Wednesday Afternoon Diary – a little navicular isn’t gonna stand in our way.

Oh Alfie, getting older really isn’t easy. A couple months ago, Alfie developed a severe lameness that came out of nowhere. After an extensive vet visit and a bunch of X-rays later, Alfie was diagnosed with navicular.

Navicular is a degenerative condition that can cause lameness in the front legs. It’s very common in quarter horses, which is what Alfie is. Many years ago, having a horse with navicular was a death sentence as there weren’t many treatment options. Thankfully, that’s not the case now. With some corrective shoes and a new pain medication, Alfie is completely sound and feeling good.

In fact, he’s moving so well that we recently started taking lessons again – not riding lessons, but in hand lessons. Our in hand lessons consist of an obstacle course set up in our arena where he walks over poles and we can do some light jogging in straight lines. We’ve had 3 lessons so far, and Alfie’s muscle definition is coming back.

Retirement life for Alfie wasn’t something he adjusted well to. Since he’s been retired, he’s had to deal with his arthritis progressing as well as various hoof issues, and now navicular. But through all of this, he never lost his desire to work. Now that he’s feeling good, and 🤞🏻he stays this way, we can enjoy our weekly lessons, just like old times.

Below are pictures from our lesson, doesn’t he look good for being a horse in his mid 30s?❤️🐴

Walking over poles
Turn on the haunch
Completed turn on the haunch
Backing up
Walking on

Monday Afternoon Diary – We are champions…

What an eventful day yesterday was. Just take a look…

See that big ribbon – that’s a Champion ribbon
Copper & I won HUGE!!

Our first away horse show was a HUGE success, not only for me but for another young lady named Mila who also rode Copper and she won champion in her division.

The last several months have been medically challenging for Copper. He was diagnosed and treated for chronic Lyme’s disease – he is due for more blood work next month to see what his Lyme number is 🤞🏻 it has come down. He also just had his hocks injected for arthritis – they inject a combination of a steroid and joint lubricant to make his hocks feel and move a bit better. With the treatment for the Lyme’s and the hock injections, Copper basically had his 100,000 mile tune up and he’s feeling pretty good.

The horse show. Picture this everyone, May 22, 2022 – the normal temperature for the end of May in NY should be around the mid 70s, maybe low 80s. Well, yesterday the weather was 94 with high humidity and blazing sun. It was hot. Not warm, just plain hot. I’m not sure how much water I drank yesterday but at one point during my class, the judge announced that the rider on the pretty red and white horse needed water NOW. So everyone paused so I could have some water which I not only drank but poured down the front and back of my shirt. At this point, I truly didn’t care how much of a hot mess I looked like, I wasn’t about to pass out at my first show with my boy, who was absolutely perfect.

Copper has a pretty extensive show history, so I wasn’t worried about him spooking or not understanding what to do at a show. But this was my first time riding him off property and at a show, so my anxiety was up. Once I got into the saddle, and felt how calm and cool Copper was, my anxiety was gone.

The classes we competed in was a walk, trot and poles class. We were judged at equitation, pleasure and how well we managed to trot over poles. Prior to the start of my classes I asked my trainer which class was first, equitation or pleasure. She told me but honestly with the heat I totally forgot what she said, so my reign length didn’t change much between classes. For equitation, your reigns are a bit shorter, you are being judged at how your seat and body position looks. For pleasure, the reigns are let out a bit and the horse is judged on their form, and how “pleasurable” they are to ride. I scored 3rd place in both the equitation and pleasure class. I won 1st place for the poles.

The poles. My nemesis. Originally, the class was going to have each rider trot an opening circle, trot over the small course of poles and then finish with a closing circle. Well, because of the heat, they nixed the opening and closing circles. I’m not gonna lie, I was happy about that. Copper and I have been working for months on trotting circles. We can walk a circle beautifully, but trotting them is an entirely different story. By the last few lessons we really came together and I figured we had a fighting chance of actually being able to do it. Well I can tell you, I did do a trotting circle. During the class when all the horses were trotting, I was getting close to the horse in front of me so I turned Copper towards the inside to trot a circle so we could get some distance between us and the rider in front, and that trot circle was PERFECT.

