July 30, 2013

Big Girl Turnout Blanket

Now that Rose has likely stopped slowed her growing down, and is finally grown up enough to play nicely with her sheets and blankets, I decided it was high time that I actually invest in a good turnout blanket, and stop repairing Rose's tattered lower-end blankets from her younger days. I have coveted Rambo Wug turnouts for a very long time. However, the $300 price tag has always been hard for me to swallow. So, I've been purposefully shopping for one sale mid-summer, before the full price fall blanket purchasing frenzy begins. It seems I'm always shopping off season...nothing like going broke getting a good deal, eh? So...enter Ebay. Hello, closeout color (which I actually prefer to this seasons' purple) of navy and silver with the high neck (Rose does not do neck covers, no sir) in a medium weight, will you be my friend for $200? Heck yes!

"Lady...it's 90ºF, will you take this friggin' snow suit off me already?"

After realizing that her 84" Rambo Fly Protector is definitely too big for her (but not a big deal for a fly sheet), I decided to order the 81" in the turnout. I am very happy to report that it seems to fit her perfectly. In the photo it looks like the neck is a bit tight, but when she's not impersonating a giraffe it is much looser. Some aspects of the Rambos that I love and I think are worth the extra money are the angled front clips and vertical strip of velcro at the front, the three surcingles on the belly which eliminate the need for leg straps, and the PVC coated tail strap in the back. Obviously the leg arches and the high neck are just a nice style thing. I assume I'll like the anti-microbial liner, but since we haven't used the blanket yet I can't weigh in on that one.

Now to wait for winter....sadly the wait won't be that long around here.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 28, 2013

Back to jumping...

The nice thing about having someone dressage hack Rose a couple days during the week is that I don't feel guilty about jumping her when I have time to ride on the weekend. Not that the jumps we are doing are all that big anyway. She could probably jump them completely out of shape and be just fine...but I'm way to OCD about her health to do that.

Anyway, it has been three weeks since Rose got her front shoes on an five MONTHS since I've jumped her. As such, I thought I'd set up a little ex, and if she was feeling good I'd pop her over it and see if the shoes make any difference toward her mysterious jumping anxiety she had developed while I was pregnant. For your viewing pleasure, here is a little video from today's ride:

Yep...like a lot of other things, it seems that putting shoes on her fixed the jumping anxiety issue. I am fairly certain I telepathically herd her exclaim after the first jump "Oh hey this is fun again, my feet don't hurt". I didn't need a crop or spurs, and she never stopped, refused, or even thought about running out. Gah! Those shoes should have gone on a year ago. Oh, well. She's happy and comfortable now. So much so that I've been  longeing her before riding. She's just feeling so good all the time that she appears to have lots of extra energy. Happily the hay on her pasture finally got bailed today, so it looks like she'll be getting transitioned back to the grass and get to run around and burn off some of her extra energy here shortly. I'm just not looking forward to the inevitable search of a 15 acre pasture for the random thrown shoe. You win some you loose some I suppose. I know she'll be happy to get out of her dry lot, so I can't wait for the transition!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 26, 2013

No More Facebook

Some of you happened to find me in "real life" on Facebook many moons ago, and I've enjoyed seeing your additional posts in FB land. However, for non-horse related reasons (too much work, not enough time to waste addictively checking the time suck that is FB) I bit the bullet and deleted* my FB account. So please do not worry that I un-friended you if you happened to be one of the few bloggers who found me in real life.

That being said, I manage a couple Facebook pages and groups, so I couldn't really get rid of it for good. So I did set up another account under my blogger pen name. So if you really want to still be FB friends with me you can find me that way. However it won't be all that exciting as I don't use it for posting, just for managing those pages/groups now.

So that's the deal. I have to say it's been three weeks now and I don't miss it at all! There was of course a few days where I still addictively went to check it, but that quickly passed. Oh, and a magical thing happened. I started actually talking to my friends and getting together with them. What an old school novelty!

