Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I still love the BigRedHorse!

I got a new project that I started yesterday. This is the tri-color that I have been eyeballing in the paddock. His conformation is far from perfect, and he is a spit fire...but I can't help but be drawn to him. I love the way he looks and he loves attention. I guess I am a sucker for guys that love my hubby (lol), Olly and now Diesel. What can I say??! So, a little background on tricolor (Diesel). He is a 5-6 yo QH gelding. His dad is Active Army and has NO time to ride. Diesel is just sitting in the paddock doing what ever the hell he wants. He has made friends with Olly...
I love his color, and like I said before his conformation is kinda crappy, but he is totally sound. He is normally (if 2-3 rides is considered normally) ridden in a western saddle with a "snaffle," what ever that means...My interpretation? My english saddle and a french link D-ring. He did pretty good. Diesel and I have a long way to go, but I have high hopes for him. Here is the video!

I also am going to try to tidy up the barn and make it a place to be able to hold shows and make some money. Hopefully.

Olly is doing much better. I still haven't brought myself to ride him though. He isn't showing any signs of being lame, but his has some teeny-tiny swelling still. Since i will be leaving for Indiana tomorrow morning, I have decided to let him have his time off and we will resume work when I get back. Two weeks off, in addition to the two weeks he has already had, should be plenty of time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I think I see some progress....

Since I am really tired from spending some quality time with the BigRedHorse, this one is gonna be short. And for those of you who say I never keep things are probably right.
I went to cold hose this morning and when I took off the wraps, Olly's leg was almost normal! Now there just seems to be slight inflammation in his fets! Woooohooo!



I cut back the time to only 10 minutes and skipped the bute.
This evening when I went out his leg seemed to hold out all day. Now that IS an improvement! I skipped the cold hosing put some DMSO on and wrapped. Then I turned him out in the little paddock for about an hour.

That was before I wrapped him.
While we let Olly graze, Tif and Soleil had a fun time jumping the course my boys and I made. I would video her and she would let my boys ride her paint. Fair enough. lol

Travis had the first go...

Then Colton, he even brought his

The Brad...he doesn't usually ride. lol

While we were paying attention to the paint, Olly seemed offended. He started lunging himself in the "welcome" paddock. WTF!? I clipped a quick video with Tif's camera, I will upoad tomorrow when I get it.
Overall, Olly is getting better. I may even get in a ride before we go on leave. We are heading back to Indiana to visit family for 2 weeks on the 1st. Olly will have plenty of time to rest and relax while I am gone. I fully anticipate him to be ready to ride then.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Even Better Today! Yeah!!!!

This morning I pull up at the barn and notice that this white pigeon has been hanging around. One of the ladies at the barn seems to think it is a dove and keeps leaving water for it...out of the cat bowl. Interesting.

The "dove"
I continued back to Olly's stall. I unwrapped his legs and took a peek. Nice. The swelling had decreased. Now, only if it would last throughout the day.

Not too shabby!

The view from the inside...
I cold hosed again for 15 minutes. I have been doing this three times daily. The kids are loving going to the barn all the time. They get to take their bikes and play "Army guys." When I took him back to his stall I gave him a sprinkle of bute on his sugar cubes. I doubted he would eat it, but it was worth a shot.
By the time lunch rolled around I was anxious to see what his leg would look like. Yesterday, it was like a freaking balloon. To my surprise, it wasn't too bad! There was still some inflammation, but you could totally see definition! WIN!!!

Again, what is with the standing on the hurt leg??

Again, cold hosed for 15 mins and then I headed to make the rest of my jumps. I got everything out and ready to go and the first hole I drilled barely made it through. Why? Because I forgot to plug my drill in last night and the battery was dead. SUPER! So I packed everything up, including my boys, and went home to finished up some things there.

I planned on making the after dinner/evening cold hose a family affair, but quickly found out that Husband was on extra duty. Some one has to do it. So as soon as dinner was finished I piled everyone back in the truck to do the last hosing of the day. I am sure that all the soldiers in the training area next to the stables were thinking, "what in the hell is she doing here all thie time?" I had driven by 6 times total today.
Olly's leg was still a bit filled when I got there but it didn't look any worse than lunch. Another WIN! I recruited one of the boys to help hose while I scrubbed the fly spray residue off his back. I have had to come out and spray him twice daily since it is too hot for his fly sheet. Poor boy. Travis did a great job, then again how hard is it to hold a hose?

