Thursday, June 19, 2008

I have to ride how many horses after work?

*shakes head in wonder* They seem to be multiplying. I need to get them staggered so it's like 2-3 one night and then the other, but I failed to do that this week owing to a strong need Tuesday night to feed the horses and then just go in the house and sit on my butt and do laundry. So that meant I had to get everybody worked last night. Allow me to note that I do not get home until 6:15 PM and have to be up and getting ready for work at 5 AM.

Abby is my roommate Stephanie's, a beautiful dark bay Thoroughbred mare acquired from one of those WTBA auctions. Stephanie points out that Abby went to the track, but she is surprised they bothered. Abby is not exactly rocket-fueled. She's been wanting me to get on her and see how she feels to me as she can feel something funky in the trot. So I started out last night with Abby, who is just one of those really easy Thoroughbreds. She doesn't mind if you put leg on her. She doesn't mind contact on her mouth. She is just a nice, big quiet mare that probably has some hock arthritis. She is better on soft footing and worse on hard footing, so that's my first thought. It's definitely in the back end, and we all know that hock arthritis in a 10 year old OTTB is not exactly unusual! Anyway, Abby was a nice one to start out with as she's just easy and sweet. I hadn't even looked up her pedigree before I rode, but now I did, and I am not surprised to see Mr. Prospector. I looooove Mr. Prospector horses. They all seem to be this level headed. It's one of my favorite TB lines. I see that her sire won $439K. I believe Abby sold for something like $300. I love the TB industry...





All right, one down! Lucy, the black TB mare saved from the Enumclaw auction two weeks ago, was ready to come out of quarantine and be assessed, so she was next. I was going to start with Honey, but I have to fill you in on the hazards of life on what we affectionately (sometimes not so affectionately) call the "Funny Farm."

Basically, I live on a very large acreage with many other people who rent there. Some of us rent in the several houses on the property, myself included, and then there is a cast of characters living in trailers. By this, I do not even mean singlewides designed for human use. I mean, things that you look at and go "Dude, a human lives there? Really?" One of those characters is a little old horse dealer/trail string running kinda guy I will just call the Gnome. He kind of reminds me of a gnome. He is short and old and fairly deaf and has hideously outdated ideas about horse care that scare the shit out of me. He told La Mexicana that she shouldn't have adopted Petersburg Knight because he was "broken." Okaaaaay...I try to just ignore him. Beggars (aka people who need to rent a place to live and bring their eight horses and four cats) cannot be choosers and you get what you get in terms of neighbors. However, sometimes he is hard to ignore. (As earlier referenced, he is the guy who occasionally leaves a jack donkey in a stock trailer in the parking lot to bray all night and scare the bejeesus out of the VLC)

Last night, the Gnome had decided to be productive, which is never good for me. Right as I was about to embark on the Potentially Wild Thoroughbred Riding, he felt the need to weld his truck bumper in the parking lot. Awesome. I looked at Honey, looked at Lucy, and decided to start with the older one.

Lucy, as Fugly blog readers know, came from the auction two weeks ago. A generous donor decided to bail out every single horse that was heading for Mexico. Last night, we had passed quarantine with no sign of illness, so it was time to bring Lucy down to the barn and evaluate her.

I caught her without too much trouble as I got her cornered (she is hard to catch, and the fact that she will not eat treats from your hand doesn't help much...we must work on treat training), brought her into the indoor and tacked her up. She was absolutely fine for that. No issues with tying or cinching or anything. Fine with bridling, which I had wondered about because she acts a little headshy – but I put her in a traditional browband bridle that I had to pull her ears through and she was just fine. She longed fine with tack on although you could tell it had been a while, but she definitely has had training after the track as she wasn’t totally confused about the idea.
I stood on the mounting block and did my usual green horse stuff. I leaned on her and tapped on the saddle and she stood like a statue. Then I tapped on her butt and she spooked and crowhopped. Um, okay. Now, odds are I could have gotten on her and she wouldn’t have done a thing – after all, I was not planning to sit on her butt. But as we have discussed here, I am 40 and chickenshit and can't afford to miss work. So I longed a bit more and pet her and put her away. We will put a few more days of ground work into this one and play it safe. I know she is broke, but I think it has been a very long time since she's been asked to do anything more than be a baby machine and that someone at some point has done really dumb/mean things to her. She just has these fear reactions, and I'm truly disturbed by the fact that this 14 year old horse will not eat out of my hand. I guess no one has ever been nice to her. We will have to change that! Maybe she can watch Honey eat treats and learn from that. Lots of people have been nice to Honey. Honey knows all about cookies.

