Monday, December 31, 2007

Another X-ray

The close of 2007 brings an end to Maddy's stall rest....or so I thought:-) Today I had the vet out to take an x-ray and see where we are at. The picture is Maddy a little drowsy from the sedative, but still looking for food. I used a different vet, because Mark Revenaugh doesn't go mobile and I didn't want to bother my friends with trailers to help get her over there again. Barb Crabbe is the vet for the barn and had gone over Maddy's films last week. She did the x-ray and it looks great. There is a slight shade of black at the very edge, which she says could be fiberous tissue that will always look that way, or it is still the fracture healing. To be on the safe side, I am supposed to go two more months on stall rest, but I can start walking her in the arena and start getting her mind active again. I am thrilled. I know it isn't perfect, but I saw a HUGE change in the fracture and it looks great. I have things I have been neglecting to do with her while on she has been on rest, so now I will get back to work. I had focused a lot of energy on riding and working with Queenie, the draft-cross. I really need to find a balance between the two. In a perfect world, I wanted a complete heal and the green light to start up again, but this is the next best thing. It really is a great way to bring in the New Year. I am full of hope and am optimistic about where we will be in 2008.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tough Christmas

My uncle passed away from Leukemia right before Christmas and one of my best friends lost her baby 4 weeks before her due date. It has been hard watching people you love suffer so much. I spent the last couple weeks with family in Minnesota celebrating the holidays and grieving at the same time. I find in sadness, the warmth of a horse brings solace and peace. I spent a lot of time out at the barn helping with chores, taking pictures, and getting to know the various personalities that inhabit the stalls. I love the little pony, "Rocket Man" pictured here on the verge of getting up from his winters nap. The clown is a small Quarter Horse named "Jessie" pictured above in his blue blanket. He contorts his neck and flutters his eyes when you scratch him in just the right spot. I had a hard time taking photos because he followed me everywhere and wanted more scratches. Sully and Baby Doll were two mares I really enjoyed. They are colorful girls ridden by my cousin in local 4-H shows. Baby Doll sheds out into a beautiful blue roan in the summer. Finally there is "Bugs" the big grey that my dad thinks I should bring to Oregon. He is 6 years old and still races down at Canterbury Park. His heart has never been in it, I think he would do better with dressage. If I could afford it, I would bring him out. He is a very sweet boy pictured here with Raffian, another race horse. This post is dedicated to little Alliah who passed away before we got a chance to hold her and my uncle Joe, a hard working farmer, who was happiest driving a tractor, holding his grandkids, and watching Nascar. Miss you.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Vernonia Flood

Oregon is just starting to dry out. We had severe flooding and high winds over the past couple of days. I-5 shut down, the worlds largest Sitka Spruce toppled, and the town of Vernonia became an island. Working in news means any weather event equals all hands on deck. I worked lots of overtime, got really muddy, and saw how mother nature can wreak havoc on the lives of so many. The weather forecaster's predicted the storm, but no one was ready for the amount of rain and the flooding that followed. There was simply no time to evacuate. Many lost everything in their homes as well as some livestock, including horses. Fortunately for me, I didn't see any dead horses because I was based in downtown. It would have broke my heart, but another photographer shot this video of a couple horses standing knee deep in water, looking pretty exhausted. Which brings me to a topic I have wanted to talk about for awhile...sleep deprivation in horses. It is a myth that horses can get all the sleep they need standing up. Not true. Horses need 30 to 60 minutes of paradoxical sleep a day, which means muscles of the body are completely relaxed and they are lying down. They can go a few days without paradoxical sleep and then you will see "sleep attacks" where they just catch themselves awake or collapse. Be aware of sleep deprivation when you are at shows, or traveling or keeping your horse in a stall without turnout. Sometimes a horse may feel the stall is too small to lay down in and will end up sleep deprived. I leased a horse that was kept in a stall and she collasped three times within six months with me on her back. I thought she had narcolepsy, but came to realize she was sleep deprived. The Vernonia horses look so tired and I am hoping things dry out for them soon so they can get some well deserved shut eye.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Explaining a picture

