Friday, July 30, 2010

Sad news:-(

So some news today.... my current landlord won't let me get out of Aug rent. Even though my lease has been up for a month he is still wanting the full 30 day notice....sigh.... so no moving to horsey heaven yet. On a positive note it gives me plenty of time to  sort through everything and throw some things away.

On a riding note... it's been HOT and I mean really, really hot!!! So combine that with me working 11 hour days this week... yes 11 hours... it sucks. The only good part about working this much is that since I work down the street from my parents house I get to see, feed, and kiss my sweet horses noses every day:-) Although seeing them and not being able ride kinda sticks. Dutch is very okay with seeing me and not having to work. She will never admit that she actually enjoys riding. Except I think that might be a possibility when we move as she will have her very own jump course, and she LOVES to jump.

Mr. Romeo is very different... He LOVES to be ridden, groomed, talked to, starred at, anything that means he is the center of attention. He does not enjoy seeing me for a mere 10 minutes. He is actually getting kinda mad at me and no longer comes over and sticks his nose in my face when I ask for kisses (usually he begs for a kiss). It makes me sad that I can't get out there, yet all these extra hours are paying for the much-more-costly-then-expected vet bill I got earlier this week. It is also paying for new breeches, warming, and the new supplements that doc said to put Dutch on. Somethings are more important then exercising them, and I keep having to remind myself of that.

Here is the plan for the next few months. I'm posting it here so that I have it in writing and for some accountability.

August- packing and moving all my stuff, finish paying off my current hay bill to my dad (my gracious dad pays me in hay for doing yard work... I think its a great deal and that I get the better end of it). Riding is not the priority this month. Although I am still aiming for the Sept show it will be his first time out so really our goal is to just stay in the ring and make it through the day with no serious tantrums. Riding goals will continue to be focused on relaxation and to stop the bucking. I'll continue to lounge him over cavalleti's and a small jump.

September- settling in to the new place for all of us. Letting the horses adjust to new herd members, new environment, and a heavier work load. Since I'll have a roomie to ride with and she is already scheduled ride nights on T and Th with some other dressage friends training will be in full swing. I will finally have someone to critique me!!!! And I plan on having at least 1 lesson with a trainer each month throughout the winter months. There is a show in Oct that will be the 2nd for us and the last for the year. Depending on how Sept goes will determine our goals. I will def be hoping that we can take that one more serious. My desire is to only show intro in these 2 and by spring be ready for training level.

So there it is. That's the plan, I'm going to try and not be too hard on myself for not riding much this month. August is the hottest month in AR and Romeo doesn't do well in the heat and it's not good to try and fight with him at this stage in the training. Plus I MUST do a thorough job of cleaning and packing. Most of it will go into storage and I need to just get rid of a lot of it. So next week begins a long month of cleaning, packing, and moving with very little time for the horses.... a small sacrifice so that in the end I have more time to spend with them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I'm moving!!!!!! And I get to take my babies with me!!!!!!

The long awaited dream once again having my horses in my backyard will soon come true. I've been looking for a way to increase income and decrease spending. One of the ways to decrease spending is to find a new place to live that is much cheaper. I girl down the street from parents has a room for rent. The plus is that she owns 10 acres:-) but wait.... it gets even better... she has a barn! and a wash rack! and her mudroom is her tack room:-) but wait... there's more.... OMG its the best thing about this place.... it has an arena!!! Not one but 2!!! it has a dressage arena and a jump arena!!! Plus lights.. so I can ride at night in this horrid heat and in the evenings in the winter.

I think I've died and gone to heaven:-) Another great thing about it is that this girl is really good friends with a girl who does eventing. She, of course, has to travel out of state to event but Tif says they always have an open spot in the trailer:-) It just keeps getting better doesn't it. That big ol talented dumbbutt of mine might actually get to event!!! I'm one happy momma!!! The pasture isn't perfect but with them being right there I can feed twice a day and its only minutes away from dad's pasture so worse comes to worse the mare goes there every few weeks to eat up the grass there. In fact it's close enough to throw into the summer rotation. I am very, very excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for us with this opportunity.

The dog and the cat get to come too:-) The downside is that I will no longer have my own place:( and that I will have a roommate. I don't mind having a roommate and since Tif and I have just met I think that it will be just fine, but living with another person can be quite frustrating at times, however the fact that we are both horse people should make things easier on us.

