Thursday, October 28, 2010

Strangles Update and Ramblings

Thank you everyone for your thoughts, wishes and advice in my last post.  I am blessed with two very healthy and young mares.  I must admit I probably over vaccinate but my horses go lots of places, and being a boarding facility, lots of different horses come and go.  We've had a rash of Strangles all around us this year and I'm thankful I've vaccinated.  Speaking of... They both had their fall vaccines on Tuesday.

Rosie and Bonnie so far have not shown any signs of Strangles and neither has any other horse in the barn.   The infected horse is improving daily.

Now that it's late fall and I'm pretty much out of daylight when I get out of work my goals and sessions with my girls are changing and I've been doing some thinking of what I want to accomplish next spring/summer/fall with them.

I will be taking a riding break to let my body heal.  I've been riding (against orders) with the 3 lower disks in my back compressed and man let me tell you, I'd rather give birth again then have this pain.  I've promised myself only light riding on weekends weather permitting, no more slamming through two horses an evening 3 or 4 times a week.  Until next spring that is...

I want to get Bonnie's canter back to a canter.  She's doing a funky crooked almost gallop thing now.  I'll be using my surcingle and homemade balance rigging system.  I use polo wraps instead of ropes, and it looks fairly "redneck" but it works.  However I just checked Dover and they have their basic system on sale... hmm...

I want to get Rosie cantering...  As of today I can only get her into a canter down a very straight line (side of the hay field) and it takes an unbelievable amount of energy from me to make it happen.  If my surcingle fits her she may get some work with it too.

Bonnie and I will be working on desensitizing so she'll be an even better babysitter for my youngest son.  I'll also most likely be shopping for a smaller seated Western Pleasure saddle for both my son and myself to use.

My main focus with Rosie this winter is patience and respect.  She's made HUGE improvements since a year ago but still has a long way to go.   I'm also going to get the huge monster loving mare to put her head down and keep it there while I do what ever it is I need to do at the top of her head!   Even though everyone, including myself, chuckles at her picking me up off the ground with her head whenever she wants.  It's not good manners and I want it to stop.   I'm a whole whopping 5 foot tall !  She's 17 hands! I don't think I need to paint any different picture.

Now the end goal of all of this.  I've got the "Show Bug".  My entire childhood from age 8 to 18 was at a show every weekend.  After doing English Pleasure with Bonnie, and Dressage on Karaat, I'm ready to get back into competition.

While I can show Karaat anytime, and I'm extremely grateful to Jodi for letting me ride the big guy and all the lessons she gives me, I want to show my own horses.

I don't know, I just think there is something to be said for training and showing your own animals.  Bonnie has a great foundation of training and she will try her heart out for me.   Rosie ~ well all her training is of my doing.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  I'm going slow probably much slower then any real trainer, but I want confidence and intelligence from her.  Besides anyone can crank a head down and force a horse in frame.  It takes skill and hard work for a rider to put a horse into frame with their seat, hands, and legs without using the bit.

So if I get my way, and new tires for my trailer, next spring will see me back in the Dressage show ring with one or both of my mares.

But for now I'll leave you with a show picture.  I call it "Praying to the Diet Coke God":


  1. Oh my goodness! lol! Perfect caption for that last photo. I love it! :D

    Sounds like you've got some very achievable goals and lots ot look forward and keep busy with. I commend you for looking ahead and reognizing what your goals are and figuring out how to get there. Yay you!
    And I know you will get there, too. Just be careful with that back. I've had disc surgery for two ruptured discs in my neck C6/7 and I still have limited range of motion in my neck. I wasn't even able to trot or canter on my preious horse because she was so choppy and long strided. It was painful!
    Apache has a much smoother trot and her canter is like a rocking chair. Sweet! But if I didn't have Apache to (hopefully one day) ride, I'd not be trotting or cantering at all.

    I hope your time off does much to help you heal and get ready for Spring and Summer next year. (feels weird to say next year, though...gah! What happened to 2010 anyway?)


  2. Glad the girls are staying well, now YOU TAKE CARE OF THAT BACK!!!!!!!

  3. I love a good set of future goals! Glad to hear the Strangles issue has not morphed!
    And love that caption!! xo, misha

  4. Glad your mares are healthy and that the ill horse is getting better. Your goals sound great!

  5. Sounds like a lot of goals to achieve.
    Also glad strangles hasn't got your horses so far. Strangles is a relatively rare thing around here but this year there were a few cases in the area which is unusual.

  6. Oh my heavens, I had no idea you were riding through such pain. A good break is in order. Now stick to it! Your riding will be better for it in the end. I like your goal list. I do monthly training goals, but I think you've inspired me to do some for the winter.
    I'm glad you're going to show your horses next year. It will be fun to follow your progress.

  7. Thanks for the strangles update, I was wondering and am glad it's good news.

    Sorry about the back, and how you've ridden through it is a mystery to me. Yes, rest and healing is a good plan.

    The weather does change things doesn't it? And when it does, a good thing about boarding can be said in one word - indoor. Something we are lacking, and really miss when the weather is less then favorable.

    Jeni, incase I haven't said it before I really enjoy reading about your interactions with Bonnie and Rosie (Karrat too) - you are inspiring. I've no doubt you will show both of your beautiful mares in good time.

  8. I learned at this clinic if you're riding with pain or with limited motion in your body, your horse will clench the corresponding area in their body.

    So give both of you a break!

    Love the pic at the top and glad you're strangles free.

  9. Oh Jen, do take a break and heal up...NOT GOOD ON YA GIRLIE to ride that way. It does effect the ride, your ability..not to mention the future ability.
    Really glad that your mares are healthy too!

    I love your goals for the future. Neat to have a great loaner"ride for showing..but like you said, your own in the ring is the goal.

    At least it is mine too, though I will be taking lessons on another horse all winter(Mustang Cazi) I will long to ride mine there to progress. She is still pretty racked up, we found,after Thermography session yesterday. I am bummed.
    But, the neat things that are happening, while we are in down times...really cool. She appreciates the lifestlye,and I am learning from seeing her relaxed, calm and willing. She actully walked out of a thick wooded area yesterday...had no idea where she was, after i called out to her...POP...there she was, walking to me all swingy legged and happy!

    Lovely updates...all around!

  10. Riding with a bad back does not sound like fun. Is there something you can do over the winter to help that situation?

    I feel the same way about training and showing my own horses. I may not be speedy but I get the job done and when I do the horse is done right. That's what matters the most to me.


Happy Trails!