Wednesday, December 12, 2018

And we've MOVED!!!!



A lot has been happening behind the scenes over here and my terrible blogging skills have left out a big detail that is pretty significant as far as riding goes... but as of the Sunday after Thanksgiving Chimi and the gang have moved!!!! To say that I'm excited is an understatement. I was dreading another winter in my old barn, especially if it was going to be a wet one. I've written about the woes of my barn in the past and the major stall flooding that goes on during a big rain and so far this fall/winter we've has a lot of rain...and now snow, and more rain on the way... basically the move could of happened at a better time!

After 2 days of melting there's still so much snow!
We didn't move far, just 20 minutes from our old house and we only moved because a neighbor had approached us about buying our house b/c her daughter and son-in-law were looking to move to the area and neighbor wanted to be close to her grand children, aka our house! So after discussing the pros and cons with husband we packed our bags and off we went!!!

The horses approve of their new pasture

My list of needs were very small but important. Working lights in the barn, stalls that didn't flood, and more pasture. After that I could make due with anything. My guys are pretty easy to take care of and live out most of the time anyways so the barn is mainly a place for them to eat and shelter from shitty weather. This past week I have enjoyed my barn more than I could ever admit because we got more snow than we've ever gotten since I moved to the area. We easily got a foot of snow starting Saturday and through Sunday. Up into the mountains they got over 18" which is insane! I'm sure it's nothing for those in snowy areas but we get excited if the snow is over 3"...especially for December! (though side note- it takes to damn long for 18" of snow to melt! it'd be gone by now if we only had a nice dusting and I'm over snow if it's been on the ground longer than 3 days!)

You have no idea how much of a luxury it is to be able to be at the barn at night  with lights!!!!!  Also my farrier can come in any type of weather or at any time b/c he'll be covered AND will have lights to see by!!!!!!
Anyways enough about weather! Here are a few pictures of the new barn (well barns! There are actually 2 small barns- hopefully will rent out the 2nd barn for self care so trying to not use it as storage...or will use it to feed when they move to the back pasture b/c it's just a simple shed row, no tack room but you can use one of the stalls as a feed/tack room and be quite happy)

Oh and there's a RING. I haven't had a ring in 6 years!!!!!! It's not very big, just a little bit longer than a small dressage ring and 10 meters wider? Honestly I suck at measuring but it's big enough to ride in but not big enough to do a whole course in. I'll still be trailering out for lessons.
And it has a cute little tack room!!! My Dressage bridle was the first piece of tack that got to enjoy it's own private space. 

Overall I'm pretty excited about the move. There are some things that are better about the new place and there are other things that were better at the old place. Trailer parking is really difficult here and I'm going to have to learn how to back up while turning and not run off a very steep hill. Also in some ways I have less storage here. I'm really going to have to keep myself organized b/c I don't have  the same storage space. I do have an inclosed tack room so hopefully can keep my tack from molding in 3 days during the summer. Feeding the horses is going to take a bit longer b/c I can't just open the pasture gate and let them walk into the barn. They actually have to wear a halter to go out to the field b/c it's a longish walk to the different pasture gates (nothing bad, just not right next to the barn) Poop management is a bit more difficult too... still working on how I want to deal with that. But overall the pros out weigh the cons and I'm pretty excited to be here!!!!




Monday, November 19, 2018

Back in Action!!!



It happened it happened!!!!!! Chimi's never ending vacation is OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 fricking months (how the hell has it been that long?!?!?!?!) of pasture ornamenting has finally ended!!!!!!!! To say I'm excited it seriously an understatement because I'm SOOOOO READY to get back out there and do something!!!!! (quick side note- lameness was from hoof crack that he got in May, and then various shoe pulling shenanigans, followed by general NQR on the left hind, and basically lots of $$$ later he's sound!!!)


Marley being curious while I longed Chimi between rain storms before WS was able to come out and ride. I wasn't totally evil to her and had been working Chimi for a few weeks before she came out and rode. But because of the massive amounts of rain it wasn't very consistent.

