All posts filed under: Horses

Some Horses….

Some horses come into our lives forever, others for a short time.  I try hard to be open to whichever that is… Many years ago, I fell in love with a thoroughbred named Canonize.  I first saw him romping (literally all feet off the ground one second, on the ground rolling the next) in a demo at the Equine Affaire nearly a decade ago.  At the time I was working through the Parelli Levels with my horse Manny, who was a naturally introverted horse.  He has very little real play drive and I was craving a horse who liked to move their feet.  It was love at first sight that November day and as soon as the trainer reported that he was available for adoption through the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, I knew he would be mine.  Many of my friends would tell me I was crazy to get a second horse…that I couldn’t keep two horses in work with a full time job.  Those of you who know me well, know the easiest way to get me …

April Update on Beaugart

I’ve had Bogie home from the trainer for almost 2 weeks now.  I’m sticking to my plan and have left out the timeline, going very slowly.  I spent most of the first week in observation mode, trying to see where Bogie’s mind is at.  Having him away from the main herd has been very helpful, in that I can see his reactions to me more clearly.  Its amazing…he is all over the map!  From pacing the fenceline looking for the safety of the herd (RBE) to stomping on the chickens (LBE) to frozen and tense while I work around him(RBI) and then to frisking me for cookies (LBI)…all in a matter of a few minutes.  Phew…he’s like a friggin rollercoaster! The first big ‘aha’ was that he really does not tolerate me approaching him directly.  He might manage to stand still, but he is tense and suspicious. I had missed that before.   If I have something in my hand, like a brush or a leadline, forget it, he is out of dodge.  This is the response I …

Starting Over with Beaugart…

Beaugart aka ‘Bogie’ is a young arab X NSH that came to Resting Heart Farm last winter.  From the start he has been difficult for me to read….hard to catch, head shy, evasive….sometimes anxious, sometimes curious, sometimes over-reactive.   He is a rescue and I don’t know alot about his history, but I can see he has some old wounds on his legs, and asymmetric eyes, so there has been some trauma.  The question is….does the old trauma create his current state of mind or did his innate way of dealing with life make him more likely to have accidents.  Doesn’t really matter, I guess…I have to deal with the horse that is here right now.  And where we are right now is, well, complicated.  Last summer, I was working pretty successfully with Bogie, or so I thought.  I wrote about it here.   Over the winter, our partnership started to deteriorate.  He became impossible to catch without chasing him into a stall and cornering him.  I can hear you all, rolling your eyes, in exasperation thinking…. ‘TELL …

What Horses have to Teach us about Healing…

I have been struggling to write this piece for over a week now.  Its not typical for me to experience ‘writer’s block’ but there is is.  And as it turns out, totally germane to the topic.  Its been a tough week for me mentally and emotionally.  Engaged in some politically charged organizational rhetoric….within a task I took on voluntarily to help a cause I believe in….I found I was not thriving.   No details are required, but as a result of this turmoil, I have experienced indigestion, muscle aches, headaches, and poor sleep.  Late last evening I was given the opportunity to remove myself from this situation and I gratefully accepted.  I did feel better, but it wasn’t until the wee hours of this morning …..when I was roused from bed by the hospital to come in to care for one of my patients emergently ….that I fully released all that toxic energy.  At my patient’s bedside, as I laid my hand on her shoulder to reassure her that she would be OK…wham…I felt it.  My head cleared, my …

Look what two weeks will do…

These photos were taken two weeks apart.  I know the difference is subtle, but I think you can see Ripple’s topline has relaxed quite abit and the angle of the hip has changed.  The illusion is that he has filled out in the rump area.  What is really happening is that the tightness in the hamstrings is lessening, allowing the hip to relax into a more normal position.  Some of this relaxation is a product of time and lessening anxiety about his new place and herd, but some of it is diet, acupressure, massage  and movement.  Nice start.  Relaxation is the start of everything else.  I like this horse!

Herd Politics

People frequently ask me how I introduce a new horse to the herd.  Over the past 5 years I have had a dozen or so rescues and foster care horses of one breed or another to integrate (or not) into the herd.  Every horse is different and there are lots of things to consider.  So far, I can say I have not had a single injury integrating a new horse…not even a patch of lost hair. The first thing to consider is the health of the new horse.  Where did they come from?  Are they likely to have been exposed to something infectious?  Animals coming from an auction or other high traffic facility, no matter how healthy they look, should have a suitable period of quarantine from your herd.  This ought to be in a separate barn and turnout, some distance from the home crew.  I don’t have such a set-up here, so I am pretty careful about where I will take horses from.  I did take on a mini stallion from an auction a …

Two Year Update on Reno

With all the press my new horse, Ripple Effect has gotten on the past week or so, I had almost forgotten that it is Reno’s second anniversary with me.  He definately deserves some press too…. Reno came to me in January 2009 with a life-threatening injury.  A mystery hock injury, several months old. It was a struggle to win the battle with this injury and I thought we would have to put him down more than once that winter.  I don’t think an injury in a horse has taught me more about patience, persistence and hope.  It was indeed a miracle, and by the spring he was in harness and working lightly… One day in late April, however, I arrived home to find Reno had had a fight with the fence and to my horror had severed the extensor tendon (and nearly the flexor) in the same previously injured leg.  That was the low point for me.  I’m not sure I would have had the fortitude to go on with his rehab, had it not …