Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope everyone had a great Chirstmas. I got to spend it at the barn. I volunteered to feed the horses so the barn manager could have the day off. Since I was there all day, I got to take a Chirstmas morning ride in the snow :)

The snow was still deap, but the ground was too soft to do much. I galloped a little until I felt Lilly slipping. It was relaxing and peaceful none the less!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowed in at Home

Well, Baltimore has just gotten dumped on with a record amount of snow! I think it fell 22 inches today, plus snow drifts higher than that. Here are my pictures from the city outside my house.

You can't even see my poor Cadillac :(

A main road in the north side of the city...

This is Seven, one of my Weimaraners. He has a snow beard!

This is Ozwald, another Weimeraner. His tan marking are called "mark of the hound". It shows up when you breed a blue with a grey or silver, but it only happens every so often. I dove all the way to South Carolina to get him.

This is Apple, my Staffordshire Terrier. I love her too :) She isn't that much taller than the snow now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Belated Turkey Day Video

Thanksgiving was a blast. In the morning I rode Willow (where I sprained my ankle), then we tailgated at the blessing of the hounds. After the blessing, we drove around the countryside to follow the hunt.

And here is some more video of Stella.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I got the filly "The Horse Girls" and I went to look at on Tuesday at Laurel Park racetrack! She is beautiful, and definitely the horse from my childhood dreams! Things really do happen for a reason.

Her name is Bright N Stormy, but I will call her Stella (meaning star). She is coming 4 and is 16.1. She is very polite on a lead, and very classy all the way around. She loves peppermints and has no idea what an apple is :)

She was a turf horse and only ran 5 times. She ended up mostly on dirt because of how sloppy the grass was due to the all the rain we have gotten here on the East Coast. The only turf race she did end up running, she won...very easily. Her trainer decided to find her a home instead of waiting till next year to try the turf again.

Here is a video from today when we turned her out for the first time!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A true rainy day..

Today was an awful day! The new OTTB I got ended up not working out, and I had to take him back to his trainer. About two weeks ago, I started jumping Tegan. The day after he was dead lame on the ankle he had issues with on the track. After about a week of hosing, poulticing, and wrapping, the vet came out. He took some x-rays, thinking it was a chip. He didn't find any chips, but there was so much remodeling of his fetlock, it was beyond repair. He also had some thickness around his suspensary where it connected to the fetlock. He said the range of motion was only 10-15% of what is should have been. The trainer and I had a deal that if Tegan didn't work out, she would take the horse back.

The poor guy was finally starting to pick up weight and look great. I am really upset at the racing industry right now. I have learned there are two types of trainers. Those who run their horses into the ground, and those who treat the horses like gold. I unfortunately had to deal with people who treat their horses not so well. If you look at Trafalgar's racing history on Equibase, you can clearly see the horse wasn't a great runner and should have found a home before he was run into the ground.

The trainer said she would 'blister" the leg. Not so great considering they don't have any stalls at the farm on their property. Blistering is when an agent is put on the horses leg to make it turn into a blister. The hair tends to fall off, and needs to be kept wrapped and clean. The blister causes more blood flow to go to the area and speed up healing. I am sure it would not heal the remodeling that has been done to the fetlock joint, but I am sure those crazy racehorse people will try everything. I feel so sorry for Tegan, but I am not rich...and I need to realize I cannot save all of them :(

On a positive note...yesterday at the barn I was talking to my friend about the situation. And I said, "I really hope I could find a big, sound, dapple gray OTTB to call my own." She said we would eventually find one that needed a home. She got a call this morning from the trainer who she got her OTTB from saying she had a gray/roan 16.1 3yo filly needing of a home (Giveaway). She is a turf horse and and turf races are hard to find. The filly has only started 5 times. This trainer is the type that treats her horses like gold. This filly has never had an injury and is ready for a new career. I hope she works out! I really have learned I love riding TB's and they get top notch training at the track when in the right hands.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

2+1=3 , Yes 3!

