Wolf Teeth And Bronchodilators

For a couple weeks Annie has let out a few coughs at the beginning of our rides. Nothing terrible but enough that I made a mental note to keep track. Naturally my last ride she didn’t cough at all. Since the vet was going to be out anyways we discussed and decided he would take a look at her.

First though, he was out at the mare pasture and I went ahead and asked when one should get their baby horses teeth looked at. DR. M suggested that you would obviously want to do it before they start working with a bit in their mouth and that he usually likes to pull any wolf teeth around 1.5-2yrs old. It was Luna’s lucky day as she is just about 1.5yrs old. After a special cocktail she got her first introduction to dental work.

She didn’t love it. I am not convinced that she won’t remember it (despite her drunkness) and will be watching my back. Hopefully this doesn’t impact her recent found sweetness. #bewarethemare

For Annie we initially assumed the cough was weather/ allergy related. Some nose pinching and stethoscope using later we determined that she probably has a slight infection. Sadly this means she will need a week off with 6 days of treatment. I am grateful that the coughing doesn’t appear to be anything too serious.

At this point I figured I would ask the vet once more if there was anything else more exst(p)ensive we should do to rule out pain as a cause for her behavior under saddle. My wallet was already on fire right? We have talked until we are both blue in the face re the issues I have experienced and both feel like at this point its time to go to the clinic and throw the book at her one last time before pushing through. Part of me hopes we find something (that we can fix) so that there is some rhyme or reason to her behavior. I will have an update Monday afternoon.

Until then I will be giving her all of the meds and clutching my wallet nice and tight… Or doing retail therapy. Can’t decide!

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Genetic/Genomic Testing and OCD

KWPN-NAAs I have gotten more interested in sport horse breeding I have started to read up on all sorts of related topics from learning about different registries to spiraling into a black hole tracking a horses bloodlines. Luna is registered KWPN/ Dutch WB. As such I have started trying to understand the different predicates available to KWPN mares.

It is different for all of the studbooks but for KWPN there are different predicates/status for mares. The predicates that a mare is eligible for are outlined on the registry’s website but for a quick rundown:

  • Ster – A horse with above average conformation/movement/ jumping
  • Keur – A mare that is above Ster with quality and has completed an IBOP performance test or sport requirements
  • PROK and/or D-OC – A horse that has passed extensive radiographs or DNA testing
  • IBOP/ Sport – A horse that has passed a riding test or sport performance
  • Elite – A Keur mare that has also passed PROK or D-OC requirments

Generally a horse would be inspected as a 3yo to go from the foalbook (vb) to the studbook (stb). At this time they would also be inspected for Ster or Keur eligibility. At the end of the day whether Luna does well or not or is even presented at keurings does not mean she is or isn’t a quality horse. Primarily I am just excited for our future together in the Jumpers.

dsc_0186-edit.jpgYesterday I found out that Luna passed the D-OC DNA test from KWPN and now has the D-OC predicate. This is essentially a test to determine the heritability or likely hood of a horse to pass OC to its offspring. Here is an excerpt from the KWPN website regarding the D-OC testing.

What is the outcome of the DNA-test?
The outcome of the test DNA will be a genomic breeding value for OC (GFW OC). This value indicates the position of the horse relative to the current KWPN population. On average, 70% of the population of breeding values comes between 96 and 104. Scores a horse more than 104 then it may be expected that the horse inherits less OC to its offspring. Horses scoring 95 or below are expected to contribute negative for OC inheritance.

I personally remain a bit skeptical of the test due to personal experience though I do know that there are external factors impacting a horse developing OCD. That said I figured that as Luna will not be 2yo by the time that the PROK examination is discontinued as a step towards Elite I might as well go for it and see what happened. Who knows if she will even achieve the other requirements anyways.

