amy.luxford

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About amy.luxford

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    http://www.myspace.com/thedarksideofamy
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  • Location
    Australia
  • Interests
    Horsies, Musics and Art
  1. I'm in two minds at the moment, trying to decide between horses. I'm currently looking at three choices: 1 - The Unbroke 5yo Mare 2- A well-started 6yo QH Gelding, beginning cutting training, done some barrels 3 - Going to the sales and getting a project pony. Friends have come back from local sales around my area, and told me all about some really nice QH, QH/X's going through that are started, and ready to go. But no-one in the area wants a nice cow horse, or WP prospect or anything that has to do with the good ole' Quarter Horse Breed Now that I'm on my own property with loads of space, I feel kind of bad because FatLola is all on her lonesome, just cruising by the apple tree every afternoon to see if any have fallen down. And I've been looking at getting another horse, because I want to do different things. I'd really like to get some confidence jumping and start Hunter/Jumper, or go up the other end of the pool and start to learn some rodeo events other than Barrels. When I say "confidence jumping", I can jump 60cm tops, and after that, Lola just plateaus and its a put off to me. I've taken her out to a few training day showjumping things that my old Pony Club ran, and she dumped me so many times, threw all the dirt out - and lets not even get started on the hickstead! But put her in a dressage ring (which we've given a rest for now), or in a speed event - and she's a completely different horse! I rehabbed Lola successfully (bought from the sales as a skinny greenie) with the help of an instructor just to help me iron out the major glitches, along with an OTTB and another barely-started grade gelding. The geldings have gone onto other homes. Option one is halter broke, and a registered QH broody. I've completely gone off the idea of breeding - so the broody part doesn't appeal to me in the slightest - and to me, its just as rewarding to take a blank slate and do something with it. There's a fabulous western breaker about an hour from me, who charges a good rate and I'm yet to hear a bad thing about his methods. I've been up to see his stables - all the horses are in good condition, happy, healthy and the facilities are immaculate. I like the 5yo mare; she's got a sweet disposition and no big stick-out conformation faults - I like her hip, I like her low-ish set hocks and her shoulders to die for. I don't think she's ideally built for speed, so she feels like a dead end - I don't want to spend $3000 (AUS) on an unbroke horse, with additional breaking fees, only to work out that she's not the talent I would have hoped her to be. I'm worried about breaking a horse that late - Lola is 14, and defiantely was broken late. She's an old broody too; and its taken two years and a few arguments for her mind to really mature into a learning/riding/listening mindset. Whereas, I can spend the $5000 to get a going, mature-minded gelding who's a little pushy and forward, but is a definate prospect at competing and getting me into the circuits. It's basically the package there. I'm in the process of scrounging for some good instructors so I can keep up with the horse and not "ruin" what he knows - he feels like a pretty switched-on boy. Third option is basically option one, really. I knwo it all comes down to how much I put in, and how much I WANT to put in. I've never really bought a horse privately - I've always gone off and bought them from the pens, because I liked the idea of having a horse that when I put in all those long, hard days where all I want to do is throw down the proverbial reins, I can turn around and say "yes! We just learnt that! WE did that!" I love that feeling when Lola and I have worked hard on something, and we finally get it. I love knowing that we worked out how it works for us, and not sending her off to the trainer and crying "Fix her! Fix her!" I got her so green, she was basically the grinch. She was scared, nasty under saddle and just yuck - but I totally loved her. But her talent can only go so far - she's a thoroughbred and thinks cows are a little scary - they smell funny and drool lots, according to her. Ok. Novel Over. Ugh. I suck! Anyone felt the same? Or am I just a one woman circus?! [Crazy]
  2. my equine teacher and I were talking about this today in class. Would you ever put a nasty/dangerous to sleep? A horse that was just downright dangerous to ride, handle, ect? My equine teacher, for example, knew of a gelding who had been through the mill (bought from the sales as a rescue), and was horrible to ride and handle. as he was being rehab'ed, he was calm. Until he started to get some weight and began to feel good again. The owner, at a complete loss as to why her horse was so hostile, sent him to trainers. He would do everything in his power to cause some kind of injury to his handler or rider. The trainers eventually gave up on the horse, deeming him "Frankly dangerous." In the end, after a dozen people had tried to help his owner out with handling and general training, and countless vet visits to try and address if there any medical issues that was causing him to be so downright mean, the owner sought vet advice again, after ignoring trainers suggestions of having the horse PTS. This particular vet gave his honest advice, to put the horse to sleep, because he would never be able to sold on (as it was blantantly irresponsible of the owner), and that despite how much she cared for the horse, it was much safer for all parties involved to have the horse humanely pts. I found this to be the best option for horse and owner. It saved the owner any more injuries (of which could have eventually resulted in something serious), and in a way, saved the horse from being sent to another home, where he could have ended up anywhere - causing injuries to inexperienced people who saw "a pretty horse", the kill yards - the list goes on. But, what do YOU think? If you were (or have been) in this situation, what would you do?
  3. Cudas Scootin Dj Needs Barn Name

