Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Beauty of Simplicity

I was on the phone with my life long best friend this afternoon when she mentioned that a horse which we mutually know was having health problems and not doing well. I inquired about the horse's age since I couldn't quite remember and my best friend told me that the horse was nearing 27 years old. That got us on the topic of all the horses we used to know at the barn where we grew up; the lesson horses, the first horses we leased, the horses that our friends owned. The sad part? There aren't very many of them left. Out of the original barn of horses that we knew, almost all of them have passed away.

And so, with that in the back of my mind. I started going through my laptop today, looking back on a whole bunch of photos and videos capturing my many years with horses. It bought back so many memories of days, people and horses which are now long gone. There are a few photos which I would like to share with all of you. They embrace the times when life seemed so much simpler and less chaotic. I hope you enjoy them and can look back on your own memories to find the beauty of simplicity.

This may in fact be one of my favorite pictures of all time. While it's not from very long ago, just a few years, it was taken on a beautiful spring day with one of my really good friends (pictured) and Emmy. She leased Emmy for all of her 4 years of college and made is possible for me to bring Emmy to school with me. 

A few summers back with Johnny. I used to ride and train him in the pasture during the summer because we didn't have any type of arena. (Note the tree branch being used as a ground line.) He opened me up to the world of Standardbreds and taught me to think outside the box when it came to training horses. He has the greatest personality of any horse I've ever known. I learned so much from him and not a day goes by that I don't miss him.

Emmy after coming back from her suspensory injury in the hind leg. What an amazing feeling it was just to canter her through a field again.

Freshman year of college. I took my new friends to my barn at home for the first time. I was so afraid that they would judge me because they all came from show barns while I rode in the back yard. We took a few horses out for a trail ride and had the most beautiful day. These girls had never experienced horses like this. To this day they tell me it was one of their most favorite college memories.

Enjoy your simplicity.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Endevors

The horses are finally all moved into their new barn. It's been nice having them on full care and being able to devote time to actually riding and training and not just doing barn work, having said that thought, it's been a really difficult transition for me. I've only had a horse on full care twice in my life, for one month for rehab after Emmy hurt her suspensory and then again for two months years later after a colic so bad that I almost lost her. Other than that, I've always taken care of my horses myself...and the majority of the time I like it better that way.

Anyway, the horses seem to have settled in well. We moved on November 1st and they have definitely been adjusting since then. Emmy got her shoe put back on and I started her back under saddle. She is sound (YAY!) and seems to be really happy to be ridden again. I'm super happy to be riding her too! Cool has been pretty good also, he's settled down quite a bit and is now SUPER lazy under saddle. I've been working him mainly western but also english a little too. BF has been riding him a lot which is really good!

I also (drum roll...) FINALLY bought a horse trailer!!! YAY!! It's so exciting to be able to take my horses wherever I want, whenever I want. I love it!

I'm in the process of really buckling down and making a good weekly training schedule for my horses. I'm a little all over the place with when I ride them and how consistent I have been with working them. The majority of Cool's rides have been mainly walking with a little trot since BF has been riding him. I'm working on figuring it all More updates to come!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cool's second horse show!

We had quite the late night yesterday at the horse show but it was definitely worth it! Cool hacked around a little and jumped a few small jumps. He was super good about getting on and off the trailer (something he can be really bad about) and settled in fairly well at the horse show. BF walked him around the warm up and the show ring when we first got there to calm him down and it really seemed to help. By the time I went to get on him he was pretty quiet as far as not spooking at anything, not that he's really spooky anyway. He was a little "bucky" at first but nothing bad...just dropping his head and hunching his back. Here are some photos of him!

Cool jumping his first fence with a person on his back!

I was so proud of him!
That's all for now! 


Friday, October 21, 2011

Getting Ready

Well, it's been raining all week and today is the day! I got a chance to finally turn Cool out yesterday for the afternoon before it started raining again, so hopefully he won't be a total looney toon. I tried to clean him up last night the best I could but it's far too cold outside to actually bathe him so he's going to need a really good grooming before we leave tonight. I cant stand taking horses anywhere out in public when they don't look their absolute best! My biggest dilemma is: what on earth do I do with his mane?!?

His mane is suppeerrr long and gorgeous and BF refuses to let me cut if off (I don't really want to anyway because its just so pretty) but it's pretty...non fashionable for a hunter ring. Not that he's showing tonight or anything, but I also don't want him to look like a black sheep. One of my friends suggested just putting it in a bunch of long braids but would that look even worse then letting it be long? Any suggestions?

BF is going to be taking pictures tonight...I will post them this weekend!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Going Schooling

Of course it's been raining all week, which has given me basically zero opportunity to ride either Cool or Emmy this week.

I lunged Cool over a jump Monday after school and he was pretty good...very fresh and light on his hind legs (lol) but he actually picked up his feet to jump!

This Friday, my friend C and I are taking Cool and her 4 year old Canadian sport horse George to a local hunter/jumper barn to school. They are having a schooling show there this weekend so the course is open to school Friday evening. Cool probably wont be jumping much, but it will be good for him to get out and about! My boyfriend is going to come too and take some photos and videos! I would really love to take Emmy there but I think that Cool will have a meltdown if she leaves him alone in the barn. Oh the tragedies of having only two horses!

We will see how it goes...its super windy and POURING rain out right now so Cool is going to be REALLY fresh on Friday!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Back again...and trying to stay that way!

Here I am, back again with an update following the end of summer and they start of fall. I hope this time to come back to this blog more consistently now that I have some time on my hands.

