Thursday, January 17, 2019

Impaled

Several of you will have seen this on Fb or Instagram. Curtis implaed himself on a fence bolt Tuesday afternoon. I was setting out hay and they were being rowdy and my low man on the pecking order was being chased and he ran, slid in the mud and right into the fence. Amazingly he hit nothing vital and will be fine in a couple months. I had a local vet come out first thing yesterday. He did a very good job stitching him up. 2 layers of sutures but the bottom left open for drainage. Lots of antibiotics and bute. Hand walking for at least 2 weeks then limited turnout. He sais I could start light work with him in 6 weeks which I feel like that's super fast but I'll play it by ear. Thoroughbreds πŸ˜’








Ps... I've had a few people say I told you so about our fencing but honestly if they want to get hurt they're going to ger hurt. This kid torw his hock up at 2 on 2" woven wire fence. πŸ’

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

January conformation shot

It's been unseasonably warm in Kentucky this winter but perfectly normally wet. This week we've had some gorgeous, sunny, warm days interspersed with rain. So I've been trying to at least walk Curtis up and down hills. If only they'd get my trailer done so I could school somewhere dry...


Not looking as terrible as a horse with basically 2 months off should look...

Monday, December 31, 2018

Bringing in the New Year - Goals for 2019

2018 was a pretty good year, all things considering. I barely got any riding in on Twister from January-March. Then we moved to the new farm at the end of March and it was a few weeks before I took my first ride here. I haven't focused much on Twister this year at all aside from hacking around and fitness for the hunterpaces. He's a bit peeved about it too. He likes having a job, though SJ has been on him quite a bit this year.

Christmas pony pics
In April we got the no-go for Curtis to go back to racing and I spent 2 months on ground work before getting on him at the end of June. This kid loves to have a job and he's so smooth.

He has a great head on him and handled just about everything I've thrown at him like a well-adjusted adult boy. Except for that show. Which ended pretty well even though it was an overall hotmess. But I'm actually sitting on a super athletic, leggy kid with fancy potential and I can't wait to see where we go next summer!

our best photo of 2018
I've also been able to keep him barefoot. He hasn't had shoes on since August or September and has been totally sound. *KNOCKS ON WOOD LOUDLY AND REPETITIVELY* This fall and winter has been so miserably fucking wet and I'm battling thrush. No surprise. Twister has the worst of it, of course. Rascal is about to blow an abscess I think. Curtis has some thrush but not as bad as the other 2. I'm hoping to keep him barefoot and sound through the year and show season.


6 weeks off pretty much. still looking pretty good


Which leads me to my 2019 goals.

1. Get more time off the farm from now until April or May. Lessons down the road. A ride in the indoor the other way down the road. Schooling trips to Masterson for experience. The biggest thing we need to do is get miles in new places.

2. Pick shows. I'd like to do 2 or 3 dressage shows and at least 1 combined test or mini trial. Probably 1 hunter pace in the fall as well. I don't want to get too ambitious. Horsey activities are hard to manage when your hubby works weekends and you horse show with the person you'd be inclined to leave the toddler with. Though maybe if we go in a big enough group, the toddler can come too. And sometimes I get lucky and her brothers are free to hang out with her.

3. Commit to taking monthly confo pics. That way I can really see Curtis change. I think I only took like 4 all year this past year....

4. Take SJ to her first leadline!!!! Her and Rascal are READY! And she's been asking several times a week since I came home from the dressage show in November if she can ride in a horse show.

Her and Rascal got a bridle and breastcollar for Christmas

and I bedazzed her helmet. 

Not very fancy goals, but it's what we need, overall.

Happy New, all!



Sunday, December 9, 2018

Curtis' 1st Jumpies

For starters, let me say what a level-headed, easy-going donkey Curtis is. I've been on him a total of 3 4 times since the show. All several days apart. And he is always great. He never *knocks on wood* acts up or pulls shit. He almost always  remembers all the things. Though today he forgot what a left leg aid was and had to be heel-jabbed several times before he stopped hanging off my leg.



