Best Laid Plans

Not bad for my first braid in a few years

Not bad for my first braid in a few years

For anyone friends with me on Facebook, you may have watched as the events leading up to Sunday’s show unfolded. On Friday, my truck broke down. The mechanic says it needs more than $1,600 of work on the brakes to be safe again (cue second opinion time!). We’re talking hydroboost, master cylinder, rotors and pads. I guess it’s a blessing in disguise that it decided to croak before it was hauling my horse! Anyway, I paid to rent a truck for the weekend.

I went to Rolex on Saturday (post forthcoming!) and then came back to the barn and spent several hours scouring every inch of Nibbles with my sister. Everything got bathed twice. Like I have done for years with other horses, I used a whitening shampoo on her three white socks/stockings. The truck was hooked up, everything was checked, everything was packed, and Nibbles went into her stall for the night.

Leah and I arrived at the barn a little over three hours before the show to touch her up, wrap and load her. I opened up her stall door to say good morning and did a double take. Her three white legs were twice their normal size! Nibbles had an allergic reaction to the whitening shampoo! Her one dark leg was unchanged. Commence panicked cold hosing and hand walking. The swelling actually went down quite a bit but with an hour left, it still wasn’t enough and I had to cancel our plans. The judge would have sent us right back out. Talk about a bummer.

Poor baby

Some banamine, sweat wraps, more cold hosing and hand walking later and Nibbles was back to her normal/beautiful self. This was of course that evening, long after the show was over. To add insult to injury, I had already paid to rent the truck and I cannot get a refund on my show fees. Ouch.

I snapped these photos that morning to offer myself condolences and at least remember how nice she looked, all ready to go.

I did however have a spot of sunshine this morning! I received my socks from Forging Fiction‘s contest in the mail! I can’t wait to wear them in my (first) lesson (in years) on Thursday night.

Thanks, Fiction!

Thanks, Fiction!


Happy Easter!


Nibbles says Happy Easter!

Nibbles says Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from Nibbles! Not an actual Easter photo. This one was taken on Friday when I tried her new dress sheet on her. I couldn’t get her ears so enjoy the tongue action. I did, however, go to the barn this morning but not for a particularly good reason. Explanation to follow.

On Friday, following the first arena ride, I spent maybe 40 minutes clipping the poor beastie. I meant to just do the outside of her ears and she pulled and I slipped…and took out a chunk on the inside. So off it all came. She was not particularly thrilled about having her ears done but she really wasn’t that bad. I also did her face/nose and bridle path. After that, we tacked up and headed back to Our Tiny Indoor: hereafter, OTI. Because of how small her circles have to be in OTI, I only lunged her for maybe 5 minutes then hopped on.


Leah walked next to us like the day before. Then with a little guidance from me, we sent her out on the circle while Leah stood in the center and “lunged” us. I use this term loosely because Nibbles doesn’t require much micro-management. She’s a pretty forward horse naturally so when you send her out, she goes until you change something, whether it’s speed, gait or direction. She felt good at the walk so after discussing with Leah what to do if Nibbles freezes, explodes, bolts, rears, or otherwise panics, she asked her to trot.

Baby’s first trot was…uneventful. Unlike many greenies I’ve been the first on, she didn’t need much encouragement to move out and after one circle, she seemed to have a relatively good feel for how to balance me (for a greenie, that is). I don’t have pictures or video because the humans were preoccupied but YAY! We got a few circles to the left, then a a few circles to the right. Asked for a couple laps then back to the walk and much praising. Very little tension, no blips – what a good girl! So we called it a day and pumped her with sugar cubes.

That’s not entirely true. Her show is a week from today so we washed her mane and tail out for the first time in…6 months? I don’t do it often. Oh, and before the ride, we snapped a couple of shots. I didn’t realize my trailer was in this until after the fact. Oops!

I can't decide which I like better. This one...

I can’t decide which I like better. This one…

Or this one?

Or this one?

Leah and I went to the barn again yesterday with the intent of getting some new photos and video of my other mare who is for sale. Perhaps I’ll do a post on her? Anyway, the plan was to groom and give Nibs the day off. I caught her (aka grabbed her from the gate where she was waiting) and saw that the slight puffiness in her LH was now slightly more than slight puffiness. How’s that technical jargon for ya? To me, it looks like minor edema in the suspensory. I’m wondering if the circles in OTI are too small and making her sore? But then she’s only coming-6 and I’m careful to keep them to a minimum and never more than a medium trot.

