Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Riding in the rain

I love the PNW in the summer. What I hate is when we get a taste of summer for a few days, and then it goes back to 55 degrees and drizzle. Boo.

Tonight I had a lesson with the owner of GWB. She hasn't seen me ride Vera in a few weeks. I sort of wanted to show her what we've learned. I am still saddleless, but a friend of mine was out and is letting me borrow her Custom VLX, so that is some stress off of me. It is a 17.5, so it doesn't quite fit, but it's close. I spent yesterday sitting in every saddle I could get my hands on in both local tack shops. Fail. I give up for now.

Vera spent her time in the cross ties pressing her butt up to the bars of my friend's over opinionated large red mare. It totally pissed off the Giant Red Mare, and Vera stood there, with a I swear a smile on her face. I laughed so hard at her.

We were 15 seconds late for our lesson. Opps. So much for getting there early. I ran into a few friends while we were walking to the arena.  Positives about having a barn full of friends. Negative of having to walk 200 yards to the arena.

We did a lot of walk/trot, walk/canter, transitions. I totally suck at keeping steady contact with the inside rein, and I have developed a horrible habit of opening my hands up, and dropping contact. Vera tried the llama neck a few times, and it was the first time since pre-accident, that it made me mad and not scared. She was a bit lazy and so we worked on going forward without me constantly harping on her. More discussions than normal, but I think it was because I was making her work harder than normal.

At one point my I made a comment about buying Vera from her owner in cupcakes. My trainer laughed and said she's a great horse for me now, but that I will quickly outgrow her abilities. I had to laugh. I'm glad she has enough faith in my that I will actually improve and advance. I don't know what I want to do riding wise right now. I love dressage, but I don't know if I want to compete with "the big girls" (as I say to my friends.) I think I'd be perfectly happy having a horse to just enjoy spending time with. We'll see. I'm going to keep leasing and perfect my cupcake making skills just in case. It sounds like no one has been inquiring about her and since she's leased out, and getting regular work, no one is worried about it. Wheww...

Our ride ended with some nice transitions and I called it a day a few minutes early. She was doing so well, and I wanted her to remember that bending and turning = breaks. Plus, a friend of mine was bringing her fire breathing horse in to lunge. I'll have to take a video. I forgot what it was like to have confidence.

I took Vera up to the barn to "get undressed" and she did her normal, poop in the aisle way. Sadly, it's been a bit runny, and even sadder? My tack box was sitting right next to her. Now I have a poop colored tack box which I was too tired to tackle. (Tired = grossed out.)

I love my barn and I love Vera!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thursday Lesson

I was in such a fluster over my lack of saddle that I forgot to really mention my lesson on Thursday. I think it's probably important (for me, not really anyone else) to keep track of good things, especially since I like to focus on the negative all the time.

Our lesson was with the other trainer again. I really like her as a person, but LOVE her as a trainer. She's actually gearing up to try out for the Paralympics this summer in London. Trials are in Gladstone this June. If you'd like to make a donation to one of the people who help me stay sane you can do that here. If you ever wanted to jump on someone's band wagon, now is the time! She leaves next Friday. Even if you just share her story on FB, that's helping. I'm still selling bracelets to help raise money.

Back to the point of this post...LESSON. Ms. Vera was a saint. She was so good while I put pads and such on her back trying to figure out the right combination of stuff to make the saddle fit her for our lesson. I thinks she fell asleep while I got on her. I was so excited about the saddle that I didn't even thing about being nervous. Winning. I plopped (not in a good way) down in the saddle and instantly knew that it didn't fit me. Boo. We got work right away and attempted to walk on a straight line with our head NOT in the air. Success. She still likes to play torpedo on the straightaway (go as fast as she can on straight lines.) After about 5 laps she figured out that wasn't going to work. At one point I dropped my reins and was controlling her with just my seat. That's a new feeling for me. Denali never grasped that concept and Mr. never went fast enough to have to slow him down. It was so fun. I (for the first time in maybe forever) felt like the horse was listening to me and that I could tell she was listening to me.

