Tuesday, November 29, 2016

First November in NJ!

We are coming up to the year mark here pretty quick with our time in New Jersey.  Here is our first November in NJ in some pictures and video clips...

More pretty fall mornings.

Just after breakfast, which means pony group nap time was imminent.

One of their pastures looking pretty with the leaves.

Mochs lllloves her dad!  She always comes in when he calls her.  Check out how she's moving too!
A video posted by Stacey C (@jumpingpercheron) on

 Out for some slow gallops.

What ride would be complete without a roll afterward?!

My girl doing what she does...and looking beautiful while she does it.

We were schooling coming back when I asked and then lengthening in the canter at random intervals so she wouldn't anticipate. 

Also schooled lengthenings at the trot.  I'm VERY proud of this girl for where we're at with this.  She's off the ground in this pic if you look closely too.

A video posted by Stacey C (@jumpingpercheron) on
 
And here you can see it motion.  I cannot tell you how many people (some that were instructors) have told me that she's not capable of this because "she's not built for it" or "her neck is huge."  Noted. But I'm not expecting Grand Prix quality movements, but I KNOW she is capable, it just took a while for me to show her she CAN.  I know my girl, and I wouldn't ask her to do something I didn't genuinely feel she could do.  Also, it's taken a bit because I'm learning teaching her these things as I go as well.  She would have picked it up faster if I would have been a better teacher for her.

This is what happens when you are five minutes late to get dinner ready.  Wes starts throwing stuff on the ground in protest.  He has a routine, and that means EVERYBODY needs to stick to it.

*le sigh* it's been almost 10 privileged years of owning this mare and I still fall in love with her pretty much every time I look at her.  Totally considering getting another Klein tattoo lately, surprising, I know.

Have to be supple, though she's being a bit dramatic here.


The Other Half saw Mochs' favorite salt block was on sale at TSC one evening so he made sure to grab her one.  Here he is trying to show her he got her a new one.  Yes, he does lick the salt block too, you know, to demonstrate for her.

About to get goodnight kisses.

See?  Yep, this is an every day thing.

Warming up on our trails around our property.

He gives the best hugs because he's basically a giant teddy bear!

This is the stare down I get every single morning I come back from the gym.  If she had a watch, she'd be looking at it, tapping a hoof.  BTW, big horse people, Amigo XL, best draft blanket I've found so far.  Amazing cut, great fit, very durable!  I've tried SS Tack's Big Fella line and some others that were supposed to be cut for drafts and they just never fit great. 

I had to have another epidural spinal injection this past week.  This was the second one and should get rid of the rest of the nerve pain I had.  The first one took care of most of it, so they did a second one to clear up the last bit.  I highly recommend this procedure!  If you look at the second needle, you'll see kind of a dark v like line, that is the steroids being injected.  L4 and L5 were injected.  This does relate to riding since this part of the body is in heavy use while riding.  My nerve pain never was irritated by riding, but since these injections I do notice I feel more centered in the saddle.  This is most likely because I had begun to compensate over time and it wasn't noticeable because it was normal...until you feel the difference after they fix it!

Back to ponies...this is the camera on the iPhone 7 Plus.  It's amazing.

The Handsome with his dad.

Mochs searching him for food, of course.

Sweetest boy in the world.

Klein mare #dgaf

Fun with a small grid.

Jumping in from a long spot.  She was happy to get her feet off the ground that day and I had to ask her to bring it back a notch to pretty much everything that day.  She didn't get the memo in time on this one.

Here's the video:
And here she is disagreeing with a half halt, but she listened and got a perfect spot.

Getting fuzzy!

 
 Time for a fresh clip.

Oh and...we have a newly discovered event prospect in the house:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fall in the Pine Barrens


The other weekend I took Klein back to the Pine Barrens because out of all the places we have lived together, we have never lived somewhere that had four seasons and we could see the leaves change colors.  It has been especially beautiful lately and I have found myself taking a lot of random pictures of all the colors lately because this is all so different than what we are used to.




