Last year began with us at a self-care boarding facility where I lived on site. I was living in a Studio Cottage overlooking the tiny riding arena/turnout area. My friends also boarded there (and some lived there), so we had a great time. Early in the month Trinity coliced (her first time since the week after I moved her from the race track to a field, thought to be from stress of the move and detoxing off the race track drugs). With the amazing help of my friends, several vet tech's, and my vet we gave her fluids, kept her out of the hospital, and nursed her back to health. We also started on a religious regimen of Sand Clear suggested by the vet.
The view from my studio apartment, with Trinity in the Arena/Turnout
Tirnity on one of her many colic walks...it was FREEZING (below zero wind chills...) The vet said no blanket...I felt horrible!
Even without vet's orders Trinity went on a workout hiatus because the arena froze over and didn't melt for months. The ground was hard and it was frigid most of the month. She got turned out a few times in the snow and then when the ground was mildly thawed (enough to buck, but not enough to work). She was still in shoes at this time so I wanted to be cautious about slipping and ice balls. Towards the end of the month I went with some friends to the county auction where myself and my friend, J, picked up a little grey filly to train and flip. I thought we would make some decent money off the endeavor...ha ha ha...
Snow Day Fun!
Look Mom, SNOW!
I Love My Mare!
The little filly we picked up at auction. I would call her Frosty, while J would call her DumAss (doom-oss)
March brought some warmer weather and Trinity went back to roundpenning and few times a week, though I only rode a few times due to my work schedule. For Spring Break my boyfriend came in to town. I let him work with Frosty while I was busy or working Trinity. It was instant love and total match made in heaven. Even though she was an un-broke not even 3 year old and he has only ridden a handful of times on an uncooperative Trinity, they were perfect!
J on Frosty for the first ever ride...she looks so terrified, doesn't she?
Shane, my boyfriend, on Frosty only her 2nd day under saddle...
At the tail end of March/early April I moved apartments (still on the property) to one overlooking Trinity and Frosty's stalls. I continued to work both of them and we didn't see much action. Trinity started looking a little underweight as her winter coat came in and we saw a drastic spike in hay prices due to a drought. I started getting concerned about the horses well being and being able to afford paying for the amount of hay we were going through and Trinity still looked under weight. The Barn Owner began getting more and more demanding and causing drama with almost every boarder. Trinity celebrated her 8th birthday!
In May Shane got a job working in Douglas County, Colorado and made the long trip to Colorado from Virginia. We spent most of the month getting used to living together and working and didn't do much with the horses other than what was required by self-care...we really did feel bad about it! More and More drama ensued with the Barn Owner. Frosty celebrated her 3rd birthday!
In June Shane and I started looking for and ended up buying a house! J moved his horses away from the self-care barn, which was going drastically downhill. As we were moving from our apartment, Shane and I seriously considered a barn move as well due to sky rocketing hay prices, lack of a suitable arena, conflict with the Barn Owner, and a desire to not break ice in the winter if we weren't living on site (the owner forbid any electrical devices i.e. water heaters, fans, etc.). I was also apparently very bad these three months about taking pictures of the girls due to irritation. I often found myself avoiding leaving my apartment so as not to run in to the barn owner.
At the beginning of July we made the decision to move to the barn where J had his girls. The price was right and the care was awesome. We were able to ride in an arena 10 times bigger than before and we really started to put the girls to work. Trinity started with a new farrier due to the distance that we moved and she went barefoot for the first time. For the first month her feet were great and she was a trooper!
Trinity enjoying her new home!
Frosty finally started working hard as a three year old (and by hard I mean she trotted under saddle and did VERY little loose rein canter work)!
Shane got in some good rides...she looks so frightened doesn't she?
By August J really needed to get out from under the board on Frosty and thought she was ready to resell. I agree that she could have been sold for a great profit at this point; however, Shane was SO attached to her. We looked very very very carefully at our budget and spoke to J extensively and considered just transferring ownership of Frosty from J to Shane. Shane had been the primary caregiver for most of the time and I was the primary trainer so it did make sense. Plus J was being VERY nice to give up a potential profit to let us keep her. The rest of August was mostly enjoying the girls and working and getting the house set up! Trinity continued to look very skinny in her top line and very rotund in her belly. The Barn Owner tried everything to alter her food to make her look better. We hoped maybe it was just her preparing for Winter early (she has ALWAYS grown her coat and shed her coat earlier than any other horse)...
Trinity showing her odd shape...
Sunset ride! I love this picture!
