Friday, March 4, 2011

Breakthrough? Maybe

Well, today C decided we should ride Aidynlou, and I immediately had this feeling of dread that either he was going to dump me, or be lame, or both. I tacked him up with trepidation and got on to find I had an audience of a client and my dad. Yippee. First we just got him going forward in the walk and kept a steady but light contact for him to go into. Then we started trotting and he was really fluid behind and felt strong. And for some reason I felt pretty stable in my position and my aids. We worked on putting his hindquarters to the left when he wanted to put them right...which means baby shoulder-in while tracking right and counter bend to the left. Then we did baby leg yields tracking right which he actually did...amazing! He listened to my leg aids and really tried to do as I asked. Then we cantered both directions and I almost laughed out loud going to the left, his canter was SO smooth and fluid! It hasn't felt that good since...ever. His left lead is usually a very choppy, uneven stride. I couldn't believe how good he felt and how much more responsive he was...the combination of the good injections and roping him all week really made a difference. Thank GOODNESS. Then he got his feetsies done and they look so darn farrier seriously needs a medal for all the hard work he's done on this horse. I will post pictures tomorrow of the before and after's crazy.

:) So hopefully this will continue. And we have a new pony coming tomorrow...stay tuned for details!!
God Bless,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Catching up a bit...

Today was Day Two of roping Aidyn to strengthen his hind end. I got the honors, which always makes me nervous immediately because each time I lunge him I don’t’ seem to have good results. It was made perfectly obvious today that my horse has no respect for me whatsoever. He plunked around the circle for ten minutes ignoring me until C came out to the ring, and almost immediately he surged forward into an energetic trot. After five more minutes C took the line and Aidyn was like 100% better. He was paying attention, going forward and bending. The SECOND I took the line back he went back to plunking. C would raise the whip and he would go forward immediately, but I could literally snap the whip at him and he just looked at me and continued plodding along. I was so frustrated. :-/ And had myself completely convinced by the time C came out that he was hurting and that was why he “couldn’t” go forward. C said I’m crazy and that he’s fine…I swear I see something off behind, but I think I’m just trying to make excuses or something. I don’t know. I do know that I’m frustrated. I have to make him pay attention to me and move out when I ask. I have to be more firm and be the boss mare. Tomorrow is a new day, I just pray I’m not wrong and that he really ISN’T in pain and is just lazy. Urg…really wasn’t a good day in general, I am feeling quite anxious right now and just want to go to sleep. So I think I will. :)

Tried lunging on my own again, with a determined expression that said "Don't mess with me"...which Aidyn merely laughed at and started plodding along with his ears sideways. I got so mad and chased after him with the lunge whip, which made him buck and aim right for my head. Prick. I did manage to get him going forward but it took the full 20 minutes. At least I got something for my effort..I was sweating more than him at the end, which is sad since he has his full winter coat. Oh well, progress is progress, right? At least he looked pretty strong behind and there wasn't much tripping!

Aidyn had the day off today, tomorrow he gets his second dose of Adequan and new shoes, so hopefully both of those things will improve his work this weekend!
God Bless,

