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


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.


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.