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Dressage Chit-Chat Thread Volume 12

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Hey everyone! It's been a while sense i've posted so I though I would just check in and see how everybodies horses are doing.

I finally got Sunny a new blanket, and its purple so i'm sure hes going to just love me. Hehe. Well, he's good. We have been having some issues lately but we seem to be getting over them. It seems to come in waves! About every month in a half, we get about 2 weeks of issues and then it goes away!

We had a lesson on Sunday and it was very productive. We did lots, and i'm very happy because we're finally moving. I guess it just took until after the championships, and after show season to move on. Sunny was heavy (not to make excuses, because I know it still isn't exceptable!!) but I think it's because he really has to work his butt off now, and so he's looking for support and something to lean on. Poor guy doesn't want to engage that darn hind end! Hehe. But we did lots of, 4 loop serpentines, lengthenings, leg yeilds, canter serpentines, spirling in the cirlce (at canter and trot), mediums, shoulder in, and lots of 10 meter cirlces (at trot and canter). So it's a jump from competing and training at training level but it's lots of fun. I like having a variety of things to do, instead of the normal 20 meter circles, and shallow loop serpentines. So Sunny is working hard, but he's good.

I hope everyone is good, and their horses are good to!

[smiley Wavey]

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Welcome, Robbyroo! Thanks for introducing yourself and sharing your picture. You both look great together. I love how you both look relaxed and like you are enjoying your ride together. [smile] And it is good to see another breeding stock paint.

I am the proud owner of an eight year old breeding stock paint gelding. Fessor and I are transitioning from hunters to dressage. We quit jumping about a year ago when I found out that Fessor was going blind from uveitis. In the meantime, we are adjusting to life with limited vision. Fessor started acting blind early this past May, though he shows signs of perhaps still being able to distinguish light and dark and see some shadows. Here is one of the only riding pictures I have of us, a photo from a horse show in March of 2005.

-

If you know anyone with a subscription to the Paint Horse Journal, Fessor and I are in the October issue. The "Living in the Dark" article is about continuing to ride blind horses and has some good pictures of Fess. [smile]

Tracy

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hey i am new to this chat trhread. i enjoy hearing about everyones experiences, and i hope to share a few of my own! have a great day all.

just real quick this is my Jakob. he is a 9 year old APHA tabiano gelding he has mild arthritis in his back right hock but we manage it pretty well and he doesnt let much get in his way. he puts his heart into everything and will follow me anywhere. i can talk about him all day! we are new to dressage and are not yet competing, only God knows when we will...i work full time and i will start school in January...things may get interesting! take care all i will add riding pictures later...as soon as i find the time and someone to take new ones lol

-

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Tracy do i understand this. you jump on a horse who is blind? that is amazing! i have never worked with a blind horse but i imagine there must be alot of trust involved in both horse and rider

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Wow Tracy that is very cool. I actually did read that article and was quite impressed that you are continuing to ride him. You both must have a lot of faith and trust in each other.

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Robbyroo - welcome!! Your horse is quite cute [smile]

RickisSweetsmokie - nice to see you on the chat thread. You have a very nice horse yourself [big Grin] !

I am off to ride Alibi, my Arabian mare. I rode her in a hackamore our last ride and she loved it, so I am going to ride her in the hackamore again.

[smiley Wavey]

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Thanks Robbie Roo and Ricki! I do not currently jump Fessor, and may not ever do so. I go back and forth between wanting to eventually try over some baby cross rails. But for now, we have bigger issues to deal with. Like learning to relax in the big scary outdoor. [Confused] I'm not sure why that has become a big deal lately, but all our rides outside recently have been a bit TOO adventurous. I have met a couple people online who have retaught their horses how to jump without being able to see. I suspect that takes an extraordinary relationship, even among the blind horse community. The picture I posted above was from when Fess could still see and we were still jumping. My form shows some issues, but he looks cute. [smile]

There is actually a funny story behind that picture. I remember noticing the flash as we came over the jump. Apparently, so did Fessor. Just to be sure it wasn't anything to worry about, he stopped as soon as he had all four hooves on the ground. You'll notice that my lower leg has slipped back and my shoulders are too close to his neck. Well, when Fessor stopped, I didn't. I was already off balance thanks to jumping ahead (a bad habit that gets worse if I'm nervous!) so when Fess stopped unexpectedly I didn't have much chance of staying on. It turns out that was the best photo of us the photographer got all day. [smile] There was a camera out today and I think there will be a few walk pictures of us online before too long. When they are up, I'll post a link to the site.

