Thursday, March 29, 2018


Off and on, I have been worrying about Stinker's hind end.  He has never been visually off nor has trainer ever been able to see something.  It has mostly been his attitude and occasional behavior under saddle.  The lady that does his body work didn't find anything when she came.

New bonnet matches topline perfectly

I was hesitant to call a new vet over "I think something might be wrong with my horse, but there are no visual or physical signs."  That sounds totally crazy, and I try not to let my crazy show before I even meet the vet.

Luckily it was time for spring shots and coggins and all that fun jazz, so I made an appointment and mentioned that I would like the vet to see him go and get her thoughts on him.  Unfortunately, because it was a special shots clinic day she didn't have time to watch him that day, but she wanted to come back next week when she had more time to do a full evaluation.

I am the idiot that scrubs a water tank in 30 degree weather

If nothing else it will give her a baseline to see where he is at and we will have more information for future issues.  Interestingly enough lately the equisense gait symmetry data has been trend upwards.  For awhile when I was riding his gait symmetry was trending around 4.5.  On a scale of 0-10 4.5 is not great.

I am trying to balance his workload with his physical condition, so I am working him with the long lines, doing lots of walk work, and not pushing too hard with the dressage time.  I don't know if this is a blip on the radar or if it is something that I will have to continuously manage.

Cowboy got a new pad and of course I picked purple

Either way he doesn't owe me anything and I will do my best to provide him with the care he needs so he can keeping prancing around being a sass monster.  The farrier put some different shoes on his hind feet.  They are suppose to provide more support on the back half of the hoof, so hopefully they will help and things will keep trending upwards.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

30 Things

I honestly don't know who started this anymore.  Originally I wasn't going to do this, but seeing as how I am not riding and haven't been buying things I am running quite low on content.  So here it is with all the old pictures because I don't even have new pictures.
  1. I can't remember not riding
  2. I am really good at math
  3. I was a double major in math and biology and much to my math professors dismay did not pursue math because it was too easy and biology was more of a challenge
  4. I hated chemistry and hated it even more when people tried to tell me I didn't like it because I had to do math.  The math was the only thing that saved my chemistry grade.
  5. I actually thought I was bad at math for a really long time because my sister is a total math freak and makes me look slow
  6. I played basketball in college.  I was basically a GPA booster and quit because I got a lecture for putting my academics before athletics despite them saying academics came before athletics.
  7. I know how to castrate a bull
  8. I have pulled a calf
  9. I saw a cow choke to death on a placenta (0/10 recommend that experience)
  10. I have ridden in a blizzard.
  11. I hate snow.
  12. I worked on a dude ranch in Wyoming one summer
  13. I have been run over by a horse
  14. The worst fall I have had was when I was getting on and my horse spun.  I did a face plant off the other side and dislocated my thumb and my lips were smashed into my braces.
  15. When I was 4 or 5 I tried to hook my horse up to a little red wagon.  He was not down with it and wouldn't ever let me get behind him.  I had made him a harness out of bailing twine.
  16. The fact that I am still alive is probably because above horse was the best baby sitter ever.  I took a nap under him on multiple occasions and he would never move.
  17. I accidentally jabbed a needle in my dad's back when I was giving a calf a shot.  I yanked it back out and waited for him to yell at me.  He never said anything so I didn't say anything either.  I still don't know if he knew I stabbed him or not.
  18. I have lived in seven different states and had driver's license in five.
  19. I still haven't unpacked the majority of my stuff from my last move and it has been almost a year.
  20. I lived in organized chaos.
  21. I don't like dirty things, but I have piles of papers every where.
  22. I love reading trashy romance novels and mocking them with my friends.
  23. I don't watch movies unless people drag me to them.  I haven't been to a movie theater since early 2014.
  24. I have a really short attention span.
  25. I am a total lightweight when it comes to drinking.
  26. I don't drink coffee.  Chai lattes and English breakfast tea are where it is at.
  27. The only thing I miss about the South (besides the people) are all the Chick-fil-as.  Their waffle fries and sauce are the best.
  28. I am always cold.
  29. I haven't grown since 8th grade and I am 6'0"
  30. I used to have a shoe addiction then I got a horse and became a tack ho and didn't have money for shoes.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Road Walking For Sanity

There was another that storm blew through this last week and left the wonderful present of somewhere around 6-8" of snow.  I am really not sure how much snow we got because there were clear areas and areas where it drifted high enough it was well over my knee.  I was quite thrilled when I stepped there because it was dark and I couldn't see.

The horses seem to be settling in the barn, Stinker has shavings on him in the morning so he is laying down at night.  At the old barn he very rarely would lay down at night despite being in his stall all night all winter.  Cowboy seems to be walking his stall less and was begging to go into the barn.  The begging might have more to do with the amount he shed out and less to do with actually liking the barn, but I will take it.