Though I will admit it was not me that rode Chimi on Sunday. I pawned that service on an unsuspecting working student who bounces back much faster that I would if Chimi decided to leap about like a gazelle....


Working Student has recently moved to the area and is leasing a horse from a friend. When WS got the job with a local trainer, Friend sent me a message looking for a boarding situation with individual turnout for horse b/c the Trainer barn wasn't able to provide that. Long story short I pointed her in the right direction and helped her out one day with her horse so she could go home on her day off. When she tried to pay me for that day I just said "How about you be the first one to ride my horse after his extended vacation?" She quickly agreed and a date was set! (Though we had to wait till after it stopped raining! OMG so much frickin' rain this fall!!! 2 hurricanes and a recent giant storm of never rain and cold)

Chimi just hanging out while they take out one of the 2 trees that fell on my pasture fence during Hurricane Michael. 

So yesterday morning she came out and got to meet Chimi. She immediately snuggled with him and he was happy for all the extra attention b/c lets face it, Chimi's an attention whore and loves to be doted on. I tacked him up and noticed he was extra tight in his back (which is normal for him when he hasn't been ridden in a while and the temperature is on the cooler side. Riding keep his back more comfortable than not riding, basically another reason my horse is quirky!) so I told Working Student I was going to do his walking exercises a bit longer.

Chimi stealing some snacks from our neighbor's field

Every time I ride Chimi I always do a few exercises to warm up his back. I make him walk small circles and use his hind end to cross under him both directions and make him back up before I get on. This seems to help loosen up his back but on colder days it definitely takes a bit longer. Sunday morning was no exception. As I was hand walking him around he shot straight up in the air and grunted before settling back down and snorting. I looked over at WS and said "Thats why you're riding him and I'm not" and then we laughed. After a few more minutes of walking I tightened his girth and we just stood in the sun for a few minutes. I knew there was at least 1 more lurch waiting unsuspecting and sure enough while he was just standing there in the sun he suddenly stood up on his back legs, crow hopped, grunted, and then settled down and snorted like "Shit where did that come from??" The whole time I just stood there holding the reins and moved a little bit to stay with him. Poor WS looked at me like "what the hell did I sign up for?" and I said ok time to get on!

Chimi says curling is for winners!!!! Noooo says everyone else!


I took Chimi over to the fence and told WS to get on slowly and to not sit down until he's walked around fo a bit. She was such a trooper and just waited for him to settle down and relax. Once he stopped hunching his back she settled down into the saddle and started him on his paces. The ride wasn't about making him work but allowing his muscles to start functioning again and loosen up. It was really interesting for me to watch him go from a curling ball of tenseness to his more relaxed enjoyable self. Even though I wasn't riding him I could mentally feel what she was feeling and could see how much he changed while working under saddle. I really enjoyed being able to spectate from the ground because it's usually just me that rides Chimi and I never know what he looks. I could see how badly he curls at the beginning but also got to watch him relax and start to stretch and curl less.


All in all Working Student probably rode 15 minutes max but it was a great start. She did a great job with him and he only bucked once when she asked for the left lead canter but it was such a tiny buck that we both laughed and commented on how small it was! When she was done you could tell Chimi was much happier to be back in work. Later on that afternoon he had a saddle fitting appointment and for the first time in ages he stood like a perfect gentleman while the saddle fitter checked the balance. I think Chimi's the kind of horse that does well with short vacations but if it's to long he starts getting a bit mental. The damn hoof crack took way to long to heal and now that it's gone I'm glad to have my horse back!!!! I've been itching to ride for a while now and thankfully we have at least a week of nice weather coming up! Fingers and toes crossed that this is a dry winter so we can get back on track and ready to tackle the spring season!!!!! Forward and onward!!!!!!

pats for a good Chimi!!!!




Friday, September 21, 2018

WEG WEG WEG WEG!!!!! WOO!!!! But First...Endurance



It's been a whirlwind of a month with WEG, Florence, and volunteering. It's been a blast and I really will miss WEG being here!!!!!!!

