Friday, May 30, 2014

Resistance is Futile

So I promised a Suzie update for you guys and now that my head is a little more "on my shoulders" so to speak, I can organize my thoughts and clearly distribute them here.

Firstly, we've put in a few schooling rides and I am quite impressed with where she is comparatively to last year. Right now we are consistently working on bend, tempo/rhythm and on her patience. My overall goal is to show her at least once and have a really good show. I want to at least be prepared and feel good about entering the ring instead of going just for "fun". I mean, it'd be nice to win... or at least come close.

Suzie is a very "down to business" horse. If I hop up onto her, her first reaction is, "Lets go!" I've been working with her so that she stands quiet, calm and collected until I ask her to move off. She struggles with this - even if we are in the middle of a schooling session and I ask her to stand quiet for more than five seconds. It is almost like she just rushes herself as opposed to just relaxing her mind. This will be a work in progress for us, but I am starting to iron out the kinks. She is happiest when she is busy; and standing around is not productive OR her idea of a good time. Working on standing when being mouted, after mounting and during work/trail riding will be a very large portion of her training regime - especially since she will become my hubby's trail horse in all due time. Her patience and quietness need to be of great importance if she is to pack around a mere beginner.

Bend is a HUGE sticking point for us right now. She REALLY fought the curb chain on Tuesday when I rode and I could tell she was really just NOT impressed. However, once I stopped 'tip-toeing' around her she really got down to business, gave me a beautiful lope in each direction and  was beautifully responsive! The curb strap has helped a TON and I feel stupid for not knowing it was mandatory, lol.

Anyways, her left rein is super sticky, and unfortunately, it is MY bad way too. It's kind of a mess right now, but it is coming together slowly. I am finding I am applying a lot more inside leg when working to the left and my outside leg is really having to support her. I'm not really surprised she has difficulty working on the left rein - her bad shoulder is on this side. And although she is "sticky" she is at least trying. I had a pretty productive ride with her and I found that although she fought with the action of the curb more than before (due to the fact that we never had one before!) she settled in just fine. I'm hoping the more wet saddle blankets we put in, the more responsive she'll become.

 The tempo and rhythm has actually been pretty good. I did realize the other day that I need to really work on utilizing expansion and compression of the gaits. I focus so much on getting a nice solid jog, and forget to work on extended and collected gaits and subsequently screw over Suzie who engages herself, but goes mach 10 and then I have a difficult time bringing her BACK to that solid jog. So, the game plan is to implement some extension and collection (no matter how "small") into each training session to get her used to me asking for speed, and reducing it with my seat. I find that when we settle into a nice, solid jog she will speed up without me asking and I have to reset and go back to that jog again. I think by having a game plan such as "extended jog down the long-side, normal jog on the short side, rinse, repeat" will have her listening to me more and be more attuned to my seat.

So, in short, the plan is to work on bend a LOT more. Asking her for some leg yields, pushing her barrel into and around those corners is going to work wonders for us. And also, not asking TOO much bend. If she can only bend a fraction at a time, especially on her bad side, that is what we will do. Taking it one hoof-print at a time, folks.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We Ran Under the Sun

"And we ran under the sun
Until our lungs burned,
And hearts trampled all our fears"

My photography friend came out lastnight and we literally threw together an impromptu photoshoot. It was abrupt, and all began with a text from me that read: "I want a poofy dress photoshoot!"
It wasn't necessarily a secret to either of us - I had wanted a photo of me cantering along in a field in a big, poofy dress for a looooong time, but I didn't really have that special horse. I mean, I did, but I never got a chance to take that photo with him. So, when I kind of threw that opportunity in my Photo-Savvy friend's face, she jumped at the chance.

The resulting photos speak for themselves. They are simply DIVINE.

Suz and I did have a productive week thus far - we had a lunging session on Monday in the rain and a nice schooling session on Tuesday coupled with a small trail ride. Wednesday we had a photoshoot and today, Suzie will be used again as a prop in a photoshoot for a small girl. I am kind of excited!

I'll elaborate on our training ride later!

Blog Hop: Let's Make A Baby!

