Thursday, December 24, 2009

An almost-paranormal experience

Well, more like a mystery. I went out to feed this morning and there were several bales of hay that had been strewn all over the ground and destroyed. There was also a pile of poo in the isle and one of the horse's stockings had been raided of all its cookies. All of the horses were secure in their stalls, no kicked in doors, and no busted stall guards. It was weird.

But then we saw that one of the bolts that held Levi's stall guard had been torn out of the wall and someone must have come after we left and put him back in his stall.

I watch too much SiFi channel. I watch that show on Animal Planet where animals experience paranormal phenomena and my imagination goes wild.

However, the original barn had burned down a long time ago and they just dug a hole out back and buried the rubble. We frequently dig up pieces of concrete and metal pipes that are remains of the old barn. Sounds like the perfect spot for some ghosties to hang out. ;D

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Does anyone ever feel like they get paranoid for no reason?

My grandma grew up on a farm and they had two teams of plow horses, and a little cart pony, Dickie. My grandma wanted a riding horse for the longest time, and her dad finally bought her a mare named Lady when she was a teenager. The horses were in the same pasture as some of the other animals and there was a creek running through it, which was the animals' water source. My great-grandfather went out to feed them in the evening, but Lady didn't show up at the barn that night. He found her by the creek, and she had fallen and broken a leg. He ended up having to shoot her. My grandma, understandably, was devastated.

Now, I told you that story to tell you this story. We have some older horses at the barn and sometimes when I go to bring them in for feeding, one of them might not be waiting at the gate. I immediately think the worst and I start to feel sick. I think of Lady every single time a horse goes "missing". I eventually find the straggler hiding in some odd place, but I can't help it. I don't know why I'm like that. I have to say that one of my worst fears is going out and finding a dead or dying horse, and I especially worry about the super old horses. Particularly in the winter. Even if I was at a "normal" boarding facility, I would probably still worry if a horse didn't show up for dinner on time.

Just a little rant. Pay no attention.

I heard that Cynthia was talking to Katie (new boarder with Dixie, the appy mare) and I guess Cynthia told her that horses are just farm animals to her and the other boarders go overboard.

I think it came up because Cynthia's little demon child had Dixie and a couple other horses in the arena (who also did not belong to her and they did not have permission) and was running them around for a good hour and a half, which was supposed to be their eating time. It's no secret by now that Cynthia thinks she's entitled to do whatever she wants with the horses (I don't think she would touch mine; she knows that I would personally shove her ass through a wood chipper if she did).

Now here comes the rant, and I think I speak for all of the other boarders as well.

~~Cynthia, everybody knows that you see horses as nothing but livestock, as it's perfectly obvious from the way you treat them. However, everybody else here values their horses as FAMILY MEMBERS (that includes Reba!!!) and you need to respect that or stay the FUCK away from them. If you can't treat other people's horses with the same care that we do, PISS OFF and keep your disgusting paws off of our babies, you filthy PIG.~~

... *phew*

I feel better. I just needed to let that out somewhere. I would tell Cynthia to her face, but that would probably get me into a lot of trouble.

OT, but things have gotten better now that Lorena is back at the barn. Katie is on the same page as we are, too. We all just kind of look out for each other's horses. It works pretty good. =)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Please fit, please fit, please fit...

I ordered a draft-sized English snaffle bridle for 'Normous and it just came today. It's beautiful. It was originally $190 but I got it on special for around $80 on tackwholesale.com. I was looking at it tonight and I'm not sure if it'll fit his big 'ole noggin. If it doesn't, I'll just get another horse.

XDD Not really. But I'll be sad if it doesn't fit. I'll try it on him tomorrow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yay for Reba!

I left my guys and Reba in their stalls overnight last time I fed because the weather was nasty. Winter sucks in the Midwest... Anyway, I went out the next morning and let her walk around in the arena for a while and put her back in her stall. Then Lorena came out later and put her in the arena again. I guess Cynthia went out later that afternoon and FLIPPED out because Reba was in. She called Cristy and was like, "Reba is so swollen!"

Reba stocks up sometimes when she's in her stall for days at a time. However, I was out there two days in a row and she was perfectly fine both times. Plus Lorena and I exercise her whenever we're out there. She was definitely not stocked up. I have no idea why Cynthia would lie about it, although it doesn't surprise me.

Cristy ended up calling Reba's owner, and we were pleasantly surprised to find out that she was happy that people were taking care of her horse. Cristy mentioned that she could use a blanket, and her owner bought one for her, so she can go outside now. :) And she was totally cool with Reba staying in her stall when the weather is bad.

In the three days that Reba was in, she looks better. She didn't have to compete for food and she wasn't burning a lot of calories. She actually has a little belly on her now.

It just irked me because number one, it was none of Cynthia's business in the first place, and two, she took the whole thing like we were trying to pick a fight with her when it had nothing to do with her.

Also, we just learned that the owner had had a saddle custom made to fit Reba and was supposed to be in the tack room, and now it's missing. I would be so pissed if my *custom* saddle disappeared. Those aren't cheap.

But yay! We have official permission to take care of the little Reba Girl. Cynthia can just shut up and mind her own business.

What are your horses getting from Santa?

I was thinking about making horse-shaped cookies and putting one in everyone's stocking (all the horses have stockings on their stalls). =D

If it's not edible, my horses couldn't care less. Norman tried to eat his stocking a few times already. He's such a goober.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We have a new boarder.

The lady seems nice enough. She made a good first impression, and she seems to really care about her horse. Her mare is REALLY cute (tall, well built, bay roan appaloosa). They just got here yesterday and I was told it took them four hours to get the mare into the trailer. O.O That's almost worse than Norman. lol

I don't know how long she'll be staying, however. I think she's already unhappy. She's paying full board and I don't think she was informed that she has to clean her own stall and whatnot. I hope it works out because she's really friendly and we could use more reasonable people there.

It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I will never cease to be amazed.

I've found that most horses generally fall into one of two categories. You have the saintly, almost irrationally patient horses, and you have the ones who aren't so tolerant. I find myself shaking my head all the time at what some horses put up with.

Norman, for example, is one of the super-tolerant horses, and I really wish he wasn't like that. A lot of it is his breed. He has a very high pain tolerance and he's hard to read because of it. Just last week, I was lunging him and when I put the side reins on, I noticed he was playing with his tongue and the bit looked... weird. And then I saw that the bit was under his tongue. O.O His mouth was closed and he was bright and alert for the whole ten minutes before he finally opened his mouth enough to see it. I felt horrible. It must have been uncomfortable, but for some reason, he just put up with it.

If that had been Victor, he would have been gaping and tossing his head the minute the bridle was on. That's one thing I'm grateful for. He lets me know right away if something's wrong and he isn't about to suffer a fool (good thing he's not Cynthia's horse. She'd be six feet under by now). I will say that I prefer the intolerant horses for that reason.

On the other hand, Reba would definitely fall into the irrationally tolerant category. She gets ridden into the ground and handled by ignorant people/inexperienced riders regularly and she never puts a foot wrong. Horses like that are worth their weight in gold. It's worrying me more and more because of her age. She's noticeably more sway backed than she was when I first met her and I've noticed that she's stiff when she comes out of her stall. It's more prominent in the winter months as well, and I think she might be a little arthritic. Not that anyone who rides her is likely to care.

So, what are your stories? I'm interested to hear from you. Have you ever encountered one of those amazingly kind horses and if so, did they have good or bad owners?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Post- lotto dream barn?

We all fantasize about our perfect barns. Here is what mine would be:

Situated on 30-50 acres with state-of-the-art facilities. I'd have an indoor arena with two sections of the barn on either side. The whole building would be heated and I'd have at least 30 stalls. It would be a training/boarding/lesson facility and all my lesson horses would be feedlot rescues and ex-racehorses. I'd have a few grooms and trainers on staff that specialize in rehabilitation and retraining.

I'd have two tack rooms, wash racks, and feed rooms (one for each section) plus a lounge, an office, outdoor arena, and a little store. The barn would be open to all disciplines but specialize in jumping and dressage. The pastures would have a creek running through them and lots of trees. I'd have a long, asphalt driveway that led to the main entry and an area with a fountain and benches. I would also take in auction horses and get them back into shape, retrain them, and sell them to good homes. I'd also put Norman in dressage training and have someone give him some show experience.

