Thursday, February 26, 2009

Marathon barn day

I spent about 6 hours at the barn today, and even though it was cold I loved being there. I rode Boo and then shampooed Bay's neck. I'm not so sure this ringworm thing is clearing up the way it ought to be. There wasn't any heat in his neck which I was worried about the other day. We have been hypervigilant about shampooing and putting his medicated spray on twice a day. I took pictures tonight. Anyone ever seen anything like this? It doesn't seems to affect him too much. He is still being ridden. He was ridden in a lesson tonight and did fine. He misses being turned out with the other horses. I let him hand graze for about 20 minutes just because I felt sorry for him. He use to come to the gate when you called him, but now I think he figures were gonna mess with him by debriding his neck etc., so he just looks at us and makes us come to him. Last week when I went to get him out of his stall he turned his butt to me. That is the first time I have ever seen him do that to anybody! Poor guy. Still, I couldn't let him get away with that so I hauled off and clocked him on the butt with the haltered end of the lead rope. I figure he was threatening to kick me, so I had to kick him first. He was so surprised he turned right around and let me halter him up.
We had two new horses move in today. One mare and one gelding. It's always fun when we get new horses and/or people. On the other hand, for that to happen someone else has to leave and that is sad. This time none of the people left. Horses were sold.

Finally, just let me say that for whatever reason my word verification won't load so I am unable to comment back to those who have posted comments to my blog recently. Sorry...if I had been able to comment here's what I would have said... "or you could just buy him the outfit and stand him next to a horse with his back to you ;)"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My mistreated geldings

Somebody (Boo) was having a bit of a temper tantrum this evening. I suspect he didn't appreciate me pulling him away from his dinner in order to run around on the end of a longe line for 20 minutes or so. I tried to get out there before he was brought in from the pasture, but didn't quite make it. It didn't help that the wind had come up and one of the short ends of the barn was creaking away like some scary horror movie soundtrack. He kept breaking into a canter and not listening when I asked him to come back down to the trot. Eventually we got there but not before he worked up quite a sweat from nerves, bad temper, whatever.

I did get there in time to bring Bay in from the round pen where he has been exiled while we treat this ringworm problem. He's getting better, but not quite there yet. It sure is taking a lot of time and attention. The vet said we could cut back to shampooing once a week, but he still wants him sprayed with medication twice a day. I noticed that he doesn't react much on one side of his neck when I spray it and massage the medication in, but on the side, under the mane, he appears to be tender even though I can't see any raw areas. I did think it had some heat in the neck on that side, so tomorrow I think I'll have to call the vet and just have him come take a look to make sure everything is going according to plan. Sure wish he'd just clear up without having to bring the vet back out. Shots and dental floats are coming up and all that is costly enough without another vet call. Oh well, you do what you gotta do.

Don't think I'll make it out to the barn tomorrow, but Thursday is a for sure. Won't be able to ride this weekend. My 6-year-old twin grandsons are going to do leadline in a playday over in Central Oregon and I'm gonna go watch. Hopefully, I'll get some cool pictures to post.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Following my instincts

Sometimes you know when to push it and when to let it be. Today was one of those times. I've been having trouble getting to the barn. Today, finally, I made it out there and planned to stay as long as I needed too. That is exactly what I did. Boo was in dire need of a grooming which he got. He is blowing coat like crazy and I'm pretty sure it felt nice to have the shedding blade taken to him. I took out his braids and rebraided his tail. Left his mane down. It will probably be full of mud when I get there tomorrow, but oh well.

I was feeling a bit under the weather. Think I'm fighting off a cold, and it didn't help that I went to a party last night and had 3 glasses of wine and a glass of champagne. I'm such a lightweight when it comes to drinking. At any rate, I decided to take my time and warm Boo up correctly. He must have decided that was boring because he decided to play spook at the short ends of the arena. Now, I know he's not really afraid of the short ends of the arena. We've been riding past them now for months and he's been just fine. Nothing out of the ordinary today. I think he was just messing with me. Near the end of our ride it did start to rain rather hard, but he didn't spook during any of that and we all know how loud rain can be on a metal roof. Still, something in me told me that today was just not going to be a good day to canter. So we didn't. I came away feeling somewhat defeated by that decision and yet I know it was prudent. I've learned to listen to my gut feelings.

I'm going back out in the morning to longe, but since my Mom will be here from Central Oregon tomorrow I won't get much else done. I did make my riding plans for the week, however, and I will be out there riding on Tuesday and cantering is on the agenda, so I sure hope Boo is in a better place than he was today...or I hope that at least I am up to coping if he isn't.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I need an attitude adjustment

I have the winter blahs! Finding it hard to get motivated and eating like I'm about to go into hibernation! Sometimes this happens and lasts just a few days. Sometimes it lasts for a few weeks. It's seriously cutting into my riding time because I'm struggling to make myself go to the barn. That is so disheartening. I've only been back to riding for a few weeks!

Visited with a friend from my old barn tonight and at least she was motivating. She is so excited about riding and has upped her rides from 2 days a week to 4 days a week. That would have been me just a few months ago. So, I am getting out my calendar and scheduling in my ride time, and I am going when I want to go rather than waiting around for significant other.

