For my followers

Hi everyone! It has been a long time coming but I finally have my own website which can be found here-

Truckee is doing really well in his new home. I am not taking on any CANTER horses at the moment. I have had to change the focus on to my own sales horses to maintain my farm financially at this time. I know many of you have asked what I have been up to and if I am still blogging. I am happier than I have ever been and the journey has made me appreciate all the wonderful people and wonderful things I have in my life that much more. I will be blogging about my sales horses and about retraining on my website. I thank all of you for the support you have given me over the years and during a difficult time.

Donkey, Diamonds and a healing wound story

So we all know how horses know when they are for sale right?? A lovely lady from Georgia decided to buy Truckee and then this happened…

I did a chronicle on facebook of Truckee’s leg wound. I came home to this on April 20. Yep, already infected.

Got it cleaned up and had the vet out where we flushed it, xrayed it, got him on antibiotics and started to wrap it. Four days later all was looking well.

8 days later even a bit better

I wrapped it daily and he was on the heavy antibiotics but one morning I took the wrap off and immediately knew something had changed. Lots of drainage and it had opened a pocket up. Took him right up to New Bolton per advice of the vet for further ultrasounds and advanced work. The ultrasound showed that the joints were not infected but the wound itself was septic and needed immediate care. It had a pocket in there that had basically healed over and now was an issue. He stayed at New Bolton for week where he received regional profusions. They tie off the leg above the wound and do IV injection of the antibiotic directly into the vein near the wound site and keep it tightly wrapped so that the medicine concentrates in that area. He received several of those treatments before coming home and once more once he got home.

Wound a few weeks after getting home from New Bolton

The good news is that he had been sound the whole time. I had him turned out on a very small paddock attached to his stall and he was wrapped daily. It began to slowly fill in over time.

June 2 wound

This is the last picture I have which is June 14 but you can see that it had filled in flush with the surface level.

I need to get some updated pics because it is now almost completely gone. He will always have a bit of a raised profile there but he is sound and now back into work. He has been doing about 3 days a week of work and is jumping some jumps and staying sound. CANTER was very grateful for the emergency funding grant we received from After the Finish Line. Truckee managed to do about $3500 worth of damage in vet bills in a very short time.

Truckee hates stall rest so I got him donkey friend 🙂 I mean really the donkey was for me but I am sharing with Truckee.  Oliver is absolutely the cutest donkey ever. Check out his face!!!

This is what it is like trying to move Oliver sometimes. This picture makes me laugh. Oliver is now about 8 months but he was at New Holland and was rescued by Lilly Pond Rescue where I adopted him. He led well..when he wants…lol

I can’t tell you how much I love having a donkey. Allie had gotten her donkey and I was totally smitten and knew it was just a matter of time before I got one.

Life had sort of done a big change and Ian and I had started talking about the future. I mentioned how much I wanted a donkey and the next thing I knew off we went to get this donkey. Then he told me the donkey was an engagement gift. So basically this was an engagement fitting 🙂 The ring didn’t happen until just this weekend but donkeys and diamonds go perfectly together!

Oh and that swollen middle finger..yeah totally has four stitches in it courtesy of Truckee. Let’s just say don’t hold onto the cross tie of a horse who is determined to pull back. Ouch!!!!!!!!!!! It hurts but the diamond makes it feel better 🙂

My loyal readers are probably going wait..what??? Yes, funny how life has done such an up and down. I said no way I would get married again..not a chance. Then I met this wonderful guy who lived about 20 min from me and has a lovely 300 acre farm which is mostly planted in crops. He works another job outside of the farm but the farm is his lifestyle for sure. He buys and sells farm equipment as well so he gets the passion for resale 🙂 He is as passionate about his farm equipment as I am about my horses. It was just one of those things when you meet somebody and it is like you have been with them forever. I honestly wasn’t at all ready for it and I wasn’t sure I wanted anything serious there for a while but you go with your gut and the gut said don’t blow it. Just don’t blow it.

