Friday, April 29, 2011

Loose Horse at the Royal Wedding!

Okay, I'm not all caught up in Royal wedding fever but I did want to check out Kate's dress. Loved that it was an Alexander McQueen, one of my favorite designers. When watching the snippet of video I saw this!

SO, how many of the horse folks in the audience caught this one?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 3 - 30 Day Horse Challenge: Favorite Horse (own/lease/ride) with description about the relationship

Day 3 - Favorite Horse (own/lease/ride) with description about the relationship.

Well, that's easy. My favorite horse is Monty, the horse that I started this blog for and who was my everything. He was not the first horse or the only horse I ever owned but he was the one who was the most versatile and who had the most comfortable connection with me.

Monty was a Warmblood/TB cross. He came from Virginia and was originally brought to the farm where I was boarding my old mare Alta, as a sale horse for another of my trainer's (whom I've nicknamed "the Master") students to try. He watched the horse go and decided this horse was too green for her but he thought he'd be a great match for me. I still remember the phone call at work when he told me to get out to the barn and try this new horse as soon as I got off work.

I thought he was joking, I wasn't looking to buy a new horse. I still had my old, semi-retired mare and was playing catch rider with anything that needed riding. So I went and tried this big gray horse. And he was lovely. Comfortable to ride and with a willing heart. He'd canter up to any jump, and even if he stopped to peek at it, he'd then pop over. Green but so eager to please. I had 2 weeks to try him before he would be sent back to the dealer. I had no idea how I was going to afford 2 horses but he was too good a prospect to pass by.

So I sucked it up. I had some help from my folks but the bulk of it I financed with a small loan and the Master let me teach beginner lessons to defray some of the second board costs. Originally, my intention was to buy him, finish his training, get him out to the shows and sell him for some small profit. I still had Alta, who was my difficult, wonderful, wicked mare and when you spend 20 years with someone, you don't just walk away. She was still my horse, and selling Monty would have been okay as long as I still had her.

Then 2 years later, Alta died. And Monty just became my horse.

And went on to become my best horse.

My Good Horse.

Successful as a show horse, trail horse, hunter pace horse, family horse and best friend. I could TRUST him. I never could completely let my guard down with Alta, but Monty was easy. It never took me long to figure him out and he was what I called my 1,2,3 horse. If something upset him, he only needed to be encouraged to face it 3 times and it was over.
For example, if we were passing a tree and something about it spooked him, I'd encourage him calmly with my seat and voice to go forward. I'd circle around and pass it again, he'd peek, but it was more of interest at that point than fear and by the next circle past he would ignore it and keep going. Knowing this made showing him a breeze as I always knew he'd let go of something that upset him very quickly.

If you have time, browse around on my past posts on this blog and you'll see how much Monty meant to me, and how losing him took so much away. The emptiness is still there. I hope there will be another good horse and more memories for me. But it's been so damn hard.

And because I still dream, here's another "dream horse" that would be a perfect choice for me:


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 2 - 30 Day Horse Challlenge: The last time you rode a horse and what you did

Happy Easter wishes to all!

Day 02 - The last time you rode a horse and what you did

I'm not going to count the actual last time I "rode" a horse, as it was just after mounting and ended with unfortunate results. That's not a "ride" as I see it.

The last time I rode a horse was when I came to care for and ride dear, sweet Ruby. That's him and me in the picture above. If you are just catching up with my blog, Ruby is the old former A-circuit show horse that my trainer asked if I would like to half board. Ruby is amazing and sweet and a pleasure to ride. His owner is also wonderful to work with and The past 8 months or so I've been half boarding him with her have been stress free.

Ruby and I did our usual ride in the field behind the main riding arena. I was so thrilled the frozen ground and warmer weather were beginning and I could ride outside again.

But it also brought on my feelings of wanting a horse of my own, and to have the warmer weather and spring/summer months to work with the horse and form a partnership. So I started shopping and that turned out to be yet another mistake.

As for my knee, I completed day 2 of physical therapy. I have gotten more flexion and I'm happier for that but when the therapist tried to get me on the stationary bike to try and loosen the joint, it was NOT happening. My knee won't complete the rotation without strong pain. I really tried, we even raised the seat way up but no go. :(

Tomorrow I go again. My goal is this knee is going to rotate by Friday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hurts - so good! and 30 Day Horse Challenge Day 1: When and why you started riding

Today my knee is a bit sore and all the fluid we moved yesterday has moved right back in but I can bend it 90 degrees to the floor now and it's already getting easier to use the stairs.

I am a big fan of good physical therapy. It made me a believer 10 years ago when my wrist was broken from getting kicked by a friend's horse. I will favor an injury until a doctor gives me the green light to do something with it, and after that I will gladly push it. Once this orthopedic surgeon told me I need to start using the knee and getting the fluid out of the joint I was thrilled. Yeah, it hurts but I have no problem with pain as long as it's part of the healing process and I'm not doing further damage.

When I walked in to Pro Sports I was pleased to see the place was as bright, cheery, clean and the staff as nice as they were all those years ago. The therapist who consulted with me and then started my program was perfect. It was also nice that the place was fairly empty with only 1 other patient so I got full attention. I think my favorite part is the ice and the massage. Ice... ahhh. I could use some ice again about now.