I'll have to admit, I am kind of excited for this blog hop! I've never really pinned down who I'd absolutely breed Suzie to, for the fact that she is 21 years old and is much too old to be carrying a foal!

But awesome "L" over at Viva Carlos has made me all giddy and excited with her blog hop topic this week:  "If you could/were so inclined to breed your horse (1.. let's not get into the issues of backyard breeding and 2.. let's pretend your horse is a mare if it's not) WHO would you breed your horse to and Why!"

I've spent a great deal spending time looking into some stallions and since Suzie is more of an "all around Western" mare, I'd like something to compliment that. I don't need the next reining champion, but I'd like to refine Suzie a bit more. I'd like to get her booty a bit bigger and more powerful, refine her head and neck, have something that is a bit more "compact" and have a stallion that compliments her body build. I don't want a stud who is heavy and pair Suzie with him and end up with an HYPP wannabe.

Suzie from lastnight all dolled up and ready for her "date" with a potential suitor! This photo doesn't necessarily show off her neck as well as I'd like it to but this is a general idea of how she looks as of right now. I'd like something with stronger looking legs and something to add some substance to her, but not add "beef" if that makes sense.

So, I would choose:

Big Chex To Cash.

Isn't he simply divine?! He has a much better slope to his neck set and overall he has quite a balanced and proportional body - I like how his topline is strong and he has a much nicer set of back legs than Ms. Suzie. He's got the substance to him and is obviously a very successful athlete. Let's go over his credentials, shall we?

2005 NRHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion
2007 NRHA Derby Open Reserve Champion
2007 Reining By The Bay Open Derby Co-Champion
2007 NRBC Open Derby finalist
2005 West Coast Spectacular Open Reining Futurity Champion
2005 Equi-Stat #2 3-Year-Old All Divisions Money-Earner
2009 Guinness Memorial Shootout Open Reining Champion
2009 AQHA World Show Reserve Champion Senior Reining  

He is, by sport, a reiner but has competed in the open divisions. Obviously, if him and Suzie were to create a hypothetical baby, the resulting foal would most likely be a reiner based off of the fact that BCTC is heavily influenced by reiners in his pedigree, as is Suzie on the damsire side. 

I am sure there are many other stallions to consider, but at the same time it'd take a few good months of research before I actually made a real, informed decision.

1. Viva Carlos  12. Equestrian At Hart  
2. Nanakorobi yaoki  13. Chronicles of a Moody Mare  
3. Pony Express  14. Thoroughbred Adventures  
4. Diary Of A Hunter Princess  15. That Red Mare  
5. The $900 Facebook Pony  16. Adventures with Shyloh  
6. Flying Free  17. Fillys Best Friend  
7. The Redheaded Mare  18. Keep It Low Key  
8. Equestrian Journey  19. Pia & Prairie's Parade  
9. Semi Feral  20. ColorWash Studios  
10. The Pony Wears Prada  21. A Blonde, Brunette, and a Redhead  
11. Forging Fiction  

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Senior Escapee

Oh hey Mom... Just chilling where I'm not supposed to be!
Due to my hectic work schedule and the hours I work, I visit and feed once a day. It isn't ideal, but Suzie has grass to mow down during the day and in the evenings she gets fed. However, that is going to change. I've begun talking to the Land Owner and asked if she wouldn't mind feeding in the mornings for me, because it literally is, impossible for me to get out there in the mornings. Although, I do not think the problem stems from lack of food on Suzie's part.

Let me elaborate.

Saturday evening I went out to meet the chiropractor and as I went to the pasture to grab Suz, I noticed she was nowhere in sight. I literally started panicking until I saw the destroyed fence - it is a sliding rail fence, much like the one pictured above. However, there are two rails and one is about 5 feet in the air and the other is about 3 feet (so, chest height on Suzie). Some of the boards were there previously and were obviously rotten, but I didn't think Suzie would be as bold as to lean onto the fence and break it. Well, she did.

I lead her back into the pasture and we did our Chiro work - the Chiro was very impressed with Suzie and how she looked "sore wise". She re-adjusted her trouble knee again and worked slightly on her shoulder to put it back into place. After Stephanie the Chiro left, I fixed the fence and chased Suzie around a little bit and she bucked and carried on like a little three year old. It was too cute to see. Suz ended up drinking some water while I was there so I dumped some Gatorade in there - she didn't seem to mind.