It hasn’t been an easy road. He had a messy divorce 8 yrs ago and I have some scars as well. I think in some ways I am thankful for what I went through. It made me stronger, taught me lessons and pushed me to reevaluate my life. Ian has a 15yr son so my life has had to change. Those who know me are laughing as I swore no kids.. none..but hey this is not bad at all. He is a great kid and I can do teenagers 🙂

I have had to pull back from a lot of the work that I do with CANTER. That makes me sad but there just isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done and I am still working to get the farm into my own name so I have had to focus on reselling my own horses to create income. We sent most of the horses that were local up here down to North Carolina and they are being retrained and rehomed down there with amazing success. It is still super fun to watch them move along and I will be as involved as I can be.

I am still going to keep retraining and reselling. I sold Cherokee Paint and Origami. I have two new horses coming in and Truckee will head out. I have good help on the farm and help with some of the riding. I don’t do as much as I used to and that is a good thing. Work to life balance..I am finding it 🙂

I think I may either create my own blog that acts as website of some sorts or something along those lines.

I plan on doing some success stories here of all the CANTER horses and updating the new CANTER Mid Atlantic website with success stories.



Never tell them they are sold!

Horses..why do we love them so much when they are so fragile? So I posted that picture of Truckee’s wound healing up. It was looking really good. Then I came home and took the bandage off one evening and went oh no..I didn’t know what had happened but something had changed. It had opened up, tons of swelling and lots of drainage. Quick look by my vet with some xrays. Bone was okay and no damage but she didn’t like the looks of it. I called into work and said I wasn’t coming in and got him up to New Bolton. We were worried about infection and also any damage to the tendon sheath. You can only do so much in the field and he needed an ultrasound to see what we were working with at the time.

I am always thankful for Tb’s anytime I have to load by myself and go strange places. He calmly loaded and unloaded. Walked right into the rooms there at New Bolton. Was very friendly and the vet students were giving him some treats. He got a stall while we waited for ultrasound. The ultrasound was good but showed infection, a tract of gas and some cellulitis and tendonitis. None of the critical structures were damaged but the vet thought that infection was present.

It was decided that he must stay at New Bolton and undergo regional limb profusion. Basically they use a tourniquet and apply it above the wound site. Then they inject the antibiotic via IV directly into the vein that rounds into the wound site. They apply a bandage and let the horse stand there. This results in a highly concentrated dosage of medicine directly into the wound site. He got three profusion while he was there and stayed for a week. He got another ultrasound and was discharged when the swelling had reduced.

He was happy to be home! My local vet came out on Monday and did another profusion. We think that will be the last one. Right now the wound looks good and swelling is down. I have to keep a compression wrap on it at all times. He is less than happy about his current situation but thankfully is a very very good patient!

We have applied for an emergency grant and would welcome any donations. It is amazing how quickly the vet bills total up. We are at $3500 already! His potential buyer may still go forward and I hope she does but time will tell. We are looking at another month of healing. He gets out for some supervised walking in his small paddock daily. He feels great and is very sound.

In the meantime, I managed to buy another horse. I am blaming facebook! I saw a blurb about a grey 4yr gelding for sale and thought I should email. Ha, yeah you know he came home. I just had seen cell phone video so I was very pleasantly surprised by what stepped off the trailer when my friends unloaded him. Origami is his jockey club name. 4yrs old and 16.3 h. He is lovely! He was already let down but we were letting him settle in a bit and life just got a bit crazy with Truckee at the hospital and all that stuff. We only have ridden him once but will get started back up.

Video of him the minute he came off the trailer

We have been working with the horses at the CANTER farm. They are doing great! Hopefully will have more pics and video of them soon. We all have our own favorites. Amanda likes Stormy Horizon. I think my favorite is Yesterday’s Story. Brent and Becca liked Money for Love. All of them are quiet and good to ride. Amanda and I are going to start hacking them out and about.

