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Author Topic: Heart and Sol  (Read 2308 times)

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2014, 01:02:19 pm »

Wow, did Sol and I have a fun and eventful weekend!

I rode Sol Thursday for a short period of time, just around the property I board at. Another younger girl rode CJ, my gelding, with us. He was doing very well until he tripped, went down to his knees for a few moments, and then started bleeding from his mouth quite a bit. Poor girl got really upset but I figured when he tripped and went down to his knees, he bit his tongue or lip and that's why he was bleeding. We got his bit and headstall off, and then rinsed out his month. He didn't like it but I wanted to get the blood out since there was a lot of it. A few moments later, he was totally fine and happily eating some carrots. Poor girl was so upset but I tried to tell her that it wasn't her fault, horses trip and hurt themselves and it wasn't a big deal - I wasn't even upset! I just laughed it off. Once he stopped bleeding though, everything was all good.

Friday no riding, but Chris and I rigged up my trailer a little better to prevent it from coming loose.

Saturday Sol and I went to Kensington with one other friend, and we had a really good ride until the end. At the end my friend really wanted to go and play in the water for a bit. So we did! BUT every time I get into water with Sol, she starts splashing around, very obnoxiously. I try to keep her feet moving but I know what splashing means - she wants to roll.

Well, I didn't get her moving enough and she rolled with me on her. She ended up crushing my stirrup and I *almost* got my foot crushed along with it. When she went down, I jumped off and when I got my left leg off, my right foot got caught in the stirrup... I ended up falling, but I got Sol up before she completely rolled - she only got my right fender and stirrup wet.

When I fell, I eventually lost grip on my reins and Sol took off - maybe 20, 30 feet - my friend had to catch her and she did get caught up in her reins for a second. I waddled over to her, soaking wet, and stood for a moment just unbelieving that she actually rolled with me *on her back*.



This was after. Just couldn't believe this happened.

Besides that, the ride was good - they were a little spooky but it was just the two of us, so I guess that's to be expected. I had fun otherwise.





Saturday we participated in a gaited horse clinic. It was really awesome. A trainer came to our barn and worked with us two at a time. I went last so I ended up getting her full attention. She was SO impressed with Sol. I thought she was going to be a mess but she ended up just being awesome. She gaited the whole time almost and she just, was awesome.









The trainer is going to be coming back hopefully on a monthly basis for lessons with people who are interested. Sol and I definitely are. I'm sooo excited.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 06:42:50 am by bearxfoo »
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2014, 09:03:10 am »

Over the past couple of months I've been investigating Sol and her background. I plan on keeping her forever - so I want to know as much about her as possible. I've been told a lot of different things, specifically by the people I bought her from. They claimed she was extremely thin when they bought her (she wasn't) and that she was probably abused (she wasn't). I later asked the trainer they were working with about her, and he said that all he remembers is that Sol came from a barn outside of Detroit and her previous owners were really big into Parelli.

Well, as it turns out, the trainer who did the gaited clinic at my barn actually trained Sol for a small bit. Her previous owners bought her and she was supposed to be broke - well, she wasn't. She was green, and they were too. Suzy took her for a short while and did some "attitude" training with her. At the clinic Suzy was convinced they were the same mare, and the next day she went home, did some digging, and found some pictures and a video - and it was! What a small world??

Suzy gave me the number of the people who owned her previously. They lived outside of Detroit and were green as green when they bought Sol. Sol was young and also green, so it just did not work out. The wife said Sol did NOT like her, which is indicative of Sol's personality - when we first bought her, she was not found of women.
We talked to them for a little bit and they said they are glad Sol found the right home, and sent me a photo of when they owned her. They also gave me the information of the people THEY bought her from. She also mentioned that, the people they bought her from, said Sol's mother got "loose" in the pasture and that they weren't sure who her daddy was. If that's the case, it's a bummer because I can't register her. But maybe I can - if they still own the dam and sire, we can do a DNA test.



This is a photo of Sol being bought by Jill from the people who owned her before.