I want to make a blueprint of it sometime... I have it all planned out, just in case I get lucky.

I want to hear from you-- what would you do if you suddenly came into a lot of money?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I love our farrier.

Norman was scheduled for a trimming yesterday and our farrier pointed out that he didn't really need it. It's a small fortune to have a draft trimmed ($50 without shoes) so that was cool. What an honest guy. He did trim up some uneven edges and only charged ten bucks, and he took the time to explain how winged edges effect soundness and how to tell exactly when a horse needs to be trimmed. I luffs him.

I was also pleasantly surprised when he said that Norman has exceptional feet.

Usually the drafts you see at shows have huge, square shoes that are heavy and make the horse lift his feet higher. The farrier told us that horses shod like that usually have arthritis by age six. Now I know why the horses I see at the fair have such hideous feet. And I thought draft people were generally decent folks. :( Just goes to show where the horse world is going.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mud... ugh.

The paddock is like a swamp and it's supposed to rain for the next three days. Most of the horses are in their stalls, except Jack. Cynthia and Mitch have this weird thing about stalls and they don't want their horses in them unless they absolutely have to be. I think it's because they don't want to muck them.

Mitch's TWH mare had a swollen foreleg and fluid all the way up to her knee, plus a cut on the inside of her leg that probably got infected because of all the mud. I guess Cynthia noticed it before I did but didn't do anything about it. Nothing surprising. But Jack has been lame for a couple weeks now, and it's probably from standing in eight inches of mud and shit 23 hours a day. They drove him out on the trails the other day and I seriously doubt that she even knows he's ouchy. His fetlocks were hot a few days ago, but now he's just tender on his front legs. It must really suck to be him. They feed him brittle, moldy cattle hay that's yellow and gray and stinks to high heaven. His muscle tone has deteriorated since they bought him and his coat is dull. The poor guy is going to look like an old nag by the time he's fifteen.

I worry about Reba, too. The BO is really stingy with her feed.

I'm all about longevity. I want my horses to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Beezie Madden's horse, Judgment is 17 and still clearing 6-foot oxer combinations easily. That's pretty sweet.

The key to longevity is to maintain, maintain, maintain. That means the harder you work a horse, the harder you take care of him. It's a foreign concept to some people I know. I see Reba being worked to a sweat and then tossed into her stall or paddock. They just ride and leave. Reba's about 25, and she looks every day of it. I don't know how much longer she can keep going at this rate. Actually, there are several horses out there that look like shit.

On another note, Levi is calming down a little. He still hates Victor and Victor avoids him at all costs. I haven't found any new wounds on him, though. The other day, Levi decided to go after one of the older horses, but Norman was between them. He turned around and nailed him four times in the chest. Now all the horses hide behind Normy. XDDD I think that's what Vic's been doing.

I'm beginning to think that Levi is more of a dumb brute than anything. A very handsome one, but still dumb. He hasn't really learned his place in the heard and he just doesn't know when to stop once he starts pushing the others around. Norman is the only one that will stand up to him. He's a slow learner. Or very stubborn. He really needed to have his ass kicked, though. I think that's what finally calmed him down. At least he isn't as much of a pain in the ass as he was.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Victor colicked last night

I got a call from Cristy at about 8:30 and said he was acting funny. So my mom and I went out and one of the other boarders was walking him in the arena. He was all sucked up and wanted to roll. Lorena came right out with the medicine and I walked him for a good 2 1/2 hours until he started feeling better. We were there until 11:00 pm. But he seems to be okay now.

Colic is always scary. My trainer lost her hunter/jumper to colic and he ruptured his colon because nobody did anything about it for five hours. Very sad stuff.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I went to an auction last night

And I should have slapped the guy who was selling most of the horses. I think he was a broker. All of his horses looked pathetic. They were all dirty, and there was one skinny dun mare who hadn't had a hoof trimming in months and was lame. I should have slapped him. I wasn't expecting any good quality stock last night, but it upsets me every time. There was also a chestnut overo filly who was broken to ride and only two years old. You could tell she had tons of growing to do. She was cute, though. I'd say she was the best one there.

The saddest part was the last horse, also belonging to the shitstick broker. The horse was filthy, shaggy, thin and sway backed. They claimed he was in his upper teens, and I believe it. He certainly looked old and defeated, and I'm sure he's had a hard life. He looked awful. There are 30-year-old horses that look better than he did. They had the bid all the way down to fifteen bucks, and nobody wanted him. I was an inch away from taking him... but then the broker offered to give him away, and a girl took him. Which worked out for the best because I didn't have a trailer and I don't know what I'd do with another horse. lol The girl was well-dressed and she seemed nice, so I hope she'll take care of him.

I'd like to go again. I might not be able to keep myself from buying a horse, though.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can I choke her now?

Cynthia feeds the horses in the morning on some days (she switches off with Cristy). I've discovered that she doesn't give them fresh water when she puts them in the pastures. I don't think her mind can wrap around the fact that horses don't drink water that isn't fresh. So there were five horses that went all day without water on Sunday. I know because when I went out to do the pm feeding, the water was stagnant and (shocking!) untouched. Awesome.

So yesterday, Cynthia did the am feeding and put Victor, Levi, and one other gelding together in the SMALLEST PASTURE ON THE PROPERTY that's barely big enough for two horses. Everyone knows that Levi hates Victor. There was no excuse. The BO's husband happened to walk outside later that day and guess what he found?

The electric fence was completely torn down and Victor was standing in the adjacent pasture covered in new wounds. Apparently Levi went after Victor and pushed him through the hot rope. Now he's scraped up all over again and he's got some new cuts on his legs and hips. He barely tolerated it when I was dressing them, so it's obvious he was hurting. I understand that the injuries aren't serious, but they're painful and that's what upsets me. I can't put a saddle over those raw spots, either. Just when the old owies were starting to heal, this happens. Thanks to Cynthia.

If this was the first careless thing she's done, I could forgive her. But she does stupid things all the time. Stupidity is her MO. If she ever used that lump three feet above her ass, this wouldn't have happened and I wouldn't have so many issues with her. This is just the first time her dumbass-ery has affected one of my horses directly. You know what she did when she found out? She called Cristy and apparently apologized profusely. I find that amusing that she called Cristy to apologize for MY horse getting hurt. Is she trying to avoid me until I cool down? She probably didn't want to be the one to tell me what happened. Or maybe she didn't have the balls to apologize to me directly. Not that it would help her case if she did. "Sorry" isn't gonna make those wounds go away. And it could have been avoided so easily.

I really want to know: Am I unreasonable for being upset? I mean about Victor getting bullied. Lorena thinks I'm being ridiculous. She is not willing to believe that her horse is dangerous and she seems to think it's perfectly normal that he chews Victor up. I don't think it's going to stop. They're okay if they're in the big drylot because Vic can get away from him, but otherwise, no. Also, Lorena and Cristy don't seem to understand that the problems are one-sided. Vic doesn't fight back at all. Levi is the instigator. How do I know? I've seen it happen many times in the past two weeks. Plus the fact that Vic is torn up and Levi doesn't have a scratch on him.

The wounds themselves don't bother me nearly as much as the idea of something happening and going unnoticed for hours. What if he'd gotten tangled in the hot wire? That's what bothers me. The scrapes and cuts aren't the worst that can happen. And it's that much worse because I'm paranoid.

I have more bad news. Rumor has it that Cynthia found two new boarders. One doesn't have a horse yet but wants one, and one lady wants to bring her horse in. If they're Cynthia's acquaintances, it can't be anything good. I don't think I can take more Cynthias. I'll go crazy if they end up being like her. My mom found a place that offers board for $100 a month, but there's no barn and it's just a pasture with a shelter. If these new people end up being bad, I think I'm going to bite the bullet and try to get my mom to move them to a place like that. I'd rather give up a nice barn and facilities than endure being around shitheads. For now I'm just praying that they end up being decent.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Victor got beat up again. D;

Levi is a bully. Vic had new owies on him when I went out yesterday. And Levi went after him (again) when I put them back out after feeding them. Lorena seems to think it'll blow over. I think not. But I've been wrong before, so we'll see. The way I see it, a horse is hard-wired to be the way he is and you can't change it any more than you can change someone's personality. I hope I'm wrong because I do not want to have to put up with my horse getting chewed up every time I turn around.

