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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Food for Thought

It seems that lately everywhere I turn there is talk of what we feed our horses. What kind of supplements do you use? How much is hay costing in your area? Do those supplements work? So for today's post I thought I'd fill you in on what my ponies eat.
For starters they are out on grass whenever possible. My horses live turned out (almost) 24/7. The exceptions to that being 1) if someone is sick or injured and 2) if we are away at an overnight event (such as our provincial finals). In the winter and early spring they are fed hay instead of the grass. Hay is in the form of round bales (squares for horses kept in) and are usually grass but sometimes they are grass/alfalfa mix. They also are provided with salt blocks to use whenever they want.
In addition to the grass (or hay) the horses all have their own little individualized "extras" as follows:

Cessa gets 2 cups of beet pulp (measured dry but then soaked). On top of that I add 2 cups of senior feed, 1 cup of rolled oats and 2 scoops of Joint Combo (by Farnam) and 2 scoops of For the Long Run (by Smooth Run). This is all mixed together and then topped with some ground flax and about 1 cup of vegetable oil.

Raincloud gets a small scoop of sweet feed with 2 scoops of Smooth Run (by Smooth Run, duh lol) and ground flax.

Fat Bastard... er, I mean Quinn gets a very small bit of sweet feed (like maybe a handful) with 2 scoops of Joint Combo (by Farnam) and 2 scoops of Smooth Run plus Calmer (by Smooth Run). The SR+C does seem to help him not be such a freak show but due to his antics at the trainer's (see previous posts) I still can't trust him. I will continue feeding him this until he is re-homed in the hopes that it will keep him "even" enough for me to handle his day-to-day stuff. He just gets enough sweet feed to add the SR+C and the Joint Combo.

All the Smooth Run product comes in powder form, therefore there is no filler! However the horses can pick their grain out and leave the powder behind. :( BUT, I have a trick... I mix just enough water into the grain and Smooth Run product to bind the powder to the sweet feed. It works! The ponies eat their grain and Smooth Run and none of the powder is left behind!! :) This is only necessary for the boys, Cessa's "extras" has enough moisture without having to add more water.
And of course, the ponies all get their share of horse cookies! My horses live with Kimfer's and her dad's horses... strange thing, none of our horses eat the typical horse treats like carrots or apples. My horses however aren't picky about what kind of horse cookies they get! (although Kimfer's can be)

What about you, what do your horses get fed?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Progress!

Went to a jackpot today, actually two because it was a double-header. Didn't really know what to expect after our little "training session" on Wednesday. That was when we discovered that Raincloud thinks HE'S the boss and I think I am the boss. lol We also discovered that he seems to behave better if we have a little "serious talk", by which I mean that I get tough and demand he do what I ask. I need to be a way more aggressive rider with him than with Cessa or any of the other horses I've had/rode.
So on to the jackpot today... we had a decent warm-up and then had to wait awhile until our turn in the first jackpot. When our turn was getting near I took him out to the field and loped some circles. I really made him move, none of this lazy "oh I can barely lope" crap. Also made sure to really demand that he circle where I wanted him to. Didn't let him get away with bulging out on one side of the circle and falling in on the other. Then I made him do side-passes at a trot and walk on our way back to the arena area.
When we went in I let him walk in like I have been and then asked for a lope, which he picked up right away. Our pattern wasn't super fast but it was MUCH better than it has been since we've started running outside! :)
Between jackpots I loosened his saddle, took off his bridle and gave him a couple cookies. Let him relax at the trailer until the second jackpot started.
When it did I walked/trotted until it was again getting near our turn. Then I went and loped some more circles. Again making sure that he realized that I was supposed to be the one in charge. Our second run was good too, it was a bit faster but I also asked him to pick up his lope outside of the gate.
All in all I was very happy with the progress we showed today... maybe some time soon I'll be able to start picking up some $$ again!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tricky Question!

The following is a true story:

Not long after Pete & I had gotten engaged he came home from work with an interesting story. It seems he'd seen a story on t.v. about a couple and their horse. It was one of those "puff pieces" and basically was the man had a horse before he got married. Met a woman who became his wife. Horse did NOT like this woman. The horse was getting to the point where it was becoming aggressive to the wife. (would nip her and strike/paw at her) Almost seemed like a jealousy thing. It came down to the wife telling her husband "its me or the horse".
After relaying the story to me and commenting on how funny it was Pete (jokingly) says to me, "No question. You'd pick Princess over me, right?"
Hmmm.... how to answer that. Umm, smile and go to the other room.
Pete follows me in and asks, "You would, wouldn't you?" Not quite as jokingly as before.
I smile and say "Well, I have known her a lot longer than I've known you."

