Bribery for the food-loving horse

Usually, I am not into bribery. I dislike always giving horses cookies for things. I would like a horse to go into the trailer, stand still tied, do the work they were asked, or mostly anything else because I asked them to do so. I think those expectations make for a solid equine citizen. But lately, that has certainly been changing. Since moving the horses to the barn at the house, I’ve been using treats for a lot of things – stretches, Whisper getting nervous and the treats helping her, giving them to Amber in her grain because she was a good girl or lately – giving them to Amber when she is a good, calm girl.

Homemade guac and chips? Yes please!

Which, yes she is a good, calm girl 99% of the time. But the other day as we were walking outside, the horses (a neighbor close by has 3-4 horses) started calling and calling and people were unpacking their car and the oleander bushes were waving in the breeze and looked like a solid wall and Amber just COULD NOT. She was snorting, jigging, letting her butt off the ground but thankfully not kicking, and would not settle. All of this stuff individually usually doesn’t bother her. But together, on that night, it just wasn’t happening. So I walked her a few circles, and once we were past that street she was fine.

WHAT DIS? MUST STICK MY FACE IN IT

That ride a while back where we were doing okay and then Whisper called and it all went downhill has still been firmly in my mind. While Amber used to be marvelous on the trail, Whisper hasn’t ever called before either. It was one of my biggest reasons for starting her walks outside. I can have a controlled outing, make it a lot more routine and hopefully have these outings be fun again for Amber instead of her worrying where Whisper is and not focusing on me at all. I didn’t want another day like that, so I let go of the jigging and Amber being upset, and wracked my brain for something when I came up with treats. When Amber can’t see Whisper is also when she gets very upset, so that’s why for the first few days I kept her walking with Whisper in sight. Then she seemed to get bored fast, so we went down that new street and she was not happy. So I packed a baggy full of apple slices, and first thing we walked down that street until it met the next one. OF COURSE she was fine, but at the end, I still gave her a piece of apple. I made her stretch for it, and then at the scariest part of the street near our neighbor’s goats she got another treat to stretch for. When she tried to really push up the slight incline of the street, I gave her another treat.

OMG MAGIC. This, by the way, for timeline’s sake, was Saturday evening.

Proceeded to clean out the tack room Saturday. Next to the saddle used to be another rack with saddle pads on it but the pads kept attracting too many spiders for my liking. Time to spring clean! In the….dead of summer lol

So then my mom and I noticed that Amber continuously shortened her stride, and almost refused to go forward when I’d walk her in the morning around the arena or when we’d turn her out. She was pretty much limping, and just felt very apathetic. Then in the evening, she walked happily outside. I was on the verge of calling the vet before I thought to maybe walk her outside of the arena morning AND evening. So Sunday morning, I immediately took her out of her stall and straight to the street. She really labored at first like we were going to the arena, and I had to get after her a bit because really, horse can walk on her own 4 feet and I know she’s not dead lame right now because she walks fine when on the pavement.

Cleaning complete with a border of Raid around it to ward off the spiders. Now I don’t have so much stuff out here collecting dust.

And what do you know? She walked just fine in the morning. I took her to the arena for the last few minutes and we walked over poles and she was great at that. She then walked better in turnout as we give her hay in piles strewn about the arena to make her walk to each of them since we don’t have grass. Then she walked well in the evening too and I tried some more treat magic. She was WAY more focused on me – she could smell her apple treats and kept her nose near my pockets and consistently touched and breathed on my hand in her way of saying TREATS NOW MA. A quick poke to the nose and she walked politely next to me after that. (Not that she wasn’t initially polite but I really do not want a nippy horse so it’s preventive).

She is fascinated by that TV and piece of paper on the side of the road. That cabinet next to it has a mirror in it and I was about dying laughing when she saw herself in it and was like WHAT BE THIS SORCERY. She then looked at me like I was an idiot for laughing at her LOL

Monday morning before work, I got her out again with a few treats in a baggy. I wasn’t planning on walking farther, but we managed to visit another area that had been scary and was only a little bit further than before, and she got a treat for remaining calm and keeping it together – which there really was nothing to keep together. She just walked, was super chill, and looked very happy to be out and have her brain stimulated. I almost gave her another cookie in the “scary” part of the street with the trees and goats because horses started calling, but her only response was her head lifted a fraction and she breathed deeper. So I gave her many pets but we kept going. By that time our 20 minutes was almost up, so we walked back to the barn. She walked better over the bit of rocks, and really tried to push up the small incline going up to her stall. So she got a cookie for trying hard up the hill, and then the last cookie I’d brought once she was in her stall. Last night, we even managed to go all the way around in one of our previous walk routes and she was foot perfect.

I even went into the tack room numerous times and she just stood here. Which is usually where she stands tied so she thought she was tied. Love this horse haha!

So. Cookies. Magic. Especially for a horse that is food-motivated the cookies were perfect. I just didn’t want her to have a bad experience like that last time. Plus, if cookies can help give us really positive experiences when scratches and pets aren’t enough – that standing still and stretching in a “scary spot” or “away from Whisper” is wanted behavior instead of us potentially having a fight we shouldn’t have – then I am all for it. Slowly, I’m hoping to wean her back off of the treats, but I’m not in any hurry. If I have to continue them when we finally manage to ride outside, then that’s okay. I know she won’t always need treats because the walk yesterday was great and she only got 1 treat on the actual walk portion. It does help that we’re making things routine. When I go off routine and introduce something new (which it really isn’t, she’s seen it all before but time away makes it new, right? lol) she tends to get very unsure, especially if Whisper is calling, so being armed with treats should really help.

OMG the goats! (she was more worried mere moments before and I just couldn’t catch it in time.

I also find it funny because she’s realizing when she tries hard up inclines or over poles (I’ll start the over poles rewards soon) she gets a cookie. Because hey, if mare won’t do it for herself and I’m not about to force her to do it so she hates it, and treats make it a lot better then I’m going to be buying treats and stuffing her face with them to give her more incentive to work harder haha.

What about you guys? Do you use treats to help you start something or do you prefer not to treat at all?

2 Broke Girls

Amber and Whisper are pretty broke. Whisper is a bit la-la-la on trail and saunters and moseys along, and Amber is more like “OMG this is SOOOOO exciting” and kind of powerwalks and looks at everything. She’s such a curious soul, but it’s one of the things I love most about her because it makes her brave. (Plus if she looks too scared, I’ll back her away from it and then she’s like “I do not back away from things; now I MUST see what this is!”) She also knows that if something confuses her, I will let her look for as long she wants to figure it out but sanity must be retained.

This happened the other day. The neighbors had a little road racer (no freaking idea if that’s what it was – some cart-racing-box-looking-thingy that looks like the Mario Kart carts lol) at the same time that Amber spotted something different across the way.

Ooooo LEAVES lol

She’s fine with carts, but I started to get cautious. Girl hasn’t done more than a walk in weeks, been on alfalfa (granted only a flake a day but still), and I’m on her with only a bareback pad strap and mane to hold should she decide to be silly. She was just staring at the doors and tires across the street, and I could just feel that happy reserve start to head to the top. This is another thing I love about Amber. She’s not spooky, has hardly ever spooked badly when I’m on, and when she does spook it’s the whole body jolt and all four legs plant type of spook. Also, if she isn’t startle-spooked you know when the spook is coming. You can feel it. She stares and blows and you know if something else comes up that just maybe we have a spook on our hands. Which is like, head shake, grunts and a teensy leap. Very tame lol.

Most of the time, if I’m bareback I just don’t want to slip off. This time I wasn’t worried about me coming off, and felt quite stable when the cart gunned up and Amber did a WEE and I was like please dear god no do NOT ruin your surgery! And it was over in 2 seconds. She had a hump, a sassy head shake, and I said whoa and then she kept walking at her saunter. I just chuckled after. She gave it the hairy eyeball for a few passes, so we stayed away from it and she didn’t even notice the doors or tires the next time I walked her. Wild and crazy this one lol.

What I wish I was doing.

I just love how broke these 2 horses are, but it’s been difficult to know what to do. I know she’s dead bored in the arena. There’s only so much you can do to stimulate a brain when you’re walking for 20 minutes trying to help a stifle. She’s always happy outside the arena, and really walks. She’s been definitely shortening that leg more the past few days, and I’ve been at a bit of a loss of what to do. It seems eerily similar to how she suddenly seemed to go downhill before she was good for access to her run a few days early. So we’ve started her on her mid-day turnout with hay piles scattered to help her walk so she doesn’t just stand in her stall all day. I also haven’t wanted to push her when we’re walking. I want rehab to be fun.

Also, it’d be better if SHE was the one making herself really walk, not me. So with that in mind, I put on her boots and her rope halter (she’s more respectful of that lol) and we proceeded to walk down the driveway. My plan was to just walk up and down our street in full view of Whisper and the barn the whole time. Since the last few times Amber has shown she greatly dislikes not being able to see Whisper, I figured this would help start the process of doing lovely trail rides again. Plus, the more she gets out the better she is outside. She got a little upset the first time we got to the end of the street and Whisper was calling for her (and running and bucking in the arena my goodness lol. Wish I had that on video lol). Once we made our second pass though she was much better about it (not that her protest was even on a bad scale in the first place. She’d just stop, be a little nervous and walk faster).

Can I just say how SHINY this horse is?!

And boy was she walking. She was definitely excited to be out, and certainly ready to GO. She wanted to buck once, but gave the teensiest hop. It was the other reason I wanted to start doing this in rehab – she knows she’s hurting, and she’s been very careful with herself this whole time. And that same intelligence worked to my advantage while walking. She got happy, jigged a few steps, but mostly it was a very forward walk. We’d pause to sniff at the tires, or pause quickly for something else. We only walked 15 minutes before our neighbors popped over for a chat, but we all figured that was for the best. She had a good outing, then outside the arena got LOTS of attention to help the experience stay positive. (which is her fav).

She was sorer after the chat, so I mixed up a bit of extra grain with some bute in it. As sore as she did look, she was moving her leg better than she has in a few days. I think just like before, she was getting increasingly stiff, and we just have to get it moving and working. And I am really encouraged because she was moving SO NICELY. She only had 1 misstep with that right hind leg, when currently in the arena it’d be about 5 or so times. So that’ll be the plan for the next while – all of our evening walks will be outside. I want to hand walk her most of those times, get her more comfortable and have it be “routine” to get out there and be away from Whisper. It’ll stimulate her brain, and hopefully soon I can grab her some easy boots and we can start walking all around instead of just the street. It’s a process, but we’re getting through it!