All right. Welding still going on. Greeeeeat. Honey was high as a kite. I know I've said it before, but man is she fast. Our indoor arena has never seen that kind of speed before. I cannot imagine why she didn't make it on the track. She could go back now! She has legs of iron and LOVES to run run run run run. She and Lucy had a very good time bouncing all over the indoor together, but it failed to take even a little of the edge off. She is still in heat, pissy, swishy and high as a kite. You know, it was just one of those nights when I knew I wasn't 100% on my game and elected to do ground work with her instead - so we worked on bending and we worked on longeing. Now, this one you can tell has not received additional training after the track. She was baffled by the longeing idea, particularly to the right. I got her to do it but we will definitely be doing more work on that. Actually, kind of a productive evening with her because these are all things she needs to learn! Not everything has to be riding. I also had her stand tied while we worked with Lucy because she does need to learn patience. She doesn't pull back but she fidgets a lot. OK, fidget all you want...but you are going to stand there. At least until you untie yourself and walk off. Mares! Honey is another one - I do not really think there is any major bad behavior in there, but she is very fast, very hot, and I really would like chaps or those breeches you all keep telling me about or something to stick my ass on there a little better. This mare can turn inside out and I wasn't sure if I wanted to ride her past the amateur welding operation without a little more insurance that I was going to stay attached if she came unglued...

We also played a bit with my other roommate Josie's mare, aka the Pony Princess. The Pony Princess is not very tall but is quite broad, being an APHA/draft cross ex-PMU mare. She is green broke and very sensible but like most draft types is, um, not highly motivated. We all took turns taking the Princess for a spin. She is very comfortable but she really does not want to work too hard for a living. I got some semblance of a long trot out of her...ok well, a medium trot...and cannot imagine the amount of energy it would take on my part to get her to canter. OTOH, I bet she would be great for someone wanting to tone up their legs!

Then it was time to ride the VLC. I think it is really funny that I have a three year old, 16.2 hand stallion, and my first thought was "woo hoo, now I can get on the EASY one." But he is the easy one and tonight was no exception. We turned the boys out to play first - the VLC, the SSG (Small Spotted Gelding, for you newbies) and the CSS (Cute Spotted Stallion). They had a great time. The CSS has never been ridden with other horses in the arena, so we decided this was a good evening to introduce him to that experience. Stephanie got on him, I got on the VLC, and we made the SSG watch. We had an arena full of three year olds!
I realize I've never shown you a picture of the CSS, so here you go:




The boys were great. They both dealt very well with riding in the arena with another stallion that they had just been playing hard with each other minutes earlier. There was no whinnying, they both paid attention, and it really went well - further enforcing my long-held belief that stallions need to be turned out with the boys and play.

I continue to just not be able to say enough good things about my VLC. He is the best thing ever. He is so relaxing to ride. This is probably, what, two dozen rides along? He is fine. Almost nothing ever bothers him, he's smooth, he's comfortable, and he has air brakes. I just love this horse and there is no amount of money that will ever buy him from me.

All right, last up. Stephanie had never seen Ditto, aka the SSG, ridden, but she had heard all about how he never does anything wrong and is the easiest greenie ever. This was ride #6. I put the VLC away. We figured it would be a good learning experience for the SSG to ride alone in the arena.

What I did not realize is that the SSG is three years old and has never been alone. Never. Not anywhere.

He seemed more on edge than normal but I figured I'd just get on and he'd probably be fine. The first thing he did was get his tongue over the bit and have a head shaking fit. I got off and decided we were going to use some judgment and just take the bridle off and go back to the halter alone since he was clearly in a bit of a mood anyway, and why push things? I got back on and he left. Fortunately not too fast, but he did trot off and then displayed an amazing ability to sidepass. He was just not happy that he was alone, and was bound and determined to get to the end of the arena where he could look out over the fields at his long-lost (as of 10 minutes) friends. I was just as bound and determined to ensure he did not get there.

