Monday, February 28, 2011

Wild day AND Mare VS. Mom (and mom wins... for once)

Yesterday was one of the most interesting days I've had in a long time. It was the huge (HUGE pictures to come) 4-H sale near where Denali is currently. I always look forward to going to look at everything and usually find a few things I can't live without. This year I wanted a short lunge whip (since BOTH of mine are MIA) to use in the round pen.

A friend and I planned on meeting at the crack of dawn for breakfast and then going to the sale bright and early (when it's totally insane AND all the good things are still there.) My alarm went off at 6 Sunday morning and I jumped from bed, it's really like Christmas for me. As I was getting read I realized I had a text message. My friend's husband was called into work and she couldn't come because of their son. BOO!!!

I was totally depressed and didn't want to go by myself. My wonderful husband offered to go with me, but I knew I couldn't do that to him. He made me crepe's for breakfast (and they were AMAZING) and kept trying to cheer me up. Around 10 o'clock I decided to put my big girl pants on and go look around myself. As I was walking into the arena I saw a girl that I use to board with, so at least I wasn't alone.

I was impressed with how much stuff was gone. I was there on Saturday and dropped my stuff off and it was LOADED. I walked around and found one thing I wanted (a nice head bumper) but I was unwilling to wait in line for an hour for an 8$ head bumper. We've never used one, but I thought it would be a good idea to introduce her to a head bumper since trailering has become so precarious. I'll find one elsewhere.

After the sale (which I bought nothing) I went over to the girls barn to see her TB mare (a cousin of Denali) and then lunch then back to the sale. There were less people, and hardly any line. My head bumper was gone, and it seemed that so were all my things, which is awesome.

I ran out to the barn to see Denali. I had 4 hours to kill before I could go back to pick up my items from the sale. Denali was already in the arena with Dollar and Sunny. I got her grooming box and took her to the round pen. I took off her blanket and groomed her. She is shedding so bad, she had piles of hair all clumped up. Denali, do you know it's 26 degrees out? Having warm temperatures for a few weeks and then dropping back down into freezing doesn't do well for TB mare.

She had been in her stall for a day and a half, and was only out of her stall for maybe 4 hours when I got there. She was actually really good while I groomed her. After I finished grooming her, something spooked her and she took off.


(insert heartbreak here)

I pictured my dreams of ever riding her go out the window and the thought of sending her to the trainer a laughable one.

I went into the round pen with her and asked her to trot. She glared at me and took off at a canter. Okay mare, two can play at this game. I asked her to canter and canter and canter. She looked at me and tried to break into the trot. Nope, you want to canter, we'll canter. So we did for about 4 minutes. When I asked for the trot she came down into it and did a beautiful trot (no stumbling.) She did a really good job of going tot the left so we stopped and then switched directions.

Going the other direction she tried the same crap. I'm not going to listen to you and I'm going to do what I want. She stuck her head out of the round pen and had no intention of paying attention to me. Okay, fine. So we cantered, and cantered and cantered. Interesting that after a few laps you'd decide to look at me. She tried once to come at me at the canter, so she got a swift crack on the butt with the lead rope and quickly regretted it. She did kick out so I made her canter a little faster and once I had an ear on me and an eye on me we went to the trot and then she listened really well.

It was funny, her look on her face was really, "Work? Nah, you don't make me work. I do what I want." After warming up she didn't stumble at all and did a great job. I think it's from being in her stall and not moving around much. I'm also very interested in how she does when it warms up. I dont' have the Back on Track sheet yet, but hope to use the money from the tack sale to buy her one. I think it will really help (at least I hope it will.)

After finishing up with Denali a bunch of people showed up at the barn. I sat around chatting with them killing the hour I had left to go. Towards the end of my time the vet showed up along with two people hauling two emaciated horses saved by Animal Control. The truck and trailer started to slip and slide on the road so they parked and unloaded the horses on the road that leads to the center.

That left me stuck. Sigh.

I didn't care. I felt so bad for these two horses. You can read more about them here  It is one of my favorite rescues. They really do everything right. I was suppose to pick up my consignment things by 7:30. I was stuck at the center until 8 o'clock, but LUCKILY one of the ladies out there with me knew the person in charge and called her to hold my things (since if you don't pick it up it's considered a donation.)

I rushed from the center to the fairgrounds (where the 4-H sale was held) and she was waiting with my stuff. I felt stupid, it was only a few books. That meant that all 17 tail bags I made sold (10 three-tube tail bags and 7 one tube tail bags) along with all of my excess boots and just junk I had laying around. After the 18% commission fee I think I made around $250 which is pretty good when most of my things were between $5 and $15.

Maybe that will offset the $1,800 I need to shell out in the next month (taxes and truck accident.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Goodbye Break

Sunday is the huge (HUGE) 4-H tack sale. I love it. So much stuff all over!! It's great!  Tons of things that I don't need. At least this year I decided to try to get rid of some of my stuff. Tomorrow is the day that you can drop off items for consignment so I've been going though all of Denali's things to figure out what I can sell. I can't imagine I have all this stuff for one horse! Yikes.

