Friday, January 31, 2014

Pretty saddle pads for sale!

I have some pretty saddle pads for sale if anyone is interested.  Shipping not included.

Horse size AP, $40

Pink and blue owls on white flannel with green trim

 Navy blue with white swirls with periwinkle trim

 Happy skulls on yellow with black trim

Pink and blue elephants on chocolate brown, pink and blue trim


Girly skulls on hot pink with gray trim

Pony size AP, $40

Multicolor unicorns on white with purple trim and pink piping

Not pictured

Pony pad, identical to elephants above, $35

I'm also planning to make a dressage pad and a pony pad in the owl print.

Let me know if you're interested or want a custom order!

I am powerless against pretty things.

I went to the feed store to pick up dog biscuits.  Naturally I had to do a quick tour of the horse stuff in case there was something I had to have.

There was.

Feed store really needs to stop carrying pretty things.

Ironically, my BO is the equine manager at the feed store, and she always shakes her head at the pink stuff I get for Riv, so I'm kind of surprised she's even willing to stock pink things... probably hoping someone will buy them before I can.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A happier post.... pictures of River being silly! And his neck!!!!

I got to the barn extra-early this morning so I'd have time to put Riv in the indoor and take pictures before work.

Before I get to the pictures, one thing...  I'm generally pretty OCD about fastening throatlatches on halters.  I've heard stories of horses who've lost an eye from a loose throatlatch snap hitting their eye.  But since I wanted to take pictures of Riv with no blanket and no halter, and because Riv can be a butthead when I let him go in the indoor, I left the throatlatch unsnapped so I'd be able to get his halter off faster.  Well, he tried to be a butthead, but when he did the throatlatch smacked him in the face, and he was like "oh, crap, I guess I should be good."  So leaving the throatlatch loose was actually a good thing in this case!

So anyway, pictures!

NECK.  OMG look at his neck and his topline!!!!


 His butt is stronger than I thought.

Apparently he's got lots of freedom in his shoulder...

I loooove how his neck looks!

He's impersonating Whistlejacket.  (Which, by the way, I saw in real life when I was in England!  I'm pretty sure it's the only painting I actually looked at when I was at the National Gallery, lol.)

This one makes me LOL.  He looks like he's in a music video.


Thoroughbred power!

Awwww, a headshot where he doesn't look weird!  His neck looks incredible and his eyes are all big and soft and doe-y.

Seriously, that NECK.

And of course we have to have a picture of him looking dumb.

Did I mention I'm in love with his neck and topline?  Call me a weirdo, but I think the best indicator of a horse's training is not how they do in shows or how nice of a "frame" they go in, it's muscling.  Muscles tell the truth.  You can use gadgets to force a horse into a frame, but you can't force them to use the right muscles.  That has to be done correctly, with the horse pushing from behind, reaching into the contact, and carrying himself.  A good, muscular neck and topline say that the horse is being trained correctly.  I don't say this to make myself look good, like I'm so amazing and look, my horse proves it!  I say it because I'm happy to see evidence confirming that I'm doing it right.  We're behind in a lot of ways... he's 14, I've had him for over 2 years, and we're still basically walk-trot; how pathetic is that?  But goshdarnit, what we have done, we've done right!  Or at least moderately right... 

Monday, January 27, 2014

People suck.

To the person who hit a cat on a back country road Friday morning:

Don't worry, I found him. I don't blame you for hitting him--he's a gray kitty, the roads are gray and snowy, crap happens. But I do blame you for leaving him there. Driving past him at 55mph, I could see him in the middle of the other lane, and I could see him moving. You're the one who hit him. You felt the impact. You chose to ignore him. I pulled over and got out of my car to try to help.

My initial hope that he wasn't too badly injured was quickly dashed--his jaw was clearly broken, and I'm willing to bet his pelvis was broken as well.. that's what I could see, I don't even want to think about what other injuries he had. He had emptied his bowels, partially on himself. He was bleeding freely from his head/mouth/jaw.

