Sunday, October 14, 2018

Louder than words

The new barn has been interesting and fun so far. Although I was assured there is "NO DRAMA" before moving, at the end of the first week there was a near Knock down, drag out in the aisle way. Two of the women got into it and were going at it at the other end of the barn. They nearly came to throwing blows. One of the women involved? You guessed it. The one who had assured me there is no drama.... the drama queen herself.

Fast forward 2-3 weeks. There's another woman at the barn- G - who has 1 horse and thinks she owns the place. She is hardly ever there, thankfully, but of the two times I have seen her, she runs her mouth and throws a temper tantrum. Apparently she has gone after just about everyone there and after seeing her the first time, I knew it was a matter of time until she took a shot at me.

One of the other women at the barn moved her horse to the stall next to G's horse, and subsequently the DQ moved G's feed box over more in front of her stall. There was a lot of ranting on the part of DQ about how she moved the box and didn't care if G liked it or not... Of course when G got there and threw a hissy fit, DQ said nothing. When G's tantrum was almost over, DQ approached her and said nothing about being the one to move her box. Clearly DQ is your friend as long as things benefit her. Duly noted.

Fast forward another week aaaaaaaand then G took her shot. I put my TB mare in the cross ties between her stall and mine. Oh. My. Gawd. You would think the world was about to end. She started squawking and bitching that I had to move my mare- it was upsetting her horse. I called bullshit. Her horse was standing there and hadn't moved. Mine was standing there not moving either.  I told her they were both fine, I've been tying her there for the past month and I was tacking her up.

More squawking....  and she calls the BO. (I swear she has the poor man on speed dial. LOL I've seen her do this before and it's nice to know she always has to run away and nark on people) I pay board here just like everyone else and have just as much right to use the facility as she does. More squawking and she tells me if I don't move my horse, she will do it FOR me. Yeah, We all know That went over well... Hahahahaha I quickly put her in her place and told her that would be a very Bad idea on her part and she made a hasty retreat. As Dena said once -> Well that went surprisingly well.... *snork*

One of the guys at the barn said he missed the whole thing and that would be better than any reality TV.  I apologized, Sorry to disappoint.  G may reconsider her position before taking another shot at me again but I won't be surprised if she does. I guess it's a matter of when?  Insert massive eyeroll.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

WEG Tryon 2018

Although I would love to go, whether to watch or one day maybe compete (we can all dream) my new man found the Cross Country competition going on and recorded it for me. YAY!  When I got to sit down and watch it, they were talking about all the different events going on so I fired up the remote, flipped thru the listings and recorded-
Vaulting- team compulsory rounds
Para Dressage- different rounds, finals are tonight and an hour
Jumping- team & individual competition 3.5 hours, 4 more hours of team and individual competition and then another 4 hours of team gold competition.
And this morning? DRIVING!
Marathon is 3.5 hours and tomorrow morning is
Cones for 2 hours

I had seen the Driving Dressage and thought I had it set to record, but apparently somehow it slipped thru the cracks and *POOF* gone. I will look it up to see if I can find it because Dressage sets the tone for the standings. It's not often you can have a mediocre round in dressage and expect to move up enough in the standings with your scores from the marathon and cones.

I'm looking forward to watching it!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Turn the page

I recently moved barns. The last one there was a LOT of drama an bullshit going on and as much as the barn owner said he doesn't tolerate drama, he was at the root of it.

There were a lot of colic's there and after my friend lost her pony, he never said a word to her about it. When I thought my mare was either foundered or navicular, he ran around telling everyone she fell in the pasture and got stuck in a small ditch that ran thru it. I was not supposed to tell people what I thought was going on and supposedly everyone was talking smack about my horse anyways. Really?

Then he sent out multiple text messages asking everyone for their email addresses. Nope. I did not respond. If he couldn't respect my privacy enough NOT to share my number and info with everyone at the barn and blow up my phone during the day while I was at work- he wasn't getting it. My phone was going off over and over with everyones emails coming back. The following day there was quite the buzz in the barn.

Supposedly the email "only applies to the New People", but he had no problem applying everything to everyone.

- If I were to sell one of my horses. help someone with training or bring someone in for lessons, he wanted 10%.
- If I were to bring in a horse as a 'flip project', he wanted 20%
- If I had the farier out, someone out for ddental care, massage therapy, Magnawave, etc. He wanted 10% of that too.

There was a lot more, but these were the main things on his list. Did I comply with any of this? Would you seriously expect me to?

