Whispering Rain Farms

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Mustang Makeover Blog

Trouper

Amber was chosen to be one of the trainers for the 2009 Extreme Mustang Makeover Eastern Stampede!!

Trouper is the beautiful wild Nevada Mustang that Amber was randomly assigned for the competition. This blog was created so everyone could keep up with Amber and Trouper's progress during this experience.

Amber and Trouper competed against the other selected trainers on Oct 23-25, 2009 in Murfreesboro, TN.

For more information on the Extreme Mustang Makeover, visit: www.extrememustangmakeover.com

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Muddy, Muddy Monday

Posted by whisperingrainfarms on September 22, 2009 at 1:22 AM Comments comments (14)

What a mess of rain we have been getting. WOW! I think we would have floated away, had we not been on a mountain.

 

Well, I hit the black halter jackpot today!! While cleaning the house, I found a brand new black rope halter that Montana had hid in her play pen full of toys. It fit Trouper pretty good but was a bit tight on the nose. I think that it could be stretched a bit, though. Also, mom found a black rope halter that she wasn't using and brought it over for Trouper to use until the EMM. So, that solves my black halter delima.

 

Since it was so muddy, I decided to make up a little obstacle course and work on my "in-hand" work.

 

I laid out 4 pipes and a log, I draped a bright yellow safety vest in a tree, I laid out a bright orange pool noodle and I hung a plastic table cloth from a branch. I put it all up all around the yard.

 

Trouper wasn't too sure about the table cloth at first. Especially when it was anywhere near his face.

 

 

I worked him with it for a little while.

 

 

Whenever I would pass by the tree with the safety vest, I would drape it across Trouper's back, neck or rump.

 

 

Here we are walking calmly under the table cloth with the vest over Trouper's rump.

 

 

He did really well over the pipes, log and pool noodle!

 

 

Oh yeah, Trouper has developed a new bad habit!! He chews on his lead rope while he's tied up. GRRRR!!! LOL He had a long black one with the little leather piece on the tip and he has chewed two big spots into it! You can see the frays under my left hand and above my right hand. The little menace! I need to find a nice long black lead and put it up just for the EMM.

 

 

Trouper went with me to check the mail. He was intrigued but not at all worried. LOL

 

 

I also worked on leading Trouper at a trot. He did very well and stayed right by my side!

 

Jamie came home from work while I was working with Trouper. Montana and I were happy to see him and so was Trouper. He leaned from me to greet Jamie.

 

 

We thought this would be a good opportunity for a family photo. Of course, Montana was more concerned about getting her hands on Trouper and I was cracking up! LOL

 

 

Montana is such a little horse lover!! I have a feeling that she will take Trouper away from me one day if I get to bring him home.

 

 

Montana asked (ok, she begged) me to let her hold Trouper's lead rope. Of course, her wish was granted.

 

 

How magical is that? A horse that was wild just 9 weeks ago (aprox 2 months) is now being held by a 2yr old girl out in the yard! This is such a beautiful experience!!! I'm so glad I am able to share it with all of you!

Thurs cont... plus Fri & Sat!

Posted by whisperingrainfarms on September 20, 2009 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (3)

I've got some pics now from Thursday!!

 

Here I am lunging him with the training lines on him.

 

 

 

I didn't have them very tight, but just tight enough so he wouldn't push his nose out. It was a great workout for him and he was giving to them nicely. Check out his new matching brestcollar!!

 

 

Here is a pic of me stretching Trouper's front legs before I tightened up the saddle for the last time to get on him. I do this to stretch him and to make sure he doesn't have any skin wrinkles under the girth.

 

 

Here is me and Trouper posing with Deb, a blog fan! Deb and her horse came down from Tennesse, near the Virginia border to spend a few days with us.

 

 

On to Friday!

 

Keith Smith came for Trouper's second trim.

 

 

Trouper's back feet were SO long. Keith was able to take off allot off of them! This came off of the back right, I think. WOW!!

 

 

Sherri came to help with Montana while Trouper got his feet trimmed and we found out it was her birthday, so we stopped for a popsicle celebration. I couldn't leave Trouper out of the fun!! He wasn't too sure what to think about his creamsicle. Check out this great shot Sherri captured!!

 

 

Here's another little grin. LOL

 

 

After our snack, it was off to work.... Here's a cute canter shot of me lunging Trouper. (The boogie man is behind him in this shot. LOL)

 

 

I went to get Trouper's bridle and the training reins and Trouper stood dead still while I was gone. Look how squared he was standing!!

 

 

I know it's not perfect, but this is the best he's stood since he came, I think!! We are getting somewhere!

 

When I put his training lines on Trouper Fri, I put them a little bit tighter than before. I wanted to ask a little more of him. He did great!!