Is there anyone else that’s involved or interested in breeding that knows of other registries with similar developing DNA testing protocols? I find it all very interesting but at the end of the day I don’t think that there will be a total eradication of the presence of OCDs and will wait to see how accurate this genetic/genomic testing ends up being. I guess if you don’t make steps in the right direction with research to understand the cause/problem there will never be progress though. Thoughts?


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Cut The Bull

Like most adult ammies I go to a day job to support the cushy lifestyles of my horses. When work and life get crazy that can sometimes carry over to my barn life. Recently this has led to some pretty meh rides and me lacking some confidence in the saddle. As much as I would like to I can’t just play with ponies all day so it is time to get my butt back in gear.jobthing

Yesterday I finally got to haul over to my local trainers. I was originally supposed to have a lesson. However, after a less than awesome ride on Saturday I asked if he would mind putting a ride on the ginger dragon. As I eluded to earlier Annie and I have been a bit at odds lately. I was hoping that a training ride might help me get a better feel for what I need to be doing to accomplish more with our rides and I was not disappointed.LaineyClinic4.1.17-68

Having a ridiculously athletic and smart mare is a blessing and a curse. She can legitimately jump the moon and actually moves pretty well when she wants to. Key words being when she wants to. The minute that she decides something is tough she looks for a way out. She has in effect trained me to back down when she has a tantrum and thus I am most of the problem. No surprise there since its usually problem humans not horses.

I have let myself get talked out of pushing her towards correct work. I will ask for something and she will giraffe and throw herself around in a way to avoid it and then I will get nervous and back off. This used to be limited to the sandbox but lately when she doesn’t get what she wants over fences she has started flailing around as well. I don’t really blame her. I set the bar low and let her totally trample my expectations by constantly backing down.

beepbeepThankfully my trainer is a no nonsense kind of guy. He got on Annie and while there was some conversation (read: theatrics from Annie) he finally got the point across to her that no matter what she needed to participate. It didn’t need to be perfect and it didn’t have to be constant but she had to try. He reiterated that I need to stop making excuses for her. No more letting her get her way. I definitely need to figure this out with Annie because I am relatively certain that Luna is going to be a whole different kind of difficult under saddle.

Annie doesn’t like a noseband? Too bad – just put a normal bridle on and let her figure it out.

Annie doesn’t like a bit? Well – I have done everything in my power to try to find one she deems acceptable. It is clear it is not a bit problem but rather an attitude.

Before you all ask – yes she has seen the vet, chiropractor, and massage therapist etc etc. Bottom line is that I need to set boundaries and stick to them. There is nothing cruel or harsh about it. Just saying nope this is where you need to be. Try again if she doesn’t get it, reward if she does. Such is life with green horses. Just when you think you have something figured out they are like nope. Not today! When I am at my best I can ride her through most of this stuff. Six + months without regular lessons and bad habits were bound to form.nottoday

Lastly do not sit in trainers saddle because it will probably make you wish you had one. Which is literally the last thing you need right now! Thanks Amanda

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Moving Whirlwind

This past week was a whirlwind. No other way to put it but we are officially home owners again. We actually didn’t know if we would be able to close on Friday until Thursday afternoon (I have a lot of negative feelings towards the selling agent of our house…). Thankfully it all worked out and Kyle and I (mostly Kyle) actually moved our bed over ourselves Friday night because we were so excited to get into the house.

Little did we know that our water heater would be a dud and we were doomed to take cold showers for an undetermined amount of time. We figured it would just be Friday night but 4 days later we finally got hot water yesterday morning. Could have been worse though and I considered it conditioning for my cold hose showers at events!

We are now mostly moved into our new house. It feels more like home every day. The dogs especially are loving their new kingdom and Stella has secured her place on the throne as top dog. Our yard is a bit sad right now as the grass seed is still growing but it is fun to see it now and know that soon we will have an awesome backyard. Most importantly is that my new barn commute is less than 10 minutes!!! The only thing that would be better is living there so I am pretty happy. Huelet also made a move this weekend back into the main barn. He is even getting turned out with Nanners for the foreseeable future – or until McLovin is weaned and Annie gets her bestie back. Hopefully now that things have settled down a bit regularly scheduled programming will resume. I need to get my butt in gear!

