Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weight Loss Wednesday: Accountability

I have been slacking in the weight loss area. First it got hot and was hard to exercise, and then I was always out at the barn and working with Corrie, and of course work picked up and I was doing a lot there. So ya know, things fall by the way side.

Unfortunately in this area of my life "things" are always popping up. I think I posted once before about Jillian Micheal book, in it she talks about three people you need to make changes in your life. One of which is an accountability partner. Just someone you are responsible to talk to to make sure that you are on track. I have not had anyone like that in my life for weight loss. So I found someone. So things should start getting back on track. It is really helpful to have that push from someone else. Knowing that I actually do have to tell another person if I screw up also helps.

I do have an accountability partner on the horse front, Sensei. On that note, I got a little lecture from Sensei when he came out for my lesson because I have not been working Corrie at home. Ya know I did do ground work for a few days and I rode her once. She has not even been here a week, but I was at the barn faithfully every day working her. Now I am slacking because she is here. I need to clean the barn and fix the fence and the ever popular, well I'll do work with her later. So I am going to be making more of an effort to work with Corrie too. If not I'll disappoint Sensei and he give me that disappointed father look. I really hate that look.

So if you are struggling to make a change in your life, my advice is to find that accountability partner. It can be a friend, trainer, partner, someone who is struggling with the same issues or not. Just find someone that you have to report to if you start to slack. Someone you can trust, someone that can give you that look or added guilt for not meeting your goals. It helps, it really does.

Pictures of the harness tomorrow, I was running late . . . more disappoint Sensei looks. So I didn't get them today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mind Been Else Where . . .

Well Corrie is settling in really nice.

I did take her for a ride the other day, just around a paddock and she was really good. She seemed to be short striding a bit but I am not sure if that was in my imagination, the terrain, or if she really was. She has not been on bute for the last few days as she seems to be doing really really well. I hate to bute just to do it.

I have been doing my ground work with her and with the other ponies here and there. Yesterday was the first day that I didn't really do anything with her. I am going to try really hard to not make that a habit. It was so easy when she was at Sensei's because I had to make an effort to go out and see her so I always made sure I did something. Now that she is home it is easy to do the slacking thing. Yesterday I was just emotionally tired.

Tomorrow Sensei will be coming out for a lesson and we are going to drive. Yippy! I will have to get pictures of the whole set up; Corrie in her harness and with the wagon. Sensei, as part of the trade, gave me a harness that he had laying around. Trust me it has just been laying around and it took me about 6 hours to clean the whole thing up. It was a mess. Well it turns out that it is a very nice looking harness and is all brass.

Now for those of you who drive you know how nice all the brass looks, and why so many people don't go the brass route. Brass is a pain to take care of. It needs to be shined. I use Brasso. It smells like ammonia and has to be highly toxic, but if you have brass it is what you need. So I love my harness, but it is going to be a pain to take care of.

Anyway, I'll have pictures and an update on the lesson tomorrow.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Corrie out with the herd


Corrie was really cute today. I thought she would be totally trying to be alpha mare. Instead she is acting like the new kid at school. If I got out to the pasture she is right there with me. Otherwise she looks a little lost. I think she wants to make friends, especially with Ike and Rocky ( she is in heat). It will be interesting to see how she fits into the herd.

I want Corrie to become comfortable with the pasture areas as that is where I will ride and drive her at first. I already did some ground work out there with her and she was fairly focused. She looked around, but mainly stayed with her attention on me.

Then she went out with Ike, Sophie, and Madison.

But she has to wear a grazing muzzle and the flies are awful so she wears a fly mask too. Looks like she is into bondage or something doesn't it?

She had a good roll.

And looks at how much weight she has lost! Looks pretty good huh?!

Pretty good second day I'd say.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Too Excited . . . Corrie is home

"To many, the words love, hope, and dreams are synonymous with horses."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I got up at 4 am this morning. I just could not sleep. You would think this was my first horse and I was getting her new today! I am just so excited to have Corrie home.

Corrie is truly a special little horse. I felt an instant bond to her the first time I drove her. It is amazing just how you can click or not with a horse. Kinsey never felt like my horse. From the moment I wrote out the check for her I felt like I bought her for someone else, and maybe I did. But even before I wrote a check I knew Corrie was my horse. Never during the time that I was trying her out did I feel she belonged to anyone but me.

