June’s First Week Back

I really can’t express how impressed I am with this mare since she has been back.

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So pretty!

I figured in her first week we would take it a bit easy, and on Day 2 I brought her in for grooming and she was great.  I then put her in the round pen to see what, if anything, she remembered. Mare was 100% game and not only did she remember things, she had an attitude of “ok, now what would you like?” I’d had an issue with her not wanting to be caught  from her field last summer and so Trainer Dana had me work on teaching her to come towards me when I opened my arms, with lunge whips in each hand. If she went sideways I’d keep her from going anywhere with the whip. If she squared to me, I’d slink a little, avoid eye contact and invite her to come towards me. One step forward and pressure was released, I backed up as she came forward. It worked amazingly well, despite my  not believing it would and June never had an issue with being caught again.

On this day, I thought I’d see if she remembered any of that. I only had one whip, but I opened my arms, took a step back and June walked right up to me.

I think the best decision I made was to send her to Trainer Dana prior to letting her rest all winter. Clearly she has retained that info and is ready to move forward.

Day 3 she got off because Stella had surgery and I was in Boise. I took advantage of being unable to work her and had her get her spring vaccinations.

Day 4 we did a little round pen work, a little grooming, and then I took her to the obstacle course. As always with her, if she understands the question, she is game to do her darndest. In a few instances I got in front of her shoulder, which she thinks means whoa and we had some difficulty walking over the bridge or teeter totter. But she did everything I asked, when I asked correctly, and  her favorite is still climbing on the tires.

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What’s the big deal, mom?

Day 5 it was lunging in the indoor arena. I decided to throw some trot poles down as well as the liverpool. I walked her up to the liverpool and we walked over it with zero hesitation. This was a physically demanding day for an unfit pony. Lots of trotting, walking and trotting over the liverpool on the lunge line, and figuring out where her feet are through the trot poles. I could tell she was getting tired when she stopped and looked at me. I urged her forward and she literally threw her head and squealed! Then totally trotted forward. I appreciate the sass almost as much as how quickly she acquiesced.

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I like to watch her trot…

Day 6 she got her teeth floated. And I took advantage of the drugs and trimmed her bridle path, fetlock feathers and butchered her tail a bit. Whoops!

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She’s kinda a lightweight

Day 7 I brought her into the indoor and we worked on standing politely while being groomed, she wore front shipping boots and hind xc boots and we walked around. She was not happy about the rear boots so I left them on while I saddled her and walked her around the barn with her saddle on and stirrups swinging around. She didn’t protest about any of it.

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More tires, please?

I’m pleasantly surprised by how much she grew up this winter and how great her attitude is. We’ll begin taking lessons in May, so in the meantime I plan on just de-sensitizing her to as much as possible and getting her fit enough to begin work under saddle. It’s been great having her back, she brings much needed happiness to each day.  I’m thinking this will be a fun summer together!

 

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Fraggle Friday: Stella Update!

After spending two nights in the hospital, Stella came home yesterday! I can’t even describe how much I had missed her. I would be out doing something and think “I need to get home and let Stella out” forgetting entirely she wasn’t home. Or, worse yet, I’d wake up at night and think “I need to check on Stella” only to sadly remember she wasn’t home. When feeding the dogs I filled her bowl as well, out of habit. I’ve literally never spent a night at home without her. In over 14 years.

So, she’s home again, just this time with a huge scar along her back.

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#frankenpuppy

She’s really, really, doped up. I forgot how badly Morphine kicks her butt. She was on it for her TPLO surgery as well, and she can barely walk, and just seems a bit zombie like when she is on it. That said, it does keep her very comfortable and quiet and she slept from the moment we got home at 9:15 until I woke her at 4am for some water and a potty break. She reluctantly got up, went out to potty (with the sling, she still doesn’t have full use of her back legs) and then went right back to sleep until it was time for more meds at 6:45am.

Because I am not getting a lot of sleep and because she gets all sorts of meds at all sorts of times I created a bit of a pharmacy and log for myself.

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There’s nothing worse than not knowing what med to give or wondering if you remembered to give it at 4am.

