March 29, 2012

Trail Ride

I cannot emphasize how much I LOVED my trail ride on Mr P yesterday. It makes me wish even more that I had a camera.

It was a beautiful day, not too hot. Actually I had to wear a coat and to make a mental note to make sure that I grab my gloves. With it being so nice out I decided that I would groom Mr P outside with his buds and since the wind was blowing I was hoping that it might help reduce the amount of horse hair in my mouth, well it didn't work that well haha but I think Mr P enjoyed being outside, so if he was happy I was happy.

After he was groomed I did have to bring him inside to tack him up, but unlike his normal hollar for his friends contstantly while he is inside, he did a half assed hollar (which was ADORABLE) and then settled down. Saddie arrived just as I was finishing tacking up and we were off. She walked besides Mr P while I rode. We did some warm up in the outdoor arena to make sure both Mr P and I were relaxed. I felt so opposite as most people would feel when riding outside, I felt more relaxed being outside and loved the breeze, and Mr P didn't even flick a worried ear.

Saddie planned that we would walk around the fields (the university won't let us ride in the fields but there are good sized roads inbetween all the fields) and we talked about riding outside. What made it different from riding indoors, dangers/obstacles you might run into, how to ride up and down hills. I asked Saddie one of the questions I has always burned in the back of my mind: "What happens if you fall off?" I have watched enough eventing videos to know that the horse usually runs off, but at an even there are plenty of people around to catch your horse, and there is no traffic around. Saddie said that most horses will either run home, or even stop and be like "Hey why are you on the ground?". This made me feel a little comfortable, not that I was afraid of falling off.

Unlike riding indoors, my heels stayed down much better, and I was super relaxed. When we got to a field Saddie had me do some trot work and just told me to go down as far as I wanted to and eventually come back. There was only so far I could go because there was a road, but I went almost all the way to the road. I really wanted to keep going on forever but obviously I couldn't. I turned around and went back. Mr P decided that going back towards Saddie was the time to rush his trot, but I stayed relxed and did some half halts and got him to slow down.

Trail riding is one reason why I can't wait to start eventing. Being outdoors and riding feels so much better than riding indoors. Sure riding indoors gives you security and allows you to do new things without the changing variables of the outdoors, but riding outdoors..just gives you a feeling of freedom.

Thanks for reading!!!

March 28, 2012

Trail Ride

Today I get to go on the second trail ride of my life. Saddie told me that I need to start having more fun while riding so today we are going to go out on the trails and relax and still learn. She knows that I want to go on a trail ride super bad and that eventually I'd love to do a trail ride around campus.

As some may not have known, I lost a family member this week. My Auny Dot (grandmother's sister) to cancer, we lost her on the same day we lost a baby alpaca. My feelings on Sunday were such a rollarcoaster. I am much better now, I miss her and I think of her all the time, but I am able to go throughout the day without crying.

In order to make this trail ride more meaningful to me, I decided (as korny as it sounds) to decidate today's ride to my Aunt Dot, and I will have as much fun as I possibly can in her memory.

Thanks for reading!

March 24, 2012

Colic, Lesson, Cold

I realize I should have posted about this sooner, but this dang cold I have has debated otherwise.

My first week back from spring break couldn't have been more interesting. Since I flew in on Monday I had postponed my lesson for Tuesday morning since I work Tuesday morning's anyways.

On my way to work I was pretty much skipping, I was so happy to be back and the weather was amazing (50s baby!) and I couldn't wait for my lesson. It is always nice to get back into the groove of things. I try to get to work for 8 but with buses sometimes I am a little late (about 8:05 usually) but it's not a huge deal and I have another person, Kim, who works with me anyways so she usually starts chores without me.

