Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving........

So, Thanksgiving, I got the phone call no horse owner really wants to get. Socks was dead lame and had a swollen upper leg. Now I'm frantic as I can't leave work and it took a little while to find my vet. She had to attend to another emergency before me so I got to the barn and ended up sleeping on some hay bales in my sleeping bag while I waited. She came in to examine him and he could barely even walk out of the stall! I was thinking the had to be broken! Shawn showed up with more jackets and a hot chocolate and unbeknowst to him, he was to be recruited for help with the exam. Dr. Williams took some x-rays and thankfully, nothing was broken. There was a small pinhole in his leg but it didn't appear to go anywhere. The injury was deemed a kick and stall rest and Bute was his future. We also hotpacked his leg and the weird lump moved down his leg and then the whole upper leg just stayed swollen. After a few days of him seeming to improve, I tried not to be too worried about him. But, then, he stopped getting better and seemed worse so, again, called the vet out. She could barely get him to flex his leg and made an immediate phone call to Dr. Garcia at Tufts to see if we could get in there. After about 30 minutes or so, Dr. Williams called back and said just go to Tufts, they're expecting you. Thankfully, CB was home and we made the trek to Tufts with Socks trailering by himself and Shawn leaving work to come with us. When we got to Tufts, Socks was a sweaty mess and only had one shoe on. How embarrassing! X-rays showed nothing and the pinhole again didn't seem to communicate with the elbow joint at all. He ended up having to stay overnight to get an ultrasound done. Around 5 pm, they called me to tell me that he had an abscess and it sat against the collateral ligament and they needed to lance it. UGH! Long story short, after waiting for the culture and sensitivity panel to come back, Socks spent one day short of two weeks at Tufts on IV antibiotics. Thank God for insurance! He got shoes put on about a week later and is continuing his stall rest until he goes back for an ultrasound recheck on the 11th of January. Summer was so nice and then.....BOOM......everything seemed to fall apart.

And it just keeps getting better.......NOT!

Socks ended up with some weird mystery lameness on one of our last rides together with CB and Sereele. We had trailered out to Upton? and were just starting to trot down the trail when he seemed just not right. We walked and he seemed fine, thought maybe he stepped on a rock but as we started to trot again, same thing...slight head bod and definately not right. I got off and headed back to the trailer sending CB on her way around a short loop on the trail. I was pleasantly surprised that Socks did not have a major meltdown walking away from his riding buddy. He called out a few times but did very well with me handwalking him back down the trail to the trailer. I let him graze a bit and all was well until he called and heard Sereele answer. YIKES, then the circling commenced and he seemed even more off than before! Luckily, Sereele and CB emerged from the trail and we tried trotting Socks out and he seemed fine again. UGH, maybe he didn't want to work. The next week was rainy so the week after I tried to ride again...still off. I called the vet and she took some radiographs and discovered that his pastern axis was off and suggested some wedged shoes. Tim came out and tried a wedge pad first that would be cheaper for me and give the same results....or so we thought. Socks couldn't handle the pad at all. It was a Myron MacLane pad with frog support and it must have been too much pressure on his feet. After another call to Dr. Williams and her and Tim talking, Socks got another pair of shoes on, this time the wedge shoe with leather pads as suggested. Again, he went lame....and of course, more phone calls were made to the vet. After about a week, he seemed fine and I got on him in the riding ring. He was poised to spring out from underneath me so after a few circles and a serpentine or two, I called it a ride and decided to longe him instead. He wasn't going to win this one at all. He seemed fine at the longe although a bit naughty. Later on in the week, I went out with CB and the dogs for a walk in the woods. Socks was so much better and happier and dare I write it....less ouchy with his new pads on. CB even got on him for one of the hills we had to climb on Mt. Pisgah. I was pretty happy that he was back in action and his gaits were nice and flowy again. YAHOO! It was also cool to see how my horse does under saddle as no one really rides him except me. =)

