Horse Talk for people over 50 - Page 791 - The Horse Forum
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post #7901 of 8031 Old 12-25-2018, 11:56 AM
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Change View Post
Hi Tracy, and welcome! Like Celeste said, 55 is still young. I'm 60 and most of my riding is done solo. The only concession I've made for old age is that I now wear a helmet. Of course, it took hitting the ground 3 times this past year to convince me, but hey... I always was hard headed! LOL.
Haha, I made the helmet concession this year too, at 51. Just chalking it up to being a little wiser though, not age. lol.

It took hitting the ground hard last spring. Still don't know how it happened, what happened, or who found me. Got real lucky. Haven't been on a horse since w/o one.
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post #7902 of 8031 Old 12-31-2018, 08:16 PM
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Location: Southern California
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Happy New Year everybody. The winds have returned, I am back to watering. There may be wind in Pasadena tomorrow, so that may affect the floats for any of you that watch the Rose Parade. They did back off Sunday and I was able to ride.
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post #7903 of 8031 Old 01-04-2019, 09:25 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
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Have hardly ridden at all. Just feeding, cleaning, blanketing, feeding, cleaning, blanketing.

February 1st Pippa is going off to Pony Reform School. What I will do with Brooke I have not decided. She has never been a solo horse and I don't think she should start now. My idea of boarding with my riding teacher fell through as she bought a horse to fill the stall Brooke was going to have.

Right now I have the following possibilities:

1. buy Brooke another pony. This would solve the long-term problem of leaving Pippa alone when I go on those long, even multi-day rides I dream of doing next summer. In this scenario, I would try to find an indoor to rent riding time in.

2. board Brooke at a friend's boarding stable about 18 minutes away -- her horse is also leaving for training and I could take his slot. No indoor there but they do have a big flat rather dry field they use as an arena.

3. board Brooke 36 minutes away at a full-service stable with an indoor.

I have leads on all three options but need to follow them up and find out whether they are real or not.

Meanwhile, it is supposed to be in the forties today, I thought I might finally saddle up and at least ride on the one short trail dry enough to be safe. The others are for ice skating only. But so far, it is twenty-two. The sun is out though.

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post #7904 of 8031 Old 01-09-2019, 10:12 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
Posts: 6,066
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Went for a ride last week. It was about thirty degrees and icy. I had the idea I would let Pippa come with, on the little trail loop I had planned -- it is the only loop dry enough to feel even slightly safe on. But she was so restless and hyped up I had not even gotten past my first neighbor's field before I was too worried about her running crazy to continue. There are old barbed wire fences buried in weeds out there. So I took her back and went out with Brooke alone.

Brooke had her studded boots on all four feet, and did not slip at all. She was sticky and reluctant for the first quarter mile, which is usual after a long hiatus. Then she saw a car parked in a new place at my neighbor's barn and wanted to throw a tizzy about that. But settled and we took the trailhead out into the forest. Then she discovered her bottled up energy. Oh my. Walking was no longer in her repertoire, only prancing. When we got to a long ascent I let her go a little. She picked up a snorty, gorgeously collected canter which wanted to be a dead run. When we got to the top she shook her head, feeling wicked, so I got off and led her down the other side (which was a lot steeper). An earlier me would have chanced it, but not this me. Then we Morgan-walked home at a hundred miles an hour. It was a really short ride but fun, if a bit scary.

A few days later Pippa had an Incident. The night before there had been something in the woods that Brooke was very nervous about. A bear, or a moose or a yeti or a horse-snatcher -- I didn't see anything, but Brooke would not come in to eat. The result was that most likely Pippa ate both their dinners. The next morning she would not touch her food, and was lying down on the icy gravel which she never does. I took her vitals, nothing seemed amiss, but I called the vet anyway. Who came out, said something was wrong although it didn't feel dire to him, gave her banamine and milk of magnesia, and went away. Pippa recovered uneventfully but I still have milk of magnesia stains on my jacket.

So yesterday it was real nasty out. Dark, cold, with an icy drizzle. I had four appointments in widely spaced directions including a hand x-ray (my left hand has never been great since that day last fall when Pippa sat on it). Considering that I really hate driving, especially on freeways and in cities, I had signed up for way too much, but I felt a lot of pressure to solve my What Shall I Do With Pippa-less Brooke dilemma.

I rescheduled the hand x-ray and drove twenty miles to a boarding stable where one of their elder horses just had had to be put down so a stall had opened up. The stable turned out to be a sprawling collection of random sheds and old barns and patched-together paddocks and fields. There was a big rental house full of young people coming and going (it's a college town) and it took me awhile to figure out where the owners' house was. They turned out to be a very nice older couple who gave the impression of struggling to keep up with the enterprise they'd been running for many years. Disrepair was evident everywhere. The indoor arena was half full of projects, a small wood-shop (I know Brooke would appreciate the bandsaw), makeshift stalls, and parked vehicles. The horses appeared friendly and well-cared for, but the stall Brooke would be put in at night looked like a little prison to me -- a tiny window looking into the barn was the only opening -- the door was solid wood. Poor Brooke, I thought. The only time she has ever been closed up in a stall was for injury or a truly big storm, and never alone like this.

