Sunday, January 30, 2011

Toga got his hocks injected and some acupuncture on Friday. He'll get this weekend off then ease back into the work he's been doing...a lot of collection which has been very frustrating for him. He's too smart, and when we change or add things (like new aids for new moves) he tries very hard to figure out what he's supposed to do. But if it's new for him and he doesn't get it right, he gets pretty wound up. It's better every day, though, and he's finally relaxing about it. The weather continues to be my nemesis - digging out the farm and broken machinery putting a strain on my riding time. The deep snow is great exercise (for the horses, it's murder on me...) so at least we're getting some help staying fit. It's so fun to watch them out playing in the snow : ) Need to jump this week I think.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


The key is good hay, and enough of it, really.

Toga steps it up

Awesome lesson yesterday....we are starting to really work on collection. T's poll must have lifted six inches from the time I started asking him until we were doing medium trots like a big horse. What a feeling to have that lift and suspension! It took him a bit to understand what we were doing - at first he did flying changes all over the place and a lot of jumping up and down, but not naughty stuff, just confusion. Like I've said before, he tries SO hard to do what (he thinks) I want him to do. Sometimes what I really want and what he thinks I want are different, and he gets a bit wound up. But it ended with some beautiful trot and canter work, with the lateral stuff coming easier and easier. Can't wait to see what's next.

I have to vent about feed companies. My barn is pretty big, so one of my major costs is feed. I have always tried to find the best, least expensive feed available.... feed that will take care of the majority of the 60+ horses we have on the farm. The prices have skyrocketed in the past five years - like everything else. And now that all the companies are marketing their designer feeds, you'd think that every horse needs a special blend just for them. So yesterday I was visited by one of the local feed companies that sells a few different brands, and the rep from one of them was with the owner. There are about six brands that are marketed locally, and someone comes around every once in a while to tell me why they are better. Anyway, what made me think to write this today is the comment the rep made when I told him that my Intermediate event horse was doing great on the feed I have. He said "Don't you want the expensive feed? Most eventers want to feed this expensive feed." Did he expect me to say yes??? I told him to look around and see if it looked like I had anyone else paying my bills. Then I challenged him - as I do EVERY feed company that claims they have a better feed that I will "feed less of" because it's so great - to feed my horse his feed for a month or two and show me the difference. And as they all do, he backed off and said yes we do that sort of thing but then changed the subject to avoid setting up our little test .... I've heard that a lot and they never follow through. So my thoughts on feed are the same. I have high fiber, 12% protein feed that every horse in the barn seems to do well on, and unless I'm convinced otherwise, that's what I'm sticking with. I would love to have a comparison test, but not on my dime, especially when we're talking almost $10 a BAG difference in price! I feed 100+ bags a don't have to do any math to see my point! Like they say....if it ain't broke, don't fix it. :) vent over

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I thought I'd be out for six weeks, but two will do! Really can't undo anything the surgeon did so what I risk is pulling the muscles that are trying to get used to my new conformation. I can almost look over my shoulder, so looking for the next fence won't be a problem :) Toga thinks his vacation was a bit short.....he did get the time off - it went by so quickly I didn't organize anyone to ride him. Addie got on him once and he was great, so really I just have to catch up on his fitness. I've been on him twice, and what a great feeling! He's my happy place for sure, what a good man. Will try to ride every day this week and take a lesson on Friday. Right now I'm looking ahead to February, which is usually the month I get started for the spring. But since we really haven't totally let down this winter, I want to try to go south for a week or two and do some intense schooling. Not sure where or when or how yet, but that's in the plan if possible.