The VLC is a big galoot. He pretty much has to follow his nose. He is just not flexible enough not to at this point. The SSG, on the other hand, has noodle neck. He has no problem at all trotting left with his nose pointing to the right. I understand he inherited this ability from his mother who has a similar ability to sidepass in the direction she actually wants to go, despite any efforts on the part of her rider to accomplish a redirect.

Anyway, I was left with a noodle-necked pony barging to the right on a circle to the left at an amazingly fast clip, sideways. I tried to channel the nose between my hands while pushing with the outside leg. I am pleased to note that this strategy eventually worked even though I did have to actually boot the pony in the ribs a few times to accomplish the turn at the wall as squeezing did not seem to be a sufficient signal to reach the pony brain. I am further pleased to note he does not do airs above the ground when you boot him. Always a pleasant discovery.

(As we were doing this, the Gnome drove in and rattled around the parking lot. With a stagecoach on a trailer. Don't we all drive around with shit like that? Fortunately the SSG grew up here and is used to the parking lot resembling the Rose Parade. I was so glad I was not on one of the TB's when this happened!)

After a fair bit of resistance but no real dramatics, the SSG gave up and trotted reasonably decently both directions. So we quit and petted him. Hopefully this will give him confidence that he truly can survive being all alone in the skeery arena. And if not, don't you dressage people want a pony that can sidepass straight sideways? Never hit himself once, never stumbled. Talented little bugger! Could be worth a lot! *smiles*

All right, I am tired just having typed all of that. Hopefully tonight will be a calm, quiet evening...just planning on the TB girls tonight.

44 comments:

Josie said...

Not an amateur welder, a PROFESSIONAL welder. Welding is the force to be reckoned with all summer long. He actually does a beautiful job -- he just built a set of stocks for my vet and they did everything except turn the horse over for underbelly attention. But the noise and the flying sparks DO try one's nerves and the horses' desensitization. I should have gotten Ginny out onto the grounds before welding season started, but I don't think she'll give me any guff. I hope!

verylargecolt said...

On the plus side, after this experience, I doubt anything at the World Show will spook the VLC. He will probably be standing there sleeping between his classes! :-)

SammieRockes said...

That pony princess sounded just like our big 18 hand Percheron. Whose name is actually Princess. I help out and do guided rides on the beach here and Sometimes when we are slow at the beach, or even at the barn, the owner will have me get on and try and make her canter. Whew, I break out in sweat after about 10 minutes. I can Squeeze, nudge, kiss, kick as hard as I can and we will only be at her Carriage horse trot, smack with the reins, no go, after about 20-30 minutes of trying I sometimes talk her into it tho!!! Good thing is I don't think anything can spook this mare. She is the carriage horse In VA Beach for the Festival of lights. She is gorgeous, will have to post pictures later.

fssunnysd said...

Bea-uu-t-iful face on the CSS, and it's so nice to see a properly adjusted Western show halter!

EquineSpirit said...

Sounds like ya had a pretty good evening working the horses!! Wish I could say the same for myself the other day...LOL! *fingers crossed* that this evening is more productive and positive. :)

Karen V said...

I actually had a VERY nice ride on FAM(FatAppyMare) last night. Very relaxed and enjoyable.

I've got her on Silver Lining Herbs "Keep Cool". It works like Ritalin, helps her focus, but allows her to work.

Maybe Honey needs some.... (GOD! I miss her!)

sellefrancais said...

Hahah I love the term "noodle-neck." It just cracks me up.

jamiecb1127 said...

Ok what are these sticky breeches? I have a 3 year old Saddlebred with a teleporting spook...might be useful :)
Karen V - have you noticed a big difference having the FAM on "Keep Cool"?

MsFoxy said...

Well, damn, I am jealous you did not get airs above ground when you booted him in the ribs. Why is it just me? sigh.