Well, I have been quite busy with myself. I happened to fall into a giveaway at the track...yes I now have a OTTB to add to my list.

To make a long story short, my friend Lisa heard about a give away at the track and persuaded me to look at him. The night before we went to look at him, I was laying in bed around 1am and it came to me where I had seen this Thoroughbred that was described to me. When I was looking last year on the CANTER MID ATLANTIC listings I saw him posted, however, the trainer wanted $4k for him (What his claiming price was). So there was no chance of me going to look at him for that amount. Next thing after another...I had a OTTB at the farm I board at when I got back from our vacation in Cancun.

His racing name was Trafalgar ( I now call him Tegan for short). He ran 21 races and won around $21k. He was retired because his ankle (Osselets) was bothering him and his trainer wanted him to find a good home and a new job. He is a dapple gray and 16.2 1/2 hands tall. He is quite skinny, but already gaining weight.

Tegan has settled in quite well. I have ridden him a couple of times. We are working on bending and collecting. I have even popped him over a few cross rails. He is very quiet, willing, and a real gentleman! His legs are tight and cold. The only problem is that I cannot keep his shoes on. He has already lost two in the past few weeks. Bell boots are on him pretty much 24/7. He travels very close behind, so I believe that is the problem.

Lilly is back to her old self. I have been taking lessons on her every week. We have been working on her transitions between gaits as well as simple changes. Our last lesson we did a whole bunch of tight roll backs...I thought I was going to die :)
I definitely know her spookiness has something to do with her hormones. I am looking into a few options for next spring. I am weighing her options, but leaning towards trying to marble her. Marbling is when a vet inserts a glass marble in the uterus of the mare, which in turn makes her think she is prego. It lasts until the marble is expelled, usually averaging a few months. The cost is about $150, which would definitely be cheaper then trying the depo shot every few weeks or Regumate every day.

I recently have been taking Willow out on the trails about once a week. She is doing so well! No one can believe she is only 2! I have started to canter her while on the trails, and just started cantering this week in the ring. It is much easier to ask her to canter when she is following a group of horses. Since she is half draft, she is very lazy and stubborn. When I do ring work with her, she can get agitated easily, so I have to ask gently and slowly so she does not blow up (she has turned into a bucking/rearing bronco when she is not asked in a gentle way). She has perfected going through streams and going down steep muddy hills. She is very careful about her footing, which is worth more than gold :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day.

~Author Unknown

Thursday, October 8, 2009

On the Buckle...

I got to the barn the other day to find a bunch of people riding out. I was so excited and got Willow tacked up for her first ride off of the property. I was not sure what would happen but hoped for the best. All I can say is she was a wonderful girl. We rode a little more than 2.5 hours, which was the longest ride for her by far! Towards the end, she definitely was tired, but we only W/T. (mostly at a walk) No one on the ride could believe it was her first time out! She is going to be a perfect field hunter! There were dogs, cars, motorcycles, roads, new horses, and streams...and she didn't even flinch :)

This is a clip before we left.

This is a clip during our beautiful fall ride.

On another note. Lilly is now on doxy because of the wound on her upper leg. Her leg was filling with fluid and the wound was not getting better.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grooming Day

Went to the farm this afternoon for a grooming/cleaning day. I pulled Willow's massive mane for about 30minutes and gave her a great all over grooming. I also groomed Lilly and found a wound she got out in the pasture in her armpit area. I know...I am very technical :) The top of her leg is a bit swollen, but hopefully after some care, it will disappear!

I did however get a few short videos of Willow since I couldn't get my camera to work yesterday. Here are some tidbits..

Monday, September 28, 2009

New Video Camera!!

Yesterday was such a great day at the barn! It was a rainy mess when I got there, but the storm passed quickly. It had been raining over night, so Lilly was still wet from being out. We still have her out for about 22 hours a day, but since her attitude has changed so dramatically, I am going to see if she can come in at night.

While grooming I took some short videos. I just got a camcorder and am super excited to finally get to record my horses progress. The battery wasn't completely charged, so I will have to wait till tomorrow to get them actually working. Anywhoooo...

