Other Pages:

Click any photo on this page to enlarge!

Jan/Feb ~~ March/April ~ May/June ~~ July/Aug ~~ Sept/Oct ~~ Nov/Dec
Updated: April 30, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

I've been bad about updating this week. I spent a lot of time playing with my friend's hunter gelding (I'll grab any excuse to jump a horse!), and doing quick little rides on Corky. Today I did a longer ride on Corky. Yesterday I turned her and the yearlings out and decided to free longe...Corky got a burr up her butt and ran and ran and ran and ran...she wound herself up, then the yearlings got wound up and they wound her up even more. Today I figured she would be a little tired, and she was. She rode really well for me. Her canter is feeling better underneath. I have been worried about her canter quality with those wedge shoes. It's taking a lot longer than I had anticipated to get her back in shape. She's definitely not there yet, but is improving. I did some exercises that Darla recommended - two tracking and cantering off in the same direction on the diagonal. It was hard to accomplish in our small arena. I am hoping to haul in for a lesson this weekend, we need some guidance!

Both yearlings got a thorough grooming (both are picking up their feet SO well!). All three of my horses are shedding buckets. I did a little bit of work with both kids on the longe line, just learning to establish a good sized circle with continuous forward motion at the walk, etc. Boring, easy stuff! I did a little trotting with both on the line, maybe a circle at a time. I like how both have really learned to establish their full circle and are maintaining it at the trot. Tango looks like a big gangly goof on the line LOL! He is still 3" off from hip to wither, potbellied, and just all over the place. It's comical...I know he will eventually grow into those legs! Pepsi, however, has the purest gaits of all, but they are turning out to be more and more western as she grows. I am amazed, this girl can lope and jog in place. I am pretty sure that HUS is probably not totally in her future, but with her incredible flat legs and lope, she is definitely going to be a top-notch western prospect. Now I scratch my head in puzzlement because I have NO idea how to train a western prospect! I mean seriously, the last horse I showed western I sold in 1995! I am just bumbling along for now trying to figure things out. I know one thing - she has the purest movement of any yearling I've seen. It's almost freaky!

So, as usual, real life intrudes on my horse life. The biggest thing is that we took possession (finally!) of our new house and property. It's a major fixer-upper, and I am predicting it will consume our lives for the next year. You can follow my progress HERE...watch how two smaller-income people take a bargain basement bank property and turn it into...well, not exactly a showplace but something nice and livable. Oh yeah, and my truck broke down again this weekend, taking with it a half month's salary in repairs. Yay. Life throws tomatoes in bushel baskets, but I just keep ducking and moving forward! Good thing I am a fan of tomato sauces!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Corky was touchy to her sides today, so I did some two-tracking at the trot to dull her up and relax her to my leg pressure. She must be feeling better because she was really testing me a lot tonight in all sorts of little ways. Nothing major, just little things here and there.

Tango got a new ball today! He popped his hot pink one last month, so I got him a new oversized ball at Wal-Mart in a more manly purple color. He LOVED it! I HAD to get more video of him because it was so full of fun and joy it made me laugh!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today was a pretty good ride on Corky! I am really happy - I am able to schedule a lesson with Darla this Sunday. I will be not only interested to see how Corky moves in the bigger arena with those wedge shoes, but I will be VERY interested to hear what advice Darla has about improving her movement. Plus I just need some feedback...been riding alone for many months now. I rode for about 20 minutes today, worked on some turns on the haunches and forehand, lots of two-tracking back and forth, and really pushed her with my outside leg at the canter to get her front leg forward and free. The whole time I ride, I had Pepsi and Tango tied to the wall in the indoor for a patience lesson. Both were very good! I have no patience for impatient horses :-]

Sunday, March 13, 2011

After spending many days working (demolishing) the new house, I took a horsey-ME day today and hauled Corky over to Darla's for a lesson. I am so grateful to her - she gave up part of her Sunday day off to be there for me so I could ride and get feedback.

I am happy, Darla was happy with how her canter had improved since the video I sent her (yes, I took a video of her right after the wedge shoes went on and it was pretty awful!). She helped me with some exercises to get her throwing that front leg out a little better - two-tracking before canter departures, angling the body and just working on complete body control. Brian came out for a little bit while she was helping me and he had some good advice. I like how he usually pops in during one of my lessons and always has something to mention that gives me a lightbulb moment - you know what I am talking about...stating something that is fairly obvious but I am not considering and it wakes me up to what I am doing. He reminded me that a lot of these exercises are mainly to work on controlling the body and the various body parts - being able to put your horse's hip, shoulder, head, leg, whatever in whatever place you want. Total body control. Corky will be a better horse with more control over the individual parts. Duh, Jan! This is obvious, yet sometimes you just don't think specifically about these things! Oh well, that's why I am an amateur and they are the professionals. Sometimes I think maybe I am not smart enough to be pro :-]

It was a good lesson, Corky was on great behavior, and it was nice riding in the bigger, softer arena. If all goes well this week, I hope to haul her to Springfield on Saturday afternoon and ride in the big indoor after the show is done for the day (the SOQHA Winter Circuit is going on for all those lucky folks who don't have to work every day and can take a half a week off for showing!). Corky despises Springfield for some reason, so we will see if this is still the case or if maybe she is finally growing out of that silliness.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The arena is too hard to ride, so Corky is just getting turned out with the yearlings right now. Dang Tango has a lot of energy...he runs and runs and runs and runs. Pepsi will play with him for a little while, but I think she is a bit too sophisticated for him and gets bored with his silly antics. She has been gravitating more towards Corky, they both share a mutual disdain for Tango the goober gelding.

