Friday, April 30, 2010

Not Good News

I wish I had better news, but it could always be worst right?

The vet came out this afternoon and we got Ms. Denali out of her stall. I've never seen her so worked up. EVER. We tired to take her into the arena, but she flipped out and the vet had to give her a little "cocktail" to help her calm down a bit and not injure her leg worse. We had to put her up against the wall to do that though, she freaked out over the needle. She's never done that before. Poor thing. She's a nervous wreck.

She's really lame, and in a lot of pain. She has swelling and pain around the lateral splint and superficial/deep digital flexors. The vet thinks there is a chance that she broke her splint bone, but that's only a chance and we won't know for sure until Wednesday when we do x-rays and sonograms.

Today she spent her first day on stall rest. She HATES, HATES, HATES it! She has a standing wrap on now, and I bought an ice boot instead of cold hosing it everyday. I have a stall guard that I put on for about half an hour today and I just stood in the aisle way hanging out with her. I can't leave it up and leave her alone. She'll try to go over it. She's a very determined girl.

The vet suggested looking into Pegasus Rehabilitation Center because they have a therapeutic pool and an underwater treadmill. She thinks that can help burn off some energy without her hurting herself more IF (key word IF) she is going to need to be on stall rest for a long time. The price online said $60.00 a day, so not as horrible as I imagined. Again, my thoughts are if I plan for this then I won't need it. She actually LOVES, LOVES, LOVES water so I bet she'd love the pool.

I went to Petsmart and bought a large ball that has holes in it, I stuffed it full of hay and carrots tonight and that seemed to keep her entertained for a few moments at least. She has every stall toy you could imagine, so I'm not sure what else to do to keep her occupied.

The vet will be back on Wednesday, so I'm hoping when she comes Ms. Denali is walking fine and back to her normal self. The vet did give her a shot of Reserpine which is a long acting sedative. It is suppose to last 30 days, so hopefully that will help take the edge off for her.

I wasn't planning on going to the barn tomorrow, but it seems like I'm going to be spending a lot of time out there now.


The swelling has not gone down. My trainer cold hosed her leg yesterday morning and night, and this morning. It's still hot and she's still favoring it. I wasn't able to go out yesterday because it was my hubby's birthday. My trainer suggested calling the Vet out (which she NEVER DOES.) Why must my horse break down all the time? WHY! Ugh! Think good thoughts for my money eating machine!

Vet on her way, will be here at 3 pm. It's wonderful going to your principal and saying that your "daughter"is sick and you have to leave. lol.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy 30th Honey

Today is my husband's 30th birthday. I want to first wish him a very happy birthday! He's a wonderful guy and I'm very lucky!

Yesterday we had our second "training" lesson with Ms. Denali. I wasn't sure if we were going to actually get a lesson in because my trainer was just starting with another owner and her young QH. I decided I'd work on the lunging we did yesterday, and if my trainer had time then we'd work and if not then no problems.
I got Ms. Denali groomed and ready. Did a little trim job on the mane. Her mane grows SO fast, it's ridiculous! We went out into the areana and my trainer was doing flag work with the young QH (he's 3.) Joe thought that the flag was on fire, so of course Denali was convinced she was going to die.

It was the best lesson I've ever had with Denali. Ever.

My trainer flapped the flag and I lead Denali around the arena. I picked a spot, and focused and confidently lead her around. She was like leading a fire breathing dragon. She was so worked up! I wish I had a picture with her head in the air, and her tail straight up, but I don't. Boo. I kept getting yelled at (not yelled, but you get the idea) to not look at her, but it was so hard because she looked so neat prancing around. I got my head back on and lead her around the arena. She slowly calmed down and started to relax, at one point I told her "good girl" and apparently her entire body relaxed and she let out a huge sigh. I heard the sigh, but did not see her relax. I was too busy being confident and not looking at her. My trainer was very impressed with us. It was a good feeling.

At one point, my trainer took the flag outside and touched things that Denali and Joe hate (i.e. the trailer) I wasn't paying attention and Denali jumping forward to brace herself and landed on my foot. My trainer asked me if I wanted to stop, I said, "Nope, I'll walk it off." Nice bruising though right? :) It's a much prettier color today!

At the end of the lesson I gave some slack on the lead rope and my pony just followed me. She didn't try to run me over or lead me. She followed me. When I'd stop, she'd stop. When I'd turn and face her butt and simply say "back" she'd back up. It was AWESOME! Lol, oh the simple things in life!

Now for the bad news: After our lesson I took Ms. Denali outside to eat some much deserved grass. As I was leading her I noticed she was walking funny. I asked my trainer to watch me lead her and she had a very VERY noticable limp that was not there when I brought her in. :( Her right hind is very swollen and hot. It looks like tendon. I ran cold water on it for ten minutes then wrapped it with a polo wrap to help with the swelling. I mixed up a "dinner" of Bute and Rice Bran. She was only using 3 legs when I left. Poor baby! I'm at work now and have been getting Text Message updates. It's still hot, but the swelling went down.

In other news, I signed up for a 5 week weight loss/weight lifting course! It starts at 5:50 am, so not too excited about that, but excited to get buff, AND loose 30 by 30.

Anyone else find it ironic that BOTH Denali and I are off of the left hind?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lesson 2

My in-laws left yesterday morning. It was fun having them around, but it's also nice to get back into my schedule.

