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Mia was hard to get to load. When I swapped her for Bandit, her new owner opened the front window for her. I guess there are some reasons to NOT do that, but apparently Mia decided going 70 mph without moving her legs was fun. Talked to the guy a few months later. He said if Mia was loose and saw an open trailer, she'd trot over, jump in, then look back as if to say, "Miss Mia is ready for her ride...."! 🤣
 

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I agree with the others that with time she should settle down. its new and the sensation is new. We have our horses sit just a few short minutes when we stop at our destination. I would also open any vents etc. My friend has found that her horse trailers better when able to stick her nose out the little side window of her two horse trailer.
 

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I'm happy you had a great day out (and a good ride to the place as well)! :)

And you know what, orange actually suits your horse's colouring - on top of being a great safety colour around traffic, etc. I think orange works for you guys and is much more flattering than either hot pink, fluoro yellow or lime green would be as high-vis alternatives.

I think moss green would also be a nice colour to complement your horse's - but not very visible - and bright white would work very well, but it's not very practical... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,307 ·
Thank you all for the trailering affirmations. It's helpful to hear of other "turnarounds." I have a week off at the beginning of July and I think we will just get in the trailer and go a short distance every day, and see what happens!

@SueC and @bsms , the practical part of me likes the orange because I know it makes a difference in visibility on the road- numerous people have stopped to tell us! The other nice thing about orange is that "hunter orange" is pretty much the same wherever you buy it, so things match even if they are different brands. I have some blue tack pieces and they are all slightly different shades of blue, which makes me nuts! But I agree with you that shades of green would look nice if I ever cleaned her up properly and took her to a show. Even the slightly mismatched sky/baby blue looks good too.

Last week I got a call from the vet telling me they had forgotten to send Izzy's teeth home with her, and I could come pick them up if I wanted them. I wasn't going to, but then I decided I would given Sue's very educational post about teeth/skulls. I figured I could share Izzy's too.

Izzy had one molar on the top and one on the bottom extracted. From the side views, you can see how little tooth was left above the root. The vet said they weren't really attached to much of anything and pretty much just twisted right out with little effort. It's hard to tell without handling them, but the surface was as smooth as glass, with hardly any rougher grinding surface left.
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I forgot that my lovely husband can be squeamish about medical/vet things and I was just asked to please kindly remove the teeth from the dining room table. :LOL: I'm not really sure what I should do with them. I've read about some people that actually make beautiful beaded jewelry from horse teeth so I might look into that- just not sure if there is enough tooth to work with!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,309 ·
Work was a little slow yesterday afternoon, so Fizz and I snuck out to do the 6.5 mile Newhall Farm loop. It was hot and muggy, so the bugs were swarming. The Horse Hoodie is really making Fizz a lot happier!

As we left home, a search and rescue helicopter was flying very low overhead, barely clearing the treetops. Since Tuesday, search team have been out looking for a missing 65 year old man with dementia. His truck was found parked where M and I ride on the way to Blind Mare Farm, and the search area has extended around most of the trails we ride. They've had dog teams, National Guard Teams, and drones/helicopters out, but sadly as of this morning, he's still missing. We are all hoping for a good outcome. Aside from the helicopter, we didn't see any other searchers out during our ride.

I had gotten the results of Fizz's bloodwork back before our ride, and it was all good news. Her muscle enzyme values after her exercise test came back within the normal range, as did the rest of her CBC values. Also, her insulin/glucose were normal. So she is clear - and, encouraged - to exercise without any limitations. We really had the roads and trail to ourselves, with no traffic or anyone else out, so settled into a nice rhythm trotting right along.
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Until...an unpleasant surprise...COWS AHEAD!
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Fortunately I saw them before she did, so I was prepared. They were right up along the road, far closer than we've ever been. She stopped dead in her tracks and was trembling. This white bull (?) was curious about us but also stood still staring back at us. Can't see it in the picture, but he had another friend behind him. I hopped off to lead her, and at first she took a step backward, but with some cajoling we started walking towards them. She froze again, but when I switched sides so I was leading her from the right (putting myself between her and the killer cow), she actually walked passed without more than a few giant gulps. I was actually pretty proud of her- that was a lot of cow really close, and we managed without any kind of blow up. Once we had left them behind, I got back on with no concerns and we continued on our way.