I wish I would have made an appointment because I have a ton of stuff and I'm afraid that it will take me all day to go through it. I made up some 3 tube tail bags to take, boots, boots, and more boots, bridles, halters, etc. It's amazing.

Ms. Slew could use a back on track blanket (so says her mom) so I want to use the money I earn (if any) from this tack sale to put towards a blanket.

I would like to say I had extra change laying around to buy it, but with impending training and the fact that some ASSHOLE decided to hit our truck tonight and leave it....

Yep, someone decided to crush our back end on the truck and kindly leave it  without telling us. I believe in Karma, so it's only a matter of time, but our deductible is $500.00, so thats awesome! (No, not really.) We went to see Gnomeo & Juliet (no, not joking) and came out to that. I feel like I'm hemorrhaging money at this point.

In other non-spending money news, ran out to see Denali today. I was so happy when I pulled in, someone changed her into her heavy blanket and she looked so snuggly and warm. She happily ate the treats I brought her and let me love on her head (she doesn't normally let me do that.) That's the one thing that makes me nervous about sending her so far away. I trust this guy, and am happy that I know people who use him, but still...I'm mom and no one treats her like mom. (Which is 1/2 my problem.)

The trainer that we were suppose to work with tomorrow called today to cancel. :( Boo. All the snow we got left her more work at her house than she can get done in a day. Worst part is that we can't meet again until the end of March, maybe April. I'm feeling hopeless at this point. I know someone who does Parelli games, so I might have her come out to teach me how to do them so I am at least doing something.

I'm such an anal human being. Today I stood there watching Denali walk around for about twenty minutes trying to determined if she was off, sore, or stiff. I think that I might start her on Adequen if I'm going to send her to training to help her out. I still need to talk to the vet. She might shoot this whole idea down and say that Denali can't stand up to training. She said she's ridable, and never mentioned any restrictions. Denali does need stretched out before she's worked. She does better if she is. If Denali can't be trained, I won't be able to ride her, at least not at the riding stage I'm at.  She'll become a hay burner, which is fine for me too. I have her. I still feel like I won the lottery.

Tomorrow is another EFL session, I'm excited for that. It will be the first thing that I've done this whole week. Monday brings another 7 weeks of dealing with work. Also, to give you an idea of the school district that I work for read this. How awesome! (Sarcasm)

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I usually LOVE taxes. I love doing them, I love getting money back, and I love having a little extra change to buy something fun.

Then I got married and the amount of money I got went down.... Then someone in my family (NOT naming names, since I love him) continued to declare 1 instead of 0 (even though I've asked him for 4 years to change it to 0.)

Anyone want to guess what we owed for taxes this year??


I am sick.

I guess better than that much money towards vet bills.


In other words I talked to the new trainer today on the phone. My trainer (Giant Warmblood Barn) had told me that he was a man of few words. Boy was she right.

His wife answered the phone and was bubbly and talkative.

Her husband's conversation with me went like this after discussing arrival (still not determined) and price (SO CHEAP! Well, cheap for what I'm getting.)

Me: "Hi, I wanted to discuss my mare and her issues, she has arthritis in her neck, she tore her suspensory, I'm not sure she'll hold up, and I don't know....

Him: "Ma'm, we'll give your horse everything she needs and will take the best of care of her."

He has this calming voice, no wonder the horses love him. He told me that she could go on lay up if she gets injured and that they have a therapy pool to rehab her until she could come home to me.

I still really want to be there the first time she sees a cow. I can't wait to hear how that goes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Yesterday I had a lesson at the Giant Warmblood Barn. I love it there. I love the trainer. She explains things in a way that I get it and she helps me to not over think things too much. I rode one of the new lesson horses. She's an ex-cutting horse turn Dressage diva. She's a doll. Her spooks made me laugh, but it was a good lesson and a good ride. We're trying to formulate a schedule so I can get out and ride a few more times than what I've been doing (aka, I've ridden twice in 6 months.)

Towards the end of the lesson she asked me about Denali and how she was doing. I told her of the bucking incident and she talked about her concerns. Yes, yes, yes. Everyone is concerned

That's when she told me about this man. Apparently he's who re-started her Zweibrucker gelding. She got the gelding for meat price from someone who was terrified of him and abandoned him at a barn. He was out of control and rearing, striking out, bucking, and just a nut. You'd never ever know it now. This man is who starts all her young horses, and a lot of the young horses at the barn. Everyone I asked just raved about him. He sounds like he can do what I want done when Denali get to the part where she needs riding training (because we all know I can't do that.) Miles. He rides them all over, through the cows, through the river, though the hills. As the trainer at the giant warmblood barn said, the horses just come back with their head screwed on straight. It's exactly what I want. I want her to see the world and have all the holes in her training filled in.

I really respect the Giant Warmblood Trainer and I know how picky she is about her horses.  Best part is that the price is reasonable. I can send her to a really good trainer for the price I'd pay for an "ok" trainer around here.

