April 30, 2013

Hoof update & lesson re-cap

After a week and a half off and five days of bute, Rose was finally sound again last Wednesday. She probably would have been okay for light work on Monday, but I figured at that point, what was a few more days off? The following night, Thursday, I headed out to the barn for a late ride as I had been out of town all day on a business trip. Yea five hours of driving for a one hour meeting. Gotta love Montana sometimes! At least I made the most of it and got some shopping done while in the big city (shout out to all you Billings folks). But, I digress. So I rode the girl Thursday night and she felt great so I was looking forward to our lesson the next morning with CR.

Friday morning the weather was beautiful and warm, even at 9:45am, so we rode int he outdoor arena. Rose was terrific! Especially considering that since our last ride outside, three geldings and the resident Oldenburg pony stallion (so so cute) were moved to paddocks next to the arena. Rose was a very good girl. I can't decide if she was showing off for the boys demonstrating what an awesome girl she is or just utterly ignoring them. Regardless she was great and we had a wonderful lesson. Now that her tempo and rhythm are nice and consistent we are working on having her stretch more through her back, becoming round, stretching down to the bit on her own without having to be "pulled" down, and really engaging the hindquarters and pushing from behind. Riding from back to front, as they say. Great stuff to work on!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

April 29, 2013


Rose got the weekend off ...

Butt-high princess living the good life. Looks like we are
growing some more!
 as I was a bit busy doing this...

JR and his smash cake.

Homemade from scratch. Carrot smash cake and cupcakes with
cream cheese frosting and fondant decorations. Yum, yum!
I can't believe it's already been a year. It's amazing how fast it all goes by!

Happy trails and swooshing tails! 

April 21, 2013

A little Gatsby eye-candy!

Rose's sire Gatsby has been in a transition this winter from Dressage to Hunters. Here is the first video that they've released. I am amazed at how much Rose moves just like him. I cannot wait to see him go in the show circut this summer. To find out more about Gatsby, go to his website at: http://www.gatsbystallion.com/

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

April 19, 2013

Bang head on desk, repeat.


Whew, I feel a little better now that I got that out. Yesterday was spring shots, coggins, float, etc. day at the barn. Since Rose had just been trimmed I asked my vet to take a look at her feet also.

Bad news.

She's sore in all four feet and has an increased digital pulse. The trim was too short, and in the vet's opinion not as balanced as it could be. Prescription: bute for three days and a week off.

It's not the end of the world...feet do grow back. But it does mean my new farrier search has to continue. It also means that I have to cancel the appointment that I set up for next month. Which means I have to tell the gal why I'm canceling.


Oh well. Marching on. My vet gave me a couple people to consider calling. I might just default to the guy who does the rest of the barn's feet. He's good and convenient. I've only not used him because he's expensive. Or maybe I'm cheap? What do you guys think? Is $60 expensive for a trim, especially when it's done every four weeks?

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

April 17, 2013

Hoof Photos

I am really bummed that I didn't take before photos of Rose's feet, because honestly there is a night and day difference from what they looked like before and after. However, her feet still have a ways to go before they are fully rehabilitated, so I plan on taking photo documentation of her feet as we progress. These photos I took this evening when I went out to the barn to love on, groom, and longe Rose. Mostly I wanted to see how she was moving with her new feet.

Here are what her feet look like today, 1 day post trim:

Front Feet
Note that they are a bit asymmetrical, squishing out to the outside.
This will improve over time, with her foot coming straight under her leg.
Inside and outside flares have been removed.

Front Left
Heels are under run. The angle needs to come back and up a bit still.
Flaky/peeling frog due to thrush. Note infection also in the heel bulb
and white line areas. To be addressed with 2-3x weekly topical.
Lopsided foot is really noticeable on the solar view. Lack of
bar trimming could account for this and also probably added to
the flare issue. I'll really be happy to see these feet more symmetrical.

Front Right
Same as left front.

Hind Feet
The hind feet toe out a bit, this will improve as time goes by.
Inside and outside flares have been removed.

Hind Left
Bull nose, due to coffin bone angle being off as a result of long toe
and heels under run. They need to come back and up a bit still.
This will go away as the angle improves.
Flaky/peeling frog due to thrush. Note infection also in the heel bulb
and white line areas. To be addressed with 2-3x weekly topical.

Hind Right
Same as left hind in addition to a flare/bulge to the outside. Again
likely due to bars not being maintained properly.

I was really surprised to see how much better Rose moved today. Mainly I wanted to make sure she wasn't lame, and I didn't have expectations that she'd already feel better with her new feet. For a while now her trot has seemed a bit stiff and flat to me. Today however she had bounce and loft in her trot. I can only imagine that it will get even better with time, and once the thrush (the soil caused fungal type of infection, not the gooey stinky bacterial kind) is under control. More on the thrush treatment to come...

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

April 16, 2013

Barefoot Education

I am a very loyal person/customer...to a fault. I've been unhappy with how Rose's feet have been looking for a while now, however the farrier I've been using is a nice old guy, who is very reliable, and I thought was doing an okay job. As such I let her feet start going downhill to the point where I couldn't ignore them anymore. However, over the course of the last year the time my farrier spent less and less time working on her feet...until last month when he was at the barn for a record 10-minutes.