*Deletion is permanent and removes all posts and photos you ever posted. This is different than deactivation, which leaves all that out there. There is a two week wait with deletion in which you cannot log in or you will automatically reactivate the account, and then poof everything is gone for ever.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 24, 2013

Product Review: Bates Caprilli Dressage Saddle...take two!

Back in 2010 when Rose was first started under saddle, I tried out a Bates Caprilli, thinking that it might make the most sense since her top line would keep changing for a few years. Although I found it comfy at the time, I didn't like how much "bounce" it had (click here to read my original review). However, my lovely JRD that I purchased back then, which had room for her to grow into, has become too narrow for her WIDE withers. I had considered purchasing another saddle off someone I knew which fit Rose perfectly right now, but then when I was trying to sell her it seemed silly to me to invest in a saddle that would only fit Rose. I decided to give the Bates another try.

Granted, it's not as fancy as the other saddle, but the leather is good (not fancy), it fits Rose decently, and fits me great. I really like how my leg falls in the saddle and I don't even feel like I need the additional removable knee blocks. I also like that the seat is not super deep. This time around it does not seem bouncy in the least. All I can figure is that the one I tried back in 2010 had too much air in the CAIR pannels, or this one has less. Not sure, but it's comfy, fits me well and Rose seems happy with it too so it's a keeper.

Next step is selling my JRD Accord (click here for original blog post) . Anyone interested in a 17.5" M/W saddle? It is adjustable by a saddle fitter, only there are none around here. Those of you in more english country would have better luck than I in that area. Anyway, it is a lovely saddle and I'd keep it if I could afford to hoard, but alas I cannot! I'm asking $1100 and I take paypal.

From 1210...Rose wearing the JRD.

Happy trails and swooshing tails! 

July 20, 2013

Happy Foot Video

I was able to make it to the barn today to hop on Rose. Ever since she got her shoes put on she's been noticeably more forward and loft has returned to her gate. After our ride today she still seemed to have energy to burn, so I decided to free longe her in the indoor arena. I have to say, I'm quite lucky in the fact that although it is rather hot (upper 80's - 90's) outside our indoor stays nice and cool (60's). This makes riding in the afternoons manageable, even though I'd rather ride outside. Anyway, it has been a long time sine Miss Thing actually kicked up her heels while being free longed, and I did manage to pull out my phone (sorry for poor video quality) and catch one lovely buck fart gallop routine on video for your viewing pleasure. So behold, Rose's lovely trot has returned along with some fun acrobatics.

On a side note, she also continues to be completely dead quite and stoic in the cross ties. I keep catching myself thinking "darn, I should have put shoes on her a long time ago".

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 18, 2013

Five Horses

Idea from L. Williams at Viva Carlos and Liz at In Omnia Paratus

1. The Intro Horse.
We each came into horses in our own way, but it was always with a horse leading us. This might have been a friend’s first pony, or perhaps it was a draft horse on a farm you once visited It might have been a real-life meeting, or an imaginary one.

I have no photo of this horse or even a name, but riding the plucky little pony bare back is one of the few wonderful childhood memories that I can recall and will likely hold dear for the rest of my life.

Unlike most of my horse friends, I did not grow up riding and showing. I was nevertheless obsessed with horses, and managed to learn to ride during the 6th grade. A friend of mine at the time, who's name I can no longer remember, owned a couple ponies. We bonded over our love for horses, and often spent our lunch hour in the library drawing pictures of every type of horse breed we could find in the encyclopedias.

That October for my birthday she took me out to her barn to ride. We were just a couple of lower-middle class kids, from the wrong side of the river, and as such her family didn't own any tack other than bridles. Yes, the first time I really rode a horse was bareback. We didn't take it easy either. I can still remember my elation, as I asked my pony for a canter and flew up a big green hill. Nothing I had ever done in my 11-years even compared to the feeling. The adrenaline rush was amazing, the wind blowing past my hair on my non-helmeted head was refreshing and when we rode into the woods down a trail and jumped some downed logs I was in heaven. It would be six long years before horses finally became a mainstream aspect of my life.