I got Johnny back for about 3 weeks this summer when the people who had taken him on loan decided that they couldn't keep him. It was a glorious three weeks and it made me realize just how much I really did miss him! Unfortunately, sometimes money confines what it is that we really want...and with Emmy's expenses being totally covered by me (no more half lease) I just couldn't afford to keep him.

My boyfriend put a stall up in our barn basically overnight in order to give Johnny a place to stay, at least for a little while. It would be one thing if our horses could just live here at home year round, but our barn is no where near ready for winter (we brought the horses here this spring and before then the barn was never made to house horses) seeing as that we still have hoses run out to it from the house for water (no water line) and really no good place to store enough hay or bedding. The other problem is that BF refuses to drive his truck in the winter on the salted roads. His baby (the truck) came from South Carolina originally so there isn't a spot of rust on it and he wants to keep it that way. Geez...boys. So that would mean that we would need to get shavings and bedding delivered...which our driveway isn't entirely conducive for either. See? It's kind of a mess.

BF and I had previously decided that we would solve this problem by just boarding the horses out at a local farm November through May, just to make our lives easier and give us an actual place to ride. If we could keep the horses at home, Johnny could have stayed here forever, but I can't afford to board him and Emmy and neither can BF. I toyed with the idea of leasing one of them out, and then advertised both him and Emmy for half lease, but we live so far from my college (my main pool of horseback riders!) that no one wanted to drive almost 40 minutes to go ride a horse. During that time, a woman with a little lesson barn contacted me, having seen one of my ads for Johnny, and asked if she could try him.

I rode Johnny twice before he left, enjoying the feeling of being back on his back again. Cool warmed up to him eventually, but Johnny and Emmy's relationship was never quite the same. They used to be inseparable, but with Cool in the equation now, Emmy barely wanted anything to do with John. It was really a little sad.

My best friend and I dropped Johnny off at his new home late at night on a Thursday for a two week trial. I kept in touch with the woman every day, drove down there twice myself (announced and unannounced) to check on him. He actually settled right in and seemed happy as a clam! They started him in lessons the second week he was there and he took to it immediately! The barn owner updates her facebook almost every day with pictures and videos of him taking young riders around the arena over jumps. They have promised to never jump him higher than 2'3." I stop at the barn to see him once a week while I'm out that way doing my internship for school. He seems to really be content and I'm super happy with the care he's been getting!


Johnny at his new home.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Photo Update

So I started riding Cool english the other day because I finally went out and bought an english saddle that fits him. He seems to really like it and so far he's been smart enough to differentiate between trotting and jogging with the different tack. We jumped him a little bit too over a TEENY cross-rail. He didn't really "jump" it per say, but he did go over it every time and he never stopped!

Not that I think he's going to be a hunter or a jumper, but hey, its fun to do something different every now and then!

Coolio in his new english saddle! looks like a hillbilly, but whatever. LOL


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Long Time Gone...and lots of changes!

Hello everyone! It's been FOREVER since I was last here to update about the horses. Things have changed monumentally since we last spoke.

In February, E dropped her lease on Emmy, which left me in quite the financial pickle. I did all the math and I was not going to be able to afford keeping both Johnny and Emmy at the boarding barn without literally running my bank account almost to zero, which isn't okay with me. I called Johnny's old owner to see if she wanted him back and she said not really, so I put an ad for him on Craigslist, Dreamhorse and He is currently living in a few towns away with a very nice family who loves on him, rides him and plays with him all the time. I went to visit him a couple of weeks ago and he seems happy.

So after all that happened, I was down to one horse again. Johnny left in March and Emmy stayed at the boarding barn through the middle of May. In the mean time however, my boyfriend decided that he wanted a horse. He had been riding Johnny a bit however Johnny wasn't really a good teaching horse for him. His trot was too difficult to sit (my boyfriend rides western) and he didn't really lope all that well. Plus, bf REALLY wanted a Quarter Horse. So we found him one. A big ol' 6 year old chestnut gelding about 4 hours southwest of us. I skipped class one day and bf took a half day off work and we drove down to see him. He was standing in mud up to his knees, living in a field with 2 other horses. The owners were a very nice old couple who just had no use for him anymore. The guy pulled him out of the field and we saddled him up all muddy and dirty. I rode him up and down a gravel rode. He was quiet and willing, and he had a great jog. We put $100 down to keep him a couple more weeks and drove home.

On April 2, "Cool" came to to the boarding barn. It was the first time he'd ever been on a trailer (save for when he was 8 months old was bought by the people we purchased him from), the first time he'd ever walked on concrete, the first time he'd even been in a boarding barn or even in a stall. He adjusted just fine and we started working with him. He was a bit of a bully at first, having never really been put in his place before by a person, but the kinks worked out over time. He's still a little hard headed but I don't ever have to worry about bf when he rides him. It takes a shot gun and spurs to get that horse to lope, but when he does, it's smooth and slow. We got his papers in the mail a few weeks after we bought him. Cool is halter bred out the wha-zoo. He's got great blood lines...Kid Clu, Conclusive, Call Me Phenomenal (his sire), Skipa Star and Impressive (Cool is HYPP neg. don't worry lol) He's got pretty good conformation too...a little over at the knee on one front leg but that's it really.

So the end of school came and the horses and I all moved in with bf on his 25 acre property up by the lake. We put in stalls in the barn and a pasture for the horses. And here I am today, still missing Johnny, but with two horses in my back yard and a roof over my head with the person I love. Johnny is turning 19 this year and now has a new job, bringing the same joy to his new family that he brought me.

As always,


 Take Me Im Cool - April 2011

 "Cool" - May 2011

M and Cool - May 2011