Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I will not be spending Christmas on my computer, so I will go ahead and wish everyone a Merry Christmas today!  I was unsuccessful in riding my boy this week, but I DID get him up to the ring and attempt to make him run around.  That counts as something ... right??

My AMAZING barn owner surprised me with yet another amazing Christmas gift.  My first year there, it was front and hind Equifit T-boots.  Last year, it was my gorgeous leather halter with the chrome hardware.  This year, it was Adequan.  Yes, the Muffin will be started on Adequan in January.  I was a wee bit confused when I peeked in my gift bag and saw mounds of syringes and a pack of needles ... and then I saw the tiny little 5mL bottles.  Joyce is just amazing, and I am SO lucky to work for such an amazing person; she and her hubby are 2 of the most generous, and kind people I've ever met.  So this year, I will skip the hock injections and load him up for the month of January, then dose him monthly; I will then compare results at the end of the year and determine which regimen did him the most amount of good.  Of couse, that means I need to RIDE him:)

My also amazing honorary little sis Nicole is SO good at finding me horse stuff even I had NO idea I really wanted.  She knows me very well, and is a MASTER at finding stuff online.  I LOVE halters with silver toned hardware, and one of my favorite brands of halter is the Weaver Elite nylon halters.  Problem is, the Elites have a somewhat funky sort of pastel color palette suitable for 12 year olds, but not sure I am in love with many of the available colors.  I love my chestnut in good 'ol royal blue.  It's my favorite color on him, and it's the official barn color (royal, black, and silver) of my imaginary barn.  Well, little sis found what I thought didn't exist ... a Weaver Elite halter with the brushed silver hardware in royal blue!
She got me a matching lead rope too, of course!  Muffin got to go out yesterday afternoon in the muddy pasture, and had to get in some good 'ol Thoroughbred racing around his pasture.  He came tearing around a corner and I mentally began counting down time before wipeout.  Sure enough, his left hind came out from under him, he went down on his hindquarters, and slid a good distance.  It was both horrifying and hilarious, and when he got up, bucked, farted, and took off up the hill looking sound as a dollar, I allowed myself a good laugh.  Of course, he can't escape unscathed ...
(war wound)
I put in some good 'ol elbow grease time and cleaned up his filthy self.  The weather has been SO mild, so he hasn't worn a sheet all week.  He's for sure engaged in some rolling in the mud this week, enjoying his nakedness.  I groomed him, clipped his muzzle and bridlepath, and took him up to the ring for some running around.  Well, he was much more interested in eating, but I DID get a few little trots and canters out of him.

Look at the chunky monkey.  I'm relieved to see his topline is still intact; must get him back in some good dressage work SOON!!!  Anyway, hope everyone in blogger land has a WONDERFUL holiday!  Go hug your ponies, eat WAY too much, and enjoy a few days off work:)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Of Christmas and NO time!

Rode my boy about 3 months ago with just halter and a non tied lead rope ... BAREBACK!

Now that it has been determined the Muffin is sound, I have had NO time to ride him!  Agh!  I will have time tomorrow and Friday, the question is "Will the weather cooperate?"  I will be prepared with longe line and surcingle tomorrow, weather permitting.  I forcibly made him sound when I went to Tractor Supply and spent about $30 on abscess supplies;)

Seriously, I have NO idea if it really was an abscess.  2 days, that's how long he was off.  I almost think he stepped on a rock running around like an idiot in the pasture, and all the soaking and wrapping made the sole of his foot feel much better.  After buying the supplies, I noticed he walked out of his stall looking pretty sound, so I ran him up to the ring with the longe line, and he looked slow and tight as per usual, but sound and even in all 4 legs.  I am so ready to not be running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Oh well, it never hurt a horse to give him a little time off!  Saving his legs and all that.

In other news, I will do a product review!  The awesome website had a pair of boots very similar to the Dublin River boots.  I've never thought much about them, but upon walking my first xc course EVER (at 7:00 in the morning, of course!), I realized exactly WHY the Dublins and Dubarrys are popular ... wet grass!  Sad thing for me is ... my calf is 16" on one leg, and a 16.5" on the other.  Yup, too fat for any of the Dublins or Dubarrys.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I realized these feature a 17" calf in the size 8.  Hmmm.  I wear a 7 1/2, so I'm SURE an 8 would work!

They only took about a week and a half to arrive from the UK, securely packaged up.  I opened the box and was VERY pleasantly surprised by the excellent quality.  They were gorgeous.  I held my breath as I slipped my leg inside; I have tried on half chaps that were *supposed* to measure a certain size, but all I know is they were TOO small.  Woo Hoo!!!  They went on PERFECTLY.  Downside is they're a little too tall, and the foot is WAY too big, but I'm so delighted they fit my calf, I've been wearing the heck out of them.  Right away, I wore them out to dinner and got no less than 7 people complimenting my footwear choice, and where could they get them?  Lol.  It's fun telling non horse people how to buy horse boots.

