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    04-30-2013, 11:55 PM
Ugh. So it's official. My trainer is leaving the barn. I knew it was coming but I'm surprised that her last day is this Saturday!! I'm pretty freaked out right now since I don't know what happens next. She and I had a heart to heart on Sunday so I knew she was giving her notice this week. She is trying to find a barn that she can rent stalls in that we can go to. She has a couple of clients in the milwaukee area and a couple more by me so she is trying to find something in between. If it is close enough for me to drive to them I will definitely go with her (provided it won't be more expensive) but if it's too far to drive then I have no clue where I'm going to go.
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    05-05-2013, 11:14 AM
Still no word on where my trainer is going. The barn owner took me aside and told me that they would like me to stay and try their new trainer before I decide and she's been very attentive to me lately to drive the point home that apparently they don't want me to leave. So strange to me since a rich person would most likely take my spot and they could make more money. Now, suddenly, they are all for B shows and the new trainer will take us there. Weird, because they never let the old trainer take us to them. Whatever, I'm sick of paying the unbelievable amount for board and training there so I'd like to find a new place anyways.

I did have a good lesson with the very attentive barn owner on friday. We did a couple of interesting exercises including riding with one hand down at your side and jumping while looking to the side to see how many fingers the trainer was holding up. She also had me jump with my eyes closed for the first time. Pretty cool. Jack did well except for his butt flip/kicking out around the corner, of which I'm getting pretty sick.

Went to Arlington to watch the races for my birthday yesterday, which was Derby Day. I placed the minimum bet on the races and actually came out ahead on betting. I did a great job picking them. I went with a long shot, Overanalyze, for the Derby and didn't do so well there, but it was only $2 a bet. If I go again I will be dressing up though. The hats were fantastic!
    05-09-2013, 08:50 PM
Jack was completely insane today. The trainer rode him on saturday but he didn't go out this morning. I tried to lunge him but then he did an amazing manuver and got the lunge line under his front leg so I had to let go. He ran around the arena for a while and I was finally able to get back on start the lesson. This was my first lesson with Mark so it wasn't a great start. He even asked my friend if Jack was usually like this. Ugh. He was trying to buck while tied in the wash rack, swishing his tail the entire ride and kicking out really bad. Mark wants me to get after him with a crop (not beat him or anything) to try and get him to stop the kicking out so I guess I will try that in our lesson tomorrow.

Lane is still hunting for a new place for us to work out of. She has 3 barns that I could move to temporarily but 1 of them is over an hour away and the other 2 are the same price as the one I am at. I'm giving her a little more time to figure stuff out but I am hoping that wherever she ends up is either cheaper or allows me to trailer in. I figure it was cost about $280 a month to keep him at home including gas to trailer to and from the new barn for lessons. If I spend $400 a month on training then I'm saving $370 a month. I can put that to good use. No, I won't be able to ride quite as much but I've been spending way too much a month. Time will tell.
    05-12-2013, 01:07 PM
Jack was even worse for Friday's lesson. I lunged him first but he was still just so crazy. He was kicking out the entire time and even starting to add little bucks. He was snorting like crazy and chomping even more than usual. After we did a little bit I told Mark that this was the first time that Jack had ever made me afraid of what he was going to do, so I got off and Mark took over. He worked a lot on leg yielding but when Jack kicked out he got smacked for it, which of course caused him to kick out more.

He was better by the end so I got back on and Mark explained what he was doing. I'm supposed to stay off the rail except for in the corners and try to keep his butt to the inside instead of the outside. If he kicks out I need to smack him and hold on. I don't know if this is spring fever or what but I don't like it one bit. We were supposed to go to a show the first week of June but I'm pretty sure we are going to skip it at this point. Maybe he's mad that Lane is gone since that's when the trouble started, but that doesn't seem very logical since she wasn't riding him very often. I'm giving him 2 days off to see if this is some sort of soreness issue and then Mark is riding him on Tuesday. Finger's crossed.

Magic has laminitis so she is on a bute regimen to get it under control. We are on day 3 and I am not very impressed so I will probably call the vet again tomorrow. Getting old sucks.
    05-15-2013, 04:27 PM
We had a really bad storm blow through last night and when I got to the barn I noticed the lean to in the pasture Jack is in during the day was flipped over. I'm glad he wasn't out there for it but the horses that were out there were fine. The lean to was even anchored in, but the anchors were pretty small. That's the 3rd lean to I have seen flipped over out here. Somehow ours are staying put. The 200+ pounds of grain in the minis lean to make it much less likely I'm sure.