I think this time of year, many of us reflect upon our lives, and I have been reflecting on Maddy. My ID photo that I use for blogging is not the most flattering photo of me and it certainly is not the best picture of Maddy. But it marks the exact moment in time that I realized, "this is my horse." I had driven about 6 hours down to Yreka, California to see her. The owner tacked her all up and said, "lets hit the trails." I had been horse shopping for a year and my routine had been showing up, having the owner do ground work, then ride, then if I thought the horse was a good prospect, I would ride. I would video tape the whole thing and then bring it back to my trainer and we would sit down and watch, waiting for the thumbs up or thumbs down. When I showed up in Yreka, the thought of just riding seemed so refreshing. I hopped on and we headed out for almost 3 hours. Beautiful scenery and Maddy was so happy to be out. As we went along, I could also feel my heart swell. This was a great horse, this was the one I had been looking for. The owner took this photo with Mt Shasta in the background. I was so happy. It has been a rough road since that day. Lots of struggles with training and learning to deal with her fears and lack of confidence. Then the fractured coffin bone. I have 14 days left of stall rest and we begin our work again. My goal in 2008 is to feel the way I felt in this picture. I was on top of the world and I am hoping I can find my way back up there again.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Google your horse!

Have you ever "googled" your horse? I did and I was surprised to see Maddy, aka "Harts Bonnie Dee" is still for sale down in southern California. I was taken to the Hart Quarter Horse Ranch site and there she was in the header picture on the website.
She is the dun standing back on the sandy ridge looking at the camera. I would recognize that mug anywhere. This second photo is her "for sale" picture. She looks kind of out of shape and depressed. It is not a very flattering photo. After spending her formative years roaming the Hart Ranch, she was brought up to Yreka, California for training and posted on Dreamhorse where I came across her and brought her to Oregon.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. This is a turkey from down the road. I wonder if he will be around next week:-) Hope so.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Figure Eight

Today Queenie had a visit from an Equine Chiropractor. She wasn't quite sure what to think of the ordeal. She had a funny look on her face the whole time. I guess she had a rib out and some issues with her back and front left shoulder. I am supposed to ride her on Wednesday and see if I notice a difference in her movement. She is coming along so nicely. I have her doing some liberty work on the ground and have been working on 20 meter circles in the arena. Our trainer suggested a chiropractor because Queenie is having trouble lunging to her left and picking up the left lead in the canter. Maybe the rib and the shoulder thing contributed to this problem. She is a young mare, only four, so she could still be figuring out her body and how it moves with a rider on her back. The chiropractor suggested using a "Figure Eight" on her while she is in her stall. The video clip shows you what a Figure Eight looks like. Her owner Robyn is leading her to see how Queenie reacts to the contraption. Basically it is a system made of two polo wraps that go around her body and gets her used to bringing her back end up under her. It is supposed to help the horse think of their body as a whole unit. I had never heard of it or even seen it, but I guess it makes sense. In this lower picture, you can see her trace clip. She ended up getting a partial clip instead of a full one.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Film Project

I thought I would share with my blogger friends what I have been up to on Saturday mornings. I can't keep it a secret any longer! I was contacted by an equine still photographer named Richard Larson who was interested in making a documentary about life on the backstretch of Portland Meadows racetrack. I was thrilled to have someone interested in partnering with me on a project I have wanted to do for a long time. Richard has been going to the backstretch for a couple years, taking photos and then selling them to the track folk. He is a fixture on the backstretch himself, as he wanders from barn to barn, talking horses and showing off his beautiful prints. I look forward to waking up early on Saturdays and meeting up to watch the days events. One morning, the track was fogged in and you could hear the horses breathing but couldn't see them until they were right in front of us as they ran by. Last week I met a couple, Ann and Danny who train together. This is a photo of Danny that Richard took. He grew up in Eastern Oregon and started exercising horses as a teenager. He met Ann on the track and together they have spent the last 35 years together training and running horses. I look forward to sharing short video clips and photos from the backstretch with you. I hope through this film project, I can convey the stories of the people I have met along the way.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Get out the Clippers

