About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Intrepid Riders Faction Blog award!


We got an awesome award from Pru and Olly (aka BigRedHorse) 

She said (fyi, I had to put the text in Red b/c it's Olly's color):


"When I read the description of this award, I instantly thought of her. She has gone through the most terrible times with her OTTB Laz. She has overcome the financial and emotional burden of owning her own horse. She has remained by his side through thick and thin. She has watched her boy endure pain from founder, when he could barely walk and at one point had an appointment scheduled for euthanisia, but she knew in her heart that Laz was a tough boy. She cancelled the appointment and held her head high. In her mind she knew that she may never ride Laz again, but it was worth it to just hear his whinney and be near him. Because of her courage, faith and maybe a little craziness, Laz is is making an awesome recovery and they have stared light riding. I read everyone of her blog posts. I am proud of her and Laz's success. Follow her their recovery. She is one amazing girl. "


Awww, thanks guys! Bu what Pru has shown me, is fearless riding and guidance to her beautiful TB who has grown into such a power horse and clearly love love loves what he does!  It's awesome to see..their videos rock! They are both total athletes! xo you guys! :) To my readers, if you don't already drool over Olly's skill, check them out at her killer blog...click Here!!


~INTREPID RIDERS FACTION ~We strive to go where others only dare to go with our horse loves...healing,being respectful of the horse, riding, playing, camping, jumping, swimming and traveling down the trails of life. . . . with the horse in Heart ~ Overcoming many obstacles and sometimes weather, to ride!
This Award is dedicated to those Horse lovers and riders that inspire others to go deeper in ability, knowledge and understanding of the Equine(s) they have been entrusted to.The good of the horse is the ultimate goal apart from pressures to achieve ribbons and fit into lesson schedules.
~Some of These riders are fearless, when it comes to weather conditions and the forecasting of them...being with their horses, fills these folks' soul and takes the cares out of daily routines.
~They are unconditionally loving to the horse and may have rescued it from known ailment or living condition.

~Others have researched and purchased/ acquired their horse, to find a difficulty in temperament or a physical burden within the animal. Yet, Being dedicated , they have persevered to proudly be in partnership with their horse, lovingly striving for deeper awareness's between them.
~Some horse lovers may have been riding for years and suddenly, had an accident that takes them away from the great joy and freedom they have, being aboard such a magnificent animal. ~They have allowed the healing horse to rise in their hearts once again, and beckon them back!

~
Fear is not my normal response to things ... just a desire to achieve higher understanding of what may lay ahead of me with my mare, that truly is a gift to my heart and soul. I always seek out knowledgeable and caring individuals to assist me, in any quest I may look into.
I am taking with me the good I have leaned from caring individuals that have shown great single minded LOVE to the horse, and am leaving the dust of the bad behind me, not allowing it to fetter my supreme desire to be all I can be : as a rider to my mare or gelding and also - to allow- her to be the Equine athlete she truly is!

There are not many rules with this award...JUST : 
1)that you give it to only one person
2)link back to this post, so they may have an understanding to it's true nature.
3) You may use any or all of the written descriptions, with the award picture.


The person I am passing this down to is:

Our good bloggy friend "Denali's Mom" at Green n Green=Black n Blue

Denali's Mom (I know her name but she goes by this on her blog, so I'm respecting her wishes) is a TOP horse Mom.  Her beautiful mare, Denali, has gone through some rough times since she was rescued and her Mom has been there at her side, treating her (and us) with humor the whole way.  
I, personally, hold a dear spot for DM (and countless others (Frizzle u too)) for the push-push-push to try barefoot with my boy when I was desperate for solutions. DM reached out to me personally and actually set me up with her barn's barefoot trimmer who lead me on my path to finding Cliff.  
DM's own battle to rehab her mare continues but they are making great progress and I just know that soon, she'll be able to show dressage on her own wild pony beast!! We love you guys! :)

To go with that..is this awesome video that I saw on Facebook...pretty much covers it! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Enjoying the last days of summer

Ugh, it kills me to acknowledge that summer (and sunlight) is coming to an end. Why?!
The blaring signs are everywhere.
Red leaves popping up, a deer crossing my path on my way home that is now in the dark when it used to be still sunny, cooler evenings (I think the horses enjoy this though so I'm cool with that), etc.

