Friday, December 30, 2011

Dressage Basics Failure

I drove back down to MS for 2 more lessons while Romeo is in half training. Oh dear...I always forget how bad I am at dressage.

I did hunters all of my life, where hands in your crotch and tipping your pelvis makes you look just as good as anyone else. I try to hard to sit on my "pockets" and keep my hands up...but then I forget about going forward and just about everything else.

Yesterday - We went back to basics. Like...I felt like an idiot basics. A whip was put under my thumbs to keep my hands on the same plane. I fought against it so much that I have welts today! Romeo is getting better though, and is really relaxing over his top line and using his butt, which he couldn't do when his hocks hurt.

Today, we still did all basics, but at least I didn't feel like I had only been riding for 3 months. I just still don't feel completely comfortable in a dressage saddle, and I know I must look horrendous, but it is so hard for me to do 239483 things at once that are mostly new! Keeping my hands out of my lap is hard, and I love to cross over the neck with my reins instead of opening my other rein. Also, I so easily forget about keeping him forward and not getting him to curl around the bit, but kind of at least be on it.

I got mom to take some video...but she had never videoed on her phone before so its the tiniest thing you ever did see. These were also taken at the beginning of the lesson before he really loosened up, but at least you can tell my hands aren't in my lap!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Looking Good

I drove down to Starkville on Saturday to check on Romeo, as I hadn't been out in almost 2 weeks! He hasn't been jumped really since his last failure of an event at the end of October. In fact, the last few times I rode him, I felt bad even asking him to trot, and when Betsy, my trainer, sat on him over Thanksgiving break, she completely agreed.

After a little help from the vet school, it appears that he is feeling almost back to new! I rode him yesterday very lightly since he is out of shape, but he felt much, much better. He bent to the left easier, and was tracking up well. Happy day! So back to work we go! I have so much to improve on, but I haven't been able to really do anything because he was so uncomfortable. We got rads of his hocks, and he has mild osteoarthritis in both grade 2/5, but it's more pronounced in the left. His left fetlock also flexed mildly positive, but rads showed nothing on that.

Here's my handsome man!
19 years young in 2012.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Awesome Product of the Day: #4

No Romeo update yet, I haven't gone to visit him yet. Hopefully I will get a chance to go this weekend. So anyways...

Are you lazy? I am. I'm not going to deny that fact. This is the world's greatest and easiest brush EVER!

Enter...the EasyClean brush!

Isn't it great? I have one for both barns. They combine a stiff brush and a soft brush all in one! It's simply fabulous, dahhling.

They retail around $18, and if you divided that in 2 because it IS two brushes in one after all, that's a pretty good price! The quality of the brush is great, and I have found that it works really well.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Relaxing Day at the Barn

I love normal barn days. Seriously, after a bunch of hectic happenings, like an emergency, intense amounts of school, or sickness, aren't you happy when there is nothing exciting to report? I just got done with exams, and I just wanted to be with my horse and enjoy listening to him munch on hay.

I had a nice lesson on Johnny today and we practiced the 2 stride in and out in the covered. We got it up to 3'3'', and we decided to quit because he's just honestly not in great shape.

I set up his new Freedom Feeder. He previously had 2 mini/trailer size nets, but it was just becoming too much work for my lazy self to stuff them EACH full of hay. So he got an extended day! It was extremely easy to set up, and I am excited that the new Freedom Feeders have safety snaps. So if, per say, a hoof got over the top (no idea how that would happy but just in case), it would simply break the snap! Happy day.

Isn't it beautiful?!

Here are Beezie and Happy enjoying a nap in the office. Life is rough at the barn. Did everyone else have an uneventful weekend?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dressage at Poplar Place

This was his first event in a dressage saddle. While he was a little nervous during the test, he had some really great parts. I just got the photograph in the mail and wanted to share!

He has come a long way! We have a lot more work to do...and I hope his dressage will continue to improve. Mine too of course, I still need a lot of work!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Back to the vet...

Hopefully the last time for a long while!

