Thursday, November 29, 2012

Adjustments and Thankfuls

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I hope that everyone got to spend some much needed time with friends, family and loved ones this year! This year, I have so many things to be thankful for. If you don't mind, I just want to take a minute before updating everyone on Tia, to just say a few words.

For as long as I can remember, my family has always been there for me. I can only hope to be as good to my family as they were/are to me. My Mom and Dad have supported me in all of my endeavors, even the ones they knew wouldn't work or last. They have provided me with a foundation for success, but I have to choose whether or not I want to build on that foundation or throw caution to the wind, and build my own. My Brother, through all of his faults, has really impressed me over the past few months. He and his girlfriend have really completed each other. It is so nice to see him so happy and comfortable with himself as a person.

My husband is really one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Exceptionally smart and unbelievably talented (even if he doesn't think he is), he surpasses every thought I ever had about who I would spend the rest of my life with. We all have our "frying pan" moments, but through everything we have been through, he has been my rock, my knight in shinning armor. I love him more everyday, even if I thought that couldn't be possible.

My daughter, Gwen, is honestly, the greatest gift of all. She is smart, funny, independent, full of spit and vinegar and total Daddy's girl. She shares both of our love for animals and has fallen head over heels in love with Tia. All she talks about is being able to ride Tia someday. (Insert super cute picture of Gwen's first horse show on Mocha man!)

My final thankful, before the Tia update (bare with me!), is for my horses. One in particular.

This, is Boomer. Registered name Bradley Osgood. Boomer was "My Heart Horse". When he passed away on November 3, 2010, I honestly thought I was done with horses. I didn't want to own another one ever. I didn't want to give lessons anymore. I didn't want to train. Even just being around horses hurt. To this day, I wonder if I will ever get over the loss of such an amazing friend and confidant. He carried many of my young students around the round pen on their first rides, around the trails on their first trail rides and around the show ring for their first shows. My daughter got to ride Boomer twice before he fell to ill to do anything more than look beautiful in his field. She was only about a year old when she sat on his back, but it is something I will never forget. My boy took great care of my little girl and for that I will be eternally grateful.

And it is because of Boomer, that I am thankful for Tia. This mare came into my life when I didn't think I was ready to love again. She has shown me that just because Boomer is gone, doesn't mean I have to fill his shoes. Tia has shown me love, and kindness, and trust...something I didn't think I could have with any horse other than Boomer. Tia has shown me that I need horses in my life. Not just giving lessons and working with other people horses, but having a horse of my own is where my heart, and my foundation, lies. I admitted to two of my students last night the real reason I have been putting off working with Tia. I am love her. I know what is going to happen after I get her trained...I will be selling her. (I have to keep repeating that to myself) I already love this mare. She reminds me a lot of my old show mare, Majic. But the reasons why I love this mare are very different. I love this mare because she loves me. I love this mare because she trusts me. I love this mare because she needs me...and I need her. I love this mare because I can. I love this mare, and I am thankful for the opportunity to know and love this mare as my own.

And now that I am sitting at my desk crying like an idiot, I will update on Tia!

I have sent in the application to have her registered with the Pinto Association of America. Registered name Thanks In Advance. I am super excited about this. It means a whole new world of possibilities for Tia!

Last night, we had April come back out for another adjustment. She is still pretty stiff in her neck, ribs and hip area, but April got her kinks out. I have also been given some exercises to do with her to get her back muscling up again and to fix the muscling in her neck. So, this weekend, the surcingle will be used!

Mia, the Fjord, got adjusted for the first time last night. Ber was done first and I got there later then expected so I didn't get pictures of Ber...but here are some of Mia.

Mia felt much better after her adjustment. We have always had some issues with Mia bending to the right, and now we know why. Poor girl had a huge knot in her neck. Should have seen her bending afterwards! Wow!

Tia had us laughing so hard last night we couldn't see straight. She has taken to doing this little squeal thing whenever you even slightly reprimand her, which is not backed up by anything..just a cute little squeal which makes us all giggle. She thinks she is being miss big bad mare...she is wrong. Well, we also found out that when we do the "Pole Pop" as Becca calls it, she squeals a little as well. We got video of have to listen kinda carefully because we were laughing, but you can hear her little squeal.

Video - You Tube hates me at the moment and wont let me embed the darn thing!

Any who...Here are some pictures of her adjustment last night! Anyone in the Maryland, DC area looking for a wonderful Acupressure/Chiro for your horse, check out April Travis. She is wonderful!

 Couldn't have done this when I first brought her home!!!!

April hit a really good spot and Tia's lips were all over the place!!!!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Daylight Savings Time....Sigh

I know, I know. I'm a horrible blog keeper! The past few weeks have kind of flown by. I had to switch my feeding nights at the barn from during the week, to just the weekends. Dragging my poor three year old to the barn until 8 at night was not working out! So, now I only get to see my girl on the weekends. (I live about 45 minutes from the barn, so going down there every night isn't really an option at the moment, especially since all I would be able to do is tell her that I wanted to work her and then leave)

That being said, Daylight Savings Time Ending will be the death of me. It gets dark far to early! Tia still gets quite a bit of grain, so working her right after her breakfast is not something I am a fan of. But, then again, it gets dark at 5pm, and most of my day on Saturdays and Sundays are filled with lessons, going to get feed, spending time with my daughter and my Mom or (gasp) actually getting to see my husband while we are both awake. Sigh. Sometimes I feel like I will never get Tia worked....