Siri still wants to cuddle with her, which is sweet, but I worry if Stella really enjoys it, so I limit it a bit. Even though it is adorable.

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Being very respectful of Stella’s space

We’ll see how Stella does once she’s off the morphine. She’s trying to use her back legs a bit, which is encouraging. We’ll begin weaning her off of the Prednisone Sunday, according to my chart, which is a relief but I always worry she may become painful again. I took most of this week off of work, and expect that for the next week or so I’ll be in full on nurse mode.

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It’s great to have her back home, fingers crossed her recovery goes smoothly. Thanks for all your well wishes! I will say I’m excited to update you on June, she’s been doing so great, but didn’t want to leave you all in the dark about Stell. So, get ready for upcoming June posts!

xoxo

Stella, Siri and Nadia

 

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Decisions

Ten days ago, walking with the dogs, Stella lost control of her back end. She was swaying back and forth, as well as stumbling and falling down. I took my coat off, used it as a sling, took a video, and once home, with her resting comfortably sent the video to a veterinarian friend.

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Screenshot of her drunken sailor walk

She immediately called me and thought Stella may have had a “spinal seizure” or embolism. She recommended Prednisone and to see if she improved any.

She didn’t improve much, and so Stella and I took a 2.5 hour trip to see our favorite orthopedic specialist. He suspected a herniated disc, and because of her age, wanted to see if meds and acupuncture might get the inflammation down and the disc to stop being so angry.

That was a week ago and what a roller coaster it has been. Stella would get a bit better for a day, then regress. Then better to where she could take a few steps, and then fall. Then it got to where she really needed my help walking all the time, and I realized I needed to make a decision asap before she became more neurologic.

During my first trip to see the ortho vet, I was speaking to a friend and said “I need you to be the voice of reason and make sure I don’t agree to doing surgery.” When she didn’t respond I realized the connection had been cut off and she hadn’t heard me. But at the time, I was adamant that my 14 year old dog would not be having back surgery.

But, then I had a week with her. A week where she was the same, opinionated, dog I loved so much. Not being able to get up on her own was frustrating for her, but she had me trained pretty quickly. A mumble and grumble that lasted more than the time it took for her to get comfy on her bed meant she was thirsty and needed me to bring her water bowl to her. When she was feeling good, she’d try to trot and go smell things, despite the fact that I was attached to her via a sling around her back end and was asking her to go the other way. The steroids made her hungry, but she would still look at me like “this is the best you’ve got?” before voraciously eating her kibble. She patiently waited for me to get the crazy dogs out before getting her up, and she always let me know if she wanted to go out the back door or front door (front door if she had to poop because then she’d get a longer walk).

Two days prior to the herniated disc, my old dog went on a trot about with me and Georgie. She had a blast. One day before she hurt her back she was gleefully trotting around the barn eating as much poop as possible before I put her back in the car.

And while she certainly can act much younger than the number assigned to her, she is still an old dog. She tore her second ACL (for which we decided not to do surgery as she was getting along ok and had the other repaired one to lean on) and gets stiff and sore with lots of exercise. She is like an old lady that hates being out of her routine. She wants to be at home, on a walk, or in my car. She can’t see or hear very well anymore and chaos or change really stresses her out. Getting her to eat, some days, is nearly impossible. She literally won’t eat the same thing two days in a row. So yeah, she’s old. And some days are harder for her than others.

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Siri tried to comfort her as much as possible

So in the past week, I have gone back and forth about surgery. For one thing, the cost was incredibly prohibitive. I hadn’t been saving for some elective procedure, this was a surprise that I was not prepared for. But even more than that, how would an old dog do under anesthesia? Is she strong enough to bounce back from spinal surgery? Should I put my elderly dog through this complicated a procedure?

My veterinarian felt she was a good candidate for surgery. Her blood work and chest x-rays were all within normal limits. The procedure has a 90% success rate and she would be under anesthesia for far shorter a time than I had anticipated. She should feel immediate relief even if it takes her a little longer to gain full use of her legs.