Cherokee Paint has put on so much weight at my place. He is looking lovely! He is learning to stretch down in the trot and my lord he is just so fancy it makes me drool. I need to get to work on advertising him here soon. Weekend goal for sure! He also got some dental work and the farrier.

My focus for a bit is going to be getting my two sales horses sold and getting the canter horses at the farm going. Truckee is just going to be resting so nothing to be done there. I have a former CANTER horse named Southern Review in for some training while his mom recovers from shoulder surgery. He is absolutely lovely and fun. It is busy as always but I have a great crew of people for help and support.

I have some big news coming down the pike. Just taking my time making announcements. Stay posted 🙂

Truckee sold & horses getting started

Truckee had quite a bit of interest after his xc outing..finally! I think people finally saw what I had talked about and were interested in coming to see him. He promptly decided to fool my plans and got a kick right behind the knee that earned him some lay-up time.

This is a picture of it with a week of healing. It was quite gross early on!

It is healing up nicely but he is contained to a small paddock with daily wrapping. He is being an excellent patient. What Truckee doesn’t know is that somebody bought him off his videos and he will travel to Georgia in the middle of May to be an event horse. Let’s just not tell him so he manages to make it out of my barn in one piece!

I moved the remaining CANTER horses to the new farm. They settled in great. Amanda and I went over and gave them a beauty treatment and started the first rides. We pulled manes and actually each horse allowed us to clip their bridle paths, legs and more just standing in the round pen. Good boys! We curried them all really well and tried to get some of the winter hair off. They look a bit rough at the moment but I am confident they will look better with their new coats coming in.

The new farm has a big round pen and also a covered riding ring which is a bit down the road. We have four horses there so we just brought two horses at a time into the round pen to work with figuring that would help them to be relaxed.

First to be ridden was Yesterday’s Story. He was really SLOW! He is really quite fancy but his one downfall is that he sticks his tongue out of his mouth completely.

He had come in really thin and he has gained weight but still has some more to go. He is such a sweetie!

We had brought over Stormy Horizon with him and Stormy was just walking around seeing the sights. Stormy is a big boy! I think he is around 16.2 but built like a tank. He is ultra sweet as well. Really nice mover and just chill about life in general.

Next we brought over David’s Little Boy and Money for Love. David’s Little Boy is huge. He is around 16.3 and big. I didn’t get pics of him because he was being a bit of a brat about being handled. We did Money for Love first. This is the cool war horse who ran over 70 times. His legs look perfectly clean. You could tell he was just smart.

He was really good to ride and seemed to be thankful to be doing something. We thought David might be tough to work on but he was perfect while we clipped him and pulled his mane. I think he just needs to see the world a bit more. Amanda was sick and ran out of steam so we just didn’t get on him.

We haven’t gotten back over there yet but hope to this weekend.

I got to head off to Charles Town, WV and see the big classic race which was very cool. CANTER got presented with a $10k donation which will help us rehab, retrain and rehome more horses. It was my boyfriends first time seeing horse racing and he really enjoyed it. He was amazed at watching them down the final stretch. Very cool to see that in person!

My easter present from Oklahoma arrived. It took him 2.5 days to ship out to me and thankfully he is even better than I expected. His name is Cherokee Paint. He has lovely blood lines. He needs to let down his racing muscle and gain some weight but he is eating super well. He is really sweet and quite talented. I have done a bunch of stuff just trying to get pics and video for those interested but now he is going to just rest a bit. If somebody wants to buy him now that is good but otherwise I will let him chill and then get him going in a few weeks.

He still moves up and down in the trot but riding him felt amazing. Such power and his uphill nature is lovely. The canter was just so lofty and the trot is going to be just stunning. I love him! I sort of expect that he will sell which makes me sad because I would love to keep him for a bit but I do enjoy the process of finding nice horses and watching other people take them to the next steps!