After warming up we did more serpentines and figure-eights at the trot. She went low and on the bit almost the whole time. No llama necking for us. At one point I noticed another rider in the arena and thought, "hu, they look really good together." Then I realized three things in quick succession. A. I'm an Idiot. B. It was me in the mirrors C. She makes me look little! My arms weren't doing their normal bounce all over the place and Vera looked good. God, I love this mare!

We did some canter transitions and aside from trying to dive down and touch her feet, Vera was a peach. The trainer told me that I did the nicest transition to canter that she's seen anyone do on Vera. I told her it's because we love each other. :0) I spent Friday trying to figure out how I can buy Vera. Then I realized that's the riding endorphins speaking, and I "shouldn't" jump back into buying a horse. I'm committed to Denali, and I'm afraid that the moment I sign those papers Denali will need a home. Vera is much easier to rehome than Denali. Maybe in a few months. I have moments of panic because Vera IS for sale. I really like her a lot, but I have only ridden a few horses. I think of it like dating, I don't want to jump back into a relationship without testing the waters a bit more. However, if anyone had an extra $6,000 laying around ..... I think if I had the money I would buy Vera in a heartbeat, but then again everything happens for a reason. If I'm meant to have Vera, it will figure itself out. Right! Right?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saddle Hunt Continues

I had a lesson on Thursday with Ms. Vera. The more I ride this horse, the more I love her. She pulls just enough shit that I need to say on top of my game, but I never feel unsafe. Boy, do I love her! We used the saddle that we had on trial for our lesson. I was so so excited, but unfortunately it didn't fit me. (Insert Sad Face.) My femur is so long that I put myself into a chair position in order to get it behind the blocks. Which means that I go back to the drawing board.


I need a saddle that is adjustable. Either by me (easy) or by a saddle fitter. It needs to be at least 18 inch seat, and long flaps. The saddle I tried was 18 inch seat, but I think it would have fit if it didn't have as massive blocks. Price depends on the saddle.

Do you have suggestions?  I've been looking, and I find some that I think would work, but without a trial, I'm not willing to go there. There is a local saddle fitter I am working with, but I am also searching on my own.

Denali's new owner called me. (Even though he still calls her "your girl.") She's doing really well. She's out running with his horses, and he hasn't seen her take a wrong step yet. I'm so happy! He said that his horses had to have a "discussion" with her as to who is in charge, but it went well and she quickly caught on.  He invited us out this summer to watch his son in the rodeo. I hope it coincides with a time we can go.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

101 Things To Do With Your Stall Bound Horse (Revisited)

I'm going out tonight to try out the saddle and have a lesson on Vera. I'm excited. It is sunny out, but still chilly (which is sad after our B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L weekend.) Then I'm off to one of the islands near Seattle for a long girls weekend. I was just looking through this blog and found this that Ophie's mom made for me when Denali was on stall rest.

So funny! I like a good laugh!

101 Things To Do With Your Stall Bound Horse:

1. art class!

2. clicker training

3. There are about 7500 varieties of apples in the world. But which

is her favorite?

4. Perfect your horse massage technique.

5. Patent and sell photo-op with "Famous Glass-Legged Thoroughbred"

6. Still life photography

7. Perfect art of body-clipping

8. Tell people she's about to foal. Set up webcam. Laugh.

9. Teach her to stand square. Impress your vet.

10. Apply temporary tattoos to shaved area. Let the hair grow back.

Next ultrasound appointment - surprise your vet!

11. Make casts of her hoofprint and decorate. Sell to raise money for

vet bills.