Fall fell =(

CB has continually tried to work Sereele out of her tripping. She's fine and then, without warning or really any reason sometimes, she would fall to her knees. It was very unsettling. So, she tried a barefoot trimmer, who skipped out on her, and then a farrier who put some shoes back on her, and hurt her....UGH! Poor Sereele was off for a while after he got a hold of her. What a jerk that guy was. Then, CB tried a different vet for a second opinion. He did some lameness exams on her and suggested a myelogram as one of her sides (the right?) seemed off. So, a neurology exam was scheduled at Tufts and away we went with Sereele alone in the trailer. What a trooper she was! She was definately nervous but trailered well. At Tufts, Dr. Bedenice performed the neuro exam. She could almost pull Sereele over with the tail tug at the walk and trot! YIKES! So, they took her to radiology for some neck x-rays to further investigate things. After a while, Dr. Bedenice came out with some preliminary news saying that they're pretty sure that there was a narrowing of Sereele's spinal column but they would have the specialists look at the rads too. They also have ortho do a lameness exam on Sereele and Dr. Jenei didn't really see anything that would pose as a lameness orthopedic-wise. Then, they showed us the rads and explained things to CB. It was a decrease in the diameter of the spinal column at the 4th vertebrae. Wobblers Syndrome. It was suggested that CB not ride her anymore to avoid any injuries that could occur to both her and Sereele if she had a really bad fall and they also suggested a myelogram to be totally sure. Although it was a point of closure for CB it was a heartwrenching discovery. How could it be that this pretty little mare have to be retired at the age of 5? She opted out of the myelogram. It's very invasive and would just tell her the same news. Her prognosis was fair to good. She may not have any problems at all or may get some arthritis in her neck down the line. So, with that, Sereele retired with her buddy Zak and hangs out eating, sleeping and getting loves. But, this leaves CB looking for another horse and so the next saga shopping.

Welcome home!!! =)

Whew, so much has happened.....time to update this blog!

So, Speedy came back to live at Long Run Farm in late August. His mom was on her way back up to live up here too after a long time (forever it seemed) living in New Orleans. It took some growing pains and some switching around but he ended up sharing a pasture with Toya. Judy and Dave finally made it back up north a few weeks later. YAY!!! It's nice to have them back. Poor Judy had no place to really ride down south and his barn wasn't very close either. Now, Mr. Speedy gets to do some work more often and see his mom every day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chester NH.......or Deliverance?

So, being the intrepid riders that we are, CB and I drove out to Chester NH for another trail ride. No time limit this time. =) Lou and Becca were supposed to come with us but wimped out. Ha ha ha! It was a cool and overcast day and actually started raining at a pretty good clip on our way there. Oh sure, what would it be without weird weather right? We (I) decided that the 9 mile ride was sufficient and we were off after partaking in the yummy coffee cakes they offered for breakfast. The way out to the trail was down a paved road....oh yay. We had to pass by a weird Tudor style house with a rusty rooster "statue" in the front yard...pretty scary.....had to go down a hill (on pavement) and finally we got to the trail. I was having deja vu big time since we got there and then CB realized that we had done this ride before as well. I rode Zak so that's how long ago it was. The initial trail was very rocky and we picked our way along. We trotted where we could....kind of like at home. Then, we came out to powerlines with equally rocky trails and turkey buzzards looming over us waiting.........bad sign. Finally, we came out to a dirt road and we tried to go but both horses were scared and nervous about going forward. UGH! Then there was more roadwork...oh yay......there were a few nice trails we hit and we both cantered on purpose when we could. YAY! Then, you guessed it, more roads....we had come to the fork where the ride split off and I really wanted to just get the 9 over with, my Wintec was leaving white spots on Socks's withers and I was in my dressage saddle that fit a bit better but not much. Again, more roads and we crossed over and saw that we were going back into the woods. It was a nice dirt trail and we kept going not seeing any more blue ribbons to tell us how to get back. We came to a 4-way dirt intersection and there were no markers to be had....we turned back and ran into a couple who thought we had to go straight through the intersection. Well, that brought us to a shooting range......NOT where we wanted to be. We all headed back and CB and I took a left and the guy of the couple rode right and the woman said she'd stick in the middle and whoever saw something first yell out. The guy found the way home, yay. So, between going back and forth and being lost, we probably did close to the 14 miles.....;-) We headed back and of course, it was on a roadway. Socks was very excited to head home and as we were trotting up the shoulder, he started to feel like he was paralyzed and dragging his back legs.....OH NO! Of course, he was fine except for a tree branch stuck to his tail. CB got it out and we made it back to the trailer in one piece. The kids got to graze on grass for a bit and then we got to eat too. They were the best hamburgers I'd ever had, as I was so hungry. We grabbed our cookies to go and headed home without looking back. CB said to remind her never to go to that ride, here it is....NEVER GO TO CHESTER NH again. The whole town was pretty scary itself......beautiful manicured lawns and houses with white trash hanging out on patio furniture....or the opposite, a trashy house with a brand new Challenger in the driveway. By far the weirdest thing we saw was the horse in a tiny turnout with an old Camaro with the doors off in the turnout with the horse and the water source was OUTSIDE of the electric tape. How was that animal supposed to drink?!?!? We also passed some small turnouts suitable for one or two horses with five or six of them in the lot!!!!! It was a trip at any rate......=)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Learning the ABC's of the CTR/CDR