Tracy

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Best of luck with the job hunting, Tracy. A paying job would be a good thing! I am looking for one of those myself right now!

Welcome to all the newbies and thanks for sharing your pictures. Everyone has lovely horses!

My MIL left this a.m. Thank goodness. Now I have my house back and some space!!!! [Crazy] Little did I know she is a world class home decorator and I have absolutley no taste! Just ask her, she'll tell ya! [Duh][bang Head]

Finally had that ride on Beau I have been waiting for, since we started working on our sitting trot. Started off in rising trot, made him listen and work into the outside rein, got him good and supple and then started working on my sitting trot to canter transitions. We finally got it. He was balanced, I was balanced, we weren't throwing each other off and it felt so good! Sure made my day!!!

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[big Grin] That's great, Boocoo! [Yay] Breakthroughs are wonderful.

I am determined to have at least one calm ride outdoors with no spooks, mini bolts, bucks, or rears. Fessor can hear the same things inside with no issues, but outside ANY noise is a horse eating monster. A horse knocks into a ground pole? Mini-bolt and buck. Then, I'm not sure what set him off later. But we had two bucks, a rear, and several big spooks for no apparent reason. Oh, and we went THROUGH the arena fence today. Those 1x4s are more a visual aid than a horse proof barrier. He was spooking at *something* and I didn't get him stopped or turned in time to avoid breaking through the fence and stepping into/on the flower box and canoe jumps. I DID get him turned before we took down the electric fence in the nearby pasture, but his bum was against the electric fence. Then we lurched into the grassy area outside the arena and calmed down a bit. Neither of us got hurt, but I was scared! [Eek!] When I felt Fess tense up again I hopped off quickly while it was still MY decision. Then we went back into the ring through the hole we made in the fence and made every strange sound we could think of. We kicked sand on Fessor, against the jumps, rolled the plastic barrels past him... He finally figured out that if he stayed calm we quit bugging him sooner. So I got back on, rode about five minutes. All at the walk, but alternating haunches in, shoulders in, leg yielding, and small circles. No time for the dork to think and spook or misbehave. I got off long enough to do some basic horsemanship and then mounted again for a bit more walk work. Again, keep the pony busy and make him think about ME rather than the surroundings.

After finishing, I untacked Fessor then brought him back up to the outdoor with a lunge line. We found out that he IS going to be able to lunge like a big boy. The plan for the week is lots and lots of work outdoors. Some days we will lunge outside, others we'll start riding inside and then finish outside. Oh, and I'm going to take some Xanex before riding. It doesn't help that I'm getting more and more tense outside because I know Fessor has been naughty outdoors lately. Let's hear it for prescription anti-anxiety meds.

The only GOOD thing with all this drama is that I am learning how to ride out all sorts of things. I'd rather not *need* to learn how to ride out Fessor's bucks, but it is good that I am able to ride them out. Now, I need to get it through my head that the world will NOT end if I have a major attitude adjustment ride the next time he offers to buck or rear. I was carrying a crop today, but was too timid to use it. [Embarrassed] If I am not going to beat the horse for misbehaving, maybe I should beat myself. Either way, I'm determined to break this pattern...

Tracy

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wow Tracy you have a lot going on! how old is Fessor? is he completely blind? again i commend you corrage and determination. i hope Fessor realizes there isnt anything that scary outside. i guess i would just keep trying to desensitize him. i know a friend of mine went to a desensitization clinic in the San Antonio area and they did all sorts of things in a VERY controlled manner to help horses who spook at things. by the end of it she said she had her horse going through a tunnel with smoke. i dont know if that would help or not. good luck and best wishes. good luck on the job hunt too!