The gate mirrors this idea - the rails slide back and forth to allow
access and egress into rotating pastures.
Lastnight I went out with the SO, a bit later than normal, and we found Suzie in the back pasture AGAIN. She more purposely broke the fence boards again - it definitely looked like she pushed and nudged the one fence until one side came loose and fell out and then ducked under the top rail and broke it while trying to get over. All the while we were fixing it, mare-face watched us from afar and had a certain mischievous look over her face that said, "Bring it on, human."


We reinforced the fence with two top rails, two bottom rails and made an "X" and tied it all together haphazardly with binder twine. I scooted out of work to check on her just before noon and this is how I found her:

If that doesn't say "Fuck you" I don't know what does.

It looks like a mess, but it works. The back "pasture" she is trying to access is actually not a pasture, but rather, the LO's (Land Owner) backyard and it is minimally fenced. There are large trees and thick bushes lining along the backyard, but no real "fence" or barrier. IF Suz really wanted to, she could easily access the street and road, which, I do not want. She is a pretty smart horse and would rather sit and eat grass all day than play along the road, but I don't want to take any chances. 

Study it, learn it, know it.

She's already mowed down her pasture, or most of it, and I'm debating blocking off the second portion of it to let it grow back. The pasture in the back still needs some fencing and we aren't too concerned about it, because the LO had already promised that prime grazing to someone else. As per the map of the layout, you can see that the yellow is where Suzie currently is - where that red "X" appears is where I want to cut off the pasture and let it grow. The pink is the secondary pasture where the other horses will go, come Summer time. And the blue... well... that is where Suzie enjoys pigging out after she breaks fences.


Fingers crossed when I go check her this PM that she didn't get up to too much trouble.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Silent Sunday.

I do have things to post, but I'd rather just let you guys look at the pretty pictures of my pony instead:

After her chiro appointment.

Angry mare telling Ty what she really thinks of him.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

In Which The Red Mare Causes Stress.

Suzie eyeing up the water bucket, but not drinking because she is a jerk.

 The Red Mare has decided to try and see how many shenanigans I can take and surprisingly, she is doing a damn good job at raising my stress levels lately!

Issue #1: Because of the lengthy bouts of rain we have had for the last four days, I have been unable to truly monitor her drinking levels. I had drug the water tub under the lean-to shed and found that, through observation of the tank and doing a pinch test the next day, she was dehydrated. Really mare?! I'm assuming that she hasn't drank any real "good" amount of water since 2-3 days ago and was only getting water from eating grass while it rained.

So, I dug up my sleeves and refilled the tub, fixed the other onsite converted bath-tub waterer, filled up her grain bucket full of water and also filled a white "half-barrel" tub. I also put her hay around the water buckets and showed her each and every one of them. I also put some fresh grass along the sides of one of the tubs and spent some time splashing water on her lips.

I came out about two hours later to check up on her and found that the white tub (pictured) had about 1/4 of the water missing! I checked the tub for leaks just in case, but none could be found. So I made the decision to go ahead and add salt to Suzie's grain and feed her that to stimulate the drinking response. Additionally, I dumped Gatorade into her water bucket that she seems to like. Will be heading out later today to check it out again and see how she has faired. Fingers crossed.

I hate you, rain rot. You suck.
Issue #2: Continuing with the ridiculous amounts of rain we have been getting, Suzie has started to get a super awful case of rain rot. I had been treating some very small spots (on her shoulders and by her tail base) with rubbing alcohol for the last week but almost overnight, her entire back and butt region have succumbed to the bacteria.

Hair is falling out everywhere! *CRIES* My elderly mare is BALD! Short of actually crying, however, I brought out some garlic powder and literally rubbed her down like I was rubbing a steak. Not only did she lick the garlic off of my fingers, but she now smells like she is ready for the BBQ. I'm quite certain that my SO thinks I am losing it, "Garlic powder? For what - the Grizzly bear that's been hanging around lately?"

