Monday, June 29, 2015

Turning the Corner

I think that Emi has turned the corner! She was still gasey tonight but wasn't squirting and her tail and rear end were dry. Hooray! I cannot tell you how thrilled I am about that. Hopefully it's not a fluke and things will still look good in the morning. Thank you for sharing all of your ideas. It's really helpful to get additional perspectives from others who have dealt with similar issues.

After playing with Emi, I headed up to NDF for a ride on Benny. We have a horse show in two weeks so there's no more time to be slacking off. The hay is off of the fields so it was lovely to be able to warm up out there.

 We went in to the arena to do our work and Benny was stretchy from the moment we picked up the trot. This is very unusual for him, but it was a nice change. I was just reading an article in Warmbloods Today that immediately struck me. "The challenge is to make this trot ride-able, quicker and more engaged, as suspension tends to stiffen the back and disengage the horse. Think of a dear trotting in a slow, stiff, elegant trot across the road, versus a tiger swinging in all his joints in a nice tempo but not high suspension." That describes Benny to a T. Left to his own devices (like a loose rein trot warm up) he stiffens right up, head high, and trots in a huge bouncy "arab trot."

I'm thrilled that he is getting stronger in all of his work. The canter has improved immensely, his lateral work is coming along, and overall the connection is so much better. I'm excited to see if we can put all of the pieces together for a great test at the horse show.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Discouraged (Warning - Poop Talk)

I was supposed to take Emi to a neat in-hand only horse show today, but she's experiencing a pretty significant bought of diarrhea. I've written before that she has chronic loose stool, but this is worse than normal. Tuesday night I was working her and she pooped. It looked great and very normal, but as the week progressed it became really runny and she has been gasey and squirting since Thursday. She seems to be feeling alright and is eating well. I took her temperature this morning and it was normal. I started her back on probiotics on Friday night so I'm hoping to start seeing some improvement.

I bathed her last night and was just starting to braid her mane and she pooped a big cowpie pile and was then squirting and I firmly decided she wasn't going to the show. I know for sure she didn't need additional stress to add to her current GI trouble.

They did have a hay change about 2 weeks ago but she was fine on the new hay for over a week. I have also started turning her out with out her grazing muzzle but the pasture is super dry and there's not a lot out there so I don't think that's the issue. My other two ideas were that maybe she is in heat and that's the problem or perhaps the actual heat (it has been in the high 90's here) has caused it?  This is by far the worst she has ever been I'm just not sure where to go from here.

I was readying a box of ulcergard yesterday which said that chronic, intermittent diarrhea is a sign of ulcers. I feel like they should be unlikely due to her management and living situation but maybe that's the problem. She's had a clear fecal check in the last couple of months so I don't believe it's parasites. She gets grass hay, pasture, and 1 cup of grain twice a day. So, any suggestions?

After finishing with her I decided to go ride Benny since it was finally cooling off. On my way to the barn I was feeling tempted to sell them all. Then I had a super duper late evening ride and I changed my mind. :) Benny's canter has come so far since I got him. The last two rides it has felt completely normal. I discovered that the quality of the trot prior to cantering has a direct impact on the quality of the canter. I know...I'm not sure why it has taken me that long to connect the dots but it's really true. To finish off our great ride I gave him a bath and called it a night. I'm so thankful to have such a fun horse to ride right now and I left the barn feeling much better than when I came.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Show Report

I took Emi to a local open show on Saturday. I haven’t ever been to this show before but I knew it was nearby and would be a decent outing for her. I cleaned Emi up on Friday night and braided her mane, but didn’t put it up. When I got out there Saturday morning she still looked pretty good. After letting them have some time on the pasture I brought her in to start doing her mane. I realized pretty quickly that the middle section of her mane was in too few of braids. Her mane is so thick that my braids were way too fat to put up well. Next time around I’m going to make them all a little smaller. 

I checked the time and thought I had enough time to change the center section from three braids to four. While I was doing that my mom came out and asked why there was brown yarn all over the yard….apparently my dog had stolen it from my braiding stuff and had a great time playing with it! Just as I was getting ready to take her out to the trailer I realized her whiskers needed to be trimmed, so we did that too. By the time I was satisfied that she was turned out alright we were leaving about 30 minutes after I had planned to load up.

