Thursday, September 22, 2011

Busy Week, Not Much Horsey Time

This has been one of those weeks. So many things piling up in the week's schedule and Joey is the one on the back burner. I did get to work with him this past Tuesday evening and took a short walk/trot ride in the indoor arena. It was our first time riding in the indoor after dark. Our arena is one of those Cover-All type buildings. I was ready for anything. One thing that I was glad for was that there was a drill team lesson going on with about 8 school horses (they were all kids and were just practicing their patterns at the walk, Whew!) and a boarder was exercising Ruby for his owner so I had lots of company.

Incidentally, Joey is stabled across the aisle from Ruby, the wonderful old show horse that I half boarded up until I was injured earlier this year. And Joey has taken a liking to the old campaigner! My horse has excellent taste in friends/role models! ;)

So Joey had lots of quiet horses to experience the indoor at night with. And he was a good boy. He wanted so badly to peek out the open door at the far end each time we rode past, as it looked like a big black hole compared to the brightness of indoors. But he wasn't spooky and all I had to do was gently push him into a little shoulder in to focus him on moving forward and inside past the door and paying attention to me.


The only thing that gave him the wide-eyed snorts was when we were finished. I had dismounted and was leading him outside the arena back to the barn when he swung his head around and stared at the building glowing from the lights inside. I guess he's never seen one of those fabric over steel frame buildings when it's lit up at night, LOL! He took a good long look, then turned his head back to me, and kept walking with me back to the barn.

I can't wait until the end of this week when I have time to work with him again. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Worked at a Horse Show!

Yesterday I fulfilled a promise to a friend to help her out at one of the horse shows she organizes. My schedule was open and I worked as a desk person. I basically took open checks and cash, handled entries and post entries, passed out show numbers and freed up the woman who handles all the important stuff involving record keeping and such to focus on getting everything entered on her laptop as quickly and correctly as possible.

And it was a blast! It was fun to see old familiar faces from my horse show days and the glimmer of recognition when they realized it was me. I have lost track of time and forgotten how long I've been out of that world. The best was when my own trainer walked in and saw me there. He got this evil grin on his face and said, "I didn't know you were working this one." and I smiled and said, 'You didn't ask." Then we cracked up. I know he found it amusing.

It's the first time I was behind the secretary's desk at a show. I'm so used to being on the other side. I would definitely do it again!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Over a Month Gone By

Yes, that's a picture of Joey's bit. I don't take enough pictures and figured it would be nice to start off with a photo. So this was the first thing I could think of. Besides, I love that he goes very nicely in such a soft, gentle snaffle.

So it is over a month gone by and Joey is a lovely horse. Whenever someone asks me "How's it going?" or "How's he doing?" my answer is always. "Great, and the thing I love most about him is he's the same horse every time I work with him."

Hot sunny day = quiet, steady Joey
Windy overcast day before hurricane Irene = quiet, steady Joey
Riding out in the grass field near the woods = quiet, steady Joey
Riding around the property and into the indoor arena = quiet, steady Joey
Riding outside in the evening as it gets dark without the lights on = quiet, steady Joey
Fire truck leaves the fire house across the street with lots of noise and lights = quiet, steady Joey
Horse turned out in paddock next to riding ring takes off bucking and farting = quiet, steady Joey
Just say the word "Whoa" = quiet, steady Joey will immediately stop and stand still!

I feel like I'm holding my breath, like I'm subconsciously waiting for him to be a jerk. However, I am not nervous at all around him, even riding. I guess I also feel like when he finally does spook or something, if his attitude is any indication it should be something I can handle in the saddle.

Whoever started this 6 year old horse has my utmost respect. I did get to talk with the man who sold him to me about two weeks after I'd bought him and he asked me how the horse was working out. He got the same answer as above. He said good, he was glad to hear it and that I had lucked out and gotten an exceptionally good horse. Then he told me that Joey came from a farm in Virginia and the woman who owns the farm had been calling him to try and sell more of her horses as apparently she has a lot of horses.

This woman also fox hunts and he told me Joey was used as a "guest horse" on the hunts as he is so quiet. Made sense to me and also made me feel even better about buying him since he supposedly has experience doing what I want us to do!

I wish I could contact this woman who sold him through the horse dealer to let her know Joey is safe with me and in a loving, forever home. The fact that he's such a sweet, gentle animal, I know if I had to sell him, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't know what sort of home he had gone to.

And another benefit of all this is I have been trying very hard to ride 3-4 times a week and my knee seems to be getting stronger. I rarely wear a brace except when riding and in the saddle I use the Professional's Choice Miracle Knee Support which is supportive but very flexible.
I can dismount almost by jumping off the way I used to and there is no pain at all. I even run up and down flights of stairs at home and at work with no pain or instability.

Oh, I am still aware of the damage, the knee does not feel "quite right" and is still a little stiffer than the other one. I also cannot collapse the joint completely to sit in a kneeling position. If I try that, it isn't painful but it is extremely tight and very hard to make it flex enough to sit with any comfort. But I can work on that I guess with stretching and if I can't sit/kneel anymore I guess that will be okay.

So maybe surgery can be put off for awhile. That's what the ortho doc I went to for my second opinion told me and I'm kind of agreeing more and more.

And there is a hunter pace coming up in November that I am toying with the idea of attending. It's nice to be able to plan again. Even if I don't go, it's nice to know I COULD go if I wanted to.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Product Review: Absorbine UltraShield EX Continuous Spray

I was the lucky winner of fellow horse blogger "On The Bit's" Absorbine UltraShield EX Continuous Spray giveaway contest.

You can read about the contest and look for my submission here: Absorbine Giveaway! New UltraShield EX Continuous Spray

and this post announces me as the winner: And the winner is…

I was happy to have won, first because it's always fun to win a prize and second because now that I have a horse again, I needed to replenish all my daily care supplies!

Absorbine's fly sprays have always been good stuff. They work well and the stronger formulas are perfect for this time of the year when the flies are particularly nasty. My horse Joey is pretty tolerant of flies but for the past week they have been really annoying. This fly spray gave him relief the entire time I was riding.

The continuous spray applicator can is great! I've used this kind of sprayer before to apply sunscreen and it's so easy to work with. It's very quiet and though my horse is very calm about such things, I'd bet it would be worth trying it on a horse who is less tolerant of spray bottles. It's also nice that this bottle does not leak, even if it falls over. Sometimes the traditional sprayers will make an awful mess if you have the bad luck to have one fall over in your tack trunk. (yes, been there, cleaned that up :P)

I was fortunate to get my bottle as a prize but I researched prices for both this spray applicator and the traditional spray bottles. The only consideration is that you only get about half the product for roughly the same cost as the traditional spray bottle. With that in mind, I would recommend it for your horse show kit as it is easy and neat to pack up and you won't be using it every day and to try using it on a horse who is not happy with traditional spray bottles to see if the horse will tolerate it better and perhaps learn from this applicator to accept the usual spray bottles.

Thanks again to On The Bit for the contest and to Absorbine for continuing to give us horsemen innovative and useful products to choose from.