Happy Early Thanksgiving!
One more day of work this week and I get 5 days off! So excited! Here are some quick updates about my horses. I have been horrible about keeping you all up-to-date lately.
Let’s just say this year has been a bad one for Forest and me. If you recall this post A Barrel Racer’s Summertime Blues, I give a recap of Forest’s injury earlier this summer and was hoping to head to a race in September. When we arrived at that weekend race, I led Forest out of the trailer and noticed his front left leg’s inner tendon sheath had swelling all the way down to his pastern. He was not at all sound. I was shocked because I rode him the night before and he was perfectly fine. I’m still not sure if he did it out in that pasture that day or in the trailer.
Long story short, Forest ended up badly bruising his sesamoid bone and possibly injured his sesamoid ligament. Luckily after two different x-ray examinations this fall, the scans came back clean without any fracture lines, just a lot of bruising. Forest has spent all of September and October basically on stall rest, with a bit of walking around. I am now allowing him to have a slight turnout and will be lightly riding him a few times a week since he is improving. Sesamoid injuries take a while to heal so I don’t plan on barrel racing him until late spring or maybe early summer at this point. It will all depend on him and how much he improves!
The vet recommended that I start using a hard-surfaced protective boot that protects his splint bone and sesamoid bone area once I start riding and racing Forest again. Forest toes out in the front, so we are thinking he reached over with his other leg and caught his sesamoid bone. It’s looking like he might have limited turnout times the rest of his life until he is retired. If you have any suggestions for splint boots let me know! I’ve always used Pro Choice SMB boots or Relentless boots, so now I’m changing up my products.
As for now, it is hard not being able to ride him, I am hoping he makes a full recovery! I pray that next year will be our year and we can keep him sound! I will keep you all updated on his progress.
Roxy on the other hand has been doing very well! I’ve been working hard on her barrel training and teaching her the pattern. I have hauled her to a few arena’s to practice some runs. We also went team sorting the other weekend. It was her first time working cows, and she was a bit timid at first working the cows but warmed up nicely to them. It was a blast!
Our game plan is for me to keep training her this winter and then I will send her to my trainer in January/February to finish her off and fix any voids that I have been missing. Overall, I’m extremely excited about this mare’s future. She is growing and gaining lots of muscle. I think she is stunning and athletic, but most of all she has a huge heart and a very willing attitude. I’m also trying to hit the gym and do power yoga throughout the week. I myself need to get fit for our futurity season next year. I will keep you updated on her progress this winter!
10 Questions, Equine Addition
Below is a fun 10 question survey that Tracy from Fly on Over shared. Feel free to copy the survey and post it on your blog! I would love to see your answers so let me know if you also complete the 10 question survey!
How old is the youngest/greenest horse you’ve ridden?
The youngest/greenest horses I have rode are 2 year olds. My first few rides on Roxy were when she was a late two-year old. I finished breaking her when she was three. I also rode a few two year olds when I worked as an assistant reining trainer.
How old is the oldest horse you’ve ridden?
The oldest horse I have ever ridden was about 28/29 years old. Sarge was my first horse and was a 16 hand Appaloosa Gelding. He didn’t have papers so we weren’t of sure his exact age, but the vets thought he was about that age before he passed away.
Were you scared of horses when you first started riding?
Not at all, I was more curious than anything. My mom thought that the first time I was stepped on and fell off would turn me away, but it just made me have a bigger passion for horses!
Would you say you’re a more nervous rider or a confident rider?
I would say I’m in-between. I’m very confident around horses and especially when training basic fundamentals. However, I tend to be more of a quiet passive rider, so my confidence lacks in certain situations when I need to be more aggressive. Just something I’m always working on improving. I always get a bit nervous before competitions. I’ve just learned to deal with the butterflies!
Biggest pet peeve about non-horse people around horses?
I feel like every time I mention I have horses, non-horse people always insist on how much they would love to come ride my horses. I wouldn’t mind if I currently had an old retired show or kids horse. However my horses are young (4 and 6 years old) and they are trained to be quick and fast barrel horses. So it always puts me in a tough situation when I have to explain to them that my horses need a more experienced rider. A lot of times non-horse people just don’t get it. Just one of my pet peeves!
A time you’ve been scared for your life (horse related)?