Yesterday I had a headache from the time I woke up. I almost called and canceled our lesson with our trainer, but I didn't. I said no more excuses, and if I had to drag myself to the barn I was going.

We worked on lunging and getting Denali to listen to me. That is going to take some time. Even when I was lunging her she'd have her ear on my trainer. After a while I got her ear on me but she seemed confused, after all I'm the fun food lady who doesn't ever make her do any work. By the end we were working well together, but I think it took a good bit of time before she got it that I was actually making her work (*gasp.*)

For a bit my trainer stood directly behind me and literally moved my arms for me. That helped a lot for me to understand where I should be in position to Denali. D did a really good job for me, and by the end I would call it a success. We also worked on "Whoa" and she started getting that by the end. She's been a little lackadaisical about it, but started to get it.

We're doing a lot of things over again with Denali because I want to review what I'm doing with her.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pony Catch-Up

Like I said in my last post, my life has been crazy. My in-laws are in town, and I mentioned that, but what I couldn't mention was the reason they were here. On Friday I had a surprise 30th birthday party for my husband. I must say, he was shocked! It was fun, of course it rained, and of course I didn't have a solid back up plan (it was in our back yard) but we put up tarps and made the best of it. There were at least 40 people in our little, tiny Seattle house. It was fun regardless, but I ate WAY too much food! I spent last week driving around and picking everything up to make the food and then hid it at the neighbors houses. I took off work on Friday and spent the day getting everything organized, and cooked. I think it was a success.

In other pony type related news, I may be a working student again. A local rider is looking for some extra help. She rides Grand Prix, and just moved back to the area. She does training and judging all over the United States (or so says her website.) She is looking for someone who is interested in working in exchange for lessons, board, or training. I would be most interested in lessons, since I think I'm going to keep D where she is for the time being, plus I'm pretty sure I could never work off all the board. I would need to work all day, everyday. I'm pretty excited about meeting her. This week I'm really busy, and then she's flying back East to go to a Judges training so we're going to meet next Wednesday, May 5th. I'll keep you posted on that.

As for the Sweet Denali, I haven't been out since last Tuesday. I'm a horrible, horrible horse owner currently. Her lessor hasn't been out either, and I'm not sure if she's done with leasing or not. I haven't had time to talk with her. I took my in-laws out to meet their "granddaughter" and warned them the entire time that she would probably be really worked up, and would run around a lot. I gave the speech about staying away from her butt, and if she freaks in the cross ties to duck into a stall.

so....of course after all of that she was an angel!

She was really happy to see me, and just wanted her face brushed. She was really itchy apparently. I think she scratched her face for 10 minutes (she brushes her own face, I just hold the brush.) Then it turned her out in the arena and she didn't do anything, no running, no crazy antics, nothing. When I went out there with her she walked right up to my shoulder. When I walked she'd walk, when I'd stop, she'd stop. She remembered everything from our "showmanship" lesson last week. It was fun to show off something that I remembered. She's so smart.

My in-laws leave tomorrow, then it's back to "Operation Ride My Horse."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Maggie Mae (2002-2010)

I rescued Maggie on October 17, 2002. At the time I volunteered at a prison tutoring inmates to get their GED's. After spending a few hours there I would drive across the road to the Humane Society, that's where I met Maggie. She was there for a few days, and I went everyday to visit her. I couldn't have a dog, I rented an house and there was a strict no pet policy. I called my parents everyday and asked them to come down and save her for me. I promised that I would take responsibility for her as soon as I moved home in 6 weeks. Finally, the Humane Society took her collar off (which meant bad things were going to happen to her.) I called my parents frantically, and told them I'd never forgive them unless they came and got this dog. It was a huge guilt trip, but it worked. They came down, and in a blinding thunderstorm we drove to the Humane Society and sprung Maggie. I promised my parents that I would take full responsibility of her when I moved home from college in 6 weeks. That didn't happen, she had my parents wrapped around her paws before they made it the 40 miles home.

Maggie was an amazing, amazing dog. She was always there to listen to me, and even forgave me when I brought home a golden retriever puppy named Molson. She taught him the ropes, and they were best friends. Molson is lost now, Maggie left this world on Friday in my mom's arms. I live 3,000 miles from home and it breaks my heart that I wasn't able to see her one last time. She was a very special dog, and I'm sure everyone feels that way about their dog.

To Maggie I say, you were my best friend, and confidante. I love you sweet girl, I hope they have lots of sticks for you to chew in heaven. Please know, that even from 3,000 miles I never stopped loving you, and now from Earth to Heaven I will still not stop loving you. Sleep tight sweet one.

Sorry I haven't blogged much the past week. I'll be back to my regularly scheduled pony updates this week. It's been a crazy week. I'll write more when I'm feeling up to it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Easier Said Than Done

This week is crazy. Insane. Yesterday at work one of my kiddos had what looked like chocolate on his pant leg, "Is that Chocolate?" Student rubs his finger on the chocolate, "Hummm....Nope, that's poop." Ugh. Seriously! I also found shit in one of the garbage cans. It has been a crazy, crazy week!!

Yesterday I ran out to the barn for our lesson. I was suppose to have a riding lesson yesterday, and a ground work lesson today. I found out that my mother in law (who's amazing) is coming in today, not tomorrow, so I had to choose what I wanted to do. I decided to work with Denali.