So, the date finally came, time to attempt 12.5 miles on a conditioning CTR ride. We packed up the trailer with all our tack, clothes and sleeping bags and the coolers of food and drink and it was time to pack up the horses. Of course, Socks did not want to go in the trailer. It took a few tries and on he went, I had my doubts that he would enjoy this trailer ride. Off we went!
We made good time and Socks made a few paws and jostled the trailer a bit but not too bad until about 1/2 from our destination........We got stuck behind someone with a mattress on top of their car going about 25 mph! Socks was a bit pissed by this time and the pawing started again and the trailer would lurch forward. He was NOT happy, truth be told CB and I were a bit annoyed with this darn mattress hauler too. FINALLY, he turned off and I freaked out thinking that we had to go right and follow him instead of left.....had a hard time with that lately...ha haha. Soon after, we arrived at the horseman's campground and it was time to find a place to "land". Never do this with two indecisive women! We found a decent little place in the back and basically took up two spots, ah well. Then, it took an additional 15 minutes to decide where to put the pen for the horses....we're so bad! Turned out to be a nice setup with a downed tree as a sort of privacy barrier for the horses. Unfortunately, there were some very low branches in front of our site and trailers kept going by and scraping them and setting Sereele and Socks off so.....CB remedied the situation. She grabbed a water bucket and tried snapping the limb off and did actually get some of it off. Then, she asked me for the scissors so she could cut the rest of the limb was green and had the stringy woody parts that wouldn't split. All I could so was laugh. Mission accomplished, no more scary limb. However, someone had this horrid metal stock trailer that BANGED something awful and kept driving past us and freaking out the horses......why would anyone put any sort of animal in that?!?!?!?!?!? UGH!
Time to check in and vet in. Oh yay. There was a bit of a wait and we were in a large field with other riders and their horses. Everyone was pretty friendly so we all chatted. The lay judge picked out every little bump and nook and cranny on Socks and then snidely remarked that I rode one sided.."Really one sided" I decided that I hated this woman. The vet seemed friendly enough and I did my trot out and we went back to the trailer for some much needed food. Shawn had made us some Ceasar chicken wraps the night before so we inhaled those and I had also bought some chips and some M& M's and some York Pieces to munch on too. CB brought some munchies also, we've learned to bring food finally! =) We had no fire pit so CB and I stole the rocks from the campsite across the way to build us one....(Socks however found ours the next day, it was overgrown with grass and pretty disheveled so it was just as well that we stole the other one...hee hee) Our attempts at fire building were pretty sad. It would spark up and then fizzle out until we noticed that there were some VERY dry branches across the way so we built up our fire with those and had a decent fire afterwards. YAY! After a few beverages and some snacks, we decided it was time to try and get some sleep. I put the fire out with some Vitamin Water and off to bed we went. I slept in the trailer and CB slept in the truck.
Around 2 a.m., Sereele and Socks decided to do laps in their pen. UGH! It sounded like Socks was loose so I grabbed a flashlight and went out to look, convinced that there were bears or something bothering them. Of course not! I gave them a bit more hay and went to sleep still convinced that bears were going to come in the trailer and eat me! Well, they didn't and we all survived the night!
RIDE DAY! We watched a trailer pull into the site across from us and low and behold it was Seeker, CB's old horse! He was still a hot head and I'm totally convinced CB lucked out getting rid of him! There were 9 riders in the CDR and we were being sent out in groups of 3's and imagine our surprise when we were grouped with Roxanne and Seeker!!!!!!! OH NO!!!!!! Having ridden with Seeker when CB had him, I was not looking foward to this ride. Our time out was 9:06 a.m. so we went off to tack up and get ready. We walked to the gate and Socks was a bit hot...oh yay, so we went back to the trailer so I could get on and so Roxanne got on Seeker then too. Time to go........had to trot past the vet again on the way out.....what a horrid pulling trot Socks did. We crossed the road and into the trail and CB asked Roxanne to go ahead so we would hold back.......was a good idea in our heads but not Socks's. He freaked out and got mad that Seeker was ahead and started going sideways and turning and being an all out freak. CB wanted to try and get ahead but Socks wouldn't stand still enough to let her pass and then a car went by and Sereele spun and popped up a bit and then did a buck. What a great way to start......we called Roxanne back and ended up riding with her the entire time. The trails were pretty good save for a few rocky places and at once point, Socks took a few really bad steps and my heart went into my throat, thought this was it, we were out. Nope, just stepped on a nasty rock and we were ok. I was very worried about him though as he was very sweaty and the two little Arabs barely had any sweat at all. We persevered on though and I'm proud of my boy. We had to cross some scary wooden bridges and he went first on two of them to get the two Arabs over it. Sereele learns so fast so the next few didn't faze her in the least. She's such a little star! We had some really nice trails covered in pine needles and we made good time in there. Sereele did her usual little spooks here and there and unfortunately, Seeker was usually right on her rear end so he would either run into her or spin with her and Roxanne would freak out every time! Yikes! At one point, she was behind me and started freaking out because Socks was swishing his tail and she was convinced that there were bees and she started yelling "Bees, go go go go!" I had to inform her that he is a tail swisher and gets pissed and that's what he does.....oh boy. At one point in the woods, we came across a very narrow little wooden bridge......wasn't sure Socks was going to go over it but he did without any hesitation, I was so proud of him being so brave. =) Finally we came to the end, I was tired but happy I did this ride....but Seeker was in front and was afraid of the people sitting at the end gate so I just passed her Hell bent on finishing this ride!!!! We got our time and we set off to cool off our horses and get them to pulse down. After getting his tack off, Socks's HR was about 56.....not too bad for a big bodied guy. We got our P & R's done and his final was 44 and 18! Awesome! I know Sereele's was 40 and I think she was 12 for her RR but not positive. CB was very happy with her!!!!! She's going to be a great little endurance girl! =) At the vetting it was either pass or fail and we all passed! YAY! We stayed for the lunch and then packed up and set off for home, tired but happy we finished the ride, safe, unharmed, and within the time given with 3 minutes to spare!!!! WOO HOO!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

