Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tiamo is doing very well! There isn't anything too exciting to write about. He got a little break when I went to an overnight leadership camp, and I missed him a lot.

All of a sudden all the walking we have done has really paid off! He feels very energetic. In fact, two days ago he started bucking and was behaving a little wild. Yesterday I couldn't ride because it stormed, but this morning we had a good ride. We're doing much more trotting now, and I think if it wasn't so humid (it's not even the heat!) we could get more done. I'm going to try riding very early or late from now on. Today I rode when it was pushing early afternoon, and the heat really peaked right as I ended our ride. He was pretty hot. His breathing returned to normal less than 5 minutes later, and he cooled off but was still a little warm for awhile. We worked over trot poles and also walked and trotted over a few little flower boxes. He also did an automatic lead change one time as I was preparing to do a simple one across the diagonal. We usually work around 35-45 minutes with a lot of forward walking. Today we also trotted up AND down some slopes to warm up out of the ring (had just been trotting up and walking down). That woke him up because at first he was a little lazy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hmm, I'm not sure where to start off this post. I guess I will begin with the 17th. It was my 18th birthday, and the main activity of the day was moving Ti to Saybrook Farm! He basically settled into his stall immediately and got turned out that night with a Quarter Horse named Max who is stabled across from him.

Yesterday I took him for a walk hack (25 minutes) along one side of the pastures and 3/4 down the driveway and back. We then worked in the outdoor arena for 10 minutes at the trot and finally did a little canter both directions. I don't feel too rusty in the saddle, but I do feel like I'm probably doing all kinds of things wrong and need to a trainer or someone knowledgeable there yelling at me so I realize it. Working on that part! I just need to make some phone calls. Today I decided to go for a hack in the back field which ended up taking awhile because I had to walk out there, realized I needed halters to bring the pasture horses in, walked back to the barn, and then finally herded the four horses into one of the front pastures. It was so hot and humid today that we again did a marching, stretching walk hack up and down and around the property. It was actually very fun! There was some cool little groves of trees and slopes to go up and down, and there is a spot in the woods with a (currently dry) tiny creek bed. We did some trotting along the tree line and then a fun canter up a slope and through some trees. Basically 30 minutes of walk + 5-6 minutes of trot/canter.

The barn is super relaxing so far. There was a nice group of people yesterday who all admired Tiamo, and today I was completely on my own. People used to tell me when I said I would love to ride my horses at home one day that it gets lonely, and you end up wanting to board again. I do like having some help at the barn to get things done more quickly (moving the pasture horses turned into a bit of an ordeal afterwards when I couldn't catch two of them), but I like being alone at the barn with my horse a lot.

Anyway, Tiamo is super content in his new stall. He looks very handsome and peaceful looking out the back window at the scenery.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yesterday I rode Ti for the first time since he got back! I unfortunately left town for a few days right after he got back, but it gave him time to settle back into the barn. Hopefully this Saturday will be Barn Moving Day! We just couldn't get everything together in time for last weekend.

Wednesday the vet can finally make it out and help make us a plan. I don't care if all I should do is walk, walk, walk with him. It's good bonding time, and we can keep it interesting by going out of the ring and using poles. I just want to get both of us fit again and do it correctly even if takes longer. Even just 1.5 months out of the saddle has left me feeling really awkward while riding! I feel like my body responses about 2 minutes AFTER I try to get it do something.

Anyway, I lunged him at the walk for a few minutes with a tiny bit of trot both directions on 25-30m circle just to see how he was moving. He looks good! He doesn't have much muscle at all, but he's moving well! Then I got on and walked on a loose rein for 10 minutes, trotted him for about 5 seconds down one long side, and then hacked up and the driveway and back.

He was very cuddly yesterday! :) I gave him a bath including his face, washed and conditioned his tail, and used some Malaseb antibacterial antifungus shampoo on his hind legs where he has some rainrot. Then later in the evening, my dad and I visited, gave him more hay (he was in the stall from the TONS of rain we have gotten), cleaned his buckets, picked out the stall, and put the Equissage on him for 20 minutes. Then my mom came, and we both walked/grazed him.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July Goals

Make a back to work plan with the vet

Study for my HB Pony Club rating

Get Ti settled and happy at the new barn

Keep using the Equissage

Hack out a lot


It seems like I have a lot going on this month, and that includes non-horsey stuff. One of things I have been doing this summer is volunteering at LeBonheur Children's Hospital 1-2 times a week. This has been a great learning experience for me because I think I might want to have a career in the health industry, possibly Occupational Therapy. To make this related to horses, I wrote about them in my essay when I applied, and I think it helped set me apart from the other applicants. It can sometimes be a bit of a drag going down there simply because I live in the suburbs outside of Memphis, and I drive 30+ miles to get downtown! I'm used to being in the car a lot though. My school and most of my friends are 15-20 miles away. I do live close to the barn though! Anyway, even if the drive kind of sucks, it is always worth it in the end, and I'm always happy that I went.