Now she is on my property. She is getting along with the minis. Well minus Rocky, stallion ya know. I keep him separate, but they see each other over the fence. She is not as found of Sophie, but Corrie used to be kept with young jack colts to teach them some manners. Apparently she was enthusiastic about her job, too enthusiastic. So she does not like donkeys, but I am hoping that she will warm up Sophie. Madison is still alpha mare so far. Kind of funny that little Madison tells big ol' Corrie to get out of the way.

Sensei gave me a mini ground lesson before he left. Corrie was very up, more up than I think I have ever seen her actually. Her feet definately were not hurting her at all. At one point she leapt and pulled away from me. I was a bit shocked, she has never done anything like that before. The girl has some spirit after all.

Now she is just chilling out. I wanted to do more with her today, but as soon as I got home from work the the thunder started. Damn it! Tomorrow a bath!

Picture to come soon.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Corrie is coming home!

During the past few weeks I have been mentally preparing for Corrie to come home. I have also been trying a few more things at the barn. I wanted to iron out few more things before I could not just call out and have Sensei come running to help.

*I rode her in the pasture by herself, while everyone else went back in after group riding activity. I passed with flying colors, she sucked.

*Took her for a quick drive down the road which ended with Sensei trying to grab the reins for the first time ever. So we had to work through that and I am not planning on driving outside my pasture until we are totally comfortable with that.

*I took her for another drive a few days later and both of us did much better. Still going to wait to drive her outside the pasture here.

Those last few test, particularly keeping her in the pasture as the rest of the people I was with went in really gave me a lot of confidence. Corrie really wanted to spin and take off for the barn. Although she never got above a trot the intent to run off was there. I handled it and was not afraid. Woo Hoo for me!

Last thing we need to do before she comes come is get her feet taken care of. Corrie doesn't have her shoes on yet, well actually now she might. She is getting them on tonight. Tomorrow Sensei is going to watch her and see how she is. Just to make sure that she is adjusting to her shoes fine. He also happens to be her farrier. Then Friday morning she is coming home! Yippy!!!

Good bye round pen, indoor arena, and on site trainer/ farrier. Hello trails, instant access, and riding and driving as much as I want. I think it is a good trade off this time of the year. When the snow flies she will go back to Sensei's. In winter "indoor area" kicks "instant access" butt. Besides the trail by my house is tended by a snowmobile club and it is closed to everyone else when the trail is covered in snow. Right now, she will be here so I can enjoy her as much as I want.

Counting the hours.

How to tie a rope halter.

I thought I knew how to tie a rope halter until I tied it in front Sensei.
I thought I would share what I learned.

There is a right and a wrong why to tie a rope halter. The wrong way and the halter will loosen as we work, right way it doesn't. I know that I often had to tighten my rope halter when I was doing ground work, this way I don't.

Bring the end though the loop and bring it up tightly.
This is actually a little lose on Corrie, but taking pictures while tying is difficult. This next picture shows the the right way to tie. We are going to tie our knot ON the loop. See how I have brought the part I am going to tie below the where the end comes through the loop

Here I have just made the knot tight. I hope that this is easy to see. I guess I should have done one wrong so you could see that too. The key is that the knot is on the loop, below where the tie come through the loop. That is what holds the loop tight.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Insulin Resistance and Horses

Corrie has been doing a better job on her weight loss program than I have. Maybe I need to have someone lock me in a dry lot and control how much food I got. Okay maybe not but it is sure working for her. Like in humans there are several reason why it is important to keep horses fit and trim. Health issues pop up more readily in unfit animals. Insulin resistance, or Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), is a one of them and is comparable to type II diabetes in humans.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the of Islets of Langerhans. I just wanted to type Islets of Langerhans. Makes me think of a series of little islands near the pancreas, but I digress. Simply put, the purpose of insulin is to help break down carbohydrates (sugar and starches), fats and proteins and get it out of the blood system. When the horse has eaten a lot of carbohydrates the body need to produce more insulin. On the other hand when working the body produces less.

The problem happens when the horse's cells become less sensitive to the effects of insulin. The pancreas in turn produces more insulin than is needed. The body just doesn't seem to know how many carbohydrates are in the body. So what, right? Well that in turn leads to bad things like reduced body weight due to losing muscle mass, fatty deposits over the tail head, behind the shoulder or over the loins, cresty neck, and the worst of all, chronic laminitis. It is that last one that often pushes people to see their vet's help. My worry over Corrie's recent lameness issues is what prompted me to think twice about this condition.

