Sunday evening diary – It’s been awhile – let’s catch up!

Hi everyone. My deepest apologies for being MIA for so long, but lots of changes have happened since the summer, so let’s dive right in.

First off, Alfie and Copper are fine. The changes that happened had to do with the management at our barn. In August, after a little over 2 years, the barn manager at our barn was let go so she could pursue her own business, and we were officially on the hunt for a new manager.

During that time, my role and assistance with things at the barn increased – and it has been incredibly empowering, rewarding and has added to my love of horses.

I have often been the newbie when it came to horses. Having only owned Alfie 6 1/2 years, that is a short time compared to many who’ve been involved with horses for 25 or more years. In the time I’ve been a horse owner, Alfie has experienced – colic, stepping on a roofing nail, various front leg tendon issues, severe digestive issues (thankfully not an issue anymore), severe arthritis, a fallen coffin bone in his hoof – fixed now but developed navicular, cataracts in both eyes – not to mention anxiety. Throw in Copper’s issues – hock injections, back shoes to support his back, scoliosis and various allergies, you can call me well versed in many medical conditions. I have spent 1000s of hours with my horses, I know them both better than anyone, and now, with new management at our barn, it was time for me to step up and share my experiences.

Our new manager is a wonderful woman, with a fabulous family. She has 4 horses, 2 that were adopted from a local rescue, 1 that was adopted from a thoroughbred rescue and the 4th horse, a beautiful mare that has entered our lesson program.

The 2 horses that were adopted from the rescue, Shiloh and Flame, are wonderful animals that have very different backgrounds. Shiloh is almost 4, and he was born at the rescue. Flame, a 13 hand pony, came from a neglect/abuse situation – very similar to Alfie. Shiloh, being a youngster, is just starting his training. And guess who has the privilege of working with him – ME! I was asked to help with ground work and manners – and working on understanding what a mounting block is. Being able to be given this opportunity was huge. I wasn’t looked at as the newbie anymore.

Shiloh

Flame, or “Curly Fry” as I like to call him is about 7 years old. He came to the rescue very thin, and very scared of humans. When I look at him, all I see is a smaller version of Alfie. I could see the shaking, and the terror in his eyes. My heart broke for him but I knew I could help him. I was there when both he and Shiloh arrived from the rescue. Flame had terrible rain rot on his mane, and was just so weak from malnutrition. I instinctively approached him like I did Alfie. Slow and stead movements, calm and soothing voice, led to him trusting me early on. Because of my experience with Alfie, I have been able to share ways to approach situations with Flame, and it’s been such a heartwarming experience to see him slowly start to trust humans – and I’ve played a part in that.

Flame

Flame is thriving under our care. “Our care.” It is “our” care, because my role has become a part of the care of all of the horses boarded at the barn. At times while we were searching for additional people to join our team, I had to do AM feedings and PM feedings alone, which is hard, but it is such a privilege to care for these animals.

A few weeks ago, one of our lesson horses was experiencing what appeared to be a colic episode. From the minute the text came through, I quickly got dressed and drove to the barn, while I gave instructions to our barn manager to keep him walking until I could get there to help asses him. 28 min later, I was at the barn, ear to his belly to see if I could hear any “gut sounds.” When I heard very little sounds, we told my trainer to call the vet. The vet was on the way, and I was instructed to give some medication to the horse to help ease his pain. By the time the vet got to the barn, our Ziggy had pooped and appeared to be feeling better. The vet listened to his belly and could hear normal gut sounds which was a relief. She treated him with a mineral oil flush and in a few hours he was back to normal. The emotions of that day, colic can go from being mild to deadly in a matter of minutes, knowing I jumped into action and helped this horse with my experience – I was proud of what I was able to bring to help Ziggy.

Ziggy – he loves to dress up for Halloween

Now for the Alfie and Copper updates. Alfie is doing well. He’s had some lameness issues again, due to a bad abscess and foot bruise and a badly arthritic knee. Despite those challenges, he still trots up the driveway to get to his field in the morning, he hasn’t let any of his issues slow him down at all.

Alfie – still begging for cookies

Copper – my little pepperoni horse, is doing fabulous. He has recently had back shoes put on to help support his hind end and his scoliosis in his back. Since the addition of the shoes, he is taking much less time to warm up and has the most beautiful forward trot. He is also learning how to jump cross rails – the brave lesson kids are working with him on that – his mama is way to chicken lol – and he’s doing great.

Copper and I working at getting into our corners.

2022 has been a whirlwind of a year. Lots of ups and downs. Lots of challenges. Lots of eye opening experiences. A few failures, and a lot of success. I know I say this all the time, but I’m going to keep on saying it – I am BLESSED. I am blessed with a wonderful family, which includes my barn family. I am BLESSED with the 2 most perfect horses in the world for me. I am BLESSED.

Wishing all of my fans and followers, a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy and Healthy New Year!❤️🐴❤️🐴

Published by Judy Bennett

I am a middle aged married woman who finally was able to make her childhood dream come true. In 2016 I purchased my first horse - a beautiful older gent that I named Alfie. This blog is dedicated to everyone who loves horses and wants to see the good, the bad and the ugly of learning how to ride.

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