    Cherokee? Nevada? I had a little coloured pony on lease ages ago, his name was Comanche :) She's a doll, none the less!
  4. Witty And Fun Horse Shirts?

    Classic! That sounds like the first show I ever went to! [ROTFL]
  5. Witty And Fun Horse Shirts?

    I sniffed out Lucky Bucky clothing when i read about the HC tshirt comp, and I'm definately buying some of their shirts! They're fabulous! I'm hooked on the witty horse shirts right now; its great to see non-horse people getting a giggle from them. Does anyone know of any other online stores that sell witty one-liner horse shirts? I'm thinking of putting the feelers out to find some for me and my riding buddies!
  6. Witty And Fun Horse Shirts?

    I sniffed out Lucky Bucky clothing when i read about the HC tshirt comp, and I'm definately buying some of their shirts! They're fabulous! I'm hooked on the witty horse shirts right now; its great to see non-horse people getting a giggle from them. Does anyone know of any other online stores that sell witty one-liner horse shirts? I'm thinking of putting the feelers out to find some for me and my riding buddies!
  7. Pics From Yesterday

    That saddle is a Half-Breed saddle :) It's a cross between a western and a aussie stock saddle. usually, they dont put the horns on though They're fantastic saddles anyway! I have one! It's my trail saddle!
  8. Training Too Young.

    I love Dr. Deb! My Horse Dentist went to a seminar she held here aaages ago, and just soaked in all of that information. We love her videos in Equine studies! It's always good to find out things like that (from bloodhorse.com), that there's not as many injuries as I thought. The couple that I've owned straight off the track, had some injuries that occaisionally gave them some hassles, but nothing a little bit of Ice Therapy couldn't fix :) Thanks for the input, Bumper! Please, keep the opinions and input coming :)
  9. Training Too Young.

    I've been asked to do a presentation on issues for my english class, and the racing industry was the first thing that popped out to me on the list our teacher gave us. I talked to her about it, as I don't know a great deal about the racing industry in general, but I do know enough to present to her and the class, the pros and cons of training horses (eg. racehorses, performance horses in general) too early, and pushing them too hard before their bodies are fully mature, how it effects the horse, his abilities if the proper care and time isn't taken, and how horses (like TBs) often end up with injuries and issues that stick with them for life, as a result of heavy riding as a youngster. I won't say I feel strongly about training too young; if it were my horse, I really wouldn't push for high levels of competition before the age of 4. Of course, unless my Vet thought that my horse was mature enough to handle it; but are those big purses and ribbons worth me risking the future health of my horse, regardless of how much he is worth? I think that horses can definately be trained early - especially and importantly groundwork. But I'd like to leave breaking until I felt completely sure his knees and back could handle the stress. I've always thought 2 1/2 - 3 was a good age to start riding, but I definately could be wrong! This is where you guys can help me out! I've got a showjumping trainer (who's also my Equine Studies teacher and high up in our local SJ club) to do a recorded interview, on what she thinks about pushing youngsters, how she trainers her horses, ect. I'm going to try a few other credible sources, such as another Instructor and a Welsh Breeder (not really relevant, but they're still equines!) to do biref interviews with aswell. I was going to talk about the large amount of unwanted, overbred/badly bred horses that go through the saleyards here, due to a multitude of reasons, and include how the Racing Industry contributes to the large number of horses that can't find homes, and how its completely ridiculous, unneccissary, and borderline cruel in some cases. But there's a small minority that will actually argue that point. At least with the training arguement, as my teacher said, there's another side(s) that can argue my points - and that's the whole purpose in the Presentation. Breed societies, trainers, breeders will argue my point (I think). So! What do YOU think? Are they racing thoroughbreds too early at 2 and 3 yo? Are the Performance horses being pushed too hard in their training, in order to reach Higher levels of competition and futurities? What age do you break, ride, train and aim to compete? Have you aimed for futurities; did you get there? Have you dealt with horses suffering injuries from racing, or injuries sustained from competing too young/before they were mature? most importantly, when do YOU know that your horse is ready to break and train, and then compete? I know horses get injuries, its no different to a Human Athlete - we get arthiritis, broken arms, ripped tendons - but it definately affects horses just as much, if not more. This post is definately NOT intended to offend ANY person on this board, I'm simply seeking information for and against my contention. It certainly helps me form my argument, or change it :)
  10. Training Too Young.

