Happiness is owning a chestnut mare.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Taters jumped a line! Kinda....

Taters is moving up! We jumped a line of crossrails on Tuesday. I forgot to explain to her that jumping a line involves going straight from one fence to the other, so the 3 stride line ended up being 4 most times. Not due to lack of speed, but simply due to being wiggly. Fortunately I spent last summer on a wiggle worm, so I think I have this covered. haha.

Anyway, I made the crossrail pretty big (and by big I mean about a foot haha) and she really was kicking up her hind end. Maybe we need to do jumpers with a careful hind end like that! Of course we have a lot of stuff to figure out before then, but I think I see it in our future.

I even put the flowers under the jumps and she didn't bat an eye. This is an improvement because the first couple of times she jumped flowers in the past she was a little hesitant.

I am so proud of her for being such a good girl! There is a show coming up at the end of June and I think we are going to try to do the trot crossrails class. It is a great show series that opens the crossrails up to green horses as well as the little kids. I kind of feel bad about competing agains them, but at the same time it is open to green horses and lord knows that our trips will probably be scary enough that the little kids do not need to worry about me beating them! haha. Also, I probably will not do the flat class because I would be too afraid of running over and killing young children and ponies during that canter portion of the class.

We also have our fingers crossed for going to a dressage show in Erie in 2 weeks. We would just do intro A. She hasn't proven to me that cantering in front of people is a good idea yet, whether alone or in a group. hahaha. Also it will be her first show experience and I need to see how she is going to react to it.

I can't wait for show season. I really think that she is going to like it. I also really want to get a ribbon, as childish as that sounds. Whether it be blue..or brown. I just don't want 4th because white ribbons suck. haha.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Our biggest supporter is gone...

This is going to be a sad post. So don't read it if you don't like sad posts. I am not a sad post kind of gal, but it must be done. My beautiful grandma passed away today aka Mother's Day. I was fortunate enough to be able to get the day off of work (thank you SO MUCH Tory) and go up to Buffalo to spend the day with my family. At first I thought I was going up to see my grandma for a little while, then spend the rest of the day painting one of the rooms in my parents house (she was going to come and live with them, so my mom wanted fresh paint). Then I got the phone call in the morning saying that I had to come up NOW. Needless to say my hour drive took about 40 minutes. Fortunately I was able to sit in bed with her for most of the day with my family and I got to have some alone time with her. I think she could hear me talking to her, at least I hope she could, cause I said a lot! 

Anyway, I need to dedicate a post to her because she has always been my biggest horsey-supporter. This woman loved animals almost as much as she loved her family (then again, to her animals were family). I definitely got my love of animals from her. The look she got in her eyes whenever she was around any of our animals was of such pure love and joy. It is the look that describes the way that I feel inside when I look at them. 

It was my grandma's idea for me to start riding. She was the one that told my parents to send me to horseback riding camp (the one that I made them promise I could quit if I didn't like it-see my first post). She watched my shows, from the time that Doobie bucked in a w/t/c class (she never wanted me to ride him again! haha) or when Stretch and I decided to do an extended canter in the w/t/c division and Susie had to scream for everyone to stop.

She and my grandpa helped me buy Ally. She loved to come out and watch me ride her and she really loved to groom her. I think that she was happiest when Pete and I won Champion of our division at the Erie County Fair back in 2006. Right up until the end she loved telling everyone about how she came to watch me win champion of the show and how I was always the best one out there. When I was at her apartment today I noticed that she still had a picture of us going over a jump in that show on her refrigerator. 

I am so thankful that she was able to meet Taters. Over the past few months since I moved down to Chautauqua I have taken tons of pictures and videos, then brought my computer up to Buffalo so that she could see them. She LOVED looking at Taters pictures and videos, and was so happy that I had a horse of my own again.

It is hard to believe that it was only a month ago that my mom packed her up into the car and made the drive out to meet her. She stayed in her wheelchair, and by golly Taters walked right up to that chair and let my grandma pet her for a long time. She fed her treats and Taters just stood there perfectly. It is so true that animals just know when they meet someone if they are good or bad. My grandma loved that day. I think I can honestly say that it was the best day that I have ever had with her, and it was the happiest that I had seen her in a very long time.

Just last weekend she was up and over at my parent's house for the Derby. She chose her horse and she and I watched videos of Taters while she told Laura about my riding and how proud she is of me and my horses. She really always has been (and always will be) my biggest fan.

Then today, after she passed, my mom told me that all week my grandma had been talking about how she wanted to make sure that I got a specific ring that belonged to her. Of course it was under one condition. She told my mother very specifically that if it ever comes down to me keeping that ring because it belonged to her, and selling it to get money to have my own horse farm, I better sell it. She has always said that she wants to do anything she can to have all my horse dreams come true.

I love you grandma, and I know you will always be cheering Taters and I on from heaven.

Helen Mae Ahrens
April 8, 1932-May 13, 2012


Saturday, May 12, 2012


Well it's true. The little bitch has proud flesh. Now, before you get all crazy like thinking I hate my horse, I am obviously referring to the cut as a little bitch, not my beautiful mare :)

So anyway, I spend DAYS going to the barn once in the am and once in the pm, checking her wound, w/t lunging to keep it from getting swollen, blah blah blah. I knew I had a scab forming...but I just didn't trust it, so I called my vet. She came out, peeled it off, and ta-da!!!!!! Mutha fudgin' proud flesh. Not a lot, but all I could think of was the last time I dealt with it and I wanted to kill myself.

Oh well, back to hosing, cleaning, and now wonder dusting twice a day. MY HORSE WILL NOT HAVE UGLY MAL-ADJUSTED FLESH! She is too pretty and perfect  to have a pink cauliflower sticking out of her leg.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Baby, it's HOT outside...and my horse is quiet :)

So, here we are. May 3rd. My dear red head continues to have a stocked up hind leg with a cut that refuses to heal. The vet is coming out on Wednesday, but told me to just start lunging and riding w/t because she is sound. So, here I am, continuing my lovely schedule of going to the barn before work and lunging for 10-20 minutes, then going back to the barn after work to ride.

I am not going to lie, cantering isn't my favorite thing to do on my horse. She hasn't been using her muscles properly in the past, and she still doesn't totally get it when it comes to cantering..Is it wrong that I am kinda happy and feel like I have been let off the hook for awhile? Anyway, we are doing a lot of side rein w/t and w/t in my german martingale to keep building the right muscles so that maybe cantering will be easier by the time this sucky cut heals and I am allowed to do more.

Anyway, here she is, in all her glory. She loves to roll in mud...with her fly mask on :)


Only in WNY do you need your heavy blanket, light t/o and flysheet/mask on the same rack and the same time.