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Hooray! He is MINE!

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
Wow. I don't think I've spent so much money at once since we bought our house. I bought Huey, paid his board, bought some more lessons, and ordered a saddle, stirrups, stirrup leathers, a girth, and a saddle pad. All in the space of one hour. :eek::fear::eek:

Originally I *was* going to spread out the sticker shock a bit, by buying him yesterday and having the Saddle Goddess come out today. But the weather all weekend was total crap, and it made sense to do it all at once.

He's got a good clean bill of health from the vet, and thanks to my new BFFs at SmartPak he's got a good senior-horse joint supplement (glucosamine and chondroitin and MSM, where before he just got MSM). And he has an Almighty Awesome Pink Himalayan Salt Lick On A Rope that has added untold joy to his life. He's only had it 1 week and he's already started sculpting it. And he has a great raincoat, and an even better heavy jacket for the winter. And new shoes, and a new bit for his bridle (myler? happy mouth?) and...and...and...

Today my BFFs at SmartPak sent out a Saddle Goddess with a trunk-load of dressage saddles - 'cause that's what we're going to be doing, it looks like...I think it looks like fun, and it appeals to my taste for finesse, and he's taking to it like a duck-to-water. We tried about 8 of them on him, three of which were worth trying out under me. Two of those worked for me, both of which I was OK with, but my trainer was MUCH happier with one of them because she said it put my leg in a MUCH better position than the other one did due to where the stirrup bar was located (I hope this makes any sense at all). So that's the one I went with. It's an ANKY Salinero. When I was looking for it online I found a video of Anky, the rider, and her horse Salinero, doing one of those musical freestyle turns at WEG in 2006 or so. All I have to say about that is if you are even vaguely interested in such things, it's a good use of 6 minutes. Holy cow. :faint: I almost consider it an honor to be riding in a saddle named after that horse.

Holy mackerel, I can't believe I really have a horse.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
Aww, congratulations! You are a good horse mama already :D Nice saddle choice, BTW. I think a pic of you on your new mount is required now ;)
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
Argh! It is pouring cats and dogs today, so I will not get to ride my new horse until tomorrow. :( Ah, well, I've waited 44 years for this, I can go another day... The saddle should come in next week, and I will be sure to get Mr. Serafina out to the barn to take a few pics.

In the meantime, I can practice stringing "my" together with "horse". My.....horse. My....horse. My horse. Yep, I need some more practice. :smile:
 

perma-grin

Instructor PSIA L 3, APD Alpine Ski training MHSP
#8
if buying that saddle helps you ride a grand prix freestyle like anky Van grunsven I want 2!!!!!! Lol! Great choice! Congratulations you now are a participant in one of the most elusive frustrating obsessive compulsive equestrian disciplines!!! 20 metre circles and serpentines! Welcome to the club!:wink:
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
HAHAHA!! I've been learning 20 meter circles and serpentines all summer. And to this, we can add riding a straight line across the diagonal from K to M. I've been doing dressage all along and not knowing it! :smile: I considered it a triumph when I learned to keep the horse in a trot all the way around my circle. :smile: And I can keep him in a straight line across the diagonal...but if I can only keep him from reaching the rail *after* M instead of right on it...and I want to leg-yield him off the quarter-line at a trot, instead of only at a walk, and get his body to stay straight while he's doing it...

I see what you mean about obsessive compulsive. :laugh:

He's taking to this stuff like a duck to water, too. He just does leg yields now, sometimes when I haven't asked him to. And it takes him no more than two trips through some kind of pattern before he learns it and does it without waiting for a request from me. Not helpful for me learning to do this stuff properly, but what a smart boy...
 
#10
Wow, somehow I totally missed the other thread where you were considering this. Congrats!!! And yay that you've gotten into dressage.
 