Still inflammed, but better.

After the hosing was over I broke out the scissors. That's right...I cut his tail. Time to mke it look professional. I did have the clippers with me, but they don't work as well after hosing your horse. I could have thought that one through better.

It is still perfect, even cut.

Travis, sporting the new do. lol
Since the grooming didn't take that long, I wrapped his hinds for the night and let him eat some grass on the way to his stall. I added a few sprinkles of bute again to his sugar cubes and called it a night. Now all I had to do was finish my jumps. I brought the plug in drill this wussy battery stuff. I was just finishing the last few holes on the first standard and Tif walks up and says "I hope that is a 1/2 inch bit." I was like I am sure it is. It's pretty big. Well, again with the thinking wasn't. Today was just not my day. I will have to get a bigger bit for tomorrow and I swear to you those jumps WILL be finished.
He looks so content.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today's Evaluation

This morning as soon as the kids got up I headed to the barn to see how Olly's leg was. He had eaten all his dinner and was acting like nothing had ever happened. I pulled him out of his stall and walked him to the hitching post. When I took the wrap off, his leg appeared much better. There was a bit of definition in the tendons and I was getting a tinge of relief. I cold hosed him for 10 minutes and hand walked him for about five, just to see if there was any difference in the way he was walking. He seemed completely normal...with swelling.

A bit better, right?

Going for a small walk.

Pfffft on those jumps!!

My poor boy!!

And back to the barn.

My children insisted on this shot. That is Rudolf and Cody Maverick hitching a ride. Notice the excitement on my face...?
I made my way back home and after doing some laundry and getting the children lunch, I packed them back up and went to cold hose. Again.

15 minutes of comfort.

This time his fet was really inflammed. More so than last night. Dog-gone-it! I cold hosed this time for 15 minutes and no hand walking. Again Olly seemed like it was just another day.
While I was there, I wanted to make myself useful, so I went to the scrap barn and dug out some wood that EVERYONE insisted was rotted. Really? Since when does wolmanized wood rot? Well, they weren't going to be using it, and it was just stacked in an empty quarentine stall, so I made three new jumps. I made sure that I grabbed my tape measure and drill...with bits before I left the house. Well, not my drill and bits, Husband's drill and I ended up having to use the table saw. Ugh! I don't like using saws. Why? much as I would like to say I don't know how (so I can get out of it), I can. I have used circular saws, table saws, and even jig saws. I just have this weird fear. I always invision myself getting hurt. And not like, the board jumped and hit me in the face, like gore-y, my kids have to call 9-1-1 because I can't. I know, totally irrational. Today, for the sake of jump making, I sucked it up and used the table saw to cut the feet to the standards. I only finished one jump. I had Husband bring his circular saw and finish cutting the feet to the other two after work. He loves me so!
While Husband was herding my kids this evening, I made another round of cold hosing and added some bute. His fet was still inflammed. It didn't get worse...which was good, but I was hoping for some sort of improvement.

I only wrapped his hinds tonight. I have heard that when you wrap you are suppose to wrap all fours, but I think he will be fine. I am hoping that in the morning we will see some sort of improvement.
I know y'all like the blue ;)

On the way back to the barn to administer some bute, I caught him resting....on his LEFT HIND!! AHHHHH!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What happened now??!!

Yesterday after the work day at the barn Husband tells me that he would like to take a nice outing on the boat. Of course, I was thinking of going to the barn and making more awesome jumps with all the wood I found in the end quarentine stall. I quickly gave in and text Tif and told her she was on her own. The next morning, since it was Father's Day, I got up early and made pancakes and coffee for Husband. I skipped the morning check in with the BigRedHorse. It wasn't until this afternoon I HAD to go out and check on my boy. I had left his tail out so I could trim it and he so totally needed fly spray.

Friday before our ride. Look at all that awesomeness...

I showed up at the barn in a swim-suit and flip-flops. I think Olly sighed a sigh of relief, considering the temperature. I first sprayed him down and then went to tackle the tail. After that, the two things he hates the most, I decided to put some RainMaker on his feet. Just to keep them going in the dry dirt he was being turned out in. I always start with the right front and work my way around clockwise. I got to his Right Hind and he kinda put up a fight. Ummmmm...Olly...Why are you not wanting to stand?  I made it quick and crossed over to the Left Hind. WTF!! Now I know why you didn't want ot stand! My poor boy!