Romeo is still stiff in the hocks, even with the Polyglycan. boo. He was much improved after he finished his 4 week series of the Polyglycan. I almost felt like I was riding a 5 year old. However, over the past 3 or 4 weeks his stiffness has increased dramatically, to the point where I feel guilty jumping. He has lost weight, fortunately, with his freedom feeder, and I know that has to help at least a little. However, he still weighs a ton! A whopping 1083 lbs as of just a couple weeks ago (got on the scale at the vet school when his eye was injected)! I am a little nervous as to what he weighed a few months ago before getting his freedom feeder.

So new plan!

He is getting some back on track hock boots for Christmas. I found some cob size ones on Jeffers for under $60. Happy day! For some reason the description says nothing about them being Back on Track, but the item code is BOT and the velcro strap on the picture says Back on Track so I'm hoping they are. If not, I will just return them.

BoT hock boots
Next step is to start giving him Polyglycan 2x a month instead of once a month.  I think that might help as well.

Lastly, he is going to the vet school tomorrow to get flexed and most likely injected.

Hopefully this new plan will work. He will be 19 years young next year, and I am so lucky that he has lasted so long. He is in his forever home, and I will love him whether he can be ridden and jumped or just a pasture pet. I know he is happier when he has a job, so hopefully the injections and boots will do the trick, but he is stuck with me no matter what!

"Who are you lookin' at lady? Give me food."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Awesome Product of the Day: #3

Another favorite of mine is an ointment that is not only inexpensive, but combats fungus really well! On top of that, it is all natural and made by a small company in California by Georgette Topakas. She is extremely kind and is always happy to help if you have any questions.

Got hard to treat fungus, rain-rot, scratches? Try this! It's worked better than any other anti-fungal treatment that I have ever tried. I wouldn't recommend it if I didn't love it! For some odd reason, both of my boys love the smell of this too. They actually sniff in the jar for a while. Very funny!

(link to her store online)

Georgette's Facebook page for Zephyr's garden is here and she usually offers a first time customer discount and posts great articles and info on barefoot horses, holistic care, and natural solutions. If you go to her notes page, she has some great tips for natural horse care and great articles about allergies and getting rid of fungus if it's REALLY bad.

Do not be fooled, 4 oz goes a LONG way! I bought my first jar in June of 2011 when I was battling some pretty intense scratches on Romeo. They clear up very quickly and since he lives down in Mississippi, I just make sure to get his legs very clean at least once a week and apply this to areas that look like they might get a little fungus-y. I still have over half a jar left!

Product description:
Sick of treating Rain Rot, Scratches, ring worm, and dermatitis with products that are ineffective, full of chemicals, really smelly, or require latex gloves for application? We were, too, so we developed a product that is tough on fungal and bacterial infections, gentle on the skin, and smells as natural as the herbs it's created with. Though called an Anti-Fungal Salve, it contains anti-microbial herbs and essential oils that battle both fungal and bacterial infections. This horse salve is one of our best-selling products and #1 with CA Riding Magazine. It was rated "TOP PRODUCT OF THE YEAR" in their October 2008 issue. Join the growing list of horse owners who discovered that Scratches, Horse Fungus, Rain Scald, Ring Worm, and Rain Rot don't stand a chance against this horse salve. Plus, you don't need latex gloves to apply this safe and effective horse preparation. Salve contains Echinacea, Burdock, Goldenseal Root, Chapparal, Calendula, Sage, Tea Tree, Black Walnut Hulls and other herbs.
The Anti-Fungal Salve is best for "crusty" fungal/bacterial infections such as Scratches, Rain Rot, and Ring Worm. The salve can be applied daily until skin is healed and new hair growth is evident. For non-crusty skin fungal/bacterial infections such as girth itch, face, ear, and chest dermatitis we recommend our Anti-Fungal Spray, which can also be used as a Rain Rot preventative. For skin fungus that is a combination of scabs and is spreading quickly, both products can be used together safely.  First apply the salve to all crusty and open skin areas, then spray total affected area.  And don't forget our Anti-Fungal Shampoo.  New in 2011, it's tough on topical infections, gentle on the skin and will leave your horse's coat gleaming.