Ugh.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We had some problems last night.

When I went out to feed yesterday, eight horses were in the front pasture. That included Victor and Levi. I brought the horses in and I noticed that someone had beaten the living shit out of Victor. He had bite and kick marks all over him, especially on his neck. That has never happened before. All the horses were stressed and upset, and Levi was driving Doc (older gelding) away from all the other horses. It wasn't typical dominance behavior. Levi wasn't even letting Doc rest, no matter where he went in the pasture. I had a feeling Vic and Levi got into it, but I wasn't 100% sure is was Levi.

However, when I put the horses out that evening, Levi went after Victor again. Again, it wasn't just asserting dominance. Vic's been the dominant horse until now, so I think that's why the two of them are having so many problems. They were on opposite ends of the paddock, and Levi took one look at him and charged him. Vic got chased into the hot wire and Levi wouldn't leave him alone. So I brought Vic in and left him in his stall overnight. I might have been making myself paranoid yet again, but I kept having visions of him being driven into the fence and getting a leg caught in it or getting tangled in hot wire or kicking a hole in the metal shelter and slicing a hoof off... It's not the scrapes and bites that bother me. Those are superficial and they'll heal. It scares me to death what could happen if he and Levi were left unattended and I went out there the next morning to find a dead horse either beaten to shreds or tangled in a fence.

Levi was showing a lot of stallion behavior. Even though he was supposedly in a pasture with mares and geldings at his old place. I honestly never thought he would be like that since he's so docile with people. Pretty stupid of me, I know. I know stallions who were gelded as adults and they calmed right down and never had a problem. I'm positive that Levi still has a stallion's mentality. He herded Reba off by herself and won't let any other horses near her. He was patrolling up and down the paddock and going out of his way to chase other horses away. Vic and Doc especially. He just won't leave anyone alone. One of the mares nailed him in the jaw and now his cheek is swollen to twice the normal size. He's getting the shit beaten out of him too, because he's harassing everyone else in the herd. Vic is terrified of him, and I have NEVER seen Victor run from anyone. It was pretty brutal.

But I really don't want Levi to be sent back. I know how much Lorena and Cristy love him and I really like him as well. Just because he doesn't get along with a few of the horses is no reason to send him back. The problem is, all thirteen horses are together in one paddock. I HATE that. It's dangerous and I've nearly gotten run over several times while bringing horses in. They charge the gate because they're not being fed sufficiently and the BO is hellbent on keeping them all in "one big, happy herd", as she put it. It's ridiculous. When I first came to the barn, the drylots were separated into sections and there were one to three horses in each enclosure. The pastures were all separated, too. It was so much easier and safer. But the BO had the brilliant idea to tear out all the fencing and make the whole thing into one big paddock. She doesn't understand that some horses just do not get along. And she refuses to separate them. Now, the older and more timid horses don't get enough to eat and there's no way to assure that each horse gets the amount of hay that they're supposed to.

Lorena is extremely upset about the whole issue and I feel really guilty. She thinks the aggression would blow over eventually and they would be fine. She's mad at me for bringing Victor in because she thinks that that took away a chance for them to establish the pecking order. But I saw it and it wasn't normal. Was I wrong to take Victor out? I know the difference between asserting dominance and stallion behavior. And Levi was a breeding stallion up until last year. All I know is if I hadn't taken Victor out, I would have been up all night worrying. It felt wrong to leave him out there, and I'm sure many other horse people can relate when you just have "that feeling". Plenty of people end up losing their horses when they ignore that feeling.

I'm rambling. I'm just stressed out and guilty and I don't know what to do. I do not want to get in a fight with Lorena and I definitely don't want Levi to be sent back because of me. I have a serious headache right now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Better photos of Levi

Lorena is absolutely head-over-heels for this horse (so am I... hehe). We're pretty positive that she's keeping him. These pics are horrible for any conformation critique, but at least it's during the day and you can actually see his beautiful blue eyes. =) He needs more muscle tone in his hindquarters, but he's solid as a rock.


I'd like to get pictures of him all tacked up. He looks pretty sharp in English equipment. He's a dream to ride, too. Victor might have some competition...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Eeerrgh. I'm going to steal their pony and give him to a little girl that will love him.

I don't know how Jack puts up with it. You should have seen what a brat Cynthia's daughter was being today. I wanted to slap her naughty little mouth. Like they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I was riding Vic when Cynthia came in and started lunging Jack. It was horrible. He' can't even trot rhythmically and she's pushing him to canter. She had him cantering on the wrong lead and didn't correct him. Then she had her daughter cantering on him. And her daughter shouldn't even be trotting. She doesn't even know how to hold the reins right. I'm not surprised, seeing as Cynthia is the one "teaching" her.

Her stirrups were about three holes too long, her feet were shoved into the irons to her heels, her toes were pointed down, her legs were flopping all over the place, she was leaning forward, leaning on the reins. No wonder poor Jack got fed up. He didn't do anything really naughty, but he crow hopped a few times. And the worst part is, the girl was whining because she wanted to jump. And Cynthia is going to let her. I don't know when, but she told her daughter that she might jump next time they're out there.

This is coming from the woman who didn't even know what a diagonal is. There's no way she knows what a release is. Someone's going to get hurt and it's going to be either Jack or her daughter. Or both. It's especially sad because if Jack got really naughty, they're blame it completely on him.

Cynthia had a trainer coming out there for a while who was absolutely crazy. I disliked her from the first time I met her. She was the kind of person who just rubs you the wrong way, y'know? She had rather questionable training techniques and she was bizarre to say the least. The BO realized this (shocker, I know!) and she actually had the 'nads to tell Cynthia not her have her out there anymore. I have to give the BO a brownie point for that one. One less nutjob out there to deal with.

Now if we can just get rid of Stank Bitch.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Horse festival photos!

I went to a horse event recently and thought I'd share some of the pictures. My two favorite stallions were there. *squeals like a fangirl* Santiago and Fandango. Andalusians. They're like the ones you see in baroque paintings, only much better because they're real and standing right in front of you. Lookie and enjoy. Click for larger views...

First we have Santiago:

And the ever lovely Fandango:

This was all during the baroque presentation.

The vaulters were awesome.

This was when the mare spooked. Fortunately they all managed to stay on and it wasn't a big deal.

Friesian mares with their foals. It was adorable to watch.

And last but not least, we have the mini pulling the chariot. It was hysterical. XD They were tearing around the arena and the music was all dramatic and it was just hilarious. lolz

Aaannd... a picture of Annabel because she's cute and fuzzy. You can tell she has such a hard life.

*pulls hair out*

I did it again. I cleaned up after Cynthia. She had a bunch of kids riding Reba again last night and as expected, she wasn't groomed. I wasn't there, but Lorena was and she told me Cynthia also had her five-year-old son riding the barn owner's Thoroughbred mare. Who had also not been groomed afterward as she had a dirty, sweaty saddle mark on her when I went out this afternoon. And the BO didn't seem to care or even notice. I would have knocked her ass through the ceiling if that had been my horse. I'm assuming she had permission, but Cynthia's got some nerve treating the barn owner's horse that way.

So anyway, I took some pics of Reba after she got all cleaned up. She's pretty cute when she's clean.

Sorry for the bad lighting. Photos don't come out that great in the barn. XP

She's a gorgeous color. I love roan horses. You can't even see her skinny-ness in the pictures. Her ribs stick out and you can feel all the vertebrae in her spine. Her dock sticks out as well and her hindquarters are really sunken in. She's be really cute if she gained weight and filled out.


You can kind of see her ribs in this one. She's a bit sway backed, too. But still irresistible. She's so patient and forgiving. Probably way too patient, but a lot of horses are. And unfortunately those are the ones that most frequently end up with bad owners/riders.