So, after 10 days of my dog not doing well, and not improving, I felt I had to say yes to surgery. I had had ten days of the Stella I know and love. The Stella that rules my household and likes it that way. Ten days with the easiest patient, who trusted I would take her out to potty every four hours and make sure she always had fresh water. She was no different from the dog she had been 11 days ago except that she couldn’t use her back legs very well.

Euthanasia was not an option for me. For my dog Squirrel, who had cancer and one night was in so much pain trying to breathe, euthanasia was the kindest option. She wasn’t going to get better. Her condition was not treatable. But Stella’s condition was treatable. She wasn’t getting better with meds and acupuncture, so, for me, the decision was clear. I had to do surgery on my 14 year old dog.

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My dogs laying together does not get old for me

I was surprised by the reaction I got from some about this decision. The grimace they would make when I told them I was going to do surgery. The judgement I felt about a decision that was so incredibly personal. A decision that none of them had to be in, and I hoped never would have to be. And to be honest, if they made a different decision when presented with the situation, that’s completely fine by me. The toughest part of caring for an animal is that we have to make decisions for them. We try to make the best one we possibly can. It’s not easy, and for me, I have cried and cried and cried over it. But I believe I made the right decision.

Stella is in surgery as I write this. I am anxiously awaiting a call from the doctor in the next 10-15 minutes telling me she’s in recovery. Please let her be in recovery.

I have no idea how hard it will be for her post op. But I’ll be with her literally every step of the way. I know she’ll be in less pain and I am hoping my stubborn, tough, dog will make a full recovery and have some quality time left with me. If she doesn’t, I know I’ve done everything I could for her. I know I’ve given her every chance to keep going, and even if she can’t anymore, I did what I could.

So for any and all of you who are struggling with decisions, I’m sorry. I now understand how deeply personal they are, and how sometimes, there isn’t “the right” decision. There’s just the decision you make that you think is best. And I believe that’s all we can do for the animals in our lives.

*** I just heard from the surgeon and Stella is out of surgery and recovering in ICU well!

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She’s Home!

This was a week where I could use something to make me happy. And leave it to my baby horse to help me with the task.

For those of you who kindly commented on my Fraggle Friday post, Stella is doing ok, but this week will be one of decisions, I’ll keep you posted on her for sure. We’re not out of the woods by any means

But this is a horse blog, so for now, lets talk about the baby horse!

Sarah and I went and picked up Desi and June Saturday and the trip was completely uneventful. Which is exactly what you want when you are hauling young horses! They both loaded up into the trailer with no issues. Then ate all their hay for the 5 hour journey.

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So curious at the stop for fuel!

When we got home the wind was at hurricane level, but both horses unloaded calmly and June went right into her stall and began to munch even more hay. When I left her she was like “see ya mom, I got hay to eat.”

Exactly the kind of reaction I would want for a horse that just had the most stressful day she’s had in 5 months. ❤

Media is not good, and I apologize. But baby horse had been experiencing mud season and looked it. So, I let her run around prior to grooming and was hoping I could take shots from far enough away that her filth wouldn’t be as obvious.

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I trotted her around a bit and then brought her in and groomed her. Her manners were still in place, but she got bored about 20 minutes in and began pawing. Instead of making a huge fuss I just untied her, had her move her feet, re tied her and got on with it. She looks much better now and tomorrow we’ll get to some real work.

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She’s grown a little, and greyed a lot. Is that a word? You know what I mean…

I’m just over the moon to have her back, and over the moon with how sensible she was on the trailer and her first day back. I’m so excited to get started with her and see what our future holds. Be prepared for more media and lots of June spam.

I do want to take a moment and give a shout out to my good friend Haley and her horse Tommy. You may remember that I rode him last winter and learned a ton. He was such a different ride for me and I struggled, but he was such a good boy and very patient with me. Tommy had been a rock star at Prelim and Haley just moved up to Intermediate with him at Galway, last week. They rocked around like total pros. She’s an inspiration to me and I am so thrilled with how far their partnership has come. It’s fun when a friend succeeds after lots of hard work. June and I are eager to have half their accomplishments.

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Go rock stars!

Here’s to new beginnings with June and hopefully an incredibly fun season!

 

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Fraggle Friday: The Trouble With Old Dogs

Is that they’re old.

Or, at least, their body is old.