Thank goodness Pete has a pretty good sense of humour. :) To this day he teases me that I love Cessa more than him. Come to think of it, it was shortly after this conversation that he started to take more of an interest in coming to the barn and learning more about actually helping out rather than just keeping me company. ;)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Physical Limitations

This seems to be a fitting topic for today. I had my massage therapist appointment and Raincloud had an appointment with the equine chiro/laser therapist. (he's fine, just a few spots weren't quite right)
We all have limitations, some are physical some are mental. Some are "fixable" or at least workable. Others are for a lifetime. I'm aiming to talk about this without whining, I'm pretty matter of fact about it now. So if it seems to be a pity party that's not how I've intended it (change my tone of voice in your head!) ;)
My physical limitations... where to start. I know I've mentioned a little bit before. I have pain daily, sometimes worse than others. I'm used to it for the most part... on my "good days" I almost forget that I have pain. Fortunately these are becoming more the norm. :) I have a great massage therapist (Chrissie) and an awesome chiropractor (Dr.B). I see Chrissie once a month for an hour and a half. Sounds like heaven but it hurts like hell. :) I used to see her every two weeks for an hour, but she's moved to another province and now comes here once a month to treat clients. Dr.B I see every other week. She's a tiny woman but powerful!
Part of the reason I need these treatments is that I when I was younger I had a stretch of bad luck. (I'm in my mid 30's now, this period started was I was 16) In about 5 or 6 years I had 7 car accidents. For the record, I am NOT that bad a driver!! I was never the person "at fault". :) Most of the accidents weren't that serious. A couple times I drove off the road, into the ditch. Unfortunately this would be off the highway. :x (not my fault, black ice, snow storms... fault was "road & weather conditions") A couple accidents were minor fender benders.
The worst one, which was incidentally the first one, is also the one that I think most affects me physically. (affects, effects... can never remember which is which!)
Kimfer & I were coming home from a riding lesson. Kimfer was driving her mom's car. As we drove past the town of Martensville a girl (who only had a learner's permit) pulled ONTO the frickin HIGHWAY without stopping. Yup, smart... pull out of town onto the highway into the side of our vehicle. Even crappier, for me, was that her car plowed right into my side of the car. Now she wasn't going THAT fast, but we were going highway speed (100 km/hr. or approx 62 miles/hr.) We spun around 1 1/2 times. To this day my whole right side is f'd up.
Major accident #2 was when I got rear-ended in my cute little Toyota. I was driving down a busy blacktop road (speed limit 90 km/hr). This road had a "T" intersection where you could either go straight or turn right. The speed limit changes here from 90 to 70. I was slowing down and signalling to turn right. The lady behind me didn't see me signalling and was also failing to slow down for the new speed limit. WHAM! She hits me from behind.
Now that accident could have been a lot worse. I found out afterward that they (police, vehicle repair people, anyone who saw the car and the accident) were shocked that I walked out with little more than bumps, bruises, muscle soreness and whiplash. Turns out that my spare tire may have saved me. I had just got new tires for my car. It was a little Toyota sports car with the wide, low profile tires. I kept the best of my old ones for a spare. So instead of the usual little tiny "donut" tire spare in my trunk I had a big-ass full size tire. The entire trunk and most of the back-end of the car was collapsed around this tire which in turn took a heck of a lot of the impact away from me! Thanks Dad for teaching us kids to keep a good spare tire :)
The 3rd major accident was at a relatively slow speed. I was driving down the main street in Warman when a lady turned left into the front end of my car! She was driving a mini-van and I had a little Toyota (yes, the one from above, it had survived!) I was going 50 km (the speed limit) and she just up and turns into me. I was pretty shocked. So was she, she got out and started screaming that she had kids in her van.
When I could breathe again I said to her "Then why did YOU turn your van into ME!?!" (there was a small moment when the "rescue crew" thought I'd puncuted a lung)
This accident was unfortunately the end of the line for my Toyota. The reason it makes the top 3 for me is that my seatbelt tightened across my chest and caused damage to my shoulder, plus yet again whiplash!
On top of these car accidents I've had my share of falls from horses (haven't we all!) Thankfully the only thing I've ever broken is the tip of a finger. And that was handling a horse on the ground. (I am furiously knocking wood right now... don't want to jinx myself!)
To add to the accidents there is the fact that I'm chubby. Exercise would help with that but I seem to hurt myself when I exercise. Then too I am also "large busted" (not a great thing for a rider!) Its a vicious cycle I tell ya! lol
I am trying to work out more and watch what I eat. I bought a treadmill which I use, and not as a clothes hanger! And I am looking for a personal trainer to show me how to exercise correctly. (have to find one that fits my weird schedule though!). But, so far I have lost 10 lbs on my own! :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Rest of the Fam

I thought I'd take a bit of time today to introduce the rest of my little family. These are the "city kids".