Copper was very forward while we went over the poles and my half seat was very good considering my body felt like a puddle of goo. My diagonals were spot on during the entire competition, I wasn’t going to lose points because of being on the wrong diagonal.

Determination

So I won 2 third place and 1 first place ribbon. Tears of joy literally flowed from my eyes.

So much emotion.
I love him.

Now…the champion ribbon. I had literally no idea I won it. I had left the arena to un-tack Copper and was watching him finally drink some water when one of the other students from our barn came to me and said “Judy, I think you won champion”. I look at her and said nah, no way. She says “there was only one Judy in the class.” So I hand her Copper to hold and I head back towards the arena. Coming at me is Maddie, another rider from my barn, and in her hand is a champion ribbon. Then she tells me she got champion as well, we were tied.

I’m in a state of shock!

Then there were more tears. And then I called my mom. My mom, who’s my best friend and whose health has been a bit rocky lately, she answers the phone with “how did you do” and I reply, “we got champion mommy.” Yes, I’m 46 years old, and still call her mommy. I texted my husband who just started a new job and he couldn’t come to the show, and his reply was “AMAZING HONEY, SO PROUD OF YOU.”

Rocking and rolling.

I mentioned that Copper not only took me to champion status but he did it for Mila as well. Mila competed in her division first and honestly that’s where my tears started flowing first. I was so happy for her and so proud of the team they have become. A proud horse owner moment.

She loves him
Getting the champion ribbon – with our amazing trainer Kari
My boy ❤️

So there you have it folks. Champion. Does this mean every single ride we take is going to be perfect, nope. Will I have a bit more confidence with riding now that we conquered an away show – ABSOLUTELY!!

The day after a show is hard. Your body is tired and sore but you are still riding that high from accomplishing something you never thought you could. There were a total of 9 riders in my class. The class was for people with more than 2 years of riding experience – no age limit. Yes, I was the oldest rider in the class, I could’ve been all those kids’ mother lol. Everyone who rode yesterday were winners. It takes courage to go out there and ride with 8 other horses in an arena that is large but not that large. It takes talent to maneuver yourself among the other horses. I am proud of everyone that competed and it was an honor to share the arena with my fellow barn students.❤️🐴

Love

Saturday evening diary – courage comes in small by mighty steps

Happy Saturday everyone! We had an amazing day today at the barn. It was our spring cleaning day, and with the help of the boarders, students and parents, our barn got a deep cleaning it desperately needed.

The cleanup started around 10 and didn’t end until 2, so during the cleanup process things were moved all over the barn. Our entire grain room took up residence in our barn aisle so everything could be cleaned and reorganized. During this time, lessons were happening and all the horses took things in stride, except…Copper. It’s been just under 10 months since Copper joined my family and the two of us are more alike than I first realized. Neither one of us do well with change, even when that change is temporary. As I walked out the barn to head to the field to get Copper, I felt my anxiety rise and I started to sing to get my anxiety down a bit before I got to Copper’s field.

I was feeling more calm by the time I get to the field, and I try my best to reassure my boy that all is OK, even though the barn is in a bit of disarray. As we walk towards the barn, he snorts at the shelves that are outside drying, he snorts at the wash stall that is being scrubbed cleaned, he quickly darts passed the large garbage can that normally isn’t in the aisle, and when he sees all the stuff from the grain room piled around his eyes get super big and he rushes into his stall. I point him towards his hay and tell him it’s ok. Before my lesson I helped put things back into the grain room which immediately made my anxiety go down.

I groom Copper, singing softly which keeps me calm and focused and makes him super relaxed. I’ve suffered from anxiety most of my life, I just didn’t know what it was that I was feeling until I was in my 30s. I mean, honestly, why should I have anxiety because our barn is getting cleaned? Stupid right? I tend to not question the why anymore, but I focus on getting through my anxiety as best I can. I’ve learned over the years that when I’m anxious, my horse is going to be anxious. I’ve worked so hard to try and bury my anxiety only to have made it worse – that didn’t help my riding when it came to Alfie. So I’m trying to approach things differently with Copper. If I just let the anxiety happen and not try to bury it, and work through it, he will feel the difference in the energy I’m putting out there and our ride and our trust of each other will be better. Well guess what folks, it’s working.

