Thursday, June 30, 2011

Another lost shoe....sigh.

Yeah, what the title says--she lost a shoe yesterday. It's getting frustrating. The farrier puts epoxy and glue over the chipped areas of her hooves, where the nail holes go, but that epoxy falls off after a while, and then the shoe inevitably follows.

What's happening here? Well, based upon radiographs, in late winter my vet recommended that my farrier trim Limerick's feet slightly differently. He had no problem doing this, but in between her feet adapting to the new trim, the extreme wet/dry swings in the weather lately, and the influx of flies (and the stomping that follows), Lim has just been losing shoes left and right. Literally.

I also suspect that her health issues in April may be contributing, because hooves are only healthy from the inside out. But it's hard to say.

Either way, it's so frustrating!

I did have a great ride on Tuesday evening. I rode in my old hunter/jumper saddle (I need to get a feel for that thing again! It feels like a jockey saddle after riding in the dressage one) then after the ride I took the saddle off and walked her around bareback, scratching all her itchy spots for her as we went. I think she enjoyed it more than I did!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Foiled again

On Tuesday, as I was doing a final girth check and putting the stirrups down on the saddle, a lady ran into the arena to tell me that the tornado sirens were going off.

I was surprised--there was some nasty weather brewing but Limerick hadn't shown any signs of hearing the sirens. She had been behaving a little oddly while I was grooming her--very cuddly and wanting me to hug her, which is unusual for her--but since it was a "positive" odd, I had not thought about it much.

Maybe it was because of the storm.

Either way, I took her back to the barn immediately and untacked and fed her in record time...and not a moment too soon! On my way home the hurricane-force winds and torrential rain started, and I saw the biggest, blackest funnel cloud of my life. Yikes yikes yikes. Fortunately, the storm didn't do much damage around the barn or my home.

Then yesterday....

While picking Lim's feet out I noticed that one of the horseshoe nails was coming out and awkwardly twisted in her shoe. Crap!!!! I really wanted to ride, so since the shoe was still on straight and not all that loose, I decided to try anyway. I put her bell boots and splint boots on just in case that nail tried to do damage. Doubtful, but you never know with horses.

Yet when I walked her to the arena, I could see that she wasn't walking properly. She strided out fine but would step down hard with the hoof that had the loose shoe, as if it were annoying her. Once in the arena, however, she appeared to walk okay so I decided to see how she was.

It just wasn't meant to be...from her back, I could tell she wasn't walking perfectly and the awkward steps were very obvious to me at the trot.

Ughhh....I was supposed to go on the first trail ride of the year with her this Sunday. Hopefully the farrier can fix the shoe before then. To make things worse, I'm afraid to turn her out like this, so she has to be on stall rest until that shoe is fixed.

Foiled again!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pics of Sunday's ride

Warming up

Limerick watching my husband


Cantering a ground pole

A post-ride roll

Thanks to my husband for all the great photos!

Monday, June 20, 2011


I figured out that I can take videos with my phone and upload them directly to YouTube. So of course, I've already taken a bunch of horse-related videos.

Riding Lim at a walk

Lim eating grass

Lim watching clouds part one, and part two.

I love the clouds videos in particular...she's trying to not blink, then has to blink hard...what a silly girl!

Great Sunday ride!

I had a great ride on Limerick yesterday--we did cavaletti for the first time since November. I want to begin doing this with her regularly (think of it as core work for horses), and also I was curious as to how well she would move over them since her chiropractic appointment.

For those that don't know--cavaletti are basically poles laid out parallel to one another, at a specific distance. Both horses and humans would have to take gigantic steps to get over each pole. I will try to post photos tomorrow for a visual aid.

I spaced out four poles, flat on the ground (cavaletti can be raised slightly, too). Easy enough. I was expecting Lim to hesitate or rush the poles, but she did neither. She was wonderful! She lifted her back and legs high, which is the purpose of the exercise, and stepped over the poles nicely.

