better or worse.  I think that is a good idea and I tend to go along that path anyway.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Foot Fixed

We hope.  The farrier came out today and at first glance he thought the same thing I did, that the hole was somehow connected to the previous abscess.  Doing a little trimming to see where it went he uncovered a shallow trench (for want of a better word) that ended up against the bar, did not get deeper and is about an inch from the old abscess.  The scar tissue from the abscess is up against the hoof wall and totally filled in.  He said it was possible that there was a tiny channel somewhere between the two, but he couldn't see any sign of one.  His theory is either old stone bruise or perhaps the shoe was pushing against the bar.  In either case a gap was left between the bar and the foot. 
We don't really know.
But at least now it is not picking up dirt and catching rocks so it should toughen up and be fine. 
He wants me to let him know in a couple of days if she is moving sound on it. 
fingers crossed

Friday, August 5, 2011

This is better

I am happier than I have been about Nina's RF leg.  I think that the healing ligament has nothing to do with her current lameness.  I was concerned that the ligament could flare up like this with just slow work, it made me concerned about ever trusting it enough to jump or gallop.

Yesterday when I was cleaning her feet a big chunk of sole sloughed off and guess what was under it?
Ok, I'll tell you...
The source of the abscess that she had last year.  It has finally grown down far enough that the blow out hole that was in the coronet band is only about an inch above the ground and the tiny hole on her sole where it blew out finally led to the original site - a hole that I can easily fit my thumb into.  It was covered by just a thin layer of sole that finally came off.  AND, there were bits of gravel packed in there, heaven knows how they got there, but that has got to feel like walking around with gravel in your sneakers.  I got it cleaned out and it looks pretty clean, but it is sensitive to touch.  That bad step I felt her take last week - I would bet she stepped on a rock and there wasn't enough sole for protection and it has been ouchy ever since.

It is still going to need to grow out a bit more before the hole is gone.  The farrier is coming next week and I guess we can look at options.  Pads is the first thing that comes to mind, I wonder if it would grow out faster and toughen up faster if she was barefoot for a little while.  We will see.

I am MUCH happier to deal with an old abscess that just needs to finish growing out vs an iffy ligament.

And now for the pictures.  Before anybody has a cow about how long her feet are.... due to life chaos I missed a farrier appointment.  She is two weeks overdue and will get done on Tuesday.

Here is the hole that broke through at the coronet band, nearly grown all the way out.

Here is the hole created by the abscess which has also worked it's way down to the sole.  The hoofpick is stuck inside the hole. 

And here is the hoofpick just laying on top of the hole to give you an idea of how large it is. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

good news!

Eventing Nation posted some good news about Denny's recovery after his fall over the weekend.
Read it here. 


And more good news, the FEI finally says that yes, those reiners were being abusive. 
here is the link 


a balancing act

I finally rode today, just at a walk but for once Nina was patient and just walked along for a while.
She is still off on the right front. She is very sound at the walk and seems happy and looks sound on the left lead canter, but she is gimpy at a trot.
Normally, I would just give any horse that is sore some time off. I know that she was only partially healed when I started riding and a bad step means she is off again - it sounds silly to keep riding.

But I know that if I give her enough time off we will be back to square one with her refusing to be ridden and coming up with some resistance every step.
The riding part (forget the sudden regression of ground manners) clicked for her a few weeks ago. She is soft and forward and actually WANTS to do what I want. I ask for a trot with just a touch of my leg and she surges into a forward trot. We even cantered a tiny bit last week and went forward instead of sideways. The teeth gnashing, ear pinning, head tossing (look at me - I am a big hairy black boa constrictor waiting to KILL you) foot stomping, sucked back DRAMA has disappeared.

I know that with too much time off it will re-emerge. She needs to be ridden, just ridden, not even worked. She is sound and happy walking so I am doing that.
The problem with walking is that usually within about a minute she is tossing her head and shouting that she is B O R E D! would SOMEBODY please do something about this. Jumping up and down and pawing to back up her claim of BORED is not good for her leg either.

Fortunately, today she was quite willing to just walk around for a while. I can't even do circles or lateral work or anything to aggravate her sore leg so we just plodded around on the rail, but for once she was content. I think she MIGHT (sshhhhh, don't say it outloud) be starting to prefer working to standing around.
I worked on me; quiet leg, relaxed, sitting up straight (hand behind my back) eyes up (stop looking at the horse's ears) all good stuff to correct my hunched over defensive posture. Should help.

My goals are jumping forward to next year, maybe for once in my life I might be ready for the early shows and horse trials instead of just starting to work in early spring.

(snake found here randomgames.net)
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