Not Quite NQR?

As I have been lamenting Annie has been a bit difficult lately. I have had her teeth looked at, she has gone to the clinic for evaluation, she has been adjusted by the chiropractor… She is even on depo. She was horrible last week and then we had some break through rides. Except there is still this nagging feeling that something is NQR. goodwitchbadwitch

Pulling Annie out I ask myself the above… Lately I don’t know what I am going to get on the flat. But she feels fine for all intensive purposes and she is still her incredibly sweet self on the ground. I keep going back and forth and after a chat with some friends and all of the stuff that has been going down on blog land I want to check one more time that there really isn’t anything going on. It’s just money right?crazy-disney-rabbitI can’t find anything wrong with her. Her back seems fine, her legs seem fine, and her feet are also fine. FINE FINE FINE… Fine will drive you mad.crazy-disneyI FEEL LIKE A CRAZY PERSON. The vet didn’t find anything last month but that doesn’t change the fact that I can’t help but wonder if there is something bothering her. I can’t handle the thought that I am asking her to do something that makes her uncomfortable – even if that something is just the right lead.cruellaShe is a spicy ginger but it really isn’t like her to be so belligerent about something. I want my sweet mare rideable mare back. I can handle witchyness and I can handle greeness but I am not sure how to handle what she has been throwing at me now I find myself waiting for tomorrow morning. It is always something with horses.

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Horse Shopping Common Courtesy

I have been hinting at the fact that I have been window shopping for, so to speak, baby horses. It is pretty amazing to me the things that sellers of horses will say or rather not say. I understand that as a seller you don’t have to disclose everything but if you know of something significant and do not disclose it… Well consider yourself shady mcshaderson. Annie is a cribber. I probably never would have considered buying her if I had known how aggressively she cribs before I bought her. It limits our boarding options and is also a health risk. I am glad that I do have her but I do feel that cribbing definitely falls in the “things you should disclose” category.Other things that I think should be disclosed are injuries or issues that will potentially cause future problems. For instance if you have a horse that gets annual injections don’t say the horse doesn’t need maintenance. Or if the horse has known OCD’s or had OCD surgery it is great if you share that… Most recently I am finding myself very frustrated by people that say something but then end up going back on their word. If I have my vet review your horses x-rays and we agree on a price and discuss further pre purchase steps I will be very blindsided when I get the dreaded message that you sold the horse not 12 hours after you basically told me it was as good as mine.Last but not least it is super bothersome when you ask about a horse and then explain that based on whatever information you received said horse isn’t a good fit for what you want. Please don’t harass me for weeks afterwards. I try to be as honest and upfront as possible but sometimes you run out of ways to politely say YOU CANT HAVE MY MONEY.
What about you guys? What are some horse shopping common courtesies (or lack thereof ) that you have seen?

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Ah Ha!

Last night I finally had that ah ha ride with Annie. We struggled all last week, we hit the reset Saturday, and it really really worked. I had a soft and relaxed little ginger. 

We still battled with some of the same things we always do but instead of immediately exploding Annie took small corrections in stride. We focused on serpentines, circles, and transitions 

It was a short pleasant ride and just what I needed to feel like we are on track for our next event. 🙂

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Weekend Wrap Up: CKH Hunter Pace

Last week was not one to write home about. For one reason or another my rides were disappointing. Annie and I seemed to be getting no where with our rides which isn’t super confidence instilling when our next event is in 2 weeks. I tried lunging in the faux-ssoa rig, riding outside of the arena, jumping… You name it. I have had frustrating times with Annie but this week was by far the worst.

Then the opportunity to ride in a hunter pace came up. There was much internal debate. I didn’t want to ride a fiery dragon in a new place. Annie is always so good on new adventures that I took the chance and hoped that some good simple fun would be just what we needed to get out of our funk.

Thankfully it was just what we needed and Annie was a super star. I am so glad that I didn’t pass up the opportunity. I might actually try to get out with the club that hosted the hunter pace more this season which would be really fun! I hope that I can get out to more things like this because I know it would be great for Annie’s brain!

What kind of stuff do you all like to get out to for a nice reset? 

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Rider Review: Sun Horse Shampoo


A couple weeks ago I got two bottles of SunHorse Shampoo. I had been eyeing this brand but as my most favorite retailer Riding Warehouse doesn’t sell this stuff it wasn’t as easy to casually throw into the shopping cart.

Price: $9.50/bottle or $18/ two bottles – I think this is pretty reasonable for an 8oz bottle of shampoo regardless but when you consider how far a bottle goes it is a great bang for your buck. I usually don’t like very concentrated shampoos but this stuff is an exception.

Review: I am pretty picky about the products that I use on my creatures. As evidenced by the fact that I created my own coat spray! That said I really like this shampoo. I have used it on the horses, the dogs, and I will admit to even washing my own hair with it in a pinch at the barn. I have been known to do this with Herbal Horse Shampoo but I usually don’t stray to other brands because of the ingredients. This shampoo is made from natural ingredients which is another big plus in my book. Luckily for me this product goes really far (the bucket above was just a dollop) and cleanses without being drying or leaving residue. Perfect for all of the creatures and occasionally the human too! The scents are refreshing but not overwhelming for those of you that are sensitive to strong aromas. Most of all Annie’s coat is nice and soft after a bath and she dries shiny and fresh. Bottom Line: This shampoo is a good value for your dollar. I personally don’t recommend using shampoo every bath but I would have no issue using this stuff on a more regular basis as from my experience it would not leave a residue or dry out the coat. Perfect for the quick bath or a show as it definitely helps to clean up the chromey bits too!

