Winter Riding

Do you want to go riding, Joy??

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Haha

It’s all ice on top of the snow. I don’t even fall through when I jump on it.

I really wanted to ride today, but I don’t think it’s safe (footing wise).

*sad face*

Yeah, I cut Joy’s forelock. Yeah it looks silly. 

She’s got half her forelock growing out, so I trimmed it to be all one length. It’ll look better by spring.

The great debate: do I pull Joy’s mane so she looks like a dressage pony, or let it grow long? I’m leaning toward short. However, running braids are the easiest and fastest braid ever. I could throw a really nice one in within 3 minutes. Button braids… I haven’t don’t those in 20 years.  And what I remember is a lot of swearing, numb arms, and sore fingers.

Liberty Training

I always see those posts or videos of these amazing people doing liberty training with their horse.

It’s beautiful.

It’s harmonious.

It’s what I think the epitome of horse relationships should be.

 

 

 

 

 

My liberty training more closely resembles an angry bar fight between two drunks.

 

 

Don’t yank the reins

Joy has developed a cute (sarcasm) habit of rooting the reins out. To top it off, I really hurt my index finger a month ago (it’s still twice the size of the other finger). Joy pulls the reins and it jerks that finger. Which really hurts!

We had an argument about it a couple weeks ago. She’d root, and I’d boot her. Root, boot, root, boot.

I think we’ve come to a semi-respectable agreement where she can ask for the reins, but no jerking.

I’m getting a bit worried though… Joy seems to prefer trotting around with her nose on the ground. Back issues? Pain? Avoidance? Or is this the result of learning that she has the freedom to put her head down?

I’m still having issues with her popping the left shoulder when going to the right. I think this is going to be an on-going issue due to the club foot. I’ve been keeping her counter flexed while I focus on riding the shoulder. I started doing the box at the trot to the right. It seems to help quite a lot. I can’t actually ask for any right flexion without her popping the shoulder, diving onto her right foreleg, and racing off like a freight train. However, using the box exercise at the trot allows me to keep her nose directly in front of her chest. So, a step in the right direction.

I would like to state that the forward off a light aid is massively improved since April. I used to have to boot her with both heels (sometimes multiple times in a row) to get a trot. Now it’s a light touch of calf and she’ll usually jump into a nice trot. Usually being the key word there. Occasionally she’ll decide we’re going backwards. Which never fails to take me by surprise.

I’m like “What are you doing?! I asked for forward!”
And Joy’s like, “Nope. I’m out!”

Anyway, it’s 37 degree’s today, and supposed to rain this afternoon, so I better get out and ride while I can. I can just barely tolerate the cold and wind, but I’m too big of a wimp to do cold, windy, and wet.

I hope all of you have great rides today!

The Game

Ava must be feeling better.

As I walked out to fetch her from the field, Ava systematically led me to the furthest end of the pasture. Once there, Ava cantered and bucked her way back to the front of the pasture.

Me… halter in hand, making the long walk back to the front.

Once I got back to the front, Joy came over to sniff me. Then Ava walked over.

I walked Ava out of the pasture, and down the long lane bordering our property. At the back, it opens up to a field. Ava jerked her head up and froze. I could hear Joy bellowing back at the barn. Long, angry calls interspersed with the sound of galloping feet.

I led Ava around the ditch and down the path along the back edge of the property until we reached the trail through the pine tree’s. Ava whipped her head up and around, seeming to express either annoyance or excitment. I wasn’t sure which.

I tensed my grip on the lead. I never know if the head fling will be followed by a rear, or end there.

No rear. We followed the path through the pine tree’s as Joy galloped back and forth beside us in the pasture.

Back at the barn I brushed Ava down and cleaned her feet. She easily picked each up, but leaned back and forced the foot down when I held the left fore up too long. Still better than before. The concrete still makes her mince her steps.

I tried to weight tape her again. I’m over the weight tape. The arbitrary nature of it confuses me. Three measurements with three vastly different values this time. For some reason I was able to successfully tape her for three weeks. Now suddenly I’m stumped and unable to determine the exact spot to measure at. There’s got to be a better way to do this.

I put Ava back in her stall, and scratched her neck. She head bumped me softly in the chest and then went to work on the hay I’d left in there.

….

Today I saw two gray horses streak across the back field with their riders bent low over their necks. Three dogs trailed quietly behind them. I wanted to go with them. I was contemplating tacking up Joy and madly galloping out in hopes of catching up with them.

