Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Never a Dull Moment

Warning - If you are squeamish you may not want to look at the below photos. 

When I got home from work last night I immediately went outside to turn Roz and Emi out. Emi has to wear her grazing muzzle right now because she is chubby and the grass if coming on like crazy. I turned them out and came back a little over an hour later. I caught Emi out in the field, taking her grazing muzzle off and just putting her halter on so we could do a little ground work. I took her up to the barn and did a couple of things on her left side and was preparing to move to her right side. All of the sudden she turned her whole head around to look at me and I saw that she had a cut above her right eye. I took a quick look at it before calling the vet. I had to run back to the house for my purse and keys, then we were off.

Emi weighed in at 900lbs! I can't believe she's that huge. She was 820 or something close to that when she was hospitalized in November. After getting her vitals she was sedated so that they could flush her eye and the wound. They palpated around her eye to make sure there weren't any noticeable fractures (in case she may have run into something or gotten kicked). Everything checked out okay. After examining both eyes they stained the right eye to check for injuries. There was no uptake of the stain so everything checked out fine.

Next it was time to get some sutures going. She got some additional sedation to keep her still, along with local blocks. The vet was really careful to get things lined back up well so hopefully she will heal with minimal (or less noticeable) scarring. She got an antibiotic injection and has to wear eye protection for the next two weeks (until the sutures come out).

This morning the injury looked good. It was not easy to apply the eye ointment as instructed but we'll keep working on it. We only have to do that for a week so I'm sure that will go by fast. I'm so glad that her eye itself was not involved and that it was caught with in an hour of happening. It's nights like last night that I'm thankful she loads and hauls well as it was no big deal to get her in there. It should heal quickly and hopefully we won't have any complications.

My pirate pony
How it looked this morning

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Trail Pony

When I purchased Benny he had very minimal trail experience. I was able to take him on a little "trail ride" on some paths right around the barn before I bought him. He was good and I figured he was sensible enough that we should be fine. That's proving to be true from the limited rides I've taken him on. We have awesome forest trail access from our barn and try to get out relatively often. It's a lot harder to do during the winter with the rain and short days but my goal is once a week. The last 2 Mondays I've been able to go after work since the days are longer.

Benny was good last week and even better today. He seems to really enjoying being out and has a huge walk. Today he kept asking for a loose rein and he just looked around and marched along. When he's uncertain he'll back off but if you keep your leg on he'll pass by whatever has caught his eye. I'm looking forward to hauling him out to some different trails and getting more miles on him. He's really such a nice horse!

Our catching troubles have also improved. I had a fellow boarder ask me tonight what I had done with him since he is now coming over and almost begging to be caught. I didn't really have a magic answer but it's been about 3 weeks since our last game of chase. Lately he meets me at the gate or comes walking right across the pasture. I was impressed that someone else has noticed how much better he's doing. Benny shares a pasture her horse, and she said she gives him a treat, grabs his halter and gives him a pet before she catches her mare. I really appreciate the extra time she has taken to reinforce good behavior with him. Something is working and I'm super happy about that.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


In the last few months I've been commenting that I feel as though my groundwork education is not as good as it should be. I have a lot of riding experience but haven't ever worked with an instructor who has emphasized groundwork. Shortly after I said that, I came across a one day "Fundamentals"clinic. After doing some Facebook stalking I contacted the person who was putting it on (KH), to confirm that it would be appropriate for an almost 2 year old. When I got the confirmation from her I made an uncharacteristic move and signed up. 

Today was the day, and I wasn't sure what to expect. The baby girl loaded like a champ and traveled quietly on the hour long trip. She came off the trailer ready to go! We started with leading and moved on from there. We touched on a lot of different things and now I have a lot of homework to perfect. Regarding leading, KH said that the horse should stay behind you. If you watch horses in the field there is always a leader. When their head is in front of us they see themselves as the leader. Emi was definitely thinking she'd be the leader and was trying to catch up to all of the other horses. I had to keep after her but she slowly got better. We added halting and backing before moving to yielding the forehand and haunches. We did this both with and with out touching them. 

We moved on to desensitizing them through flopping the rope up and over their back then down on to the ground and back on them. Emi started off a little bit concerned but by the time we were done she had a hoof rested and was totally chilling. We also worked on being able to send the horse out around us and then over something. Emi was pretty good about going over the step. The first couple of times she wanted to run her shoulders in towards me to avoid it. I asked her to yield her shoulders each time she came in to me and once I got her straightened out she went over it pretty easily. 

The final thing we did was introduce them to a scary object.  When she pulled out this ball I knew it wouldn't be problem. We started with the handler pushing the ball away and using the horses natural curiosity to get them over being scared. Emi was just flat out curious and she was having a great time following the ball around. She even tried to get her leg up on it. We finished up the clinic on that note and headed home.

The clinic ran from about 9am to 2pm (with a 30 minute break for lunch). I wasn't sure how Emi would handle such a long session but she didn't have a problem. She wasn't "working" that whole time as we were watching others do various exercises and listening to KH, but it was still a long time and a lot of new stuff. She relaxed a lot as the day went on and performed just as well (if not better) than a lot of the older horses. KH also commented that she has a lot of "try" and that will help me a lot as I continue her training. Another successful outing is in the books.

There are more photos on Emi's facebook page.