No rushing, no thinking about everything else that I need to get done in my day. I am just going to go and let the world go to hell in a handbasket while I am there. Nothing else on my mind. That is rather the point isn't it?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Need for Speed

I Spent this past weekend in Central Oregon watching my niece do her OHSET meet. It snowed the entire time we were over there. I have been DONE with snow ever since our Christmas time blast, so I wasn't happy to see it. Luckily most of the events were inside at the Redmond fairgrounds, so it was warm.

My niece does gaming so I didn't get to see the show events. Still the gaming is pretty exciting. I saw some really good riding and some mighty fine horses. I tried to take pictures but the camera I have isn't the best in the world for the high-speed or low-light conditions. I wish I had done a better job investigating before I bought the camera because it seems like most of the pictures I want to take are of riding and basketball events. Maybe I just need to take a class and learn how to compensate for those conditions better. I tried though and here is an example of what I got.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Odds and Ends

I am starting to hear how the economy is affecting horse owners. It really brings it home when your friends and family are worried they may not be able to keep their horses. I would do just about anything to hang on to Boo. I am sending positive thoughts to any of you who may be facing this same problem. Hang on! Hang on! Hang on!

On a happier note, yesterday morning I accompanied a neighbor to her line dancing class. What a hoot. I am not all that coordinated or quick to pick up on things, but I had a lot of fun anyway, and surprisingly I worked up a bit of a sweat. I think I am going to go back.

Rode Boo yesterday afternoon. I was all nice and loose from the line dancing and he was all warm and fuzzy. He is starting to shed though. The barn was a pretty active place. There was someone there testing riding a horse that is for sale. I didn't talk to them, but from what I saw they had a very nice ride.

My ride went well. We are doing more cantering. I am trying to work up to that slowly as I'm not in the best shape possible. Yesterday he was nice and rounded and on the bit and the canter was very easy to sit. I had meant to take my camera for some pics, but of course I remembered that I didn't have it halfway out to the barn. I'm sure with spring coming there will be plenty of opportunities. I have realized I don't have all that many pictures of Boo and I together, and I want to remedy that.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back to basics

Another beautiful day here in the PNW. Rode Boo this afternoon and it went well once again. I do seem to have trouble with my right side though. It is my strong side and it is my stiff side. Kept getting my boot caught in the stirrup. I haven't done that in ages. Need to work on those long loose legs with that loose ankle. Even so we worked well together. He was very attentive to my cues. We did our usual warm up which has come to consist of ground work, and some stretches for the rider right at the beginning. Then we work on loosening the poll, neck, shoulders, back, and hips. Once we've accomplished that we start working in rising trot and do it all over again. After that we work on whatever I have planned for the day. Today it was riding an oval the length of the arena. In the short end I would see how slowly I could get him to trot, and then on the long side I would send him forward in a working trot, slow, working trot, slow, working trot. From there we moved on to the sitting trot and to doing what the 101 dressage excercises called the needlepoint, then on to trotting on the 1/4 line and keeping it straight, and doing 20 meter circles where I stop at B, then trot, stop at C, then trot, stop at E, then trot all the way back to B. We did shoulder in on the 1/4 line too. We ended by working on our canter pickup and our transitions down from the canter to trot and then to walk. We did all of these exercises numerous times and in both directions. I completely lost track of time and kept hubby sitting on a bench outside in the sun far longer than I had meant to. Luckily he was a good sport about it. At the end of the ride Boo and I went outside and walked around the grounds in the sunshine. We walked through dry ground, muddy ground, and puddles. All in all I felt good about how the day went.

I've gone to a couple of movies this weekend too. Saw Benjamin Buttons last night and Slumdog Millionaire tonight. I liked them both. I have to say the Slumdog movie was a little difficult for me to watch because I hate seeing bad things happen to children...but the movie was good and I'm glad I saw it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I like my life

I had an awesome ride yesterday! Everything I asked for Boo gave to me willingly. I had the barn to myself through the entire ride. I like the company of other riders, but sometimes it is nice to get the whole arena to practice in. Tonight we will do some inhand work as a reward for yesterday. Give his back a rest but still engage his mind. Don't want to get to predictable.

We are still shampooing Bay with medicated shampoo every other day in order to treat his ring worm. Yesterday was a shampoo day. Normally hubby goes out to do that but yesterday I did it. I traded driving my grandson to a casting call for shampooing a horse. Wow!! Did that ever turn out to be a smart move on my part. Hubby and grandson arrived at 3:30 p.m. They stood in line outside in the cold for 5 hours all to get 2 pictures taken and leave their contact information. In short it was a real "cattle call." Moooooooo

When I first started riding I was the only one in my circle of friends who did. I didn't talk about it much because when I did I could see their eyes start to glaze over. If your not a horse person I guess you just don't get how obsessed horse people can get. For me, it isn't a hobby and it is a lifestyle. I realize it isn't that way for everyone and that's okay. In the past year or so 2 of my neighbors have started riding. I think they, like me, could easily become borderline obsessed. It's nice to have someone to talk horses with while everyone else is talking PTA, soccer, basketball, football, or whatever sport their children are into. I wish I had found this years ago, but I will settle for being extremely happy now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's nice to be back at it...