My husband was there taking photos with his new camera so I decided to go a step further and asked him to move a single pole to the other side of the arena from the cavaletti. My plan was to--over the course of a single 20-meter circle--trot the cavaletti then canter around to the single pole, hop over it in a controlled, even way, canter around to the cavaletti and trot again before reaching it. And so forth so on.

Limerick was fantastic! She kept up a great pace to the single pole and didn't rush to or from it, and hopped over it cleanly (with me doing my best to "see" my spots). She also continued to do well with the cavaletti...she tried to duck around it once but I did a U-turn and went right over it again to tell her that she can't duck out!

As we rode, in her typical fashion she became more and more excitable and worked up. But unlike many times in years past, she never felt out of control, which I was very pleased with. Hopefully that calmness is here to stay and isn't just a byproduct of her being out of shape.

As mentioned, I need to post some photos my husband took--they look great! In the meantime I do have this one:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Great ride, loose shoe

I had a great ride on Limerick; she was nicely forward and very attentive as always. She even gave me a huge spook as we were warming up! We worked on figure 8's and maintaining pace throughout them (she tends to speed up on the straightways).

But before the ride, I noticed she had a loose shoe. Since it wasn't twisted I just taped it securely to her hoof and asked my hubby to call the farrier. No big deal.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Heat wave

We're in the first true heat wave of the year (with a "feels like" temperature of over 100 degrees). I knew it was coming when I felt the hot winds blowing in from the southwest last night as I left work.

When I got to the barn, I checked Lim and although she was dry, I could tell she had been sweating so I took her down to the hose to be rinsed off.

After a lot of pawing at the water and diving for patches of grass nearby (what happened to the posts holding the crossties?! They're gone!), I got her cooled down. We then went over to the outdoor arena so she could roll in the sand, then back to her stall with fresh hay and the fan turned on.

Her next ride is scheduled for tomorrow evening and I'm hoping it is cooler by then--if not, I will still ride but take it really easy. I am determined to make riding a habit--and if we only walk one day, then so be it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Three rides in under a week--amazing! And shifting focus for the year.

I don't remember the last time I rode three times in less than a week; my inner thighs sure are paying for it today!

Limerick is moving and feeling very, very well after all her issues and chiropractic appointment, so now I have to start getting her back into shape for jumping. At this point her back has dipped slightly and she's lacking some muscle on her hindquarters, but for a mare that has been through so much this year, she doesn't look bad at all...hardly! And mentally she is incredibly motivated and ready to get back to work--that is the most important part.

To aid in ensuring that Lim stays on the track to fitness, I asked a teenage girl from my barn to ride Limerick once a week. She's a good, experienced rider so I think it would be fun for the both of them, and relieve a little pressure on my busy schedule.

Speaking of which, I have also decided that I am not Superwoman and it is impossible for me to focus on both running and riding. Meaning, I cannot reasonably expect to train for a 100-mile ultra-marathon if I also want to jump Limerick again.

So, for this year at least, it looks like I will not be racing. I do plan to get back into running regularly, and will even run a 20 miler here and there, but race? Nah. I also plan on working on jewelry, for humans and animals alike, more. So rather than the focus being on running, with riding as a supplement (as it was in 2010), I will shift gears to the focus being on riding, with running as a supplement, and jewelry-making at home in my spare time.

Maybe it's because I got a taste of losing Limerick in April, but for now I just want to spend as much time with her as possible. She is a wonderful horse, and even after all these years, my sense of discovery with her has not abated. If anything, I feel like there is so much more to explore with her, and time is running short. She may not look or behave it, but she is 20, and I have far, far more years on this earth than my girl.

I need to make the most of my time with her!

With my new focus on getting Lim back in shape, I have signed this blog up for email posting; now I can post photos and bits of text immediately from my phone, anywhere!

Email posting activated

I can now post directly to this blog using email through my phone.

Check out a sleepy Limerick...more on this soon!