Sleepy doxie ❤

How Equestrians Can Get An Even Tan

Alternate titles:

How To Be a Bad Horse Owner

What You Shouldn’t Do – And Yet We Do It Anyway

Or At Least – How Equestrians Can Achieve A Shorts Tan

It’s Really All About How To Get A Leg Tan

#1. Have an injured horse. This is most helpful since you can’t do anything with the horse anyway; if you are unlucky enough to have a healthy, sound and uninjured horse, then that is okay.

Cutie pie ❤

#2. After a long day at work, it’s okay to be lazy. Were you wearing a dress with your shorts underneath? Wonderful. Just put on a new top that can get horsey (or if you’re a guy just go put on some shorts). Throw on your non-riding sneakers sans socks – if you’re one of those people that needs socks don’t worry.

#3. Despite all of those Young Rider and Pony Club magazines and horror stories you’ve read, still go out to the barn in your flip flops or non-horsey sneakers. No trust me, this comes in handy later.

Amber’s new bareback pad!

#4. If your horse is injured and they’re in their 15-20 minute walking phase, this is perfect. Go walk them when it’s 106 outside and hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.

#5. Once in the arena and on the mounting block, take off your sans-socks shoes. If you were in flip flops, you’re one step ahead. Now, commence the 15-20 minute walking in the blazing sun. Within a few weeks, you’ll start getting those tanned, summer legs back! Now, you may not look like a weirdly-portioned alien when you put on a swim suit! Which, you hardly ever put on or go to the pool because let’s be honest, 106 is too hot to be outside for any length of time.

#6. Always wear your helmet. You may scrape up your legs and lose a few toes if you get thrown, but at least your head is safe!

#7. Proceed to have fun as you walk your horse and get a tan at the same time.

#8. As always, be safe as you get that non-white-as-snow tan!

Forever the best pony ❤

Friday fun

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’re all getting in some good horsey hours!

Pendulum

Amber has been doing well – or at least, I think she’s doing well haha. I’m not expecting miracles about how quickly she’s progressing, but as with all progress she swings up and down. I started her at 10 minutes hand walking on the 26th that first week just to ease her into it, then went up to 15 minutes for the next 2 weeks. After the first week she was alarming us that she wasn’t really getting better and would not put much weight on the leg, so we upped the walking to twice a day and she’s been doing much better with the 2x a day regimen. This past Saturday was her best walk day yet, and she felt very rhythmic and cadenced. I’m not expecting that leg to be completely normal and exactly like the left one for a while – these things take time and I am really just looking for her walk to improve and be smooth, cadenced and easy and rhythmic. Her right knee initially took about 3 months of stall rest and hand walking before she was relatively okay to start a little bit trotting before a check up at 4 months, so I’m fully prepared for this to take just as long (I’m also being really careful haha).

I don’t like to make her turn in a tight circle a lot, so I tell her whoa while I close the arena gate and this is what she does lol. The train was moving too and it was pretty windy. Such a good pony mare lol

All of the detail is mostly for me so that I can look back on this in case something like this ever comes up later, but she has her good days and bad days. They mostly seem every other day or every 2 days, so on those mornings where she’s been stiffer I’ve given her a gram of bute at lunch so she feels a bit better by the evening walk. The last thing I want is for her to start resenting her rehab and the walks, and I can tell it’s hard for her. She has been more vocal with me – she’ll start grinding her teeth a bit and looking back at me when she doesn’t like something – while it’s not a habit I really want her doing, I am happy she’s actually trying to communicate her dislike with me instead of being all:

She’s pretty sore on her back – I’ve been riding with pads and foam half pads to hopefully help her a bit, but there’s only so much I can do. Sometimes they may not want to walk because it hurts but it hurts because they haven’t been doing anything…..It’s a vicious circle. But even her favorite stiff-bristle brushes hurt after a curry on her sore muscles, so I’ve gone to my super soft goat hair brush and she hasn’t ground her teeth or looked back at me with her nose wrinkled like “HELLO MOTHER I AM TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING.” So I am learning too but it’s hard because she does that same thing when Whisper is getting more attention and if my mom and I are tacking up at the same time, so is it me causing it or Whisper? Slowly but surely I am trying to learn and be aware of the VERY SMALL things she does to showcase her dislike (I mean, give me a break horse; I can’t read your mind).

So cute tho ❤

The good thing is, most of our sessions she actually is eager to get out. She wants to get out and walk, thankfully. She’s just meh when she’s not feeling well, which I absolutely don’t blame her for. We have had the poles out for Whisper’s rides, so occasionally I’ll walk her over a few, just to keep the walk from being exceptionally boring. She’s doing well – I think they’ve been helping her a bit, and she mostly hits them when she doesn’t need to bring that leg forward over the pole, but when she does she’s actually been quite brave in bringing it over. She doesn’t when it’s hurting a little more, but every time we go over I’m telling her how smart and brave she is and patting her. Her ears stay up as we meander along.

Saturday I thought we could up her to 20 minutes, and she walked really well with hardly any loss of rhythm. But the winds kicked up and she was pretty sedentary just standing there in her stall, and was pretty stiff Saturday evening for a 20 minute walk. Sunday morning she was still a bit stiffer than how she usually has been, so I walked her 20 minutes and took the walk time back down to 15 for the evening. That seemed to do the trick as she was a bit playful Monday morning from what I’m told – trotting a bit in her stall with her I’m-so-wild head shaking haha. Part of me is oh-dear-god-don’t-trot-yet and the other part of me is I’m-so-relieved-she’s-feeling-better lol. I think the surgery has absolutely helped her for the better, and while I miss riding her how I used to, I’ve been able to get into more complicated/finessed/finishing work with Whisper. She and my mom have been progressing really nicely and I’ve been finding a better balance between working Whisper and walking Amber. The only bad thing is that Amber has figured out that when the timer chimes its little tune on my phone that it’s stopping time and she halted on a dime the other night haha. Can’t say she isn’t smart lol.

Finally got the navy and light blue browband on her! I love it!

I certainly missed her while I was gone, but now that I’m back we’re still chipping away at recovery! It also helps when your mother is a saint and volunteers to walk your horse in the morning for you when you have to work at the crack of dawn lol. It’s super helpful that she loves Amber too (except when she’s mean to Whisper which is…ah…all the time haha) but it’s really great having someone on your side that cares about your horse as much as you do.

Home at last

I finally got back from the conference yesterday morning! As nice as it was to get away and have fun in this crazy fancy hotel (that somehow still had crazy problems because they gave me and someone else rooms that were already taken so they upgraded me and then charged us randomly for things that we weren’t supposed to be charged for and checked one of us out early randomly….) I am very happy to be back home with Amber and Choco.

I’ve missed walking her, and Choco was very happy to see me – of course I was very happy to see her too! Amber was a little mad at me for not seeing her for so long haha! Such a silly pony. Now time for a good, animal filled weekend.

The wind is not welcome

We’ve got a lot of wind in store for the next few days, and it’s not for the best since Amber won’t walk as much if at all so her stifle will be pretty stiff. But that’s what our 2x a day walk is for! Poor girl isn’t happy to be cooped up, but what can you do? I’ll miss her when I head off to Dallas on Monday, but I’ll be back early to play around with her.

Happy Friday everyone!

So.much.media

I have a lot of it from the long weekend. Most people took Friday to Monday off, but I’m usually the sole worker on Fridays so I decided to take Tuesday off instead for a good 4 day weekend.

Injured pony was finally able to have her run on Saturday. First she did this:

Ahhhhh, such a good roll!

Then she did this:

Sleeeeeeep
Yup, nap time again

And that was pretty much everything. She slept and slept and slept if it wasn’t too hot. All that bedding from her stalled time went outside, so she had a good 4-inch pad to lay on. She liked it I think lol.

OMG just let me sleep

Amber also started her walking Saturday. She’s good at times and ouchy at others – which is to be expected. She has remained a little stiff tho so yesterday I decided to twice a day of walking (as the vet recommended if she needed) and it ended up being just what we needed. After Saturday to Tuesday morning hand walking, she seemed ready (and let’s be honest bored lol) for me to just hop on bareback and walk around the arena for 15 minutes. I have missed being on my horse, even if at a walk. It very clearly showed me how my position has been falling to the wayside, but I digress haha. With me sitting atop, I let her pick her pace, and thankfully, she’s been careful with herself. She didn’t walk too fast or continuously too slow (as would happen hand walking) and seemed a lot happier. Still ouchy of course, but by the end of 15 minutes she was really starting to feel much better. Time and patience but we’re chugging away!

Thanks for walkies, ma! Snuggle time ❤

And it worked out because my DJD order arrived and I had time to put it on my Lund bridle and try it on Amber. It looks lovely, and while I haven’t put on the light blue/navy one, I know it’ll look good on Amber. One thing I was surprised (and really happy) about was that the snap fits the Lund bridle really well! It looks fantastic, and I am certainly in love.

SO LOVELY

Most days were chilling with Choco and Amber and resting, and spending time hanging out with my sister at her pool with her dogs. All in all, a good weekend before a short 3 day work week and then I’m off to Dallas for a work conference for a week. I’ve only been on one trip before, and this trip will help me with training and tools for work so that’ll be a good change of pace as well. I’ll miss my dog and pony, but that’s still a little bit away! Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone, and enjoy the excess media lol.

This browband is a keeper for sure!
Helping me cook as usual

What dis?

Choco, and my sister’s dog Oscar and Max the fraidy-cat pitbull lol
Regal doxie lol
#totallynotspoiled

Aren’t they just the cutest?! ❤

The special one

Amber gave us a good scare Wednesday night and all of yesterday. She was starting to look a little down on Wednesday, but I thought it was probably the nature of how after surgery progresses or whatnot. She’d gone off bute Monday morning, so perhaps she was really starting to feel the surgery now. And then she wasn’t wanting to put much weight on her right hind leg at all. Her leg remained cocked and as I continued to study her, her nostrils were a bit distended and she was drawn up in her belly. I quickly made up her grain with bute and stuck it right in her face. NOTHING. She even turned her head away.

That horse is like me – she never turns down food. Especially something as delicious as her grain. She didn’t feel hot or anything, but then she laid down to roll in her stall and lightbulb. When Whisper is really hot and sweaty and upset she rolls. So although Amber didn’t feel extra hot, I was sure she was. So I quickly got her in the crossties, and she didn’t move a muscle when I went to hose her down. Usually she protests her baths, and this time, she relaxed and stood still as I left her wet with both fans on her. She was immediately breathing easier, and interested in her grain again so phew. Bullet dodged.

She continued to be very ouchy on her right hind for the rest of the afternoon and her left leg was starting to swell more due to most of her weight being on that leg, so I texted my vet and asked if I could ask him a few questions since I was starting to get really a bit worried. When he called me (bless him lol) I asked if any of this was normal, and he was like “yeah, no it’s not.”

