Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yesterday, worked out the arrangements with the shipper- she'll probably be delivered Thursday mid-day, to Dennis's barn, because Katie took Cammy out of the barn with 12 hours notice on Sunday. Probably being the word because... evidently, she's a tagalong on some other horse's race card, so if he doesn't race, she may or may not be coming up. In either case, she might be here someday for less than $750- is what I got out of the conversation. Insanity, right? Originally, she was coming here last night at night and would be here at about 5-6am this morning. I almost lost my mind trying to figure out what needed to be done before that happened, but have to admit I was a little disappointed, although VERY relieved, to hear the pushed back date. So, yesterday, I dragged Dennis to the grain store, where I promptly pissed off the grain person by telling her I wasn't going with her recommendations and would be going with what I thought best. Thank you, but no thank you. The barn and store owner agreed with me when the grain lady got her on the phone, but it didn't make her any happier toward me. Sherwood- the name in itself is beginning to grow on me- is going to be on Fibre Max, a high fiber and fat but low starch diet, as well as alfalfa/timothy cubes and omeprazole granules from Abler.

We got her stall and paddock all figured out, she's in Bandit's stall with a 30x30 paddock cleared out for her and baby-proofed. I went to Dover today and picked up a breakaway halter, a new groomy brush which is very soft, and a lead with shank. I went through Dennis's barn yesterday and there are no leads with shanks- and it occurred to me that he has no IDEA what's coming into his barn. I'm definitely skipping Peds if she comes during that time because... he may not be able to get her peacefully in the barn. What have to done to his sedate herd??

I'm so excited!! I could barely sleep last night, I was dreaming of sugar cubes and study buddies-  hanging out in the paddock like I used to with Dan and Mouse, but with Loki and Sherwood- and the sweet sweet things we will do together. Our first leading lesson, and our first lunging lesson. First day with the herd and off the property! So many firsts!! I'm so excited!! Anyway, must get to studying... Yeah... Right.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Went looking at ponies today- had three on the schedule when I left home, and ended up riding five and watching one, and now the only one I didn't ride is the one coming home. Meet Miss Sherwood, a 4 year old mare who caught my eye on the CANTER site and was the only horse I looked at without any retraining, the only one I couldn't ride to try, and the only one who is hopping on a trailer sometime this week and COMING HOME! TO ME!!!! *Jumps up and down, clapping hands and screeching happily* Oh my oh myohmy!!

Of course, because she was the only horse I wasn't serious about, I didn't take out the camcorder or take very serious pictures, so... here's what I got on my iPhone. Mind you, they wouldn't let me past the guard house so the owner had to bring her out front to unfamiliar territory on a day of BLOWING wind, and... she was a trooper.

Okay. For posterity. The scoop:
I went, looked at her, took some shoddy pics and video to show Kristin, then left. I couldn't get her off my mind- she is just so ridiculously cute- and her owner called me 10 minutes later to say there was another woman who'd asked about her. I told him that I liked her, but he shouldn't keep her waiting for me because I wasn't sure I liked her -that- much. He was very polite and agreeable, and hung up. Five minutes after that, he called me again- I remember thinking, "Dude. What do you want, -now-??"- to tell me he really didn't like the woman, he didn't get a good feeling off her, but he'd be willing to give me the mare because he'd liked me.

God, I hope that's what actually happened bc if I get a broken down nag with ulcers and ankle chips and suspensory ligament issues, I'm just going to cry. But enough of that, she's healthy, gorgeous, firey, and her nicknames are waiting to be found. I'm partial to Lox, personally- as in Sir Locksley of Sherwood Forest. Snappy, right? We'll see what she says.

Excuse me, I have a halter, OTTB retraining books, and omeprazole to buy. Muah!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's funny- I started this blog with the idea that I'd document the progress, trials, and tribulations of leasing, training, and eventually owning the grey TB gelding in the first entry. I've always wanted to write about some of my experiences, get down some of my stories, share the joys, triumphs, setbacks, and those temper tantrums we all have but no one likes to admit.

Now, I find myself horseless, with the only thing I'd ridden consistently in the last week being a scared, psychotically timid, probably abused mule. It's funny the way life works, right?