Sunday morning I couldn't take it anymore and decided I was going to go for a ride.  My biggest problem is Stinker always balls the snow in his front feet.  And it isn't just a little within 15 minutes he will have 2-3" packed up like stilts.  So I don't feel comfortable even walking him in the snow.  Luckily the roads had cleared off so I decided to take him around the neighborhood.

He has gotten so much better about traffic and dogs.  Most vehicles get the suspicious eye and occasionally he will scoot away from them a bit, but I can't blame him there.  I would probably scoot if I heard a massive diesel engine roaring behind me too.

I was so happy with the way he handled a loose dog.  I don't know where the dog came from, but it came barreling at us barking and growling.  I honestly thought it was going to lunge at Stinker, but luckily it kept a few feet back from us when I told it to get home.  Stinker just kept walking along.  He didn't get excited or spook or give the dog any reason to chase us, despite the fact I got tense and nervous and was using my you are in so much trouble voice.

We went on about a 40 minute loop and while the snow was stunning, I was wishing for some sun glasses for the glare.  It was amazing how much that 40 minute walk improved my mood.  The amount of stress and lack of riding had been doing a number on me.  While I can't really control the stress, riding regularly helps me to manage it a little better.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Yes Ma'am

The weather behaved long enough for me to haul for my lesson this past weekend.  I was so impressed with Stinker.  He has had a long history of not accepting legs and not agreeing with suggestions to move his body parts around.

I have steadily been working on this and while there is still much room for improvement he is getting so much more maneuverable.  We have been really focusing on getting him to stretch down and me to ride properly.  Aka get my right hip out of his back.  He really really really appreciates that.

Plz get hip out of back.  K Thanks

We were able to do shoulder in and haunches in both directions at the trot.  I don't think the angle was steep enough for a test, but all the mechanics were correct and I could really feel him lifting and accessing his back.

The part that surprised me the most was in the canter.  To the left he was great, but to the right we have been struggling.  And by we I mean I am screwing up and making things hard for him.  I got my butt in the right place which allowed him to pick up the correct lead (funny how that works), but my right hip was still sinking back too much.  Trainer told me to think haunches in (mostly to get me to fix myself), which I did and he immediately shifted his haunches inward.

I could tell it was hard for him, but he tried and he did it.  Plus the canter felt better than it has been feeling.  Post EPM he was super weak and everything was four beat, as he has gotten stronger that has been going away, but when he gets nervous or frazzled it comes back.  So just about every time we canter there are portions that feel four beat.  This was the first time it felt like a solid canter the entire time.

So of course he got shoveled full of cookies while trainer and I told him how wonderful he was.  And he thought it was the best thing ever because he is a total ham.  But he totally deserved it.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Who Is This?

Yesterday I was able to sneak in my first ride in over 2.5 weeks.  It was cool and windy (~20 mph) and the horses haven't been as active since everything is drifted over or sloppy wet, so I was expecting Stinker to be a firecracker.

Never a trouble maker

He wasn't even close.  He was actually really really good.  My original plan was to just walk and get him stretching.  That was accomplished in about two minutes.  So I started working on my position and moving his shoulders and haunches in and out.  He kept feeling like he wanted to trot, so I said go ahead, but you can't invert and brace.

He said yes ma'am and proceeded to give me one of his better transitions.  I wouldn't go so far as to say it was a good transition, but with him everything is relative and I was more than happy to get it.  Going to the right he was a little tense and inverted until I remembered to get my hip out of his back. Then he gave a sigh of relief (or fine it was a sneeze) and gave me some of his better trot work.

Everything felt really balanced and rideable.  He never locked up and tried to plow through my aids.  I honestly wasn't really sure what to do since all the things I am normally trying to manage weren't happening.  Fingers crossed that the weather will behave and I will get my lesson on Saturday, so I can get told all the things I need to work on instead of basking in the "OMG my horse is trotting like a horse" moment.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Time Flies: 3 Years In GIFs

I have officially been riding the little Stinker for three years now.  I can't believe he is about to turn nine.  That might have something to do with the fact that he still acts like a three year old.  If it can fit in his mouth it goes in.  If it shouldn't be messed with it will be.  If you set down the manure fork and turn your back it will be moved within seconds.

So what changes have happened over the years?

March 2015:

April 2016:

April 2017:

February 2018:

The filming and the outfits have definitely gotten better over time.  He is also getting more relaxed and stronger, but there is still a long ways to go.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Running Away

There is a reason I ran away to the south for twelve years is I got really really really sick of snow.  Mother nature decided to give us winter all at once.

We got 10 inches of snow.  I haven't ridden my horse in over two weeks between work and the weather.  I am a giant sulky baby at the moment.

The horses seem to be enjoying themselves, although Stinker seems put out at the lack of attention.  I guess he likes work because the longer his break is the grumpier he gets.