Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Update on the state of affairs

Sometimes, life really gets in the way of doing the things we love, like blogging. I've been holding down Wyvern Oaks solo for the last 6 weeks, because my husband has been off in Mexico doing this:

Here's the link to the Washington Post article, and the one from NPR, and the BBC. If you thought my husband was cool because he jousts, his day job is even more amazing. 

As usual, all the shit happens when he's gone. The dogs have started fighting, we had a tree fall down on the fence, and the painters accidentally knocked the hose loose from the washing machine so I flooded the laundry room.


Brego started to show signs of another abscess just days before hubby left, and we waited for it to blow but it didn't.
Suspicious looking.

When it didn't blow after two weeks, I had the vet out. When it still hadn't blown 10 days later, she came back, this time with the hospital farrier, and they took xrays to see where everything was located.

See those two dark lines going down from the hoof wall? Those are TWO rather large pockets of infection.

Roughly an hour of (unsedated) digging later, and we were left with this:

Holy hoofs, Brego.

They think that he had a white line infection somewhere deep in his foot (although the bottom of his foot is currently fine, so we had no way of knowing), and that the abscess last year didn't clear out the whole thing. The hole on the bottom right of the picture goes through to his sole (you can stick a shoe nail through, gag), and if you look in the big hole across the top you'll see a bunch of smaller holes. Those are all infection tracks. I'm flushing everything daily with betadine and copper sulfate, and actually can stick a needle in each of those small holes and flush them. Y'all, holes in horse feet are SO WRONG. 

And I know it's crazy, but Brego has been sound this entire time and is currently out galloping around like a nutcase, despite the swiss-cheese-like appearance of his foot. Vet and farrier will be visiting every two weeks together until we get this all cleared up and grown out. Fun times.

As for Paddy, he's doing fine. He's mostly being neglected, because I spend all my time riding Taran. I did have a great ride at my trainer's barn where he wanted to go zooming at the trot but I made him do nothing but laterals... eventually he decided that was too hard and started behaving himself. It's funny how riding another horse lets you figure out how to ride your own horse that much better.

When not being ridden, he helps me eat weed the garden.

Taran continues to be a rockstar. Seriously, I don't know where this amazing little horse came from - he just keeps getting better and better, a little bit every day.

Let's ignore the fact that I'm being left behind and focus on the amazing trot, ok?

We went to our last show of the spring season this last weekend, a 2-day recognized show here in town where we did 1-2 and 1-3 both days. We spent all weekend getting 2nd place behind a lady on her very nice confirmed 3rd level horse. Interestingly, the judge on the first day didn't seem to like Taran much - we put in two solid tests and we got decent enough scores (64% and 62%) but it wasn't as good as I expected. The second day, we had a new judge at C, but the same judge at E. The judge at C scored us 2% ahead on 1-2, and only .2% behind on 1-3, but the judge at E scored us 5.5% and 3.5% lower. The judges scored within 1% of each other for all the rest of the folks in my class, so it really was just me. Her comments were perfectly reasonable and spot on, but it just seems like the scoring was harder for us. Oh well, I have that judge's name and we won't ride for her again if we can avoid it. We still managed to get a qualifying score on 1-3 for the SWDC and GAIC championship rides (65.5%), so we're now basically maxed out on everything we can do at first level (Taran needs 1 more score for a Performance Award, but we'll get that this fall). Time to think about moving up to Second!

All the ribbons.

Also, have some adorable pet pictures, because I have them:

What happens when you fall asleep mid-stretch.


Not sure when I'll get back to regular blogging, but hopefully sometime soon. Hope y'all are well!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I need less helpful horses

From feeding time this morning...

Do you ever get that feeling someone is breathing down your neck?

Shhh, don't tell her I'm here!

That someone might be contemplating doing things they shouldn't?


Or maybe even... actually doing something they shouldn't?

That never happens around here.

All our horses are complete angels.

Nothing to see here, move along...

Monday, April 18, 2016

Taran was right all along

Taran has always been suspicious of the tar stripes on the road. We've joked that he thinks they're snakes or something, and they're going to get him.

These are all terrifying, all of them. Giant horse-eating anacondas EVERYWHERE.

