Long Road Trip.

I promised this post months ago, but looking back at my blogging of 2016 (or lack there of), it’s probably not much of a surprise that I still haven’t posted about this.

One of my friends moved to South Carolina in October. A couple months before her move, I told her that I would road trip with her. Originally she was moving to Virginia, but that fell through and she needed to move ASAP. Coincidentally I have a good friend who lives in South Carolina that I’ve been dying to visit who knows my friend that was needing to move. I told SC friend about other friend’s situation and they talked, SC friend got other friend a job and the ball got rolling. Due to the fact that I have a sometimes stupidly busy schedule with my job, my window for being able to go on a several day road trip was pretty slim. Luckily the stars aligned, my friend got all packed up and we were on our way to SC.

For those that don’t know, I live in Kansas. So we went through: Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and finally made it to South Carolina. Most of the road trip was pretty uneventful, but we went to a really neat ice cream place in St Louis (Crown Candy Kitchen), visited Keeneland on our way through Kentucky and saw the mountains and beautiful fall colors on our way through Kentucky and Tennessee. Once in North Carolina it was pine trees as far as you could see. I’d never been past Kentucky, so seeing Tennessee and the Carolinas was new for me.

So SC friend (one of my best friends) moved from Kansas last February. I don’t know how it’s nearly been a year already, but I miss her pretty much daily. I’d been wanting to visit her, but couldn’t really afford the plane ticket, so I was really excited to get to go and see her, as well as to help my other friend get settled in her new life.

This post would not be complete without pictures, so here goes:

 

 

2016 Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange

This is my second year participating in the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange hosted by Tracy at Fly on Over Eq. Thank you Tracy for hosting this every year!

This year, the name I was given was Liz from In Omnia Paratus. I took advantage of Black Friday sales and was able to get quite a bit of stuff and still stay close-ish to the price limit. You can read more about what I got her here: 2016 Blogger Gift Exchange.

My gifts from Wilbur, Ellie, and Emily arrived on Christmas Eve. That’s two years in a row my boxes have arrived Christmas Eve. Talk about good timing!

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First up, was a really pretty purple scarf with white horses on it. I haven’t worn it yet, but I plan to wear it soon.

Next up, a stocking of Mrs. Pasture’s horse cookies. Dexter and Sassy love treats (and they’re used to getting a ton of them), so these are perfect.

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Last, but certainly not least, a bag of Greenies dog treats. I had mentioned in my list that I had three dogs who all love treats, but that my little dog, Tank, really loved Greenies. Unfortunately Tank had some dental issues right before Christmas, so was unable to eat anything but very soft food or treats until last week. He was so excited to get a greenie.

 Thank you Tracy for hosting and Emily for the gifts. Hope everyone had a fantastic Holiday.

Not dead yet.

Despite the 5 month hiatus from blogging, we are in fact still alive.

Here’s a snapshot of what has gone on:

1) Dexter did nothing for 4 months. He was pretty lame (hind end soreness) from April until June. He started to improve slightly after that and got ridden a little in August. From August until mid October, he got ridden a little here and there. The soreness had leveled off to being manageable. I was all set to take him to the vet hospital at the end of September for a full workup, then life happened and the money was gone much more quickly than it had been accrued.

 

2) One day a local vet I had used previously messaged me and asked if I was interested in trying a loading dose of Pentosan. I said that I was, so she came out a few days later to see Dexter. She watched him trot in poor lighting (thanks daylight savings time) and told me he was barely lame. She also said since he has an easy job, never has had a hard job and the fact that I’m not overweight, she felt that not jumping to x rays and injections right now would not be the worst decision. So she gave me a refresher course on IM injections and watched me give the first one. I’m pretty sure Dexter didn’t even flinch. I just gave him his fourth and final loading dose yesterday.

 

3) I have been riding on the weekends and enjoying it. I’ve also stopped lunging, which was really hard for me. But so far so good on that front.

Dexter is feeling pretty good to me and I’m hoping my husband can help me take a video of him being ridden tomorrow. I have a video from between injections 1 and 2 and I’d like to compare. If he does indeed look better, we will try the monthly Pentosan injections and see how that works long term.

 

4) I have started taking riding lessons again. I’ve only had two so far, but I’ve enjoyed them. I am taking them on my trainer’s horses right now, but will hopefully take Dexter soon. They are western lessons with the former head coach of the now discontinued Kansas State University NCAA Equestrian Team. I was really excited to run into her back in September at a local show. I had been wanting to take lessons, but I didn’t know who to call.