Another gorgeous day! Isn't it nice that the very week I get to start riding again I get some absolutely beautiful riding weather. How lucky is that. For awhile this morning I was the only one at the barn, but by the time I left, about 2:00 p.m., there were 5 other riders there soaking up the sunshine. It felt a bit like party time.

I'm still a touch sore from getting back into the saddle but nothing like yesterday. I'm hopeful that in a few weeks time I'll be able to keep my toes up, my lower legs stable, and my shoulders relaxed. Boo was pretty good today. There were a few times he got a little strong on me and I thought "oh sh..., here we go", but a nanosecond later I thought "you better ride this girl" and it all worked out.

I've committed to going into each ride with a plan. Today we worked on suppling, warm up, and looseness. Next ride I'm adding in straightness by making him work off the rail. Will probably have to work a little rider position in there too. Boo might appreciate that!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Sharp Dressed Man

Last night I had my first real ride on Boo since before my surgery on December 12th. Because I am so out of shape we took it nice and easy. We did lots of slow sitting trot and lots of bending. Boo was soft in the bridle and attentive. We both have some getting in shape to do, and we are not in any hurry. We will, however, be consistently working at it. When we stopped last night after about 35 minutes it was because my muscles were giving out. Boo got his tail washed and conditioned, his mane braided, and his blanket changed out because the medium weight one with the neck cover was causing him to sweat.

It's kind of frustrating trying to find all the right horse clothing for every new situation that comes up. When he lived in his stall at our previous barn he needed a light weight sheet, a medium weight stable blanket, and a fly sheet. Now that he has turn out he needs light weight, medium weight, waterproof, breathable, neck cover, etc. I swear the horse is better dressed than I am! Don't even get me started on all the grooming products, medicines, and tack I buy for him. I use to try every new thing that came along, but now I find something I like and stick with it.

Today I longed Boo for about 30 minutes working him back and forth from 10 to 15 to 20 meter circles and back down again in both directions at the trot. We did lots of transitions too. I could have ridden, but I am so sore from last night that I can barely walk. Does a person lose their fitness level faster when they get older? I swear they must! Doesn't help that I ate my way through the surgery recovery and the holidays either. This is going to take some time, but I am up for the task. After braiding and bagging his clean tail, I left him sunning himself contentedly in the pasture. It was a most beautiful day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Scary story

Hubby rode Boo yesterday. After he was all finished I got on to cool him out. Not technically suppose to ride until Thursday, but I don't think cooling out counts. I did try a little walk/trot, but Boo wasn't listening to me and I wasn't comfortable enough to press the issue. I've put on some more weight during this lay off despite my best intentions. I can see now that getting back in the saddle the way I was before the surgery is going to take a little time and a lot of effort. We will have to start slowly. I know how to do that. I've been here before. Going out again tonight and I fully intend to do the cooling out. This time, however, I am going to be wearing my comfortable riding pants and boots. I will also be working on my flexibility today as that has really suffered. I should never have just coasted through the holidays like I did.

My 13-year-0ld grandson spent the day with us yesterday. He use to ride at our previous barn. Here we have no one for him to take lessons on. He's pretty heavily into basketball, so it hasn't been an issue this past few months. Yesterday he decided he wanted to go out and say hello to the horses. He stayed and watched the superbowl with hubby. Afterwards hubby took him home. My daughter was down the street at a superbowl party, so hubby just dropped him off and he went on into the house to wait for them. I got a phone call about 9:00 p.m. last night that while they were away from the house someone had broken into their home. They got home about 20 minutes after my grandson had been dropped off. He was sitting in the living room watching t.v. and playing with the dog who had been in the garage while they were gone. When my son-in-law went to their master bathroom he discovered that someone had crawled into the house through the bathroom window. There were muddy footprints everywhere. They took a laptop computer that had been open on the desk in their room and my grandsons laptop was also missing. It had been lying in a chair by the back door. Because there were two other laptops, cash, gaming systems, etc. in the house they think the thief was interrupted by my grandson coming home and hightailed it out the back door almost as soon as he had gotten inside.

I have to tell ya, I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night. Worrying about what might have happened if they hadn't hightailed it out the back door. Hubby now knows it's not a good idea to just drop the kids off to an empty house. Go in with them. Make sure everything is alright. Don't leave windows unlocked. The economy is in a scary time. We may start hearing more and more about this kind of thing.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

It's cowgirl time this weekend

I had family here this weekend. They came over from Central Oregon for the coronation of Miss Rodeo Oregon. It will be interesting to follow her time in office and see how she does in her competition for Miss Rodeo America. There was a silent auction and I came home with a copy of Barb Crabbe's "Comprehensive Guide to Equine Veterinary Medicine."
Hubby rode Boo yesterday and it wasn't bad. I played riding instructor and called out a lot of different exercises for him to ride. It seemed to help. Only 4 more days for me and I can officially be back in the saddle. Yahoo!