Leading up to the start you could definitely feel it in the air around town. Welcome to Tryon signs were being hung up, foreigners were eating in our restaurants, and The Farm House put on a Meet and Greet with some of the competitors from Endurance, Show Jumping, and Dressage. Even if you weren't a big fan of WEG coming to Tryon and all the bad press leading up to it you couldn't help but feel a bit of giddiness with the countdown to the start fast approaching! It felt just like Christmas but with WEG spirit instead :)




Endurance was the first event to go for WEG and unless you live under a rock or have no interested in anything WEG I'm sure you've heard about the fiasco that it turned into. I'm sad that it turned into such a shit show but glad I did get to see some of it before it was canceled.




The first loop for endurance went around my mom's house so I woke up bright and early and headed over there to watch. Mom, her houseguests, and my BFF JG all jumped into mom's ATV and off we went to watch the horses blast around the trails nearby. It was so cool watching them come down a hill on a newly created trail and then take off down the road towards a pit crew point. I thought it was a vet check point but it really was just a place for the crew members to give the rider water and pour huge bottles of ice cold water onto the horses as they continued on. Some riders stopped and let their horse catch their breath while having non stop cold water poured all over them and others did the "drive by" where their crew members rain along side them pouring the liter bottles of water over the horse, handing the rider a bottle of water to drink on the move and then at the end of the lane the crew stopped and the rider tossed the water bottle onto the ground and took off. After we watched the Pit Crew action for a bit we headed off to a different section of the course where a few vets were nearby watching the horses as they made the turn. They had vets all over the place to keep an eye on the competitors for what I can assume was to be eyes on the ground to make sure the horses weren't in distress before getting to the vet check point? That I don't know and you'd have to ask someone more qualified than me!!! 


After that viewpoint we took off to the last point near mom's house hoping to get a picture of the riders with the mountains in the background but alas the clouds had rolled in and you couldn't see them in the distance. But we still got a few more awesome snapshots before headed back home. This also ended up being the point where I heard one of the road crew commenting that they had screwed up the start and sent some of the competitors the wrong direction and were talking about a restart. He was just shaking his head as he walked to his truck and I noticed a few of the other trucks left the area. After that Endurance went to hell in a hand basket and you know the rest of the story (or if you don't you can look it up!)



Anyways here a few more snapshots from the Endurance phase! I'll write about Eventing next because I had the BEST seat in the house for Eventing Dressage and was in the Judge's Box at C for two days as the Electronic Scribe!!!! That was one of the coolest experiences and I would do it again in a heartbeat!




Traffic Jam during WEG :D

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Chimi Conspires Against Me

All summer long Chimi has been enjoying the fruits of benign neglect. He has kept his shoes on and done nothing but eat and romp around the pasture.

Looking at Lake Paddock from the road in camp

The last day of camp was Fri and Thurs night he pulled his front right shoe off. Whatevs, didn’t have time to ride this weekend anyways. Farrier comes out Saturday and trims/shoes all 4 feet (he was due anyways) Life is good now, right?


CHIMI!!!!!!!! 

Wrong. This morning the horses came in to eat and Chimi seemed fine walking into the barn. I didn’t pay a lot of attention but nothing out of the ordinary caught my eye. I went to turn him out and noticed he was acting a little funny on his back right foot. I picked up his foot and sure enough the bad pony had pulled his shoe and stepped on his clip 😭 Farrier came out and pulled the shoe bc it was so damn tight on his hoof I couldn’t do it. (He just got new shoes 3 days ago!!!) He walked off a bit sore so farrier decided not to put the shoe back on quite yet so I soaked, wrapped, and poulticed it to draw any abscess out. Hopefully he’ll be fine by Thurs bc farrier is leaving for the weekend and it’d be nice to have a shoe back on!!!