Haying has started here and there were some new round bales out that she glanced at, but after the cows, nothing else is really worrying to her 😉
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I gave her a good rinse down when we got home while she grazed around- we were both hot and sweaty. It was a really good, fast paced ride, and she seemed to handle it well. Finally starting to feel like her fitness is coming back.
 

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Ooooh!! I may need to get that hoodie for Promise - I rode for a little last night & the bugs/flies were so bad, she was so uncomfortable I had to keep swatting them off her LOL, did you get it directly from their site? She is so sensitive to bugs (like me haha), this would be amazing to have for trails!

Oh my goodness, that is so sad about the missing man - I hope he is okay. :( Gosh. Poor guy. It sounds like they are doing all they can to find him though. Fingers crossed he will be found.

I'm so glad Fizz's bloodwork came back well - YAY!! :D The sky is the limit for you two! That is great news. And yay Fizz for being brave towards the cows!! What a good girl! She is adorable!!

As for trailering, it can definitely be a process. Like it took about two weeks of 'trailer training' for Promise to finally load/want to get on. Just took a lot of patience & I had to let her figure it out, let her sniff, etc. In the past she would shut down because she used to practically get beaten to get on :( So I really had to make it a positive thing for her, & now she gets on with ease.

That is pretty cool, Izzy's tooth! That stuff doesn't bother me either it's quite fascinating really. But yeah, the dining room table is off limits for teeth apparently huh! LOL.
 

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I will tell a funny story about that. I guess my dad was showing a mare he started for my grandfather. He was cutting, and pulled out a white calf. I guess that mare wouldn’t cut at all! So, he lost the calf and goes and gets his next, and she was spectacular. A lot of people teased him after the show. They said to some horses, who have never seen a white calf, they don’t think they are cattle! They just don’t know what they’re supposed to do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,315 ·
The search and rescue had the happiest possible ending yesterday afternoon! Neeko, a brand new a search and rescue dog, found him! These photos were posted by the missing man’s family on our community FB page:
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There is a lot of relief in town, and lots of love for Neeko making his first “find.” The man was found about 1.5 miles from where he parked his truck. He had gone out walking and got disoriented and then dehydrated. He was very tired and covered in bug bites, but otherwise his family reported that he was seen and then released from the hospital with no injuries.

———

I’m laughing at the white cow (and goat) stories. One more thing I’d like to be able to explain to them if we could have 10 minutes of conversation…
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,316 ·
I had to wait until this afternoon to ride today, and it was a cold, blustery day that felt more like October than mid-June. It was around 50*F and the wind was gusting. As I was getting the girth tightened and ready to mount up, I tried some positive self-talk to convince myself that Fizz wouldn't care about the wind bending the tiny trees next to us 😬 Not sure how effective it was. As she grew several inches next to me and took hard gulps as I swung my leg over, I couldn't help but feel worried about the wind too.

Unsurprisingly, she was pretty tense and sucked back as we headed to the overlook. The forest sounded alive on either side of us- branches cracking, wind whistling, and even small clusters of oak leaves that had broken off the end of the branches swirling around us on the wind. Hoping no deer were going to come crashing out of the woods to cross the road, I asked her to trot to get her moving forward, and that helped a little- at least she started breathing again. I realized she had been holding her breath up until then. She was snorty and gave big sideways glances at the rock wall she's passed a million times without ever noticing, but I was actually surpised there was no spooking or jumping around. She held it together pretty well! It felt more than good enough to turn around at the overlook.
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I had to laugh at this picture when I saw it- the mushroom on the tree looks like a funny eyebrow!
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She was looking very regal when we got home, staring off intently into the gusting wind, so I thought it would be a good photo op. Of course she made the most ridiculous face.
Was this the shot you were looking for?
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No goofball, not that look...

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Much better!

Izzy and Josie were out in the back pasture (please ignore the frustrating buttercups that I am losing the battle to contain...). Josie came ambling in, but Izzy came flying in on a mission. Everyone is happier when Fizz is home.
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Discussion Starter · #4,318 ·
Today stayed cool and blustery, with temps still below 60*F and the wind whipping. It felt like fall (no complaints from me!) so I actually threw a sheet on Fizz this morning when I fed breakfast to warm her up a little before we got ready to meet M and Coalie. M had been curious about where a trail in the woods would lead, and wanted to do a little adventuring today, so we headed that way.

