Monday, February 16, 2009

A horsey weekend

My weekend included lots of horsies. Not all just mine though. On Thursday we got an email from the rescue where we got two of our past horses from. We still have the one, Sis, that is our bombproof kids horse. Best investment ever. Anyhow, this email was asking for donations for a Tennessee Walking Horse colt that the rescue agreed to take in. Here's the email:

"Well, we have an emergency situation coming into our rescue in the next few days. Meet Eddie, he is a yearling Tennessee Walking Horse colt, he is very sweet but he has an injury that needs surgery. Eddie was injured out in the pasture where a stick went through the eye and has to be removed. Dr. Nagy of Howell, MI tells me that he will have to have the eye surgically removed due to it starting to rupture, they had hoped to save the eye but that is not going to happen. The surgery will be done at Findlay University and will cost between $800-$1600 which with also include him being gelded. The doctors will not know what they are getting into until they operate so this is why there is a range.

I know some of you are wondering why we don't just euthanize him and use the money for something else. Well, we feel he deserves a second chance for all he has endured for the last two weeks and the care that has been given to him. He is very sweet easy to handle and a trooper, so why not try to help him and find him a forever home after his recovery. Horses can survive and do quite well with only one eye.

If you would like to make a donation please do so via our paypal address which is or you can log on to our website at and make a donation through that as well and state Eddie vet care. Your donation is tax deductible and for all who donate $25.00 or more we will give you a logo T-shirt, our way of saying thank you for your help and compassion.

Won't you help Eddie and pass this on to everyone you know, all who donate will also get a photo of Eddie as well and email updates on his progress."

So, as well as emailing everyone I know, I'm posting this on here. In the three years we've been involved with this rescue, she has never sent out an email asking for donations. Obviously she's always welcomed any, but she's never sent out emails like this. As for the rescue, I can vouch that the lady that founded/runs it is very passionate about what she does. She runs the rescue herself, and aside from the money she gets from being a non-profit, she told us one time that more than 1/2 of her own personal money goes into the rescue. She doesn't have a team of people that helps run it, she does everything by herself. So if anyone out there is looking for a nice rescue to donate to (I know, like there aren't a million to choose from already), I can personally vouch that this is a good one. At least it has been to us :) And I agree with the trying to save this one before automatically euthanizing. After this surgery he could still can live a nice productive life. She doesn't hoard unusable horses at her rescue either. It was sad the number of horses she was going to be putting down due to heath and/or behavior issues. One guy in particular. He's 23 and they are having a lot of trouble putting and keeping weight on him no matter what they've done. Along with that, she said he's super mean. He'll kick at whatever walks behind him while he's eating, human or horse thinking they are going to try to take his food. His ears were constantly pinned back the whole time we were there. She said no one is ever going to want a 23 year old, mean, food machine, so they will be putting him down this Wednesday. :( That's one of the the hardest part of rescuing I'm sure.

Well, while we were there, of course we had to look and see what she all had there (sometimes she doesn't have everything up on her website right away) because we would like to get a third horse, eventually. And what do we find? A registered quarter horse mare who's 6 and trained. She even has possession of the papers. $350.00 is all she's asking to cover part of the cost of shipping that she helped the prior owners with. The story is, the owners live in CA and one of the girlfriends got into a really bad car accident. She has had 6 back surgeries and they had no health insurance. So she had to give up her gelding (which unfortunately has to be put down due to a health issue, something like EPM?? Does that sound familiar?) and this mare. Now this part I'm not sure about, I think maybe they had friends from around my area and knew that Voice for Horses is good and does background checks, follow up on adoptions and will take back any horse that doesn't work out in an instant, so maybe they thought that was the best route. But the lady that runs the rescue said they didn't want to let the horses just go to anyone (who does?) so they paid the shipping costs to get the two horses to this rescue. Anyhow, this mare is a dream.
The picture doesn't do her justice. She's got a really nice hind. The only issue she has is the left angular deformity, which you can't really see unless you are looking closely. She said the vet (which is the same one we use, so we would check with him) has cleared her for riding w-t-c, which is probably all we'd do. We don't do anything too strenuous and she was used for trail riding. We are going to wait until spring to see about our finances and then take her for a test run. I really hate to wait, but I know patience is a virtue and I don't want to get her and get attached just to find out we really can't afford her. So, that's our dream. She needs about another 150-200 lbs (which would happen in less than a month at our barn) and then some muscle toning. But the rescue lady said that she's really sweet, and she was too while we were there. Then we'd have three mares. ugh!! What are we thinking?? lol. I don't know if I'd know what to do if we could ALL ride at once!! I'd have the boys ride Sis, I'd ride my goofy girl and my hubby could ride the new pretty one. But then we'd have Sis, Sassie and Sydney. We'd be so tongue tied!! lol!!! Ok, I'm sorry, I'm being giddy.

