Actual First Rides

My last post was not aptly named and also uploaded from my phone like 5 times (sadly I lost a couple comments when I deleted the extra copies). Serious WTF for my phone blogging app. I mentioned the first rides, but only shared media from ride 3 or 4.  Our first rides were pretty laid back with lots of walking.  I wanted to make sure his body was used to moving again after being on stall rest.  When a horse is going back into work after stall rest and an injury you want to be very aware of their whole body, not just the injury site.  They can very easily injure some other area due to trying to protect what used to hurt, as well as pulling a random muscle just like we can when we haven't exercised in a while.

Smiles and stretches...winning

Smiles and stretches...winning

His riding manners were much better than his ground manners.  We can walk around on a long rein, but he was mowing me over on the ground on the regular.  Something that he is great at on the ground and under saddle is standing still.  Like seriously omg wow! A brand new OTTB who wants to stand still? I'll take it.  So while leading him around we walk a few steps and stop and walk and stop and walk and stop, and guess what!?  He is leading much better.  I've had to think of new ways to do ground work with him since the typical methods of small circles and sharp turns isn't really the best thing for his stifle at this point.

Have I mentioned his tail?

Have I mentioned his tail?

He has thrown in a few spooks while I ride him, but they are pretty easily ridden through and he recovers quickly.  He also seems to keep his brain around, he might react, but he doesn't check out.

SMILES!

SMILES!

There is one totally fenced arena at the barn that is used for turnout, lunging, and horses that people want fenced in while riding. I might of tried using that ring for our first few rides, except that it is a bit of a walk from the barn.  As I mentioned his ground manners were rather lacking so I took my chances riding in the closer but unenclosed rings.  It was a good gamble. We started in the dressage ring, probably more for my brain than his.  Eventually we worked our way into riding around the jump ring.  As I get used to him (and he gets used to me) I can feel our confidence growing.  If he does spook or grab his ass I just push him forward into harder work and then when the moment is right give him a break.  He is realizing that it is better to just be chill.

He couldn't care less about the big flags!

He couldn't care less about the big flags!

So far he is doing great and settling into life as a sporthorse.

First Rides

Mr. Sexy chestnut is coming along well. I gave him a little ace for our first two rides just to be safe, but he hasn't needed it since. We just walked the first few times, but after I saw him trot like this in the paddock I decided we could trot too. 

 

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Hot damn

There is some weakness in his gait, but not actual lameness and he moves confidently.   If you are wanting a giggle watch this video with the sound on. 

 

He isn't 9 like my goofy husband says, he is 8.  That is his very first trot under saddle since his injury and I'd say it was pretty great, also how about that brain!  We trotted a few more times that ride and he got better and better. 

 

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What a good boy

I'm going to try ad get some new video of him tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed! 

 

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Can't get enough of this face!  

The new mystery man

It has come to my attention that if I don't write something about the new beautiful four legged man in my life y'all might end up on my porch looking for answers.  If that's true though maybe I shouldn't write anything as I'd love to see you all in person. *insert angelic emoji*

Cuteness overload

Cuteness overload

His name is Bear's Accountant. Kind of a terrible name. But Bear could be cute, like teddy bear. He does snuggle well.  So I call him Bear, but I also call him Mr. Bean, and that's a funny story. I've actually been watching him for just about a year.  Last year when I was looking for my makeover horse I saw Bear and fell in love, only to be disappointed when the hubby informed me he was winning practically every time he went to a race. 

I posted this the first week in March 2016

I posted this the first week in March 2016

Lest you think I was only in love with his dashing good looks, take a closer look at that picture.  He is standing on the race track (before he's even galloped) with a hind leg cocked while I chat with his rider. He walked on a long rein up to the track everyday, couldn't care less about the other horses zooming by him, and then walked back to the barn after training in just as relaxed a manner.  Husband was right though, he was winning regularly and still super sound, so I found Slider instead.

He was gorgeous in his own right

He was gorgeous in his own right

This year when we got to Phoenix we moved barns so that we could have more stalls, this ended up putting us in the barn next door to Bear!  Right about the same time we moved, he got hurt, bad.  He was in the starting gates (probably getting ready to win again) when the horse next to him acted up, making Bear act up too. He smashed his stifle, but it was too late and they were racing down the track. The jockey (who is married to Bear's Trainer/Owner) knew something wasn't right and eased him around.  Bear's leg was cut open and bleeding, when they got him back to the barn the vet cleaned it up and had to pull out fragments of bone and tissue. Everyone was broken hearted, he was a barn if not the whole backside favorite.  The vet said the first priority was keeping the wound infection free so that it wouldn't infect his bone/joint. It was touch and go for a while.

This is getting intense, here's a picture showing that it all turned out ok

This is getting intense, here's a picture showing that it all turned out ok

It looked like the worst was happening and the wound burst open full of puss and nastiness.  His Trainer was beside herself and honestly the vet wasn't being much help, this was more like an injury you would see happen in a pasture and not on the track so it was out of his expertise.  I had experience with strange hard to heal stifle injuries so offered it up.  They started flushing the wound with betadine water a couple times a day so that it would start to heal from the inside out instead of healing up on the outside first and holding all that gunk in.  It worked.  The swelling went down and the wound healed.  He had x-rays throughout the whole process and the bones are healed quite well.

