Saturday, January 8, 2011

Super Saturday

Okay, so nothing really made today "super" but it rhymed and I couldn't think of any other title.

Before I start I wanted to say "thank you" for everyone who is following our blog. It's nice to know who's reading!

It's one week into 2011. So far things are going pretty well for Denali and I. Nothing really worth complaining about, although I'd be lying if I didn't say the massive die off of all of the fish, crabs, birds, etc. didn't freak me out a little.

I haven't been out to see Denali since Tuesday. Tuesday! Bad horse mom. BAD. I had to run errands with my friends this morning, and although they wanted to go see her, it's not exactly in a "stop by and visit" location. It's almost 50 miles from my house.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will go see Mare and see how she's doing. It's amazing to me what turn out has done for her. She seems so much happier, and she is getting stronger by the day. It makes me realize that she really needs to be boarded where she has turn out in a herd, or at least a buddy. There is so much stuff she needs, thinking about the next steps freaks me out. It isn't going to be for a while (hell, maybe even a year) but I'm going to send her somewhere else for training. I want to find someone who has re-started OTTB's and has a successful record of doing it. Not that I don't like our old trainer, and wouldn't want her to work with us again, but I think this would be best for Denali. Who knows...I'm rambling, and that probably doesn't make much sense. As my mom always tells me, "Don't worry about it until it's time." That's easier said than done.

What I want in a boarding facility.
1. Stall at night (pretty much so she is looked at each day and if something looks wrong, they call me.)
2. 8-10 hours of turn out in a large enough area that princess could kick up her heels if she wants to. (7 days a week.)
3. Indoor arena (with level, non-cement footing. Not too deep, not too thin.)
4. Willing to feed her supplements to her.
5. Consistency. At one point at one of our barns the person who did turn out was afraid of Denali. Denali sensed this and was a HUGE pain in the ASS. Naughty mare.
6. Quality Hay. I'm terrified of her getting EPM (if she doesn't have it, which I don't think she does.)
7. Lots of quality hay. I get nervous when they have 10 bales for 30 horses. I've been there. We're not doing it again. I also don't like switching up the hay source all the time.
8. Less than 30 miles from home, or work. (Which means anywhere between 30-35 miles.)
9. No automatic waterers. I like knowing how much she drinks, and I know of someone whose horse coliced because the waterer stopped working and no one noticed.
10. Price. Price is a huge issue. However, I fully understand that you get what you pay for but I'm not going to pay $700.00 a month

Our old barn had almost all of this except Denali didn't get turned out with a buddy for long (sorry Ophie's mom.) The arena needs fixed. The trainer fully understands this, but the owners have been dragging their feet. With the weird nero thing, I want her to know that when she puts her foot down, the ground will be just as level as it was the last step. I actually really like our old barn, but we're both high matenence and I would feel bad "demanding" the big pasture for her. The arena would need fixed too.

As for a trainer (which does not need to be the same as her boarding facility.)
1. Kind. No cowboys with bad attitudes.
2. Will consistently work her 4-6 days a week (when she's ready...yes, yes, I'm dreaming.)
3. I don't care about discipline. She likes the thinking in Dressage. She is much happier when she is made to think, so I think that's our way to go. However, not sure at this point how much collection she will be able to do. I just want someone who can give her a solid (SOLID) start.
4. References, I prefer someone who has worked with OTTB's (and maybe idiot owners.)
5. Close enough that I can go check on her once a week. I am willing to ship to an approved trainer.
6. Willing to be gentle and start her slowly. I don't plan on sending her until she is physically ready, but I know there are SO MANY trainers out there that I want to start this search early.
7. Someone to build confidence in her. Being with the herd has helped this so much, and yes, I know I'm a HUGE part of the confidence, but I'm working on myself.
8. Miles. She needs lots and lots of miles.

I'm sure there are more things I should look for. I don't know what else I should look for. I'm pretty set on someone who has worked with OTTBs.

I'm really glad that I have to worry about this. Really, really glad. I figured, even though it might not be for a year, I can make my wish lists now.


eventer79 said...

I will just say that when sending out to trainers, be SOOOOO careful. You would not believe the things they will do behind owners' backs. And DO drop by unannounced. If they are not okay with this, walk away. I am appalled by the numbers of horses I know who have been sent out for training and come back injured, with vices, terrified, or worse. And these were trainers that were supposedly good!

Ack, don't mean to be the parade rain, but I'd HATE for anything to happen to Denali again, you two deserve only good things forevermore!

Denali's Mom said...

I know. That's what scares me. I have heard and seen so many horror stories!!!

See why I'm starting my search now? Lol. I would love to take her to Giant Warmblood Barn, but I don't think I could afford it.

If something happens to her because of an idiot trainer I will need to quit writing this blog. I doubt they let you have internet access in prison

Dom said...

Sounds like a reasonable list of demands.

Andrea said...

You know there's a list of us who still have a gift waiting for you.... if you're down we're ready ;) E-mail me, you know you want your gifts!! Or else we're just sending you a big fat vetbills check!

Andrea said...

Also yes, I agree with the above opinions.... remember how the trainer I sent Gogo off to messed her up so badly? Be careful! (And we got your back if you need to stash a body somewhere!)

Denali's Mom said...

I know! I suck. I'll e-mail you right after this.

Denali also developed naughty behaviors while I was away in Denmark. That's what I'm afraid of!!!

achieve1dream said...

I have no experience with sending off to trainers so I'm not help there. I am happy it's something you get to think about (and worry about lol)! I'm so happy D is doing better. I'm sure she's loving living with the herd. I knew she would settle in eventually. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good, well-thought out plan. Like everybody else said, choose your trainer wisely. But you've got lots of time to do it, which is good. More turnout rather than less is a great idea too - it makes a big difference to the mental health of most horses.

Leah Fry said...

Check out the post over at Rising Rainbow about trainers. Good stuff.

I'm still just floored that you were in my old hometown. My mom and 2 of my brothers still live in St. Marys. Did you ever live there?

STB Eventer said...

Where are you located? (I mean this rhetorically, not like I am asking you to reveal your location for everyone to read! LOL) I have a friend in Bend, OR who is a wonderful trainer. I would send any of my horses to her in a second. I feel like you are on the West Coast....???

Sarah said...

Your list sounds great. I've never had to send away a horse to be trained, but I would be just as paranoid as you are:) As far as boarding goes, I really like your list. I do think having ample turnout with a buddy or two is key. Yeah, you risk some herd-bound issues, but those can be worked through to an extent.

I just think that's how they're meant to live:)

FWIW, my place just installed auto waterers. They are nice in that I see Miles drinking MORE than he did before, and it's the cleanest water you've ever seen at a barn! I do check it every time I'm out there to make sure it's working (and b/c I am paranoid). I think we may have freezing temps a little more often than you guys too, and they are great for that:)

Ask for recommendations of places too...if you have local horse chat rooms or message boards those are a great way to get input (with a grain of salt, of course). I didn't find my barn that way but I did find out who to avoid!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

I think those are a great pile of thoughts.
I would say, being in similiar places as you and Denali with Laz:
Look for a boarding facitly that is small/private that is close(ish). I have not found a large boarding facility that I've liked and I've looked at TONS. I like the one on one care and eyes on only a few horses. Less mistakes happen. Less, not zero.
Also, for training..honestly, I would have someone come out to you and work with you and Denali vs her going away. It's important for you to learn as she does. I speak from experience and still have a ways to go but I like being able to ask questions. I'll email u more about this
Other than are doing a great job and YES having turnout for an OTTB is key (I think) for their happiness and health!!!!