In any case, here's my latest update on the horse search. I'm kind of OCD when I am... serious about something. I do more research, make more lists, plots more graphs and make more databases than anyone I know. Earlier this week, I made an Excel sheet with the horse's name, height, price, age, location, and website, as well as columns for those I contacted and those I've visited (none yet).
Blue= Ones to go see, Pink= haven't responded yet. Oy.

Yesterday, I plotted out me and Kristin's plan of attack to go see the horses who's owners have responded to my inquiries for videos.  How do you plot out a plan of attack for horses all over the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, pray tell??

On more.. important news, school has just amped up again. We have OSCES this week- all inclusive, summative exams that will test our knowledge of the lat two years of classes. I'm not super worried bc... I'm pretty sure this is a scare tactic, like most of the "exams" we've had this year- make us go crazy, study like mad, and then not have it count for a grade. Don't get me wrong, I'm studying. But... I just can't get excited about it. I'm nervous about clinicals, but I can't get excited over those, either. It's all going to work out one way or another. So I'll just keep studying and working my way through one day at a time, and things will be fine. Now, back to the powerpoints and EKG tutorials. I'll try to update you the next time I decide to be easily distractable.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Update on the horse search!:
 I went to see the mare in Carver, MA last weekend- she was pretty cool, but just not what I was looking for. She had some cow-hocking in the back and paddled with her right front... Overall, not great omens for holding up under the strains of eventing. I'll attach the video of her under saddle from my Youtube page- if anyone loves her, I heartily encourage you to go see her. She had a great brain- super willing to learn and please, even though she's been off for a while and previously used as a lesson horse with a woman who... well, I'm not completely sold on her teaching abilities if the student who showed me the mare was any indication. She probably has some dressage experience under her belt, and although her owner says she doesn't like it, she wasn't swishing her tail or showing any signs of irritation when I was messing with her. She had some tricks- pulling the reins out of my hands, a boost of go-power when all I asked for was a little more oomph, running into the canter... typical lesson pony tricks. Overall, I liked her brain and her willingness to please, but I can see how she might be a bit difficult to place- she'd tricky enough to need  an adv beginner or intermediate rider, but probably won't hold up to the demands of strenuous competition. Overall, she'd be great for someone who wants to trail ride and hunter pace and compete casually, have a great time on their pony, and fly around the countryside. Hell, I'd have bought her if I could take 2 horses. Well, maybe not. That second stall in my barn is reserved for Texas- I'm sure his owner will see our love and off him to me someday... ;).

On the other hand, today was my third day working with Fred the Mule (he's got a trailer dedicated to him... I must take pictures of this trailer- complete with twangy banjo background accompaniment) and second day riding him. For a mule that has refused to be seen in a stall with me for the past two years, jumps/flinches every time you get within 10 feet of him, and you have to corner in a stall to get a halter on, he was really excellent under saddle. Oh yeah- and the last time I saw him under saddle, he flung Dennis off like a ragdoll. It was pretty amazing. So I thoroughly impressed Dennis with my mule-taming abilities by walking him around, working on steering (English style... I don't how to friggin' steer with one hand... Thank God Fred doesn't either, it seems.), stopping, and groundwork. And now... he follows me around like a puppy dog, I can pet him without a halter on, and... I had a moment of "That's right- THIS is how my horses USUALLY act! Goddamn Remy."

And... here's some drama dirt. Don't we all love it? Just a little? Yes. Unless it's about you. Oy. Evidently, I'm a "clueless airhead" who ruined the horse I was leasing- he needs to be completely re-trained. Don't get me wrong... Looking back, NOT buying that horse is probably the best thing I've done in a while, but ruin him? I think not. I have learned a valuable lesson, though- if there's no connection, walk away. You can't make a connection happen no matter how you try. Fred and I will have a connection- mutual trust, respect, and quiet movements. Texas and I have the same connection, plus some bonding over our temper tantrums and sense of mischief. Remy and I? We might have had something, but he is so bonded to his owner, there's no room for anyone else. Whatcha gonna do, right? Live and learn. In any case, I'm now looking for the horse of my dreams- and the only criteria I have is that she be a mare. Because I -love- my mares. And all their drama.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's so exciting when spring comes around- flowers bloom, you're actually happy to get up and walk the dog in the morning because... it's light out!, and... prize lists start showing up on your doorstep. Got my first one today, and although I don't have a horse yet, I'm super confident that when I do, it will be so awesome, we will head to shows immediately and rock out.

