Thursday, September 30, 2010

If wishes were horses...

*dadadadadadadadadada* *dream sequence* (Imagine that I was not in graduate school. Imagine I had a steady job, and I had consistent life.)

.....I would get another horse! Bodhi is of course my main ride. He is such a good boy and I love having him as my rock. I have always liked the combination of the challenge and the "home" horse. I now have made a real partner out of Bodhi. Within the safety and condifence of this relationship brings a strength and calm I would like to share with a new baby. So I would really love a new baby to train!

So I have always been intrigued by Arabian warmbloods Like this handsome fellow! He would be a ying to Bodhi's yang. :)

Or this handsome fella!

I have always wanted a welsh cob. or cross....

Ooof. Or how about this little guy? Go to the add and look at papa bear. Wow.

Mostly though when I think about my next horse I think about a horse like this:

(Paso Filly recently rescued by the Horse Protection Asociation of Florida)

I mean. I am truely lucky to have such an awesome horse like Bodhi. Should I really go for something that tops his athletisim so I can use my gained condfidence to reach higher levels? Or should I use the security of his rock-like personality to take on something truely chalenging. To take a horse that is broken and make it well again?
Heck at HPAF you can have both!
Wow look at all these nice horses...

In all seriousness though I think about this all the time. What will my next horse be? What challenge will I pick?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

fun on the flood way

(I just like the face I am making...)

So Bodhi is now at the edge of town right next to the "flood way" which is a series of ditches and banks around the Red River. It is the perfect place to go for a breeze, and it has some super inclines as well!

(not this wicked incline! Lucky we had our faithful sidekick to lead the way!)

I have never been much to hack out. I am not exactly sure why. Nothing horrible has ever happened to me on the trail. I think it is because I just have not done it enough as an adult rider (I loved the trails as a kid though!)

On Saturday I got up the courage to go ride out where last post I was walking. Bodhi and I went with Betsy and her mom. There were colorful moments to be sure. Bodhi did some head tossing and some minor pop ups when I told he had to stand while Betsy cantered. We had some pretty big spooks too (Betsy driven of course ;) ) Overall I was proud of my pony. We need more trail time though and Saturday taught me that I can handle it. Even when things get hairy!

Today I took him out alone (well not alone alone we had the sidekick and our photographer) to see how he'd be. He a Rock star!! I had so much fun cantering along the trail I can't stop smiling.

I see a similarity here don't you?

Ok.... just joking....

(A well deserved rest when we reached the top of the summit)

This is so much fun it makes me think could he possibly do low level eventing? Or how about endurance? Anyone who knows anything about endurance care to offer up an opinion?

zoom zoom!

EDIT: The photographer would like me to add the video he took. It showcases the crazy wind we were dealing with. He points out that the wind makes how calm Bodhi was more impressive... :)
Also check out the comparison photo I added to aid you in your opinions of Bodhi's future endurance career. Uncanny isn't it?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Graduate School is time consuming

Who knew? Since Bodhi's relocation I have only gone out to see him twice! It is going to be very difficult to be away from him for so long and I am already doubting my reasoning for bringing him up in the first place. Soon it will be winter which means no daylight and bitter cold. As for the summer I will probably be spending a good deal of it in Africa. For now though I am happy to spend every second I can steal with him.....

Here are some photos of last weekend when we went on a family walk across the flood plains. Hopefully this weekend we can do the same!

That strange plastic thing is a bag of cut up apples...

The Red River!

We are explorers!

So I got lazy....

The photographer! The best husband ever....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New digs

Now where did I leave off... Ah yes, at the craziest situation I have ever encountered in my life! (Update: I received a text message from the owner of the facility telling me the house was ready for me to live in.... too little too late I am afraid! I hope this means she is removing the manager who is not properly taking care of horses though!)

After I reached my quota of craziness I went barn hunting. I found a facility about 15 mins outside of town. The pros of Bodhi's new digs are
  • No crazy drama ( Hopefully!)
  • Property is owned by someone who lives on site.
  • Property is immaculate
  • Has lots and lots of grass!
  • Provides constant yummy grass hat and oats (??) in the winter.
  • Half the price

The cons?
  • Farther away
  • No indoor arena.