And then there is the slight issue of her back end....I am actually a little worried. It may just be a lack of muscle but she is really stabbing her right hind leg...constantly. It looks to me like a blown stifle. Super sticky through the joint and quick to get off the leg. After her appt with April 2 weeks ago, it was much better. But now, I am seeing some major stickiness going on. April is due to come back out on the 28th I believe, but I'm concerned that she may need more at this point.

I have always had wonderful success with keeping my old man on a joint supplement with MSM to help with his stifle issues. It def seemed to help him and keep the joint and muscle working in better harmony. My concern is that at this point, how do I know putting her on a supplement will help? I cant get down there in the week to work her, we don't have lights outside in the ring, and working her once a day on weekends may not be enough. Although it will be more than what she is being worked currently.

I have all these grand plans..and then life happens. I want Tia to be the best she can be, and right now, I feel like I am her biggest obstacle. She can't go forward without my help, I know this. So why am I being the one to let her down? Why do I make excuses to not work with her? Why do I choose to not work her in the morning after all the chores are done instead of saying, "Oh I will just come back early this evening and work her" and then it never happens. I am sabotaging the mare I swore to save. Sigh. I know I need to just do it and get over myself. I know I need to make the time. I seem to make excuses for not working with her. Could it be because I have actually become attached to this mare? This mare that has these horrible personality and training faults? This mare that reminds me so much of my first show horse? This mare that has stolen my daughters heart? My intentions for this mare when I took custody of her, were to get her better, train the heck out of her, and find her a new loving home. I never intended to keep her. EVER. She is far to small for me and lets be honest...shes a mare. I don't do mares. And then I see myself hanging out with her. She has become this super affectionate, loving, trusting mare that would do anything I asked her to just for a head scratch. I know I CANT keep her, but try telling my heart that.

Not quite sure where all that came from, when I originally wanted to just get some opinions on supplements and some different excersizes I could do with her, other than ground driving and going over poles and hills. Suggestions??????

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Massage Therapy

As you guys have probably read, I have been a bit concerned about Tia's back right hip. She seems to be sticky through her stifle area and really doesn't seem to have much ability to all. Now, I know how to treat a stifle injury. Straight lines, poles and hills. Got it. But, my brain wasn't to sure that was just what was going on. I started thinking, "you know, her sudden mood swings, the kicking, the not bending, the running from pressure, I wonder if this is ALL pain related?" So, when Nikki said her Massage Therapist was coming out for Ber Ber, I asked if she would be willing to take a look at Tia as well.

Before I go any further, I just want to say, I have never been much for equine massage therapy. I know it works on some horses and a lot of people swear by it. If you would have asked me if I used a massage therapist I probably would have laughed at you....Not Anymore! Having April take a look at Tia was the best decision ever. EVER!

(For those interested, here is April's website. She was super nice, treated Tia with the utmost respect, talked to her the entire time, extremely friendly and down to earth. I really liked her, and so did Tia!)

April started at her front end and ended with her back end. From getting her to pop her neck, working out three huge knots in her neck, stretching her legs, working on her stifle/hip area and stretching the back legs and we must not forget Tia's favorite stretch...the wither stretch! I have never seen this mare as relaxed as she was last night.

After Tia was done, I had to run and give a lesson so I couldn't stay, I was told she went right to sleep in her stall while April worked on two other horses.

Now, I need you all to really realize something. When this mare first came home, she was flighty, scared and refused to do anything she didn't want to do, which included picking up her feet. Last night, she picked up and let April stretch out all four feet with no fight at all. There were a few times last night that I got a little teary eyed. She has come such a long way. There is no way April would have been able to work with her right after I got her without me feeling like I was putting April in danger. She really is turning out to be a nice mare with tons of potential.

That being said, I am now an advocate for Equine Massage Therapy. If you feel your horse is off, stiff, or just not themselves, have an EMT come out and just check them over. More times then not, its something small that can be fixed for a lot less money then the vet will charge just for the farm call!

I made the right decision for Tia. And I do believe that Tia thanks me for it!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dang its COLD!

I don't really have much to report on. It has been super cold since Hurricane Sandy came through. We got really lucky and had no damage or injury's at the barn. Everyone stayed inside in their nice warm stalls with plenty of water and hay!

On a personal note, it has been crazy the past week or so. Between people not owning up to their responsibilities, family and friends becoming sick and sewer issues I think I need a vacation!

On a good note, Tia is looking WONDERFUL! I lunged her for a little bit on Saturday morning and the stifle issue def seems to be more prominent. I ordered a surcingle last week, so hopefully that will come in this week and I can start line driving her up some hills and over some polls. Lunging is not something I want to do with her if she has something going on with that stifle. A friend from the barn has a acupuncturist/chiropractor friend that comes out to do her horse every 2 months or so. She is coming this week, I am hoping to get her to take a look at Tia just to make sure it isn't something in her back/hip.

I am now switching her feed over. Hopefully this will be the last switch. She has been on Blue Seal Senior and Blue Seal Performance LS since I got her. She has picked up the weight nicely and just recently really started packing on the pounds. She is now on Blue Seal Senior and Blue Seal Sport. She will eventually just be on the Sport Formula which I think is fantastic!

And now... Pictures!