Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Two Posts, One Week. Unheard Of!

Wow. I have time AND motivation to write more than once this month (let alone WEEK). Bully for me ;) Of course this also means....I'm bored. Mainly, due to the fact I have almost no appointments this week (boo) and Bubby is out for at least this week. It's so not easy to watch everyone else ride their horses and keep progressing and we're at a standstill. UGH. It SUCKS!! And trying to ride the lesson horses just isn't doing it for me. There is a reason Bubby and I work so well together. Me, picky? Ya think?? ;D
I decided a couple of the lesson horses need some schooling....and it turns out I have no motivation, haha. I did ride Amigo Monday. He's a halflinger/paint cross. Insert *pain in the ass* He's an athletic bugger but the attitude annoys me. Granted, Bubby has the standardbred 'tude but that I least I can work with. Amigo has the draft/pony attitude. Work is definitely a four-letter word for him. And I miss the standardbred powerful trot. Everything else is so puny, haha. After a rather frustrating, looonnngggg warm up, he was listening fairly well. His conformation is pretty opposite compared to Bubby...this I sometimes forget. This is the same problem I ran into when I started training Bubby with Amanda. However, I appreciate my horse even more so now. Here's hoping my little workaholic is back soon. He looks from the gate at me when Darryl comes in for his lessons :( Poor boy.
Speaking of the Ol' man, he was fantastic tonight for Christina. He's been chipping his fences and riding rather blah lately. We've been working over trot poles, cantering sets and working over small verticals. Tonight he was quite the happy camper after a few days of work in a row :) And Christina finally figured him out over his fences. WooHoo! I'm feeling good about thier show this weekend :D
Oh, and I'm peeling like crazy from this past weekend. Worth it? Totally. Leaving the house anytime soon? Eh, not so much :P
Until next time!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two Words: Puncture. Wound.

I love my horse, I love my horse, I love my horse. I, however, DO NOT like the $575 vet bill that came with the puncture wound last week. Ugh. I suppose we were over due for an accident. Butthead :P Of course, I was away the day he got the puncture. I was helping my college roommate trailer her filly down to Chincoteague for training and was having quite a good time off. Then I received a text from the barn manager. Bubby came in with a bump on his jaw, swollen, hot, what should she do. So I had her hose it and see if it would help. It seemend to and Tuesday the swelling was almost gone. I was trying to catch up on sleep Wednesday when the phone rang. Bubby couldn't eat and his jaw was swollen. I get to the barn and see that he isn't terribly comfortable and he couldn't complete the chewing cycle/phase. So our vet came out a few hours later and determined it was indeed a puncture. Looks like he put his head somewhere it shouldn't have been. *SHOCKING* He cleaned it up and gave us a round of meds and bute, and topical ointment. He also got a penicilin shot and banamine that morning. UGH. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much last week. I held myself together but I was beyond worried. Any number of things can and could happen. As it is, his WBC count is elevated AND the flora in the wound doesn't react to SMZs ($50 down the drain). Good news; he is doing well. Good attitude, good appetite (except for one morning I ran to the barn because SOMEONE got overly ambitious over breakfast) and it seems to be healing very well. *knock on wood* this continues! Oh, and did I mention Darryl also refused to eat when Bubby couldn't? Oy boys, really??
Needless to say, our exercise routine has been nixed until further notice. And he was going sooooo well. Damn it. And I've realized after riding one of the lesson horses, I really miss my horse. His attitude, his work ethic, his athleticism, EVERYTHING! Maybe next week?? Maybe?? Please?!
On a positive note, this past weekend was a BLAST. Scottish Games with Albannach (practically in my backyard!) Saturday and then Chambersburg that night with graduation on Sunday. It was awesome.
Well, off to (hopefully) FINALLY get some sleep. Until next time!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

