Monday, January 28, 2013


This is where I'm working if you would like to have a peruse. Hoping to get plenty of photos in the next little while. Jumped the first two of the horses today and I find the grey Erl easier than the roan Ginga because ging needs such a quiet canter and deep distance and with Connie I need to create jump by creating some pace.

Have a lookie anyway

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week 1 as a groom

I knew it was going to be a step up from office work but my body is tired!! We had six horses at the show this weekend and it was hard hard work. not helped of course by the fact I had the most pony club fall off ever on the Wednesday and landed very badly and screwed my back up. Very very boo. So much travelling as well in the last 7 days. Last Tuesday I was in a car 6 hours to get home, then another hour to work then on Thursday it was seven hours back in the horse truck to Gisborne show, three days off showing, then a two hour drive back to ride my own horse and ascertain she is still lame.

Up early the next morning to take her and Poppys young horse whom I have for schooling back to my work.     Started the drive at 8am, took some drugs for my back which decided that truck driving was absolute agony.  And arrived at the vets at 1.40pm without having really stopped apart from a food and bathroom break. Even the horses had sea legs. So Connie was definietly slightly lame on her right fore and when we blocked that foot, she came up lame on the other foot. Took eight x-rays (I hate to think how I'm going to pay for this!!) And she has two very different front feet which we knew because she has a clubbed foot, and a flat wants to flare foot. Still her joints look beautiful and clean and she has a little sidebone developing in her flatter foot but really very minor for a ten year old jumper. And yes I probably shouldn't say my horse has sidebone on the internet but this horse is never going anywhere, I'm too selfish to share her with anyone. I mean they might not look after her like I do!!

Anyway the prognosis is that her shoeing isn't balanced but when I said I would get my old farrier Pat from Crowley forge the vets all fell over themselves to say how wonderful he is, so I'm very happy to have my farrier back. The vets are saying 6 weeks for recovery for her  but I want to talk to Pat and maybe we can get her going sooner than that. I'd love to have her back on the team, that and she is getting so obese.

In other big news which my fat officey work butt is slightly frightened about, my bosses surgery that they said would be about 6 months away is next week so I'm going to have -pardon the French- shitloads to do. I think I have 10 horses to ride alone. Uhhh! Oh well I guess I will be skinny soon! Hopefully I can ride well enough that I get to keep riding them and not let her down.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fate you fickle fiend

It seems that life doesn't want me to move!! First my horse goes lame and then my blinking horse truck wont start. It's a weird thing to be moving again, it feels like all I do is move these days!! That being said I am very very very glad to have finished my job and hope I never have to go there ever again. I will miss my fellow staff and most of the customers but management can suck it as far as I'm concerned.

Connie looks to be improving but is still somewhat off. She was supposed to go to the vet today but Truckie wouldn't start after the weekend so I had to cancel my appointment. The truck is fixed though, it was a leaky connection to the solenoid so that was a big phew what with truck repairs getting expensive extremely fast. Connie has been left behind in the Bay of Plenty but I will pick her up next monday and go to the vet then. Hoping she stays lame until then which is horrible but I can't fix what I can't see you know. After all this time in a small paddock with limited movement the fact she is still unsound is probably a bad sign.

I'm very excited to start work tomorrow with the horses, and I have a friends horse I have taken on as a schooler to compete this weekend so I'm still going to be getting ring time which is nice. Looking forward to being able to look after my good buddy Ginga as well whom you should all remember from last season (as a prompt- big dumb roan) and getting plenty of saddle time and lots of hardwork as I have gotten quite fat what with the indoors officey type work I have been doing for the last two months.

It's a little bit scary because while I was working full time it was easy to be like well yea I don't do better because I am so busy and don't have the time yada yada and now I don't have that excuse I'm a little afraid that I will prove to be a bit of a flop as a rider, but then I would rather be scared now than regret it later.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The infamous toe landing

I have a very good little half andalusian horse with a big heart and try that makes up for her lack of sheer athletic talent. She would never be a hore that I would buy now probably but she is my buddy and I don't think I could ever sell her. She was really bred to be my Mums horse, but I sort of thiefed her. Here is the kicker with Connie, she has less than ideal landing gear. You can see in the picture above she is back at the knee and has two different angles on her feet. As a young horse she repeatedly abscessed in her right fore which led to her weightbearing more on the left fore which is flat and wants to run and the other to get quite clubby.

I have always known that this is an issue especially in a jumper so I havealways taken good care of her legs. She has been on an oral joint supplement since she was 7, I'm careful about how she is shod, I make sure she is fit for her work level, I rarely jump outside of shows and I'm careful about the ground she runs on. If the ground is hard I will  cold hose and poultice her precious front limbs. She also has back on track boots to prevent stocking up and promote blood flow. Seriously she is so well looked after. I have always known that she will have a shorter career than other horses, but I wouldn't ask more of her than she is comfortable with. To be honest I would never have predicted her competing to 1.25m (4'1"I think??)  but while she is still keen and not struggling I keep ticking along.