Bumblebee

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
I shall have to get you some decent Anky gossip - but let's just say that here in The Netherland she's not popular with other riders or amongst the staff who do actually care for her horses. Lovely saddle though!
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
I shall have to get you some decent Anky gossip - but let's just say that here in The Netherland she's not popular with other riders or amongst the staff who do actually care for her horses. Lovely saddle though!
Oh no! An ego?!? Her riding looks great, at least on the recordings, and her horses are *beautiful*. Has she gotten carried away with her own press, as we say in the US?
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! My new saddle arrived! I guess it showed up at the barn late on Friday, because it was there waiting for me in the box when I dropped by this morning.

It is beauuuoooooootiful. I had been planning to do some ground work with Huey, but once I saw that the saddle was here I could not *wait* to try it out. And it is wonderful! It is SO much more comfortable than the loaner I have been using! That one is a 17 or 17.5" all-purpose saddle. When I test-rode the ANKY, I was riding a 17.5" that everyone agreed was too small, but also agreed was a very good saddle for me and the horse. I don't know my butt from a hole in the ground, but it felt OK to me, and both my trainer and the saddle goddess agreed as soon as I mounted up and started walking around the ring that *this* was the one.

We ordered the next size up, so I hadn't actually ridden in this very piece of equipment.

I can hardly believe what a difference it made! Holy smokes! It was SO much easier to ask for the walk-trot transition, and to do leg yields, and to trot and post and walk and...well, basically everything I wanted to do on the horse. I think he was moving out with more ease and verve, too. I felt like we could trot in the ring for HOURS. And my trainer has been telling me for months to cue him to slow his trot and collect it by posting more slowly, and I understood this, but today was the first day that it felt 100% natural and easy.

Good grief! I don't know whether it is that I'm riding in a saddle that is sized for me (at last) or whether it is that I'm riding in a dressage saddle instead of an all-purpose with flaps that are too short, or whether it's that my knees are *behind* the blocks and not on top of them, or whether it's the style of the saddle...or all of the above. But OY! what a difference!

Kinda reminds me of when I bagged my Tierras, and instantly became a better skier...stuff that had been a battle suddenly became easy as pie. I remember being astounded at how much difference it made having my own ski gear, and I can tell, it's going to be the same kind of thing with the tack.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
All of the above! A good saddle that fits you well and sits you in a BALANCED position makes all the difference in the world. Yep, just like any other gear you would get, including ski gear :D
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
Oh, my God. I am freaking out. Huey's neighbor woke everyone up in the middle of the night banging around in his stall with colic, and they had to take him across the state to the hospital for surgery this morning, and now he is dead.

I cannot believe it. He was fine when I came to get Huey yesterday, I patted his nose right before he got turned out. I knew colic was bad, but I didn't think it was "fine one minute, dead the next" kind of bad.

I feel absolutely awful for the owner of the other horse (and the owner of the barn, and the daughters of the owner of the barn, and the girl who just rode the other horse in a show on Saturday). And I keep thinking "Holy cow, that could have been Huey."

Quick. Someone please tell me that this kind of thing isn't common.

Under other circumstances, I'd be wigging out to my trainer, since she's in a position to tell me about this kind of stuff, but she is the one who was awakened at 2:30 and who drove the horse to the hospital at 5am, and I am pretty sure that the last thing she needs at the moment is to have her brand new owner completely losing it over someone else's horse.
 

ScottishGirlie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
Oh no, that's awful.

I'm afraid I don't really know anything about horses health. I'm sure it's just one of those horrible things that happens once in a half million or something.

Give Huey a big cuddle the next time you see him.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
Unfortunately, colic comes in many forms and IS very common and CAN cause that much trouble that quickly. Colic is really an all-encompassing word for "pain in the gut" which can be caused by a myriad of things. The worst type is if the intestine actually gets twisted, which can be caused by rolling, etc. It's also thankfully not as common as an impaction, which is when the gut experiences a blockage due to usually food. They can also have a blockage due to the formation of a mineral stone, or cancer, or other things. These are usually treatable if caught early. (Except the cancer.) The twisted gut is generally hard to fix. Do you know what type of colic this horse had? They seem particularly susceptible to it during extreme weather changes, which often occur of course in the spring and fall.