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Pressure Off

Sometimes I need the barn to just be the barn. No expectations. Nothing to work on. No pressure. The past 2 or so weeks that is what I have needed the barn to be. I am not thinking about shows, stressing about our progress, or even committing to riding regularly. The barn is my happy place and with house stress and our pending move I opted to keep my trips to the farm low key. Sometimes the super special girls in my life have different ideas (Annie I’m looking at you Miss TriesToWalkOutOfHerShoes and DevelopsMysteriousFacialAbscess). Aside from some small bumps it has been working very well. I stayed out of the saddle when I knew that I couldn’t deal and instead groomed my horses, stuffed them with treats, and enjoyed some wine. It has been just what I needed but I am ready to get back into the swing of things once we move.

Fingers crossed we will be moving into the lovely below this weekend and all of the house buying drama and road blocks are past us. I hope to get back to regular programming next week! What do you all have going on? Anyone else been bogged down recently?

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Big Star Offspring @ Bolesworth


If you are a fellow breeding nerd you might have seen that a Big Star colt sold for £92,000 at the Bolesworth Elite Auction – holy moley! The colt in question is out of a mare named Tinka’s Serenade (Tinka’s Boy x African Drum) who competed under Billy Twomey at the ’12 Olympics in London as well as ’10 WEG Kentucky.

Tinkas Seranade
Of course I felt it necessary to point this out to Kyle… His first question was do you think you would sell Luna for that much? (Disregard that Luna is not worth that much and not out of a mare that had a successful top sport career). I am not totally insane so my first response was an enthusiastic yes… Then I made my contemplative face with some sighs and Kyle said you know what nevermind… Lets not go down that path. HA! He is a keeper.

After a few seconds Kyle then pointed out that this is how I broached the initial purchase… Oh look what a great investment this is… So and so “could” be worth this much one day… This list goes on. Maybe I do this because it makes me feel better? Now naturally I know that horses are literally the fastest way to a small fortune — if you start with a large one! It is fun to think about my horses potential value even though history proves that I am not very good at selling them!

Any fun comparisons that you guys make?

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Follow The Leader

Equestrian sports are very unique and all too similar to other sports at the same time. For parents/children and amateurs the culture would imply that we are all supposed to have a leader and follow them blindly. In a lot of ways that would make it much easier for the professionals in the industry. Unlike in a corporate setting a job interview for an equestrian position can be a lot like playing trust fall. This is honestly how it feels as a rider or owner when trying to find a new trainer as well.cat-trust-falling

A decent amount of the lower level equestrian professional population do not seem to have vast records that support their careers. Please note that I am not saying that every professional needs to be experienced at the upper levels. That said just because  you can WTC a horse or hang on over fences doesn’t make you a trainer. Honestly even being a good rider doesn’t always qualify someone as a good trainer or instructor. Not

It feels like there is an opinion that amateurs or anyone with the (perceived) means should support up and coming talent. I don’t necessarily disagree with this. If I had the means to do so (while also riding/showing my own) I would happily give a talented up and coming trainer the ride on my horses where appropriate. It is a two way street though.  A lot of the people that are in the middle grounds get taken advantage of. Not everyone with nice horses is a millionaire and a quick way to get those with the dollars to spend to run is to always have a hand out. If those young or up and coming trainers/riders want the ride on horses that could quite literally be their ride to the top it seems like there should be a give and a take. I totally understand that most professional equestrians are not getting rich by any stretch of the imagination. I am not implying that they don’t deserve to be paid either. BUT I do think that if you are going to go pro in this industry you need to be realistic about what to charge for services given relevant experience.

