Saturday, June 22, 2019

Wow. Just. Wow.

In my last post I mentioned the one girl at the barn that had supposedly taken dressage lessons in her past. One of the things that has come up in discussions with her is the quality of horses we have ridden.

I have been fortunate in having ridden some really talented horses in my time at some of the different show barns I have worked at. Many of them were showing at the A rated level as well as Regionals, US Nationals and Canadian Nationals. Many of those  horses had values in the 5 figure range. Her words- "I have never ridden a horse worth that much. I can't even imagine that."

Now I'm not tying to put her down or anything, because like I said, I feel that I have been fortunate to have had the opportunities in life that I have, even if I had to work for them- which I did. Like many other people, I feel like maybe my life could have or would have been better if only......  fill in the blank here. lol

But one of the things she said the other night really caught me off guard and sort of left me dumbfounded. I had just helped one of the other girls at the barn with her horse. He's fairly new and they've had him about 2 months. Like every horse on the planet, he came with some issues. His issues are very much like the majority of horses with issues, in that they are human caused.

A little backstory on the horse- The previous owner was making recommendations on spurs and choices of bits to use. Her bit suggestion was so the girl would be able to 'handle him better and be able to stop him'. Keep in mind that this horse has run off with the previous owner on several occasions. The new owner had been using a shanked bit with a twisted wire mouthpiece and some gag action to it.  In fact just about every bit they own has a twisted wire mouthpiece-> similar to what the previous owner is using on her other horses.

In helping this girl with her horse- the first issue I addressed was the bit. I loaned her a simple D-ring snaffle. The changes were pretty much instant. Her horse relaxed and dropped his head. Then the other night we worked him in long lines. She had only attempted long line work a couple times before and still learning, so I worked her horse for a bit to get him moving like he should.

I have to say, He is one very, VERY fancy moving horse. At one point he had the most beautiful, effortless looking western pleasure jogs I have seen in a long time. It was a very collected, relaxed, ground covering jog that would be easy to sit as you covered the miles. Yeah, that kind of jog! It was absolutely gorgeous folks. This was not long after his owner had said "He has no jog."

So dressage girl notices the horse is a lot, LOT quieter and asks what kind of bit we're using?  I tell her it's a simple D-ring snaffle. She gives me a blank stare and asks- "What is that? I don't know what that is." Honestly all I could think was- Haven't you ever opened a catalog?

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Respect the horse

These are words I don't see often around the barn. What's funny about this is that my horses are a bit spoiled, but also some of the most well behaved in the barn. Of course everyone loves my ponyman, I mean who doesn't and what's not to love about him?

But there is a girl at the barn that thinks her horse is all that, and she's really not. Her or her horse. Supposedly she rode dressage horses before. I can't imgine any of what she learned has stuck, since her horse has a lot of issues and bucking is one of them.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Funny things

After a lot of thought and serious considerations, I decided to sell my TB mare. One of the farriers I used in the past has a TB stallion and he was interested in breeding her. I thought long and hard about it and honestly, I really don't want a racehorse so I offered him first dibs. I didn't hear anything back so I posted her ad online.

First there was the response from the person who has been jumping for 3 years and ready to buy their first horse. Um, no. Her knee does not make her a good candidate for jumping, at least not if you'd like her to remain sound. She's also not really suitable for a beginner, so I went back and included these things in the text. I also included some pic's.

Then came the reply from a woman in Washington  where she was bred. She had a horse of similar breeding and keeps an eye out for these horses. We have exchanged quite a few emails since. 
I didn't mention her age in the ad and then came the reply from a guy who is 'very interested'. He is looking for something under the age of 5. When I said that she's 20 he was pretty blown away. Judging from the pic's he thought she was a 4 year old. Yes she's shiny, pretty fit and a good healthy weight. A few people that have known my horse for a while here in Houston say that she looks better now than she ever has. So for all the people who have skinny old horses and blame it on their age- I call bullshit.
I also got an email from a person who seems to be the self appointed Internet ad police. They don't want to use their own email and keep using an anonymous account. They asked a few questions and I politely and honestly answered each one. They came back all pissy and snarky with name calling. Wow. That was mature of them. The way they worded things I wondered did they even read the ad???  I asked them that too. And here's an idea- if my horse is not of interest to you, close the ad and move on. Nobody made them click on her ad, so what the hell? They really got pissy over that. So when their email came in again, I read it, had a good laugh, then I blocked it and replied- Bye Felicia.   