She's another reason I really hesitate to move. No one would look after her and she'd probably never see a curry comb again. Stank Bitch Cynthia would continue to use her as a play toy and no one would care. If I moved, Lorena and Cristy would probably come with, so Reba would definitely have no one (can you tell I really really really like this horse? lol).

IF I move, I might call her owner up and fill her in on everything. And possibly ask her if she would consider moving Reba to the place I go. I'm sure she would at least consider it if she knew what was going on.

Lorena and I went to look at this therapeutic riding facility today and it was absolutely gorgeous. It's on 20 acres, the barn being remodeled, there's a pond and a creek that runs through the pastures, indoor/outdoor arenas, and all the horses were in great condition. The people there were nice and they really care about the horses. It's a boarding facility as well as the therapy riding. We want to do volunteer work there, and we could eventually become state certified instructors. And if I worked out there, they might let me keep my horses out there for a lower fee. It's a huge "maybe", though. So we'll see.

Finally, as promised, I got a picture of Levi. It's not very good, though. It was getting dark and you can't see much. I brightened it a lot, but it's still yucky. I'll get better ones as soon as I can. I apologize again for the cruddy photos. :/

Friday, September 11, 2009

I got to ride Levi!

He is a gem. He's the kind of horse that you never want to get off of once you're on him. He has a lovely trot and a nice quiet mind. Lorena is completely smitten. I know, I promised to get pictures, and I forgot once again. But they are coming. He is sooo handsome.

Totally off topic, but Cynthia had a bunch of people (some complete beginners) go out on a nighttime trail ride a few days ago. I wasn't there at night but I saw her talking to people and organizing the whole thing during the day. She was trying to get Cristy to go with, even though there weren't enough horses for the people that were already going. So then Cynthia suggests that she takes Victor.

O.O Cristy and I almost fell over. First of all, he's not Cristy's horse, and second of all, Cristy doesn't want that death wish. She's seen him when he's in a pissy mood. I don't think she'd get on him if someone paid her.

He's a one-person horse. If a stranger took him and just hopped on, you're asking for trouble. He'd probably send someone to the emergency room.

She even had kids riding double because she didn't have enough horses for everyone. I'm pretty sure she used Mariah. And for the record, she STILL hasn't been groomed. I should take a picture of her so you can see how pathetic she looks. They claim she's dirty because she's gray, and I say bullshit. There's a big difference between pasture dirt and old, caked on sweat. It would not be that hard to keep her clean, but they seem to think grooming is blasphemy.

One of Mitch's daughters asked me how my horses are so shiny. That's what happens when you GROOM them! Shocking, isn't it? I know it's a terribly hard concept to wrap your brain around.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

OMG I just want to kill her.

Yesterday was an eventful day. Wendy and Eddie left and went back to their old barn. I'm not surprised and I don't blame them at all. But I'm gonna miss them. It was such a breath of fresh air talking to people who know what they're doing. Now it's back to square one with me, my mom, Cristy, and Lorena against the shitheads. My mother keeps insisting that we can't afford to go anywhere else. So the search continues. I'm still trying to talk her into going to that one place.

Anyway, Reba's plight continues. This girl was out there yesterday with one of her friends. I think the girl is somehow related to Reba's owner, but I'm not sure. Both girls were riding Reba, and my stomach was in a knot the whole time. The friend must have been at least 200 pounds. And Reba's about 15 hands and has no muscle at all. She's too small for me to ride, let alone someone who's so heavy. Nonetheless, she behaved perfectly the whole time and never put a foot wrong. She is such a good horse.

I feel bad for girl #1. She comes out with Cynthia a lot and she's basically being corrupted. She's not being taught any better, and she doesn't know a good trainer from a bad one because she's a rank beginner. I'm seeing her pick up all of Cynthia's bad habits and the last thing the horse world needs is another Cynthia.

When the girls were done, they untacked her and tossed her in her stall without even rubbing her down. Exactly like Cynthia does. And Reba had grain in her stall, so she was all hot and sweaty when she started to eat. I grabbed her out right away and showered her down. The girls left to fast to see me do it, but I'm going to say something to girl #1 next time I see her. I think she'll listen, too. She's a nice girl and she does care about her horse, she's just been hanging around Stank Bitch way too much. I don't know if it'll cause any problems with Cynthia, though. She might think I'm undermining her. I don't care if she's mad at me, I just don't want her to whine to the BO, because the BO probably won't back me up.

Mariah, that super old Arab mare that's foundered and arthritic, was ridden at the same time Reba was last time. Cynthia had a bunch of girls riding Mariah, Reba, Jack, and Nikki. And not surprisingly, none of those horses were groomed afterward. Mariah still has the saddle mark from three days ago. And she's been droopy and sore since then. She isn't in any condition to be ridden at all. Plus she was dirty when they tacked her up so she might be sore from that as well. She's had huge sores under her girth before. It's really sickening. It's situations like this when I wish our area had an SPCA. Every city needs animal cops. All we have here is Animal Control, and they only deal with cats and dogs because they don't have the facilities for large animals and none of them know anything about horses. They won't do a damn thing if I call them. I've reported several cruelty cases and they never do anything. It makes me want to move and go somewhere where they actually have law enforcement.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm taking care of another horse.

There's this mare named Reba and she never gets any attention. The reason is because she's owned by a non-horse person and she only keeps her for sentimental reasons. You see, Reba used to belong to her owner's daughter, but the daughter died. So now she's just living there and the worst part is, Cynthia somehow got permission to ride her whenever she wants.

This has been going on for a long time. Cynthia rides the poor twenty-something horse into the ground and then tosses her back in her stall or paddock without so much as a pat on the neck. That's how she treats all the horses she rides. So the other day, Stank Bitch had a bunch of kids riding Reba. Then she tossed her in her stall when they were done, sweaty saddle mark and all. Didn't bother to rub her down or anything. That's what you do with toys, right? Just beat them up and toss them back on the shelf.

So I took her and hosed her down, then conditioned her mane and tail and Show Sheened her. She was in desperate need of some pampering. And I did it right in front of Cynthia and everyone else at the barn. AM I GETTING MY POINT ACROSS? Does anyone ever see Cynthia even groom the horse? Hell no. Wendy came over and commented on how skinny she is (she's about 75 pounds underweight). And Cynthia suddenly starts saying that she watches her weight so closely and she gains all the weight back when her teeth are floated and she's so concerned about the horse. Bullshit. Reba's been a skeleton for a long time. She could pack on the weight if she was fed enough, AND if Cynthia kept her ass off of her. FYI, the photo was taken several years ago before Cynthia came. She doesn't look like that anymore.

So she KNOWS the horse is skinny but she continues to ride her the way she does? She has a horse that she can ride for free whenever she wants and she completely neglects her. It's no wonder she looks like shit. And Reba's not the only one. There are several horses out there that look pathetic. Reba also isn't the first horse in Cynthia's care that was underweight. Her original pony, Sarah, was way too skinny. Cynthia claimed they were doing everything in their power to help her gain weight. She said they just couldn't get her to eat. That's because they fed her cattle hay that resembled straw. No fucking wonder she didn't eat.

However, you know that they "sold" Sarah and got Jack instead. Sarah's new owner has this brand new barn and she's treated like a queen. She gained all the weight back within a couple months of getting proper nutrition. I'm happy for Sarah, but Jack is the next victim. That pony isn't gonna last long. I see early onset arthritis in his future. Both Cynthia and her husband ride him. They practically need roller skates so their feet don't drag on the ground. That poor pony is an absolute SAINT. Lord have mercy on him.

Her husband said something the other day that pissed me off. He's not a horse person, and he values horses even less than his dipshit wife. He said he wants a mustang because they're so low maintenance and rarely ever need farrier work. Which means God forbid if they ever DID get a mustang, he or she would be severely neglected. It scares the shit out of me when I hear people say ignorant things like that. The BO actually agreed with him, not surprising. But still. I bit my tongue because they wouldn't have listened to me anyway. No one ever does.

But back to the fact that several horses there look terrible. The BO just doesn't see it. She thinks there's nothing wrong with any of them. Her barn is going to get one hell of a bad reputation. Visitors come through that barn and wonder what the hell's going on and why the BO isn't addressing the issues. It's because she's blind and she doesn't have the balls to confront anybody and straighten them out. The woman can't run a stable. Period.