I went to see Ms Foxy last night but only for a minute. Her next trim is a week from today, so I am hoping to get her saddled up again between now and then, maybe lunged with saddle and bridle (lightly) in the front pasture, and then I will have to harrass someone into coming with me so I have a witness when I hop up on her. Still undecided on WHERE to ride though. I chatted on about that in one of my last blog posts. Who knows....

Taliana said...

I have an hour drive home and sometimes with running my son around it takes longer. But since it's daylight until later now, I'm hoping to get more riding in.

I worked with my Walker yearling last night. He did fine on the ground work so we took a little "drive" around the neighborhood. He's familiar with the surcingle and driving so it was no big deal. He was a perfect gentlman other than surging a little until he decided that a passing golf cart (he sees them ALL the time) was going to eat him.

Then I felt like I was working a Lippizan. Flying Caprioles and all that.

Then, he calmed down and drove fine the rest of the way.

I was just happy that I was NOT ON him. :P

verylargecolt said...

>>Ok what are these sticky breeches? I have a 3 year old Saddlebred with a teleporting spook...might be useful :)<<

Kerrits Sit Tight. I am trying to squeeze them into a paycheck but have so far been unsuccessful. They are not cheap but I bet they would be useful!

Heidi the Hick said...

Had to chuckle at the Gnome. I guess you'd have to know my family...

My horses live with my parents. My ol man's not really like the Gnome, since he lives in an actual house and looks really nice when he gets cleaned up for church and all, and is nice enough to have kept his original wife for almost 40 years! But he does have a nifty shop where he does all sorts of fix ups and repairs, including autobody and welding!!!

My half-arab gelding used to stand at the fence and watch the goings on at the shop. One summer a guy brought a horse trailer into the yard for some work and Champ almost jumped the fence, he was so excited. Dad said he was like a dog wanting to go on a car ride.

It's scary trying to work a horse through new sparking loud experiences, but it's true- they can get used to stuff (Can't help but think of the chick who's horses are used to planes taking off and other neat loud thing!)

Recently on a farm visit, my son took the 4 wheeler out of the barn. He didn't close the corral gate first, so the two Appies came up for a look. Just as I came into the corral to give him heck for leaving the barn door open, Phoenix reached out and gave the 4 wheeler a couple of licks. Okay, so the horse is not afraid of it...

We locked the horses out of the corral, in the pasture field, where they stood on the other side of the fence and watched the boy ride the 4 wheeler back and forth across the corral. It was funny! Like they were watching a tennis match.

I liked your statement that it's not all about riding. The older and more fraidycat I get, the more I like groundwork!!

wino said...

Long evening!

I have a rescue mare who at 13 was terrified of treats. Obviously been dealt more smacks than carrots. I finally got her to eat a carrot out of my hand by literally stuffing it in her mouth while holding her head still. And I did have to ask myself what on earth I was doing at that moment. The look on her face when she realised was comical.

Karen V said...

jamie - re:Keep Cool

I noticed a HUGE difference! This mare has ADD, I swear she does. I tried Mare Magic (which is red raspberry leaves) and Rescue Remedy with little success. I noticed a difference on the Keep Cool the 2nd day. Last night, I rode FAM about an hour after her grain with supplement. She was very nice to ride..no spooking or being goofy. She listened, and worked very relaxed. Yet when I asked her to work the barrel pattern, she still had "run". When I am planning to go to a race (which these days are few and far between) I'll double dose her in the morning feed (I usually only dose at night) and then 1/2 dose right before I saddle to warm up.

Kigercat said...

The Gnome...hehehehehe

CutNJump said...

I swear when you were describing the Gnome you were talking of a guy I know named Ray.

Ray is an ex-trackie, rides everything like it is supposed to win the triple crown. Used to tell me all the time, "I've been doing this since before you were even thought of."

Ray also smells of booze and weed from early on in the morning and is more and more in the bag the later it gets in the day.

He was our prime target for playing a fun game of "Stump the Drunk". Always up for it and easy to stump.

I know he moved north of here, but didn't think he had gotten THAT far. He did have several brothers though. Maybe the Gnome is one of them. That would explain a lot!

cdncowgirl said...