Monday, February 28, 2011

So I usually don’t ride on Sundays but today was an exception because A) It was beautiful outside and B) because we started him back yesterday, so I figured another day off wouldn’t be the best plan for his rehab. Tore myself away from my Lifetime movies to give him a nice long grooming (he is shedding like crazy!) and then tacked him up, got on and headed to the ring. Almost immediately he decided to take off and I had to make a sharp circle to slow him down (which I’m sure was really good for his stifle) and then I thought “What the heck” and just skipped the walk and picked up a trot. Speedy Gonzales is whipping around a 20 meter circle and my hands are jiggling all over the place. My hardest vice to break on this particular horse is my hands…his trot is SO bouncy and thrusty (which isn’t a word) and my arms bounce with him…it’s heinous and ineffective and I need to find a solution, but that is the topic for another blog! Anyways, we did about 10 minutes of trotting, changing directions and doing 20 meter circles around the jumps. He had a few more bolting incidents but nothing too bad, thank goodness. We practiced putting his right hind underneath him…he likes to put it to the inside tracking right and to the outside tracking left, so we do a bit of counterbend tracking left to straighten him out. You can tell it’s a strain on his stifle because his trot ALWAYS slows when I ask for counterbend and he tries to stall out on me. That immediately makes me worry that I’m hurting him and then I feel like a bad Mom..but then I remember that it’s never going to get stronger if he doesn’t work on it. So we kept working, and then after 10 minutes we were both sweating and I called it a day. He got a Bigeoil bath which burned my eyes and made him frisky, then let him graze for a while to dry which resulted in him trying to mount his friend over a paddock fence and striking at me. Crazy man. Tomorrow he begins his first round of Adequan. Fingers crossed that it will maintain him….and also that we can get him reshod in the next day or two because his toes are getting quite long (my fault) and I definitely don’t want that to get out of hand right when we’ve gotten them under control!
This weather is beautiful and amazing and a blessing and I’m excited to see what the week holds….God Bless!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


So I wrote this yesterday on the way home from Florida, thus there will be an "update" at the bottom on today's findings!

The horse trials in Florida this past weekend was a great success and a super learning experience for me. It was my first time EVER packing for 6 horses to go 9 ½ hours from home for 5 days….and naturally, I forgot a few minor things (like a wheelbarrow, haha) but overall we stayed super organized and on top of things the whole weekend. Every single one of the horses behaved beautifully and showed that I think we’re in for a really fun season. Florida is GORGEOUS and I wouldn’t mind visiting again J There are palm trees and Spanish moss everywhere and everyone we met was super friendly. The courses were beautiful and everything was close to the barn area…a very well run event that I’m sure we’ll return to next year. Good start to the season, thank the Lord, and we are well prepped for Southern Pines coming up. Now if only the beautiful Florida weather will transfer back to NC…
So on the Aidyn front, we have unfortunately found a stifle problem (torn meniscus) that can be treated by injecting the stifle and then starting a regimen of Adequan and Legend. Yes, this is expensive, and I have to admit my first thought was “panic” and my second thought was “give him away.” After talking to C and my vet at length about our options, both agreed we should pursue this treatment and see if there is improvement, and if so, see how much talent he continues to show for the sport. If he feels better after the injection and the joint supplements, he will at least have a CHANCE at proving himself as a sport horse. If he turns out to not be “worth” the cost of upkeep, we will cross that bridge then…and if the regimen doesn’t work the way we hoped, well, we will cross that bridge as well. Best case scenario is that the injection works, the Adequan and Legend maintain, he starts improving and becomes a good event horse for me. I’m trying to focus on that scenario and not the others, because frankly, the thought of ANYONE else having MY horse makes my stomach turn. Obviously if I was a bottomless pit of money I’d just keep him forever regardless of his performance or soundness, but I have to be realistic when looking at the amount of money I will be putting into keeping him sound and happy.
So anyway, for now, the plan is to inject the problematic stifle tomorrow morning and then put him back into work (in addition to putting him on monthly Adequan and Legend shots) and see how he progresses. I’m a little disappointed in having yet another setback in his training but if I’ve learned anything at this job, it’s to take things slowly and you’ll be better off in the end. I’m not going to rush him or do anything with him that’s not in C’s program for him. Yes, he’s had a LOT of setbacks since I got him…his gelding, then an infection after his gelding, then a hard winter, a very serious hock injury, a brutal summer, shipping here and needing time to settle in, numerous hoof problems (that thank the LORD seem to finally be resolved!), another bad winter, and now this. But we will work through it only as quickly as his body and mind allow and we will set our sights on a promising outcome. And I’m sure Aidyn would never protest to another break from work. He is the Glutton King. C calls him “Snausage” and everyone in the barn can tell it’s Aidyn from the sound of his hooves on the concrete..he is the SLOWEST walker I’ve ever met in my life.
Now as far as my goals, they’ve been both changed and reinforced by this opportunity to manage a barn who is totally focused on competing. I want to compete again. I thought for sure I wasn’t interested anymore but truly, I can’t wait to be galloping cross-country again. I can’t wait for that adrenaline rush again. Would I like to do the upper levels eventually? Absolutely, but more than anything I want to learn more about training an event horse from all angles. And the rehab side of the sport continues to interest me more and more. I *love* working on the horses and helping them to feel as good as they possibly can. I have no idea how all of that fits together but for now, I’m happy as a clam, I love my job, and I love my horses very much. So if optimism can help Aidyn succeed, he’s a shoo-in!