So, I've been thinking. This blog is supposed to be about horses. For who knows how long it's probably going to be about me trying to get back to riding horses. That's interesting to some but not really about horses. I've been enjoying A Horse and a Half's posts for the 30 day horse challenge. It looks like fun and is really just 30 days telling about your life experiences with a horse theme. So, to keep this somewhat horse-centric, I'll give it a go.

Day One - When and why you started riding:

Why did I start riding? Because I was a horse mad little girl. I received my first Breyer horse - The Family Arabian Foal in palomino for my 4th birthday. I watched horse movies and westerns on TV. I looked for any horse books I could find in the library. I watched "Gumby and Pokey" and "Mr. Ed" because the horses could TALK! I pretended I was a horse, I reared, snorted, galloped and jumped anything in my way. Obsession, thy name is equus. My poor parents had NO idea what they were in for.

When did I start riding? I started riding at the tender age of 6. I took lessons in a backyard barn from a woman whose daughter had a show pony and she had a big show hunter as well. I wish I could remember her name but all I recall was riding a white pony on the lunge line and she was very kind. I rode there for about a year until I broke my leg while riding my bicycle and was away from horses for about a year. When I went back to riding at 8 years old, it was at a local lesson/hack barn and I have been in the saddle ever since.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Physical Therapy - bring it!

I begin Physical Therapy this afternoon to start my right knee back to being a willing partner to the left one.

Yesterday was my visit with the Orthopedic Surgeon and I liked his demeanor very much. I also like that we have common ground as his young daughter rides horses! He immediately got me out of the knee immobilizer brace and into a flexible brace, the kind with the opening for my kneecap and the metal bars and hinges on the sides. He wants me to get this knee back to complete flexibility again before we seriously discuss surgery for the ACL. I'm all for that.

So, PT for 2 weeks and another appointment for him to check my progress. Sounds good to me.

And because I'm a sucker for punishment, I still look at horses, and dream. THIS is exactly the kind of horse I'll be looking for whenever I return to the saddle:


Monday, April 18, 2011

Let's get it started.

Tomorrow morning I go see an orthopedic surgeon for another opinion who is both on my insurance plan and who's been recommended by a few people. I'm hoping he can give me some more detailed and encouraging information with how to proceed in rehabbing this knee. On Wednesday I start physical therapy and truthfully, I'm really looking forward to it.

I was really happy when I found out that the physical therapy group that I wanted to use is also covered by my insurance. I had great results from them 10 years ago when my left wrist was broken when I was kicked by a horse. When that wrist came out of the cast, I had almost no rotation ability and the physical therapy provided by Pro Sports physical therapy gave me back a good start on full rotation which has since been returned to almost 100% normal.

My hope is that since the MRI report only listed the ligament tears as "moderate", that maybe I can bypass any surgery and the physical therapy will start me back to being myself again. At home, I do get around without the knee brace. My knee will support my full body weight, the feeling that my knee is unstable and could buckle has gone and the joint actually isn't painful as much as it feels very tight.

I also hope this doctor will let me use a less restrictive knee brace. I agree I need support, but this thing I've been harnessed into for the past 2 weeks makes me want to scream.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What I Want

I am sitting here trying to work, with my stupid knee brace encased leg causing me to shift into ever increasingly uncomfortable contortions.

I didn't deserve this injury. I am not reckless, stupid or untrained. I am well aware of what my limitations are at 45 years old. And I got handed another screwing by fate. I am also depressed, angry and sad because I am 45 f'ing years old. When you break at 25 years old, your body heals and you have time. When you get broken at 45 years old, every day you lose takes you another step closer to your last ride.

I have decided that if I get out of this one and regain any of my riding, I know what I want.

I want the same kind of horse I had when I first started all this. I want the same horse I had as a kid that opened this whole world up to me and made it fun. The requirements are pretty simple:

1) Gelding. I will N E V E R go near a damn mare again. After my black mare I should have learned there will never be redemption in my experience for a mare.

2) Chestnut. My first horse was a beautiful liver chestnut. And I loved him as only a girl will love her first horse.

3) Quarter Horse or Quarter Horse cross. I know there are a few QH left in this world who are at least 16.2 hands tall. My first horse was a QH/Morgan cross and my second horse was a QH/TB cross. Sound, sane and just good hearted riding horses.

4) Has NO vices under tack. My first horses were green broke when I got them but they NEVER bucked, reared or bullied me. This time I want a horse who's a little older but just as trustworthy.

And if that no longer exists in this world, then screw horses.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thank You

I want to thank everyone who has been thinking of me and supporting me in my dream to find a good horse since my best horse Monty died. I have recently been handed a very difficult twist of fate and as I recover from this injury, I will be unable to ride or work around horses for awhile. I don't know what my future holds as far as riding goes and I guess if I thought I wanted a quiet horse before, I'll need a really dependable fellow now. (and with my luck, that horse will not exist, either)

This blog may sit dormant for a long while. I have reached the lowest point ever regarding horses and continuing to write or read what others are doing only makes me feel worse. I wish everyone well and only the best in all your equestrian endeavors.

No time spent in the saddle on a good horse is ever wasted. Funny how you never know how true that is until you are faced with it being just a part of your past.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Not Happening

Circumstances have changed. I will not be keeping this horse. She is being returned to the seller. Not really up to talking about it at this time.