It's all very confusing... basically, this is what I have so far:

1st owner: Guy who bred her, who turned out Sol's momma with a young stud not thinking he was actually "studly", therefore, Sol's momma get pregnant
2nd owner: a women named Evie, who bought her as a 3 year old
3rd owner: Heide and Richard, bought her as a 5/6 year old
4th owner: Jill
5th owner: Me!

I also figured out that Sol is probably 9, not 8. She was bought as a 6 year old in 2011. She was then sold, to us, in September of 2012 as a 6 year old... well, obviously she didn't go a whole year without aging. I'm hoping to get a more exact birth date, at least month/year.

I'm so excited to track down her previous owners and find out more about her.. it's so awesome. :)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 03:15:30 pm by bearxfoo »
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2014, 03:14:38 pm »

It's been a slow week with not a whole lot of riding going on... school started back up, which means 3 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) I'm at school from 6pm until 9pm instead of the barn. Hate it, but I'm told I need to get a degree so what can you do?

This past weekend I didn't ride much and I didn't go anywhere. Everybody was busy and I'll admit, I needed to clean house and do laundry and all that fun stuff instead. I did get a lot of cleaning done and it was nice to lounge around and not have anywhere to wake up or be.

Saturday morning I did go and look at a new trailer. A Hawk trailer, to be specific. A 2 horse, slant load. I really liked it, the dressing room is a lot larger than my current one. It was a bit more expensive than my Eclipse, at $13,000 vs $10,000 that I paid. It's up in the air right now what I'm going to do. I'm incredibly, incredibly angry at Eclipse for treating their customers this way. I don't like owning a product that I can't get repaired, or giving my money to a company that won't honor their customers and the promises they've made (like warranties). But, at the same time, it'll be a huge hassle to myself to sell this trailer and buy a new one... it'll be easiest to just repair the issue myself and just keep the dang thing.

My husband and I have also decided we're going to buy a home. We live with family currently, but we have decided it's time and we're in a good place to buy. We make enough money to do so. We contacted a mortgage company and we're doing that now. We gave them a time frame of spring but I'm really hoping to move sooner rather than later. I also have a cosigner if needed, so I'm thinking we'll be okay. If we buy a house, buying a new, more expensive trailer is a bad decision.

The only other exciting news is that I decided to test Sol for the creme gene since her coloring often confuses me. I have people ask me all the time what color she is and my answer is usually, "I donno".

Well, I sent in her mane last week to University of California, Davis and I got the results back today... she has one copy of the creme gene, diluted. She is very likely a smoky black unless she has other genes which could further alter her color. Very interesting to know! I could do more testing if I wanted, just not sure what else to test for...

Well, that's been it so far.
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2014, 12:10:58 pm »

Had a nice, quiet weekend of riding. It was quite rainy here all weekend, so we didn't get a chance to really ride except Sunday. Thursday, Friday, just rode in the indoor arena. Saturday no riding at all... spent the day doing house stuff, plus it rained literally all day, ugh, so frustrating.

Sunday we went to Oak Openings in Toledo, Ohio. It's about an hour drive from where I board at. Sunday was a beautiful, but chilly day. We had a nice 3 hour ride and the park was beautiful. I love riding through Oak Openings, it's one of my favorites. It was just myself and another friend of mine and I hauled out with my truck & trailer. Sol did surprisingly well, even though she was a little fresh and she's almost more spooky when it's just her and 1 other horse. She does better in larger groups.

At Oak Openings there's quite a few bridges you have to go over and when I saw the first one, I seriously thought that Sol was going to freak out. But she did okay, really, and didn't freak out at any of them. Even one that was fairly high up and was metal - I seriously thought that when she heard the noises it made, she was gonna bolt right out of her hooves, but she didn't. We did have a couple of spooks, nothing too bad.

No pictures to post, but, it was a fun time. Riding will probably slow down now, but we'll see... I hope to ride until it starts to snow, honestly.
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2014, 08:19:43 pm »

Last night I had a rather interesting night at the barn. Went and rode Sol, of course. But when I was there, lots of people showed up and another girl asked me if I wanted to ride around the bridle trail.. I said, "well, Sol is really spooky on the bridle trail, so I don't know." She then offered to ride Sol and I could ride her man, a Morgan named Rebel. I said sure, okay, and we switched. She had him in a dressage saddle and the leathers were a little long, but, we made do.