First up are "the girls". They are having a nap on their favorite spot, our bed. On the left is Lola. She is a Ragdoll and turned 1 year old at the end of May. She's been part of our family since late September. On the right is Chloe. She is a Siamese and will be 6 later this summer. We've had her since she was a kitten.

Chloe is "the boss" of the house, meaning of Lola and the dogs. I keep telling her Lola will be bigger but she doesn't care, she can still kick the crap out of her.



Here are our poocheros! Misty is on the left, she is a Golden Retriever X Rottie. She is quite timid (we think she was abused before we got her) but also very protective. Comet is on the right, he is a Labrador X Border Collie. At least that's what the SPCA told us, we think maybe Great Dane in there because he's huge! His whole litter was dropped off at the SPCA in late winter, all the puppies were given the names of Santa's reindeer. I tell him he's lucky he wasn't named Prancer! He's a total sweetheart, loves kids and all other animals. However his size is intimidating (I'm 5'7-5'8 and when he jumps up his paws are on my shoulders). And when you come to the door his bark sounds like he's going to eat you! This is perfect to me because I'm home late at night by myself a lot.



This pic shows why it is hard to get a nice photo of Comet, he creeps towards the camera! The bush behind them is the hedge that separates the yard from the dog kennel. Both dogs have been trained to go straight to their kennel to do their potty business when they're let outside, yay no poop bombs on the grass!! We got Comet in December of 2001, he was 8 weeks old. We got Misty in January of 2002, she's a month older than Commie. They are the best of buds. He gets very upset when she goes to the groomers. Its one of the few times she doesn't mind being away from him, probably because she gets all the attention! :)


This is my fav pic of Misty, I think she looks gorgeous in this one. You can barely tell she doesn't have a tail. (The people who owned her mom docked all the puppies tails in case they "looked more Rottie" when they got older. :( The mom was 7/8 Rottie and the dad was pure Golden Retriever)


Now you all recognize Raincloud (Applejack) and this is his proud "dad", my hubby Pete. Pete and I met in the late summer of 2000. We were engaged in February 2002 and married in September 2003.

Applejack & Pete have a great bond. In fact Applejack will give me the cold shoulder if Pete's around. And I'M the one who feeds him!!

To think, Pete grew up in a family that didn't have ANY pets... and now he's got this furry family!



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What's in a name?

I mentioned in a previous post that when Applejack is being a "bad" horse he is referred to as Applejackass. Thought I'd continue that line of thought here, listing each of our three horses by their paper name, most common barn name and then the variations.

"Super Raincloud" (Appaloosa gelding) AKA Applejack. I refused to race him under that name so for barrel racing he goes by Raincloud, I explain to people that he isn't fast enough yet to have earned the right to use the "Super" part of his name. :)
Chad (our farrier) calls him Applejuice or Applejuicer. We also refer to him as Bud, Buddy, Little Man, L'il Guy, and of course, Applejackass

"Quincy Skippa" (SBP Paint gelding) AKA Quinn or Quincy. Also gets called Jerk (when he's harassing my precious Cessa), Buddy, Big Guy, Big Sexy and Fat Boy - I tell him its fat with a "PH", but it isn't. :P He is way more than an easy keeper! I had him on pasture to let him settle in at his new home when I bought him and in three weeks he gained a hundred pounds!! :X

"Princess Spright" (TB mare) AKA Cessa or Princess. Also gets called Cessnut, Baby Girl (although she's an old lady now) Baby Love, Sweetheart, Sweet Pea, Sugar Pie, and muchly deserved, Princess Poo-poo or Princess Poo-poo Pants (she can NOT be in the barn without leaving "gifts" for me to clean up!)

There are probably more names that just aren't coming to mind. Now I'd love to hear what you call your horses!

