Thursday, June 30, 2011

Long time no post!

It feels like it's been forever since I last posted even though this week has flown by. I've found that it's harder for me to post during summer because I'm busier - I have all the horses to ride, work and online classes. Plus the internet here at home is suuuper slow so posting is difficult, especially when I have to spend an hour uploading pictures!

Not much has been going on. After I got back from Inavale I felt really sick for two days. Today I felt 100% better and went to ride Jetta. That was fun. She was a complete and total brat, but that's what I get for abandoning her in the pasture for over a week! I had a tummy ache after riding her, so I decided to quit on a semi-good note and not push her too much farther. On our walk back up to the barn I had an allergy attack which confined me to the house until I got it under control. Having trouble breathing is not fun!

We rode around the pasture and she was actually not too, too terrible. She did pull on me a lot and threw in a few bucks when I asked her to canter, but it could have been a ton worse. Of course, with all of that pulling she did (and I did back) I got a massive blister between my middle and ring finger. Ouch. It hurts. What is with me and blisters?! This is my third one in less than a week, geez! But it's my fault for allowing Jetta to pull so much and for forgetting to wear my gloves.

The goal is to ride her every day until next Tuesday, when we head off to a three-day clinic. I'm beginning to feel some major doubts about my decision to sign up because of Jetta's behavior. I'm guessing I'm going to be among the minority - probably the only one with a half-trained Thoroughbred! Two girls I know are taking their FEI level, imported Warmbloods. Sigh... So jealous, I just have to keep reminding myself that I love my horse, I love my horse.

Somewhere in there Jetta's going to get a bath so she can get all pretty and then we need to work on our trailering skills. I'm thinking that is going to be a whole load of fun. It's not the getting in the trailer that's the problem, it's the tying and getting shut in with the divider that's the problem. I will come armed with a head-bumper. I promise I'll take pictures of her with it on because I'm sure she's going to look pretty hilarious with a "horse helmet" on. Heehee :) And we might even squeeze in a lesson with JF sometime this weekend, I hope. I also plan on taking up jumping lessons again with RC, but this summer I will be riding Jetta. That's kind of a scary thought... but I'm really looking forward to developing Jetta into a jumping horse, especially since we now have Inavale to look forwards to next year!

Well, I promise I'll try to post more often!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Inavale HT Recap

Well, no pretty purple ribbon for us :( I'll admit I'm a little disappointed, given how competitive I am, even though I say I could care less about how I do, I really want that ribbon! But how can I be that disappointed when I have such an awesome horse?! Have I mentioned how much I love this horse? I love this horse! We went double clear in show jumping!

I was super nervous because this round could have determined if we placed in the ribbons or not. The jumps were incredibly over decorated and there was one that I dubbed "the scary jump". I was scared that we'd have a refusal but I was determined not to let that happen! It was finally my turn and at least I remembered the course! The course was very well designed, it rode super well and was a smooth and fun ride.

Jazz was a little wiggly to the second jump that was covered in flowers but I kept my leg on and we made it over. The scary jump was barely even looked at by Jazz, I think I was more scared of it than she was! The next four jumps went smoothly, then came the "sunshine" combination. I turned pretty tightly so Jazz didn't get a good look at it before we approached so she gave it the hairy eyeball. I crack myself up sometimes - I yelled at her to "git over it!" and she did! We had a time of 1:04 and the maximum was 1:21. Yay!

Unfortunately that wasn't enough and even though most of the other riders got at least one jump penalty, it wasn't enough to make up for all of the penalties I incurred over cross country. But it was a learning experience at least. It was my first event so at least now I know that XC is the most important! Even though I placed 4th in Dressage and double clear in Stadium, XC is worth the most. The second place girl had originaly placed 11th in dressage! At least that means I can stop stressing about my test :)

But even without bringing home a ribbon it was still worth every penny I paid. I had a blast even though I am slightly worse for the wear - covered in bruises and blisters and I think I pulled a muscle in my thigh, lol. I wish I could afford more than just one horse trial every summer, but that would be hard given that the closest trials besides Inavale are in Washington :(

The "scary" jump that wasn't all that scary!

Camera issues = blurry pictures, but this is still one of my favs!

First in the sunshine combination - the actual "scary" one.

Final jump! So happy that I made it all clear!

Such a cute jump!

One of the greatest things about this weekend was the people. I love horse people and the people at this event were awesome. The first example is just how friendly and enthused about their sport everyone is. Heading for XC I had several people I didn't know wish me good luck and tell me how well the course ran. After I was done with XC a lady I didn't know ask if she could borrow my crop for her round. I gave it to her and told her what row I was in so she could return it. I wasn't really sure I would get it back, but later that day I found it sitting in front of my stall waiting for me.