I guess Chimi wasn’t ready to get back to work? 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Cuddle Bug

How is it August??????? Geez this summer has flown by!!!! But a quick update for you guys… (also side note if this post looks wonky it’s bc I’m using my phone to write and post it)




Chimi is doing quite well despite the foot explosions he had back in April/May. He technically has been cleared to ride but I haven’t had time to ride because of work. Unfortunately my summers are basically a joke bc I spend all my waking daylight hours at a summer camp running the barn and riding program and pretty much pass out as soon as I get home at night. I have a 3 day break right now and I had great plans to get back in the saddle and start prepping for the fall but the weather decided it had other plans for me! I woke up Tues morning and looked at my phone with a lovely “Flash Flood watch until Thurs 8PM” Arrrrrgggg!!!!!! I have to be back to work on Fri!!!! Oh well such is life! (Oh and it’s Friday and STILL raining!!!!!!! Like monsoon rain! Not just a lovely soft drizzle)

Add caption


Chimi has been enjoying his time off but I think he’s ready to get back to work. He’s always such a good boy but right now he’s being extra affectionate. He loves attention but with my crazy schedule (gone by 8:00am and home between 6:45 and 10:00pm Monday- Saturday) he hasn’t been getting as much. So when I do see him he genuinely looks excited to see me. Even though that’s also related to feeding he will try and get cuddles after he has finished his food instead of peacing out to the pasture to eat. When I open the gate to the big field at night he stops and waits for me to give him extra hugs and a good scratch before sauntering out to munch on the grass. I really do love this giant cuddle bug and can’t wait to get back to riding again!!!


Coming in from the endless rain…

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Damnit Chimi!

This past month has seriously been the month from hell.

Originally I had plans to go to the Heart of the Carolina 3 day but when Chimi came up lame exactly 30 days before we were supposed to trot up at the 3 day I decided to just do the Horse Trials that weekend instead. Then we had the eventful dismount at jump 1 at FENCE HT and I decided to scratch the HOTC Horse Trials because it seemed like Chimi and I needed to go back to the drawing board and get ourselves back on track before entering another show. Damn it Chimi.

Mom puts embarrassing hats on me that don't quite fit my long ears...

Since FENCE HT I've actually been enjoying just trail riding Chimi. We had 2 really nice rides with Sara and Trainer J and I had the PERFECT solo ride out on the trails by my house. Seriously. I came back from that ride with the biggest smile on my face because it was so pleasant and WONDERFUL. And the cherry on top was our pony club had scheduled a cross country schooling at FENCE with Trainer J and I was sooooo looking forward to conquering Jump 1 and playing around the rest of the course. But alas, Chimi had other plans. Damn it Chimi.

I didn't get to see my ponies in the daylight hours last Monday or Tuesday because I had to go to step daughter's makeup soccer games that had been rained out the week before. No worries, the ponies were quite happy to be out longer on the grassy front field.  Chimi was fine Monday and Tuesday morning but that evening I noticed he looked a bit sore walking in to the barn when he came in for dinner. I made note but had to finish getting everyone else fed to because it was already 9pm and we ALL wanted to eat dinner and be done with the day. From the dim lights of my barn I could tell there wasn't any blood or flapping skin so whatever was going on couldn't be that bad. I headed back up to the house to grab a flashlight but didn't feel the need to hurry.

After grabbing my flashlight from the house I headed back down to the barn to check Chimi's legs. They were nice and tight and just as normal as they always are. I looked down at his hoof and thats when I saw it. A giant crack had appeared on the inside of his left hind near the bulb of his heel. It went almost all the way up to his cornet band and was very sore when I pushed on it. Damn it Chimi.

WTF giant crack?!?!??!


There wasn't really anything I could do at that moment so just left him to eat in his pasture and texted my farrier the next morning. He made plans to come out as soon as I was off work and would trim off the hangnail. Once he got there and started trimming he looked at me and said "This goes a lot deeper than I thought. You might actually want to get a vet to look at it because I can't trim any further without cutting into the soft tissue. I'm not a vet so I don't do the blood and puss" Damn it Chimi.

Farrier trimmed the edge off. You can see the line goes in towards his frog and more up into his hoof.


