Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 SEFHA Extreme Cowboy Competiiton

Kevin and I are members of SEFHA (Southeastern Farriers and Horseowner's Association) which was started and headed up by our farrier, David Tuggle.

 This past October, the association held a "Cowboy Competition" at the Tuggle Farm and I competed with Jett, one of my OTTBs.
 I had been practicing with my paint mare, but brought both of them, and at the last minuted, decided to give Jett a go - with no practice!













Jett and I ended up somewhere in the middle, points-wise, but I was so proud of him. He was a little freaked and excited, but kept it together, and finished all the tests.

However, when I competed in-hand with my paint mare Princess we came in second. Of course, she was who I had been working with.
 I decided next year, each of the OTTBs will go and compete, as ambassadors for their fellow OTTBs out there! People need to know, and see, that these horses can and will do anything. Not just jumping, CX and dressage.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Childhood Dream.

As a horse crazy girl I dreamed of horses..... all I could think about was horses.

Eventually the dream came true, and is still coming true to this day....

After all these years the romance has kind of worn off; and "spark" is not always there.... and sometimes horses are a downright chore.

When I have to muck stalls in 20 degree weather or 100 degree weather, I tell myself: "This is my childhood dream, coming true."

 When I am raking hay on the hottest afternoon of the year, breathing in tractor exhaust and getting sunburned, I tell myself: "This is your childhood dream, coming true."

 When I write the check for the vet bill, or the farrier, or the new winter blankets....I tell myself, "This is your childhood dream, coming true."

When I scrub out and dress a wicked, bloody, stinky, large laceration, I think to myself, "This is your childhood dream, coming true."
When I break ice off of water tanks, pay a fortune for horse feed, deal with rain rot, fix fence boards, scrub buckets, and find a hoof abscess, I tell myself: "This is your childhood dream, coming true."

And somehow, it makes everything seem better.

Because I am living in my dream.... and the dream didn't end with adulthood; it just got better.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nervous and Fidgety Horses and Weight Issues - Is There A Link Here?

The last two TBs we got off the track included a mare and a gelding. The mare adjusted to life on our farm wonderfully, and after a brief period of weight issues and skin fungus, she is now totally "normal".
The gelding, who we now call "Monty", is a different matter. We have had him a year and a half and are still having weight issues with him.
I have tried everything the feed stores have to offer - high fat feeds, pelleted feeds, weight gain supplements, alfalfa pellets, alfalfa cubes, corn oil, yadda yadda yadda........ in addition to free choice quality hay and fresh water. And while we did see a lot of improvement (For a while last summer I thought he was just going to die; and no one could figure out what was wrong.) I still think he looks ribby and underweight.

This morning when I went to the barn to feed, I had a revelation, I think. I had turned Monty out in the barn yard to eat his nightly hay, as I think the mares in the herd paddock don't let him eat the hay we set out for all of them, and chase him off.

 There, in the barn yard spongy wet turf, he had worn a trench next to the fence from pacing it all.night.long. It looked like someone had gone in there with a shovel and dug out a shallow trench along the fence line! The 50 lb. chunk of hay I had set out for him last evening was gone, as well as several other leftover hay droppings under the hayloft door; so I know he ate.

 I then proceeded to feed him his morning ration (Several pounds of high fat sweet feed and "hay replacer" pellet - a new experiment) in his stall, and left the door open for him, while I fed the other horses and did morning chores. He would grab a bite from his feeder, and walk out, up the isle, make a large circle in the barnyard, and walk back - (rinse and repeat)......
I shut the stall door. He grabs a bite, circles his stall, and gets another.

About a month ago, we had to have his pasture buddy, a very aged QH gelding, put down. After that, we have been trying to gradually integrate him into the herd with the other 5 horses. And he has gotten increasingly fidgety, nervous, and worries all the time.

We only stall the horses for nasty weather, and feeding, and to hold the horses while we're doing various chores in the pastures and have to have the gates open for tractors, fence repairs, etc. And when he is in his stall, he paces, weaves, and works on shredding his heavy plastic feeder that is attached to the wall. He doesn't crib, just shreds.

So I am beginning to wonder now if his nervousness, worrying, and fidgeting is a factor in our on going weight gain issue. Has anyone else had a OTTB do this? Do calming supplements work? I've thought of giving those a try.

I also switched my radio station from hard rock to classical.

He just seems to be getting worse since he lost his buddy and cannot seem to get along with the other horses and just stands in the corner waiting for me to come and feed him twice a day; pacing and weaving.
I could understand it if I kept him in a stall 24/7 but I don't. It's like paranoid stall behavior in a paddock/pasture situation.


PS - He's not being ridden yet, because he was so "sick" last summer and fall and no one could figure out what was wrong so we didn't put him under any training stresses. Then in the fall he was plagued by abscesses in both front feet and was lame for a couple of months while we worked on it with our farrier. He walked around in  Easy Boots for weeks. Even at his hoof trimming appt. a couple of weeks ago, there were still issues from the abscesses. I have only just in the past few weeks started working him a little bit on a lounge line. So perhaps the nervousness is penned up energy finding a release. I dunno. I am stumped.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I rode in my vintage jods yesterday and it was interesting. I didn't wear tall boots; I actually wore a new pair of  western Justin ropers I had bought recently because they need breaking-in.
Anyhoo, the jods were "tight" in some places and loose in others - obviously; they're loose through the hips.:P
I think it was less "tight" and more that they have no stretch and it is an unusual feeling, for someone used to riding in modern day stretchy breeches.
But for the most part I can report that these vintage jods are super comfy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Vintage Jodphurs!

LOVE these vintage jodphurs I bought on Etsy. They're from the 30's - 40's, I'm guessing. They're a little bit big for me but easily customized to fit.
They're from back in the days when almost all riding gear was unisex; women had to wear smaller men's sizes. They're surprisingly comfortable to wear, and made from a soft cotton twill that has been nicely broken in.
I was inspired by Nicole Kidman's 1930s riding outfits in the movie "Australia" when she went cattle droving with Hugh Jackman. *Swoon*
I wonder what funny looks I'd get if I wore these to ride in a show, clinic, or trail ride?
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Want To Give Jackie Kennedy A Riding Lesson

When I saw this photo of Jackie Kennedy, the retired riding instructor in me cringed.......

I wanted to  yell at her - as politely as I could - to STOP pulling that lovely fellow's mouth!

I wanted to tell her to relax her elbows and for Pete's sake - BREATHE!

I also wanted to tell her that she had to work at the walk and trot in 2-point position and get her leg back where it belonged; instead of it floating clear out to his shoulder; and to  drag her seat forward a few inches in the saddle instead of practically sitting on the cantle.

Oh well. Anyway, there is a whole book about Jackie O's love of horses and riding; and some very elegant photos. Including this one - which to me is not so elegant but never mind. :)
 The Private Passion of Jackie Kennedy Onassis: Portrait of a Rider

I know it's been a while since posting here; and I intend to do so more often. I've decided to get out and do more things with my horses this year, and devote more attention to my favorite hobby.

I recently became fascinated with vintage riding outfits, and bought some nifty old breeches - the kind with the puffy hips!! They are so cool; I'll post photos soon.

In other news: we said goodbye to Cisco a few weeks ago; the winter is always so hard on the elderly horses, no matter how well we care for them. :( He was well into his 30's, and had a very happy retirement; of that you can be sure.

Farewell for now!

PS - Biggest boo boo of all....... NO HELMET! :)

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