There were other issues going on where he was making racial slurs and asking things that are none of his business. He never asked me anything about the other boarders because he knows I would tell him to go ask them ot its probably none of his business anyways. Of course when it was my turn to be the target of this bullshit, he asked everyone but me about these things, because he's just that way. Then last few weeks he has been telling his 'groupies' my mare needs a bullet in her head.  Again it's none of his business what I do with my horse and what difference is it to him?  If I want to put money into keeping her going or put her down- Its MY horse and MY decision.

Knowing my horses- my mare has been quite anxious and wound up lately at that barn. She didn't drink much in her stall, but as soon as she went out- straight to the water trough. When she went in the stall- first thing she did was piss it up. She no longer laid down to roll in her stall and she also started chasing all other horses away from my pony.

The new barn- they put a tractor bucket load of sand in the one stall to level it out before I got there. No more auto waterers- mosquito breeding grounds- so with new tubs my mare is drinking in her stall again. She can also put her head over the half wall between them and is right next to my little man. Instead of getting a wheel barrow of shavings and manure out of each stall- It doesn't even fill up half.

The stalls are light and airy, they are both relaxed and calm and my mare promptly laid down to roll when I put her in the stall. It's a good feeling knowing my horses are comfortable in their new surroundings.  The tack room situation leaves a bit to be desired, but I can manage.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Overlooked

If you've been reading my blog for any real length of time, you'll know that I have an OTTB mare. I know I've mentioned her before, and lately only now and then. I posted some pics of her here on the blog, waaaaayyyyy back when.... but mostly the pics are of my little man Kat and he has his own blog focused on driving, while she just hangs out in the background and flies under the radar.

Now that I've realized this, I have been tying to get some pic's to post.... She's a nice mare and deserves not only the attention but the recognition.

Lunging the other night. Of course she's licking and chewing and I caught her mid-lick... It seems I have a gift for getting pic's of horses with their tongue sticking out.

Everything starts and ends with the walk. Cowboys walked the first mile out and last mile back to warm them up and cool them out. I start my horses out at a walk on the lunge line and also when I get on them. 

This is so much nicer than having them bolt to the end of the line and damn near rip your arms out of their sockets like a lot of people let them do. 



Obviously pic's from two different days if you look at her wraps and boots

Still walking....

I swear nobody was holding her tail lol, it's mid swing.
I love her plain TB head and she has one of the softest, kindest eyes I've ever seen on a horse.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Who's to say?

** I would like to preface this post with a short note that I was reluctant to publish this post, due to the fact that one of my friends at the barn recently lost her young, 4 year old filly to colic. She was using quality feed and seemed to be doing everything right and then this happened. Everyone at the barn is deeply saddened and many of us are still shaking our heads in complete disbelief over her loss. **

What do you feed?  This is a fairly common question in the industry. We all have our own ideas of what works and what don't and sometimes we are limited by either our budget, what's available in our area or a combination of both. At the end of the day, we will all agree that we want what's best for our hose(s) at a reasonable cost.

There was a woman at the barn that when she first came in, was getting her coastal hay from a guy for a decent price that included delivery and stacking. Sadly though, the quality of the hay was quite lacking. To make up for it, she was feeding supplements. A Lot of supplements, from weight builders, corn oil, hoof supplements, electrolytes and a combination of powders, pellets and liquids.

There was a grain that was sworn to be 'a great value' at $20 for 100# and yes that is a pound sign not a hash tag. While I have seen the "Value Feed", I really haven't gotten a good look at the tag on it to see what it's made up of. It has a lot of corn, whole oats and molasses in it, but I honestly couldn't tell you what else.

In comparison, I am feeding my two a senior feed in addition to their alfalfa pellets. The senior feed is $10.70 a bag for 50#. So while there's really not much difference in price, there is a rather large gap in the quality. The senior feed is a more complete feed and was designed to give the older horse all the nutrients they require to keep them healthy. In the event your horse can no longer chew their hay or regular feed, you can still give them the senior feed so they get everything they need.  

Since being on Senior feed, my horses coats have gotten super soft and they are beyond shiny. Katman has dapples galore, as does my tb mare and although she may lose her mind and drop weight over who knows what, it has helped keep her weight a bit more manageable. She might walk away from her alfalfa pellets and leave them for later, but she will snarf down every bit of her senior feed.

What struck me as funny but also sad at the same time, was the fact that this woman was more than happy to hand out advice to anyone and everyone about what they should be feeding their horses. All fine and good, but what everyone chose to ignore was the fact that in less than a year, all but one of her horses had coliced- some more than once. One of them coliced because a friend had fed for her without giving the horses their concoction of supplements.