    I've been asked to do a presentation on issues for my english class, and the racing industry was the first thing that popped out to me on the list our teacher gave us. I talked to her about it, as I don't know a great deal about the racing industry in general, but I do know enough to present to her and the class, the pros and cons of training horses (eg. racehorses, performance horses in general) too early, and pushing them too hard before their bodies are fully mature, how it effects the horse, his abilities if the proper care and time isn't taken, and how horses (like TBs) often end up with injuries and issues that stick with them for life, as a result of heavy riding as a youngster. I won't say I feel strongly about training too young; if it were my horse, I really wouldn't push for high levels of competition before the age of 4. Of course, unless my Vet thought that my horse was mature enough to handle it; but are those big purses and ribbons worth me risking the future health of my horse, regardless of how much he is worth? I think that horses can definately be trained early - especially and importantly groundwork. But I'd like to leave breaking until I felt completely sure his knees and back could handle the stress. I've always thought 2 1/2 - 3 was a good age to start riding, but I definately could be wrong! This is where you guys can help me out! I've got a showjumping trainer (who's also my Equine Studies teacher and high up in our local SJ club) to do a recorded interview, on what she thinks about pushing youngsters, how she trainers her horses, ect. I'm going to try a few other credible sources, such as another Instructor and a Welsh Breeder (not really relevant, but they're still equines!) to do biref interviews with aswell. I was going to talk about the large amount of unwanted, overbred/badly bred horses that go through the saleyards here, due to a multitude of reasons, and include how the Racing Industry contributes to the large number of horses that can't find homes, and how its completely ridiculous, unneccissary, and borderline cruel in some cases. But there's a small minority that will actually argue that point. At least with the training arguement, as my teacher said, there's another side(s) that can argue my points - and that's the whole purpose in the Presentation. Breed societies, trainers, breeders will argue my point (I think). So! What do YOU think? Are they racing thoroughbreds too early at 2 and 3 yo? Are the Performance horses being pushed too hard in their training, in order to reach Higher levels of competition and futurities? What age do you break, ride, train and aim to compete? Have you aimed for futurities; did you get there? Have you dealt with horses suffering injuries from racing, or injuries sustained from competing too young/before they were mature? most importantly, when do YOU know that your horse is ready to break and train, and then compete? I know horses get injuries, its no different to a Human Athlete - we get arthiritis, broken arms, ripped tendons - but it definately affects horses just as much, if not more. This post is definately NOT intended to offend ANY person on this board, I'm simply seeking information for and against my contention. It certainly helps me form my argument, or change it :)
  11. Is This Any Better? Riding Pics.

    I like TalktalkTalk's half-seat idea :) My old trainer used to go crook at me all the time, because I'd be too busy concerntrating on what I was doing ("Are my shoulders back enough? Are my hands too high? Are my heels down?"), rather than how/what/why my horse was doing. Julie: "Work out what your horse is doing, and then work out what you're doing, Amy!" Once I got that down in my cruddy AP, I found my dressage saddle that helped me feel really secure and put my legs right. However, i dont think you have any issue with your legs really. You've got lovely line from hip to heel, and once you get sure in your seat, your shoulders will come together :) towards the end of the video, your position comes really nice, especially in the downward transition! As far as the stirrups go, I used to ride a hole-up when I was riding/starting out with my All Purpose saddle, especially on a horse I didn't feel 100% on, or if i was testing a horse out. Sometime, I felt like my legs were really sloppy, and having them that hole or two tighter, made me feel a little more secure in the saddle. Someone told me it throws you off balance, but I found it helped me grip with my knees in case of emergency. But yes, It did sit me forward. Once I got confident with short stirrups, where I felt like my legs weren't sloppy and over-active, I let them down. Now, I can't ride short at all, unless I'm jumping (which is rare, as it is ) I found with my mare, who loves to hang off the bit in the trot and canter rather than giving and being soft - if I think of putting my elbows into my side and gently half-halting against the pull. I'll give about three-five gentle half-halts, and she'll come good. I did that for a while, and now all I have to do is give a very slight "check" on the rein when she thinks about pulling, and we have no issues :) Btw, Your mare is cute as a button!
  12. What Are These Bits?