I'm hoping to have this figured out within the next few days - the sun is shining today so she will be dry, thankfully. Mare likes to stand outside in the rain and graze all day, so it doesn't help!

Issue #3: Mystery lameness. Honestly, when is it not a mystery lameness with Suzie?! Her chiro is coming out today after work so hopefully we will get some answers - her shoulder may be out of alignment again.

But I also went ahead and spoke with the Farrier about her weird onset lameness and the farrier actually didn't see any lameness in the videos I sent her yesterday. So I'm thinking that because there are random rocks through the pasture, she may have a stone bruise. OR, as I am now reading up on - I think she has thrush. I'll have to check when I go back out today to see her hooves and make a real decision on what it actually is. OR I am losing it and she actually isn't lame and I'm making things up. Again.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Geronimo - Learning Empathy

Equestrianism is a sport where empathy is key in the survival of a rider and horse's relationship. Without it, riding is nothing more than a dictatorship - one person and one horse who are fighting every step of the way for some kind of justice. It is exceptionally important to take the time to have a relationship with your horse - and I do not mean in the "working" sense.

Starting over with a new horse can be difficult, especially if you both are hot-headed and temperamental. A perfect example of this is Geronimo ( I had mentioned Geronimo briefly here) as he was the first horse that I really rode consistently who was a real ass. He was more or less my first "project" horse and I learned a great deal from our disastrous rides (which happened on more than one occasion!). I learned that instead of fighting eachother, there needs to be support and friendship. There will be bad days - for both you and the horse - but you cannot take them personally and you have to move on from them. Living in the past will only keep you there.

One of our very first rides under the supervision of my coach.
I met Geronimo a number of years ago, whilst riding the Property Owner's gelding Mac, as Geronimo was boarded there. I didn't really take an interest to him - he was more or less a pasture pet and was ridden maybe 1-2x a year at most. He was sensitive, a bit bipolar and I didn't really like him. We started to have a "relationship" after Cheyenne (a previous lease horse) tragically passed away. We started out being very awkward - he was hot and sensitive and I was very "loud" and a bit obnoxious. Geronimo hadn't been ridden consistently in the last 6-7 years and although he had all the training under his belt, he was more or less "green."

Progress was slow - some days he really had his A-game on and other days... well....

He was a real prick.

It was frustrating. It was annoying, and did I mention frustrating??  We had a lot of battles with one another and after what seemed like eons, we finally started to get that break-through. We FINALLY stopped trying to "one up" the other or try to be "in charge". All of the pent up anger of losing my Cheyenne was subsequently stripped from me, and the anxious, tense chestnut horse I had begun to ride finally began to compose himself. We started working together instead of against eachother - we took things slow and progressed at our own pace rather than comparing ourselves to other riders who had been riding the same mounts for over the course of several years.

Finally starting to come together.

Teamwork was not the only distinct factor in our successful relationship - I had to change the way I rode and micro-managed him. You see, it isn't about putting a square peg into a round hole. It is about ensuring that the rider is the resulting "hole" that the horse's "peg" fits in. We cannot change our equine partner, and it certainly isn't about making him different. There is a reason we cannot train all of them exactly the same, and to be empathetic to their abilities and use their learning methods to your advantage is a beautiful thing. We, as humans, can adapt ourselves to fit and mold - a hole's shape can always be redetermined and instead of forcing a peg into a hole it's not meant to go into, we have to re-evaluate ourselves first and foremost. By forcing a horse we are not only compromising what equestrianism is all about, but we are essentially breaking that horse and stripping it of it's own personality. 

I didn't let Geronimo get away with murder - he was expected to behave just as any other horse would at a show, event or otherwise. However, my ability to correct him or extinguish any behavioral nonsense was greatly differentiated from other riders. There were certain attributes and niches that I allowed, just like I do now for Suzie, because it is his (and hers!) persona. Geronimo coped with stress by sweating profusely and pawing. Now I do not condone pawing, but instead of getting after him for a behavior he committed due to being under stress, I subsequently let it go. Getting upset with him or ruffling his feathers before a show by disciplining for pawing would not only escalate his behavior further, but it almost seemed to encourage it. The less I worried about him pawing or being on "A+" behavior, the less he pawed.