We had some perfect weather that day so we went for a long, easy ride to just enjoy the colors.  Klein had also just finished her antibiotics that morning for the Anaplasmosis so I really didn't want to put any load on her system.  A long, easy ride was perfect.  Speaking of Anaplasmosis, the vet told me that "inclusion bodies" for Anaplasmosis were present in her blood and that they only appear in a 12-24 hour window.  We just happened to be in that window when her blood was pulled.  So, as he suspected due to her symptoms, the blood confirmed 100% that it was Anaplasmosis.  Whew!  Easy enough to treat and move on!  She never did act like she was bothered by it, which still just blows my mind completely.

Looking at something only horse vision can see.

We also explored a new area that we have not been in before.  There are many more miles to be explored there and I think that place will be a really good spot for some spring conditioning when the time comes.

A lot of people were out enjoying the weather on foot, dirt bikes, and kayaks.  I do have to say, this spot is full of some of the most polite people I have ever come across when it comes to horse traffic.  All the dirt bikers either slowed way down or stopped and turned their bikes off as soon as we came into view and I had to promise them Klein didn't care about any of that so they were ok to start their bikes and go on by.  Some that passed slowly said have a safe ride, all the cars/trucks slowed down and waved or rolled the window down to say Klein was beautiful and ask what kind of horse she was.  If anyone in the area reads this, thank you for being so attentive to horses and so polite about passing them.

Some of the area had more color than others, which made it interesting because it was like we were riding through completely different places.  Hope you guys are out enjoying your ponies in the nice fall weather!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hot Water!!!!

 
 The Handsome after a warm bath.  The combination of a warm bath and some beautiful weather had him cantering around after his bath like a colt.

Recently The Other Half surprised me yet again.  We have a fully plumbed and powered barn, the one thing it is missing is hot water.  The weather has been really nice lately and The Other Half said something about baths for all three ponies and I said “Yeah, probably the last one for a while.” Little did I know he contacted one of our friends to ask about her hot water heater for her barn.  She had a pretty awesome set up with it on a cart so you can take it anywhere you need and have hot water.   He got the information on what type of heater it is and went on Amazon.  He found the perfect heater for what I would need.  Here it is if anyone is interested:  https://www.amazon.com/Eccotemp-L10-Portable-Outdoor-Tankless/dp/B002JLSH5S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478651941&sr=8-1&keywords=eccotemp+l10
 
The next day it showed up at the house and The Other Half had all the fittings and pieces he’d need.  We looked at mounting it on the wall of the barn by the wash rack but I can all but guarantee it would have only been a matter of time before Wesson tried to knock it off the wall, because that is one of his hobbies.   I decided it would be better on a dolly because then I could move it where ever I wanted and it could be in the storage stall when not in use.
 
The Other Half did an awesome, awesome job with it.  It is very easy to use, all I have to do is connect the hose from the heater to the spicket at the barn and then turn the valve on for the propane tank.  From there you adjust the heat as needed.

The finished product!

The flame kicks on immediately, and the water is instantly hot.  I LOVE IT! The pones love it too.  They like their hot baths. Klein, the princess that gets offended any time I even think about going near her face with a sprayer lets me spray her face with hot water.

This is going to make my life a lot easier when spring shows roll around.  Plus, if you know the bittersweet heartache of owning a grey...hot water is your friend when it comes to cleaning them.  This will also allow me to bathe Klein more frequently in the colder months so that she can stay cleaner overall.  Thankfully Wes and Mochs hide dirt pretty well for the most part.  I don't know what I'd do if I had three greys.

The Other Half is also in a FB group that Horse Hubby started and is full of other horse hubbies that either share great ideas or cry on eachother’s shoulders because they all share the pain of being slaves to the horsebeasts.  He posted the picture of the set up so that other horse hubbies could see it in case they wanted to put one together.  Horse Hubby made it into a meme and shared it on his page.

  Well...he's right.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

"This thermometer HAS to be broken!" aka KNOW YOUR DRAFT HORSE!

Klein baby happy to be out this evening for a walk.  We were checking out our ring before heading across the street.