12. Offer her as a demo-tester to companies selling "no-chew" sprays.

13. Hang a blue screen behind her, photoshop her image in front of

famous landmarks

14. Hoof glitter polish inspired make-over

15. hypnosis

16. Use her as test subject for new horse-treat baking enterprise.

17. Become You-Tube famous

18. Make her bedding into a zen garden

19. Story hour

20. Hug-tolerance training

21. Record her nickers. Remix. Get record deal.

22. Teach her to pick up her feet with a verbal cue.

23. Cover stall wall with white paper. Screen "The Black Stallion"

"National Velvet" etc

24. Bedazzling!

25. Stall window-box garden. (Instant compost built right in!)

26. Train as watch-dog to spot intruders

27. Teach her to hold a sponge and see if she'll polish your tack for you

28. Bridle model

29. Learn really, really complicated braiding techniques

30. Hang intro dressage patterns in her stall. Maybe she'll learn by osmosis.

31. Speed eating contests

32. Hold up a mirror, see if she pins her ears

33. Daily weight-taping + excel = chart making fun!

34. Hold a lottery, where $1 buys one guess as to how much she'll

weigh after 90 days stall rest. Winner gets first ride

35. Photograph 1x per day. Make really boring flip-book

36. Play horseshoes with pulled shoes

37. Drive trainer crazy by demanding her transitional housing be

EXACTLY 20x20. Claim the vet said it makes a difference.

38. Buy her inflatable arm floaties to get her ready for swim-therapy

39. Enter to be on "Extreme Makeover: Home Addition" with request for

"X-Treme Rehab Pad"

40. Write "Letters from A Woodinville Jail" from her perspective a la

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

41. Enter "Dee Nali" in local school board race. When she wins, have

her give you a raise.

42. Start a blog... wait, nevermind

43. Learn to make rope halters

44. List her as available for a partial-lease. Claim that you will be

able to give the leasor "the REAL experience of what horse-ownership

is like"

45. Send vet hourly text message updates on her condition

46. Hang a keyboard in her stall at head level. Tell people she sends

you messages. Convince them you are serious.

47. Have her subscribe to "Field and Stream" "Thoroughbred Studbook,

2010", and "Apartment Living". Have them delieved to the barn owner's

mailing address. If asked, tell them she gets bored easily and needed

reading material.

48. Checkers

49. See how many sketchy registries (eg "Blue-Eyed Horse Society") you

can get her registered in

50. Aisle-way dance party

51. Start a petition to bring back tan M&Ms. Explain to Mars, inc that

you'll never be able to build a life-size M&M sculpture of your horse

without them

52. Start a religon, call it "Denali-ism" Religious rites consist

mainly of eating

53. Install a call-button in her stall

54. Assign your class to make her Get-Well cards

55. Learn acu-preassure

56. Market her as "extraneous finger removal" service for children

57. Learn to sleep standing up. Take naps together.

58. Post her profile on

59. Make balloon-animal-esque hay sculptures.

60. Wine tasting

61. Meditate on the nature of time

62. Brush her teeth

63. Threaten to enter the stable dog in showmanship-in-hand if she

doesn't get well

64. Play catch

65. Body paint zebra stripes

66. Set up a TV and turn it to the Farm Network for her

67. Use the stall window bars as a loom. Weave new stable blankets

68. Make her a really big friendship bracelet

69. Make her a calendar and let her X the days as they go by

70. Take really crappy pictures of her and market her on Craigslist

for "stud service" count how many self-righteous emails you get

71.Drinking games

72. Edible flower arrangement

73. Distance-learning classes. Get her GED

74. Launch a campaign to get her (non)story covered on the local news

75. Pen a series of haikus with her: "Day 5 of my jail/How I long to

see my friends/so I can bite them"

76. Cut Ralph Lauren logos off old clothes and sew them to her polo wraps

77. Get her a pet. Birds would be nice.

78. Compose emo songs together

79. Paint a mural on her stall walls (easier to beg forgiveness than

ask permission vis-a-vis property owners on this one)