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Fessor is mostly, but not quite completely blind. He appears to be able to distinguish light from dark and see some shadows. But he *acts* blind. Right now our big focus is going to be working on desensitization in the outdoor arena. Fessor is much more relaxed in the indoor, mostly because he's been in there more often. Inside, I can put a tarp on his head with a very minimal reaction. And I can throw pop cans against the wall, kick up sand, have kitties jump in the hay... Outside is different. So, lots of lunging outside until Fess figures out that he can focus on me instead of our surroundings. We'll split our riding between indoors when we can get some real work done and outside where we focus on just keeping attention on the ride rather than any strange noises. We've been in an awkward phase recently, but have had some really GOOD phases since he went blind too. We'll get back to the confident relaxed horse one of these days. Right now, we just need to get through the tense/spooky/stupid phase.

Tracy

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Tracy - good luck finding a job!! I am sure you will. It sounds like Fess gave you QUITE the ride yesterday...but you handled it well, and thats really impressive, as for some, it can be difficult to not lose our temper in a situation like that. If Fess can be lunged, then that could be a great way to get rid of some "excess energy" *and* if you lunge in side reins, to start getting him through and round and on the bit before getting on, which may be an aid to you. When I went to a dressage clinic with my trainer (who rides with the person regularily), my horse, Teddy, was being "stupid", so the clinician, Christian, had me get off and lunge him for awhile with side reins. The difference was amazing!!

Boocoo - glad to hear about your breakthrough, that is wonderful! When my grandma comes to visit, it's always, well, interesting you could say - in other the words, the house's furniture, photos, etc. etc. get picked apart! At least she means well [Crazy]

I rode Ali in the hackamore last night, and she really likes it. But I am going to switch between using a snaffle and that [smile]

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Fessor was much better today. We went out and lunged in the outdoor arena with lots of activity in and around the ring. He was pretty good. We had a few spooks, mostly when the youngster trotting over the caveletti decided to go through it instead. [smile] Even then, we managed to get Fessor back to work and focused within a few seconds. By the time we were done lunging, it was fairl quiet out. So I went ahead and got on for a few minutes. We did lots of lateral work and small circles at the walk for about ten minutes with no spooking or acting up. Once *I* started to relax and soften, we went down to the indoor. Inside, we worked on a nice relaxed sitting trot. I think I am starting to feel how my hips flex as we trot to really stay with the motion. Friday, we'll start riding inside and if anyone else is around we can try outside again. Wish us luck!

Tracy

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Luv, your grandmother probably does mean well. My MIL does not! [Crazy] She makes no bones about letting you know she IS superior to everyone and most certainly does know more than anyone else! Oie ve'! Sometimes she is allright, but I knew I was not going to want her around when I was moving in to my house and I was right, my hubby even agrees! [ROTFL]

And funny you should mention longing in side reins to Tracy. I had done just that on Sunday and Monday, working on Beau's balance in his transitions and then our ride yesterday and today were much better!

Tracy, do you suppose Fess can "feel" the boundaries of the walls in the indoor, hence he feels more secure in there? Sounds like you are absolutely doing all the right things with him. He will get it. He hasn't been there long and you had him at the other barn before he went blind, right? The one you just move him from? So he was familiar with his surroundings before he lost his sight. Now he knows he is in a new place, so it is a lot more scary, since he does have such limited vision. He has to learn to let you be his eyes. To bad you can't find an older horse to turn him out with in there, that would walk him all around so he could get his bearings, eh? Even so, you are doing a great job with him!

Happy Turkey Day To Everyone! I know me and my family are so blessed and have a lot to be thankful for!

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Thanks, Boocoo. Fessor gets turned out in the indoor, so he knows that space well. He's still a bit goofy once in awhile, but not so much that I get nervous. Right now, as much as I try to let go of the past rides, I get nervous when we go to ride outside. And bless his heart, Fess picks up on that. I'm hoping to change that pattern over the next few days.