Lilly was perfect today. She was very balanced at the canter even though it was so sloppy and slippery. She amazed me how willing she was to collect and do what I had asked of her. We popped over a few low jumps. She didn't pull and completely listened to me! So we called it quits on a good note. Although it was all good notes!

After taking care of Lilly after the ride, I got Willow ready to lunge. First I had to tackle the burs.....

Today was the first day I introduced sidereins. Again, I couldn't ask her to be any better. She extended her trot and halted every time I cued her to. After a while of going in each direction, I added a pole on opposite ends of the circle. She just trotted over them like she had been doing it for years!

I took the sidereins off of Willow and wanted her trot over the cavaletti. I have had her walk over it a few weeks ago, but I still didn't know what she would do at the trot. I thought that she might refuse the first time, but to my surprise she popped her big self right over it! I cannot believe what a willing girl she is! I cannot wait till she is able to take me out in the country side and we can enjoy the scenery together!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mares Mares Mares

Lilly is totally back to normal. She has been lunging WTC without a fight before each ride recently. I haven't gotten to work with her for a week because I was away for work. Today I lunged her for only about 5 minutes each way to see what her attitude was like. She was very responsive and willing. So I decided to make it a short lunging session and get on. We just did flat work and worked on yielding to my leg. I need to work on the basics on the flat since the last few months have been so erratic! I also need to get my leg strength back!

I really think it was hormones. She started the spooking in May and stopped late August.

Has anyone tried Regu-Mate? Do you think this may help her during the Spring and Summer??

Also, I am looking to buy a video camera so I can post videos. Does anyone know of a good video camera that won't break the bank! Thanks!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Trying to pose with a 2 year old!

So I wanted to get some cute shots of Willow and I (even though I was dirty). Above is the best I got out of about 100 photos... I have many of me and Lilly (she stands really still)...

Here is a portrait of me and Lilly..

And here are a sampling of photos of me trying to get Willow in the same picture as I. She would not stay still, plus her head is so big, I couldn't get it in the picture..

The end...


Today I lunged Lilly before I rode, and she was near perfect! It really helps take the edge off of her! I can't believe it took me 4 years to finally get her to lunge! She is so smart and dominant, but I finally won the "lunging" battle. We still have a way to go. I haven't gotten her to canter on the lunge line, but she has improved so much in just this week! The spooking has definitely gone away for the most part this week, and I attribute it to the lunging. She still is looking at everything, but at least she is being somewhat sane.

Here are some pictures after I rode Lilly. She was super tired and ready to go relax!

That's me and Lilly posing for the camera!

After we were all done with untacking and grooming, we went to rest in the shade. I napped while she ate grass.

After I was done with Lilly, I rode Willow for a bit. I am still not doing much with her since she is 2 and a half. We just worked on walking over poles, steering, and walking over cavaletti (so she can learn to pick up her heavy feet!!!). She is definitely growing. Her butt is taller than her withers right now!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I am back!

So it has been mega long since my last post. I am Super Sorry! Things have been kind of hectic with Lilly. To make a long story short, she was spooking at everything and I totally lost my confidence after a few bad falls, and I didn't know if I would be able to keep her. I had her eyes checked by the vet as well as everything else. After a few weeks of little progress, my trainer rode her without me knowing, and re-programed her, which was one of the nicest things since she usually charges for it. Within the last week, I have taught Lilly to lunge. Although she already knew how to, she just would charge at me because she didn't want to. I am working on our relationship and letting her know I am the leader.

