Friday, January 27, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

on her very best behavior

Look at that innocent face.  Would this horse ever act like a banshee?  *sigh*

I finally got Nina out to run in the turnout today.  I haven't been able to, by the time I have been getting to the barn there is no place to turn her out.  Today the big turnout was empty.  It is fairly dry on both ends with standing water and mud in a stripe across the middle.  This is from the melting piles of snow against the fence between the riding arena and the turnout.

Today right after I got to the barn the wind picked up and was howling for a while.  I put her halter on and set out for the turnout wondering how high she was feeling.  She plodded along next to me like a tired donkey, stood quietly while I fastened the gate.  Then we had to walk to the other end to close that gate which meant wading through the mud and water, no problem.  After I fastened that gate I reached to take the lead rope off and she started to bolt.  'Here we go' did cross my mind, but she immediately took a step back to me and stood quietly while I unfastened the lead and told her OK.

I was assuming that this was not a big deal, but when she heard OK she exploded into action.  Running and bucking, rolling, trying to start trouble with horses walking by, inviting the foal in a pen to come and play with her, then running some more.
She definitely needed to burn off some energy so she was on her very very best behavior before being turned loose.

And as a last note - if I ever complain about having problems with her and water this summer, someone please remind me that she was galloping through icy water with NO hesitation today.

Friday, January 20, 2012

wind wind wind

The wind seems to be finally drying things out.  We have had high winds here quite a bit lately.  A few days where highways were closed due to wind, more often high winds overnight dropping to more reasonable levels during the day.  Last night Boulder had winds of 96 mph, we have had 80 mph winds at the barn a lot.  The wind feels cold as it is roaring down off the mountains but the temps have been mild and I am glad to see things starting to dry out.  I have lived in Colorado twice for a long time and I am surprised and unhappy that we are dealing with the same snow that fell in November.  Unbelievable for this altitude!  At least the roads clear off. 

Browsing through lots of horse blogs yesterday and today I have been surprised at how many photos of semi flooded pastures and turn outs are being posted.  It looks miserable.... I will try to stop whining about the wind.

I played a little with Nina yesterday and I am convinced that she has teeth problems.  I may have just forced her to act like a total spaz if I hurt her mouth while we were waltzing around. 
She comes up to me to be petted and then flinches and ducks away.  She finally stood still to get her face scratched yesterday but there was no way she wanted me to touch her mouth.  So I need to get the vet out for that before we go back to work.  Unfortunately, I am now over a month without any income.  I have lessons today and public service is giving me some time, but there is no cash for a vet, so that will just have to wait a little while.   If she has teeth problems I will just write off the day of insanity.  In the meantime she gets some time off.

So what is going on in your area?  Cold, wet, dry, warm, normal or odd weather?

Monday, January 16, 2012

new saddle pads

Over at The Adventures of Lucy, Kate posted some of her latest saddle pads. 
I love her work and really would like to buy a couple. *sigh*  Maybe later.  This is my favorite out of this group.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

a new path, a confidence builder.......

Before my client bought the little orange TB we talked a little about leasing this horse.  She did not think she would be interested in buying and waffled about leasing.  This is a big boy, over 17h and a very honest, confirmed 3ft hunter.  He has done a great season at 3'6" but he prefers 3ft.

I have known this horse for over 10 years.  His owner and I boarded at the same barn for several years.
He is available as a lease or purchase to the right person, right now he is out on pasture for the winter. 
I recommended him to a trainer I know and his owner asked me to call her.
She is a little undecided; sell, lease, retire.  We chatted a bit and I told her that I was thinking about him while I was in the hospital.

I have had so many bad experiences this last year that the thought of having a nice, uncomplicated, honest horse to ride, start jumping again, rebuild my own confidence on a horse that needs to be well ridden but is not difficult.  A horse that is fun.  She told me that she would love it if I would lease him, free lease, at my barn.  She trusts me, she knows I would enjoy him.

I have forgotten what it is like to canter down to a fence on a horse that is calm and relaxed and confident. 

A free lease would be board, shoes and small vet bills.  Right now I am struggling to find a way to just feed Nina, the dogs and me.
I think I need to recharge my batteries, spend a month getting back in good shape and find a way that the expenses of one more horse would not be impossible.   I think this sounds like a good idea, a fun idea, a way to get back into competition.  It would give Nina a breather, see how things go if we just mince along - meanwhile have a trained forward horse to ride.

This sounds almost impossible - but it cannot be.  I have already started letting the wheels grind away and see what I could come up with.
In his favor - I could school this horse cross country, which would be new for him AND I could use him as a lesson horse, with some careful sorting of clients.
I have to find a way to make this work.
Here he is, I think a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

enough sniveling....

I was looking for a photo today to post on a German Shepherd Dog page on Facebook.  They are always looking for pics that are not the usual stacked photo out of the show ring.  This photo jumped out of hiding and mugged me.  This is from the 70s, a puppy named Robin at what was probably her first ever puppy match.  She finished her championship a few years later and I have some spectacular pics of her..... but nothing can beat this. lol

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This is it ???

The new year ???
OK.  This new year is NOT off to a good start and since there seems to be a simple choice between hiding in the closet for the rest of the year.......... or ........... adopting the attitude that all bad things for the year are over in the first week.  I will accept the second choice.

On the 2nd I taught a lesson at the barn, fed Nina and almost (SHOULD HAVE) left to run a million errands.  I was still feeling very crappy and very slow from my wonderful dance with shingles.  But for some STUPID reason I decided to work with Nina about her blanket.  She had been spooky, stupid and potentially dangerous over being blanketed, for no reason that I know.  BUT I was feeling stupid and slow.

After a few rounds with spooking 16h horse she suddenly sucked herself into about 20h and charged right over top of me.  I lost my footing before she hit me and so had NO chance of getting out of her way.  Then I smashed my head on a rock on the ground and fractured my skull.
I thought I had been kicked but the doctor in the ER said he just didn't think so, he thought it look more like a rock bruise/cut.  He did agree that the foot long bruise on my forearm was definitely horse inflicted and the mud probably saved me from a fracture.

So I spent a week in the hospital.  I am home now and dealing with screaming muscle spasms in my back and legs, I think from just laying still for so long.  Way too many people have told me to sell or shoot Nina.  I think making decisions while in pain is probably not a good idea so I am doing NOTHING for a while.

The only possible redemption for her is that she is extreme pain somewhere, which has crossed my mind before.  I don't have the money to explore this right now - especially after missing weeks of income - but I can't ride for a while anyway and I think I will come up with some money and explore this before I do anything else.

Happy New Year!  Yuck!  Is the new part over yet?  Can we start doing something constructive yet?  I sincerely hope everyone else is having a better January.  I'll read some blogs today and try to find something to cheer me up.  If you are writing happy/hopeful horsey stuff - tell me where to find it!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

I'm still around.  I haven't posted all week because I have been sick.  I only made it out to the barn one day and Nina is a little cranky.  She is not getting enough exercise on the ice and mud AND her next door neighbor moved away.  She loves this horse and has been crying for her.  It's a hard week. 
And 2011 was a hard year for us.  Illness, injuries and financially hard.  It turned into survival mode. 

Here is looking forward to 2012 and a better year. 
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