*Knock on Wood* No I really haven’t. I’ve been in tough situations when training horses that tend to be on the aggressive side. I’ve experienced a lot of bad scenarios, like a horse pulling back while tied or rearing/bucking, so it doesn’t really surprise me any more. I have ridden a few horses that have given me a nice 8 second ride while bucking! I try to look at those situations as a fun challenge! Even when I had a young horse fall on top of me, I laughed at the situation thanking my lucky stars that neither of us got hurt. I’ve learned if you stay calm and collected in any tricky situation with a horse, most of the time the horse will feed off of your demeanor and calm down. If you act scared or start screaming, you will make matters worse.
Have you ever fallen off at show? What happened?
Yes! I have fallen off in two competitions (*knock on wood*- I’m a bit superstitious). The first time was when I was in middle school. I was in an English equitation or pleasure class on my Paint mare, Spree. She spooked at the announcers stand and my saddle slipped (she had very little withers). I slid off and landed on my right arm extended out to catch my fall. When I landed, heard a loud snap and I had a big shriek of pain afterwords. The EMT thought I sprained my elbow, but long story short, I ended up breaking my elbow-luckily it stayed in place so I didn’t need surgery! I was bummed that I missed all of the rest of my summer shows and wasn’t able to qualify for State Fair.
The second time was Spring of 2015, at one of my favorite barrel racing competitions of the year. It was also a huge competition with well over 300 entries all weekend long! I rode my old barrel horse Ginger. We finally had our best first barrel in that arena so I thought this was going to be a great run right? Well she did a very rough and abrupt lead change going to the second barrel, it flew me up in the air, I think the highest I have ever been out of the saddle! Well I landed back on her and tried to regain my balance in the few strides we had left before she started turning the second barrel. This pattern was very small, and the second barrel was this mares best barrel on the pattern. When she dug in to start her 2nd barrel turn I knew I was going to be launched off of her, I had that “oh crap”moment! I ended up falling off, right in front of the photographer, I’m sure I scared him half to death! I was quite embarrassed, I quickly brushed myself off, waved at the announcer while laughing and tried to catch my horse who was running circles around the arena! When I looked over the video replay in slow motion, she planted both front feet at the same time when she did the lead change which caught me off guard. She must have messed up her strides or something, because she usually has smooth lead changes. Luckily I was towards the end of the entries, so a lot of my friends had already ran and were driving home that at the time! I was so embarrassed!
What’s a breed of horse you’ve never ridden but would like to ride?
I would love to ride an Andalusian or Lusitano. I have always thought they are amazing and gorgeous!
Describe the worst behaved horse you’ve ridden?
I’ve had quite a bit! Every horse I’ve ridden has their quirks. Probably the worst behaved is my mare Spree. We bought her when I was young and in middle school. I had ridden dead broke horses before we found her. She was supposed to be my step up horse, and yes she gave me a run for my money! We bought her when she was 5, she was gorgeous but very hot and unruly on the ground! She was the worst to do groundwork with. She would fake trying to lunge and bite at me, when I would try to get after her. We had seasonal attitude battles. She was pushy and hated being brushed. She only liked being touched and groomed on her head/neck. You had to watch her like a hawk when grooming everywhere else because she would try to kick you. She was stubborn and a very bossy mare- she was mean to other horses too! Even though she was a pain to deal with, she was fun to ride.Her bossiness made her an excellent horse to compete on. I’ve never ridden a horse who was so competitive! She knew she owned every arena you entered and she excelled in showing and speed events- which is very hard to find! She was just a pain to handle! She did calm down when I bred her, but she is still the old cranky Spree nowadays even though she is retired now!
The most frustrating ride you’ve ever had?
There has been a lot. I think this spring topped it off when I hauled Forest, my Palomino down to Heber City. A good 2 -3 hour drive. It was a weekend race, so I entered him on Saturday and Sunday. Both days he ducked the second barrel. Ducking is when the horse turns the wrong way or too soon and misses the barrel. I was so mad at him especially since he had been doing great at some races before, and this had been a problem in the past. Plus he was working great in the warm up ring. I also was having issues with my trailer breaks on the drive down there. When I arrived, I realized I didn’t have any lights or trailer breaks, because my wiring adapter broke apart from the trailer cable wire. So I spent that Saturday after my run at a shop trying to get them fixed! Which took a few hours, because they had a hard time figuring it out. Overall, it was a very frustrating weekend.