I arrived and Kim had already got the hay out to the horses, which means next all we had to do was feed Legend and Rollo. Since my lesson was at 9 and Mr P was a MESS I wasn't to make sure I got him in the barn by 830. As I approached the barn Kim met me and said that Jealousy wasn't eating her hay. This sent up a red flag for me because Jealousy is the pig of the herd, and the weather has been so out of whack lately (MN has been in the 70s during my spring break). I grabbed my cell phone out of my bag to call Sadie and asked Kim to get me a halter. As I approached the pasture Jealousy laid down. I got the halter on Jealousy and tried to get her up (this was my first time having to force a horse to get up and I wasn't quiet sure what to do). I pulled and pulled in front of her, I pulled by her shoulder, I lightly smacked her but, tried twirling the end of the lead rope by her but, nothing. After about 2 minutes of trying I called Sadie and told her we had an issue. She asked if she was rolling and I said no, matter of fact other than her lying down and not eating, she looked normal. I checked her respiration rate and it wasn't fast and she was alert and didn't seem like she was in pain. I wanted to check for gut sounds, but safety wise I wasn't sure if that was okay so I didn't. Sadie told me to try to get her back up and walking and she would be right in. After hanging up with Sadie I did a quick emotional check with myself. Sometimes I panic without knowing that I am panicking. But, I wasn't. I was super calm. I think the only reason for this was because she wasn't rolling and didn't seem like she was in pain. The only worry that went through my head was that if she started rolling how in the world would I stop her? About 10 minutes passed and multiple check in's with Sadie, and I still couldn't get her up. Finally a vet from the hospital came out to help. By this time Jealousy had started looking depressed and sleepy. The vet checked her gums and they were super pale and tacky (dang I forgot to check that!). Sadie arrived a few moments after and we got Jealousy up. She refused to walk and even once she started walking it was super laggy. We went into the hospital and some vets looked at her, and did an ultra sound (I could fill you in more about this process but this post would be forever long). Long story short, they found one small impaction and nothing else and they did some blood tests and would keep her in the CCU with an IV until they heard more.

Fast forward a couple of days. I saw Ali (a first year vet student) how Jealousy was doing. She said that a bug had caused her colic. Being the vet student I am I asked what bug (bugs can cause colic? Learn something new everyday!) They said that they had narrowed it down to two bugs, Clostridium or salmonella. Clostridium is found EVERYWHERE and everyone has some in their bodies. It become a problem when the bad clostridium gets to high. This can be caused by stress, injury, numerous things. Salmonella is VERY bad and very transmissible. So it had the hospital under a scare for a while. Come to find out it was clostridium. As far as I know Jealousy is still in the hospital but is doing great!

For my first colic incident I think I handled it very nicely. Mostly because I didn't panic. A part of me wonders if that is a bad thing. I knew the signs meant colic and that it was serious, so it made me act in an urgent way. But I was doing all I could do and as far as I know I was doing it correctly, which made me not panic. I'm sure if the hospital wasn't RIGHT THERE and she was rolling and thrashing I would have been a little more panicy, but lets not test out that theory xD

My lesson was canceled for that day and I had it on Wednesday. Long story short, it was one of those 1 step forwards 2 steps back type of lesson. Mr P and I know each other very well and he knows how to push my buttons. Heck its WWIII just trying to get him to trot now, but Sadie hopes on him and just brushes her calves on his sides and he does a nice trot *head desk* I know a part of it was that I was sick and this must be one of my platteu moments in my riding. We will see

OH on a couple of side notes 
1. The U offers kickboxing every friday for $8 wish I had found this sooner but I am so going!
2. I applied and got accepted into UMO!
3. UMO offers FREE kickboxing!!! 

Thanks for reading :)

March 16, 2012

A Quickie

Okay all you dirty minds out there I didn't mean it like that...

Just a quick post! Tomorrow I am going to a birthing clinic for alpacas *squeel* very excited and I'm going to get many pictures! Its being held at my Aunt's and Uncle's so I get in free anyways haha!!

ALSO!! We are expecting a cria to be born tomorrow! Falon looked very uncomfortable and I felt bad for the girl :-( she was rolling and just looked like "Get this thing out of me!" I hope to get some pictures of the birth for you guys! Cross your fingers for a BLACK GIRL, but also a healthy baby! Falon tends to have very big babies which can be good and bad. I will also be posting some more photos of the other crias they are getting so big and hopefully I can get a video of them playing (warning it is SO adorable!)

Hope everyone is doing great :)

Thanks for reading!

March 8, 2012

Spring Break!

Tomorrow at 7Am I am getting on a plane and flying home for 10 days. I am so excited for many reasons.