While you were driving in your warm car, or sitting in your comfy home, or having coffee at work, I was carefully scooping up a badly injured cat, cradling him against my body, and crying and comforting him while I drove him to an animal hospital to be euthanized.

So don't worry, I took care of your mess. I went out of my way to end the suffering you caused. I'm sure his blood will wash out of my clothes.

Sleep well.

PS--I hope you rot in Hell, you worthless piece of shit. And while you're suffering the eternal flames of Hell, I hope you get to watch on a big screen TV live footage of the kitty sleeping in a warm bed in front of a fire in Heaven, drinking from a bowl of cream, and sitting on Jesus' lap demanding to be petted.

Please, if you hit an animal while driving, STOP THE CAR.   It happens--animals run out in front of you, you couldn't see until it was too late, whatever.  But have the decency to stop.  In New York, it's the law--if you hit a dog, cat, horse, or "animal classified as cattle", you MUST stop, attempt to locate the owner or call the police, and take any other reasonable action so the animal can get necessary care.  Even if you don't have a heart, obey the law.

Had the person who hit the cat stopped and helped it, the cat could have been spared probably a solid 30 minutes of excruciating pain... and having experienced excruciating pain, I can assure you that every second feels like an hour.

The animal hospital was great--as soon as I walked in carrying this horribly injured cat and told them in between sobs that I found this cat hit by a car and could they please put it down, they took him back and put him down.  They didn't even charge me for it.  All I had to do was sign the euthanasia consent thing and give them the information about where I found him, in case anyone calls looking for their cat.  I brought them coffee and donuts the next day in thanks.

Rest in peace, Kitty.  You were a good boy.

Friday, January 24, 2014

River stuff

I'm so far behind on stuff...

On January 9, one of my friends came out to ride Riv.  She's ridden him a few times and loves him.  We put him in the indoor first so he could get the sillies out, and holy crap did he get some sillies out.  Tacked up and rode and he was being kind of a jerk, but he settled down and got to work.  My friend commented "I can feel him thinking", which is so true.  He's got so much try in him, and he really works to figure out what you want.

She just did walk-trot, and he was going very nicely by the end.

Last Thursday, I turned him out in the indoor again and he again had fun being silly.

Friday, I decided to ride, so I tossed him in the indoor briefly, and he ran around a little bit... mostly when chasing the BO's puppy out.

Tacked up and got on... he was being a complete and total jerk.  Spooking, flipping his head, at one point he did kind of a half rear and turn thing.  Most of the naughtiness was at the far end of the ring.  I tried putting in ear plugs, but they just annoyed him so I took them out.  After a while, I got off and hand walked him around the ring, deep into the corners of the far end, and got back on.  We walked all the way around the ring twice, I asked him to trot briefly, and I called it quits.  I don't think he'd do anything too terrible, but I didn't want to risk it.. it won't do any of us favors if I push him past where I feel comfortable, he does something silly, I fall off, and end up too scared to fix it.

So I did what anyone would do.  I posted on Facebook, jokingly asking if anyone wants to come ride my horse until he stops being a jerk.  Another friend (the one who rode Riley--she's one of my favorite riders.. she's incredibly talented, sensitive, patient, and sticky) commented asking if I was talking about River, and said she'd like to try him.  Within 10 minutes, we had a time set up for the next day.

He wasn't being much of a jerk with her... I'm not sure if he just had no reason to be a jerk, or if her riding convinced him not to be a jerk.  She did lots of walking and getting him off his shoulder.  She's much better at feeling things than I am, so next time I ride I know what to concentrate on.  She put in a great ride and he was a very good boy.

I have to ride him at some point, but now we're in the midst of another cold snap.  Today is the 4th day horses have stayed in.  I turned Riv out in the indoor yesterday..  Next time, I really need to bring my camera, because his antics are quite impressive.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

One of my favorites is gone....

Not long after I started this blog, I posted about my justifications for getting River.  One of them was that every horse I've really cared about had an "i" as the first vowel in their name.  Riley was euthanized recently.  Way back when, "my" four horses were stalled in a row--Honey, Baby, Big Man, and Beautiful.  Honey is the Old Man, Baby is my dearly departed Wilson, Beautiful is The Mare, and Riley was Big Man.