I am also working on lunging with Willow. She is a bit stubborn as well, but aren't most of us woman :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Bumps in the Road

Things with Lilly have been kind of crazy! We have come to the conclusion that we cannot fight with her because she will fight back harder. She is out pretty much all the time, other than an hour in the a.m. and p.m. to eat. She is getting less pellets; just enough to get her supplement down. I am starting from the bottom up with her and treating her like a 2 year old. I have to sing her songs, do circles, work on transitions to keep her mind focused on me. Things were going well, then toward the end of the ride two Sundays ago, she tripped after a small jump and fell. I flew seemed like slow motion. It took me a minute to get back up, but I did. Gave Lilly some love because I know she was shaken up too! After a few minutes, I got back on and jumped a few more jumps, to get our confidence back. Lilly had a few small scrapes on her shoulder and nose. I had a pretty bad one on my shoulder but I thought that was it. A few days later, I decided I should go to the doctor. Prognosis...bruised rib and a pinched nerve in my back. Yuck!!!

I have ridden a few times since the fall. Just flat work. I am still a bit sore. Lilly is still spooking at everything. I hope this gets better.

Monday, June 22, 2009

..."Today, You Won"

Last Friday I switched Lilly's bit to a Pelhem. It definitely helped me have more control. Lilly was up in front of me and couldn't shy out from under me so easily. So, by the end of Friday I thought we had found a solution to our current problem. On Sunday, Lilly decided she had an answer for my so called solution. The biggest problem is, Lilly is always thinking... Since she couldn't spook or shy, she decided bolting would be her new form of challenging me! She bolted about 3 times in the hour lesson. I almost ran into jump standards, cavaletti, and, of course, people on horses. But, by the end of the lesson, my trainer said...."Today, You Won".

Let's see what she tries tomorrow!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain Rain Rain

So, the weather here has been very wet for the past few months. It has been clear 10 of the last 77 days! It rained the past two days, so Lilly wasn't ridden by my trainer on Wednesday. Tomorrow should be beautiful, so I will get to ride! Will post some updates tomorrow! I am going to wake up with the birds! I really need a good dose of the has been quite stressful!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Training can test your PATIENCE!

So, withing the last 2 weeks, I have fallen off Lilly 3 times. This spooking nonsense is getting quite old! The last incident happened on Sunday. I hacked for 45 minutes. She was fine for the first 20 minutes, then she started spooking at nothing. She is really good at making me think I got the spook out of her, then in a nanosecond, she shys to the side, and there I am lying on the ground! My trainer and others agree, my horse is the smartest on the farm, and there is about 100 horses there. She is a mare and wants to be with her girlfriends, so she figures spooking is the way to get out of work...After the fall on Sunday, one of my trainers had me ride in the lesson right after my hack. So we rode for a total of 2 hours that day. I am not quite sure if I am sore from falling or from riding for two hours! During the lesson, my trainer had me really work her mouth the hole time to give her something to think about.

I am having my other trainer work Lilly tomorrow. She is a professional rider. The best I have ever worked with! She will give me an update tomorrow on what happens. Then Thursday I will have a private lesson with her. Lilly acts up more when she is alone, so this will be good for her! I have also started Lilly on a supplement called RelaxHer. We will see in a few weeks if it works on her.

I spent the day today at the barn doing some major grooming on Willow. We got rid of most of the feathers with scissors. She isn't used to the clippers yet, so I got as close as I could. She looked so good, I had to take some pics! I grabbed on of the girls to help me, but Willow didn't want to stand still!! BABIES!!!

Here is a BEFORE picture of Willow when I drove to Kentucky to see her. She was quite skinny and had a big fluffy coat.

Here she was TODAY looking like quite a lady.

And here is a pic of her top and bottom line. I couldn't get her to pay attention...

I feel like she is looking so much better. It is hard to completely tell in the pictures! When she arrived at my farm you could see her ribs and backbone. She was shipped with 1/2 inch thick dried mud on her from head to toe! The woman I bought her from did not take great care of her. She bought the horse last November from the Amish to flip (retard...) for $5000, and couldn't because of the economy. So Willow's condition went down hill. The food she fed this horse looked like it was for cows! Willow had trust issues with her back end as well as her ears from being ear twitched. The woman lied to me and said she had the horse for over a year, however, on the coggins dated November 15, 2008, another owner was listed, and Willow was listed for sale on the Internet on November 18, 2008.

