Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2008

Saddle Box review

I was contacted last week by Saddle Box's owner, Phil, who asked if I would review the product on my blog.  I am happy to do so!  All my opinions are my own and I am in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Saddle Box.   
Saddle Box is a monthly subscription box full of equine related goodies for both rider and horse!  It can contain items such as treats, grooming tools, books, and small tack.  It seems there are a lot of these surprise monthly subscription boxes in a variety of styles these days, and it was only a matter of time until one was made especially for horse folks!

The first box has a 15% off coupon, so it costs $29.71 the first month and $34.95 each month thereafter which includes shipping.  They do ship to Canada for an extra $10 shipping. You can buy a Saddle Box for yourself or give it as a gift.  Once you sign up, it will automatically renew (and charge your credit card) every month unless you indicate for no box that month. There are no returns unless you receive a…

The Best Training Aid for Cantering your STB and Fun with Tarps!

Time off is a great thing. I get to RIDE! I rode on Christmas Day of course (see previous post) and that was fun. Then I rode Dreamy on Friday for about 30 mins. and then again on Sunday for about the same. Saturday I wanted to ride but it was raining. Instead we had FUN WITH TARPS! Yay!

My two rides were productive....well as productive a ride in the snow on a semi-out-of-shape horse can be. We worked on connection and of course got a little bit of attitude from the Dream Girl, but nothing like she can be. Did some stretchy free walk and working walk transitions. Did some halts. I actually was able to canter on Friday, since the snow had not melted underneath that much. The footing was good, unlike Sunday where all the rain had settled on top of the ground and underneath the snow, so there was some ice and some slush. Only trotting on Sunday.

Anyway, I finally had my best training aid back for the canter! SNOW! YAY! The snow on Friday made her canter so BOUNCY and SLOW! :) Our left lea…

Christmas Rides!

I have a tradition to always take a bareback ride on Christmas Day. Not sure why, but I always do. Even if it is only a 15 min. walk around the pasture, I enjoy it. Usually I just have time for Sparky, but this year I was able to ride both mares. Sparky first, of course. She is my first love. :) And I must admit this is the first time I have actually ridden Dreamy bareback...LOL! What a wimp I am! Her withers are not THAT bad.

Here is the view from the round and fuzzy Sparky. Yes her bridle path is waaaaaay overgrown and my inner George Morris screams in protest every time I look at her. But I want to grow out some of it so it is not so long....it nearly goes halfway down her neck! I hear the latest trend in the Morgan horse show world is to NOT trim them back so far.....and of course Ms. Sparky needs to be on top of the current trends, now doesn't she??


Interestingly enough, Dreamy was royally PO'ed that I was riding Sparky and ignoring her. So here she is standing directly in …

Scary or Exciting?

So, I am not sure yet if this is scary or exciting! LOL! Now this means we are eligible to compete at rated dressage shows! And maybe even qualify for a USDF All Breed Award! :) :) :)

I do know that it means I have to work my ass off this year!

My horse is eating silage

OK, not really silage, but it might as well be! Dreamy is now on Lucerne Farms Hi Fiber product, AKA as Hi Fi, AKA Dengie. It is a chopped hay mix of timothy, oat, and alfalfa packed in a 40 pound plastic bag.



Just why am I now feeding this?

Well, the Dream Girl has been diagnosed with COPD/RAO for a few years now. The common name is "heaves" and until 2000 this condition was known as COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Some fancy group of international veterinarians decided to start calling it RAO or recurrent airway obstruction to differentiate this equine respiratory condition from COPD in humans.

So whatever you want to call it, Dreamy basically has allergies. She has a problem breathing and for years I managed her on 24/7 turnout/stall, a product called Wind by Emerald Valley, and soaked hay in above freezing temperatures. For whatever reason, I was always able to switch her to regular old dry hay when the temps. dropped.

