Monday, July 17, 2017

Craziness that is life

It sucks when life is so busy you can barely get things done.  Usually I can do blogger things while I am at work or during lunch, that just isn't the case lately.  Blah!  I am struggling to get time to keep on top of everything.  Some family was in over the 4th of July weekend.  I had tried to powerwash our front porch before they came in preparation for getting a small storage shed we were going to put on it.  That resulted in the porch needing to be repainted as old paint flaked off and then we found porch posts had rotted and needed to be replaced.  So that has taken up a LOT of free time.  Plus de-landscaping the back of our house and selling SO MANY plants...  I have been a selling fool these past 2 weeks.  Next will be some tack, LOTS of girths, one day it will be quiet again lol.
Rotty rot of a porch post.  NOT cedar.
So before the 4th, the farrier was supposed to come out.  He canceled 2 hours before he was supposed to show up and refused to reschedule, saying he would "let us know" when he could come.  Except he has done this 3 times and it takes weeks to get rescheduled so the horses are then long overdue.  This last time, the other boarder had enough (it was originally her farrier anyway) and was able to get a barefoot trimmer out of New York to come visit us.  She has been talking with this farrier for about 3-4 months and we just went ahead and decided to try her.

Hanging porch post
What a difference.  I gave zero instruction as to what I was unhappy with currently, just let her do her thing.  She made a huge difference in App.  App went from a grade 4 lameness to walking off a 2 at worst.  OMG.  She brought his heels back (FINALLY), changed his bars and the overall balance.  He is standing so much more comfortable and when she finished his front feet, he let out a huge sigh and did some licking and chewing.  Awwww!  Poor man must have been uncomfortable for a while, damn farriers.  I have complained ad nauseam about his hoof balance and underun heels and no one would actually fix them.
New cedar bottom for porch post
Mia wasn't nearly as big of a change, she really addressed Mia's slightly clubby foot and brought her heels way down.  She changed the balance of her fronts and said her hinds were in very good shape.  The downside is this farrier is more than double the cost of a typical trim (because she has to travel so far) but if she can make App almost sound so I am not considering putting him down for the winter?

The barn got 3 new boarders this month so we are now full again and 2 of them ride at night!  So far, I have had someone to ride with every single time I have gone to the barn for the past 2 weeks.  It is really cool!  It is really different, after riding by myself almost exclusively for 16 months, but really cool.  The one who rides with me the most is a good bit older and a fearful rider but I am being a "good/bad" influence and having her do things like walk up/down a hill, trotting outside and she even cantered on her own.  Cantering is something she hasn't done outside of a lesson in a very long time (her words).  She is thrilled I am riding with her and encouraging her to push her boundaries of comfort, hopefully, she gets her confidence soon.  She has ridden in only lessons for the past 9 years, has been an "indoor arena only" person, and only with other people with her.  I told her she is welcome to ride with me, but I ride outside as well as out and about.
New porch post, "new" paint later stripped off
as "paint+primer" was not primery enough.
Primer added and new paint put on top of that.
I have more updates, so many updates, so another post is to come this week.  What did we do?  Where did we go?  Who did we see?  Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Trying again

So after our last show was canceled, I ended up not riding for a solid 2 weeks.  That isn't helpful when we have another show scheduled in 2 weeks!  EEK!!  We had the abscess and then the family emergency immediately followed by relatives who came in this past weekend so no riding was done.

"new" relaxed trot
I am curious how well Mia will do with full Novice XC course, the courses are much shorter here in PA then they are in MI so I am not super concerned.  Any fit horse should be able to canter 5 minutes when full of adrenaline, and Mia is surely fit.  Never fear, I am not planning on taking a pasture puff and doing a Novice course.  On Tuesday I rode with a lady from our barn, let's call her B, on the trails and I was able to both trot and canter with her.  Not a full fitness set of either gait, but enough of a duration that both Mia and I got a good workout in.  Fitness FTW!

video

Last night we played with dressage and while it isn't where I had hoped, it was decent enough. I rode for 25 mins and worked on our new relaxation frame.  I don't think we will be able to get it when we are at the show but baby steps, right?  I ride again tonight and it should be a full dressage ride, I need to step up my game to make sure we are prepared!

This weekend we are going XC schooling so I am excited for that.  We haven't gone XC schooling all year, just making do with what is at the barn, so I am excited to go over some Novice and Training stuff!!  And!!!!  AND!!!! We should meet up with another blogger!  How fun will that be!
Not too bad, but holy short neck Batman!
Someone asked how App was doing, App is still trucking right along.  His weight isn't great but isn't bad at all for a broken old man.  His soundness has gone significantly downhill over the past year, from NQR in March/April last year to a grade 4/5 lameness at the walk.  See?

video

But you know what?  It doesn't slow him down.  Like... at all.  I have been informed that within the past 2 months App has:  Escaped from his pasture (regularly, not once or 5 times), run people over to escape out of the pasture, knocked stuff out of people's hand for no reason, JUMPED THE FENCE and encourages the 29yr old that he is pastured with to escape, run around and create havoc with him.  Ahem.  Yeah App, you are supposed to be broken and in retirement.  Being paired with this old buddy has apparently inspired all of the mischiefs that had been kept at bay for a full year.  The barn people have repeatedly said "I just can't believe it!  He is normally so calm and perfect!"  Yeah... no one believed he was an ass when he wanted to be.  They do now!

I am trying to overlook his limping because if he is creating this much havoc, like JUMPING OUT OF PASTURES and trotting to see Mia, he isn't in so much pain that he is unhappy.  He certainly still has that spark in his eye and will to live and he hasn't let life get him down.  I'm hopeful we can get him through another year, he doesn't seem ready to go that is for sure.