Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Weekly Update: Boring

 Apparently I missed a week? I was completely unaware of this and I can't even remember what happened... oops.

Well this last week was a bummer. Basically no riding was done, several trips to the vet hospital were made and there were 2 lame horses.

So, starting at the beginning...

Monday the 21st - I went to the barn and found Jetta with a swollen right hind. I lunged her and she didn't seem lame, so I was wrapping her legs when MK came down from the upper arena calling for me. Dundee sliced his coronet band open and it was gushing blood. He had been leaping and bucking around while being lunged, but there wasn't anything for him to slice himself on and he was wearing bell boots, so that was talented. We hosed it off and tried to see how deep it was but he was extremely painful and wouldn't let us touch it. We wrapped it up and he was dead lame, wouldn't put any pressure on his hurt foot. He almost fell down in the crossties he was freaking out about it so much. KP came out after she did a farm call and checked it out. She thought he should not be that lame and was worried about joint involvement. I trailered him to the school hospital and they did an xray and joint tap, everything looked clear. They kept him overnight to watch him.

At least she's pretty


Tuesday the 22nd - The next day Dundee's foot checked out all good and the next day when I picked him up he seemed almost sound! Such a princess. I was studying for a tough midterm the next day, so I just undid Jetta's wraps. Her legs looked nice and tight so I left them off for the night. 

Wednesday the 23rd - I went to see Jetta again, and just lunged her. Her legs weren't swollen and she still looked good on the lunge line. 


And she's adorable

Saturday the 26th - I went to the barn to ride and... now the left hind was swollen. Again, still sound but I threw her wraps on. At this point I'm not sure what to do about it - I'm pretty sure the deal is that she's kicking the stall because she's bored of being inside 24/7 now. I think the game plan is to ask the BM to put Jetta in the small paddocks outside during feeding time so that Jetta won't kick, and then bring her inside after everyone gets their grain.

Cankles
Monday the 28th - I undid Jetta's wraps and her legs looked good, but now she had cankles below where the wraps ended. She was absolutely wired so I tacked her up and lunged her. She looked fairly good. Every so often she took an off step, but it looked more like foot soreness stepping on the hard/rocky parts of the arena rather than actual soft tissue lameness. I got on and she was an absolute freight train. I couldn't even tell if she was sound or not she was so all over the place. Once I got her not pulling and working over her back she felt just fine. I got off and cleaned and put everything away, she had a little puffiness over her suspensory on her RH, but I think it's just a bruise. It's not tender when I press on it and according to KP she should be very sensitive to it if it was a suspensory tear. So now I just need to get her to stop kicking the dang wall!

Drama queen
Almost invisible bump
I really wanted to take her to a open jumper schooling night tonight, but given her puffy legs, absolute crazy hyperness, etc. I think I'm going to have to skip unfortunately. Lame horses are the worst! I just want to ride my pony...


Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas List

I always really enjoy reading everyone else's Christmas wishlists, so I thought I'd add my own. I'm someone that always has a huge list of "I-wants" and this year is no different!

Tack

Le Mieux Windsor Halter - I just saw this gorgeous halter. It looks so neat and what do you know, it's in our colors. It'd only have to be for special occasions since I'm not sure how you'd clean it, but it's so neat!






Ogilvy custom baby pad - I can't decide if I want a navy base with turquoise binding and gray piping, or a gray base with navy binding and turquoise piping... But I think I need a dressage and a jumping one in my life.



Since we're going with saddle pads, I think I have a problem. I love these Le Mieux one's. I think I need a turquoise, emerald and plum one.





Majyk Equipe Color Elite X Country boots - as soon as these came out, I knew I needed them. In turquoise obviously. I've heard such great things about these boots and we are definitely in need of an upgrade.




Harry's Horse Dressage Boots - if it comes in turquoise, basically I have to have it. We already have some dressage boots, but I love the color of these ones!