Negative? Not so much close to Seattle. Not so much close at all. I am not going to mention his name or the place she's going....yet.  Positive is that she would be 20 miles from a friend of mine who said she'd happily check in on her a few times a month. It's also cheap for me to go see her.

Now what? Well, one thing is Ms. Denali isn't going anywhere until I'm sure that she's going to be able to hold up to being ridden. That and I want to do groundwork with her myself (with the help of Trainer A) before she goes. One thing is that the barn (which is 80 acres) has a therapy pool IF she does get hurt. In April it will be one year since she tore her suspensory, so I want to wait for that anniversary to pass and then give her a few more months of running around in a dry pasture. (Damn rain.)

Not to leave you in the dark, but I don't want to count chickens before they're hatched. I am excited. He is exactly what I want for a trainer as he has experience with TB's. I know multiple horses who have come back from him (all happy and sane.)

Back to yesterday.

After finishing my lesson I helped one of the boarders with her new horse. He is 4, and AMAZING. He is by Rubi, some famous Lusitano and is the only one of his offspring in the United States. He just got here Saturday from Portugal. She wasn't sure what he was use to, so I offered to hold him while she played around with grooming him. I wore my helmet :-) which I know looked ridiculous. I wasn't sure what a 4 year old Lusitano who has never heard English would do. He was a good boy and super sweet. He's going to visit this trainer in April, so at least I can see a before and after.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snow Day

The road to the Center

Sunny and Stewie taking a nap in the arena.

I LOVE this nose!!!

Denali's pissy face while I was feeding the other horses.

Denali's best friend. She's the horse I mentioned might have cancer. Keep your fingers crossed, no diagnosis yet. :(

I love this face!! I love that she has a black blaze in the summer. I love her!!

Just photos for tonight, tomorrow's post will include lesson highlights, the riding trainer has been picked, (yay!! He's amazing) and getting to play with a new horse at our barn who is by some famous Lusitano and is the only offspring of his in the US. He is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. He just arrived from Portugal last week.

Happy Birthday Denali

Happy Birthday to Slew, Happy Birthday to Slew,
 dear Denali, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU!!

 I love you mare and am so appreciative that I still have you in my life! 7 is my lucky number, I hope that it's yours too!!

Happy 7th Birthday Denali!
Love, Mom and Dad

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend Update...on a Monday

Denali's party went off without a hitch. My dear, sweet husband woke up early and helped me to organize everything that I needed to get ready before heading out to the barn. Ophie's mom and her boyfriend came out to help me too.

A lot of great people came out for food and pony kisses. Our trainer came out and was a little weird. I don't know if she's figured out we're not coming back, but regardless it was weird. She kept commenting how Denali kept sniffing her because she smelled like her horse friends. I reminded her that she was covered in hay, but she was convinced that it was because she smelled like her horse friends. What do I know, I just own her....sigh.

Right after the party was an educational series that the vet puts on.  A group of 20 Pony Clubbers came out to pick the fields early. They came in the barn early and I had a lot of questions about Denali and our history. Denali was continuously was informed that she was beautiful. No one could believe that three months ago she couldn't walk without almost falling, I can't believe it.

Towards the end of the party the vet asked that everyone sing Happy Birthday to Denali. I of course being the mature person I am started to cry. I thanked the vet in front of everyone for making it so Denali turned 7. Denali could care  Listening to 40 people sing Happy Birthday to your horse is a pretty funny experience.

Sunday I went out to do my shift at the Giant Warmblood barn. I talked to her about my lack of riding over the past few months and asked for a lesson. I have a lesson tomorrow at 1pm as long as the snow holds off. I can drive in snow, however; no one else can drive in snow.

I'm glad I have credit built up. It's going to be the only way I can take lessons for a while. I just found out that the school district cut funding for summer school, so no chance for me to earn extra money. I'm trying to build up our savings (or lack there of) for our next great vet bill. With a husband in grad school we're not exactly rolling in cash. My parents often offer me money but I don't want to rely on them to support my horse habit.

I also found out today that I did not pass my test. To say that I'm disappointed would be the understatement of the year.  I've been laying on the couch in my PJ's all day being depressed over it.  I don't even know if I can take it again. They give you a two year window to take it, and my window is up in July and the next test isn't until September. Sucks is an understatement. I only checked my score online, I don't know by how much I failed. I hate that word because I feel like I fail at everything. Horse ownership, riding, losing weight, house work, wife, daughter, sister.... Don't tell me I don't. I know I don't, but I feel like it.

 I did manage to pull out my super cute new fabric and make some tail bags. It always makes me feel better to sew something. I have mastered the art of 3 tube tail bags if anyone one is interested in one. They are $15.00 each and I would need to know the length of your horses tail from the bone to the end to make sure it is the right length for your horse.

I'm still selling regular tail bags for $5.00 each, and that includes shipping.

Enough of sounding like a sales pitch. Tomorrow is my lesson and a trip to the doctor for fun allergy shots and hopefully a new inhaler. I started to wheeze yesterday and couldn't breath all night. Of course it's at 2 am I realize that my inhaler is empty. If you have asthma you know the feeling. I of course has crazy dreams involving drowning, having a pillow put over my head, and trying to climb to the top of a building. Fun times.