When I talked to my vet about having Corrie tested, he assured me that they could do that, but he was not positive that it was necessary. Plus every thing I have found says that is not the most reliable test. Horse should be tested more than once due to normal fluctuations. After we found that she did not have laminitis it seems that she probably is not insulin resistant. He suggested that I just feed Corrie as if she were insulin resistant since she already as so many precursors already. She

Feeding a EMS horse is not really all that tricky, especially with all the information out there now. Most important in feeding a EMS horse is to keep sugars and starches to a minimum. This means no lush pasture. No sugary treats like apples or carrots. Feeding grassy hay and having it tested for sugars. Soaking the have for 30 -60 minutes is also an option to get rid of extra sugars in the hay. Adding supplements can help too. There are supplements out there now jut for the EMS horse. Often they contain such things as cinnamon, fenugreek, and magnesium.
These are the most basic of guidelines.

In almost every article I read about EMS horses, exercises was always listed too. Exercise helps reduce the amount of insulin in the body, as well as helps keep the horse at a good weight. Riding, driving, lunging, ponying, even hand walking help the EMS horse, as long as she is not laminitic. For the Laminitic horse, one should consult with their vet for an exercise program that won't aggravate their conditions.

This as been a very very basic overview of EMS. I have over simplified some parts just to get the basic gist down. Also, I have not brought up Cushings, but it is closely related to EMS. My intent was just to give basic overview. I listed some more articles below that you can visit for more information.

Balanced Equine Nutrition
Need to sign in to The Horse:
No Sugarcoating: Diagnosing and Managing the Insulin-Resistant Horse
GetSmart Series: Managing Insulin Resistance

Obesity and Cushing's Disease

Monday, August 16, 2010

Corrie has heart but no soul . .

. . Er sole.

For the past two week we have been battling lameness issues that come and go. Bute for a few days and we're good to go, only to be lame a day later. I have been able to ride her lightly, bare back or walking around the field. We even managed to go for a short drive. Then she started getting really bad.

The thing was that there was no heat, no obvious cause, no wound, and she didn't exhibit any classic symptoms of anything. She seemed to be lame in the right front and then in the left front. Her hooves were cool with no pulse. Joints were cool to the touch and it always just seemed to be a hoof problem. She stood stretched out, not like an abscess was coming with her weight shifted back. But not like a typical laminitic stance either.

So she was really bad this morning and I finally had it. I called out the vet. After watching her go he was as puzzled as I was. She was not reacting very much to the hoof tester, although he did note that her feet were really flat. She is trimmed well but just the structure of her hoof is very flat soled. We numbed her right heel to see if she would move off sound. Nope, then she just because lame in the left. We both really could not believe it was laminitsis, but being a fat Haffie mare, it was still a chance. So it was time to pull out the old x ray machine.

Well not old. I can not believe how technology has changed how our horses are diagnosed. With a few machines, a lap top, and wires going every where we had images of Corrie's hooves right away.

Should I leave this as a cliff hanger?

Naw, I won't. Corrie's coffin bone looks like it is right where it should be, maybe a little rotation, but he would not even concider her laminitic. What he did note is that she has very little sole. She should have 1 cm of sole under her coffin bone. On the left front she has .8 cm and on the other she has .4! No wonder the poor dear is so tenderfooted!

I was so relieved though. The fix is shoes with pad. Now I prefere barefoot horses, as does my vet, but really of all the things that could have been wrong and the expense of the treatments, I will take 6 mos of shoes with pads. So once I get that done she should be as right as rain again.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Win a book from Linda Benson's blog.

I love my books! I have way to many of them, but when a contest to win a book come up I am right on it. Linda Benson has such contest at her blog right now. You win TWO books! So check it out!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finding a Tutor

I love art. I dabble in drawing myself. I love to look at fine works of art of horses and dogs. If you notice my blog roll I have one blog I follow called “Epona Studios.” Deborah O’Sullivan has done some very lovely works of horses in general and dessage horses in particular. Just beautiful.

Today she had a guest blogger who talked about finding an art tutor. So much of it rings true for finding a teacher/ trainer/ tutor/ mentor of anything I wanted to share a link to that blog. I make no secret that finding my trainer has been key to me getting over so many issues. I also know that my attitude has played a key role in my willingness to get over myself at times. Corrie, of course, has been a great steady partner to me too.