The next few weeks I will be focusing on getting the CANTER horses at the farm into work. We will start track visits at Delaware. I have another horse coming in for training for a month. I likely will be on the lookout for one more resale horse. I hope I don’t get one so far away…shipping is expensive 🙂 Stay tuned!

Truckee goes cross country!

The warm weather hit and we all were feeling the need to get out cross country. We did a little free jump session on Friday just for the fun of it. They were awesome. Truckee moves so nice and boy can he jump. That was nothing for him. I just didn’t want to jack it up to big on the first time through the jump chute.

We took two trailers and did one group first. I rode Junior and let me tell you that was the ultimate fun. He was awesome and was so game. It was nice to be back out there again. Amanda rode her horse Elusive Sky and Becca rode her horse Necessary. They all did super well.

We brought Rockin Fun along as company for Truckee. Rocky is so calm that I figured he would be a good partner for Truckee. Junior is also calm but not out xc. Junior isn’t keen on waiting while other horses jump 🙂 Oldehope was in the process of having a well drilled right near the warmup so there was a lot of commotion. Truckee didn’t care a little bit. He looked at it but that was it.

He started out a bit looky but as you can see in the video the progression was quite fast as he soon started locking on the jumps and taking her to them. He was so brave with everything asked of him and by the end was jumping some of the Novice size jumps. Good boy Truckee! He just had so much fun.

We got high compliments from Jane upon arrival. She said she has seen a lot of horses looking very rough…they shouldn’t be in public just yet. She said our horses are the best kept horses she has seen all year! I have to say that I am pretty darn good at transforming these horses in terms of weight and muscle. Look at how he has changed in 3 months!

You can see he likes the xc!

We all can’t wait to do it again! I can’t believe Truckee doesn’t have more interest considering he is sound, no vices, good mover, good jumper and is barefoot with awesome feet! I am sure his person will come along.

Yesterday, I moved the CANTER horses to the new farm. They all loaded and unloaded great. They settled in well. I am off on Friday so I think I shall go pull some manes and get on all of them. They will start in work and hopefully all be for sale shortly. Some lovely horses!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big Progress!

I am sorry that I haven’t kept up with the blog but life has changed quite a bit for me. I spend more time at the boyfriends house in the evenings than at home and he doesn’t have internet service..or tv for that matter. He has a big farm that is on this lovely country road with just wide open land all around. It is only 20 min from me but very rural in nature. I do catch up on a lot of reading which is good!

Is everybody else feeling a bit better now that the weather has improved? I swear it is like instant motivation when it finally starts to get warm and the sun is shining. I have been dragging and seeding all my pastures. My grass is looking good. There are so many farm projects that are now in progress. Keeping me busy but nothing new there.

I missed the lovely Thoroughbred show at Winter Place Park over the weekend when I woke up with either the stomach flu or food poisoning. That was no fun. I heard great reports and Tami and her crew always do an amazing job. CANTER Mid Atlantic really appreciates the support.

Truckee continues to improve in leaps and bounds. Amanda and I are sort of tag teaming the riding on him but she is doing most of it with me supervising. She is doing a great job. Sometimes the only way somebody learns is by being allowed to have a shot at it. I know that is how I learned! I really love teaching people how to understand ottb’s and all the secrets that I have learned over the years. It is a very rewarding process.

She felt like Truckee was hitting a bit of a wall in the flatwork especially to the right. I got on him and I felt that really going right he just needed more outside leg/rein so it’s more of a left rein issue than a right side issue. He wants to cock his head right and fall through the left shoulder. He wasn’t super happy about me pushing his body straight with the outside aids but he started to come along. One thing that I am constantly harping on the girls about is use LEG..more leg..and not hand. My riding ring has grass sides and they can’t manage to keep the horses in the ring 🙂 That is the homework that I gave. Outside aids to ride the horse straighter in the body to control the outside shoulder.