2. The Experimental Horse
Once you had crossed the line between “Darn, they’re big!” and “Wow! Can I try that?” you found yourself face-to-face with the horse that would suffer through your early attempts at figuring out the whole horse experience … wherever this horse came from, he probably didn't benefit from the encounter as much as you did.

IHSA Nationals, riding JB. 1997

I don't think there was one particular horse that falls under this category for me, but the entire 30-horse school string at Mount Holyoke College. I don't think there is anything more experimental than hopping on a 4-year old horse, green broke out of a dealer's lot, and "popping" over a 3' course. Those horses taught me to ride, eat dirt, and subsequently grow Velcro on my hind end.

3. The Connected Horse
The first horses we meet don’t really connect with us, nor do we with them. Those are experiences in survival and tests of endurance. The Connected Horse is the first horse you truly bond with. This is the horse that sounds a chord that lives so deep in you that you might never have heard it otherwise.

The first horse I really ever bonded with was Danny, and then Revelry. These were both school horses at Mount Holyoke, but the also came to camp with me in the summers at Forest Acres camp in Fryeburg, ME where I would spend my college year summers teaching riding and getting an education from my coach CJ.
Danny 1998

Danny was an "ugly" appaloosa thing, with a pig nose and no tail. He taught me to jump my behind off, ride out a buck cross country, and not give a hoot about a horses' looks if it gave me it's all. Danny was my first "love" when it came to horses. I trusted him and would spend hours in the barn with him and defend his pig nose to anyone that made a sideways comment.
Revy - 1998

Revelry was my second "love". He as a small (to me) bay Morgan. He was just stinking cute, and not necessarily easy to ride. Many people struggled with him, but I was able to figure him out. He need a rider with a soft hand who could ride from the seat. Not a good combination for a school horse, and my senior year he was put up for sale. I was heart broken that I couldn't buy him (not that CJ would have let me, he was way too small for me). He moved on to be a hunter pony for a local girl, and I hope he's had a wonderful life with her.

 4. The Challenger
Into each horse person’s life, a little challenge must fall. You’ll have read that one final training book, bought yourself a clicker and heading rope, and there you’ll stand, arms crossed, assessing the situation as if you actually knew what the situation was. It might be difficult to believe, as you are flying down the aisle way on the losing end of a braided cotton line, but you actually need this horse in your life.

Rose at the ISR/Oldenburg NA inspection, August 2010.
This is what a premium double barrel kick-out looks like...

This horse is hands down Rose. What challenge hasn't she thrown at me? So far we've overcome them all, but it has been one heck of a learning experience. My blog I think speaks for itself in this regard.

5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you’ll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you’ll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever… You’ll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment… Maybe you’ll still go to shows and ride – brilliantly or barely – in the Alzheimer’s class. Maybe you’ll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you’ll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse’s thoughts and desires.

Zorra - 2000
I think this horse might someday be Rose, but I'm not sure. There are moments when I feel this way about her, but then I think back to my old mare Zorra and can't help but compare the two. I think she was my Deepest Heart horse, but at the wrong time. I was 22 years old, working as an assistant trainer and I bought her for pennies out of a field. She was a ribby, 16.3hh chestnut OTTB, sound and had lovely conformation and movement. She was supposed to be 15 and her teeth agreed with the statement. I thought I'd put fat on her bones, get her going under saddle again, and then breed her. She vetted breeding sound, again given the age of 15 by the vet. I thought all was good until I discovered a very faded racing tattoo on her lip. Bronze Gal it turned out shared the same birth year as me, 1977. She was 22 years old (23 by jockey club standards) at the time and maiden. I didn't have the heart to breed her at that age or to continue showing her in the 3'6" hunters, and as an assistant trainer I couldn't afford to just keep her around. I through a random occurrence that summer I ran into a friend of a previous owner of her's at a local open show and ended up selling her back to the old owner. At 35, I'm sure she's not still around anymore, but I always think of her and what an amazing horse she was. I could honestly have slept in her stall under her and felt completely safe. She would go on trail rides and jump the moon if I asked. That horse did anything for me and I loved her to pieces. I hope that someday Rose and I have the same connection.