I haven't figured out if I should email this woman and let her know I figured out her lies, and also to email her an updated picture to show what great shape she is NOW in.

It is truly amazing what food, water, a brush, and some LOVE can do...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Yin and Yang

So having two horses means that you can have two types of days at the barn. One not so good day, and one really good day.

So to start off my day today, I rode Lilly, my trained mare that I show. She decided that she wanted to spook at everything as we hacked around the ring. After quite a bit, I thought I had everything worked out of her and became pretty relaxed, then she spun on a dime when the wind blew, and I went the other direction . It's my fault that I trusted her, I know not too! I firmly corrected her and got back on, and of course she was a perfect as pie after that! I didn't jump today, after having to fight with her to bend and act like a lady! I think that she is perfect at horse shows because she doesn't know if anything is out of place. At the farm, she knows if something is where it shouldn't be. It usually happens when we ride alone, but if we are in the ring with other people she is usually fine.

After I was done with Lilly, I rode Willow. We walked and did small circles, and we also walked over ground poles. She was so good, that I decided to see what she would do if I asked her to trot. And she was PERFECT! No issues what so ever. She would trot around half of the ring and stop, then I would as for the trot again. We went twice around the ring both ways. I don't want to push her, so that was good for me.

The gash on her leg is getting better, but it is still huge and soft. It is hardening up, but it will take time to be completely. When I scrub the dirt off, it starts to bleed, but it is better then it getting infected!

I finally got a pic of it...

I am going to the barn all day tomorrow, so I should have another update....till then....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Grass IS Green

Things have been so busy lately! I guess that is what happens every year in the spring.

The gash on Willows leg is starting to harden up. It is still pink and fleshy, but in the early process of scabbing. I was told by my trainer to go to the local feed store and get a product for cows with mastitis (utter inflamation) called Today. Evidently it is an antibiotic, so whenever you have a puncture type wound, it helps clean it out. It has worked wonders so far, compaired to any other ointment I have tried on this wound! I think she must have gotten stuck in a bunch of branches on the ground in the woods. She has a bunch of superficial scratches under her legs and hind end. How do these horses manage to get into trouble...!!

On the riding end of things...Last week the mares were in season, and crazy! Now all is well and back to normal. Willow has been making great progress. She now walks around the whole ring instead of standing by the out gate and throwing her neck up and down. She is starting to get it, and realized she can trust me. She going the directions I tell her to go without a fight. We are even walking cavaletti! Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will start trotting. She is learning so fast! Maybe by the fall, we will canter, but that is as far as we will go this year. Her knees are still wide open, so nothing to extraordinary!

Here are some new pictures of Willow, showing how much weight she has gained since I have gotten her, and how great her coat looks. I will post pics of when I first got her this weekend so you can compare! Enjoy!

And here is a picture of Lilly last March for our first Hunter Trial. I just cam across them on my computer. She was so excited and ready to go! But she was also well behaved!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mare's in Season

Well, all the mare's were crazy today....they are all in season.....together....... I got Willow out of the field, and cross tied her as usual.  She would not stand still what so ever, then all the mares started running from one end of the field to another.  When I was grooming her, and also trying to get a closer look at the kick marks all over her back legs, she kept trying to give me her "warning kicks".  (I now she is only 2, but the person I got her from should have worked on this with her, considering how big she will get!)  So I decided that I would not ride her today, however she would be lunged to get some of her energy out.  I had only about 20 minutes of lunging time with Willow, my lesson was starting earlier than usual.    

Lilly did pretty well during the lesson, however, my trainer and I could totally tell she was in season.  She was just acting up a bit, in many different ways.  Going to fast, spooking, bulking to the right between lines, but by the end of the lesson, she settled down and jumped the jumps perfectly.  We jumped the highest Lilly has jumped today...2'9".   It was no problem for her.  I wonder how high she will eventually jump?  She does have a lot of jump in her, especially how little she is.  

After I was done with Lilly, I got Willow out again to hose off her back legs.  Most of the kick marks were just superficial except for one.  It is a pretty deep cut, but nothing they could stitch.  I will keep hosing it and appling medication.  Hopefully we won't need any antibiotics!