Time to clip some of the horses out at the barn. Their coats are getting thicker and the temperatures have ranged from 40 degrees to 70 degrees. Queenie, the draft cross will be getting a full trace clip which starts under the throat latch and goes down across the shoulder and down the body to the tail. This type of clip is great for really fuzzy horses. The medium trace just goes from the throat latch, over the shoulder just behind the front. There is also a mini trace clip that just goes down the front of the neck. To get your horse used to the clippers, do a lot of approach and retreat. Introduce them, experiment with turning it on and off, rub them with them, and graduate to clipping. Don't push your horse over a threshold when doing this. Take the time it takes and really observe your horses behavior and act accordingly. I turn on the clippers every time I groom Maddy and I rub her all over with it. She enjoys the tickle of it on her nose.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Just Busy

Time flies! My step dad was out visiting for a whole month. He was here looking at properties. He is thinking of moving here in a couple years with my mom. He did dressage back in the day and has been away from horses for about 10 years. He was really soaking in all the natural horsemanship shows and dvds I have here. I know he really misses being around them. I logged him onto the Parelli website and we looked for Parelli Savvy Club members around Minnesota. He is hoping to find someone who doesn't have time for their horse and just wants someone to brush and spend time with it. I hope he finds a situation like that. He is a great rider and I used to watch him work the young horses for my dad.
They had a falling out and he sort of walked away from all of it. Sometimes, you need that break. I took one myself for about 10 years. In horse news...Maddy has exactly 4 weeks of stall rest left. I have been riding Queenie, the draft cross. She is really stretching out under saddle and feels so great. She is a very talented girl. The barn bought a new pony named "Sterling." He is picture here. I think he is every little girls dream, a pure white, beautiful guy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


My brother has informed me I will become an aunt sometime in June. He and his wife are having a baby! I am pretty excited. I am already trying to convince him to have a western themed baby room and to start thinking about getting a pony. They are going to find out what it is in a couple weeks. In the meantime, I have been to fabric stores checking out fabrics for a baby quilt. I am torn between baby themes and western themes.
I love vintage fabrics and love to browse RepoDepot. They have the coolest stuff. I posted just one example that I just adore if the baby is a girl. I have also been looking into felt toys and came across this neat book called "The Cute Book." There are just so many things to make before he/she arrives. I am going to spoil that kid rotten! My brother is a police officer, working at becoming a Department of Natural Resources Officer and his wife is a Veterinarian. They live down in Southern Minnesota. It is weird to think of my parents as "grandparents." Lots to look forward to in 2008.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hittin the Trail

A friend of mine invited me out on a trail ride in Willamette Mission State Park. There are amazing trails that run along the Willamette River and next to beautiful walnut and filbert orchards. I got to ride a very sweet Mustang named "Dakota." He is a tiny guy, maybe 14 hands but he sure had lots of get up and go. He had the smoothest trot and a soft, rolling canter.
He really was a joy to ride. My friend Richard rode his horse "Doc." We rode for about 2 hours, encountering many other riders along the way. It was a gorgeous day here in Oregon and it was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

California Burning

Just want everyone to think about the many horses down in Southern California and offer support to our fellow blogger friends like Simply Marvelous who has a little farm down there. It sounds like most of the horses were evacuated to the Del Mar Racetrack, but some firefighters I talked to up here in Oregon said firefighters were finding many horses still enclosed in pens and they were just turning them loose. One post on Marvels site talked about how in 2003, people painted their phone numbers on the horses in case they somehow got lost. Great idea. I encourage everyone to check out Marvels other blog Strawberry Lane and see some amazing photos as well as her first hand account of what is going on down there. She is a very courageous lady, helping rescue horses in the midst of all the danger. Thanks for doing what you are doing. Be safe Marvel.


