Friday, April 17, 2009

Two Years of Joy and Learning

(Blue sky pics by me, middle pic by my Mom)

Two years ago today, I purchased my first horse, and you readers have followed me along almost as long, reading along as I experience the joy of owning her.

Daisy was not the perfect horse, to say the least. She still isn't. But I've learned so much. She's made me laugh so many times, been a comfort even more often, and is just always there to hang around with. I've decided that she's really just shy outwardly; she does love to be loved on. Her pinned ears show a nasty personality, but once you get past her head and scratch a little behind her ears, she's perfect.

As mentioned above, I've learned a ton. When I bought Daisy, I don't know how I did it. I knew nothing, zip, zero, zilch, about buying a horse. I went and "looked" at her without knowing what I was looking for. I wanted a horse I could ride. I still wonder what I was thinking...the first time I tried her out, she reared. And she wouldn't trot without crow-hopping. But I tried her out again. And bought her. Why? As I said in a post before, I had grown use to riding a horse (see here) that was challenging, and Daisy seemed to fit the part (*Understatement*). I fell in love with her personality pretty quickly; the way she pinned her ears like a monster, but how well-behaved she became after just a week of steady riding and reprimand. I've learned so much about the daily care of a horse that even riding lessons for 8 years can't teach you. How to deworm a horse, schedule farrier and vet appointments, deal with the drama of both, feeding schedules, providing hay, soaking a hoof in salt, etc (I have memories of all of these, some of which would have made me cry at the time, but at this point, I can only laugh at them, as it should be :)). There is a never-ending list of things to be done when you have a horse. I'm striving to make Daisy's life the best that I can, the best that I know how. I've learned that you can't set a person's opinion too highly, that you need to question it and find out things for yourself sometimes. That even though someone may tell you how to do something, and they always seem to know best, that there come times when you need to take matters in your own hands.

I've had a blast riding Daisy. She has those quirky days where I wonder again why I bought her in the first place, what I saw in her, when she is being so bad that certain day. But other days she impresses me and surprises me so much with her talent, that I wonder how anyone could have wanted to give her up. Sometimes I feel both in the same day.

She's also an awesome form of therapy. Bad day? Ride. Angry? Clean the stall like and lug hay bales to get that extra energy out (I must say that after owning her, I've gotten pretty strong). Sad? Give her a big huge hug :-P(for a horse that acts like she's mad all the time, she's a big sucker for hugs). Riding her is an endless learning process for both of us...from galloping her bareback for the first time and learning to balance while getting her to stop (haha, she loves to gallop), to teaching her to side pass, to, just today, getting her to finally do a right-lead canter. It's taught me to not always look to the biggest goal, but set little goals, and in that way, feel a big reward whenever that small goal is reached.

I've seen a glimpse of the show world, as well. When I bought Daisy, I didn't plan on showing, and didn't really want to. Then I did the county fair. She was amazing, and I had a ton of fun. After going to some local shows last fall, I had a reality check. I learned that Daisy did amazing at the county fair because the competition wasn't that was little let down. I've seen that Daisy isn't one of those slow stepping western pleasure horses, but she's also not a quick-like-a-bullet barrel racing horse, either. And I'm glad. Western pleasure horses? Pretty, but slow. oh so slow. I'm not sure I'd like that. Barrel racing horses? Fast. Very fast. but also hard to handle and pretty dangerous at times. Trail class stars like Daisy? Great. Because even though she's not top of the class in barrel racing or Western pleasure, she's great where, for me, it counts. I know I can ride her down a trail and not have to fear her spooking at something, and if she does, I know she's a sensible horse, and gets over it fast. We can ride on the road with cars and trucks speeding by, and she won't bat an eyelash.

For me, she's perfect. For others she may be too hard to handle, or not showy enough, or she may not have the greatest conformation, but for me, she's amazing. She's my dream come true. She's wonderful. I can't stress that enough. So maybe she's got her problems, but don't we all?

So in all, if I could redo the last two years, and buy her all over again, I'd do it again. It was so worth it. It's all a learning experience, with ups and downs, but so worth it.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with my Daisy-Mae. It was all in His plan.

Happy Anniversary, Daisy-Mae. To us. * insert sound of glasses containing apple juice clinking* (because Daisy likes apples and it looks likes champagne.)

