Monday, April 13, 2015


I found out early Thursday morning that my trainer and friend had suffered an unthinkable tragedy: Her son was killed and her husband severely injured in a horrible tractor accident.  I've known Roman since he was born; Panama was the first horse he ever sat on (as an infant, with Leslie holding onto him and me holding Panama).  He rode both my horses at V.'s 12th birthday party a year and a half ago, and I think those might have been his first rides, too.  I can remember Leslie bringing him to my lessons when he was just a baby and putting him in a tire in the shade.  He was such a good baby, and he'd grown into such a good kid.

I was heartbroken to find out about the accident, and there have been many, many tears in the last few days.  I went through all my pictures to find some of him, and was sad to find that there are so few.  I did find this one that I took for Leslie at the Grand Prix a year or two ago:

And on her Facebook page, I snagged this one of Roman on my horses (I took the pictures).  He was so little then!  He had really grown up a lot when I saw him at Grand Prix this January.

Today she posted an update on her Facebook page: Her husband Matt will lose his lower left leg.  He's scheduled for surgery in the morning.  He has a very long recovery ahead of him -- in addition to the extent of the injuries to his leg, his lower back was badly injured as well, and will need extensive skin grafting -- and I'm guessing he won't be able to work for a long time to come. 

One of Leslie's best friends -- and my farrier -- has, with the help of her family, set up a funding campaign for her and her husband.  I wanted to share it on here to get the word out, even though I know none of you know her.  If anyone is blessed enough to be able to help, please consider it, or at the very least consider sharing the link.

Wenstrom Family Fund


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Horseback riders, wear your helmets!

It's been a busy week and I have a conference I'm going to this weekend, so I haven't been riding since Friday.  While you're waiting for my next riding tale, though, here are some thoughts on wearing helmets that have been on my mind.

A few days ago, a young acquaintance of mine -- someone I know through my trainer, who has worked with both of us over the years -- was bucked off her horse and landed on her head.  She was complaining that night of a very bad headache, so I told her to go to the doctor, as it was likely she had a concussion.

Of course, she wasn't wearing a helmet.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The ups and downs of riding again

I've been trying to get back into riding again regularly, but I keep hitting bumps and snags in my plans.  The first snag was that long run of cold weather and snow -- I had ridden nearly every day during the preceding week, but then the weather prevented me from continuing the routine.

I've been pretty good about getting out at least a couple times a week to ride since, but this week is not looking good.  I was supposed to ride last night, but after sitting at A.'s soccer practice for a very chilly, windy hour, and then getting off work late (which would have made my whole evening very late if I'd ridden), I just didn't feel up to it.
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Friday, March 6, 2015

You know your horse loves chiro when...

I took advantage of my day off yesterday by going to the barn, pulling blankets, and spending some time with my horses.  I turned both Panama and Rondo out together to start, not knowing that there was substantial ice under the snow in the arena, from when everything melted during our nice day between snowstorms earlier in the week.  The puddles in the arena froze overnight and were covered up with snow the next day, so neither I or the horses knew they were there, and Panama crashed and slid into the rail when he was running around.  I was scared he was hurt or cast, but he's a smart boy, and pulled his leg out of the fence before getting up.

I watched him carefully after that, and he was a bit stiff when he first got up, but quickly went back to running around with Rondo.  (They were careful to avoid the ice after that though.)  Since he seemed to be okay, I went back to my original plan of riding him.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cabin fever frenzy and the Great Warm-Up of March 2015.

Last night Jess's owner, R., and I rode together, as we usually do now on Tuesday evenings.

Well, sort of.  She didn't actually ride.  The horses were all a little bit up, and she lunged and lunged while looking for an opportunity to get on.  It never came, and she left without having ridden.

Riding with someone more scared than I am makes me feel like a pro.

That might not be the nicest thing to say, but I do like feeling proud of myself for having ridden when someone else is letting their fear keep them from it.  To be fair, though, last night was rough.  Each and every horse in the indoor arena during the time I was in there acted bananas at some point or another.  They've all got some serious cabin fever, after two weeks of snow and cold and snow and cold.  And I do understand where she's coming from, because once upon a time, I was scared too (although maybe not ever that scared).
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Cold. Snow. Repeat.

It definitely doesn't look like I'll be going out to the barn anytime soon.  Not only is it very cold (teens yesterday, very low 20s today and through the weekend), but the snow is also working to keep me grounded, as my car doesn't do so well in the snow.  Wednesday night a small snowstorm dropped about four inches of very wet, heavy snow on us, and then it got very cold, making the roads very nasty in the evening.  They must not have been much better the following morning, as I woke up to find that most of the schools in the metro area were closed.  It started snowing again around mid-day, and although it was a light snow, continued snowing throughout the evening and (I think) overnight.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sneaking a ride in and thoughts on confident riding

Between the weather and how busy I was last week, I haven't ridden much, compared with a couple of weeks ago when a few days off coincided with a February heat wave, allowing me to ride five times in a week.

Last night, though, I did ride.  I've set up a standing "riding date" on Tuesday nights with a fellow boarder.  I wasn't able to keep our date last week, because of how much I was working, but we rode last night.  It'll be our only good day this week, as we have some snow moving in this afternoon and staying for the rest of the week and weekend, so I'm glad I got some riding in.
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