 

 

After a bit of a workout with the training lines, I took them off and rode Trouper. He was a bit contrary for some reason. He seemed frightened of one end of the arena. It was very strange. A couple of the other horses were acting strange yesterday too, though. Maybe it was the weather. Who knows!

 

 

I wasn't feeling well, so I didn't ride Trouper for long at all on Friday. I did oil my saddle really well that evening, though. I knew it was calling for rain on Sat and I figured we'd end up caught out in it. LOL

 

You know, we had a big ride planned for today (Sat). Well, when the alarm went off at 6am, all you could hear is the rain pouring down! We pulled up the weather and there was really bad weather at the place where we were going to haul to ride at. It wasn't going away anytime soon either. We decided to stick around close to home and try to catch a break in the rain and just ride down the trails and dirt roads a bit. I was so excited and pumped about taking Trouper on his first trail ride, I couldn't miss out!! I had to ride somewhere!!

 

Well, after lunch, the rain slacked off and it looked like we might have a couple hours before we got drenched again, so we saddled up. Deb was still here with her horse, Gus, and my friend and fellow, horse trainer, Amy came up from Birmingham to ride Dakotah with us.

 

I was very nervous and excited about taking Trouper on his first trail ride. Deb's horse was acting very nervous as she was saddling him up and that fed my nerves more too. LOL Dakotah was great and just happy to be a part of the commotion and good ol Denny is solid as a stone.

 

The arena was very muddy, so I lunged Trouper for a couple minutes in the side yard. We all mounted and headed down the road. This was the first time I had mounted Trouper in the yard. He stood great! So, down the driveway we went. Poor Jamie was a nervous wreck for my sake. I was a bundle of nerves also as we headed down the dirt road.

 

We went about 50 yards down the road and was crossing over the huge culvert where the creek runs under the dirt road and, of all horses, Denny spooks!! It was so out of character for Denny, but Trouper, Dakotah and Gus figured he had a pretty good reason for spooking and they all did a 180* turn and in a split second, we were all facing the other way. Trouper wasn't sure what to do with himself. He lunged forward in front of the other horses before coming to a stop. I just turned him back around and off we all went again. Needless to say, that kind of broke the ice. It seemed like we were all more relaxed after that. LOL

 

Trouper gave the neighbor's mini donkeys an eye as we passed them. Luckily, we recently got a mini donkey, so Trouper has been getting used to him. He still wasn't too sure, but since the other horses were passing them fine, he figured he would too. We also had a car pass us within the first 10 mins of the ride and he did really well. Luckily they slowed down nicely to pass us.

 

Our dogs went with us and they were constantly darting in and out of the bushes. It made Trouper nervous for the first half hour, but he soon go used to it. Once we were on the paved road, we were passed by another car who didn't slow down much at all! It was a bright red car and Trouper shivered as it neared us and then jumped a little as it passed. It was only about 4 feet from us, so he had the right to be nervous. He'll get used to that, though.

 

Oh yeah! We also rode over the one lane concrete bridge!! The creek was in flood and rushing underneath it and there was standing water on it that was seeping off the edges and splashing down into the creek. Trouper was cautious and didn't follow Denny across it right away. While he was sniffing it, Amy passed me on Dakotah and went on across it. Trouper followed suite and went across it as well. I was very proud!!

 

We rode onto the land of the Smith Wagon Train campground. It was a beautiful ride through the woods. It had been drizzling rain a little bit and it picked up just a tad while we were in the woods, but we were only getting the drops from the trees, so it wasn't too bad. When we got out of the woods and into the open fields, we posed for a pic since Deb had brought her camera with her! We are actually getting rained on here, but you can't really tell in the pic.

 

 

We rode on through the campground and came to a closed gate. While Jamie called the owners for permission to open and pass through, Deb wanted to take a picture of me and Trouper next to the 5 MPH sign. LOL

 

 

Of course, Trouper and I will never miss the chance to pose for pics! LOL

 

 

The drizzle was starting to dampen us at this point. You can see that Trouper's neck and rump were getting wet and so was my shoulders. We found out that the owners had horses turned out, so we didn't open the gate to ride through. Instead, we decided to take the road on around through the back of the campground. Then, we took the trail back out to the woods again.

 

While we were riding in the woods, we could hear the rain getting heavier and heavier. By the time we came out of the woods, it was pouring!! We were debating whether to cut the ride short and come on home, or keep riding in the rain. I think we were all for riding in the rain, but Trouper's feet were starting to get very tender at this point. He had allot of his sole cut out just yesterday. We decided to take the short cut home, but we ran into Dani and her horse, Midnight, at the crossroad. She knew we were out riding somewhere and was out looking for us. I had put my cell on silent so it wouldn't disturb me and Trouper, so I didn't know she was out looking for us. We stood in the pouring rain and chatted about how crazy we all were for being out riding in it. LOL

 

Then, we were on the road again. We went back across the flooded bridge and he did even better this time! When we got to the creek at our house, we decided to go through it. Well, let me rephrase that, THEY decided to go through it and I followed. LOL I was nervous about the slippery sides and all of the low branches that were face level with me on Trouper. Well, Trouper never faltered! He slid a tad while going down into the creek, but so did the others. When we got to the creek, he walked right through it and right up the other side and into the road again. WOW! What a boy!! That was a wonderful way to end a great first trail ride!!