But not this year. :(

Dreamy had a mild RA…

Trivia for Today

Anyone know what this is? :)


Yeah JWookie who answered correctly! It is used for colic and fatigue from shipping. This is not an item I have used in my 23 1/2 years of horse experience, but it is something my grandfather swore by. This box is actually from a pile of stuff he gave to me after Volo died. :( It still has the drops in it, but because I am pretty sure this is at least 10 (if not 20) years old, it is sitting in my kitchen as an "artifact" NOT to be used on a horse! LOL!You can still purchase BELL drops for horses though. I am pretty sure Valley Vet and Jeffers is where I have seen it advertised. Probably not a bad idea to have a bottle in your first aid kit. :)

Tonight's chores

I took the camera out with me to feed tonight! :) It was totally on a whim, so this is how the barn always looks. I did not specially clean or anything.....in fact I was looking at how I need to re-sweep the aisle! LOL! :D
Sparky needs a good grooming. What a messy mare!

Dreamy eating her Dengie. I need to post about why she is on that now....
Oh scary new piece of wood! She is so predictable, I knew exactly what she was going to do and how she was going to sound! LOL! I had S put that board at the bottom of the door today. Dreamy keeps winging her empty Dengie tub out the door. I am not too concerned if it is empty, but I REALLY do NOT want her to waste her Dengie by throwing that out the door. Plus if she wings the tub out the door in a snow storm there is a good chance I will not find it until spring. :(
Now she will probably just find a way to wing it OVER the board. LOL! (OH and this door is not used to actually leave the stall. It could be an exit in a worse case scenario, but h…

Photos to enjoy!

It snowed for the first time this winter on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving!

C's first snow angel of the year! Not sure where the head is......I guess it is a headless snow angel! LOL!
Sparky, who can never seem to keep her clothing on straight!

Dreamy! :)


My girls! :) The Cat Buffet.....need I say more? It is no wonder why we have two strays who showed up and moved in permanently!

Vacation = Riding!

Two words: Vacations Rock!

Tonight is the last day of my five day Thanksgiving vacation. It is snowing, so of course I am wishing for a snow day tomorrow. LOL! But that is silly. Really it was just so nice to have time off. I am still in withdrawals from being a stay-at-home mom for four years, so having five days off was a treat! :)

I was able to ride three times, which was fantastic. I have a student named B who is also an intern at C's preschool. She agreed to come over and watch C for me in the mornings so I could ride. Yes, I would have to pay to ride, but it was SOOOO worth it! She came over on Wednesday morning and I got in a good dressage ride. We worked on trot leg yields and got a couple of good canter departs to the left. I only rode for 30 minutes, since Ms. Dreamy is out of shape, but it was a good solid 30 minute ride. We are not setting the world on fire, but I was pleased.

Of course, Thursday was Thanksgiving. :) Did not get a ride in, as S hunted all morning and then…

OMG, My Poor Horse!

SOOOO.....today I spent the morning cleaning house and then barn. Afterwards, C and I went off and did errands all over creation. We went to Scarborough, Buxton, Standish.....and by the time we got home it was mid afternoon.

As I drive in my driveway, my heart is suddenly in my throat. Where the heck was my horse? OK, where are BOTH my horses? Dear god, I figure they have been stolen. Stupid, but I admit it was my first thought.

I walk out to the barn holding my breath. Well, they have not been stolen, but are in the stalls. The wrong stalls. Obviously they had gotten loose and someone had thankfully caught them. Hmm.....Dreamy is SOAKING wet and hot, so she must have been running. I throw a cooler on her and put her back into her own stall. OOOOPS, she was in Sparky's stall, so that means she ate about half of Sparky's dinner hay.....DRY HAY! ARGH!

And that meant that Sparky ate Dreamy'sDENGIE! AH!!! A Cushing's horse most definitely should NOT eat chopped hay mixed with…

My Fire Breathing Dragon

So I finally got to ride today. I could not last weekend due to the rain, but it finally cleared off here this afternoon. It has now been 2 weeks since I last rode. BAH!

And of course, Dreamy was a complete and utter fire breathing dragon. Granted, she has not been worked (which has made her PISSED), but it was also VERY windy today. Also the temps have dropped dramatically, and these two things made for one high-as-a-kite pony today.

She is one hell of a crow hopper, I will tell you what. That was a first. :P

When my lunatic mare finally calmed down, I decided today was going to be a fine day to do some trotting, but mostly working on the connection to the bit at the walk. And there was no way I could canter because of the footing being soggy. So I sucked it up, told myself to feel lucky I was riding at all, and put my Puritan work ethic on the back burner. OK, in the trash.