*Insert Witty Albeit Lame Excuse*

Ah, blog. How have you been? Oy. Everytime I tell myself that I WILL write this regularly, it simply never happens >P Anyway, the last few, uhh, weeks(?) have been interesting. I suppose in a good way, haha. I seem to have taken on a one-child-falss-off per week quota, joy of all joys. Ugh. Nothing like ruining a kids confidence and tears to make you reavaluate how good of an instructor you are. However, this weeks lessons have started out very well. Maybe a good omen for the rest of the week, eh? Maybe?...Here's hoping.
I FINALLY have Bubby in some regular work. WooHoo! My little workaholic :) We are still having some stiffness issues but he's getting better every ride. the chiropractor (yes, a horse one) is coming out in a few weeks and as long as I have the funds (think vet bill times 2), he will be seeing Dr. Patty. I love watching her work and see her all the time when sedation is needed for some dental clients. Is it a lot of money, yes. Will it be worth it, absolutely. What she mainly does is evaluate and readjusts them, then gives you feedback on where they are stiff or uncomfortable and excersises to do with them. And she's not pushy about having to come back! Lord knows I cannot afford to do this too many times a once, haha. His dressage is going to well AND he is in a couple lessons that i know are taxing his back but he is being really good. Why not pay him back? :)
Darryl and Christina are gearing up for their first Elementary event at Olde Hope in a few weeks. I am cautiously hopeful for them. The heat bogs him down and the trailering always gets him excited, which in turn wears him out. Oy vey. I know he can jump the course but all the factors worry me. I don't want them to have a bad show and I don't want him getting hurt due to fatigue. So, the next few weeks we are going to the push the jumping limit. It was my fault we didn't jump as much as they should have before the first show. He jumps so well, I just didn't think about his old man stamina in it all. Ugh. Onward to remedy that!
Oh, have I mentioned the dental is busy as all get out. Not that I'm complaing...totally, haha. I like the work, I like to work...May need a weekend of no work soon though. As a good friend recently told me (in good humor of course), I have a rather disgruntled personality. Fine, I accept that. But I am NOT normally this short fused and annoyed with this many people. My patience is not what it normally is. Aaannnddd the horses know it of course. Hopefully next weekend will be that weekend. Scottish Games on Saturday, Wilson commencement on Sunday...may just ask for Monday off too...we shall see.
Til next time!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yeah, I Just Did That

So, in all fairness I've been overdue for a fall. Ugh. But did it have to be SO dramatic this time??? Apparently :P I'm trying to get back into riding shape....and more importantly work/tire Bubby out :D I am using him regularly now in two lessons during the week because he is quiet and steady and LISTENS to his rider. His only downside at the moment is if he hasn't been worked in a while he tends to get rather speedy. *sigh* if only knew how to canter and jump, I could use him in more lessons. Ah, well, we're working on it :) Back to my epic fall... I am so not a fan of the three step mounting block. Can we say unbalanced? Not to mention Bubby has the tendency to start to walk off....only with me of course *throws hands in air*. Combine the two factors and you have my graceful almost-mount. The block wobbled, he stepped back a stride aaannnndddd down I went! I braced for the sandy arena but my now tensed butt was greeted with the side of the mounting block. FYI not much give there >:[ and then fell to my side. For a split second I thought I may have strained/stressed my left hand. That would NOT have been good. Thankfully, after a few numbing minutes, all feeling returned and pain left. Oy. Then of course we had to buck/crow hop a few times in the trot. Only the second time riding outside since, oh, November-ish? He worked OK but was rather distracted. May need spurs for a few rides to reaquaint leg aides...
In dental news, appointments have picked up! WooHoo! :D Upside: I love being busy and active (in what I want to do, of course ;) AND it also gets me toned and in shape. I may not get the "beach body" but, it will shed quite a few pounds off. Oh, and it helps my riding. I've noticed a better posture in the saddle since coming home from school. Shoulders are back and straighter, and interestingly enough I am holding my hands up where they SHOULD be and they don't move as much :)
I am also becoming quite the babysitter it seems, hahaha. I absolutely adore Amanda's little girl Olivia (or Livvie :). I definitely don't think I'm anywhere NEAR ready for any wee ones of my own but I am not scared of them which is always a plus (yay for younger siblings!). I was also asked (and accepted) to hold a high school friends little girl at an upcoming wedding. Erma is such a good baby too :) I may be chasing the newly walking Erma at the wedding in a little over a month....Suppose I'll just have to wear flats then ;)
Sleeping in tomorrow? I think yes.
Til next time!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Busy? Moi?