We had a showmanship lesson. I was really nervous and kept getting afraid that she'd freak out, I acted brave which is a new thing for me, but by the end I realized how silly my fear was! It was a good feeling. I learned a lot about how to work with her. One thing my trainer told me was I need to watch my tone of voice. I get high pitched when I get excited. I know that, so I worked hard on keeping my tone of voice calm. She seems to like it a lot more, I guess it reassures her.

My trainer did some flag work with her, and she didn't budge at all. I did learn to pick up on some of her body language and how to read her. It's been about a year since we've done groundwork so I think it's really good for both of us.

Operation 30 by 30 is going well. I did drive by Top Pot donut yesterday and made the mistake of stopping. Seriously, I think they're addictive. They (yes they, :( ) were SO good. Sigh. I ate healthy the rest of the day. I've been running every morning since Saturday. I didn't go yesterday because I needed to get my broken tooth fixed, but I went this morning in the rain!

Operation Ride My Horse, is also working well. I have some obligations this week but will get back to the barn hopefully this weekend to work on what we've worked on.

Operation New Amazing Saddle is on hold. I have a jar that I'm seriously going to keep change in. I'm sure I'll get to 2,800 in no time! Donations welcome!! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Showing

Today was a little schooling show at a local riding club. Ophie and her mom entered into it to get ready for next weekend's "Ride and Review." Ophie was such a good girl. She looked like a seasoned school horse! I was a very proud aunt!

I did get to do one thing today! I got to meet one of my readers. :) The fun part of having my blog! I'm sure he thought I was a crazy stalker, but who could forget his beautiful horse's face!

Ophie's mom's boyfriend and I sat by my care and judged the classes ourselves. I think we did pretty good if I do say so myself. There was one rider who didn't seem to do anything correct (it was equitation) and she still placed in 3rd a few times (out of large classes.) We were very confused!

I didn't bring Ms. D with us. Next time I'm going to do showmanship with her, that should be funny! I should have brought her, but wanted to be able to help with horses if I could.

My trainer also did really well! I love her horse, she's so sweet and is a great girl! I had to do my "homework" tonight and e-mail her my "plan" for the week. I love it! I'm glad she's asking me what my plan is. What I do know is I am going to put any doubt out of her mind. I guess if you looked at me you'd think it was a bad match, since I haven't really tried to make it work. This is my little extra kick in the butt I needed.

I didn't bring Denali because I didn't want to deal with a hot/crazy/wild Thoroughbred at the show. After watching some of those horses Denali looks dead broke and super quiet. There was one girl who walked past us with her horse. She was super buff! Muscles everywhere. After watching her on her horse I think she needs them to keep from dying! There were some horses who were just all over the place! It gives me hope. As long as I stay on!

After the show I ran to the barn to say hi to my girl. She nickered at me and I gave her some grass and loved on her for only a few minutes. I had promised my hubby I'd be home and spend some time there. I ran to Olsen's Tack Shop because they were having a sale, and I had a 20% off coupon that was burning a hole in my purse. I found some paddock boots that were nice. I was going to get them then remembered that although they were more than 1/2 off, I don't really NEED them. I really like riding in my field boots.

While I was there I talked to their saddle fitter. She's a wealth of knowledge and it was nice chatting with her. I have a really long femur, so she said the best option for me and my horse is a custom saddle (which I knew.) I asked to see what it looked like and she pulled out the 2000 Dressage Prestige. I sat in it and didn't want to get out, EVER! It was amazing, and it's not even fit to me. I am in love, now I need the $2,800. If anyone wins the Powerball remember me! :)

I have 3$ in my "saddle jar." My husband was trying to figure out what percentage of my saddle I have saved for. It was pretty funny.

I have a new "plan" and decided I want to lose 30 by 30. I have 8 months to do that. Along with my plan of 30 by 30 I have the equally important plan of "Ride my damn horse" and after those two are accomplished I am going to fulfill "Operation New Amazing Saddle." That's after I sell everything I own!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


7 barns in 4 hours! Not bad if I do say so myself.

I met Denali's lessor to go look at barns around one. I didn't want to go by myself, and like I told her, I don't plan on jumping ship right away, but want to know options.

Let's review.

Barn 1- It said it had turn out. I don't know if you consider little tiny, muddy postage stamp sized boxes "turn out." I do know that Denali would FLIP OUT. She needs to be out for the majority of the day. It was dirty and it was really, REALLY busy! There were at least 6 kids riding in the arena while I was there.

Barn 2- Next door to barn 1 and really nice! Huge turn outs, and runs off the stalls. Nice footing, and it only looked like there were 6 or 7 horses. $450.00 per month. The con is that it is pretty far from Seattle for me. I want to be closer than 30+ miles.

Barn 3- Seriously, there were more chickens there than horses. I could hear chickens in the "office" there were chickens in stalls, there were huge cages full of chickens outside. It was crazy! Nice arena! Nice turn out, but I'm not too sure about the chickens!

Barn 4- I was/am IN LOVE!! It's a dressage barn with HUGE turn outs and amazing stalls and arena. Of course they don't even take names for a waiting list because no one ever leaves. It's $700.00 per month, but that includes lessons/training with some guy who won gold. I won't be able to get here in there ever (and even then I want to make sure I we can walk/trot/canter including transitions with ease) I would just embarrass myself. It was beautiful!!

Barn 5- Was a western pleasure barn w/o any turn out at all. Yuck. (Not the WP, the no turn out.)