Truckee has a great canter but upon arrival it was more like a gallop. You really have to sit up and half halt and use your leg and body to encourage him to come under himself and lift in his back but not bearn down on the bridle. You will see me give him a little whoa half halt and then he balances up. I want to be able to soften the reins and relax without the horse running faster. You do that by teaching them to balance themselves by using your seat and legs for your half halts. Don’t let them balance on the reins..nor can you balance on the reins. You want contact but you also need to have the contact be a giving contact. You should be able to let it go forward with no change.

I have to say that this horse is really one of the nicer horses that I have ridden. I know that he is just under the magic 16h and he doesn’t have a lot of white on him but there truly is something very special about him. His uphill nature feels fantastic to ride, he is soft in the bridle, moves well off the leg and just has lovely gaits. He is barefoot and still gaining muscle and he feels this good. I think this horse could go upper levels with the right rider. He just gives me that feeling and I’m not often wrong about those sort of things. He likes a program but that isn’t a bad thing. He just has such great work ethic and is willing to please. I really enjoy him and so does Amanda. We both remarked how you just want to keep going with him because he is a fun ride.

Anyway here is the flat from yesterday:

Compare this to his first ride about three months ago! Looks like a different horse for sure.

His jumping is also coming along. He jumps anything and everything and is adorable. Here is Amanda jumping him last week or so.

Rockin Fun will soon be leaving. He continues to be a farm favorite. He is going like a million bucks and his new owner is going to have a blast with him! I have been riding Junior again and hope to get him to some events this spring. He had some kind of reaction on his knee and was out for a few weeks. He is trying hard to avoid work 🙂

I also bought a new resale horse that will be coming from Oklahoma. His name is Cherokee Paint.

He has some cow

I may also have another former CANTER owned horse coming in for either training or sale. Not sure which yet but we will see.

The CANTER horses move to the new location on the 15th. Amanda and I will be putting them all in work so we should soon have five total for sale including Truckee. Stay posted!





Updated Count Truckee pics

The weather has still been hit or miss. Can’t believe we got snow last week and I hate even writing it but I hear there is a possibility of more for next week. We keep plugging along at the barn trying to get horses ridden regardless of weather.

Rockin Fun is still with me in training and is doing great. He is a really cool horse and his new owner is going to love him. She had asked me to make her a video of him on a normal day. It had snowed and the ring was a mess so I took a video of us taking a journey down the driveway..walking past scary stuff..dealing with traffic  and then..oh boy..we encountered an Amish buggy. I have never been on a horse during a close encounter with a buggy but I think this is about as good as a horse can possibly deal with it. 

I was more worried than he was but mainly because the horses tend to freak out when they come by just when they are in the field let alone when you are up close and personal. He has such a great brain!

I have friends mare in training for the month and she is learning some good dressage work. She is a cool horse and will be headed to the TB show at Winterplace park the first weekend in April.

Elusive Sky and Ridge Amour are both still boarded with me and doing very well. Elusive Sky was a resale horse of mine. Ridge Amour was a CANTER owned horse. I also got a new boarder with an awesome TB that I trained and sold. His name is Necessary and he is a cool TB that ran 50+ races and is more like a dog than a horse. I’m happy to have him back at the farm and his owners are great. I love my boarders and we all have such a good time together.

Truckee has just absolutely blossomed. I am saying it here…this horse is very talented. I think he has what it takes to be an upper level event horse. Really really nice horse! Good mover, good jumper, forward thinking, brave and just smart as can be. He is cheeky without being mean so he won’t fit everybody but those who like a really talented athletic horse will love him. He is so uphill and balanced. I imagine with consistent riding he is going to be amazing. He jumped the brick wall on his first try last night!!!!!!!!!!! 3rd time jumping.

Here are some updated pics of him.

I will get even more pics and video this weekend. Half the battle is just getting them clean enough to get the pics and video. We clipped more off of Truckee now so he is looking good!