My horse will get gas colic on occasion because he likes to suck his tongue and when he does this, he sucks in air. If he gets too many treats, like apples that cause more gas, he will get a belly ache. Thankfully, it's easy to treat with pain meds and walking until he farts.

I'm so sorry your barn mate lost her horse. Been there, done that. It is a horrible experience. But please don't sit around fretting over colic. Learn about it, learn what to do, and be glad your barn manager seems to be on top of things.
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#18
According to the FB update, he had a twisted gut. He went into surgery but they said it was just too much damage. They don't know how long he was colicking before he woke everyone up pounding his stall to splinters, but I heard they discovered this around 3am and decided to take him off to the hospital near Boston 3 hours later. That's a 2 hour trip, so he was in extreme duress for at least 5 hours before he got to the hospital.

I assume he was rolling before he went nuts with the pain, and I wondered if this might cause the twisted gut.

The barn feeds a couple flakes of hay 3x per day, and I think the horses get a ration of grain a couple of times a day, and they all get turned out from morning to evening, and dewormed on a schedule. It looks like these are the best practices for keeping colic down. I know it's super common, I just didn't realize how quickly it could be fatal, and I'm kind of hoping that it's the "fatal" bit that is not super-common (or at least, not super-common with good barn management practices).

I don't know how parents do it, I really don't...my critters are my babies, but I bet it's worse when it's a human baby.

Unfortunately, colic comes in many forms and IS very common and CAN cause that much trouble that quickly. Colic is really an all-encompassing word for "pain in the gut" which can be caused by a myriad of things. The worst type is if the intestine actually gets twisted, which can be caused by rolling, etc. It's also thankfully not as common as an impaction, which is when the gut experiences a blockage due to usually food. They can also have a blockage due to the formation of a mineral stone, or cancer, or other things. These are usually treatable if caught early. (Except the cancer.) The twisted gut is generally hard to fix. Do you know what type of colic this horse had? They seem particularly susceptible to it during extreme weather changes, which often occur of course in the spring and fall.

My horse will get gas colic on occasion because he likes to suck his tongue and when he does this, he sucks in air. If he gets too many treats, like apples that cause more gas, he will get a belly ache. Thankfully, it's easy to treat with pain meds and walking until he farts.

I'm so sorry your barn mate lost her horse. Been there, done that. It is a horrible experience. But please don't sit around fretting over colic. Learn about it, learn what to do, and be glad your barn manager seems to be on top of things.
 

Strana1

Certified Ski Diva
#19
So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend's horse. I lost my first horse to colic caused by cancer and it was awful.

I think that one of the best ways to catch colic early is to know your horse's habits and personality. Some horses seem very sensitive to change (weather, food, stress) and in those cases you can kind of prepare yourself if you know that the weather is going to change, a new load of hay is coming etc.

One horse that use to board with me would literally colic if the wind changed, but, every time he started he would curl his upper lip back and we would start him on pain meds and keep an eye on him. Luckily he never had an episode that required surgery.

As another poster wrote, enjoy your horse and don't obsess over it, but be aware if something doesn't seem quite right, you'll soon learn Huey's normal habits so you'll know when he's not well.
 

Bumblebee

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#20
My mare's had it twice in the time I have had her, both times a scary but non-consequential oesophagal colic. Both times a quick visit from the vet and a muscle relaxant shock has done the trick.

It's a bit of a myth that rolling will twist a gut. If the horse is in pain and wants to lie down and roll, let it, it might just dislodge some trapped gas. Walking the horse around incessantly is a placebo for the owners and sadly I remember one case where the sick horse died of exhaustion because the owner kept it moving.

It is not worth worrying about but it is worth thinking about your choices in a serious situation. E.g., I will not transport my horse to a teaching clinic for surgery, if she's that ill she's getting shot. Likewise I won't fix a broken stifle or leg and have a personal limit of 2.5k or so on vet's bills. I have made my stables owner aware that if her situation is grave, I do not wish her to be kept alive until they are able to reach me. E.g., the film the horse whisperer? I would not have kept the horse alive. Clearly I'm a cold-hearted cow! ;)

Good time to stock your medical kit!
 

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