 

When we got back to the house, Deb took a pic of me and Trouper before I got down. It was raining still and we were DRENCHED from head to toe by this point. If you look closely, you can see the raindrops all on this picture. LOL Also, you can compare the color of my shirt and jeans to the previous pics. LOL

 

 

I was so very pleased with how well Trouper did on his first trail ride! I was also thrilled to be able to share it with Jamie, Deb and Amy. We had a great time!! Oh, and I am loving Trouper's new saddle!!! I had no idea how comfortable it would be on the trail. I normally have to reposition my self off and on during a trail ride, but I didn't have to do that AT ALL today!! My rump stayed in the exact same spot during the whole ride. Whether I was going up or down a hill, or down the road at a walk or trot. That is so awesome!

 

Thanks to Sherri, Deb and my mom for all of the pics from this blog! Also, thanks to Amy and Dean for coming to meet Trouper and see him in action! Trouper also deserves a big Thank You for taking such good care of me today!!

Monday continued... plus Tues and Thurs!

Posted by whisperingrainfarms on September 18, 2009 at 12:36 AM Comments comments (3)

I know have pics from Monday's roll backs!!

 

 

It was dark and my photographer went home before Trouper and I shared our first canter on Monday, but I do have some pics from our canter on Tues!!

 

This time, we did it all by ourselves without anyone else in the arena!

 

 

Ok, so it wasn't easy to keep him moving and I had to keep smooching to him, hence the money face in the next pic, but we did do it!

 

 

I used Jamie's bridle and reins and BOY, did Trouper respond better!! He was actually working off the indirect rein and neck reining more!! The bit is also a snaffle, but it is a tiny bit smaller (thinner) than the snaffle I've been using.

 

After I worked Trouper for a little while, I asked Jamie if he would hope on Denny bareback and ride with me in the yard a bit. Trouper did great!!

 

 

He was doing so well that we headed out down the dirt road!! We road up to my parent's driveway and turned to come back. There was a dead copperhead at the foot of their drive, but Trouper didn't seem fazed by it.

 

Here we are riding back home with dogs in tow!

 

 

Trouper was so relaxed and just plodded along.

 

 

I even rode Trouper up the front steps into our yard!!! Twice actually because mom wasn't able to get a pic the first time. LOL

 

 

Today, Thursday, I bought Trouper a black breast collar that matches his saddle, thanks to a generous donation from an avid blog follower and new friend. The breast collar was on sale at Valley Head Saddlery and they knocked it down a little more for me, so I only gave $15 for it!!! I will hopefully have pics to share soon of him being fitted for it and wearing it today. It looked great on him and matched his saddle great! Now, I'm on a mission to find him a cheap, but nice, black headstall. I want to have him dressed in black for the EMM. Maybe even a black rope halter. I was given one by some friends in FL, but it didn't fit his big ol head! LOL

 

I used my Kimberwick broken snaffle bit on Trouper today. I think we've found our bit!! He did great in it! His stops were even better and he was backing really well!! I am working on backing Trouper in a straight line, stopping, moving his hip over 90* and then backing a straight line again. Trouper will now move his hind end around while holding his front feet still. It is so cool!!! Now, if I can just get him to move his front end while keeping his back feet still, we'll be doing great!!! HA!

 

It had been raining off and on all day, so my arena was slick. I just walked and trotted Trouper for a while. The wind was blowing and the arena was drying out VERY quickly, though. I worked with setting Trouper's head at a trot. This is something we've struggled with as Trouper has a very hard mouth He doesn't fight me when I ask him to give vertically, but he acts like he doesn't feel it at all. LOL Well, today, we had a major breakthrough!! He was actually trying really hard.

 

After I evaluated my footing in the arena, I went ahead and asked Trouper for a canter. He went right into it and kept a steady gate!! I wasn't having to push him like I have been!! It was so lovely!! He goes to the right really well. He struggles to the left a little bit and wants to make his circle really small for some reason. He did very well, though!! 

 

Tomorrow (Fri), the farrier is coming to trim Trouper's feet again. I cannot believe how quickly his feet are growing. We have him on SafeChoice feed from Nutrena and we think that's what's doing it. It seems to be doing the same to our other horses also. It's a good thing, though!