There will be some changes coming for the CANTER horses that are local to me. The amazing farm they are at is getting out of boarding so we are relocating to a farm that is even closer to me. It has a huge roundpen that is wood with tall sides and also a covered riding ring! Since it is only 15 min away I plan on just keeping the horses there and riding them off that farm. Amanda and I are going to work together and we should be able to restart a greater number of horses. We will be starting with four horses (all that are moving from the other farm). That means Yesterdays Story, Stormy Horizon, Money for Love and Davids Little Boy will all get started in work next month. It should help us retrain and rehome a great number of horses. I think that it will all work out so we shall see.

I plan on doing one personal resale at a time. I don’t want to get overloaded. I have Rocky and Slippers in for training so possibly next month I will start looking for one to buy. I plan on doing some eventing with Junior. Just lower levels and see how his knee holds up to it but he has always been sound (knocking on wood!). The goal is to get Truckee sold by next month. The weather has to allow us to get consistent but he is ready to be marketed!

My divorce is final at the end of this month. That is a chapter that I am looking forward to putting behind me. It’s sad in some ways but there has been so much good that has come out of it that sometimes I look at it like a favor. I have met a certain someone who I have been dating for four months and it gives some perspective on things. I didn’t really intend to get into a relationship so soon but life has a funny way of throwing curveballs at you. New guy doesn’t have horses but he does have a big farm locally that he farms and he enjoys the same type of lifestyle that I do. I have been able to move on relatively easy and just pick right up again. Now I am working to perfect that work to life balance we all struggle with 🙂 I struggle to say no to work but I really do need to slow down. I sold 16 horses last year of my own and 6 CANTER horses on top of my full-time job! That is just crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I find I am less stressed now that I have taken a major step back.

I am working to refinance my farm and once that happens I will have a better picture of how I will go forward into the future. For now it is just one step at a time.

March is almost here

I still have a case of the winter blahs. make it all go away. We are all still giving a go at riding as much as possible. It seems like we get a few days on and then several days off. Makes it hard to do anything consistent but we do our best.

Truckee is coming along well with his riding/lunging. I was able to video a lunge session yesterday. He has put on weight and grown a bit. He is starting to stretch and also starting to find some balance in that canter. I adore him!

I thought I had Rockin Fun sold. He was going to a lady out in California and he was vetted and passed the vet check. She passed on him at the last-minute due to shipping costs..etc. I’m not at all upset because I am having a blast and truthfully I wanted to ask a bit more money for him anyway. He is an awesome horse. He is an ammy’s dream horse. Good flatwork, good jumper, trail rides alone and in company and so much more. Just tons of miles on him and a personality to die that makes you laugh every day.

We may get some warm weather this week and I think we are all looking forward to giving some baths and getting the horses smelling better. We went on a trail ride this weekend and when the horses heated up they all smelled terrible!

I have been busy teaching lessons. I will get Rocky and Truckee advertised here shortly. I have a training horse coming in for March. Lots to do! Life is good and no complaints. It’s all about keeping a positive outlook and I have been able to do that.


Why the groundwork is so important at this time of year

I talked about how riding has been inconsistent at best due to weather. It seems we get a day or so of riding and then several days off. Fields are all mud. Horses aren’t moving around. Horses get fed premium alfalfa and good food. They tend to feel good!

I would say that I am a confident rider but I have developed a sense for self-preservation over the years. The reality is that it’s important to not get hurt. I never think my horses would want to hurt me but lack of preparation, lack of training and lack of common sense on my part will put you in a stupid situation. I used to be a rider who never lunged horses. Never really focused much on ground work. I knew it was important but it took time and time was better spent riding.