Unfortunately it was to late to call the vet unless it was an emergency and this was not emergency status. I wrapped his foot and treated it like an abscess and planned to call the vet in the morning. The next day I called the vet, scheduled an appointment, and off we went to see what was up.

Chimi was still a bit sore on his foot but noticeably better so that was good news. Dr P. was pleased with how farrier had trimmed it so far, but he agreed that it went a lot deeper and wanted to clean it out to prevent it from abscessing and taking a lot longer to heal. Poor Chimi was NOT happy with this so they blocked his left hind and Dr. P got to cutting. Chimi was good until the vet hit the super soft tissue and he started bleeding but by that point Dr P felt like he had trimmed away enough of the hoof that had split. I asked him what he thought caused the crack and he had no real idea. Lots of possibilities, including an abscess that blew out and weakened the hoof enough to cause the crack or he just stepped on a rock at the right angle out in his pasture. Basically it was caused by Chimi being a horse. Damn it Chimi
After the vet cut down to the squishy part (oh and his abscess from the fall grew out and took a chunk out of his toe, foot looking a bit janky right now)


Overall it was a fairly simple visit to the vet. My orders were to keep it wrapped and clean and in 4-5 days he needed a bar shoe put on to stabilize the hoof so it could heal. Without a shoe every time he took a step his hoof would spread and cause the crack to get worse or prevent it from healing as quickly. Unfortunately my farrier had just left for Europe (farriers need vacations too, I guess...). Thankfully he was still in NY at that moment and was able to send me the names of 2 farriers that he recommended to put the shoes on Chimi. Woohoo. My horse who had been barefoot for 4.5 years had just gone from no shoes to 4 shoes in a month. Damn it Chimi.

rocking the gorilla tape and vetwrap look


So Friday morning I rewrapped Chimi's hoof, gave him a kiss on his nose, told him to be good, and off I went to volunteer at the Heart of the Carolina's 3 day Event and Horse Trials. I figured if Chimi couldn't go I could at least go and see what it was all about!!! There's a lot to write about it but overall I had the BEST time and OMG everyone needs to do a long format. More on this in a later post :)
The first jumps on course! Up close they are really pretty and say Southern 8's on them


After having a great weekend, Monday rolled around and Chimi got his new shoes. New farrier came out and ended up putting a bar shoe AND pour in pads. New farrier looked at the hoof and thought that it looked like he had an abscess that had blown out and caused the crack to then form so that's my new story on why this happened. It's not like I had just transitioned Chimi to barefoot, he's been fine for 4.5 years!!!! And hell probably longer for his back feet b/c when I got him he only had front shoes. So who the hell knows. It's horses.
New kicks


The good news is my horse is sound. The bad news is I can't ride him for at least a month so his hoof can grow back. It'll a lot longer than a month for the crack to completely grow out but the vet and farrier thought that enough hoof SHOULD of grown out that in about a month I could start riding. Obviously I won't know until a month has passed if enough hoof has grown to support riding, but Chimi does grow hoof fairly quickly so I'm hoping.



our crowning glory from the 1 show we went to this spring


So this is pretty much the story of how my spring season came to an end. Damn it Chimi.

In the grand scheme of things it's nothing long term and serious so we should be back at it eventually. Hopefully. After all it's horses we're dealing with here!



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Team Bay All the Way

Last week I mentioned going on a hunter pace with Sara and her Trainer J. I didn’t get a chance to blog about the actual ride but basically we all had a great time and made plans to ride in the Hunter Pace this past weekend. Unfortunately bc of a lot of rain Monday, Tues, and again on Thurs, the hunter pace was sadly cancelled :(

Team Bay all the Way!!!

But the sad news did not deter the three of us from riding! Instead we rerouted to Croft State Park where Sara was very familiar with the trails. Plans were made to meet there at 11 on Sunday and have a lovely stroll through the woods.


Or at least Sara claimed to know the trails... hahahahaha!!!