Anyway, today on my way out to the barn, I got a text from Cliff saying "I'm here"
Can you believe that I forgot?! I think work has been so crazy busy and I've been working so long/late hours that it skipped out of my mind. No big deal as I was already on my way, but I was about 40 minutes away, so Cliff said he'd just get started.  Things are still looking great and Cliff said to start getting him to trot a little bit and working new muscles. OK! 
Here's his right rear, looking about half way to normal town!



Laz this week has been the wonderpony love of mine!
He's keen on wanting to listen and behaving so well, and is so happy and calm! LOVE him!! He's very mouthy and nibblely in a cute and cuddly way...I know that all horses are like that and I LOVE that he is! He's very gentle about it and every once in a while, he tests the limits and if I just "ACK" at him, he backs off. Boy, he is so sensitive...it's something I've really come to adjust to.  His feelings are paper thin and he is QUICK learner. Angel boy!
So Tuesday, we had a great little ride. I even ventured out on the property where he hasn't been in months and he did great. He had such fun, in fact, he threw a couple of head toss, crow hopping bucks and trotted off with me. Fun and also, a bit interesting as I continue to learn his behavior. He was happy, not misbehaving and came right back down when I asked him to.  VERY different to when he's checked out mentally..he was still there with me and wanting to romp and play a bit. A great sign.
Today, after his trim, I just hand walked him and he did great. He reads my body language so well in our workings, it's sometimes crazy cool.
I decided that I also wanted to start working with him in the trailer and getting him used to that for our future trail rides next year.  So, today, I had him walk up with me and nibble some treats, stand quiet and back down. He did great and didn't hesitate a second. He DID get sweaty and a bit anxious, but behaved and listened.  I'm sure, he associates trailer rides with racing, changes of home and not anything overly positive.
I was proud of him. I walked him out and around in a couple of circles and he let out a couple of rear, bucks a little too close to me, so I walked him back to the arena and lightly lunged him to get out his willies.  I imagine he had some built up nerves and energy from the trailer...and I can equate it to this.  You know when you are in your dark basement, doing laundry, and you come back up the stairs...and the last two to three steps you fly up feeling that twinge in your stomach like someone's going to grab your ankles?! I feel like Laz had that type of feeling, where bucking just felt good.  No problem in my book.  We went back in the trailer once he settled and he did great again.  Done for the day and let him graze and chill.

Here's an interesting question for my knowledgeable readers.
When I arrived, Laz had this wet spot on his rump, shown below.
I didn't think anything of it, as if maybe he rolled in something wet.
I groomed/cleaned him and it dried.
After the trailer training, and him grazing for about a half hour..the spot was back. (picture below is after)
Sweat!  Isn't it in a weird spot? He hasn't shown sweat in this spot before (his neck has a spot which appears sweaty first).  Any reason for concern? Just weird?

And random, but wanted to share, I got this cool car sticker when I was in Harbor Springs, MI on vacation with the Hubby..isn't it perfect?!
Hope you all are enjoying these last days (weeks I hope) of summer with your horses! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

ShrinkyDinks


It's great heading to Chicago to see my family and say goodbye (although that part sucks) to my sister before she heads back to South Africa. 
I wish I could Shrinky Dink Laz and take him with me.
I miss him when I'm away!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Still knocking on wood, but less

I can't help but think that I got VERY lucky.  I feel like we are having such amazing progress that it sometimes scares me into thinking I could jinx myself...but then I remember, "no, we worked hard to get here." So we deserve it, Lazarus deserves it.