7/5/10 HEAT WAVE..............

So, lately, the temperature has been pretty oppresive. We've had high humidity and high temps in the 90's or so. I opted out of riding for the weekend of the 4th but decided that I should probably make some feeble attempt at riding seeing as my wonderful orange steed needs to work or his brain fizzles. At any rate, I showed up at the barn in the late afternoon and decided that bareback was the way to go. CB showed up and we "tacked" up our horses and off we went. Well, I had to get on Socks first and that was a challenge as he decided it was too hot for a rider and didn't want to stand still next to the bucket so I could get on. Finally, after a bit of manuevering, we were one! CB walked Sereele up to the usual spot on Ball Hill Rd before getting on. I must say I was a bit nervous as the only time I usually ride bareback is the winter where there's snow to "cushion" the fall but there I was, sitting astride my boy and riding stirrup-less! The horse flies were horrid and at one point, CB said "Let's move out a bit..." and we picked up a nice little jog up the street. I commented on how we had regressed to 9 year old status again as lately we've been VERY wimpy about our riding abilities. CB and Sereele have come leaps and bounds and are a great pair! =) Sereele has been doing great lately, trailering alone, riding alone and with larger groups and without any fuss. YAY! Well, we only ventured halfway to the Mt. Pisgah opening and turned around to go home. I got off of Socks at Maplewood to handwalk home and boy were my legs dirty from riding him! YIKES! He was a very good boy and only acted up at Maplewood by trying to go in the driveway there instead of up the street. He wasn't bad for handwalking home either which is something I don't usually like to do. I must say that I've been having fun with this horse this year and I'm glad that CB and Sereele are there to share my adventures with.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lake Dennison