Sunday rolled around and I left my house just a few minutes late but still close to being on time to get to Croft. Hahahahaha. Joke was on me bc what I thought was a 40 minute drive really took a solid hour so I was running reeeeeeeaally late… I felt pretty bad about that but Chimi already had his saddle on so it was pretty easy to just putting his bridle on and get going. 

Once I finally got on (Chimi was questioning a rock by the picnic table I used as a mounting block) we headed down the road to the backside of the park where Sara said the trails were sandy and not as many people would be there. We just had to go down the road for a bit but it wasn’t that bad. Chimi somehow ended up in the front and we attempted to lead the way.

One of the lakes we passed

I can’t help but laugh at Chimi bc he is a really lazy horse. On the way down the road he kept trying to turn around and go back to the trailer but I kept kicking him forward. He does this at home too when we first head out on the trails. HE'll protest and complain and do his best to turn around and go home, but once he gets out and we start working he enjoys himself and is happy to trot and canter around. But I totally feel it… getting motivated to work out is really hard!

We got to the part where the trail peels off from the road and meanders through the woods. The footing was hit or miss at first and it'd be dry for a bit but then we'd hit a low spot and you could tell that it had rained a lot the past week. No worries though, the horses tromped through the muck well enough (though sometimes they protested) and we had such a nice start to the ride. The 3 horses seem to be a really good match and if one protested another felt brave enough to lead the way.

On the trail we did run across various hikers with their dogs and other horses. Chimi was a bit wary about them but carried on and didn't think to much about them after we passed. We were having such a lovely time trotting along the trails and talking about nonsense and ponies. Then the Devil Train appeared.

GIVE ME YOUR UNICORN HORN!!!!


We were about 4ish miles into our lovely ride when we ran into a train of mules heading towards us on the trail. Chimi was in the lead and when he saw those creatures he lost his shit. And when i say he lost his shit, i really do mean he LOST his shit! Chimi was in the lead so he was the first to see the mules and slammed on the brakes. He then started backing up and saying HELL NO. DO YOU SEE THEM DEVIL EARS????? Thankfully Gem and Elliot could care less about the mules so the snuck past us on the trail to hopefully lead the way. Except that Chimi was so freaked out he didn't care that his friends were ahead of him. Thankfully the trail was much wider here than the single track we had been on because I really don't think I could of gotten him past the mules if we had met anywhere else on the trail. At one point I tried to stuff Chimi in the woods and let them walk by but he was having none of that and tried to take off through the trees where there wasn't a trail. Finally when about half the mule train had passed us I was able to steer Chimi in the direction of Gem and Elliot and he took off towards his friends and we left the Devil Train behind us.


After our encounter with the mules Chimi was not the same. Every time we saw a group of horses Chimi just KNEW they were the mules in disguise and were going to torture him and probably eat his ears because that's how they get those giant ears right? Thankfully we didn't run into that many horses on the trail so for the most part we were able to have a nice ride back to the barn. We did get lost a couple of times but one of those times was on a really nice straight, wide path so we were able to have a really nice trot and canter until we realized no one had been down that trail, umm possibly ever. After consulting with the map we realized we were headed out of the park and turned around to find the actual trail back. Whoops :)

You can see where we got lost. The extra line up top was from us having to backtrack  :)


All in all we had such a nice ride! The weather was perfect and it was so fun to follow behind Gem. She is a beast on the trails and would fly down the trails while Chimi and Elliot would stumble and bumble behind her. The boys might be over 17h but little 15+h Gem left us in her dust. The past 2 rides with Sara have been so eye opening because she talked about endurance riding and the do's and don'ts and conditioning plans, and theory, and honestly I am amazed at how much thought goes into endurance riding. I honestly could listen to her talk about endurance all day because I found it so fascinating!!!!
The milage isn't correct b/c the GPS tracking wasn't working when we first got started


After we got back to the trailers, we hosed off our ponies, had a last laugh and called it a day. Even though it wasn't quite the ride we had originally planned, it ended up being just perfect!!! (except for the mules. They were not perfect. They were DEVILS in disguise if you ask Chimi!)