*UPDATE*: Dr. H came to inject Aidyn's stifle today. He said that 1 out 10 stifles have fluid come out, and naturally Aidyn had fluid come out. Luckily the fluid was good fluid. When injecting where the miniscus is, Aidyn was very unhappy, which solidified Dr. H's diagnosis of that being torn. The protocol is one day stalled, then no work until the weekend..Bute in the morning, then Prevocox daily for two weeks, and he starts Adequan doses on Monday (IF I can manage to make money appear in my bank account by then). Just kidding, I will starve if I have to. Anyway, keeping my optimism up and I will do everything I can to make this work for him.

PS...the Truvia commercial just came on. It made me happy.
God Bless,

Friday, January 28, 2011

Revelations on riding a horse that knows more than I do...

I'm priviledged to ride Monkee while C is away, and since he is trained to PSG in dressage, he is a real treat to ride. We headed out to the field this morning since the ring was a bit crunchy from the temps last night, and I warmed up with a nice big walk on a loose rein. So far, so good.

But wait, a truck hath passed and made a terrible noise. He starts jigging. I reach forward to gather the reins and the jigging worsens. Hey dumb lady, put your leg on. Oh, okay. Problem solved. Now to try trotting. Soften that jaw, Monkee...maybe you'll soften if we do some circles. Hmm...not bending through ribcage. Duh. Your hands are all wiggly and your leg is just sitting there. Crap, you're right. Ok, put leg on, move you over into my outside hand...why aren't you moving over? Because you have no outside rein, moron. Oh, maybe this dressage whip will help! *kick buck kick* MONKEE! *desperately tries to recover reins and said whip* *kick buck kick* Okay, fine, you don't like the whip. I don't like the whip when you use it for no reason and have nothing to back it up with. Let's just try to get a rhythm in this trot and then we'll work on softening. Well if you would post with some rhythm.... Ok, this is better. Good boy! Back to the circle...I know you know how to bend, Monkee... You're right, I do. But I'm not going to do it until you ask properly. I don't speak moron language. Hmm, ok, deep breath, little leg yield right, soften hands and leg on. YES! SOFT LEFT JAW!!! Ho hum, I like trotting this way...

Canter time! Best canter I have ever ridden...quite easy to get lost in it and forget that I'm riding. Here we go...*buck* Crap..oh, my flopping hands have activated the whip which has hit Monkee for no reason. Hands be still! Now sit up...relax...hey, this is pretty fabulous!! Counter-canter...the only reason I'm even staying in the canter right now is because I feel sorry for you, and I like cantering...but next time, you're going to get me breaking to a rushy trot because you forgot to RIDE the counter-canter.

Basically, he humbles the crap out of me, but man...after we walked home and my thighs were crying, all I could think of was how much I love this horse and how much I love riding. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Why yes, we do still exist!

So basically, blogging is one of those things I'm not too dedicated I only have one reader, Kateoh, and I can tell her things without having to blog. Nevertheless, she blogged for me, so I must blog for I had such a blessed day that I feel the need to write it out :)