This girl that rode Sol is a great rider and really knows what she's doing.. Of course, Sol was pretty fresh for her and very spooky. Now, the thing about Sol is that in a group, she's absolutely wonderful. I can take her and ride her with 10 people and she's a perfect doll. Won't spook or even take one bad step.

Get her alone, and it's a WHOLE different story. Sol may be a bossy mare but she's no leader in a trail situation. And I'm not either. Her spooks are big and dramatic and they scare the crap out of me - I'm a person who's easily startled as it is. My husband can be standing RIGHT next to me, and he can scare the crap out of me. I'd make a *terrible* horse but Sol is the same way. I think that's why we've bonded so closely because we're both very similar and we both know it.

So, when it's just her and I or just her and one other horse, she kind of loses her mind. It's overwhelming for me and I just can't do it. She's also very spooky on the bridle path where I board and I just don't know why.

Well, the girl rode her and she had some pretty big spooks.. and I was on her man, and I was even terribly scared on him and had no reason to be, because he's a good solid horse. He spooked twice with me and they were little in place spooks and then he was over it. Seeing her spook like that just made me anxious more. She was also in front and leading. After we went around once, I decided to end on a good note (with me and Rebel) but she took Sol around one more time and she said she did great.

I know most of her problems stem from me and my lack of confidence. Coupled with Sol dumping me once and rolling with me on her back, I've lost a little bit of trust in her. It will take time to gain it back. But she's a good horse and I plan on doing whatever it takes to make sure her and I stay together.

On the 16th we have a lesson scheduled but I gotta trailer to her. No biggie. I'm excited and I hope to keep taking lessons with Sol. Also, I'm hoping that maybe I can send her for a month or so of some training to help with her lack of confidence. If she becomes confidence it'll help me too.

I also noticed that Sol has dapples now??



She's never had them before but she suddenly does now! It's an old wives tale that a horse dapples when they're healthy. No clue if its true but heck, I'll take it.

I also bought her a nice new halter because I didn't like the orange on her. This silvery blue is much more her style.

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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2014, 08:53:17 am »

Things have been really great for Sol and I the past couple of weeks.

Although we haven't ridden much off the property, I've still come out and seen her the days that I can: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday's. The week of the 9th she seemed off to me.. she'd pin her ears while lunging and just generally didn't seem "herself" under saddle. I think she wrenched her back while either free lunging her in the back outdoor arena or in the pasture. When I free lunge her, she likes to really rock and roll and do a lot of bucks, spins, cow hops, etc. Especially in the back pasture, where she's absolutely terrified for some reason.

The 16th we had a lesson with a local gaited horse trainer. I trailered Sol to her property and we had an hour long lesson. It was great and Sol did wonderful, didn't seem off anymore like she was the previous week - I figured that whatever was bothering her must have resolved itself. Hope to take lessons with her at least once a month, but maybe more often to help develop Sol's gait. This gaited trainer actually plans to come to the barn, hopefully, at least once a month to help all the gaited folks out but if not, I'm more than happy to travel to her place for lessons.

The 17th, Friday, we messed with Sol at my barn and another boarder rode her around the indoor arena with a new bit. She seemed to go pretty well in this bit but any time the reins were picked up, she would fling her head. My BO got to thinking that maybe she has some teeth issues. We also think she would benefit from seeing a chiropractor. We tried to look in her mouth but she was having none of that. Luckily, in one month, an equine dentist is coming to the barn so I signed both of mine up for this. Today, Monday, a chiropractor comes but I don't think I can swing that, because the vet is also coming to do fall shots. I don't usually do fall shots, but being at a new barn with new horses, I figure I might as well and it's better for the vet to do it then me.