I thanked them for their tour, drove off with a headache and filled with worries, facing an hour drive through a large city on an empty stomach to go look at a small pony a lady was reluctant to sell me without me taking his larger buddy as well. I came to my senses, cancelled my visit there, got some lunch, and went home for a short break. Then I drove in the other direction to go look at another boarding situation and another pony on offer.

This pony was an obese gray Connemara mare with a lot of training on her, though now rusty for lack of work. She had been a show pony in her day. Even fat, muddy and hairy, you could see the very pretty horse under there. The great thing about her is that she was not far away, and she could be simply borrowed for Pippa's time away and returned if she did not suit. Another positive is that she is big enough for almost any reasonably-sized adult to ride. Hard to say exactly, because she is mutton withered and (did I mention this yet?) fat, but I'd guess about 13.3.

She does have some issues, including a tendency to seedy toe, difficulty with the farrier, and a dry winter cough. If I kept her, she would have to be dry-lotted or wear a grazing muzzle.

I could also board Brooke there, in a drylot with the Connemara, who has a sort of plastic hoop house for shelter. Considering that I have never seen Brooke use her stall for shelter beyond standing under the overhang in a rain storm, I think it would be adequate. It is clear to me that I would far prefer to bring another horse here, so that Miss Brooke could then remain under my watchful eye and loving persnickety hand, than board anywhere. Plus oh my gosh boarding is so expensive!!

Today is grooming day but little else. It is snowing lightly with a bitter north wind.

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post #7905 of 8031 Old 01-09-2019, 01:17 PM
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I know there are great boarding situations out there, but for the most part it is always better to have you horses with you. Good luck figuring out your situation, it can take a while but the right horse or situation is out there.
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post #7906 of 8031 Old 01-09-2019, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperbaby22 View Post
I know there are great boarding situations out there, but for the most part it is always better to have you horses with you. Good luck figuring out your situation, it can take a while but the right horse or situation is out there.
I agree, there is nothing so satisfying as caring for your horses yourself. I like this grumpy fat little gray horse, in a funny way. She has one of those beautiful Connemara heads, dark smoky eyes in a white face. She's had a few ups and downs in her life. I could see her joining the herd here.

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post #7907 of 8031 Old 01-09-2019, 07:04 PM
Green Broke
 
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She sounds lovely, and as we all know, there are always compromises with our horses.
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post #7908 of 8031 Old 01-19-2019, 10:44 AM
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Well we had a nice rain for a few days, so yesterday when it cleared out I went down to check out the trails. I just stayed on the high ground, because it was pretty flooded down there. I'll give it a few days to dry out.
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post #7909 of 8031 Old 01-19-2019, 04:17 PM
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I forgot to take photos but I rode the Connemara mare called Della today. Not much, because the ground is frozen, there's no arena just a flat unfenced field, and there is no saddle broad enough for her so it was all bareback. I just walked her around and got a feel for her. She is a flunked out school pony from a fancy riding school nearby -- she started biting children and bucking them off and jerking them off by lowering her head suddenly. I can see how that would happen, she is not one of those nurturing horses who puts up with anything. She didn't try any of that with me although she did randomly stop a few times to see if I would start her up again. We got along very well. I am used to boundary-testing little mares!

She is calm and not at all spooky, but she gets very marish when she is in season, apparently. That's fine with me, she will only be with other mares and in any case she can sit home while I ride Brooke then.

She is a very fancy pony, with a long shoulder and hip and a beautiful neck, and a gorgeous trot (we didn't canter on the frozen ground). Big enough for anybody not a giant to ride. There's a big old nor'easter coming in tonight so she won't be heading to my barn until some time next week. She'll be on a temporary lease/loan for a couple months trial and then when Pippa returns I will make a decision about her. But I liked her even more than the first time I saw her. My friend who boards there and has ridden her says she will jump a house, not that I need a jumper for anything.

Only thing, I don't like her name very much. It reminds me of 1960's soul singers. I tried to find an Irish name (Grainné?) but none seemed to stick to her. I researched Connemara Ponies of which I know nothing, she's the first I ever met, and it appears that they are Ireland's only indigenous breed of horse, and were originally Viking ponies crossed with Spanish Barbs (though they've been adulterated, with Arabian for one, since then). So then I researched the name Della, which is a nickname, originally, for Adelheidis, a Norse name meaning "noble" (from which also Adelheide, Heidi, Adele), which linked her up with Viking ponies and I didn't feel so set against her name. Not calling her Adelheidis though ...

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post #7910 of 8031 Old 01-22-2019, 11:14 AM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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Well, we had a bit of a cold snap. That's 14 below. Does not include the windchill, which put it more like 30 below. When the wind makes your house whistle like a tea kettle, that is real wind.

Horses had to go into the stalls, like it or not. I'm sure they would have survived but I would have lost a night's sleep worrying about them. Tonight it will only be about 5 above, so they can stay out. I'm tired of sifting sawdust for frozen horse turds anyway.
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