I think that is the younger version of thinking on my part! Over time I began to see how ground work mostly lunging made riding so much easier. I like to think about it in terms of a really high horse. If this horse come out and it’s high as a kite but has no concept of contact, how to engage, how to go forward and how to be ridden into contact then you end up feeling like holy crap this is going to be bad. You take that same high as a kite horse and teach it about contact, going forward, how to connect from front to back and all of a sudden you have a horse who is feeling high as a kite but suddenly you have a place to ride it to. You have the tools to be able to put it to work. Work=engaging the brain. You can’t take a high as a kite horse and try to “teach” it while it’s high as a kite. You need to have the basics installed first so you aren’t overwhelming this extremely fresh horse with new concepts while it’s going boing..boing..boing around the ring. They have to know what you are asking them.

I sort of get down on myself a bit for lunging when I could be riding but Truckee needed to learn some groundwork. Truckee is NOT a bad horse at all but he is extremely athletic, forward thinking and talented. He needed to learn how to use his parts in an efficient manner. I wanted all those buttons installed so that I could use them to influence good behavior while riding. I first started lunging in side reins, then vienna reins and then the pessoa. He understands voice commands, he has learned about contact, he can stretch down into the contact and he has learned a bit about not panicking when feeling trapped (this is often important). He has gotten to understand that the contact is there and he must engage from behind and round his back. He looks like a different horse.

I knew it was all paying off but I really felt it last night. I sort of debated getting on because it was a crazy night. I had a new boarder ship in. It was cold. They hadn’t been ridden the day before and then spent the day up in their dry paddocks. They were fresh. There were four of us in the ring going every which way. This was going to be a lot for his brain to process. However, I really did think all my homework was going to allow me to have a rideable horse. I needed to test out my tools.

He stood perfectly for me to get on. Good boy! We did a little bit of baby leg yielding at the walk and he was great in the contact. It got busy in the ring and I could feel him getting anxious so we went right to the trot. Remember forward is your friend! Allow them to go forward. We just picked a half the ring circle and I focused on riding him forward and up into the contact. With a horse who wants to be silly this is often your saving grace! They need to have a place to go. They like to feel the contact and they like you to give them direction. I was just working on encouraging him to stay steady in the bridle and around the turns we would practice a little half halt and then some baby steps sideways to introduce some bending. He is just so good! He had moments of oh boy but just came to little head shakes and nothing more.

He is a narrow type of horse so it’s very important to have all this work done so that you can control his straightness!!! He could easily drop his shoulder if I didn’t have the ability to ride him up into the contact which is why I feel like it’s important for horses like him to learn about contact ASAP. It’s not that I’m holding onto his face or pulling him into a frame but I am asking him to make the correct shape with his body. He does understand that me putting some pressure on the reins and adding leg means to step under and soften his topline. This allows me to have a softer back so that I can manipulate him and it also encourages relaxation.

I am telling you he felt amazing!!! I was so proud of him because he had never been in such a busy situation but he was just so good. I was so impressed with how he felt. Wish I had video…I know…but I have more people to help with that now so we will work harder at getting video. I just walked and trotted but he is now ready to start working on the canter under tack.

It really is a ride like that just seems to make everything right in the world. I love what I do and it’s just so much fun to see horses that may have been a bit difficult starting out all of a sudden figuring it all out. His personality is emerging and he is starting to trust me as a rider. I was so proud of him!

Now I can’t wait to ride him again and of course we are getting poured on today and potentially more snow for the weekend. Uh!

I hate winter

Those of us in the mid atlantic are cussing winter on a daily basis. It has made riding difficult at best and frankly us horse women are just not happy when we aren’t riding. I am in good shape from dealing with frozen everything, carrying hot water, pushing hay through snow and just having to fight with every piece of equipment on the farm. The boyfriend was watching me throw around some alfalfa bales the other day and was impressed. Those suckers are a good 50+ lbs and I can now lift them easily! I think all of us are really going through our hay supply to keep the horses warm and happy. My thoroughbreds can put down some alfalfa!

