Saturday, February 28, 2009

Yes, I'll Take Your Horse

My husband and I drove out to see my friend, Ms. E. She moved into this house almost 2 years ago and this is the first time I've seen it. (I am a lousy friend, "blush")

Ms. E demanded I come out and try her horse, Diego. She bought this lovely horse shortly after she got her new home and the way it's worked out she never had enough time to properly work with him. So, he's been just kind of hanging out with her other horses and cow, doing nothing but being a horse.

Her new home is lovely, she's so happy to have her own barn and animals. Farmer girl, LOL! She took me to meet Diego and she was right, even in the worst of winter he is a nice looking horse. He's a papered Thoroughbred, bay and big - like, just my size, 17 hands big!

I tacked him up, she lunged him for 20 minutes and I mounted up. Though the ground was sloppy and not good for more than a slow trot, I like him. I especially liked when I put my leg on him, he didn't react. It took a good squeeze to push him on. I love a horse that's a little slow to the leg. She told me to take him! Take him home, put him in my empty stall and give him a trial! We'll work out the details if I decide to keep him. Wow, just like that.

With permission from the barn owner, I may have a horse in my stall tomorrow morning.

Now, there still are other horses I'm committed to look at, the one in NJ and 3 at the farm in upstate NY. But how cool if Diego is the one?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

#1 Song Tag Game

Here is a game of tag I haven't seen before, and it is
fun! Do you know what the #1 song was in the U.S. on the
day you were born?

Go to: #1 Song on this date in history

Write in the comments what your song was. I'll go first:

Can't Get No (Satisfaction) - The Rolling Stones

Pass it on!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Horses, Horses Everywhere!

I am once again back to horse shopping and this time I have lots of offers! Hopefully there will be a special one among them. I spoke with a woman I knew from years ago on the show circuit. We used to compete against each other and now she's a friend of a good friend of mine. She owns her own riding school and has 2 or 3 horses I might like. The friend who gave me her phone number also has a horse for me to try and my blog buddy, On The Bit has given me a lead to a nice looking horse in her neck of the woods! Guess what, On The Bit? I'll be in Jersey on Sunday!

I'm kind of blue about the TB colt, though. He really deserves a nice home. If you want to see him or think someone might want him who has the space and time to let him grow up to see who he will be, just email me (look for my contact info at my profile) and I'll send you the link where he is.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What Horse Terms REALLY Mean

As I was reading Jean's blog, Horses of Follywoods I came to a part where she mentions, "have you ever tried to explain horseman's terms to non-horseman"? I chuckled because I remembered something sent to me by a friend that was a comical glossary of horseman's terms. I Googled around and found it here at Animal Talk. Copied and pasted here for your amusement:

Glossary of Horse Terms

Hock: Financial condition of all horse owners

Stall: What your rig does at rush hour in an unfamiliar city on the way
to a big horse show.

A Bit: What you have left in your pocket after you’ve been to your
favorite tack shop. - THIS IS MY PERSONAL FAVORITE!!

Fence: Decorative structure built to provide your horse with something to
chew on.

Horse Auction: What you think of after your horse bucks you off.

Pinto: Green coat pattern found on freshly washed, light colored horses
left unattended for 2 minutes.

Well Mannered: Hasn’t stepped on, bitten or kicked anyone for a week.

Rasp: Abrasive metal tool used to remove excess skin from one’s knuckles.

Lunging: Popular training method in which a horse exercises their owner
by spinning them in circles.

Gallop: Customary gait a horse chooses when returning back to the barn.

Nicely Started: Lunges, but not enough health insurance to even think
about riding him.

Colic: Gastrointestinal result of eating at horse fair food stands.

Colt: What your mare gives you when you want a filly.

Easy to Load: Only takes 3 hours, 4 men, a 50lb bag of oats and a tractor
with loader.

Easy to Catch: In a 10 X 10 stall.

Easy Rider: Rides good in a trailer: not to be confused with ‘ride-able’.

Endurance Ride: End result when your horse spooks and runs away with you.

Hives: What you get when you receive the vet bill for your 6 horses, 3
dogs, 4 cats and 1 donkey.

