Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ponyless Adventures Part 1

Last week I had the fun 16 hour trip out to Wyoming, supervising movers for a day and then 16 hours back.  During that time SB was all "OMG ZOE ISN'T COMING UNTIL NEXT WEEK WHAT DO I DO WITH MYSELF????"  I suggested that she come down for the weekend and we could hang out and play with Stinker and Cowboy.

Who wouldn't want to meet these two? (PC: Aimee)

Friday, we were both driving and I was a little ahead of her and I was listening to the radio and heard that there was a fire really really really freaking close to where I live (as in where I had been trail riding).  I frantically started calling my mom but between crap cell service and her not actually being home left me to hyperventilate while I am driving.  Finally (in reality it was like five minutes but it felt forever) I got ahold of her.  They weren't home but she said they would be home in 10 minutes.

I was stressing out because the radio kept talking about evacuations and road closures and I was formulating a plan for my mom to get the horses and my dad out of there (a chore and half).  Finally, she got home and called me and said it wasn't that close (we have different definitions of that close) but I tried to calm down.  It turned out that the main way I take to get home was closed, but the fire wasn't where the radio previously stated.  And the evacuations that they were talking about were for another fire up north.

Sass in the house

I really didn't calm down until I got home, and then sent SB very specific directions on how to reroute around the closures.  SB was being a good citizen and didn't see the message until too late.  Then she tried to call but technology hates me and that didn't happen.  Finally, we got in touch and I got her directed correctly.

Finally, she arrived with Teeny in tow (insert squealing here because he is freaking adorable and fun).  We tossed her things down, walked Teeny, drooled over the pretties she brought (because #teamfundZoe), and went out to see the ponies.  Stinker was fine until I picked out his one foot and then he was OMG I'M DYING AND CAN'T PUT WEIGHT ON THAT FOOT.  I make fun of him for being a drama queen, but the reality is when he says ow something hurts it probably really really hurts.  I have seen him very banged up still trotting around because standing is for lame horses.

Teeny in the sunset

Needless to say that put a damper on my grand plans of taking them out on the trails.  But really SB and I were both exhausted and wanted a relaxing weekend with minimal responsibilities.  Plus hard cider because it is delicious.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Redheaded Step Child

Lest you think that Stinker has been forgotten, rest assured that I have not turned him into the redheaded stepchild since Cowboy's arrival.  Stinker has settled in nicely and was working well after a little time off because of the travel.  Nothing was ground breaking but it was very steady consistent work reflective of where he is at.

So pathetic (PC: SB)

Then I went back to Wyoming, and when I came back he was three legged lame.  Like totally pathetic limited mobility OMG my horse is broken lame.  His hind shoe is loose and it looked like maybe he had a nail that was poking him.  I contacted a farrier (who is coming this morning) and I am hoping that it is from the loose shoe/an abscess.  Either way he totally spoiled my grand weekend plans, but it was still a fun weekend despite his failure to cooperate.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cattle Sorting

This past weekend we were looking at hay to buy and the place mentioned that the next day they were having a cow sorting competition the next day.  It has been a struggle to find anything that my dad has enjoyed since the move.  He is upset that he had to leave Wyoming and doesn't understand that his options were a nursing home or moving here where we could get more help with his health.  So my mom decided to drag him to the cow sorting.

I steal

It turned out to be lots of fun.  Basically there are two riders that enter two pens separated by an opening about the width of a gate.  One one side there are 10 cows bunched and as soon as the riders cross through the gate a number is called out and they have to pick that cow out and sort it into the other pen.  You then continue in chronological order until time runs out or all the cows have been sorted.  If a cow comes back or the wrong number goes through you don't get a time.

So adorable

There was this one little chestnut horse that I absolutely adored.  She (I think) had some serious moves and even saved some rides when a cow was sneaking up behind and the rider didn't see.  It made me almost miss having a cow horse.  They are fun rides and you learn to keep your butt in the tack and feel your horse.  Hopefully we will get to go back, because I had a blast and the people were super friendly (despite me showing up in breeches).

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Exploring

I have been really impressed with Cowboy so far.  I have been using him to explore the trails and just get a feel for what is spooky to him and how he reacts to life situations before I turn my mom loose with him.  Since he has had so little riding we are sticking to about an hour of walking since that seems to get him a good workout without over tiring him.  Getting back into shape is hard yo (I need to do it too).