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Lots of sleepy time in her bagel bed

And while age is just a number, at 14 1/2 years old, it’s a number that is beginning to take its toll on sweet Stella.

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One of my all time favorite pics

On Saturday she began to walk like a drunken sailor. Just, out of the blue.

So, a vet visit later and some serious steroids, she became a bit more stable, but is still requiring a sling around her back-end for support.

On Tuesday we visited the orthopedic specialist I have on speed dial and he confirmed she had a herniated disc in her lumbar spine. He sees this in old dogs quite often.

More steroids, anti inflammatory drugs and acupuncture were all prescribed.

But only 50% of dogs get better without surgery.

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When we were both much younger

So, can you send Stella some healing thoughts? I need her to be a part of that 50%.

 

 

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June’s Genes

I want to start this post with a disclaimer. I really don’t know much about stallions and pedigree. I’ve always had hand me down horses or horses that I could financially afford. The pedigree of these horses never mattered to me. What mattered was their heart, their soundness, and what was going on between their ears. So, never in my life did I think I’d be writing a post highlighting my horse’s pedigree.

But June’s is special enough (for me at least) that it’s worth getting excited about and delving into her ancestry a bit.

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Doing what she does best…

So here goes.

June’s father is Riverman. If you haven’t heard of Riverman, you’re probably more similar to me than you knew, because apparently we have been living under a rock. This stallion has been around forever. No, like FOREVER. He was born in 1990. How he is still alive is a testament to his care, because that is one old stallion. And how he is still producing semen??? Anyway. We’ll move on.

Riverman is quite the famous stallion. For one thing, his offspring excel in all sorts of disciplines. Eventing, jumping, dressage, and even competitive driving! For me, there are two aspects of Riverman that are really appealing. For one thing, he has been the USEF Lead Eventing Sire 3 times. His babies are out there doing their thing! Which leads me to what else I like about this horse.. his offspring seem to get his talent time and time again. Now, I’m sure there are some duds, but in looking at pages and pages of his offspring, these are some TALENTED babies! Whether jumping or prancing, you can tell they’re a little bit fancier than your average horse. One of my favorite Riverman babies was R-Star ridden by Kristi Nunnick. Mare was fun to watch and so athletic! Currently, one to watch is Fleeceworks Royal, ridden by Tamie Smith.

I hope June inherits his athleticism, I already think she looks a bit like him when he was a baby..

But he is only one part of the equation. Lets not forget about June’s momma!

“Mille Mocha Lynx” is a Quarter Horse who’s babies have gone on to be cutters, jumpers and pleasure/trail horses. She has the QH brain people envy and has she seems to pass this along to her offspring.

I will fully admit I know nada about QH pedigree. But from what I gather, she is related to Doc Lynx somehow and that’s a good line of horses? Lol, I’m so out of my realm on this one. Her breeder told me that her line of Quarter Horses tend to be quite hardy and athletic. When I visited her she seemed like a friendly mare without any conformation flaws. I’m hoping June inherits her brain.

Perhaps what is most exciting is I that have a front row view of every move June’s half-sister makes. Rapid just moved up to Training after crushing it at the Novice level. (She’ll be at AECs this year!) Having ridden Rapid, I can attest to what a lovely mover she is. Her canter is a dream to ride. So uphill. Fingers crossed June gets this quality! Any time Rapid does anything remotely naughty, I’m sure to blame it on her Connemara mom. Not her Holsteiner pappa. (This is the only time I EVER fault an Irish horse for anything.)

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yes please

And while June’s full brother isn’t a competition horse, he is proving to be a lovely level-headed gelding. In 2013 he placed first at Rebecca Farm in the FEH 2 year old class. He has a junior rider who he’s caring for and he’s proving to be scopey and smart and with a temperament suited to an amateur. Lets hope the same qualities are found in his sister!

While only time will tell the horse June will become, I’m excited with this glimpse I have into her pedigree. I think if nothing else, we’re off to a good start!