So basically I and my 4 pets will get to live here and pay less then what I am currently paying for just me and the smaller pets:-) Very much an answer to prayer and I am so thankful that He has directed my path here!!!!

Bad news is that with this sudden decision to move there will no time for riding till everything is packed up and moved:( Oh well I guess the price to pay is a small one.. soon we will all be together and I can kiss noses every morning and night!!:-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Finally back in the saddle

Well... the busy day finally came to an end and now I'm relaxing at work and found some time to share about the adventure.

First off... the lesson went great. I LOVE teaching. Maybe, just maybe, someday I can have own barn with a few dedicated students:-) My student (we'll call her Ace) did very well. She is so eager to learn and had already purchased riding boots and is working on getting some breeches. I'm so proud of her, she's mowing lawns so buy it all herself.

Since yesterday's lesson was the first we spent most if it on the ground. I always start there, no matter there experience. These are my horses and I make sure my student is familiar with my rules. Safety first, always!! She is a quick learner and even managed to get the bridle on with no help. Since she has ridden before, and on Dutch a few times, I saddled up Romeo and we went for a short stroll in the pasture together. I think I'm going to alternate riding with her and standing on the ground. Dutch does better when I am not on the ground, she tends to follow me rather then listen to her rider. While I want Ace to learn to take charge, that shouldn't be the complete focus of the lesson. Plus riding with her, I can show her rather then just tell her how to do things.

I plan on spending the next few weeks just letting her ride, making sure she has the basic seat down but more importantly confidence and brakes!

Romeo did great!! No bucking or rearing... yeah!!!! I'm working on developing a relaxed horse... a youngster is hard... he can often be what I describe as wiggly. It sometimes feels like riding a snake as he gets unsure of himself and when he tenses up he becomes unbalanced. He does this both under saddle and on the lounge line so I'm working on taking slow, steady, and encouraging steps with him. He is eager to learn which makes him fairly easy to work with. I need to call my trainer up and set up a lesson. There is a schooling show down the street at my trainers stable the second weekend in September,. I am aiming to get him there. It will be his first show so I'm kinda nervous/excited to see how he does.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Busy, Busy day ahead

So I guess when it rains, it pours... right?? Isn't that how the old saying goes?? Well this morning I woke up with a slightly busy schedule and as the day goes by it just gets busier. Strider, the faithful canine companion of mine, has had a vet appointment schedule for tomorrow for awhile. Maximus, the trusty barn cat, got thrown in on the same day to get fixed (so we keep down the stray cat population). So cat has to be dropped off in morning and picked up in afternoon when dog goes in.


Last week the farrier was supposed to come, however, met a farrier that will do a trim for half the cost so I canceled the old one and decided to give this guy a try and so he is coming in the morning. I'm kinda picky about who does their feet and I have used my current one off and on for over 10 years. He's kinda grumpy and can be very rude however he knows his stuff and is gentle with my "kids" and that my friends is VERY important. I had one hit my sweet ol' mare with a rasp for just shifting her weight while trimming and I told him to get lost. I, and ONLY I can discipline my horses that sharply. I don't usually go with new guys but in the recent years I have picked up the skill of trimming, thanks to a fantastic farrier in VA who was willing to teach me, so I know what to look for in a good trim. With my current back issues it's worth the money to pay someone to do it.

So after dropping Mr. Max off at 7:30 I am hoping to sneak in a ride on Mr. Romeo (so far so good with the muscle bruise so I'm getting back in the saddle(: ) before new farrier comes at 9. That's a lot of things to have to do so early for this non-morning person.

To make things even more complicated I have my first lesson scheduled for the morning right after the farrier comes and then the vet! Yes, I am crazy for scheduling all this. The thing is next week I work all week then I start a new job that is further away from the horses and the vet can only come on Wed and I will work every Wed.... so needless to say it's either tom or never.

So about the vet.... kiddos are getting their annual shots and blood drawn. I am also looking for some tips on how to decrease the scar tissue on Romeo's back leg. I should get some pics up here so that I can get advice. He's had the scar on his left hind since he was 2, sliced his leg open, so I'm told. This big ugly growth grows out of it and I have to keep it trimmed back. Also going to ask about the best weight gain product for Dutch. She usually gets nice and plump in the summer months which allows her plenty of fat for winter, the past few summers she hasn't gained enough to make it through winter still looking fine. She's an easy keeper as long as there is grass.. Dutch will not survive off of hay and grain... she must have grass. However, I like to think it's her age finally catching up to her but she is not gaining enough weight this summer, and the grass in plentiful. Romeo actually has a great summer belly on him which is very unusual, he's the hard keeper. Her teeth were floated by an equine dentist just last year so I don't think that is the problem although I am getting both floated tom. She has also been wormed recently so I know that's not the issue. I think a good supplement will cure the problem but I like to double check with the vet before adding such things to her diet.