Jack was much better today. Mark said he didn't act up yesterday, just wouldn't track straight (which is normal for him). Today we worked on a line with ground poles and 2 diagonal X's just focusing on straightness and not letting the hip swing out after landing. He only kicked out once but I couldn't get the spot before the jump at all. Focusing on the straightness I sort of lost the rest of the picture.

I think I have Mark convinced that we should move Jack to outdoor board for the summer. That would save me $300 and I think Jack would be much happier. We are going to have to keep a close eye on his weight though. I hope that he doesn't start to lose conditioning out there because then we will have to bring him back in. Ugh.
    05-23-2013, 07:30 PM
Mark rode Jack again on Tuesday and I don't know what he's doing but it's working so far. Yesterday Jack was excellent. He didn't kick out at all and was listening very well. Today he was good, tracked pretty straight and listened well. We had good spots and got our strides right. Halfway through the lesson he started kicking out though. We had a couple of good strike outs and several were along the long side of the ring which is unusual for him. It's usually coming out of a corner.

I'm really starting to fear that this is a soreness issue. I hope that it is soreness due to lack of muscling because we can fix that. We got a full set of xrays in his ppe and he's on a glucosamine (mostly preventative, I had hoped). Since there isn't any obvious lameness I don't really think I could afford the vet visit to figure anything out. Also, he has no problem with the jumping part, in fact, he is jumping in fantastic form right now. Today he felt really great and Kim said he looked like a hunter.

I had to pass on a show this weekend due to work and the next B show is not going to happen because both my old trainer and all the trainers at the new barn are going to be gone. There is an A show in Illinois that the barn is taking 25 horses to! I looked at the bill and I might be able to show but I'm not sure I should. It would be more expensive than the local ones and much bigger competition (ie more embarrassment when he kicks out during a hunter class).

I guess we shall see what we will do. There aren't any 2'9" jumper classes for Kim to go into (the smallest is 3'1") so she won't be going for sure so it makes it harder for me to rationalize going.
    06-01-2013, 04:55 PM
Jack has been changed to full turn out and already gave himself a couple of nasty scrapes. Oh well. He can be sane and scraped up or beautiful and crazy. I guess I take the former.

The trainers really think he has ulcers so I was told a little trick to avoid the cost of scoping. I bought a bottle of generic maalox and gave Jack 60ml 20 minutes before our lesson. He was amazing. Relaxed, willing, calm. Not chomping at the bit, not flicking his tail and definitely not kicking out. "Like butter" the head trainer said. At first I thought maybe it was from the turnout but Jack proved to me that it was ulcers. It was a large lesson and it lasted about an hour. After we had been riding for about 40 minutes the Maalox wore off. He was kicking out, chomping and anxious. Everyone was shocked at how instant the difference was. One moment he was a perfect gentleman and the next he was insane.

So, he has ulcers and without the ulcers he could be my awesome, fun little hunter. The trainer says the gastroguard treatment for 1 month is about $1000 and that's just the treatment. After that is done we will have to do something for a daily preventative and that could be a $250 for a 1/4 dose of gastroguard. I'm almost more frustrated at this than if we couldn't figure it out at all. Now I know what the problem is but I don't know if I can afford to fix it. I will call the vet tomorrow to talk about options but my head and heart just hurt right now.
    06-16-2013, 12:28 AM
We've been having some down time since everyone is at lamplight and the barn is dead quiet. I've been riding less and no cantering or jumping. My vet also started him on ranitidine 300mg 10 tabs bid x 2-3 weeks starting tonight. Should have some improvement by our lesson on Thursday. At least enough to know that we are on the right track. Only $40 for the first 2 weeks (that's a bottles worth, the vet said not to buy the second bottle in case we don't see any difference after 2 weeks.) Much more appropriate pricing. The vet thought it was silly to start with the big guns, especially since we didn't scope so we are still "guessing" that it's ulcers. I have my fingers crossed.

