Saturday, October 27, 2012

Into Our Lives a Little Rain Must Fall

I sit at my kitchen table glaring out the window to my left.  Why am I glaring out the window. Well it's not the rain from hurricane Sandy as the title of the post suggests. Although we are getting quite a lot of that.  No, it something far more cruel to my heart right now. The sight of my mare running and bucking in the pasture. She's running free and quite obviously not lame. Damn her. Don't take this to mean that i want her to be lame. I don't. But why oh why has she been playing this torturous game with me for the last three weeks.

I could have been riding this whole time. I could have been gearing up for the last horse trial of the season which is unfortunately next weekend and I have no chance of going. If it were a pony club outing somewhere really close I could go as unprepared as we are but it's Calais and I'm not even entered.

So what does this mean for Eventing at Midnight? Well not alot other than the season as far as competiting is over for us. I desperately want to take a riding lesson with Kim Severson who is taking over Chris's lesson duties. But that is a very expensive trip. Because there isn't just the lesson fee, there's the gas to get there.  It's a four hour drive round trip that is at least one tank of gas. So add the lesson fee 75$ plus the 100$ for gas.  And add on a bit for food/drinks. That's a 200$ trip.  Not something I can do right now.  Maybe in the spring.

But there are lots of dressage instructors around here and my friend Kate who's a Training/Prelim rider gives lessons as her second job. So that is most likely what we're doing this fall/winter.

Unless the mare-beast pulls another bait and switch. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

I am NOT Crazy.

Today through a strange twist of scheduling I had the day off when the farrier was due out to trim the feet of the High Queen and the Spotted Beast.  I love my farrier, she is the best.  I love my horse, most of the time she's the best. But today it felt like they both conspired to make me feel crazy.

Seneca has been off in the back for a few weeks now. I've been giving her a bit of bute everyday to make sure she's comfortable and trying to figure out how to get the money together for a expensive vet visit. I can definitely see a hitch in her step at the walk, and lunging her I can see it at the trot, I mean at the trot is extremely obvious.

Today when Kim came out we did Cowboy first saving the Queen in all her glory for last.  Kim had me walk up and back towards her, then trot up and back.  Then we trotted an L shape so Kim could see her from all sides.  As I was huffing and puffing and prodding the Queen to trot out I didn't get to see her moving. But Kim and super hubs both agreed she looked sound.

My heart lifted and I started thinking about what I could do with her this winter and next spring.  Later as I was moving the horses between pastures I lunged the High Queen on an extra long lead line.  Damned if she didn't look completely off on the right hind.

I am not crazy, I am not crazy. I AM NOT!  Damn it. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Darkness in a Dream

If you ask my husband he will tell you this same truth, I am the world champion of pessimism. So even though I haven't had the vet out to look at the mare-beast's back end I'm already plotting how to deal with the eventuality of her Seneca not coming sound enough to jump ever again. There might still be hope but it's really hard to see right now.

So what exactly is the plan if the High Queen must gracefully bow to the side of the stage as hopefully at least a life of being my trail horse? When I had some down time at work I wrote down exactly what I would want if I could have a 3rd horse. Because while I'm okay riding the Spotted Beast, he isn't mine, and every time I want to do something with him I'll have to ask my husband if he's okay with it. My husband is super supportive but Cowboy is his horse, I never wanted him, and given the choice at the time would never have bought him.  What is my next dream horse?

4-7yrs old
15.3-16.1 hds
Good movement

And because I can't help myself I was cruising through the listings at CANTER Mid-Atlantic and found this.

Too bad I don't have the room or finances to go get her. Otherwise I would definitely be making a trip to check her out. But there will be other horses. Maybe in the spring/summer I'll be able to clear the last bit of pasture and have room for a third mouth to feed, and maybe I'll be able to save up the purchase price of a new OTTB. But for now I'm loving on the mare-beast, letting her know rain or shine, jumping or no jumping, rideable or pasture puff I will love and keep her til the end.

Keep it between the flags everyone.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Moment Before the Fall

       This past month as been pretty much a roller coaster for me. Not just in my riding and "horse life" but the rest of my life as well. Mainly it's my job causing me anxiety and lost sleep.  I thought this past Monday that most of the constant anxiety and headache would be gone when I got moved to a different department. Nope, not so much. I got moved to a different department and then on Friday I got moved again to a department whose job I know absolutely nothing about and not only that but I'm being scouted to run the department.  I will own up right now I am not a confident person, I hate making decisions that impact other people's lives, and I hate being responsible for other people's actions. Give me a job to do and I'm good, make my job making other people do their's and thats a whole different story.

But on top of the whole job anxiety I came home on Friday to ride the High Queen who I hadn't been able to ride in about a week due to work, my online school stuff, and just everything else.  My husband volunteered to film me so I can see where my position was and how I could improve.  We did some great stuff, cantered a three fence grid, and cantered the new wood pile jump I created.  But somewhere in the middle of doing the grid in the opposite direction my husband calls out that Seneca looks off on the left hind. *Frown*.

I stop, get off, assess and sure enough she's slightly off on the left hind. Damn it.  Yesterday I put the horses out in the side pasture and when it got colder after a rain I went out to put a sheet on Seneca. She evaded me, the cow and went traipsing around the field as if I had imagined her being lame.  But then this morning when I was putting her out in the side pasture again I lunged her a bit to check her soundness.  She wasn't visably off at the walk, but she was wayyy off at the trot.  Fabulous.

I feel in my heart that its Seneca's current issue is her arthritis kicking up. She's had arthritis since I've had her, but her Cosequin supplement always kept her happy, comfy and sound. But with the cooler weather, not so much any more. I could change her supplement and hope for the best, I could have the vet out to confirm what I already know.

But what if she isn't rideable beyond trail rides? I can't afford, nor have enough pasture for a third horse right now. So where do I go from here?  Well, there is always the Spotted Brat.  He's sound, young, old enough to jump, and a nice mover.  He also has the attention span of a gnat, but hopefully with an actual job all his airs above ground attitude will go away.

On top of everything else my wonderful trainer Chris is moving away to Colorado. So there will be no lessons with him. Although Kim Severson is giving lessons in his stead at the farm where Chris had his training operation.  Lessons on a bright green horse with an Olympian? How many ways from awkward would that feel?

And that is where I am right now, no flags in sight.