 

Saturday, we have a big trail ride planned!! Weather permitting, we are going to haul to Walls of Jericho near Scottsboro and Stevenson, AL. This will be mine and Trouper's  first real outing and I am so excited!! It is a beautiful ride that goes down a mountain, through some creeks and stops in a beautiful valley for lunch. There is a hiking trail that leads by beautiful streams and water falls to a gorgeous canyon, The Walls. Then, you take another trail back up the mountain.

 

If any one you are interested in following us or meeting us there and riding with us, let us know! You can comment here or email me at WhisperingRainFarms@hotmail.com or call me at 256-605-0786. I would love to share Trouper's first real trail ride with you all!! Just bring a camera! :-)

Magnificent Monday

Posted by whisperingrainfarms on September 15, 2009 at 12:18 PM Comments comments (3)

I have to make this quick as I'm on the way out the door to the doc. Not related to heart or liver, but to see what my next step is in the treatment of my endometriosis.

 

Yesterday was a wonderful day. It started out like the last couple sessions did. I did a whole lot of trotting while doing figure 8's, direction changes, etc. I also did some roll backs at a trot. It was hard to keep him going, so I got the crop to push him in the roll backs.

 

Then, I got down and put two stretchy training lines from his girth to his bit on both sides to teach him to bring his nose in while he worked. He has a very touch mouth, so I thought this might be a good idea. He did really well. He still pushed against them allot, but he did bring his nose in nicely.

 

Here's a couple pics I took with my cell so forgive the quality.

 

Here he is a trot

 

 

And standing still

 

 

I worked him at a walk, trot and canter with the lines on him. Then, I took them off and rode him again.

 

I got Jamie to come into the center of the arena and hold the lunge whip to help push Trouper forward for me. After we worked both directions at a trot, I asked Jamie to help push him into a canter for me. I was scared to death, afraid he would fall down with me, as he had fell on his nose again while I was lunging him at a canter. I had to trust him, though.

 

So, I told Jamie I was ready, then I smooched to Trouper. I always "click" for a trot and "smooch" or "kiss" for a canter. He went right into the most beautiful, rocking horse canter I've ever ridden!!! We cantered to the right first, as it is his best side. Then, we changed directions and cantered to the left. Trouper did fantastic! I could tell he was getting tired, but he kept going and only stumbled one small time in the back end.  When I got ready to come out of the canter, I said "easy" and he went into a trot. Then, I said, "Whoa" and he stopped! I never touched the reins at all. He did great!!!!

 

I must go now, but wanted to share our WONDERFUL Monday with you!!!!

 

Maybe tonight or tomorrow I can get some cantering pics to share with everyone!!!

Sunday Sweat

Posted by whisperingrainfarms on September 14, 2009 at 12:38 AM Comments comments (0)

I was able to work Trouper for a little while today. I did the same as Thurs. I did allot of trotting! I worked with him moving off of the indirect rein and leg pressure. He is getting very good at it to the right. I think my left leg is stronger and easier to read than my right one.

 

I also worked with Trouper knowing the difference of when I wanted his forequarters to move vs when I wanted his hindquarters to move based on my leg placement. He is doing well at that and Jamie said he was proud of us.

 

I managed to get Trouper into a sweat again today! When I put him back into his paddock, I took his halter off. I have been taking it on and off while I've been working him and the last two times I've ridden him, I've taken it off for the bridle, but today is the first time I've taken it off when I put him out. It will be interesting to see if he's nervous of me putting it on him next time I catch him. I think he'll do fine, though.

 

One of the "obstacles" at the EMM will be to turn your mustang out in a round pen area. You have to take the halter off, walk away from your mustang, re-approach him, and halter him again. They want to show how catch-able the horses are. I think we'll do ok with that, but I want to make sure.

 

I hope you all have had a great weekend! Maybe I'll have pictures to share in the next day or two.

Not much to say

Posted by whisperingrainfarms on September 13, 2009 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I didn't want to leave everyone hanging, but I don't have much to say.

 

I haven't worked Trouper since Thurs and I haven't heard from any of my doctors yet. Sigh

 

I've felt pretty good the last couple days, but things have just been too busy for me to work with Trouper and I've spent the time I've had with my family. :-)

 

I hope to work Trouper on Sunday and I hope to hear from the doc on Monday. I'll keep you all posted!

 

Trouper broke a sweat!!

Posted by whisperingrainfarms on September 10, 2009 at 11:51 PM Comments comments (8)

LOL. I seem to always break a sweat while I'm working Trouper, but he never does. I always get tired before he does. LOL Well, today, I toughened up and pushed forward and gave Trouper his first REAL wet saddle blanket. It was long overdue.

 

My dad had cut some PVC pipes up for me to use when I worked Trouper. I put one in the arena and started lunging him over it. I sent him over both ways at a walk, trot and canter.

