Friday, September 23, 2016

it's all new

The cool thing about having a new horse is that literally everything surrounding the horse is new. Basically everything we are doing is a "first" in some way or another. And especially for a horse this green, it's all a first for him too.

feeling good about life
More than just riding tho, there's all the 'new' stuff associated with moving into this barn. It's organized a bit differently than Isabel's farm and space is a higher premium. Meaning I just get one single saddle rack, and it happens to be pretty darn close to the ceiling so stacking my two saddles on one rack isn't really an option.

this'll do!
Plus it really is about time I got myself a proper trunk, and this lockable Husky on wheels with a handle (for $54 from Home Depot) looks perfect for the job. It ought to hold my dressage saddle with no problem, too. Hopefully. Tho now that I think about it, I might need to go ahead and get a second one to store in the trailer bc damn I have a lot of shit... ugh. lol

not our first selfie tho
For Charlie, I'm trying to simultaneously establish a consistent routine while also introducing new things and subtle changes. So everything feels familiar, even as we do new things. We do at least some hand walking just about every day for introductory purposes - for instance, you already saw the photos of him investigating the outdoor arena before a ride in the indoor earlier this week.

note the busy athletic field in top left corner
Then the next day (Wednesday, ride #4 post-track) we did our usual hand walk around the indoor, but this time while four other horses were riding - another first. Then I hopped on and carried on with our normal riding routine (mostly trotting) with the added complexity of steering around the lesson horses.

Charlie was foot perfect - there was zero difference in him between all of the previous rides where we were alone in the indoor to this ride with company. Plus he continues to feel better in his body every day. Yesss.

not the first bug bite either. Charlie really hates those flies tho
And since he was so quiet, I decided to hop off to lead him out to the outdoor (he doesn't need to know that we can ride out the gate yet lol) as another lesson was starting out there. We did some more hand walking (bc routine is my happy place) and then I climbed back aboard for our first outdoor ride.

surprise new treats and a special embroidered navy saddle pad from Allison bc she is the absolute nicest ever. i maybe cried a little when i opened this up. thank you so much Alli!!!! <3
And whadya know - the horse was just as business-like in the outdoor. He napped a little bit and got stuck in slo-mo reverse when I first hopped on (will be carrying a crop from now on to nip that habit in the bud) but once we got going he happily trotted right on around without concern for the other horses or the kids playing soccer in the field or anything.

new shoes!!!! finally out of the racing plates!!! much excitement about this
And bc he felt so good and so quiet and so relaxed with what we were doing, I pushed him right on up into canter - our first canter!!!!! Guys he just kinda ambled into a big rolling quiet canter that moderated itself while not needing pushing to keep going.

It felt pretty darned balanced too. To the point where I called out to the instructor in the ring "Look at this cute little canter!!" bc yea I'm kinda a child lol. We only did about half a lap but I was elated. Somehow the first canter was kinda looming in my mind.

Well. A lot of these "firsts" loom large. Like I don't know what I'm going to find and am afraid it'll be a challenge. So far so good tho.

recovering from first health scare!
As another first that same day - we played a little bit with trailer loading. I think I made progress maybe, and I think he understood what I was asking. We got the fronts up a couple times quietly before I would back him out again (the method I learned is very slow and involves lots of back and forth - helpful bc it teaches them both the up and down of the step simultaneously). But... all the same I think I'll bring in the pro who helped get Isabel and Wick started.

new facial expressions
Yesterday was supposed to be more of the same - I even finished up work a little early to get out to the barn. But I think Charlie heard me talking about carrying a crop with him and decided a brief but forceful bout of colic was the better option. This included much nose pointing to the ouchy spot, loootttssss of stretching out like a cat (big horse can go LOW apparently) and some dramatic attempts to throw himself on the ground (was thwarted once we realized what was up).

His gums weren't particularly terrible looking, and his temperature was only slightly elevated. Guts were definitely on the quiet side but not entirely silent. Respiration was maybe a tad high too - but could also be attributable to the stuffy weather. A quick hose down followed by a dose of oral banamine and hand walking did the trick tho and he brightened up quickly.

new stall!
All the same tho, I opted not to ride even tho he seemed totally back to 100% (including a nice healthy looking poop in the cross ties, good boy Charlie). A shame bc I really wanted to see how he felt in the shoes but that's ok. There's all the time ahead of us.

same adorable star face :)
In the meantime tho I was quite happy to see how nicely settled Charlie is in his new larger stall inside the indoor. It's bars on three sides instead of solid walls and just generally more spacious. He can be quite the expressive weaver (not disclosed at adoption, le sigh) but the new stall has either resolved that issue or majorly reduced it. This pleases me (and obvi Charlie too haha).