5) I got to jump twice last month in lessons in South Carolina! I drove to SC with a friend last month who was moving there. I also got to see my good friend who moved there earlier this year and she set me up to take lessons with her trainer there. I felt a lot better riding than I thought I would and mostly importantly I had fun. Unfortunately I did fall off, but it was the best fall I’ve ever had. More about that later.

I will come back and add some pictures and videos soon.

Until then, happy trails!

 

 

 

 

 

A Horse Box: May 2016 Box Review

I got my first ever box from A Horse Box last month. I signed up for a 3 month subscription. Do I need it? No, but it is fun to receive surprises in the mail every month. Boxes start at $25.99 per month for a 6 month subscription. A 3 month subscription is slightly more at $27.99 per month and you can get a box for a single month for $29.99. They also have a Barn Box and a Tack Box, which is a one time box that changes seasonally.

A Horse Box, of the monthly variety, contains 4 to 6 hand picked items. Some are full size and some are samples. They have items from well known brands, as well as items from up and coming brands.

I was really excited to receive my box. Upon first glance, it’s just a plain, little brown box. The packaging was not great. The tape was torn on one side of the box and instead of being sealed with tape, it was sealed with a plastic mailing sleeve, which I thought was interesting.

This is what was in the box:
-Absorbine Santa Fe Coat Conditioner& Sunscreen (full size bottle – retail $10.64 to $14.95)
-Farnam Endure Roll on Fly Repellent (retail $7.69 to $8.50)
-First Companion Equi-Dex Electrolyte in Apple (12 oz sample package)
-Leather Therapy Wash (8 oz) (retail $8.02 to $9.14)
-A Sample Package of Omega Nibblers Horse Treats (4 treats)

There was also a magazine on the bottom, as well as some information about the electrolytes that were included.

Everything arrived in good condition, but the package of electrolytes had a tiny tear on the back of it that caused some powder to spread around the box.
After seeing another blogger’s review, I did not received the Slick and Easy Grooming Block, or A Horse Box SPF chapstick, or the May 2016 A Horse Box Information card. I’m now a little disappointed, as I thought all boxes were supposed to be the same.

Flashback Friday: Introducting Joker

I posted about my first horse as an adult here: Rest in Peace and Run free my red man shortly after he passed away, but I’m going to post the story of how Joker, my first horse owned as an adult, entered my life.

I have been pretty fortunate to always have horses to ride. I’ve known a lot of really generous people and have been able to ride several horses in Kansas for little to no cost. There have been 3 barns I’ve ridden with and I met Joker in 2010 at the second barn I rode with.

I only remember seeing him a couple times. His owner at the time, like me, was riding some of the sale horses at the barn. In October of 2010, she posted something on Facebook saying that she was looking to re-home her two horses. One, a paint gelding that was later purchased by my friend and the other one, a red TB gelding who at the time was named Nashville. She didn’t have his papers and wasn’t 100% sure how old he was. She let me take him for a month long trial and I fell in love.

Now to clarify, Joker was not perfect. I was told when I tried him that he had a rearing problem. The kind of rearing problem where he reared and his owner got off. It took about a month and half for the rearing problem to appear for me. It never was all out rearing though. He was built extremely uphill and would hop up when he didn’t want to do something. He also would pull the same crap while lunging and it took some help from a friend to actually get him to lunge decently. He also pulled the same crap while jumping. He’d hop up and down on the way to the jump. He was a challenge to say the least. He wasn’t the most personable, but I could hop on him and do anything. Trail riding? Definitely. Jumping bareback? so much fun. XC schooling: he loved it.

We didn’t do a lot of showing. We did one local H/J show, a CT at a recognized event (just BN), one more local H/J show and finally a full event at BN.

Joker steadily improved while I owned him. After about a year and a half, he decided he’d quit his rearing crap all together and never did it again.

When I made the very difficult decision to sell him, I knew that selling him to a jumping home would be hard. A local trainer took him on trial and from what I remember about the ordeal, he ended up pretty overwhelmed. Gymnastics were a bit over his head. I continued riding him and taking lessons at a local barn. Out of the blue, my friend called me and asked if a friend of hers could come see Joker. It had been raining, it was muddy and I hadn’t touched him in 4 days. He was a champ.

The rider who had come to see him was an older adult looking for a horse to last her the rest of her riding lifetime. She came back a second time with another trainer and decided she wanted to go ahead and do a vet check. In the mean time, I got my DNA Results back from the Jockey Club and discovered that Joker was a 2003 Thoroughbred Gelding named No Carbs.