Between barn 5 and 6 we stopped by a barn that was a private barn that I had only seen from the road, I didn't know much about it. Turns out to be someone's house. A huge beautiful amazing barn with an amazing arena. We stopped and just watched a "girl" riding her beautiful horse. She stopped and looked at us, so we left laughing. I felt like a stalker.

Barn 6- Really nice, a bit expensive for what it is, but it's closer to where I live. Nice light filled barns. They also have pasture board available. Denali would be with 2 other mares on a pretty big piece of land (big for Seattle standards.) That is $550.00 and so not top on my "love list"

Barn 7- Barn 7 was really nice. The roof collapsed last winter so they are in the process of re-doing the stalls (arena is Olympic sized and totally amazing.) She has an Oldenburg Stallion who I had read about, so I was excited to stop by the barn in hopes of meeting him. He's in California training with (insert big name here) and won't be back for a few weeks. We did get to see some of his off-spring. One was named Rumpus, and is only 9 days old. She was the most correct (confirmation wise) filly I have ever seen. She was amazing! And for the cheap price of $20,000 she can be yours! Ugh. She was so beautiful!! We got to see some pretty amazing horses while we were there. The woman who owns it seems really down to earth and really nice. She's hosting (insert big name here) for a clinic in May and so I am going to audit it and go. The boarding and training are reasonable (for what you get) and I think if I had to pick one, I'd go with Barn 7. If Barn 4 ever had openings it would be a toss up!

I went to my barn after and met a totally different trainer (still my trainer) she came up with a plan for Denali and I. We discussed what it is that I want to get out of it and how we are going to get there. It was a good feeling. We'll see how things go. What I like about my barn is that I can show up and do whatever. It's small and private. I like that about it. I think she got crap from the other trainer for not having a plan for Denali and I. I have a nice one now. I'm going to do a lot of trust building and relationship building with her. I also need to get into shape so when she does spook I don't come off. That scares her and makes her nervous. We'll get there. I will post the plan here when we figure out what/when. I need to make goals. Right now my goal is riding her in the arena. :) Crossing my fingers, it would be so much easier if I hated my barn!


I was online getting directions, but though I'd write this down quickly. I'm going with Denali's lessor to look at barns. Not going to jump ship right now, but I am going to see what's out there.

Then I'm off to my barn to continue the conversation I had with my trainer. She called this morning and had some good ideas, I'm still going to step lightly.

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Be Brave

There's nothing that makes me want to do something more than to tell me that you don't think I can or that you're not so sure....blah, blah, BLAH.

I'm getting an ulcer. It's been a while, but I'm defiantly feeling it. I'm sure the gallons of Coke Zero I've been drinking hasn't helped.

Yesterday I ran out to the barn because I wanted to talk to my trainer about our conversation the night before. She was riding her horse and told me that she didn't have time to talk but we really needed to sit down and have a conversation.

You can't fucking tell me that and then expect me to not say anything.

I got pissed, even more so because I knew in my heart what she was going to try to tell me. I grabbed Denali (MY HORSE) and took her into the round pen. I did a little walking and trotting and getting her to listen to me. Then I went and got the dreaded flag.

You would have thought that the flag was on fire and trying to attack her. We worked for a long time, and I called it quits when she stopped freaking out and just stood still. She tried to rear a few times but I just made her go backwards as fast as I could so she'd think rearing was a really bad idea. I need to have a lesson on this, I don't remember how to do it exactly.

After that I was still pissed. I went to my trainer and asked her if she wanted me out of the barn and that's why she wanted to talk to me.

She said no, then went on to say that she's just not sure if Denali and I are a good match. Yada, yada, yada. Honestly it was an hour long conversation, but if I tried writing it all here my hands are going to fall off.

She said she just needs to sit down and think the pros and cons. I told her she hasn't given either one of us a chance. Denali has been ridden, but has not been in training since August. That I haven't done ANYTHING in the past 6 months really, and that she's not giving us a chance.

She said that she was talking with the other trainer from Monday night and that she just has some concerns. Safety is her number one priority (or so she said) and she just wants to make sure that this is a safe partnership. Honestly, I feel like it's me and Denali now against the world, and we no longer have a supportive trainer. If she can't believe in me, then it's going to be hard to believe in myself. If Denali was rearing up, or bucking, or trying to dump me, yes, I'd revisit the situation and wonder if it was a good relationship. BUT, she's not. She's green. I'm green. She's also a Thoroughbred. A young Thoroughbred who was trained to race. She needs time.

I told her if it never worked out that she was a riding horse that I'd keep her as my pet. She asked me if that was fair to Denali. Have you met my horse lady? She LOVES eating. She actually excels at it. Also, there are never guarantees when you sell a horse. Would it be fair for Denali to be ran into the ground then forced to have babies? Would it have been fair for her to be on someones dinner plate? There is no way for me to keep any of that from happening if I don't own her.

I was very nice talking with her of course. I love, love, love the barn. I love her too, but not when she doesn't seem to believe in me (or Denali.) The barn is so nice, but I feel like I need to start looking for a new home, JUST IN CASE. If Ophie and her mom weren't there I would have been gone after the "bit incident of '10." I think it would break my heart to leave and feel like I couldn't go back and visit them. I need to do what is best for my horse and for me.

I'm really frustrated. My husband (non-horsey husband at that, who is BEYOND supportive of me) put it best. "Maybe we need to find another trainer if she's not confident enough in herself to stand up for what she believe." (After bit incident and then yesterday.) Both times she's said things or done things is after other trainers have been at the barn. I'm not sure what it is she is thinking. He also said, "If you did put her up for sale what are the chances she'd offer to buy her or know someone who wanted her?" He's a smart man.