They are getting used to each other so much now! Shane is learning to keep his hands down and Frosty is learning to keep her nose down.
September was fairly quiet on the horse front except that we finally made the deal with J to just transfer ownership of Frosty. We started paying all of the bills, though we still haven't done the official AQHA paperwork and all that... Work got very very busy and we had a lot going on with the house. Plus Shane changed shifts and any other excuse you can think of. At the beginning of the month Trinity came up sore on her fairly newly barefoot feet. She got through it okay and was working pretty soundly towards the end of the month. Most of the times that I rode it was just me, J, and his girlfriend L and we didn't have any pictures...oh well...Trinity continued to have a crappy body condition and we couldn't figure out how to make it better...
On October 3rd Trinity had a massive colon displacement due to sand impaction and had to have a massive colic surgery. She made through it okay and was put on stall rest for 2 months, stall with run rest for 1 month, and could then be introduced to light work. The surgeon removed about 100lbs of sand from her belly that they later identified as concrete dust. The "footing" that the self-care barn had been pawning off as gravel was actually pulverized concrete from old work sites and had mixed with her stomach moisture and almost solidified. We determined her January colic was probably the start and we cleared just enough for her to be okay a few months; however, another 6 months in the dust and then working on and off and eating quality forage for 3 months sent her stomach into distress. The forage needed a place to be expelled and with the concrete dust there was not enough space for the forage to get through. No amount of sand cleared could have cleared the hardened lump. Everything worked out well (except my checkbook) and Trinity spent the rest of the month with hand walks and resting. My new Barn Owner was a LIFE SAVER (literally!)
Surgery prep...I was too nervous to remember to get pictures during the actual surgery or of the yard sized TRASHCAN full of sand they removed from her belly.
SO much skinnier. Compared to the picture in August it is NUTS! She stayed in ICU for 6 days.
Trinity when she first returned to the farm the day our AMAZING vet came to take her staples out. She was such a good girl!
November started with me complaining about the time change and how it is dark SO early...and was only getting worse through December. I also managed to take 30 day postop pictures of Trinity and hoped and prayed she was gaining weight back. People tried to keep me upbeat and I was positive, though looking back it doesn't seem like she had gained much weight at this point. Later in the month she got a hair up her butt, met her nemesis (the miniature donkey), and was allowed some round pen time! Shane and I joined my family on a trip to Mexico where we got ENGAGED!
30 days postop
round pen time at about 45 days.
I was a very bad mama in December and had trouble getting out to the barn on a regular basis. Trinity was back to her stall with a run, so I didn't feel too bad about not making it out, because at least she had room to moved and was back with her friends! I did get out a few times and let the girls play. I freaked out at how big Frosty was! I have never had a quarter horse before, so I didn't believe people when they told me she would grow a lot in her 3-5 year old years. I kind of laughed thinking they would mean an inch or so...I GUESS NOT! I haven't put a tape to her yet, but I would guess she is already upwards of 15.3 pushing 16hh. She was like 14.3 when we first got her from the auction 9 months before! YIKES! Shane and I left on December 19th for the rest of the year to spend with family and friends for the holidays, therefore, there was limited horsey news.
Trinity is 16.2-16.3! Shane hasn't seen Frosty in over a month and is going to FREAK OUT!
Trying to get a better view. Take off the shark fin whither and they are pretty durn close!
Trinity's typical Alpha Mare face!
Looking Forward to 2013
2013 will be a fun filled year of craziness. We are building a new library at work and I am semi-in charge of the building project. My boss is the lead; however, I am doing a lot of leg work and stuff. The building opens in March so these first few months will be insane. On top of that we are planning on October 12, 2013 wedding (which I started a blog about). My goals for the year are:
- Number 1 will always be keep the girls happy and healthy!
- Spend January, February, March, and April getting Trinity back in ridable shape by long reining (driving), round penning when possible by light and weather), and stretching/flexing.
- Spend these same months getting Frosty and Shane really comfortable together, start working on Frosty's top frame and Shane's posture.
- Get to the barn at least 3 times a week, which should be made easier at the end of January when Shane begins getting off work at 3pm instead of 6pm.
- Get Frosty and Trinity ready for some road rides.
- Spend the summer getting both girls in top shape.
- Perhaps compete in a few gymkhanas (play days) during the fall.
I think that this should work out to be a solid list of 2013 goals. 2012 was rough in horse land, but I have a feeling that 2013 will be a whole lot better! I am so excited to see what happens!