Okay. Once again the time has gotten away from me. Oy. See why I called the blog Mild Chaos? Haha. Anyway, in short, all my students are doing spectacular :) Almost all of the beginners have started trotting over ground poles. I'm so excited :D From here, things usually move quite quickly, get infinitely more interesting and definitely more fun!
My older (ie: experienced) students are starting to nail there respective dressage tests. That always makes my inner DQ beam with pride :D I've slowly been getting everyone where they need to be jumping-wise as well. We have an event coming up soon, so no time to waste!
I have a few new students as well. Two have ridden before and getting back into it. Hopefully, I'll finally have someone to ride India. She is such a sweet, willing mare but needs a specific kind of rider. Hence, she's been hanging out in the mares field for the last few months being bored I'm sure.
Darryl has been feelin' his oats recently too. Really? Bucking after every jump? I can't seem to convince him he's been around for 3 decades, haha. He's going to the upcoming event too :) Bubby was on my $#%t list Thursday. I've not had alot of time in the last couple weeks to ride him (more in a sec) and well, he's not real happy about that thank you. Ugh. Who's horse jumps out of round pens? Mine! Idiot. Seriously, in a bout of pissy-ness. i love Standardbreds but my GOD do they have tempers to go along with those opinions! However, he did redeem himself today (IN the round pen). I have him in two lessons a week too. I *heart* my boy :)
Oh, side note, switched farriers this week too. I've been using one of the two farriers that come regularly to the barn. He's mainly a track farrier; good for trims, cold shoes, and inexpensive. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. He gets the job done but honestly, is not always consistent. Sometimes too long, other times too short. So, I asked the other farrier if he would since he was coming out anyway and my guys were due. After all, with Finn's abcess, the man ahas been calling me more than any other guy has EVER called me LOL. He does trims, hot shoes, corrective work, etc... Pricier BUT always on time (if not early), schedules ahead of time and is pretty much available whenever. Works for me :D I'm willing to pay for better service like most of the rest of the human population ;)
The dentistry has picked up too. Finally! I love seeing an appointment everyday of the week, AND I'm building muscle and stamina again. This past week I noticed I had more control of my float and strokes than what I've had. Bit seats are getting easier too. OH, and I pulled 2 blind wolf teeth all by my onesome :D No nerves at all, go me, haha. Pulling teeth shouldn't be this much fun ;) Of course, squatting for half an hour to pull a tooth and then float does take a toll on the legs after a while. Minor detail :P Caps to pull Monday morning. Wolf teeth to pull at some point next week. The following week, we have an appointment in Chincoteague for quite a few. Busy busy.
Okay, I'm going to bed. Just thinking about how much is going on right now is tiring!
'Til next time!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Oh, Injuries

