Moving On

Monday, August 15, 2011

Well, I had plans to write this big catch up post but time has just gotten away from me.  And quite frankly I just can't think of everything that's happened.  So we're just starting fresh.

We have a new boarder in the barn, Courtney.  She just moved here from Texas to work as an engineer at Shell in Cranberry.  Very, very nice.  And she has two very cool horses.  Bucky is her BIG (17.3 h) Dutch Warmblood gelding.  She has shown him through Intermediare and is school Prix St. Georges so it's really neat to watch her work him.  I want to take Twinkie out with him someday and just let her watch.  Maybe she'll learn a thing or two.  :)  Courtney's other horse is her young pony mare, Kiwi.  Kiwi's just been under saddle for about 7 months, so she's still just learning, but oh so cute to watch.  It's nice because Courtney will come out in the evenings after work, so I've been getting in a few extra rides on my days off with her.

I'm starting to get out to the barn super early on Saturdays so I can find time to ride all the horses that Bonnie keeps adding to my string.  I haven't been on Kaye since the combined test at South Farm two months ago, and actually I'm okay with that.  I've got so many other great rides that I don't mind giving her a break from me.  She does enough with all the little kids, especially in this heat.  I'm still riding Bugsy every chance I get.  And after our success at the Boyd Martin clinic I've decided to enter him at Erie Hunt and Saddle Club Horse Trials on August 20th.  Erie is a great local event and I really encourage everyone to support EHSC.  We've been in the process of changing out the arena footing the last couple of weeks.  The new footing is all in now, but we haven't moved the jumps back yet.  We'd like to get them washed before we do that, so it's been a lot of dressage work.  Which I don't mind in the least.  I know Bugsy will jump everything, that's not a problem.  And water will be an option so I won't even attempt that.  And I know that if I can just get a good dressage ride, we have a chance at doing really well this weekend.  I had some real break through moments with Bugsy and I'm really pleased with how well he's going for me.  It's kinda funny actually.  He's really rather agreeable to working for me.  I certainly don't make him do it.  But I bribe him with lots of treats.  I and ride him enough like he likes, as in I know what I'm doing and I know how to ask for it.  But on the other hand I don't have enough leg on him to annoy him, and I don't pick on him, so he likes that.  So he's agreeable to working.  Plus I think he realizes that if I wasn't riding him, no one would be.  And Bugs is not one that enjoys hanging around without a job to do. 

The other horse Bonnie had recently added to my string is none other than Scarey Airy!  I had tried riding Airy in the past and it just wasn't a good match at the time.  I still had the tendency to grab with my legs and of course Airy took that to mean take off.  On the flat it wasn't too bad, but try and jump and she just bolted into the fences.  Fast forward a few years and lots of lunge lessons later, and low and behold, I can actually ride her.  And pretty well too if I do say so myself!  I got on her again for the first time a few weeks ago, originally only intending to ride her on the flat.  But after some good flatwork Bonnie suggested trying her over a couple fences.  We had been getting along well so I figured "why not?"  And Airy was a gem!  No rushing, just nice and easy over the fences.  She's such a change when jumping from Kaye and Bugsy. Both of them are so powerful over a fence, you really feel them sit back and push off into the jump.  With Airy though, you could close your eyes and honestly you wouldn't able to tell when she jumps, she's that smooth.  No less powerful than Bugs or Kaye, she's just a warmblood and jumps like one.

I've also started working with Twinkie a little bit again. She has been her usual good self.  I lunged her a bit before I got on her the first time, of course it was completely unnecessary.  I got on her and she was so good for me.  She's still a wiggle worm under saddle, we haven't quite figured out how to move off my leg yet, but she's getting there.  And she's very willing at both the walk and trot.  She really needs her feet done and shoes on the front so we haven't done too much with her yet.  But Ari did get on her and walk her a bit the one day and they got along well.

Let's see, what else has been happening?  Well X decided to scare the crap out of me a couple weeks ago.  It was Saturday and Jim was coming to put hay up in the loft.  So Bonnie, Katie, Victoria and I were upstairs doing that.  While waiting for Jim between bales I poked my head down the trap door into X's stall to say hi and he was laying flat out in his stall.  Very much not like him to do when there are people in the barn.  I called down to him and he lifted his head to look up at me but made no move to get up.  At this point I wasn't too concerned, it was super hot and he was in an inside stall, so I just thought he was stressing because he was overheated.  By the time I got downstairs he was working on getting up, so I snapped on a lead shank and took him out to the arena to hose him off and cool him down.  We go through the whole hose and scrape routine a couple times and I take him into the barn and clip him in the crossties where he can get the cross breeze.  I ask the kids to start working on his stall for me, and then Sarah comes over and tells me there's blood in his stall.  It's a tiny little bit, maybe like an inch in diameter.  I noticed he had a few places where he had rubbed on like his hip so I figured that's what it came from.  But I checked him over again just to be safe.  As I knelt down to feel his legs, I looked up and saw this:

You can imagine the panic I went through.  Well Bonnie managed to get me calmed down and she and Katie took him out to the ring to wash him well while I called Dr. Maro.  He didn't think it was too serious, it wasn't bleeding much and it didn't seem to bother him at all.  Keep it clean and moist and he would be out in the afternoon to stitch him up.   Needless to say it ended up being a long day for me.  Dr. Maro didn't make it out until about 5, and well, the location of the cut made it somewhat difficult to stitch.  But he was taken care of, he'll probably have a scar I'm sure, but he's okay and in one piece, so for that I am grateful.

Buppi is a lightweight!

After the stitches

Other than that it's just been a lot of working at both jobs.  I'm so ready for a break from that, let me tell you.  Erie's coming up this week, so I should have more to report soon!