Plus he's started getting turnout with friends!! Not the herd mates of his eventual pasture but it's a start. And it's definitely a relief that he's quickly graduating through this barn's somewhat conservative (but appropriately careful) introduction program.

So I'm feeling hopeful and optimistic about things. There are definite moments where I think, holy shit what am I doing with this horse? Am I actually crazy? Am I in way over my head? But then I go see him. And ride him. And it's good. Charlie is good.

We have an awful lot of work ahead of us but I'm really enjoying these small steps forward and my confidence in facing potential new challenges grows with each day spent with him.

63 comments:

  1. I have a Husky trunk! Charlie is so so so cute, glad that you are enjoying him so much so far!

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    1. me too!!! and yea i'm hopeful about the husky - it seems perfect for the job!

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  2. Glad the colic was mild. Same thing happened to me. I literally signed the papers at 5 and at 6 my guy was colicing. Three cheers for the manufacturer of Banamine!

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    1. ha seriously! charlie was perking up so quickly the banamine might have even not been necessary but... well you know. lol horses, it's like they know!

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  3. Husky trunks are the best! Having a new horse is the best and worst feelings all wrapped into one (at least for me it was).

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    1. lol yea he very quickly reminded me that now i'm on the hook for his health and well being. it's cool tho, i actually didn't panic or anything - it was already the feeling like "whelp my boy is gonna get the care he needs!"

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  4. Eeep glad he's feeling better after his colic scare. Hopefully the new stalling with more visibility & stuff to see will keep him from getting bored and weaving.
    Yay for the new kicks & I hope you guys have a fab fun filled weekend of more firsts and routine establishing ☺

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    1. the new stall is a HUGE improvement so far. this guy just does not seem to care for small enclosed spaces. even tho there was plenty to see out of the last stall (it was definitely in a central location and he was rarely ever actually alone there) this new one definitely has way more visibility

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    2. So happy Charlie is happy with his new, larger stall. If it makes you feel any better, Crimson also does not like enclosed spaces either. Maybe these big guys just get claustrophobic.

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    3. I think you are right. It's definitely a marked difference. But when he is in a space that's comfortable for him he makes it very clear! Now just to figure out what that means for my trailer lol...

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  5. I definitely need a tack trunk tour when you have them organised, just saying. Glad he's feeling better after his bout of colic.

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    1. haha i will happily provide pictures but i can't promise much - organization is often not my strength lol!

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  6. So many firsts! Glad the first canter went well and 'just happened' as opposed to being a big deal. He seems like a real trooper and of course you'll be fine with a horse -- you already have a fine collection of horse-accessories. :)

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    1. ha omg right? i basically already had everything i needed except the trunk (and a nice bridle, but that's in the works). tho there are some things that may need updating for him... like mayyyyybe the trailer lol

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  7. SO glad the first canter was a non-event! Can't wait to hear how he feels with his new feets! And so so happy you liked the little present and Charlie enjoyed his squeezy buns :) :) It's a beautiful beginning for you two!

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    1. Thank you so much for the gifts - I really feel so spoiled! Charlie has been everything I could hope for so far :)

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  8. GOD HE IS A HUNK. I am in love/obsessed/going to steal him.

    Also, you gon' need moar storage. Even for one horse I have two trunks and 2 stackable tupperware drawers PLUS the saddle racks. OMG, I need help...

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    1. Ha yea definitely gonna need moar. Thank god for the truck and trailer bc I'm gonna need that space!!

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  9. That saddle pad though, how awesome! Glad Charlie's bout with colic was super mild and hopefully not something he pulls again anytime soon. Dang horses. Congrats on the non-eventful canter though, that is fantastic. Love when scary things are NBD

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    1. I agree - it's felt very easy to check some of these preliminary boxes off the list. I'm sure it won't always be that easy, but for now it's greatly appreciated!

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  10. Yay cantering!!! I also have the Husky trunk...I can fit soooooo many things inside!

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    1. Ha yea it really is giant! I can't wait to start filling it up but so much of my stuff is still at Isabel's farm. Soon!!

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  11. Yay! So happy for you! All good things. You got this, sista. Charlie is a lovely boy. Seems very level-headed. That colic scare, though -- Charlie, DO NOT do that to your mom! LOL

    Love that saddle pad - what a lovely gift!

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    1. Ha yea I could have done without the colic lol. But yea really he seems like just an easy guy to work with! And at least he is pretty obvious when he doesn't feel good lol, homeboy ain't stoic!