Some of points I really appreciated that Charles Sluga brought up in looking for a trainer are the ones that really push the student to be her own person and find her own style. Also the points that show that the trainer is her own person and does not just follow the steps of another. There has to mutual respect between a tutor and a student. and no egos. All very good points.

On the flip side, I think we often put a lot on our trainers and forget that we too have a role to play. The first thing Charles Sluga points out is that the student needs to work hard. I know I can be a slacker sometimes, waiting to be pushed. Yet I do go out and work with my horse everyday. I think a lot of trainers would be surprised to see “ask questions.” So many trainers I know are really intimidated if their students start asking too many questions, yet we really need to.

When I got to the point that the student should not “be only interested in the final result.” I had to chuckle. How many students have their eyes on a prize that is way off in the future when they should be happy with the small victories that they made today. It’s okay, you can raise you hand, mine is already up.

Go take a look, it is a really well written insightful post.

Monday, August 9, 2010

“Grab life by the reins.” ~Anonymous

. . . and some times a bit of mane too.

I will get back to IR in a bit right now I just have so share something.

I did something I never thought I would do again. I rode bareback in a halter.


I went out to the barn today and Corrie seems a bit sluggish today, I thought about not riding but Sensei said I really should do something because she needs the exercise. I hemmed and hawed until he suggested I ride bareback with a halter. Then I slammed on the brakes and came up with a dozen excuses. I think I got played in the next few moments, because all of a sudden I am walking to the arena with only a halter and lead. . . oh and in the halter was Corrie, of course.

After crawling up the pipe fence, I slid on and was holding on to the mane as tight as I could. Corrie just walked around. I had only the lead, I didn’t have it tied up like a set of reins, so steering was a bit of a challenge. I would flip the lead over her head, but I was a bit terrified of doing this so she just kind of did more of what she wanted than what I wanted. As I got more comfortable I actually started holding her mane less and less. Sensei would look over the arena gate from time to time; mostly to tell me to breath. I keep forgetting to do that.

I NEVER thought I would be able to feel a horse like that again. Just feel the muscles moving. Feel the rolling and the movement of her back. Feel the heat and even the sweat. I remembered all these feels again. I was so happy! There is something so special about the feeling of riding without a saddle.

Sensei came back in and warned me that he was going to be running some horses up to the barn and so I hopped off while he did that. Before I hopped back on, I tied the lead like a rein. When I went to get back on, I had to crawl up a panel fence again. Corrie normally is really good about this but she swung her butt out and started to back, I yelled at her to stop. Sensei peeked over the arena gate door when he heard me.

“You’re pulling on her.”

I was thinking: “She started it!” Instead of saying that, I tried to figure out something else, but I am on top of the fence and trying to not let go. I am trying to figure out how to not pull, not let go of the lead, and not fall off the fence. That was a lot of figuring for a few moments time!

“You’re still pulling on her.”

I made a few adjustments. I stopped pulling, she stopped pulling. Amazing! Yes, I knew that would happen.

“Now what are you going to do?”

I am still on the fence, one hand on the lead. Corrie is no where near me. “Are you going to tell me or do I have to figure it out?”

“I would prefer you figure it out.”

Like I didn’t know that answer was coming. Sensei never stops teaching: be it a student or a horse. I mean it, from the time he slips a halter on the horse he is training all the way up to the barn. Likewise, if he thinks I should be leading, haltering, standing next to my horse in a different manner, I hear about it. And I better have a good reason for what I am doing. Sensei told me in my last lesson, “I don’t care if you do it right or wrong as long as you can confidently tell me why your doing what you are doing.” So as Corrie was standing several feet from me with her butt swung out away from me, I sat there a moment trying to figure out what Sensei would do.

I could have solved this problem easily, but I am trying to learn how to not only solve the problem at hand but train the horse as to what is expected in the future. We sorted things out and I slipped on again with a few instructions about what I did right and wrong. I really like that. Feedback is so important to learning.

Sensei brought out a haffie he has in for training after I assured him I would be fine. I learn so much from just watching him, and I was still just walking around anyway. I am amazed at not only how well he works with the horse, but at the same time he is working with me. I asked him at one point, as he was working the gelding closer to me that I would have preferred, if what he was doing was for the gelding’s benefit or mine.

“Both, and breath.” Typical.

