Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Idaho Horse Rescue

A few weeks ago my trainer was contacted in regards to a local horse rescue needing more volunteers and a trainer/farm manager. My trainer passed the info on to me and because I can't say no to help out horses, I found myself spending all last weekend over at the rescue. 

The owner had been rescuing horses for 27 years but always only had a handful at a time. He was just recently contacted to assist in rescuing 27 horses from a neglect situation. When he got the horses they all had a body condition score of 2. At this time they all look to be at a nearly healthy weight. 

But they all have some serious other issues. The undernourishment really messed with their coats and they all suffer from lice or sweet itch. The poor horses are also almost all slightly lame from a lack of farrier care (as is obvious in these pictures). 

The goal this weekend was to catch each horse and vaccinate and worm them. If they were friendly and compliant they were also to get their feet trimmed. The goal is to get everyone's feet normal asap but a lack of handlers certainly slows that down. I assure you the extreme cases are definitely taking priority, but only so many horses can get trimmed a day. 

These poor horses are definitely weary of people but truly so sweet and forgiving. It is so sad to see how people can be so cruel but also relief to know that there are people out there looking out for these horses. I totally wanted to take them all home and just spend my days hanging out in the pasture with them, indulging their desires for scratches and pets whenever they wanted. 

While I hope they all find loving homes as quickly as possible, I'll enjoy spending my extra free time hanging out and loving on them. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

SD Blog Hop: Feed

I keep having things I want to talk about but I'm lacking new media and I keep forgetting what I wanted to talk about...anyway I saw this blog hop a while ago and wanted to participate! Better late than never?

AM: 2 flakes alfalfa + 1 flake orchard
PM: 2 flakes alfalfa + 1 flake orchard
Grain: 1 lb Renew Gold + 1 scoop Cosequin + 1 scoop Biotin Daily + 1 scoop MSM

AM: 1 flake alfalfa + 1 flake orchard
PM: 1 flake alfalfa + 1 flake orchard
Grain: 1 cup LMF Super Supplement

Riesling is a hard keeper and I've finally found the recipe for success (or maybe he is just getting old and fat?) I've struggled at nearly every boarding barn up until the last one. I couldn't ever get anyone to feed him enough. I've also gone through a whole mess of different grains from various Purina Senior blends, to Triple Crown, to alfalfa pellets and rice bran. I'm in love with Renew Gold.

I've also used a mess of joint supplements. My favorites have been Tight Joints plus and Exceed 6 way. After I had to get Riesling's hocks injected 2-3 ish years ago I was determined to avoid continuing it. The original vet at Idaho Equine Hospital anticipated Riesling needing injections every 6 months to one year. At his six month check up, he didn't need them. Nor at his year check up. Maybe his hocks fused but I choose to believe the joint supplements did the trick.

Thank god that white has turned into green! 

Last year you may remember us having lameness issues. After blocking and x-rays it was determined that last spring Riesling broke his left rear fetlock and had severe arthritis and bone chips in the area. The vet was shocked by the x-rays but made a comment that if he wasn't on such good joint supplements he should have been dead lame. Since then I put him on Pentosan injections. I read that Cosequin worked well paired with the Pentosan and I wanted to prolong Riesling's career as much as possible. Since I've started the injections he is perfectly sound. The Cosequin is relatively cheap ($45 for 80 scoops on Amazon) so I don't mind paying for extra piece of mind. Riesling also has notoriously bad feet and Biotin Daily is also inexpensive. The MSM is so cheap it is thrown in for good measure.

LMF Supper Supplement on the other hand is what my trainer swears by and has all her horses on. It's cheap and I think it is a good over-all supplement to have any horse on. Not like a baby really needs any supplements or grain anyways, but it definitely doesn't hurt.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

All Ponies, All the Time

I've been doing so much riding lately, it is awesome! I've had 6 lessons on Evita now. Evita has shown up to 3rd level (1 test) and was giving her owner (my old friend!) issues with changes. She didn't really want to sell her but she wanted to develop her personal future in dressage, so she sold her back to my trainer. 
Praying this is just ugly growing phase, at least he is sweet

My trainer actually was her breeder. Tina (Oldenburg who is retired and lives at my house) is her mom and her sire is Cowerslain Nomination, a shire. She is 15 years old and I am leasing her to learn on. My trainer will be breeding her next month, but I'll be able to ride her in between. She is very well trained but that doesn't make her easy at all. 

She is also extremely wide. I've been neglecting my yoga and my gym workouts are mostly cardio, so I managed to pull something in my groin. I went to get on for my lesson yesterday and was struggling to get on. Walking around was ok, but as soon as we went to trot I felt like I was being stabbed with a hot knife. 

Luckily I live close to my body worker (who also does Ries) and she squeezed me in last night. I put off seeing her for so long. Especially with my broken foot, I was so crooked. I learned my lesson and as I continue to push myself in and out of the saddle, seeing her needs to be more of a priority. 