Hobbles: Walking gait of a horse owner after their foot has been stepped
on by their horse.

Feed: Expensive substance used to manufacture manure.

Dog House: What you are in when you spend too much money on grooming
supplies and pretty halters.

Light Cribber: We can’t afford to build anymore fencing or box stalls to
this buzz saw on 4 legs.

Three Gaited Horse: A horse that 1) trips, 2) stumbles, 3) falls.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Friendship Award

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Horseypants sent me this sweet award. She's a doll and if you haven't discovered her blog, take a little time to give it a read.

I appreciate the affirmation of friendship. I'll admit I'm not the best blogger when it comes to following up on the comments of those who take the time to read and comment on my postings. But I do appreciate that there are folks out there who read me and like to comment. I have made a few friends here whose opinion I give credit to and others who's viewpoints encourage me to stay true to my own. I know lately the tone of my blog hasn't always been positive but that's life.

So, I'm passing this award on to the following fellow bloggers. I know some of you have already received this award but I'm giving it to you anyway, to let you know that your input and interest really does mean a lot to me. And to let you know that I stop by your blog almost every day to see what's new and know how you're doing.

A Horse and a Half
Oh, Horsefeathers
Behind the Bit
Glenshee Equestrian Center
Horses of Follywoods
Lucchese to Louis Vuitton
Riding Aside
Where's my Effing Pony?

There are others I know I should add to the list but I'm sure if it doesn't come from me, it will most certainly come from another blogger. It's a big blog world but surprisingly close!

Enjoy!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rant - No, it is NOT a buyer's market

It's ranting time. I am frustrated, stressed out and actually, rather pissed off, no nice way to say it. I don't think it's going to work out with the colt. I have mulled over all the vet exam info and asked other professional's opinions of the findings. I'm starting to feel there is a risk level here I can't afford to take.

Everyone seems to think it's a buyer's market out there when it comes to horses. I'm telling you, that may be true if you just want "a horse". As soon as you get specific in what your equine needs are, your prospective choices drop to 0.

Just try to find a horse 16.2 hands tall or taller for example. They are out there but not in my price range. I am 5'9" tall with a large frame. Do the math, I need the size of the animal to be fair to both of us.

I only have a certain price I can comfortably work with. I cannot justify spending above that amount. I have other responsibilities and my conscience holds me from doing something stupid. There are many horses out there for that price or less but they are usually lacking in other areas of importance to me.

Most promising horses are many miles away. I don't have more than weekends to drive to see prospects and the last time I did it it was almost 400 miles round trip. An entire day spent on one go-see. I have a family and work full-time. In this economy, taking time off from work to go horse shopping is not going to garner anyone's sympathy. Driving all over to look at horses on my already busy weekends is already getting old.

Internet ads suck. Sorry, no other way to say it. Locally, there are either two kinds of sellers, ones who only sell high end stuff and ones who can only sell horses to people who have no idea what they are looking at. And if I go to someone asking $15000 for their horse, try it and then offer them my measly $5000, do I honestly expect them to take that offer? More wasted time.

Somehow in the past, all my horses just came to me. My first was a lesson horse at the barn I started riding at. My second was bought from the owner of the lesson stable for my dad and then turned out to be a nice show horse for me. My third was an OTTB that the same lesson barn owner was selling for one of his friends at the track. Monty was brought in by my trainer as a horse for one of his other customers and he turned out to be a better match for me. Now I am tring to go this alone and it's just crappy.

So no, the market is not flooded with horses for me.

Murphy's Other 15 Laws

Murphy's Other 15 Laws - I like #15...

1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

2. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

3. He, who laughs last, thinks slowest.

4. A day without sunshine is like, well, night.

5. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

6. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

7. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

8. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a
50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

9. It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end-to-end, someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them.

10. If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

11. The things that come to those that wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.

13. Flash light: A case for holding dead batteries.

14 . The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in the dark.

15. When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Stressing...

This horse buying process is stressing me bad. After speaking with the vets, and yesterday getting the actual printed report of the findings, I did some more research on my own and now I am really stressing. I am calling to speak to the vet who performed the actual exam and ask him about what I have noticed.