So, Sunday morning, bright and early, CB and I packed up the kids and headed out to Lake Dennison to ride with Becca and Lou. It always sounds like a good idea the night before....but that morning both of us were dead tired. Off we went anyhow. Socks loaded on the trailer like he was walking into a stall.....threw us both for a loop. He always takes a few tries to get on! Cool! The ride there was uneventful which is always a plus. We arrived and just as we unloaded, Becca and Lou showed up too. This would be Sonny's first time riding with us as he was kind of "broken" for all the Vermont rides. All the horses seemed pretty calm and we all tacked up and got ready to go. Poor Lou was a bit nervous and had her nervous coughs and Roo had his nervous diarrhea..we joked around saying it was ok as long as it wasn't the other way round!!! =0 Off we all went at a walk and we ran into Becca's cousin who informed us that the deerflies were on the warpath. UGH! Indeed they were! We walked a bit and then trotted with Lou and Bec in front. So far so good. Everyone was behaving it was great. As the ride went on and we all exchanged positions being first middle and last, we all trotted and it was great. There were a few bobbles with Sonny trying to misbehave a bit and Socks had some weird jumping/mega cantering but no harm done. We even trotted out 4 wide across the road! How awesome was that?!?!?!? We got back, untacked and gave the kids their lunches. Bec and Lou had quite the spread, cookies, crackers, soda, Gatorade......woo hoo! Everyone was chilled out until a crashing, bashing big ole trailer came down the road. The horses got a little spooked and Socks kept calling the horses.....he's such a social butterfly that one. Well, after they unloaded their horses, they unloaded their carriages!!! Time to jet outta there! Once again, Socks walked on the trailer like it was his room and Sereele self loaded as usual.....SIGH....someday maybe Socks will do that....We said our goodbyes and we headed home happy with the latest ride. We're making some real progress with our steeds! =)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vermont Vacation!!!!! June 6th-June 12th

