Friday, May 29, 2015

Change is my only constant

We are not staying at the current barn after all. After seeing the damage in the back field, and pondering it all over I decided that I wanted to move. So we are moving today, to a Dressage only barn with what sems like excellent care. I am excited! I am about to get my life back!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


The stables where we have been since last fall has decided to close only part of its facility, so the initial announcement was false. They are keeping their exterior stalls open, as well as the fields and the two outdoor arenas. Starting in June, the facility will be self care only, which means that I will be mucking, and feeding on my own.
Another boarder and I have created a partnership, and will be sharing the load for our two horses. I love the facility, it is close to my house, and even without an indoor it is great. I hope very much that it work out, and I am willing to give it a good shot.

Fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Horses make....

Horses make love greater,
days shorter,
nights longer, 
funds smaller, 
clothes dirtier,
the past forgotten and the future worth living for.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mothering Day

I wish this day happy was for all the women who mother, not just the ones that are called "Mom." My own children have been lucky to be mothered by a bunch of great women at one time or another, you know who you are and I salute you and thank you for helping me raise two great people. I also want to give a shout out to all the "Bonus Moms," like my daughter, who give their love, energy, time and caring as a bonus parent. Its a tough spot to be in, and I salute you.

Also, thanks to all the horses that make us better moms. You, our therapists and stress relievers, are much appreciated.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Park that Horse!

When Pippi tore that Tendon a few years back (September 2012) I needed to keep her happy, but staying somewhat quiet. There were months of rehabbing, and since I had little knowledge of how to occupy a horse  that could not be ridden (not that I knew how to ride then) I treated her like I would a dog. (DUH!) And we played games.
One of the games we played was the "touch game". I would hold up an object, and when she touched it with her muzzle she would get a treat. I then placed it around the arena, and she would walk and find it and get a treat. We progressed to me throwing it, and she would follow. The hope is that she will one day bring the item back to me, but so far that is miss and miss. Another "game" was the "Park Game." In that game I make sure she is standing square, and then I ask her to park and not move no matter what. I tell her "Whoa" with my arms up, then I touch her on top of her head and say "Park" and walk away backwards. Every once in a while she may take a step initially and I have to do it again, but once she gets the message she stands still.(is this fail proof? NO, but most of the time she complies, she is a mare....nothing is 100%)  I can run around like a maniac, and she will stand. I can leave the arena and she will stay where I parked her. 

Ice pack losely strapped to hock. 
I can pack ice on a hock with polo wraps losely, and ask Pippi to park and she will not move a leg for 20 minutes!
On Saturday Pippi rolled too close to the fence, and in the process caught her hinds on the fence causing some gashes and some pain. Her left hock has had some heat in it, and so I have been forced to cold hose and ice it for the last few days. I am happy to say that I think the heat is caused by a golf ball sized bruise, but since her fur is bay there it is hard to tell. Either way the heat is slowly going away, and she has not been in any pain seemingly. That being said this is Pippi, so I don't trust her pain tolerance whatsoever as she is very stoic and wasn't even off with that tendon injury.


In the picture above Pippi has ice on her hock, wrapped with a polo wrap that is just tucked in. Even a small step would cause the whole thing to unravel, but she stood like that for 20 minutes until I unwrapped it and gave her the "release." She is not tied in the picture above, and doesn't even have a halter on. At one point she ran out of hay that she could reach, and gave me a look that clearly said "I' can't reach that so...." I kicked some over and she went back to eating. She took a good look at the contraption after I finished wrapping it on, lifted her leg but put it back after a reminder of "Park." 

I am so proud of my Pippi! The "park" command is really handy, and is a very good for a horses skillset. You never know when you might need to park your horse due to injury or treatment. Little did I know how great this skill would be, but I'm glad I didn't know what I was doing back then cause it turns out I really knew what I was doing. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Getting somewhere, one ride at a time.

After our last battle, I mean lesson, with Jennifer Roth, Pippi and I had our work cut out for us. We have got to get the tempo and bend necessary for Dressage. Pippi goes just fine until I ask her for a better bend and carriage, then she starts popping her head up and down like a pogo stick. It has been exhausting, and I was tired of constantly battling with her.

My nagging was just ticking her off, and I think in part that is due to my timing and aids not being clear. And that was made worse since her head bobbing was throwing me out of position a lot. So we battled, ticked each other off and got no where. I started toying with the idea of side reins, and asked a bunch of people (by that I mean ALL the bloggers at Horse Junkies United) and was given a lot of information. Most said "Try it!" and a few said "I dont like the use of gadgets." I had not been very clear in why I was asking, I just kind of said "side reins - yes or no?" So I pondered, and decided that I just didn't know. Then I received a message from one of our bloggers with a horse like mine. Stefanie and her awesome mare, Sandie, put my mind at ease. Stefanie told me why she chose to use the side reins to lunge in, and her reasons were the exact same ones I was dealing with. Sandie is a head strong little lady just like Pippi, and like Pippi she hates to be told what to do.

With mares like ours its a little like dealing with a man, they comply easier if they think it's their idea!

So I ordered a pair of side reins, and let them sit for a while before I pulled my Romfhs up and decided it was time. Keep in mind that Pippi has been ridden in martingales, the only one worried about this thing was me. I snapped them on, on the longest setting and asked Pippi to walk. Yeah, NO! she said. She was not going to go out on the lunge like that. So we walked side by side a bit, until she felt how they worked. Then she looked at me like "why did you make such a big deal about this?" and walked out on the circle on her own and basically started lunging herself. SHE WAS FINE!!!
Both sides of the donut reins are the same length. and they are on the longest setting. She is fine with it.

The picture was from when I first put them on, and she was convinced I had tied her up. Once she took a step she relaxed and was moving around fine. I felt bad, but Pippi didn't so I decided I was okay with this for now. I use them for 10-15 minutes at a time and Pippis muscles are strengthening without me on her back saying bend , bend, bend, bend, every few strides. So, you decide for yourself. Is a "gadget" not your style? Or do you think that the clear direction of a "gadget" may in some ways be kinder than constant nagging?

At this point our rides are easier, and more and more Pippi is saying "oh yeah I can do that" when asked to bend. I find myself sitting softer, and having softer legs, and staying out of her mouth more now that her mouth is not a constantly moving place. So for me it worked, for now......

Monday, May 4, 2015

To the max!

Just found out on May 1st that the barn plans to close May 31st! Yay - NOT! Such stress! I truly have no idea where I am moving Pippi, or how I am even doing it. Just want to scream!!!