It was actually a good thing for her to be so wound up. Usually she is so calm and stoic at home that I cannot wor…

The Mysteries of Life

So the rain has been horrendous and rather than cry (too much) about it, I am trying to find humor in it. Of course, now that the sun FINALLY came out today, the temps are dropping. You just cannot win.

So anyway, my big mystery of life question......How in the WORLD do earthworms get into the outside water tubs when it rains? I mean, I dump and clean them every day, so don't start thinking I leave them for so long that worms grow or whatever. It is just that when it rains (and it has rained A LOT lately) I have been noticing that there are little earthworms in the bottoms of the water tubs!

WTF???? Having pondered the many reasons why, the best answers C and I can come up with is that they either: 1. Jump in, 2. Fall from the sky, or 3. Somehow hatch in there??? Now while C is pretty sure they jump, I personally am leaning towards answer number 2. LOL!

Seriously folks, how do the earthworms get into the buckets? They are those big tubs and it only happens when it rains. I meant to …

That's It, I'm Leaving

With fellow blogger and STB friend Now That's A Trot off on a new adventure as a working student, I have spent time wishing her well and simultaneously wishing I were young enough to be a working student myself. LOL!

So here we are. I found my perfect job, just as I was Googling for something else. Lauren just happens to be one of my favorite dressage riders too. AND IT INCLUDES FULL TRAINING BOARD!!!!!!!! *SIGH* I would happily muck stalls all day for that.

SprieserSporthorse at Clearwater Farm in Marshall, VA seeks a motivated, responsible, high-energy barn manager/working student to oversee day-to-day activities at one of Virginia's top dressage barns. Responsibilities include stalls, grooming, tacking, turn in/out, feeding, riding, lunging and general horse care at a top standard. Applicants must be of excellent character, experienced, not afraid to ask questions, take initiative and put horse care above all else.This job includes a cash salary, full training board for one h…

RIP Ed Szalajeski

I am so sad today. I got home from work to find two messages about a friend of mine who has passed away. Ed Szalajeski died after he had heart surgery yesterday. Ed is the track photographer at Scarborough and, while I may not know him that well, I do consider him a friend. He took some stunning photographs of racing, as well as some fabulous shots of my mare which grace the pages of this blog. We even posted each other's blogs on our own blogs, which I thought was pretty neat, considering it linked racing and riding this wonderful breed.

I am just so sad. It will never be the same for me now when I go to the track. I loved to visit with Ed and Derek. Ed always had a horse story or two to share....OK maybe ten to share. And he loved to share his photographs. I loved seeing what new photo he had taken and that he wanted to tell the backstory. He also photographed at the track with his dad, Ed Sr. whom I also really think highly of. Both Ed and Ed Sr. are just a true salt-of-the-eart…
New Pics from Sire Stakes weekend are here! Plus here are a few from that day of us cantering! YAY! My posture still needs work but, hey, we are cantering! :)





We finally have some LIFT!

Rainy Day

This weekend I was SO looking forward to riding, but the weather had other plans. :( The rain today prevented me from doing anything. I actually considered just cleaning all my tack tonight and riding in the rain during C's nap, but the field is just too sloppy/slippery to ride. It did not seem worth the hassle to only be able at ride the walk.

BIG HUGE SAD SIGH! (yes I am totally pouting)

I hope tomorrow afternoon is better. But then again, even if it is not raining, the field will probably not be dry enough. I HATE THIS! If S was home, then at least I could take a trail ride or something. But I absolutely have to stay in the backyard if I ride when C is napping and I am the only adult here...DUH obviously. Maybe I will just ride at a walk anyway. I am so horse deprived at the moment. I am already wishing it were spring and it is not even the end of fall yet. This is very bad.

I was looking over some of my blog entries and it makes me happy to see we have made progress. That was the…

The Dark, Longer Stirrups, and Two Good Rides

So, despite everything, I have to say I had two fabulous rides this past weekend. I am no longer able to ride as much as I want/need to, so I have now become a "weekend warrior", which quite frankly sucks. Not only do I have no time to ride because it is now DARK at 5PM, but also this whole having-a-real-job-thing just really cuts into my riding time. LOL! When I was home with C. I often snuck in a ride after lunch during his nap time. Of course, this only worked if it was not 100 degrees outside. If so, I would wait until after dinner and ride around 6:30-7:00 PM. This was fine all spring/summer because it was light so late. So I have been in a real riding funk lately.