I did manage to come across a barn online today that looks like it might be a good match for us. They specialize in "high needs" horses. They show arabs, but I've heard good things about them. I sent then an e-mail today because I'm sure they have a wait list, and I would need to go see what it looks like in person. I've know that you can't judge a book by it's cover. See example A of the barn Denali use to be at and what they think of the barn.  Here are my photos of it here. Not quite the same hu?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Party Photos

Party favors for Denali's horsey friends.

The food (vegan doughnuts!! SOOO GOOD)

Favors and balloons

Denali's donation box. She raised money for the center that the vet runs.

We were petting Cricket and Dollar and Denali got jealous. "It's my party and I'll eat hay if I want to."

Me feeding Denali her birthday cake and Cricket begging for a piece (we shared.)

A little closer photo of the cupcakes. SO GOOD!

So much for saying "No gifts."

This is from a few weeks ago, but I wanted to show off how fat she is!! (Well, for a TB.)

More on her party later this week!! Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


My week has been long and I'm looking forward to the weekend, especially since next week I have the whole week off!

Nothing new and exciting to report. Saturday is Denali's birthday party. I spent three hours yesterday baking over 100 horse treats for the birthday party. I'm ridiculous. Her party theme is "Princess," shocking right? I went tonight to order the cupcakes for the party. I ordered Disney Princess themed cupcakes, and the woman asked me what my child's name was, I never actually mentioned that she was a horse. Opps. So some poor baker is making 30 cupcakes for my little 7 year old daughter.

At least my husband is letting me take my crazy and run with it. He actually started to help me with the treats, but that quickly ended. Oh well, he tried. I'll take lots of pictures of the party!

Thanks for you comments on me letting go of my guilt. I did want to say that if it was possible for me to let it go, or drop it I would. My upbringing has a lot to do with my guilt, and it's not easy to just let go. I've tried. Before going to deep into my personal life, it's not that easy.

I fell like I'm stalling with Denali. I haven't been out this week because I was so sick due to allergies. We start next Saturday with another EFL and our first training session. I'm excited for that!

Denali is collecting donations for the NWESC. See the donate tab on this page and consider a donation in honor of her birthday! If you do donate, let me know. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy eh-screw it...

Sorry. I'm one of those people who hates Valentine's Day. I always have. If there wasn't so much pressure on people I think it would be okay. I think it's great to tell others that you love them but to feel like you need to go buy your loved one (or have a loved one for that matter) something is stupid.

So Sunday. Yesterday I decided to be a good wife and clean the house. I dusted, I mopped, I swept the floor and I started laundry. Things my husband always does because I'm at the barn.

After finishing my cleaning I ran out to see Denali. On my way down the driveway to the barn my phone rang. It was the trainer that we're going to be working with. We've been playing phone tag, but have talked through e-mail several times. I think this might work. Unfortunately she is really busy so to start we will only be meeting twice a week for an hour and a half to two hours. I asked her lots of questions all which gave me answers I liked. She is going to stop by and meet Denali and work with her, and then meet me and talk to me so that she can see what she is working with. She has studied EFL and Natural Horsemanship and comes with glowing recommendations.

I was excited to see Denali in the arena until I noticed she was in with both new horses. One rears ands strikes out and was almost put down by her owner, but a rescue took her. She hates people. The poor things back is so sore and if she thinks that you're thinking of getting on her she attacks. The vet is working with her, but the vet is a super hero, I am not. The other one is also an interesting case. He likes to turn and kick. He's gotten 8-9 people in the chest. He's the reason people shouldn't have a baby unless you have the time to work with him everyday. He's only 2. Regardless... I was not going to go in the arena with them. Not when no one else was at the barn.

I was impressed with Denali's "momma skills" she was keeping them in line an acting like a horse, but never overreacted (which she use to do all the time.) She never actually bit the 2 year old, but anytime he did anything she thought was unacceptable, she's put him in line. I've never seen her do the snake neck thing, but she did. It was hilarious. In addition, Denali is shedding like crazy, it's only February girly! I felt bad that I couldn't go in with her, but loved her over the fence for a while.

I was staring at her and being the emotional wreck that I've been lately just started to cry. I told her that I was sorry for leaving her for 5 months, and I'm sorry that she wasn't treated well. She turned her back on me, so who knows. It's been 2 years and I still feel HORRIBLE. I think she remembers and doesn't trust that I will keep her safe. How could she? Think of all the times I couldn't or didn't. I hope we can fix this hot mess of a relationship. I love her.

After finishing up with Denali I went off to the other barn to take care of Pete's HORRIBLE rain rot and do my shift. He is also shedding and the poor boy has rain rot all over his neck and shoulder. I put MTG all over him and he was less than thrilled with the smell. His buddy next door gave me the funniest look when I walked near him. Not the best smell, but it works.  I had to move a few hay bales, but got the shift done in an hour. I get paid by the hour. I don't know why I feel the need to rush.