The last, and most awesome example of how great eventers are, is when my trailer broke. The part that you turn to raise the trailer up and down wasn't working and we couldn't get it to go up. We asked a guy sitting by his trailer, enjoying a beer if he had a wrench and could help us and miraculously he did! He found a wrench and used that and his leatherman to pull apart the thing-y to see if there was something he could fix. Unfortunately it was something deep inside the piece of equipment so he couldn't fix it so he ended up un-bolting the whole thing so we could take it out and get going. It took him almost an hour and when we thanked him he just said "That's what people do - we help eachother." I love these people :)

I can't wait for next year! It will finally be Jetta's turn. The poor horse must be feeling neglected because I've ridden her once since I've gotten home, but I'm sure she's enjoying her freedom in the pasture!

Friday, June 24, 2011



Jazz was just phenomenal today. First up we had dressage at 8:45 - I was super nervous which of course didn't help. Jazz was being super good about being responsive to my leg though with all the excitement going on she was a little tense in her neck and not as bendy as she should be. We had an ok test - she spooked at the letters (very unlike her!) and then was counterbent for most of one circle and had a couple jig steps when we were supposed to be walking. I ended up getting a 34, which I was pretty happy with and I placed 4th in my division! Out of 16, I was pretty happy with that. The comments on my scores were pretty lame though - the only negative comments were "counter-bent" and there was one positive comment for my free walk. Oh well, I know what we needed to work on anyways. But I was glad to get that over with!

Then I walked the cross country course. I had to work yesterday so I only got to walk the course once (this morning). Considering that it was pretty good! The XC went amazing, I am in love with my horse! She did refuse at the second fence (twice! naughty pony) and I don't really understand why - probably a combination of the jump judges sitting close and Jazz was like "what are you doing there!" and then there was a gravel path right in front of the jump so Jazz was looking at that instead of the jump and I don't think I rode her strongly enough up to the jump. Oh well, after I got her over that jump she was perfect! Barely even glanced at anything else. We ended up getting penalized for the two refusals and some time faults as well - we were almost a minute over optimum even though we were booking it! We are now in ninth place. But I had such a blast! I am super exhausted, especially after all that walking. I have a blister on the bottom of my foot and it hurts! I'm being a baby and trying not to walk anywhere because it hurts so tomorrow's not going to be fun. My dad said that I can use the golf cart next year which will be soooo nice. I now really, really want a ribbon. They give them out all the way to eighth so I have to move up one spot in stadium. Usually we have no refusals so we just have to make the optimum time. The only problem is that I don't really have a lot of experience in judging how fast we have to go in order to make time, so we're probably just going to go as quickly as possible without getting out of control :) Wish us luck!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Our trail ride the other day was awesome! We found a deep part of a stream to go swimming and it was FUN! Katy is such a water horse! It was super cute. Here's some pictures from our adventure:

I'm so excited for Inavale!!!! I'm slighly past the I'm-so-excited-I-can't-sit-still stage to the I'm-so-nervous-I- feel-sick stage. But mostly excited! I have dressage tomorrow at 8:45am and XC at 11:11am. Let's hope that it all goes well! As long as I don't forget my dressage test and I hope we have no refusals on XC though there's a pond, ditch and brush box that may be a little scary on the approach. Inavale was mentioned on Eventing Nation - so neat! I'll post how it goes tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer :)

It's finally decided to be beautiful today! Almost 80 degrees. I feel like I'm going to die of heatstroke but then I think of how it'll feel when it reached 90 or 100 degrees!

Guess what I got in the mail today? A new helmet!! So excited and it's just in time for Inavale this weekend. It fits perfectly. In fact, I'm sitting here wearing it like a dork while typing this, lol. I forgot I had it on!

The horses looked adorable this morning - they were all snoozing and everyone but Jazz was laying down. I'm off to go ride Jetta then ML and I are going to go to a local horse trails park and go scavaging for somewhere to swim. I found this beautiful, crystal clear pool last year that was swam in, tucked into the woods so I hope I can find it again!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Katy and Jetta are finally home! It's so nice to have them right in my backyard and it makes me happy to see how happy they are out in the pasture.

