Friday, May 15, 2015

I have not fallen off the face of the plant!!!

Finally an update on what has been going on lately!!  This is sort of a catch up post and I will do follow up posts on individual topics as soon as I can...


I am so sorry that I left you all in suspense.  The big news from last fall is that my husband and I bought an old colonial farm house!!!  The farm house has been in my husband's family for decades and we just couldn't let it be sold to a stranger.  I have always loved the house and it just feels like Christmas inside.  Very homey.  My husbands grandfather completely restored the house way back.  The oldest part of the house was built in 1690ish.  Nope, that is not a typo, the house is over 300 years old.  It was supposedly the minute mens house in the revolutionary war (I am still trying to get confirmation on this, any history buffs out there?).  But we found a tax map from 1710 and the house is on it!!! It needs major renovations as it has been let go for the last 15 or 20 years, but it is livable and we will slowly start fixing it up.  We actually have already started, but not on anything fun yet.  Just structural stuff (which is very expensive with not a lot of reward - or maybe big reward that my house won't fall down, but you know what I mean...)


What I was dealing with last fall in all its craziness is closing on the farm house and finding renters for our old house.  It was really a hassle and there was about 4 days where I thought my husband, cat, dog, and myself were going to be homeless... It was very stressful.  It all ended up working out though.  More updates on the house later.


On to Liam...  Well this is sort of very hard for me to write.  Liam will most likely never be a riding horse again, but a very pretty pasture puff...


The short version... Early spring Liam came up lame on his left hind.  I decided to give him rest to see how it works out.  My reasoning behind this was 3 years ago Liam was lame on his right front.  I called the vet out immediately and spent thousands of dollars trying to diagnose the lameness.  One day about 8 weeks later Liam magically went sound and has been sound since.  I never got a diagnoses of what was wrong with that right front 3 years ago.  So this time around, I decided to wait it out and see what happens...  After about 3 weeks of lameness Liam had some swelling on the inside ankle of his left hind.  I called the vet and we discussed my options.  We both agreed that Liam probably just hit himself with the other foot and to watch the swelling and continue to rest him.  At about the 6 week mark, Liam was still lame and I finally gave up and had the vet out.  She was very concerned with the way he flexed and suspected that he tore his suspensory branch.  A few days later it was confirmed with ultrasound that he tore about 2/3 of his suspensory branch off of his sesamoid  bone. Big gulp...


Liam was immediately moved to a rehab barn from his current boarding situation.  After many consults with many vets, not a single one very optimistic, he had surgery this past week and was injected with stem cells. 


The exact diagnoses and it makes me cry a little: Severe medial suspensory branch avulsion.


Yes, actually on the report is the word Severe - it made me cry...


I am doing everything I can for Liam to hopefully get a pleasure riding horse.  I love him very much and he will ALWAYS have a home with me.


I will update in greater detail as soon as I can...



Thursday, November 20, 2014

What is happening

I apologize for my absence lately...  I have some big news to share, but I am not at the point where I feel like sharing yet.  I don't want to jinx it!  Hopefully the light is at the end of the tunnel...

I have been visiting Liam about twice a week and giving him good grooms.   Mentally, I am just not there to ride or have the time to ride consistently.  That just isn't fair to Liam and I decided that I should just let him have some time off instead of inconsistent mental block rides... 

Liam is loving his "retirement" and is just happy being loved on twice a week.  He is really cute about it.  We will see what the next couple of weeks/months bring.

Sorry, I just can't write fluff pieces right now to fill in the gaps of riding... 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Warm Weather Ride

Last Tuesday the temperature was well over 70 degrees when I arrived at the barn.  I wanted to get a ride out in the field thinking that it is going to be one of the last warm days.  The weather man is calling for possible winter mix on Saturday.  Not looking forward to this...

Liam had his light sheet on (no fill) because it was cold over the weekend and Monday.  I figured he would be hot but felt super bad when I pulled off his sheet and saw this.


I am a horrible mommy...

These are the times I wish I didn't live 35 minutes (really more like 40 minutes, but 35 sounds so much better, no?) away from the barn.  Then, I could have swung by the barn on my way to work and pull his sheet for warm weather days.

Anyway, I cooled him down and tacked up.  Liam was great in the field, he really has come a long way this summer/fall about hacking out.

The big news was I was able to canter a lovey canter through the field.

video

First, I know it isn't the best video, but I am not sure any of you are aware how big of a deal this video is for me.  When I first bought Liam, I wouldn't even consider taking this video, heck I wouldn't of taken it in the spring.  To do this I had to trust Liam enough to take my one hand off the reins and video.  This is how far we have come to trust each other.  I trust that this horse will take care of me.  Don't get me wrong, he is still a horse, but our relationship has grown so much this summer and fall, and I believe it has completely to do with all the trail riding and hunter paces we have been on.  You need to trust each other to do those things!!!

It was really a great day!

Monday, October 27, 2014

RTA Jeopardy Trail Ride


Yesterday, Liam and I with our friends attended the Readington Trail Association Jeopardy Trail Ride. The ride was held at Round Valley Reservoir. They were offering a short course (3 miles) or a long course (7 miles). We were planning on doing the long course.

I wasn't able to ride Saturday, so Sunday morning I arrived at the barn bright and early and was able to spin Liam on the lunge to get the sillys out. Lunging him before we went worked really well. When we arrived at the trial ride he was more relaxed than ever before.

We signed up and after talking with the registration people decided to do the short course twice. They said the long course was really rocky and hilly. They suggested to either have shoes or boots on your horse. Pony has four shoes, but Liam only has front shoes. That wasn't even the deciding factor, I figured Liam would be fine without hind shoes, but the pony is 24 and can get really sore on steep downhills. She will hop on them like it hurts her. My friend will get off her on every downhill and the pony is fine, but since they said we could do the short course twice we figured that was the way to go...

This time after registration I swung by the start and let them know that my horse can misbehave a little at the start. They completely understood and told us they will not make us stop and wait to start... We headed back to the trailer and before we knew it were tacked up and on the trail.




We did get lost a few times...  I am not sure how that happened, but I am sure it was because we were gabbing away.

We passed this weird looking jump on our way into the first round of jeopardy questions.




It looked like they took the fire pits from the campgrounds and stacked them up to make a jump. Maybe it wasn't meant to be a jump, but sure looked like one and in my opinion a dangerous one. I hope nobody actually jumped this. We walked around. Liam thought it was very scary the first time around.

The jeopardy questions were a lot of fun. The first round was general knowledge. You had to answer the question with a question, just like you do in jeopardy. My friend was asked the largest height of a pony. Come on, how easy is that??? What is 14.2 hands. I was asked in my opinion a much harder and broader question. When training a young horse what needs to be consistent? That could be anything, I said handling, the correct response was what is signals or cues... Such a broad question. I pouted away.

Next up was Liam's first view of the reservoir.


What is that?


It was so beautiful! We walked this path right next to reservoir for a little while with only a small tree line in between. Then back into the woods for our next jeopardy questions. This question was about breeds. My friend was asked what breed of horses live right off the coast of Virginia and Maryland. Duh!!! OMG easy, what is Chincoteague. Of course my friend got is easily!!! I was asked, again in my opinion, a much harder question. What elegant breed of horse is native to Portugal. Ummmmm, who knows.... The answer was what is an Andalusian... Again I pouted away...

Next up was the first time we saw a little part of the reservoir up close and personal.


 






Did I tell you that the ride had a costume class? We met a fellow rider on the trail dressed up as a medieval horse and rider.



Liam was frightened by this unknown rider and horse in their getup. His eyes got really big... The woman and I both laughed at Liam and his silliness. We let the woman pass us and continued on our way.

Next was the final jeopardy question. The topic was horse care. Again, my friend got the easier question, no fair... My friends question was: when a horse grabs onto a solid surface with their teeth and sucks in air, answer: what is cribbing. She got it easily... My question was: the proper way to pick a horse's foot with a hoof pick, I said: what is along the frog, correct answer: what is toe to heel... Broad question.

I was 0 for 3 with the questions, my friend was 3 for 3... I guess I need to increase my knowledge...

We were back at the start before we knew it and around the trail again for a second time. We had a ton of fun and both Liam and pony were fabulous. Got back to the trailer, untacked and loaded up and headed home without any difficulty...


















 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hobble Hobble


Nothing really interesting to report on the Liam front. He has been really good all week.

I let my kitty in from outside this morning and she came in hobbling by not putting any weight on her front right leg. She wasn't even outside that long, I don't know what she did...  I am just imagining super kitty flying through the air. She really does some crazy things... My mom has nicknamed her the bullet, because she runs every...

I was able to look at her leg between her trying to bite me and swat at me and it all seemed ok... After about 30 minutes of hemming and hawing on what to do I decided to wait it out. My reasoning is that she came in, ate food and drank, then curled up in her bed. If she was in that much pain she wouldn't have eaten or drank... She was also licking her leg in her bed and as I was leaving she got up and used the leg a little to readjust herself. I don't think she is in constant pain or anything... Here's hoping I made the correct decision when I get home later...

Ouch...

The culprit paw...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Whoa Pony...

I was able to ride Liam on Friday afternoon and had a pretty successful ride.  He was nice and relaxed and I worked on making him go forward and move his hiney around...

Saturday I arrived at the barn in the afternoon.  It was a very windy day.  I could tell Liam was up the moment I pulled him out of the field.  I could see whites around his eyeballs... I tacked up and headed to the ring with the lunge line in tow.  He seemed alright as soon as I got to the ring and decieded to just hop on... We did our normal walk warm up, but as soon as I picked up the trot, I knew I had a wild horse underneath me.  In my earlier days I would have just rode it out, but now I am a little cautious.  I decided to hop down and put him on the lunge. 

HE WAS WILD.  Really galloping around me.  Hoping in the air...  We lunged for about 15 minutes in both directions.  I got back on and had a much more relaxed horse underneath me.  I am really proud of him though... He could of been really bad the first time I got on, and years ago I think he would have, but now he just gives me the warning signs and I trust myself to listen to them...  If he needs a lunge to get out a few bucks, it is ok to lunge him.  We had a more productive ride after the lunge then we would have if I tried to ride it out. 

He did get a bit sweaty, so I am now reconsidering the not clipping him idea I had for this year and thinking I might have to do something.  He really is a big sweater. 

I really like Saiph's  clip pattern, and might copy...

Because I hate posts without pictures, you all get some of my crazy cat drinking out of the toilet. When you flush the toilet you best get out of her way as she wants in to get a drink of fresh water... Crazy cat...


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Met the neighboring farm!!!

It wasn't a very exciting riding weekend...  It was a very dreary weekend in New Jersey...

Liam was scheduled for his fall shots on Friday.  I got stuck at work late and didnt have time to ride him before the vet got there.  I was able to throw him on the lunge for about 15 minutes though. 

 


I gave him off Saturday as it was practically raining all day and Liam can get sore from his shots.

I went out to the barn early Sunday morning and was able to ride.  Friend and I decided to walk down to the hay field and follow that little path that I found a month or so ago.  When we came out to the field that I always turned around on we saw a lady driving her cart out.  We were able to catch up to her and she said she owns the horse farm that is below the hay field and we are more then welcome to ride on any of her property.  She does rent out some of the fields to farmers but we are allowed to ride the perimeters... This is very exciting!

Old picture of the soy bean field I used to turn around at, now I can use the perimeter and into the next field!!!