I have a chocolate rum cake cooling in the kitchen. Yummy! Tomorrow I'll frost that in the morning and take it to the family gathering in the afternoon. [big Grin] Pies are ok, but not what I want for dessert. Give me chocolate!

Trac

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Tracy [Huggy] I love hearing about you two.

RickiSweetSmoke--Your horse is gorgeous! Look at those markings!

Luvhorses-I hope Alibi finds the perfect home! If I remember well, she is a slightly fiesty Arabian mare who deserves the perfect home. Good luck!

HAPPY TURKEY DAY! [big Grin] I simply can't for the pecan pie as well as the other traditional pies. They are on my stove, riggghhttt afront of me....Delish!

My Update: Well, its official. I am going to half-lease Spectrum! Spec and I will do so well together, I just can't wait till we can work in another lesson with that canter. I want to be acceptable for local shows at least, and I know not to ask to much! I will ride him 4 days a week, one of the days being a lesson. Unfortunately, in these past two weeks, his beginner lesson have started back up again. Now, I really shouldn't be talking, but they aren't good for him at all. I know I am being selfish, but they make him anger, cranky, unwilling and terribly unhappy. He'll do them, but its like I have to pull him out a depression every time I ride him. Urgh. Unfortunately, my instructor (also his owner) isn't going to get another lesson horse or pony anytime soon, so Spec is stuck with them. Which leaves me stuck in the cycle of trying to get him out of habits he re-develops everytime he does lessons; sticks his nose in air and runs around like an idiot, refuses to canter, occasional crow-hop, etc. Not big, just ugly and annoying, and to be honest, a pain in the butt.

I've been complaining to much! Sorry! [big Grin] Honest, I am so grateful! This is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever, knowing that Spectrum and I are "offically" a couple. For the other horse, I haven't tried him yet because a mix of the schedules between three people to get me out there to try him out, but if we do mesh, I probably will take lessons on him, and perhaps one day outside lessons to ride him too. Whew! I am so excited, because despite being the "bottom of the totem pole" amongst the riders I ride with at the barn, everything is looking up. I love this pony. He is one of a kind and I can't imagine riding without him. One day I'll get photos....

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Just stay very quiet and patient with Spec. He'll figure out quickly that you aren't bouncing, pulling, kicking... I suspect that as you get to know eachother, a few minutes of quiet persistence will be all you need to get Spectrum into the swing of things. You might try standing in the middle of the arena with no rein contact for a few minutes, then walking "on the buckle" for the next few minutes. Get Spec thinking that rides with you are relaxing. [smile] Best of luck, and enjoy having a horse to ride on a regular basis!

Tracy

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Tracy - ditto to Boocoo. Fess is very lucky to have such a patient and loving "mom" like you [smile] !

dobby - CONGRATULATIONS [Yay] on leasing Spec! (Love his name, BTW...). I am sure with more consistency that you will provide for him, he'll be able to realize you aren't the beginner riders who make him frustrated, so the adjustement from them to you will go smoothly. And yes, Alibi is my fiesty Arabian mare [big Grin] She is very sweet, and has a good personality, but when really working hard and doing 2nd/3rd level, she's best suited to an intermediate rider. I have been just "having fun" on her recently, not focusing soley on dressage, and she loves it! I rode in her in a hackamore last night and seems to really like that.

Boocoo - well, good thing your MIL's visit is over [big Grin] I normally don't lunge Teddy in the summer, but in fall/winter I have been, and there is a definite difference. He is more supple, light and through which is of course nice.

I found an ad for a 5 year old Hannoverian gelding in Oregon, and the owner is sending me an undersaddle video this weekend, so we'll see what happens!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Luv, congrast on the lease! We need pics a.s.a.p.!!! My MIL is coming back for Cmas! Oie ve'! I think we moved to close to her. She is only 5 hours away and still drives the distance by herself!!! At her age, that is pretty remarkable actually!