Bundle of Joy

My sister had her baby yesterday!! This is the first grandchild for my parents. Mom went to Edmonton to be there for Dana and I called our Dad today (he's in New Brunswick - they're divorced) to let him know.
My brother and his wife are due in October. That will make two grandkids for my parents :)

New baby is a boy, his name is Lucas Duncan Greenfield. Everyone is happy, healthy and tired. He is 8lbs 15ozs and 23 inches.

And already he makes my life easy... I'm horrible at remembering dates and stuff. Lucas was born on the same day as my nephew Georgie (Pete's brother's son).

I plan to go to Edmonton to visit in a few weeks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Things That Make You Go Hmmm?

So today there was a jackpot at Bec's. Kimfer was able to miss work so we hauled Isis and Raincloud together. Oh, and we had cupcakes b/c yesterday was Kimfer's birthday :)
(the card I gave her had a bunch of sheep on it. It said "Herd it was your birthday!" then inside it said "Sorry, that was baaa-d")
HV was there so I asked if she could check out Raincloud after, he just doesn't feel quite right. She said sure, but she couldn't actually do anything b/c she didn't have her stuff with her. (she does equine chiropractor and laser therapy)
Our first run was decent. Not fast enough to be competitive but he was much smoother in his turns and best of all, NO BUCKING! :)
Kimfer's first run didn't even happen. Isis went into the arena and was just a pig-headed little twit. (that's nicer than what her mom said!) She got all stiff and threw her head up. Kimfer tried to work her out of it, even coming back to the start and trying to do a training run. She ended up coming out with only having circled first a few times. :( She didn't want to hog the arena trying to fix this right then. So when she came out she took Isis to the field and made her do a bunch of "work" there.
My second run was... yeah umm, NOT a run. My time was 76 something. Seriously, a barrel "run" that took more than a minute! Raincloud's alter-ego 'Applejackass' made an appearance. He got all stiff and uncooperative on first, tried a good buck to second. I stopped him, made him walk to second (hehe, he didn't like that!). Stopped at our pocket, walked around second, stopped where we would normally finish that barrel. Made him wait there a bit, then jogged sloooowly to third. Stop at the "finish" point on third. Wow, he didn't like that part, he knows the whole "run home really REALLY fast" part. He was all sulky like a spoiled child not getting their way, you could just feel it. Then I made him sloooow jog home. Hehe, jerk. :P
Kimfer's second run was MUCH better. Isis remembered she had a brain and used it! That filly is going to do very well once she's seasoned and gets to go at speed!
Kimfer did an exhibition run on Applejackass at the end of the jackpot. Except he was Raincloud again by then. I watched and noticed that I need to be much tougher with him. Physically I'm not sure if I can, I may have to let my body have a break for a bit. :(
Oh, and Kimfer's exhibition run on Raincloud was a full 6 seconds faster than my "decent" run had been!
When Heather looked at Raincloud she said that he wasn't too bad but could use some work. We'll try to set up something next week.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Finally Some Pony Time!

I spent most of yesterday out with the ponies. First Chad was out and after putting shoes on Baron for Kimfer he put shoes on Raincloud & Cessa all around. Quinn got shoes on front feets only. (I am mad at Quinn right now because he is being a BIG JERK to my precious Cessa!)
Quinn was a very good boy for Chad. I told Chad the latest about Quinn and he suggested taking him to a performance horse sale in Alberta. Apparently ranchers there are buying LOTS of horses and Chad thinks a big, stout, good looking guy like Quinn will bring some decent money. He suggested a few guys that I call and try to work out a deal with. Chad thinks I can make a deal like this: "take this horse, work him for awhile, take him to a sale and I want XX dollars. Whatever he goes for beyond that is yours". (His suggestion was to say I want $5000 and that the Q-man will probably go for around $8000)
Raincloud (aka Applejack) was pretty good with his feet. Not great but not too bad. He did get one good smack on the barrel from Chad when he was doing his hind feet. But he deserved that one!
Cessa got face scratches after every foot. Actually she got face scratches during each foot. Chad takes it slow with her and lets her have lots of little breaks. This is because my old farrier had gotten Cessa to the point where she was good for me to clean her feet but for everyone else was a BAD girl. When I first tried Chad out I told him about the problems Cessa was having and he got on great with her right from the start. So Cessa likes Chad (and I like how Chad trims) so we have now been using Chad as our farrier for over a year. :)
After Chad left Kimfer & I de-wormed the horses. Everyone took their dewormer nicely, Quinn even sucked the tube to make sure he got it all. Next were shots. We give a 3-way that is actually a 4-way because it includes West Nile. For some reason I can't do needles anymore. I used to be able to give a needle but I just can't now. That's okay because Kimfer likes to give needles! (I told her that was sick) lol
Then the eventful part... my horses got tubes up their noses for their flu. Did Applejackass first. Can you guess how he took it? Yup, there's a reason I referred to him as "Applejackass" and that's because he was BAD. Tossing his head as high as he could and even reared once. Ha ha mister, he still got it in the end. (although now my shoulder is pulled out, good thing tomorrow is chiro day!) Quinn and Cessa took their flu like champs :)
Kimfer and I grabbed a quick lunch and then took Baron and Cessa for a short ride. Both ponies are under vet orders to be brought back to work slowly. Trying to get a hyper TB to take a walk is NOT easy!! I think Cessa was so relieved to be out for a ride that she couldn't contain herself. After stretching my lower leg and keeping it off her, I also got my lower back relaxed and seat deep. That helped her walk... although it was quite the speedy little walk. Baron had to trot to catch up every once in a while!