Well, where to begin?!? Of course, it was a rainy morning and Carolyn and I had packed pretty much everything the night before so only thing left to do was get the kids on the trailer and get outta Berlin! Of course, Socks was a nut on the crossties....but thankfully, went on the trailer with little fuss and of course Miss Sereele walked on no problemo! Time to hit the road!!! YAY! This was a special trip not only because it was vacation, but I had been keeping the fact that Judy was joining us up there from CB for many months.....hopefully it was to be a good surprise.
The trip up was pretty uneventful, thanks to not a lot of traffic and the pretzel M&M's I brought along. Our only exciting moment was the bridge that CB doesn't care for. Apparently, she really wanted to get over it as soon as possible because it felt like we took it at 100 MPH (just kidding, but it did seem fast). We were laughing over that for a bit....who knew we were going to an amusement park ride during the trip? ;-)
We arrived to Cowshed the pouring rain...and Becca and Lou had already made it up....and were hiding Judy. =) CB and I got out and got the kids in the stalls and settled. While CB was going over things with Marty the owner of the cabin, Lou and Becca were coming out with Judy sneaking behind them to the barn. Just as CB was finishing up with Marty, I stepped in front of CB and said, "We have a surprise for you..." and out popped Judy! What an awesome surprise and there were some happy tears proved to be a fun week. And then, Socks bonked me on the head....yay me.....thought I was going to have a big black eye! CB also had a surprise for us. She bought us all beads to wear in our horses' manes that had different meanings, hers was turquoise, for sure footedness, Lou got purple for calming, Becca got jade for hope and healing, Judy got garnet colored for courageousness and heart and I got amber...didn't have a meaning but I deemed it to control his feather brain as it had a metal feather and some bead feathers on mine. =)
The rain stopped enough for a quick ride around the "block" which was nice and lasted about an hour. Prior to that, we all went to Lindsay's for a BBQ. Terry Holland was there and did the cooking and as usual, Lindsay put out the welcome mat for us. We had so much food, chicken, burgers, red hot dogs, chips, cakes, fruit...the whole nine yards. We also got to see Magneto...what a big boy he is now and very handsome. We were also informed that Lindsay's friend Elna offered her TW horse Poppy for Judy to use. Very cool!
We were supposed to ride with Lindsay the next day but she had some things to do so we went out on our own and got to enjoy the roads and trails up there.....SIGH..why can't we have some nice dirt roads or trails near us?
Lindsay came with Cameo the next day and CB, Judy and I joined her for a nice ride. Cameo is a lovely girl and only a few short years ago, was a rearer and hard to ride. Lindsay gave us a great ride and is also a great tour guide as well, pointing out things of interest. I was pretty impressed that Socks was ok with riding with 3 other horses and doing relatively well. He thought that Poppy was very interesting to watch and he got severely annoying when he would stop and wait to see if everyone else was a herding dog!
I also got to ride with Becca and Cherokee so Lou could ride with CB. I had fun catching up with Bec and Cherokee is such a star! He got pulled out of retirement to go on the trip because Sonny was having some lameness issues.
Thursday it rained again so Lindsay played tour guide and we decided to go out to lunch and then to the Raptor Rehab center. We went to a nice little place and the food was pretty good. I ended up getting a BLT wrap instead of chicken fingers for once (CB got them instead). Off we went to VINS. The man in the store was very nice and Becca had found some $2 off coupons at the restaurant but not enough for the whole group but the man let us all have the discount. Cool! We got to see Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles and some barn owls and the screech owls. It was very interesting and I got a few pictures but most of them were blurry. We also went and watched a short program where they show you two of their birds. One was an owl, very pretty with huge eyes and a missing wing. The other was a hawk who couldn't fend for herself...had a bit of a head tilt but looked ok. It was very cool to see her interact with her handler. It showed how much they respected each other....and also how many mouse pieces it took to make the bird happy. ICK!
Friday, CB's aunt Lynda came up with her friend Ann and their horses Tonto and Tux. Unfortunately, Ann had an accident and fell off Tux and got a concussion! How scary. She was ok but didn't join us in our ride that day so it was just Lynda and her handsome boy. Lindsay brought Khadi with her this time......and also another friend of hers Barbara. So, this was a big group going out, Lindsay, Barbara, myself, CB, Lynda and Lou, who rode Poppy. Khadi was pretty hot and wanted to just go, kudos to Lindsay for making it look easy! Socks had a bit of an episode but got over it.....he wasn't too bad although I was convinced he was horrid, thank God for good friends who can set me straight. Lynda went back to change and we all got ready to go out to dinner, Ann joined us for that. We went to Spooner's and had a nice meal and to to talk with the ladies on their travels. What a cool trip that they were going on!
Well, Saturday came and, of course, it was raining. Guess it made it easier to leave...would have been harder if it was nice out. We packed up our belongings and loaded up the kids. And, just like he did when we got there, Socks popped me in the head again but this time bounced my head off the corner of the trailer door. Oh boy, stars! UGH! The ride home would have been uneventful had I put the muck tub in the trailer and not the back of CB's truck. We kept hearing thumping noises and I got nervous that someone was down or hurt or something but CB pointed out that it was too rhythmic to be a horse.....good point. Knowing that turning around I wouldn't be able to see the horses, I did so anyhow to see the muck tub bouncing in the breeze. So, we pulled over, I threw the tub in the trailer and voila, no more noise. UGH, again I say, what a dope I was. We got home, tired and depressed that we had to return to "normalcy" again but had some great memories.

Friday, May 14, 2010

We've got to get better at this.....

Yup, we've got to be better at posting on here.....posts are so sporadic. Sunday, we're attempting a 10 mile ride in Pepperall. It will be the last "big" ride before our vacation in Vermont.....although, I'm not too sure how much relaxing I'm going to get with these three endurance women...ha ha ha. Socks is in pretty good shape and as much as I rag on his orange color and lack of paintings, he's a really nice looking horse. =) He's been having little belly aches lately, pretty sure it's the grass giving him cramps so on to a probiotic he went. If that doesn't work, my vet Dr. Heidi Williams has suggested some ulcer meds but to definately try the probiotic. It seemed to be working while he was on it anyhow.
Well, I hope to have a great post after Sunday's ride.