I took the time to take Corky's tail out of the tail tube and condition it. She had ripped a big chunk of hair off at the roots...ugh. I think I might take it home, wash it, and braid it into a bracelet. Tango hovered over me the entire time I worked on Corky's tail, he was fascinated with what I was doing!

Thursday, March 17, 2011...Making the hard decisions

It's not been a very happy St. Patrick's Day. I have been home sick from work for the past two days. Maybe strep? Maybe not. Who knows? Leave it to me to come down with a doozie of a sickness right at the end of winter.

The worst news came with the new house last night. I won't bore you with details, but it looks like we are going to need an entire new septic system and tiles run on the property ASAP...to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. Surprise!. The selfish Jan would say tough luck, sell the property or fix it yourself. Unfortunately, that's not me...selling our property that has been a joint dream of ours would be devastating to both of us, and especially disappointing to my other half. I am responsible for 50% of the bills, that's our deal. Therefore, since I have far less money, I have to do something drastic to make this happen. I cried all the way home last night, but decided to be an adult and put both yearlings up for sale. I am trying desperately to avoid selling Corky - I don't think I could survive that. Selling the kids will be hard enough, I just don't know how I can do it...but I have to. I have to be a responsible adult and foot my 50% of the repair bills, and this is pretty much the only way to do it. It's killing me...but I have no choice. My budget was squeaky tight, but with this new glitch that needs paid for suddenly my budget has fallen apart. I hate this...hate it hate it hate it. It's tearing me apart. *poof!* there goes another dream.

If only I had spent those thousands trying to save Lazlo in 2009...if only I hadn't spent those tens of thousands trying to save Taylor and then saving Tango this past year....yeah. You know, even with hindsight I can honestly say I STILL would have done whatever I could to save those horses. Even though it put me in this position today...I can't say I would have done a darn thing different.

Friday, March 18, 2011

After work, both yearlings got a thorough grooming and de-shedding lesson, and then about 5 minutes each on the longe line (both walked, trotted, and reversed perfectly!). I briefly rode Corky, and she was good. I did a little hand-galloping and then coming back down to a regular canter (tough to do when she is fresh!). Since today was warm and dry, I decided to introduce Tango to the trailer since he hasn't been in one since I brought him home from the hospital at 5 days old. It took quite a while to coax him through the narrow arena door into the old barn. After that, all went well! I intended on only having him put his feet on the ramp and letting him eat, but he seemed eager to follow me all the way in, so I let him. Yay! he walked right in the trailer and stood inside eating his grain. Afterwards I backed him out (also stayed quiet and calm) and then got his feet on the ramp once more and let him eat, then called it a day. Success!

I am going to haul Corky to Springfield tomorrow to ride around when the show finishes for the day. We'll see if her hatred of Springfield has abated at all this year. I am eager to get out and ride.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I heard somewhere that this is the first day of spring! I believe it...it was sunny and in the 50's, a gorgeous day to ride. I hauled Corky to Springfield to ride around when the show was done. Or, at least that was the plan! The show ran extremely long, so there was not going to be a chance to ride inside at all until the late hours. Instead I rode outside...did a little longeing first and then hopped on.

I had a fairly good ride, considering the last time Corky rode outside at a show it was early September! The arena was not crowded at all, which helped things (thought even when we did encounter traffic, she gave it no notice...yay!). She was pretty forward the whole ride, so I did a lot of reminding her to back off with our spur slow. Yeah, that was a bit rough, I had to remind her about every 3-4 strides. It made her angry, which made her surge more. Eventually, though, I think we did have a mini breakthrough and she started holding back a bit when I asked. I did a lot of things like rollbacks, pivots, two-tracking, and the like...stuff to keep her mind busy.

I gave her an hour or two break in the trailer while I watched some of the show, then I got her back out again for a short second ride. It was nearly 7pm at this point, the sun was setting and it was getting COLD! I got some good rounds in and called it a day.

Then I had a moment of sheer and utter panic when I realized the key I had stuck in my pocket was NOT my truck key, and my truck key was locked IN the truck! I tore apart my trailer looking for a spare key, but couldn't find one. I thought maybe when I first got my trailer (as in 11 years ago) I put a spare key somewhere, but it wasn't in any of my usual spots (my junk drawer, lock drawer, etc.). On a whim I started going through bins of stuff in my shelves, and lo ad behold I found a spare key stuck in a soapdish, of all places. Yeah, it makes no sense to me either, but I was too busy thanking God and jumping with total joy to worry about my weird storage habits. I loaded up, and made the 2 hour drive back home.

Maybe I am being paranoid, but Corky felt a little weird going to the right that second time I rode her. I don't know if it was because she was fighting me a lot or what. I got off her and pulled her in a tight circle and saw no signs of lameness...no it could very well be that I was paranoid. Or not??? I hate second-guessing myself. I guess we will see how she looks tomorrow. She still has those 3 degree wedge shoes on. Her farrier appointment is this Wednesday, and she might go down to a 2 degree wedge if she has grown enough heel to maintain that angle.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I spent the morning attempting to get good photos of the yearlings. The sun was shining, so I opened up the doors and groomed both horses as best I could (their hair is coming off in buckets!). Here are a few shots:



After I was all done, I decided to see if Tango would load in the trailer again. He walked right through the arena gate and right up in the trailer with NO hesitation! I let him eat for a bit, backed him out slowly, and he walked right back in for me. He even backs out slowly and easily. I am excited...he could be the easiest horse I have ever taught to load!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yes, He IS the easiest horse I've ever taught to load!