Anyway (knock on wood regardless) things are going great.  Lazarus now is able to graze most of the day in his private pasture, which is good grass but nothing spring lush (thank god) so it was a great time to do it.  He is getting a few flakes of day, of alfalfa/grass 1st cutting mixed in with his regular 2nd cutting grass hay...doing well with it.  He is to slowly get back on Selenium over the next 3-4 weeks until his gets his normal dose.  I think for now, that is the only supplement I'll have him on for a while.  I don't want to put anything in his body that could trigger some effect on his feet.
About our ride.  Actually, to back up, Mason my Chocolate sweet boy is not feeling well.  Something is up and I'm keeping an eye out. He's thrown up a few times over the last week and a half.  Today, he puked in my car but it was just liquid.  When he was a young pup, he used to throw up when he was hungry, and he got his dinner late today (bad Mom) because we were at the barn late...so maybe...but I'm watching for anything else and then will promptly take him into the vet.  Other than that, he seems mostly normal..a teeny bit more tired than normal.  Fingers crossed my Masie Pie is ok.
In horse news, my wonderpony and I had another great bareback, halter only ride. Go us! 
It was really windy today and the neighbor (who I swear knows when I ride because it's when he draggs out all the rusty crappy tools and machines he decides to work on) was causing a ruckous.  It was making Laz quite attentive (he does NOT like the neighbors, I assume becuase of the noise and it's behind trees so he can't see what is going on to tell him it's not horse eating) and a bit on edge.  Of course, when you feel your OTTB tense up, it may make you more tense, right? So I realllly tried to just breathe, talk with Laz, encourage how handsome and brave he is, and keep the reins LOOSE.  We did great. He only spooked SO minor that it was impressive. Impressive because, I swear, he usually would have done his side jump spook, but today, he just dropped and tossed out his right front as if he was like "I"m outta here, but wait...I think we are actually ok Mom"  
He's THINKING!!! I'm so happy for that, that I rewarded him with pats and praise. I don't mind if he spooks, if he's thinking.  He's courage is building.  We are now from a pea to bean. YES!

His hooves are looking great, except he chipped his front right (club foot) and it looks ugly but it's not bad.  The concave cupping is really starting to appear when I pick out his hooves (not quite yet in the severe laminitic left) and they look healthy and strong!  He has not wanted to trot lately, not on the lead, not when riding.  When I say trot, I mean, literally trot for about 6-7 beats, that is it. Probably 15 seconds. I ask, and if he wants to, then we do. If not, I leave it alone and figure he's not ready.  

So instead, after our great 20 minute ride, I did a mini back massage that the Chiro showed me to do. It's amazing how quick he sweats where I rub his loin area.  She told me to go against the muscle. So at his loin areas, before his hips, I rub up and down (like North and South) which is against the muscle strings which grow horizontal with the back bone.  He seemed to like it. I'm not as strong as the Chiro though.

Also, I received a great newsletter from Michigan State University, about Equine "Big Medicine" and thought I would share...click HERE.
 There is some great advice, and some things to think about...I myself am starting to question all the vaccinations 'needed' for horses but need to do TONS more research.  I do think, in my heart of hearts, that Laz's colic/fever that caused his laminitis was from Putomac, which he WAS vaccinated for. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Holy barn of Heaven

So about 10 or so years ago, when I was visiting Up North, there was a sign claiming a new "Equestrian Club" was to be built. 
Of course, I was obsessed. 
This past trip with my Husband, we were touring a lot of Up North Michigan, this was the first time I  went in to FINALLY check it out.
Wow, it was nothing short of very impressive.
The biggest and best surprise were the calm, sweet horses that were on turnout or in stall, well taken care of and seemingly looked very happy.
And how fresh, crisp and clean it smelled...everywhere.

Upon entering...
 The snob in me LOVES a gated and rock pillared entranceway.
Ahhhh...Heaven, is this you?
So, the barn of all barns.
 
One of the pastures...every pasture was lush, with shelter and there were 1, 3 horses in each of the LARGE pastures.  There is a lot of land here.
Also there are miles of trail access and I THINK, not sure, that you could access Lake Michigan to take your horse swimming (oh how I would love to take Laz there swimming...such a beautiful clear lake)

Not sure what this was...a side garage? Beautiful anyway


 The main outdoor arena...huge.  Sanded and grass (nice to have the different footing I thought) and a gazebo for hot parents to watch in shade.
 Full view of outdoor
The young girl was getting a lesson and the trainer seemed patient and kind and very positive on her cantering.
 Entrance to the stalls


Inside:
 Front reception room, and indoor thru the barn doors
To the left (and right) when you walk in are four wash rack areas (HUGE again) on each side 
Also..this place was SO clean..not one hint of urine smell
Stalls, glorious stalls...I would imagine a 12 x 14, or 14 x 14...HUGE
This was a large Andalusia X horse
 If you stall your horse, how nice to have the stall matts and this thick bedding (cleaned every day)
...well we do have that at Laz's barn :)
 This gentle giant took a nice roll after I rubbed him face and coo'ed at him for a good 5 minutes

 We took the stairs up to view the indoor from above
The club room on 2nd floor
 View from above, of the large indoor.
Look at the ceiling height...no choking on dust in this arena

 Watching another one bite the dust into horse love
 Club room again
 Club room
 One of the trainers taking her horse out to pasture after his lesson
 I loved how serene this barn was...I swear every horse was calm and happy.
This guy just kerplunked after her to get to his pasture
To me a sign that the horses are not deprived of turnout


 Huge dressage arena too, outside



On our way out....I didn't want to leave. How sweet that my Husband even said "well, if we ever moved up north,  maybe you could work there to get Laz to stay there." LOL!
I would shovel some major SH*T no problem.