Saturday Sol and I had a really great ride. I was picked up by a friend, and, to my surprise, Sol loaded RIGHT into her slant load, 3 horse trailer. I was so impressed. We trailed just a short distance to one of her friends house who was having a big ride to a cider mill. It was all road riding. I was a little nervous because I have never ridden Sol down the dirt roads, but she did GREAT. Didn't spook, not even one time. There was a total of 20 horses and Sol was just great the whole time. Didn't do a single bad thing.


I'm in the red coat, and that's another girl from my barn.





It was really awesome. Then, later that night, we did trick or treating around the bridle path at my barn! I walked Sol for that as she's incredibly spooky on the bridle trail, and another girl used my saddle to see if it fit her horse. Sol did good though and even though we walked, she still didn't spook at all. No pictures of us during that but it was a great weekend over all :) I'm lovin' my mare.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 05:54:49 am by bearxfoo »
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2014, 08:22:16 am »

I haven't been riding as much and it really bums me out :'( School and work get in the way now, so my only real rides are on the weekends. I also missed out about 2 weeks of riding at the barn because my hubby surprised me with a vacation to Orlando!

Halloween is a big deal for me, it's one of my loves and passions. I love haunted houses, Halloween decorations, scary movies, gory movies... the works. About a year ago I had mentioned to my husband that I would love to go to Orlando, to Universal Studios because they have an event called "Halloween Horror Nights" - basically, they turn the park into a big haunted attraction. There's 8 haunted houses, "street experiences", decorations, rides.. the works. Last year and this year they had a Walking Dead haunted house.. I LOVE The Walking Dead, because I LOVE zombies. Well, he remembered how badly I wanted to go to this and so he planned the whole trip and surprised me with it!! We left Thursday, the 23rd and came back Monday, the 27th. It was pretty neat of him :)

But, because of that I missed out on a week or two of riding, boo! That's okay.

Yesterday Sol and I had a really nice ride at Waterloo. It was pretty chilly though, I ended up pretty layered and bundled. We rode a good 3, 4 hours and it was enjoyable, Sol didn't do anything wrong :) We did come to a creek crossing and I borrowed a crop and basically whipped Sol's butt across it, because I wasn't taking any chances and getting wet or crushed in 40 degree weather. We crossed it twice and neither time did we have issues but I was SOOO nervous.

No pictures but it was a nice ride!
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2014, 07:04:51 am »

When I first started riding Sol, I was really worried I wouldn't feel bonded with her like I did my gelding, CJ. CJ was my first horse, when I was 15 years old, and I learned everything I know on him. He took good care of me - he was an awesome first horse, but he also spoiled me a bit too. I remember one time, I was camping with him. We were around the campfire at night, and people were talking about their horses. It was a mixed crowd of gaited and non-gaited riders, and somebody made a comment about CJ not being smooth. I said, who cares, he's amazing, I love him anyway. The next day we rode and after the ride, a gentleman said to me, "I understand what you're saying now about that horse, you two are really in sync, I can see it, you guys are really bonded". I was smiling from ear to ear and all I could think about is how amazing my horse is and that I have something truly special.

CJ grew older though, more slower, fatter, and I realized that CJ would not be able to keep up with riding like I want. I gave up Sargent and I started riding Sol, and gave CJ a good retirement, because after working so hard for me all those years, he deserved to just be a horse again.

At first I didn't think Sol and I would ever bond... I didn't feel for her what I felt for CJ. I felt amiss and worried, wondering if I had made a mistake. Sol is a stubborn, guarded horse who is so young and has had so many owners... every time her surroundings changed, her little brain would break a little - she couldn't handle it. She needed consistency. At first, working with her was overwhelming because of her challenges, she was so different from CJ. But different is good, and I learned that Sol really is amazing in her own way, too.

I started working with Sol in late April, early May. It was scary at first because I watched Sol dump my husband several times. But really, Sol wasn't being malicious. She was spooky and needed confidence - my hubby didn't have that - so when she would spook, off he'd go.

But I learned that I can sit Sol's spooks just fine and while they're nerve-racking, I don't get dumped. I started taking Sol to places alone, and then when I moved barns, a whole new world of possibilities opened up to us... a busy barn, with lots of boarders who like to go out and trail ride! I made friends and made connections and finally, after all these years, I was able to do what I wanted to go: go places on my horse.