Karen V & Jamie:
If for some reason "Keep Cool" ends up not working there is another product you might want to look into. Its called Smooth Run with Calmer. Keeps competition horses more even keeled but doesn't take their energy away. I've had good results with it.
(website is: http://www.smoothrunequine.com/)

Kigercat said...

Oh... I'll have to let you try Piper one day...she came on the same truck (different farm) as Ginny. She's also only green broke. I've not cantered her, just walk and trot, but her trainer a couple years ago got a canter out of her. Me being the chicken that I am have no desire to canter a horse with no reliable steering. Piper also has the same basic outlook on life as Ginny...slow and easy...slow and easy...the slower the easier =)

Kigercat said...

And another product to look into...
I've had great success with a Dynamite product called Easy Boy...aka Whoa Bitch. But it's a bit spendy. If there is a Dynamite distributor in your area you may be able to get a sample.

Also my friend uses Breeder Pac on her horses instead of the Easy Boy. Along with a being a good supliment for breeding stallions and preg mares, it helps the hormone imbalance in one of her geldings that makes him bitchy like a mare in heat.

Karen V said...

I really wish someone would come up with a product called "Knock That Shit Off!"

quietann said...

Feronia went on Confidence Plus by Hilton Herbs about 3 weeks ago, and it has made a huge difference in her behavior. She stands quietly for grooming and tacking up, *thinks* about spooking but usually does not spook, and best of all, her herdboundness is greatly reduced. CP is pricey but very helpful. They make a valerian free version, too, since valerian shows up on drug screens.

I rode her a couple of times this past weekend, and was reminded of why I like her so much. She is NOT an easy horse, but she's smart, she's willing as long as she's given clear aids, and she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. I jumped her for the first time in 8 weeks, just a 2 foot rail, but that means a lot given that I was ready to give up on her.

She has had her teeth done, so she is back in a bridle with a bit -- though we're keeping her in a short-shanked jumping hackamore for jumping, because she gets so quick. She has a lovely soft mouth and I'd like to keep it that way for dressage, rather than "bitting up." And this is one of those places where I can honestly say that part of the problem I've had with her is that I weigh at least 100 pounds less than her former owner.

She is about to go to eventing camp for 3 weeks with my trainer's daughter, and I'll really miss her. But the folks at camp can help sort out some of her issues.

My other big accomplishment this week was cross-country schooling on good old Trump, who was actually not so good. He let out a few big bucks after some jumps, but it made me laugh more than scaring me. And I need to be more assertive with him about jumping... if he's unsure about a jump and I drop him, he'll stop. But oddly enough, he *never* scares me. If I can transfer that confidence to Feronia, I'll be happy.

Peggy Archer said...

Have you looked for the sticky bum breeches on ebay?

I've gotten really nice German made full seats there for under $50.

which_chick said...

I took Project Horse out on Wednesday and it went okay. We'd missed about three days of riding, though, and it showed.

Project Horse balks. This is new. She ignores gentle squeezes and less-gentle squeezes and kicks hard enough to where I am not comfortable kicking her any harder. On the ride in question, I finally gave up and thwapped her with the end of the oh-shit rope (The long tail on slobber-strap rigged reins. Normally it's looped through my belt so that I have some means to hang on to the horse if I come off.) If I got her started, she went forward like four steps, then balked *again*. Lather, rinse, repeat. We got fifty feet (about ten stops) and I pulled the saddle and inspected for issues. No visible problems, back fine under firm palpation. *buh?* I resaddled, hopped back on. Again. Balk. Balk. Balk.

And then, all of a sudden, she was done balking and we had a lovely ride from there on out with bravery and willingness and nice forward motion. She went FIRST over the Very Scary Bridge and the Covered Bridge Of Death. She CANTERED (new) several strides happily and calmly. She was *fine* in the high wind and rain (we got hit with a thunderstorm close to home, rode the last bit of the ride in the big splattering rain). WTF was all the balking about? Was she offering her opinion that a ride was not really the order of the day? Trying to see if I was determined to have a ride in the face of objections? I dunno, but a ride we had. We're having another tomorrow and doing a Big Trail Ride With Strangers on Saturday.

