Monday, September 18, 2023

pretend paperchase!!!

Alternate title: Joyriding with Charles <3 <3 <3


Longtime readers might remember that.... Usually right around this time of year, there's a whooole lotta fanfare about costumes and paperchases. Bc.... Labor Day weekend (or thereabouts) is Tranquillity's annual paperchase! That we normally do as a team! With themed costumes, omg!

charles and karen, and punky and amy #joyriding
But... We didn't do it last year bc, well, Charlie wasn't sound enough. And the year before it was a bit thrown together, and we only just did the (somewhat tame) wing costumes (2021). Who knows if we'll ever resurrect the tradition, but in years past we've been:

- super heroes (2019)
- the rainbow (2017)
- basic betches (2015)

kinda wishing this view was from between two red ears, but alas, i was on foot
And ya know. Charlie wasn't sound enough this year either. Trust me, tho, when I say I reeeeeally tried to rationalize that, ehhhh, maybe we'd be fine!?? Except ya know. Even a fool like me could see that it probably wasn't in our best interest to push it. Le sigh.  

they had a very nice time tho!! aside from a very unexpected RC Car encounter that prompted some very legitimate... pogo steps from dear charles, oof. karen did a great job sitting it out, and charles recovered somewhat sheepishly lol, so all's well that ends well, i guess! 
We had a good weekend at home anyway tho, actually -- maybe the best in recent memory!! Charlie has been a bit more consistent in his comfort recently, and had (past tense on purpose) all 4 shoes, so we finally made another date with barnmate Karen! Recall she has ridden him a couple times now, after the sudden and very sad passing of her own horse. 

mikey keeps a watchful eye on us!
I was supposed to ride Doozy --- ya know, the whole, 'two birds, one ride' idea. Except idk, Doozy's hoof was sore again. More on that later. Maybe. Maybe not, LOL! So, eh, I just walked along on foot. At least Amy opted to join with Punky so the two of them had a good ol' time! 

Luckily for me, I got Charlie all to myself the next day for another little traipse around the jump ring. No media, but... ugh, he was perfect! We did a bit more trotting -- probably the most trotting he's done in months, about ~4min. Then maybe about a minute total of canter. Plus trotted two cross rails bc I legit could not help myself lol.

ooooooh between brown ears!! 
The hope is to do enough to test the margins without meaningfully risking anything by over-doing it. Like, can he trot for 4 min? Hopefully! If not, that tells us a lot. If so, that also tells us a lot. And, verdict?? At present, it seems like he can!! Woot Woot!!

i know it's hard to tell we are running, but.... we are, and it's glorious
The Sunday plan was to ride with a barn mate who is prepping for a show and wanted to do a little xc in the safety of reliable company. And I'm not gonna lie... My hope was to... kinda just go along for the ride completely. Including jumping a few little things here and there. 

My idea was to follow behind playing pretend that we were on our own special little paper chase. Just, shorter lol. And at home obvi. But, alas, Charlie came in from turnout with another pulled hind shoe (gahh)... 

So.... Ok, fine. We wouldn't jump anything. But, ya know, maybe -- just maybe -- we could still eke out a little joy anyway? 

I tested Charlie out a little bit to see how he was feeling. And guys, he was feeling Like Running, And Fast Pls! Lololol.... So, what the hell, we might have to ditch the hind shoes anyway if he can't keep them on, so might as well let him have a little fun despite it all, right??

So we essentially just followed our friend around all across the xc fields while she strung jumps together and I took video for her. Which, obvi necessitated riding one-handed bc that's what one does while out running around with their thoroughbred who hasn't been out galloping in months and months LOL. 

d'aww mikey in an orioles cap!
I think my favorite parts were when I had to keep pulling Charlie off the lines to the various jumps we were passing hahaha ugh.... Homeboy is ready to PLAY! 

It just makes me feel so excited, not gonna lie. I live for getting run away with by this horse!!! We just gotta figure out how to keep him more consistently sound. Constantly losing hind shoes isn't helping, except .... I suspect more regular work (and finally getting him UTD on his hock maintenance) might actually resolve a lot of that mess. The key will be seeing how his front feet hold up. 

I'm hopeful, tho. Or at least, am still riding high off the endorphins of getting to gallop around with him a bit. Fall is my favorite season for riding. So even tho we had to miss the paperchase, maybe we could still get in a lot of fun activities if he's really truly getting sound again???? Wish us luck, y'all!


  1. Cuteness overload with the Mikey pictures! Your cross-country jaunt sounded so refreshing. Fall is also my favorite season and the best time to be in the saddle in my neck of the woods. Hoping the best for you and Charlie and Doozey

    1. thanks --- it really is the best season, esp when the horses feel so fresh and frisky!! at least, the good horses haha, not sure i want Mondeuse to feel 'frisky' at this exact moment in time LOL

  2. Hooray for joy riding!!! Maybe Charlie is just telling you he really wants to be barefoot behind and he will be delightfully sound that way too???

    1. it's definitely the best feeling! and re: barefoot behind, honestly the biggest concern is that he'll end up traveling more heavily on his forehand if he doesn't have that support behind. since his front feet are already a bit compromised, that really doesn't seem ideal. but ya know, if he can't keep those back shoes on, we might run out of options anyway. the new farrier has a few ideas that we'll hopefully try this next cycle to see what works. plus we'll hopefully do his hocks soon anyway, which i expect will also help overall.... fingers crossed!

    2. I hear ya there, I almost pulled Ben's hind shoes when he was going through all the recent stuff because he was barefoot behind until we moved up to training last fall. But my vet was also worried about throwing more weight forward. Such a careful balancing act with these sensitive giants.

    3. Yea that’s basically it exactly …. Pros and cons to various options but hopefully we can thread the needle and find a path that works for him !!!

  3. I am glad that you and Charlie had fun.

  4. Aw, I'm glad you had a good time!! I sure hope that he continues to stay sound and that Doozy gets her act together!

  5. Minus the missing shoe, I love this update! I hope you guys stay on this path and you can do some fun things with Charlie!


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