Cambox Helmet Camera - I've been wanting a helmet camera for a really long time and this just seems like a great design!



Apparel

20x60 I need tee - I love this shirt!



G/FORE leather gloves - these gloves are gorgeous. They come in pretty much every color and look amazing, they would be so much fun to have for schooling in aqua!




Coolblast Medallion Shirt - I really enjoy this pattern. It's a bit out of my price range for a schooling sun shirt, but I'd love to give it a try!



Dubarry Glanmire boots - My Dubarry's have seen a lot and I love them but they are definitely starting to show their wear after a lot of hard use. I love this new design!



Miscellaneous


 Truck tent - this would make horse showing so much easier!



Portable water heater - It would be so nice to have hot water for bathing in the winter. I feel so bad using cold water so I try to avoid bathing, but sometimes it just has to be done! Stacey just got this one and gave it a great review so it's going on my list :)


Monday, November 21, 2016

November's 10 Questions

Thanks again L for the blog content!

How old is the youngest/greenest horse you’ve ridden? 3 years old since that is the youngest I would ride, I usually lightly start them towards the end of their 3 year old year, and then have them going well once they are 4. And the greenest they've been is with no training at all, my favorite - a nice fresh, blank slate!

How old is the oldest horse you’ve ridden? I think the oldest would be 26. I rode Grady around the pasture bareback and bridleless a couple weeks before he died. He was retired, but we both still loved the opportunity to go for a spin around the pasture.


My favorite pair of ears



Were you scared of horses when you first started riding? Nope. I was the most absolutely fearless little kid around horses ever... Grady used to buck me off regularly, he reared, tried to scrape me off repeatedly on fences and trees, and when I was determined to learn to ride bareback I fell more times than I could count... I'd just chase after him and hop right back on!

Would you say you’re a more nervous rider or a confident rider? I would say I'm a confident rider for the most part. I don't care if a horse is going to buck, rear or take off with me, I will get on any poorly behaved horse. Cross country has started to make me a little more nervous with Jetta ever since she dumped me on a fence, but other than that I'm fairly confident.

Biggest pet peeve about non-horse people around horses? It's not necessarily around horses, but when people find out I have horses and say either "How can you possibly afford to have horses?!" or my favorite, "You must be rich!" (I wish). 

A time you’ve been scared for your life? (horse related) When Jetta slipped and fell and rolled over on top of me. She had just barely been started undersaddle and I was home at my parents' alone, they were out of the state for a week, I didn't have my cell phone on me and I had to untack Jetta and walk from a mile away to the house and call for someone to come get me. I thought I was going to faint on the walk back I hurt so bad and I was scared that no one would find me for a week. Luckily I didn't break anything but I severely sprained both of the MCL's on my knees so I couldn't bend my knees for a while and had to be on crutches for over a month.

Have you ever fallen off at show? What happened? Yep. A couple times - once I was warming up Jazz at a High School Equestrian Team meet and she saw that the gate was open while we were cantering past it - she went left and I went right and I lawndarted into the fence. Thank goodness for helmets! The other time was on Tux. We went to his first dressage show and were just walking out of the ring after winning a Dressage Equitation class. He was the chillest horse so we were just strolling along on a loose rein when a train blew its horn right next to the arena and he spooked, gave a little buck and trotted away and I just rolled right off.

Our haul from the show where he dumped me (albeit he didn't mean to!)


What’s a breed of horse you’ve never ridden but would like to ride? Hmm, probably an Akhal-Teke. I think they are fascinating horses, I would love to someday ride one!

Describe the worst behaved horse you’ve ridden? Grady was definitely the worst - when I got him he didn't turn, he didn't stop, didn't go, reared, bucked, tried to scrape you off, etc. It all ended well but I can't imagine what my trainer was thinking when she picked him for me!