Of COURSE it’s not normal

He continued and said it could be an infection if there was a small bit of the suture that didn’t come out and was still in there but because there wasn’t any sign of drainage or puss (the skin has really been knitting nicely and the bumps have gone down even) we didn’t think that was it (THANK YOU because if it had been my fault with the sutures….). Other than that he wasn’t completely sure and asked that I take a video of her being hand walked in the morning and send it to him so he could see how she was walking. I gave her a lot of bedding so she could hopefully sleep easy, and then proceeded to hunt through RW and SP for anything to maybe help. I quickly nabbed some rehab pellets from SP that Amber had been on for her previous surgery (because hell it can’t hurt, right? lol). So that’s on it’s way soon.

This morning I hurried over early, and what do you know she looked much better, and walked much better. Really, this horse.

I sent it to the vet, and THANKFULLY he said she just looked a little stiff from being stalled. So she can start her time outside in her run a few days early, and she can start being hand walked early as well. So that’s really good news that she’s still healing quickly. I swear this horse is giving me gray hair and heart attacks lol.

Resting along

I would’ve said chugging along but we’re not even doing anything so is it really chugging? lol Also, I’d like to thank everyone so much for sending us good thoughts and get wells! I really appreciate it!

Amber is doing well. I was able to take her sutures out pretty well and easily. Only one on her knee was a little tough and it bled a bit so I bandaged it up for 2 days just to be sure. It looks really good now and unless anything changes I’m leaving the bandage off but just with lots of silver spray since that seems to help keep flies at bay. Her stifle ones were pretty easy to get out – the inside one is still puckered – it doesn’t appear swollen or sensitive to the touch. I think it was just the way the sutures were that caused the skin to pucker a bit but that too has a lot of silver spray on it.

She got a good grooming and Peppy Spray! She was shiny lol

She scared us a little bit one morning around 4 am – we’re thinking she tried laying down on her right side and just had trouble getting up. Pretty similar to how I think she hurt her left leg in the first place but she didn’t seem any worse for the wear. Coincidentally, the next night/morning we could tell she was back to sleeping on her left side because of all the shavings on her. Girl really loves her soft bedding and I can’t blame her lol.

Her left hind is still just a little swollen around her fetlock mostly. It really doesn’t feel hot, and I think it’s also because she’s stalled and so the leg is stocking up. Since the swelling seemed a little bigger Tuesday night than the others, I bandaged it again with the combi wrap and a relatively tight polo to see if that helps. While the rope makeshift-stall guard has loosened with her being eager to scratch on something, she remains okay with being stalled. She hasn’t become destructive so I’m glad of that. But I know both she and I will be happier once she can access her run come Sunday, and I think once she has that area the swelling will go down again. She’ll have a bigger place to sleep, a softer place to lay down and snooze, and some space to wander a bit.

This was taken Saturday. You can see just a teensy bit of swelling (where you’d expect to see a windpuff) around that blob of fetlock corona ointment lol. It has since gotten a bit bigger so hopefully a wrap will help. You can also see just how many cuts she gave herself thanks to the corona.

Whisper has been doing well. We’ve had some good rides with lots of good progress. She just needs confidence in the fact that she can turn away from the rail on the right lead, and that it’s much easier when one is utilizing the butt lol. She really doesn’t WANT to use her butt but what is new right? We all work to get those hind legs engaged! Either way she has been really good, and we’ve been testing her fitness by having her canter a lot. Most of the work that we need to finesse now is at the canter, so now that she’s gotten fitter I can now actually ask her to do things longer and carefully go just that little extra. She always gets lots of breaks and pats, and she’s not sure this loping thing is really needed, but I’m super pleased with how her brain has been coming along through this. She’s getting a lot more confident in me again too that while I’ll push her out of her comfort zone a lot more than I have been, I’ll always be there to try to help her out and give her praise, and I’ll never ask for something I haven’t previously built upon. Little steps, and a lot more state of mind than physical, but I’m just so pleased that she’s not even getting anticipatory about things. She’s waiting for me to ask her for a gait or gait change, and I’m just glad she’s responding so well.

No pics of Whisper, so here’s the doxie. She LOVES yogurt lol

Other than really starting to get further with Whisper for our fall/winter show series, it’s been quiet (as usual) and pretty boring (as usual) as Amber heals and I’m busy with non-horsey things (as usual) so it’s been interesting juggling all of this. You’d think once your horse is down for the count for a while you would have more free time – not in my case lol. But dachshund snuggles are always the best, so here’s some pics of Choco to end this post lol.

Dachshund socks with a real dachshund! lol
She also loves sun lol

Moving Forward

Alright. Now that I’ve had a bit of a breather with Amber being home from surgery, it’s time to move forward. She’s doing just fine; I take her out of her stall to groom her and love on her, and unfortunately that’s all we can do for right now. She’s pretty bored but what can we do, right? lol I’m at least trying to give her plenty of attention. Plus, the Lick It that I put in her stall for her to start playing with has some score marks in it so I’m hugely crossing my fingers that now she’s actually starting to play with it because she’s bored. She’s not really a stall-toy or always-keep-my-brain-busy horse, but I also don’t want her to get destructive. So if this helps, we do it lol.

She likes to make sure she can see Whisper lol

As for moving forward, we obvi have to wait for everything to heal, but I have a few options. To recap on her knee, the bone chip wasn’t able to be removed because it was enclosed in the joint capsule, and Doc would’ve had to go through her old scar tissue as well as through the synovial fluid to reach it, and it would’ve caused a lot more damage than if he’d just left it. And from what he could see, where it is isn’t bothering her movement any, so he thought it best to leave it. I’m in agreement with him – her knee definitely isn’t the healthiest joint, but as of right now I’d prefer a horse that’s 80% sound versus 40% sound if he’d had to tear up all that soft tissue. So he backed out of the knee. Interestingly enough though, the swelling around her knee has actually gone down (that spot in the tendon just above her knee) and even the usual puffiness around her knee has gone down, too. So whatever he did I think her knee is feeling better as well which I’m of course pleased with.

Is this too much bubble wrap? I think not lol

Her stifle is more positive, but also a little more muddled. She had some bad cartilage in the joint and some rough points of bone, so he cleaned that up. Her cartilage was a little soft for a horse that had so much time off not doing a lot, but I’m wondering if that’s because she’s had the issue for 6 months (so inflammation could have been more damaging) instead of 2 since we weren’t able to schedule surgery until her abscess was completely healed. He feels that it’s got a pretty good chance of good recovery, but what exactly caused it…? We’re not really sure. There’s just some general degeneration of the joint, so while it’s positive, it’s also a bit of a toss-up. Still, not bad news lol.

But I do have a few options. I’ve heard some pretty good things about the laser therapy, and liked it when I’d had the other vet come by and do acupuncture as well as laser therapy for Amber. At that time the problem was chronic, so I don’t think it helped as much as it could have. But I can do laser treatments on her stifle and knee and see if that helps any more. I still want to inject her knee; she responded really well to that the first time we did so, so I think that’s another good step for helping her knee feel better. We could also do IRAP, which is what the Doc recommended.

All we did was walk 5 steps to the cross ties and she was happy lol

Which, I do want to try IRAP but it’s also….expensive. And it’s a recommended treatment every other week for 4-5 weeks so my eyes already feel overrun with dollar bill signs lol. The IRAP could also potentially really help her knee as well so I just have to figure out what I want to do and how it’ll all come out. But I have a few weeks to decide whether or not to pursue the 2 options. I want to see how she’s doing after a week or so of hand walking which will be in about 3 to 4 weeks. So it’ll take some time, but poor thing has been stuck with needles so much recently lol.

She’s been laying down and sleeping even though she has mats in her stall, so I’ve hurried to really bed down the stall nicely so she has a soft spot to be. As much as I worry that laying down might hurt her, I’m glad she’s comfortable enough to lay down and sleep! I’m sure that bit of sleep helps her heal even better. I took her left hind leg wrap off Tuesday, and thankfully the swelling had gone down a lot. It was still slightly puffy in places, and the spot on her hock I think she hit the worst was still a little swollen, but at least the lower leg looks better. She was super itchy on that leg, so after some good scratches and medicine, I bandaged it up again – this time with the combi wrap and a polo and not with too much pressure. I didn’t want the leg to balloon again, but I also didn’t think she needed it very tight anymore. Thankfully when I checked her Wednesday the hock swelling was down even more, and I felt comfortable putting that left hock boot on for sleeping. I still wrapped her hind leg (though lightly) with a polo since that leg is so cut up that I don’t want her to reopen those cuts or cut it more because of the mats.

Also, I finally got my plaque that Amber and I won at the 2017 year end awards banquet ❤

Since her sutures are relatively easy to get to (at least they look like it; let’s hope so lol), I’m going to try taking them out. I wasn’t able to get an appointment soon enough with the Doc to take them out until next week, and she’s a really fast healer. Unfortunately, because she heals really quickly, she also scars very easily. While having a few more scars won’t be bad, I know from past experience with her and sutures (her knee, the back of her elbow, and above her right eye) she starts getting annoyed at them and trying to scratch them or pick at them herself so I’m going to take them out either today or over the weekend.

As much as she’s being a funny girl and pushing her door open to get out of the stall, she seems content to rest. The surgery was stressful, and she’s definitely been calmer here than at the clinic.  While she finally seems content to rest, I think she is starting to feel better. Not only has she been less destructive, but she’s just seemed a little happier as well. I’ve noticed that she’s still careful bringing forward that right hind leg after standing for a while, but I’ve been really trying to be observant of her facial expressions and I think that stifle is feeling better. It’s difficult to explain, but her expressions when she’s doing just the little bit of walking around her stall look happier. She’s even started to “reach” a little more! (as in she doesn’t short that leg walking over the bar out of her stall which granted she’s only done once lol small victories right?) I’ve added some U-Guard pellets to her grain as well, thinking why not because my mom had them, and I think that’s been making a big difference in her feeling better as well. Thanks everyone for crossing their crossables and keeping us in your thoughts! She’s been much happier I think, and I’m hopeful that we’ll come back well from this.

When you’re itchy but your mother is tired of you taking your fly mask off so she attaches it to the neck cover LOL

I finally got to put another ride on Whisper, and she was her usual stellar self lol. I was excited to use the Equilab for this ride since it was going to be crazy, but was a wee bit disappointed.

I also don’t know why it shows we went to the front of the house (we didn’t) and I’m not sure what that black/white thing is either…..

We actually probably cantered for at least 7 of those 11 minutes spent walking. Perhaps Whisper’s canter is just too slow? lol Either way, she was a good girl and really started to get the hang of what I was doing (which was a cloverleaf pattern around 4 poles lol).