See the ANTI-definition?

The good leg

Ignore the stance...he was stomping at flies...

What did I do? PANIC!! The check list started forming in my mind.
Yes, yes, and yes. Crap! At first thought I put linement on it, and turned him out. Dumb move. I actually am a bit embarrassed to even admit it on here, but I try to own ALL of my mistakes. I went back to the barn a few hours later and decided to actually do the right things.
No turn out.
Cold Hose.
Standing wraps.
Bute....if needed.
Well, the standing wraps turned into polo's because I can't find my pillows. I SWEAR I took them to the barn....I might not be happy if I can't find them at home.

When I got to the barn I double timed it to the gelding turn-out paddock. To my surprise and mental anguish, he was out trotting with Soleil. Great. I grabbed him and took him to complete the "correct" check list. He was patient and enjoyed all the pampering. I put on his fly sheet and mask to try to make him the most comfortable as possible. I didn't want him stomping all night on a sore leg at flies. After a few sugar cubes he was off to bed in his stall.

All tucked in!

I think we will hold off on the turn-outs for a few days and just go with hand walks. At least, until the swelling goes down.

I started replaying what might have caused this on the drive home. I know I didn't see anything yesterday, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. I also can't rule out it happening sometime while I wasn't there either. I hate not knowing. BUT, I did come up with a good idea....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Non-Fox Fox Hunting!!

Yesterday evening we set out to go on another long hack. I normally like to do arena work, but it has been so boring and hot. We have found so many new things to do while out on the trail we are both starting to enjoy just going where ever the wind takes us.
I made sure I had my Garmin and we went for the longest hack that we have done in months. I think it took us 2 hours to mosey 6.68 miles. We w-t-c, went up and down and over some jumps. We stood on things and walked over things that we have never encountered before. Olly is getting used to the whole I guess cuz mom said do it, I have to do it. He is really being a great sport. I think weare ready for a horse trial. Now, I am not saying we are gonna win the thing, or even place. I just think we could complete one. My goal for this year is to complete on horse trial.

Here is a video of Olly and I doing our on-the-side-of-the-road-jumping. Otherwise known as Non-Fox-Fox-Hunting as Megan puts it.

I forgot to turn down the background noise...grrrrr!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cross Country

Now, I know what you are thinking when I say xc...this was our own fandangled xc course. After working in the area all week and failing the flying changes, I decided that a good long hack was in order. Olly loves to just hack out and see new things. I made sure I grabbed my crop as we left because we were gonna jump everything we could. And we did! There are sooooo many neat things this post has that just remids me of a xc course. Now, mind you it isn't in a wonderfully manacured grass is usually along side the road with grass-ish footing, but it is great practice for us. I am in the process now of compling thoughts and ideas with Tif to build a make-shift xc course somewhere on the stable grounds. I have to work fast. I just found out that my NEW friend will be leaving in September. Why me!!?? I will be back to riding alone again. Until that time comes, I will be taking advantage the riding companion.
There is alot of space on or near the stable grounds that would totally hold some good sturdy jumps.

This open field would be great. It is a bit small, but it would work.

We just have to find, and I do mean find, the materials to make them with.

I took along my Garmin today to see how far some of these trails are.

Olly has approved the Garmin...
...and the pitch fork...

...and the sugar cubes.

There are plenty of training areas that we are allowed to ride in, that is as long as no one is training. I guess, really, the only places that we are not allowed to ride are the common areas, such as the PX, Commissary and housing. WIN!
Last time we went into one of the training areas We got eaten by flys, I called them deer flys, but come to find out they are biting flys...big shocker there. They weren't so bad this time, but dang, it was rough. We just increased our slow walk to a good impulsive walk and it helped. As we peek through the trees on the other side of our "trail" I see this wall that is built over a couldron. First jump of the night sited!