 

You can see in the pics that I took Trouper's halter off from under his bridle today. He looked so handsome!

 

Over the pipe at a walk...

Trot....

And Canter...

 

After getting him really using himself and paying attention to where his feet were by lunging him over the pipe, I got on Trouper to ride him.

 

Mom wanted to show how high I have to lift my leg to get on Trouper. Keep in mind that I am 5'10 and my legs are longer than the average person my height. (I have a VERY short waist)

 

 

I let Trouper walk over the pipe in both directions, but I didn't waist much time before I put him right into a trot. I was very sore at first, but I tried to take my mind off of it. His trot is very rough when he first goes into it also, but it started to smooth out and I became more comfortable. I started trotting him over the pipe in both directions.

 

 

After we went around and around for a while, I started trotting Trouper in figure of 8's.

 

 

We must have trotted for 45 mins straight. I was getting very tired and I'm sure Trouper was also. He started getting lazy and I was having to push him forward more. Once, he was being very lazy and he wasn't picking up his feet properly. Right after we started over the pipe, Trouper did a "dookie dive" right to the ground. He stumbled and went all of the way down to his knees and face like he had done before he got his feet trimmed. I immediately slacked my reins, tried to stay center and grabbed his mane while he was climbing back to his feet. I remember both of my feet touching the ground at one point.  I heard my mom screaming. I'm sure she thought I was about to bite the dust also! As Trouper was coming back up, I started to smile. I was so happy that we pulled through that so smoothly!

 

As soon as he was up on his feet, I pushed him forward, making him use himself again. Here he is moments after the fall sporting his dirty nose.

 

 

The next 3 or 4 times I took him over the pipe, Trouper put his nose down to check out his footing. He did NOT want to trip there again! I think it was good for him and made him pay more attention to where he was going.

 

 

I was so pleased with how well Trouper did today!! He moved out so nicely and kept his gate better than he ever has. I'm sure we'll both sleep well tonight.

 

On a health note:

I haven't heard any more news from any of my docs yet, but I hopefully will tomorrow.

 

Oh, my mom has started a "Bring Trouper Home" fund and I got a couple donations today!! I really appreciate it guys! Ya'll are helping to make my dream come true!!

 

I will try to get back on the daily blog schedule. This makes two days in a roll! Thanks mom for helping me with pictures. It helps having them edited, sized and ready to save and upload. Also, thanks for helping with Montana longer so I could work the outside horse and spend quality time with Trouper!

Catching up, again

Posted by whisperingrainfarms on September 10, 2009 at 1:09 AM Comments comments (1)

Hey guys! I'm sorry that I haven't blogged in a few days. Things have been hectic around here lately and I've been too exhausted at the end of the day. Having a 2yr old makes it hard to blog during normal hours. LOL Also, my computer has been acting up and it's been hard to get my photos uploaded to my computer and even harder, sometimes, to get them uploaded to my blog. (and my photographer hasn't been here much lately and she always edits her photos and has them ready to upload and insert)

 

First of all, I'll give everyone a quick update on my health since I've had allot of inquiries lately. I ended up going to the ER on Sat, per Dr Troup's request, to get blood work done. The doc did a urinalysis, blood work and a pelvic exam. He said he felt need to do further testing, so he ordered a CT Scan. It came back that I had no internal bleeding or evidence of injury related to the kick, so that was great news! He did, however, say that my liver was significantly enlarged.

 

I am waiting to hear more about why it is. They compared it to a CT Scan they did on 10-31-07 after I got thrown from a horse that I was training for someone. Dr Troup asked me to gather all of my reports from the weekend, including a CD with my CT images and mail it to him ASAP. He will compare it to the CT Scan they did right before my surgery in July. I am very anxious to hear what has caused this!! In the meantime, no Tylenol, goody's powders or alcohol whatsoever. I am still very sore (especially when I sneeze or trot) from the kick, but getting better by the day!

 

I wasn't able to work Trouper much in the last few days due to my soreness and the business of the holiday weekend.

 

Some exciting news!! Trouper got a new saddle on Monday!! I got it in a trade for training a horse. When I saw the pic of it, I thought, "I bet that would look great on Trouper!"

 

Here I am about to put it on Trouper for the first time.

 

 

 

It's an Old Timer style saddle by King Pro Series (I think that's the name. lol). It's a very cool saddle!!

 

 

 

On Sunday, Jamie did a little work on Trouper's hooves for me, per the vet's husband's request. I'm sure he could have waited for the farrier to come next week, but I was so anxious to get him moving better. It sure did help!! You should have seen Trouper strutting his stuff with his new saddle on Monday!!

 

 

I had to adjust the stirrups a bit, but then we were set to try out our new saddle!!!