Our lesson starts and he’s pretty relaxed, but still slightly on edge from all the activity happening around the barn. But I kept my focus on our ride and lesson and did my best to be the confident, non anxiety controlled rider he deserves. We worked on the exercises we will be doing at our first off property horse show we are going to in May. I managed to complete our poles course, all at a trot, complete with 2 circles at a trot. We worked on our pleasure and equitation exercises, had some fun with our sit trot and when our lounge was getting vacuumed and he tensed up, I gave him a reassuring squeeze that all was fine, no one was going to vacuum him lol.

As our lesson finished, and I was cooling him out, I gave him a lot of reassuring pats and I even patted myself on the shoulder.

Working on our sit trot

My first off property horse show with Alfie happened after several years of being partners. My first off property horse show with Copper will happen in month 11 of us being a team, less than 1 year together. I realize just how much courage I have these days. I was anxious today, yet I didn’t fight the anxiety, I just put it to the side so I could be there for Copper, who still needs some reassurance at times. I was extremely anxious a few weeks ago when our barn welcomed a new pony and Copper was super excited to get to know her, and he ignored all my instructions when he wouldn’t stop his forward prancing walk because he was trying to impress her. But I managed to stay in control and eventually won by getting him focused back on me and not on her lol.

Our forward walk

Anxiety. It’s real, it stinks, it comes at the most random of times, over the most random of things. It’s a part of me, but I refuse to let it control me. If it insists on being a part of me, than I am going to continue to learn to co-exist with it. My hope, actually it’s more than hope, my GOAL is to be able to shove it so far to the side that it falls away for good. Copper is helping me achieve that, each and every time I put my foot in that stirrup and sit in that saddle.❤️🐴

My friend Judy – yes we are both Judy’s – Maestro aka Thunder Baby Shark and Copper and I at the end of our lesson with our amazing trainer Kari in the middle.

Wednesday morning diary – welcome Spring

Ok, it’s not officially the first day of spring, but it certainly feels it. This winter wasn’t an awful one in comparison to other years, but we did see a fair amount of ICE this winter which is not fun for anyone, especially horses.

Alfie came out of the winter pretty good. His arthritis has been bothering him a bit, especially with the hard ground. This was Alfie’s first winter without shoes, and my old man did pretty well. The thawing ground should make him feel and move much better.

Alfie ❤️

Now for the update on Copper. About 7 weeks ago or so, we noticed that Copper started dragging his back left foot while trotting. He had been dragging it every now and then but during the cold winter, it became much more apparent and it was time for a vet visit. The vet came out and did a lameness exam on him, and found that he had a mild lameness in his back left leg. Based on that exam, she felt it was his hock that was bothering him. So she took X-Rays to see what was going on, and guess what we found…3 small areas of arthritis. Now if he has arthritis in one hock, chances are he’s got it elsewhere as well. I can now report that he is on the same arthritis treatment plan Alfie is on, and it’s working!

Within a matter of days, Copper stopped dragging his back foot, and he’s moving better every day. While the vet was here, I also had her take some blood so he could be tested for Lyme’s disease. When I purchased him, his former owner had told me he had been treated for Lyme’s in the past. Once horses have Lyme’s, it can flare up, just like it does in people. Well, Copper started to spook at very random things, cones, poles, jump standards, all things he sees all the time. Lyme’s can effect vision, can make arthritis worse and can make horses more edgy and paranoid in their behavior. So when his Lyme’s test came back positive – at a level that is considered “chronic” – he was started on the antibiotic immediately. He’s been on the medication 7 days, I rode him yesterday and could see a difference, he didn’t spook at all.🙏🏻

My sweet Copper ❤️

My journey with horses started over 6 years ago. Looking back from where I started to where I am now, it’s like night and day. I am very proud of all that I have learned and all that I continue to learn every day. I am grateful that the universe brought both my boys into my life, I’m honored that I was chosen out of everyone else in the world to be their owner. ❤️🐴❤️🐴

Sunday Morning Diary – welcome winter

Happy New Year!!