Monday, April 19, 2010

other side of the rainbow

Chris and I decided to venture out with our horses to a new location in RI for our first organized ride of the season. chris could have gone with Shawn to a motorcycle thing, but I was very grateful she decided to ride with me. the weather forecast was bad all week, rain, maybe snow. but I REALLY wanted to go! need to get our horses in shape for vermont in June and need to expose sereele to new places and other horses on the trail. she has been doing great, minimal tripping, no falling and a great attitude. So we met at 6:30 am to some patchy blue sky and decided to go for it. Socks was a nervous wreck in the barn, he knew something was up and had himself frazzled. but he loaded without much trouble at all. sereele stood quietly while I washed some of her manure stains off and then hopped right in the trailer. the best girl. the ride was about 1 1/2 hours away and the longer we drove, the worse the weather. first sprinkles, then showers, then outright rain. and cold. ug. chris called to see if the ride was still on but no answer. the route there was confusing and my GPS was dead so we went by mapquest directions. which were apparently wrong. we turned off 95S and ended up on a multilane highway in a busy area, no signs to tell us where to go. pulled into wendy's to ask for directions but it was closed. turned the trailer around in a RV lot because chris had seen a horse trailer going the opposite way. so we went that way and eventually found the place! very nice area and the sun came out! we were so lucky, it ended up being a really beautiful day. socks had been banging on the way down, a lovely new habit he has developed and was a little sweaty. we checked in with the unorganized ride manager and asked what markers we would be following. oh, no markers, just go out and ride around. huh? why are we paying then? for the cupcake? we started tacking up, sereele of course standing nicely. I held socks while chris put on his saddle, well tried to hold him, he was all pent up and charging around. then she went to put his bridle on and POOF he was gone. he ran away a little and the ride managers group became like a scene from "dawn of the dead" walking slowly toward him in a semicircle making clucking noises. it was SO bizzare. they were like a group of deranged zombies and socks was outta there! he let me catch him with sereele, chris got the bridle on and eventualy mounted and we were off! the trails were beautiful, great terrain, wide enough for 2, and we rode along a huge river. there were seagulls and big boats. and huge hotels across the water. and lobster boats. what? this was the ocean! so cool! we even found a spot to go down to the water and stepped our horses on the beach, very exciting:) both horses were being awesome. we trotted and trotted, around and around and around and around the same trails. very annoying that we didn't have any markers to follow. socks started getting pretty pissed off that we kept going past the trails that led us back to the trailer and had a couple of hissy fits. threatening to rear and backing up 50 feet in defiance. sereele watched his antics with interest. she knew the way back to and asked to go that way, when I said no this way, it was like she said, OK! lets go this way! she did some spooks and hipchucked socks who was actually very tolerant of her silliness. we knew there was more to this ride and chris not being blind like me (yet, haha, just wait till 45) saw a sign that said equestrian trails so off we went. trotted some more, got lost. let the horses take us back out the right way, they are too smart. Sereele got to go past horses for the first time and did very well. she passed baby strollers, 100 different dogs, a junkyard, heard a train and handled it all perfectly. we let them canter up one hill, nice. we rode about 2 hours mostly at the trot and walked back in for about 10 minutes. then she saw it. was almost past it and caught it out of the corner of her eye - the TREE WITH BOOBS. she jumped in the air with all 4 feet and maybe even kicked out at it. I was so happy with her, she seems to really trust me and tries to be good. she drank out of puddles and kept her cool even when excited. she wasn't very trippy but did one bad stumble and fell to one knee, recovered and kept trotting. chris said the ground there was rooty and rocky. (thanks for making me feel better) ug. so disappointing, she just has the perfect disposition if she can only figure out her feet! so we arrived back at the trailers, very hot in our winter coats! we untacked and POOF, socks took off again. the zombie people moved in their clucking semi circle again and questioned heading toward the road. what? one said chris needed a head collar for him. chris said she needed a sledge hammer for him. she was very very mad. sereele didn't even get upset when he disappeared, she just ate her lunch. unreal. we let them eat grass for a bit and then loaded up. socks went right in and rode niceley. as we got closer to home it was raining and sleeting and very windy, had been a horrible day at home, we were so happy we decided to be optimistic even though it goes against both of our natures. hahaha. but we never did get our 20.00 cupcake:(.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Things that make you go $%^&*@#!!!!!