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Thank You, Macy

As the Macy chapter comes to an end, I’ve been thinking back to all I have learned from her and all I have to be thankful for. Macy has taught me a lot. And I am well aware that this isn’t the first time I have said that. But she has taught me things beyond how to do a shoulder in correctly, or flying lead change, or any of the other upper level horse tricks she’s got. She taught me some other things that will be far more important for my riding career moving forward. And because of that, I’d like to thank Macy for teaching me the following.

  1. Even the most honest horse needs you to bring your 50% to the partnership.

Macy is truly one of the most honest horses I have ever ridden to a jump. She is not a stopper. She doesn’t run out. I think she really enjoys jumping and flicking her tail high in the air no matter the size of the jump.

Bu that doesn’t mean I never had a stop on her. There are two stops I can remember, and in both of them I was riding her backwards. In the first instance I was inadvertently shortening her and shortening her to the cross country obstacle, until she was finally like ” are you asking me to stop?” And so she did. She honestly couldn’t understand why I was pulling back on the way to a jump. So I got reamed by Sarah and next time I kept my leg on, kept my elbows moving, and we had a lovely ride.

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The jump we stopped at the first time. Clearly the second time around Macy approved of my riding

In the second instance, we were schooling a course that involved a drop into water. I was tired, and distracted, and not riding like someone who was going Training in a month. I was just letting Macy take me around the course and asking nothing of her. We came to the drop into water and about 3 strides out I felt her pause, but I thought “she doesn’t stop” and did absolutely nothing. And she stopped. And I, once again, got reamed, and came around again and had a lovely approach where my leg was on, I actually rode, and lo and behold we had no issues. I actually appreciated that stop from Macy as I rode much better the rest of the day and it was our last cross country school together. We schooled some prelim lines and I got to feel what was needed to be an appropriately aggressive rider.

So, thanks Macy, for reminding me that no matter what horse I’m riding I need to actually ride. It’s not fair to not show up and let our horses cover our ass just because they can.

2.  A 2* Horse Isn’t a Programmed Robot

So…. I’ll admit something. I maybe used to think that people who bought upper level horses didn’t have to do anything to get them to continue to be upper level horses. Like, I thought that you bought an upper level horse because they are essentially robots that require no work to win dressage or jump courses with no faults. Maybe this is the case for some horses, but it certainly wasn’t the case with Macy. Sarah did a great job bringing Macy along. She didn’t cut corners and despite a conformation and tenseness that didn’t lend itself to making dressage easy, Sarah did a really great job with this mare and was competitive through 2*. So, I figured I would hop on her and we’d magically be doing half passes and lengthenings and it would be EASY.

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It’d be no time until I, too, would be wearing a shadbelly and having beautiful dressage tests.

Um, even when Macy was her best self, none of it was easy. I had to work for all of it. Macy doesn’t magically sit on her ass and work in an uphill frame. She doesn’t magically use her back and become loose and swingy.  You have to work for all of that. And while she can see a distance better than I can, she still needed to be told not to rush to that distance. She had to be reminded that sometimes my way was better and she needed to listen. My point is, you still need to work your ass off, even with a “broke” horse. It’s just a different kind of work.

Thanks for changing my perspective, Macy.

3. You Learn the Most From the Ones That Challenge You.

In the beginning, I will fully admit that Macy was not good for me. I was losing confidence, not learning anything, and basically dreaded having to ride her. But when I took a step back, and realized I should only be riding her in lessons, things started to click. Maybe it was the consistency, maybe it was the Quiessence, or maybe I was just becoming a stronger, more competent rider, but it didn’t take very long for me to make it work with Macy. I even went so far as to take her off property by myself on hacks. (Honestly, I still can’t believe I asked to do this and can only imagine how relieved Sarah was when I texted her all went well and we were headed home).

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This may actually be Georgie, but still a pretty picture so is getting included.

Macy kept pushing me. She kept challenging me. And 90% of the time, I accepted the challenge. Now, when she attempts to bolt, I laugh. I shut her down within a stride and get her back to work. It doesn’t scare me. In fact, it happens so infrequently that when it does, I see it mainly as an inconvenience or annoyance.

Thanks Macy for challenging me and helping me become a better rider.