What I do know is I'm going to prove her wrong. I'm going to make the best relationship with my horse that she's ever seen, and then remind her that she didn't think it was going to work. I'm not an idiot, I know my horse. I've seen people with horses and a relationship that didn't work. I don't have that with her.

What do you think? I'm going to write in my boots "Be Brave" to remind me that I'm not going to die and I'm going to prove her wrong.

In the world of boarding, I need something 20 miles from Seattle (closer obviously better) with turn out for the majority of the day, but still able to feed grain at night. Indoor arena, stall, and being allowed to have my own trainer come in. All for $450.00. Not an easy task to find. Essentially I want my barn. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Riding Horse or Pet

Today was one of those days.

From the moment my alarm went off I just had a feeling that today was going to be one of those days. I even laid in bed thinking to myself, "oh, here we go."

My morning at home did not go well, so I left my house in a foul mood. I got to work and my kiddos were just totally wild. I spent my day e-mailing a parent trying to make him understand why their child was not included in the general education classes.

I couldn't make anyone happy.

I spent the day writing an IEP (Individual Education Plan) that no matter how I wrote it, didn't make the family happy. Sigh. I sent the PLOP (Present Levels of Performance) to the parents for them to review via e-mail at least 6 times, this in between teaching a classroom full of 10 wild students.

One of my students, a little girl, informed someone today, "I'm not a girl, I'm a hoe."


I started feeling sick at 3:00.

After work we had a faculty lasted for 2 hours.

Then I worked on the IEP some more, and finally left work around 6pm still feeling like crap.

Went grocery shopping since we're apparently out of food.

I was beyond tired, stressed, and exhausted.

Got home and started cleaning my house. Did some laundry. I still felt like crap.

Called Denali's trainer to discuss "What I want for her."

She was busy, and I should have known better than to try to discuss Denali with her. Especially since I'm already in a really crappy, foul mood. I haven't talked to her since Monday night, after the lesson Denali's lessor had with the Dutch guy. She was trying to talk to me, and I'm not sure what she was trying to say. What I got was that Denali is a smart, beautiful horse that many people would love to have, and maybe it would be better that way. I could be wrong, I'm probably wrong, but I'll worry about it until tomorrow. She asked me if I wanted a riding horse or a pet. Dumb question. If I wanted a pet I would have rescued a pasture pet. Believe me, she costs enough, I'm going to ride her. Who knows. I do agree, I need to have a plan of what I want to do with Denali.

Nothing makes me want to do something more than, than to be told that I can't.

I'm in a really craptastic mood. I'm exhausted, I'm stressed. I have to wake up at the crack of dawn to have a meeting at 7am. Tomorrow is going to be an extra long day too.

I want to take my horse and move to a deserted tropical island. I'm sure Denali would like to eat pineapples. We could swim in the ocean. She'd like that, I know it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


(Love, LOVE, LOVE this one!!)

I just love this face!

She's really not that skinny!! Damn ribs!
I am so grateful to have a friend who has such an amazing camera! A million thank-you's Ophie's mom for your skills! I could never capture pictures like this!!

Drunk Horse

I wasn't planning on going to the barn yesterday, but I got a phone call around 3:30 from our trainer that (insert name that I can't remember here) was going to be coming by the barn. He's from Holland and did big time hunter/jumpers and now dressage. I guess he goes all over now doing clinics. Hell if I can remember his name. I'll edit when I can remember. Anyway, the price of his lesson was 60$, and my trainer asked me if I'd defray the cost for Denali's lessor so that she could take a lesson with him. I said sure, and that I'd check with my husband and then be out.

I learned a lot of different ideas from him. Things I didn't know, such as what side the buckle faces on the reins. I had no idea. Denali's lessor hooked her up to lunge her, and as she was doing that he said, "why do you do it that way?" (through the bit, up and around the poll, and connected to the other side.) I was afraid that my trainer would pull out the, "I've been saying that's not the way to do it" but she didn't and said that's how she taught us. He told us that with an OTTB you shouldn't put pressure on the bit, because they are trained to go faster. He put the lunge line through the bit and then attached it to the nose band on the other side. I still have visions of her freaking out and breaking my new expensive bridle. I guess it makes sense. He also said he hates bridles without flashes. He said you need it to help support the bit in the horses mouth. Well, my new one does not have a flash, and I'm not running out and buying a new one so she'll deal for now. He also wanted a thicker bit for her mouth.

He was very critical, he said Denali should only be working on walking collected on the bit until she doesn't walk like a drunk horse. Once she's accomplished that then move up to trotting, but not until. He kept picking on Denali's lessor. Poor Lessor! I kept laughing, and felt horrible for doing so, but I was just so thankful that it wasn't me on the horse.

He hopped up and rode Denali for a little bit (without a helmet, I thought I was going to die.) He said she was a very quick learner, and that she a very smart horse with a perfect dressage neck. I love hearing good things about my horse. He was very surprised where I got her and impressed with how she looked. I can't take any of that credit, her lessor put all her muscle on her.