So, Saturday, CB and I decided to trek out on our steeds. It was a a beautiful and warm day so we were pretty happy to be able to feel our appendages before the ride. As we were going to into the woods that day, I decided to go bareback....who needs a saddle? We set out on the road towards the main trail. Both kids were pretty sedate and calm....awesome! I was pretty happy that Socks was being so "blah". However, that all ended when we plunged into the snow bank and into the trail. The beginning of the trail is a hill so naturally, both Sereele and Socks got all pumped up and started trotting rather fast....Socks and I actually cantered a bit before I reined him in. Ok, so the first hill is always exciting.....should be ok from here now. NOPE! Both horses were so pumped up for the rest of the ride. Socks was right behind Sereele which was totally aggravating her and she was swishing her tail and one time, actually bucked up at him. I didn't blame her though. Socks was like riding Zak all over again....sweaty, jigging, pulling, and running up behind the horse in front of him. UGH! We also jumped a small little stream and almost into a tree!!!!!! BAREBACK!!!!!!!!! I was bound and determined not to fall off this horse and not to lose any of my confidence that I have gained over the last year! CB had a hard time with Sereele, she was totally pumped and let out a few little bucks and was chomping the bit and pulling a little. Towards the end, they calmed down a little bit until we came to a very low branch. CB got off of Sereele and they went under and just barely cleared it. I slid off Socks and he ducked underneath the branch and made it. YAY! Now, I have to find something to boost myself back on my horse.....we walked down the trail and found a rock. Socks wouldn't stand next to it so I had a hard time sliding back on his back.....he was also pretty sweaty so sliding wasn't so easy......euw! Socks and I went first on the way back and he calmed down a lot....thank God! Once we hit the road, both horses turned back into the plow horses that they were pretending to be in the beginning of the ride before the trail. BRATS! We almost got to Maplewood and the kids across the street were in their homemade ice skating rink. I decided to call it a day and got off and walked Socks home and CB did the same. No sense pushing them anymore......UGH!
We survived!
Sunday, we went out again. We decided to do the 5 mile loop trailwork and stick to the road. Both horses were almost slug-like. Hmmmm, did we overdo it yesterday kids? Aside from some scary snowballs on the side of the road, Sereele was great and Socks was good as well. Guess we have to get out more and hopefully, by the spring, they'll be well behaved? SURE!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Happy New Year? Ok, so, going to shoot for a good one this year? My first maiden ride of the season was last Sunday when it was about 25 degrees out. What was I thinking when I thought that was "warm"?!? Oh well. I had my misgivings about was cold, I hadn't ridden Socks in over a month, it was cold.....but at high noon we decided it was time.
Carolyn and Sereele have already been out and about but it's been so long since Socks and I did anything aside from me blanketing or unblanketing him. I think he went into shock when I put him on the crossties! He also made a rotten face when I put his saddle on....oh boy...what am I getting myself into? All tacked up and ready to go...we went outside and I got on...what a rush to be on my horse again. I felt like a little girl getting on her pony for the first time, felt good. =)
We decided to attempt the trails via Maplewood Farm so up the street we went. Socks felt good and CB and Sereele walked up the street until we got into Ball Hill Rd. She (Sereele) was a bit pumped but was acting ok....spooky here and there, nothing too crazy. At the top of the hill near the driveway of Maplewood is a house that makes their own skating rink every year and the kids apparently seem to turn into evil monsters to the horses and they got pretty nervous hearing and seeing them. Sereele got scared and Socks decided to play chicken with a car coming down the road!!!!!! Ok, got passed that little scare and into the woods we go.....well....after Socks planted his feet in the driveway and wouldn't go despite Sereele and CB walking away....UGH. The woods were nice...snow wasn't bad and I picked up a little trot for 5 steps....woo hoo!!! Ha ha ha. Sereele was pumped pretty much the whole ride, she kept wanting to trot and finally we gave in and just trotted against our better judgements. We also, in our giddy frame of mind, decided to take a longer loop around the woods......bad idea.....we were pretty cold by the time we got to head back home. We also kept pointing out all the places where horrible things happened in the past years......ah, memories. Got out of the woods and back on the road and headed home. By the time we got in the barn, all thoughts of cleaning stalls and pastures were dashed. I was, for a better word, convulsing from the cold and CB was pretty cold herself. Stalls and pastures could wait for sure! So, we got out, survived, no one was hurt and we had a pretty good time anyhow. AND, we rode for 2 hours!!!!!!!!! On to bigger and better things I hope....and warmer days as well.