 

 

It was oh so comfy!! The seat is padded very nice and thick and it even has padded stirrups!!! Holy Cow! I didn't know they made those! LOL Not only does it feel so nice and comfy, it fits Trouper to a T!! I used the thinnest pad I had and the saddle just conformed around him like it was made for him. It looks great on him also!! Now, I need to find him a matching bridle!! :-)

 

On Tues, I gave Trouper his first bath!! I have only hosed him off the one time before. He did great, though!! I hosed him off and then wrapped his lead rope around the back door of the trailer. I didn't actually tie him, in case he spooked or something, but he stood there great!

 

I scrubbed and bubbled him like crazy!! 

 

 

Trouper LOVED his bath!! He even let me soap up his face with the brush and soap. He was so relaxed!

 

 

After I rinsed him off, I put some of my leave-in conditioner in his mane and tail. I didn't ride Trouper on Tues as I have an outside horse in for training, so I will be devoting allot of my time to him for the next 30 days. I may have to hire an outside babysitter to get more time to spend with Trouper. But HEY, Trouper got a new saddle!! :-) LOL

 

On Wed, Trouper was moving out at a lunge better than he ever has!! He was even staying in a lope without me constantly chasing him!! He was looking great!! Right before I went to get on him, my husband got out our daughter's new mini-donkey for her to play with and Trouper became very nervous. His whole demeanor changed and he became skittish. Jamie went ahead and put the donkey back in his paddock, but Trouper stayed nervous.

 

When I started riding him around, he just wasn't paying attention to me at all. His mind was everywhere and he was still skittish. I didn't feel comfortable on him, so I got down and put him into a lunge again. I worked him really hard. Probably harder than I ever have, but he's been needing it. It's hard when he's being lazy and I'm too tired to push him, but he was doing much better today, so it made it easier on me.

 

After I lunged him for a while, he seemed to be relaxing more and concentrating on me, so I got back on him and rode him around for a bit. He did much better this time and paid more attention to me.

 

I'm really going to have to work hard to push Trouper to the next level. I still haven't loped Trouper yet and I feel that I should be past that point already. I was considering asking him for a lope today, but once I was on him, it just didn't feel right.

 

I will try to be more consistent with my blogs again. I have been getting more sleep lately. :-) Not tonight, though. LOL I was having blog withdrawals, though. HA HA!!

 

Thanks for keeping up, everyone!!

Trouper's 1st vet visit

Posted by whisperingrainfarms on September 5, 2009 at 12:24 AM Comments comments (6)

Well, today was the big day!!

 

Trouper loaded right up into the trailer. I didn't want to tie him in there yet, so I was deciding how to close him into the front. While I was thinking, he started to back out. I tried to hold him in, but he got nervous and backed out faster. I loaded him right back up and he quickly started to back out again. So, I decided to load him and then turn him around so I could grab the gate, but he quickly backed out again. I was getting very frustrated. I think he could tell that I was anxious about taking him to the vet and he was feeding off of it. Finally, he stopped at the back of the trailer and didn't want to come in at all. I started to cry. I wasn't sure how I was going to get him into the trailer and the gate closed by myself.

 

Then, it hit me. I stood outside the trailer, pointed into the trailer and swung the rope behind him. He loaded right up and I followed him in and closed the middle gate. It was that simple. :-)

 

I wondered what was going through his mind when I closed him in. It was the first time he'd been closed in the trailer since he was ran into the trailer when I picked him up at Cross Plains, TN. He peered out between the trailer bars. I assured him that we were only going on a short trip and that he was coming back home with me.

 

 

When I arrived at the vet, I unloaded Trouper. The vet's husband, Bradd, is a corrective farrier and handles all of her hoof issues. He was waiting for Trouper as I unloaded him. He took him and put him into a lunge to watch him move. It was the first time that he'd been asked to listen to someone other than me, really. He seemed a little confused at first, but did great!

 

 

After Bradd lunged Trouper, he checked all of his hooves.

 

 

Trouper did great and was so calm.

 

So, the verdict:

 

The knot on Trouper's right rear cannon is from an old injury. Probably a kick or from being banged up while being moved around in the holding pens or chutes. It is not causing any pain, lameness or discomfort now, so it's nothing to worry about.

 

His right rear leg is turning out because his inside heal is longer than his outside heal. He said that the farrier had probably taken all that he could at the time, but in the meantime, he showed me how I could have Jamie file it down to help straighten it up. It might always turn out a little bit, but we can keep it from getting worse.

 

His tripping is 50% laziness and 50% from long toes and changing angles. Since he was let go for so long while in the holding pastures etc, his feet became REALLY bad. You guys saw the pics of how they looked! Bradd said that Trouper will take 2 or 3 more trims before he is really moving out like he should since his feet were so bad. He did show me how Jamie could take a little bit more off the toe and round it off a bit to help give Trouper a better break over. That will help speed his front end up to get them out of the way before the back end gets there.