Our horses make her barn look good. And by "our" I mean mine, Wendy and Eddie's, and Lorena's. If we left, the only ones that would be left are the scraggly, malnourished ones. And the only people would be the clueless ones. If we left, her barn would fall apart. There would be no clean, healthy horses and knowledgeable people to make the place look good. I think if one of us left, all of us would follow, too.

There is one place that's about half an hour away, and I think it's $275 a month for full board. That includes a stall, daily turnout, hay, grain, shavings, stall cleaning and farrier. And it's owned by one of my parents' friends. He supposedly keeps everything immaculate and he actually feeds his horses. But it's thirty minutes away. That adds up to a lot of gas money and I might not see my horses as often as I do now. They're ten minutes away right now, and the idea of them being so far away is a bit unsettling. I'm probably just being paranoid again.

Nevertheless, I really really really want to move. If we go there, I won't have to worry about my guys not being taken care of. Plus we wouldn't have to supply our own grain and shaving and hay anymore. So I don't think it would be that much more expensive. And we wouldn't have to put up with the morons. The owner doesn't sound like the kind of person that would tolerate morons.

Lorena, Cristy, and maybe Wendy and Eddie would come with us. So our current BO would lose over half her boarders. Maybe that would be a wake up call.

I want to get out of there so bad I can't tell you. It's just a matter of talking my parents into it. They still want to try to make things work out there. I've given up and I consider that place a lost cause. But whatever. If things miraculously get better, I've been wrong before. That would be great if Cynthia and Mike left. But that's probably not going to happen because the BO loves them. Hence being a lost cause.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The shenanigans never end. lol

The BO is kinda... goofy. That's the nicest word I can use to describe her. She has the memory of an ant and she knows nothing about horses. She claims she's been around horses all her life, but if that's true, I think it was just the good ole' farm pony types.

She almost knocked my socks off a couple days ago. Eddie was talking about bits and the BO comes up and says, "What's a loose ring?"

HOSNAP. She supposedly has several decades worth of experience under her belt and she doesn't know what a loose ring is? She started asking him all these newbie questions that anyone could figure out simply by opening up a State Line Tack catalog. She had no idea what an eggbutt or D-ring is. And she didn't know the difference between a snaffle and a leverage bit. The woman uses a pelham on her Quarter Horse and she has no understanding of bit mechanics. That scares the bejezus out of me.

Another weird thing about her. She's sworn up and down to my mom and I that she was a prosecuting attorney, but come to find out, she was only a paralegal. *facepalm*

I think she's pretty harmless, nevertheless. Just extremely goofy. She can't manage a stable if her life depended on it. That's why Lorena is such an asset.

Speaking of Lorena...

HER HORSE CAME SATURDAY!!!

She has him for thirty days, but she still doesn't know if he'll be good for Cristy's daughter. All three of them are head-over-heels in love with him, though. He is sharp. His name is Jim, but Lorena is calling him Levi because... Jim sounds ridiculous. But he's a piebald with blue eyes. Very handsome. He's nine and was a stallion up until last year, but he has no stud left in him at all. Nothing seems to bother him, not even half a dozen little girls squealing and petting the heck out of him. I need to get pictures. I got to ride him yesterday, and he was definitely cowboy trained. He has no bend to him because all they did was point him and kick. He thinks one leg on him means "GO". But that's the kind of training Lorena likes to do. Bending and flexing and whatnot.

I promise to get pictures next time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Secret's going back.

Lorena is taking her back Saturday because she has a crack in her front hoof that goes all the way up and the farrier said it looks like permanent damage. They pulled her shoes yesterday and there was hardly any wall left to put shoes back on, so they left her barefoot. It might have been the result of a bad shoe job and/or a shoe that was a size too small. So that definitely won't work out.

However, our farrier happens to have a horse for sale. And that horse happens to be a black and white paint gelding with blue eyes. My trainer's favorite kind (and mine. I'm really excited). He's coming for a thirty day trial the same day Secret leaves. I cannot wait to see him. She rode him yesterday and fell in love.

There are two problems. One, he's asking $3500 for him, which is out of Lorena's price range, but the farrier is willing to work with her on payment and whatnot. And two, the horse has to be suitable not only for Lorena, but for the 7 year old she gives lessons to (Cristy's daughter). Apparently he's a lot of horse and he's only been trained for working. Herding, roping, cutting, etc. If Lorena gets a horse, it will be half-and-half ownership because she and Cristy want to buy a horse together and split the cost and work. So he has to be suitable for all three of them. Hopefully she can get him into shape in that thirty days.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Victor, Victor, Victor...

I'm kind of depressed. And it's mostly my fault. I was talking with Lorena today and it got me thinking.

I'll be the first to say that my riding is mediocre at best. I'm really passive and I'm not as confident as I used to be. Believe it or not, I used to be fearless and I would get on any horse. But I had a few really bad falls off of Victor, and that pretty much crushed my confidence (it's getting better steadily, but not as quickly as I'd like). He was the first horse that ever bucked on me, the first one that took off with me, and the first one I fell off of. Basically the first horse that ever scared the living daylights out of me. I honestly considered selling him a few times years ago.

But then I met my current trainer, and we've both done a one-eighty. When I first got him, he couldn't even go one time around the arena without throwing a tantrum. And he refused to go on the trail. We'd get ten feet away from the barn and he'd go crazy.

Now I can take him out on the trail alone with minimal drama and he's usually very nice in the arena. However, he still lacks confidence (which he always has). And I know half of it stems from me. He'd probably be much braver with an aggressive rider. I'm getting there slowly. During lessons, I get so pissed at myself because I'm not doing him any favors with my passiveness. And because I used to have no fear at all.

In all honesty, if I could go back with the knowledge that I have now, I would have never bought Victor. But I've had him too long and we're too attached to each other and just the idea of parting with him makes me sick to my stomach. He's come a long way since the beginning, too. I enjoy riding him again and he even likes to work now.

His good days make it worth it. His moods are either really good or really bad, there's no in between. On good days, he's perfect. He never puts a foot wrong and he takes jumps and trot poles without thinking twice about it. But on bad days, he does nothing right. And he'll do anything to get his way. That's when he gets pissy to the point where I just want to choke him. But those days are becoming less and less frequent. I still feel bad, though.

Yes, he's spoiled. At first, I spoiled him rotten every time I saw him - whether he deserved it or not - because I wanted him to like me (he wanted nothing to do with anybody and ran away every time I tried to catch him). I was also fourteen and didn't know any better. Now I only spoil him when he earns it. But the damage has been done and I'm paying for it now. It took a long time to get him in a working state of mind.

Sorry for the rambling. I just needed to unload it.

I'm going to the barn tomorrow and I'll get pics of Secret so we can all ogle her. Teehee.

Potential new horse for my trainer.

Lorena and I went and brought home a horse today that she's taking on a 30 day trial. And this mare is gorgeous. She's a five year old Quarter Horse and she's build like a machine. She's got nice muscle tone, big hip, kind face, and just all around typy. She's kind of a red dun/liver chesnut/brown color. I'm not sure what you would call it, but it's pretty. I'll get pictures up as soon as I can (silly me, I forgot my camera again, as usual).

It was kind of funny because when we went to see her, the property wasn't all that nice and I was expecting to see a bunch of fuglies, but once that mare came out we were like, "Holy crap". lol All the horses there were really nice looking. And we were both practically drooling over the mare. Her name is Secret, by the way. And she supposedly has a bunch of world champions in her bloodlines, but I haven't seen her papers. It wouldn't surprise me one bit, though.

We'll just have to see. Lorena loves this horse already. She hasn't had a lot of saddle time, but she's unbelievably calm for a five year old. We're hoping for the best.

Heh heh...

Wendy is really upset with the crappy hay. I recently learned that she actually took a sample of it and sent it to a professional for analysis.

I can't wait until the results come back. The BO and Cynthia can't keep insisting that there's nothing wrong with it then. And Mariah has been really ouchie lately. They've got a damn grazing muzzle on her so she can't get much grass. So the only significant food she gets is the moldy hay. Fantastic. She's not even eating it anymore. No wonder she's a bag of bones. I'll be surprised if she makes it through another winter with the care she's getting now (or lack thereof).