It was MAYBE a 2ft drop

It took a few times with the crop to "convince" Olly to go down it, but he made it. I did have Tif video it, but some how my POS camera didn't work. I did, however, get her going up and down it. So, just act like her paint is a

We cantered along the golf course and checked out a few logs that might be jump worthy...and then we came to my split rail fence. You know I had to jump that. Olly went right over. He never minded the cars or the distraction of the other horse. He is getting so confident with jumping. We continued on along Taylor Rd (or street??). They have along side of the road these huge burm looking things. It is nothing but up-down-up-down hills. Awesome for building horsey-muscles. Can't wait to do some trotting sets along there. As we were starting to round the corner to head back to the barn, a soldier walks out from a training site. He was trying to take a picture of us with out getting caught. Tif looks at me and with a creeped out whisper says "...uhhhh that guy just took a pic of us." Knowing he was caught he yells..." You guys just made my day. I ahve been out here since Monday and we are doing NOTHING! I took a picutre, is that ok?" What are we suppose to say "no? Give me your phone so I can delete it?" He ended up being a (from what I can tell in 5 minutes) a decent soldier who was just bored out of his goard. We moved on to the last leg of the trip, along side the river. There we found a few more jumps to tackle, before calling it a night. This split rail was a bit smaller, but looked way scarier. Good...the scarier the better. Again, no video of me, but I did get Tif. I promise that here soon I will get Olly and I jumping all these things.

We had almost made it home and another person stopped us. She insisted that we bring the horses over so she could pet them, which instantly irritated me...buuuuut I was nice and we walked over. She told us that her horses were lucky because she was an equine massage therapist. What? My horse isn't lucky? Please woman. Now, I know...this is someone I should have on my side, but I found her just plain irritating and she didn't seem as knowledgeable as you would want and EMT to be. Either way, she was on vay-cay and I would never have to see her again. As we turned to leave I saw another fence. This was the highest, I think...and we cleared it. I am thinking nothing was over 2'9". I will be taking my tape measure out tonight to check them all ;) I just gotta know. I didn't get a pic of these jumps, I was too busy having fun. I will try to remember to get a pic of them here soon.

Yesterday, while dinking around the barn, I decided I would take some pictures and give y'all a tour. Here they are:

Empty Stalls
More empty stalls and the walk way to the back barn
Tack Room
My two (shhhh) tack 'stalls'

One of the run-out paddocks
The 'back' barn. Olly is on the end ;)
Olly's stall

The rest of the barn...isn't it so
That is a Marine chopper, they fly over ALL the time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Roll-Back Fail(s)

Tuesday I went out ot the barn and set up a bunch of new jumps. I brought my crappy coop and the log jump I had also. See when I first came to check out the barn here on Ft Eustis, they had a ton of jumps. To my surprise the girl that owned them took them when she left. Totally not complaining, because I would do the same. So I have set my jumps up. I already have Husband on it to make some more.

All ready to go, for our Fail. lol

So my new jumps consisted or a triple rail (bar)

and this rainbow-multi-colored-picket-fence-thing. It was higher than I would normally start out, but I decided that I could get him over it.

I didn't measure the height, but I am guessing 2'9"

These two jumps were going to be a part of my roll-back plan. Olly has been doing great with his leads. We practiced on the flat and with just two jumps and even a full course. Time to move on. I mean, how hard is it? Come off a jump and roll-back and take the next jump, right? Ohhhhhh was it not so easy. I set up the jumps so he would take his left lead and land on his left lead. His left is his better one. While I was out there I just couldn't figure out what was happening. I mean, we did the "line" like 10 times (it was really hot so we took a lot of breaks) and he only got his lead like 3. 30% is not the success rate I was hoping for. I did promise him that I would make sure I sit back for the change if he actually would get the change. lol I sat back, but he didn't hold up his end of the deal. After the second time of not getting the lead, I got off and checked to see if he might be sore and did some changes on the flat. First, simple ones, then some flying ones. He seemed to get it. The only thing I can think that was interfering was that he needed more time to think coming off the jump. Triple rail, three strides, change leads (if needed, and EVERY TIME he needed to), turn, and prepare for another funky jump in 4 strides. Now, I know that a roll back is hardly three strides, turn and then 4 strides, but I tried to space it out for timing's sake. He eventually got what I was asking for. And I rewarded him greatly. It was hot and yucky out. And he was totally giving a good effort. Once he did get the leads, we jumped the second fence...which I blew. I promised to stay off his shoulders and sit back, and I was totally ahead. You can't miss it on the video. Had I sat back and stayed out of his way he could have taken the jump more gracefully. Ooops! So-what did we learn? Leads and strides are way important and we need to practice!! Be on the look out for some boring flat videos.

Here is the video.