So. If you know me at all you'll see what just happened. I was around my trifecta of allergens. Dust, Horse, and Hay. By the time I was 20 minutes from the barn I work at I was wheezing and my left eye was already swollen shut. By the time I hit my house (about 45 minutes) I was sneezing constantly. I took my allergy medicine again, but it was too late. Oh the joys of having allergies. Swollen eyes, wheezing (also joys of allergy induced asthma), and sneezing. It knocked me out totally.

I couldn't find someone to go in for me today. I can't leave my students with just anyone. They'd flip. I woke up with two swollen eyes and no hearing in my left ear. Yuck.  I have two student teachers and this morning I told them they got to be in charge for the morning. They laughed at me, but quickly realized that I probably needed to be able to see and hear and talk to successfully teach the lessons. They excitedly taught what I had prepared.

Here has where I have been since I got home. Yuck. I can't wait until these allergy shots start working.
I keep thinking of my EFL session on Saturday. It was such a cool experience. I am doing it again on February 26th. The facilitator told me that he has never seen the mare interact with someone the way she interacted with me. I hope I learn to use my heart and less of my head.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I honestly can't believe that I've babbled about my horse and my life 500 times. That's unreal to me. It feels like yesterday I was making my blogger account so I could post on Fugly, and then I decided to make a blog about my new Appendix mare since I had an account. I didn't think that I would continue it, and I sure didn't think anyone would read it! Thank you for joining our journey and all of your support over the past 500 posts. We appreciate it and we love you!

In non-500 post news, I had a session today doing Equine Facilitated Learning. I wasn't sure how it would work, but my vet suggested I do the session with her dad, and since I LOVE HER I figured why not.

It was really interesting and it helped me to learn a lot about myself and my own issues that I deal with and how those affect Denali. We talked about my anxiety level around horses and what causes it to go up and go down. My goal is to keep it down. Use less of my head and more of my heart.

Before we started we talked about the horse choosing me. There are two therapy horses there. One reminds me of a frat boy who is full of himself (but he is one of my favorites) and the other one reminds me of Denali. She's nervous and wants to be with her herd in order to feel safe. I assumed I would work with the gelding because he's my favorite non-Denali horse at the center. I turned my back on the horses and when I turned around to look at them the Mare was staring at me with perked ears and the gelding could care less.

Okay. I guess she wants to work with me.

I went and got her and put her in the round pen and I started to walk around the outside. At first my anxiety level was pretty high because she was on high alert. Her herd was within sight distance and she wanted to be with them. I started to walk and she started to walk past me, circle and come up next to me. Okay, pretty cool, but I know how to do this. At one point I had this feeling of "I feel totally fine, I don't know what my problem is." Within a second, maybe two the mare was right up to my shoulder. It was a pretty crazy feeling. At that point my anxiety went up a bit, and she went back to her walk and circle.

The Vet's dad asked me if I was ready to go in with her, and gave me some directions about my bubble and I started to walk around the round pen with a lunge whip. I kept her away from my bubble, and walked around. She'd retreat and then come back, just before entering my bubble. After a few minutes I put the lunge whip down, and was reminded to not use my head and over analyze everything, just use my heart and my feelings.

I started to walk and the mare was instantly hooked onto me, but kept doing this weird thing where she'd walk in front of me and wouldn't let me walk in the one corner. I of course had to test to see if she was doing it on purpose or if it was a fluke. As soon as she'd look away I'd walk quickly towards that corner. She'd come walking up to me quickly, and would motion me away from that corner. She'd step in front of my shoulder and arch her neck around me almost like she was pointing. I tried going there every which way, but she continued to not allow me near that corner. I thought it was interesting, the I thought about it.

The corner she was keeping me away from is exactly where I landed when I got bucked off.

 It was the weirdest feeling. I looked over at the Vet's dad as he was commenting on the mare's behavior and as soon as I said "That's where I landed" the mare started to lick and chew like I've never seen her before. It was a crazy feeling. Did she know? I don't know how she would. Did she sense that it made me nervous? I don't know. I do know it was totally a weird feeling.

I know it might sound crazy, bit it was a really powerful feeling. It was very interesting and I really enjoyed it.

After my session I went up to see the mare. She is seriously SO SWEET (when she's not trying to off me.) She had her airplane ears on and put her head into my arms. Aww, you are sweet! I gave her some treats, and some love and then had to be on my way. She continued to watch me as I got in my car and then she starts to walk out with me while I drive.

There is something about Denali, I don't know how to explain it but sometimes I think we are one in the same. We are so much alike it's scary. She's special and I know there is a reason that I was meant to meet her, I'm excited to continue to learn what those reasons are.

Thanks for reading my 500th post!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

41 days

It was a sunny day in Seattle. Not something that happens very often during winter, and I actually forgot what it was like. That's sad.

The vet called, and apparently Denali doesn't know it's the year of the sound horse. Well, she made it 41 days, and she's not really "off" but is defiantly sore on her left hind. I'm not too worried.