We weren't sure what the wind would be like in the woods, but the horses didn't seem to care at all. We saw a few deer on the move, but the horses just gazed in their direction without worrying. I really think the ride last weekend bumped Fizz's confidence up a new level, because she powered right along in front most of the way, even when we turned off a more familiar trail to follow the spur M had been curious about.
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The new trail quickly dropped off down the ridge fairly steeply, and there were a lot of slippery rocks. We did see other hoofprints that seemed relatively fresh, which was somewhat surprising. We never passed another rider, but it's always good to see other people are using the trails.

Eventually we came past a beaver pond that looked somewhat familiar, and a set of concrete blocks that we remembered having blocked the trail at some point last year, so we had a rough idea of where we were. The thing about all these trails is that after awhile, they will all take you back to one of three dirt roads, and we'll always be able to get home on one of those road. So we don't worry too much about really getting lost (and if we let Fizz completely have her head, I am 100% certain she'd take us home the most direct way possible 😉 ). It's more just a question of whether we'll end up looping around longer than we would like to. But it the temperature was so nice, and there were NO bugs, so we didn't really rush to try to get back to the road. We made some guesses at the few intersections we came to, and ended up on a manicured bridle path along a house that we recognized. And that nice path put us back out on the road. We had been guessing it was going to take us a bit farther down that road than it did, but instead of a fat oval loop, we made a long skinny loop. It was still a very nice ride!
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Parallel to the road is one of the most picturesque hayfields in town. There's a nice mowed outer path, so we moved off the road and let the horses stretch their legs on the softer footing. The roads are pretty hard right now, so they seemed to enjoy the softer ground.
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The lack of bugs made such a difference in everyone's mood! I know they'll be back, but today we enjoyed the temporary break.

When we got home, I untacked and put Fizz right out in the new field. They haven't wanted anything to do with that field in weeks because of the bugs, but today seemed like a good day for a change of scenery. I went to get Izzy and Josie and bring them over too.
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Later in the afternoon, when we played musical fields again and brought them back to their regular turnout, I had a nice interaction with Josie. She's not a touchy feely horse, and I really struggle with finding spots she enjoys being scratched or groomed. She also looks a bit body sore to me and I thought it might be possible to win her over with some light massage. The horses had finished dinner and were all hanging out quietly dozing around the sheds. So I went over to Josie and tried some of the Masterson hind end release points that Fizz has been enjoying so much lately, and it was the first time I've ever seen her relax while I was touching her. She was completely loose, no halter or anything, and particularly around her hip and pelvis, she visibly relaxed, sighing and closing her eye, letting her bottom lip quiver a little. She even cocked a hind leg while I worked my way through the points. I was even able to reach up inside her thigh for the stifle release point, and ran a hand down to her hocks with no threat of kicking. That all felt like huge progress with her. We must have stood like that for 10 or 15 minutes, which is by far the longest she's ever stood still with me at liberty without moving away. Made me really happy to have some connection with her. She's a tough cookie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,320 ·
Would you be able to film that technique sometime, @egrogan, or link me to an existing clip? I'm really interested in how that works. 🌼🌺🌸
@SueC, last time I tried to post the video here, it was blocked because of some sort of setting in YouTube that didn't allow it to play on another site. Let's see if it will work like this:

If it doesn't work, you could look it up on YouTube by the title "The Masterson Method: Hind End Release" (posted January 24, 2020)

I also listened to a podcast with Jim Masterson (he's the bodyworker who created the technique/video), and while there's not really any science behind this, I appreciate that he's not selling much of anything and keeps most of his videos and lectures available for free. Long story short, sounds like he absorbed chiropractic and traditional Chinese medicine techniques from apprenticing with other bodyworkers. He had a large stable of performance horses to test out the methods he was developing. When he found things that seemed to "work," he used them with more horses and refined his practices as he went.

I was willing to try it because it's all very "light touch" without a lot of manipulation of body parts, so I figured I wouldn't hurt any horses trying it out. And seeing the relaxation that seems to follow was really interesting. If you try it out, would be curious if you see the horses enjoy it.

Fizz is having a proper chiropractic adjustment from the vet later this morning, and I'll be curious to see if she still responds to the release techniques after she's been treated.
 
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