Loving the Lame Horse - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 91 Old 03-07-2018, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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@4horses , that is a beautiful story... i had to wipe a tear away. I'm eagerly awaiting the day when Tyra's in her 20s and I am in my 40s and we'll talk about the good old days....
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post #32 of 91 Old 07-14-2018, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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it has been an absolute nightmare these past few months.

things are not working out at my new barn. there is so much to mention it's almost too overwhelming.

in april we went to my first horse show in a very long time. the leaser did the hunters and didn't do so well. it was alright, though. the point of the show, of course, was not to win, but to just have fun. sadly though my leaser took this small, casual schooling show extremely seriously. her ex-trainer came up to use and berated my leaser for leaving her and choosing a “lesser horse” to ride. it was very disheartening but while i wanted to prove the lady wrong, leaser walked away completely crushed. and of course, the hunter round didn’t go great.


however! i did my dressage test for the first time ever, and it was the best performance out of tyra that we’ve ever had. she was light, forward, completely engaged, and piloted me around the arena as if she’d memorized the test, even though we’d only gone over it twice. for test b, we got lost coming in so the judge let us reset and try once more. we walked away with a 70% and 71%, and two first place ribbons! and everyone said this horse couldn’t do dressage!

however, new dynamics at the barn have made it impossible to stay. the scary male bo is now retiring after striking it rich selling stocks, and his alcoholism is getting worse. so we’ve made the decision to leave the barn in a haste, considering he has been staring at me and my leaser like filet mignons…

after a terrible virus broke out, tyra’s best friend passed away and the barn was locked down in quarantine. no one else got sick, but they blamed tyra for potentially bringing the virus? which is ridiculous considering she was never sick… whatever, the barn owners generally cannot decide if they want boarders or not.

so we are going tomorrow to look at a new place on the east bay, far away from the peninsula and the drama. unfortunately i am getting a lot of pushback from the trainer and leaser about leaving. i feel guilty and they have done so much for me but it is time for a change. i just wish they would respect my decision…

this new place has competitive dressage, reining, h/j, eventing, AND endurance teams. yes, teams, because when you join the training programs everyone is in what is called “the training annex” and you all go together to competitions. it sounds awesome! i hope tyra is happy there. the turnout situation will be worse than what we have, but there is an opportunity to migrate her out to the herd in the future which is what we hope to do. i’d love for her to know life as a pasture horse.

oh, and i got a puppy! meet rudy!

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post #33 of 91 Old 07-14-2018, 09:08 AM
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Cute pup. Too bad your leasor is upset, but your horse, your decision.
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post #34 of 91 Old 07-15-2018, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by whisperbaby22 View Post
Cute pup. Too bad your leasor is upset, but your horse, your decision.
if only they acted that way... both the leaser and the trainer freaked out and tried to get me to board at a more expensive barn. i told them no, and i tried to leave on good terms but they both gave me the cold shoulder. :/

turns out male BO is a predator. Parents want to move the horse ASAP, so we are planning on a tuesday trip. I went to look at the new property today and I LOVE it.
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post #35 of 91 Old 07-23-2018, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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so far, so good on the new barn!

we moved in yesterday. i will say point blank i don't think the barn owners were sad to see us go. pretty much put the horse in the trailer and took off. i had no interest in making small talk with them or saying any heartfelt goodbyes. things ended on a bad note, no matter how hard i tried to keep the bridges from burning. unfortunately it is looking like the barn owner will control the story of why we left, but in the end i guess it doesn't matter. we are gone, moving on, and that is what counts.

getting in the trailer was so cute. it was a straight load, and tyra had never been on a straight load before, but she would initially not go in. just planted her feet and said "no." so the barn owner tried, and still we struggled to get her inside. i came around the side of the trailer to encourage her and she kept looking over at me like "is this it? was i bad? are you getting rid of me?" it was heartbreaking, but cute at the same time. eventually, after a few moments she stepped in, nickered to her friends and we were off.

