Sorry for the lack of blog entries lately. It is my turn for bad luck and my two personal horses are battling serious injuries. My awesome event horse has a fractured knee and my backup horse and also my husband’s trail has a joint infection in his hock. We are not quite sure how either injury happened. Typically, you only see joint infections with an open wound or a horse that had previously had a joint injection neither or which he had. I am staying positive and am happy to have other horses to ride. Horses always help me relieve stress.
I thought of writing this entry the day before the show as it was clear to me how far Dixie had come in his training and overall comfort level.
During the summer of 2007 I would guess while he was at the CANTER farm
Looked like this when he arrived at my farm:
This was in September and right now I can honestly say he looks even bigger with more muscle and weight
Let’s see when he arrived the first thing I wanted to do was clip him and pull his mane. He was scared to death of the inside of the barn. Would not stand in the cross ties and shook just walking him inside the barn. I had to tranquilize him heavily to get him clipped and halfway through he was waking up and hearing the noise of the clippers and had to get some more tranq. He had great manners but he did not have any personalilty at all. He was scared of me, the other horses, the barn, the stall and if you did not know better you would question my sanity when I told you how lovely he was to ride. As scared as he was on the ground he was opposite undersaddle. He drew confidence from his rider and never put a foot wrong.
As time has went on he has gained an overall sense of confidence. I can now clip him and he falls asleep. Ears, muzzle and legs w/o him even getting worried. He quietly stands in the cross ties. He adjusted to the new barn much quicker than when he arrived at the old farm when he stood cowering in the corner for days. He has become the boss in the field when he used to run and hide in the corner.
Now he honestly loves people. He is the first to come up to the gate and see what I am doing. He enjoys the attention and knows where his treats are (mmm..perhaps a reason why he likes me better now :))
I can not tell you how many times people ask who I am riding and when I say this is Dixie they stand and look in shock. My mom and her students all claim he has gotten bigger and maybe he did grow a bit but it mostly the added muscle that makes him look so big. He does ride bigger. His neck is now coming uphill and he feels thicker everywhere.
My goal as a rider/trainer is to produce horses that are fun for others to ride. Horses that have confidence and are a joy to ride and work around. I can honestly say that Dixie has turned into a horse that anybody would love to own. I am not saying he is without quirks because all horses have some and he prefers to live outside but hey many people would love to have a Tb that can actually live outside! It is easy for me to forget how he used to be but getting ready for a show really pointed out how far this horse has come. Show prep is easy on a horse that can handle the all the fussing. Baths, clipping, extra brushing, spray sheen in the tail, getting shipping boots on, self loading on the trailer, standing on the trailer when his buddy leaves and so much more. Heck, my own horse has issues with some of the above 🙂
It looks like I may finally be hunting on Sunday. The hunt that I joined was heading out this morning from the C&R Center which is 5 min from my house. I really really wanted to go but I have had to much time off work for vet appointments lately so I will have to wait until Sunday. I am excited to see how Dixie does. He never lets me down and I am sure he is going to love hunting.