I suppose I'll catch up on sleep, oh, sometime in the next millenia :P haha. What so supposed to be just a simple vet visit turned into so much. Now granted, it could be SO much worse but injuries are NEVER fun as we are all aware. So, as it is a boarding barn everyone is on a different schedule vaccination and Coggins-wise. Needless to say, it got a hair confusing figuring out who needed what. I don't even know how many times the list changed but by Thursday we had a list of 6 that ranged from definite vaccinations due, potential vaccinations due, one lameness and one cut to be looked at. Oy vey.
We started with Finn. Big, chestnut, former Prelim eventer. Fantastic patient, always a plus :) When Amanda left for Puerto Rico, he was lame on the left front. Monday, the farrier checked the left front and he was indeed reacting to the hoof tester. Icathynmol in the coronet and heel, see if an abscess blows or if he's just bruised his heel. Yeah, come Thursday the RIGHT front is lame. Lame-lame. Again, reacting to the hoof tester strongly. So, we are on stall rest with, as of today, the second of two 48 hour poultices. Thank God for Animalintex! That stuff is AWESOME. Soak it, wrap the foot with it, then vetwrap then duct tape. Still no sign of an abscess. Ugh. There is the outlying possibility that he has a wing fracture *headdesk*. Fingers crossed, he will blow one soon, as sad as that sounds. Lesser of two evils, right?
Then it was checking on Scoops cut. It's only, oh, the 4th one of this severity in the ast 2 years. New show name: Accident Prone. LOL. Some of the skin was dying off and the scab wasn't healthy. We are also on stall rest with our leg wrapped. First day, the ointment the vet left was amazing. Scab came right off, as did the dead skin. BUT, now the wound is opened and it's nasty and muddy out. Oy. At least, with 2 of them in, they keep each other company and QUIET :)
We were finally to normal vaccinations. Impecc, great. Tawny, great. Amigo.....oh Amigo isn't due. UGH. Just pulled a horse out for nothing. Yay. Tux, not due (FINALLY got THAT squared away) but he does have ringworm-like stuff on his side. One of those hard decisions. I know his owner is trying to save money. However, he has had it for awhile and its not going away. Sigh. Green light for blood tests and immune booster shot :( Poor guy.
So, we're just about done. Vet is writing everyone up, gets to Scoop and it turns out he is just overdue for EVERYTHING. Really?!?! I swear Dr. Cushing thinks I'm a complete dunderhead (we won't go into all the things I've done to prove that point BEFORE Thursdays appointment). I really try to have all my ducks in a row before he comes but, I just couldn't win on Thursday.
After all that, and getting the two wrapped and comfortable, I get a little break before lessons from 4-8. Of course, then up early Friday to rewrap Scoop, check Finn, get my oil changed (put that off too long. Its my office after all), hopefully have enough time to get more poultice and vetwrap, lunch(my stomach was making words), all before my 2 o'clock dental thankfully down the road. Busy, me???
Saturday is usually my light day. HA! Started out rewrapping both Finn and Scoop. Then, 2 lessons, help get Impecc's things packed for trailering tomorrow, couple more lessons and done, right? No, no, no ;) I helped out with tidying the office. We would like to be able to find things in there you know? By the way, Muck Boots were not intended to be worn standing for long periods of time. Ow. Anyone interested in cracking my lower back??? I really need to find a GOOD work shoe for everything. Lessons, barn, dental, etc... Ugh, for another day....
Oh, and I said Hi to my boys today. I did actually see Bubby and Darryl Thursday as they were in my lessons. I need to get a decent camera to take pictures. Darryl was FLYING over the 2' verticals and LOVING every minute of it :D He's just that good, hehe :D
Sleep. Sleep is good.
Til next time!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Boredom Is Not Good

