Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gone Fishin'?


Here's the list of reasons I haven't been blogging. You can skip this part if you just want to get to equine updates:
1. All of a sudden I got VERY BUSY, mostly because the academic job search season began. It's still ongoing, so my blog posting might remain sporadic for awhile. We'll just have to see.
2. Related, I really need(ed) to get back into the groove of academic writing and publishing. Between having two jobs, my own horses to take care of, and 2+ horses to ride, it's been a struggle to find time. See #1.
3. I got and remain furious over the events over the summer relating to Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and the other rash of police murders of black people in the US. So writing about horses just wasn't on my priority list, even though my actual horses remain central to my life. I won't write about it here, except to say that #blacklivesmatter.
4. Winter means a lot more effort into barn work (not that it isn't already a lot of work) and the holidays are what they are.

Okay, so! How are all the critters? That's what you really want to know. I'll catch you up on the riding horses, Mo and Red, today. The rest of the zoo can wait, in the interest of actually getting something on the site.

You guys. You guys. Mo is the greatest. 

Looks sleepy, was actually a bit of a wild man.

His first grid--not the one described. He rocked it.
Okay, so we have a couple of days every couple of weeks wherein he's like "I AM A GREEN THOROUGHBRED!!!" and he bucks and acts like kiiiiiind of a jerk. But M and I just laugh at him and put him to work. If M is in the ring, she'll set up a grid or something. Even if he wants to buck all the way down the long side, he gets into the grid and is a BOSS. Earlier this month, for instance, it was a bounce to a bounce to a two stride to a two stride to a bounce to a bounce. The jumps were low (the middle jump was probably a 2'3" vertical and that was the biggest), but that is a HARD grid. He read it perfectly, every single time. This horse has to be the most natural jumper I've ever sat on. He gets there, he reads the question, and he answers the question. The shape he takes in the air is phenomenal.

After his three-week break.
His flat work is coming along pretty well, too. He's got a butter-soft mouth. Sometimes, of course, he has little temper fits or his body gets sore or his brain is overworked and he doesn't want to give to the bit. But most of the time (even Saturday, when he'd had probably 3 weeks off) he is a treasure. We're still struggling mightily with the canter, and getting that sorted out is my #1 training priority. We need to work on canter departs on both leads (no more starting-gate racehorse stuff, pls), getting the right lead (seriously, horse, you are the soundest animal alive, and one of the most athletic--YOU CAN DO THIS), and then finding a rhythm (fair enough for where he is).

Of course, now it's winter, and we're not riding much, but at least he's still cute to look at. Of course, the weather took a real nosedive shortly after I trace clipped him (terribly--this is a skill I must practice). M and I might haul over to a friend's indoor a few times a week, but that can only happen on days when the roads are perfect. Also, because I work in the afternoons, I have to ride in the morning. Often the footing in M's ring will be frozen in the mornings but thawed by the afternoon, so she can ride but I can't. It's true that I could drive my mom's rig 30 minutes to M's, then another 30ish minutes to the indoor, then back to M's, and then home. But I can't afford the gas to do all that driving, and that's two hours of driving alone. So this might just be a low-riding winter. That's okay--he can have extra time for naps.
When the naps are this cute, you can take all you like.

I've actually gotten to ride Red a little more often than Mo. For one thing, the footing doesn't have to be totally perfect to hack him out.

It was about 30 degrees this day. We had a wonderful ride.
Not from the day of our field trip, but how cute is he???

 I know he isn't going to pull any silly baby antics, because he is not a silly baby. I don't have to lunge him at all, and although some walks would be better if I could boot him out in front of my leg to trot a bit, if we can't, it's fine. Mom and I did haul him and Teddy over to our friend's gorgeous ring a little over a week ago, and that was a lot of fun. Red was convinced he was there for a jump school and was on his tippy toes for a solid 30 minutes. He never did one single bad thing, but he was WOUND UP. It was hilarious.

Because Red runs hot, he also got a trace clip. I think I did a better job on his than on Mo's, but whatever. Hair grows back.

This was how I spent my Christmas Eve night because I'm totally normal.

This is the face I'd get when I had to give him meds. Nice, huh?

Red gave me two scares. The first, and more serious, was a bout of colitis. It's impossible to know what caused it. It was a challenging time, because I was worried about how sick he was and because I had to give him so much medicine. Red, I learned, is impossible to dose. I seriously cried a couple times. And he would barely touch feed at all, certainly not when it had evil poison medicine in it.

We got through that, though, and after maybe a week, he cut his inner right forearm and his leg BLEW. UP. Fortunately, by then, his appetite had returned enough that I could sneak the doxycycline in his food. Some doxy, some banamine, and some cold hosing, and he turned around. I've seen a couple tendon sheath infections and I don't need to see any more, but I think his swelling was mostly edema. So now we're back to having fun riding whenever I can.

I redeemed myself with lots and lots of peppermints.

So that's it! I'll be catching up on all of your blogs, too. Sorry you haven't been hearing from me. It's not because I don't care, I promise!


  1. So glad to see you back! Seriously Mo and Prisoner sucked all the amazing blaze face fabulousness of the universe into themselves, how did we get so lucky!?

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  3. So glad that all is well with you are the boys. Best of luck with the research position search. I'll keep everything crossed for you ☺

  4. Wow, Red looks so much better!

    1. Thanks! I'm thrilled with him. I actually just cut his grain back. I love cutting grain.

  5. Love, love LOVE the ponies! Glad things are going well -- I need to be a better friend and text you more!! Miss you <3 <3 <3

  6. yay welcome back! glad the horses are doing so well !!

  7. Yay you're back!! Best of luck on the job hunt. Your boys are handsome as always :)

  8. Life is busy but blog when ya can! I love your cute boys :)

  9. *new reader here!

    Firstly - So happy for you and the big blazed guy - you seem over the moon about him!

    Secondly - where in the world did you get that gorgeous figure-8 bridle? It's beautiful!

    Thirdly - winter is the worst, THE WORST!

    Lastly - so glad Red is back on the mend, it's crazy how I can be injured and be totally cool about it because, you know, we heal. But horse injuries - those are scary as shit. Fingers crossed for you and no more scares!