I asked him about my new saddle, he said it fit her well, but by looking at me it wasn't going to fit me. I know that, it fits good, just not perfect. I had a hard time keeping my knee in the right place naturally on Saturday. I had to work really hard on that, but it will work for the next few years. I still feel better in it than my Harry Dabbs. I just never felt really secure in my other saddle. Once I start riding more and more, I will look into a different saddle. I mentioned through e-mail to my husband that I'd like to save for a custom saddle, but that's not going to happen, if ever. It's hard to explain to someone who isn't into horses that you'd like to drop $3,000 on a saddle when you already have to pay $500.00 + each month just for board. He'd probably feel better if he got the meat from the cow that the saddle was made from. Regardless he'd be proud of me this month, I just got our credit card bill and it's $1,000 less than normal. See honey! I do save!

Denali did spook when her lessor got off. I still think I freaked her out when I hopped off on Sunday, and that she's having flash backs to me coming off of her screaming my head off. I guess we'll need to work on getting on and off, and on and off until she decides that it's okay. I was worried that it had something to do witht he saddle fit, but this guy (who's name I don't remember) got off slowly and quietly, and she was fine. I think it's the noise of hitting the dirt that reminds her and freaks her out. Does that make sense?

On May 2, I'm taking a saddle fitting clinic. I called the tack store here yesterday to talk about saddles and saddle fit (because I'm super anal and I've been worried since last Wednesday about Denali and her new saddle, because apparently she was a PITA on the lunge line.) They send her to England and she said she's going to regurgitate everything she knows. I'm excited. I always like learning new things, especially when it comes to something so near and dear to my heart.

Other than that I was impressed with the lesson yesterday. Not too sure how Denali's lessor felt about it. She's been picked apart lately when it comes to riding and it makes me feel bad. I obviously want what's best for Denali, but I also want her to be happy to come to the barn. Not sure how much fun it is going to be to ride a horse who should only be walking. We'll see.

I have a bunch of pictures I wanted to post but my computer at home is on it's last leg. It's not working right at all, and that frustrates me!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

All Gear, No Skill

There's another blog that has that name, but I'm thinking that I should use that one for my blog title now. Lol, got the new bridle, new bit, new saddle pad, and new saddle out on Saturday. Tacked up Ms. Denali and lunged her for a bit. Our trainer worked with us for a little bit on the proper way of doing it. It's been a while since I've worked Ms. D on the ground and I know that I need to do a lot more of it.

When we were finished I put her back into her paddock and started to clean my tack. During this time Ms. Ophelia was getting wormed. She broke loose and took off running around the property. Ms. Denali got all excited and fell AGAIN. Ugh. She is a walking disaster.

Today I went out to do some light lunging and to see how she was doing. As I was tacking her up, I stretched out her legs. She reached down, started nussling my hair, and then sighed. It was so sweet. She was super lovey today.

We went to work. She's still off on her right hind, when we were lunging to the right she was definitely off on it, but there was no heat or swelling. After a little time she seemed to loosen up and was doing better. I'm assuming falling down isn't helping her heal, whatever is wrong with her. She likes stressing me out.

After warming her up for a while, I asked our trainer to "hold her" so I could try riding her. I haven't ridden her in a while, and wanted to see how the saddle felt for me. Of course she spooked! What the hell! Here's my logic, you tell me what you think:

She knows I'm not confident and she doesn't feel safe when I'm on her back. When something happens she feels responsible and needs to react. Almost like she needs to save us, because she doesn't trust that I will save her. I don't honestly think she does it to be evasive. She's not that kind of horse, if that makes sense. What do you think?

I'm going to do a lot more ground work with her in the coming weeks. I want her to realize that she can trust me. After our ride I hoped off of her and she FREAKED! I got off of her the way I get off of all horses. So of course after her little 'episode' I had to get back up on her to get off again. I asked her to walk on then 'emergency dismounted' She really freaked out and about ran over my trainer. She does NOT like me coming off her back. I think it's a "flash back" to me coming off of her. So then it was back to ground work. We put things on her back and trotted her so it would fall off. She did okay with that. Then I took her saddle off and she jumped at that, so then my trainer had me put it on and take it off at least 20 times until she stood still. My arms hurt! She calmed down and went back to thinking everything was fine.

Ophie's mom brought her super amazing, wonder camera to the barn and we had a photo shot. We groomed the girls up beautiful and took them out to the grass field to graze and take pictures. We had Ophie's mom's boyfriend chasing them to get them to run for the photos. We didn't tell him that her camera memory was full, and let him continue to chase them. It was hilarious. I'll post some of those pictures when I get them. I also need to get her permission.

Sorry this is a kind of random blog. I have a million things to think about and wanted to at least put down part of my weekend. I'll try to organize my thoughts and make a better blog this week.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My horse, the dog...

Ran out to the barn today to drop off my old saddle. LONG STORY. If you've been following for long you know how anal I am. If you're new to this blog. I'm beyond anal when it comes to my horse. It's horrible!

Yesterday Denali was a huge PITA with her lessee. Her lessee thought it might be the saddle, but I forgot to tell her that my horse went psycho the night before and fell on her belly. In hind sight, she's probably sore. She was still a little stiff today. She only walked her in the saddle. I put the new one on her today and it seems to fit her better through the shoulder than the other one. The poor thing had to stand there and deal with mom poking and prodding. I continuously took the saddles both on and off, and on and off. Her new one really seems to fit, but she'll tell us if it doesn't. Her lessee didn't trot or canter her yesterday, and I didn't do much with her on Tuesday. She was way to "up" for me to lunge her. I'm not too concerned. If the saddle doesn't work out, I'll sell it. I got it for a good price, so I think I'll at least be able to get that for it.