Today we looked at three acreages. Still no luck :(

And sorry to end on a bad note.... they had to put down a horse at the local track this weekend. Broke his leg in a race. So to whoever owned Brass Punch, I'm sorry for your loss. :(

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quinn's Story: Part Four

The Dream is Dead

After rehabbing Quinn it was finally time to try again. He'd had a few months off, the vet had cleared him for riding and I'd found a good/patient "trainer" (in quotes b/c she is actually an equine massage therapist/student nurse/excellent hand with horses but not "really" a trainer).
KL rode Quinn a few times and all was well. I even rode him and it was good (I only rode with KL there). I remember the first time I got back on him. KL commented that I looked good and Quinn looked good and asked how I felt. When I told her I was very nervous and a bit scared she said she was surprised, that I looked calm and confident. I told her that I was concentrating on calm and confident, guess it must have been working.
Then I tried to ride by myself and had my panic attack. I believe I've mentioned it before. It was full blown... and for the record I'm not prone to them. There I was crying/shaking/hyperventilating just at the thought of mounting! I did NOT ride that day, any of the three I had planned to.
KL put a few more rides on and then Quinn got a nasty cut on his left front leg. It healed well (not even a scar!) and he was sound but it took a few months. Well now KL couldn't ride (pregnant) and there was no way I was up to it. It was almost winter and I couldn't find anyone I could afford that also had time for a new client (this isn't exactly "horse country"). So Quinn sat.
This spring I decided I HAD to get him ridden and either take lessons and work through my fear or sell him. I was leaning very heavily toward selling. I just can't get myself through this hurdle. When I let him relax and go long and stretch the first thing in my head is "is he putting his head down to buck??".
A girl I barrel race with (LV) has a natural talent for horses, she's an awesome rider and I like how she just IS with a horse. She agreed to put a month on Quinn. This is where Quinn has been for the last month and sadly it was great for the first 2-3 weeks and then Quinn was BAD. Not naughty, not "feeling good" kinda bad. He was BAD . LV said that after about 2 weeks she went out to ride one day and he bucked like crazy. Funny thing was, she hadn't even got on! He was tied up in the barn, she went to bridle him and when she took his halter off he just blew up. He bucked like a demon in the barn and then ran out and continued bucking down the driveway. LV's dad caught him and helped her settle him. He had the rest of the day off.
Okay, she and I had the same thought... maybe she'd spooked him. He'd been tied in the barn for awhile (20-30 minutes) and maybe was dozing. Could happen. She gave him the benefit of the doubt.
*for the record: I had told LV everything I knew about Quinn. I had also told her that he has never been mean or dirty... that he hasn't tried to hurt anyone. I truly believed this. It was her family's connection that had been interested in buying Quinn, the one that I wasn't sure if I should take a bigger loss or try to sell on my own*
LV's sister went to check on Quinn to see if he was sore, or out (she does equine chiro and laser therapy). He was a bit sore in some spots but she treated him and thought he'd be fine to keep working. Then the "really bad thing" happened. :(
LV went to ride Quinn. She had him tied up outside. When she went to untie him he blew up again. There was no way she spooked him this time, she was talking to him as she walked up and he turned his head and looked at her. This time when he blew up he plowed her right over and she had to run for safety. When I heard this I felt awful. I can't even describe how badly I felt. He had very obviously not cared whether he hurt her or not. In fact it seemed mean and dirty, she said that the INSTANT she untied him he blew. She said it was like he was smart and had intended to hurt her. Most horses will move away from you and give themselves some room if they pitch a fit like this, but not him, not this time.
I was extremely grateful that LV wasn't hurt. A bit banged up but nothing broken or otherwise badly injured. Her dad had witnessed the whole thing and after making sure his daughter was fine he got Quinn caught and settled. They checked him out and hosed his legs (he'd gone through a fence, but had only minor scrapes) She didn't ride him again (and I don't blame her) LV even tried to refund half my money. Instead I gave her dad a gift certificate for our restaurant (he didn't want me to pay for the fence, I offered).
Obviously now the buyer they knew didn't want him. lol
When I picked him up LV was very disappointed. She felt like she let me down, I told her not to feel bad that it wasn't her fault. After lots of talk (2 hours) we came to the conclusion that maybe he's just one of those horses who has a gender preference and that he is a guy's horse. After all, it was her dad who got him calmed down both times. And the only time he's ever bucked or acted up has been with a female handler.
So after much thought he is for sale at a greatly reduced price. I will be honest with the buyer's and am recommending that he not be a ladies horse. I've turned away buyer's already (had calls on him in less than 2 days of posting his ad).
The extra sucky thing... LV said that after her first 2 weeks or so she was thinking that I should give him another chance and try to work through my fear because he's just such a nice horse to ride. :(
Okay, we're up to date. That is the end of Quinn's story for now. I'll update if he gets sold or anything "news worthy" happens. Thanks to everyone for listening to my long-winded tale and its your turn to let me have it (please be gentle lol)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Quinn's Story: Part Three