[IMG][/IMG]

the new ranch is... very different from what we are used to. my stall included 2 bags of bedding (wasn't enough!!!), mats, and hay morning and evening. the good news is they would put it in a hay net, and they feed generous amounts, not skimpy hay like at our old barn. it may be set at 4 flakes, but these flakes were big.





moving wasn't too much stress. people were nice or had the decency not to say anything as we gathered our things and moved it to the new shed. i got my own tack locker that was just a giant tupperwear shed, but what can you do? it is good enough for what we want to do. i had bought shelving and a place to put my english saddles. my dad doesn't want to build us anything extravegant until we know we are staying at the new barn.



no riding on the first day but we walked around and met everyone. people were nice and said hi but i am still feeling rather shy. tyra was excellent, just walked right behind me with her head down. i don't think it's hit her yet that this is our new home.







today when i went i did get on her and nervously took her into the indoor arena. to my amazement everything was fine. we worked a bit on long and low and extended trot, and cantered one direction because we were struggling with keeping it together. the footing is some sort of dirt and felt mixture, really high-end stuff but tyra has never been in it before, so she was a bit starstruck. i think she was trying to figure out why it felt weird under her feet. we then went on a little hack around the barn and she did AMAZING! no spooks, no issues, and she hadn't even seen the whole place before.



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post #36 of 91 Old 07-29-2018, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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the first week at the new barn has been amazing. why didn't we move sooner?

Sunday I came up to see Tyra and when I lifted a hoof to pick, I noticed a deep gash on her heel bulb. Alarms immediately rang in my head but over the years I have collected quite an extensive collection of first aid supplies. I knew I needed to soak the foot, especially considering it could be an abscess, but I had no epsom salt or drawing salve. I've never dealt with abscesses before, so my first aid collection wasn't prepared.

We'd barely been at the barn 24 hours and I knew nobody. I took Tyra and walked over to the barn across from me adequately named the "Block Barn," as it is made of cinderblock. It's a lot smaller than the arena barn but there are way more people, and although the horses don't have runs the community helps each other by turning everyone's horses out one at a time all day.

Two women, Linda and Susan, came up to me and asked me what I needed. I said my horse might have an abscess, but I've never dealt with one before so I didn't know what to do. Luckily, they rolled their eyes and said they have too much experience with abscesses, so I was in luck.

As they lifted Tyra's heel to take a peek they asked if she was lame at all, and I said no. She was walking fine and I just brought her in from turnout in the round pen. They said it didn't look like an abscess wound but an overreach cut. Still, they gave me some epsom salt for soaking, vetwrap and a small jar of antibacterial lotion prescribed to one of the ladies for a former incident. With our first aid kit expanded we were set, and I applied the medicine as instructed, just to make sure the cut did not get infected.



Our vet just happened to be scheduled the next day to visit another client, so I called her up and asked her to take a peek and Tyra's heel. She called me back that night and said it was indeed and overreach wound, and that she left me some prescription topicals with an applicator, and to wrap until it healed. She assured me it was nothing to worry about, and also commented on how good Tyra looked and said she was happy I was keeping her weight up. She'd seen her a month before and due to her extremely heavy work load Tyra was looking a bit on the thin side... Now that she's back to light trails and dressage schooling, the weight has piled back on.



On Tuesday we had our first lesson with the brand new trainer, a PSG rider and silver medalist. She isn't at the same level as the Gold medal FEI clinician I ride with but I asked her for a review of the woman, and the clinician said she comes highly recommended and has a lot of experience with thoroughbreds.

Allie is a very nice woman who runs her program with a strict schedule. I appreciate this, because my old trainer sort of had a fly-by-night schedule and we never really knew when she was riding. I got a detailed Google docs schedule of when I would have my lesson, when Tyra would be schooled, and when I needed to pay. No problem - I'd prefer an organized program as opposed to what we were dealing with before. Allie promised me a write-up of every training ride and a detailed training plan to help me reach my goal of Bronze medal.

As we rode, Allie watched with interest. For the first ten minutes she watched Tyra go around, and then abruptly interrupted. She asked what kind of training i'd had before and I told her my trainer really only cared about headset. She said she noticed Tyra was not straight on all four feet and asked me to help her weigh her weaker leg. As soon as I got her balanced I could feel the difference. She was more forward, relaxed, and i felt even pressure in my reins.

