January 09, 2013

Thanks for the Adventure, 2012!!

I wanted to do a year end review sooner but my busy end of the year overlapped into the beginning of this new year, so here I am January 8th, 2013 looking back at my horsie year. I have to say that all in all it was a good year! I mean come on! I finally got a pony!

I began the year frustrated with schedules and not feeling like I had enough time to see horses (I think that’s still an issue at times!). Nothing was able to be done really, my instructor had time constraints and that just didn’t mesh with my time availability. It happens. I filled my time with new horse magazines and enjoyed a fire horse museum at a meeting location for my work.

I fell in love with Vantage Point Farms, it became my top choice for boarding facilities. It had a nice outdoor arena, no fence, nice indoor, large paddock for geldings, and good sized paddocks for mares with run in sheds. No round pen but there was easy access to trails right off the property.

Quinntessential Arabians had a client get together where we made horse treats and talked about….uh, horses! Uschi tried to play match maker and have me buy the cute chestnut mare of Amy’s. I wasn’t in a position to buy but found it fun to dream.

Steve and I attended the Rocky Mountain horse Expo in Denver. We really enjoyed Julie Goodnight! I also posted an article by a gal from Tampa that wrote in her local paper about being 40 when she got her first horse. I can relate! Then during a lesson Divine reached around after I dismounted and got the stirrup caught in her mouth!! Crazy! I went to another instructor and rode a really big Arabian named Ramses. I liked the lesson but just didn’t feel we clicked. I wasn’t sure what direction I was going with horses at the time.


This month I did some canter work with Divine and felt I made a few good steps forward! On a sad note a couple mares, Gretchen and Cleo at Fawor Foundation Arabian Rescue, whom I had wanted to meet for so long were adopted. I never got the chance to meet them but glad they found homes.

In late June and early July I was consumed with my job 24/7 for two weeks. We were dealing with the Waldo Canyon Fire here and I was activated in the Emergency Operations Centers. It was a busy time! Later that month I saw Esprit, while she was a beautiful little mare she wasn’t the right horse for me. Then I left with hubby to Cancun!!

I began my horse shopping in earnest! My first horse was a skinny Arab named Khan. I ended up calling the humane society and apparently he was already a case. So sad, I wished I could have taken him to a better home but hopefully he will be taken care of.

I viewed Whispering Winds Farm and placed it at the top of my list. I loved the large fields for my future horse!

August had some traumatic instances for me. I had three falls. First one was riding Divine and my foot got caught in the railing, Divine spooked and I went overboard. The next one was really horrible; I tried out a horse for purchase, Desperados Storm. He spooked under a tree and raced into the barn; I went flying into a stall door and landed hard on my rear on a cinder block or something in the aisle way. Ouch. Needless to say I didn’t buy him. Then I wanted a calm lesson on Divine, we were walking around the arena, we got to close to the wall post (the railings had since been taken down). I tensed and sort of freaked having my knee up to the post again, not sure how I guided Divine that direction. She spooked at my tenseness and trotted off and since I was so freaked out I ended up on the ground again. I fell REALLY hard and knocked the wind out of me. Never have done that before and it was SCARY!!!

I went to Kenlyn to check out two mares. Linda was very kind to me and I explained by recent falls and subsequent lack of confidence. The first mare I tried started to move off and I panicked a little. Linda jumped off her horse and grabbed the mare and had me get off and mount the other. She made me feel okay for being fearful and let me try out the other horse at my own pace. I was grateful to her kindness and understanding. The mares were fabulous but not for me.

Then I met Heidi the cute as a button, neighs when you dismount, Haflinger mare. She was too short and I looked ridiculous on her otherwise I would have probably taken her home! Next I met Brio a dark bay Arab and really liked him. I wasn’t entirely sure but he had potential. He got sick with a cough before Laurie could evaluate him....

Of course I ended up going to see a chestnut Morgan mare and there was just something about her, she was the one, I knew it. I liked her attitude her mannerisms and felt she was very kind and forgiving but not a push over. I made an offer and began setting up veterinary exams and had my trainer come out. This little mare had something special about her!