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  12. Yuck colic. Glad he's alright.

    I don't have room in my locker for both saddles so one stays in the trailer and I bring t in if I plan to use it. :)

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    1. Yea I've thought about that too. Tho my trailer is quite open to elements (being a stock trailer) and doesn't lock so that doesn't feel like an ideal solution.

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  13. Glad he's ok! All the firsts are so exciting. I'm thrilled for you. He seems like such a cool dude!! And the trunk is a necessity. I really don't want to count how many I have... hehe ;)

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    1. Lol yea I mean... Somehow horse stuff has a way of multiplying and growing and consuming every square inch of available space haha

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  14. Horray for big quiet rolling canters! You'll be fine! You took better care of Isabel than most owners do! Does your trailer divider come out? Maybe a little extra width would help Charlie feel more comfortable.

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    1. Thanks - I really did try for Isabel. And I like to think she had it reasonably well lol. It still feels different with Charlie tho! And yea the divider does come out but it's kinda the height of my trailer that is more concerning. We shall see, I'm gonna try to make it work.

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  15. husky trunks are the bomb. i love mine, and i have pimped it out with purple ductape bc apparently i'm ridiculous.

    dont you feel like a horse owner dealing with your own first colic??? CONGRATS!

    and the 'omg what have i done' feelings have still not completely gone away for me yet, but they have become less frequent. and they're usually followed by OMG WE DID IT!!

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    1. Lol yes I definitely felt like "whelp I own this guy now so of course he is colicking!" Haha but really it was clear pretty quickly that he would be fine, thank goodness! And that's good to know that the feelings of craziness ease up sorta kinda eventually lol

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  16. So glad you got rid of the colic episode quickly! Those are always so scary

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    1. I'm glad it was quick too, tho honestly this particular episode wasn't overly worrisome. Unless the horse is REALLY thrashing or obviously in bad shape, I'm allowed at least an hour before I can even consider panic lol

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  17. Awwwww I love all the new horse things <3

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  18. You're getting so fucking legit right now, it's bringing tears to my eyes. That pony. And that trunk. And that stall.

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    1. Lolz it's wild right? It's so nice to finally be able to make decisions about the horse rather than going along with the owner's status quo!

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    1. He really does!! He is a good boy :)

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  20. A lot of firsts, including the first scare :( glad he's feeling better!

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  21. I am loving your adventures with Charlie so far! (NOT liking the colic part, tho!)

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    1. Yea I could live without that happening for a while haha.... Otherwise tho it's been good!

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  22. Awh! Glad to see it was only a minor bout of colic, I would have been so devastating :(

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    1. Yea seriously. He felt better pretty quickly tho so thankfully it was nbd

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  23. Welcome to the Home Depot trunk club! I've had mine for a few years and it's moved to multiple barns with me, and has held up great! I love that the inner tray sits in the handle for optimal access to everything inside. Charlie seems like he's settling in great!

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  24. What an awesome stall; he'll get so much exposure there. I'm glad the colic passed so quickly.

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    1. oddly, in some ways the stall is actually in a quieter area of the barn with less traffic (despite being actually inside the arena lol) but yea i think it's a big upgrade all the same

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  25. Yay for all the firsts!! It's all bright and shiny and new. Except the colic - bad Charlie, but so glad he's feeling better. I have two Stanley trunks and love them. They are hard to organize though. My stuff ultimately ends up in a large pile in the trunk and I have to reorganize it.

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    1. Yea I believe you, esp considering I struggle with organization anyway... Large piles are my life. We will see tho. I feel a purge coming on. Maybe. (Probably not tho lol)

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  26. Charlie seems so sweet and just. Good. Good hearted, good minded, all of it. I'm so excited for you.

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    1. Thank you!! He is just a really nice chunk of raw material. I have no doubt that challenges lie ahead. But right now hopefully we are laying a good foundation, one slow step at a time!

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  27. Colic scares are no fun, glad everything is ok! Charlie sounds like such an awesome dude <3

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  28. I have a Husky trunk of my own and have had it now for about three years. Works great and I love that it comes with it's own grooming tote (or tool tote as they like to describe it) ;)
    I'm glad he's okay after his colic and is generally being a very good boy. I can't wait to see some video of him moving out!

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  29. This is so fun! I'm so excited for you! New barn looks great. And Charlie does too!

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  30. That stall is very cool. Also, you are inspiring me to do more with my new guy!

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  31. So glad he seems to be coming down and settling in nicely!

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