While I was out there I pulled her mane. First time I've ever done that with her. She was great! I did let her graze while I did it though, so she was so excited to eat I'm sure she forgot what I was doing.

After I finished fusing over her, I turned her out in the arena. She walked around for a little bit then turned to look at her tail bag. Then she started chasing her tail!! My trainer saw it too and was laughing so hard she had tears in her eye. Denali was totally playing with her tail! It was so funny! I wish I had my camera to take a picture of the look on her face. "I'm going to get you!"

Her bridle and her saddle pad came today! The saddle pad is amazing! Even if it doesn't work I'm not sure I'll be able to give it up. The bridle is beautiful. We'll see if this one fits! I sold the other one, so I don't feel guilty.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I think we have a winner

After work yesterday I ran up north 40 miles to pick up the saddle. 40 miles in traffic. Ugh! It only took an hour and a half, so not that horrible. I hate picking things up on the side of the road, but the woman seemed nice enough. She was very petite so I was worried about how the saddle would fit me. I had her draw up a bill of sale, along with a 48 hour return policy.

I rushed to the barn for my lesson. I'm glad my trainer is so understanding. I was an hour late! I told her what I was doing and that I thought I'd be half an hour late. I hate people like me! This was my first lesson in A LONG TIME!! Maybe before Christmas...I'm thinking October (first lesson at my barn.) I rode her show horse. He's an appendix and is awesome! He'll do anything if you ask him right, which is what I appreciate about him.

When I walked down to get him Denali saw me and kept nickering, and nickering at me. I felt so bad. I went and gave her some grass and some love and told her that I'd be back for her. She continued nickering at me until I got the other horse, then I got the butt.

Our lesson was great! I actually caught on to some things I wasn't sure I was doing right before. My half halts have always sucked, but I fell like I finally understand now. I over think EVERYTHING I ever do, so it was nice to feel successful.

I rode in my new saddle for our lesson. I really liked it. It doesn't have as deep a seat as my other one, but I feel really secure in it. We'll see. I'll need to ride in it a few more times to figure out the differences. I never really liked the way my Harry Dabbs pitched me forward. I do that myself, so to have a saddle emphasis that didn't help. I must say thought, I do love my HD saddle. I'm going to have a hard time parting with it.

After putting away the horse I went out to get Denail. I don't know how else to explain this, but she was terrified. She was just beside herself. I'm not sure what it was. The horses around her were brought in right before I got her. I could tell what kind of a mood she was in from the moment I haltered her up. Once we were inside the barn I decided to let her burn off some energy in the arena. I had to have Ophie's mom hold her because she was so "up" she spooked at me taking her blanket off, she was just really upset about something.

I knew leading her into the arena that we were going to have a hard time. She was doing her arab imitation. I didn't even get the halter the whole way off when she took off like a bat out of hell. It was crazy. I've never seen her run like that. At on point she fell down (took a turn way too sharp) and she just jumped back up and took off again. It was crazy.

At this point it was almost 9 o'clock and I couldn't just leave her. I got her halter on her and got her to stand while I sat the saddle on her back. It seems to be a much better fit than her last one. While the saddle was sitting on her two cats got into a fight, at the same time one of the horses was freaking out in her stall, while the BO was in his trailer in front of the arena going into and out of his trailer, and the trainers son was taking down hay. So, all 4 sides of the arena had something going on that was freaking her out. She started to prance a little bit with all this going on, but didn't move from her spot. As soon as I grabbed the saddle (which I had envisioned it hitting the dirt) she started to try to run away. I got her back under control and walked her around. She never calmed completely down, but she also didn't try to run me over. It was a good exercise for her. I wish I could get all those noises going again sometime (when I'm NOT ON HER) to work with her some more.

I called her lessee and told her about Denai's "Moments" and about the new saddle. She's going to ride in it tonight to see what Denali thinks of it. If it doesn't work I'll sell it. The woman who I bought it from has two other people who wanted it if I didn't take it.

I see there are some new followers! Thanks for joining our ride! I'm always curious how people find this blog.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My New Saddle!!

It said "dressage style" so I figured it would work! Right? I'm going to give Denali a Spanish show name and take the dressage world by storm in this saddle! It was only 179.00 so I figure I could own 5 of these for the price of the Niedersuss Symphony.

Okay, I'm kidding! I was on eBay looking at saddles, and saw this. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how this would work for the horse/rider aside from the fact that this is super ugly!! It's only 179.00!

Still haven't decided on the saddle yet! Ugh. I hate spending money, although I'd sell my Harry Dabbs and make it back....Still!

Niedersuss Symphony Ideas?

Okay! Here it is.... well not "the one" but another one that I am suppose to go look at. What do you think? My only concern is that it is a MW, and althought I'm 99% sure my current saddle is a medium wide, I know that Niedersuss tend to run a little bigger. Ideas? It's a Niedersuss Symphony, 17" seat (another problem, my current is 18, but again, I rode in my old trainers and I'm 99% sure it was a 17, and I had no problems) She's asking $700.00 for it. Enough for precentages! Give me your thoughts! :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Double Life

I wish I could have 6 more hours in the day. I got home from an after work meeting at 7:30. I could do my teaching job really well if I didn't feel guilty about not spending time with Denali. I could probably get a lot better with riding Denali if I didn't work late and then STILL have a 20 mile (1+ hour) drive to the barn. Sigh... I can't wait for summer! I have big plans this summer involving riding. AKA, just ride.

