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Showing posts from March, 2016

Throw Back Thursday

Throw way back, before I was born back.

I grew up on a farm that has been in my parent's family for over one hundred years. I knew that they had grazed cows in the field that I had goats and then horses in and I knew that there was a horse or two there at one point. However, I had no idea that this had happened.

Just look at all those horses and ponies!! My great uncle is in there and this is the exact same space that my family had horses when I was growing up.

You can kind of see the field from a slightly different angle here where my high school friend is in the front and I'm in the back on the pony. You can even see the same two wooden posts in the background if you look closely.

So cool!!

Wordless Wednesdays

Love this!!

My Bestie

I went out to see Katai on Easter Sunday morning. It wasn’t necessary because I was that dedicated, more because I hadn’t been able to make it on Saturday and wanted to make sure to check on her owie. However, the barn time turned out to be the best part of my day. It was quiet at the barn and Katai was her new normal, sensible self in the barn even though she was in there by herself.
Her wound is looking almost completely healed. The compresses hopefully helped with expelling whatever was stuck under her skin there and now all that’s left is a small pink spot with a clear small hole in the center. On Sunday it was still covered in crystalized gunk and had clearly been trying to expel something and since the swelling is completely gone and it doesn’t seem tender anymore I think it succeeded J I put a little antibiotic gunk on it just to be sure there’s no infection and that it’s able to heal up cleanly and then I got her boots and bridle on so that I could lunge.
I had been planning…

And The Award Goes To...

If it’s not one thing it’s another :( Poor Katai has had more health related issues over the past couple of months than during the entire time I’ve owned her.
First was the sore back muscle on the left side which meant a week off. Then the tender feet (I’ve now found spots on her left hind foot where she blew an abscess) for the whole month of February. Next she had the painful ovaries and reactive flail when mounting thing that mean about 4 days off and now, last night she was dripping blood, Luckily it’s not quite as bad as it sounds.
I had noticed on Wednesday that Katai had a small, hard, lump right behind her right leg in her armpit. It’s not under the girth or touched directly by the girth but when she moves it gets pushed back and runs into the girth. On Tuesday she wasn’t uncomfortable at all and it didn’t seem to affect her being ridden. Then on Thursday for drill team I glanced at it, thought it seemed the same as before, and went on with tacking up and riding. This thing w…

Winter Favorites

Just a heads up that this stuff isn't specifically winter related, they're just things that I've used enough to be able to give an accurate review now.

Brush Therapy

This stuff is amazing!! Yes, it's a little expensive at about $5 per package but since I only use it a few times a year it's not bad. It seriously gets the brushes clean and makes them smell like new.

I have a thing about clean brushes after seeing a little worm like thing crawl out of my horse's brushes when I was in my teens. For awhile I was bleaching my brushes but then I got some nice wooden ones and that wasn't a good idea anymore so I started using a natural shampoo and scrubbing them. I found Brush Therapy at a tack store a year or so ago and decided to try it out and now this is what I've been using to clean my brushes.
It's easy to use also, just dump it in a gallon of warm water, add the brushes, and let them sit for about 8 minutes. Once you pull them out you just rinse them …

Resting On Our Laurels: Lesson Recap 3/20

I had a great lesson on Sunday. Katai was her new, normal self and went right into work mode. We started off with me giving L some more information on how things went at the clinic. It felt like it had been awhile, and it has, since last week Katai had her reactive moment so I did my best to remember the important stuff. The good thing is that through analyzing how things went and working through some of it myself over the last couple of weeks I actually realized something else. Suzanne had made a comment that my glutes were too tight and I needed to use my core more independently. This had actually come up with L previously when she told me to only tighten my abs and not my butt and in that moment I had realized that I’ve always done both at the same time and couldn’t separate them. At that point I started working on it but had sort of forgotten about it. With that comment from Suzanne and the seat realization I had made I’ve been riding different and realized that my tense butt was c…

Adventures in Shopping

I needed an adventure on Saturday so I decided to go to a local tack shop that's been around since 1907. It mainly has western tack but lots of horse care supplies and some English apparel and accessories. Mainly though I've never been there and someone at the barn was just talking about it plus I had the whole day and was looking for something fun to do. On the way there I changed plans a little and decided that I would go to Stone Ridge first. This is an amazing English tack shop that's really boutique and that caries some of my favorite brands including Asmar and Horze. It's a little further away but I had the whole day right!

I went there first and decided that since I was there I would do some shopping for show jackets. I've been planning out what I'm going to wear to show. I'm picky about this kind of stuff and while I have a little different and more modern style than what a lot of people in the area would wear, I also don't want to stick out like…


On Wednesday this week, after the Katai's scary reaction during my lesson, I just lunged. She seemed like she was moving fairly normal and didn't seem overly sensitive about having her saddle put on. She lunged really well and I used the neck stretcher which is really great for her. She can get above the side reins which completely negates their purpose but the neck stretcher helps her to stretch down and work through her back.

She actually started moving really well after the other resident trainer encouraged me to shorten it just a bit. She was commenting how nice Katai was moving and I agree. She looked amazing! After really poking around at her back and not getting much reaction I was pretty sure I could have climbed on her right then but I really wanted there to be more people around.