    the ring bit reminds me of today's anti-rearing bit... The race trainers over here can't lead their horses onto the track without the anti-rearing bits in their horses mouths. Some trainers like to race in them, too.
  13. Barrel Pics!

    square exercises?! Do tell! I"m always for learning about new exercises!
  14. Decisions! Would Love Some Opinions And Thoughts...

    I'm generally more into rodeo/speed events, like barrel racings, poles ect. I took her off the drums when I thought she wasn't improving, and took her right back to the start and established everything else, did some minor competiting in ODE's, but both of us didn't really like it. She definately had the abiltiy to be a dressage horse, however we both got really bored with it. BUT! it definately improved her in every other field. if I were to breed, I'd like a foal for Barrels and possibly cows, as I'll need a work-horse also. Having a horse with cow-sense will definately help me on the property, as well at other station/farm jobs I'll looking at applying for once I'm done with school and I'm ready to take on a job, outside of the cafe!
  15. I've been thinking about breeding my little TB mare for a long, long time now. At least two years. But I'm still really aprehensive about it. I've gone and looked at loads of stallions, watched them work, looked at their pedigree 4 million times, and always found some reason not to breed. Afterall, Lola is basically the love of my life! She needs the best! I don't want to breed her to "just a pretty face" kind of stallion, and I want her baby to have a job. And Ideally, I'd really like to register the baby so I can always attempt to find him. She's a gun at barrels, really tucks herself and is fairly established in flat/dressage. She's got fairly nice conformation, but one of her pasterns (although it's never given her any trouble, whatsoever) is a little upright. Not enough to effect her at all, but theres that chance that it oculd be more apprent in her baby, which could effectively hinder him finding a home one day, if my circumstances ever have to change and I have to find him a home. however, she's got a temperment to die for! So trainable, lovable, easy going. She can kick into gear, and then be quiet as a lamb in the next breath. She's got everything, if I were to breed, that I would WANT to breed. My circumstances are generally, pretty darn good! My dad's just bought a property, and the fences are great, the grazing is ALL-YEAR-ROUND GREEN! (I got super excited that my girl was going to have rolling green pastures and trees all year round). I"ll be moving there in just a couple of months But if I ever have to move from the area ect, I want my proverbial foal to have every-bit of a chance to go to a good home, and hopefully never end up in the saleyards! Anyway, if I were to breed her, I"d breed to her a QH. I love the breed, love their temperament and conformation, and aimed to buy one before I met Lola. There was just no way I was going to pass her up! I thought she was an Appendix, but turns out she's a Studbook TB (chased up her papers and breeding info a few months ago). I've done a lot of research on all my stallions, emailed so many breeders about HYPP and HERDA. Some of them never got back to me, so I juts assumed they either: A) Hadn't tested had no idea that HERDA and HYPP are in Australia C) didn't even know what HYPP and HERDA was. So, here's where the novel turns around! I went to the saleyards a little while ago to poke around, and saw yearlings going for little over $300! (AU) Well-bred, cute little babies with not-too-bad confo. To be frank, i was completely shocked! And the greenies weren't much different in the prices either! So with that in mind, I thought about buying a baby, and giving THAT baby a chance, before breeding my own. And of course, the "mum thoughts" went through my head, after talkign to my Equine Studies teacher about Baby Statistics. Apparently, a report came out not too long ago, that something like 40% of horses under 3, don't make it, for reasons from Accidents, StillBirths, Early breaking resulting in Injury ect. Do I want to risk spending x-amount of dollars on a baby that COULD injure himself or not get past the age of 3? Do I want to risk My mare (although she's apparently had 3 foals) having birthing issues? Do I want to risk breeding a baby that could turn out to be a complete dud? Please give me some thoughts and opinions. I really like my "buy-a-baby" idea. I still get the gratification from knowing I've just offered a baby /greenie a chance (rather than potentially ending up in a hellhole), the learning experience and a potential life-time friend and work-mate?