Winter has officially arrived in New York. After a fairly mild and calm December, January has started out cold and icy. It’s Sunday, and we are getting hit with freezing rain and sleet so no barn for me today.

YES!!

Last night scrolling through one of the many horse groups I belong to on Facebook, someone posted this image. I want everyone to stop and read this statement out loud, shout it from the rooftop, let it really sink in.

I’ve talked about learning how to speak horse for years, and that it’s truly a work in progress. Learning to communicate with your horse is something that never stops. I’ve watched so many riders blaming the horse for not doing what the rider is asking when the fault lays with the rider.

My current hurdle I’m trying to overcome is getting Copper to pick up the correct lead going in his harder direction at the canter. At first, I was having such difficulties getting it right, I thought perhaps there was something wrong with him, like maybe he was in discomfort somewhere, so I asked my trainer to hop on him to see if it was him or me. Well, no surprise here, the issue is me. I’m not giving him the proper cues. The signals I’m sending out with my body position and seat are full of static and he is doing the best he can with what I’m telling him.

I find myself apologizing to Copper pretty regularly, in a tone that is full of love and compassion. I mean he is giving me his all and I’m the one dropping the ball. But that is what this process is all about. That is what makes us a team. There are things I’m really good at communicating properly and he struggles to learn it and I’m right there with him every step of the way, it is a true partnership. This way of thinking is fairly new for me.

When I look back at when I first started to learn how to ride 6 years ago, I was such a hot mess lol. I remember it taking what felt like years just to learn how to post while trotting. I also remember how when I started to get just a little bit of experience, skill and knowledge under my belt, I felt like I knew it all. Any time Alfie wasn’t doing exactly what I asked for, I put blame on him. Statements like “why won’t he just trot”, or “why doesn’t he do this”, “Alfie why can’t you be like (insert name of any other horse in the arena).” I imagine that those statements are pretty common place with riders but how many actually admit it?

My thought process changed when I started to learn how to better communicate with Alfie. So many of our issues we had with riding were totally my fault, and that made me feel like the worst rider. But worse than that, I had let my partner down – but he never gave up on me – something I’m so incredibly grateful for.

Well, this diary entry turned into something I didn’t expect, a true confessional, an admittance of ignorance, attitude and fault. Yes, I’ve made mistakes, tons of them, and I take 100% responsibility for making every single one of them. Having no knowledge about something isn’t dangerous, having just a little bit and shutting out learning further is what’s dangerous. I spent about 3 years putting the fault on our riding struggles solely on Alfie. At the time, I knew I didn’t know everything but for whatever reason I felt like I did.

I say it all the time, riding isn’t easy. This sport isn’t easy. Horses aren’t easy. If it was easy, everyone who rides would be a gold medal winner at the Olympics. This is a journey of learning. Whether you’ve been around horses for 6 years or 60 years, the learning never stops, unless you choose it to. My Alfie never gave up on me, even though at times I gave up on him. Again, I admit my faults, but those faults and mistakes I made forced me to take 1000 steps backwards to get it right with him. He waited patiently for me to get my s*it together, and when I finally did, we had the best 2 years of riding before his retirement. Those lessons Alfie taught me are there every time I ride Copper. ❤️🐴

My Alfie ❤️
Copper ❤️

Sunday Evening Diary…a month filled with blessings

Relaxing after a nice hot shower after a super busy cold day at the barn, my heart is filled with such joy and happiness. Let me bring you all up to date with the adventures of Alfie and Copper.

Alfie and Copper enjoying the first snow of the season.