What is your favorite shampoo?

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Smell The Roses

Having a green horse is a lot like riding a roller coaster. I have been incredibly lucky and Annie is an amazing baby horse but that doesn’t mean there aren’t times that I get really frustrated. (Exhibit A from the EW Clinic)This week there have been a few of those days. Then I came across pictures from our first cross country adventure and remembered how lucky I am with her.

I have posted these before but I’m posting them again because holy moley my baby horse was a rock star. It’s been almost exactly a year since her first time adventuring on a cross country course and now she conquers all the things. I have never ridden a horse this fun over fences – except maybe Henny. So I’m taking today to smell the roses and remember what a little super star I have! 

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You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

I am constantly learning new things when it comes to horses. From watching a barn friends techniques to researching facts online I am constantly amazed by the black holes of information that I can fall into.

For instance the past year or so I have gotten way more into various bloodlines. This started when I was searching for Annie and pestering the bejesus out of Amanda about different TB stallions as sport horse sires… Then over the last year I have moved into the warmblood territory. Admit it you thought that the it’s a boy announcement was precious!

Despite owning Houston I have been pretty bloodline illiterate most of my life. There is sooooo much to learn. It is very interesting to me how certain stud books/ registries overlap so much and how little people know about breeding and the registration/ approval process. Even breeders themselves… but that’s another story.

Being at a farm that has about a foal a year now I am starting to get thrown into it a little more and actually went to my first keuring last month. The variation in quality of foals was pretty incredible. And the scoring? Don’t even get me started. Every foal was so close in score I don’t even know why they bothered. It seemed as though they decided how the foals were going to score before they even got into the ring. 

It is interesting to me how little people seem to think the dam matters… also a good stallion doesn’t mean they are a good sire… 

So any other bloodline/ breeding junkies out there? What do you look for? 

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A Huey Update

img_9412When I got Houston back at the beginning of the year I was so happy. I was pretty heartbroken when I quit riding (which as you know didn’t last long). The woman that had him mentioned that it wasn’t a good fit anymore so home he came. img_9442I brought him to a local clinic and had a full work up done. He was very over due for his annual maintenance and needed his teeth done but otherwise he was in good shape.img_9438

Initially he got some time off and got to hang out. After some time to reset I started riding him and slowly tried to jump him. Needless to say it did not go as planned. The past few months I have come to accept that Houston really doesn’t want to be a jumper. img_1541We have been dressaging, trail riding, and hanging out. He is so much happier when he knows he won’t be asked to jump. After varying opinions and efforts I finally came to accept that Hue wanted to be a dressage horse.

Here’s the thing though… I don’t want to show in the dressage court outside of events. Because Houston is awesome and I love him dearly I planned to keep him indefinitely. He is a very sweet horse with oodles of personality. img_0754I wanted to maintain control of his future and have a say in where he ends up so I just assumed I would have him indefinitely. He was on a semi half lease for a bit but that ended and it was back to just me. Not exactly how I saw things panning out but I love this horse. I would be lying if I said it didn’t occur to me that I could be spending money on another horse I could compete though. Especially with all of the baby horses (unborn and IRL at my barn) in my life.img_0166

Until a friend posted about how a student was looking for a horse just like Houston those things were all just thoughts…  they ended up trying him and then there were some negotiations. What was originally going to be a lease ended up being a sale with a detailed contract about my rights to buy him back first or their responsibility to give him back to me if he needs to be retired and they can’t/ don’t want to care for him down the road. I have to say that I feel so much better about this.

I will share updates as I get them but for now Houston is lapping up attention from a lovely family and he will get to dressage to his hearts content. Bittersweet but I think he will be really happy getting more attention and getting to strut his stuff. 🙂

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Reasonable Expectations

I think that as equestrians there are varying levels of care that we expect if we board our horses. This probably varies largely among people but what I want to know are what are basics you expect? In your area do you find that the level of care included in basic board differs from other areas largely? When do the requests become taking advantage of the staff/owners (or even fellow boarders) of your boarding facility?

stalldesign1For me basic stall board (or fees) needs to include your genaric care:

  • feeding (hay, grain, owner provided supplements) AM & PM
  • stall cleaning (and shavings)
  • turnout
  • blanketing
  • ability to have my horse held for vet/ farrier
  • well maintained riding arena 
  • secure tack storage

Some barns do have blanketing fees and handling fees on top of board which I try to factor into my monthly budget in that event. To me the rest of it should be included. I want barn staff that notices if my horse seems weird or is injured but after that the rest is on me. hay-samplesIf you want a different feed or above normal quantities it makes sense to me that I would either need to purchase the additional feed/hay or pay an additional fee. logo_platperfI personally also totally get why barns like for horse owners to have their supplements individually portioned out. It reduces the effort involved with a large number of horses and helps reduce the risk of confusion or inconsistencies. This doesn’t mean you have to have a SmartPak or Platinum Performance Paks though because with some time you can portion supplements out yourself. I used to do this for Houston and I would just restock weekly. For now it’s just easier for me to order and have it shipped to the barn. 

take-advantWhere I think I have seen more issue is with special care situations. I myself have had to have extra help when traveling or due to work/ school and it is always appreciated. I have been incredibly lucky to have barn owners or managers that are very accommodating in offering said services at reasonable rates and most don’t haven’t even charged for a one off occurance. Problems start to pop up when there are people that take advantage of that generosity or accommodation. 

What are your alls thoughts on this? 

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