Friday, May 24, 2024

Random Stuff

This post is going to be a bunch of snippets, seamed together by nothing. Streams of consciousness blogging. 


A horsewoman is also a vet. Through the years I have become quite the expert at home horse health, especially keeping the elder equines chugging along. Currently, I’m soaking and wrapping Cowgirl's front left hoof for an abscess. It amazes me how patient they are when they know they're being doctored. She just stands there with her foot in the bucket for 15 minutes, then patiently as I wrap the poultice. I think they're grateful, and it sure is rewarding when we fix what’s hurting them. 


I’m taking Epona to training on June 7th, the day before the Despooking Clinic. It’s 2 hours away, and next to my mom’s town, so I’m going to pick her up and bring her home with me, then take her to the airport the next morning so she can fly out to Tennessee with her cousin and best friend. They’re going back to their hometown. 

My daughter is working with Epona on Trailer loading and hauling so that it won’t be as stressful for her. My trainer, Regina, is helping her. 

Regina had an excellent suggestion. She said to send her down with the fly spray she is used to in order to prevent hives. Apparently, when a horse is stressed, any new spray can become an assault to their skin. 😳 Brilliant suggestion. 

And, of course, make sure she continues on the same exact supplements. Basically, provide as much continuity as possible. 

Another interesting factoid, Regina doesn’t let her horses looky loo when they dismount from the trailer. If they do, she takes them back in and works with them until they stand still inside (rest) and outside. She can unload and drop the rope with her horses. 😳 I need to up my unloading game. 



Our local saddle shop refleeced my favorite saddle and while it was taken apart, reinforced and oiled it. He did a beautiful job, but the new wool is going to be slick and slippery until it compacts. 

I love this saddle. After riding in it for 20+ years, I am used to its feel. 

Regina had an idea to keep it from slipping: cut gripper shelving liner 5-6” short of the saddle length and place it between the pad and saddle. (I just bought a new Five Star wool pad in a slightly larger size than my old one. Tumbleweed seems to have grown into a 32”x32” pad.)

Here is the new pad, with the gripper. Going lengthwise, as shown, did not work. We still had slippage. An adjustment needed to be made. 

0Old 5 star pad. 30”x30”, but a little too short for my saddle. 

I stopped mid-lesson and we took the saddle off, and repositioned the gripper to go side-to-side, draped over the middle, rather than long way along the spine. 

It worked much better. 


Hell no. 

Half way through our hell-at-home lesson yesterday, a herd of cows came running to our fence line. The neighbors just put them in last weekend, but our horses haven’t been in pasture to share the fence line and check them out. (Which is probably a good thing.) Tweed saw them and his head shot up and his tail flagged up. He was like, GAME ON!

I was like, Well, there will be NO riding today. 

My trainer was like, Oh, there will be. Hee, hee, hee. 

She told me to trust the process and get his head back in the work by disengaging one step and going to neutral. 

Tweed wasn’t tuning in, so she said keep walking towards his hindquarters until he bends and softens into you. Don’t stop until you get soft from him. Over and over. Lots of walking toward his hip. Stopping when he got soft. When he put his attention back on the cows, more walking to his hip, more disengagement. Eventually, he remained soft and attentive, and we went back the one step, then neutral, and get him to wait for directions. 

(If you’re curious about the bent panel, Beautiful Girl did that back in 2007. She escaped her stall and run over that bar, didn’t break any bones, and I found her out running with the herd.)

The title of this section is HELL NO, because that is what I thought about riding Tweed when he locked onto the neighboring cows. But it didn’t take too long to get to HELL YEAH! It’s time to ride! 

Regina: I told you so. 

I have a horse friend who accompanied us to a wine tasting yesterday afternoon. 

She is the party planner. Or, more accurately, the horse adventure planner. 

As we were drinking wine and talking, she came up with a horse camping trip for next fall to a place 4 1/2 hours away that I’ve never been. The boys can golf there, and we can ride the 7.5 mile loop trail. 

Whatever the case, I agreed to it. We have a tent, so we can tent camp and haul Tumbleweed. 

The wine was very good, and I highly recommend it. 


  1. I was just out there today working with Tweed and those cows came running again, while he was free and working on lope to trot transitions. I got a video of how up he got that I’ll share tomorrow.

  2. Of note, my trainer did NOT want him at Liberty to work off his energy about those cows. She said it would only lead to panic and worsen the situation. She was right. Today, he was doing beautiful trot to lope transitions, but when those cows came running he got in flight mode fast. I had to calm him down at a safe space, but he got scraped up. I got him back in halter and did the same work as yesterday and he became as calm as a sleepy puppy.

    I sent my trainer video of it, and I’ll update the story in my next post.

  3. Horsewomen are definitely vets. And problem solvers. And hoarders of baling twine, lol. I too have found that moving feet when they are worried doesn’t help. Moving their mind does. I am all or using forward if there’s a lot of energy but it needs to be productive and engage the brain as much as the body. On Sunday I moved Carmen out because her energy was all bottled up and she was using it for resistance. Once I unlocked that we went to the softer stuff. When Quaid gets excited just sending him out doesn’t help. But stopping and working with me does. Not sure if any of that made sense other then in my own head.

    1. Yes, that makes perfect sense. Regina calls it giving them a job, but it’s all about engaging their mind through thoughtful, not brainless, movement. It is why she wants me to get to one step disengagement before mounting. Just walking toward their hip and getting them to disengage also becomes brainless. One step, stop, look at me, wait for direction—that takes partnership, and it isn’t as easy as it sounds. They want to take lots of steps. Their instinct is to ignore us and move.

  4. That will be exciting to see how Epona does with her training! And more good advice from your trainer about unloading.
    About the Hell no to hell yeah part- it sure helps to have someone there to help us see how to get from that no point to the yeah part.

    1. Yes, it can be hard to imagine a horse that amped up coming back to you and working. Tweed needs a partner in life, and he responds to that partner quickly, whether it is a horse or human. That’s nice to see.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.