Tango walked right in the trailer, again with no hesitation, twice! Here is something he did not inherit from Taylor, because Taylor took months to teach how to load. She was one of my most difficult trainees. Next I need to start working On Pepsi, but will probably have to wait until someone is out to help me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Farrier Appointment today! Corky was DISGUSTING in heat, she has been strongly in heat for several days now. We measured her hoof angle in the front after we took the front shoes off. With the wedges, she is at a 58-degree angle. Yes, seems rather steep, but that's what the doctor ordered! Unfortunately we had to put the 3 degree wedges back on as she didn't grow quite enough heel t drop her down to the 2 degree wedges. Maybe next time. Tango was a brat for the farrier. not terribly bad, just very very restless and impatient and didn't want to stand still. I was very mad, he stands great for me every single day, but today was just one of those days and he was being very bratty - chewing on everything he could get his mouth to. I wish he didn't have that horrible mouthy habit, he's had it since he was born. That is so opposite of Taylor, who never ever put her mouth on anything! Even Pepsi was a little bratty for the farrier today, but not nearly as bad as Tango. I think it was the sudden cold snap, going from near 70 temperatures to high 30's. They were all wound up!

I was taking Corky out of the cross ties when one of the studs in the stall went nuts, kicked his door open, and came after us. It was a scary moment, especially when Corky got her hind legs tangled in the aluminum ladder leaning against the wall...but all was OK in the end. I think I saw my life flash before my eyes (yawn!).

It is so weird - Corky, being in heat, was letting Tango boss all over her. At one point Tango looked like he was trying to nurse off of her, and she was letting him? What is up with that??? I kept a close eye on them because if he starts chewing her tail, he will be banned from being turned out with her. I think Corky is just too submissive and Tango is figuring that out. He needs some turnout time with a crabby old mare to teach him how to respect other horses' space.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Corky seemed a little weird today on her "new" feet. Granted, her shoes weren't new since the wedges were the same ones reset. She wasn't lame, just kind of lazy moving...either she was not energetic today or she felt weird with her feet trimmed. Or, a good possibility is that I am just plain paranoid

I went to go turn Tango out and he was laying down. I tried to get him up, and he really struggled to stand. It was then I noticed that his left hock was really swollen and hot. There was a tiny scrape on it, I don't know if that had anything to do with it or not. He didn't want to put much weight on it, and limped when he walked, so I left him in his stall.

These pictures really don't show the swelling very well, it is fairly large (baseball-sized?). Ugh, more worries. Tomorrow I will pray it is a bit better, if it is worse then I will have to figure out a place to haul him on a Saturday to have it looked at. Always a worry with these horses...

Friday, March 25, 2011

When it rains it pours! I ended up having the vet come out this afternoon to check not Tango, but Pepsi. She had a hematoma on her hip from the flu vaccination, and it was getting bigger and more painful. It was a fairly useless vet appointment, they didn't try to drain it or give her antibiotics, just told me to put warm compresses on it and rub some DMSO on it. Poor thing, she sinks down when you touch it. She is being so stoic for the DMSO even though I know it probably stings.

Tango still has swelling on his hock, but he is moving a little bit better today. I was almost afraid to even look at Corky, but she looks fine today, so I DO have at least one healthy horse!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Corky had a dentist appointment today. Did I mention when it rains, it pours? In my world, when it rains, it hurricanes! The dentist found a hard lump in her gum underneath one of her teeth. It doesn't seem to bother her much, but he feels it might be an abscessing root. the only way to tell would be an x-ray. I will just watch it for a while and see if it gets worse, or if she starts reacting to the pain. He said if it is an abscessing root, eventually it will blow out the side of her face kind of like a hoof abscess does. Great.

Pepsi's hematoma is starting to settle lower in her hip, so that means the inflammation is starting to disperse. That's a good thing. She is just so sweet about the whole ordeal. I figured she would be hating people, but she is still letting me rub and love all over her. Tango still has the swelling, but by this evening he was running and playing and using that hock really deep, so I think it must be feeling a lot better. I just need to get rid of that swelling!

To top off my "rainy" weekend. I got a bridge put in on Tuesday for that tooth I lost when I had the jaw infection back in September. Got the bill yesterday for $1300. Today the dang thing broke completely off. So much for a "permanent" bridge! I am thoroughly annoyed by it...dental issues are the biggest pain in the butt. All this trouble and money stemming from a dumb dentist back in 1984 that broke off a metal tool in my root and left it in there, causing damage to my jaw decades later. Grrr!

On another side note, I am off tomorrow to chaperon our senior class trip to New York City. I guess you can call it one of the perks of my job, though how much of a perk it is we will have to see LOL!

Friday, April 1, 2011...I am THE April Fool!

I am finally back from chaperoning the trip to New York, only to find that Pepsi's hematoma has taken a bad turn and is now huge, swollen, and the hair is coming off. That vet that came out last week did NOTHING, didn't even put her hand on it to feel the heat, and basically said it was no big deal. Well sorry, but now it IS a big deal and there is a raging infection inside. The vet came back out this morning while I was at work, she opened up the swelling and put in a drain. Tons of icky liquid was pouring out of it all afternoon. Poor Pepsi has been really really sore. I think after the gunk started draining, she felt a lot better. She is such a good girl, I know she hurt to the touch but she let me take a wet rag and wash all of the dried gunk off of her hip and back leg. I feel so awful. I am sincerely angry at this vet. What could have been a minor issue solved a week ago has now turned into a major problem and will take more than a month to heal. I pray it doesn't leave a dimple in her muscle. It's going to get uglier before it gets better, I am afraid.