I met the most amazing horse this week. I was in Asheville, North Carolina for a friend's wedding. The rehearsal dinner was held at a place called "The Farm." As I walked up the path to the facility, I spot this giant, and I mean giant horse! I had to track down to owner and ask about him. Apparently he is the second largest Belgian in the United States! He stands 19.1 hands tall and the current record holder stands 19.3. His name is "Rock" and he is seven years old.
The owner bought Rock last Fall at an auction. Her husband went to check out the horses and was just in awe when he saw him. He called her and said, "I have to come home with this horse!" He was sold by an Amish guy who used him to plow his fields. Rock was getting so big, he outgrew his harness and the man was having trouble putting any gear on him because of his height. As you can see by the photos, Rock was a huge hit around the place. He loved all the scratches and attention. They plan to use him to pull their surrey. They had to have a harness maker come out and measure and fit him with new gear. The collar is gigantic. He is just a character. I just wanted to pet him, so when I went to get serious about taking some photos, the dog decided to chase him and he wanted to play, so he left us and bucked around his pasture. This last photo is one that I took of him, the others are courtesy of my friend Sean. I apologize for not taking better photos, but I was just so busy taking in all 19.1 of him in.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I've Been Tagged

Anne over at Smells Horsey tagged me! I am supposed to post about 8 things people don't know about me. I will keep them "horsey."

1. I lived in England for a year at Alnwick Castle right above the horses. For those that love Harry Potter, that is the castle where the movies were filmed. Lord James loved to fox hunt and usually went about twice a month. I loved waking up to hooves on cobblestones.

2. My first horse was Rocket Tink. My dad claimed him off the track for $500 when he was 12 years old. He was still running against two and three year olds and winning. He had a wonderful heart and I miss him everyday.

3. When I was young, a retired jockey named Charlie Jones was a stable hand around our place. He would take my brother and I up to the airstrip with our ponies and teach us how to ride like a jockey.

4. As a teenager, when I was grounded, my dad padlocked Tink in his stall so I couldn't go riding:-(

5. I daydream about working as a videographer for the Parellis.

6. I miss living in the country.

7. My family has one of three Dalton Gang Horsehair Bridles. They made them in prison to pay for their attorney. I think it should be in a museum. It is amazing.

8. I want a Holsteiner someday. I think they are beautiful horses.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So Cute

This is the cutest baby. I just love Beverly! I encourage anyone looking for a horse to check out the horses available for adoption from the Animali Farm. I go to this site regularly just to "browse" for horses. The are a non-profit horse rescue that focuses on horses from Premarin ranches. Premarin is a drug which is used to treat symptoms of menopause. It is made from pregnant mare urine. In 2003, the Premarin ranches started losing their contracts and there was an plenty of horses available for adoption. Most are draft crosses, but they have Appaloosas, Quarter Horses, and Canadian Sporthorses. This little Beverly caught my eye. She is only $1550 and that includes coggins and shipping. What a bargain for this cute girl! A great example of some of the horses available from a wonderful rescue group. Here is hoping that Beverly finds the perfect home.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My trainer

I was fortunate to meet Michelle Merkin a year and a half ago. I met someone who wanted to lease their horse as long as I took dressage lessons with Michelle. I wasn't sure I wanted to learn dressage. My dad had told me my whole life, "Dressage is for people who don't know how to ride." I never pursued learning about it and chose to ride bareback or western. Believe me, I kick myself all the time for listening to him. I was surrounded by people who did dressage and I never bothered to learn more about it or at least try it. My first dressage lesson with Michelle, I was hooked. I felt challenged. I felt the skill involved.
I felt connected with the horse. I leased the horse and rode three days a week, which didn't seem like enough. I just loved it. I think back to all the dressage enthusiasts that purchased horses from my dad and I wish I would have had the curiousity back then to at least try it. Curiousity came age 33 and I feel so lucky to have found a teacher who is able to convey learning easily and I truly trust and value her opinions and advice. Michelle is pictured here with her mare, Class Act, or as we call her "Classy." My dad continues to race horses around the Midwest and I still rely on him for information and advice despite his strong opinions and stereotypes. What can I say, he is a horse trainer. Most are characters, he is no exception.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Horse Mafia