TangleWoodStable said...

VLC,
Just out of curiosity, is the CSS for sale?

Tripple Spring said...

I am so happy to see that people realize that stallions need friends of the equine sort to be turned out with! Where I'm from most people would rather isolate their stallions and never let them come into any sort of contact with other horses except in the breeding shed...then they wonder why the act up at shows!!!!

mugwump said...

Isn't Sticky breeches a song sung by Chef on South Park? I'm sorry. I'll go to bed now.

Karen V said...

OK Girls! I've jumped on the Make-Your-Own-Blog wagon.

http://helpingjoy.blogspot.com/

Joy is VLC's mare that has allergy problems. I'm feeding Joy while VLC is training Honey.

Vraslli said...

I get jealous hearing about how wonderfully easy the VLC is being. I went to work my horse today (4 yo OTTB) and he managed to break free of the cross ties in the barn (safety release on those) and took off into the paddock swinging the cross ties about his head scaring himself even more. Christ he took off barrelling around and I'm thinking to myself..."why did they think he was too slow?" Finally after about 5 mins of this I was able to catch him and lead him back to the barn and attempt to groom then work him when he broke free again. Arrgghhh...I think he knows he can get out of the cross ties now and does it on purpose.

CSS Mom said...

Hi Tanglewoodstable,
The CSS is not for sale. He is my dream horse! I bought him from a PMU farm...kind of. I saw him at the PMU farm and emailed that I wanted him. I was 3rd in line. I harrassed the man at the PMU site for 2 weeks until I got him to contact the buyer and see if she would sell him to me. Long story short, I got him. He has been the most wonderful horse. He is doing so well under saddle and I can't wait to show him! I do have his first foal, a Dunalino BS colt that is to die for, that is for sale. He was born May 27th so it will be a little while before he is weaned. I don't know how to attach pictures on here. Can you PM me off this site?

Mary said...

Okay, I have no riding news to report (but I did get to have some munchies with Gary Allen last night before he performed...so YUM!) But I have to say...SSG! OOOOOHHHHH MMMMMYYYYY GGGGOOOODDDDD! I'd LOVE to see the rest of that boy! Sorry, but I'm a total sucker for a bald-faced paint and that EYE! Oh heavens to mercy, thank GOD I don't own him. I'd walk around him being a blubber mess going "Okay, whatever you want, yahuh, you got it!"

a beautiful disaster said...

So after three full days of carting crap from old house to new one, i am more than a little beat...i gave up the SLM and buddy for both tuesday and wednesday, and only rode buddy yesterday. it is nice having a very competent friend home who will ride the SLM for me :)

And i only did a light hack on buddy, but he was good. and then i got on him bareback! it shouldn't really be a big deal, but he has probably never been ridden without a saddle (not in the last 5 years for sure) and at 10 that can be a very scary new experience (ask the SLM). But he was so good! I got on him once in the saddle without using the stirrups to make sure we were cool with my fat ass shifting around, and then i took off the saddle and leaned on his back from the mounting block (i love the barn's huge 3-steps :D) and he just looked at me like mom why are you poking me?? So i sucked it up and got on, and he walked off kinda quickly (usually stands stock still) but was fine other than that. Boy he may be a TB x whatever but he sure has the TB back! most horses i feel a little like i'm going to roll off sideways bareback, but i honestly think even if he teleported i would be stuck on his spine! Anyways, a little trot (ouchouchouch) and then some canter(a little fast for my taste but much comfier) and we were done.

Oh and i started clicker conditioning with both of them.. can't wait to do some actual training (useful stuff for both of them, and tricks for buddy too)

Mary said...

Damn, no edit. I mean the little painted stallion! Too bad he's sooo far away. Nike is lookin' for a boyfriend that still has his nuts attached! :P

Mary said...