Tango's swelling in his hock has gone almost completely away. You can clearly see the scrape on the outside of the hock now that the swelling is down. He either knocked it on someone, or someone kicked him. I am sure if he was kicked, he probably deserved it LOL! That horse cannot seem to keep his mouth to himself. He is always picking with someone. Once I was done doctoring Pepsi, I put Tango on the longe line. I haven't done any training stuff with him for several weeks. He is so smart, he did really well with the walking, trotting, and reversing. We even did about 3 strides at the canter. I feel sad that Pepsi will now be out of commission for a while. She had been doing so well. I don't want to push her until that hole closes up and is on the healing end...that will take weeks.

No, I did nothing with Corky today other than take her bell boots off when I put her back in her stall. After all this yearling drama, I was exhausted and starving. It's so hard to work a job until almost 5pm and then go to the barn, clean stalls, and then find the desire and energy to ride. Especially when the temperatures are COLD again. April is looking like it might be a rather cold month...booo!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

After a long day at work (solo and ensemble contest for junior high) I ran out to the barn to clean stalls and get Pepsi cleaned up. It's pretty gross what I have to do - stick this plastic tube up in that hole in her hip and push a syringe of saline into it to flush it, then press on the lump and squeeze the liquid (and blood and pus ICK!) out. Pepsi will actually stand for the pushing and pressing, but we need to twitch her to get the irrigation tube in the hole...can't blame her. I hate hate hate hate hate twitching horses, it seems so unnecessarily cruel, but sometimes it cannot be helped.

I know it's really disgusting, but I will post pictures on here to show the treatment and healing process. It might help someone else out in the future who has this same problem. I have never ever had a reaction to a vaccine like this. It is testing my ability to handle gross bloody things...I tend to have a weak stomach when it comes to that.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I finally got a chance to ride Corky today. It's been forever! She, as I expected, was a bit belligerent and didn't want to work hard. I always face this problem when I give her a long time off, and in these past 2 weeks I haven't even had much of a chance to free longe her. I am thinking I will try and ride again tomorrow and get on a regular schedule. Show season is approaching! I sat down and gave a long hard look at what will happen this year. With the new property and all the buckets of problems that it came with, money is going to be a huge issue. Once I saw how insane the gas price was for me just to haul to Springfield to ride around 2 weeks ago, I am thinking I am going to really try and show at some cheaper shows that aren't quite so far away. I would love to find some open shows with longe line since I have TWO yearlings! I also need a friend with nothing to do who wants to work and show one of them for me LOL! This year I think I will stay low-key. I am not ruling out Congress however, but something major in my life has to happen (win the lottery, sell a kidney, something of that nature).

More blood and a little pus (and some icky lumpy stuff) came out of Pepsi's hematoma today. Fun fun fun!

Tango was a total brat today when I led him to the arena to turn out, so we had a little schooling session on proper leading manners. After he ran and played for a while, I worked him on the longe line again. I tried a little more cantering today. He always wants to take the wrong lead when going to the left, but is great going to the right. Eventually I got him to do a couple rounds on the correct lead going to the left, and quit on a good note. He is great on the longe line, probably because he doesn't have his mouth in reach of anything he can play with!

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's time for our daily dose of icky hematoma photos! We took the drain off since it wasn't doing anything other than flapping around hanging by a stitch. Again I flushed the hole with saline and then expressed the fluid - saline, blood, pus, and a little bit of lumpy stuff that someone e-mailed me to tell me it is necrotic muscle tissues. I appreciate any info and advice as I am kind of working blind here. Glad to know I am not alone in the world with this issue.

I longed Pepsi a little bit to get her moving. Then she chilled in her stall while I rode Corky. Tango got a patience lesson being tied to the wall while I rode. He did well, other than chewing up my lead rope. I soaked the darn thing in chew stop spray but it didn't faze him. Any other suggestions to stop rope chewing?

My ride on Corky was...well...let's just say not much of an improvement from yesterday. I longed her briefly with side reins and then hopped on. I really didn't intend on doing any heavy schooling on the spur slow today but it became necessary when she ignored my slight leg pressure and went about her own way. Our supposed quiet ride became a tough ride, and we were both warm when we were done. I will give her tomorrow off and try again on Wednesday. I fully expect her to test me as we get into spring, so I can't let myself get too discouraged. Gotta love horse training!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pepsi's abscess bump seemed smaller today. I did the usual flush and express treatment, and GOBS if icky stuff came out. I don't want to gross out people here with photos, but I know some people might actually be interested in what comes out of a vaccination abscess, so instead I will link to the photos...click at your own risk!

Hematoma picture #1
Hematoma picture #1

After expressing all of the lumpy, bloody pus, I scrubbed her clean (I think she actually enjoys this part of the treatment). She also got another antibiotic shot - can't remember the exact name but it is one that is given every 4 days. I was shocked at how good she was, she stood like a ROCK for that needle jab. I guess after what I've been doing with that abscess hole every day, a little needle prick ain't nothin'!