I can officially announce to the world – Alfie is barefoot. He no longer requires custom shoes. He has been barefoot for 4 weeks, and he’s doing great. His feet are adjusting nicely to not having shoes in a very long time. The crack that developed in his heel in March, grew out completely and his feet look fantastic. The day I got the call that Alfie was officially barefoot, I cried hysterically in the parking lot of my local supermarket, tears of pure joy and relief for him. My boy finally caught a break with his feet.

Full on ugly cry – so happy for Alfie

With Alfie’s feet feeling good and his arthritis pain being managed with some extra supplements, we have resumed our Sunday workouts. Sundays are for Alfie, and he really does enjoy our time together. While I groom Alfie I sing to him – although my singing voice is awful, Alfie doesn’t care, he loves when I sing to him. We then have fun in the arena. We jog together, we hop over poles on the ground together and when I need to sit and catch my breath, we play tug of war with his lead rope – I always let him win.

He’s just so perfect.
My world
Being goofy ❤️
Copper’s stocking ❤️
Alfie’s stocking ❤️
Copper looking stylish ❤️

Now for an update on Copper – in a nutshell – he’s wonderful. It’s been almost 6 months since this beautiful red head joined my family and he’s letting his guard down a bit so his personality is coming out which is great. I was worried about dividing my time between both boys, making Copper feel loved while giving equal attention to Alfie. At times I felt myself literally being pulled in separate directions, worrying about Alfie’s feelings while earning the trust and love of Copper. But, all those hours spent building a relationship with Copper have paid off. He knows who I am, he knows I’m his human. He also knows I love him.

I know you are on the edge of your seat with anticipation, you want to know how our riding is going . We are doing AMAZING together! I am an official member of the “Canter Club” as I like to call it. That’s right, I am not only walking and trotting but I’m learning to canter. The canter gait has always been a challenge for me, but I’m doing it.

Copper

Just when I had given up hope in finding an Alfie 2.0 the universe stepped in and brought me Copper. Many people may have doubted us as a riding pair. I mean, Copper is a registered horse with an impressive show history, and here I am, an intermediate beginner who is a timid rider. But Copper brought out the courages side of me. For the first time, I wasn’t afraid of taking a little risk. I wasn’t afraid to step out of my comfort zone. And by trusting my skills and my horse, we are making huge strides.

Copper has a pretty big fan club when it comes to the younger students who ride him. Right now, there are 4 kids who want to show him in horse shows in the spring – and I want to compete with him as well. What’s so great is while I am doing dressage with him, the younger students are jumping over small jumps with him, which he really loves. I get to watch most of the lessons with the students and my heart swells with joy when I see how they appreciate him for who he is. Everyone that rides him seems to fall in love with him which is what he deserves.

❤️

As 2021 winds down, I can’t help but smile. I started out the year as a single horse household. All was good until March when our riding time abruptly ended. Months of serious lameness issues would follow until a 2nd opinion from a different vet changed everything for Alfie for the better, but I desperately wanted another horse to love, another soul to save and another riding partner to call my own. The month of June brought Copper into my world.

To all my fans, supporters and readers, thank you for the love you have shown Alfie, Copper and myself this year. May the joys of the season fill your hearts with love.❤️🐴❤️🐴

Tuesday Evening Diary – when self doubt creeps into your mind…

Our in house horse show was a HUGE success, for not only all the students who participated but for the horses as well.

Alfie and I took 3rd place in the halter class, and Copper – who was shown by Shea, took 2nd place. I was one proud horse owner with both my boys taking 2nd and 3rd place.

Alfie
Proud of my beautiful boy.
Shea and Copper
A great team

I rode Copper in the adult walk, trot class. We were being judged on equitation, pleasure and poles – trotting over poles – one of Copper’s favorite things to do. For the equitation, the rider is being judged on themselves – body position, the way they ride their horse. Copper did not make this round easy on me at all. But, we managed to take 1st place! I was in such a state of shock. ❤️

The next class was pleasure, and Copper, following in the grand tradition of Alfie, became even more of a challenge for me. The pleasure class is judged on the horse and how pleasurable they are to ride. Copper, following in his big brother Alfie’s footsteps from last year, decided he would be so challenging no one but his mom would want to ride him lol. But I didn’t give up and we finished that class better than we started, and we took 3rd place.