Me and Sol's trails this year were: Crosswinds 3 times, Kensington 3 times (or 4? I can't remember), Oak Openings 1 time, Waterloo 2 times, 1 long road ride, we participated in 4 clinics, had lots of rides on the boarding barns property. I'm probably missing something, but needless to say, I had a very productive and busy summer.

Looking back at where Sol and I started and where we're at now, I realize that we've come very far and that Sol and I truly have bonded. She is an amazing horse who has so much heart and so much give to her, even if she's unsure or scared, she still tries. She isn't CJ, and that's okay, but Sol and I have a really unique, awesome relationship and I can truly say I love this horse. I'm so happy I decided to keep her, and not sell her, and I'm so happy that we've bonded even when I didn't think it would be possible.

I look forward to having many many years with this mare :)

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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2014, 07:56:14 am »

Since the dreadful cold has come, I haven't been out to the barn much..... I miss Sol like crazy but I hate hate HATE the cold. I went Thursday and rode and saw her for a bit but after about 15 minutes of riding, I couldn't feel my legs!  I said screw this and untacked. I couldn't believe how cold it was. UGH. Why do I live someplace so COLD??

School is almost over - I have just a few more weeks left. December 10th is the last week of school. I get a break for a few weeks so I'll be able to see Sol more! Until the next semester starts up..... ugh.

Hubby and I have also discussed the possibility of me selling my trailer. We're trying to buy a house and freeing up $225 a month for bills/expenses at home instead of a trailer payment would be useful. It sucks - but I acknowledge that us having our own home is more important than anything else. It wouldn't be permanent - in a couple months or a year, after we re-evaluate our finances, I could very well get another trailer. I went to an expo this weekend and saw a nice 3-horse slant load I really liked. Brand new it was only $13,000! For a 3 horse I think that's amazing. The dressing room was nice and large. If I sell mine, hopefully in a year I can get that instead.

Sadly, I don't have much to write about... this month is busy for non-riding horse stuff. Farrier comes out, plus the dentist and a chiropractor for Sol. I feel like Sol is off, and I've never had a chiro work on her, so why not? That's tomorrow. I will update with what I learn from that experience! The dentist comes out the 20th - so Thursday! I've also never had a real equine dentist work on my horses, just the vet, so that'll be interesting too. Weeee, so busy, lol!
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2015, 06:36:25 am »

WELL I haven't written in a looooong time!!

Things have been slow... back in November, I had the dentist out for Sol, plus the chiropractor. Both worked out well. She was adjusted quite a bit and her mouth was pretty okay. Other then that, I haven't been out to the barn much... I really hate the cold, and unfortunately, the week of Christmas I came down with a nasty strain of the flu. Today, a month later, I'm still sick and fighting a pretty horrible cough. :'(

But! In non-horsey related news, my husband and I have decided to buy a house! We're both in our mid-20's and really, getting very close to later 20's and we've had enough of living at home with family. So, we got pre-approved and we started to look at houses and luckily, we found one.

It's a nice little tri-level home, completely fenced in yard. It's pretty nice and we liked it, so we put in an offer and it was accepted. Yesterday was the appraisal, today is the inspection, and over the weekend we put in our application for the mortgage. We're hoping to close on the 24th of February and if that date stays true, we'll be moving in that weekend.

Anyway, because of that I've decided to sell my trailer. I ultimately decided to keep it because it is a great trailer, looks very nice, and hauls perfectly. But, I do have a lien on it and selling it would help us make our mortgage and other bills, so it's the best choice. It's not permanent, however, and in the spring I do plan on getting something else. Probably not brand new, though, and probably a little older. My husband wants to spend a little less, so I'll have to compromise on some stuff but as long as I have a trailer that Sol will load into, I don't think I care much (and as long as its safe).

So, that's been my life so far.... I miss Sol like crazy but she's enjoying the winter off and having access to hay 24/7, she's fat, happy, fuzzy and warm. Here's to hoping that spring comes fast, we get our house and I can get a new trailer!!
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 12:28:33 pm by bearxfoo »
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2015, 08:06:42 am »

It certainly has been a LONG time since I've written. SO MUCH has happened!!