Darkness Falls

By now I was coming to the conclusion that maybe Quinn needs more riding than what I had time for. After all, I work and have two other horses (Cessa and Rain... who would be "replaced" by Raincloud). I kept my eye open and noticed that there was a young lady advertising for giving riding lessons (on your horse) and to exercise ride. She was looking for some extra cash because she was a "poor University student".
I gave her a call, she said all the right stuff. Invited her out to see her ride. Things went well. We talked and came to an arrangement. She would give my husband lessons once a week and ride 2-3 times a week. We had a calendar in the barn to keep track of which horses were worked when and a schedule of how much riding each horse needed. Looking back I am sooo glad that she didn't ride Cessa very darn often!
I sat in on hubbie's first few lessons and it seemed to be going well. He is a total beginner and a bit self concious but he and Amanduh (as I shall rename her) seemed to be a good fit. I watched the first bit of riding she did for me and it was also appearing to go well.
Our arrangement regarding the riding was thus: When she was riding she was responsible. If a horse was hurt as a direct result of something done while she was riding she was responsible. If anything got damaged while she was handling horses it was her responsibility. She and I both agreed this was fair. After all I'm a boarder at a private home. If I wreck something or my horses do, I'm to take care of it.
*side note... during this time Rain was sold and we acquired Raincloud(aka Applejack) for my husband Pete*
Amanduh had been riding for 1o months or so when I noticed a major change in Quinn. He started to get really tense when I'd saddle him. I called a friend of mine who has studied equine massage and got her to take a look at him. He was very muscle sore. She told me to lay off any collected work and just ride out to keep him legged up. No barrel racing, no "real" work. Just plain ride. I passed this on to Amanduh. What do you know, next time I see her ride she's got him waaaay over-collected. I reminded her she was supposed to just keep him legged up.
This went on for a little while... he'd get tense when I'd saddle him, I'd just ride him without asking anything really and he'd chill. Then I get this call from Amanduh, Quinn had bucked her off. She was okay but she'd been off the property and he'd run home. They weren't far from home, just across the road and she got back and caught him, settled him and rode some. "Everything was fine." She just wanted me to know what happened.
A few days later I went to ride him. Noticed the rawhide on my horn was all scraped up, asked Amanduh if she had dropped it or if it happened sometime when she was riding. "Nope." Saddled him and he got tense and actually started to break into a nervous sweat. Instead of riding I longed him that day. I noticed that he was a bit off and made a mental note to watch him for a day or two.
THEN I get a very strange call from Kimfer. Her dad had talked to her and she hadn't had time to ask me but... a few days ago her dad noticed that a couple of his trees looked odd. They looked like they had been pulled out of the ground and put back. Also the ropes that ran from the trees to the corral fence had been busted and tied back together. Did I hit them with my truck or something?? Nope, I definitely would have mentioned that! I told Kimfer I'd see her in about a half hour and take a look. I called Amanduh and asked her if she knew anything about it, nope.
I get to the acreage, Kimfer and I look at the damage. Two trees by the corral (about 9 foot tall pines) HAD been uprooted and put back in place. The ropes (that yellow poly rope) had been busted and retied. AND there were hoofprints between the trees and the fence!!! In fact right where the fence turns the hoofprints had landed under the wire on the other side of the fence!
Kimfer and I looked at each other and went to the tack room and grabbed my saddle. Looked at the horn and said "AMANDUH!!!" I took another look at my saddle and then checked it very carefully. I'm not an expert but I was pretty sure the tree was broken.
Well well well... guess who pulled up at that moment... You guessed it! Kimfer went to talk to Amanduh while I brought my ponies in. Of course she denied all of it. Then I got back to the barn and Kimfer and I walk Amanduh through the "crime scene". She tried to blame Kimfer's dad (HF). Way wrong thing to do, Kimfer was pi**ed then (she had never liked her anyway). I pointed out to Amanduh that HF was the one who had noticed and asked Kimfer about it. Then I show her my saddle and she finally admits that Quinn had ran through the yard and done all that, but she thought she'd fixed it all good enough. When I mentioned that my saddle was wrecked she was very indignant... a saddle should stand up to more than that.
I kept my cool and pointed out that it was a barrel saddle, their horn's are NOT meant to take that kind of impact. They are not meant to take that kind of impact. That a 1200lb horse RUNNING through 4 poly ropes was a lot for even a roping saddle to take. I also mentioned that Quinn was off (he still was, more if anything) and that just maybe that was why.
Turns out Amanduh had ignored my instructions and kept riding him super-collected. She always rode that way when I wasn't around! She would ride for an hour or more, waaay too collected, never giving the poor guy a break. THAT was why he had gotten so sore.
A friend was driving to Alberta with some horses for the superstar vet and took Quinn and Cessa along. (Cessa more for a checkup than anything... vet said she was in better shape than any horse he'd seen her age, better shape than most horses half her age! yay!!).
Cutting to the chase, Quinn was majorly f-ed up. Talking to Charlie (superstar vet) on the phone and explaining what had happened he was pretty sure the wreck was the reason. Quinn got injections and was prescribed time off and massage/chiro. My saddle, well sure thing the tree was busted. It was 1 year old, had cost $1500 and to replace it would now cost $2000. Cost of vet bill/massage/chiro was over $3000. What did Amanduh offer? $120. Niiiiiice.
One good thing... gotta try to find a silver lining... on recommendation from the tack store my saddle was sent to Billy Cook along with 2 others in the area to see if warranty would cover it. 7 months later they hadn't even looked at these saddles and sent us all brand new ones at no cost because they wouldn't be able to look at them for a few more months.
Oh, and Amanduh was promptly pulled off all my horses and no longer giving Pete his lessons!