My ring has been frozen for the most part. I have ridden or lunged when the weather is at all cooperating. Truckee continues to improve daily. He is gaining weight and I see his shape starting to change. I really really like him and find him to be freaky smart. I have a good eye for a horse and he is a horse that might not strike you as anything special standing there but I think he has talent to go right up the levels in eventing. There is just a certain feel and athletic ability about him that really makes me think he has what it takes. I love the way his brain works. He also moves across the ground so light. He is very uphill and light in the bridle. Contact is still a work in progress but it’s coming along. I have spent some time lunging him in the pessoa system here lately to encourage him to come from behind and push into the bridle.

I have to say that watching him get adjusted to the feel of the butt rope was about the funniest thing I had ever seen. I laughed until I cried (which is hard to do while lunging a horse) because he just has the most interesting reactions to things. I put the surcingle on in the barn and it has the system all set up. I went to the ring and gently slid the butt rope into place and didn’t attach any of the front peices knowing he likely would have some sort of reaction on the butt rope. OMG!!!!!!!!!! He took one step forward and went WHAT THE HECK and then it was boing…boing..boing..boing all around the circle. He bucked until the rope went all the way under his tail. I was dying laughing. I got him pulled up and repositioned and started again and he was totally fine. Then I hooked up the front part (basically like vienna reins) and he was excellent at the walk and the trot. I thought I would try a smidge of canter. Oh lord…it was bucking bronco all over again. Stopped to adjust the butt rope and did the canter again and he was fine. He really cantered well with the pessoa. I love watching them react. His reaction is OMG..I’m dying..get it off..oh big deal..back to work. Totally cracks me up. Wish I had it all on video!

He is very professional to ride but installing all the good basics on the lunge line helps a ton. He is built uphill so he needs to learn to stretch over his back and relax his back and topline. It all comes in time.

Our one difficulty is getting pics and video. We have found it’s easier for Amanda to ride and for me to do the video/pics although we need to practice the other way. This was middle of January video of Truckee. He’s going even better now but you can see the progress in just this piece. This was his first time jumping.

I think that I mentioned I bought a new horse. Yes, I jumped back into the resale game. I admit to being a bit nervous about it all since I am still going through the divorce (final at end of March!) but I can’t put my life on hold.

A friend emailed me that she was going to sell her horse. It’s a long story but basically Rockin Fun was a CANTER horse that was donated and I retrained. I started him on the flat, over fences, trail rode him and took him xc. Then he was sold locally and did some trail riding and paper chasing. He was sold once more to a friend who has done a bit of everything with him but mainly trail riding. He rides out western and the cool thing is that she could just hop on once a month and go and he was always great. He is just a really quiet TB with a great brain and a can do attitude. He’s 10yrs old and 16.1 h..and chunky! I had to giggle when I saw him because he is so darn round. I always loved him so I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with him again. I just thought he would be a good project to get back into shape and resale. He rides english, western, jumps, trail rides, paper chases, goes xc, rides out solo, rides in groups and more. Everybody needs one like him!

He really hadn’t done much of anything so he is out of shape and lacking muscle. We rode him in the ring and then I trail rode him. He was awesome on the trail and happily lead or followed and jumped logs in lovely style. Amanda hopped on again for some pics/vid this weekend.

He hadn’t done any real flatwork in a long time and hadn’t jumped in over a year if not more but he was so game!

This week isn’t looking much better in terms of weather. I think we will all get rides in tonight but supposed ice storm coming in later in the evening and then they are talking about more snow later in the week. Oh well, you just have to ride when you can and keep muttering spring is around the corner 🙂

It will be nothing but mud everywhere for a bit but such is life at this time of year. It will all I tell myself when I am trying to remain positive. I have a lot of good things happening in my life at the moment so apparently the positive thinking is working in my favor.

I need to get some updated truckee pics and video here shortly. I have a barn full of fun horses to ride. Now if we can get the weather to cooperate, life will be even better.