Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is Denali's dad's birthday (my husband) he's 29 and therefore one year older than me and officially "old" for the next 9 months, or at least until I turn 29.

I've been thinking of my goals in life, etc. I'd really like to be a riding instructor for kids with disabilities. (Please stop laughing friends.) I talked to the therapeutic riding center and they said "send a riding video" (because I want to do an internship.) I realized that as much as I know about horses on the ground, it has been a long time since I have actually ridden consistently. I think that training Denali is a great start to working on my goals, but I need to stop worrying about her freaking out and get back in the saddle (so to speak.) I'm hoping now to ride a couple times a week and get back riding muscles so I will (some day) be able to pass the riding test that is required for certification. SOMEDAY! I'm not sure how long we will live in the PNW, so I would like to learn as much as I can about riding and horses so I can take it with me when we leave (since I have no clue where we are going to end up.) As for the therapeutic riding center, I told them that since the only horse I ride is an OTTB, and she's learning that there is more than one speed a video of us could be interesting.

I'm going to ride a few times weekly and learn as much as I can by doing and reading so I will be a better instructor. SOMEDAY! (I hate waiting!!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yay!!!

So, for the first time in I don't know how long I was able to ride my horse (sans lunge line, lol) with my friend and her horse! It was so much fun, I forgot what it was like! Denali did so well, I'm so proud of her! 0 freak outs! Even things that I know use to spook her didn't even fase her or her personal assistant (aka Ophelia.) I'm so excited. Of course, the day I actually get back up on her is the day that I don't bring my camera, but I have witnesses! I think she'll be in training this week without me. I love my trainer! She does a great job with Denali!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Week in Review

I've been so busy this past week, my poor horse has been neglected. Well, neglected in the sense that I haven't visited her. She couldn't be in better hands at her stable! The Vet came out and did a physical, he said she looks good! That's encouraging. The farrier needs to come trim her feet soon, but she'll be good to go again.

Yesterday I stopped by quickly to say hi to her. She's in heat so she's extra jumpy, she's pretty much a nutball... I wish I knew if something would be better for her. I give her Mare Magic, which is a god sent for most of the month. When it comes down to it though, for one week she's a freak! It's okay I figure, I'm a freak too.

I was really proud of her! I had her in the cross ties and something broke and started spraying water everywhere! She freaked for a few seconds then calmed down. I however became airborne and flew into the nearest stall. I'm not a HUGE chicken, but I've seen her kick and I'm not getting behind those legs!

Training starts again Monday night. We'll see how this goes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Freaking Out!

I'm really good at a few things. One of them is freaking out and the other is holding other people together when they freak out. I don't get much of a chance to practice the second skill (thankfully.) Denali has her vet appointment tomorrow at noon. I'm really nervous about having a new vet. It sounds like he's good with horses (what I want) but not so much with people. We'll see!

Anyway, I'm concerned about her joints and feet. I hope I'm just being anal and that she's totally fine and I'm just wasting money on a vet appointment that I don't need. I just have so many questions about her that I haven't had answered. I've gotten lots of opinions, but I would really like a professional's opinion.

Denali's sire is Storm Boot. At the age of 18 he was put down because he suffered from chronic degenerative tendinitis and laminitis. I don't really even know what these are! I have an idea, but what I'm wondering is if it's a genetic thing. I would be devastated if Denali had something genetic wrong with her. Again, I'm really good at freaking out. I think that's why 'Nawlers' and I get along so well. We both freak out, but if you can get us focused we're good at what we're doing!

We'll see how tomorrow goes! Gulp. I'm nervous!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Week 2 of Ignoring my Horse....


"What! No Carrots, no treats, for another week!? That's it, I'm calling the horse abuse hotline!!"

I can't wait for Summer! I can't wait to be able to wake up and go to see Denali. Actually, I can't wait for it to be warm enough to give her a bath. Yesterday had so much hope! I woke up and heard it was suppose to be close to 70 degrees!! I get to the barn, and it's close to 55, still too cold to give her a bath. I don't want to be soaked! She LOVES water, but I always end up soaking wet and covered in water....