4. Ride What’s Underneath You

If I got on Macy all nervous and anxious, our rides didn’t go well. But over time, I realized that if I didn’t get on her with the expectation she was going to be squirrely, if I just got on her and got to work and felt what was happening, rather than expect anything, our rides were so much better. It was hard with Macy because I never knew what horse I would have that day. But this attitude of, lets see how you feel, rather than, this is going to be a fight, made our rides so much better. I remember riding her one day and thinking how loose and relaxed she felt and realized that it was possible for her to be like that, so I should ride what I feel and perhaps I’ll ride a loose and relaxed horse.

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On this day I felt a horse who didn’t think I was as funny as I thought I was…

This will be so so important with bringing up green baby horse and I honestly can’t thank Macy enough for helping me with this.

5. Having a Trainer who is also your best friend has it’s perks

So, if I’m going to thank Macy in this post, it’s only right for me to thank Sarah as well. I have no idea why she had the confidence in me that I could ride Macy, but she did. When I was grieving over the loss of my heart horse, she offered me hers. And I honestly cannot thank her enough for that. Somewhat miraculously, me riding her heart horse, who isn’t an easy ride, has made us closer friends. Were there times we both had tears in our eyes because Macy was being so difficult for me and we were worried it would affect our friendship? Sure. But we managed to have open and honest conversations and Sarah never lost faith in us as a team. She understood my struggles and supported any and all decisions I wanted to make. I think she liked watching her old girl safely carry her friend over jumps, and watch her friend learn new things on a horse that she had trained since a baby. In the end, it worked out quite well for both Macy and I, I believe.

So thanks Sarah. For letting me ride your heart horse and everything that came along with it.

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Here’s to more mimosas and fun together!

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Fraggle Friday: Welcome Lucy!

When you work for a humane society, people expect you to have lots and lots of animals. I feel very strongly that my home environment can’t be chaotic, it’s not fair to my pets. So, I limit myself to two dogs. There are certainly days two feels like twenty, but for the most part, it works and my two dogs get plenty of attention and exercise.

Now, that said, when a fantastic dog comes into the shelter, I do my damndest to find it a home…and sometimes, if the dog is bearded and fantastic, that home is with one of my family members. My Dad more specifically.

So, when a dog named Peekaboo got posted on a nearby shelter’s FB page, I had to call them and find out what her deal was.

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Her story was a sad one. Her owner had died and she had been brought to the shelter.

I went and picked her up the next day. She was in raging heat (so gross) and incredibly scared. But she loaded up into the crate, and I brought her to our shelter where she’d be medically and behaviorally assessed.

I figured I had done what I could for her. Her days of being a breeding dog were behind her and with the rave reviews she was getting from our behavior evaluator and the rest of the staff, I knew she’d find a home soon.

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And while there were lots of inquiries, no one adopted her.

So, I called my Dad and asked if he wanted a 3rd dog. All it took was showing him her picture and telling him how lovely she was and he was sold. Unlike me, he has a horse farm with lots of acreage and can handle a third dog. He also requested a name change, and my theory is “you adopt it, you can name it whatever you want.”

So for now she’s with me, and my crew.

Until I figure out a way to get her back east. She’s as perfect as I had hoped and the easiest houseguest. She gets along with all my animals, loves to go for hikes, and is even fairly great off leash for the breed.

I’m glad she’s one of the ones I could help and I’m lucky to have family that support what I do. So. welcome Lucy, formerly Peekaboo, to our family!

 

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June Plans

Let’s be honest. There has not been nearly enough posting about June. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been obsessively thinking about her and all the plans I have for her future.

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Our first selfie…

So, here’s a rough look at what this spring/summer is going to look like for the mare, along with some pics from this past summer. These are the plans with a capital P, I won’t bore you with all the minutia of what our daily plans will look like.  Obvi any of this can change at a moments notice because not only is she a horse, she’s a baby horse.

Plan 1: April 7th, get June on the trailer and get her home. This may prove harder than it sounds, but I’m hopeful she hasn’t become feral in the last 5 months and will remember her manners.