Tango got a crosstie lesson today. He was NOT happy about it! He tried to set back several times without success. He stood in those crossties with his earls sideways and the biggest pout I have ever seen on a horse's face. I decided to go ahead and make it a completely miserable experience and I braided his mane and wormed him in the cross times. He hates when I mess with his mane, but he is going to have to learn to deal with it, being a hunter under saddle horse! I braided the mane down mainly to get him used to having his mane tied up. I will be interested to see what sort of condition these braids are in tomorrow. I hope he's not a mane-rubber...those horses make a braider's life a living $#@!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I got a lot done today...kinda. Pepsi's hematoma looked a lot better today, and just fluid and blood was expressed today (very little lumpy stuff).

I did a lot of leading with Tango today. He has been getting rather full of himself and needed a strong lesson in leading properly. He pouted after he was disciplined, but did a lot better after I laid down the law. We worked on the longe line a bit and I did a little more cantering. I finally got him to go 2 complete rounds at the canter to the left (he always wants to take the wrong lead that direction). He looks soooo much better cantering to the right than the left, he just hasn't settled into a comfortable frame in that direction. After the longeing lesson, we had another trailer loading session. Once again he walked right in. He was slightly hesitant in backing out, but did it willingly. How did I end up so lucky? I need to get Pepsi in next, that might end up being this weekend's project.

I had a super short ride on Corky (got distracted with a phone call LOL!)..she felt a little weird so I didn't push it. It might be due to the arena being as hard as a rock today. I don't want to risk injury until the arena gets worked.

I am a little frustrated (ok, make that VERY frustrated) with professionals in the industry who do not keep their word. Unfortunately, I found out at this late date that Tango is now not eligible for the NSBA Breeder's Championship Futurity because the stallion owner refuses to pay up his stallion even though he told me at the time I booked my breeding that he would be nominating him. VERY disappointing, as my goal was always to take a horse I raised and bred out of a horse I raised and show in Tulsa for the big show. Now that can't happen, my mare is gone and my breeding was spent on a dishonest breeding. Yes, I am disappointed, not only in the situation but in the person. That's all I will say on here, but this ain't over!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Today's hematoma pictures...looking much better!

I did a quick measuring of Tango and Pepsi. Today's measurements:
Tango: 14'3" at the withers, 15'2" at the hip (still strangely unbalanced!)
Pepsi: 14'2" at the withers, 15' at the hip

Friday, April 8, 2011

The hematoma is really looking good. I can only expel a little bit of fluid from it. I think it's well on it's way to healing! So far the skin looks pretty good on top of the hole. I am crossing my fingers that the skin regenerates and doesn't end up sloughing off. Only time will tell! Once again Pepsi was the perfect patient. Weirdly enough, since I have been treating this abscess every day, she actually seeks me out when I go in her stall. I would have thought that after all the pain I cause her with the flushing and pushing on it that she would hate me, but quite the opposite is true.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I had a great day at Equine Affaire with a couple of friends. I stocked up on the essentials: fly spray, Show Sheen, and a gallon of Quik Braid!After I got home, I headed out to the barn to ride. My ride with Corky was middle of the road - we had some great moments and some ones where she tried to test me, but overall it was pretty good. I MUST get riding more off the rail, it seemed that every time I went to do a circle she tensed up (maybe because she associates circles with schooling???). My goal for the next 2-3 weeks is to ride off the rail as much as possible - do more circles and such. I just wish our indoor was bigger so I could do more things off the rail...go too far off the rail and you are ending up on the other rail LOL!

I worked both yearlings today. Once again Tango had a cross tie lesson. What a goober. He pulls back again and again to test the ties. Luckily everything is holding tight. I am doing it in his stall so he really can't pull back very hard or he hits the wall. He is just so tense in the cross ties. I am hoping he gets out of this as he gets more experience. He longed great for me today - did some very nice canters on the correct lead! Pepsi seemed really stiff in that right hip at the trot. In the past few weeks she has had some swelling in that leg down near the bottom as a result from the infection in her hip, but until today I hadn't noticed it bothering her when she moves. I am not sure what to think.

April 10, 2011

Pepsi's hematoma is looking better and better. Today it was a little bit more swollen when I came, and right away I was able to express fluid out of it before I even flushed it. The fluid was mostly clear with a little blood. It looks like there is hair growing back on the site, which is great news - that means the skin is still alive and we might not end up with a big hole there. Fingers crossed...

I changed up things a bit with Corky - I had been riding her in a big plain snaffle. Today I used the twist and a training fork. She was light light light! We actually had one of the best rides all winter. She was easy and responsive, and was very relaxed when I did portions of patterns off the rail. She's developing a great canter transition from a standstill. It would be a shame not to do equitation this year. I need to make myself do it! Today was an unseasonably warm day in the low 80's. In fact, we set a record for high temperatures for this date. I loved it...felt like summer! I tied Tango to the wall while I rode. He stood very well. I bought a new tie that is made of thick rubber, and he didn't seem to want to chew that. I will use that from now on and save the abuse on my lead ropes.

When I was done riding, I practiced a little bit of showmanship with Corky. Several times she stopped square when I stopped. I like that she is thinking ahead as we are doing things. I even did a little bit of halter practice with Tango...mainly just having his stand still while I switched side to side, and allowing me to move and place a front leg. I haven't even attempted to set the hind legs yet. I need to get started on that!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hematoma's lookin' good! Not much of anything came out, and the plastic tube barely went in (this tells me that it is healing from the inside). Look at all the hair growing back on the skin...amazing!