But I’d like your guys’ input as well on this! I’d like to see what I can do to make her strict stall-rest time happy, so I’d love to know what you guys have done for your injured ponies. I’m also new to IRAP so if anyone has any experience I’d love to hear it! Have you had any experience with Laser therapy as well for things like this? How has your horse responded to it? Or have you gone the route of traditional injections? How has that worked for you? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Review: Lund Eventer Snaffle Bridle + Lace Reins

Time for another Review Wednesday! This particular product is one that I’ve been wanting to review for a while, but I’ve wanted to have it for a few months before giving it my 2 cents so I could, with relative accuracy, give everyone a thorough review. So today on the docket is the Lund Saddlery Eventer Series Snaffle Bridle and their Eventer Series Lace Grip Reins.

To give you a bit of background first, Lund Saddlery is a relatively new company. If I’m remembering correctly, they debuted on Facebook September 2016-ish. They make extremely affordable strap goods from quality Sedgwick leather – and you can’t beat the price! All of their pieces are within pretty much everyone’s budget, and I absolutely believe you’re getting really good quality for those prices. Two things about this company that so far I have very much appreciated and loved are 1) whenever you contact Lund on Facebook, you’re talking directly to the owner of the company and 2) Lund has monthly draws on facebook where you can win whichever tack piece is on the docket for that month. That means FREE tack! You can’t beat free tack, and I generally enter every month. Also, many other bloggers have tried out this brand’s strap goods, and Lund has all of those reviews on their page for you to check out, too.

It looks so nice!

On to the bridle! I was itching to get my hands on this leather considering I’d read so many bloggers’ posts about how lovely the products were. There was going to be a kickstarter in December, and originally I had planned to get my bridle and reins combo through the kickstarter; however, Lund was selling the eventer series snaffle bridle and lace grip reins they had used on their horse model for a discounted price on facebook. Me being generally impatient, I decided to snap it up. And then couldn’t wait until this came in the mail lol.

I’m not really an Austrailian nut fan – at least not on Amber. She’s already orange, and the orange-ish padding with the reddish leather I was just not the biggest fan of how it looked on her. I actually liked the natural look of it on Whisper better. She’s a liver chestnut, so the contrast of color looked good on her. But, after reading Karen’s post about darkening the bridle, I knew it would be no issue to get it a lovely Havana that I think looks very snazzy on Amber.

Getting it fitted….
She’s very excited lol
After the first coat of oil

I’ll talk more on darkening the leather later and go to the quality of the leather. I’ve never really had really good Sedgwick leather, but now that I have, I am definitely hooked. Out of the box the bridle was a little stiff, but as most Sedgwick lovers know and as I came to find out, it’s usually a bit stiff at first and takes a while to break in – however the leather lasts FOREVER. And I can absolutely see why. While the leather was a bit stiff, it wasn’t a cheapo-stiff-leather feeling if that makes any sense. It merely felt new, and you could seriously see and feel the quality straight out of the box. The padding on the monocrown, browband and noseband is Italian leather, and absolutely luxurious feeling. I of course hurried out the next day after work to try it on Amber and make sure it fit. It was a full size, which Amber definitely needed – browbands can tend to be tight on her since she ranges from full to oversize for that forehead and those ears of hers. While the circumference of her nose requires a full-size noseband, she’s a cob in the length of her head. Even still, the Lund bridle fit her very well.

See? Look at those mule ears lolol

I immediately took it inside and applied a coat of Neatsfoot oil. Neatsfoot will be your friend in darkening the leather. Karen suggests Belvoir as well, which unfortunately I didn’t have. I tried the Passier lederbalsam on it but don’t like it as much as plain Neatsfoot. The Sedgwick absorbed the Neatsfoot like no other leather strap goods I own, and it was brand new! The Italian leather padding darkened immediately with the Neatsfoot. I applied one coat, and it looked very dark at first. Once it all soaked in, it lightened and required more coats of oil.

For the next few weeks, I did just as Karen suggested – I’d ride and coat in oil, ride and oil, ride and oil, etc but not clean it with glycerin soap. It darkened very nicely, soaked up the oil like crazy, and after a few times I stopped with the Passier lederbalsam since it seemed to make the leather a little tacky and would attract the Vegas dust like flies. The Neatsfoot left it feeling soft and smooth. It stopped darkening after the first month of plain Neatsfoot, but I also haven’t cleaned it in a while. Haha oops. On the plus side, it absolutely looks no worse for the wear. I’ve left it in the un-sealed tack room and it has gotten wind, dust (like literally there was a 1/2 inch of dust because the winds were so bad), humidity from the rain and still looks new. I know most east coast weather is absolutely worse than mine, but Vegas is also extremely dry, and that can very quickly damage leather. So far, it’s taken the weather like a champ. As I’ve used it over the past 6 months, it’s only gotten softer, but still remains very hardy.

The reins are the exact same quality as the bridle. The front portion of the reins, just like the noseband and browband, are plain raised. Yet after a lot of Neatsfoot, it’s just as soft as the bridle. The laced part of the reins is still a little stiff and a little hard on my fingers, but that does help provide extra grip -especially if you’re wearing gloves (alas I was not lol). Even though the stitching is the same color as the bridle and reins, it’s all flawlessly done and really speaks to the quality of these strap goods. Because I was even more impressed with the quality than I had been before, I funded their tack trunk kickstarter and decided I’d try the rubber reins. I have heard so many stories of rubber reins melting, and I never liked how sticky they are, but they’re on my list of things to try.

Even though I only have 2 items of theirs, I’m already wanting more. Part of me wants to get a black dressage saddle now just to have an excuse to buy their dressage bridle haha. But I plan to also try their calfskin leathers, the rubber reins, their 4 point breastplate….things that I probably don’t need but the leather is just so nice! Rob, the owner of the company, is very honest and forward with all of his information, and it’s such a relief to be able to actually talk to the owner of the company and get good answers in a timely manner. I’ll definitely be buying more of their products in the future.

While I got my bridle discounted, the Eventer Snaffle Bridle is $175 USD and the reins are $95 USD; however, those prices INCLUDE shipping. It’s a very affordable bridle, and definitely much more worth the purchase price than other bridles I’ve had. Five stars from me!

I did a thing

I wanted to get this out before it was potentially too late for anyone else to miss the deal, but I did a thing.

I’ve been following Michele’s post about wants and saw KC’s comment about getting the newer Cambox 3 that’s coming out. So after Amber’s surgery and me finally getting her home, Sunday afternoon I figured “oh what the hell.” So I browsed on by Cambox’s US site (I made that mistake before by not being able to grab it Thanksgiving because I was on the Europe site). Bad idea, guys. I shouldn’t have done this.

Cambox ISI 2 (Pic from Cambox website)

And what do you know – the Cambox 3 is a pretty good deal if you preorder. There are different “packs” you can get – pack 1 is the basics, and instead of $458 it is on a preorder sale of $372. Then there’s the pack 2, which gives you the basics, an extra cap and 2 Velcro fasteners for $379 instead of $484. Oh my. The older Cambox 2 is $295 and while that’s still not cheap, I didn’t feel as if they were all that separate in price with the preorder deal. Hmm. Since I REALLY don’t need a helmet camera right now (and really for a while) I figured I’d speak to the online chat guy whose little chat window popped up on my screen. I asked him when the expected ship date was, and he said the end of May. Sooner than I’d ever be needing it (at this point I felt I wouldn’t need it till like November knowing this mare lol) but I was like “oh okay cool thanks.” I will just sign off before I decide to do something I shouldn’t. And then he proceeds to tell me they have a Mother’s Day discount.

Um. What.

Preorder discount and the pack I got. And look! You can get it in blue too. (Pic from Cambox website)

It was 10% off. Not a whole lot, but enough for me to perk up. It brought the whole thing down to $349 (that included shipping). And as I pondered and pondered, I just decided to go for it. Why not? It has wifi, I can control it with my phone (though I’m not technologically challenged it’s still a nice feature), it has 720p 60fps instead of 720p 30fps that the Cambox 2 has, the memory capacity can go up to 64 Gb, and – while it’s only 10 minutes – it has 85 minutes of record time vs 75 minutes. Cambox 2 has plenty of fun colors and bling, but for a helmet cam I prefer something a little more muted. (Hint: I got the black and not the blue)

Looks pretty cool to me. (Pic from Cambox website)

So. I did NOT need a helmet camera, and while I probably could’ve gotten an equally good or better deal for Black Friday or July 4th or Labor Day or lots of other holidays, this was my “congrats your horse made it home after surgery” gift to myself haha haha ha ha ha…. Now that’ll be coming to me at the end of May, and once I get it I will be sure to document everything for everyone lol. But reading Amanda’s post this morning with RW’s new addition of the UHWK Sports Action HD Helmet Videocam, I remembered my poor great decision of buying the Cambox and figured there may be a Memorial Day/preorder deal that someone can hop on.

(Pic from Cambox website)

Now off I go to sell some more things I don’t use…..lol.

Home at last

It was certainly stressful having Amber away and at the vet’s, but once I saw her Thursday I was relieved and happy that she was doing well. I couldn’t get up there to see her on Friday since I worked all of their visiting hours, but I knew she would fine and did evening chores for Whisper. I went to visit Amber Saturday morning (no Whisper ride because long story lol) and she was definitely a lot perkier than when I’d seen her Thursday. She was begging me for scratches and occasionally nibbled on her grass.

I checked out her knee and stifle – they were both warm but that was to be expected. She didn’t seem sensitive to the touch and as I looked down I saw this:

OMG WHAT DID YOU DO

Cue the heart sinking. It’s worth noting that this horse doesn’t get edema just because of a little cut. She’ll have a deep gash that’s bleeding and it still won’t swell. So for this leg to be so swollen like that – she had to have hurt it pretty badly. It was also pretty sensitive to the touch. My guess (from minimal evidence mind you) is that because she had a stain on her fly sheet around her stifle that wasn’t there when I saw her Thursday, she tried to lay down or was trying to get up from laying down, didn’t realize how much it hurt, got her leg caught in between on of the rails and pulled it out. UGH MARE. I would also think that perhaps she kicked but I surmise that’d have been more difficult to get both sides of her leg so badly. Thank you, Amber. I love all these mini heart attacks.

Her makeshift stall guard until the 2 weeks are over. So far it’s holding up well!

Dr. W came by to chat with me about her recovery, told me she could go home tomorrow, and then was surprised at Amber’s left hind leg. And proceeded to say she was trouble with a capital T. Why yes sir; yes she is. They wrapped her up and because the swelling is so bad she needs to have a bandage on it for 2-3 days. Seriously this horse needs a double-padded, bubble-wrapped stall.