The best news is that my old trainer finally filled us in on the new place she found. Kim and I went on Thursday for a tour and it is amazing. It used to be a vet clinic and it is empty now. Needs some paint and tlc. 19 stalls, heated, 2 round pens, smallish indoor, 2 outdoors (one is massive), huge hunt field, pastures and paddocks galore. The outdoor board pastures are absolutely huge. Jack will be able to really run around out there. The best part is the barn manager (who is renting the place to own) will keep a very tight ship. Only a couple horses be pasture and she will let the pastures rest so they don't get ruined. I have no clue why more barns don't do this, it makes better use of the land that you have. The paddocks are also very cool (even though Jack wouldn't use them). There is a 50x50 dry lot with a long skinny pasture attached by gate. In bad weather they just use the front part but when it's nice all of the horses will be able to stretch their legs like a horse should.

The manager wants to have clinics, some small shows and would like to host a derby since it has the beautiful hunt field. The only down side is the indoor is smaller than the one at CHF. Although, it may be an optical illusion because this one has a normal rafter ceiling and the one at CHF is raised and finished off so it looks a lot bigger. It's also painted white and the new barn is very dark. It also is not insulated or heated right now, but she says she will have that done before winter.

The place has a lot of character and the stalls are nice. Lots of storage, full kitchen, lounge with a fire place. Just overall a really neat place. Very quiet and I just can't get over all the pastures and paddocks. There are 10 dry lots with connected paddocks. Just so cool. Even Kim liked it!

The catch is that I am still waiting on her to send me the price list. She says it should be the same as CHF. A little disappointing that I won't be saving any money but the place is so nice that I really can't argue with the costs they will have. If the prices are good then I think we will be moving there. Hopefully for July!
    06-19-2013, 03:09 PM
Jack has been on the ranitidine for about 8 doses so far and he was actually improved today. I haven't ridden since last week and we haven't jumped in 2 weeks. We worked on cavaletti around a circle, 4 strides in between each. We had a couple of kick outs but really he was really good. Especially since we were doing a tight circle the entire time and normally that really sets him off. It was a very short lesson since we had been off for a while but we will jump outside tomorrow. After the lesson we went outside to the jump field to hack and Jack was a total brat. I'm super confused as to how an outdoor horse can be barn sour, but there you have it. Just another thing for us to work on.

I still haven't heard about the pricing at the new barn. I sent her a text to see if she had answers for me.

Jacks fly sheet has been shredded, so I'm going to have to replace that soon. He is completely covered in scrapes and I think the scrape on his back leg might be getting some proud flesh on it. Always something I swear.

The transformer outside of our house got struck by lightning last wednesday and we are still sorting through what has been ruined. In the end it will cost us $1000 deductible but we will have to pay to replace the crap and get reimbursed. The brand new tv, well pump and control panel, hot water heater control panel, garbage disposal etc. Frustrating because things keep happening that cost us so much extra and at this rate I won't ever be able to go to a single show. =(
    06-27-2013, 07:43 PM
Last Saturday I joined a couple other people for a lesson before joining my brother's family for the day. They had a grid set up that we worked through a bunch of times. Kim and the others were going higher but he kept lowering it back down for me. Then he asked me if I thought my horse could jump higher than Kim's horse. I didn't think before I spoke and said yes and of course that was actually a challenge. A small game of higher-higher ensued. We got up to 3'6" before the trainer stopped the lesson. Jack was absolutely loving it! I was too. I haven't jumped that high since I was a teenager! The best part is that Jack's jump is so nice that it didn't really feel that big. I can't wait until we are able to jump that height regularly.

Yesterday though, Jack was kicking out a lot and crow hopping. I was really afraid that the ranitidine wasn't actually working and that I was going to have to go to plan B. Today he was great though! He didn't kick out a single time so I was very relieved. Maybe he will just have some rough days. He was very responsive and in a very good mood. The mistakes today were all mine. The head trainer is really getting after me about my posture. I totally agree with him on it but I just can't seem to really fix it. I think I'm getting better, but that trainer doesn't really work on a gradient. It's either good or bad with him and right now it's just bad. I was also having trouble with my distance to a line oxer-4 stride-vertical. I just kept going around and getting the same bad distance. I tried to change my approach but I just kept getting there the same way. It was quite irritating. I did get it the last time around and then we got to jump the water oxer (folded over to half length). Jack didn't even look at it.

I feel like I've really I've gotten my confidence back. I'm not afraid of the jumps anymore. Now I just have to show that confidence by sitting up properly.

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