Enjoying turnout

Enjoying turnout

About the time his Trainer was panicking about the prospect of putting him down because of the infection was the same time Hubby told her I wanted the horse if he healed up ok. She was shocked, you want him? I told her about my long standing crush and it was decided that if he healed that he would be mine.  I didn't know if it was really true or if I was dreaming so I commenced spying on him.  Alyssa and Aimee were always wanting more pictures of him, but you don't just go wandering into barns at the track to take pictures, hence the spying.  Mostly I'm just a dork so we started calling him Mr. Bean because that is who I looked like always peaking around corners.

Is that redheadlins or Mr. Bean?

Is that redheadlins or Mr. Bean?

Finally the day came that the wound was healed and the x-rays said he could go back to work.  I was giddy and promptly tried a bridle on him, because that's what we do when a race horse is going to be a sport horse soon.  So arrangements were made and he came to the barn.  It is up to him now about what his future will be.  He is cleared by the vet to do anything, now Bear (Mr. Bean) just has to tell us what that is.  If the answer is nothing, his race Trainer will take him back and he will go live in a nice pasture.  If the answer is low level stuff, I will get him ready for that job and then find the perfect person to do that with him. If the answer is something amazing, well then I have myself a new partner.

Goofing off on our first ride together.

Goofing off on our first ride together.

And yes Mr. Bean also works as a nick name because accountants can be known as bean counters, sadly though I wasn't that witty when we started calling him that.

Stuff of Dreams

Incase there was any doubt, the Kentucky Horse Park is amazing. So  amazing in fact that two days before the competition I freaked myself the f out. Thank goodness the lady I traveled from Arizona with was amazing and helped me pull my head out of my ass. Slider thanked her as well! 

 

when a brand new acquaintance turns  into a really good friend! 

when a brand new acquaintance turns  into a really good friend! 

Slider traveled like a million bucks, and was truly a gem at the competition.  He was tense, but that was it. No spooks or anything, he was 100% rideable the whole time. 

 

our first ride around KHP

our first ride around KHP

The cross country course is behemoth. Not many rolex jumps were out, but the sheer amount of space was almost overwhelming. To be surrounded by so much beauty and history was definitely inspiring...after I finished having my meltdown. 

like oh em gee

like oh em gee

If you are a fan of Thoroughbreds you have to make it to the RRP Thoroughbred Makeover. It was amazing to see all the different body types and various training styles.  I was blown away by how calm many of them were, the winner of the hunter division was fantabulous! 

 

Slider was a hacking champion 

Slider was a hacking champion 

Almost every single person I talked to was friendly and just as excited as I was to be there. RRP truly created an amazing atmosphere of learning and camaraderie. 

 

I really didn't  want to leave Kentucky when it was all said and done.  The rolling green hills and miles of black fence. It is like poetry about spring and dawn, everyone says   the same thing yet it never gets old. 

 

damn that trot

damn that trot

The trip even came with a fun blogger meet up! 

hello Monica! 

hello Monica! 

She is so friendly and  great! She brought a friend and my friend from Georgia was there and my dad. Us girls start talking ponies and after a few minutes my dad says wait a minute have you guys ever met before?  We all had a good laugh  and told him no, horse girls are just that awesome! 

I walked the cross country course with  Slider several times just enjoying the sights. 

I'm not the bravest rider in the world, but someday on the right horse I still dream about galloping around that course. It will be amazing. 

 

not going  to be on  Slider though

not going  to be on  Slider though

I keep getting distracted while typing this up so I'm going to end it here and then come back to write about specific rides. Talk to y'all soon!

Heading east

Just went through St. Louis, next stop Lexington!!! I am beyond excited! Slider is traveling like a champ.  I left Idaho for Phoenix just over a week ago. After soaking up 7 days of sun my traveling partner  (a fellow makeover competitor based in Phoenix) and I headed out early Saturday morning. Our first layover was in Amarillo  (my hometown), then we stayed in Eureka, Missouri. I have truly loved watching the country roll by. The changes in terrain and the composition of soil and vegetation is fascinating. #nerdalert. 

 

Oklahoma sunrise

Oklahoma sunrise

Amarillo sunset

Amarillo sunset

Illinois sunrise

Illinois sunrise

I don't think the fact that I will be riding at KHP had actually hit me yet. Will most likely be some squealing when we arrive at the entrance. 

 

smiles all around

smiles all around

I know Monica will be there, I hope maybe some of you others will come? I actually have an extra ticket (does that count add buying friends?). I'm in stall 123 and Slider is horse number 15. He is in the sale so come buy him! We do dressage Thursday morning and the freestyle mid day Friday. Keep all your fingers crossed that we qualify for the Saturday finale! 

 

pretty boys

pretty boys

ok it is light enough to start taking pictures so I'm out. See you in Kentucky!