We've doing quick bareback rides over a blanket or without. I've hopped on after 10 days off and asked him to do fancy horse things and he's complied. I know I said I wouldn't get on him until after new years, but I changed my mind and decided I didn't want him to lose all his condition and muscles I worked so hard for this summer.

hankering for 80* weather so we can go SWIMMING

Mom is visiting today so I had someone to take media and call 911 just in case. And I trotted Curtis over his first cross rail. What a perfect little star he was. He is going to make SJ an excellent walk-trot horse in 3-4 years. He never refused once. Trotted nice and evenly over. The ground is really hard or I would have cantered over to see if I couldn't get an actual jump.







Several years ago I tried to retrain a 4 year old ottb who couldn't be bothered to do anything without a red-headed fit. Ok so he was a red head. But I half expected Curtis to be the same way. And he's not. Not at all. He's graceful and so willing to do anything I ask and he actually enjoys it.



to my right the men were hammering, sawing and banging around
in the garage and I walked him to the barn no hands <3

Now if only it would warm up so we could do fun things and ride more often.


And would you look at my Black Friday saddle pad? I can't believe I forked out money for a Le Mueix (sp?) but I did and it's so pretty😍 It's our combined birthday/christmas present and reward for surviving our first show lol

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Curtis' First Show



I guess you can say he's officially a dressage horse. Even though when I entered the warm up ring and all through our 1st test (Intro A) he acted like I'd gone down the road to Keeneland, pulled a racehorse out of the stall and said "hey let's go ride dressage". Needless to say it was a hot mess. And the relaxed fancy horse I had at home and even at T's house was not the same horse I had at the show. Partly because he's barely been ridden all week thanks to the weather. And partly because there was a lot going on and he got tense.

so tense. I don't even know what I was doing...

But we made it through 2 tests. Stayed in the ring, didn't die or kill anyone, stayed on and stayed on course. We finished dead last in both classes but I was thrilled. I think the first show is the hardest because you don't know how the horse will act. And as bad as it was, it was still better than Twister's 1st test where I had to whip him past the judges booth because he was acting like a giant took even though he's been out and seen things. Curtis only spooked at a giant pile of blowing, rustling leaves, making terrifying horse-eating noises and was super looky at a guy on a bike also making horse-eating noises.



So we got there and the idiot flew backwards off the trailer like a dummy. But he got in his stall and settled right in. Also he and T's mare are now in love. *insert brain-viewing eyeroll here* That must just be a gelding thing. To fall in love with all the maremares. Once we got there I had about an hour until my test. I tacked up and went to the warm up ring, lunge line in hand. I found an empty ring to lunge him in, only after getting on and him nearly deciding to buck me off after 4 seconds and me dismounting and ripping a button of my coat.



I lunged the pants off him and took him back into the warm up with the other horses where we continued to be tense. I tried so hard to quiet my hands and to breathe. He was a total giraffe and when my number was called I thought "what the fuck, let's wing it". At least I remembered the test. There was a lot of weaving. A lot of unintentional should-ins instead of straightness on the rail because people were going to eat him. And trees. And the pavilion. And the man under the tree who was clearly horse-eating Frankenstein *more eye rolls* He was a mess. D3 (there are 3 Ds. Little, Big D and D3, so you can keep track) said our first test scared her and it looked like he was a racehorse in training, not a dressage horse. I can't say she was wrong.

warm up before 2nd test

After the test I walked and trotted him around a bit trying to let him look at things and keep him calm. Then because I still had an hour until our other test, I brought him back to the barn and let him chill out. When I brought him back to the warm up ring an hour later, he was a different horse. He was a bit more stretchy and more relaxed. He wasn't trying to bolt or buck and I thought maybe this test could go better.

walk was full of impulsion but not straight at all

It did. Much better.. But it was still bad. I didn't really care. I was thrilled with how we did and that even though Intro B was really bad, it was far better than Intro A and we'd survived our first show. I honestly think part of it was that he liked having the ears on, which we only used the 2nd time around after I was desperate to get him to chill a bit more.

Da Money Man 11.17.18
Intro B


You'll notice my hands are LOUD. And in previous posts I've mentioned that the more I do with my hands the more pissed he gets. And I was legit trying to hard to be quiet with my hands but I have no idea what happened. It's ugly. But I will practice quiet hands all winter until I KNOW the difference between when I think I'm not moving them and I am actually super loud and when I'm actually being quiet.