The problem was when I moved up here, I moved up not having a really really good farrier in the area. The first farrier left her heels uneven particularily on the clubby foot and I'm really pedantic about that one. I think got another one who has been doing a really good job, but despite her feeling comfortable in herself I have been feeling a niggle in her right fore, though no one on the ground has been able to see anything. Week before last she was quite lame but was due for her feet to be done. Now after having the reset she is even worse and in two weeks hasn't improved. I have a sinking feeling that we have over corrected the club foot and made her uncomfortable. Certainly she is squarely and constantly landing on the tip of her toe on that foot, some thing she has never ever done before. Her dishy andy movement can be quite deceptive but yes she is properly lame now, right before we were going to move down to further our careers. Horses have an immaculate sense of timing.

She is booked in for a lameness consult on Tuesday the 22nd, at the same clinic that diagnosed Kate with her arthritis as I pass near there on the way down to my new job. Then depending what we find I will cross over to my old farrier (though I don't think my current farrier has done anything wrong, he does a lovely job and her feet look beautiful externally, I really shouldn't have encouraged him to alter that foot so much) Still it may not even be her foot. If she needs some down time I will leave her at my parents to heal on the farm there. It's a really sucky feeling to know my mate isn't 100 percent and even if she recovers soon, I wont get a good run at the amateur series this season. Not that that matters so much as having her sound again. Still prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I'm very keen to find out exactly what is going on, and get it all sorted for her knowing that while she is toe landing she is doing herself harm.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Turning Pro

For some reason this post seems stuck on my fingertips and I'm finding it hard to write out, to send to the world at large knowing then that it is actually real. I handed my notice in at the rural supply store I work at which was a huge relief in its own right because I don't really enjoy being in sales, lack the killer instinct to close deals and I want to give everyone a discount which is nice for them but not for our bottom line. At the end of the day rumours started that my old boss was coming back and I could never work for her again, and I would have been ousted from the "acting" promotion I had been giving and I'm too poor to keep riding anyway it was clearly decision time.

All my life I have been absolutely horse mad to the point of obsession. I didn't run I cantered. My barbie games were based around the toy horses, and I have nearly always had a pony. I have noticed as I have grown up the friends I have ridden with have fallen to the wayside as life became more important and horses less so. And thats ok but unfortunately that has never happened to me. I get angry and sore if I don't get my riding time. I can just stare at a horse and almost drink them in. I love everything about them, even the cheeky yearling TB colt I'm teaching to lead/tie in return for satellite TV. I'll spend all day thinking of what training exercises, supplements, and bits of equipment I can use on the horses I am riding at the time to maximise their performance and comfort.

That being said my desire to ride is driven mostly by my competitive nature. I imagine I will always have horses in my life in one form or another, by now the desire to showjump is like a burning inside me. I want it so badly. I want to canter a good horse down to huge oxer and get that distance and just feel them explode under me. I love that feeling or just raw power that you get from showjumping. Don't get me wrong I like cross country but it scares the pants off of me. The derby was the first time I have jumped substantial cross country fences in about 6 years.

Eventing picture from looooooooong ago. Man I used to have big cajones! Anyway, back to the point I have thrown in my steady though relatively low income job and leaving my partner yet again in the pursuit of the saddle. Not that we are breaking up of course because he is a awesome guy and though he doesn't quite get it, he is happy for me to do what I have too. I'm moving back down the North Island to work with my friend whom is also an excellent grand prix rider to help her with her team. I'm sure a lot of shit picking is in my future but also lots of riding, a few break-ins and lots and lots of training. Connie comes as well of course. Like I could leave her behind! Iwill miss the rides in the forestry and the beach and I hope to be back and borrow a horse to hunt with Eastern Bay because its the best hunt ever, but otherwise its 2 and a half months of nothing but showjumpers until the competition season ends. I'm pretty excited about it, even though I will be poor and tired and taking part in one of the hardest industries ever.

I have done the 'right' thing for so long, steady job and income, getting the degree with honours etc, but it always comes back to the horse and I finally have the courage to go an have a run at my dream. Perhaps it will be a nightmare and I will hate it but if I don't try I'll never know and will always regret it I think. You only get to live once and maybe doing the dumb thing for a while is just what I need to do. So in two weeks I have my last day of work and then Connie and I move again to the next stage of life. And hey even if it doesn't work I'll learn heaps.

Kate who incidenty is in foal to Trumps yay!