Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Popping in with big news!

Just popping in to say HI! (and some news at the bottom)






First - Prophecy has been settling in well to his retirement life and pasture with 2 mares, and showing his fearlessness asking for scratches even when there is a giant tractor around :)  And the missing GG muzzle has been found!  It did end up in the neighbor's field somehow, but I didn't see it when walking it a while back. 



In the past month we've had Skyler's first horse show (lead-line class) and lots of activity around the ending of the school year on the 7th!

While she wasn't always looking to be having a good time, she said she did and wants to do more! I think we are going to have to get her ready for a "Pre-Short-stirrup" Walk/Trot Class this fall!


        



Asher experienced his first VA SOL (standards of learning) testing this year and did well, and Skyler made huge leaps and bounds in the last quarter of school in her reading skills!

Last day of School Pix! I now have a 1st and 4th grader... time is flying.

  



My latest trailer renovations include the 'Bucket of Buckets' being hung, and saddle blankets added to pad the walls where tack hits.  I'm keeping the saddle in the house, or the stand would be back there too.  Doug is still working on my nose boxes for storage in the LQ area and my battery is awaiting installation to make the LQ roof vent fan work - and hopefully the cowboy shower too!

  

As to why my nose boxes aren't done yet... Well, Doug has been working for nearly two months renovating the Sunroom after we returned from spring break (when we had the floor redone)!  The walls needed a lot of touch up work before he could paint, and of course nothing goes smoothly 😏 It did get done in time for a grandparent visit to get the guest room re-usable!


Doug also made this gaming table













Aside from working on my trailer, I've been out test riding horses to consider as my next partner... An Arab, a QH, and 3 more Off the Track Standardbreds.  It isn't easy to pick that next partner with all I've gone through.  This time around the hunt has been way different than before! It's a balancing act of trying not to be too critical while making sure the personality match is right, all the while adhering to a budget.

I also got to go volunteer at Old Dominion last weekend. I realized it has been 3 years since I had been - when I competed and completed with Tesla on the 30.  I got really good at taking pulses, and heard how different horses can be in trying to find that heartbeat - some were super easy, others very quiet and with them twitching flies away and wanting to itch their faces so badly it was at times not easy!
I gave up sleeping about 515am Saturday, sneaking out of a friend's RV that I got to stay in Fri night and headed out for breakfast and chatting before my first assignment at Bird Haven at 645am.  I had fun with the ladies up there and doing P&R for the 100milers 1st vet check, mainly being a scribe of in/out times from pulsing. Then I stayed on alone with Dawn H doing the Pulse checks for 25s while she scribed for me.   Once all the 25s were in Bonnie S & I moved on to Laurel Run VC#2.  That was a short stop for me as they had enough folks up there so I grabbed a sandwich for lunch and headed over to my last stop, VC#3 at Bucktail.  For this one we were actually in WVa - winding roads getting there too!  We had a storm while out there and it was overall worrisome as so many riders had not come in when we got down to 45min before the vet check "closed." I headed home from there and then watched the FB updates on the rest of the 100.  I wish I could have stayed to the finish, but was not to be this year.  Next year I hope to be back and riding a horse again too!

Tesla & me @ OD 30 2015

So I guess the biggest news would be that I had a PPE done on "Sleek N Wow" up in PA!  He is an 11 yr old Standardbred, was on the track nearly 7 years racing (trotter) and retired sound in Sept 2017.  He has a goofy type of personality and was extremely level headed as we bush-wacked our way back to a trail on my visit earlier this month. I hugged his neck many a times ducking in and out of trees, we crossed water, and he has a great trot for me to work with.  Now to work on when to pick him up! 😃

Pic of us in the big creek when I visited PA
Don't get me wrong, I still love Arabs too, but there is just something about a Standie and their presence. Athletic yet "chill" if that is the right word to put to it?!


Monday, May 14, 2018

A Long Road Home

Prophecy has come nearly full circle... returning to TN near where he was born and raised, now to retire, albeit way too early for any of us humans to like the idea.

The week leading up to this (OK really, for several weeks now) I could feel my anxiety level increase every time I thought about getting to the barn Sat am, loading up his stuff, and him, for one more adventure....

Tuesday I added new shavings to the trailer (and got rid of 3 wasp nests grrr)...Wednesday evening I went out as usual for grooming and decided to use the foot pads on him as I know he enjoys those. I love watching him on these... we even got a body shake while standing on front pads I'd figure he'd step off after, but he happily stayed on a while more.  Many thanks to Janie for letting us borrow these on occasion; Someday I will buy a set of the real Sure-foot pads!



He stayed here a good 5 min of his own accord swaying

Enjoying some grass sans muzzle before going back to the field













The kids wanted a chance to say "Goodbye" to Prophecy too, so Friday Doug brought them out for a little bit to groom, give treats, and hugs.  They hadn't seen him much over the last 2 years, but they know how much he means to me.