Quinn's Story: Part Two

The Golden Days

So now I have my dream horse... finally. Or so I thought. Quinn was supposed to be my dream horse. The horse I could take barrel racing, trail ride in the forest or ditch ride at home. The horse I could pony other horses with, a good looking horse, a horse that I could TRUST.
I have a great bond with Cessa. She actually could do all these things in her day (except pony... she was always the pony-ee never the pony-er). But Cessa is getting along in years and has more than earned a cushy retirement.
When I bought Rain (the Paint mare in the previous post) I had thought she would be "the one". Nope, turned out I had been a bit foolish and trustworthy (again b/c of WHO I bought her from, although they will remain un-named). Rain would be a great light use horse but would never stand up to competition use. :(
But now... now Quinn was home and he was PERFECT. He was nicely put together, pretty, smart, well trained, a total pleasure to handle and be around. I rode him for awhile, then sent him for barrel training.
Got a call after a few days (not even a week) to pick him up. He'd pitched a fit and given the trainer a black eye. Now Kimfer and I heard from someone else that the black eye was from a fight with another girl at a rodeo. Whatever, Quinn had never done anything like this at all since I'd had him. I brought him home, kept riding and after awhile sent him to a different trainer for his barrel work.
Things went great at this trainer's. She did mention that he seemed a bit oversensitive at times and asked what his breeding was. When I got to the Sir Quincy Dan she said "that's it!". Apparently those horses can be a bit oversensitive. But as the trainer said, breeding's not everything. He was working good, we had some lessons together with the trainer and everything was fine.
Continued to ride Quinn until the winter jackpots started. Took him to the first one, it was late winter/early spring (February or March I believe) and had my first bad experience with him. Kimfer and I were riding side by side warming up. It was early and we never have many people at the winter jackpots so there weren't that many people there at the time. Maybe 2 or 3 others riding. The pattern was still being marked and just after Kimfer and I had passed where they were marking the left hand barrel something got tossed to the side (I think it was a hammer). I'm fairly sure that this is what spooked Quinn. At that moment he took to bucking and how! He bucked all the way down the long side and all I could think of was that I HAD to stay on. If I fell off here I would hit the fence along the inside that is used to move cattle to the roping box. Darn thing was made with 2x6 and would surely break something if I hit it. We got to the corner and I let myself bail. Quinn ran off bucking even harder (poor boy, guess my coming off scared him).
Now to let you know, usually if one of us girls comes off our horse the few men around just holler to see if we're okay. When I came off 3 came running over to see if I was okay. That's how I knew it looked bad. Thankfully I wasn't hurt. Had the wind knocked out, was shaken up, pride bruised, but not actually hurt.
Kimfer had gotten Quinn and I asked her to just pony him for a few minutes before I got back on. I watched him and he didn't look hurt, he in fact calmed right down. When I got back on one of the men came and held him. I continued warming up and everything was fine. He even did quite well in his first jackpot.
I continued riding him and jackpotting him that winter. He was starting to work real nice and I was about ready to start adding some speed. He had even won some money!! :) But as spring progressed he started getting spooky when we'd ride out at home. And after that fall I couldn't really trust him.
Okay... it's bedtime. I'll continue his story soon.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Quinn's Story: Part One