 

He said that Trouper has been moving very reserved lately since he had to be so careful when his hooves where so long. They are still longer than they should be, but they will have to be trimmed back over time. He said that Trouper's feet will probably never get small enough to wear a size 1 shoe, though. He said that his feet are naturally large because of his body size and he's sure that Trouper is between 1/4 and 3/8 draft horse! I'm not surprised!

 

Bradd suggested that I really work hard to get Trouper moving out more when I lunge him and when I ride him. He said that he needs to learn (or relearn) how to use himself.

 

All in all, this was very good news!! It looks like Trouper's problems will be fixed over time. Maybe he will stop tripping and stumbling soon.

 

After they were done checking Trouper out, I walked him around the clinic. I took him into the barn. It is on a huge concrete slab and the air conditioner to the office is inside the barn. It was on and gave a rumbling sound that echoed inside the barn area. I walked him by the stalls, by the wash bay area and into the indoor arena. I closed the doors, turned him loose and lunged him a bit in there. He did great!

 

 

When I led him out of the barn, I took him to a trailer that had two baby alpacas in it. They told me that every horse spooks at the alpacas. They were cute little things!

 

 

Trouper thought so too! He wasn't scared or spooked by them at all!!

 

 

I also walked Trouper down behind the clinic by the large outdoor arena. I had visions of riding Trouper in it. :-) I led him up the back side of the clinic and we went in between tractors, bush hogs, sprayers, trailers, etc and Trouper did great!!

 

I took him back to the trailer and loaded him right back up. He hauled like a champ again on the way home. When we arrived home, he got a sparkle in his eye. I think he was relieved that he got to come back home!

 

I was so proud of Trouper and how well he did! I was also thrilled by all of the good news!! Hopefully, I can ride him again tomorrow and maybe we can move out a little better. I might have to get more aggressive with him. That might be hard for me. LOL

 

I'm so exhausted now. I knew many people were awaiting the news, though, so I wanted to post it before I went to bed. Thank you all for your concern!

 

By the way, I am still very sore from Trouper's kick yesterday, but I am walking a bit better. I got curious tonight and googled coumadin (the blood thinner I'm on) and it said that if you receive a blow to the stomach that you should contact the doctor immediately. Oops! I did text my friend who works at Trinity Medical Center who texted both Dr Smith and Dr Troup (both doctors who performed my surgery) and told them about Trouper kicking me yesterday (Thurs). She texted back saying that Dr Troup said that I should go to the ER. I told her that I really felt ok, other than being sore. Well, Dr Troup himself called me at 10:20pm to check on me. He asked me to please go to a doctor or the ER tomorrow for blood work to make sure I am not bleeding internally. He said that I could be and not know it. He said the blood work is very simple, so I will check to see if my doc is open in the morning. I feel fine, though, but I guess you can't be to careful when it comes to your health.

 

I do feel very special to have gotten a call from Dr Troup. :-D

So, you had a bad day....

Posted by whisperingrainfarms on September 3, 2009 at 10:46 PM Comments comments (7)

Well, they say that "Unto every life, some rain must fall." I guess ours fell today. LOL

 

My plans for Trouper today was to work more on trailer loading and then lead him around a bit. He did great at the trailer, so I decided to take him on a little walk down the dirt road, leading him of course. This was his first time  out of the yard, but he was doing great!

 

He walked calmly down the road. We passed mom's pasture with the yearling and the donkey. He gave them a glance and kept walking. We walked over the culvert in the road where the creek runs underneath it. He eyeballed the creek a little bit, but kept on walking.

 

I decided to walk him to the neighbor's house. They have a very long, uphill driveway with pastures on both sides. There were a couple mini donkeys in one pasture that we could see, but the other donkeys and horse were out of sight. When we got up to their house, their two dogs ran out and joined our three and they started wrestling around. I thought this would bother him, but it didn't.

 

I led him over to their barn so he could see the other mini donkeys and their half-mustang colt that they got from us out of one of my uncles BLM mustang mares. They looked at each other in a way as if they both knew they had something in common.

 

The neighbors weren't home, so I started leading Trouper back to the house. Here is a picture that I took with my cell phone as Trouper gazed down their drive-way.

 

I call it, "Gazing down Cross Hill"

 

On the way down the drive-way, Trouper started getting antsy! I've actually never seen him like this before. He's always so laid back and lazy. LOL He was definitely feeling his oats! ha ha I think it hit him that he was "out there." Halfway down the drive, he gave a little squeal and then tried to go into a trot. I scolded him with a jerk to the lead rope. This startled him a bit and he bolted forward. I didn't have good traction on the gravel, so I slid a bit and nearly lost my balance, but I didn't. I did give him a few good yanks on his halter and made him back up and listen to me.