It's a well known fact that full drafts are very stoic, yet somehow very cheap dates when it comes to drugs for veterinary procedures.  Klein has always been a very tough mare and I always have the fact that full drafts are known to be stoic in the back of my head.  I'm convinced that Klein would run herself into the ground before she quits something.  That is something that is ALWAYS in my head when I condition her, and a big part of the reason why I monitor her fitness with a heart rate monitor, so I know exactly what is going on because if there was a problem, she might not tell me for a while.

Last Sunday I brought Klein in for a bath and noticed she was breathing a little heavy, which was weird because she wasn't doing anything other than grazing before I brought her in.  It wasn't hot, there is no other reason she should have been breathing like that.  I grabbed a thermometer and imagine my surprise when it read 103.8.  After about five minutes her breathing was normal again and by this time I had taken her temperature three more times because I didn't believe it.  She was acting 100% normal.  How?

I gave her a bath and had The Other Half change the battery in the thermometer.  Same temp.  I stood there saying "This thermometer HAS to be broken?!"  I put her back out for a while to watch her and she still acted like absolutely nothing was wrong.  She was happily grazing and even took a nap IN the sun.  I had The Other Half grab a different thermometer because none of this made any sense.  Same reading.  W...t...f...? 

We gave her a granola bar and she was just as excited as always for it.  We brought everyone in for dinner and Klein was nickering for hers.  She ate normal.  I gave her some bute and checked on her a little while later.  When I went out to check on her she was munching on hay like normal and her temp was down to 101.  I went back out an hour after that, same thing, munching on hay when I went to get her.  This time she was down to 99.  It was about 10pm by this time and I felt like she would be fine through the night.

The "excuse you, we're ready for dinner" signal.

The next morning I took her temperature, 99 degrees.  I went to work and took her temperature when I came home, 98.8 degrees.  She was still acting normal.  Eating, drinking, bossing, etc...  She even went bucking and squealing when The Other Half opened the gate that evening to let them into their other pasture.

The next morning I had a minor surgical procedure (nothing serious, just an injection) and I had to stay home for the day.  The Other Half had to stay home to watch me since I was heavily sedated and had IV pain meds for the procedure.  I went straight to bed when we got home to sleep off the rest of the sedation since I was completely out of it.  The Other Half had the ponies where he had a full view of them all day to see if anything funny was going on.  Nothing.

When I woke up I went out and took Klein's temperature, 104.9.  I called the vet and he was out within an hour.  While we were waiting for him we watched Klein take a big drink of water and boss Mochs off the mineral block because SHE wanted the mineral block at that same second.  Her behavior completely defied any logic.

Hanging out in the pasture in the awesome hammock The Other Half bought, waiting for the vet and waking up from la la land.

The good news is, it's just Anaplasmosis (the new name for Erlichiosis, what Mochs had earlier this year).  It's a minor illness from a tick bite.  He gave her an IV injection of antibiotics and bute to break her fever and give the bug a drop kick.  I also had him pull blood to make sure nothing else was going on.  Klein was down to 99 within an hour and a half.  She even had her feet done right after the vet had left and stood just fine for her pedicure.  Unbelievable to me how she could just go on like she DIDN'T have a raging fever.

The vet commented about how stoic these horses are and then said "you know if she was a TB, she'd be on her death bed."  Ha!  But, this is really no bragging right about how stoic she is.  If something is wrong, I really wish she WOULD be dramatic and let me know.  Thankfully I noticed that short, five minute, heavy breathing episode or who knows how long she would have let this go before sounding the alarm for me.  She is one tough mofo.  She doesn't go down without swinging that's for sure.  OG status re-certified.

The point of this is, know your horses.  Know their behaviors, their routine, or even what a normal temperature is for them.

Klein is on five days of doxy (orally) and her temp has never went back up since it broke with the injection.  I took her for a walk across the road tonight just to get her out, since clearly she doesn't feel bad.  We kept it to a walk though.  She doesn't like being idle, and I'm sure it makes no sense to her because she's not feeling bad.  I want her to finish her round of doxy before we start any real work.  I don't want to tax her system, I want that bug GONE for good.