A change is coming soon for Tiamo and me because we are moving to a new barn! I have been at a dressage barn for awhile now, and it feels pretty cramped. My dad and I built a few of our stadium jumps and two cross country jumps, but it is hard to find a good place to jump. I also miss having more than a couple of pastures to hack out around. The biggest one is Tiamo's pasture which is around 4-5 acres. The footing is pretty boggy though.

Just the other day I noticed a barn flyer at the tack shop which looked very nice. We ended up going to look at it twice, and I really love it! It is a private barn on 35 acres with a great little barn and lighted outdoor arena. It's got a well maintained stadium course with some cute fillers like painted boxes and big flower fillers, and it has some open room at both ends that I could set up a small dressage ring in. The pastures are beautiful, and the barn management is very flexible about turnout hours, feed, supplements, blanketing, etc. The barn owner and barn manager both live on property. Also, they keep the barn SO clean. It feels as clean as the hospital barn. It seems/smells practically sterilized in there. Most importantly, the horses seem extremely well cared for. I'm excited about this change, and I think the ability to hack out on all kinds of different terrain will be beneficial for both of us. The downside of this place is that there is no trainer. However, this can also be seen as a good thing. The emphasis is on the care of the horses, and atmosphere of this barn is so calm and relaxing. My plan right now is to trailer out to another FEI level dressage trainer in the area once a week. There is also a possibility that she could come to me, but I'm not sure yet. When the time comes to jump, I have a 'A' hunter/jumper barn down the street as well as a Pony Club instructor I know that travels to teach. I think this set up could really work out well in the long run. I can continue to travel to Bill Hoos' (my event trainer, 3 hours away) and keep up with the "homework" he gives me at home with the dressage, hunter/jumper, and Pony Club resources I have here.

First Post

Well, I finally decided this morning that I should probably actually use this blog! I started off last year following Eventing-A-Gogo, and now I enjoy reading several other event rider's blogs + Eventing Nation. I have been reading people's June Wrap Ups and July Goals, and now I want to do my own!

I don't know if anyone actually reads these things. Sonny had his own little blog that I rambled on sometimes, but I don't think anyone else read it.

I'll give a little background in case someone who doesn't already know us starts reading this.

I'm a 17 year old eventer and Pony Clubber, and I live outside of Memphis, TN. I began riding consistently in the 4th grade when I lived in Montgomery, AL. I got my start there from lunge line to Beginner Novice. Since moving to Memphis I have competed through Novice as well as two Trainings on a cute Paint horse named Sonny. Last year we decided that Sonny needed an easier job and at the beginning of this summer he was sold to a great home with a dressage rider. Tiamo was the first and only horse I looked at in February, and we bought him at the beginning of March. I knew a little about Ti from reading COTH. He kind of has his own fan club and is a very special horse. I'll have to write about his history sometime if I get enough followers that don't know about it. Anyway, he competed through Prelim with Allison Springer.

This is now becoming long, but I was at Maydaze competing when Ti started showing some very scary neurological signs in his stall. We got him to Rood and Riddle as quickly as possible where he was diagnosed and aggressively treated for EPM. Ti is a fighter, and he made a really amazing recovery over the course of a week. So he could get some R & R and finish his medication close to the vet, Ti stayed at Three Sister's Farm in Georgetown (http://www.3sistersfarmky.com/) for over a month. We visited him at the beginning of June right after he had left the hospital. He looked good and acted happy as a clam, but he was definitely a bit thin and had lost muscle. We just picked him up this weekend, and I'm so happy he is home. He put on a bunch of weight, and you can tell he feels so good! Sarah Cahill at Three Sister's took wonderful care of him and was in communicatin with Dr. Morresey at Rood and Riddle the whole time. He's actually pretty darn spunky and nearly ran me over on the way to the pasture yesterday.

Now I'm about to start bringing back into work which is very exciting.