Rose & I, June 2013.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 16, 2013

Share your blog!

Recently I gained another follower. That makes 90 of you, and I thank you all very much for having enough interest in what I write that you follow along on our adventures. I try and keep this blog interesting and fun, so I hope that reflects in my writing.

I also think about you all a lot too. I try and click on your profiles when I notice a new follower to check out your blogs and I've steadily added to my list and rss reader. I know that I've missed a lot of you though, and cyber stalking going through profiles can be time consuming. That got me thinking. Any of you who would like to share your blog with others, please list it in the comments below. I'll keep this post updated and add your blogs to the list. I do have one rule though, you must post at least once a month to get your blog on the list.

I'm sure I'll discover a few new one that I haven't read yet, and I'm excited!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 14, 2013

Happy Feet

I had planned on riding Rose on Saturday, but had forgotten that we had a wedding to attend that day. Unfortunately this meant that I couldn't get to the barn until Sunday. I had checked on her to assess how she was doing with the new shoes this past Wednesday and she seemed much happier although still a tiny bit sore on that stubborn left front. As such, I didn't have compete confidence that all would be well went I went out to ride. Fear not though, she trotted out completely sound, and perky, on the asphalt! Woo-hoo!

As one would expect she had more pep than she has in a while. I imagine it is due to her having a bit of time off coupled with happy feet. When I first asked her to trot under saddle I was a bit surprised. She jumped into the trot and oh-my-goodness there was so much movement and spring in her gate. I hadn't realized that had been missing for a while until it now suddenly returned. We had a nice warm up at the walk and trot, and then again at the canter she was feeling her oats a bit and gave a gleeful (I kid you not) kick-out. It was like she was saying "yes, my feet don't hurt"!

After our ride (and before it) she stood completely still in the cross ties while I groomed her and tacked her up/un-tacked. Despite riding in the coolish morning air, I had to sponge her off from a bit of girth sweat, so I decided to pull her mane while she dried off. She stood so still the whole time that I actually checked to see if she fell asleep. This has never previously happened when I've pulled her mane. Not once.

Now of course I'm wondering if her silliness in the cross ties all this time has been due to her feet. If that is the case, then her feet have been sore for a while. I wouldn't want to stand still if my feet hurt either. No sense in berating myself about though I suppose. At least she has shoes on now and her feet seem much happier. Moving forward...

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 12, 2013

Product Reveiw: Rambo Fly Protector Sheet

Rose has had her new Rambo Fly Protector sheet on for a week now. I bought the sheet last winter on a massive discount at our local tack store. Boy am I glad that I did. So far so good. No rubs and no holes. We'll see how long it will last as she likes to scratch on fence posts. Compared to her old stiff Schneider's dura-mesh fly sheet the Rambo is buttery soft. I was a little worried that would mean that it wouldn't hold up, but it does seem very well built. She definitely seems happier as well. No more giant horse fly welts on her body and I have to say that the sheet is keeping her coat super clean and shiny as a bonus.

Rose modeling her new Rambo Fly Protector sheet.
Rose is too big for an 81" blanket but not quite an 84", which means the blanket hangs off her hind end a bit, but I'd rather see than than the ugly rubs she got last summer from her old and too small fly sheet. The Rambo also has a smooth liner at the shoulders to prevent rubbing, so between a better fit and the lining I'm hoping that this sheet works out better for her. If she were in my back yard I'd simply take the sheet off every night and not worry so much about rubs. However, that is a service that our barn doesn't offer in the summer, so I'm hoping that this sheet will be the solution.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 10, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Oh, yeah...I brought back the Liebster Blog Award Icon!

I'd like to thank Marissa over at http://horseshoesandhearts.blogspot.com for nominating me for the Liebster Award! I'm sorry it took me a few days to get around to answering the questions, but here they go:

11 Random Facts About Me
1. I live on a golf course.
2. I have a degree in oil painting that I use once every few years.
3. I lived in Australia for three years.
4. I love the taste of metal. 
5. I used to manage a polo club.
6. I have a shoe addition. Seriously, I have way too many shoes.
7. I love to scrapbook, but have no time for it.
8. I count in multiples of threes when I'm anxious.
9. I cannot drink coffee before a meeting or I sweat.
10. I can write with my toes, albeit not very well.
11. Who needs Kevin Bacon? I am two degrees separated from Donald Trump.

