Thursday, February 28, 2008

Class Act

This pretty mare is Maddy's best bud. She is the lead mare and quite a character. If you head for the pasture, she comes running. She can't get enough attention from humans. She is very dramatic with her expressions and she is always thinking. Michelle has taught her how to "point" with her nose to where she wants to be scratched. It is so funny to watch this game go on between horse and human.
I have watched Classy evolve into a wonderful partner for my trainer, Michelle Merkin. I just enjoyed these photos and wanted to a share a little about the horse that keeps Maddy so happy. This bottom picture is "classic" Classy. When she gets an idea, she will stop at nothing to do it. On this day, she wanted THAT piece of grass and turned into a contortionist to get it. Funny girl:-)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Out with the Girls

Maddy is a new horse. This week I have seen amazing progress. She is working well in the arena, she is calm outside, and two days ago she returned to her "gang." She is out with the mares again and so happy. I thought there would be some squabbling, but she walked out there and went right back to being Classy's best bud and Novi's nemesis.
I quit giving her ACE last Thursday and best of all, I hopped on her today and worked on some one rein stops and lateral flexion. It felt so good to ride my horse. I can't even put it into words. My farrier, Andrew Maris, did her shoes today and she behaved herself and didn't pull back...much:-). Still need to work on that. She gets a little tense from the sound of hammering, but Andrew said "she is on the verge of being a great horse." That means a lot to me because when I first got her, Andrew didn't even want to work on her. The sweat and tears are starting to pay off.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Shadow 1986-2008

My dear friend Richard, an equine photographer, lost his horse, Shadow today. I don't know the details, but Shadow was getting up there in age. I know Richard loved him dearly. I found the poem over on Midwest Horse comforting and forwarded it to him. I just wanted to say goodbye to the sweet old gelding that held Richards heart. Goodbye Shadow:-(

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A riddle:-)

I have this old sign that hangs in my house. Everyone who sees it stops just to make sure they read it right then "Huh?" Can you guys guess where this sign hung back in the day?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Days Outside

So I took the plunge. I decided to work every day to get Maddy outside. I am putting everything else in my life on hold for the next seven days and Maddy is my priority. My plan is to go out every morning, work her, and go for a long walks around the pastures so she can visit with the horses and then I put her in a small pen for a few hours. I am giving her 3 cc of ACE which I know a lot of people don't agree with, but this horse has so much adrenaline, my vet and I think to protect her from herself, she needs it for this first week. Everything is coming together and she is adjusting very well. I am allowing her to trot for longer periods to build some muscle before she goes out with the mares. She looks sound and looks like she is feeling good. I introduced her to a big blue tarp and a giant mirror...she was very brave and managed to touch both by the end of our work in the arena. I have been setting up barrels to drive her through and around both on and off line. I am dreaming of trail rides and fun this summer. We are closing in on normalcy.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

First Day Out

I worked Maddy yesterday and was able to turn her out in a small paddock for a couple hours. She did really well and it was nice to see her as a dirty horse. She must have rolled at least 5 times. She just kept touching her mouth to the ground and rubbing on trees. She didn't know what to think of the small pony that was next door rolling and frolicking. It was a beautiful day. For the next week, my goal is to get to the barn every morning and do the same thing. Hopefully by the end of February, she will be fully transitioned to outside life again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cloud the Wild Stallion

I watched Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies today. I had some down time at work and had it in my bag. I saw it a couple years ago and loved it. It really is a beautiful movie, very violent and hard to watch at times but really fascinating to watch horses interact. I had goosebumps more times than I could count. I think Ginger Kathrens, the filmaker, was so fortunate in finding this horse to follow. Besides his unique color, Cloud really had a dominant personality and it was so interesting to watch him take on horses much larger and older. Through the years of following the horses, Ginger adopts a mustang and rides him back among the herds. It showed a little of their bonding and training process. I thought that part of the movie was pretty cool. The DVD that I have has the follow up movie called "Clouds Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns" which I haven't seen before. Looking forward to watching that tonight before bed.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Pay backs are hell Equine Spirit:-) I am supposed to use my middle name to relay facts about myself. Luckily I have a short middle name.

M....iddle eastern music fan
A....lligators terrify me
R....ugby...played it in college
I....have tattoos
E....lephants, have a small collection

I won't tag anyone because it looks like just about everyone in my blog roll was tagged already.

Horse Ad

I was pretty angry at my horse yesterday. I had no tears, I just drove from the barn mad. I do everything for this horse. Board her in a beautiful facility, give her the best supplements, constantly educate myself on how to make myself a better horse person and her a better horse. I have given her a pretty good life. But she doesn't understand all that, she just knows she is scared all the time. I just want a "normal" day with her. One day where I am not worried about her fracture, one without rearing, without quivering, a day where her feet stand still. Yesterday was not one of those days. She was a complete mess. Just touching her, you could see adrenaline build. We left the arena on a positive note, and once she was in her stall, she was content, but I was secretly writing my free horse ad.

Free Horse

Issuing a trainer's challenge! What do you truly know about training horses? This six year old mare is beautiful, but new baby, moving, illness, too many horses, death in the family (why not use all the typical sale reasons?) forces sale. This horse will put you to the test. She can walk forward and backward on two hind feet. She is aware of everything. If left in the wild, this is the horse that survives...stomping things that frighten her, running as fast as the wind. She operates on constant adrenaline. More "go" than "whoa." I like to refer to her as "over eager." Of course the tag line to any horse ad, with time and patience, this horse can go in any direction (especially if something scares her:-).

It feels good to vent. There are days I wish I had just turned the car around and never made the journey to Yreka, California to look at her. I know horses have no time line, but there has to be a point when things get "fun" again or I can't keep doing this to myself.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tony Hawk???

You ask, "What does Tony Hawk (skateboard extrodinare!) have to do with horses?" Well, he came up with a cool, cheap video camera that mounts on your helmet. He imagined lots of little skateboarders filming their ramp adventures, but I have a better idea. Lets use the Tony Hawk helmet camera to document some cool trail rides, maybe some jumps around the arena, or how about a lunging session with your horse. It just arrived in the mail today. It was a mere $29.95 comes with editing software, a 32MB card, built in microphone, and best of all a laser to line up your shots. I haven't tested it yet, but tomorrow I am going to take it to the barn and see how it performs. I know you are all on the edge of your seats awaiting this review:-)

Best SuperBowl Commercial!

Go Hank!!!