80. Tether ball

81. Pull her shoes. Become a fanatical devotee of Barefoot Horses.

When she returns to work, put shoes back on and disavow any knowledge

of your previous beliefs

82. Teach her poker, lose your money to her in new ways

83. Translate her wall-kicking into morse code, discover hidden messages

84. Drag in a kiddie pool. Splash together

85. Unicorn-horn ring toss

86. Sand/bedding castles

87. Water bucket bobbing for apples

88. Start a punk band with Denali on drums

89. Request autographs from B list movie stars. Hang in her stall

90. Send post cards from her to your friends' laid-up horses

91. Put on a puppet-nonnie show

92. Books on tape. Maybe Agatha Christie?

93. Costume Party

94. Next vet visit, explain that you bought your own ultrasound

machine. Then whip out an etch-a-sketch

95. Whittling. She's a natural!

96. Braid flowers into her mane and play "If You're Going to San

Francisco..." on repeat. Explain to trainer that Denali is now

exploring "enhanced consciousness" due to the reserpine

97. Bake bread, Denali can help with kneading

98. Publish children's books together, start with "How Timmy Learned

Not to Stand Behind the Horse and Other Fun Decapitation Tales"

99. Get her a chemistry set. What could go wrong?

100. Earthquake readiness drills.


101. Smile, this too shall pass.

Monday, May 14, 2012


I don't know who my guardian angel is, but THANK YOU! (They read the Internet right?) I have been so lucky lately, and I don't know how I went from "If it can go wrong, it will" to being so lucky and fortunate. So much good has come into my life lately, and I just can't get over it. I am so grateful.

In another turn of not-so-unfortunate-events, I may have hit the saddle jackpot. No joke. When I started leasing Vera, I fell in love with the saddle that I was riding her in. Sadly, it was not her saddle, and I could no longer use it. I have been borrowing my friend's saddle for now, but when you have femurs the length of a 4 year old, it is hard to fit into their saddles without my knees pointing out over the blocks. It's awkward.

In discussing my need for a saddle, my trainer said I should contact the rep that she uses. I had been talking to the rep. (to appease my trainer) via e-mail about how I need a saddle, can't afford a saddle, and if I could afford a saddle, it would not be a Custom Saddle. They cost more money than I make in a month. She had given me a few options with price tags, while less than brand new, was still more money than I want to spend on a saddle, especially when I don't own a horse. She is super nice and has been helping me try to find something in my price range (which isn't very large.)

Yesterday while I was doing barn chores the rep came to the barn. We've met a few times, and I moved her horse in when she came for training. I waved and kept going about my business. In one of our last e-mails she asked if I had irons and leathers, and told me to bring them. While doing grain I noticed her pulling out a saddle from her car.

Enter the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my entire life.

She showed it to me and told me to try it. I was terrified to touch it, let alone try the saddle out. It's a BRAND NEW Custom Coronado Signature. It has silver threading, and is just beautiful. I told her that while, the saddle is perfect, and I loved it I should probably not try something out that I can not afford. Sort of the same thought as wedding dress shopping, don't try anything on that you're not willing to spend the money on.

I tried to give her reasons to not try it. I explained that it was stupid to buy a saddle when I don't own a horse. No luck there, the saddle is fully adjustable, and she can adjust it. I decided to just lay it out, and explained that I would be WAY out of my price range...WAY. She sort of smiled and handed me a paper to sign. The paper was the trial form, and on it was written the price. I asked her if that was the price to just try the saddle, and she said, "No, that's the price of the saddle." I sort of stared at her, and tried to not cry. I questioned her as to how the saddle could SUBSTANTIALLY LESS  than it is suppose to cost (as in my price range less.) She smiled, and told me to just try it. (Note to self: Continue being super nice to her horse.)

So I spent the next 30 minutes just staring at this saddle. About this time my friends came back from the horse show and I showed them the saddle. I told them I sort of feel like I'm buying point shoes while I'm just starting ballet. They had valid opinions why I should just try the saddle. They somehow magically think we'll be ready to show by the end of the summer. I laughed at them. I'm difficult to fit. True, the saddle is 18 inches with a long flap.

Thursday I have a lesson with my friend again so I can try out the saddle. No point in getting totally excited about it if it won't work. After writing all of this it may not work out, but that's okay. It's pretty enough that I ALMOST wouldn't mind it just sitting in my house. So, thank you saddle guardian angel. I guess if it's suppose to work out it will work out!