I have noticed lately that the hoof supplement and hoof ointment I have been using on Willow has been working wonderfully.  The hoof ointment is called Effol made in Germany.  The supplement is from the local feed store, and is making my filly's coat shine!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sunrise Over Hilltop

So I got to go to Pimlico yesterday. They open it to the public for 3 days before Preakness to watch the horses workout early morning. It was a rainy day, but well worth it!

After I watched a few horses that aren't in the Preakness work out, I turned around and saw crutches....Guess who that was! Mine that Bird's trainer, so the horse was about to step out on the track. He breezed by a few times and looked great! I also saw Pappa Clem train in the am, but those were the only horses in the Preakness that I got to see.

I walked around the track to where the stakes barn was, and there was news crews everywhere. They give tours thru the backside, but I didn't have time to wait since I wanted to ride Lilly before I had to go to work.

Once I got to the barn, I tacked Lilly up and went for a quick ride. We worked on bending and collecting. Can never have to much of that. We have also have been working on simple changes, hopefully soon we will get a flying....

Most of the mares were switched to the back field where there is plenty of grass so the regular mare's field could get a rest. Lilly was one who was kept in the old field :( Sometimes she can be hard to catch for some people, and we don't want her to founder on all that grass. The days that I go ride in the pm, she can go out with the rest of the mares because she always comes to me.

I have another long day at work tomorrow, but TGIS.....the weekend is almost here and I can go play in the mud!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The blacksmith didn't come today...So hopefully my girls will get trimmed on Friday.  Willow's feet really need it!

Tomorrow morning...early...I am going to Pimlico for Sunrise Over Hilltop.  They open up the track to the public to watch the horses train in the morning the three days before Preakness.  I try to do it every year. It's something everyone should do.  They provide drinks and pastries as well as give tours along the backside. News crews are there, parents with their kids, and old school horse people.  I love it.  I have never actually been to Preakness, but I think I might like the mornings even better because it is so intimate.  

Till tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Almost Full Day at the Barn

So I actually had a full day I could spend at the barn, so I tried to get some things done. I went out in the field to get Lilly, since she would be the easy one, but guess who met me in the field...

It's Willow girl!  She seems so much happier since she first came to the barn.  She really does love to be around people.  I put her on the cross ties and had to take some more pics of her.  I love the ears she got from the Dutch Harness sire.

I wanted to get some deep cleaning done, and for the past few days noticed some gray roaning on her back leg.  When I got her she was pure black, and after she shed out a bit, she is more like a dark bay.  I wonder if she is going to gray out.  

I started working on her feathers....Goodness does she have feathers.  I took most of it off the front, but I left a little near her pastern because she hasn't perfected giving me her hoof.

I have been worried about the condition of her hooves.  She has been getting a hoof supplement for the past month.  Today I also got a new hoof ointment that I hear is pretty good called Effol from Germany.  It is made in the same factory that human cosmetics are made.  So it must have great ingredients in it.  I cleaned her hooves when we were finished and applied it to her hoof walls.

I lunged her for a bit.  She goes really well to the right (voice commands and all), but hates to go to the left.    She stops and turns on a dime and trots the other way.  I guess we have some work to do.  After lunging, I got on her for about the 6th time.  She is starting to listen to me a little more.  She will finally walk away from the gate.  She will stop as well as back up, but we still need to work on steering to where I want to go.  I am now on her back for about 15 minutes until she gets a little impatient.  

I rode Lilly for a bit working on bending and collecting, however my sore throat was getting worse and I needed to go to Patient First, so we didn't do any jumping.  Now that I have the new filly, I can see how far Lilly has come.  She is so smart and willing.  If only she could get over the ghosts that are in the woods next to the ring when the wind blows.  BOOO!

The farrier is coming tomorrow and I have to work at 11.  Lori, the barn manager said she would hold them, but my horses sometimes only behave for me.  I guess we will see what happens.