They were gone before I could even finish the thought.

Which was good, because I’m not ready to “madly gallop” Joy anywhere, let alone to catch two riders who are heading who knows where.

One skip and a jump

I get an all expenses paid trip to Texas in a couple of weeks!

It’s for work. I’ve never been flown anywhere for a job before. I hope my employer doesn’t expect this often. I have horses to ride, and clinics to attend, and shows to go to!! ¬†ūüėČ

Too bad they’re not sending me to Wellington. Naw… I’d never get any work done.

Since Ava is getting better, I don’t feel as anxious about leaving her for a few days.

Did I tell you my vet called me to ask about her? How sweet is that?!

My co-worker was so happy about not having to go to TX that he bought me a bottle of RumChata and Honey Jack. I was looking at my kitchen counter today and for a lady that hardly ever drinks, I sure do have a lot of alcohol. Wishful thinking about my social life, or survivalist prepared for any major disaster?

It’s almost Christmas, and I’ve got a cold. I just want to sleep, but the coughing keeps me awake. I keep dozing off whenever I sit down for a minute.
** snore ***

Second I lay down though… ** hack, cough, hack **

I’m exhausted.

I bought myself a Christmas gift. It’s a Walgreens made wooden canvas with custom pictures of Ava, Joy, and Jess.
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Yeah, it’s pretty fly.

I was getting some pictures of my neighbor and her boarder printed up (for Christmas gifts), and figured I’d get my ponies pictures printed too. I wanted to hang some in the tack room, which is notoriously unkind to paper, so I thought I’d try the wooden canvas. Amazingly cheap to have this made.

I had a collage made for the neighbor. It was less than the cost of a greeting card.
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Not the best pictures, but it seems the majority of my pictures of them are taken from the rear. Not the most flattering angle for most people.

I should’ve ridden today, but I feel wobbly and a bit dizzy. I think Joy will survive a few days of no work. ūüôā

Merry Christmas everyone!

Margie’s Joy

I was trying to think up show name’s for Joy. It’s cold and snowy out, and I’m dreaming of spring time and showing. ūüôā

Joy came with the name “Margie’s Joy”. The story being that the owner of Joy’s dam, Margie, boarded the dam at a private farm. Right before Joy was born, Margie died, so the foal was named in honor of her owner.

It seems sacrilegious to rename her. However, it’s just a show name. She’ll always be Margie’s Joy at home (I have the plaque to prove it. heh).

Anyway, I was playing around with sprucing up Joy’s name so that it would strike fear and awe into our competitors hearts.

Margie means “Child of Light”
Joy could also mean Exultant

Exulatant Child of Light.

That seems just a wee bit pompous. Hahaha

Then I was thinking of maybe using the word bronze in a show name. Or incorporating her coloring into the name somehow. Bronze, copper, rust… that’s as far as I got with that line of thinking.

The other thought was to try to capture her personality in a name, but I’m finding her hard to define. She’s sweet, and kind, and big hearted… but she can also be a little devil and sneaky, and… well, a pony.

My naming creativity is failing me.

Eventually I’d like to get Joy USDF Lifetime horse registered. If I do end up selling her, I think that would up her chances of finding a good home. That and a lifetime Pony Card. Those two things and she’d be all set for a cushy show home (assuming I don’t mess her up).

Anyone have any ideas on names?
Help me brainstorm ideas!!

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The ponies enjoying the new paddock

Ava’s Laminitis Update

It’s been approximately two and a half weeks since Ava started showing signs of laminitis.

I’ve been tearing my hair out over this.

On Nov 30th, Ava weighed 1,115lbs. Today she weighs 1,065lbs. She’s been losing roughly 15lbs every five days.

Frankly, I thought it’d be a dramatic weight loss of a hundred pounds¬†a week when I took her off the¬†grain. ¬† Yeah, I’m an idiot. ¬†Apparently I believed the grain was saving Ava from utter starvation.¬† Anyway, sans grain, Ava’s only losing about 15lbs a week.

She’s been largely confined to stall the last¬†two weeks because she was so sore.¬†Last weekend I started turning her out in the pasture with Joy and Jessie for a few hours a day. She’d hobble around for brief stretches before finding a quiet spot to lay down. She was down more than she was up.