My husband and I are OFFICIALLY home owners!! We moved into our home on March 5th. So today makes 1 week that we've lived there!! We have so many plans to upgrade the home, although we don't plan on going crazy because this is not our forever home - this is our first home, and my husband and I hope to one day move out of Michigan and someplace south and warmer. So minor updates to make the home livable for us - new toilets (since the old ones were probably the originals from the 70s!), new appliances, which will most likely come with us when we move again, new paint and maybe some new floors in the bathrooms. We'd like to paint the cabinets and counter tops, too, easy upgrade that's fairly cheap to make the kitchen look a bit "newer".




The winter has been rather cold here so I haven't spent much time at the barn. Still selling the trailer. The weather is warming up so more time at the barn hopefully...

Otherwise, that's pretty much it!
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2015, 07:03:58 am »

I haven't written in awhile. Boy, owning a home is something else. It involves so much more work than I ever though. I honestly wonder how homeowners ever find time to leave their houses because I feel like I'm up to my armpits in projects and things that need fixing, changing, painting, tiling, plowing.... yikes!

Because of that, the riding this season has been a little light for me, sadly. We've trailered or left the property only 3 times. We've done plenty of at home riding in the arena and even some bridle trail riding, and a scavenger hunt.

I've also decided to start losing weight, so my barn time may also suffer from that. I need to get my butt in gear and start exercising!

Also, I don't think I ever mentioned this but I had Sol DNA tested for her color. She is a very unique chocolaty brown. But she changes colors over the course of a year - in the winter she's a very, very dark brown, like chocolate, and she begins to lighten from spring, shedding her winter coat and having a beautiful shimmer to her, then bleaching out in the summer to a buckskin, and then towards fall, she begins to darken once again. 

Her DNA came back as: "N/Cr - Heterozygous, dilute, one copy of Cream gene. Typical colors are palomino, buckskin and smoky black in the absence of other modifying genes."

So she is most likely a smoky black - which is weird, because she is not black AT ALL but that's just what they call the color.

Here are some photos from our few trail rides this season.

 

Here's a picture from the first ride of the season, an awesome road ride to a friend's house.



Sol and I, with a friend, at a small local park.



Sol and her lover boy, an Arab gelding she shares a pasture with and she is absolutely in love with that boy.



Sol and I at Waterloo, doing an annual ride on trails that are only opened once a year to horses. I look horrible in these pictures!



Sol and I doing the scavenger hunt at our barn!

Hopefully riding picks up and I'll have a lot more pictures and adventures to post about.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 07:07:11 am by bearxfoo »
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2015, 09:05:14 am »

I was debating if I wanted to write about what happened to Sol and I last Saturday. Really, I'm embarrassed because I failed my horse on a catastrophic level. I put her in a position to fail and I was too timid and upset to do anything about it.

When we bought Sol, we figured out very quickly that we were getting a horse that wasn't your typical "dead broke" kind of gal. She was, and still is, a firecracker of a horse who can be calm and collected 99.9% of the time, but when she lets loose, oh boy. Sol and I have made great strides this past year. She went from sitting in a field 24/7 to being a tried and true trail horse. While we don't excel at everything, we continue to work on our shortcomings.

One thing we really had, and still have, problems with is trailer loading. When we bought Sol, I knew almost instantly that this mare did not like trailers. I learned that when the people we bought her from, originally bought her, that she did not want to get into the trailer to come home. Granted, the trailer they were trying to load her into was a small, rust bucket two horse trailer straight load bumper pull. She refused to get in and they eventually had to get a rope behind her and literally push her into it. I think that, coupled with a few other incidents that I'm unaware of have shaped her into a horse that is incredibly weary of trailers. I don't blame her, really.