Tracy, can you turn Fess out in the outdoor at all?

I want to come over to Tracy's for dessert!!! Yum, Yum. I had a Marie Calendar Choc. Cream Pie for desert today. Forgot about pecan pie, which is my favorite, till Luv mentioned it. All this moving is affecting my brain!

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Boocoo, the fence in the outdoor is more a visual aid than a true barrier. It's just a single 1x4 panel. If Fess walked into the fence, it would come down. I suppose I *might* be able to turn him out, then stay up with him... Hmmm, maybe we should spend a bunch of time grazing around the outside of the arena. We'll see what I can arrange for more unmounted time out near the arena with Fessor.

Tracy

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What a nice day today! I went out and rode for about an hour. Robbie was soooo good today. I took off my stirrups and got the whip out. Holy cow what a difference from Wednesday's lesson. I think I need to continue without the stirrups for a loooong time, at least until I get a proper dressage saddle. Just thought I would share that things are finally going well for me. The last couple of rides have ended in tears most of the time. [Wink]

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Had the worst ride of my life today. Uggh...nothing was going right. But, you can't expect an overnight miracle right?!

Stupid inconsistant horse...i mean...i need more lessons. [Wink]

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Wow I've missed alot!

Yay and [smile] for all. Hope everyone had a great Turkey Day! Welcome to the newbies!

I just got back from my Virgin Island vacation where I also spent my 21st bday! HooHa! Fun times.

And best yet is that my dressage trainer said I could take Scotch and bring him closer to me for the winter. Totally excited. Tomorrow I'm off to look at a couple of barns...there is a lady that I guess recently just moved from Iron Spring Farms (she was one of the head trainers) who they are introducing me to as well. Back to classes tomorrow, going to be a bit stressful.

How's the rest of the gang doing?

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Thanks everyone! [big Grin] I am excited too about the upcoming half-lease. It begins officially in December, for practical reasons, but its so nice to have him all to myself for 4 days. We have a good bond and I know that it can only grow in depth and meaning over this upcoming year. Where did 2006 go?

RobbieRoo--Horses are the masters are causing frustration sometimes. They just keep trying your patience until you wonder why you keep going. But you have to remember all the good days and all the good times, and just lean against your horse and breathe. This is why you ride; to be with this horse, to be near this horse, to feel like nothing else matters in the world. Everyone has tough days--yours was just extra tough. [Huggy]

3DayEventer--Long time no see but I am glad to have you back! Congratulations on having Scotch closer to home! And perhaps with an Iron Springs trainer?! You lucky gal! Make sure to update us frequently (sp?). I hope you had fun in the Virgin Islands. Hopefully it rained less down there....

ETA: I almost forgot. Spectrum's old owners dropped by unexpectedly by the barn yesterday. I wasn't there and I don't know the full story but I think they are trying to demand him back. Crazy people, honestly...

[ 11-26-2006, 05:08 PM: Message edited by: ilovedobby ]

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Boocoo, wow, that is rather remarkable that your MIL still drives 5 hours by herself! Sounds like an opiniated AND independent gal [Wink][big Grin]

3Day - good to hear from you! I hope your vacaction was nice, and like dobby said, hope it rained less down there. I am in Washington state, and it has rained about 15" since November 1st, and it snowed last night (I like snow, it's pretty and all, but dang was it COLD at the barn tonight....).

dobby - why are Spec's owners trying to get him back? Sounds odd! It will be nice to have Spec all to yourself!!

RobbieRoo - sorry to hear about your ride [Huggy] They happen to even the best riders, try to not let it get you down too much. Just take each day at a time and try to tackle it with a fresh perspective and positive attitude [smile]

Well a couple of days ago we discovered Teddy was lame in his right front. It was swollen/puffy and warm. I have been applying liniment and also put on an Absorbine Veterinary Liniment Patch. I lunged him at a walk and trot tonight and he looked sound on it, just a touch stiff. Hopefully with a couple more days off he'll be back to normal, but if not, a call to the good 'ol vet will be made! On a better note, I got Teddy a nice new halter and lead rope, hot pink [big Grin] It looks super cute.