Marissa's Questions
1. What is your biggest accomplishment with horses?
Training Rose has been my biggest challenge and accomplishment by and far. She has challenged me in ways that I never imagined and we have really grown together and become a wonderful team over the past three years.

2. Do you have any hobbies apart from horses that you love?
Water skiing. I could almost be completely happy sans horse if I had a lake to ski on a couple times a week.

3. What is your ultimate goal that you are working towards with your horses?
At the moment, keeping her sound! Ugh, the barefoot...to shoe or not to shoe drama. It's been a rough summer.

4. What is your favorite tv show?
Probably Downton Abby currently. It used to be Grey's Anatomy...but that seems to be waning these days.

5. What kind of music do you listen to?
Laid back alternative rock and/or country for the most part, but I love all music except for gangster rap and techno.

6. What is your personal love story? (With a husband/boyfriend/ex? If you don't want to go that deep, with a hobby? Or more obviously, with horses?)
Oh man, I could write a novel on this subject, but I don't have the energy  Right now the baby is sleeping and so I should be too. My love story could be summed up by the Rascal Flats song Bless The Broken Road. Suffice to say that after a lot of trial and error, I met the love of my life eight years ago in a bar that has since blown up, three years ago we were married, and then fourteen months ago I welcomed the second most awesome little man in my life to this world. 

7. What is your favorite love story? (Movie, books, etc?)
Probably one of my childhood favorites, The Man From Snowy River. A close second would probably be Twilight, because I have a weakness for teenage vampire love stories.

8. What is the most important thing to you when looking at a horse boarding facility? (Obviously our horses care is the first and foremost thing.  So lets skip that one and be really picky and selfish. So basically what is your favorite thing at your barn that you couldn't live without, or the thing you most wish you had. Lighted arena? Indoor Arena? Covered tack area? Trail access?)
My current facility has all my preferred basic necessities: tack room, grooming stalls, bathroom, wash stall, indoor arena, outdoor arena, trail-ish areas, trailer storage, and 24/7 turnout. Additional perks that I would like would include a heated indoor with a heated viewing room/lounge, gravel dry lot, and covered trailer storage

9. What is the most lavish thing you have ever had at a barn? Or, considering a lot of us board at something that is awesome for the horse and not so awesome for us, what do you wish you had in your wildest barn dream? (Air conditioned riders lounge? Heated tack area? Showers and lockers for riders? Couches?)
A kids play room with complimentary baby sitting included in board. This would seriously rock my stay at home mom with no family in town world!

10. I think my questions have been pretty awesome, but I'm seriously running out of steam.  Did you guys like my questions?

11.  Who is your hero and why?
Carol Law. She's the head of the Equestrian Center at Mount Holyoke College, where I did my undergrad. She's an amazing horse woman and gave me a really solid foundation and education in the horse world. Without her I have no idea if I'd even have horses in my life today.

I have received this award in years past, and I thought that it seemed like the rules have changed, morphed, and gotten a little out of control grown. So I looked back at my previous Liebster blog post from January 2012 to see, and sure enough somewhere along the line they did. If you've ever met me in real life you'll know that I have an obsession with being old school and I'm a bit of a minimalist. As such I've brought back the old rules from 2012 (and the icon, as you can see from above). However, I thought the questions/facts were a nice addition, if not a bit lengthy, so I've added that as an option to the original rules.

HOW TO ACCEPT THE AWARD: The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers.  Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued.  Here are the rules for accepting the award:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award
3. Pick your five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs!
5. Optional: List five random facts about yourself that your bloggers may not know, and ask five questions of your nominated bloggers (this was not one of the original rules, so consider it optional).

My Nominated Blogs:
Many of the blogs I read have already been nominated, so I did my best to pick a few that I believe have not yet received the award.