While talking with the lady at the rescue, we were talking about getting out of the rescue business, I think because she's thought about stopping, but she said the lord will tell her when it's time. She said just as she was talking with a friend of hers this past week about stopping, she got in a really pretty, sweet mare from a guy that had a heart attack and seizures or something. Well, when she got this mare, she took one look at her hind when she was walking away an noticed bumps. Got the doc out and this poor mare has cancer. TONS and TONS of cancer tumors all up and down her hind. So if you could see those, imagine what her insides probably looked like. She said you know, maybe that's my place here, because all I had to do was look and see those bumps and the people caring for her didn't?? So she said right now rescues are needed and she's there for the horses, no matter how tough it gets for her, it's always tougher for those who can't talk. ~sniff, sniff~ she made me tear up a little.

So that was Saturday. On Sunday, we went out to see our girls and actually get a good ride in. It definitely wasn't GOOD, but we got a ride in. Sassie's pulling her stunts again. We haven't been really riding hard, like aerobically, just more of puttering around. I've been trying to work on the circling and seat control and balance that mugwump was posting about for me. I could tell we hadn't rode hard in awhile. Sassie was fine walking, but as soon as I asked for a jog, she was off. It was like racing season. I was like ok, she's still got some energy, so we'll just roll with it. We jogged around a few laps and I tried to work with slowing her down a little. She kept acting like she wanted to lope. So I thought hey!, if she wants to lope, let's go. So I got her nice and comfortable in the jog and then asked for the lope to the right, which is her better side. She did good, but she's really dropping her shoulder in and cutting across the arena. We've always had a problem with it, but I can never remember if the trainer said to lift on the inside, where she's dropping her shoulder, or lift on the outside to lead her more out. My hubby said lift the inside because that's where she's dropping her shoulder. So we started up again and I tried lifting with the inside and pushing with my inside leg. She'd go a little further, but would still fight it. So after a few laps we slowed it back down to a walk and I was going to try loping to the left. HA! Try is definitely the key word. My legs are so sore today!! I tried and tried until I could tell we were both getting too frustrated and were not getting anywhere. She was trying her little bucking at first, nothing too major, but did get me off balance a few times. I think I need to sit a little deeper and back. I think my balance being off is throwing her off so she doesn't want to go thinking I'm not right. maybe? So I'd slow back to the jog until we were all collected and I'd try again. Well, after the bucking wasn't working, she was trying to just flat out left turn square into the middle of the arena, no matter what I did with my hands, butt OR legs. So that's when I decided enough, let's go back to the last thing and end on a good note. We'll try again next time. Since we are still in cold weather, but not the biterly cold, we can go out and ride more often instead of just clean stalls and turn them out. So that's it. My horsey weekend.

No I have to get to reading some blogs because there are so many updates on my blog list that I see I haven't read yet!!


Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

My other baby Bonnie has had lots of difficulty mastering the canter. We would go careening around the arena feeling so out of balance. She is a swedish warmblood with a gigantic canter stride. That's the main reason I put her with a trainer for a couple of months. I could ride through it and work it out . . . but I don't really want to. I don't mind admitting it!