What they found, if it is what it's described as, should produce lameness. The horse isn't lame. In fact, the vet told me after he saw the x-rays he went back with the hoof tester and really worked the hoof - nothing. I had blood pulled to run a drug screen. But I held it, I didn't have them run it. My vet said to save money, I should have it pulled, but have it stored. If something came up, then I still had it to run. I think I need to run it now. I want to know if this horse is being "helped" along, even with something as common as bute. A two year old should not need any meds, especially if he's never seen the track. I feel like it's all taking too much time.

Sigh, maybe I should just buy a bicycle.

The boyz finally had their riding lesson this past Thursday after about 2 months off. They were great! Harrison showed no signs of the tension he had in the saddle after his fall! He was back to posting and very relaxed. Time lessened the fear from that one. I enjoy watching them ride. I hope things work out with the black colt. I think he'd grow up to be a wonderful horse for my boys after I finish his training.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spoke with the Vets

I discussed the findings of the pre-purchase exam with both the vet who performed it and my own vet who reviewed the results. Each vet called me individually but they hadn't yet been able to catch up with each other by phone. Buying a horse long distance is quite a process! I can't imagine how someone goes to Europe to buy a horse.

I asked both vets to look into the two things I noticed about him. The first is one of his front feet has a "clubby" tendancy. He is sound, but has a higher heel to toe ratio and I wanted to be sure it is not something that would be a deal breaker. Monty had a very similar set of front hooves, one was very narrow, with a somewhat contracted heel and frog and the other was a nice round hoof with a big soft frog. Yet in all the years I owned and rode him, he never had any problems from it and only wore basic steel shoes. So, as long as there were no changes going on that could be seen in X-rays that would be of concern, I could handle that.

The second thing is he's very "butt-high" He only measures around 16 or 16.1 hands at the wither but he's got a 16.2-3 rear end! He looks really big in the picture because the trainer is only 5'3" or so inches tall! I'm 5'9" so it's a big difference. This downhill conformation makes for a very different ride from what I'm used to. I asked the vet if he felt this colt would at least even out if not be an "uphill" horse. He told me,"he's a gangly kid right now. He needs time to fill out and to gain muscle. I think he could at least make 16.2 but you don't know". Which is pretty much how I felt about him when I first looked him over.

It's his personality that keeps coming back to me. The vet told me that all through the X-ray session, as he moved the plates around and even had baby stand on them to get pix of his hooves, the colt patiently did everything he was asked to do and was relaxed about it! He said most horses are not fond of putting their feet on the plate for the hoof X-ray but this little guy just cooperated!

Today I start calling to look for a horse transport who can bring him home. I have no idea what that is going to add to the cost. Hope I'm not blown away. :/

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Playing Phone Tag

The vet and I have been playing phone tag to discuss the results. I'm sure things went fine as he had told me he would call me if he saw anything that would cause concern. Will hopefully get in touch tomorrow.

Now I'm looking into a horse transport company to pick the colt up. I could drive up with my 2-horse bumper pull trailer but he's never gone such a long distance and I'd rather he travel in a bigger trailer for this trip. It's a 4 or so hour drive down here, maybe longer with traffic. I want baby to get here safely and with as little stress as possible.

I had gone on Sunday to try 2 other horses, locally. I had made the appointment as a follow up just in case baby didn't work out. Both horses were bay appendix geldings. The younger one was very quiet but at 6 years old, he was a little too stiff in the back end for my liking. The other horse was older and definitely more finished but needed a lot of weight and was not quite fit. If I wasn't in love with the baby he might be a consideration but he was a fixer-upper.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pre-purchase Exam Today

Fingers crossed. Vet is coming around noon. Wish I could be there but will have to participate by phone.

Since I'm at this point in the sale, I'll share a bit more, here's a picture of the colt and the trainer from the trainer's website.
He's a Thoroughbred, black, white star, 2 white coronets, 2 yrs old going to be 3 next month.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Valentine Wish


Here's a little something I drew up before leaving work to wish all my blogging friends a very Happy Valentine's Day. It's my blog card to everyone who has stopped by and enjoyed their time spent here! Hugs to all!