Have a great Friday, everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Time, Spring Shots

For most horse owners, the arrival of springtime means the arrival of the veterinarian: the need to update vaccinations has come. No different here.
I had been using a very nice vet the last two spring times I was faced with, and I liked her...she was always very reasonable with price, and so patient with Daisy. (See last year's visit here.) Unfortunately, she wasn't willing to drive all the way out to our house this year, so Daisy took at little trip to Jean's farm. Jean gave her an "8-way" shot on Tuesday that covered a ton of stuff including Tetanus, and she didn't use the head stabilizer thing!(see the link from before to hear about that again). Daisy was really distracted because she knew I had treats in my sweater pocket, so Jean tapped her on the neck a few times, and one time she was tapping, she put the needle in. Daisy was like "oh, treats, yum" one minute and the next "Holy cow what was that?!" lol. But she just put her head up, and Jean screwed the vial of stuff in (The needle is separate; once you get it in, you attach the vial to it) and squirted it in. "Painless"! :)
Well, the next day was not painless. See Daisy's face below:

She looks a little strange...yeah...that was after. She was super sore from the shot, as normal, but extra sore this year. She didn't move her neck as normal; she moved it as little as possible, and was just depressed and just not as happy. The vet came to give her the rabies shot and take blood for her coggins, and I warned her that she was still sore. The vet went to pet her on the neck, and Daisy put her head up and was shaking so hard, she was so scared she'd get hurt again, my poor baby! <:-/ The vet put the little headgear thing on (as a precaution) and Daisy practically fell asleep in the aisle. Once she put the needle in for the rabies, Daisy barely flinched, and she moved backwards a little with the blood draw, but I just tightened the stabilizer, and she calmed down again. All good! Today we had an AMAZING day, she wasn't feeling bad anymore. More on today later on...Saturday or Sunday. I can't wait to tell you all about today! Just waiting for some extra pictures to add with the post... Tomorrow is Daisy and my 2 YEAR anniversary!!!!!!!

Until then,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Riding Daisy & Horsebowl

Long time no-talk, ladies and gents (if "gent's" dare visit this blog!)
I did update a few times on my other blog, so if you want to check that...
These are some pictures my mom took of Daisy and I today...she's starting to shed. Notice the shirt I'm wearing? I have to tell you about that.

As a member of 4H, I joined our county's "Horsebowl and Hippology" novice team, it being my first year. We met every week (for me, I only went every other week most of the time) and learned a ton of stuff. We learned parts of a horse's hoof, leg, bones, body parts, tack, feed, grooming, parasites, breeds, moods, vitamins/minerals, etc. This was all to get ready for our "Extravaganza" on March 28 (last Saturday). That was the "Hippology" portion.
We also practiced for "horsebowl". We practiced "jeopardy" like questions, with buzzers and such. I wasn't really expecting much of "competition" day. I thought there would be one other county, and I just didn't really know what to expect. I showed up on Saturday in my Horsebowl polo and was ready to go.

It was AMAZING. I was on a novice team with 3 other girls aged 9-11 I think. There were I think 6 or 7 other counties there. For hippology we went into different rooms and looked at diagrams of horse's bones, body parts, etc, and had to label them, as well as breeds, feeding, and tack. It was pretty hard and I didn't think I did that well. Horsebowl as the greatest part. Our team did AWESOME--we buzzed in a ton and out of the 4 rounds of 30 questions we did against each county's novice team we won them ALL! By a landslide! We won atleast 24 of the questions each time, one time us getting them all! Our team really pulled it together and did great.

Come awards time, we got 1st place for team points in both Hippology and Horsebowl, and I personally got 1st place for highest points in both as was a really "feel good" day. I can't wait to do it again.

All this to say, I think if you are in 4H or have kids in it, they should totally do horsebowl if you county offers it. It was SO fun! :D

Sooo that's my slightly lengthy post...sorry...had to document that, though.
Daisy is doing good. She had a very frustrating problem while at Jean's where she flatly refused to do a right-lead canter, no matter what direction we went in the ring and how tight we turned. I was really getting kind of discouraged. However, now that we're on the road again, I've started having her start off a canter right from a standstill after having her sidepass to the right. This sets her up for it and she does a GREAT right-lead canter! I'm hoping to do it a lot so that she'll get stronger on it and do it in a ring, too.

I'm currently in search of a new western saddle, but can't get one unless I can test it out on Daisy first...needless to say, I'm riding English and bareback. I miss western--hope I can get a new saddle soon...

I ordered Old Mac's G2's for Daisy but they didn't fit and I had to send them back for a new size...hopefully soon we'll get those "running".

That's my update...Hope you've all been well!


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