Mrs Mom said...

Hey you can zap over pictures anytime of your crews feet, and I can work on explaining things to you ;)

You wre right to go back to doing something you two were comfortable with, and calling it quits for the day. End on a good note, and pick up again with things, one step at a time, when you can again. It will all work out for you!

Andrea said...

What a fun horsey weekend. I am such a sucker for horses. My father in law goes to the sale barns a lot and I just can't go, because I would come home with everything.

That mare sounded nice. And she looks really cute. I hope things work out for you to get her.

And I have a four year old gelding that is just all out of wack. I tried riding and training him as a two year old and he did well, but then as a three year old he was all over the place. He is now four and holy cow has he grown. I think he was just being all off balance because of his growth spirt.

I hope everything works out for you!!!

ezra_pandora said...

Melissa: Sassie's strides are small, she almost hops around like a bunny. I don't really know what to do to lengthen her stride though. I might have to just have the trainier back out too. I'm trying to do as much as I can with her that's within my capabilities, but there's just some stuff that's probably better done by someone else. lol

MM: I will totally send you some pictures and see what you think, if I can EVER remember to take my stupid camera out. I keep forgetting until we are almost to the barn, and hubby won't turn around to go 1/2 hour back home to get it. Yesterday would have been perfect too since we got there when it was still light out and that seems to be the only time my camera works (pilot error usually I'm sure, lol) Thanks for the offer.

I almost think she was in heat yesterday because she was acting how she was in the summer when she was in heat.

ezra_pandora said...

Andrea: me too, I told my hubby I didn't want to get out of the car because I saw about 3 right off the bat that were adorable and I wanted to keep, lol.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

EZra I know what you mean about wanting to work on as much stuff as you feel capable of. "Back in the day" I was a pretty accomplished rider and showed in the Big Eq, junior hunters and jumpers and a/o hunters and jumpers and brought along many greenies. But as I progress in my amateur years I want my riding time to be as much fun as possible. Of course every ride isn't perfect and there will be plenty of things to work through with any horse.

I finally realized that it was ok for me to admit that just b/c I was capable of sorting out Bonnie's baby greenie issues didn't mean I particularly wanted to - and that was ok! She'll be coming home in another month and will still be VERY green, just like Lexi. But at least she'll mostly understand how to canter somewhat correctly and we'll both enjoy our riding time together a lot more.

Anyway I'm by no means suggesting that you need to go running to a trainer but you might be like me and feel guilty or feel like you are taking the easy way out instead of pushing through and in the end having an even deeper, stronger bond with your horse. I really DID have that mindset - still do to an extent.

Also remember that hores don't have timeframes and don't care about how fast or slowly they are progressing. I get caught up sometimes in the fact that my girls are "behind" in their education compared to other horses their age.

As far as where to put your hands when she is dropping her shoulder in you have an option of direct or indirect rein. After many years of lessons with a german dressage trainer she was not a fan of the indirect rein and preferred direct. So you might try widening your hands and think about creating a "tunnel" with them that you want the horse to stay in, and support it with your inside leg. Lexi still tries to cut in on her corners and my instinct is to always to go go indirect rein but then I hear Michaela's voice in my head and I use direct with inside supporting leg and it works much better.

Wow, I wrote a novel!

ezra_pandora said...

Melissa: I am SO guilty of trying to get everything perfect all at once. I think if I can't get things going a little better, I might just have the trainer come back out. She kind of plateaued at the 60 day mark, so he turned us loose and said saddle time is what she needs for a bit. He has no problem trying to help me, but he felt like he was wasting my money doing stuff that I could do. (he had too much faith apparently! lol)

ezra_pandora said...

Oh, and as for your girls being behind on training for their age, my gal's going to be 8 and has less than a year of saddle time in, lol. If that isn't behind, I don't know what is!!


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