I explained that Tyra has one larger shoulder and Allie said she noticed, but that we were going to work on trying to fix that. She asked if Tyra was seeing a chiropractor and I said yes, once a month. Her heels are actually evening out now that she sees the chiro and bodyworker on a regular basis, and even the farrier has noticed a difference.

As I asked for the canter Tyra struggled on the right lead, which is her weaker side. Her right shoulder is her dominant one and she tends to lean heavy on that inside rein, getting very on the forehand and out of balance. But as we switched sides it completely changed. On the left lead Tyra rocked back on her hocks and cantered very uphill and very balanced. Allie said her canter looked great and was very impressed. The lesson ended and she told me we definitely could get our bronze medal, as Tyra had a lot of potential. Allie told me she will work on lead changes with her more in preparation for third level, even though we are only schooling first. She seemed happy with Tyra and said she was excited to work with her.



Yesterday my old riding buddy and very good friend from the valley came down to visit me and Tyra at our new home. She's never ridden Tyra and asked me if she could take her for a spin over fences. I said sure, even though she hasn't jumped in almost a month. Lately I have been just... not interested in jumping. Dressage is my newest obsession, but I know how much Tyra loves to jump.


say cheese!

Interestingly, coming up to both low fences Tyra refused, not in a naughty way but slowly grinded to a stop so as not to unseat Kelly. The fences were multicolored, something she'd never seen before. Kelly tried again and I told her to really insist she jump, because will "talk" to you the whole way up to the jump, asking you if going over is what you want to do? You tell her "yes" with your leg and hand, and as soon as she gets the OK from her rider she will jump the fence. But if you fail to "talk back" to her, she will refuse because you did not give her a clear answer.

Some people find this little habit annoying, but I love it and that is why, for me, she is such a great horse. I want to ride something that communicates with you constantly, and Tyra definitely enjoys that aspect of equestrianism. As I ride her we have little conversations about all sorts of things, whether or not I want a bend, the lead I desire, and what gait we'll go to. Sometimes my ideas are not Tyra's ideas, and we talk about that, too, and make sure we both agree on what is going to happen next. I think it's wonderful, as I hated growing up and riding the deadheaded, overly obedient horses who never gave you any feedback.

But I have been riding dressage so long that my jump seat is not so great, and you can totally tell in the videos I am way out of practice. We kept the jumps small for me because I had no interest showing off. As kelly went over her 3' verticals, Tyra would land and hop (as she usually does) enthusiastically, which made me a bit nervous about how I would do.

But as my turn approached, instead of rushing at every jump and launching over it like she had with kelly, Tyra calmly "loped" over each vertical with grace and precision, and i barely felt the jump underneath me. There was no bucking, no head-shaking, no silly business, not when I was in the saddle. It made me feel good, because it reminded me that my horse does care about keeping me comfortable and confident. Jumping is a skill Tyra is very good at, and one I no longer have.



Even still, I love this horse so much because when push comes to shove she will always be there for me. My old barn painted this story about a scary, out-of-control, wild thoroughbred only THEY could help, but since moving to my new barn I just don't see it. Tyra has been nothing but well-behaved, sweet, calm, and dare i say it... happy!

we will always be best friends

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post #37 of 91 Old 07-30-2018, 09:39 AM
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You would be amazed about how much a barn can effect your horse. i have seen it with my own 4. Im so happy you moved her to a new and better barn! looking forward to many happy post to come!
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post #38 of 91 Old 07-30-2018, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KigerQueen View Post
You would be amazed about how much a barn can effect your horse. i have seen it with my own 4. Im so happy you moved her to a new and better barn! looking forward to many happy post to come!
I thought she would be miserable leaving the super fancy barn we came from but she seems even happier than she was when we moved into that one! She's still fairly green but acts even more "broke" at this barn than she did before. Winter is coming though, eek! she's got summer horse/winter horse syndrome.
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post #39 of 91 Old 07-31-2018, 12:30 PM
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I just found this thread and I love it! I love seeing people capture their horse journeys!
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post #40 of 91 Old 08-01-2018, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by twixy79 View Post
I just found this thread and I love it! I love seeing people capture their horse journeys!



thanks twix! i've been reading yours as well and i LOVE your drafts.
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