It was super funny - they couldn't figure out whether to run or eat first so they alternated - ran a few steps, grabbed a mouthful of grass, ran and bucked a little more, ate a bit more. Very cute.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lumpy Pony

Poor Jetta. I came out to the barn today to find this:

Don't know what caused it - she's had the same bedding, same hay, same grain. Didn't get turned out in the past two days, didn't get sprayed with anything. Weird. She was sooo itchy too. I ended up not riding her and just gave her a bath so hopefully she'll be a little less itchy. I hope it goes away soon! I feel so bad for her, she just looks terrible :(

In other news, Jazz got her blood pulled for her Coggins today - the Inavale show is 8 days away! Let the countdown begin :) She's going to get a bath sometime this week and another one next week so I can make sure that she looks her best. She got all of her whiskers and bridlepath trimmed up, now I need to get started on cleaning tack and getting everything together. I'm so excited!!! For that and Jetta comes home this Sunday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Toxic Plants & Horses

Since it's spring/early summer in most areas, I thought I'd do a post about some toxic plants to horses. I've had one up close and personal with one toxic plant: buttercups. Luckily there are only a few dotting our pasture, but Jetta of course decided to sample them. Most of the time, horses won't eat them because they aren't very palatable, unless of course you have an overgrazed pasture or an idiot horse who is bored and curious.

Mouth ulcers can result from eating toxic plants - this is what
Jetta's sores looked like.
 None of these photos are mine, but show you what to look for and the symptoms of ingestion.

Buttercup - part of the Ranunculus genus.
 Buttercup ingestion causes irritation of the mouth, colic-like symptoms and diarrhea. The one that I experienced is irritation of mouth - Jetta had lesions on either side of her mouth.

Plants Toxic to Horses - Bracken Fern
Bracken Fern - very common in the NW. Toxic even if it is dried and baled into hay.
Symptoms of bracken fern poisoning may include: loss of coordination, depressed heart rate, arrhythmia, weight loss and eventual death if not promptly treated.

Milkweed - I think most people know that
milkweed is poisonous, but if not, take note!
Signs of milkweed poisoning are: disorientation, loss of muscular control, spasming, rapid and weak pulse and respiratory paralysis. Ingestion is rarely fatal, but still needs immediate veterinarian attention.

Plants Toxic to Horses - Pigweed
Pigweed ingestion can cause kidney failure, as well as respiratory distress, weakness, lack of coordination and coma.

Plants Toxic to Horses - Red Maple
Red Maple is another common toxic plant.
Red Maple's fresh leaves are considered ok. But the fallen and wilted leaves can be toxic. Just three pounds of fallen leaves can be lethal. Also look for these leaves in your hay as they are still toxic when dried. Other symptoms are depression, dark brown urine, rapid pulse, increased respiration and coma .

Azaleas are poisonous to horses
Azaleas are toxic to all animals - including your dogs!
 Symptoms of azalea poisoning include: excessive salivation, usually green and frothy, muscular weakness, slow heartrate, vision problems, colic and gastrointestinal problems. If left untreated, poisoning by this plant can cause death within a few days.

Cherry is poisonous to horses.
Cherry (all varieties) and peach, are toxic because they produce cyanide.
Consumption of the leaves from these plants can result in death within minutes if enough are consumed. Other symptoms include: troubled/labored breathing, flared nostrils, loss of control of urination and defecation, lack of coordination, trembling and agitation. Basically, cyanide prevents the absorption of oxygen into the blood stream to horses basically suffocates. The leaves are the most toxic when the plant is stressed or wilted.

Black walnut, which is poisonous to horses.
Black Walnut
Black walnut isn't actually toxic when ingested. It's toxic when the horse's feet comes into contact with it, such as in shavings, and it causes laminitis. Only 10% of black walnut in your shavings can bring on laminitis and even the nuts falling in the pasture can make the ground toxic.

Oleander is seriously poisonous to horses.
Oleander is very toxic
Horses don't have to consume very much of Oleander to cause symptoms and any part of the plant is toxic. Luckily this plant is very unpalatable, but it is commonly consumed by horses when accidently included in grass clippings. Symptoms of ingestion include: death within 12-24 hours, labored breathing, profuse sweating, abdominal pain or colic-like symptoms, diarrhea (may or may not be bloody), abnormal heartbeat (either too fast, too slow, or erratic), poor circulation, tremors or shaking and muscle pain and twitching.

These are just a few of the plants that can be toxic to horses, just doing a quick google search will turn up a whole bunch more!
Source: Understanding Horse Nutrition - Poisonous Plants

The best treatment is prevention. We mow our pasture to keep the weeds down. Know where your hay comes from and check for toxic plants in the hay. Make sure that there are no toxic trees in or bordering the pasture. If you suspect that a horse has eaten enough of a plant to cause major physical problems or enough to be fatal, don't hesitate to contact your vet for advice and/or treatment!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blog Header Woes...

Went up and rode Jetta today. She comes back home this coming weekend, I'm so glad she's coming home! I get to fatten her up on pasture :)

Anyways, is there someone out there that wants to make me a new blog header? :) I have failed majorly at trying to make one - they're either too big or too small, I need one that's just right! I thought I knew how to make one, but apparently not, lol.

Here's my attempts - I want something similar - turquoise border or text that says:
 "TBA - Thoroughbred Adventure
It's not just a horse, it's an adventure!" I can email you the picture files. Desperately need help please!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shiny Pony!