Vet exams went well and Dani moved to her new home, after training with Laurie for loading on the trailer. Dani has issues with trailers so I knew it would be an ongoing thing to train her but I felt she was worth that effort. The beginning weeks I worked with Dani on grooming, standing while tied and facing her fears of the wash rack which is much like an enclosed trailer. She even encountered a flapping flag and a Bobcat hauling huge hay bales quickly and loudly down the aisle of the barn! She seemed easy to teach and began looking to me for guidance. Laurie also hosted a “clinic” with a couple of us students, I don’t think I posted about it but it was a great clinic talking about communication and trying to be positive but not looking through “rose colored glasses” when it comes to working with horses. The three students each rode Divine through some simple exercises and while I was VERY fearful to get back on her I knew the fear was a bit exaggerated. The support from Laurie and the other riders during this clinic was awesome!

Dani got injured the night before I left to see my newborn nephew. Her left hind swelled up and the vet came out. She was bandaged for a couple weeks and stall bound. I couldn’t even do groundwork until the week of Thanksgiving!

Dani healed and when finally able to be back in her paddock raced off with tail high! I worked on getting her used to the indoor arena that was pretty scary and new to her. I also was selling items at home to start my saddle fund since I didn’t have one to fit her. Dani had her teeth floated (and man she needed it!) and her hooves trimmed for the first time under my ownership. The time change and then the beginning of friend and family visits reduced my time to spend with Dani. This is the reason she is on pasture 100%, I know she’s happy and content even if I can’t get out to visit her. I finally did buy a saddle and worked on finding the right girth and then found out my one bridle was way too big! LOL. And so it goes!

I did finally get the tack situated and rode Dani for the first time since I bought her. The ride went well for the most part and wasn’t complicated. Serpentines and changes of direction to calm me down and work Dani’s mind a bit. I got my cowboy hat that I love wearing, keeps my hair out of my face when not wearing a helmet and it looks cute! I also dealt with snowballs forming on Dani’s unshod feet and my hubby finally replaced his car that died in July with a nice GMC Sierra 2500!! The trucks name is Buddy and he should be a good trailer hauler! Most of December we had Steve’s parents back again in our house so it was fun to spend time with them, Cierra Steve’s daughter came for a week at Christmas. Dani got hurt again; her blanket butt bungee snapped and cut her leg. Another vet bill and some antibiotics for a few days, I got really good at giving her the pills turned to paste. At least this time the injury didn’t require too much maintenance. With lack of time and the injury I really couldn’t do much with Dani so I just visited her when I could to groom and hug her then it was off to family fun!

This year was a whirlwind towards the end. I dove into the deep end of the pool of horse ownership and have loved every minute! I look forward to spending more time with Dani and getting a little closer to our goals of riding trails together. I’m so happy to have met Dani and that she’s my first horse, she’s a great first horse, challenging but not too challenging and cuteness galore!! Happy belated New Year!!


Lauren said...

Hey! So, I know I have seen this before (because I am sketchy and have read your whole blog), but your year in review reminded me your worked in Emergency Operations. What do you do exactly? My fiance works for Douglas County and has been doing some stuff with their Emergency Management Office and LOVES it! I just thought it was interesting, another connection!

Ruffles said...

What a great year getting a horse must have been amazing. great post

Christie said...

Ruffles-It has been a dream come true, long time in the making!

Lauren-I do Emergency Preparedness for Public Health. In a nutshell I cover the Emergency Support function 8 which is Medical. We do everything from supporting medical needs in shelters, evacuating Long term care facilitie and coordinating special transport for those that can't self evacuate, we plan for pandemics and distribution of meds and vaccines, we plan for mass fatalities with the coroner and then if hospital are overwelmed we plan for alternate care centers to augment their staff. That's kind of the gist of it. So does the hubby work in the Office of Emeregency Management for Castle Rock or the county?

Lauren said...

Right now he does support services at the jail for the county, but he is also kind of interning (I guess...shadowing? volunteering?) a day a week in the office of emergency management. They are trying to expand and create new positions and then he will apply and hopefully work there full time. He absolutely LOVES it!