By now I have let go of the mane almost completely. I am able to steer pretty well. I walked around for about an hour. My inner thighs are starting to sting too. What a great feeling! I really didn’t want to get off but I had something to do that I couldn’t blow off, trust me, I really wanted to.

I can not believe I rode bareback today. I honestly can not believe it even now. Well, then I get and walk across the room and my muscles remind me. What a day! What a great ride! Some days are just like that!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Labor of Love

“But a horse is a labor of love as well as a responsibility, an aesthetic as well as a dynamic pleasure, something to contemplate as well as ride.”
~Sarah Montague

As I lay in bed in the morning and I try to get a few more moments of rest a cacophony of barnyard noises erupt just outside my window. Bleating of goats, quacking of ducks, crowing of rooster, and the unignorable bray of a donkey. All urging me to get up and start the day.

When most people are nursing a hot cup of coffee and fixing some breakfast, I am outside filling troughs, opening gates, hauling hay, and doling out feed to chickens. Horses and goats need hay, and as I haul it, I have two chickens and a duck following me looking for some feed. Holding back is a hen with her five little chicks, all just trying to stay out of the way. The back drop of this morning song is the goats wanting their fair share too. Soon I will have Corrie here which will complicate things even more.

Thanks for all the tips and suggestions everyone. I know that dealing with an Insulin Resistant horse can be difficult and until I get a vet out here I am just going to assume that she is IR. She has been getting a mere handful of grain with her supplements, but I am going to switch to a soaked hay cube mixture. Her vitamins are pelleted, but the joint supplement is a powder, which is actually why I went with sweet feed in the first place, so it would stick. At the time I was not even thinking IR, just fat. I know that I will be trying different things with Corrie and will have to add even more labor to my schedule, but in the end it is all worth it.

At the end of the day, I listen to a whinny from Rocky as I throw hay over the fence. Daphne, my duck, quacking and following me around. Zoe will be bounding around the yard after her yellow ball. Goats excited to see me no matter what time a day, and horses of all sizes running around the pasture. I would not trade places with anyone in a beautiful high rise apartment in down town Chicago what have their horses boarded at a posh facility, because at the end of the day when I have had a beautiful drive behind my beloved Corrie, eaten fresh eggs from my own chickens, and finally washed up with soap make from my own goat’s milk, I know that it it really is a labor of love.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fat is the best color

“You sometimes hear the old saying, ‘Fat is the best color.’ This means, of course, that fat covers a multitude of conformation faults and therefore looks good~ especially to the less discerning horseman.”
~Eleanor F. Prince and Gaydell M. Collier

I have never heard of this saying before (again it come from my new book: The Gigantic Book of Horse Wisdom) but it sure fits my fat little pony. Not that I agree with it. I hate a fat horse, I really do. On the Henneke Body Score I would like to see horses between a 4 and 5. Some like to see horses up to 6 and really that is probably the best for Corrie, but is a bit fat for my tastes.

When I say Corrie is fat, I mean fat. She is at least a 8 if not a 9 on the the Henneke Body Score. She does not even hold it well, she looks to have swallowed a box; typical of a brood mare. Corrie is an air fern, as some would call her. The worst I have ever seen actually.

I am a bit worried about her. She is on a grass pasture, well eaten down pasture. I also give her 1 cup of sweet feed with vitamin and joint supplements. That is not enough to make her fat. Plus she gets worked everyday. Not hard, but at least 30 to 60 minutes of walking and trotting. That has made no difference in her weight. None of the other horses are as fat as Corrie, even though she is the only one worked every day. We pulled her off of the pasture and put her on dry lot. When she comes here she will be on dry lot and a few hours of pasture with a muzzle.

While looking into this problem I have been doing a lot of reading about thyroid dysfunction. If you subscribe to The Horse (which is free) you can get this article on thyroid dysfunction. Summed up it says that it is really difficult to diagnosis a thyroid problem in horses and that it is really rare anway. It goes on to say that there are a lot of reasons that a horse could be having symptons that look like a thyroid dysfunction and that treating a horse for a thyroid problem when it does not have one could have the opposite effect we are looking for. Great.

This is another great article on feeding the fat horse. Again subscribe to The Horse. This article goes on about fat mares in particlar. It puts everything in persepective. Ponies were designed by nature to untilize feed very effectively. One thing that this article mentions is that just limiting the feed can often back fire. Horses need to graze, they are built to eat, but ponies need to eat really low quality feed. They even suggest feeding some straw. Never even thought of straw as a feed but now that I have Corrie I might add a little to her diet. I also want to get a few small mesh hay nets.