The friend of mine who lost her filly, was also feeding alfalfa pellets, senior feed and a slow feed net full of coastal hay. Her filly had really blossomed in the time she had her, going from not much to look at, to something quite special that turned heads. Her filly was shiny to the point of having dapples, silky soft coat like my mare, nicely filled out and muscled up with great feet that were easy to trim but tough enough to go without needing shoes. She looked great and didn't need all the supplements to get there. Nobody really knows what caused her to colic.  RIP little girl.

So who's to say which feeding program is the better one? I'll just stick to feeding mine the alfalfa pellets they're used to, the senior feed they snarf down like crazy and hay nets stuffed with coastal grass. It's been working for them this long, why change now?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Really?

Long ago and far away, I developed this crazy idea.....  that my hands needed to be on or really close to the withers at all times. I'm not sure where or when this started or really the reason why. It might have been from showing and always seeing riders with their hands close to the withers and somehow thinking that this is where mine belonged too.

Then someone had gotten video of me riding the WB mare Aruba and I sent a link to a friend of mine, asking her to watch it and tell me what I need to fix to improve. One of the things she told me was that I needed to widen my hands and give the horse some room to work. I tried it the next time I rode and wouldn't you know? My mare worked about 1,000% better. It took me a while to make this the new "normal" and some days, it's still a work in progress.

So imagine having someone else now telling me, that I need to ride with my hands close to the neck/withers. All I could think was- "Do you know how long it took me to break that damned habit?"  Yeah. That's where I'm at. So what would you do?

Now both of these people giving me advice, definitely have their 'creds'. Person A has shown at upper level shows, both nationally and internationally and Person B has judged a lot at upper level shows like Regionals & World for breed shows. They both know a lot of big names in their resective sport- B is more western, A has done both but is more English discipline focused now.

As for my hands, I have finally found that the 'Sweet Spot' is for them to be as wide as my feet. That way the horse has the area the width of their body, to move between them. What I was being told was- whatever the width of your hands, that's how wide the lateral movement of the horses head will be. If they are close to the neck/withers, the horse can only turn their head that much back and forth, but if your hands are wide apart, they have more 'wiggle room' and it's easier to evade the bit and avoid or refuse obstacles.

My thoughts on that are that if the horse is not sure of something and is not confident enough in you or themselves, they don't give a shit where your hands are at- they are Not going over or thru what's in front of them. More realistically, the horse probably doesn't care if we stay on them and some of them might prefer we come off so we can't 'push them' anymore to tackle the obstacle.

So has anyone else been in this position before or am I the only one?

Saturday, June 30, 2018

I Guarantee it!

Lately I have been meeting some really interesting people in life. Not so much that they're interesting in a good way, like they do things I'm genuinely curious about or interested in, but interesting in a sense that just when you think you've heard it all....  Which of course always makes for good blog fodder, so that's a plus. Lol

There was a couple at the barn who bouht a 3 year old stud colt. The horse was cute enough, but the back story didn't make much sense. Also the fact that these people are newbies to the horse world, means they were and are prime targets to be taken advantage of, which we all know happens far too much.

Speaking to them one night about their horse, (which they did geld upon getting him home so Kudos for that!) I was given the hostory on the horse. He was saved from the kill pen. Okay I get it, he was a rescue. But obviously the auction house doesn't care who buys the horses they run thru, just that they are paid for, preferably before the end of the night. But that's when the details went a bit sideways. They traveled almost to San Antonio (about 3 hours away) to pick up the horse. They chased him around for nearly 3-4 hours because he was turned out on 160 acres. Whaaaaat????  Personally I have never heard of a kill pen facility that turns horses out on that much acreage.

Then there was the matter of having the horse trained. They had one of the guys at the barn saddle the gelding up one night and he really went to bucking as he ran around the round pen.  I don't know if anyone got on him afterwards, but if they did, it was most likely they ran the hell out of him and wore him out before they got on. Then the guy said he had found a trainer up near Bryan, Texas that charged $XXX the first month, then a bit less the next month and a bit less from there on out, but after 3 months or so, he would have the horse not only doing the barrel pattern, but also kid safe- gauranteed!

I'm not sure how he took it when I said, "People like that scare me. There are NO guarantees in training horses. They each learn at their own pace and just because You want to do something with them, barrels, jumping, dressage, cutting.... doesn't mean the Horse wants to do that too. The only one thing that I can say IS guaranteed- You Will spend a lot of money."

They have since changed barns, so I don't know what happened with the horse or if they will send him off to the trainer with the guarantee or not. I can only imagine the first month costs the most since the horse would need work to get him into condition for riding besides correcting a few other issues he has. I wish them luck with the horse.