1. Alison at http://seekingthemagic.blogspot.com/
2. Carol at http://rogo5.blogspot.com/
3. Lucy at http://barefoothorseblog.blogspot.com/
4. Achieve1dream at http://rdxhorses.blogspot.com/
5. Jessica at http://spottyhorse.blogspot.com/

My brain is fried and I must get a few hours sleep tonight, so I do not have questions to pass on. I encourage you to volunteer some facts and pass on some questions though!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 8, 2013

Barefoot no more

This morning was a bit melancholy or bitter sweet. I'm not sure. Neither of those words really seem to fit my feelings on the subject. At 8am I headed out to the barn in the cool morning air, which was already promising the coming of mid-day summer heat. As per usual, the barn was bustling this morning. My trainer CR was there, the barn owners, another border, and a local gal that hauls in for lessons. It makes me long for the ability to ride in the mornings during the week instead of all alone at night. I love having some adult social interaction. They are all excited because they are getting ready to go to the dressage show in Spokane, WA this weekend. Everyone is going but me of course. Oh, well. Next year maybe.

I got Rose, who was still very sore on both fronts, from her paddock and groomed her up and took some before photos (including side and sole photos for future comparison) while I waited for JS to arrive. He got there right after everyone left to go to the arena for lessons. Perfect timing. We had a nice quiet barn all to ourselves.

Before: Bare feet

Given my history with Rose's feet from when she was younger (click here for the 2010 post) I was understandably nervous about the process of shoeing her. I always default to imagining her as a wild 2.5 year old. Bad habit that I need to get over. Anyway, I did not want Rose to pick up on my anxiety, so I did my best to stay calm and collected, put it in the back of my mind, and trust that JS knows how to do his job. I figured that the least I interfered the better. So once he got to work I mostly kept my distance and just took a few photos of the process. I needn't have worried though, Rose took it all very very well. She was understandably curious about the smelly smoke and was a little tender to the pressure of the nails being driven in on her bruised left front. But she stood nice and still and didn't do any of the potentially silly or dangerous things I had conjured up in my mind. It makes me proud of how far we have both come, and what a grown up girl she's turned into.

The first smokey sizzle of the hot set

Sizzle closeup

Midpoint: Hot set complete, waiting for nails.

First nail

Finishing the nails

Final touch ups

After: Shoes are on

I was very relieved when Rose walked out beautifully and sound. She was walking more energetically on the concrete and asphalt than I have ever seen her walk before. That makes me feel better about putting shoes on her. At least I know she's more comfortable now.

A whole new view of my horse that I never thought I'd see

Going forward? JS wants me to give her five days off to get used to the shoes. That's fine, MM understands the situation and will happily wait to ride her until next week. I'll pop on her Saturday and make sure all is well, but based on how much more comfortable she was immediately after the shoes went on, I can't imagine that she wont be completely sound this weekend. Here is to hoping all the foot drama is now behind us!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 7, 2013

Downward spiral...

Have you ever noticed that things always seem to go wrong when you plan to go out of town? We, like many red-blooded Americans, had plans to be out of town this past Thursday for the Fourth of July holiday. This of course meant that Rose had to hurt herself Wednesday evening. Now, to be fair to Rose she didn't hurt herself. She did suffer a somewhat concerning injury all the same. On Tuesday she got trimmed. Her feet have been looking a better and the soles have gotten a tad harder. However, they are still paper thin. On Wednesday night MM came out to ride Rose and she must have stepped on a rock on the way to the arena because all of a sudden she was massively gimpy and had a tiny crack with blood oozing from it. There was no puss or otherwise anything to indicate it was an abscess. MM was kind enough to text me a picture before cleaning it with betadine and putting her back in her paddock.

Small bloody crack.
This of course prompted text messaging to my farrier JS, and a 10:30pm visit for me to the barn to assess the damage and bandage her up before I left town early the next morning.

All wrapped up. Fingers crossed the duct tape can hold for a few days.