What is giving some of these professionals this mentality? It seems like it should not be that complicated to operate under a business model where you don’t take advantage of your clients and only expect to be paid what you have earned. If you didn’t find the horse/ actively search in my eyes you don’t deserve a commission. If you didn’t ride the horse you don’t get paid. If you didn’t actually do the service that is showing up on the bill please explain why any of us should be expected to pay for it. I know that I am not alone with saying that I don’t like surprises on my bills. I have even gotten to the point now where I don’t let most horse people bill me. I want to know what you charge for the service you have agreed to provide BEFORE it happens. I do acknowledge that that can be easier in eventing land when its 3 parts over 1-2 days 95% of the time vs assorted #s of classes spread over a week.

I just want to say that I respect the hell out of the pros in my life but it makes me a little sad that I have to be so skeptical when finding them. To all of the great horsemen/women that have groomed all of us to this point kudos to you!

How do you guys feel about this? Have there been specific areas that you have lived where this is more prevalent than others? Maybe even a specific discipline vs another?

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Catch Up and Making Plans

Unfortunately an ugly bug had me down for the count the past couple of days. All of the creatures are doing well and between farmsitting, cabrewing, and a trail ride this weekend was packed to the gills before the plague hit! Thankfully I seem to be on the mend now and no worse for the wear.

All in all things have been going pretty well with Annie. She continues to improve on the flat – though we are far from consistent. I go back and forth pretty regularly on if I will continue to event her. We have so much fun over fences but trying to get through a dressage test with her – despite hours of work at home still makes me want to throw up. At some point it will kill all of the fun from eventing anyways and I really don’t want to get to that point. We aren’t there yet and will continue to give it a go but the idea of staying strictly in the jumper arena for competition purposes has crossed my mind. I guess I will know when I know if that time has come.

This weekend coming up is not only my birthday but also a fun schooling event at a local HJ venue. Here’s to hoping that the wheels stay on the bus as we haven’t been anywhere since Spring Bay in April.

As I prep for this schooling outing I have been thinking about what could be next on the calendar. Some unexpected potential travel plans have July a bit up in the air but some (unlikely) options are:



I am honestly not sure if any of these things will be happening but it’s fun to think about. What do you guys have on the docket?

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Rocking E Cowgirl Blog Hop 10 Qs

Summer-blog-hopWhat is your earliest, clearest horse memory? I am not sure that I could pinpoint one specific memory most. I was always obsessed with horses and I remember being little and asking my parents to take a riding lesson. They said “when you are 8” I am sure thinking that I would forget or grow out of it. Well come my 8th birthday I had set up my own first riding lesson and the rest is history.

Describe the perfect summer day. A day during the summer where it feels like spring or fall???

Are you reading anything right now? Tell me about it. I am perpetually reading something. Right now I am in limbo though and haven’t picked up a book in months which is a long time for me!

Do you follow a celebrity (horsey or non) that you’re embarrassed to say fascinates you?  Totes obsessed with Michael Jung for obvious reasons. Not embarrassed. I am also totally a Kaley Cuoco fangirl. She loves all of her animals so much and I respect that she seems to appreciate what she’s got.

What is your single most biggest horsey dream or goal? This tends to vary but ultimately I would love to run Training or mayyyyybe Preliminary in eventing and my end goal in the jumpers would be the Low AO jumpers which is about 1.2M-1.25M? Not sure that’s at all doable but for now I will keep on keeping on and see where that gets me.

If you were at Starbucks right now, what would you order?  A cake pop. Because SUGAR!

What is your biggest equine pet peeve? People that don’t take care of their horses. Or any animal for that matter.

With everything going on politically and in the media, tell me, do you follow it religiously? Tune it out? Or something in between? Somewhere in between. I try to stay current.

If you had to show your horse to a song, what would you choose? This is tough. For now I will just say this is what comes to mind for dressage.

What are you most looking forward to this summer? New house new house new house. Cannot wait. Horse wise probably River Glen in August because that is my first for sure show planned and RG is one of my favorite places ever.









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