So I'll let you know how the crazy day ends up and what the vet says. Looking forward to getting back in the saddle and very excited about my lesson (:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A week of no riding

Doesn't this background make you want to saddle up and go for a long ride and gallop through some tall grass... it does for me. I love training and competing but there is something magical about a good long ride in a wide open field on your trusted old friend that just about makes life seem perfect. That's exactly what I am longing to do... but can't.

A few weeks ago I wrote over at my blog about the recent fall I had on that wild youngster of mine... you can read it here. That fall left me pretty beat up, but the bruise on my arm was almost gone and my back was feeling much better so last Sat I saddled up Mr Romeo (after doing thorough ground work and making sure some of the wild energy was already released) and worked him for a bit. Everything went great, mister was an angel and the lesson was very productive. However later that night my lower back was in an enormous amount of pain. This was quite puzzling to me. I have lower back problems, due to a fall many years ago, I have had 2 rounds of pt and am now able to manage it well. In fact, riding makes it better and I always feel better after a ride, so needless to say this pain was troublesome.

As it turns out I suffered a deep muscle bruise on my lower back from the fall. By the way... those things hurt.... really badly!! Much worse then a broken arm. Kinda wishing that was my injury. So far I have not found anything that helps speed up the healing process for a deep muscle bruise, everything I read just says rest. That is the one thing I hate to do. I am one who always pushes through pain and ignores it. However, doing that with a deep muscle bruise will actually make it worse and there are  some serious things that can happen if you don't care for it. So..... all week I have watched my beauties from afar dreaming of the day I  can get back out there.

To top it off... the usual 100 degree weather we have in July was in the low 90's all last week and part of this week. Now that I am finally starting to feel better the temp shoots back up. Go figure :-p Sigh... yes, I'm pouting. The latter part of this week has been relatively pain free so that's a good sign. I've taken it easy and rested a whole lot. My goal is to ride early Wed morning. We'll see if I can.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I live in Arkansas... not a bad state if you like high humidity, extremely hot temps, and a never-ending supply of bugs. QH's are def the state breed, along with a high population of idk-where-he-came-from breeds too. The everyone almost everyone here rides western, and even that discipline is limited to backyard rodeos. AQHA doesn't even have shows here in this state. See how I have been crippled from the beginning. Thankfully my parents choose the right barn for this horse-obsessed little girl to take lessons at. My Mimi, graciously paid for 2 lessons a month for many, many years. Those 2 days were the highlight of my month.

I took lessons at a little stable just down the street. When I was 12, Dutchess entered the picture. The happiest day of my life(: Little did I know just what I was in store for. She was a little QH, nothing special at the time, 15h with a full-blown boss mare attitude. A mare, not exactly the best choice for a first horse. She was moody, opinionated, stubborn, ornery, and just plain mean. I wouldn't go back and change it for anything. Through her I learned to be a horse trainer, and a real rider.

She came to me with 2 gaits: walk and run. I assume she was a barrel horse, not just because of her 2 gaits but because she could spin on a dime. She was good at it and often used it to dump me. She disliked people, disliked being ridden, yet loved to run and preferred living in a pasture by herself (and still does). It took years and a few other horses before her and I would become friends.

Friends we are and forever will be. She is my trusted old mare, knows my deepest secrets, and I like to think she would do anything for me, as I would for her. There's no place that I would fear to go on her, nothing I won't try, and always the pick when a quiet ride is needed.

First post

So I've been blogging for a few months now and I am thoroughly enjoying it. My first blog found here has been very therapeutic and refreshing. One thing I have discovered is that I love talking about my horses... however the average person does not understand just how a horse person operates. My first blog is meant more as a spiritual journey blog and so writing about my adventures with Romeo and Dutch just don't seem to fit over there. So I'm starting this blog to focus solely on them. I am also hoping that it encourages me to be more consistent in training them.

I will of course be posting pics and info on both of my current horses as well as some pics of some other horses that have been a part of my journey.