Anyone ever hear of the "Horse Mafia?" I was watching a program about the death of candy heiress Helen Brach. She disappeared back in 1977 and her body was never found. For years people thought her horse trainer, Richard Bailey, did it. Richard is currently in jail for swindling people out of money on horse deals. There are a lot of crazy bad horse people connected to the case including Tommy Burns, the "Sandman." He was a known horse killer who traveled through the hunter/jumper circuits, killing highly insured horses for their owners by electrocution or in the case of "Streetwise" he broke his legs with a crowbar. Apparently he is still spotted at shows down in Florida if you google and read peoples forums. The Jayne Family supposedly was known around Chicago as the "Horse Mafia." There was speculation that Silus Jayne was the one who murdered Helen Brach. If you read any history on the Jayne family, it is deeply disturbing. People and horses turned up dead everywhere Silus went. What a crazy story to read about. If you ever get a chance to catch Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege and Justice story on the case it is pretty fascinating and bizarre.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Maddy and her Hay Net

This is just a clip of Maddy in her stall eating with her new hay net. Not just any hay net, one with small square so it is harder for her to eat. It is funny to watch her face, because you can just see the frustration. The purpose is to keep her busy and happy and she is happiest when she has food in front of her. She knew I was up to something when I took out my little digital camera. She kept looking at me as if to say "What! Can't a girl eat in peace!" Almost two months have passed since her x-rays revealed her fracture. I have been busy with Queenie posted here as well. Queenie is such a joy to be with. I have said before, if I could afford her, she would be mine. I feel lucky to be aiding in her training. I ride her Sundays, Mondays, and Fridays. She is very green so we are working on riding the rail, walk trot transitions, and just started some serpentines which she really enjoys. She is just a sweet mare and so comfortable to ride. She is the complete opposite of Maddy, so I am learning alot about training a left brain introvert. Maddy is a right brain extrovert. If you are curious to know your horses ""horsenality," click here. The Parellis came up with a chart that helps identify your horses profile which is vital to know when making training choices.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Clicker Training

Fun Day! I ordered a horse clicker training kit and went out to the barn to try it out. For those who don't know, my mare Maddy, is on stall rest until December due to a fractured coffin bone. I thought I would do some clicker training exercises in her stall to keep her mind busy. The book suggested I start by introducing the clicker by clicking and giving a treat. I did that a few times in between grooming. Next, I took a small cone and held it out in front of me. When she touched her nose to it, I clicked and gave a treat. Then I moved around the stall and set the cone in different places and would point to the cone and when she touched it, I clicked and gave a treat. She caught on real quick and realized the cone was like a mini vending machine. She was having a ball eating little pieces of carrots. I think she really enjoyed playing our little game together. I am going to work on clicker feet lifting and clicker dropping her head next. I do realize that you have to make sure your horse doesn't get pushy about treating, so there is a fine line I will have to watch for. This is something we can do to pass time until she gets better.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


It was cold and rainy today and I just didn't feel like mucking around out at the barn. Instead, I headed to a western collectors auction down in Salem, Oregon. I am a person that loves garage sales and a good auction now and then. This particular one had a bunch of saddles, tack, old rodeo stuff, and harnesses. So I dragged myself out of bed early and headed down. I really enjoyed looking at all the stuff. Had I been a richer person, there was this beautiful saddle made in 1835 that had been in a museum until 1985 when this guy bought it. It was so gorgeous and I have never seen anything like it. It sold for $600 which seemed like a great bargain. It was really hard not to hold up my bidding number. The saddle was beautiful art, so someone went home very happy today. They had really cool old military and packing saddles. I bought some spurs. I don't need or use spurs, but I thought $20 was a good buy and they will make a nice addition to my editing area which is full of horse stuff. I also sprung for a really cool old saddle tree for $10. I thought it might look cool hanging on the wall. So I spent $30 and had a really fun morning. I sat next to an old cowboy who like me was just there to take it all in and see some really neat things from a different time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Maddy's Sire

When I was down in Yreka, CA a couple months ago, I took some video of Maddy's sire, Smoken Now. I just finished a little promo piece of him to give to his own, Laura Maddy of the Rockin Maddy Ranch. I think he is just a beautiful stud and has such a fun personality. I feel fortunate to have one of his babies. Thank you Laura.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blog Tag--I am it!

Sabrina over at EquineSpirit tagged me!

My list of demands if I were a famous rider.....

1. The best of facilities. Nike footing in a beautiful outdoor arena. Swimming pool for the horses to help with tired legs or injuries. Big stalls and gorgeous pastures.