JS called me bright and early Thursday morning and we discussed the situation. I have finally decided after speaking with him about it, my trainer CR and numerous other people, that given all that is going on with her feet and my limited ability to change her environment for the time being, front shoes have become necessary. We gave it a good old college try to make bare feet work (see my post about going barefoot from 2010), but I will not watch my girl gimp around in pain any longer because I would prefer for her to be bare. At the very least, I can feel good about that fact that she was bare until she was six, allowing her feet to fully develop. And that they have, they are huge! My lovely Cavallo boots no longer fit and there is only one larger size. I need to measure her to see if their size 6 will fit. Anyone want to purchase a like new pair of size 5 Cavallo sport boots?

Because JS rocks, he offered to go out that day, on the Fourth of July, and put shoes on Rose for me. I told him that I appreciated his offer, but I would really like to be there the first time she gets shoes. So a plan was hatched to shoe her this coming Monday (tomorrow). Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly...

Oh, and that bandage? It stayed put until this morning (Sunday). I'm pretty proud of that wrap job! As soon as we got back to town this afternoon I went out to check on her. She was still very sore, but equally so, on both fronts and there was no swelling and no more blood. So I think I've avoided her getting an infection and potential abscess from the crack. Fingers crossed!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 2, 2013

Oh, those front feet!

Like a couple other fellow bloggers (Ashley and Gingham) I am stressing trying not to stress over Rose's feet. She usually gets a little tender in the spring, and at random times throughout the year, but this year it is worse than usual, I think mostly from the quack trim job she had three months back coupled with a month of rain and standing in a muddy dry lot.

This morning she got trimmed again by my new farrier JS. This is his third time trimming her, and I have to say he's doing an excellent job. He might cost double what I'm used to paying but he spends a good 45 minutes trimming her, really pays careful attention to her feet, and to top it off he is a good conversationalist. I told him about how she's been off on her front left, so we trotted her out and he also tested her soles for pressure. This was mostly so that we would have a base line for next month. She's still off a bit on her left front, and looked like she even took a funny step here or there on her front right. It's all very very minor though, and she's sound in the arena, just not on the asphalt. So for now we are giving it another month and seeing if she comes sound during the dry season.

Post Trim. Looking a bit pitiful...she really wanted to eat the grass
rather than ground tie.

I am hoping whatever it is she'll come sound, but to be honest I'm starting to think that front shoes are in her future. Despite having nice big feet, she is a big horse. There is a lot of weight on those tootsies and it is near impossible to keep the flaring down. She's also getting worked more, and harder than she ever has in her life. Since I'm not showing this summer, and no longer selling her, I'm not worried about her remaining gimpy for another month if it means she comes sound barefoot. It would be nice to go at least one more year bare, but at the same time I don't want my poor horse chronically sore because her soles are too thin for her big body. I refuse to have her in pain because of an ideal that in her case just may not be possible to achieve.

If I had my own property I would have additional methods to try to keep her bare and sound, but alas I live on a golf course and must board. I'm fairly certain the HOA (and drunk golfers) would protest Miss Thing in my backyard. Though it would be a tempting April Fools Day prank. But, I digress. As a border you have to take what you can get, and you can't always control every aspect of your horse's care as you might like. That is unfortunately the reality. Right now I'm doing the best for her feet that I can given the current boarding situation (and there is no way I'll move her elsewhere). If another month isn't enough, then I guess we are looking at front shoes. Meh...

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

July 1, 2013

New Pen Name

I've struggled with my pen name of DS for a while now. I just randomly started using it when I started this blog....four years ago (egads). It was just an abbreviation of the random email address that I set up my account with. However, google+ requires"real" names on profiles now so it seemed like a good time to change. Thus, I have decided to change my pen name to my middle name Renee, which I think it is more fitting but still provides me some internet anonymity. Best yet, if you met me in person I would even respond to it. You could call me DS all day long and I probably wouldn't even turn my head...as it's just two random letters that don't mean a whole lot. So that's my totally off topic post of the day. I just wanted to clear up why suddenly my sign off has changed and why....in the event that anyone noticed!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


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