Hmmm, imagine that.

Letting go and not expecting the best was very difficult for me to do. I wanted to succeed and like all impatient people, I wanted it NOW. Some of the wisest words ever spoken to me were "You are allowed to have a messy schooling session - that's why they call it schooling."  It was kind of like a lightbulb went off inside of my head. I finally was able to stop nit-picking and being frustrated over stupid, little things that didn't matter. We started to set goals and we both reaped the benefits from it. We leaned on eachother and relied on one anothers strengths to play into our riding sessions, but at the same time were blessed with a blossoming relationship that became noticeable to not only ourselves, but other local riders. We were awarded "Most Improved Horse and Rider" combination at the end of the year through a circuit we showed quite diligently on.

In the end, we didn't come out as competitors. We came out as friends. Two hearts coming together and relying on eachother for support, attention and preservation. I didn't try and change him and although I'm certain his intention wasn't to change me - he did. Horses have a funny way of teaching us lessons even when we least expect it. Even when we think we are the ones schooling them and bartering with them. He may have been 16 hands of pure jackassery, but when we came together, we made the world stand still.

Thank you for being my teacher, G-man.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Bit It Up

I am new to the whole "Blog Hop" thing, but I've decided to try and participate in the weekly blog hops that L from Viva Carlos puts out. So, here goes!

This week, L wants to know: "I want to hear all about what bit you ride your current beastie in and why! "

I am kind of excited for this bloghop considering I literally just posted about thinking of trying to switch up Suzie's Western bit! I look forward to reading all the other participants replies and hopefully, perhaps there will be a Western-guru in there somewhere who has some advice!

Suz and I are quite boring when it comes to our bits.

For English, she rides in a Simple Loose Ring Snaffle. Nothing fancy. She rides in it no muss no fuss.

English Bit

For Western I have her in a Dog Bone Argentine Curb. Again, super simple bit.

Western Bit
She is less responsive in her Western bit, but I attribute that to the lack of curb chain/strap. I have bought one now so I will try it out and see. If she doesn't respond to that then I am going to be switching her to a Low Port Correction bit such as:

Proposed new Western bit?

1. Viva Carlos  10. PONY'TUDE  
2. 2LeftSocks  11. The $900 Facebook Pony  
3. Stories from the Saddle  12. Forging Fiction  
4. All In  13. Equestrian At Hart  
5. Eventing In Color  14. Wilbur, Ellie, and Emily  
6. Poor Woman Showing  15. DIY Rider  
7. Semi Feral Equestrian  16. Fly On Over  
8. Nanakorobi yaoki  17. The Owls Approve  
9. The Double Life  18. That Red Mare

Transformation Tuesday

A quick photo of us from yesterday. What a doll!

Suzie when I first brought her home in March 2013:
One of our first rides. You can see the lack of muscle tone and how god awful her neck looks!

Second day I had her home - lunging at a light jog.

Suzie in June 2013 after some supplements, grass/hay diet and some TLC:

All shedded out and looking positively radiant! Her neck doesn't look so pencil-y anymore!

 And lastly, Ms. Suzanne as of May 2014:

At a decent weight - hoping to keep this weight on her.

 She did balloon on weight a bit during last Summer, but now she is down to a decent weight and I'd like to make it one of my goals to keep her where she is now.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Yoohoo, Western Newbie!

Don't judge me. I love Frozen. Elsa is like, my spirit animal.

So the other day I realized something. I've been riding in my curb bit wrong. *head desk*

The purpose of a curb bit, obviously, is to provide leverage through the shanks. The shanks are designed to put pressure on the poll of the horse, but this effect does not work unless the shanks have something to draw force FROM - this is where the curb chain/strap comes in. The strap acts as a leverage point for the shanks and "activates" them. Without it, the shanks freely move up and down without any real effect other than just causing the bit to bounce around in the horse's mouth. 

This is her current bit; a double-jointed Argentine curb.

 Suzie has been having issues with listening in her Western bit and now I know why. The pressure of the curb isn't even working for her and it is acting more as a destructive little piece of equipment rather than a true leverage bit because by the time she listens to my rein aids, I am using WAY too much rein pressure. 