BTW, the color of this fat little pony is a clue...

She Broke a Nail!



I just HAD to post this, this is too weird! Read the AP news report below and see if you are thinking the same thing as me when you get to the end...

Crash breaks woman's record-length fingernails
She loses 28 feet worth when she's ejected from SUV in accident

Tom Smart / AP
Lee Redmond shows off her fingernails, which were about 30 inches long in August 2006. She suffered serious injuries in a traffic accident on Tuesday — and broke off those nails.

updated 9:53 p.m. ET, Thurs., Feb. 12, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY - A Salt Lake City woman who was in the Guinness Book of World Records for her long fingernails has had them broken off in a traffic accident.

Lee Redmond sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries in the Tuesday accident.

Redmond was the current Guinness record holder, with nails that hadn't been cut since 1979. Her nails measured a total of more than 28 feet long in 2008, with the longest nail on her right thumb at 2 feet, 11 inches, according to the Guinness Web site.

Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson says she was ejected from an SUV in the crash and taken to the hospital in serious condition, the Deseret News reported Thursday on its Web site.

Redmond has been featured on TV in episodes of "Guinness Book of World Records" and "Ripley's Believe It or Not."

Okay, are you thinking this, too? - HOW THE HELL WOULD YOU DRIVE A CAR WITH THOSE NAILS IN THE FIRST PLACE? NO WONDER SHE CRASHED!!!

(yeah, I know, she was probably a passenger, right? Well, they left that part out.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blown Away

Here in NY the wind has been crazy! It's all over the news today of wind-related issues. Some of the gusts have been over 50 MPH. Hope everyone is safe and sound out there.

My boyz were supposed to have their riding lessons tonight but it doesn't look good with the windy conditions. Trainers don't want the ponies spooking at the strange noises in the indoor with the wind.

And we're progressing with the pre-purchase exam for the colt. Should happen some time next week.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Secret

Thanks to all who are sending well-wishes and good luck my way! I know many of you want to see this mystery colt. Believe me, I want to share, I have video of the trainer working with him and a snippet of me on him. I can pull still photos, too. But the reason I'm being very vague about him is this is a public forum and if I gush about him, I'm afraid he may get snapped out from under me by another buyer.

After the vet check, if all is good and we agree on the price and some money changes hands, I will post like crazy.
In fact, if he doesn't work out for me, then I'll still post him. Maybe in some way I could help him find a home, even if it's not with me.

I have a call in to my vet to recommend a vet in the area where this colt is to do the exam. We have to be sure it's not a vet the trainer uses or there will be a conflict of interest and I'm back to square one. I just want to move on this so she knows I'm serious.

I know my long time trainer (the Master) is wondering why I want to get involved with a greenie baby. I asked myself the same thing. It will be almost 2 years before we can pursue serious jumping work. The next year would be spent with lots of lunging, light, short riding sessions and just a lot of time to grow up. There will be no hunter paces or long trail rides in that time. I need his back and joints to close correctly and try to ensure him a long sound career as a riding horse.

And I feel I'm okay with it. To create something special, if all the right stuff is there from the start would be wonderful. With the busy schedule I have right now with my work and family, a young horse who only needs a few days a week of saddle work and just basic handling on the other days will be okay. I don't see it as a step back but as a step in another direction that can pay off well for the long term.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Could You be Loved...

...and be loved?

It's late. It's been a long day of traveling to and from going to see the young horse for sale I found.

But I had to post, because this time there was a connection.

It felt like love at first sight. Within minutes after handling him he snuggled his head into my chest and his big eyes warmed my heart. He knows voice commands, he long lines and is starting to longe. I watched his trainer ride him and then I mounted up. It's been a loooong time since I rode a greenie, but he was a nice surprise under tack. Very green but not spooky and very willing. The woman who trained him knows her stuff. He's been given a good, solid start.

He is at an awkward stage in his growth, he's two and will just turn three in March. There are some things that need to be discussed in the vet check that I want to be sure if they will work out as he matures.

Though I am trying very hard to keep my heart guarded, he melted me. I'm hoping the clouds are starting to lift. On to step two, vetting him out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Well, it's a Big Deal to Me!