Now I just want to sleep like this one lol

She needs to be on strict stall rest for 2 weeks before I can start hand walking her, but she definitely wants to be out and moving. Thankfully, I’d asked Dr. W about stall size on Saturday because she’s essentially got a big 48×48 stall area, and it turns out she can only be in a 12×12 for those first 2 weeks. So my dad and I grabbed some old glider airplane rope and made Amber a makeshift stall guard. It’s lashed as tightly as we could get it, but whenever we leave the property or it’s night we’ll close her door to make sure she hasn’t managed to be destructive again. So far (knocking on wood that I don’t jinx myself) she seems to be happy with the setup as long as she can look outside and stare at things lol.

Right front bandaged, right stifle sore, and bandaged left hind. REALLY mare lol

An unexpected but good outcome is that she has also lost weight. It seems that having her food off of the ground helps her not eat it ALL when she’s just bored lol. I’m hoping that having her grass in a net will help with that, and so far (granted it’s only been a day lol) it’s doing well.

Whisper was so happy to see her, and stood in her second stall like this with Amber for a very long time ❤

We’re on a bit of a slow road to recovery, but I’m hoping she comes back better and more comfortable!

I am that person + Amber update

I discovered, when dropping Amber off at the vet Wednesday, that I have become THAT person.

Oh my goodness mom WHERE have you taken me?!

Let me explain. For most of my horsey life until a few years ago, whenever the horses stayed at the vet or were having something done, we used a disposable halter and never really brought anything else. No boots, no special food, no nothing. Also, I thought it was a bit stupid. Okay, so the horse is staying at the vet’s for a few days. Big deal. Why do these horse owners have to bring EVERYTHING for their horses that will be very well cared for?

Let’s go mom! – Amber before our little walkabout on Tuesday

I had felt pretty good when I’d show up, hand the horse over and leave and be an “easy customer.”

Haha. Ha ha. Ha.

The best view is between these ears ❤

I say this all in good fun at myself by the way lol. But I have become that person that I thought was silly. Not only did I bring Amber for the stay, but I brought her grain – complete with her joint medicine because I hope it’ll help through the surgery – I brought her fly mask, fly boots, fly sheet and neck cover and a healthy dose of not wanting to let go lol. Of course, all the ladies at the vet were just great about everything and bearing with my overbearing-ness lol. Yes, maybe I brought too much stuff – my vet jokingly told me that I brought the kitchen sink – but they understand how much we love our animals.

This was pretty cool with Equilab for that ride

I brought all of that tho because she will grind her teeth at the flies buzzing around her because they won’t leave her alone. If the sheet and boots help her to have an easier recovery, well then I wanted to help that. Necessary? Eh, probably not. Silly? Yeah probably. But as I said before, they all understand how much we love our horses, and it is totally great to be THAT person that cares about their animals and maybe brings a little bit too much rather than too little. Because we do care. These may not be 4* horses or Derby winners or futurity champions or the next WEG champions, but they’re the world to us small-time people who love our horses. So I fully embrace becoming THAT person lol.

We’re not very good at selfies because she thought the phone was edible lololol

Also, as a quick aside, where did spring go?! It went from rainy and 60 on Monday to freakin 103 on Wednesday. WTF Vegas. I’m not ready for it to be so hot yet.

As far as how Amber is doing? She’s just fine. The vet texted me (with a picture; they are awesome) that she was up and standing and doing well. Apparently she was also ridiculously hungry since she didn’t get fed in the morning lol. Even when I visited her she was all about that food. She was still a bit out of it when I came by, and sweetest of mares she walked up to me as I opened her stall door even though her legs were obviously hurting her. I just love this girl.

Yup. Never gets fed this one lol

She wasn’t into scratches at first so she was really in some pain, but after a few minutes she finally started to get into it. She was definitely in pain tho, and leaned into me when I held her head. She then proceeded to (very slowly so it was kind of funny) try to keep me away from the other mares around her – even one with a foal lol. Apparently I’m hers lol. Because then when I left she was fine haha. She still adored the babies tho, and has gotten used to the donkey that she was next to before. She’ll have to stay until at least Sunday, and poor Whisper keeps staring off into the distance waiting for Amber to show up. She really misses her.

One of the little babies there! He’s so precocious too lol

Unfortunately, the bone chip wasn’t removed from her knee. From what I can remember Dr W saying (and we’ll talk more on it this weekend) the chip was in the joint capsule or enclosed by the other bones of the joint or something and he would’ve torn up a lot more than if he just left it. Which, I kind of figured as much, but was still hoping it would come out. Oh well. Her stifle looked okay – some damaged cartilage in there, an old, very small meniscus tear (with no scar tissue thank goodness but I’m wondering if that’s what happened when she suddenly was lame March of last year), and just a bit of bone roughness. He cleaned it up, said other than that it looked pretty good, but still a bit concerned that the cartilage seemed soft. She seems to be a good candidate for IRAP (taking blood, spin down the plasma, insert plasma into joint and it helps inhibit inflammation), and I want to try that but we may wait a little bit before doing it.

More cute babies! This one full on peed right in the alfalfa, then went to eat it and acted all innocent like “omg is that MY pee that’s there? Hogwash” lolol silly filly!

While we don’t have solid news on future potential, I’m still relieved everything looked pretty good, we have a few steps forward now with more knowledge, and we’ll see how she responds to this surgery clean up. So glad that’s over!

Figuring a few things out

This weekend was a bit of an odd one. I didn’t do much and it went by too fast, but that’s generally how it goes, right? lol. Saturday morning was a bit tense because it seemed Choco was having a few problems. She was moving her leg funny and seemed a bit out of sorts for her usual perky self, and my mom and I surmised that perhaps it had been the teensy bit of milk I gave her that morning. Which then I felt really bad, and opted to leave her at the house to make sure she was feeling better (she was by dinner time but not like her usual self so I still wanted to have her stay at her most familiar place). By the next morning she was her usual self so that was a note – no more milk for the doxie.

I decided to get some new/fun hair for summer!

I had a hunch for Amber, so Saturday I decided to put Amber’s English stuff on again. I had my one ECP contoured xc pad that was shimmable, so I put all available shims in it to pad up the shoulders. I left the thickest shim in the rear panels for some cushion since while Amber’s shoulders have lost muscle, her back won’t ever get narrower. It just remains a table. I also put on her breastplate and tightened it to help keep the saddle forward and used her passage girth instead of the kavalkade. All of this seemed to do the trick – no unpleasant faces or clicking her teeth together like last time – she looked exactly as she always has. Once I hopped on I could immediately tell the difference. She was forward, ears pricked, super happy to be out walking. I felt bad for not realizing sooner, but sometimes it takes a little while.

Happy poneh

So Saturday was a weird day with that but I hopped on Whisper and did some cantering with her as a prep for Sunday. She’s been a bit “behind” recently – not in work but in behind the leg and not wanting to work. Part of it my mom and I think is that just in the past few days she’s been working herself up again in her stall – pacing and pacing but then having no energy for when we actually go to work. It’s a new thing for Whisper to not want to work, but we think between her pacing and then wanting to stay close to Amber when we ride on weekends has been affecting a few things. She was resistant to my leg at first because “I didn’t think we worked near Amber!” but came around quickly and did a few canters and circles and hopped off.

Sleepy poneh

Sunday was a good riding day too – Amber was tacked up western and again very happy to be out and walking with ears pricked. I rode Whisper first, and ended up putting English stuff on her! Since I was planning to use a lot more bit contact, I like to switch to a snaffle instead of her usual shank bit. I wanted to put English on her tho since I can feel better what her body is doing. She was absolutely unhappy about starting to work immediately lol. Silly girl! I worked a lot on her turn on the haunches both directions. She gets a little stuck and wants to move her haunches instead of her shoulders away from the pressure. It’s hard work – a turn on the inside hind requires a lot of suppleness from the body and a forward momentum. And Whisper was not forward lol. But the turns really helped her to think about getting off of my neck rein and my leg, so that when I went to work on her steering at the lope, it was quite a bit easier. It’s not that she doesn’t steer or can’t – it’s just not finessed like it is at the jog.

Wild poneh

Especially going on the right lead, Whisper doesn’t like to turn away from the rail. I think a lot of it is her old habits from previous never-leave-the-rail training, so we’re chipping away at that. It’s just uneducation, and what she doesn’t understand is that if she’s collected turning is so much easier! lol The lightbulb has finally gone off in her brain for her right lead canter that my mom and I are so so happy about. For a few weeks now she’s had the pace and rhythm and just overall great collection on the left lead, and it’s finally clicked to the right as well! So Sunday I just worked on steering, sometimes just trying to steer gently off a neck rein and once in a (large) spiral at the canter, really getting her to collect up and realize that steering is so much easier when one is not inverted lol.

Hippopatamoose’s caboose lol

She did get upset – she’s not used to having very thinky/intense types of rides. But I was super proud of her in that as I continued to praise her with my voice and a scratch on the wither, while I could tell she was still upset she was still trying hard to do what I was asking and to remain calm. Huge leaps for her. The turns helped immensely in getting her off of my leg, and it’s only a matter of time before she really gets her turns down.

Monday, just to make sure everything was good and Whisper wasn’t too upset with me I hopped back on her western for a quick ride. Because she’d had a few harder days recently, I gave her a full body massage first. She absolutely loved it! I finally got Equilab to try so I wanted to try that for our ride – and then forgot haha. Either way, Whisper was great. Her turns were great, and her steering to the left was good. While it wasn’t as good or collected to the right, she was trying hard and maintained pace. We probably rode a grand total of 5 minutes, but it was a great 5 minutes and I was super proud of her.

Yawning poneh

Today Amber gets a bath in preparation for her going up to the vet Wednesday. It’s going to be so weird not to have her for 4-5 days, but I know she’ll be well-cared for. She was when she got her tooth done. Hopefully I’ll get to go see her Thursday after work and then find out how everything went! I’m excited to finally be getting this done but now super nervous too lol. Hopefully it’s all good news!

Gonna miss this girl ❤

Scheduled

Guys, it’s done. It’s been scheduled. I take Amber up to the vet May 9th for her arthroscopic surgery appointment on May 10.

She’s so wild when we groom and tack up lol

I am a bundle of nerves lol. I wouldn’t be as nervous if she didn’t have to go under to have the procedure. She’s already had to have surgery once, and everything was totally fine of course. We just worry about our ponies don’t we? lol I am probably more worried about the news after surgery than the actual surgery lol. I spoke with Dr W last night, and we decided to look at her stifle, check the integrity of the cartilage and the fluid and the joint with the possibility that it could also be a meniscus tear. While she’s under, he’ll also go back into her knee and remove at least one bone chip. It’s in the front of her knee and shows up on x-rays, as does another one. One of the reasons those weren’t removed in initial surgery was they were not interfering with her movement and the biggest one that shows up was potentially too deep/invasive to get out. So perhaps one of those has been affecting her knee recently, and it’ll be another relief for me once it’s gone.