Saturday we had made plans to go on a trail ride with quite a few people from our barn. With me included, there were 7 people and 4 trailers going. Ironically, my day had started horribly when I figured out when trying to pump gas that I had lost my wallet. Frantically going back home, I searched and searched as I realized that I had left it at a store the previous day. My hubby gave me his card for gas and went to get my wallet while I went to the barn. 2 gas stations weirdly denied the card, but finally I got gas and managed to get to the barn...

I hooked up my trailer, packed up my gear, got a hay bag set up for Sol and went and got her from the pasture. Other people started showing up and doing the same. Finally, it came time to leave.

I knew Sol was going to give me a hard time loading so a friend offered to help. He came out and took Sol from me before I even tried myself - which was my biggest issue. I didn't even try.

He grabbed her and went to load her and she instantly said no. Then, that's when the battle started. She refused to go in, so they tried lunging her, circling her, all kinds of stuff... nope, didn't work.

Another gal from my barn showed up and said, hey, lets put a chain on this mare. Just wanting her to go in, I said, fine, whatever. I had a rope halter on my mare as usual and we needed a regular web nylon halter for a chain to work. My friend took the halter off of her horse right then and there to switch. She just let her horse go, who trotted over to his pasture and stopped to eat the grass.

Well, when she took off the rope halter on my mare, that was it. She TOOK OFF like a bat outta hell. I  mean, really, she said screw this! and left. First she went back to her pasture. Then when my friend went to get her, she took off more and ran about 6 acres to the back of her pasture, through the hay fields, jumping logs in the obstacle course to get there. I stood in disbelief as my horse literally flipped a switch, night and day, and seemingly turned into a feral horse.

Luckily a women who works at my barn was riding a horse in the back outdoor arena and had saw (and heard, she was galloping!) my mare fly past her. She left the arena and took off to catch her. She did, and she pony'd her back up to us.


If you look hard you can see a tiny tiny trailer in the picture - that is how far she booked it!

After that, they switched her again to a nylon halter and put the chain on her.

She did not respond to the chain at all.

At this point things continued to go downhill. It got much, much worse though. With the chain, every time they popped her with it (they did both under her chin and over her nose), she would rear. She was also so worked up, with all the people, some with whips trying to give her pressure into the trailer, she started to become very disrespectful and would step on you, swing her body around and almost knock you over.

At one point she crowded the girl who was trying to get her in the trailer, so she popped her good with the chain and Sol freaked out. She reared up as high as I've ever seen a horse go - so high, that she flipped over backwards.

That was the hardest thing I've ever had to see my own horse do.

We tried a few more times after this, and at one point she hit her head on the top of the trailer pretty hard. She got the fur off and some skin but luckily no blood.

I finally said enough was enough. A few other people agreed with me, took her and said she needed a quieter area to try. They lead her to their trailer, with some food, and eventually got her in, calmly. I said that's great but we're not riding today.

Everybody else finally packed up and left for their ride, two hours later. We stayed behind.

I failed my horse that day. I've never felt so dejected and deflated in my life.

I tend to be a quiet, kind of shy person. I can be loud and silly when I'm comfortable with you, but otherwise I mind my own business and I have a hard time telling people no. I don't like being rude to people. I don't want to offend somebody when they're genuinely trying to help. I'm afraid of alienating people and pushing them away because I refuse their help. So when somebody says, "hey, do this," I do it. Or when they said, "ride her like this," I do. It's a problem for me and that day, I really saw how badly I let my own lack of confidence fail us. If I had said no chain, no whips, let me do this, maybe we would've gotten in the trailer that day. She would've never reared and hit her head and had a horrible experience. I truly regret it.

Hopefully Sol and I can move past this and she can still trust me. Although I wouldn't blame her if she doesn't.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 05:32:41 am by bearxfoo »
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2015, 07:30:41 am »

Sol and I haven't gotten out to ride much this season and that's okay. I think it's just a busy season for people with non-equestrian activities. I, for one, am slacking horribly because I have soooo much house work to do. My kitchen is not anywhere near done being painted and that is a pain in the butt!

We have gone a few places, and recently I took Sol on our first camping trip. I don't know if this mare has ever camped before or has ever been on a highline - but I said the heck with it and took her anyway.