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Sold the trailer… but she better get in whichever one I pick her up with…

Plan 2: Attend local jumper show and bring June. I want her to get used to chaotic show environments, but want to start out in a friendly, laid back, environment. We have a show 2 hours away that should fit the bill perfectly. She’ll get to hang out ringside, and learn about spending the night away from home without becoming too attached to the horse stabled next to her…

Plan 3: Sans June, attend the Spokane Horse Trials where they offer a FEH 4 year old class. This class is new as of last year, (FEH 4 year old class)and unlike the YEH 4 year old class, horses aren’t expected to be going Novice. They’re expected to be babies that can enter a W/T/C class (I’m picturing it to be like an Equitation class). They’re also judged on conformation. Only at championships are they  sent down a free jumping chute. I’m excited that USEA is offering this class as it’s so much more my pace. I’m really interested in seeing the class before deciding if I want to commit to entering June in one. Plus, good friends are going to this event, so it should be fun!

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Her first saddle pad! I made sure it was purple

Plan 4: Pony June off of Georgie. This is sort of  a wild dream, as neither mare is particularly friendly with other horses, but the idea of Georgie showing June the ropes out on the trail, while getting both of them some conditioning, would make me so happy.

Plan 5: Start taking lessons with June in May. Not sure what these lessons will entail, but I will want homework! Maybe its a hack around the property with another horse,  maybe it’s learning about different bit options, or how to start a baby horse thoughtfully under saddle, but regardless I’m excited!

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Look good in a bridle? DONE!

Plan 6:  Enter June in the FEH 4 year old class at Rebecca Farm. I am not sure this goal will be attainable, but I’m putting it out there. If June isn’t ready, we’ll re route to Spokane in the fall. But it’d be awfully fun to have June at one of my favorite places, and I know we’d both learn a ton at this venue.

Plan 7 aka Alternate to Plan 6: Enter the FEH 4 year old class at Spokane Horse Trials in the fall (early October). I think I’ve already convinced SprinklerBandits to go with me, as the rest of my barn will be competing elsewhere.

And the rest? Well, we will hopefully have a long future together so I can only Plan so far out. It’s fun to think about ALL THE THINGS, and I’m literally counting down the days until she returns!

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Favorite Macy Memories

I’ve been wanting to write this post, but also kinda dreading it, as I’ll have to sort through lots of old media, and patience is not something I have a lot of… But old grey mare deserves this post and in the end, it’ll be fun for me to reflect on the good times.

In no particular order, here they are!

  1. Gary Mittleider Clinic:  Gary Mittleider Clinic                                                             Where Macy and I signed up for a clinic with Sarah’s trainer and it would be just Sarah, her trainer, and me in the lesson. Could have been a disaster, but wasn’t. In fact it went really, really, well. I think it was one of the few times I felt like I could actually ride this mare.

    IMG_6029

    Happiness

  2. New Year’s Shenanigans    New Year’s Shenanigans

    I love the tradition I’ve started by doing something horsey on New Year’s Day with Sarah. And this one was particularly fun because Sarah got to surprise me with what jumps we would be doing. Never would I have thought I’d enjoy a surprise with Macy. But I knew the mare would jump anything, so it took the pressure off and we were able to just have fun.IMG_7725

3.  And Then He Clapped    And Then He Clapped

Worst blog title, but another fun Gary Mittleider clinic where I got to see what the mare was capable of. Also learned that she can’t always be the boss, but in the end it worked out just fine. I love when I learn and have fun all at the same time.

IMG_7291

Jumping Bean!!

 

4. Riding the Broke Horse Riding the Broke Horse

Where Macy and I entered a schooling show, rocked it, then went and schooled cross country the next day and I learned SOOO much. Macy is one of the most giving horses there is when it comes to jumping. Which is probably why so far this list is composed of all jumping moments… But this was a terifically fun weekend. I felt like we were a team. I’m still sad we didn’t get to go compete together at an event, but this weekend helped me realize we were ready to conquer Training together.

 

5. The Last Lesson The Last Lesson

It really was that great. It was like all the pieces came together, and if I dare say it, I became someone who can ride a quirky horse. Macy helped me, and challenged me and  I knew I had become a better rider. And certainly a rider more prepared to take on a baby horse.

IMG_8133

whee

Thanks for the memories Macy!

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