So now we’re getting somewhere again! I rode her yesterday a bit, and she was a super girl. She wasn’t pushing as much as she usually does, and seemed a little backed off than usual. I think she wasn’t quite feeling herself yesterday, but she also was in the English saddle. She made a protest when I girthed her up (which she never does – and hasn’t ever done in western tack) so I was checking my saddle on her. With her loss of muscle, I’m sure it’s a little wide for her now. But instead of posting I sat her trot, and that seemed to help her loosen a bit, but she still wasn’t quite herself.

#funwithfilters lol And my new Mango Bay belt!

After a bit of trotting and trying to get her to push juuuuust a little more (she was oddly curling behind the bit which she usually doesn’t do either, but no biggie) I decided to just walk around outside the arena in view of the barn a bit. She was upset and jigged at first, especially when Whisper was nickering and running around in her stall, but as we kept walking and I was petting her she calmed considerable and was back to her relaxed self. I definitely think the ride yesterday was indicative of her stifle really bothering her. She wasn’t “bad” and never is – even when opinionated – but she just seemed down. I think it’s definitely time for the surgery, and I won’t ride her too much in the next week. I’m just glad we can finally get this going, considering she was supposed to have this surgery by February!

As my vet and I laughed about last night – she sure is special in more ways than one lol.

A few things

Look what came in the mail!

Yep, Mango Bay belts! I finally decided to try some since they’re the types of belts I’m looking for – they’re not only stylish but also are woven which woven belts tend to fit me much better than leather or any type of firmer belt. It’s all the curves lol. What also came in:

New Aqua X breeches! I finally nabbed the tan, and took a go on the hunter green. They’re gorgeous. I love them. They also seem to have a slightly different fabric feel than the original navy and aqua blue that I have, so maybe I’ll need a replacement pair soon…? lol.

Once I wear the new Aqua X breeches I’ll be sure to write a review on them. I have 4 pairs of them now soooooo…..haha. They’re definitely my fav summer pant!

A weekend in pictures

And not very many of them at that lol. But I’m having serious horse show withdrawals even though I only watched the live stream. I got to watch dressage at work, woke up to watch cross country, and rode before stadium. It was a good weekend, but not too much to say since I mostly just watched Kentucky lol. Which will still forever be Rolex to me haha.

Saturday we had a late ride, and maybe it was the winds or perhaps everyone was tired but it wasn’t the best day. I’d bought some new western spurs for Amber since the ones I’d ride in were long and with my more dressage leg position I was afraid I kept poking her. She was a good sport about those though, and they actually helped remind her at times to lift herself in the few bits we’d do, but I still wanted something smaller. And these just did not work. On really either horse so it was a bit of a weird day for us all.

She watches me while I cook lol

Sunday I was at the house early, though I really didn’t manage to hop on early lol. We hopped on horses about 10, but we had a short but good enough ride that I was still able to catch the majority of the stadium live feed. Whisper was really good, Amber was much calmer in the little english spurs I switched to, and it just solidified that those spurs were not right. Amber was really good in the little bit of trot we did and it was a really nice morning.

Seriously the only picture I got of Amber all weekend haha!

Choco was much better this weekend and a lot less worried about coming over to the apartment. Towards the end of the weekend, she seemed super excited to continue going for car rides and adventure! She also hunted some rabbits and ground squirrels which made her very happy.

Ready for adventure!

I think she likes this pillow….

She sleeps a LOT lol
Such a hot dog after helping us plant a tree in the yard!

#tbt lrk3de

It’s here everyone! The best weekend all year!

I suppose technically I could call this #TBT of Rolex because it was still Rolex when I attended last year. But man this was seriously the best event I’ve ever been to. If you’re interested in watching it this year, USEF is allowing you to sign up for a one-year fan membership at this link using the promo code “LRK3DE”. The membership is COMPLETELY FREE; I’ve already signed up for it! I’m so excited to watch it this year.

Schedule Overview:

Thursday/Friday are dressage days: 9:30 am – Noon and 1:30 pm to 3:40 pm both days. There’s a lot of horses to get through that’s for sure!

Michael Jung and Roxy! Love this mare
Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen
Phillip Dutton!

Saturday is Cross Country: if you decide to watch anything this weekend, watch the cross country! That is the highlight of eventing for sure, and it starts at 10 am – 4 pm. It’s very exciting, very adrenaline-packed, and is pretty much every eventer’s favorite part of the competition!

Phillip Dutton again!
Tim Price

Sunday is show jumping – the final phase! It begins at 1 pm and the awards ceremony starts at 3 pm. It’s set up to be an exciting competition!

Love miss Rocana
Maxime Livio

For more information on this, check out May as Well Event’s LRK3DE Preview! She’s got some great information to take with you as you begin to watch. Sounds like Emily, Michele and some bloggers will be there next year, as I’m planning to be there too, so I’m hoping for a super fun blogger meet-up! For now, here’s some more #TBT Rolex pictures!

Zara Tindall and High Kingdom

Rest and relaxation

This weekend was definitely nice to rest and relax. I actually forgot that Friday was Amber’s birthday – she officially turned 8! I can’t believe she’s 8 already. Such a grown up girl!

So, I made sure she at least got a really delicious lunch lol. She was the happiest of ponies.

We had a really nice, leisurely ride. I played around a bit, and since she’s been more comfortable in the western saddle, I’ve gone back to working her a bit more again. Now that her abscess has completely healed (yes!!) she’s been feeling really good, so I’ve been wanting to get her doing something again so poor thing isn’t so bored anymore.

It really fun to get back to a few things, even if it wasn’t like before. It’s easier for her to be in a slightly fast jog, so we worked just a little bit on pace. It felt like she was pushing well despite being a little off. It was a little bumpy at first, but after a few short half circles we got a lot better in sync. At first I’d been trying to sit her trot – when she goes that fast, I absolutely can’t sit it haha. Good thing I don’t have a horse that has any bigger movement than her lol. Then the posting didn’t work either since my stirrups are longer for western….it was definitely a bit funky in the beginning!

Once we established a better rhythm (and I wasn’t sitting like an idiot and was actually bearing down with my abs and actually riding correctly lol) it felt really nice.

Such a photogenic pony!

Saturday I formulated a more planned ride. It was going to be more of the same – figuring out our trot pace and just doing small circles and changes of direction, and perhaps a bit of loping if she seemed up to it. She was really super! We got a pretty consistent trot pace and did a bit of direction change. She got a little hyped up but it was really nice to feel that even after her tension she relaxed – at least as much as she could while her stifle is still hurting.

Can you spot the doxie amongst the doxies?!

I asked for a bit of a lope, and we only did half a circle, but it felt so good! I haven’t really felt her lope like that in a long time. She moved into the lope so easily, and she felt lifted and really collected. It was probably all of 6 strides before I asked her to walk but it was more than we’ve been able to do in a while! And I could tell she enjoyed it – or at least as much as she could. Her ears were up and she had a spring in her step at the walk.

Sunday was very similar – a few trot circles but this time a figure 8. Her trot pace was great, I also sat better, and we had a really nice ride – only 15 minutes before we headed out for a very short walk about. She was super happy about that! We kept it short and in sight of Whisper since Wednesday our walk about was….interesting to say the least lol.

And I was able to have Choco over at the apartment for the weekend! It was really nice to have her there – I’ve definitely missed her snoozy face.

I bought her a wool pillow cover from Ikea….I believe that is now her favorite.

Either way it was exactly the weekend I needed. I hope everyone had a great weekend too! What did you guys do?

Taking care

Lately, it feels like I’ve been running and running and I still can’t catch up. There’s been a lot of stress building up and I feel like I’m going nowhere from 5am to 10pm only to fall asleep and be back at it the next day. Added to all of this, not only has the weather been bad enough to where I can’t ride, when it’s nice out I’m too exhausted to ride.

So Monday, I asked for Friday off as a mental health day. I probably need more like a whole week off, but what can you do sometimes, right? lol So today, I’m going to ride. I’m going to play with my pony today, Saturday and Sunday. I’m going to enjoy my day off. I’m going to moderately catch up on what I want to and not worry about work or what I feel that I can’t get done. I’m going to rest. And I’m going to sleep. So, happy Friday/weekend to everyone! I hope it’s horsey filled.

And, to celebrate me getting Choco officially on my apartment lease, here’s a cute compilation of everyday Choco. Because doxies make everything better!

No news is good news

Well, it’s been quiet around here. Amber’s abscess is now almost completely gone. There’s maybe still a pinky nail sized spot that’s healing over, but the swelling in the surrounding tissue has dissipated and I can put her noseband back on 3 instead of 1. Her jawbone on the right side is no longer sore to the touch, and I’ve noticed she’s been pushing even more into the bridle – that is, when I freaking actually get out to ride.

Pics from left side because left side was clean lol. Also, she got a new pad!

Spring is usually nice in Vegas, and while we have a cold winter, it usually warms up in February, then cools down and the wind comes into the valley in March, and it’s generally gone by the first week of April. This winter has absolutely been the winter of sustained wind storms. We’ve had gusts up to 51 mph that completely whiteout outside to where you can barely even see the barn, and the barn is maybe 10-15 yards away. Usually, we have wind, but never for so many days in a row. It’s been pretty crazy, and it’s either not windy at all, or it’s 30+. The horses are as sick of it as we are, and since there’s really just desert around, that sand gets really harsh when it starts blowing.

They matched today. Amber was not happy about Whisper looking at her LOL

Saturday was really the only day I could ride, and it was another super successful ride on Whisper. Especially now that she’s much fitter due to lunging, she gives me a super canter from the start. It’s even a little “fast” for her, but it makes me so pleased that now “forward” is her new thought. She’s understanding that I want cadence and collection, and getting a lot more confidence in our “training” as well. She feels happy, ready to go, eager to please, and I’m just really pleased and honored she’s let me work with her. She’s a tough one, has continued to teach me patience, but the reward is huge. When you see me close my legs and lift my hand to take a bit of contact with her and she slows and sits back on her butt even just that tiny bit, it’s taken about 2 years to develop that response. She’s confident now that even if I correct her or have to correct her a little harder than usual, I always give her a wither scratch or a pat or a vocal praise once she does it. It’s so cool to kinda feel her calm down or try just that little bit harder once she’s praised. Her right lead still needs work – she tends to get stiff and to curl around your outside leg instead of your inside one, so we only do short spurts of really correct work to the right whereas we do almost the full arena twice to the left because she’s naturally better that direction. But she’s a rockstar, and while February was our only show for the spring season (no shows May to August because HOT) we’re not upset. It was a great introductory show, she was phenomenal, and we have more to work on that will help her succeed for next time.