That nose is so velvety and soft, It's amazing!
 Ran out to the barn after work to see the girl. No one was going to be there, but the vet said she was in the arena due to the lameness. Her boyfriend was lame too so they got to be quite the pair. She's shedding like crazy so I decided that I would take the blanket off and groom off her excess hair (btw: LOVE my furminator!) There were two horses with Denali, so I decided to take her into the round pen to groom her.

She followed me right in and her buddies stayed far from us. I've been reading The Tao of Equus, and at one point it mentioned telling the horse how you're feeling.

So, I look at Denali and tell her that I'm nervous around her, and that I'm sorry.

She turned, looked at me and started to lick and chew. It was so weird. I'm sure that could be from anything but she almost looked like she got it. She was a good girl and spooked once. There is a new rescue in and he was screaming in his stall. She spooked as far away from me as possible. This is a new behavior (since November). She use to spook into me all the time, but hasn't since our accident. I don't know if it has to do with that or ?? but I'm pretty pleased I don't have a 1200 pound horse trying to crawl into my lap.

While grooming her she seemed really sensitive on the left side of her back. She kept flinching while I curried there. That might be where the bucking fit came from. Who knows. Her butt seemed sore too. She's been running around like crazy, so she probably just pulled something.

Also. No ribs. None. Zip. Zilch. She's so fat (for a thoroughbred.)

In other news I have finished assembling Denali's dream team. I talked to the trainer tonight, and she seems really good. The vet recommended her, and she's willing to drive to the barn to work with us. All good things. We don't have a date picked yet.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My morning in photos

Okay, so I don't really wear a night cap, but my hair looks really bad in the morning.

Must have Coffee. Decided to spoil myself at Starucks.

Somewhere in my school is my coffee. Reward if found.

I have a bite taken out of me.


Thought I'd give a visual of what my morning was like. I know you're jealous. Best part? I put on facebook that I was bit and my friends proceeded to debate if it was a student or my horse.

Sigh.... I love my job, I love my job, I love my job....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All right, all right

I came out of my hole, but saw my shadow, so no promises.
I fell a bit better today, and less like hosting a pity party. My mom actually made me feel good. We had a nice long talk about Denali. I expected her to freak out when I told her about my flying lesson (I failed to mention it to her last week.) I explained what happened and she asked me what I was going to do. Then she gave me one of her favorite quotes, "If you keep doing what you've always done, you're going to keep getting what you've always gotten." In this case, this is very true.

When Denali would be naughty with me at my barn, my trainer would take her from me. See the problem that I've developed? I' not going to push myself to ride her. It's not a big deal. I'm not afraid of her, but I do know that we need to get a better relationship. Now I just need a jet plane to get to the barn faster!

So back to my goals, and staying out of the hole for now. No promises on that one, work is crazy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bah Humbug

Sorry. I think I've been doing pretty well being positive about everything, but life has gotten the best of me tonight. I keep re-thinking the whole owning Denali thing. This is DEFIANTLY NOT what I thought horse ownership would be like. Two and a half years after entering into this world of horse ownership not much has changed.

I still own a horse that I can't ride.

My husband talked to his parents tonight and mentioned my flying lesson on Thursday. They are of course concerned, which makes him concerned (even more so than normal.) They are worried that I'm going to end up getting hurt. Sometimes this makes me overly worried too. Then I remind myself that bomb proof horses can spook and hurt their owners. Tonight is one of those nights where the irrational thoughts outweigh the rational thoughts.

I also hate Facebook. My friends post comments about their awesome lessons, and how amazing their rides were. Bah humbug. Yes, I am happy for them. I am happy for you if your horse is sound and sane. I am also extremely jealous. Extremely jealous. I went into my boo-who mood tonight with my husband going over how much I wish I owned a horse that I could ride, that could teach me something in the saddle. I know I'm learning, it's just not what I want to be learning right now. I know that selling Denali is technically an option, but what in the hell would that ad look like?

For sale: One 16 hand OTTB with limited riding, bucks, doesn't trailer well. Has aggression issues, along with severe arthritis. Has torn suspensories and tendons...... see my point?

Plus I'm terrified that she'd end up starved, beat, or back in the kill pen. I can't do this to her. It's not her fault I'm a moron.

Ugh. Okay enough bitching for now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekend Update

Thank you everyone for your kind words. Okay, so I may have not ruined Denali, but I sure as the hell have made things more difficult for myself. I know that I said I'm not going to make goals for us, but I'm going to make goals for us.

1. Get a trainer. I need to move on from my other trainer. For a million reasons I need to move on. I like her and if someone was just getting into horses, or was young I would suggest her. I need someone else. My old trainer makes me nervous around Denali. I don't need that. The vet has someone she think will work well with us. The best part is that the trainer will come to the barn, so I don't need to worry about taking Denali anywhere.

2. More Groundwork. I feel like Pia's mom on this. Denali does great with me on the ground, but obviously something is missing. She needs consistency and that needs to be from me. We're to the point that having another trainer working with her without me involved isn't going to help me and her. We need couple's consoling.