Two more horses suddenly came down with this same exact site reaction from the flu shot. The odd thing about it is that the shot was given over a month ago, and yet these two other horses showed NO signs of a reaction until just a day or two ago. I don't understand it...all of us at the barn are very puzzled. All of the horses were given the vaccine from the same 10-dose bottle, each with a fresh and sterile needle. Pepsi started showing a reaction about 5 days after the vaccination. I can understand that. I cannot understand how two more horses can show NOTHING until over a month has passed. One of the colts is already losing hair around the swelling just like Pepsi did. How odd is that? I'd love any feedback if any of you have experienced this. The vaccine given was the Calvenza-03 EIV (Flu) vaccine.

Tango got another cross tie lesson. He was very bad at first, eventually settled and stood quietly. It's sure taking him a long time to get used to these darn things. I think he has just got it in his head that he is NOT going to like the crossties, and he reacts as soon as I put him in them.

Tuesday morning, April 12, 2011

Kudos to NSBA! They took sympathy on how I was misled when the stallion owner of Tango's sire told me that he would be nominating his stallion to the NSBA Breeder's Championship Futurity and then backed out after I had purchased the breeding and got a foal on the ground. They offered to take my BCF nomination fee I paid last year on Tango and transfer it to the Stallion Incentive Fund at no extra charge. This is better than nothing, I guess. I had looked forward and counted on taking Tango some day to the BCF in Tulsa, but now that dream has been shot thanks to my naivety in believing someone's word. I won't make that mistake again! Obviously very few people in "the business" can be trusted anymore. I am impressed that NSBA stepped up and made this offer to me to keep my business. Now that is customer service.

Tuesday evening, April 12, 2011

I had another good ride on Corky. I rode her in the twist again and once again she was very light. Unfortunately she was also extremely light to my leg aids and over-reacted to every bit of leg pressure I used. I spent a while pushing her into two-tracking and sidepassing to desensitize her to my leg pressure. Why do I have to do this almost every other week? You'd think she would be used to it by now after spending 4 years under saddle, but she often acts like she has never felt my leg before!

Tango was a star in the crossties today - he didn't pull back once! Yay...progress (finally!). I decided to wrap his legs with polo wraps and work him a little bit on the longe line. I wrapped his legs not for any real protection, but to see how he would react to stuff on his legs and to get him used to it. I made the mistake of not doing this with Corky when she was a baby, and the trailer wraps freaked her out the first time I hauled her. Tango could care less.

He was very good on the longe line! I took a couple pics with my phone, aand then on the spur of the moment decided to grab a little video with my phone.

I can't figure out what is going on with his tail. He barely has any hair. He never has...it's been a stump ever since he was a baby. No one chews on it, it just doesn't grow at all. I wish there was some magic supplement or cream to use, but I know hair growth is basically genetics and he might be one with a sparse "Appaloosa" tail his whole life. What a bummer...Taylor had such a gorgeous tail!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ugh, I have such a terrible cold, it's wiping me out. It is especially depressing since today was such a gorgeous day and I felt too crappy to ride. Pepsi's hematoma is completely healed over - enough so that I cannot get the plastic tube inside it to flush. I think that is a good sign. It must have healed from the inside...I hope! If so, I really dodged the bullet on that one.

Tango had fun playing with the shavings bag when I was done cleaning stalls. Pepsi showed a lot of interest in it also. At one point I thought they might join in a tug-of-war game.

I love the look on Corky's face in this shot. She is really eyeballing that bag - her most hated fear!

Pepsi wants in on the action!

Flinging it in the air...what fun!

Friday, April 15, 2011 HAPPY (not!) TAX DAY!

Yeah, I mailed my taxes in yesterday. I owed a crapton of money...put off paying until the last possible minute. Could taxes be any more confusing to do by yourself? Insane!

After work I came out to the barn and found a freshly dragged arena...heaven! Corky gave me a great ride today. I did a lot of work off the rail today - circles, serpentines, changes of directions, random squiggley lines, you name it! I even did some equitation-y stuff like cantering off from the center at a stop, and I also worked on my posting without stirrups (ouch..it's been a while).

Tango was full of himself today and did not behave well on the longe line. Normally he never pulls on the line (which strikes me as unusual since he pulls constantly when I lead him), but today he was bracing and pulling against the line at times, trying to make his own decisions as to where the longe circle should be. I ended up having to use the chain, and eventually got the issue worked out and he traveled in a nice, round circle for me with a relaxed line.

Pepsi's hematoma is completely closed up now. Yay...(I think!). I am hoping the infection is totally cleared, because if it isn't then the closing up of the hole is not a god thing. So far it looks good.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I headed out in the morning to ride. It was a cold, gloomy, rainy day that made me thankful for the indoor arena where I board! I rode Corky in just a plain fat snaffle. She rode great! At first she was a bit heavy in the bridle (she never did lighten up as well as she is with the twist) but that improved as we rode. Her spur slow at the canter was pretty crappy, it has been all week. I can get her to slow for a stride or two but as soon as I take my leg off, she picks right back up with her speed. She is also overreacting to my leg so I started today's session with longeing with the tires. She was a little better with my legs, but when I slow her with my legs at the canter she gets very hoppy. I am at a bit of a loss as to what my next step should be.

Tango was as good as gold in the cross ties today (as he was yesterday also - I forgot to mention). Both Pepsi and Tango got a good grooming. I walked Tango around a bit and actually worked a little in having him stand still and I manually set his feet. Amazingly enough he does stand fairly still for me while I switch sides. He is just so goofy-legged at this age that getting him to stand square is almost impossible! I have been doing more trotting with him in hand so he is a lot more comfortable and doesn't freak out having me run next to him.