2. A wide variety of horses to ride and challenge me.

3. Surrounded by a great horse family. Great grooms, barn techs, vets , and trainers.

4. My own show on RFD.

5. My own personal videographer and photographer to document progress and rides.

6. A Brenderup horse trailer.

7. Lots of travel around the country so I can ride in ever imaginable place horse people would want to ride.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ride a Breyer

Anne over at Smells Horsey has a wonderful post about riding a Breyer horse. She has a goal that at some point in her life, she wanted to ride a horse that was a real life model for the toy. How cool is that? I grew up collecting Breyers and was really obsessed as a kid. I think I have well over 400 and my mom has them packed away and insured. Someday, I will ship them to Oregon and have a room with all of them displayed. I currently have about 20 here that I have picked up at garage sales. My little herd. They make me happy just to looking at them. I remember pouring over those Breyer catalogs and very carefully picking out the ones I wanted for Christmas, Birthday, and my "Summer Prize." My mom gave my brother and I a "summer prize" if we helped her with things around the house when school was out. It is amazing how much dreaming went in to picking that prize. Anyway back to Anne. Her post got me thinking...maybe I should look for an opportunity to ride a Breyer. It just so happens that IDEAL is right in my backyard. Don't know how willing the people over at Ulimate Piaffe would feel out this wish, but couldn't hurt to ask. Great idea Anne--can't wait to hear about your Breyer ride. I am dying to know which model you will take for a spin!

Monday, September 17, 2007


Maddy is starting to get bored in her stall. I think for awhile, it was a sanctuary for her, but I really see a shift in her behavior. She is burning through her hay and when she is out, she starts to paw the ground and gets agitated. Of course she is pawing with her fractured foot, which drives me crazy! I ordered two hay nets and am going to double bag it so it takes her longer to eat. I bought her a jolly ball and she is not really interested in it. I thought about a stall treat toy, but she would eat the whole thing in one day and probably make herself sick. She is at 5 weeks of stall rest, so we still have a long way to go. I worked with Queenie today on the ground.
I have my first riding lesson with her on Friday. She is green broke and her owner started Parelli with her about 4 months ago. I worked with her on the seven games and she does pretty well. She still is a little reactive to big movement and the rope being tossed over her back, but she looks just beautiful on the lunge line. Queeine is the lovely paint draft cross in the photo. I think she is three, almost four. Her owner, Robyn, brought her all the way to Portland from Wisconsin. So I try to say "you know" and "you betcha" around her to make her feel at home:-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Barn Party

Maddy is so depressed about her coffin bone fracture, she has taken to drinking as you can see by these photos:-) No really, the barn threw a little party on Saturday night. They had plenty to drink and a big spread. Even a pretty decent band. Lots of people set up tents and just spent the weekend there. It was a lot of fun. The whole thing was set up in the arena. All the horses were outside except for Maddy, so she got to rock out in her stall and get all the attention from the party goers. I take her out into the grooming area every Monday to remove her plate and just check her foot. I don't do it in her stall for fear of loosing bolts in the shavings. She is doing pretty good. I have been working a lot with her ears. When I first got her, she was pretty crazy when it came to touching her ears. She is finally letting me scratch inside them. I play with them for about 10 minutes every time I am out there.
Been doing some other stuff, it sounds weird, but playing with her tongue and mouth. Like pulling it out to the side in case a vet ever has to do that. Just trying to keep things interesting. I am working on trying to secure a paint brush in a thick plastic, non-breakable tube, so we can start painting. I think if I fill the hollow with applesauce, she will move it more. I am getting closer to figuring out what will give us the best results.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The "Contraption"

This is what Maddy's foot looks like these days. Basically there is a plate over top a round shoe that has a mold of her foot inside. I have to take the plate off twice a week and pull out her foot mold. I check for thrush and make sure everything looks and "smells" ok. There are four bolts on the bottom of the plate which seems a bit strange, but she is standing in a matted stall and they don't seem to be a problem. My farrier, Andrew Maris, has fixed 18 broken coffin bone wings with success and this is his method. I have to put a little faith in her healers. Of course, I have my dad contradicting everything I am doing. He thinks I should be taking her for walks and that I should allow her out in her run. He doesn't like the idea of the foot plate and just wants me to keep a bar shoe on her foot. Both ways would probably work, but the route I am going is recommended by the former vet of the US Equestrian Team,
so I can't help but trust him. This last picture is a picture of her foot mold. It is purple from the Thrush Buster. I just pop it out and check her foot and pop it back it. So far, so good. We are almost at one month of stall rest. I better get going on teaching her how to paint!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Life in a Stall