In other news, I've been trying to figure out what to do with this I just keep going, do I start a new one... I think I'm going to just keep going. I'm too lazy to make (and keep up) another blog, and who knows. I might have a trailer pull up next week with a TB inside of it. I did learn that "Green + Green = Black + Blue" but I don't really want to change my title. I guess I should take off that part that says, "The story of an OTTB and her mom." Maybe I should write, "A tragic love story." At least it has a happy(ish) ending. Thoughts?

I took out her brushes to the barn yesterday and cleaned them. I only broke into tears once yesterday. Pretty good if I think so. I miss her, but know that I made a good decision. I think.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Update 3, and I love my barn!

Got another call about Denali. She's doing good. She's out on 20 acres, and is best friends with the horse she hauled over with. He said they walked off the trailer together and haven't left each others side yet. He said he'd try to get me some photos.

I've only burst into tears four times since Thursday. Not bad, not bad...I miss her, but it's hard to feel horribly sad when it sounds like all is going well and they really like her. I am starting to plan a trip at the end of June to go visit her. I can't wait! It's hard to "let go" of something you poured so much blood (literally) sweat (literally) and tears (literally) into. I also want to see her and make sure she's okay.

This AM I went out to the barn to take care of horses. The other trainer (aka. my friend) had a lesson cancel, and since I had time I asked if she'd "supervise" us. I've never taken one from her. The head trainer has always had me taken them from her, even though my friend does most of the "new to dressage lessons."

Seriously, it was an AMAZING lesson. Vera and I are really starting to "click" and boy did we have fun. I forgot how much fun riding a horse can be. I still get worried, but I do "ok" once I'm on the horse and moving. I only had to be reminded about a million times to breath.

After the lesson I talked to (Let's call her Trainer 2) about more lessons. I mentioned something about Trainer 1 putting up with me for so long, even though she doesn't teach beginners. Trainer 2 sort of smiled and then said that Trainer 1 wouldn't let her teach me. Trainer 1 knew my fear of horses and she wanted to teach me so that I wouldn't get scared away, and she didn't want Trainer 2 to push me too hard too fast. I'm pretty touched that she has spent so much time with me, just to help me gain confidence. And she goes even higher into my book of amazing people. My barn is AMAZING!!

NOW for some Vera photos.

"Hey Lady, Youz gots snackz? I haz grass but want snackz."

Vera sporting Denali's halter. It makes me happy that I can use it.

So we're both a 'little' out of shape. She is SOO long!

Friday, May 11, 2012


I got the call that Denali made it to Montana! They said she looked good (whew) and trailered fine. I love the family that has her. They are great at communicating, and I can't wait to go visit. I've only randomly burst into tears twice today. Not bad so far.

Going to see Vera after work. I have Denali's leather halter (that never quite fit her refined head) and so Ms. Vera is going to get to wear it for now. Poor Vera. Hope she's prepared for sobbing me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

And she's gone.

My college writing teacher would not be pleased as to how poorly this is written, but I know that a lot of you love her too, and I wanted to let you know how everything went.

I took a half day off of work today. Denali's new "owners" had told me that they were leaving MT at 4am and I estimated that they'd take until late afternoon to get to Denali. My husband picked me up at work around lunch and we drove off.

On our way down we noticed that there were cops on all the bridges in Seattle, then we noticed a ton of traffic on I-5 north, and then NOTHING. It was odd. Then the first cop car went by, then another, then another. As we were driving in South Seattle, past Boeing Field we noticed Air Force One, just as we noticed the President's Motorcade driving past. It was pretty amazing. I was really happy that we were not trying to go north.

About ten minutes after we saw the motorcade, I got a call that they were 43 miles away (as were we.) I had a slight pannick attack. I had plans on spending the afternoon with her, grooming her, and just loving on her. It made me sad that we were not going to be able to do that. I stopped at the feed store and bought her some more treats, a big bucket of supplements, and some psyllium (I haven't given it to her yet this year.) I also picked up a bail of hay to send with her. We got to the barn and they were already there.