Had a really good ride yesterday! After Jetta's brief adventure outside *without me* she was very well behaved. Of course the one time Jetta decides to take an unchaperoned trip outside, there was a bunch of people at the barn because the vet was out and all the horses were getting teeth and vaccinations done. Oh joy. I bet I looked wonderful trying to wrangle my mega-hyper horse and hanging on to her nose while someone asks me if I need a halter (Uh, yes??) Sigh.

She made up for it though after I lunged her naughty butt for a few minutes. She was super quiet with her head today - no bobbing - and our canter transitions were much smoother than they had been, still a little too fast, but better. Our stretchy trot is really coming along!

Jetta was less than thrilled when I rewarded her good behavior with... a bath. Yes, miss "I like to wear a coat of mud and other gross-ness at all times" got washed! I loved the comparison between washing cars and horses over at The Literary Horse. So true! Washing cars is a whole lot easier than horses, but I don't like washing my car, I'd much rather wash my horse while she tries to dance around and get tangled in the hose, shakes water all over me, steps on the hose repeatedly and refuses to move and tries to swing her butt into me so I will stop spraying her. Geez. At least after a few minutes Jetta reduced her evasions to obnoxiously bobbing her head. It is so much easier when the wash rack has cross ties!!! Finally.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Picks: Helmets

June 11th is the Riders4Helmets International Helmet Awareness Day. It's right around the corner so if you're thinking of buying a new helmet, that is the day to do it!

A list of participating retailers can be found here, check to see if there's one in your state. Note that this is International Helmet Awareness Day, so there are participating retailers in Canada, the UK and Australia! SmartPak is doing a sale - 20% off helmets + free shipping! Equestrian Collections is also supporting this Helmet Awareness Day.

As you might know I'm a big supporter of wearing a helmet at all times. It might not being a magic piece of equipment that will prevent all injuries, but it might just save you from a concussion or lessen the impact of a fall or kick to the head. If you make it a habit, you might just forget you're even wearing a helmet :)

I personally love my helmet - if you're looking for a comfy helmet that's not going to break the bank then a Tipperary might just be the helmet for you. I love the visibility, lightness and coolness it provides. I'll admit it does look a little funky, but it's worth it :)

I also have an IRH Elite Extreme Helmet to use as a show helmet. While I do love my Tipperary, quirkyness and all, I sometimes get a few weird sideways glances at hunter and dressage shows. These are well vented and low profile. I really like mine!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Guess What?!

Guess what?

I am entered to compete in the Inavale Horse Trials!!! I'm so excited! (Can't you tell?)

I'm going to ride Jazz - sorry Jetta. But this is my first recognized event EVER and I don't think Jetta's quite ready yet. We haven't even gotten to go cross country schooling yet, so maybe next year.

I'm really excited and really nervous at the same time. This is a huge event because it's the only recognized event in our area, maybe even the whole state. Sure, it's only a half star event, but still. I'm so excited!

We are going to compete at Beginner Novice level because while I know Jazz can do Novice, I want to make sure we do it well, given that this is our first time in the "big leagues". I can't convey to you how absolutely excited I am, I hope that we finish well - I don't care how we place as long as we 1) don't get eliminated, 2) do our absolute best that I know we can, and 3) no falling off!

Can't wait to be doing a whole lot of this on a big, rolling course!

I do have a couple questions for those of you out there who have actually competed in an actual recognized horse trials:

1) Are whips not allowed in dressage? I thought I saw this when reading the rule book, but now looking back, I can't find it anywhere.
2) If the bit you are using has a noseband attached, are you still required to have a caveson for cross country?
3) How do vet checks work? I'm assuming there's a jog beforehand and they check your horse after cross country to make sure they're not ready to keel over, right? What are the expectations for the vet checks?

I just want to make sure I don't get disqualified :) Any tips and pointers would be appreciated! I am now going to start counting down the seconds until June 24th!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Horse World Gives Back Retail Day

If you've been reading this blog for a while than you know I'm a self-admitted "tack collector". I specifically love new, different and interesting tack innovations. Anyways, if you are like me, then today would be a good day to buy something because 5% of sales will go to the American Red Cross and US Disaster Equine Relief fund. How cool is it to say that you're part of a huge community that will do things like this? A good example of why horse people are awesome (most of the time)! Here are a couple things that I found perusing participating retailers...

I've been drooling over these jods by Sonnenreiter for ages

Personalized Horse Products make these gorgeous color-padded halters

Cute pad! Moxie 2-way pad at Just Equus

The Tack Shop sells English Riding Supply stuff - they have the hugest selection ever!
And there's so much more! Go take a look and find something to buy :)