Monday 15 June 2020

Getting By With A Little Help

In very good news, my new 'schedule' is working perfectly - with my husband's help on some weekday evenings with mucking and feeding I've now got time to ride 5 days a week. I'm very lucky to have someone so supportive in my life.

In not so great news, B continues to struggle a little. I've tried the Alpha Omega stuff and Zev and while I think it's helped a bit, it's not a replacement for the vet prescribed stuff that got her feeling 100% last time. So, for now, our rides are on the flat walking with just a tiny bit of trot if she's feeling spicy. That's actually the toughest part - she's bright and cheerful and wanting to work, but gets out of breath and/or coughing very quickly if it's too strenuous.

She's on a diet again as well. Her grazing is limited now. Despite how cute a round pony is, the extra weight does her no favors health wise.

In hopeful news, the vet is still scheduled to come on Wednesday. (I know I keep going on about it, but seriously I have been on a wait list since before Christmas with no other options!) I'm glad B has only been having a bit of a flare up for a couple of weeks now, otherwise I would be panicking.

In other good news (OK I will stop saying '' now, I'm annoying myself) Sophie has been an absolute star coming back into work after being off since March. I've longed and long lined her a few times at the area and we're still going for lots of back country walks together. She's very good about going out solo without her friends, and is getting quite good about being left at home alone too.

I'd actually say Bridget calls more than Sophie does, which is just weird as B has never cared about other horses before in her life.

I've opted not to take her to the clinic because they're honestly so expensive ($125/45min) and I didn't get a ton out of the groundwork last time. I'm sad to miss out, but I am not at a place to ride her in one yet, so I think it's better to wait.

And oh yes, the elephant in the room - RIDING my baby horse. I've been having a minor crisis re:  I gained weight in my home cooking quarantine life and feel like I'm too heavy for her. The 20% rule and a height/weight tape says I currently am just a little over with tack.She currently measures 14.1 1/2hh and about 750lbs.  Cue some tears because I can certainly address my weight, but I can't make the pony grow bigger, and I really was thinking she'd grown. At 4, she's still quite a bit smaller than her siblings, so just bad luck and the gamble you take buying a baby.

Looking pretty proportionate right now.

This break from a regular riding routine has also done me no favors confidence wise. That combined with my worries about my weight means I'm not feeling great about the idea of hopping on Sophie at the moment. Totally at odds with this past winter when I surprised myself by not being worried at all and super keen to ride!  Anyway, I've experienced the ups and downs of this enough times to know that this isn't about Sophie and more about my own self belief and treatment of myself. I'll get back to a good place soon.

Husband was kind of pushing for a horse I can ride now and feel great on, but I LIKE the horses I have. Shopping for something new sounds like torture.

<3 this face with the forever crazy hair

In a really cool coincidence, the day after I had a big meltdown re: all the above and resolved to do what I can to make it work, I was out riding and bumped into an old horsey friend who has time on her hands and lots of experience with young horses. We're going to meet up a couple of times a week and she's going to continue the under saddle stuff on Sophie until I get myself in a better place.

So, the moral of today's story? Sometimes you've just got to admit your weaknesses, make a plan, and ask for help.

S has zero problems asking for a bum scratch.



  1. I mean if you are really worried Sophie would be too small, what if you sell her and then buy something you can ride and have fun on right now.

    1. That's what my husband is pushing for, and logically I know it's the thing to do. We'll see how things look later in the summer, right now I'm not in the head space to move on. I'm feeling pretty yucky about the whole situation, tbh.

    2. ugh that's a hard spot to be in for sure :( and you're probably right about waiting to make any major decisions until feeling more clearheaded. in the meantime, are there horses in your community that you could ride in lessons or some sort of partial lease or exercise type arrangement? i know my perspective is skewed since most of my riding life was spent as a non-owner, but there are real advantages to riding different horses without the burden of ownership (esp if they're already trained) while we figure out what to do with our own creatures or future shopping prospects.

    3. It's a great idea, and something I was doing last year with my coach once I'd 'outgrown' Bridget and so I could still meet some of the dressage goals I set out for myself. Unfortunately where I live right now the horse community is tiny. I was exercising some of the therapeutic riding horses in my spare time but their program is currently closed for the summer as well and the horses on a pasture vacation. If I ever go back to work in the office closer to the city (closed for Covid currently) I'll have options for part time lessons and leases again. I think I just need to be patient :)

  2. Have you tried the Herbs for Horse "Breathe" on B? I've heard that it's a life-saver for heave-y horses. It might work for B! I actually just got some in the mail for Annie, because she's been coughing but a vet visit proved she actually has a lung infection (hooooray horses). I want to hang onto the bottle tho, because the vet warned me that it might be a chronic problem (ie. coughing). Oh yay.

