Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Silver Lining

It's been hard trying to go on about everything after my disastrous weekend with Dolly.  On Monday in my stable management class the lecture was about horse slaughter, then today we had to talk about what we would do if a boarders horse died on our property (of our imaginary boarding stable we are all going to own after graduation).  That really sucked to have to listen to (so I tuned it out by reading Dressage Today behind my laptop).

So after the crappy lecture I decided to go out and see Buck who is still at New Spring at this point.  I thought I'd take advantage of the fact he's in a barn with an attached indoor arena and go ride.  He was brilliant as alway but we are having a couple of different problems I can't seem to get past.  First, I just can't seem to get him around my leg.  On a circle he feels like he's tilted into the circle, kind of like he's dropping his shoulder in, but his nose is pointed towards the outside of the circle.  No amount of pushing him off my leg or opening reins seems to make a difference and I'm kind of confused.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Secondly, he is LAZY!  I am constantly having to push him forward the entire time I ride him.  If I do not ride him with a whip or spurs it's almost impossible to keep him forward.  If he could get the head set right, I think he would be a fabulous western pleasure horse haha!  Not to offend any western pleasure riders out there, I definitely do not think those horses are lazy I just think his normal gaits are slow enough to be good at that.  He's got a gorgeous natural canter and a good active walk when I keep him motivated but by the time I get done riding him my legs feel like jelly.

Finally, the silver lining behind Dolly's tragedy.  I am probably not going to be buying another western riding horse any time soon since that's not really what I'm interested in doing anyway.  So I think I'm going to sell all of her tack and stuff.  With the money I get from the saddle, bridles, and other western stuff I have I am going to put in a saving account with Buck's name on it so I will have money for different horsey things I might need (such as a cross country safety vest or the broken reins that I finally replaced last week).  I never seem to have the money when I need something, this way that's no longer a problem.  Has anyone else ever done anything like that before?  Is that a little horse crazy?

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I came back outside last night after the horses had been fed to take the dogs out and the pasture gate was completely torn off the hinges, it looked like someone had blown it apart with a hand grenade.  I grabbed Bentley and ran back inside and hollered at Shawn telling him the gate was gone.

I put on boots and a coat and ran back outside first towards the highway because I just assumed the worse and I was going to find them both out on the side of the road hit or something or they were just gone....
When I didn't see them out there I went back over to the gate and looked down towards the back of the pasture.  Shawn saw her before I did and started to walk in that direction.  Buck was down there with her and as we got closer I noticed she was standing funny, with all her weight in the front end and her right back leg was up, I knew this was not going to be good...

When I got down to her, her leg was broken at the ankle.  I won't go into details but needless to say there was nothing anyone could do to repair it.  She had torn up the backs of her legs, I assume she got sided up to the fence and got shocked by the electric fence and some how got her leg caught in the pasture gate (it was just a galvanized gate).  There was nothing we could do but call the vet and have him come out and put her to sleep (it took him an hour to get there though).

When the vet finally showed I grabbed Buck and walked him back up to the top of the pasture and gave him some feed to distract him while Shawn was down with Dolly and the vet.  Buck kept watching her of course and was fine for a while until she started to go down.  When she laid down he got very agitated and made the strangest low whinny, I've never heard anything like it and I hope not to again.  It sent chills down my spine and made me cry, I know he knew what was going on.  He basically dragged me all the way down to where Dolly was laying.  When we got down there he snorted really hard and flipped out and dragged me all the way back up to the top of the pasture where he proceeded to dance circles around me and holler for her.

After the vet made sure she was down we decided the best solution for Buck would be to load him up and haul him to New Spring Farm (about an hour trip with a trailer, it was almost 2 in the morning at this point).  She was going have to stay out in the pasture over night until we could get someone to come bury her or something the next day and I didn't think it was right to leave him out there with her all night long, he would have been panicking all night anyway.  I was really afraid he might go through the fence in the middle of the night and get hit on the highway.

Once he was comfortably in a stall we left the trailer at the barn and went home.  I went to bed about 4:30 this morning.  We got up this morning and spent the entire day trying to find someone to help us.  Luckily we have a great neighbor who just happened to have a huge bulldozer with a bucket on the front, he took care of everything in about a half an hour, I was so grateful.  There are few people out there who will still drop everything and help someone just because they can, I don't know how I'm going to repay him.

I feel so guilty for what happened to her and right now I feel like I'm not fit to have horses...  This has just not been the holiday break I had been hoping for.  I feel like a horrible horse parent today...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Porkchop got a new brother and his name is BENTLEY!  He is the cutest thing on four legs!  I finally got to pick him up last night.