The last class was trotting over poles and trotting circles. Our opening circle started out a bit wonky but the poles and the closing circle were pretty good. We took 3rd in that class as well.

Trotting – an action shot
Going after the blue ribbon
So proud of us

I was so proud of how Copper and I did at the show. What we were able to accomplish in a matter of weeks was amazing, proving that hard work, dedication and determination will make you a winner.

So what happens when self doubt creeps into your head to burst your “happy” bubble? Self doubt sometimes doesn’t start from within you, it can come from outside forces. Whether it’s you that doubts your abilities or decisions or someone else that does, the overall effect is the same.

Purchasing Copper was a decision that felt right. From the moment I met him, I was at ease. I was comfortable with him. Even though we had just met, there was something so familiar with him, it felt as if I had known him before.

I went into this journey with Copper knowing that developing our relationship was going to have its fair share of challenges, but I knew I was up for whatever challenges were brought. Alfie prepared me for this.

I remember one lesson with Copper that literally ended with me crying out of frustration. It was a moment that I wasn’t proud of, but it was a moment that had to happen. It tested my dedication. It tested my love of horses. It made me question this journey I’ve been on for 5 1/2 years. The self doubt crept into my brain and heart so fast, but my love for Copper and this equestrian life took over and kicked the self doubt to the curb.

As Copper and I continue to get to know each other, we are going to have great rides and not so great rides. I am fully aware that everything isn’t always going to be perfect. This is something all equestrians learn very early into their journey. You take the little wins wherever you get them and you celebrate them. For all my fellow equestrians, don’t let your own self doubt or the self doubt of others burst your “happy” bubble. “Haters are gonna hate” no matter what, so just keep steady and follow your dreams.❤️🐴

The beginning of an unstoppable team❤️

Sunday evening diary – the honeymoon phase is over…now it’s time to challenge mom

It’s been almost 3 months since the beautiful freckle faced Copper joined my family. I will admit, having 2 horses has been a challenge, making sure Copper feels loved and welcomed while making sure to pay equal attention to Alfie, all while keeping my sanity lol. It didn’t help that during this time Alfie had more lameness issues that required 3 vet visits to figure out, so doing anything with him wasn’t an option, grooming wasn’t even pleasurable for him. Now that Alfie is feeling much better, we are back to grooming, taking walks and having fun together in the arena. Alfie also seems to have turned the corner and has accepted Copper as his brother.

When Alfie and I first became a team over 5 years ago, we didn’t have an easy time together. I was new to horses and had no idea what I was doing and I was learning how to ride. Alfie took full advantage of my non-experience. I can remember a time riding him, and it took me 45 minutes to get him to walk 5 steps. Not 5 feet, but five steps forward. 😳 Alfie loved and trusted me but it took a lot of work to get him to respect me in the saddle. In fact, it took 4 years. 4 years of hard work, 4 years of struggles, 4 years of wonderful moments, but also 4 years of tears. Just when he and I got into our groove, Alfie had to be retired from riding – something that still makes me sad today. Why am I bringing this up you ask? Well…history is repeating itself with Copper.

When Copper and I became a team, all was going great. I had done several solo rides with him, with very little issues. We were figuring each other out and it was exciting. Fast forward to now, Copper is doing beautifully with the kids who are taking lessons with him, but with me – he’s giving me a hard time. It’s like he’s been getting together with Alfie at night to discuss ways to “scare” mom – to get out of work. 😂 Alfie used to dramatically toss his head complete with spit flying out of his mouth and Copper’s tactic – he stops walking forward and will just flip it in reverse and walk backwards. What Copper doesn’t know fully yet, is I’m not the same “scared” rider I was in the past. I’m much more confident and I have a box of tools I can dig into to help unstick him and get him passed his impressive backing up skills.