One of my children's homework assignments this week was an index card with 6 holes punched in a dice formation on it and a piece of yarn laced into the holes like a shoe. The project was to practice tying a "shoelace". Every night's homework was to do a lesson and practice tying the shoelace. On the second night, D suddenly became very focused and gave that task his full attention. With my slow and careful demonstration, he kept at it and by about the 6th try, he had it figured out! He then went on to keep retying the shoelace and show everyone in the house he could do it!

I was SO proud of him! And I couldn't understand why no one else was getting as excited as I was. C'mon! Tying a shoelace is really a hard skill to learn, I recall it being a pain in the @$$ when I had to learn it and he got it down after about 10 minutes! I told him to show his teacher in class the next day that he could do it. So when he came home from school, I asked if he demonstrated his new skill and what she thought. He said, "yeah, I did it but she didn't say anything." HELLO - my son can tie a shoelace, praise is in order here!

So although I may be the only one to see this as a huge milestone, it's a big deal to me that one of my kids can tie a shoelace!

My boyz riding lessons were cancelled last night (again). It's just too d@mn cold. The trainers agreed it was too icy and cold even with the indoor to teach so they cancelled all the lessons. So much for that. I think the last time they rode was before Christmas. This winter has been too cold for too long...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Maybe...

I have found another young horse. He's different from the others I've mentioned before in that he's much younger. This weekend, weather permitting, the family and I are taking a long drive to see him. I so very much want him to be the one. Without having seen him in the flesh, just from a short video and chatting with his trainer, he's got me. I am afraid to jinx myself by saying more, just send me as much luck as you can that this handsome colt and I have a connection.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sidesaddle Blog!

I just found a new blog and I am in love! Please check out Riding Aside. It's a treasure trove of sidesaddle information with lots of pictures. I have always been fascinated with sidesaddle riding and it was a bright spot for me in light of all my current misfortunes to find!

My Little Dog Won't Sing Anymore


My little Shih Tzu dog can't "sing" with me anymore. We used to sing together by me saying, "I love you" in a squeeky voice to her. She would start to yip happily and copy me and very quickly would be yipping a doggy version of "I yove yoooooou!" We would do it together and draw out the "oooooo" sound until we would sing it in perfect pitch together. If you knew us and saw it, it was really cute. I even taught my kids to do it with her. The picture above is her in her younger days.

I have been so busy with the kids and work and all the other things that get in the way in life that I haven't taken a moment to sing with her in a long time. She's gone blind and she's been losing her hearing for a while now. This morning I stopped from my routine and tried to get her to do it as it was always something that cheered me up. I tried to get her to respond but she just sat there. Then I realized her hearing must be so gone now that she can't hear me at all to try and join me.

She's gotten so old, and somewhere I lost my chance to sing with her one last time.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Foul Mood

Had my first "official" horse shopping experience yesterday. Quite simply, it stunk. It wasn't what I expected, I never even got to try any of the horses. The young horse, according to the owner, is being vetted out by one of her students so she wasn't really able to offer him for sale until that deal didn't work out and the more schooled horse was quoted in a price range that is above what I am comfortable in paying. Aside from that, neither of the horses showed any connection with me even in getting to pet them and interact with them. So it was a wasted day.

Call me a pessimist. I know what's ahead for me. Nice horses I can't afford and horses with "issues" that I can. Go ahead, call me spoiled, too. I am. After Monty, I know what I want and what I don't want.

I guess you could say I'm in a very dark place right now. Watching everyone else out riding and enjoying their horses in this little break from the bitter cold is ripping my heart to shreds. I've found it hard to even browse through most of the blogs I always enjoyed reading because I can't handle the happiness between the writer and their horse. People here are complaining about the ice and having to take care of their horses in the cold. Right now, I'd give anything to slip on the ice with a bucket of water and to have to warm my hands under a furry horses' blanket.

It sucks.

No - it ƒ@¢#ing sucks.

It's been too cold and my usual routine has been disrupted by all the business travel I've had to do lately so my boyz haven't been taking their horseback riding lessons. I'm hoping this week puts us back on schedule. I'm also hoping watching them ride puts me in a better mood.