Friday, September 13, 2013

More on the Mare

Well here we are on Friday the 13th and so far it is in fact shaping up to be a pretty depressing day.

I found out this morning that I need a new radiator for my truck.

An hour later my oldest son called and told me that he hit a curb with my new Envoy and blew the new tire, busted the wheel, and who knows what he did to the alignment.  Luckily he works in a repair shop so it will get fixed, but it never should have happened and the timing sucked! He says the custom wheels I have are no longer made, so now we he will have to buy 4 wheels and a new tire. 

Luckily I keep a tub of home made cream cheese frosting in the freezer for days just like this, and I am happily chipping away at it even now. It doesn't fix anything but it makes me feel better!

Yesterday the farrier was out for Sassy.  He put the wedged pad shoes on her, but he also added gel in between to give her some relief for her thin soles. We talked a lot about toe first landings as opposed to heel first landings, and unlike a different farrier I had used who said it wasn't "that" important. This one says it is very important and that is what we are hoping for.  He also did some things different at the heel than most farriers do in this situation, as in, brought the shoes back further to really give her good support in the back.

Let me just say that I am not as optimistic as he as.  This is in no way a reflection on the farrier.  He did a great job and his goals make sense to me. But I am pretty much convinced that there is no hope for this mare.  If she were a wild horse, she'd have been eaten by a Puma long ago.   Natures way of keeping the herd healthy.   Sorry if that seems harsh.

The farrier did impress me in many ways.  His name is Charlie Hill, and if you would like to know more about him, check out his website  He is more than a farrier, he is actually a very gifted horseman, and this was VERY apparent to me as we talked about my ponies. I watched him move Miss Sassy this way and that with just a finger strategically placed here or there.  He speaks about horses in ways that I have read about but am just beginning to really grasp.

One of the things we talked a lot about was mechanics.  He says that while most clinicians teach foundations, he likes to start with the mechanics and through that, the foundations come.  In some ways, I think that is kind of cool simply because although I understand all the foundations, I can not execute the mechanics and there for my foundations don't hold up.

Charlie was a student of Ray Hunt's and listening to him talk about his personal relationship with this legend was pretty awesome as well.  We talked about a lot of the big name clinicians, what they have in common and what separates them from each other.

We talked about Trax and our issues, where we started, and where we are now. He applauded my work so far (always a good way to get on MY good side- lol) and then he gave me some new perspective to think about.  For example, was his blow up the other day really about the rope or did I make it about the rope?

We talked about how he was so hard to teach to flex laterally. I told him how he would spin for hours.  He asked, "Were you pulling his eye or pulling his head?"  And then demonstrated with Sassy, about hand position in relation to jaw position.  I can see now that I was in fact pulling his head and he was following his nose.

When we talked about my goals with Trax, and how I want to learn to communicate less with my hands and more with my body, he said he could help me.  He invited me to come and ride at his open ride night, or to schedule some lessons, which ever I prefer.  It wasn't a "come spend your money with me" sort of hard sell. It was more of a, "I can see you really want this and I think I can help you" sort of sell. Of course he is going to get paid, it is how he makes his living.  Asking for it for free would be disrespectful.

Afterwards, he gave me light exercise instructions for Sassy and she had those this morning for a bit. She is still sore on certain steps.  But sometimes she isn't so there is some progress. We hand walked down the road and did some light round pen work. Very light...just walking but the goal is to stimulate the blood flow.

Now it is time for me to put the frosting away and get ready for work.

Take care everyone, stay inside its friday the 13th!


  1. It seems car trouble always has to come in droves. Tell your son to stay away from curbs or he'll find himself riding a horse everywhere. One time I just swerved slightly to avoid glass in the road, and my wheels got sucked off the asphalt onto the shoulder, and there just happened to be a really sharp metal post sticking up out of the shoulder that took out my two tires on the right side. I said, "Next time I'm just driving over the glass."

    But it sounds like you've got a good connection in the horse world... and some yummy comfort food.

  2. Sorry about the car trouble! Glad it was only a curb he collided with, though.

    You carrier sounds like a great guy. Can't wait to hear how lessons go. And I really hope Sassy continues to improve.

  3. When it rains... :-(.

    But the new farrier sounds promising and I always like to hear about farriers that place the shoes far enough back to give the rear of the foot the support it needs. That one simple act can fix a lot of problems.

    1. Thank you, that is really good to know. Although the theory made sense to me when he explained it, I haven't ever heard anyone else say it before.

  4. MMM Homemade cream cheese frosting sounds wonderful!

    Poor Sassy, but there is a point where you just gotta decide if its worth it, both for her to be in pain all the time and for you to keep trying, but that being said, I hope it work out for her.

    Pretty cool you can go take lessons I bet you could learn a lot he sounds knowledgeable

    1. I think she seems a little better today, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  5. Sounds like an interesting guy, and a good one to take lessons from.
    Just a few comments on your blog set-up- any way you can change your settings so that we don't have to click on the post title (which is invisible due to the color of its font, I have to hover the mouse around till I find it) to find a way to comment?

    1. Yes I know, annoying isn't it. I have tried to fix it. I will try again.

    2. Okay I think I have fixed it.

  6. I love cream cheese frosting too. :) And I also tease Lilly all the time about how she would have been dead long ago if she lived in the wild. I thought it might make her more grateful, but so far no luck. LOL

    I'm glad to hear the new farrier is optimistic about Sassy. That's always a good sign, and it sounds like he really cares about horses. That's sometimes hard to find in the horse world, as strange as that sounds. There are people who like to make money in the horse business, and then there are actual horse people who are in it to help the horses, and earn a living along the way. He sounds like the latter. I hope this works out well for the both of you.