The most frustrating ride you’ve ever had? Anytime Jetta decides that she's not going to show up to play and spends the ride spooking at everything, pulling every evasion out of the book, and just generally being a pill. It happens less and less as she gets older, but she's still pretty good at pushing my buttons!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Weekly Update

Oops, I thought I had this scheduled to post on Wednesday but it didn't go! It's just a little bit late...

Wednesday the 9th - Spent the evening at the barn riding with MS avoiding all political news. It's pretty sad that it's so dark out early, I'm not ready for the next 4 months of riding in the dark. This barn seriously has the weakest lights both in the arena and in the aisleways so basically I don't get to see my horse in the light all winter...

Thursday the 10th - Our morning lab got cancelled so I didn't have to be at school until 1pm. Talk about the best way to start my day, I wish every Thursday could be that way! I got to the barn a little after 9am and since it wasn't raining out we went into the outdoor arena. The footing is a lot nicer in the outdoor, but it's got pretty bad drainage - there's basically a stream running through the middle of the arena and Jetta has to try and jump it every single time we go over it. Definitely makes for an interesting ride. Jetta was pretty well behaved minus trying to be a little quick especially when on the slight downhill portion of the arena but I thought it was a really great ride, definitely needed that day!

Chunk

Model status




My poor legs are just dead

Saturday the 12th - This weekend was basically the least horse-y weekend ever unfortunately. Our entire class got blindsided by some surprise assignments due this week, in addition to our 2 worst midterms coming up so most of the time was spent doing homework and studying. But I got to do some pregnancy palpations on some dairy cattle! I miss doing repro stuff - I was very involved in undergrad doing preg checks and AI for cows, but it's been a couple years. The school's palpation team restarted this year which is really exciting, there may be an opportunity to compete against other vet students at a national competition. I was pretty rusty, but I found a cow that had twins, got to feel a little fetus and found a cystic ovary. Pretty awesome!

Sunday the 13th - Also very little horses, since I ended up running away to go hiking. It was a super nice day (for November) and it was perfect for a 2 hour hike along a gorgeous trail. Don't think I could have spent the day any better unless I was riding a horse instead of walking that trail!



When I got back, ML and I went to see Snowman! I didn't think I was going to be able to see this movie since when it was first released, there was only one showing planned for my entire state and it was a couple hours away. Luckily a little independent theater in town picked it up for the week so we jumped at the chance to go see it. I really enjoyed the book and the movie was just about as good. It was a lot more depressing than I thought and Harry de Leyer's kids talked a lot throughout the movie and they seemed extremely bitter, which was sad. But I loved all of the video footage of Harry riding - he was so terrifying to watch! His heels almost touched over the back of the horse over every single jump. After he won the Madison Square Garden's Open Jumpers for the second time (not on Snowman), he immediately fell off and was dragged for a while. Just crazy. I highly recommend going to see it though! Also read the book :)

Monday the 14th - Had a fairly good ride in the indoor, Jetta was especially good (for her) for having 3 days off, with one exception. I was lunging her and someone came to deliver some bedding pellets. He didn't even peek around the corner to see if there was anyone in the arena and he just slid the huge sliding door open right as Jetta was trotting past it and she just about lost her mind. The closed door is now very terrifying. I was pretty annoyed at the guy for it, good manners dictate that you warn people before driving your large truck through an arena where someone is riding. Anyways, she handled him tossing bags into the loft extremely well since she is notoriously bad when people are in the loft, to the point that if we are riding at feeding time, the barn manager will go feed the upper or middle barn first so Jetta doesn't freak out. But we got some good work done even with that mishap, plus all the horses on that side of the barn were very upset about being inside - one horse was violently weaving, another was pawing and kicking the wall, another was squealing and rearing up in her stall. It was quite the environment for a ride, but I was pretty pleased with how Jetta handled it.