3. Get back on. This one makes me nervous of course, but I know I need to do it. I actually have a plan for this. (I know, I HAVE A PLAN.)  We have a bareback pad that I'm going to use. I am going to just work on putting my weight on her (aka, laying across her back) and if she bucks or make any motion of bucking I'm going to move her feet, move her feet, move her feet. I'm going to put on her bridle but use a rope halter and lead rope for the moving the feet part.  I don't plan on getting on her the whole way for a while, but this is something that I know I can do. I have to do it, if she gets away with it she's just going to up the anti next time. I get nervous about making her move her feet if she's naughty due to the nero problems/suspensory/tendon issues. It would be so much easier if she didn't break so easily.

I think 3 goals are good. I guess I need a timeline.... eh, I'll worry about that later.

I got a very nice text message from the vet tonight. I will continue to kick myself for not using her in the beginning. She's amazing. She told me that she was impressed by my strength, resiliency and positive attitude. Ha! I'm glad she thinks I'm a strong person (physically I guess yes, who else gets kicked 10 times and breaks nothing, well maybe a kidney.) As for the positive attitude, getting down for extended periods of time isn't going to help. I know I can fix this it's just going to take time. Lots of time. (Those 50 miles between me and the vet barn make that a bit difficult.) Oh well.

In regards to my weekend. Saturday I volunteered at a Gelding Clinic at the center. It was really interesting and made me realize how much I wish I could be a vet. There were 4 horses who came in to be gelded. Only 3 of them actually ended up being gelded, one of them was a cryptorchid and was unable to be done. He was an adorable 17 month old grade colt. I am worried of where he will end up since the surgery is so expensive and his owner didn't seem very well off. The three who were done were perfect patients. I got to go over paperwork and escort them to their stalls. Denali took and hour and a half to go into heat. I guessed 20 minutes. She was flashing her butt and peeing everywhere. Keep in mind she was at least 100 yards away from the barn. That's her talent of going into heat at a moments notice.

Bones waking up from his surgery

Mmmmm.... I smellz boyz!

There is another gelding clinic in a month that I'm also volunteering at, next time there are more horses.

Iz notz naughty, Iz misunderstood. More carrotz helpz mez to understandz.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Caution: Swearing

For those of you who are new to this blog, a warning. I swear like a sailor when I've had a bad day. Today. Today was a very bad day. If swear words bother you. Stop reading now.

To sum up today: FUCK!

My kiddos at work were NUTS!! I had one scale a 5 ft fence and take off running down the street. That was the low point of our crazy day. I'm lucky that my assistants are so good, I'd quit without them.

After work I had a meeting, and decided to run out to see Denali. The vet said she'd be there at 6:15, and I was about 15 minutes early. I decided to go get Denali and let her run around. My first time getting her without anyone there. I walked up to the field, and couldn't see any horses at all in the dark. I yelled her name, and like a good girl she came up to the fence. Yay! Good girl.

I took her into the arena, took her blanket off and let her have her wiggles out. About that time the vet showed up and we decided to take her into the round pen. I worked with her on walk/trot/canter transitions. (Canter ONLY because she was so full of beans she was breaking into it anyway, so I made it my idea.)  She was a good girl and listened so well. Yay! Good girl!

We saddled her up and I worked her again in the round pen. She listened and was very responsive on the ground. Yay! Good girl!

At this point we put the bridle on her, I threw on my helmet (always, ALWAYS Key!) and went to mount Denali for the first time since September. Well. Does anyone remember what I said I hope Denali never learns??



Does this help remind you?

How about this photo??

That my blog following friends is Denali, bucking. This time however, picture me attempting to get on her. I had my foot in the stirrup, and was *almost* on when she had a bucking fit. She has NEVER bucked, and I have never been on a bucking horse. Since I was not totally on, I didn't stay on her and bit the dust (but let's not kid ourselves...I would have never stayed on her.) I saw her hoof 2 inches from my face and prayed that she'd keep it at least 2 inches from my face. Luckily she didn't kick out at all, which is her normal play bucking routine. I ate the arena footing but luckily it's like a giant mattress and the only thing that hurts is my arm from trying to block my fall.

Am I pleased? Nope. Not at all. Fucking pissed is the best way to put it.

Am I mad at her? No! How could I be? I obviously have done something to totally freak her out. (Gee, I wonder...)  We've had problems in the past when I've gone to mount her and dismount. She's gotten tense in the past, and once has bunny hopped when I got off.

However, whatever the problem, bucking is not okay.

So now what? Well, I didn't want her to think that bucking me off was okay, but I also didn't want to get on her. Large problem right? I made her stand still and I put my weight in the stirrup and laid over her back. She stood still, I gave her scratches, and hoped back off.

I asked the vet, "It wasn't a big buck right? Just a baby buck."

Nope, nada, full on bronco buck. At least I know she has skills. Fuck.

I'm so fucking pissed off at myself. I've ruined my horse. She came to me as a rescue, and I'm the one that has ruined her. She use to trailer like a pro, and you could hop on her from anywhere and she'd be fine. Nope. I've really fucked up. BIG TIME. I've made my horse terrified of trailers and trailering. I've caused her undue stress when I get on her (I guess coming off of her hasn't helped.) Bucking isn't acceptable, but it also tells me something. She doesn't buck with anyone else on her. She has NEVER bucked under saddle. Now I am worried that she will remember that bucking got me off. FUCK!!!!!