I was so nervous meeting them. I've loved talking to him on the phone, and I just hopped that they were half as nice in person as they were on the phone. They were even better. When we got out of the truck I noticed they were not in their (amazing) truck. Then I noticed they found Denali and she was doing her best "LOVE ME" face. We chatted for a bit about her and then I started to unload her stuff. I'm sure they think I'm totally nuts (I mentioned it a few times.) I gave them her Heavy Weight blanket, her other heavy weight blanket, her midweight blanket, her sheet, and cooler. I also packed up all her first aid kit stuff, her supplements, her halter, and her BAGS of treats. One large bag, two bins, and a box. I decided that I just wanted her to take her stuff with her. It made me feel better.

She was getting upset that she was NOT the center of attention and kept running in and out of her paddock. Eventually we decided that they should get on the road. I walked out to her paddock and put her halter on, gave her a big hug, and then lead her to the trailer. I told her she was onto a new journey, but that I promised I'd see her again. Not the way I planned to say goodbye, but also probably better than me sitting around for hours worrying. I can't wait to see her again.

They had another horse with them that has some French name that sounds like John Deer. I was glad that Denali didn't need to haul by herself. She had the two back stalls in the trailer, and she hopped right in, like a good girl. I was a huge, roomy area, and they decided to haul her loose so she can move if she needs to. Once she was loaded we talked for about twenty more minutes. During that time I know I could have walked back to the trailer and talked to Denali, but I couldn't. She's fine in a trailer if you ignore her, but if she is getting attention she gets antsy. I just didn't want to upset her. I wish I had a better chance of saying good bye.

I'm sad. I'm happy. I don't know how I feel. I feel bad that she doesn't understand what's happening, and that she won't see me for a while. I hope she understands, and her new home is so great that she doesn't even care about not seeing me. I just don't ever want her to be hungry again. That's my biggest fear after the last time I didn't see her for months.

Her new people are amazing. I really don't know how we lucked out that such great people found us. I had baked them brownies and bought them some snacks at Whole Foods as a little road trip snackage. About two minutes after they pulled out, they called me to tell me how delicious the brownies were. It made me smile. I really like them.

We stopped for dinner about 5 miles from the barn and I saw the trailer pull out of town with Ms. Denali and that's the last time I saw her. She's probably somewhere in Eastern WA now, or Idaho. It was a weird feeling to see your horse go driving past.

I miss my mare. I'm sad, but I did this because they can give her a life that I can't. Think good thoughts for her tonight and the next few days! I'll post an update as soon as I hear how she did.
Photo of me taking a photo.

My beautiful girl!

Denali's new friend, "John Deer"

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dear Vera,

Dear Vera,

Today was not my day. I tried to keep myself busy so I couldn't have to think about tomorrow. When I think, I worry way too much and make myself sick. We had a lesson scheduled. I wanted to cancel it. I thought about cancelling it. I didn't cancel it.

When I showed up at the barn, you were eating dinner. I was a nervous wreck and after our less than stellar ride the last time, I made myself feel sick. I tried to be positive, and tacked you up. When I put on our saddle that my friend let me borrow, you pinned your ears and stomped your foot. I got nervous. I checked the saddle, moved it back, and you were still pissy.

On our way down to the arena I somehow psyched myself out. I got really sad about Denali, and teared up a bit. I wanted to turn around, put you away, and never come back. I wanted to be done with horses. Somehow I ended up in the arena.

As we were standing there you were being pissy still. As brave as I was trying to be, I just couldn't get over my fears and worries and I teared up again. You looked at me, with what I swear was a surprised look. Then you stopped, and stood, and was an angel.

Our trainer looked at us, and told me to get on. I took a big gulp and off we went. You were straight, you were collected, you were amazing. I was so proud of how much you've learned this week from whoever else has been riding you, but then I found out, I was the last person to ride you. I was so proud of you, and our trainer was proud of both of us. Walk/Trot/Canter, you didn't take a wrong step, beside a few Llama head/Donkey neck moments, it was a great lesson and ride. Keep this up and we are going to a show in June.

