"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Horses are uncertainty.

 Sunday, July 10.

8am - I dropped a check for the Olney HT in the mail.  $175.  

10:15am - Lauren and I load Fred and Tyler onto the trailer.  We're headed to Laurel Hill for a lesson with Sally.

10:25am: The truck and trailer come to a rolling stop about a quarter mile from the barn as I felt one of the horses scrambling more than he should be.  Lauren and I watch Fred unload from the back of the trailer and run towards the farm.  

10:30am: Lauren and I stand in the middle of the road looking at the trailer.  We admire how beautiful Fred looks trotting through the fields.  Then we figure out how to get Poleon free from the slightly distorted trailer.

10:35am: Lauren walks Napoleon home.  He is ok.  Fred runs through alfalfa and corn fields.  I puzzle over how Fred kicked the ramp down and why.  (I'm still puzzling over that.)  Chris, Fred, Paige, and Gale run all over the country side trying to catch my horse.  

11am:  Lauren and I take her truck back down the road so I could try to catch Fred.  Fred finally stopped running, let me catch him easily, and walked home calmly.  Lauren drove all over the country side to pick up the crew that came to our rescue.

11:15am:  Vet called.  We recapped what happened.  I made two changes to our routine.  Because it was so hot, the horses wore only their XC  boots and not shipping boots.  Also because of the heat, I tied the back doors open.  So much for being considerate of the horses in the heat.  We have no idea what caused Fred to kick his way out of the trailer.  

Noon-12:30pm:  Vet shows up.  No major injuries.  Capped right hock and scrapes.  Bute for a week and time off.  We make a plan because of course I have to leave for NY the next morning and would be away all week.

3pm:  Lauren and I go to Bentley's for food and frozen lemonades.  My truck and trailer are in the parking lot.  The rig made out better than Fred, but still needed attention from Dad.  I tried not to calculate the day's expenses.

Wednesday, July 13

Stacey Kent examined Fred.  The hocks are healing fine.  Fred's right hind suspensory, which has a history of injury, is showing signs of stress.  

Saturday, July 16

Fred jogged sound in the hocks today but the hitch is evident.  I have a call in to Stacey for an ultrasound so we can figure out what Fred's status is.  Keep your fingers crossed for us.  I am hoping for a clear answer, good or bad, after the ultrasound.  

"A horse can lend its rider the the speed and strength he or she lacks - but the rider who is wise remembers it is no more than a loan." Pam Brown.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Getting the hang of it.

Fred and I survived Fair Hill, our third horse trial together.  We were entered in the BNH-C division.  

Dressage was a huge improvement from the week before at Tranquility.  My geometry and steering was much better.  Our canter departs were quiet and on time.  Fred's head came up a little in the transitions, but his legs were under control.   I was in Ring 3 and the judge spoke to each of her riders.  She was liked our test but said that I should scoring 7s and 8s, not 6s and 7s!  I have a lot of fine details to work on hit the 7s and 8s.  Fred is totally capable, I just have to catch up.  
Photo by Julie Keim

The long walk up in the woods was better than I hoped for.  I think that was the scariest part of the day.  Fred walked the entire time.  Not straight by any means, mind you.  All was peaceful until we passed the ambulance.  YAY! said Fred with exuberance.  Then we had to warm up and the quiet warm up from last week was gone.  It wasn't as bad as Plantation.  Fred likes to jump start my heart.  

Stadium was organized and controlled.  We had singles with turns to 4 or 5 stride lines throughout.  It was a good test of my steering.  We did well except for a cross canter in one place and a rider who sat done too soon.  One rail down is ok.  In fact, of the five HVS riders that day, we had the only jumping penalties with the one rail.  

Fence 1 of cross country was a crawl.   Fence 2 was a launch.  We talked after Fence 2 and decided that the rest of the course would be controlled.  Thankfully, it was!  Fred is too much fun out there.  His brakes worked just fine.  It was hot and I took a few more trot breaks than normal.  The girl who left the start box after us didn't appreciate that! She gained a lot of ground on us.  Yet again, I was grinning at the end and decided Fred could stick around a few more days.

Cindy's photos.
Julie's photos.
GRC's photos.

We finished 7th of 13.  Seeing as I didn't think I'd be competing until September, I'll take it.  Tonight I'm sending in my Olney entry.  It will be our first recognized event together and my first recognized event since last August.  During our lesson with Sally today, she said we have to compete more before we move up to Novice in October.  Well, that's my goal anyway.  It's doable and we're on our way.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Welcome to retirement, TylerRose.

Eastview Blue has retired.  

Since I took ownership of Tyler on September 29, 2007 a lot has happened.  We learned to event together.  We learned to travel.  We learned to do things right.  We learned to take care of each other.

On June 27, Tyler slipped while we were out for a nice evening walk around the fence.  He didn't scramble or save me. I was able to free myself of the stirrups, but my right leg was pinned between Tyler and a fence post.  He finally stood up and looked at me.  I started crying right away.  I knew what was happening.

Tyler has always had an issue.  I never spent the thousands of dollars to find out what the issue was.  We shod Tyler better, fit his saddles, strengthened his muscles, and gave him the best of everything I could.  Tyler managed.  He proved this by completing two starter novice events and facing new challenges in Aiken this spring.

Then the reaction happened.  Tyler recovered but he did not return to the 90 or 95% he had been at with the extra attention.  Tyler's fall last week told me in no uncertain terms that he was done.  

The supplements found new homes, his shoes now hang on my wall, and his saddle pads that don't look right on Fred adorn the lesson horses.  Parting with his dressage bridle will pay for a few fun lessons with Fred.  Parting with Tyler's jump bridle might not be so easy.  I have a feeling it will soon be a very expensive wall decoration that hangs next to Sunny's bridle in my room.  

Tyler left Harvest View as rapidly as he arrived.  Tyler's previous owner has kept his promise and Tyler has a retirement home for life.  Thankfully, Tyler lives between the barn and my parent's house so I can keep an eye on him.