I have been wearing them to teach, not trashing them by mucking stalls in them.  Even though they are not *quite* as cushy as they appear in the pic, they're strangely comfortable.  I did ride in them one time; the big foot made it sort of tough, but the calf was super comfy and the stirrup leather didn't pinch or anything.  They've broken in nicely, and I've even worn them over jeans AND long underwear.  I think the extra elastic gullet adds versatility to the fit.  I've had them now for about 2 months, and they're holding up very well.  I think the nu buck leather looks a little rough when well worn, but that's purely cosmetic.  I need to find a product to clean them up some; they have dried mud and arena footing on them, but they're fairly warm and only rubbed a blister when I wore short socks with them.  When I wear long socks (and the thicker the better), the more comfortable they are.

Bottom line, I would absolutely recommend these boots to ANYONE with a slightly larger calf.  They're good looking, they wear well, they're comfortable, and they're functional.  Get them from  HERE

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Of abscesses and best laid plans.

So, it's common knowledge that I haven't planned anything with Muffin lately outside of IEA shows.  I FINALLY planned a Gigi Nutter clinic, despite the fact that I haven't ridden or schooled him very much lately.  But I was prepared to do my best and learn something.

Sunday he was at the Chateau Elan show where he was ridden in 2 whole classes; one 2' class and one flat class.  He then proceeded to sit all week due to rain (and laziness).  Yesterday, I decided that I'd better make sure all is well in the world, and went out to the pasture (GRRRRR) to get him.  Lo and behold, he was trotting across the way and there was a definite head bob.  Sh!+.  I told myself that maybe it was my imagination, and proceeded to groom him thoroughly, pick his feet, run my hands all over his body looking for ANY abnormalities, then put on the surcingle.  I went ahead and did my "cheap Pessoa rig" by tying a standing wrap to the rings on the surcingle just above the hocks, and led him up to the ring.  I could see he was off at the WALK:(  Trotted him both ways to confirm, but he was definitely head bobbing lame.  Seems to be right front.

Soaked, wrapped, and repeated today.  Will re-evaluate tomorrow.  Obviously no Gigi clinic today.  Merry Christmas to me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Watching others ride your horse

It's interesting watching someone else ride my horse.  For the second Saturday in a row, I took Tiki to Patchwork to use in a few lessons.  My motivation this time around was to get him quiet before shipping him to the site of our Sunday IEA show, Chateau Elan.  Once again, he had not been ridden all week.  Rain has played a big part in him and I not sharing each other's company ... not to mention the fact that my barn owner had been turning him out during the day.  I had thought it was just to compensate for him being in for a few nights because of the rain, but apparently she was planning to switch him over to day turnout.  Um, NO.  I like him on year round night turn out because I ride him early in the day, and when he's out at night, he's out for 16 hours as opposed to standing in a stall for 16 hours.  So, just another excuse in the land of excuses for why I've been lazy and not ridden my horse.

He was so adorable when the first kid rode him.  That trot was short and choppy and looked like a race horse jig, but his head and neck is so much more stable and secure than it used to be.  He jumped well; didn't get too fast or strong.  I was happy with how the rides went.  On Sunday morning, I packed his ears with ear plugs and held it in place with the bonnet.  For the first time, I used his stadium set up with the wonder bit and the figure 8 for an IEA show.  I was genuinely worried he would get pissed and jiggy during a flat class if a kid hung in his face with that setup, but we would have to see.

He warmed up REALLY well.  He need some serious tuning up, though ... the canter transitions sucked.  The original course had an end jump, halt, then counter canter the corner to the last jump.  Lol.  Only in the hosting coach's dreams!  The steward changed the course to end jump/halt/trot final jump.  I have to brag though; Tiki and I successfully did end jump/halt/counter canter twice:)  What I hated about Sunday is (for the second time in 4 years) the fact that my horse was used in one middle school 2' o/f class, and one high school flat class.  4 times as an alternate; 2 of those were crossrail classes.  I let them know the crossrails were off limits, and grumbling bad naturedly, warmed him up for his 2'6 alternate position.

His o/f kid loved him.  His flat kid probably not so much since I noticed him counter cantering to the right.  Ooops.  Like I said, he felt like he needs a pretty serious tune up ... guess I'd better get on that before Tuesday coming up!  Clinic with Gigi Nutter; SUPER excited!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cleaning like crazy!

I hate it when company comes over.  That means a deep clean on the hacienda. I am more of a "surface" cleaner, not so much a CLEANER.  I guess if friends came over more often, my house would be cleaner and it wouldn't need to be DEEP cleaned so much!:)

IEA show Sunday.  Warm up starts at 6:30, so shipping over on Saturday afternoon.  It's at Chateau Elan, which used to be a big show venue for local and "A" rated GHJA shows.  As of late, it's been allowed to go a bit downhill which is sad, but it's still a nice place to show.  I'm going all out: ear plugs, ear net, and his stadium bridle complete with wonder bit and figure 8.  We'll see how he does!

Got a PLAN, woo hoo!  Dressage clinic with Gigi Nutter on the 13th.  Super excited!  Guess I'd better clean the dust off the 'ol dressage saddle and practice some, huh???

Haven't ridden because the Son has been throw up sick which means he's been at home:(  And now I have to get ready for the weekend and for "company" to come over tomorrow, so pony has been braving the rain and the cold in his stall for the most part.  At least he's been dry!