First off I get to see my family, for those who don't know me, family means everything to me!
Secondly I am visiting an eventing barn in my area to talk about possibly taking lessons this summer.
Last but certainly not least, two words, ALPACA BABIES!!! Yup you heard me right! Last night Misty had a baby boy and he was a porker 17lbs and mostly legs. He is a Top Gun baby!
Top Gun
This was taken a few years ago but let me give you a little show history:
3 championships
2 reserve championships
1st place: 14!
He is amazing and we love him dearly. He has two babies on the ground at our farm this year so far and he has more to come! On Valentines day, Valentino was born out of Star, and we believe that Juliana will give birth today! Or tomorrow which would be amazing. Juliana is a maiden so naturally I am a little worried, and after having a still birth already this year my grandmother is being really paranoid about not seeing as much movement from the baby as we should. I don't blame her for being paranoid and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I hope to get a grip on a camera while I'm home to show you some cute cria pictures!! 

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I'm not bringing my laptop home over break so I won't be posting :)

March 6, 2012

Naughty Pony

Today was not one of my best rides. In fact I felt like I accomplished nothing. The warm up went well. I actually hopped on him bareback since I have only ridden bareback once and he seemed very mellow this morning. I worked on stretching my legs down and wrapping my legs around him, and also doing some walk and halt transitions. Once warmed up I threw the saddle on and did some trot work. From almost the start I knew we were going to have to have a harsh conversation about that it is NOT okay to run for the garage door out when I'm asking for a nice 20 meter circle. When I thought he finally had it through his head I asked for the canter on the circle and again he tried pulling his little stunt which is him crooking his neck towards the door while his head still is looking in the direction I want to go but his body says "NO I'm going to the door!". I am usually not one for kicking a horse, but I resorted to taking my foot out of the stirrup and kicking him. Sadie told me that when he gets like that to stop, get myself recollected, and go in the direction I wanted to go originally. My thinking went to "Won't that teach him that doing this lets him not do work?" But she assured me that it will teach him that bending and doing that stunt won't let him get his way.

I thought I had it, but Sadie asked to get on him because he started right back up after a few more circles. This made my pride hurt. I'm usually not the kind to deny help, but I felt like I was a solid enough rider to deal with a situation like that, but from the progress we weren't making it proved I wasn't. Sadie got him and secretly I was happy to see that he threw the same stunt at her, it just made me feel like it wasn't all my fault. She got him to the point where he didn't fight the circle and I hoped back on him to walk him out. So needless to say I was not happy with my riding this morning and felt like I had accomplished nothing.

Oh well you have your good days and off days.

Thanks for reading.

March 2, 2012

Big -sigh-!

TGIF!!! With this full week that I have had I cannot express how happy I am that it is Friday!

I am proud to say that all my three tests went very well (in my opinion). Today before my Ruminant Nutrition exam I was very nervous and felt like even though I had studied all throughout the week that I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was, but when I took my test it all came to me and I sailed right through it (double checking my answers of course).

After the exam I went to the barn. This weekend, actually Thursday through next Monday, there is a vaulting clinic at the equine center, and let me tell you watching these people vaulting made me wish two things. One that I could try it, and two that I had a camera!

On a completely random note, last night and part of today I started searching for barns in Maine that teach lessons based around eventing. I eventually want to compete in some eventing shows, even if they are just tiny shows I know I am much to old and poor (lets be realistic here) to compete in big time shows. But, I am okay with that! After searching for what seemed like forever, I have e mailed about 5 barns that claim to teach and also show in eventing classes. One has e mailed me back saying that she only teachers children about riding and that I should try e mailing this other barn, that I some how missed in my search. I went online and found that her lessons were $65 an hour..ouch.

I know lessons aren't cheap, and they are invaluable if you have a great instructor, but again looking at reality, I can't afford to drive 40 minutes to a lesson and pay $65 once a week, which is the highest and maybe most promising barn that I have found. Sure I would be happy just to keep learning and 'perfecting', if there is such a concept, my dressage techniques, but I want to go FAST. I now it is such a cliche but I want to gallop on a horse and just fly by everything. I know galloping isn't just about going fast, trust me I do know, but I want that feeling of being able to just go and feel as if the horse and I could keep going forever.