We also received this cool prize from Deco Pony! I've been wanting to buy a stall guard from her basically since she started making them (extra bonus is that she's a local-to-me company!) but I still need to wait for the perfect photo or design to use... She has started to make stall plates and I love how this one turned out! I just gave her Jetta's show name and our colors and this was the result! It's exactly what I would have chosen if I had gotten to design it myself. It's plastic so it's going to be really durable, the colors are bright and pretty (this picture doesn't do it justice, the barn lighting sucks) plus it's at an affordable price point so it would make a perfect gift for the holidays. I can't wait to use it at shows!


Tuesday the 15th - I ended up not going to the barn even though it was a day that I got out of class early, instead running errands and such. But I did get to go to a neat lunch talk on equine chiropractics (though with his certification program, it is called Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy). I wasn't really thinking I'd get much out of it - I know the basics of what chiropractics does, I've seen in done on horses before, I know of it's benefits, both for myself and for horses... it seemed more geared towards people who didn't know anything about it. But I went anyways and actually really enjoyed it. He talked more on the certification part which was very interesting. There's multiple different programs you can go to get certified, he went to the Healing Oasis Center in Wisconsin. It sounded pretty intense - several hundred hours over 5 months of studying and practicing, including 5 different modules where he went to Wisconsin for a four-day teaching program. What's interesting is that this school is for Licensed Chiropractors (humans!) and Veterinarians. From what he said, human chiropractors are actually legally allowed to practice on animals, even if they don't have the training which I found very interesting. I'm not sure if that's true for every state, but it is here. It made me start thinking about if that's something I would want to do in the future because I can see how beneficial it would be for a veterinarian to also be a chiropractor and combine it with other more traditional therapies... I would definitely like to learn more on the topic of chiropractics at the very least! He thinks it is beneficial for a lot of things, and while it has never fixed a lameness in his experience, it can definitely help the horse be more comfortable.

So that was my week!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Breeding Journey to Date

I can't believe that Jetta is already nearly 11 weeks pregnant! Here's what we've been through so far.

  • I spent forever and a half deciding on the stallion. I've loved Mirabeau for quite a long time... I've probably been following him for about 4-5 years. I made a huge spreadsheet with all the cremello stallions that were an option, mostly warmbloods, including one QH, a couple TB's and a Akhal-Teke. Columns included registry, cost for collection and shipping, availability of fresh semen, what area that stallion succeeded in, progeny, height, genetics, conformation, jumping style, and any pros or cons. Top pick was actually Limet Hurry, an FEI dressage stallion. Only to email the owner and find out that he was deceased. Second pick was Crown's Ace of Pearl, from the UK. I tried to contact the owner several times about whether semen was available in the US and got no response. So with those results, my top three picks were Milky Way, Mirabeau, and Yeager, all of whom are sired by Mascarpone. I loved Yeager a lot, he's a fancy eventer who I really like, but he's a buckskin so chances are I may have ended up with a bay baby. Which is fine, but if I'm going to breed, I want to get exactly what I want, which is a baby with some color. I don't plan on doing this twice! (For now at least ;) So Mirabeau it was! He's the right height, conformation, and jumping style I wanted. His babies are all gorgeous. Only downside was that he's in Stallion Book II for RPSI, the registry I plan on for my baby. He was towards the top of my price range, but I really liked him so I went with it!
  • I took Jetta in at the end of July to have a breeding soundness exam. She ended up having a large anovulatory follicle (90mm! A normal follicle is more like 30-40mm at the time of breeding, 35mm being the "magic number" for breeding) that had to go away before she could grow another normal follicle. We gave her some SucroMate (GnRH analog) and prostaglandin to facilitate it's rupture and regression. 
I stole this from the internet, but this is exactly what her anovulatory follicle looked like
  • A week later I took her in to see if the anovulatory follicle had regressed, which it had. I then talked with the breeder to make sure she would be able to collect Mirabeau when Jetta would be in heat (I had the option to short cycle her a few days apart so it would depend on what worked best for the stallion owner, plus it was past the breeding season of August 1st, so I was lucky the stallion owner was willing to work with me during her show season)
  • Two weeks after being short cycled, I dropped her off at the vet's so she could be bred! She had a growing follicle on the Tuesday I took her in. They bred her Thursday and she had ovulated by Friday. Of course I was in Nicaragua this whole time with extremely limited WiFi and no cell service so I was biting my nails the whole time, especially because both the vet and stallion owner called me - I could see that they had called but I couldn't listen to the message or call them back! Turns out she just needed my SSN for shipping the semen, but luckily my vet came through and gave hers instead.
  • At 19 days I took her in to be ultrasounded to confirm the pregnancy and I saw my little nugget! 