If their horses end up with colic or COPD, they'll probably be bitching and moaning and wondering why in the world their horses got sick. They're just that kind of people. What scares me is that if a horse did get heaves, they'd probably go on riding him or her like nothing's wrong.

That hay test better hurry up.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Yeah Queen Asshat, you know SO much more than me. *snort*

Cynthia apparently was profoundly offended when I mentioned that her pony needed his sheath cleaned.

Here's what happened.

The BO was talking to my mom and she goes, "I want to know why Jessy was talking to *Cynthia's daughter* about Jack's penis."

What? Is she serious? Oh, please. First of all, Her daughter is nine years old, and according to Cynthia is plenty old and mature enough to be running around the pasture with 16 loose horses. But she's not old enough to know that you have to clean geldings' sheaths? Yeah, okay.

Ans second of all, I used the word "sheath" the whole time, never any slang. I wasn't snarky or mean about it at all, and I never even insinuated that the daughter had to do it. Cynthia wasn't around at the time, so I told her daughter to tell her mom that the reason Jack was rubbing his tail so bad was because he needed his sheath cleaned. I also said that I would show her mom how to do it if she wanted. All I asked the daughter to do was relay a message for me.

Cynthia somehow took that as an insult and instead of coming to me and asking me about it, she whines to the BO. And the amusing thing is, she wasn't offended because I told her something needed to be done. She was offended because I knew something that she didn't. She and the BO also treat sheath cleaning like it's some repulsive, taboo, R-rated thing that only adults should know about.

For Christ's sake, there's nothing "wrong" or "disgusting" about it. It is not optional, and it's just another routine maintenance job that all geldings need. It's no different than picking their hooves or having their teeth floated. It's a horse, for crying out loud. It's not like I was talking about condoms or something. It's just a fact of life and it needs to be done. It's only what you make it.

I don't understand the reaction. I know she's a bitch, but it was concerning the health of her pony. That's what you do at a barn. If someone is having an issue with their horse, the other boarders are free to make suggestions or pass on their knowledge. That's how you learn. If something was wrong with my horse and I called the vet, not knowing it was something I could have taken care of myself, I'd be pretty mad that no one told me before I blew off $100 on an unnecessary vet visit.

Cynthia is going to wait for the vet to come out and see if his sheath really does need to be cleaned. O.o As if she thinks I have no clue what I'm talking about. Oh, well. That's the last time I try to help her out. She'll figure it out sooner or later, and probably at poor Jack's expense. He's going to have no tail left by the time the vet gets out there.

I'm just tired of the people out there that don't know anything not listening to the people that do.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We went to look at a horse for my trainer.

Since my trainer doesn't have a horse anymore since she left the barn. She needs a good lesson horse, so we're horse hunting. Lorena took me with her so I could ride him and she could see what he looked like from the ground.

The gelding we went to look at was pretty nice. He was only 15.1, though, and I looked like a giant on him when I was riding the poor guy. XD His name was Caspar and he was a solid gray paint, very pretty, and Mexican broke. I wasn't sure what Mexican broke meant until I saw him.

I knew that Mexicans are really hard on their horses, but this guy looked like he'd had the shit beaten out of him at some point. He had scars all over and had a dent in his nose because they rode him in a tie down that was way too tight. You could tell he was just expecting us to get on him, ride him down to nothing and then leave. He looked rather confused when I was loving on him. Even though he definitely wouldn't have been a suitable horse for me, I wanted to take him home and show him what it's like to be spoiled rotten. ;) I totally would have, but he was waayy overpriced. We ended up passing on this one because of his size and his price. I hope someone really nice buys him.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A glimmer of hope...

You know those three new horses who had bots? Well, their owners turned out completely different than what I thought they would be like. I honestly did not think I was going to like them. But I was wrong, and they're actually very nice, they know how to ride, and they baby their horses. I'm not sure why they didn't take care of the bots before they came to the farm, but that issue has been resolved, so I'm forgetting about it. They're a couple who have no children, so their horses are their children. (We'll call them Wendy and Eddie).

Anyway, they've been here for only a month, and they're already not very happy with the management. And they're not happy with the way Mariah is treated. Wendy was appalled at the hay situation. And that could be a good thing. You see, Wendy and Eddie pay full board for all three of their horses (whereas my mom and I board in exchange for labor), which means they're forking over almost a thousand dollars a month. Which also means that they're very important to the BO. And if they start complaining to the BO, the BO will listen. That could be a very good thing to help our cause. There's already very heavy talk of Mitch getting kicked out, which would be a step in the right direction. I have no idea when it's going to happen, but I have a feeling that Wendy and Eddie will be complaining about him.

The two of them want to hire me to take care of their horses while they go out of town because they don't trust anyone else there. That's sad and flattering at the same time.

We'll just wait and see what happens.

You're probably wondering why we don't just leave. Well, a lot of it is the fact that we board there in exchange for labor, and we also provide our own grain, hay, and shavings. I don't know if we could find a deal like that anywhere else and we can't afford to spend upwards of $350 a month per horse. And most other barns around here are at least 45 minutes away, whereas this one is 4 miles away. I'm also afraid of falling into an even worse situation if we did leave the current barn. Nevertheless, I'm still keeping an eye out for a new barn. If we find one, we are moving.

On a side note, we might be getting a trailer. ;D It's an '07 two horse slant, and looks like it was only used a few times. I could go to shows left and right if I had my own trailer. That would be pretty awesome.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

*screams*

I guess Cynthia is now being all buddy-buddy with the BO and kissing her ass like there's no tomorrow. I think she's trying to get the rest of us kicked out.

A few weeks ago, Cynthia trucked in a load of hay that was all brown and moldy and it stunk up the whole section of the barn. My mom (and a few other people) pointed it out to her and suggested that she take it back. She refuses to believe that there's anything wrong with the hay and she plans on feeding it to her pony and Mitch's two mares. Which everyone advised them not to do, but of course they don't listen.

My trainer was there yesterday, and she noticed that Mariah (Mitch's 30+ year old Arab mare who is foundered and arthritic) was dragging her feet and seemed stiffer than usual. You could tell she was uncomfortable. My trainer asked Cynthia if Mariah was eating that bad hay, and Cynthia goes, "no, absolutely not."

Lorena went into her stall and reached into her feeder. The hay was black.

Not only did Cynthia lie straight to my trainer's face, but that poor horse is eating garbage.

Earlier, Lorena pointed out that there was white fuzzy mold all over the hay as well. Cynthia's excuse was, and I quote, "It's thistle. That's just how thistle dries."

Obviously, it got rained on at some point and I don't think it's even this year's hay. It looks more like straw and stinks to high heaven. And Mitch and Cynthia can't find anything wrong with it. Their horses are going to end up sick or worse.

*headconcretewall*

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm juggling with more than one issue here.

As you know, Victor is more "my" horse and Norman is more "my mom's" horse. My mom has been implying that she wants to sell Norman and possibly buy a Fjord. She also wants a miniature horse and donkey, but we won't go there because I've told her "no" a thousand times.

Anyway, my mom doesn't feel comfortable on Norman. She wants a bombproof horse that she can just go out on trails with and not have to worry about anything. She claims she doesn't trust Norman because he's green and not perfectly bombproof and yadda, yadda, yadda.

The real issue isn't the horse, and she doesn't want to admit it. She doesn't trust herself. She had a bad fall off a horse a couple summers ago and tore a ligament in her leg. She's been really nervous about riding horses ever since. It's a confidence issue, and I don't think it has anything to do with Norman. I don't even think she'd be completely comfortable on a 30 year old lesson horse.

I'm really worried about what she's going to do. Norman has never done anything over-the-top naughty and he has the mind to be a schoolmaster someday. He's never hesitated at trot poles and he walks right over tarps, feed bags, logs, everything. He's not perfect yet, but he has so much potential. I just need to get my trainer out there to work with him. He's come so far since we first got him as a two year old and it would make me sick to give up on him now. It scares me to death what could happen if one of them was ever sold. You have no control once money is exchanged and I hear too many horror stories about horses supposedly going to good homes and ending up starved or slaughtered. I have nightmares about things like that. Yes, I might be paranoid, but it's better than not caring at all. My mom doesn't want to think that a horse she knows could end up in a kill pen. It could happen to any horse. It's not just fuglies that you see in feedlots.