Nuzzles before the kids came



It was a long road back to TN on Saturday to meet Linda in Knoxville to take him home...  It was my first experience using a "Horse Motel" too.
Loading up all his stuff and him went well.  He did balk a little on coming up with all 4, but nothing bad and was on within 10min of patiently asking for forward movement.  I had no real timeline to meet so we would not be rushed.  I had a target time I wanted to leave by, just to make sure we arrived in daylight : 10am.  I got in the truck to see we were ready to go at 9:45.

loaded and ready to hit the road

The drive was fortunately uneventful and pretty easy, only my second long haul (over 4hrs) with the trailer since I bought it!  We made one stop for gas, where I gave him water while I went in to have lunch and let him rest from moving.  We arrived at the horse motel without issue and I was able to keep him in a round pen so he could stretch a bit.  He was always a good camper on our few prior trips, and this was no different.
view of P from my trailer spot
I got to hang out with Linda and her daughter for the evening which included a trip to see the first Saga Grandfoal - Novella Rose... babies are so stinkin' cute!  It was a great evening of playing with Nova and seeing a few other horses I hadn't for years now, celebrating Monica's graduation from Vet school, as well as hearing stories of Linda's adventures as we drove around. 


As expected, sleep was not my friend Sat night!  I gave up at 6am when I woke up to the birds singing outside.

I went out and changed his water, gave him breakfast and then brushed him one last time.  No one else was awake and the other horses around were still off in the wooded pasture ; it was just us.

I spent a lot of time just hanging with and watching him.  I went back up to the trailer for something and he got a bit rambunctious...  so I took some photos and video of his classic head tossy silliness



Eventually it was time to load him up into Linda's trailer and start the long road home with my empty trailer.  I have done an empty haul once before, when I lost Traveler ; different, but in many ways the same feeling as I stared blankly at the road ahead.  The drive was longer as there were several slow downs from accidents, but I made it home without incident and just a stop for gas/lunch.

Linda let me know he traveled well and settled in nicely to the big field with two mares to hang with :

The girls and Prophecy

Prophecy at Linda's

This all happened just shy of two years ago from when he arrived in VA to me...  What a roller-coaster the past 2 years have been ; just when I thought I had something figured out another wrench would be thrown in. I am sad he won't be here to love on, but I know he is happy just being a horse and will get to live out his days without the pressures of riding that caused him so much pain.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Grieving

post vac shine
Not a whole lot to post about Prophecy these days... He is certainly enjoying his retirement status with his at least once weekly grooming and pampering.  He even tried out the barn's horse vacuum for all his shedding mess! It left him nice and shiny.
He's still a sass too sometimes <lol>


I have to admit that I have been distancing myself from him since the decision to retire.  It is necessity rather than falling apart every time I go visit and get angry about what could of been...  But it certainly doesn't stop the pain and emotions that come with this change. I'm Grieving... that is the word I would use to describe what I am feeling... I am losing him, but not... Some days it hits me like a brick now...  The last ride we took but didn't know it would be the last ; the longing for one more...knowing soon he will will not be where I can touch him often. There is always the possibility to bring him home one day as a buddy horse when have our land figured out, but that could be a while...
The day is quickly approaching for me to take Prophecy to TN for his retirement boarding... his trunk is packed...his paperwork in order.... and me attempting to hold it all together.  I had an opportunity suddenly appear to move him this past weekend, but just couldn't handle it emotionally ; I was feeling like I didn't have the time to say goodbye around a crazy week away from him...  I know he is going to a good spot, with someone I trust to care for him and keep me up to date too, and that is a lot more than you can say for many horses these days  :(



In other news :
  • Skyler is still loving her lessons, and convinced Jeff & I she was ready to try trotting.  With the help of Lauren, Skyler got to trot bareback first sitting double and then by herself on the lunge line.  We both were jogging along each on each side of Flicka for a while when she was on alone, then I realized I could quit as she was able to correct her own seat.  This made Flicka happy, who I think was more annoyed we were babysitting so close more than anything else! <many mare stares while jogging along lol
    I was able to grab a little video of her trotting alone at the end of the lesson :



  • I did make it back to The OD No Frills this year - I went to volunteer for the Saturday ride. Friday night was cold (27 at 6am Sat, and ice in the water buckets), even with my Buddy heater running for Lynne & I - but her sleeping area isn't insulated either - I'm sure that makes a difference as I can feel it just walking into mine to work on how much warmer it was in winter once I finished insulating!  Starting out in many layers, I spent they day at the away crew spot, doing my best to ensure folks got grain & beet pulp for their horses, and helping out where I could hold horses for potty breaks, etc.  It turned out to be a really beautiful sunny 60 degree day (got a little sunburn even!) and had some great convos with fellow volunteers and riders alike.  Always learning something 😊
  • Deciding what to do for The OD in June...volunteer or catch ride...or maybe visit some prospects?

I've also now got an ad out there in a few places looking for the next horse, hoping to find the right match... I'm in no rush.... if you hear of a good fit, feel free to send it my way. I'm hoping to keep it to a easy travel range from home so I can go visit/trial any prospects. My budget isn't huge, but hoping to find that gem like I have before...

ISO: Gelding (that can be kept with mares or geldings) or non-marish mare
Not gaited. (I'm open to most breeds, doesn't have to be an Arab) 
Age: 5-12 years old
Height: 14.3 - 15.3 h  (I'm 5'3", 16H+ is too hard to mount from the ground!)
Broke: solid W/T/C, and enjoys trails - needs conditioning for competing OK.
Safe for an Intermediate rider. Good around kids on the ground.
Healthy and UTD on shots/farrier/dental care.
Trailers well, Stands for mounting, and behaves for farrier.
Horse will be kept out on 24/7 pasture with appropriate grain/supplements. (with shelter of course ; stall only if necessary for horrible weather or medical reason)