I hate being sick, and I also have job interviews this week... I hate interviewing! Sigh... I would really like to win the lotto and start a rescue. Actually, I found a new rescue in WA that I really like. They rescue OTTB and find them homes. I'd just go work there if I didn't need money to support myself. We can dream right? I know Denali dreams of large grass fields and zero work!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Busted

So I've been really busy this week, which means lack of Denali time. I feel bad, I don't want her to think I'm leaving again. Denali's trainer called me this morning. I was really excited. I saw him at the races on Friday, but didn't want him to think that I was totally crazy, so I didn't get go up to him. He is really the nicest guy.

He explained that she did have a screw and wire surgery in Kentucky before she came to Washington. That explains her weird scars. He also told me she had an injury on her ankle that took a while to heal. Gives me some things to tell her new vet. I called a vet my friend recommended. He was a track vet, but is now just a regular vet. I hope I like him. I would love to find a vet that we both really clicked with. I liked the vet that did her teeth, but he just had surgery so he's out of commission for a while. I decided even though I know what the scars are from I'd still like her to have a physical. Oh there are SO many more things I could spend my money on.

I went out to visit my orphaned pony today with Ophelia's mom. I spend some time grooming her. I wish she wouldn't have held her head so high the last time I cut her hair, I "Assumed" that I wasn't cutting too much off...well I was very wrong and now she has hair sticking up all over while it grows back in. She looks really funny!! Also, she has been refusing to pick up her feet, which worries me. I hope it's just because she is being pissy, and not because she is hurting.

See! See! She does love me! I have proof now! She's so pretty!
(Actually...she wants food, but I can dream!)

video

When we went to put the girls back out together, Denali turned and tried to take a hunk of Ophelia's butt off.... I kept telling Ophelia's mom that all of her cuts and marks were from trees, fences, other horses... I guess Denali is busted. She's been so good!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Crazy Mare

I ran to see Denali tonight after I was done volunteering at the theraputic riding center. I had to break it to her that she's going to be ignored for the rest of the week. I feel guilty, but I am applying for jobs and need to take this week to drop off applications.

I called her and she came FLYING up the pasture. Very cute!! Then I tried to lead her to the barn. She has started this VERY VERY bad habit of herding me so she doesn't need to listen. I pull on her lead rope, she cuts me off. It's her new fun game. I'm going to start carrying a crop when I walk her so I can shake it in front of her so she doesn't want to walk around me. That will probably end in blood, mine, but we'll see.

Since I'm anal, I made a training calendar for her trainer. Again, I'm anal. My husband wishes I would keep the house as clean as I keep the barn. I'm not sure that will ever happen!! Lol :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

So the plan was for me to go out today and hide apples for Denali and Ophelia in their field for them to have their own little "Easter Egg Hunt." I didn't get out there :( I know it sounds stupid, but I really miss her when I don't get out there. I am glad that she is where she is. I appreciate that if I don't make it I know she will have been fed, watered, her stall is clean, she is happy! That's what matters, she's happy.

This week she'll start her second round of training. The best money I've ever spent! I honestly have never been afraid of a horse before, EVER. She terrified me. Touching her terrified me. Doing anything with her scared me. She was a freakazoid! I find this a bit funny. I use to hope on any horse and didn't really care. I use to take the stallion out at my old barn and let him run around the round pen then groom him. No one bothered me. Funny that she scared me so much. Maybe it's because I own her and know that she's my responsiblitity. Who knows.

When Carolyn came to pick her up at her old stable to pick her up to bring her to her new barn I thought I was going to have a nervous break down loading her in the trailer. She was totally 100% fine loading. She always is. I just expected her to try to kick me, bite me, etc. I'm pretty convinced she hated me and she's just now starting to remember that I'm not a bad person.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Power of Google...

So on Friday I was on the computer playing around and I typed in "Storm City Slew, Emerald Downs" to see if I would get anything. I didn't expect to get anything that matched since she only ever raced once from what her papers say. Then, TA DA! there her name was in an article from the Seattle Times. I clicked on the article and scrolled down to find her name. Yep, there she was! I was excited....then I scrolled up to see what the date was that she raced. The lady who lied to me about her breed (the jockey's wife) had said she left the track the summer of 07 and hadn't been back for the 08 season. Why I believed the lady who lied to me in the first place, I'm not sure!!! Well, guess what! May 26, 2008 Denali raced in the 2 race. MAY 26! I bought her on July 6th. That means she was off the track for less than two months when I got her!! I must say that this explains SO much of her behavior, but yet again pisses me off that this lady lied...again.

Anyway, I tried to take some pictures of her scars on her leg. She thought that the camera was a treat (hence the picture above) of some kind, so it was very difficult. Even when I let her eat grass, the camera looked extra tempting!!