We found some real hills

So far Cowboy has only objected to humans and human related things.  Mostly he just plants his feet and snorts.  Sometimes there is a little side stepping, but nothing major.  There is a metal cutout of a wolf (my mom claims it is a coyote) in the front yard and he snorts at that.  He isn't a fan of bicycles or sprinkles (large irrigation ones).  Traffic makes him a little nervous.  When he sees people hiking he stares at them really hard and sometimes forgets to watch where he is putting his feet.  But overall I haven't found any true issue with him, which makes me very happy.  He is such a sweet guy.

He wiggled at the end but it turned out fairly well

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cowboy Up

Meet Cowboy

Last week I finally found a buddy for Stinker.  I wanted an older horse that my mom could ride, but not so old she would be bored to death.  A lot of the horses I was interested in were sold.  We went and tried one together and neither of us really liked him.  He sounded good on paper (dressage training and had done quite a bit), but it just wasn't a good fit.

Luckily I happened to see Cowboy on Facebook and I snapped him up despite a less than stellar test ride.  He never did anything naughty, but he was tossing his head a lot and very inconsistent in rating his gaits.  But he walked, trotted, and cantered and felt good.  I never got a feeling like he was about to explode, he just seemed unhappy with something that day.  My mom wasn't able to come see him, so he was a surprise when I brought him home.

There has been minimal squealing/mare face *Stinker*

Cowboy is a 16 year old OTTB.  He was used on a dude string at one point but was very underweight when he was sold off.  He bounced a little bit and had some light riding but for the last two years he hadn't been used.  When it was decided that he was going to be sold he had about 4-5 rides on him before I tried him.

The first day I rode him at home, I was wondering what I had bought.  But with some tack changes he happily went to work.  Right now I am riding him in a hackamore (I impulsed borrowed/bought/stole from Aimee) with my dressage saddle.  Hopefully, we will be able to get another saddle that will fit him better than any of the ones we have.


Ever since getting the tack correct he has been a blast to ride.  Right now I am mostly walking him on the trails to get him back into the swing of work and to learn more about him.  My mom might have trouble getting me to turn him over to her, because he is such a fun ride.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Final Lessons Parts 2 and 3

I was originally saving these because I didn't think I would have my horse for another couple of weeks, and was hoarding blog fodder.  Right before I left, my favorite dressage judge came for the weekend.  The weather was total crap, because it has been raining nonstop for quite awhile now.  But I had a good lesson on Friday, and then on Saturday I had S ride Stinker.

Blurry screenshot for the win

I wanted to give her some confidence since she is always worried that she will mess him up (total lies but I can understand the paranoia).  I thought a lesson would be a good way to give her a boost before I disappeared and and she was the only one dealing with him until he shipped.  They did really well together.  The arena had puddles everywhere and he tends to get short and choppy in sloppy footing.  I don't blame him, slipping around is no fun.

I am making all things purple (not pictured is the purple saddle rack)

On Sunday, I got another lesson.  I was so impressed with him.  He stayed rideable the entire weekend and we got to add in a couple new exercises.  My favorite one was turning down centerline, leg yielding into a turn on the forehand.  This was really helpful in getting him to step up and under with his hind.  I already am missing my lessons, but I am working on trying some new trainers.  I am sure that will be an adventure and a half.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Shipping

Last week I was ecstatic to find out that Stinker was going to be shipping out late Thursday night.  I wasn't expecting him to ship so quickly and I hadn't prepped the barn for him yet.  So I was left scrambling trying to get everything done.  I also wasn't sure how long it was going to take for him to get here, since I didn't speak to the shippers after the paperwork was all filled out.


Saturday morning I finally received an email telling me that they would be dropping him off and to please call.  When I called to confirm, they said he was traveling really well and was a great little guy.  I was very relieved to hear that, because when I first got him he would paw a lot and immediately start sweating regardless of the temperature.

Good to be free

Once the trucked rolled in and they started setting up the ramp I could see him.  He was very curious (shocking I know), but waited patiently and walked off the ramp like he had been doing it his whole life.  He was delighted with his stall/run/paddocks (I have everything open for him) and grabbed a couple bites of hay, rolled, and drank some water.

All by myself

The barn came with the automatic waterers and I wasn't sure if he had ever seen one.  He immediately started drinking out of it and as soon as it turned on he spooked.  He did the same thing the second time too.  Hopefully, he will figure it out because it is heated and that will be really nice for the winter.

Why yes I did sit in his stall and drink chai while he ate breakfast

The last piece of the getting Stinker settled is a buddy horse.  Hopefully in the next week or so I can find something that will work well for us and then I think he will be quite happy with life.  Overall, I was very happy with my decision to use Brook Ledge.  It was pricy, but he traveled really well and they were very prompt and professional.  Hopefully I won't need to use them again (really really really don't want to move again), but if I do have the need I would happily use them again.