The two goofs who aren't getting ridden are Czoltar (obvi) and Ries. I'm starting Ries slow back into work since he has had so much time off. I also finally broke out my BOT blanket I bought six months ago. He is super sound and ready to work so I'm going to start under saddle next week. 
More fun pony adventures in the coming week! I'm on spring break now so I'll be getting a lot more blog posts up. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ride Recap: 3/2/17 Bullwinkle

 Right before my San Diego trip I wanted to snag another ride on Bullwinkle and try and get my balance back before we jumped in the next lesson (still yet to happen, booo rain). Now my second ride in my jump saddle in two years, I felt so much more comfortable. I was able to swiftly get on instead of scrambling, and I felt comfy nearly right away. 

Bully is pretty trained but gets most of the beginner lesson kids riding him. I took advantage of this and got him bending and using his whole body right away at the walk. I rewarded him with long rein breaks where I would focus on myself and try and hold a two-point. At the trot he was much more forward but still pretty stuck and not wanting to bend or come through his top line. We negotiated and I made forward the most important task. For the canter (that was a train wreck last time- I offered no help to him) I remembered how to ride for once and sat, half halted, and applied outside leg. He ran into the transition slightly the first time but I was able to re-balance him and we ended on a relaxed swinging canter. 

He got to dress up in Ogilvy!
I felt like I was able to ride much better and therefore got much better work out of him. I'm confident now with ground poles (lol celebrating the little things) and I'm excited for our jumping lesson this weekend!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Baby Horse Shenanigans

Here is a little update on Baby Z. Now that the ground is solid and sun is shining, we are back to baby bootcamp. He is coming 2 this year and while he isn't a snot, I want him to be a perfect gentleman before he gets broke. I've done 3 groundwork sessions over the past week. Last year he wasn't exactly fond of being caught and haltered and I'm happy to report that while he isn't an eager beaver to play, he does let me catch him and halter him easily. 

On the ground we've been going for walks. He is reasonable about the forward and stop and he understands backing up pretty well. We also did some turns on the forehand and yielding to pressure. He is pretty happy to just hang out with you but definitely lacks confidence in a new environment. The first time on our walk he was a little spooky and wanting to run me over if he was scared. I laid down the law that it is ok to be uncertain about something, but plowing over me isn't in his job description.  By the third walk he was very respectable and stopped and snorted at something and allowing me to reassure him rather than run me over. 

I played a lot with him last year and while he was pretty reliable with picking up his feet, this time he was pretty sure he could get around on three legs. He is also pretty sensitive about the lead rope so I did desensitizing with it. 

Next step is teaching him to tie so I can clean him up and he doesn't have to look like a muddy yak anymore!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pause in the Game

This past weekend I was able to go down to San Diego to visit friends and family! It was a welcome escape as I'm feeling overwhelmed with pre-season and school. I obviously lived here so I don't have any cool new things I learned, but I took BF down for the first time and I think he enjoyed it. Plus I was finally legal to drink! 

I definitely idolize all the bloggers I follow and took pictures of the seals at La Jolla because Lauren did when she was just there and I think shes pretty kick ass. Unfortunately, I don't think seal pictures make me kick ass but imitation is the best form of flattery and I think Lauren is the coolest. 

I did splurge a bit and have a Treat Yo Self post coming next week. I love consignment shops and it isn't fair we don't have any local to me anymore. Anyway, time to grind in school and pre-season. I keep having to remind myself you have to work hard for what you want. Just keep swimming. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Skin in the Game

As I come into this season fresh from a broken foot, I know I have a lot of big changes to make in my life. Not exercising at all for four months left me more than just a little "fluffy". It had me thinking. 

When I bring Riesling back into work this spring I will start slow from the ground up to make sure he is at peak physical fitness before I can ask of him what we trained last year. Shouldn't the same go for riders? 

As I'm dipping my toes in the water of pursuing my equestrian dreams, I picked up Denny Emerson's book How Good Riders Get Good. This book has spoken volumes to me, and I will be writing a full review. But as I'm a few weeks into my gym membership and 5k fitness app, this paragraph really shared exactly what I was thinking. 

Aside from the fact that I'm a long, long, way away from even being considered somewhere ready to tackle professional riding, this really is about the amateurs as well. How can I put Ries in fitness boot camp on the lunge and under saddle, yet spend my time out of the saddle loafing around? In what universe does that equal a fair and committed partnership? 

Maybe if I was already at a fit state and I spent enough time in the saddle to maintain that. But I'm not. I might be the only equestrian who failed to neglect this important part of the equation, but I can't ignore my responsibility to be a better rider anymore. I'm expecting my horses to be athletes, but how can they excel if they are doing more than their fair share of the work? I need to help my horse, not hinder its ability to execute movements because of my lack of core strength and independent seat. 

I know this will take time. And a lot of hard work and dedication on my part. But I can't pretend to be ignorant anymore. Even if I never get past training level dressage or ground poles, I'll be the best damn rider I can be at that level.