The first picture is the front of her right knee. The holes seem to be an equal distance from each other, but that could also be left from a pressure point. The second picture is of the inside of her front right and is the largest mark she has. The last picture is of the back of her leg. The white mark towards the front of the picture is the same dot that is to the far left in the first picture. None of these are very good pictures, but it gives you an idea.

I wonder.... I guess that is what you get from buying a horse at auction, but it drives me crazy that I've been able to learn so much about her (i.e. Name, age, BREED) and I wish I knew more... I was looking at her papers the other night and realized they were still in the envelope of her trainer with a return address. I have his phone number still, but didn't want him to think I'm TOTALLY nuts, so I thought a letter would be a more professional way to go about it. I wrote the letter by hand twice and finally gave up and typed one. I kept wanting to change what I wrote... Anyway, I asked him for any and all medical history on her. I'd really love her chart from the track, but don't know how or if that could happen. Her old track trainer was so nice when I met him in person! He left tickets for my husband and I at the front and we even got to go into the winners circle when his horse won!! It was an awesome experience!! I am really glad that Denali had someone so nice taking care of her.

Enough babbling at this point... I found a bunch of pictures of her... maybe I should go fill in the blanks in this blog with them....

Side Note!

For the past three days Denali has nickered and come cantering up to me when I've called her. It is REALLY awesome! She use to act like this before I left her for Denmark. I think she's finally forgiving me for leaving her. I love my pony beast!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

WTF

SMOKIN PASSION makes her 4-year-old debut at the bottom for trainer Jim Penney (8 for 18 with big class-droppers). STORM CITY SLEW debuts at age 4 for trainer Terry Gillihan, who is the best on the backside with older debut runners. FOR VERA has the rail and early speed.

This is from May 26, 2008. Denali was RIGHT FROM THE TRACK when I bought her!!! I thought she was done in September and didn't do anything for a year. I bought her less than 2 months after this! Yikes!!

My horse, the life guard...

So Denali's trainer called a few weeks ago to tell me about Denali playing in the water. It sounded funny, but I didn't think she'd do it again anytime soon. I put her in the round pen and she went running to a puddle in the corner. I wish you could see the look on her face!! She was having so much fun!! This was a few weeks ago, but I just remembered that I had the video!

video

On another note, last night I went out to see Denali. I haven't been out since Monday. She's lame and so I just gave her a few days off. I missed her and went out yesterday. She actually came running up to the gate when she heard my voice. She hasn't done that since before I went to Denmark. I was so excited! I gave her about a million hugs and scratches.

I put her into the arena to walk around on some dry ground after I groomed her. There was a small bush type tree limb (if that makes sense) in the arena because one of the 4-H girls was working on training her horse for trail riding (I think, don't quote me.) Denali went over to it and started swaying back and forth. I thought she was going to have a seizure or something. She looked so funny! The trainer said it looked like she was going to roll. Sure enough, Denali was trying to figure out how to scratch her belly on the branch. She started pawing at it and pulling it around. I went in and turned it over one the mounting block. I think Denali scratched her belly for five minutes straight. She still has a fine winter coat on, I'm sure her belly is itchy! She's so funny.

Hopefully she'll feel 100% soon. She started running around in the arena. I'm just really worried now about her front right leg. I wrote a letter today to her old trainer, poor guy he's going to regret ever meeting me. :) He's a nice guy so I'm hoping he can give me some of her previous medical history. She had a weird pad on her foot when I bought her and white scars around her knee. I'm just wondering what they're from and if she ever cracked something. The vet in August thought that the scar was from a Screw and Wire surgery since she was born in Kentucky, and this, I guess, is a common surgery. The vet that just did her teeth thinks it's from a bandage wrap. Who knows! I couldn't imagine owning more than one horse. She's enough stress!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