Vera, thank you for being such a good girl today, I needed that. You've renewed my faith in horses.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2 more days.

You know when you make a decision, and you feel in your heart that it's the right decision....but then you start questioning those decisions.

Denali leaves on Thursday.

I am really happy that she will be with someone who knows horses, and she will have room to stretch those long legs of hers. I think I started to have my mini-meltdown-panic-attack when I saw a photo of a horse in a local kill pen. She could be Denali's twin.

Poor baby. :0(

I am so afraid that she will end up back in a kill pen, hungry and scared, or worse. I know that's the risk when you sell a horse. I get that. I told someone I have a contract, and it's pretty full proof, but still. If you own horses, know anything about horses, you know that contracts are not everything. Part of my problem is that I am the Queen of Anxiety. Maybe I need a cape.

We'll see if I can make it through this without some sort of psychological breakdown. I think I have pretty good intuition, and I feel good about the home she's going to. I will feel better once I go visit her. At least that's what I keep telling myself!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I went to go visit the mare yesterday. It was a very odd trip. Odd because it will be the last time that I will "leave" her at the barn. The next time I go down, I will leave after she's (hopefully) loaded in the trailer. I'm not sure how I feel. Denali looks AMAZING!! A little thinner than I'd like, but soundness-wise, she looks great! I didn't even notice any neurological symptoms as she was FLYING through the air trying to attack the little pony. She was able to spin on her front end and turn her butt towards me and/or my friend Andrew in .5 seconds. Let's just say that 6 months of limited handling has left her feral...well, almost! She wasn't "horrible" but she did seem to forget EVERYTHING. Lots of reminders of space yesterday. Ugh. I am sure she would be better if I wasn't so sad. I cut off some of her tail to get made into a bracelet. I didn't get far enough under her tail, and now she has a horrible haircut to remember me by. Lucky her.

I felt fine while we were there, and was proud of my lack of tears. After pulling out of the barn I got sad. I haven't really gotten over the sad part. I will "hopefully" feel better when they call to tell me that she made it safe and sound.

I talked to her new "owner" today. I sent him out my crazy, ridiculous contract. He said it looked fine, and he doesn't anticipate any problems. I told him she was a bit "wild" yesterday (I don't want him to have any surprises.) He didn't seem concerned. He told me his son does steer wrestling, Denali shouldn't be a problem. Funny.  A week from today she should be on acres and acres running around and being a horse. They are coming this week......

Today I went to work at GWB. I spent some time with Vera but didn't ride. I didn't have time, and want some adult supervision. She is in heat (or at least I HOPE that's her problem.) She had her ears pinned at all the chestnut ponies. No joke! It's sort of funny. I am still trying to figure out the saddle issue. A Custom Saddle rep boards at our barn. She and I had a talk about saddles. We'll see. I don't know. A saddle means you're committed. I don't know if I have the heart to get attached to something right now.

 I just feel "weird." I don't know. I feel like I just got out of a bad relationship, and I just don't know how much I want to commit to this relationship. I am making up excuses. I feel guilty, and sort of "blah."

In other weekend news, a wonderful woman that I know lost her barn yesterday. The whole stable burned down, but "luckily" (if you can have luck with a fire) all horses were turned out. No one (animal or people) was hurt. Still everything is gone.

Think good thoughts for Denali this week.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Denali has a cell phone....

and she must have Vera's number.

Yesterday was my first "official" day with Ms. Vera. I got to the barn around 4:30 and proceeded to grab her pretty face from her beet pulp deliciousness. She wasn't happy. I had to try a new saddle out because the one I was using and coveting is for another horse that came back to the barn. The saddle that I was using is a Custom Coda. I WANT!!! Amazing, amazing saddle. I miss it.

I opted to ride in the indoor arena since there are walls, and I am afraid I will come off and not be able to catch her! My lesson was changed to next week, this week my trainer had to run off to UPS to send off a horses passport to be renewed to go to LONDON! How exciting.