Sunday, April 17. 2011

I worked all day and evening on the plumbing at the new house yesterday...I was SORE today! I opted not to ride. Instead I worked both yearlings on the longe line. Pepsi did pretty well in holding her circle true. She just doesn't settle comfortably on the line yet, she looks much better when she is moving free in the arena. Tango has it all figured out and it's all ho-hum to him. He actually took the correct lead fairly easily both directions today. He picks up the canter on cue really well going to the left, but takes a little more encouragement to the right.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I rode today, even though it was darn cold!!! Corky was pretty good, but I decided to test her a little harder today and really work on our spur slow at the canter. It was rough, but at the end I think we started actually making progress. Dang she was TOUCHY off of my leg today. I ended up sitting the trot for a while and letting my legs bang all over her until she finally stood quietly and let me rub my legs on her belly (something Darla had me do a few years ago when she got touchy this way with her). It's been about 3 1/2 weeks since she was in heat, so she is a little late but I am thinking this is probably her problem today. I will keep an eye on her this week and see if I am correct. I can't recall her being so touchy to my legs in a long time. It made the ride a little frustrating as she overreacted to every little cue (but then if I barely cued her at all she just ignored it - a catch-22!).

When I was done, I took Tango for a walk around the arena while I picked up rocks. This is something I like to do with my yearlings - it teaches them patience to walk and stop with me a lot (and it also accomplishes making the arena nicer). He was a bit annoyed. I kept the chain over his nose and only a once did I have to get after him when he became bored and decided it would be fun to chew on me. After that he was a lot better, and walked around with me while I bent over to pick up the rocks. Yep, another fun day at the ranch LOL!

A fourth horse has come down with a late vaccine site reaction just like Pepsi's - to the same vaccine, but about 4+ weeks after the injection. This is so weird - Pepsi got her abscess about 5 days after we gave the vaccine, the seond horse got his about 3 weeks, the third about a month, and now this one at nearly 5 weeks. I sent a detailed e-mail to the manufacturer of the vaccine with the serial number of the bottle. We'll see if they even bother to respond.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Heck, I thought yesterday was cold...today was ridiculous! Add to that a driving rain, it made hauling manure out to the pile a real adventure.

I opted not to ride today, and turned everyone out while I cleaned. I couldn't resist tossing the balls out in the arena and watching the yearlings play with them. I think you learn a lot about your horses' personalities by watching them ina group setting. Tango was wildly excited to see the ball, and was jumping on it and kicking it madly. Pepsi watched for a moment and then went over and actually jumped on the ball a few times and nosed it around. I think she is slightly the boss over Tango, at times she tried to drive him away from the ball so she could play with it on her own. He's not very afraid of her, so he never went far. Corky then decides to get into the action, and when she shows up, the yearling scatter. Tango can't resist coming back to mess with Corky while she investigates the ball, and they do a lot of picking with each other. Corky should be the boss, she's twice the size of everyone, but instead she does tolerate some abuse from Tango. Occasionally she gets fed up and gets after him. I wish she would do that more often, because the more Tango plays with others that let him egt away with aggression, the more full of himself he becomes. Then this becomes my problem when handling him. It seems every day we have a mini power struggle when I go to lead him out of his stall. He tries to take control, I have to get after him, he tries again a little bit later, I get after him harder, then he gives up...temporarily. He never does stop trying.

I wonder if this is because he had a nursemare that raised him and virtually ignored him. Oreo never disciplined him. Tango would rear up and jump on her and she would just stand there and tolerate it. Spare the rod and spoil the child!. I wonder how Taylor would have been as a mother to him. I have a feeling she would not have tolerated his antics around her. God, I miss her. It's been almost a year since I lost her...it will be a year next Wednesday. 12 years of memories gone.

I heard back from the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the vaccine that caused the reactions in 4 horses at our barn(including Pepsi). They e-mailed me and asked me to call to discuss this matter with them. I gathered my information and will be calling them back at lunch time today. Those scientific types make me nervous, I don't like having to dealwith this but I guess I will...I need some information as to why this happened!

How could you not love this personality? It's frustrating, but so fun. Probably a lot like my own personality. I think I drive a lot of people crazy just like he does!

Friday, April 2, 2011

Today is my spring break - ONE whole day. Wow. I spent the afternoon at the barn, got a lot accomplished. First I cleaned stalls, which goes without saying. I rode Corky for about 25 minutes. She was really quiet and dull, she must have played hard last night. Maybe the ugly rainy weather dampened her mood. Who knows? It was an easy, uncomplicated ride and she did everything I asked without a fuss. I almost didn't know what to do LOL!

I worked Tango for a little bit on the longe line. He was great! He is a lot more comfortable at the canter both directions now. I did a little halter work with him - setting him up and making him stand still. He stood like a rock. What is UP with my horses today? They are all so good! I even longed Pepsi. My young friend was out to help groom her, so I showed her the basics of longeing and she walked and trotted her. Pepsi was a ball of tension at first, but the more she trotted them more she relaxed into her stride. I didn't canter her today, I wanted to keep her relaxed. I think tomorrow I will bring the clippers out and do my first attempt at clipping the youngsters. I might even try getting Pepsi in the trailer (weather permitting). The clipper thing has me worried, I hate this part of training. I was so spoiled with Corky, she is so easy to clip her ears. Here is my prediction - Pepsi will be tense and afraid but will give in and let me clip her ears with minimal fuss. I predict Tango will be a wild man and I will have a battle on my hands. Is my prediction correct? We'll know tomorrow!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What a beautiful day...finally some sunshine! First on the agenda was riding Corky. I rode her for a bit, and then had a friend video our ride so I could go home and see what she looked like. I was really pleased, her canter and trot look great, everything looks smooth and relaxed. It was a very good ride for us. I feel better about show season approaching...IF I can ever get her to a show!