It was a 3 hour long drive to the other side of the state. We camped at Ely Lake in Allegan County. Not a hard drive, just long and exhausting. Sol did great in the trailer and loaded no problems going and coming back home. She was awesome on the picket line. She did come into season though, so she kept backing her booty up to the other horse. There was some fighting because of that but she eventually stopped.



Overall, Sol did great and I had a good time. Rustic camping isn't for me, though. I'm not a big fan of sleeping in a tent, but my husband came too and he had a blast. He wants to go camping more so we probably will. He also wants to buy a camper to camp with and haul the horse trailer instead of a LQ trailer and truck.

On the trails, Sol did amazing. She didn't take one wrong step. No spooks, nothing. It was a blast and it was a large group, which Sol does wonderful in. There were 6 of us total. It was great!





Then this passed weekend I went out to Kensington with a friend and had a good time. It was just the two of us and Sol did great, too. She is a little bit more nervous and reactive in smaller groups but we didn't have any huge spooks or anything. She did get tired and a bit trippy but she was overall good. She gave me a little fuss while trailer loading but it wasn't a huge thing.





I'm hoping that we can get on the trails a bit more before summer is over and winter comes and destroys us all.
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

bearxfoo

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  • Posts: 271
Re: Heart and Sol
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2015, 10:06:21 am »

Sometimes I find myself doubting my relationship with Sol. I love this little mare with all my heart. She's a good horse with a lot of heart beneath her hard exterior and I think we're really growing and bonding together. But sometimes I feel like she's so much to handle and I just get so worn down from fighting with her, struggling to get her to gait, dealing with her spooks constantly. Some days are amazing, she does fabulously and I'm so proud of her. Other day she's a mess, I can't even get her to stand still long enough to saddle her and I'm just so frustrated and embarrassed that she can't get it together.

I love this mare with all my heart, I really do. She's sweet, and sassy and I think her personality is very similar to mine.

She's had several different owners in her life and all of them gave her up for the same reason... she's too much horse, she's too reactive, too anxious, too spooky. They all got dumped by her, hurt by her.. something, and they couldn't take it. They needed a more level headed horse.

And, most days, she is. Most days I'm determined to make sure she never gets rehomed, to make sure she lives a good, happy life of being ridden and loved. I know I can bring the best out in her.

But other days I just wonder if I'm the right person for her. I wonder if I have the ability to do any of that. I wonder if my own fears and insecurities are getting the best of me. Sol has never hurt me. She's never done anything maliciously. I think her own fears get the best of her, too. I think she moves before she thinks and then later on regrets it.

Sometimes when I see horses posted for sale that I KNOW are good, solid horses, I get a little sad and wish my mare was that. I wish I had that solid, safe horse who would load into any trailer and ride down the road by themselves without anything bothering them. I wish I had a leader, not the follower horse I have. I wish I could make her into a leader but I just don't think I can, but it's not fair to her to be rehomed again. She's happy here. With me.

I also think that a lot of her problems come from me. I'm not a leader. I'm insecure. I don't give myself enough, or really any credit. I've been riding for 10 years now and people treat me like I've been on the back of a horse twice. They act like I have no clue what I'm doing, just because I deal with a difficult horse. That hurts a lot and has really worn down on myself.

Not only that.... but her bad qualities are enough to send most people running. When Sol and I had had our horrible, horrible trailer loading day, I was upset and vocalized that I should just sell her. Another women at my barn (Krisit, in fact) chimed in and said, "you know, I understand how you feel and I even had an ad written up for Faith myself. But after I wrote it, I realized all her good qualities and it made me rethink". So I thought, you know, maybe if I wrote Sol's ad I'd see all her good qualities and go, "wow, she IS a great horse, I'm just upset and crazy!"
Nope. Not even close. I wrote her ad honestly and all it made me realize was that Sol would end up at auction and probably sold to a kill buyer. I could never live with myself if I found out Sol had to go through that. It would destroy me.

so I opt to keep her and just... hope that in a few years time we'll be past all this.

I donno, just one of those days I guess.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 10:18:26 am by bearxfoo »
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"
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