Initially, I'd like to try her in a chain and then move her up into a strap. I don't think that bitting her up is the way to go, but eventually I'd like to throw a low-port on her at some point this Summer. Of course, Western bits are ridiculously expensive and the two bits I bought for shits and giggles during a Tack Blow-out sale I sold!  Sad face. I'm wishing I still had them so I can try them!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

All settled in!

The move went well - it was actually the perfect time to move Suzie since the SO and I had our turn around from work. We had the entire week off to just sleep in and catch up on everything. I do have to give my SO a large dose of credit, because if not for him, Suzie wouldn't have moved into her new digs quite as quickly as she did. He has been an amazing stem of support for me and I am truly blessed to have a wonderful man like him in my life. He did everything from fixing fences, to cleaning out the dirty bathtubs (for water) and drilled holes for fence-posts. I am so fortunate that he not only supports my horsey habit, but encourages it and plays a part in it as well.

So, the week was a bit rushed and all over the place, but we managed to get it all done. We fixed the fences, drilled holes, cleaned up old fence boards and regular maintenance for three or four days. On Wednesday evening we ran out to do a hay run and a friend let us borrow her horse trailer. We unloaded hay in the dark and Thursday mid-morning, Suzie was moved out to her new digs. I was expecting her to trot around and snort so I invited the family to come out and watch.... But no. She just lowered her head and grazed... Pfft. What a disappointment!

She did have to adjust to being on her own and did call out once or twice, but was much more interested in the grass than anything else. I'm in the process of trying to find her a friend, but I think she will do alright on her own too. I just.. can't get past the idea of her being all alone. It makes me sad inside. If I could move into her pasture and spend all day with her, I totally would. Being as it is, I visit 1-2x a day.

Initially, I had thought I would need to feed in the morning and evening, but Mare-Pants has subsequently turned her nose up to her hay and has chosen to graze on grass. So, fine Mare-Pants. Eat your grass. So she has 2 flakes of hay under a covered area for her if she gets tired of grass, but so long as she is grazing I refuse to feed her anything extra. Last year she blew up like a balloon and I want to avoid that again. So, the good thing about her being on her own is that if I choose not to give extra feed, I can.

On Friday morning I went out early and checked on her, she was just as peachy as a plum and we headed out for a ride. A family friend wanted me to give her a riding lesson so we headed to the arena which is about a 15 minute walk away where we would meet A. Suz acted uppity and jiggy as I got on her, but quickly settled and walked off like she had lived there her entire life. She didn't spook, jig or make any wrong moves. At the arena, I rode her at a walk and jog and she was kind of bracey on me. I think I may have to find a different western bit because she almost just blows through it. Other than that, the lesson went well other than her loping on the poor A like.... five times! We did end up getting a nice jog out of her and we ended the lesson on a good note. But, I think a bit with a port may be our answer. The one she is in right now is a really soft bit and I think Suz is taking advantage of that with the long reins.

The walk home was beautiful - loose rein and a half-asleep walking pony. She acted like she'd been in those woods her entire life. It was just pure BLISS. We arrived home and I hosed her off and turned her out. When I disappeared into the barn she neighed for me and when I came out of the barn, she trotted up to me and didn't want me to leave. It was seriously the most precious thing ever!!

I'm debating a different bit, but I find that she really focuses and does well when we ride in the loose ring snaffle... But yet, I have rein contact with that so I have more of a "back up" than I do with her current Western bit... So I'll play around with that and see. I'm excited, I ordered some more western gear (including SPLIT REINS YAYYYYYY) so a newer, more "harsher" bit may be in order!

And in unrelated news, we made huge vegetable boxes!! They are at the SO's mom's place. SO excited. My peas (third box) are really doing well. We just have to finish up on some other things and we will be good to go!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I'm gonna love you through it...

Everyone has drama in their life. Everyone has something they are struggling with. Something they are not coping well with. Something they are fighting.