He was something like 16.3-17hh and a BEAST.  He had soundness issues thanks to a bone chip in his ankle... it was removed and screws put in his pastern.  He was usually fine, but every once in a while he was a bit off.

I started riding him when his normal rider went to college.  Oh my gosh.  One of the most fun horses I ever rode.  One of the first times I rode him, I asked him to trot a circle.  He bucked and took off.  I just laughed.

He was smart and quirky.  He had a gift for giving a rider as much trouble as they could handle.  You were pretty much guaranteed a safe first ride.  After that, though, he had you figured out and the fun could begin.

My favorite was the day we were trotting around the indoor and he went nuts bucking.  I was able to stay on and get him stopped.  We stood in the middle while the other person in the ring finished up.  We went back out and he started bucking again.  He started slowing down when I was half off and I thought I was going to stay on.  He very deliberately bucked again, just enough to get me off.  I think I almost landed on my feet, just with a little too much momentum, so I ended up on my butt.  He stood quietly, I got back on, and he behaved perfectly.  He made his point very very clearly:  "You stay on because I allow it.  If I want you off, you will be off."  He never did it again.

Another time we were taking a lesson outside.  As we were standing in the shade with the other riders waiting for the instructor, he decided he wanted to roll.  He got down to his knees before I got him back up.  Doofus.

He was so much fun to ride.  He made me feel like such a good rider.

I'd only been riding him for a year or so when he developed lymphangitis.  He got better and worse and better and worse, but unfortunately never got back to real work.  Last summer he was given to a lovely couple, along with another horse, to serve as pasture pets and light trail riding horses.  He was in heaven there until he had to be euthanized.

I don't think I mentioned it before, but part of the reason I was so drawn to River was because he reminded me a lot of Riley.  I don't have any conformation pictures of Riley, so you'll have to take my word for it... but they're both big, blingy, doofy geldings with big shoulders and nice butts.

A few pictures.....

I only have a couple pictures of me riding him....

Yes, I made him wear pink.  My goal was to emasculate him with pink so he'd be less inclined to be naughty.

Here are a few pictures of my friend, Riley's original and best rider, on him:


He was gorgeous..

Rest in piece, Riley-Man, Big Man, my Big Beastly Pony..  You made a huge impact on my life.  You won't be forgotten.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy (belated) New Year!

Per tradition, my friend came out to ride River on New Year's Day:

He was a little bit of a butt, but not bad considering he hadn't been ridden in like a month.  And now that we're in the midst of a nasty cold snap and storm, it'll be a bit before he's ridden again...  Last night it was -3 with a windchill of like -25.  Right now it's 1, windchill -26.  Driving anywhere takes at least twice as long as normal..  the roads aren't so bad, it's the wind blowing snow and creating white-outs that's a killer.

Last week my friends and I went to see American Hustle.  It was pretty good.  I think I need to see it again because it's hard to keep track of who's scamming who.

Saturday we saw The Wolf of Wall Street.  First off, it's rated R and they mean it.  Lots of nudity, sex, and swearing.  Extremely un-PC.

If you're okay with all of that, it's a really good movie.  I've seen some people criticizing it for glorifying that stuff.. I can only assume those people didn't actually watch the movie.  Yes, it's about a man who swindles tons of people, commits crimes, and does all sorts of terrible things.  But the movie shows how that stuff is bad is... it destroys his life and the lives of people around him.

It's also really really funny.  There were a few scenes where I nearly choked on my drink.  Had I not gone to the bathroom before the movie started, I would probably have wet my pants.

It's not a movie I would have actually wanted to see... one of my friends has a total man-crush on Leonardo diCaprio, so I went to hang out with my friends.  I'm so glad I did, I'd see it again in a second.  FYI, it's about 3 hours long, but I thought it went fast.

I think the last movie I recommended was Despicable Me 2... now I'm recommending The Wolf of Wall Street.  Bit of a disparity, huh?  It's like when my iPod plays a Disney song followed by Eminem.

Stay safe and warm, everyone!