Next on the agenda was longeing both yearlings. First was Tango - here is his longe session:

He was great! I also longed Pepsi. She was much more relaxed today, it was one of our best longe sessions this year. So far so good!

Next was the moment I was dreading - clipping the yearlings. I decided to do Tango first, get the hardest one over with. You know what? I obviously do not know my own yearlings. He stood like a rock and I clipped his muzzle, bridle path, and his ears with him barely moving at all! Whuda thunk it? I brought Pepsi over to clip, and THAT was not at all like I expected either - she was terrible! At one point she pulled back and was crushing me against the stall wall. She did this when I put the clippers to her muzzle, I hadn't even gotten to her ears yet. I had to resort to the twitch, got her all clipped up, then took off the twitch and then held the clippers near her face so she could get used to them. I do think this will resolve itself quickly - I think if I put the clippers on her every day she will be accepting within a week or so. This is how she was when I was treating her vaccine abscess - the first couple days I had to twitch her and then after that she stood like a rock. So that will be on the agenda for us this coming week.

Next I decided to introduce Pepsi to the trailer. She hasn't been on a trailer since she came from North Dakota in early January. I figured today I would just let her stick her head in and check it out. once again I misjudged her - she walked up to the trailer and walked right in! I let her eat some grain out of a bucket, backed her out (it was tougher to back her out than walk her in!), and then walked her in again. What a good girl, and what a relief that BOTH of my yearlings took to loading so easily. That can be a nightmare to train when you have ones that fight you. I am very relieved!

Pictures from today - freshly clipped ears!

Pepsi (Crowd Favorite) at a little over 10 months of age

Tango (ThanksForTheDetails) at almost a year old (his birthday is Wednesday!)

I can't leave Corky out of the picture-taking bonanza, even though she didn't get clipped today.

Tuesday, May 26, 2011

You ever have one of those blue days? You know the type - you don't have a specific horrible reason to be sad, but you just are? That was me today. I headed out to the bar after work, the sun finally came out and it was 70 degrees. I tried to ride, but only went about 10 minutes because the arena was like concrete and I could tell Corky was very uncomfortable. *sigh*. I hate that, my plans for a ride where spoiled once again. I have to be careful of the footing, and the ground was way too hard to do any real training. Tomorrow is Tango's 1 year birthday. I decided to measure he and Pepsi today. I sweat, I am measuring them with a professional stick with a bubble level, doing it on solid flat ground and everything, and yet my measurements just cannot be right! According to my stick, Tango shrunk and Pepsi grew. I measured Tango at 14'2 1/4" at the withers and 15' 1/4" at the hip...and just 3 weeks ago I measured him at 14'3" and 15'2". I measured him standing in the same spot, with the same stick. That makes no sense! Pepsi measured at 14'3" and 15'1", so she actually measured taller than Tango. Weird...maybe my brain is just cloudy today and I didn't process the numbers right. Who knows?

A lot of my overall feeling of sadness has to do with tomorrow. Normally I love to celebrate my yearling's one-year birthday. What fun that is! It's hard for me to celebrate the day that I lost Taylor. It's such a bittersweet date. I can't believe she has been gone a year. What a disaster. My horse life has not been the same since. After losing her and all that money in vet bills, it's like I dropped off the face of the earth in the horse world. How drastically things have changed for me since 2007! It's like I am still struggling to get my head above water. Every year a new disaster. What does 2011 hold? I had approached this new year with such optimism, but today as I think about all the bad things that happened to me in 2008, 2009, and 2010, I can't help but wait for the next shoe to fall.

OK, enough with that self-pitying, gloomy outlook! It's definitely spring, and I will find lots of things to look forward to. Lots of little goals to aim for...life goes on, right?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY TANGO!

Yes, it's Tango's first birthday today! I only had a quick moment to get my stalls cleaned and snap a couple pictures before heading back to work. Tango refused to wear his party hat today. Instead he tried to eat it, and then flung it around his stall several times. Today is a happy-sad day. I tried not to temper it with sad feelings about Taylor. I need to look forward! That's the best direction to focus.

Just for remembrances. here are a few pictures of Tango's mother "Spare Me The Details" ("Taylor") - June 1, 1998-April 27, 2010

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I had planned on hauling Tango to a local show to walk around, but I was too exhausted from the week of work, so we stayed home. The arena was too hard to ride again, so I just worked with the yearlings. Tango was a little bratty on the longe line- did not want to move forward until I persuaded him. Pepsi was much better. Both yearlings got a mane-cut to an appropriate braiding length. Yep, it's almost that time! Tango was a complete butthead on the ground today. He was determined to pester me and be impatient and work against me. Frustrating! I have been working on setting his feet and having him stand square for halter. He actually is doing fairly well, for being such an impatient horse. He is a bad bad BAD boy though...he has been chewing Pepsi's tail and now she has a big chunk taken off. I cannot take a chance on having him possibly do that to Corky! I ordered him a yearling grazing muzzle. Hopefully I can keep this on him when he is out with the other two and it will keep him from chewing off anything else. I wonder if there is something I can spray on the tails that won't dry out or harm the tail hair, but will deter him from chewing. I know the Chew-Stop spray does not work, he licks it off the lead ropes!

On to page 3....(May and June 2011)

I love reading your comments! Drop me a note: