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We Are Flying Solo

January 31, 2010

Where's That One Horse Open Sleigh When You Need It?

T-1 day to injections!

But we enjoyed a snow ride anyway, *crunch crunch crunch crunch*, sporting our sexy new quarter sheet. Hopefully, there will be an exciting vet report tomorrow...

January 30, 2010

Snow Ponies

Apparently a worm hole in the universe has opened and transported me back to my chilly childhood days in Kentucky. Cause this sure as hell ain't North Carolina!!! It is "snowing" ice pellets for god's sake!

The farm driveway, complete with 6 inch pile of snow on the truck hood.

We are not impressed by your "winter."

Oh! Haz you come to bring me to warmth and treats?

Well. Read my disappointment when you do not.

I iz Moxie. I iz hunter princess. You bring me in now!!


You suck.

Even the farm birds are scrounging in the snow for scraps.

Even Smokey has an opinion.

January 26, 2010

Wanna Rise To The Challenge?

So I have decided there is no point is pushing Solo too hard until post-injections, especially on the dressage work that really needs him to rock back and step under from behind. Therefore, I must remove temptation for me to keep working on this stuff so I don't get frustrated by the inability to progress.

As a result, I decided to take the stirrups off my dressage saddle until the shots are given. They came off last week and I am not allowed to replace them for any reason. I have left the stirrups on our jump saddle, so light jump schools are ok.

My concession to my body is that I have left my cushy sheepskin seat saver on the dressage saddle. I have no desire to kill myself.

So, all dressage schooling must be done sans stirrups. And yes, that includes W/T/C. This means that I will get tired and owie wayyyy before I'm asking Solo to work too hard, LOL.

We do a little less trot work (hey, I'm not Ironwoman!), but we do a lot more transition work. Lots of bending at the walk and canter. Last night, we warmed up with 5 loop serpentines at the walk. Then, staying on the serpentine, we would trot around the bends, but on the straighaways, transition to walk and leg yield three steps in direction of new bend, then resume trot. At the canter, we did a few 15-m circles, then added a couple loops of semi-counter canter to work on balance. Then my thighs hurt like a sonovabitch, so that was the end. Other days, we went on a trail ride or worked on bending around our trot circles.

My challenge to you is to join us in no-stirrup land for the week. C'mon, I double dog dare ya! It's great for the balance, building muscle and encouraging a longer, drapier leg. You do NOT have to do all three gaits if you don't want to. I will not make you post the trot or two point. Yes, it is hard. BUT, I'm not talking torture session here. My legs are a bit sore, but I'm not forcing myself to continue exercises when my legs are screaming. I agree with P, who says tired, stressed muscles that continue to be drilled will only result in incorrect work. So I do a couple of exercises, push myself just a little, then quit. Rarely do these rides last more than maybe 20-30 minutes.

So who's with me???

January 24, 2010

Help For Boot Buyers Anonymous

Hi, my name is eventer79 and I am addicted to buying horse boots.

I admit it. I don't even know why. But I love leg boots. It doesn't even make sense given that I only use them for jumping, but there it is. I have galloping boots, splint boots, open front boots, bell boots, polo wraps, standing wraps, track wraps, brushing boots... Hey, you have to be prepared! Ok, no, the picture is not my tackroom, but OH, I wish it was!

But there's always a question when it comes to boots -- which ones are best? What variables should I be looking at when purchasing? What is my horse most at risk for? Can I HURT my horse with boots? When should I use them? Even more importantly, when should I NOT use them?

Well, USEA has kindly posted this excellent video from the recent national convention. Dr. David Marlin is a British scientist who has been conducting empirical tests on equine leg boots and investigating what we should be asking our boots to do. And finally, someone states with authority that a little bit of neoprene and velcro does not, cannot, will never provide any real support of the massive loading forces present in a horse's leg, hurrah!

It's about 20 minutes or so, but I strongly encourage watching, it's extremely informative, well-researched, and well-presented. He does have videos of his testing, although the 9 types of boots he tested are only referred to by number, not by brand name, so don't expect a magic slip of paper saying, "Buy this one!" But did you know tendon cells start to die at 45 degrees C (114 degrees F, not that hard to do, I would imagine, under neoprene in summer)??! And horses, when knocking their leg on a solid object, are routinely exposed to the same amount of concussive force that would break a human femur? Sweet, we, as horse owners, definitely need evidence to make us MORE paranoid!!!!

January 23, 2010


So I'm at the farm the other night. Solo's feeder is a triangular bin in the corner of his stall, so a few pellets always get crammed in the corners where he can't reach them. Being an OCD horse mom, I pick them out & move them out to the middle so he can finish them. So, I peek in to the feeder to see if any are in there. And I see...



Blink blink.

I know I am crazy, but I swear to god there are a couple bits of broccoli on Solo's plate.

I look up at BO. I look back at feeder.

Blink blink.

Ok, yes, definitely broccoli in there.

I look back at BO. I ask hesitantly, lest my insanity become blatantly obvious.

"Um. Has Solo been eating broccoli?" I am sure that I must be having yet another very strange dream.

BO (laughing): "Oh, LOL, DH (who is an avid gardener) had a bunch of leftover broccoli & cauliflower the other night so he brought it up to the horses for a treat."

Me: "Ohhhhhh..."

Yes, my horse, the giant food snob, who won't even eat peppermints because they are not Horse Food, has spat out cucumber and banana and watermelon all with equal distaste, apparently cleaned up a plate of broccoli & cauliflower, as evidenced by the sprigs left behind.

Who knew that Solo had such a taste for salad? What's next - cherry tomatoes? Beets? Rutabegas? I am going to have to talk to BO about random veggies in the food as they can cause gas colic...

What kind of crazy stuff does YOUR horse love?