I don't know why she's so uncomfortable with Norman. I understand she had a bad fall, but I've had my share of falls, too. I'm over the moon for my boys and I don't understand why she's not happy with him. She needs to get over it. He tends to behave better for me, but that's because he picks up on her insecurity and it transfers to him. Any horse would be like that. I've told her that many times. It never seems to get through, though. Then there's the fact that she treats him like a baby and lets him walk all over her. That needs to stop. I feel bad because she doesn't enjoy riding as much as she used to, but it's not the horse's fault. It's all in her head.

I should have her take a few lessons on him with Lorena. She just needs to get some more good experiences under her belt so she can move on.

... It's giving me a headache.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Has your horse changed since you first got him?

I thought this would be an interesting thing to think about. A lot of times, horses are sold from one lifestyle into another. For example, they were a lesson horse but they became someone's one-on-one trail companion. That's a pretty big change from a horse's standpoint. Lesson horses in particular (depending on how much they're ridden) don't really get close to anybody because so many riders come and go. And a lot of them are ridden so much that you never get to know their personalities because they're so tired and bored all the time (and probably sick of people by the end of the day). I took lessons at a barn years ago where the horses were saddled all day, and ridden at least three times a day by rank beginners. I would be tired and bored, too, if I was a horse.

When I first brought Victor home, he was passive and stand-offish. He would accept my companionship, but he would never seek it. He was also extremely selfish and lazy. It took months for him to warm up to me. I don't think he had one-on-one attention before, although I'm not sure. It was like he put up a six foot wall of crap between us like he thought I was going to up and leave sooner or later. But once he figured out that I was there to stay, he really changed. He used to dislike men a lot (no idea why), and now he doesn't. And he doesn't run from me in the pasture like he used to. He even comes to me all by himself sometimes. He doesn't pout after workouts anymore, either. Thank God. I used to feel like a total asshole when he did that. Even though he was just being a wimp.

When I was out of town for a week, I came back and both horses came right up to me. I was touched. =D I knew Norman would, but I wasn't sure about Victor. (Hah, you missed me Victor, I know you did.) He's still the eccentric, independent, British aristocrat he's always been, but in a nicer way.

So tell me- have any of you guys had similar experiences with your horses? Did your horse have a different lifestyle before you bought him? And how has it changed him, if he's changed at all?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Are you getting tired of me snarking on Cynthia?

I hope not, because her stupidity never ends. As long as she's at the barn, I will NEVER run out of fodder.

Last week when I was out of town, Cynthia bought some hay that my mom found out was moldy. My mom confronts her, and Cynthia goes, "Where's the mold? Show me the mold."

o_O She acts like she knows so much and she can't tell when hay is bad? Even if you can't see the mold, you can always smell it. My mom doesn't even know much about horses, and she found it right away.

I really feel bad for the poor newbies who take lessons from her. I don't know if I mentioned this, but I let her ride Norman once just for kicks. He completely ignored her and she bounced around like a fatass sack of feed when she asked him to trot. And Norman has a fantastic sitting trot. I almost keeled over laughing.

I really wish I had a video of one of her lessons. You would all be pissing yourselves. It's that bad.

I just ignore her now. She knows I don't like her. It's aggravating because my trainer and I were there long before she was, and suddenly she and Mitch come in and invade "our place". They chased my trainer away and annoy the living daylights out of me on a regular basis. It's frustrating, infuriating, and oddly hilarious all at the same time. She just doesn't realize how much of a moron she is. My friends and I have tried to help her. Plenty of people have given her advice, but God forbid that Cynthia is ever wrong about anything. She hates being wrong.

Hehe...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Some new pictures

Just thought I'd share. The little goobers stopped running around as soon as I broke out the camera. Go figure. They just had baths and look pretty nonetheless. :) Click for larger view.









Scrap Award!

When you receive The Honest Scrap award you must stick to some rules:
Recognize your award presenter and link back to their blog in your post.
List 10 honest things about yourself that others might not now.
Present this award to 10 admirable bloggers and link to their blogs.
Leave a comment on your recipients' blogs to let them know to visit your post to retrieve their award.


10 honest scraps about me that you may not know:

1. I'm 17. I don't think I mentioned my age before. No idea why.

2. I've never broken a bone.


3. The year I was born was the 300th anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials, and I was born one day after Sarah Good, Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe, and Sarah Wildes were hanged.

4. The first horse I ever rode was a Clydesdale.

5. I want a sugar glider someday.

6. I detest fake tans. Not just because of the way they look, but because it's bad for your skin.

7. I currently have purple streaks in my hair.

8. My favorite colors are green and purple.

9. I'm an artist. I do photography, graphite drawings, and sculpting.

10. I love horror films. The Crow is one of my favorites.

Thanks a bunch to Cathryn!

And now to find ten blogs to give the award to... I don't know who's gotten one already, so forgive me if I'm repeating any.

Holy Horse!

When The Painted Horse Comes

Tacky Tack Of The Day


A Good Horse

Bad Ways To Sell Your Horse

Shame in the Horse Show Ring

Behind the Bit

Fugly Horse of the Day

Equine Ink

A Horse and a Half

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lovely.

We now have three new horses at the barn. Who are not quarantined.

And all three of them have bots. Isn't that peachy? I would love to know why they aren't quarantined, first of all. They've only been here since the 15th. And if the owners haven't been keeping up on deworming, who knows what other parasites they brought with them? Good grief. Have they ever heard of boticide? Make friends with it. It really isn't a complicated concept.

*headdesk**headdesk**headdesk*


On a lighter note, I'm totally excited because I rode Norman bareback for the first time ever! He was a doll, as per usual. And he's comfy. It's like sitting on a couch. I have a couple new pics of him when he's actually clean. His mane and tail are extremely high maintenance, yet I cringe at the thought of cutting it. Him and his sexy blond locks. lol

I also had a great lesson on Victor. He was so good. He never hesitated at a pole or jump once. Yes, we jumped! Woohoo! It was amazing. It took me like three tries to get into two-point and I forgot to release a couple times (poor Vic was a trooper) and he still went over perfectly. I couldn't believe how well he behaved. Needless to say, he got spoiled rotten afterward. XD

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Goofy things people have said/done at the barn.

We've all probably known more than a few nutty horse people or non-horse people that say the darnedest things.

I was at a trail riding place in Wisconsin and the guide was talking about Quarter Horses. One kid goes, "What's the difference between a Quarter Horse and a full horse?"

Another instance was when I took Vic to a trail riding place with the BO and one of her horses. She's tacking up her horse and she asks me to get the martingale out of the trailer. No prob.
Well, I scour that tack room, and there is no martingale to speak of. But there is a breast collar. So I'm like, Good lord, she thinks a martingale is a breast collar. She's also put splint boots on backwards and on the wrong legs. And she's put a curb chain on a western curb bit. And she uses a pelham with only the curb rein.

And here's a conversation between my BO and a dressage trainer that was interested in buying a saddle from her:

Trainer: "What kind of saddle is it?" (kind of suspects that BO doesn't know what she's talking about)

BO: "It's a dressage saddle."

Trainer: "What color is it?"

BO: "Brown."

ROFL XDDD

And don't we all love it when little kids ask how you tell the difference between a boy horse and a girl horse? You can just tell the older ones, but how do you explain it appropriately to a four year old? lol

The thing about the horse world is, if you don't know what you're talking about, everyone is gonna know it and you'll stick out like a sore thumb. Which isn't that bad if you acknowledge the fact, but it's a different story if you try to act like you know it all. If you have that attitude, you'll lose any and all respect so fast you're head will spin. It's a lot better to openly admit it if you don't know something. *cough*Cynthia*cough*

So, how about you guys?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Meh... fireworks.

The bane of every horse person's existence.