And now the weather is going to suck for months and I have no decent footing and I'll have to back way off. Just when it's getting good and I think I should ride all winter and have a show ready horse in April. Blehhh. I want a damn indoor.

if nothing else, he looked gorgeous braided and dressed up
in white

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Waiting for Ride TImes

I'm getting the pre-show jitters. Like I wish it would just hurry up and get here. Hoping ride times will be posted tonight or early tomorrow morning.

coolers double as 1/4 sheets (or maybe it's time to invest
in a 1/4sheet....)

The weather here has been total shit. Rains every 2 days. I haven't ridden on even ground in over 2 weeks. Every other ride I spend half the ride reminding Curtis to be an adulting, future dressage horse when what he really wants is to do his racetrack prance and toss his head and gallop.

fat and healthy and his feet look fantastic!!!!
He's spent every other day (or two) off and a lot of time in the barn due to cold rain. But today after a day off and long night up in the barn, he went right to work. Very workity. He warmed up, then gave me that fancy trot and did several excellent transitions and halts. His free walk today was big. I may not get to ride him again until the warm up ring in the show though. Because it's going to fucking sleet and snow tonight. I wanted fall. I wanted sweater weather and ride without fucking melting weather. But now I want it to be daylight until 10pm and 80* because winter sucks.

happy, fancy horse spit

My show box will have a lunge line and whip and a tube of Quietex. I'm also hoping the judge will allow fly bonnets. Because it was super windy today and he was happier when I put the ears on him. My past experience says sometimes judges don't care and sometimes they really do. I've schooled both ways but still........


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Let's Talk NSN

No stirrup November. I've always been big on it. When I was in high school we did bareback lessons and no stirrup lessons and we all wanted to die (even though many of us did several minutes or more of no stirrup work on a regular basis). But then December we goofed off and played games and went on trail rides.

The last few years (except for when I was pregnant and the November after having SJ) I would take the irons off and I would work my ass off. In the summer I ride multiple horses and do hay and take walks and whatever. But I always used NSN to get me back into workout mode. After November I'd start working out in the evenings every other day or so until spring time. I can't not ride and not workout all winter because I like junk food too much.

This year I'm doing an alternative NSN. While Twister is used to someone sitting a trot and ridden bareback often, Curtis is not ready for me to be all over his back for more than a minute or two. I haven't even done sitting trot on him apart from those 2-3 strides when asking him to canter. I don't want to make him sore and I'm not fit enough to not fall off....

Yesterday I rode him bareback at the walk only. I tried to trot but he has a big trot and I knew I was only going to piss him off so we just walked. Then last night I did my work out. I have 2 YouTube videos I like that are about 5 minutes each. But seriously, if you're not in shape and barely riding (thank you, fucking never-ending rain) it hurts. This morning trying to go down and let the horses out hurt. I'm like a wobbly baby calf. Today I'll work on my core, rotating core day and leg day.

This is the first year I've been riding a horse that wasn't NSN ready. Even our big tub of lard appy who is hardly ridden could handle it. Because he is a coffee table and is barely aware of your existence. But I guess the point of this post is not to forego NSN if your horse can't handle it hard core. Let NSN push you to do leg day and strengthen your core on the ground so that you can get attempt some no stirrup work on your horse later. Build up to it. It's the first year I've ever had to do an alternative and honestly, if it wasn't NSN I would still be sitting on the couch with Netflix and my kid's Halloween candy every night saying "I'll work out tomorrow. I'll stop with all the junk tomorrow. I'm just too tired from momming today. Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow". After the show I will probably start doing some bareback and no stirrup rides on Twister as Curtis will be getting a much needed break.

Even though it wasn't much of a ride yesterday, I was all smiles after. We walked around, on the buckle for the most part, he was relaxed and biggest thing: he went RIGHT in the pond. No hesitation. All the way up to his belly. I've been riding him just over 4 months and we are becoming a pretty great team. I feel very comfortable and relaxed on him at home and just hope and pray I can keep that feeling away from home.

 And now, thanks to MORE rain, the pond is half the way up to the gate. We need to move. I can't live here forever. Apparently we live on top of underground springs.....which we didn't know until this past month. So. Much. Water. πŸ˜’

waterhorse!!!!