My only concern was the advertisement said AKC (American Kennel Club) registered (I've shown conformation dogs in the past and thought I might like to get back into it with Corgis because I love them) and as it turns out after all the arranging to meet his current owner and paying for him, he's actually ACA (American Canine Association) registrable.  So now I guess I can't show him in AKC shows unless the AKC can prove he comes from AKC registered stock or something like that.

I went ahead and sent in his registration papers with the ACA (it was only $17) so I can get a pedigree back on him and then send in the registration papers and pedigree to AKC and see what happens.  I've never heard of the ACA before, they hold some dog shows but I'm not sure about the legitimacy of the registry itself.  I'm ready to get his registration stuff back and pedigree info to learn more about him.

On another note: I FINALLY got to take Buck and Dolly to the farrier this morning.  I had the address so I just punched it into my GPS which said it was only 20 minutes away from where I live.  I got going, went out on a 2 lane little rural route road for a ways and then ended up having to go 2 or 3 miles down a gravel road.  The GPS took me to the wrong address and the gentleman told me it was about another mile down the road.  There are a lot of Mennonite and Amish families in my area and I was pretty much right out in the middle of no where and there was no other cars just horses and buggies! 

I arrived about an hour early so I hung out and watched him and his father put shoes on a gentleman's buggy horses, a really cute Saddlebred gelding and a not too shabby Standardbred/Saddlebred mare with a quirky attitude.  He was really good with them even though the mare tried to kick out at him a couple different times and always laid her big dark ears back every time he came back to size up her feet.

Once he finished with them I unloaded my two, brought them into the shoer shed and they went right to work on their feet.  It took them maybe 15 minutes, it didn't seem like any time at all and they were done since I didn't have shoes put on this time.  Loaded the horses back up and went on home.  Total cost... $40!!  A reliable farrier at the same price as the one I never could get to show up... I'm pretty much sold on this guy!!  Needless to say I will continue to take Buck and Dolly out to him.  They're feet look great and I feel much better now that I know I have someone I can count on to take care of them.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I have to say this is my FAVORITE time of the year (ok actually spring and summer because warm weather = horse shows!) because of PRESENT!!

I have the best husband ever because I'm getting a PUPPY for Christmas hahahaha!

I am going to pick him up tomorrow and I can't wait!!  Merry Christmas to me hahaha!  I'm so excited!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Woo Is Me

I have been having a really rough time getting a hold of a farrier since my husband and I got married (March 2011) and we moved to our current residence.

When I was boarding Buck in Columbia life was great, the barn already had a great farrier lined up who came to the barn about once or twice a month and you could guarantee he would show up exactly like he said he would, clock work.  You just signed your name on the list, left him a check, and your horse would have pretty and perfect feet when you came back out.  It was like a trip from the hoof fairy!

Well now that I've moved I had to go searching for a farrier on my own.  Needless to say it was an almost impossible task since neither of us actually knew anyone down here, especially horse people.  So finally my father-in-law found out from his barber there was a kid who lived about 12 miles away who was a really good farrier.

The first time I called the kid he called me back a week later.  I decided I'd give him a shot anyway since I still didn't know anyone, we set something up for a couple of days later.  He then called me a half an hour before he was suppose to show up and cancelled and wanted to reschedule for the next day.  Ok fine, I'll go for that, he showed up TWO HOURS late after the reschedule.  All I needed was Buck's feet trimmed at this point, took him all of like 15 minutes and cost me $20 (heck of a deal in my opinion since my old farrier cost between $60-$100 depending on the work you needed done).  The weird thing was he then hung around for like a half an hour to forty-five minutes longer, flirting and trying to chit-chat.  I actually had to start saddling Buck (even though I hadn't planned on riding) and walking away with him before the guy finally left.

So 8 weeks later I called him again and he didn't answer, never called me back.  I called him a few more times until finally another 8 weeks went by before I finally got a call back and we set up an evening for him to come out again.  At this point I was getting annoyed with the phone tag and decide to start snooping for a new farrier again.... UGH!  Doesn't do me any good to have a nice horse with messed up feet... I started thinking maybe I needed to take up trimming his feet myself but quickly changed my mind when I remembered how picking up furniture and moving it can cause me to throw out my back!

The night he was suppose to show up this time he called (a half hour before he was suppose to show up) and left a message on my phone because I was away from it.  He stated he had something come up at home and he was wondering if it would be alright if we rescheduled for the next night, if it was not that was alright he would come on out anyway.  I didn't get to my phone until almost an hour after he was suppose to show up.  He left that message with no intentions of actually showing up that night I believe.  If it were me and the person didn't answer and hadn't called you back by the time you were suppose to meet, I would have shown up like I said I would!