Ms Foxy: My hubby is a farrier and although I have skimmed through your page, I haven't had the time to REALLY read and find out what's up with your stunning mare (I giggled at their rolling-in-the-puddles photo thinking Tango would die first before doing that. He's a wuss) and her feet. One of my hubby's most common suggestions, mainly because he really REALLY (and I agree) doesn't like shod horses, is boots, for so many different hoof-issues. We've had the best luck with "EZ-Boots". None of our horses are shod but when we go to parades or someone with tough ground, they all wear their boots and do very well.

jamiecb1127 said...

VLC - Ah Kerrits Sit Tights..yep I've heard of them. Sounds like a pair might be a worthwhile investment :) No accidents so far, but some days I would really love some extra "stick".
Karen V - I will look into the "Keep Cool" thanks! I'm not sure it'll help in my case...but I'll try it! My boy is a 3 year old gelding, and was your typical case of his breeder doing ZERO with him till he was 2 1/2 (when I acquired him.. UGH why do breeders do that???). He's a good, sweet boy, just VERY unconfident with new things, and can get himself so worried over nothing. He has a lot of try in him though, and I think he'll be awesome with a lot of patience and work :)

Sagebrusheq said...

There are two schools of thought on cross ties: that they should be unbreakably strong; that they should have a weak link. I adhere to the weak link side of the argument and never place a horse in them that isn't dependably used to them. But in case a blow up should occur I put the weak link, a twisted piece of baling wire, next to the panic straps rather than by the wall. That way the fugitive is free from ropes or chains and less likely to hurt or scare himself worse.

S

Mary said...

Sage: I'm the same way. Whether it be cross ties or straight ties, I always have a break-away for them. I figure, what's worse? A loose, calm horse or a flipped over panicing 1200 pound animal? I don't tie my horses in the trailer, either. SHOULD something happen, I want to make sure my horses can get out and away without being tangled or tied down.

robyn said...

Sounds like you had a VPE! (very productive evening). I recently met a little man, tiny little shred of a guy 85 yrs old. It's his firm belief that within 5 years there will be horses running loose in the streets and the world will be in chaos (he points to people turning their horses loose on public lands as evidence to this). So he has been researching small horse breeds so he will be ready! He plans to pick up (apparently on the streets) a pony to use for riding and plowing his garden while this chaos ensues. I told him what I'd paid for my (very well-bred) Icelandic, and he chuckled and said that he didn't plan on paying close to that. Apparently purebred Icelandic horses will be a dime-a-dozen on the streets within a few years.

Boy if it was me, I'd be stocking up on ammo for a decent rifle and putting up food, not picking out the perfect survival pony. I sure hope I'm not a nutjob when I'm 85.

MsFoxy said...

Mary,

Long story short, Foxy went lame about a year ago? Little more than that. Eventually xrays were done and the vet said Navicular. Keep in mind Foxy is only 9-10ish? and was Halter broke two years ago, saddle broke about a year and a half ago. So she went lame less than a year after starting any work. Everyone seems to disagree on the navicular diagnosis considering her history of almost her whole life without real work...and being relatively young.

She is a rescue so I have no history on her. Ms VLC who has met her in person a few times thinks she is a product of chronic poor trimming. Her heels are always nonexistant and her toes are long. Well, I have just recently switched farriers (um...farrier #5, le sigh) and this new one seems to be doing a better job. Her 2nd trim with new farrier (a woman! Hallelujah, Foxy is thrilled) is next thursday and I am going to remeasure for boots again. I have considered boots but her feet were so wonky that the measurements don't match up right.

That is the (not really very) short version of Foxy's life. She bucked me off about a year and a half ago and broke my arm..haven't really ridden her since because of the lameness issue. I am waiting to restart her once she is sound enough to start working again. She is looking better every day now. Back when I first rescued her I was blogging her progress through the halter training, ground work, failure at saddle training and then eventual "breakthrough" under saddle. I stopped during my move cross country and with the lameness and am just now restarting her blogging to go along with her restarting under saddle. I got sidetracked by the feet issue, but looks like we will be bringing the saddle back out this weekend.

She is beautiful and has a lovely sweet personality, but lots of fear issues. It could get interesting!!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

For the record :-) I disagree on the navicular diagnosis for Foxy because she does not move like a horse with navicular. If you posted video, I could point that out in detail.