I guess saying business is slow is an understatement right now. It is to be expected but, boy, the consequences of such may be the end of me. And I'm not talking finances. Let's see if I can keep this PC....
When I'm bored the Internet is my playground. Think about it: you type in just one word, hit enter and *BOOM* information. Dangerous. Very, very dangerous. For instance, I think I have discussed before when I have looked up equine dentistry. Yeah, THAT never ends well, haha. Yep, not only can you search and find ANYTHING, you can also create whatever nonsense you wish and develop a website that goes out to the entire world. The naive and the experienced. Now granted, some may consider what I post nonsense. That's fine because I'm not proclaiming to be an expert on anything. Again, I'm just bored and like to write (occasionally I've been told i do so decently, so what the heck, right?). Some of you putting some of that shite out there as "experts".....shame on you. I don't need to list anyone specifically...just type "equine dentistry" into your search engine ;)
Now today, I tried a new search. I didn't type in "natural horsemanship", I just chose a couple higher profile trainers/clinicians.....Read the rest of this and take a wild guess..... So, I type a name in and the controversy abounds! I like it! ;D
Here's where I stand on training in general. I do like some aspects of Natural Horsemanship, depending upon the trainer (or "trainer" as it may be). At one time, I would have told you that you needed a round pen to accomplish anything with any given horse. BUT I have matured both personally and in my horsemanship skills. I took 2 terrific training classes in college. One was a required class and the other was an elective for my major. The required one was an Applied Training class where we were to take an unbroken, young horse (has been halter broke and can be handled) and get it started under saddle by the end of the semester (roughly 4 months). The elective class was Training the Therapy Horse where we worked our assigned horses in-hand for the semester, with the goal being to theoretically get them ready to be used in the therapy program at school (because of the size of the class, we work with any school horse that needs better ground manners). I though going into the class that they would be two totally different schools of thought and theory. Wrong-O. One was classically based (Applied Training) and the other natural horsemanship based (Therapy Horse) BUT, they had the same base!
It's all about respect. Not fear, respect. It's also about how you carry yourself around the horse.And I'm here to tell you, you don't need do spend hundreds (hint hint) on gimmicks to learn and apply this to your horse. You don't even need a round pen! *gasp* All you need to do is learn to assert yourself to the horse. I'm not saying its easy because it does take a bit of practice to get the hang of. Once you change how you THINK around the horse, everything falls into place. Of course, that is the tricky part, haha. That's where a good instructor comes in. Not always an easy find but you'll know them when you find them. I lucked out in finding 2 of them and having them both in the same semester. That semester was mind blowing to say the least.
I worked a with a little TB mare I fell in love with, in the Therapy Training class. Sweet little jumper that had trust issues to say the least. She had essentially tuned out. I don't know if you've ever seen a burned out lesson horse that's clocked out but that was Ivy. Too many riders, too much poor riding by a previous owner. In the beginning, she didn't know me from Adam. By the end of the semester her ears, head and neck were relaxed, she was engaged in her environment and she started testing her boundaries (in a good humorous way :). It was so, so, rewarding and I wish I could have brought her home and turned her out for a few months to re cooperate and be a horse. And the basics we started with (and built on during the semester) were as simple as walking with the handler. Then advanced to walk-halts, trot-halts, backing up, side passing, standing and staying. Once we had their undivided attention, we worked over tarps, with exercise balls, squeaker toys, bubbles, the ramp, wheel chair, etc..
Again, no gimmicks. No extra money outside my regular tuition for the semester. Just the basics. Do I still value a round pen? Sure I do. However, it's not an end all anymore for me. I like rope halters, I do own one yet a regular halter and lead do just fine for me. Maybe if you don't want to show at all, a gimmick is for you. And I'm not saying all of those clinicians and trainers out there are gimmicks. I have a lot of respect for the trainer that gets out there, really teaches you the material, answers your questions and can adequately defend their style of training. If you can't adequately defend your training (lets face it, things don't always go as planned) and all you do is push your style and your products, I don't really have time for you. I have a great relationship with my horses, Bubby in particular. And to be honest most that has come from working around him. If he's in cross ties, he has to stand. At the mounting block he has to stand. In the stall or at the gate, he has to back up before I'll open the door or gate to let him out or in. Its the little, minute details that build the relationship. What I've done through all that is proven to him that I can lead. Horses want stability, not gimmicks. They also prefer patience.....some of you may know who that is referring too.....I can think of 2 that I've seen in person but I digress.
No one person is necessarily right nor wrong. All I ask is that you look for red flags before following blindly. If you HAVE to buy THEIR stuff - red flag. If they bash other trainers/styles - red flag. If in watching them live they never actually show you HOW to do any of the training - red flag. Again, this is in reference to a few different trainers I've seen in person.

Education, education, education. KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid

"There are only two emotion that belong in the saddle. One is a sense of humor, the other is patience."

Aahhhh, Craig Ferguson is over??? Only took an hour to write :P

Til next time!