Or "How I Got Screwed"

With all that's happened with Quinn lately I thought it would be a good time to tell his story. Its on the longer side so I'll tell it in parts, starting with today's post and how I came to own him.

A few years ago I had a Paint mare (unregistered). Rain was a pretty little thing, 15 hh, sorrel & white overo (about 50-50 colour/white). I bought her during the fall as a 5 year old and due to work and weather she sat more than got rode. Spring came and Rain was a wee bit too frisky. She never bucked but she did crow hop a bit and just needed a bit of a tune up.
My mom's husband had a friend that he really looked up to in matters of all things horse. I took Rain to "Rusty" (as we'll call him) for a month of tuning up. I had been to Rusty's before to look at a horse but he was too much horse for me. Incidentally Kimfer's uncle bought that same horse, plus one for his wife and I found Rain (somewhere else) Kimfer's aunt's boyfriend also bought 2 or 3 horses from Rusty and bred a mare to Rusty's stud. So even though at that time I didn't give him any business myself he got quite a bit of business through connections because of me.
Back to Rain and her tune-up... I went out several times during this month to watch and while there I'd ride Rusty's horses some. One in particular I fell for was Quinn. Big, beautiful, nice to ride and handle. Damn did I like this horse! And seeing as Rain was now to become my hubby Pete's horse I was looking for a horse for myself. And wouldn't you know it, Quinn was for sale!
Rusty told me Quinn was for sale for $ X. I told him Pete and I would talk about it and I'd get back to him ASAP. A few days later I was at Rusty's and told him I'd take Quinn. He said he was sorry but that there was a mix up and Quinn's price was actually $ XY. Now if anyone else had done that I'd have said "Forget it. You told me one price and now you're changing it? No way, I'm done. Either the original price or you can keep him."
BUT because Rusty was for one a "good Christian man" and more importantly because he was my mom's husband's good buddy I thought there was honestly a mistake and agreed to the new price. I thought that there was no way he would screw over his buddy's wife's kid. Man was I wrong!
Guess what happened when I showed up to take Rain and Quinn home? Yup, Rusty told me his business partner had been out to the farm and was like "Wait, THAT horse? No way is he $ XY... HIS price is $ XYZ."
I know, I know... major major major red flag which I ignored for the same reasons as above plus the fact that I really REALLY liked this horse. So yeah, I paid for Rain's training and Quinn (at the new price of $ XYZ) and settled both ponies in at home.
You must all think I am sooooo darn stupid now. If ANYONE else had tried to pull that stunt on me there is NO WAY I'd have done business with them. But I felt safe buying from someone who had a family connection. Two years later I found out that the god fearing good Christian was fired for stealing from his workplace and had relocated to parts unknown.
Stay tuned for more of Quinn's story!

Whoopsie! Cessa update: She officially does NOT have Cushing's :) (yay!!) but she does have a high parasite load (boo!) :( so we are treating accordingly.