So instead, on Thursday for drill team I decided it was time. One of L's other students was there who actually saw the original blow up so I felt better that there was someone who would…

Tentative 2016 Show Schedule

It feels crazy for me to even be talking about a show schedule for myself. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve done four shows in my entire life and three of those were when I was 13-14. We are really at the point where this makes sense though and I’m so excited! I’ve done some planning and this is what I’ve come up with so far, I may still add some as I’d like to have at least 5-6 opportunities to get Katai out this year for exposure more than anything.
May 29th - Three Ring Circus Schooling Show This is a big local schooling show that has dressage, hunter, and jumper classes. I’ve been here as a spectator/groom before for a couple of friends. It is quite chaotic and tends to be a show that a lot of people bring their young horses to. That makes it perfect for me and Katai because the more chaos the better and I won’t feel judged since I won’t be the only one with a screaming young horse. The other thing that makes it perfect is that several people from my barn are going which means multiple ope…

What's In My SmartPak i.e. Baggie

With a SmartPak in it.

I thought that this would be interesting since SprinklerBandits just posted about supplements here.

To start off I have to admit that I have a serious supplement addiction. Katai gets 5 SmartPak wells plus two additional supplements. Of course two of those wells are one supplement but still, that's 6 supplements. Of course she doesn't get any grain to speak of, just 3/4 of a cup (standard measuring cup not a scoop) of beet pulp and pretty much free choice hay.
It all started off with her magnesium. I've done my research and it's something that's lacking in our soil in this area. On top of that I've clearly seen the difference in her attitude and mindset when she was on it vs. off of it. She's gone off and on a couple of times because of various feeding plans and every time I could tell a huge difference despite not even knowing she wasn't getting it at one point.
Then, I researched and discovered DMG and how it can affect muscle reco…

Reactive: Lesson Recap 3/13

Well this was an interesting lesson. I heard ahead of time that Katai had been doing A LOT of bucking during turnout but normally if anything that means that she's quiet under saddle because she's worked off her excess energy.

When I pulled her in that seemed to be the case. Other than some head tossing in the crossties (which isn't really that unusual) she was quiet and acting normal. She was a little tender about having the saddle put on and I diagnosed that she was in heat which normally makes her a little sensitive under saddle.

I got her into the arena, tightened up her girth, went to get on and all hell broke loose. She bucked her shoulders straight up the second I was on her back, lurched back and then forward almost onto her knees as her front legs buckled. L had had her back turned for the first part of this and both of our first thoughts were to get her moving. I turned her to get her going and this time before she even took a step she flailed up and I almost tho…

The Breakup

With Katai's trimmer
It wasn’t something that I’ve wanted to do but when all the evidence started pointing in the same direction it was time to make a change.
I want to start off by saying that I have nothing against my trimmer. I know that she has had only the best interests of me and my pony in mind and is seriously the sweetest and most amazing person. However, it’s time to try something else with her feet.
When I first started working with the trimmer she was doing great things for Katai’s feet. Katai went from having some pretty severe hoof issues to starting to develop much more normal feet. However, for some reason around the time we moved to our current barn her feet started to have some issues.  First she was sore after every trim. Normally for a few days but sometimes up to five or six. Her upright front right hoof also started to be more and more upright and even her front left hoof started to become more upright. Then after her sore back feet and month off, which I’m still …

The Clinic

I really enjoyed my clinic ride with Susanne Winslade! I had previously been unsure about her as a clinician but I feel much different after riding with her and I had FUN. What I started to realize is that at a lot of the clinics I’ve been to the clinician has created huge changes through a new technique, or something. This is amazing to watch as an auditor and I’m sure that it feels to the rider like they’re really getting something out of the clinic, however, I wonder how sustainable it is.

In the clinic with Susanne she’s teaching basic concepts and biomechanics. She doesn’t have any quick fixes and, in my case, she’s teaching horses and riders in their native environment. Because of that I think you don’t see intense changes but there is more that is actionable on a daily basis, at least that’s what I found with my ride with her.
To start off she asked me a little about my background and my pony’s background. I briefly summarized for her my riding and dressage background and Katai…

She's Back: Lesson Recap 3/6

I'm so excited to say that I have my pony back!

and yes, I'm making you all wait for the clinic recap. I'll have it up soon I promise.

She was really amazing and wonderful and all of the unicorn things that she's capable of during this lesson. I think that both L and I had started to worry a little after how much she struggled at my last lesson even though we knew that she'd had a month off and just needed a little time.

On Sunday though she brought her pony game face (which was good because in my sick condition I certainly didn't). I think I'm also starting to figure some stuff out about my body and how to use it properly which is always helpful. I've always felt like there are really two main groups of riders, those that subtract energy from horses and those that add energy. I never would have said that I'm the type of person to really light up a horse and make them hot but in thinking back on the horses that I've ridden and the lessons I'…

My Turn

Now it's my turn to be off only for me it's the form of a very bad cold. I don't get sick very often and normally when I do it's not bad. This time though I really feel like crap.

I was feeling lucky that I returned from my work trip without being sick but on Wednesday I started to wonder, on Thursday in the evening I was really tired and starting to feel sick, Friday was rough and now today has been really rough. I've been sitting/laying in bed cuddling with my poor bored puppy and watching bad tv.

Although I really wanted to just lay here I needed to ride today to make sure that we're at least slightly prepared for the clinic on Tuesday. After a couple of spirited rides on Wednesday and Thursday I knew that I really needed a good one so I dragged myself out of bed and made it to the barn. Luckily with lots of good cold and sinus drugs I was able to make sure I was feeling half way decent by the time I got to the barn and seeing Katai made me feel better as al…