I have gotten a few more replies to her ads and hopefully one of them will pan out. She deserves to be in a good home with more turnout than she has access to in my new boarding arrangement. If she is bred and produces some nice foals, then great. I had her checked out for that and she's ready to go.  For those of you who spotted her right hind- That is her cellulitis that flares up now and then. It happened to be a little puffed up that day and is one of the results of Harvey- because she chose to stand in knee deep water, than on higher, drier ground. One of the reasons she could use more turnout. The stall does her no favors on this.A pic of one of the girls at the old barn riding her.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Be careful

Those two words my man says every time I leave the house to go to the barn. Be careful. I always assure him that I am and the other night I got a phone call that helped me reassure him in this respect.

About 2 weeks ago one of the ladies at the barn got a new horse. An older palomino mare that's put together pretty decent and the mare seems to have a good brain. At least when she's given half a chance. Last weekend her new owner decided to get on her horse. She saddled her up in the barn aisle and decided to get on her there. That's where all common sense left the building.

There were two women involved in this clusterfuck. One the mare owner A and the other another boarder B. To give everyone an idea of a little back story, B is the one who doesn't do anything with her own horse and was the subject of my recent post on SIS- As If.... B is rather new to horses and doesn't know a whole lot. A has had horses and knows enough about them Not to have done what she did.

From what I was told by one of the other boarders, A was on her horse and B asked if she could get on too. At least A decided to get off the horse and let B sit on her alone. But things went horribly wrong from there. Rather than take the horse outside, A pulls a plastic lawn chair over beside the horse so B can get on.

To kind of set the stage, there are large wooden feed boxes in the aisle way. Down by her stall, there are also an assortment of folding chairs, a few muck buckets and rakes, along with a few large totes full of odds and ends. The aisle is quite cluttered and looks trashy a/f. There are also steel beams that go across the aisle as supports for the walls and roof. Not a safe place to be riding at all.

So B climbs up on the chair and proceeds to mount the horse. As her rear end graces the seat of the saddle, the chair falls over, the back of the chair touching the horse on her belly as it falls underneath her, all causing the mare to lose her shit. A admitted to me she fell and was staring up at her horses belly from the ground. B was grabbing for the beams overhead and eventually came off. She narrowly missed hitting her head on the fence in front of my pony's stall, but she didn't bounce either as she landed flat on her side, hitting the ground equally with her shoulder, side and hip.

A was texting me from the barn asking for the address. She didn't tell me it was for the ambulance coming for B. However she did let me know that she had left my feed and tack room unlocked when she left to go to the hospital. She shares my space, but since she couldn't be bothered to lock it up on her way from the barn to the car, before leaving to go to the hospital to stay with B, Yeah I'm not too thrilled. That was the 2nd time in 2 days she left my tack room unlocked and left. the. property. I have spoken to the barn owner and then to her. They both know that if it happens again I'm kicking her ass OUT!

After A finally sent me a text message saying that B is going to be okay, nothing broken just a lot of bruising and going to be sore the next few days if not weeks,  I replied that I was glad to hear and asked - Did we learn anything from this?  Her answer was Probably Not followed by a bunch more nonsense.

I explained to my man that this is a prime example of exactly Why 1) I am Very super selective of whose horses I ride, 2) I'm even More selective of who I let ride MY horses and 3) I'm probably overly cautious of who I ride With. I put a lot of work and training into my horses and don't need someone else's half trained, batshit crazy horse screwing that up or injuring them or worse- me. Different people at the last barn may have thought I was a bit snobby or stuck up because I didn't go to these events with them where it was a drunken shitfest for the weekend, but I'm fine with that. I don't feel like I'm missing anything and my horses are safe sleeping in their stalls at night.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rub it in

Have you ever done something that you find enjoyment in, knowing full well or finding out later on, that somebody you know- has always wanted to try it or they admire it? Something they might be incredibly jealous of you for...

Way, way back in the day- the Lippizaner stallions were coming to town and there was a big article & photos of the horses in the local newspaper. Because yes, I'm getting old and we actually did read those things. Anyways my sister was pissed at me (one of the many times. HA!) because I cut out one of the photos and she wanted them to go with the whole article. See, she loved dressage. Always wanted to ride it and just admired it from afar. My parents weren't rich and certainly wasn't going to be shelling out the cash for dressage lessons when they weren't going to buy a horse.  At least her friend from high school had a horse and she got to ride.