I called him back and left a message letting him know I could not work it in the next night because I had to work but I wanted to know if he could come on Tuesday night instead (this phone call and situation all took place on a Thursday evening).  He NEVER called me back!!  Not until the day AFTER I wanted him to come out.

So, I am NOT calling this kid back anymore and I have found a new farrier thanks to the local saddle club (yay horse people!).  The unfortunate thing about this one is I have to load up both the horses and take them over to him.  Guess if he does a good job it will be worth the effort (except Buck is a nightmare to get in the trailer when you don't have help! Not mean just stubborn).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When Is Too Much Really Too Much?

You guys probably read my post a few weeks ago about the ad I found in the Dressage Today magazine with the picture of the horse they were asking $225,000 and I thought that was a little excessive... I now retract my previous statement and that is a heck of a deal haha!

When is too much too much to pay for a horse?  This past weekend was the 2011 Breeder's Cup Classic, a race I watch almost as tightly as the Triple Crown races.  On November 4, 2011 a cute little filly by the name of Royal Delta swept the Ladies' Classic by 2 1/2 lengths which I considered to be pretty impressive.  Anyway to make a long story short at Tuesdays Keeneland Sale, Royal Delta was the only 2011 Breeder's Cup winner to be offered at the sale.  Needless to say she blew the roof off the sale going for $8.5 million, a Keeneland record for a horse still in training.  She was purchased by Benajmin Leon's Besilu Stables and cosigned by Chanteclair Farm.

This puts Royal Delta as the 3rd highest price for a racemare or broodmare after the $10.5 million paid for Playful Act in 2007 and $9 million paid for Ashado in 2009.  Of all the horses sold the day Royal Delta went through the ring (285) 22 of these horses went for over a million dollars.

So somewhere along the way I think I got involved in the wrong end of the horse business hahaha!  Here's the video of the sale if you'd like to see what it looks like to purchase a horse for that amount of money.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Superstar Show-Jumper Dies Today

A world class competitor has died today.  Hickstead, partner of Eric Lamaze and Olympic medal winner in the 2008 Beijing Games collapsed after finishing a 13 fence course at a World Cup event of what they believe to be a heart attack.

According to one story from The Associated Press Lamaze stated they had just finished their round, knocking one rail and were circling to leave the ring when Hickstead collapsed of an apparent heart attack.  Vets tried to revive Hickstead in front of a speechless crowd at the Rolex FEI event in Verona, Italy.

After the veterinary service took Hickstead off the course the riders requested to have the competition abandoned and all held a moment of silence for Hickstead and Lamaze.

I couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like to experience something so devastating with Buck, who I've only had for 2 years.  My heart goes out to Eric Lamaze who has been working with the 15 year old Hickstead since he was 7 years old.

I feel the equestrian world has lost a once in a lifetime horse today.  Horses with the kind of talent and willingness of Hickstead do not come around every day and I believe thanks to this horse and Eric Lamaze the show jumping world will never been the same.

R.I.P Hickstead :'(

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pan-America Games

Not sure if anyone has been following the Pan-American Games this year but the United States CLEANED UP the medals this year!

The USET received Team Golds in Dressage, Jumping and Eventing as well as Individual Golds in Jumping (Cristine McCrea on Romantovich Take) and Dressage (Steffan Peters on Weltino's Magic)!  To make it even better the teams also received individual silvers in Dressage (Heather Anderson Blitz on Paragon), Jumping (Beezie Madden on Coral Reef Via Volo), and Eventing (Hannah Burnett on Harbour Pilot).  Along with Individual Bronze medals in Dressage (Marisa Festerling on Big Tyme and Eventing (Bruce Davidson Jr. on Foxwood High)!

All in all I would say October has been an incredible month for our favorite equestrians and a HUGE congratulations goes out to every one of the participants in the Pan-American games.  No matter your placing, at the end of the day it is a great honor to be a part of any of the teams which travelled to compete at Guadalajara this year.

The U.S teams have not just done well in equestrian events but in most every event they have competed in bringing home 92 gold medals, 79 silver medals, and 65 bronze medals, putting the U.S at the top of the medal table followed by Cuba (136 total medals) and Brazil (141 total medals).

Needless to say it's been a great month for all of my favorite sports teams.... USET gold medals, St. Louis Cardinals 11th World Series win, the Kansas City Chiefs upset the San Diego Chargers, and Mizzou upset 16th ranked Texas A&M this weekend.  I'd say the U.S and Missouri have had a great October.... can't wait to see what November has to bring!