 
  Just a pretty pic of part of the farm this evening. The leaves are starting to get really beautiful this week.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Schooling at Home


Klein has been schooling extremely well over 3'6" at home.  I realized we don't school it enough if we want to be a little more accurate at that height, so I changed that recently.  I don't school her at that height every week, but we have definitely included it more.  It has shown up in some course work and it's shown up in some of our gymnastic work.

 *sigh* those knees.

 
The standards are 4', the oxer in this pic is 3'6".  I'm thinking one day soon we'll put the rails on the highest hole just once for funsies.

 A trot in grid with a 3'6" vertical on the end.

Apologies for the blurry pictures, as usual.  However, my iPhone 7 Plus has been ordered and should be here by the second week of November and the camera on this new version is supposed to be significantly improved in low light.  Also, now that it is fall and the leaves are letting go, it's lighter in our arena and that should help too.  I'm tired of these blurry, crap quality photos.  Anyone have a 7 Plus yet and care to comment about what they think of it so far?

A video posted by Stacey C (@jumpingpercheron) on

The Other Half also noticed a road barricade barrel had appeared along our property line one day.  It stayed for a couple weeks, no one came to claim it so he grabbed it for me!


#kleinmaredontcare

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Beach Ride!


A week and a half ago I took Klein to one of our favorite places, the beach.  Cross another piece of U.S. coast line off of our list.  We have now been to the beach in Hawaii, Florida, and New Jersey.

This is the first place we have lived that has restrictions on when you can ride on the beach.  Here it is from October-April.  You also have to make reservations here, something else we have never had to do. We also had to pay, yet another new thing.  You have to pay for everything in New Jersey.  I've learned that pretty quickly.  You can't even drive your truck and trailer across their bridges for less than $20 most times.  Anyway, New Jersey can't ruin the beach for us.  So, I took the first Friday of October off and we went to the beach by ourselves because sometimes you just need to go gallop your Heart Horse bareback on the beach.

Crossing the bridge to the Jersey Shore.

It was perfect beach weather.  I couldn't have picked a better day!  The beach wasn't too busy either, and there was no one in the direction that we were riding.  When I was getting to the parking lot one trailer was leaving and there was one still parked in the lot when we got there.  Those people were untacking so it was just Klein and I with the beach to ourselves pretty much!

As Klein and I walked by the trailer with the other two people they were dressed in pants and long sleeve shirts and their horses had been fully tacked up.  They started laughing at us.  I honestly have no idea what they were laughing at.  Sorry, but unless you go to the beach in the winter, I'm not wearing a shirt or shoes.  This is the beach people.  No shirt, no shoes, no tack, no problem.  I guess if you have a baby and it's their first time at the beach, I could see why you'd be tacked up.  Klein started going to the beach for sunrise beach rides in Hawaii when she was three.  It was one of the first places I took her off the barn property (because it was across the street).

How a beach ride should be.

We had an awesome time together like we always do.  I didn't get her in the water too deep because, it's cold up here.  The water never really warms up.  Getting splashed with it a couple times was enough.

Klein will never jump a Grand Prix course, but it is something special to be able to take your horse where ever in the world you feel like going and know you can go alone and there will be no shenanigans because you have that kind of bond with each other.

Here's some pictures and video from that day:

The trail over the dunes to get to the beach.



Perfection.

Just my girl and I.



Klein was entertained by the waves rolling in, watch them get her attention!

 





Here's a little ride along down the beach with us!


All done having a blast at the beach!  An appropriate shirt for the day too.  Die living.  Don't wait around to do the awesome things you dream of.  I cannot count the number of people that have come up to us while we are riding on the beach in every state we have done it in that say "oh, that's a bucket list item for me, it is a childhood dream to do that!"  Go do it!  Find a way! There's always a way, even if it isn't with your own horse.

This picture cracks me up because we even walk in step.  We are coming up on our ten year anniversary together next year.

This mare, yeah we might not be out galloping a xc course, but days like this with her are priceless to me.  These are memories that will be with me the rest of my life.

My beauty queen, ready to head home (P.S. thank YOU Back on Track for making your quick wraps in sizes that will fit her!).