Nugget!
  • I got Jetta approved for breeding with the RPSI, mare book I

  • Then a week ago I took her in to check for a heartbeat, and if we were lucky, get the fetus sexed. Jetta was an absolute pain about standing still so no sexing was done, but I got to see my baby's itty-bitty fluttering heartbeat! I was so excited to see it, I was trying to keep my hopes down just in case because it's so easy to lose the embryo in the first 60 days. I might have cried some happy tears.
What my baby currently looks like

I am over the moon excited about my little nugget growing away, it's now the size of a chipmunk! At the 80 day mark it has developed into horse shape from the little sphere it was on our first check. It's only about 4 inches long at the moment, so not very big. I'm slightly tempted to get the baby ultrasounded again so we can get a sex, mainly just so I can narrow down the name choices and reduce the suspense. I keep getting asked whether I want a colt or a filly, but I honestly don't care either way, so I might just let it be a surprise... we will see!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Weekly update

Well, I'm going to try and do a weekly update, we'll see if I can stick with it!

Saturday the 29th - I went to a horse show to watch my roommate ride. She took her two babies (3.5 year olds) to their first show and also her niece and pony. That pony was seriously the cutest thing ever. It was like a model Breyer pony. I had fun helping out and I was kinda glad I decided on not taking Jetta - not only were we not really prepared, the warm-up was absolutely awful and it was hectic enough already with two young horses and a pony!

Look at it's itty bitty dressage bridle!

That perfect little face!

Sunday the 30th - Jetta got her hooves soaked and I ended up cleaning her stall while I waited since I was bored (she's on full care). I love how Jetta doesn't care about having plastic bags strapped to her feet even if she does think they smell funny.

This smells funny...
The manure hill of death... uphill on slick rubber mats. Let the games begin
How 90% of the pitchforks look now

Tuesday the 1st - I went to this super awesome dinner talk put on by the NW Equine Practitioners Association. They do continuing education (CE) talks for veterinarians and it's free for students to go to. A lot of the veterinarians I know were there so it was nice to catch up, get a free catered dinner (and alcohol!) and learn about Bisphosphonates in treating Navicular Syndrome, specifically Osphos. I highly recommend you read up on it if you're interested! A lot of neat research has been done and hopefully more to come in the near future!

Wednesday the 2nd - It was actually sunny when I got out of class and when I got to the barn the arena was full... so we ran away and hit the trails! I've been wanting to go really badly for the last couple weeks but never made it out. It was GORGEOUS. It was no longer sunny by the time we got to the trailhead, but it was still absolutely beautiful with all the fall foliage. We barely saw anyone and when we got to the top of the hill, the view was breathtaking. I'm a little bummed my phone died, but we spent a good 20 minutes soaking up the view (well, Jetta grazed). It was so clear you could see 3 different mountains in the distance and the sun was starting to set, casting a pink glow on them. Gorgeous.


We also got to test out Jetta's new "trail bridle" set up. It's a beta bridle in our color with rope reins and the second waterford bit I bought her. It works perfectly and it'll be nice that I can just hose it down when it gets all sweaty!





Thursday the 3rd - we had a short ride in the arena, nothing fancy but she was fairly good, she looked pretty fancy on the lunge line!