 

The last two¬†days though, Ava’s been on her feet the majority of the day. ¬†She appears to be moving around with significantly less pain.¬†And yesterday after I turned her out she was more than happy to bully the other two horses off their hay piles, and wander around the pasture. She’s even wandering up to the gate whenever one of us walks out there (which she hadn’t been before).

I think she’s getting better!! Fingers crossed!!

Barn Improvements

My Hubby has been a superstar the past couple of months. He’s rewired the entire barn, added outlets next to each stall, hooked up lights in each stall, and rewired the tack room with its own light and outlet.

No more motion activated light in the tack room which convienently goes out 15 seconds after I walk in. Yay!

We now have outlets to plug in the heated water buckets, and anything else I may need.

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Light!

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Plus, he replaced the motion activated light on the back deck of the house with a regular light, and fixed the light over the barn door.

We also had gravel brought in yesterday to try to tame this bog pit of a paddock. Hubby took the fencing down to allow the dump trucks to access the paddock. image

You probably can’t tell from this picture, but the whole far side consists of a couple feet of the thickest, slimiest, nastiest muck I’ve ever seen. When it rains, the water just sits there turning it into a gooey mess. When it freezes, the muck turns into treacherous crevices and lumps. It’s rather ironic, really. The entire property is sand. Sand as deep as you can dig. Yet the paddock has the blackest, thickest muck I’ve ever seen outside of swamp land.

The entrances to each stalls has at least a 2 foot drop from the stall to the paddock ground.

We had 43 tons of gravel dropped off. At $5.60 a ton.¬†Then we had to pay to have it¬†delivered, which cost more than the gravel itself.¬†¬†Poor¬†Hubby. They were supposed to deliver it at 8:30am, but they didn’t show up until 11 with the first load. Hubby had to call them to find out what was going on. They said they couldn’t find their driver! I’m pretty sure that’s not something you¬†should tell a customer.

Anyway, it was finally all delivered, no one got stuck, and the yard survived.

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This is Zeus approved gravel!

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Hubby spent the afternoon trying to spread the gravel out, but all we’ve got is a lawn mower with a little lawn mower sized blade on it, and some shovels and a rake.
This might take a while.

But… I’m really excited about this. I’ll be able to use the paddock as a paddock again!¬†Yay!

You will meet Jesus!

Ava and I had a “Come to Jesus” moment tonight. She decided she was going to try to kick me while I was cleaning her stall.

Joy and Jessie ran out of the barn, and away from their evening meals, while Ava and I had our little “talk”.

Now Ava is giving me the “I’m so sweet. I’d never hurt a fly” routine.

….

I was beating myself up about Ava’s well-being when I quipped to my hubby that I should sell all my horses – for their own good.

He says “we couldn’t pay people enough to take them”.

.
.
.

It’s funny ’cause its true.

At least, it is for Ava and Jessie. Joy’s a sweetheart, but Jessie’s is 800 years old, and Ava’s idea of a fun time is playing chicken with you. Who will flinch first? Always gotta keep one eye on her…

Ava update

Ava has made it clear that the pitiful handful of grain she’s getting is not satisfactory. The other morning I was changing her hay bag out for a full one when¬†Ava lunged and snapped the air above my head. A¬†split second after that she beat feet to the back of her stall with this “OMG! I’m in trouble now!!” look on her face. ¬†Throughout this whole event, I was standing there holding a massive hay bag in mid-air while¬†my sleep addled brain¬†tried to figure out what¬†just happened.

Moral of story РHungry mares need watchful eyes.

I received the¬†Heiro supplement in the mail and started Ava on it last Wednesday. It says to start them on 2 scoops, twice a day, for 5 days. I’m only giving Ava a tiny handful of grain in order to give her her bute. The Heiro stuff smells like cinnamon. I think it smells good. Ava made it clear I’ve ruined her pitiful portion of grain. She won’t eat the grain at all now. Which is saying a lot, because I’ve rarely seen Ava turn down anything.

So, I started shoving it down her throat like wormer. She’s sure I’m trying to kill her. ¬†She goes to great lengths to prevent me from getting it in her mouth, but when I’ve just spent $150 dollars for this stuff, then it’s going in her one way or another.

 

I don’t think she looks fat. Maybe I’m biased. What do you think?

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I have no idea what I’m doing. I have a piece of styrofoam the vet gave me, a bottle of¬†bute, and some¬†Heiro supplement. How does that fix this?!?!

I don’t know what I’m doing!!!!!