As it turned out we arrived around the time that they started the first class. I got my number and got Emi unloaded and brushed. At that point we headed for the arena so that I could figure out how much time we had. She came of the trailer nice and quiet but after we had walked around for a bit she started getting amped up. I took her back over to the trailer to stand tied and eat some hay. She fussed for a couple of minutes but didn’t take long before she settled down to eat. 

We showed in 3 little halter classes and she was pretty good. We are going to work on a few things this week such as halting after you have trotted and standing square (and still). As a whole I could really tell a difference from last year to this year. She was much more calm and settled in the ring. She was definitely out of place with the plethora of stock type horses being shown, but that was okay. I was slightly underwhelmed by one nice QH that was being shown halter with a lip chain. He did not appear to be naughty so I have no idea what that was all about. The horse didn’t want to jog when he was supposed to either….I wonder why!

After our final class I had a lady ask my about Emi and where I had gotten her. Apparently she was on dreamhorse the night before looking for a welsh cob. I talked to her about Emi’s breeder and told her to look up Winterlake Welsh. We took some photos and I took Emi’s braids out before we loaded up and headed for home. 

My goal is to get her out a lot this summer so that next year when I’m riding her we are able to confidently go to shows. Saturday I felt like if she was broke to ride she would have been very ridable. Yah for a good baby horse and a successful outing. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Emi turned two years old today! I can't believe how quickly the time has flown by. She has learned so much in 2 years and she will learn so much more over the next two. I'm planning to start her next spring, so with in a year I should experience my first ride on her. That will be amazing! I measured her tonight and she is a sold 14hh. I'm guessing she should finish very close to the 14.3hh that I am hoping for. I've posted a few photos from this past year. Thank you for following along on our journey. It has been a fun ride and I can't wait for many more years to come.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sunday Adventure

I've been quiet lately, not because anything is wrong or I don't have anything to write about...I just don't have enough time! Life has been crazy busy the last few weeks between work, family members that were moving, hay hauling (so much hay) etc.

In the midst of the craziness I did haul Emi up to Perrydale Trails on Sunday and got to meet Michelle.  It's so fun to meet other bloggers in real life. Emi was excited coming off the trailer. Once we got down to where the other horses and riders were I put her to work, hoping to get her focused. We walked over some bridges and then I took her over a mattress on the ground. She stepped on it and immediately backed off of it. She was skeptical but did cross it with me several times.

The owner of Perrydale Trails asked how long I have been working with her, and commented that she really trusts me. I thought that was neat! She then suggested I try taking her through a mister. Emi gave it a wide eyed look but walked right through it. I took her back through it the other direction where the mist would be blowing right in her face. She was fine with that too.

We moved off to explore some of the other obstacles and then tackled one water obstacle before taking a break. Emi was not a fan of the water but Michelle took Lance through and Emi did end up deciding to go. The only problem? She jumped in! She got her leg over her lead rope and almost took me out scrambling across. We were able to cross it a couple more times with another horse leading us through and by the third time she walked through pretty well.

Standing tied to the trailer having a snack

After our break we explored some obstacles close to the trailer. Including these pool noodles. I also discovered I need to get a flag for her to play with because that is one thing she was really not a fan of!

Our next stop was the pond, although we navigated several obstacles on the way. Emi's go to response is still to jump if she's not sure of something. I was taking her through a ditch (photo below) that had a mattress at the bottom of it. Emi was right at the edge of the mattress when she decided she wasn't really interested in this she jumped out of the ditch. Totally controlled, totally graceful, out over the log and up onto the bank. I think she will make a fabulous eventer!

Michelle offered to pony Emi off of Lance for the next water crossing. Lance was not a fan but Michelle made it work and took Emi through twice with out too much fuss. She didn't want to go back in the second time but then jumped in and stood pawing. We finished on that note as I needed to get home to haul more hay.

I'm not going in....
If you insist!
The water is not so bad after all

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Trails

Emi got to go on her first trail ride walk on Saturday. We did our normal trail from NDF and walked about 4 miles. Benny was along with a friend on board. Emi was a little bit lookey on the way out but once we crossed the road up into the forest she was marching right along. About mid way through our walk she decided she was starving...clearly. She walked along attempting to grab any piece of edible vegetation. It was pretty funny. We met two different sets of people walking, and another pair of people on horseback. She seemed very relaxed and happy to be out and about. I'd say she'll be a really fun trail horse!