Well, MC and I were riding on the road over the weekend, and one of the lines WAS ACTUALLY A SNAKE. Taran and Paddy both took a HARD look at the rat snake desperately slithering across the road trying not to get trampled, but were otherwise not impressed. The snake was definitely more afraid of them than they were of it.

Not actually as scary as imagined.

So next time your horse tries to convince you that there's something terrifying lurking in the bushes/log/car/tree/road/ditch/manhole cover/patch of flowers, you should probably believe them!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Not a supermodel

I've gotten spoiled taking pictures of Paddy - it's basically impossible to take a bad picture of him, because he's always adorable, his hair is always perfect (I hate him a little), and he always poses for the camera. He's basically a supermodel in horse form.

Taran, on the other hand, is not so camera-friendly. He's plenty cute in person, but man, getting him to pose for a decent shot is basically impossible. After his first show where we couldn't get any decent pics of him, I figured he was just tired. But nope, he really does suck at posing for pictures - even with his mom! See?

Oh no, not this again.

Am I supposed to be impressed with that? Because I'm not. Maybe if it were edible.

Nope, it's not edible. You tried to trick me.

Making faces at me will not help.

Trying to suffocate me also will not help.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April Taran confo shots - still so many changes!

I just can't stop with the monthly comparison pics. He's still changing so much!

Dec 23, 2015

Feb 1, 2016

March 6, 2016

April 10, 2016

Is he even the same horse???

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

... if only I could remember my stupid dressage tests.

Some of you maaaay have noticed that our 1-3 test had a bit of red on the second canter serpentine, and our last halt was a 5.0 instead of the 7.0+ we'd gotten on all our other halts.

Naturally, those were my fault.

Despite being confident that I knew my tests COLD before I went in, I forgot about the second canter serpentine. I realized it halfway through a trot lengthening across the diagonal, before the judge rang the bell. Whoops. There goes my 100% remembering test average this year. Boo. And of course two points for the error. Double boo.

I am so tired of seeing red ink on my tests.

I *also* neglected to do the final halt at the correct letter. 1-3 is weird because you don't halt at X, you actually halt at G... and I halted somewhere that was not G, for a 5.0. Which sucks because that was a pretty decent halt.

Nice, just in the wrong county.

The upshot of all those lost points? If I'd remembered my test AND gotten an 8 on the final halt, I would have had a 69.6... and beat the pro for first level champion. Heck, even if I had JUST remembered the test, I would have had it, because it was only .2% points difference. 

I'm not even mad about it, just more of a *facepalm* kind of moment. Taran was a super star and I was proud of our rides overall. Still... you think I'd learn by now!

What are YOUR tricks for remembering your dressage tests? C'mon fellow bloggers, HELLLLP MEEEEE!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bluebonnet Show - one for the books

I'm just going to dump a bunch of pictures because in a nutshell:

  • Taran is awesome
  • I shouldn't doubt myself
  • Taran is awesome
The reader's digest version of this is:
  • 1-2: 68.125 (1st) (second score at 1st level toward USDF bronze medal)
  • 1-3: 67.353 (1st) (qualifying scores for freestyle, SWDC regional championships, and GAIC championships)
  • 1st level reserve champion (.2% behind a pro)
Seriously, this show had the best ribbons.

We missed out of any media for 1-2, but Taran was super and I rode reasonably well.  I did get vid for 1-3, where Taran was even better and I rode even better, so here you go:

Look, a 10 meter trot circle with bend. 7.5.

Lengthen stride keeps getting better and better. 6.5.

I wish our leg yields were always this good. 7.0 right, 7.5 left.

Look at my horse, my horse can do a stretchy trot circle. 7.0.

My horse can also do a badass square halt on a dime and trot off like a MF pro. 7.5, coefficient of 2.

He can even sort of fake a decent free walk. 6.0, which is a gift from the judge.

He can lengthen canter too... he just can't come back from it without going splat. 7.0.

We uh, can't do a canter/trot transition very well though. Nice pogo-sticking behind. More leg needed. 6.5, but only because it wasn't scored individually.

Did I mention he can halt square? 7.5

And the video, which doesn't make us look quiiiite as good as the stills (because let's be honest, I can cherry-pick the good moments with stills): 

Here's the scoresheet for 1-2:

And for 1-3:

Yeah. It was a great show. :)