The Vet check was coincidentally scheduled on my birthday and I was a blubbering mess. He passed with satisfactory results, so he was off to his new home.

I stayed in touch with his new owner, who is one of the nicest people I’ve ever known. I visited him two or three times while she had him and even got to ride him once. He was a special boy and he came a long way.

Unfortunately Joker had some chronic lameness issues. After many diagnostics and several months of being uncomfortable, it was discovered that he had degenerative arthritis in his neck and his shoulder. He was not going to get better. Joker crossed the rainbow bridge on February 27th of 2015. I could not have asked for him to have a better owner. I still miss him and think of him often.

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Joker being his awkward self

 

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Joker and I, Christmas 2010

 

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Sometime early 2011

 

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Summer 2011…who needs their eyes open? Not Joker.

 

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Pretty trot, Joker

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BN Combined Test, August 2011

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January 2012

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September 2012

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One final ride

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The day Joker left for his new home: September 26, 2012

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Joker the Dressage Horse

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Rest in Peace, Big Guy

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Happy 8th Birthday, Dexter and Bath Day

Dexter turned 8 on Saturday. I spent all day in bed not feeling very well, so my plans of doing more with Dexter went out the window. He did get lots of treats, he got groomed and he got a sloppy brand mash that he shared with Sassy. I don’t think he knows what a birthday is, but he looked content anyway.

It was a bit warmer yesterday than on Saturday, do Dexter and Sassy both got their first baths of the year. I had washed their tails once this year so far, but they hadn’t gotten a full bath yet.

Thankfully both of them are pretty cooperative, even though we don’t have the luxury of hot water. Dexter was up first. I washed him with a combination of tea tree shampoo and vetrolin bath. He was very dirty. I rinsed him, applied Eqyss Premier conditioner to his tail, then washed him again with a Mrs. Conn’s Bath Day sponge. We got the Desert Quencher. A little goes a long way with these sponges. The shampoo smells really good and it foams well. It will definitely last for more than one bath, even though I used it on Dex and Sassy.

Sassy got her bath next. She was slightly less cooperative about having her face washed, but was still pretty good about it. She has a long, thick mane, so her mane got conditioner as well as her tail.

Also a little plug for Teddy’s Tack Trunk who is currently having a sale on bath products. With code BATH, you get 10% off all bath time supplies through May 31st. They also have $2.99 shipping on all US orders, which you can’t beat. My order arrived in only two days and it was shipped the same day I ordered it. I also got a bottle of Pyranha Zero-Bite Natural Insect Repellent, which so far seems to be working better than the Absorbine Ultrashield Sport Continuous Fly Sprayx than I have been using. It’s made with essential oils, not chemicals. It gets kind of foamy when you spray it which is different, but I find the smell to be different, yet fairly pleasant. I’m not hopeful the bottle will last an extremely long time, but thankfully it’s priced very reasonably, especially at TTT.

What I love about horses when it comes to not riding them

So I haven’t ridden my horse since April 3rd. Yes you read that right, I haven’t been on my horse for 6 1/2 weeks. I didn’t even realize it had been quite that long until I looked at my calendar. Originally the break was supposed for be two weeks, but then I got sick, the heavy rains came in and then my horse decided to cut up his right hind leg. Then it rained some more, I lacked time and motivation and here we are.

While I do love to ride, because it does always put a smile on my face, I honestly have gotten to the point where I really enjoy being around horses more than I actually enjoy riding them.

Dexter, while not the most broke or best trained horse is just a very easy horse to be around. He comes when I call him, he lets me kiss he nose (though I don’t think he actually likes it) and he seems to enjoy just being messed with.

He is pretty good at ground tying though I’m not sure he was actually taught. He just does it. So most of the time when I go out to mess with him, I don’t tie him up. He’s used to me messing with him and 9.5 times out of 10 does not move. Picking out his feet? No problem. Fly spraying? No problem. Putting ointment on his cut up back leg? Ground tying champion. I often groom with him ground tied as well.

Dexter is a very good minded, willing horse. He is very willing to try new things and figure out what you’re asking. Excellent qualities for a horse who had never been anywhere in his life and was started so late.

Most days it’s just the quiet of spending time with my buddy. The hugs, the grooming, just watching him play with his pony friend Sassy. He trotted right up to me the other night and followed me around while I was filling hay nets. Honestly, even though I don’t ride him much, I can’t imagine my life without him.

Dexter turns 8 on May 21st. I plan to make him a horsey birthday cake and give him some pampering. I sure love my black horse.