But to have every day be a struggle? Why does every day have to be a fight?? That, is a life I am not interested in living. To have life so twisted and turned and feeling like you are going to burst at any moment at the seams isn't particularly a way I wish to live. This entry I am writing comes timely, as someone I know has succumbed to partial numbness and despair. I too, recall my own life becoming broken down into shambles all around me. I remember feeling the despair, the hurt, the wounds ripping open as the stitches along the seams burst. I remember it, I can relate to it, but I will never succumb to it again.

Breaking free of your worldly problems is the key to surviving disaster and to find your retribution is soothing. But how do you pick yourself up after you have fallen farther than you've ever fallen before?

It's simple. You pick yourself up, dust yourself off and face the day again. You don't need to become Superman and you don't need to rule with an iron fist; you just need to make those small steps. Sure, it may be in shambles, and sure it may be difficult to get back to your feet, but make the effort. Rise to the occasion and tell yourself you can do this. You can be anything you want to be just by doing. There is no reason to keep yourself down, because the farther you spiral down, the longer it will take to rise up. Horses are my freedom, and even though I may leave the barn still lost, and still confused, I have a brighter outlook of the day and I know that no matter what, there will be a tomorrow.

I know that some problems cannot be solved overnight, and sometimes it takes more than just a kiss to make it better. But in that same respect, we cannot treat these problems or over-faces of life as a threat. We should welcome the challenges life presents us; we don't need to relish in proving anyone or anything wrong. We just need to stand up for ourselves, fight for what we believe in and give it everything we got. We as equestrians know that some days you will leave the barn, struggling to hold back tears as you rehash your disastrous schooling session and feel nothing but defeat. But more days than that, we swell to the brim with pure and real happiness, all from a simple nuzzle of affection from our a thousand pound partner. 

And as we leave the barn, glancing into the rearview once more to see our horse staring back at us, we smile and think:

There will be a tomorrow.

Another day to make change. Another day to rise up and move forwards. Another day.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Switching Barns

My beautiful girl.
(Old photo)

But, I do have some rather awesome news!! I have finally locked down a place to board Suzie at - yahoo! It's a very nice, private facility in the Cable Car subdivision. I will need to feed all evening feeds, but the Barn Owners will feed in the mornings for me, which works out super!

There is a six stall barn, but most of the stalls are being used for storage and for hay storage. However, there are three separate lean-to sheds and undercovered areas for Suzie, so I'm not concerned about that. We do have to fix up the fences a bit and just manage around the property, but we got about 80% of it all done yesterday when we went out there to fix it up. The Barn Owner is an older woman and she isn't able to do the work-load anymore, so we've opted to fix it up for her.

Hopefully, come Tuesday by the latest, Suzie will be moved into her new home. I'm excited for her - we will have access to countless trails, riding buddies to ride with and a HUGE arena to school in. Additionally, this private barn has large fields, grass and is just overall a nice place. I basically get to do whatever I like with this barn - I get to move my tack in and grain and store all my hay.

We have already finished tacking up about 80% of the fences, sweeping out and cleaning out the hay stall storage, cleaned up and swept the tack room storage, and trimmed trees growing through the fences.

The weekend should be going something like this:

  • Saturday - Finish fencing and drill holes for new fence posts. Section off the pasture from the rear field. Remove the fallen tree with a chainsaw and pick up all chopped up trees we trimmed on Thursday and dispose of it all.
  • Sunday or Monday - Get load of hay and store/stack into barn. Move tack and supplies into tack stall.
  • Tuesday - Move Suzie to barn.
It may not go exactly like that, but I'd like to move her as soon as practical. I just have to iron out a few details - like the hay situation. The Barn Owner has a bunch of hay that I am allowed to use (her old gelding passed away last year) but another horse owner was supposed to come and buy it and he never did yet. So we are waiting to hear back on that, otherwise we will have to head out and get some bales. 

Other than that, I haven't had much pony time. Trying to visit with family, working, exercising the pups, doing house-chores and trying to get the new barn up to snuff has pretty much wiped me of all energy. In addition, I am still hopelessly waiting for my latigo to come in so I can actually ride in my new saddle!! The shipper had "forgotten" to send it with the saddle, so she told me she would ship it. Fingers crossed it comes soon. I want to ride in it!

Oh. Also... this happened:

Professional pony looks professional.