APLL Dressage

I'm still getting over the fact that Denali will not kill me when I ride her. It's been really, REALLY hard. I just recently got over the fact that she isn't going to kill me on the ground. Saturday I freaked out and ended up bawling. I know that sounds crazy. Poor Denali. There was a lot going on outside the arena and she kept looking around. I got nervous and tensed every muscle on my body, so of course she was like "WTF? Something must be wrong....mom's freaking out..." BUT, she never actually freaked out. She stood there while Carolyn tried to convince me that I wasn't going to die. I couldn't do it and got off. Poor Denali, I put her in the cross ties and then started bawling.... I'll say crying actually, then I put her in he stall where apparently crying makes her nervous (Duh) because she kept pacing and nickering at me. Almost to say, "It's okay mom...It's okay." I let her back out and she nuzzled me. Made me feel better. I blamed her initially, but realized the problem isn't the horse, the problem is the rider. Sunday when I went back out Carolyn put me on the lunge line. I told her I was doing APLL Dressage now, and if I can find somewhere I'll compete. APLL- Advanced PonyLunge Line Dressage. I think I'll be really good at it. :)

Actually, I found pictures last night when I was organizing my computer of me riding her last summer. That's exciting, that means I have proof that I use to ride her! I even have a smile on my face!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ain't nothing going to break my stride...

Ain't nothing going to break my stride
Nobody´s going to slow me down
Oh no, I have got to keep on moving
Aint nothing going to break my stride
I am running & I would not touch ground
Oh no, I have got to keep on moving

So this is th song that's used for the commercials for Emerald Downs, the race track where Denali came from. I just, and I know this sounds crazy, get a little sad and choked up when I hear it. I love my horse, I couldn't imagine anything horse greater than her. I know everyone feels that their horse is the best.

I guess why I get so upset is that I know how hard she works for me. You can see the determination in her eyes when we're trying to teach her to give to pressure or anything else. She's thinking, and trying to figure out what it is we're asking. She's smart. She wants to please me and she even puts her head down and sometimes (not all the time) trys to take the bit before I'm even ready for her. So why I get upset is because every horse I've met off the track has been like this determined to please. They work so hard on the track, and I won't lie, I've been there and there is nothing like hearing them all run down the straight away. It's amazing. What upsets me is how hard theses horses work for their trainers, owners, and riders and then end up in horrible conditions. I bought Denai at an acution! I bought her at an auction from the wife of a jockey (I didn't know this until later!) She told me she was an appendix, but she lied. I saw her at the track a few weeks later and she offered me another horse. God knows what happened to to the poor thing. I "kindly" informed her that one crazy thouroughbred was enough. Who does she think she is!? I couldn't believe it!!

I went to the track a few weeks ago to see a friend. I met a jockey who told me a similar story about this lady. He had a beautiful gray mare who went up lame. He said he loved her and was just fine with her living on his farm. This lady said that her daughter had always wanted a grey mare and begged for her. He finally agreed to give her to this lady so she could have a "forever home." The lady didn't pick her up and didn't pick her up and finally came to get her....on the first Sunday of the month.... who knows where she went. This is the second time this lady did this that I know of... my friend said it's happened more than that. Why she's allowed to do this is beyond me. So many people think that OTTB are "crazy" and "hard keepers." Both are not true. I call mine crazy, but it's just her personality. She's the most amazing horse I've ever met!! My trainer loves working with her. When these beautiful creatures, who were over worked and broke down because they tried so hard, end up in the auction they usually end up in a truck headed for the border.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So I've been slacking....


So I've slacked in the posting department. Denali just keeps getting better and better!! She's lame today, but other than that she's fat and happy. She actually is turned out with another mare (her BFF Ophelia) and they get along great! No blood at all! I was shocked! I was convinced that when they finally got turned out Denali was going to kill someone. Not even a threat. She's so great!!

I did give up on training her. I'm not a professional, and she scared me so badly that I was afraid to even touch her. I put her into professional training March 1st. It wasn't Denali's fault she freaked out at her last place, it was mine for thinking I could keep her in that shit hole. I love my horse and made a commitment to her, so now she's in "in school." She's doing awesome! I work with her two, which I greatly appreciate the trainer for showing me how to train a horse. I keep saying that I want to take in retired/broke down TB's someday and give them a good life. I need to learn how to do that. There's no point in pretending that I know what I'm doing now. Funny thing....I use to think I knew how to ride. I had 100% confidince in myself and had zero fear of any beast! :) I had no problems until Denali freaked the fuck out on my in January. All that confidence went right out the door....it hasn't come back yet. I keep telling my trainer I'm doing APL Dressage. APL standing for Advanced Pony Line. I'm teaching Denali ques while my trainer has her on a lead line. I know that SOUNDS weird, but I'm terrified of her. She does absoulutly everything right, and I know in my heart that she's fine and I'll be fine, but my head isn't listening....yet.