For more info on this facility, click HERE
I will say the staff I met, briefly, were incredibly warm, welcoming and informative...I think a minority when it comes to barns this nice, so that was a great surprise. 
The full board is $925 a month
Pasture board is offered at $500 a month (May-Oct only) with access to full facility. (I thought THAT was a great deal)
If I win the lotto and move up north, I think Lazarus and I would adjust quite well here. ;)
Wow........
Do any of your barns look like this?????

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Monkey's Wedding

Today, I literally woke up giddy with excitement to see Lazarus.  It was a familiar feeling of when I was younger, on the days that I had a riding lesson.  So nice to feel that again!
It's been a trying year, a lot of up's and down's with his health and in training and learning, but lately, it's been SOOOO nice and even.
I jumped in the car with Mason (who by the way, our puppies were over the moon excited to have us back and cuddled all day/night with us) and drove out to Laz.
When I pulled up, I called to him where he was out in his new extended pasture area (Cliff approved).  He lifted up his head, looked at me from the distance and then resumed eating.
I chuckled and thought "oh well.  I guess I missed him more."


But then, I called to him again and started up towards his stall and he started knickering so loudly, repeating and came trotting up to me! 
LOVE LOVE LOVE!
He has been knickering once or twice upon my arrival lately, but today, he was a knickering fool! It was so damn sweet! 
It was like "Where were you? I have missed my work and you, and look how dirty my back is, and I have itches you need to get, and I missed you Mom, and do you have any carrots, and are we riding today, and you smell nice, and Hey Mason."

So, I curried/brushed him back to his normal state of clean (love summer coats).
Picked his hooves which are looking SO good!!! 
We did a half hour of hand walking and worked in the arena.  We've been working on backing up and working all types of his back muscles, and more poles, etc.  Lots of petting, and rubbing and carrots because he didn't miss a beat. I wasn't sure if a week off of any work would leave him behind, but not a bit!
So, I hopped on and we had a great little ride.  He was calm, responsive, eager to work and relaxed. No spooks and it was a bit windy and weather was goofy with spots of rain, and sun, etc.  
I even tried to ride with my reins completely on his shoulder and using only my legs to turn him.  He got it about 90% and we worked in and out of cones, and through the obstacles no problem.  A couple times I had to resort to a little rein reminder but I was SO proud of him listening to my aids.  I'm sure I'm not always clear to him so I really concentrated on mental, then physical aids and it seemed to work.  He was licking, licking, licking our whole ride. Angel boy!  He really enjoys his work and carries a sense of pride when we ride together. 
So after our ride, I dismounted, hugged my wonderpony and decided to give both he and Mason a bath.
It was HOT today, but like I mentioned, the weather was goofy.  

During Laz's bath, it was sunny and started raining!  
Mason enjoyed his bath too running around like a maniac with shampoo all over him, then racing back to be rinsed off, and off again and then back for conditioner and off again.  He was a tired pup on the way home.

Laz was a rockstar today, he has been channeling this new calm attitude which I adore!  He is so calm now during his baths, his grazing on a lead, etc...last year, he was so much spookier/nervous/not trusting.  I'm so glad for our strides in our teamwork.
I'm so grateful to have this Bay OTTB in my life, to have as my horse.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Missing my sweet horse's breath!!!

My husband and I just got back from a BEAUTIFUL week long vacation Up North Michigan (stay tuned for fun photos) but I'm giddy knowing that I get to see my boy tomorrow!!!
I've missed him sooooooooo much and hope he still remembers me...do u think they know when you've been gone?! Does he know it's been days? Does he miss me?! I MISS him!!!
Can't wait to spend the day, reuniting, walking and riding and possibly a bath!
HOURS of pony time....coming up!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sweet sounds

You know those days, when you are running around like crazy...and you can't catch a breath.  
You get to the barn, you wheel around the stall to see your baby and this happens...............

video



Need I say more?

     Sweet Lazarus...