Around that same time I was body clipping a horse of a local dressage trainer and noticed her barefoot gelding's lovely feet. A couple of my sleep deprived brain cells decided to do the tango and provided me with the gumption to ask who does his feet and I got the trimmer's info. For a long time I've resisted going with a dedicated barefoot trimmer, afraid that i might end up with a quack who was riding the barefoot bandwagon. To ease my concerns the trainer told me she was having her geldings feet routinely radiographed that weekend and would let me know what the results were in terms of trim quality. About a week later I followed up with a phone call and it turns out the vet couldn't be more please with the geldings feet and called it a perfect trim job. I immediately made the call and set up an appointment for today.

I am so happy that I made that call. I got a huge education this afternoon. The new trimmer is actually a husband wife team. We'll call them P&R. P did most of the talking and explained to me what was going on with Rose's feet while R did most of the work. Some of the things that they told me about I was aware of, like her hoof flairs and infected (not full blown thrush) frogs. However, there was much more going on. She has a long toe-short heel issue going on with all of her feet. On the hinds her coffin bone angle is off causing some bull nosing of the feet. This may also be the cause of her regularly tight hamstring muscles (light bulb moment there...I didn't even mention that to them). I thought the tight hamies were simply from being in a lot of work all of a sudden.

The great news is all of this stuff is fixable through proper regular trimming. They were really happy to hear that I am already on a 4-week trim schedule and happy to stick with it, as well as scheduling appointments a month out. Yea! I was not all that thrilled with my old farrier's scheduling technique of calling one week ahead and fitting me in. I was so happy with their work, and appreciative of the fact that they talked me through everything they were doing, laid out a rehab program, and even walked her off to evaluate, that I couldn't resist but give them both hugs when they left. I'm a cheese ball, I know. I blame the baby hormones. They turn a normally cool level headed person into a soft squishy cheese ball. Seriously, I cannot watch a hallmark commercial without balling my eyes out now. But I digress. Rose will get the next couple of days off to adjust to her new feet. There was so much going wrong with the hinds that they had to be fairly aggressive  and now she's walking around looking a bit drunk. She's just not sure where her feet are. LOL!

PS. I was so interested in our conversation that I completely forgot to take pictures. Bad blogger!

Happy trails and swooshing tails! 

April 15, 2013

Work, work, work. Sell, sell, sell.

Work, work, work:
I'm happy to share that the effects of the recession on my industry are finally lifting. I have been very busy with work so far this year, and especially this month. Sadly, that means between baby and work, I don't get much barn time. I'm so thankful to still have EB hacking Rose twice a week. When I get busy like this and can't even spare an hour on the weekend to run to the barn, it is nice to know that she still gets some lovin' from some one.

Sell, sell, sell:
As for selling Rose, I keep getting calls and emails from interested buyers. Several people have tried her, but none have gone full bore yet though and carried through with an offer and pre-purchase exam. There have been several serious potential buyers and A LOT of looky-loos. 'Tis the nature of selling a horse in her price range, that isn't a reining horse, when you live  far from the english horse world in Montana. To be honest though, as much as it has been a struggle on my schedule to make it to the barn 4x a week, I've been really enjoying it once I am there. Rose is coming along so nicely and I'm loving spending time with her again. So much so, that I'm not really in a hurry to see her sell. Every day that she accomplishes more her price tag becomes more and more firm!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

April 5, 2013

It feels so good to be so sore.

I'm happy to report that our April goals are starting off with a bang! Rose and I have been having a blast this week. My body on the other hand is super sore as a result. It's a happy sore though. Rose and I are both working hard enough now that I'm finally getting some semblance of muscle tone back.

Pretty girl in the pasture.
On Wednesday it was a balmy and sunny 60ºF day with no wind, so I decided to ride Rose outside. I haven't ridden her outside in at least a year, possibly longer, so I decided to play it conservative and just ride on the flat with our goal for the day to work on flying changes some more. Rose was very well behaved outside, the best she's probably ever been actually. In the past she's get heavy on the forehand,strong, and distracted. She would never running away, bolt, or doing anything naughty, but it would not necessarily be a pleasant ride. That's all changed! She was awesome, and the very first time I asked her for the flying change... BAM! She enthusiastically (a bit too much) jumped into her new lead. Regardless, she clearly remembered what to do, so she got lots of praise and we repeated it a couple more times before calling it a day.

Mugging, after our ride.
Thursday's weather was overcast and a bit chilly, so we rode inside and began our gymnastics work. In an effort to continue taking baby steps I set up two exes, 18' apart, with a 9' trot pole before the first exe. To start we walked and trotted just the first exe as a single. She is very comfortable doing this now, and went over it quietly like it was yesterday's news. Shortly thereafter, I set up the second exe and took her through that. The first time through she lost her nerve and tried to bulk at the second fence. Luckily there isn't much room for running out of an 18' combo, especially when you came into the first fence at the walk. She was easy to stop, correct, redirect, and popped over the fence. After that she didn't try to run out once, and continued going through the line. She was doing better by the end, but I can tell she's a little anxious about the combo, so we will keep repeating what we did on Thursday until she's going through it nice and quiet. After that I will keep the striding the same, but raise the second fence to a 2' vertical, and so on.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

April 2, 2013

April Goals

I've decided to start making goals once again. It seems to help me keep on track with Rose's training. Focusing on taking one little step at a time is much easier when I have a plan ahead of me. Otherwise I've noticed I try and skip ahead too quickly.

March Goals Meet:
Rose is quietly walking exes and trotting in and out of single 2' verticals and halting quietly.
Successfully started doing flying changes on the flat.

April Goals:
Begin schooling multiple fence gymnastics.
Move jumps up to 2'3".
Solidify flying changes.

That's it, but I think that is a good amount of "new" things to tackle in one month.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


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