Well, while Dreamy may have thought she was retired there for a while, she was absolutely fantastic this past weekend. I rode both Saturday afternoon (after S returned from hunting of course) and then again on Sunday afternoon. The weather was gorgeous for November in Maine. :) I did not want to ride for that …

Crazy Life

My horse thinks she is retired. LOL!

Between the end of the quarter grading and getting my hay in, this week has been out of control busy and stressful, so no riding for me. :(

I was supposed to have a lesson this past Saturday, but I got a call on Friday afternoon that the hay I was to buy was here from NY, so I absolutely had to cancel my lesson and drive to get the hay on Sat. morning. Of course, had the 350 bales of hay I bought this summer not MOLDED (grrrr.....that is not a story I feel like reliving right now, as it makes me SO MAD!) I would NOT be getting hay IN ALMOST NOVEMBER!!!!!

But alas, I did need to get new hay. So the 191 bales we brought home on Saturday (home at 2PM....oh how fun....nothing like it taking FOUR hours!!) are just gorgeous. The mares love it and I love it. It actually smells like HAY and there is NO WHITE MOLD GROWING ON IT! AHHHHH, how pleasant!! I never realized how stressed out this entire hay ordeal was making me. Now I feel so much better, as though …

Ghosting it Forward

So, my blogger friend On The Bit has tagged me in something called Ghosting it Forward. I totally missed reading it on her blog (here) until now. WHOOPS!

So here is what I am talking about:

“Halloween is fast approaching, with all the tricks and treats that our little Goblins and Ghoulies adore. (*ahem* and just how many of us have been in on egging, shaving cream, and toilet paper decorations?) Ghosting It Forward comes along at a time when we really need something to smile about. Combining Pay It Forward, with a tradition known as “Ghosting”, (which in all honesty I had never heard of,) it provides a great way to do things for folks to bring a smile and a sense of wonder. “Ghosting” for those of you who are in the dark as I was, is a tradition of silently slipping over to a neighbor’s home, and leaving them a “treat” on their door step.”
Here are Le Rules:
1) Have a Ghostly Image to pass along
2) Tag three people on your blog, with links to their blogs. Tell about what great folks they …

SMDA Ride-Re-Ride results 10/19/08

Too tired to write right now.....but it was a fun way to end the 2008 show season. :)






















Posture Makes Perfect

I need something uplifting after my last post. :(

I just thought this was fun and exciting.....it is amazing how much my equitation deteriorated after seven years without a riding lesson. Now that my instructor has helped fix all my bad habits (she is a dear and patient woman...LOL!) my equitation is SO MUCH BETTER! And of course, I have suddenly become a more EFFECTIVE rider! Amazing how that works! ROFL!

So here is the before (taken June 2007).....UGGGG it makes me want to cry all over again. Piano hands, my hunt seat posture, stirrups too short......AWFUL! I am almost embarrassed to post this. Now, don't get me wrong, I had some nice moments and it is not as though I was a completely terrible rider. But I certainly needed help. I was not effective at all times.



And here is the after (taken October 2008).



Yeah, that makes me happy.

A Tribute to My First Standardbred Love

I am writing this post with a heavy heart. Today was a sad day. I went to visit and spend time with my first STB love, as he is going to be put down soon. :( :( The horse I am speaking of is F.W. Volo, my grandfather's retired pacer. Volo was born in 1972 and would turn 37 years young this January 1, 2009. Volo raced until he was 11 and he set many a track record in his day. The pics of him in the pasture were taken today.

I love this horse so much. :( I boarded Sparky at my grandfather's farm for many years during both high school and then throughout college......goodness, I boarded there for nearly eight years. Sparky and Volo were like two peas in a pod. I always think of Volo as "mine" and doted on him as much as Sparky. And I totally took over Bampie's barn when I moved Sparky there...LOL! I was a precocious 14 year old and set about directing Bampie about how to build a tackroom, saddle racks, and crossties. We spent so much time fencing in the paddock (whi…