Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Damn it!

I have to swear! Maddy was kicked on her left hock. My mom was in town so we went out to see Maddy and I saw her hop. I immediately thought it was her left front which was were she fractured her coffin bone, but on closer inspection, I saw the blood running down her back leg and noticed the swelling. First the panic, then the dread, then the doctoring, and then the sleepless night. I had Dr. Barb Crabbe come out the next morning and take a look. She sedated her and probed her and said it wasn't as deep as she initially thought and that with antibiotics and a week off, she should be "ok." The above picture shows the wound, but it is covered in the "aluminum" spray that acts as a bandage. So when you apply this, I didn't need to wrap it.She gave me a regimen of medicines and told me how to clean and dress the wound for the next week. Unfortunately Maddy had other ideas. She didn't want me anywhere near that leg. Although she never got me, she did cow kick a few times and I gave up, preferring to keep my teeth and just went to the other side and reach across with a dab of Furizone (did I spell that right?:-) It is healing nicely, and the swelling goes down after the cold hosing. I am still nervous and worried about the outcome. I have to work on being more optimistic when it comes to her health, but it has been so hard to stay positive when one thing happens after another.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Trail ride

We finally got great weather here in Oregon. Almost 80 degrees on Saturday. I tried to organize a trail ride at the barn to no avail. Our barn is a lot of arena riders and it really is hard to convince people to ride outside despite the miles and miles of trails. I went out alone and I had to hop off and do some groundwork to get her checked in a couple times, but for the most part she did pretty well for being on her own. It wasn't the ride I dreamed about on my way to the barn, but we made it work. On another note, I finally got Maddy to jump the barrels. She knows how to roll exercise balls and she watched me roll out the barrels, so whenever I would try to jump her over the barrels, she would kind of pause and roll them with her knees. I realized she considered the barrels to be something she rolled and jumping them had never crossed her mind. I put poles on each side so they wouldn't roll and when I lunged her around, I was ready with my stick and didn't let her pause and she went right over them. Did it a few times both ways and she even picked up the right leads on the landings...really was cool.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Saddle Dilema

It is hard to saddle shop. There is so much to consider. I lucked out getting my dressage saddle. I managed to find it after testing about three and I was lucky to find a beautiful used one. I ended up with a Wintec Pro with Cair. Now I am looking at a new trail saddle. I have had Circle Y saddles my whole life, so I am a little partial. After talking with the folks at Double H down in Salem, I learned a lot of about the flex trees. Circle Y now has a new design called the "Flex 2." Which still has "give" but not prone to "spread" like the "Flex 1." That was the main complaints I was hearing about flex trees. I returned the used flex tree saddle I was trying out. It was so comfortable and beautiful, but I think it had spread, and that is why it sat so low on her withers. I am now pinching pennies and working on saving for a new saddle. I am really torn between the "Yuma" pictured above and the "Cactus Flower" pictured below. I kind of like the vintage look of the Cactus Flower. I love the tooling and the seat color. It also has a really cool vintage looking bridle to match. The Yuma just looks like the kind of saddle you will have forever and I also like the basket weave design. Which one do you like?

Friday, April 4, 2008

New York City

My good friend Beth has moved to NYC. We stayed up Monday night until 5am talking (and drinking:-) and then I had to take her to the airport. I am sad, but know this is a great opportunity. Portland feels a little empty with her gone, but she is going to have the time of her life working for CNN. She sent me this photo today of a carriage horse. There has been a lot of talk in equine magazines about the ban of carriage horses in the city. PETA and ASPCA are behind ban bills and petitions. They claim the use of the horses in the city is inhumane and the horses are subject to a grueling and danergous life on the streets, breathing exhaust fumes and living in cramped stables with no turnout. I have read arguments on the other side and the horse owners say their horses are their bread and butter and they are very well cared for and loved. For me, I would hate to see a ban, just an overhaul of the system. I think the more uses we find for horses, the better. I see the jobs for draft horses diminishing and it would be nice if the world had uses for these beautiful, big horses. If the city could impliment some sort of equine labor law and limit hours on the job, mandatory vet checks, and since they are such a tourist draw, maybe the city should subsidise the cost of transport and care of horses into the city from boarding stables with turnout. I would be happy if my tax dollars went to help these horses have a better life. Easy fix--and people can going on enjoying the beauty of these horses and the joy of just being around them and the horses are treated fairly and humanely. What are my readers thoughts on a carriage horse ban?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Saddle Test

I am testing out a Circle Y Park and Trail saddle. I love the saddle, but I am worried it is a little wide and sits low on her withers even though it has semi-quarter bars. If I can get down to Salem, I want to stop in at Double H and take some photos and see what they think. I am hoping for nice weather this weekend so I can hit the trails on it. I used it in my lesson today and we had the best passenger lesson yet. I went 25 minutes at the trot. I only had to correct her a handful of times to keep gait. It was awesome. So I am on cloud nine right now and edging closer to my goal of a cantering passenger session.