 

So, we start down the drive again. He tried that two more times, but each time, was less and less. He seemed to realize that I was still in control, even though we were out in the world.

 

He did really well as we walked back up the road and when we got near the creek, I decided to lead him down the trail to see what he would do. After trying to scarf down a pine tree, he followed me on down the steep hill towards the creek. He didn't seem afraid of the creek at all as most domesticated horses that I take there for the time are. He went right to it and started drinking out of it.

 

 

After he got a drink, he calmly walked through the creek and out the other side with me. When we got back up to our driveway, I stopped Trouper at our mailbox to see what he thought of it. He checked it out as I was opening and closing the door to it. He wasn't very concerned, though. LOL

 

 

When we started to walk back in the drive, I started recording with my cell phone. I wanted to make a short 30 sec video of us arriving home to show you guys. I told about what we had done as we were approaching the front steps. Then, I asked him to walk up them (only the second time doing this) and I videoed him as he walked right up them. I mentioned how proud I was of him and how he never lets me down and then I stopped the video as we were about to turn the corner of the house towards the hitching post, arena and Trouper's pen.

 

Well, I think Trouper saw his comfort zone ahead of him and wanted to get to it as quickly as possible. He bolted forward straight into a gallop, yanking the rope out of my hand. To make matters worse, as he lunged away, he double barrelled me right in the gut!!!! YEP! That's right, Trouper kicked me with both back feet, in my lower right abdomen, hip, leg and somehow, my elbow. It's amazing the amount of space those huge hooves can cover! It buckled me right over.

 

I was stunned at first. I couldn't believe what had just happened. It had slung my cell phone out of my hand and it landed a few feet away from me. I stayed bent over for a few seconds and then slowly started straightening up. By this time, Trouper was long gone into the back yard. I regained my thoughts and quickly shut the front gate so the whole yard was closed off in case he was scared and hard to catch.

 

I found him in the back yard near the pony's paddock where I had let him graze on line earlier. He was panting and standing with his head way up in the air as if to say, "What the heck just happened?" That's kinda what I was thinking too! LOL

 

I caught him easily. I gave him "a talkin' to" while I was leading him to the arena. I knew that I had to work him and get his respect back. He hasn't been sore or limping or anything, so I wasn't really too worried about his back leg. It's still turned out, but it was important that I worked with Trouper.

 

I put him in the arena and sent him into a lunge. I've never seen him move like that before!! He was zooming around and around with his head and tail up. The neighbor's horses were all doing the same in their big pasture that runs next to the arena. Trouper actually looked like a mustang! It was because he was confused, though. He might have been scared too.

 

I continued to work him at  a trot and canter while changing directions allot. After a few short minutes, Trouper turned his head into me while he was going around. He gave me that look that he always gives me. I was very sore and still in a bit of shock from what happened, but it was like he was telling me that he was sorry. I stopped him, dropped the lunge whip and walked into him. He ducked his head and leaned it into me for loving. When I turned to walk away, he was right behind me following me. He knows how to get to me!!

 

I let him rest for a few minutes and then I lunged him again. This time, he went straight into his little pitter-patter trot with his head down low. I lunged him for a minute or two more and then I caught him up and took him out of the arena again. I led him around the other side of the house, down the drive-way, up the steps and right back around the way that he had flipped out. This time, he never raised his head. He calmly walked right beside me. I went ahead and put him up after that.

 

Someone asked me if I was mad at him. I told them that I wasn't. I was disappointed and I got my feelings hurt, but I'm not mad. Trouper is not a mean horse. You all know that. I took him out of his comfort zone today and he was feeling good. He had also probably reached a point in our relationship where he wanted to know if I was always in charge or if he could take over every now and then. I guess that's normal. I hope I handled it in the right way. By the way he acted, it was working.

 

I know that hitting him once I caught him (as some people would have wanted to do) would have probably just made matters worse. He wouldn't have understood what was going on. He probably didn't understand the conversation I was having with him either, but at least it didn't "scar" him (mentally) like a beating would have.

 

I guess I need to work more on respect. I have been very easy on him and he normally doesn't even break a sweat. LOL Hopefully, we will get the OK from the vet tomorrow and he can start getting worked a little harder and I can really get those feet moving.

 

I am VERY sore tonight and I'm starting to bruise up some and get a little puffy in places. I think I'll give my doc a quick call in the morning to ask what I need to watch for since I'm on blood thinners still after my heart surgery. I am ok, though, and so is Trouper. That's all that matters right now. I am still very proud of him for how well he did on our walk. I guess he was just very excited to be back home!

 

Check back tomorrow to see how Trouper's first trip to the vet goes. I hope he doesn't get too nervous being away from home. I know it will be good for him, but I hope he handles it well. Maybe I won't be too sore tomorow. :-)


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