Saturday the 4th - I rode MS's horse Dundee. It's so fun to get to ride other horses, Dundee is so different from Jetta. He's got a HUGE, bouncy warmblood stride. He's pretty lazy but not too bad. He's doing rehab right now so he just started being able to canter a little bit. He was FRESH. For him at least. I had a fun time riding him even when he decided to take off in the canter the first time I asked for it. For the most part he's a really chill guy, plus adorable.

Jetta got a haircut. I was at a loss for what kind of clip I wanted to do this year. I usually really like doing a blanket clip on her, but I wanted to take off less hair this winter and then I saw what SprinklerBandits did to Courage... so we tried to copy. I don't think it turned out as nice as hers, but I think I like it.



Then today, Tuesday the 6th - Jetta just got lunged today while I was on my lunch break from school. I forgot my clippers since I wanted to fix up some of the lines on her clip job, but I guess that'll happen tomorrow. But we got a neat surprise... Chester's back!! I love this little pony. He's the sweetest little guy and he and Jetta love each other and they look like copies almost, one's just miniature!




That little nose!
Best friends
 So now you're all caught up!

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 10 Questions

From Viva Carlos! I've been sitting on this for a while and it's almost not October any more!

What do you consider “jumping high” for yourself?
I've been pretty consistently competing at 2'6" to 2'9" so that height feels comfortable and "small" to me. I've started jumping more consistently at 3' and while it seems big, it's not too scary. So anything over 3' I definitely consider "high".



What are your short term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them? 
Short term goals are just to stick with riding during vet school even if it's just a couple days a week. I want to make it to a couple small shows a year, raise my baby horse and balance it all with school!

Cannot wait for my own baby horse!


Long term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them?
Long term goals include getting my bronze medal in dressage and getting a ribbon at a recognized Horse Trial. And I'd love to someday compete comfortably at Training Level eventing, but that may be very far off!


How many barns have you been at in your riding career?
Oh dear. A lot. I boarded between 2 places when I was younger, but mainly kept the horses at home. Then when college came, I switched a lot. It's hard to find a good barn! I think 4 different barns so far, so 6 total!

How many different trainers have you been with in your riding career? 
Hard to answer since I haven't really been consistently in a program since I was little. I started out with one trainer when I first started riding who was really the best trainer I could have asked for, but unfortunately we had a falling out. I started riding with a different trainer who was also amazing and I still keep in touch with now. When I got interested in dressage and jumping, I started taking lessons concurrently with another trainer. Then once I moved away to college I haven't consistently taken many lessons, though I guess I consider KO my eventing trainer and KB my dressage trainer though it's been over a year since I've seen either of them!


If we could only get this trot in the dressage ring!

Ever worked at a barn? What did you do?
Yes, a lot. I have cleaned stalls, brought horses in, blanketed, fed, exercised and started babies, etc. A lot. I think I've done this at at least three or four barns. I did it in exchange for board a lot, especially when I was boarding 2+ horses. It worked out really great and I really did enjoy it. I kinda miss it!

Scariest thing that has happened at your barn?
I really haven't had too many scary things happen. Grady's colic and having to be euthanized was terrifying and awful, definitely the worst thing I've ever been through. He actually got stuck in the fence because he was rolling close to it and got tangled in it and luckily our neighbor freed him and called my parents.





Will never not miss this guy


Have you ever given a lesson? What level was the rider?
Yes, I gave a lot of lessons on my trusty steed Jazz for 4-H'ers. I used to lead a 4-H group. It was all very basic beginner lessons, a lot of brand new riders.  

What is your opinion on the accuracy of critiquing riders online?
They may be accurate, but most of the judging is done off a snapshot in time without actually knowing the horse and rider. Basically, my philosophy is if I'm not paying for it, I don't want to hear it. That's what professional trainers are for.


What is the ideal height of a horse for you?
16-16.3 hands. Jetta's 16.2 hh so she's the absolute perfect height!