I had volunteered as ring steward on Sunday – not knowing the show was last weekend. Oh well. It was the blast. The judge was so sassy and hysterical – I loved being her steward and scribe. But let me tell you – being a scribe and counting half scores for ranch riding and reining without coffee first thing in the morning was brutal. I shamelessly admit to using my phone half of the time lol. But she was very kind to the riders and gave them pointers. It wasn’t too windy yet to ride Sunday when I was done midday, but once I got home I fell into bed and slept. I was pretty exhausted. Plus I had some other things that really needed to get done (AHEM Mandy – way to procrastinate on taxes), and was still exhausted by the time I went to bed for work on Monday. So it’s basically been no riding and waiting out the wind.

How much hair can one doxie lose?!

On the plus side, Amber got new fly stuff. She looks bubble wrapped which, let’s face it this horse needs haha. So far, I’m really liking the product. I do think Amber gets sweet itch tho, so I’m hoping her new fly mechanism will help along with more of TTT’s tea tree shampoo and perhaps some meds from the vet. Her rubbing and itching can get really bad. So, we’ll see how all of this goes.

Is she protected enough? Maybe not…..

Review: under the radar

Well, this was weird. Apparently something didn’t sync between my wordpress app and the online site so I lost my blog post that was scheduled for today. Which is weird. I have no idea why it did that, so here’s the gist of what my Review Wednesday was SUPPOSED to be.

Go check out Amanda’s post about underwear, summer, and trot sets. The comments are gold.

Since this blog post is about what goes under our amazing clothes that battle dead-heat-sweating-to-death summers, I found the Champion seamless performance body shorts mentioned in the comments and decided to try them. I absolutely love them. They definitely do the job of wicking away sweat (and I sweat  A LOT) and help keep you cool. They do run small (which I DID forget to mention before so I guess that’s good?) so size up 1-2 sizes. They do make breeches fit a little tighter, and are a bit expensive even for a 3 pack, but personally I think it’s worth it.

Those undies definitely helped in the heat of summer

My next one featured was the Danskin sports bra (this one is slightly different – mine have mesh backs). Most sports bras have a thick, tight strap that forms a racer back. These, however have always tightened and compressed my shoulder muscles to where I will get really horrible headaches. So I had to find a sports bra that helped keep the bounce to a minimum and then didn’t kill my shoulders. I love that the Danskin straps are a lot more like bra straps than regular sports bra straps. They’re narrower, and are adjustable as well. Plus, these are about $10, so you can’t really beat that.

Well, this is the less amusing or funny version, but hopefully still applicable to everyone. Happy Hump day!

Best Bday weekend ever

I usually don’t do much for my birthday, but my birthday was on Friday and I was ready to complete my 10 hr shift, but was actually able to leave early at 12:30! Yes! So I headed straight to the house to have a small ride on Amber. I actually switched out Amber’s saddles – her back has seemed a little sore recently so the way a western saddle helps disperse pressure and weight seems to have helped her feel better. For only the bit that we do, any way to help her feel better, right? But it was a good walk finished by a short little walk about around property. She was really super, and was actually pretty consistent on our walk.

So cute ❤

But, we actually have an actual abscess update! And yes, her abscess has STILL been draining. Why, might you ask, after nearly 4 months has her abscess still been around? Well, this is piece number one, a piece I pulled out of her abscess Friday night.

The large piece is the first piece the vet removed sometime in January and the little piece I pulled out – the squish sound was….ick

I was so shocked I basically threw it on the ground nearly screaming ‘what is that?!’ because I was absolutely not expecting to pull out this bone fragment. I had thought it was just a tough scab. Turns out – nope! This is why her abscess has persisted for so long. There was still a bone fragment that her body was trying to push out. When I went to clean her abscess Saturday night, I scraped up this:

Piece #2. I just….can’t really believe it. Wow

Bone fragment #2. I’ve been shaking my head all weekend. So, now I know exactly why poor Amber has had to go on 3 rounds of antibiotics and has had this abscess for so long. Poor girl. So many of the small things I’ve noticed about her attitude the past week or so can absolutely be tied to the fact that these bone fragments have been very close to coming out.

Look at that little smile. She feels so much better ❤

The mystery has been solved! I’m so relieved. Since finding the bone fragments Friday and Saturday, her abscess has shriveled up and started to close exponentially. It looks so much better than it has in a very long time. I should now be able to set her debridement up soon!

Sooooo can one person have too many pads? I don’t think so…

Saturday, while not a horsey day, was absolutely the best day. My birthday, my sister’s birthday and our mutual friend’s birthday are all within a few weeks of each other, so we all decided to have a spa day. It was seriously the best day ever. We got our deep tissue massages first, spent a lot of time in the wet sauna, and grabbed food at the pool bar. It was pretty awesome because we all just walked out to the pool in our robes and spa slippers. We got so many looks but it was worth it! We got free shots out of it lol. Then it was time for our facials, hung out at the sauna some more before heading to a barbecue place for some amazing food.

There was so much food. We ate it ALL lol

Then dessert as well, and we got 2 free pieces of birthday cake. The waitress was really great. Best day ever. So relaxing.

Banana pudding and chocolate cake. Yum

Sunday we had a great but simple ride. Amber and I just walked around, but I hopped on Whisper for a bit and cantered her. She was absolutely fantastic. The lunging has absolutely helped Whisper’s stamina and fitness which is perfect to help keeping rides short but very effective. I was super pleased with how well she’s coming along! Amber was happy to be out for sure!

A friend came over around noon and we watched the 2nd Lord of the Rings movie as part of our movie marathon. It was only the second movie, but it was the extended version and we talked a lot about theory and concepts so it took a bit longer lol. But we had a great time. Seriously, the best weekend ever. As I said I usually don’t really do anything for my birthday, but this time I really wanted to do some special things because happy birthday to me, right? haha. I also bought Amber some good fly stuff so….does that count as a birthday present to myself? I think so haha.

How did your weekend go? What did you do? I hope it ended up being a good weekend!

Friday rambles (actually just pictures)

Well, I was going to have a different post ready for today, in which I forgot. Because it’s been that kind of week haha. So, have fun with a bunch of random pictures from this week haha. Happy Friday all!

So clean after (FINALLY) getting a bath!

Leaping doxie!

LOL her ears
I have never had this much trouble worming this horse ever. I was able to save it by getting what dropped out of her mouth on cookies and she ate the cookies. #istillwon
Look at her face. She’s not even remorseful.

Her color is just so rich ❤

Review: SleekEZ grooming tool

For today’s Review Wednesday, we’ll be covering the SleekEZ grooming tool – and just in time for shedding season! I’m sure they are easily found on many websites, but I got mine off of Amazon and it’s the 5-inch model. I love Prime shipping, and since it came with Prime shipping, I decided to go for it. I bought this particular product last year in the beginning of April (is it a little embarrassing that I had to go ALL THE WAY back in my Amazon orders to even remember when I bought it?) just in time for the horses to start shedding since the barn where we boarded didn’t have lights to help hurry on the shedding process.

I didn’t get the 10 inch version because I have small hands, and a smaller one would allow me to get into the smaller spots on the horse. I usually use the SleekEZ on every part of the horse except knee/hock down and their faces. I save that for curry combs. This is basically my go-to tool for shedding. In terms of ingenuity it’s not “cutting edge” if you will – a block of wood encases a small, ridged blade.

What I love best about it though is that the blade not only grabs hair on and underneath the surface, but also picks up dust and dander from the horse’s hair. You can see this in one part of the video I am including here. Amber had just recently rolled in the arena, and the blade is actually releasing puffs of dust into the air as it grabs the dander as well. The SleekEZ also pulls the loose hair from the top as well as any loosening hair underneath. In both of the shedding seasons that I’ve used it, the horses have shed out much faster using this tool than just using a curry comb. Amber usually has very coarse winter fur, especially on her hindquarters, and this tool really makes getting that coarse fur off so easy. Plus, since Amber is a scratch monster, she LOVES this thing.

She does NOT however, love selfies lol

Whisper is more thin-skinned due to her TB influence, and she’s not the biggest fan of grooming. She also has baby fine fur that doesn’t respond to the usual rubber curries – the fine hair just slips off of the curry comb. And yet even Whisper likes the SleekEZ. She’s falling asleep by the time my mom finishes, and the fine toothed blade even picks up her hair. She was actually fully shed out by the middle of April last year instead of the end of May as usual.

It’s also safe on Dachshunds! We got the mini one, the 2.5 inch SleekEz to use for Choco. She’s hairier than my sister’s dachshund, and she’s usually shedding almost all the time. This little SleekEZ pulls up Choco’s shedding undercoat like crazy, and leaves her feeling much sleeker. Most of the time she’s okay with it, but sometimes she’s not so fond of it (as she was the day I was attempting to video lol). It’s even worked wonders on my sister’s pitbull Max.

Personally, I love it, and would get one in a heartbeat if I needed it. The only con about this product is that you need to wipe the blade off occasionally because the dander will build up on it. I either tap it on my boot or run my fingers down the blade and it cleans it right up to keep going.

Also, it may not look like the SleekEZ is getting a lot of hair off the horses and doxie in the video, but all videos were filmed when they were not having “let’s lose a lot of hair” days haha. But every day it continues to get enough hair off to shorten the shedding process, and I know Amber and Whisper enjoy losing their hair faster – especially since it gets so hot here!

Easter Weekend

Was a blast. I was able to hang out with family and friends and it was an all around good time.

SO ENTHUSIASTIC. Not lol

I had actually wanted to post Friday, but our internet crapped out on Wednesday, and we were unable to get a technician over until Saturday afternoon. Such is life tho I suppose right? It doesn’t help I drove around town and replaced our DSL cable and that didn’t fix it. But Amber and I had a good ride. She was a little worse in the sense that she was a little more agitated, but she was actually listening really well, and trying really hard, so it was only a ten minute ride on Wednesday. Yay!

Thursday I decided to hop on very quickly since I didn’t have much time and only walk/jog around a small, flat area by our barn to do a very short, sweet, successful ride. Amber was really super, and when she got a little upset, relaxed very quickly and I hopped off. It was about 5 minutes total probably. But it was very light, Whisper was within seeing distance and she got many praises and scratches. Our future neighbors (they bought the property behind us a while ago; the county just keeps delaying their stuff) came over and the kids just loved Amber. We met them a while back and the older brother just adores Amber, and I absolutely love that she loves kids.

SO FREAKING CUTE
Yup, that’s the spot!

Even Whisper was super excited to hang out with the kids for a bit, even though she’s generally not the most egregious horse when it comes to showing affection. She loved that little girl. I was so glad I was able to whip my phone out and snap as much as I could. It was adorable.

