Friday, October 28, 2011


This isn't the best pictue but I think it shows how stout Willow has become.  If I had a pictue of her when I got her (really wish I did) she was a little thing with scars all over her lips and she did not like to be touched.  I may have written about this in the past but I didn't look.  Dwane actually got her for me for Mother's Day and she was my first horse in 10 years.  The first couple years I did alot of ground work with her, got her to wear a saddle when she was three did everything but step on her back.  You see I was a chicken then, I could not bring myself to throw my leg over the saddle.  In this time I had other horses also but never or hardly ever rode them.  I had Bandit who I could ride but he would get difficult and I wanted nothing to do with it.  There was Bell who was the same, I could make her go but it scared me senseless and it would take too long for me to climb back in the saddle. 

Willow was slow at growing at 3 she was still very small. I at one time worried that she would ever be big enough for me to ride.  The spring she turned four it was like a bulldog exploded, she thickened up and got taller and looked great.  I decided that I would send her to a trainer friend of mine for her first thirty days.  We wheeled and dealed and did some trading and Willow went in the trailer to my friends.  When we got there he was like "Well what do we need to teach her, lounging? or what does she need?"  I told him to just be ridden she knew everything else.  I could see his hesitation so I took her out to the round pen and put her through her paces, then threw the saddle on her and off she went again.  He was very surprised, he took a turn with her in the round pen and she did great.  I left and the next day at work (my coworker was his girlfriend) told me after I left he hopped on her and rode her around in the round pen for 15 minutes that night.  For the next thirty days he rode her after a few they were out of the pen and in the pasture.  He had me come out and ride her and she did great.  Then I came and took her home.

I only rode maybe 4 or 5 times the rest of that year.  I would be all gung ho and go out and saddle her, if she made one move that I thought was bad or she was going to act out, I would have a panic attack and get off.  The next spring my friend Sam asked if I wanted to go on a ride at Farragut State park with her and we could take Willow. I had ridden her in the corral once so far this year.  I couldn't back down in front of Sam so said of course we will go.  Willow did awesome, couldn't even tell she had never been on a real trail ride.  That year was the start of me riding again (really riding).  We did a bunch of trail riding and even rode in a parade.  Kylie was coming along on Autumn (until the end of that summer when she ran off with her).  I had friends that were coming out all the time and riding with  me.  Last year we did quite a bit of riding not a ton but quite a bit.  Willow by now was an old pro and she really seems to like going out on the trail.

Now the story changes - this last spring I could tell she was off.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out where or why.  I took a video on my phone and had my friend look at it - yep she is off couldn't find any heat, nothing in her foot, I didn't see any swelling.  She had lost some weight that winter which is not like Willow at all so I decided to take her in and get her teeth done.  Walking from the trailer to the vet office the vet asked me if she had been off or sore.  I told him yeah I had noticed this spring that she was off, he pointed out that her hock was bigger then the other one.  He then did some flex tests and what not and told me she has some severe arthritis in her hock.  My options were to bute her before riding, inject her hock, or not ride.  We need to do xrays and I haven't gotten them done, I am afraid of what they may find.  We didn't ride alot this year a little bit but not near as much as the year before.  I took her on one trail ride and she was sore after we went up a hill for a while, so we will stick to flatter riding.  This next year I will get the xrays and we will go from my dilema Kylie and I started gaming this year, does this mean another horse and what kind?  Willow will forever be with me and was supposed to be my life long or thru the good years horse :( we would grow old trail riding together and we still will as long as she can it just may not be as long as I had thought......

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Story of Titan!  I bought Titan for Kylie this last spring.  She was really having a hard time riding Autumn, every time she got on she would lean forward, had a death grip on the reins and looked scared to death.  Much to my dismay I probably didn't handle it all that well as I would get very irritated (even though I myself have had these issues in the past).  Last summer our friend Teresa had brought her daughter out riding with Kylie and during that time Kylie had ridden Titan and really liked him.  When I heard Titan was for sale I sent Teresa a message and we worked out all the details, Titan came home with me!  Kylie started trail riding with me multiple times a week once it quit raining.  She built confidence with each ride.  We took the horse to a friends pasture for a couple weeks and I noticed Titans feet needed done so called my shoer.  It took my shoer almost four weeks to get out (which has never happened with this shoer) by then Titan had lost both front shoes and broken off his toe too short to reshoe.  He was not lame or anything but not enough toe to nail to, so he was out of commission.  Kylie then had to start riding Autumn but guess what after the first ride she was not afraid and I mean at all.  We have now gone riding quite a few times and even had Kylie work with Autumn in the arena a couple weeks ago.  Autumn was naughty and did a few crow hops and Kylie rode right thru it and kept her going. 

Unfortunately Titan also has ended up having surgery a couple weeks ago.  His tongue looked swollen and he could not put in the his mouth all the way.  I doctored him for a day and it just got worse so off to the vet we went.  After determining that it didn't look contagious we went into the vets office.  She couldn't feel anything so we decided to do xrays and "boop" there it was on the screen a thin line which turned out to be wire in his tongue along his jaw bone.  The only option surgery or he would slowly starve to death.  Well I guess according to Dwane there was another option but not after he saw the look on my face.  After a day of fluids they did surgery and the wire came out fairly easy, it did break but they got both pieces out.  We had a week of tubing a solution of betadine and water thru his chin and out his mouth.  His tongue is finally in his mouth and his chin is almost healed.  He did loose a corner of his tongue but he is eating very well.  Heavy on the senior feed and free choice hay and he gained his weight back very quickly.  Don't get me wrong he still needs to gain but he is not icky thin anymore.  Hopefully by next spring Titan and Willow will be our trail horses and Autumn and ? will be our gaming horses since Willow cannot game but that is another story......

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Still here

I have been on auto pilot. So many changes so little time. Horse world - I bought Kylie a horse in May - his name is Titan. I got him from a friend and he is a great horse for her. She really built her confidence. Titan then got a wire in his tongue that we found by his tongue swelling up and taking x-rays at the vet. We then had the decision of surgery or ??? We decided on the surgery, he is doing well. Today was his last day of antibiotics and I should have it paid off in a couple months :(. But this gave Kylie a chance to ride Autumn and she has done very well.

We have done a little bit of gaming this year. Not near the amount that I wanted but the ones we went to were fun. We have one more on the 30th of October at Canyon Creek. Part of my frustration also has been Willow. When I had her teeth floated last spring the vet noticed that her hock was off. He did some testing and she has severe arthritis in her hock, we need xrays to determine if it can be injected or how to proceed. She is fine on small trail rides but any steep hills or the like she is off for a week. No barrel racing with her which leads to do I get a gaming horse? I was using Autumn but I think she will be better for Kylie to race on as Titan has herd bound issues that she cannot hold onto in an arena. Titan is older 19+ and I don't want to put a burden on him. We will see what shall come about.

We are waiting to see if we will be approved for a mortgage, if we are we have a house picked out and there is an arena next door that they have gaming play dates at every Sunday in the summer. It is already fenced and would be perfect. The yard needs work but the interior is almost completely remodeled. We have done alot of trail riding next door to our house but now they have burmed the entrances and put up no trespassing signs so too many kids making a mess. That is my year in a nut shell. I won't promise to write but will work on it :)