I turn 30 in December. I know that's not old when you look at a person's life as a whole, but I feel old since I haven't done that much with mine. I have a list of things that I want to do before December 7, 2010.

1. Canter Denali under control both directions.
2. Successfully complete Test A and B for the Intro test (not compete, complete)
3. Camp on the beach (w/o the horse, I'm not that brave yet)
4. Compete in a 5k
5. Road trip with my husband to Wyoming and ride his friends horses into the Teton Mountain's.
6. Successfully develop a working level system in my classroom.
7. Loose 40 pounds.
8. .....

Any other ideas?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Slacking Sunday

It's been a while! A whole three days, but it still feels like a lot longer! Friday I had planned on going out to the barn to ride, and packed everything but my boots (oops!) I got there in the middle of the wind storm. Fun times. I decided to not ride. A. It was freezing, B. It was raining, C. I forgot my boots, D. It was freezing. I know those are all excuses, but I was okay with that.

The 520 Bridge on my way home from the barn. You could feel the bridge move, and the waves were crashing over it! No wonder it took me 2 hours to get home from the barn!

After playing with Ms. Denali (who by the way was in a SUPER possessive mood) I went to The Gift Horse to pick up my prize. I won some joint supplements and some other ligament cream. I also returned a bit that I bought. While I was waiting for my stuff a "kid" came up to check out something. She didn't look older than 16, if that. I heard her talking about her pony. The woman checking us out asked her how they were doing, "Oh we're doing well. We're schooling Prix St. George and hope to earn silver this year. Seriously!? Ugh. I really wish I could go back in time and have parents who could afford to give me proper lessons. Hell. Where I lived I'm lucky there was anyone around that could give me horseback riding lessons at all, forget Dressage!

I'm not saying that I want or expect to take Denali the whole way to the top, but I must say that I was super jealous of that 16 year old!

I think we have the Rhythm part down, but that's about it! We both have a lot of work to do, (Me WAY MORE than her) but I do want to take her to shows. Not big ones, I don't want to get ribbons, I want to prove to myself that I can do it.

Friday night I found out that I won a book! I entered a contest on the Pets Blogroll website. I'm pretty excited. Next to horses, dogs are my favoriate! I wish we could have one at our house, but with all my free time being taken up with the horse it isn't really fair to the dog. If you'd like a chance to win a copy of the book you can do it in either at the Pets Blogroll website or at Susan Wilson's facebook page.

Saturday we went down to Elma to volunteer at Second Chance Ranch. Ophie's mom and I groomed horses, played with wolves, and I got to give haircuts to about half of the horses. It was SO MUCH FUN! I even took my husband there, he cut up firewood and had a great time! He loves doing outdoor things. It was so funny, the horses are so well mannered! We took them into her grooming room and fed them grain while we worked. The doors had latches on them, but we'd still see little noses sticking in trying to see what we were doing. When we were done with one we'd open the door, ask them to step away (and they would) and ask who was next. They were very good! I did cut one horses hair that she was trying to let grow, oops! I still feel bad, but she said not to worry. It was a lot of fun! I love those horses! They are awesome!

I also inadvertently taught one horse how to drink out of a water bottle. He (Slewy) was playing with my vitamin water. He picked it up so I let him have a drink. Next thing I know he lifted the bottle up and chugged the drink. He later found his "mom's" vitamin water and drank hers too! It was much funnier than the picture shows. Of course I didn't get a shot of him doing it.

After leaving the barn my allergies started. I take medicine, but sometimes that doesn't work. I started sneezing, and sneezing, and sneezing. The only thing that gives me any relief is taking more medicine, washing my face and sitting still. If I start walking my allergies start up again. It gets bad, my whole body hurts. This was how I was from yesterday at 5 to today at 1:30. I'm tired. I hate, hate, hate allergies, BUT playing with a barn full of Denali's cousins makes suffering worth it!

Had friends over today, ate WAY TOO MUCH, and am currently sitting on my couch in my "fat pants" trying to figure out what I'm going to do with the 56 days of school that we have left!

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lucky Me!

I wanted to write and tell you some HUGE lie since it's April 1, but since that drives me crazy I'll pass.

I woke up early to drive my brother to the airport. I don't understand why it is that everyone I love decides to fly out at the crack of dawn! Ugh. I hate driving to the airport, and I hate it even more at 4 or 5 am.

When I got home I took a quick nap then met a friend who hasn't met Denali yet. I had offered to drive her out to the barn, if she didn't mind stopping at the tack store first. I wanted to pick up a new bit for Denali and the tack store was having a 14% off sale (not a typo, it was their anniversary.) I entered my name in their drawing, bought a french link, loose ring snaffle, and then went to the barn.

The other trainer was riding Denali today. She was going really well. She was so light in the bridle and looked amazing, apparently a huge improvement from Tuesday. I hope she likes her new bit, we'll see!

Still trying to find money to do the shots. I went through some of my stuff that I don't use and plan to sell it either on craigslist or on eBay. I love selling stuff, but I hate answering a bazillion questions! I actually got paid extra for some tutoring I did last month, so once I make sure that we have some money in savings I'll get Ms. D the shots. I do feel guilty about not doing it right away, but she doesn't need it right away. At least I think so...

When I got home I got a call from the tack store. I won something! I got my choice, so I took some joint supplements. I don't know anything about them, but if it's not something I can use I'll donate it.

How are everyone's ponies adjusting to Spring where you live?