I am in mourning over the loss of the indoor. I have to keep reminding myself that pastures and herds are for horses and stalls and indoors are for people. Every time I visit the new facility I know I made the right decision.

I also had a close call in losing my precious dog Stella this weekend. My landlord left the door to my apartment open while testing the fire alarms in the building. Spooked by the alarms she must have ran out and gotten lost in the new neighborhood. He left a note but did not call me (??) so I came home from work on Friday to find her missing. I spent all night looking for her. It was the worst feeling in the universe! She is my world. I cry looking at other people's lost posters but making some of my own was just the worst .
On Saturday morning we went out looking again. While we were out the Winnipeg humane society called us to tell us that someone had found a dog matching our lost report! An amazing family had found her yesterday afternoon and reported it. They had kept her safe and sound and returned her without a scratch. People like these have completely restored my faith in humanity after my family's crummy luck as of late.

Look at that happy smile! I have my dog and I am hanging out in my immaculate heated tackroom!

Blurry but he is looking like such a fancy pony lately!

Rode in a bit for the first time in a month. First ride at the new facility and he was pretty saucy.
Stay tuned for my next post about how bits are the new meat... or something like that!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Still Around!

I have had one hell of a ride lately. Yes moving to Canada is BIG, but my husband and I have had more than our share of bad luck. The kind of bad luck that makes you think "Do I have a karmic debt I did not know about?". The kind of crazy situations that make you just laugh out loud because they are so preposterous.

Remember the barn I found? With the house on the property? This barn with this house is managed by a woman who also lives on the property (in the larger main house). The owner of the property lives off the farm somewhere in Winnipeg. With me so far?

When we arrived in Winnipeg the house that we had agreed to rent was not vacant as we were told it would be. The farm manager graciously let us and our animals stay in her guest room, promising us the house would be ready in a week or two.

Meanwhile, I immediately began to help out around the farm. I noticed things were a bit off; skinny horses mostly, paddocks with no water, horses with neglected injuries. I started my usual routine of asking questions and trying to get the problems noticed by management. I quickly realized that the barn manager is burnt out on the job and does not care. The other boarders are upset and the general atmosphere is strange and uneasy. I started checking waters and throwing hay anytime I had a free moment--even though I am working full time at the University. I also started pulling a pathetically skinny Thoroughbred mare out of the muck to grain her myself.

When our house is finally vacated we are told we can not move in because they want to put in new floors and the place could use some painting. Fine. The place was trashed, though we would have taken it as is anyways because we were desperate to move in after half a month of living out of a suit case.

Finally, though, the owner showed up and I stood in line with the other boarders to voice my concerns about the horses and about our house.

The horses: I got the vet out for the injured horses, and the skinny TB mare. She had cheek ulcers from bad teeth. I got fecal tests done on all the skinny horses to see if parasites were an issue. A few horses had moderate parasite loads (including a pregnant mare!). The rest were fine. This group of skinny horses includes a pregnant mare and a two year old warmblood. It is just disgusting. Having the tests done proves my suspicion that the horses are just plain not getting enough to eat.

The house: Evidently the barn manager never even informed the owner about renting the house to us. In fact, the owner didn't even know that we existed until now. Her plan was to move back into the property in September and the little house was actually being fixed up for the barn manager, not us. So the barn manager knew this all along. We had been in contact with her about renting this since April. She continued to tell us every time we asked that everything was OK and that the house would be ready for us soon. I don't think I have ever had someone lie to my face so viciously in all my life. What purpose did all the lying even serve? I have no idea. Several of the boarders were mortified to hear this and defended me telling her about my hard work with the horses and that the owner should just kick the manager out completely. That would make sense right? Since she is starving horses? The owner said that she would think on it. She texted me later saying I could have the house. However, between her telling me no, maybe, and then yes, I decided that no matter what, I wanted out.

My husband and I just moved into a nice apartment in town and I found a barn for Bodhi to move to. My dream of living with my horse is shattered, but at least the nightmare is over.