[smiley Wavey]

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Thanks girls!

I had a lovely Vacation..perfect weather...mid 80's and the rain there is just a bypassing rain shower that does no harm! It was absolutely stunning there, I will have to post some pictures of the fish/sharks/turtles/baracudas that I went snorkeling with. We event met some of the wild donkeys that live on the island. It was too funny for t hey wander aimlessly around through the forests and towns.

dobby- I had a blast! That's great that you are getting to lease!! How exciting! I hope the old owners weren't problems??? And I will keep you updated about the ISF trainer...

iluv- I hope Teddy feels better! My aunt lives in Seattle and always tells us about the rain! i would love to go and visit your state though, it always looks so lovely in pictures! Have you found a horse yet??

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No Tracy, you don't want Fess walking into the fence, that's for sure!!

Luv, hope Teddy is on the mend soon.

Ilovedobby, that is weird that Spec's owners want him back already? What's the update on that?

3day, your trip sounded marvelous and happy b.day!!

Nothing new here. Rode Beau out in the hay field yesterday and we came to an understanding!! I sit the trot nicely for him and he stays on the bit and bends nicely to the inside for me. We must do this at all 3 gates on a humongous circle, both directions, in the hay field. By the end of the ride I believe we understood one another much better! [big Grin][Wink] I should have been out there riding in the hay a long time ago!! And...... note I said riding, not rolling! [Eek!]

[ 11-26-2006, 10:03 PM: Message edited by: Boocoo ]

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Hey guys. Sorry lots going on I havent been able to keep up.

Go check out my "Look What I Found..." thread to see pics of the totally cute TB my SIL has... for sale... EEEE.

Both of the saddles I had on trial are going back. Im at my wits end with this. Esp with my work schedule.. it makes it VERY hard to try out saddles.

I got a wonderful (note: this word is pouring with sarcastic tone) voice mail today from my step mother. Just a quick FYI: my step mother and sperm doaner, I mean father, havent spoken to me in about a year 1/2. Thats TWO birthdays, TWO Tdays, ONE Xmas, ONE wedding, and countless other holidays. Its my step mom wanting me to call her so I can answer questions so she can open up a life insurance policy on me at her new insurance company, Allstate, since she left State Farm. OHHH. I get it. Allow you to get a life insurance policy, so if I get killed like my brother, you can at least benefit monitarily, b/c Lord knows you WONT use that money to pay for the funeral, just like you didnt pay anything towards my brothers. And you can call to ask about THAT but not for all the other important holidays and other dates in life? Right. Ill get RIGHT on that.

So yeh. I was pissed today at work. Made me sell more. But still. The audacity (sp) of someone.. I swear. Ill give her until she catches ONE bit of attitude in a voice mail. If she gives me one ounce of attitude, Ill politely break one off in her you-know-what and let them know how I really feel. Not yet. Ill wait and see.

Grr. I have been over and done with this. I have washed my hands. I have moved on. And here they go again.. bringing it all back.

So thats my vent. Never ending..

Good news is that the farrier is coming in the morning. Im also going to ride Ben and get him in gear as his mommy is ready to take the first offer on him. LOL He better shape up!

[ 11-28-2006, 12:56 AM: Message edited by: KrazyTBMare ]

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That's so weird. They haven't owned Spectrum in six years...they're just jealous because now he's a normal horse and he's not crazy (try not abusing a pony, people, and maybe he'll be easier to work with). Ugh. M got it in writing, right, Dobby? I mean. Those people are just messed up.

CK was very happy to see me after a week away. I should have riding photos soon. Really. I promise. Sometime before winter break. He's doing OK. He's getting a massage and that should help with his hind end. Also putting him on some MSM. The sharp weather changes are making him really stiff. Running around for hours on end cannot be helping either. [Razz] Silly pony.

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