Maddy is pretty content. I am really surprised. So far, she seems to be dealing with the stall rest better than me:) She got her expensive shoes on last week. I need to post some photos, because it is an interesting contraption. It is a circular shoe with clips and there is a mold piece of rubber that is fitted to her foot and on top of that is a flat piece of metal that I can remove once a week for cleaning. Summer is slipping away and my goal of getting out on the trails this Fall is on hold.
I am hoping to start riding some other horses in the next couple weeks. I am posting a picture of the kids that keep Maddy entertained out at the barn. They keep her mind busy all day long and that is a good thing.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


This shows what Maddy's injury looks like. Her wing bone is not completely broken away, but instead cracks half way down. The prognosis is good. This is a fracture that usually heals quite well. My vet has told me many horses have had this same injury and gone on to do great things. At this point, I just have to try to stay positive and hope for the best. I was out at the barn yesterday and she was quite content in her stall. They put the pony next door and the window is open in the next stall so she can see outside. Lucky for me, the barn is very active. There are lots of kids, dogs, four wheelers, and people in and out all day long. We changed her diet. No more oats and she gets eastern hay at three different intervals throughout the day and beet pulp at night. The farrier will be out to put shoes on her with 6 clips. This will help support her foot. I am just going to focus on working little projects in her stall with her. Working a lot with her feet and flexion. I want to maybe try some clicker training with cones and I have even thought about teaching her how to paint on a canvas. I am lucky to have a very supportive network of horse friends that have called and emailed me. Everyone is pulling for her to get better. I need to look into stall toys. I am just focusing on keeping her mind active. If anyone out there has ideas or suggestions for me, I would love to hear them. Also, I would love to hear from anyone who has gone through stall rest with their horse. Horse ownership poses so many challenges, this one will be tough for me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I am still in a bit of a fog. Maddy went to the see Dr. Mark Revenaugh today and we discovered that she fractured her left front coffin bone wing and also has a bone cyst on her phalanx bone. She was going through the surface tests and Mark kept telling me he was liking what he was seeing. We got to her flex test and she hopped a 3 on her left front. It was not pretty. I opted to get that leg x-rayed as long as we were there. When her coffin bone came up on the screen, I saw it immediately. A big, dark, angry crack down the outside. We were all pretty shocked. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I went into the office and we went over everything and really I don't remember much, I just kept looking at the x-ray.
What I do remember is that she has to stay in her stall for 4 months. This is going to be pure torture for her. I don't know if she can do it without being medicated. He also said the injury was older than eight weeks, but it could be a really old injury that never healed and it just re-cracked. When we got back to our barn, I hated to put her back in the stall. She was so good today about the trailer and her leg wraps and the tests. I just wanted to turn her out with her buddies. The doctor advised that I don't even take her out to graze, as little movement as possible. My poor girl. I am heartbroken. She is such a free spirit, it will be torture for both of us to see her standing in that stall. I just have to take things day by day and see where we go from here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Head Bumper

Maddy is doing well. The bump on her tendon has gone down, but I am still not working her for the week. Lots of "sweats" and quality time together. We are still planning to take her next Tuesday to the "Leg Doctor." Just because this guy gives a full diagnostic and recommends how to trim/shoe/pad them effectively. On Friday I have a trailer loading session with her to see how she deals with them before our Tuesday trip. I will have to work with her accordingly over the weekend. Just in case, I bought a head bumper. I read this horrible story once about a horse that reared or bumped his head in the trailer and cracked his poll. Brain fluid was seeping out of his ears when they arrived at their destination. That story has always haunted me, so I don't want to take any chances. I paid the $22.95 for the cool Cashel Head Bumper. It is nice and thick, but very flexible and has good clips to clip onto the halter.