She's a VERY good mover, flat moving from the shoulder. Not your knee popping navicular type at all. Add to that the lack of any early work that would contribute to lameness now (we are pretty sure she was a broodie only)...I will always believe you are simply resolving bad shoeing/trimming at the present time and that she will come sound.

You can fly back and smack me if I'm wrong! :-)

Which Chick, sounds like she is doing great!

I did not ride last night, got tangled up with someone else's horse issues...sigh, I need more hours in the day or days in the week or something. And DEFINITELY more diet RockStar!

BTW, for those of you drooling over the VLC and his trainability, look, I'm telling you, you can buy his dam and/or his FULL SISTER who is a buttermilk buckskin baby. Prices are negotiable as the breeder needs to downsize. E-mail me if you want more details.

Hell, I will offer right now that ANY offspring of KLR Reflection are welcome to come to me for breaking at cost of board only. I have never seen one of his sons or daughters be bad under saddle. NEVER. I'd get on them if I were sixty instead of forty. They just don't do a damn thing wrong. The most they ever throw at you is a balk or rubbernecking or something.

MsFoxy said...

I actually do have a video of her trotting somewhere...its a year and a half old, but it exists! She does move nicely, has a nice smooth trot and we even had a few slow shuffle western pleasure jogs back in our riding days.

BTW, the farrier I have working on her now said originally via email that judging by her age and lack of activity that she doubted navicular as well. And then when she trimmed Foxy, I lunged her lightly in the arena and walked her up and down the road so the lady could watch her. And she did not think she moved like a navicular horse either. She saw nothing wrong with her "movement" to explain her lameness....and she did/does not land toe first? Something like that. My extreme lack of horse knowledge is showing through....

I am really hoping it is just poor trimming coming out as well. But a year or two of poor trimming may take a while to recover from, so I guess i can't complain that it has been two weeks and she is not yet fully sound.

I am hoping to have our first ride back videod...and if so, will post some to the blog. Sigh. If nothing else, I can have video to document my downfall, ha ha ha.

Vraslli said...

Well fugly, I would LOVE to take you up on that offer of buying a Quarterhorse KLR Reflection and having you break him for the cost of board...but you are on the complete opposite side of the country. Damn it. I do need a Quarterhorse. I miss the two I used to own in highschool. They were great, level headed. Damn Thoroughbreds. Still love him though. Oh, and thanks sage for the advice. Maybe that'll help him freak out less next time. Luckily it was just the ropes, no metal pieces flying about...eek!

Redsmom said...

Cathy, I laughed and laughed at your descriptions of your neighborhood. I've got some colorful neighbors, myself, including one who thinks the only way to dispose of anything in this world is to burn it -- ever smell toxic naugahyde fumes?

Which_chick, my thought on the balking is that Project Horse could tell a storm was coming. Dude gets freaky when bad weather is comeing, sometimes. Can't let that stop us though because we have p.m. T-storms daily in summer here.

I haven't ridden Dude since the chiro treatment b/c once in 5 years or so I get to go out for the evening, which I did Wednesday - to New Orleans to the House of Blues to see Shine Down. It has taken me 2 days to get over that. LOL.

rockymouse said...

My old man gelding didn't eat treats, nor want to be caught, for a good six months. He'd been hard used before retirement with me. Two years later, you've never seen a horse that so appreciates a half-hour brush than this poor fella.
Both ponies went to the vet today for their annual to-do. Found out old man gelding is getting cataracts...He's so big and sad, he kinda breaks my heart. Willing to trailer up like an old campaigner, even though he's scared. Goes in the stocks, even though he's scared. Submits to a teeth float, even though he's scared. It never ceases to amaze me what they will do for us.

SammieRockes said...

Great news: I worked the BBG in the arena today. he did pretty well, there was a lesson going o n so I stayed out of the way. It amazes me, I put a saddle on for extra sercurity of the stirrups, there was one time that he really acted up and I took my feet out of the stirrups and then got tough.

But Near the end my barn owner decided for parade practice/Drill team stuff. BBG actually surprised me and did pretty well, except for the first time we split and he really wanted to go west and we were supposed to be going east. He did good, even passed the opening in the fence, I was proud.