What went well in our ride:
Lots of bendy circles, she went on the bit and was able to carry herself a bit farther in frame than she was the last time I rode her. We rode longer than we have, and she was listening really the start. I did a better job of keeping contact in the outside rein. I would like to think we looked "less drunk" than we have been looking.

What we need to work on:
We did some walk/canter/walk transitions and going to the right she was a total peach! It felt great, and I was super stoked! Then I decided to do the same thing going to the left. I don't know what happened, but have been analyzing it ever since. I asked her for the canter and she did three-four beautiful strides. Then she decided that she should take her head and throw it between her front legs. For a brief moment I thought she was going to do a somersault forward. I instantly thought, "OH HELL NO!" and had visions of Denali dancing in my head. I brought her back to a trot and took up a bit more rein (thinking I had them to long...that HAD to be it, right?) I half-halted and then kicked her back into a canter, one, two, three, DIVE. WTF Vera! Seriously! I did the same thing again, and brought her back into a trot since she was wanting to go down and up, and not forward. I could not figure out what in the hell she was doing. No one was in the arena so I called over a friend from the outdoor to watch us. I didn't know if this was a poor excuse for a buck, if it was her head diving, she was tripping, or just trying to stretch. One thing I have learned from the Mare-Wolf is that if you let her get away with it once, she will keep doing it. I don't think Vera has a mean bone in her body, but still....

My friend came over and watched, I did some figure 8's and then kicked her into a canter. Nothing, nada, good as gold. HORSE! Seriously!

Did she buck? Maybe.
Did she dive? Maybe.
Did she trip (twice?) Maybe.

I have no idea. Then I realized that staying on is a newly developed skill. I am trying really hard at not fixating on trying to figure out what Vera did. I was told that she has only ever bucked once in her life. If it was a buck, it might have been the new saddle that I had on her. I didn't fit in it at all (AT ALL- I was singing "Fat girl in a little saddle" most of the ride.)  It seemed to fit her, but who knows. She might have been trying  to stretch to loosen up her shoulders in order to canter. I asked my trainer about what she thought it might have been and she said she likes to stretch out A  LOT. My friend who was watching, said "Maybe it's the hunter canter?" Who knows. I do know I need to focus on the good things. 1. I stayed on and made her "fix it." 2. I kept riding her after the cantering issue. 3. We had a really nice ride.

It is driving me NUTS not knowing what she did. NUTS!!!

I know how easily I talk myself into believing a small thing is a huge deal. This is not a huge deal, and the fact that I had zero problems staying in the saddle (even when it didnt' fit me) made me feel pretty good. My friend is going to let me borrow her VLX  which is a bit bigger than the one I was using yesterday. We'll see what Princess II thinks of that.

My days with her are Tuesday/Saturday/Sunday for now. I need to talk to my trainer about seeing if we can have a lesson a different day so that I can ride her with "supervision" and make sure that I'm not doing something to piss her off. It's the first time that I don't want to just give up. I want to figure it out, so that's good.

I faxed off Denali's papers today to her new vet at Retirement Farm. Her paperwork should be ready to go by the end of the week. I have decided to go visit her this weekend. Knowing her, she will be super loving and sweet and make me question my decision. UGH! Positive? Even if she's an UBER-bitch I won't mind.

I sent off crazy-lease to her new "owner." The wording of the lease is that

The "Term" of this Lease shall commence on: May _____, 2012  (“Commencement Date”) and shall not be terminated.

Then there are stipulations that I can cancel the lease at anytime (and under what terms,) but if he cancels the lease I get 3 months to find her a place to live before I take her back. If she comes back in less than a year, he pays to haul her. If it's more than a year, I pay. It's 4 pages, but I had a lawyer look it over and make sure it was something could hold up in court (if it ever came to that.) So far, so good. I'm sending it off and waiting to see what he says about it. I went over it on the phone with him, and he said he had no problems with it. 

I'm excited for her new adventure, but will feel better about it when she is there and I don't need to worry about her in a trailer for 9+ hours.