As you read in my Tack Haul, I just bought a new jar of Sore No-More so I slapped a poultice on both back legs and put standing wraps on. Nibbles isn’t off and this was the first time there was any heat whatsoever in that LH. I kept her in overnight and I went out at 5am this morning to rinse off the poultice. I don’t have before pictures (go me) but these are after the rinse. It looks pretty much the same as it did yesterday. It seems slightly tender (like yesterday) but again, she doesn’t seem off on it so I turned her back out for the day. Another boarder is checking her for me tonight. Anyone see anything that I don’t below? Just a little swelling on the outside above her fetlock.

photo 3 photo 1-5 photo 2-4

First Arena Ride

I was finally able to ride Nibbles in the tiny indoor arena last night. Tacked up and threw her on the lunge for just a few minutes. I lunged her first then had Leah lunge her because I want her to feel confident when she starts lunging with me up. The goal is to get to that point this weekend.

She's 15.1 and I'm 5'6" - actually not too bad!

She’s 15.1 and I’m 5’6″ – actually not too bad!

It was Nibbles’ first time with me on her when not being in a stall so after a little lunging (which she didn’t truly need), Leah gave me a leg up and we walked in about 10m circles. Leah walked with us just in case. Of course, Nibbles didn’t do anything. Besides being small, the indoor arena isn’t really an indoor arena. It’s maybe 60′ x 80′ with 8 floor-to-ceiling posts down the middle of it. It’s really annoying and makes lunging extremely challenging. So we just walked on one side of the posts, made as wide of turns as I could manage, and practiced halting from the walk.

She was so nonchalant that we cocked a foot while waiting for Leah to take the picture, hence why I'm also off balance.

She was so nonchalant that we cocked a foot while waiting for Leah to take the picture, hence why I’m also off balance.

You can sort of see the posts I’m talking about in the pictures. Anyway, the other things about the indoor is 1) the footing is just very old, wooden mulch (not even actual wood chips) so it gets very dusty and 2) birds ZOOM in and out all day long. Leah was a little worried about the birds but I’ve worked Nibbles in there several times on the lunge before so she doesn’t mind them anymore. They really are annoying – seriously, at least 20 or so flew in and out, banging the ceiling, the entire time we were in there (which was maybe half an hour). It’s very annoying but good desensitization for the greenie, I guess!

And I did end up winning Day Two’s Easter Egg Hunt at Forging Fiction! Julie from Dreaming of Revelry and I posted at the exact same time so we were both winners. I’ve never won anything before so I’m excited!

Weekend Warrior


I’ve been meaning to post an update since Sunday but got busy. My sister came into town and we were able to work both Nibbles and my other mare, Sara, on Saturday and Sunday. The girls were really good and the humans both ended up slightly sunburnt in the 80 degree weather. Did I mention the low was 20 two nights later with snow?

photo (5)On Saturday, I worked Nibbles on the lunge in the back field while Leah took pictures. I intended to put the side reins on but decided against it because she was having to work pretty hard on the hills back there. She did really well for the most part, a few attempts to turn around but they’re getting to be fewer. She was really light and still very forward from the start which was surprising and lovely at the same time. Again, we had 20+ mph winds.


On Sunday, Leah worked with Sara while I worked with Nibbles so no working photos. I opted out of tack because she’s been tacked up every day for weeks now and I wanted to give her a break. So we worked a lot on cantering which we haven’t been able to do because of ice and mud. I almost forgot how nice her canter is – I can’t wait to ride it. She also got a quick bath (the photo at the top of the post is her afterwards) with no hot water because the barn has been without hot water for months. (grumble grumble)

The horses are getting a break today and it will be back to work tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ve contacted a trainer who lives and trains very close to where I live. I think I’m finally coming to grips with where I am in my riding and what my goals are now that I’m almost half-way through my 20’s and done with college. But that deserves it’s own post. Suffice it to say that I desperately missing having a trainer and taking regular lessons.