This winter has been a rough one (albeit not as rough as last winter in Louisville, but then again, we don't have indoor arenas here). Aidyn's work schedule has consisted mostly of as much turnout time as the weather will allow, and as much work in the Pessoa rig as the ring will allow. The before and after in the rig is amazing. He started out tripping and stepping on himself and falling all over the place and now he not only SWINGS behind but he steps confidently into the contact and really lets go in his back. Surprise surprise, this carries over to our undersaddle work as well! I've only ridden him a handful of times this month but each time has been a "wow!" moment...for the first time, I don't have to hold him up...I don't have to gallump his sides with spurs and whip at the same time...I don't have the constant fear of bolting because my dog was in the's like he finally grew up and realized where all four of his legs are at the same time. He's so much softer and more forward, although I still have to work on him, especially when he's tired. We have been trying to establish the forward in all three gaits but especially the walk, he's not allowed to stop marching even during breaks. He's just such a laid back guy and would rather chill out then be in a rush...a quality that I have come to appreciate after riding racehorses for so long! And his feet...oh goodness, what a long road that has been, but we are REALLY getting somewhere!! My farrier is a godsend and works his butt off to make sure Aidyn's feet are in tiptop shape...and Aidynlou has really adjusted to his bar shoes with the funky wire pads and Equithane. At first he looked like his feet were attached to blocks of concrete, but slowly he's realized they're not that bad after all. We also have had him on a great supplement for two months (Steadfast, by Arenus) and it has allowed me to take him off all his other supplements...we were worried for a while about hocks, but they seem to be fine now. I have no idea if that bad puncture from last spring did internal damage but he hasn't had problems since we put him on this supplement, so fingers crossed!

Anyways, since he had yesterday off, I just did the Pessoa today and had him trot over a ground pole to remind him to pick up his feet. I will (God willing) ride him tomorrow and practice our homework while C is away :)

I cherish this time when I get to ride all the horses while C is in FL...each of these guys is so, so special and they are such joys to ride. We did trot sets today and each of them was just so quiet and relaxed. They're all special in their own ways...D is so lazy and ho-hum until he spooks, and then I have the best energy underneath me and he really has all the buttons. Then there's A who is still young and sometimes unfocused but everything is so darn easy for him that even when he's not perfect, he still FEELS that way ;) and then my sweet Monkee, my little hack winner who literally gives 110% in everything he does...he is probably my favorite boy in the whole barn and every second on his back is a true priviledge. then finally Guppy who is a close second in the favorites category, I feel like we have finally figured him out and he's just such a blast once you unlock all his gears...and such a handsome boy, too :)

Ok, kateoh, I hope that was satisfactory! I think I'm going to go take the hottest shower I can stand...I'm so unfit and my back is reminding me of that at this moment! <3

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The heat has been nearly unbearable for the last two weeks. Aidyn comes in sweaty every single night, and for the last few nights we haven't even been able to ride because of the heat and humidity. Luckily for Aidyn, I take pity on him and bring him in each day for a shower and for dinner. His dinner is even more fun now....he gets a half scoop of sweet feed mixed with the "organic mix", which is alfalfa pellets/beet pulp/oats. He thinks it's quite delicious.

He also enjoys his showers, although he won't admit it. He then goes straight to the dirtiest part of his pasture and rolls. The aftermath:

Gross. Back to work for him tomorrow evening, weather permitting. A light ride in the paddock to get him ready for a weekend full of riding :D

Also thought Aidyn wouldn't mind sharing his blog with the four geldings I am caring for for a very kind lady. The gang consists of Bailey, a gray Rocky Mountain Horse; Undertaker, a black RMH; Rusty, a chestnut QH; and Otto, a Friesian who is obviously black. Today was so hot that I felt baths were in order for all of them. Bailey was a bit unsure of the hose and the way water just spurts out of it at random intervals...he stood like a statue though. I think he secretly enjoyed getting all clean and shiny. Undertaker was a bit more antsy but he seemed happy to be getting the attention. Rusty is the king of Seperation Anxiety Issues, so when he was taken away from Otto to get his bath I had to keep his attention on me at all times so he wouldn't call for Otto or dance around. He was a good boy...that is, until I had to take Otto away for his bath. He screamed the entire time, tried to tear the stall door off (literally....) and generally acted a fool. Otto stood quietly and ignored him like a good man. When they were reunited, Otto was like "Um yeah dude...enough." We're going to be working on being seperated a bit more each time, I think...after all, how am I going to ride Otto if Rusty has to be with him?

Undertaker after his bath, feeling pretty sexy:

Silly boys. Can't wait to get back on my Baby TB tomorrow.
God Bless!