Friday, April 24, 2015

TBT #2

Happy Friday! I ran across this today and I couldn't help but re-post it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Enjoying Spring

Sunday I bathed both Liam and Emi. It was so nice to get Emi all cleaned up. She was so dirty! She was beautiful before, but she looks really great now. She was well behaved for her bath, especially since it was done with a cold hose (and a few buckets of warm water). She is also measuring in at 14hh at exactly 22 months. Yah! At this point I feel really good about the likelihood that she will finish out at (or over) 14.3hh.

On the riding front Benny and I jumped a little bit last night and went on a trail ride tonight. He has been great! He walked right up to me in the field and seemed like a happy camper to go trail riding. He's also looking fantastic; sleek and shiney.

When I got home from riding I groomed Emi and we played with her hula hoop. She doesn't love the rattling noise it makes but she did let me put it over her head and pull her around with it. She's really quite a good baby!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring Cleaning

Today was a fantastic day. The weather suddenly turned spring like; sunny and warm! I have plans to bath almost all of my equine friends this weekend. Roz was first up this afternoon. I started by picking out his feet and he has an owie on his left front heel bulb. It looks like it may have been an abscess. I scrubbed it up well and will be keeping a close eye on it. I just picked his hooves a day or two ago and didn't notice anything. It's always something with horses!

When I finished cleaning Roz up I turned them (Emi and Roz) out in the pasture and went out to ride Benny. We had a great ride and I feel like we are finding our groove again. He's been wearing a break away halter to help with catching him, but he's actually been meeting us at the gate. I'm not sure what made the change but I'll take it. His canter work was quite good today. We are back to riding in my jump saddle because my dressage saddle is not fitting him well. I think we will be having a saddle fitter out to see what we can do to adjust it.

Once I got home I brought Emi and Roz in before working on their manes. Both got their manes shortened up. Emi will get her bath tomorrow. I can't wait to clean her up!

Sunday, April 12, 2015


After a few days with a sore neck, Benny seems to be back to normal. I got a ride in yesterday. It was pretty decent, especially considering the fact that he had almost a week off. I'm looking forward to finally getting back in the swing of things, however...I have a super busy week coming up (at work) so I won't get to ride again until Wednesday. Hopefully after Tuesday we will get back in to a regular riding schedule. There are a lot of fun things coming up, including our clinic in May, so we need to start gearing up. I sure do love this time of year!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Call

We've all gotten that call. The one where someone from our barn calls to tell us something is wrong with our horse. I got that call this morning regarding Benny. He got in on the spring tune up appointment with Emi yesterday, getting his teeth floated and his spring vaccines.

The call I received today said he didn't eat his hay very well (although he did eat his grain), had been slow walking out to the field and was just standing in the field acting weird. They kept an eye on him until they had to leave for work. I wasn't able to get away from work for a couple of hours. In that time I got a call from a fellow boarder who noted that Benny was acting strange.

I got out to the barn around 11:15am and he was just standing quietly in the field. I went out to catch him and what did he do?! He ran away! Apparently he wasn't feeling that bad. I ended up cornering him and catching him in about 15 minutes. Since he had been running around I knew that his temperature would be elevated so I didn't bother with that. I did give him some banamine and turned him back out. At this point I was pretty certain that his neck is just sore from his vaccines.

Our barn has a group Facebook page so I commented on there that Benny wasn't feeling well and asked that everyone check on him when they were out there. I got the following updates:

  • "At 1:00 he was grazing and looking good."
  • "Happy as a clam as of 3:15"
  • "4:00pm - head down and eating. Looking perfectly normal"

It's so awesome to be at a barn where people look after each others horses. That's a definite (and huge) upside to a small, close knit barn.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Love My Pony

Which one, you might ask. All of them...but today I'm talking mostly about Emi. Today was spring tune up day for a few of the horses at the barn. I hauled Emi up to get in on the action. Before meeting with the vet we played in the arena for a while. This horses is a total hoot! I could hang out with her forever. She's so inquisitive and in your pocket (with out being super annoying). I've got some cute video I'll be sharing at some point. 

After playing in the arena I saddled her up and we went for a walk. This was her second time wearing the saddle and she was totally not concerned. Isn't she getting big and beautiful!? I just can't believe my baby has grown up so fast. 

When we got back to the barn the vet was ready for us. Emi got her teeth floated for the first time and she got her wolf teeth pulled. She had two on the top and one on the bottom. The vet said he rarely sees horses with bottom wolf teeth so that was interesting. She was definitely in need of having her teeth done. It's amazing that they need their teeth done that early in life, but apparently they do! She was quite good, and everything went smoothly. 

When we got done I wanted to take advantage of the sedation to clip a bridle path on the hairy creature. Emi had other ideas. It's not as if she hadn't just had power tools working in her mouth with no problem. As soon as those clippers turned on and went up to her bridle path she came back to life. There was quite a bit of head slinging and I ended up using scissors. The vet was willing to keep working it on with me so we did more desensitization with the clippers. The clippers could be placed by her eyes, on her ears, on her neck etc. We finally wrestled with her a bit more until she got herself stuck in a corner and gave up the fight. About 5 seconds later she had a beautiful bridle path and she got lots of pets before heading in to another stall to sleep off her drugs. 

Friday, April 3, 2015


It's amazing the difference you can make in 6 months!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Back At It

I finally got a ride in on Mr. Benny. He was quite good, especially for the sporadic work he has received the past couple of weeks. His canter has regressed a bit, but that wasn't a surprise. All of his other work has improved so much and is coming pretty easily now. Now we have to get back to work so that we are ready for our next show at the end of the month.

I was finishing up my chores tonight and turned around to see this goofball.

I also measured her tonight and she's just shy of 14hh. She might make 14.3hh yet.