Fast forward to me being in high school. I got a job at a local Arabin barn that I never even knew existed. I learned the art of grooming and went to a LOT of horse shows and improved on my riding. Her interest in horses kind of fizzled out over the years, while mine seemed to get stronger and stronger. She never has had a horse of her own. I have had several after buying my fist one within the month of turning 18. I have trained, shown, hauled and owned a number of horses over the years. My sister borrows a horse to go trail riding wih her friend now and then.

She had told me several times how she liked Dressage and has always admired the look of it all from the tophats, to the shadbelly coats, gloves, white breeches down to the dress boots. I have several of these things in my closet. The gloves, white, tan and navy colored breeches, 2 pair of dress boots, several long sleeved show shirts, 2 black coats and a Shadbelly I made several years ago because I bought the pattern and some gorgeous fabic.

And while she still borrows horses and toodles down trails, I have trained my pony to drive and competed him in the dressage ring many times over the years. Two summers ago I started a pony under saddle and within 6 months went from not broke at all to having her competitive in the show ring where we were always in the ribbons-> in Dressage. We competed in Western Dressage and again- brought home ribbons with respectable scores and impressive judges remarks. I have also been very fortunate (and quite blessed!) in learning from a friend of mine who has some seriously impressive credentials, having ridden with, cliniced with and sometimes shown against- some seriously impressive names in the industry.

I've grown to appreciate and enjoy showing in the sandbox. Doing reasonably well at it, even at the lower levels- fueled the fire. Hopefully one of these days I will be able to take my TB mare and she won't be such a diva and lose her shit. Time will tell with her... As for my sister?  Yeah, not my problem. She can keep borrowing horses to wander thru the dessert. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Know your products

The other day one of the girls at the barn was using a hoof treatment on the hooves of her little sisters horse.  She was reading off some of the ingredients and mentioned it had Linsed Oil, Pine Tar and Venice Turpentine in it. Of course there were several other ingredients, but these three stood out for me.

I have a bottle of Pine Tar and the brush for it, but since my horses have always had good, soft to trim, yet sturdy otherwise hooves, I don't use it much and have had it for Yeeeeeaaarrrssss. I honestly don't even remember where I bought it.

Linseed Oil - I have a big can of this out in the shed for oiling the wood of my meadowbrook cart. I can also remember the Operations manager at one of the big name farms coating the deck of the flatbed trailer with a good coating of Linsed Oil to keep the wood moisturized and strong.

My wasbands mare Chica had also gotten really thin hoof walls and soles at one point so he was using Venice Turpentine to harden the soles of her feet to keep her from hurting when she walked. The soles were that thin. Shoes weren't so much an option since her hoof walls were seriously paper thin. She did get them the next time around, because I paid for them. I was more concerned with keeping the horse sound & comfortable and obviously he wasn't.

It has always been my experience that hoof ointment is applied liberally at the coronet band or hairline of the hoof since this is where it grows out of. The girl mentions it says on the can (in all caps mind you), DO NOT USE ON THE HAIRLINE OR CORONET BAND. I'm guessing this was because of the turpentine.

Now I'm not sure about you, but to me this mixture didn't make sense. There was the pine tar and linseed oil to soften the hooves and make them more flexible, but then the turpentine to harden them. It sounds a lot like a "fix all" in a can. It softens And hardens the hoof? How does that work?!?! How does an ointment or treatment know when to harden or soften things? What makes things even better is that this girl is one of those that knows all there is to know about the subject. At least she thinks she does.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Update please

Here we are almost thru the first month of the new year already and I'm still stuck on the Christmas post. Sheesh!

I will try and be a little better at posting in the coming months. Everyone knows that since I'm boarding the horses, there's plenty of drama and blog fodder at the barn. That's a given! LMAO  There are days that all the 'Barn Happenings' remind me of the days of Fugly. For those of you who feel the need to jump all over me for mentioning it, just save it.  I'm not going to post about all the drama negativity at the barn because I chose not to focus on that.

Instead there are things that while they could be discussed, focusing on the bad, they can also be discussed using them as a learning or teaching moment. Which one is the better outcome?