This weekend I had my lesson with him on Saturday and to say he was a challenge is putting it mildly. He pulled everything out of his bag of tricks and I didn’t get frustrated, I stayed calm, and just persisted until he finally sucked in his pride and listened to me. Today, I had a solo ride with him. Our first solo ride in a few months. We started out pretty good, but then the backward antics started. I didn’t get flustered, I negotiated with him. And I won the negotiations.

We have a horse show in a few weeks at our barn. It will be the first time I will be competing in 2 Dressage classes. Even though Copper has an impressive show record, he has never done Dressage, so this is going to be a first for him also. I am excited to do these classes with Copper. I am excited to see how he and I progress in the next few weeks with our relationship.

As I’ve been reminding myself a lot lately, riding isn’t easy, if it was everyone would be doing it. Horses aren’t robots, they have emotions, feelings and aches and pains just like we do. If you are having a bad day, chances are, your horse is going to sense that and your ride is going to be a reflection of what your emotional state is – which means it’s not going to be a great ride. And why should it, if the rider isn’t present and focused why should your horse be present and focused. Copper is nicely reminding me of this.

The honeymoon may be over, but I am very determined to show Copper that I am a great partner that he can count on whenever he needs. I’m in no rush for Copper to figure this out, I’m in this for the journey.❤️🐴

Copper ❤️

Saturday evening diary – it’s been awhile, pull up a chair and get comfy…

What a month it’s been.

First let me give you all the update on Alfie. I was able to get a second opinion on the pain and lameness he’s been experiencing off and on for months. There are several different things working against him which is making pin pointing 1 specific cause very difficult – I mean, it’s Alfie, nothing with him has ever been cut and dry.

The vet has started him on a once a week shot for 2 months – a joint supplement – which will help his arthritis even more than his current medication and joint supplement. He also was given an antibiotic that is used to treat tick borne diseases. He tested negative for Lyme’s disease however there are many other tick borne diseases out there that could exacerbate his arthritis which is what the vet was leaning toward as a possible cause for his arthritis to suddenly get so painful.

A sleeping Alfie ❤️

I am super thankful for second opinions.

Copper. My lovely freckle faced boy. Our saddle fitter paid a visit and was able to fit my dressage saddle nicely to him so I am finally able to ride in it again. I was also shown some additional stretches to do with him to help his legs and back. So Copper is well on his way to getting in amazing shape.

Last weekend our barn participated in a local horse show. Guess who went…yep, Copper!! No, I did not ride him in it, but a lovely young lady named Shea did, and let me tell you, they did great together. It was his first time off property since I brought him home, and he and 4 other horses from our barn went and did fantastic.

Copper and the amazing Shea

Watching my boy and Shea ride in the show made my heart so incredibly happy. The competition was tough, but Shea and Copper gave it their all, I couldn’t have been more proud of them.

Today I had one of the best lessons with Copper. Our barn is having an in house horse show at the end of September and I’m super proud that Copper and I will be making our debut…doing Dressage.❤️

From the time I started working with Alfie learning dressage all I’ve ever wanted to do was compete in a dressage horse show. Even though Alfie and I worked very hard for 2 years, because of his limitations I knew we would never be able to actually show in dressage, and that was perfectly OK with me. What I was able to accomplish with him in 2 years made me proud. We both grew together as a team, and I cherish that everyday.

Today, Copper and I worked on the intro to Dressage tests A and B. In a nut shell, these tests are designed to benefit the physical fitness and ability of the horse. The tests incorporate walk and trot and circles.

Now, I know test A very well, but Copper doesn’t, but let me tell you folks, he did really well with it today. Is it perfect, of course not, but for a first try, it was really good. We then tried test B and we did really good with that one as well.

Love my Copper

This month has been a roller coaster of a ride for me. Not knowing what was wrong with Alfie and not having any idea of how to make him not be in pain was pure torture for me. It was consuming me every minute of every day. Having a treatment plan in place to make Alfie as comfortable as possible has made me finally stop worrying just a little bit. And for that I’m truly grateful. Horse ownership isn’t for everyone, but I’m so glad I took that leap of faith, not only with Alfie, but with Copper.❤️🐴❤️🐴

The fabulous Bennett boys ❤️❤️