What now? Anyone else can get on her...but me. She has melt downs. Obviously I need to do more work with her. I honestly didn't think she'd melt down. It's been so long since I've been on her, and the vet has been riding her and she's been great. Stupid, stupid me.

This isn't something a trainer can fix. It doesn't help if other people can ride her. I need to be able to ride her. She's fine with anyone else. Tonight after I ate arena footing the vet got on her. Denali was a little snotty, but also really itchy.

I really hope that we can get through this. More groundwork I guess. What do you do when you're the one to fucking ruin your own horse? I can't give her away. I can't sell her. She requires so much upkeep and care that no one in their right mind would give her a good home. Seriously, the amount of money that goes into her each month. Hell, just in supplements, it is enough to make some people ill. I know how I feel when I get the bill.

I'm going to bed. I might just stay there for a few months.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Denali, the seamstress

Someone asked me if I sewed the tail bags or if Denali did. I thought this picture could clear up any confusion! Also, thanks Nicole! We got your order, and as soon as Denali can figure out how to press the peddle and pull the fabric, those bags will be on their way. Okay, okay, so she will probably have some help from mom.

Back to the drawing board...

Yesterday I thought I finally had all my ducks in a row for getting my saddle adjusted. I found a saddler in South Carolina who has the world's best accent. I talked to him about my saddle, and what needed done to it. Then a friend of mine informed me that my favorite saddle fitter from the local tack shop has gone off on her own and started her own saddle fitting business. Yay! Perfect. I figured I'd have her out to help me do the tracings, and then send the saddle away with her information. I didn't trust myself.

She asked me again what kind of tree my Passier had and I told her. She said, "Good, because wood trees are near impossible to make smaller without breaking." Oh that's good I thought because I'm SURE that my tree isn't wood.

Last night I decided that I would e-mail Passier with my saddle's serial number to make sure I was right.

Shocking. I was wrong (in addition to being a good procrastinator, I'm really good at being wrong.) It is a wood tree, and I just don't want to risk it. Well, that was the last straw for me with this saddle. I'm not going to risk sending it away, spending a ton of money and having it NOT fit Denali in the long run. The good thing is that the saddle fitter from our area is going to be carrying lower end dressage saddles, so I can get a new one for the price I bought the used Passier. I LOVED how I felt in the Passier. It was amazing for me to ride in a saddle that fit me for once. Oh well.

So off to eBay it goes, and I cross my fingers that it sells. I also put my Niedersuss on eBay. It's a 17.25 inch seat, so no wonder my large butt had a hard time staying in it. 

 With any luck, I will sell both saddles, be able to buy one that fits us, and hopefully have a few pennies left over. I think their starting prices is pretty reasonable compared to the other saddles that are for sale. Although with the luck I have, they won't sell and I'll be stuck with them forever. I think the Passier will fit Pete, so not the end of my world.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fab February!

I have a love/hate relationship with February.

Let's have a Denali's mom flash back (insert flash back noise here) In college I had a boyfriend. He was tall, handsome, and was on the basketball team at my college. He was also a dick. I didn't see the fact that he was a dick, I was too drawn to the fact that he was tall, handsome, and played basketball (I love basketball.) I believed every word that came out of his mouth. Horrible things happened with him. I won't share those here. Denali woudln't be pleased. This blog is about her. Not something that happend years ago.

I remember being at a party once and overhearing a girl talk about the guy she was fooling around with, and how his girlfriend had no idea. I knew it was me she was talking about, but I continued to be stupid about it. (Side note: This is why I joined Rugby. I wanted to beat the crap out of her without getting in trouble. I heard that she was trying out for the team so I figured I would too. She quit the team within a week. Win for me. I know, I sound like such a nice person.)

Flash forward to February of that year. I went to a friends house with her and came back to college a day early to find out that he had stolen my car, and went to another college with one of my friends (now ex friend.) Long story short,needless to say I lost my mind, and I finally wised up and dumped him. Asshole. Anyway, I dumped him on Valentines day. Needless to say for the next few years I hated the holiday. Jerk-face ruined it for me, and gave me a bad taste for men and "love".  It wasn't until I met my husband that I realized a few things:

1. There really are nice guys out there. I didn't think they existed. Poor guy. I think the first year and a half we were together I kept expecting him to cheat on me, dump me, or just be a jerk. He has yet to do that (and I know he never will!)
2. You don't need to put up with a jerk-face.
3. Love does exist in things that have less than 4 legs.

So, let's hear it for the horse husbands! The ones who put up with our excessive spending, hours away from home, and the smell of hay/supplements/horse that always lingers around the house/car. Also, lets hear it for the jerk-face boyfriends that helped to make us the people we are today. I know I am a much stronger person because I dealt with Jerk-face.

Also, welcome to February. January was pretty good to us. Only one vet bill, for a fecal float (which is preventative.) Pretty good for us!!