So many horse are overweight, I really take Corries weight seriously. Hopefully we can get this under control soon.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Black Horse Chapter Closed

“We all want everything to be wonderful. Every woman wants to sit upon a horse dressed in bells and go riding off through the boundless green and sensual forest.
~Clarissa Estes

Abby is gone. This makes me sad.

The quote at the top of the post, which I found in a big huge book of horse quotes I just bought, seems to really fit the situations with Abby. I had been told by almost everyone how beautiful she was. She was gorgeous! I even had perfect strangers tell me that women buy horses like Abby for romantic reasons. This might very well be true. The few ride I had on Abby made me think of brave knights riding off to fight dragons.

Although I did develop a good relationship with Abby, there was always a little romance dancing in the back of my mind. Big beautiful black mare with a flowing mane and a high stepping gait. I could watch and marvel at her for hours.

Abby is now with a nice family that Sensei knows. She is going to have a job and be used for what she was bred to do, drive. The wife, of course, just thinks she is beautiful and fell in love with her. She is still in the area too. Although Sensei is knows where she is, I don’t.

It is all for the best. That chapter has closed. A new exciting one is starting. Corrie will be coming home soon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A partner

Everyone’s perfect mount is different. Some really love the challenge of a hot horse. Others like a needy horse to nurture. Still others like a calm and submissive partner. There are really countless personalities that fit everyone’s needs. There are so many horses out there, but it is so difficult to choose that perfect horse for ourselves, or indeed, to know what that perfect mount for us is.

In the past few days I have been lamenting the loss of Abby. Sensei is sending her to a friend of his for awhile. I have finally started really realizing that she is not mine anymore. Although Sensei has offered her back to me on numerous occasions, he won’t even entertain the idea of me riding her, at least not on his property. Says he has no desire to see a wreck. While he can not stop me from riding her on my property, I know can read between the lines. I know in my head it would be a bad thing.

Yet when I have been comparing Abby to Corrie, I really like Abby’s spirit. I like that she is a little more hot. I like her movement and style. She is very bonded to me, follows me around like a dog. Yet she is a lot of horse. I mean an OTTB can be a lot of horse, but they are half the size of Abby. Now Abby is not red hot, but she is very opinionated.

There are two basic kinds of draft horses. Your typical mellow “farm bred” horses. These are the draft horses that people like to ride. These are the horses you see working the fields of Amish country. They are very laid back and what many people think of when they think of a draft temperament. Then there are the “hitch bred” horses. Hitch horses are hotter. Ever go to the fair and watch the big fancy 6 horse hitches? Those are the high-stepping fancy draft horses. They are anything but mellow. Abby is “hitch bred” I believe. She has longer legs and more of an “up” attitude. Well half hitch bred, but she really got that temperament.

I have found myself in the past few days, turning away from Corrie and wanting to hold on to Abby with everything I have. She is a big, beautiful, and powerful. Corrie is, well Corrie. Short and dumpy old brood mare. Corrie is not flashy. Corrie is safe.

See how boring that even sounds? She is safe, if I lose my balance she slows. If I drop my stirrups she stops. If I feel nervous she takes over and does what she thinks is best, often involves stopping. Corrie is not always easy to ride, I will admit that. She gets ideas in her head and that is what is going to happen. I really need to step up to the bat and make her get on the ball, but still she is safe.

When I nag Corrie she put up with it, but Abby, well Abby will trot off in her own direction. I keep being told that if I ride Abby and let her do what she wants, everything will be fine, but if I choose to make her do what I want- I’ll have a fight. I know that is true.

Guess what I really need. Safe. I would love to ride my hot sensitive Abby, but what I need is calm, sensible, safe Corrie. In a year? Maybe I could ride Abby. Yet, in a year I could become an even better rider and driver and really pull out Corrie’s potential. The trade off is difficult sometimes to consider.

My choice is to have Corrie. It is my choice. I could have Abby, but the cost to me is too high. Others, they choose that difficult horse. They choose to fight their fear by conquering a more difficult horse. Who is right? Nobody. It is all a choice. We all have to deal with what our horses dish out. We all have to deal with the limitations of our horses. What we each, as individuals choose to deal with is so personal. As long as our horse is meeting our needs and we are meeting theirs, then it is all good.

I love my safe, dependable, stubborn Corrie. I miss Abby.