36 Bottles of Beer on the wall

Jessie, the 32 year old mare, suddenly stopped eating Friday. Completely unlike her. I was a bit perplexed by the behavior,  because otherwise she seemed completely fine.  I monitored her Friday for any signs of distress,  but other than not eating her hay pellets and grain,  she seemed absolutely normal.

Saturday,  still not eating.

Sunday, stttiiiiillll not eating…

Monday, I had the vet-dentist out.  One of her teeth had broken,  half was flopping around,  and the other half well embedded.  Vet pulled it. I nearly barfed.

I’m such a pansy.

Vet had Jessie all doped up.  Nicely sedated,  lidocaine to numb the area,  a shot of banimine when she was done.

I could’ve used some sedation when I got the bill! Ack!!

It’s now Wednesday,  and Jessie still won’t touch her regular grain.  I had to switch it out with the grain I feed my two.  She devoured that.  No idea why her grain,  that she used to love,  is no longer an option.

I’m also forced to shove antibiotics down her gullet twice a day like dewormer since she is being so picky about her food.  The paste is now coating the barn floor,  my saddles,  in my hair,  all over my coat,  and even on my glasses.  I am not doing so well getting it to stay in her mouth.

Any wisdom on food stuffs the old gal might eat?  It seems like the mushier it is,  the less she likes it.  So far she’s only interested in the hard stuff.  Add water and she immediately turns her nose up at it.  Which perplexes me.  I would’ve thought mushier would be better.  She hates any type of syrups. She’s not all that fond of applesauce or apples.

At least she’s eating the other horses grain and trying to eat hay…

I keep putting out different food options for her to try.

She can’t really eat hay, she just cuds most of it up and spits it out, but she gave it a go anyway.

Yeah, ok, sometimes I let her wander the barn… Not the safest thing to do, but she’s so level headed… and sllooooowwww….

She wanted in the feed room. Wasn’t gonna happen. 😂

I hope she gets back to her old,  with gusto,  eating habits soon.  I hope it was just that tooth,  and no other issues crop up.  She’s such a sweet mare.

Other than the tooth issue,  the vet gave Jessie a glowing report on her health.  Great lungs,  great heart, remaining teeth look great.

Google says that the average mare has 36 teeth. We’re down to 33 now.

She’s lost 3 in one year! Ouch!

 

Fourth Lesson – Or, that time I almost quit

I walked in to the barn for my fourth lesson absolutely PUMPED! Ready to rock and roll.

Instructor asked me if I wanted to ride “The Hot Horse” this lesson. I enthusiastically said yes. I love a hot horse!  So she brings in this 16-ish hand, mud-brown, TB gelding with a bit of a goofball personality (my fav kind of horse).

I brushed him down, tacked him up, and we wandered off into the arena to hop on. Instructor tells me this was her personal eventing horse, and that she rarely has others ride him, so she’s curious to see how he’ll go/look with me. Eek! No pressure.

Everything’s going great at the walk. Nice horse, well trained, super sensitive (love it), and I feel pretty darn secure up there even though the saddle feels too big for me.

Then the instructor has us trot. As soon as I ask for the trot, the horse flings his head up and around, pulls the reins out of my way too lose fingers, and launches into an big trot (my reins flapping in the wind around his neck).

Instructor calls out “You might need those!”

Me: (** totally embarrassed **)”You said he was a seat ride” haha

I finally got myself back in order, horse back under me, and we did some trot warm up for a few minutes.  Everything was going well. I was a touch nervous because I could tell that this horse was much hotter than either of mine, and I was worried that my fear of jumping was going to create a bomb under me.

Instructor set up a small “course” of ground poles to ride. This horse was awesome. Actually leg yields, you can steer his shoulders, very  easy to ride. I was having a blast trotting over the ground rail “course”.  I was feeling a million feet tall, and tougher than nails!

Instructor raised the poles into small cross rails. We’re supposed to go through this course one at a time. Meaning one of us will stand in the middle while the other rides the ‘course’. The other lady in the class ducked into the middle the second the rails went up. HA!

Probably a good thing though. If I have to go first then I don’t have time to work myself up into a panic.