SO MUCH CUTENESS

Friday Amber had off, and Saturday was a very light hack around the arena to stretch her legs and watch my mom ride Whisper. The both of them are coming along really well (especially since neither of us has been able to ride Whisper much), and her canter is really coming along. Lunging has really really helped in Whisper’s fitness I think. It’s hard to work Whisper for long periods of time because she thinks she’s in trouble and gets agitated. So it’s a little hard to do rides as fitness, but I think we’re starting on the right track.

This is the ground squirrel we named Scamper lol

Sunday I popped over to the parents’ house – a little early to give me time to ride Amber a bit. So we saddled up (and WOW it was like 80 already; I was wearing my summer pants), and rode in the arena for a bit. She was happy walking and I asked for a teensy bit of trot, and she was a good girl and was slow but okay. She didn’t seem as happy to do more than walking as she has been, so I kept it at a walk and she was pretty content at that. We kept it easy and relaxing for the both of us – just spending some quality time together. She got many loves, apple pieces as an easter treat, and many scratches. It seems like while her abscess is STILL dripping, it’s hopefully (keep your fingers crossed) really starting to close and I can take her up for her debridement very soon.

My sister and her boyfriend came over shortly after as did my friend, and we all had a great time chatting and hanging out and eating. My sister and I were goofy as always. Have fun with these.

Totally sisters. Happy Easter everyone, and I hope yours was awesome!

Busy busy

I actually was going to do another review, then realized I hadn’t written anything besides a paragraph or two on it. Which, I could keep writing, but I have video for it that I want to compile. It’s definitely been a learning curve getting used to popping over to the house to see Amber before going back to the apartment. It’s one of the reasons why being home was so convenient – I didn’t have to go anywhere besides a quick jaunt outside to feed or I could still get other things done in between barn time.

However, it’s been really nice to be able to sit down in our new place for convos with my best friend, and my sister came over for a while the night before and we got to chat and have a good time. I’m not regretting moving, but on days like today, when I get off at noon, I’ll try a different tactic than yesterday and see how I like it. It’ll be nice though cause after working the weekend, I have 3 really short work days this week (6 hrs) and get a 3 day weekend before finishing the week with 4 long days. It’s actually hasn’t been as bad of a learning curve as I was expecting tho – not like when we first got the horses there and it took me a while to figure out the timing of chores and fitting everything into my day.

Just like today, yesterday I got off at noon. I was super excited to do something different, and managed to actually make it out in time to see my shoer finishing up with Amber. So her feet look good! And then coming to find out my farrier will be moving in a few months. WHY?! We then proceeded to joke about how he usually never swears, and not only did Amber make him swear, but I also made swear with my question. Like owner like horse? lol I usually miss seeing/chatting with him since I’m working, so it was nice to be able to talk with him a bit.

Pretty feet!

Amber has also been a fat ball of itch and was proceeding to tear out her mane itching on every poky surface she can find, so I gave half of her mane a wash. She actually put up with it – usually she abhors baths so I was surprised she stood stock still for it. I then decided to ride. She’s usually lit after a bath, and while I only did part of her mane, she likes to pretend she’s a Very Fancy Horse and prance and arch her neck and be excitable after any water on her body. Plus, the wind was still present and she hadn’t been ridden in at least 4 days. So it was a bit of a “is that REALLY that wise” question when I decided “let’s do something different and play around outside of the arena even though you haven’t been in weeks. And I laughed at myself and thought “why the hell not.” Haha oops.

#sass. although….not actually that much sass lol

Actually she was fine. I wasn’t surprised and yet I was. Usually she’s either jigging or consistently stopping, and she’d stop cause she was looking at everything, but she wasn’t jigging, and she wasn’t her occasional giraffe self when she’s like “OMG I SEE EVERYTHING.” So that was great. We meandered only a short walk away from the barn to this area behind a neighboring house that was a moderate circle. It was out of sight of our place, and the guy has horses, so I’m sure he uses that to ride as well because the ground is worked up and softer and not very rocky. I’ve been wanting to just do a teensy bit of work there just for funsies – nothing too serious tho since it’s not the best ground.

The face of a pony happiest eating grain

I started with pushing her into the bridle and while she was really looking and not wanting to push into my outside rein, I let that slide and rewarded her when she would actually start to push into the bridle despite wanting to continue looking around. She was pretty excited, so I asked for a bit of trot, and while she was certainly more lit, I was surprised that she very willingly started pushing and giving me this really floaty trot that was really easy to post to. She was actually meeting my contact, and it felt really really nice. Asked to walk, she really responded to my vocal cue and I didn’t really push collection. Going the other direction she was the same – really good, getting a bit floaty and it felt great. A couple times horses whinnied and she got very distracted, but she was really overall very good.

So tired lol

So we walked, and started walking back to the barn very nicely when Whisper really really called to her. We both heard it. And Amber proceeded to lose her brain lol. No very serious shenanigans. Most horsey people would probably say “that’s IT? That’s ALL you have to deal with?” which is pretty true. On the shenanigans scale of 1-10 she’s pretty much a 2 when she decides to pull them. But I could tell even in the beginning she may be getting a bit barn sour. I wanted to push her into the contact at a walk, but she thought that was an amazing opportunity to do her baby jog so that she could still get to Whisper. So I trotted her up into the bridle some more, did some leg yields which I was very surprised at how nice they were given we’ve a) never ever worked on them faster than a teensy jog and b) we’ve never really ever even schooled them for more than 2-3 strides. But wow was it sooooo much easier than getting Liam to do it haha. She was very responsive, but as soon as I turned for home she’d start to jig. So I tried lowering my voice and backing up a bit, which is usually all she needs. But that didn’t work.

So plan b, push her into a tighter circle. And that didn’t really work either. Her hip swung to the outside until I put my leg on and got after her and that worked a bit but she was definitely not getting any less agitated. So when I pushed her into the contact at a walk again, back to jigging. So I kicked her into a forward trot and trotted her away from the barn and back to that little circle and trotted a bit more. And WOW that horse can trot. She was in the contact the whole time and it felt really cool despite her being wired. She was a bit more responsive to my voice after about 2 circles, and as we were walking, me attempting to push her in a sort-of-ish fluid walk, she stumbled a bit (she hadn’t up to that point). So I hopped off to make sure all her feet were okay, and they were so I hopped back on and just asked her to stand and breathe a moment. It seemed the combination of trotting back to the circle and dismounting helped reset things. I let her walk back to the barn, and she’d occasionally start to jog before an ear flicked back and she’d walk. I’d praise her, and asked her to push into the bridle, and while it was nowhere near good, she stayed walking so I praised her some more and she got wither scratches.

I love when she does this. We may not be doing reining any more, but damn is it lovely.

Whisper was turned out into the arena and cantered very enthusiastically towards us when she saw us coming. They nickered at each other a lot. I let them sniff noses, then walked Amber along the front of the arena before walking down the driveway. I did the tiniest bit of trotting near the arena on a flat portion of our land because I wanted home to be work too, and that was a very barely-there trot haha. She was tired. So we did 1 figure 8 loop, sniffed the scary trailer, and dismounted. Poor girl. What was going to be a 10 minute ride turned into at least a 30 minute ride. She then got her grain and her hay out in the arena to chill.

OMG HAI I LOFF YOU AND I MISSED YOU

I was really happy to know that her agitation had nothing to do with being outside the arena or it being windy or just having a mini bath. I’m sure those things contributed, but we were basically done and headed back until she heard Whisper call. So, while I’m not the happiest she and Whisper are getting very attached, I totally get they’re the only 2 horses around. It’s very natural they’d get attached. Both horses have been fine at shows, fine elsewhere, fine with basically everything else so I’m really not worried about it. She was still a very good girl, despite our little moment. Towards feeding time I brought her in, loved on her some more and she was nudging me with her nose and begging for scratches.

Today, I’m going to do the same thing. After yesterday, I have a feeling she’ll be really good today, but I want to keep it light and easy. Go to the circle again, 2 circles at the trot and walk back. Hopefully that will go well haha. But I’m optimistic. As I said, her shenanigans are few and far between, and her “good girl” days are usually 9 out of 10. It was a plus at the end of the ride she was listening well to my voice, and I think we both got a good glimpse of real contact out there so I’m pretty excited to get out there again. She may not be haha but we’ll see how it goes today.

Wrong week to stop sniffing glue

I have been saying that quote the whole weekend. And about 5 times since I came into work this morning. It never fails to amuse. Which is the point because I feel like I’ve been smelling new carpet/carpet glue for MONTHS now. Part of the old, disgusting office carpet got changed last December, and it took a solid 2-3 months before the glue smell really died down. So that’s about….February. Our apartment got new carpet. Enter new carpet and glue smell that lingers in mouth and is….gross. Then this weekend, I sat in the office and got to smell some more new carpet and industrial strength glue. WOW that is potent. I feel my nose may be permanently damaged….

I worked my usual 10hr shift on Friday, had a good grooming sesh with Amber, then took Choco for a walk. Even though Choco is 14 this year and I’ve never attempted anything of the sort, I’ve been trying to work with her on off-leash obedience. It’s been a bit tricky since she’s a bit blind and deaf so I’ve had to get inventive, but it’s been fun and I think it’s keeping her young, and her brain engaged and happy as she sniffs for bunnies and ground squirrels. She’s been doing really well – better than I thought actually, unless it’s because I often use treats. That’s probably it haha. She’s been very excited though because the bunnies decide that wind + closed up barn + easy access alfalfa = the perfect place to hang, so when I take her out with me when I feed dinner, it’s the cutest thing to see her so focused and bounding to catch the bunnies. She’s flushed them out of the hay room, too and has a grand old time trying to find them. Yet it’s also very funny/sad about what she can/can’t see anymore because a bunny can be less than 3 feet away from her and she will not see it or smell it. Poor doxie, but she’s still loving life.

This was certainly a long weekend, and yet oddly….not. Saturday and Sunday I was at the office at 730 am to open the doors for the carpet guys. It was very easy – both days I basically read a book, played around on my computer and phone, and started another book. So thankfully, it honestly didn’t feel like I was working on the weekend because while I would’ve ridden Amber, I would’ve done all of that anyway. By the time I was able to leave though (330pm day one and 445pm day two), the wind had kicked up again, I had only a little bit of time to sort through more stuff before chores and then hurry back to the apartment to cook dinner. Thankfully, while I work 10 hrs today, I only work until noon for the next 2 days. I’ll at least be able to ride, get more of a dent in purging, and still get back to the apartment with a good amount of time to relax. It’s all those itty bitty things that you’re like ‘what the hell do I do with this?’ that stump you because they don’t fit all that well in a box if you do want to keep them. But it’s coming along!

I hope everyone had a good weekend!