    As for Sophie. Gah, I am so sorry <3
    Buying babies is SUCH a crapshoot. She is such a sweet girl and I understand you not wanting to part with her - sometimes there is logic, but there is also what the heart wants. You are an awesome pony momma for doing right by her in the meantime until you figure out what direction you want to head. Hugs - this isn't easy

    1. Hmmm, not yet...I've got Zev and Respi-Free and I think they make a small difference. I'll order the Breathe. Not to alarm you further, but that's what happened with B, despite everyone being vaccinated one of the horses at the barn brought a cold back from a show that turned into a cough/lung infection in B.
      Thanks for the hugs! I'm feeling slightly more positive today - vet is finally coming tomorrow and I'm sure you'll understand how big of a relief that is! I'm mentally putting off thinking too much on the Sophie thing until we get Bridget sorted :)

  3. Have you tried turmeric and msm? Until Batty got really bad, he did really well on straight turmeric (the spice) and a high dose of msm. I bought the turmeric in bulk on amazon, but it was cheap and if it didn't work, it certainly didn't hurt. But he definitely found relief from the combo until things got super bad.

    As for Sophie, this just sucks all around. I wish there were some majik fairy powder you could give her to make her grow. If you do give her more time this summer before making a decision, at least with the help of your friend, she'll have a little more training under her. But either way, I don't envy you. Babies are such a crapshoot.

    1. I've had her on turmeric for years because I've figured it can't hurt! Haven't tried msm - she's currently getting turmeric and spirulina plus the Omega Alpha Respi Free. Thanks for the tip - it's worth a try!
      Re: Sophie, yes. I'm still hopeful she'll grow a bit more but I know that's wishful thinking and honestly why I rarely measure her, lol. Our local-ish market is crazy and babies are pretty much all that's out there unless your budget is >15k.

    2. You probably suggested the turmeric to me! But the msm might help too. I liked the Omega Respi Free too. I also had some success with Heave Ho as well. I used for a 12-18 months with a lot of success before it stopped worked or I stopped using it? I think I tried to put it together myself and failed. I don't know... then I when I bought it again, it didn't work as well. But, it was developed by a former vet of mine (he was always selling crazy stuff), but I found this by chance: -- I bought it off amazon. I'm not sure if it's available in Canada, but it's an interesting product.

      Re horse shopping. I completely get it. I was in the free to ~2K budget when I was looking after losing Batt. And I ended up with a walking vet bill. We have a lot available here, but even then, the prices are all over the place. When it comes to ottbs, the same ottb can be 2500 from one rescue with 10 rides (the rescue I got Nay from doesn't go above $2500 for any of their horses regardless of training and others are less depending on age, issues, etc.) or 5-8k from a trainer who has had the horse for a week straight from the track and put 2 rides on it.

      I saw a horse that was stepping down, comfortable at 2'-2'3", loads of experience, but limited at height (2-2'3" is NOT HIGH AT ALL) and they were asking 25K. 25K. I get that the horse is fancy and showed in 3'3/3'6" junior hunters, but 25k for a horse that is limited to jumping 2 feet?!?! with maintenance????? And it was a big horse so it's not like someone is going to buy the horse for their 8 year old for short stirrup...

      Rant over...

    3. I've considered an OTTB so many times, especially given there is a track in Vancouver, but I think the market and networking must be very good because the rehoming place seems to only have a couple new ones each year and the rest turn up with a few months training for quite a bit of money - there is a 25k lovely, but vey green one right now, now that you mention it. Maybe I just don't know the right people though :)

  4. Sophie may grow more (Sorry been sick so playing catch up on blogs). My Morgan gelding grew till he was 5-6 and he was only 14 hands at like 3, ended up just under 15 hands so it can happen!!

    And I Do not think you are too big for Sophie (once she is grown) let your friend help for now. Sophie has a lot of filling out to do still.

    ALSO I hope Bridget is better now!!

    1. I'm crossing my fingers! Even if she just fills out and muscles up a bit (and I could lose a bit of weight) I think we'd be able to make it work for dressage. Thanks for the positive thoughts!