I struck up a trot and headed toward the first jump. My gelding does a very nice, smooth jump over the first cross rail. I’m feeling solid, secure, like a million bucks and on top of the world.

The second jump, we LAUNCHED over it. Totally caught me off guard. Tossed me around a bit. The gelding lands, and we’re cantering across the arena with me curled up in a fetal position on top. Instructor yelling “Sit up, Sit up”, “Breathe”.

Confidence a bit shaken, but I stayed on so no big deal, right?

I steer the moose around and approach the second jump again. We go over it smoothly, no issues. Everything is wonderful. I’m on top of the world again.

Approach third cross rail, and again, horse launches himself over it. I’m literally grabbing anything in front of me to stay on.

I’m scared now.  Like, really scared…

I circle the horse so we can do the third jump again because I’m completely off course. Get to the third jump again, and LAUNCH! It’s so powerful it’s popping me out of the tack, I feel like I’m a split second from falling off. I have zero control. I feel like I’m 8 feet in the air with only hard ground beneath me.

We make it over, and I stop the horse.

At this point, part of me is screaming at the top of it’s lungs “I’M DONE!!! I want off! No more! I’m OUT!”

It was such a strong, visceral reaction that it shocked me!

I had very heated argument with myself about whether I was quitting jumping for good at that point or not.

I almost quit… it was close.

But, i really want to do this. Really badly. And I’d regret quitting.

I re-gathered my whits, focused my breathing, listened to instructors advice about position changes and rhythm, and trotted the moose back to the third jump again. He calmly hopped over it and we finished the last two jumps with no issues.

We did the course twice more. We had a couple of additional launching jumps, but this time I was ready mentally and actually rode the horse instead of being an out of balance passenger.

The better I rode, the smoother the jumps got, the calmer the horse got.
Imagine that…. haha

So, all in all, an eye-opener on how hard this is going to be, and how far I still have to go before I’m ready for an actual “event”. But… I was really freaking proud of myself for working through my fear, and it helped me see how much my body really influences the quality and type of jump the horse can give.

Also, that horse was amazing. I was really touched the instructor let me ride him.

I think I shat myself a little

My second jumping lesson… read first lessons post here

I’ve got this ground pole business down now. I feel like a Queen surveying her realm when I look at a line of ground poles. Used to scare me to death to see two ground poles in a row.. but now? “What is this pathetic excuse of an exercise with just two measly ground poles? pfftt.”

So when the instructor set up a “Box” with ground poles… Ppffftt. No biggie.

She explains the exercise below. Trot in, keep turning right.

BoxPattern

I’ve got this.

I’m cocky.

I am Phillip Dutton riding a Beginner Novice event with ease!!

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.

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Then the instructor raised the poles.

I trotted toward the box, eyes up, position a bit shaky, but holding up okay.  As soon as the pony hopped over the first cross pole, I immediately looked down. One trot step in the middle, and Pony put the breaks on for the next cross rail.

I had a momentary “Oh Shit” type feeling, but since we really didn’t have any speed it didn’t unseat me much. Pony kindly did a slow, calm hop over the second cross rail (saving my butt).

Whew! Made it through!

At this point I have to make an immediate right turn and line back up with the box for the second line.

I was a few strides out, staring down the quickly approaching cross rail…

Utterly freaked out.

Pulled the pony off the line and circled.

I didn’t even think. I just saw the first cross rail, panicked, and immediately turned the pony.

As soon as I realized what I’d done, I realigned the pony, and we popped through the box again. Immediate right turn, and hopped the next line.

After third line, I was so giddy that I thought I was done and went back to the rail, completely forgetting I was supposed to do one more line of jumps. Ha!

I swear though, that second line, I could actually hear my anus clamp shut in fear.

……….

As a side note: This is the very first lesson I’ve ever taken where the word “twerking” was used to describe my riding position. HAHAHA!

half-ass

Yes, I am so dang good, I can twerk while jumping. jk. I don’t even know if twerk’s a word.

I’m starting to question my goal of participating in a beginner level eventing competition next fall.  Or maybe I just need to invest in some dark brown riding breaches. 😉😂