If people know that they live near horses (or livestock in general) why can't they be curteous and not crack off fireworks for three days straight? Norman was beside himself last night. He ran away from me three times when I was leading him to the barn, and he ran all the way to the tree farm next door. That was real fun. I've never seen him like that before. He seemed to think the world was ending.

Victor actually didn't mind too much. I thought he was gonna be the one freaking out.

Now, I can kind of understand firing off a couple of Roman candles on the 4th of July, but why the days before and after? It's obnoxious and potentially dangerous for us horse people. Enough is enough. Go to some deserted country road and blow of firecrackers to your heart's content. But keep it away from the horses.

The old grey mare in back of us was about to have a heart attack. Fireworks were going off right by her pasture, and I could see the smoke that looked like it was coming from the people's driveway. Could they be stupid enough to do fireworks with their horse practically in the back yard? Well, they were stupid enough to put their yearling filly in a wire fence with six inch gaps, so yes. I really feel bad for their horse. I especially worry about the older horses.

What happened to the good ol' days when kids were happy with sparklers?

Friday, June 12, 2009

I had a long talk with the BO.

My mom and I did, actually. We told her all the problems we're having with Cynthia and Mitch, and she still doesn't get it. She's basically willing to put up with all their shit. She doesn't see the severity of the issue. Cynthia's stupidity doesn't seem to bother her. I've told her how much of a liability she is, and she still isn't bothered.

Just last night, Cynthia's daughter persuaded Cristy's daughter (7 year old) to go out in the dry lot with all the loose horses. Well, Norman got pissy with Jack while Cynthia's daughter was in between them. It's a good thing she's as quick as she is, because Norman almost ran her over. So I told her it wasn't safe and to get out of the paddock. So she goes, "Why?"

I don't know, maybe because I'm much older than you and I just told you to do something for your own safety? I told both of them twice to get out of the pasture, and finally Cristy yelled at them two more times before they finally got out.

Come to find out, Cristy asks Cynthia if her daughter was allowed out with loose horses, and she said, and I quote, "Yes she is, because she can make that judgment."

HELLO!!! She's fucking eight years old! What little kid can go out with a bunch of horses and be smart enough to not get a hoof to the head? And she doesn't seem to have any grasp on how dangerous horses are! She just has no idea. Mostly because her mother isn't teaching her any better. What if one of my horses hurts her kid? That's a lawsuit right there. A huge liability. Like I said, Cynthia just doesn't give a damn about anything. She just thinks nothing will ever happen.

If I see her out there again, I'm letting her have it. I don't care if her mother says it's okay. I will NOT have little kids running around my horses and risk being injured. It's just not going to happen. If Cynthia gets mad at me, boo hoo. Cry me a river, bitch. I guess if your daughter ever gets rushed to the ER with a hoof-shaped indentation in her skull, I told you so.

I think the BO is more open to possibly kicking Mitch out, though, which would be a giant step in the right direction. We're trying to reason with her. We'll see if it gets us anywhere. I'm still on the hunt for a new barn, which has so far proved fruitless. But if and when I get a place lined up, I'm getting out if Mitch and Cynthia don't leave.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Klaus 19?? - 2009

We had a sad day today. The BO made the decision to put one of her horses down due to health problems that seemed to just keep piling up. Klaus was a Percheron/ Thoroughbred cross in his late 20's. He had extensive schooling and was a barn favorite, especially to the lesson kids. He was blind in one eye, but it didn't seem to bother him and he was one of the kindest and sweetest horses out there.

Unfortunately, he had arthritis that would have crippled most horses, but he had an incredibly high tolerance for it and was still ridden up until last summer when he was diagnosed with ringbone. In the last year, his health continued to decline and he had several abscesses on his feet, along with a bad ligament. Just recently he was diagnosed with cushings, and that's what solidified the decision to euthanize him. He was kept reasonably comfortable and happy for as long as possible, but he'd lost weight and his fur was coming out in clumps. His owner couldn't watch him suffer any more, and he passed away today at about noon. He's going to be burried out in the pasture.

He was the coolest big, black horse in the world. He was spoiled rotten and had a good long life. He really was a perfect horse and we're all going to miss him terribly. Rest in peace, Klausie.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another case of blatant stupidity, curtesy of our good friend, C.

Before I begin, I'm going to be giving names to the people I've been talking about, since it gets confusing using only letters and I don't have permission to be using anyone's real name. So here's how it's going to work:

C = Cynthia. She's the idiot that's at the center of all the conflict at the barn.

M= Mitch. Cynthia's cousin who boards his two horses there and is a lazy asshole and just as stupid and idiotic as her.

My trainer = Lorena.

My friend who's daughter also takes lessons from Lorena = Cristy

And the BO will just stay the same.

Okay, here we go. Remember Jack, the pony that Cynthia bought her 8 or 9 year old daughter? Jack was only trained to drive when they bought him, and Cynthia had this wacko trainer out there working with him. So Saturday Cynthia comes out with her kids and husband and suddenly has everyone on this pony. Herself, her little girl, and her husband. A little 13 hand pony that has maybe ten hours of saddle time. Her husband (who is not a horse person) rode him for a good hour and a half, and the whole time, poor Jack was running away with him and misbehaving and trying to get him off. Cynthia was instructing him, which I think only made matters worse.

It looked ridiculous. A couple of adults riding a pony. Needless to say, Jack was not happy about it, and it looked like he tried to rear several times, but he obviously couldn't given the riders that were almost as big as he was. And then during my lesson, I was in the outdoor and they were in the indoor arena. I don't know what they were doing, but there were whips cracking and scaring the bejezus out of Victor. I'm telling you, it was a freakin' circus act. A joke.

Then afterward, they just threw Jack and Nikki back out in the pasture, saddle marks and all. Didn't hose them down, didn't brush them, nothing. Cynthia just drove off because she "had to be somewhere". It was a hot day, and they were both dripping sweat. It was disgusting. I can't imagine riding a horse down to nothing and then not even bothering to do anything for it afterward. I've never even seen her give her horses cookies after a hard ride. I think a horse has earned a couple treats after a good workout. But she never does because apparently she only believes in doing the bare minimum.

Lorena and Cristy want to work something out with the BO so they can lease the front isle of the barn. With any luck, Mitch and Cynthia will want to leave. If it works out, Lorena will come back as the barn trainer.

And that place that was offering free board that I was looking at? My mom drove past it and it was a total dump. So that's a no-no. We can't find any other affordable barns that are in decent shape, so I'm hoping this deal works out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Side reins on a young horse?

I'm debating whether I should try side reins on Norman. He's five, and needs a lot of work on his balance. My trainer said I should wait, but I've heard other people say that it's great for teaching balance and rhythm to a youngster. I've seen four and five year olds with side reins before, and they did fine. They worked wonders for Victor. They evened out his trot like a dream.

Norman is also about 100 pounds overweight right now. I finally convinced my mom that he doesn't need grain in the summer. Needless to say, he desperately needs exercise. I'm worried about him foundering because of all that excess weight. I'm starting to go out more and more often, and I'm lunging him as much as possible.

So, has anyone had experience with using side reins on young horses? What are your views on it, and how old should a horse be before introducing them? Any and all input is appreciated!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I was shocked.

That post on FHOTD piqued my curiosity and I looked up Vic's ancestors. He's got pretty decent bloodlines. Native Dancer, Damascus, Mr. Prospector. His sire was the Illinois Stallion of the Year in 1995.

Vic's ancestors.

I was shocked when I saw My Babu and Ribot. They're way back in his ancestry and there have been enough better horses to "over-ride" it, but sweet mother of Christ. Babu's back was like a freakin' ski slope. I have no clue how he got to be a successful runner. Ribot was just plain ugly. His structure wasn't that bad, but his overall appearance wasn't at all attractive. Along with Hastings, Pharamond, and Fair Play. It was a whole wall of fugly. How do you get nice horses out of so many fuglies? I'm glad we did, though. Horses like Marcovil (scroll down a ways on Vic's page) probably contributed a lot to it. He was nice. It's crazy to see how horses have changed in the past several decades.

I also discovered that Vic has a full sister named Athena Gold. I think I remember seeing her once when I first went to look at Victor.