 (And by that, I mean... we might go to a show this summer, we'll probably place if there are less than 8 riders, and... have a frickin fantastic time watching all the pretty ponies- with the knowledge that even if mine may never be amazing, she's mine and that's amazing all on its own. Yay for show season!!!)

Oh yeah- good luck everyone else. May you never meet me and my significant other in the ring because we will TOTALLY ROCK YOUR SOCKS!!! But as a consolation prize, I'm sure Loki will be glad to give you a hearty lick!
I don't think I have introduced my Wonder Mutt. Everyone meet Loki aka Bob Marley aka LambShark aka Loki Lovebug aka Dirty, Stinky Dog. haha He is my 70 lb Standard Poodle who enjoys long walks anywhere, hanging out with friendly ponies, and sleeping on the couch with his stuffed pony or skunk. Oh yes. And loving up anyone who comes near him- especially little kids.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I am having minor panic attacks about clinicals and my ability to keep up with school while taking care of Loki, the apartment, and still getting to the barn. This probably isn't the absolute best time to buy a horse, knowing that I'm about to enter another stressful time in my life, but... when will it get better? I keep saying I'll do it next year, it'll be easier, I'll have more money, time, energy, etc. But the fact is.. none of that ever happens. If anything, I seem to have less of everything with every passing day.

And the more reality becomes: It's time to settle down, stop being such a dreamer, get that full-time job and find a guy you can stand, marry them, have 2.5 kids, buy the SUV, and... have your life revolve around everyone else but you. Chris trying to force me into that box was what made me wake up and realize I'm not ready to do any of that. It pushed me to forge ahead and work on me- my career, my dreams, the things I want to do before something/one comes along and sidetracks me again.

Don't get me wrong, he also pushed me to realize that one day, I probably wouldn't mind having a family, but... not today. Today, I want my life to revolve around Loki, Abbi, and... Miss Mare. Who shall remain unnamed.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Did I mention there would be stormy days ahead? Well... I called it right. An update on the shitstorm that hit just over a week ago.

A friend of Renee's called, congratulating me on my decision to purchase Remy this summer- I promptly went, "Huh? I'm buying him -next- summer!?" Which is when I found out that Renee needed him gone by June. So... I went on a frantic hunt for barns over the weekend, found a good dozen to interview, and went to see three of them. I found a nice out out in Calverton- which is further than I wanted to go, but as he's young, I figured it would be a good place for him to stretch his legs and be a horse for a year, and go trial riding on the weekends. We could postpone our eventing ambitions for one more year, right? Wrong.

Less than 5 days later, Renee texts me to tell me that she's cancelling my lease, "but I hope you enjoyed Remy while you could." I asked if I was still buying him that summer and she very snottily replied in the negative, and then refused to discuss why this decision was being made. Long story short, I'm horseless.

I promptly called my mom, who had a second of Tourette's on the phone, and then told me something I've been dying to hear for years, but has always been juuuuust out of reach- "So, are you going to look at CANTER?" YAH!!! I had my mom's blessing to go out, spend stupid amounts of money, and buy a hay-guzzling poop machine! YESSSS!!!!

I did a bunch of research, surfed on more sites for rescues and horses for sale, and now have a lovely 4 mares to look at. YAY! Kristin and I ran up to upstate NY this morning for the first, and... here's what we found:

Meet... I'm not telling you her name. She's got some issues to work on- a bit of head tossing, some right hind weakness, but for only being in work for 3 months after being a broodmare for 2 years? I'm kind of impressed. Not only that, but she's a nuclear powerhouse in disguise! This mare was uber responsive with that awesome feeling of power just waiting for a direction to go. HUGE 16.2 mare- nothing but bone for miles, and a kind eye and seemingly good mind to boot. She's going to be a tough one to beat!

Next is the chestnut in Carver, MA- bring on the mares!!