Worked with my Christmas Pony Today!

We took a few days off. The wind has been wicked and honestly, family times are important! But today, while everyone was napping, I snuck out and caught Whiskey!

We saddled up and even got the bit! Whiskey got a new saddle pad, halter, flag, and girth for Christmas! I also bought something I have never used before…. driving lines. Gasp! To be honest, the idea of working the bit, while behind a young one, is a bit daunting for me. It’s time to break out of my comfort zone!!!

After getting un-tangled and finding my coordination, we did it! We learned left, right, whoa, back and turn all the way around each direction!!!! I really had to put on my thinking cap for this. Using the flag on the off side to encourage him to move away from the flag and toward the bit pressure was simply a mind game for me. Whiskey was like “get it together woman!! What do you want?” But we did it! I was 100% excited! After a lot of this and that, I finally removed the lines and the bit. I put his halter on him (has a long lead rope) and we worked on lounging. This is something that I find easy to teach a horse. Asking them to give to their nose and move their feet in a smaller circle around me using the flag is something I have taught many of kids… I mean horses….

I don’t have many photos of it as holding my phone while asking for things with my hands and body makes it hard to sneak in a photo. Whiskey was easier to move to the right (clockwise) vs the left. Everything else, he is more willing on the left vs right. Maybe I finally got the right side softer? He learned to keep his hip and shoulder engaged while bending at the ribs. He learned that when I say whoa, he is to face then wait for me to ask him to come forward. This kid is pretty darn smart! I’m so used to baby horses that have the attention span of a gnat. Whiskey loves the attention and will keep going as long as I keep it interesting! He is also a little older than the others that I had worked with in the past. Lynx and Goose both came to me as long yearlings. Whiskey will be three in May. I’m starting to see the improvement and see the retention of our sessions!

After our lesson, I decided to put him in the other pasture. He went out with the mare, Gabe, Declan and the mini jenny Evie! Totally different dynamic in that pasture!!! I have four stalls made out of panels for feeding. I had caught the rest of the herd to feed them. Whiskey would be between Declan and the Mare… he was like “NOPE!” I tried to coax him into the stall. Both Declan and Honey would give him a stink eye and he would focus on me… take three steps in then stop. He didn’t get fed tonight. If you can’t go in your stall, you don’t get fed. I’m sure tomorrow he will be more willing!!! He does anything for food! I really can’t blame him. The mare had to put her two cents in as soon as I turned him out. Declan was being weird too. Not all out attacking but also not allowing the butt sniff situation to happen without a squelch! However, I feel that he needs to meet and learn about all the horses on the property. Nothing is more annoying than having to separate horses when tying at the trailers!!! Lynx is the worst! He will pin those ears and do everything he can to assert dominance over his trailer mate. It’s important for Whiskey to learn his place but also to learn their mannerisms!!! Anyhow, Merry Christmas!!!

Accidents Happen

Zbar Lynx To Cash

When you live you life, accidents happen. I mean, we can’t live in a bubble! The best case scenario is to be prepared and have a plan. What would you do if you were home alone and feeding horses then came across a snake? For me, my snake charming tools are always handy! If I was bit by a snake, I would grab the nearest thing I can find and make a tourniquet to tie off my body part that was bit and call someone while identifying said snake. Got my drift? Moving forward…

Do you carry you phone on your person when you go out to the barn? When you ride, do you put your phone on your person or on your saddle? What if you are unconscious and cannot make a call? I don’t think that people always think thinks through. I know I didn’t. Heck, 90% of the time, I am alone when handling my horses. Sure, I almost always have my phone. A couple of years ago, I realized that if I was knocked unconscious, being alone, no one would know. So I invested in my Apple Watch with fall assist. It’s also cellular, not just Bluetooth. It was an investment in safety. And it worked.

I tend to always wear my watch. It has gone off with the fall assist when I smack a horse for biting me… good to know! It has two alerts that will ask “are you ok?” Then a “did you fall?”. You have to answer both on the watch or it will send out an alert to my people and call 911. Let’s think about this… if you fell off your horse and say, hit a rock with your head, DO YOU WANT someone to know? For me, the answer is simply YES. I do believe Samsung and other brands of smart watches now offer the fall assist feature.

My gen 4 Apple Watch (notice my silicone wedding band)

My watch finally paid for itself this last Wednesday. I was doing my normal AM turn out with my horses but forgot to turn out the horse in one paddock before releasing Lynx from his paddock into the pasture. Normally, I open the paddock gate for the other horse to let him out then release Lynx. I normally release Lynx from the main gate. He normally walks beside me with a rope around his neck or halter and will wait for me to remove said rope/halter then go off to graze. On this random day, instead of releasing him at the gate, I walked into the pasture, removed his halter and stepped forward vs turning around and going back out of the pasture. He did wait until I was out of sight but I was actually right behind him. πŸ˜‘ My brain was on walking to the other gate and turning out the other gelding. I literally walked directly behind Lynx. πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

This all happened so quickly that there is no way I could have prevented the following events. He took off to graze giving a quick yeeyee buck landing a direct hit to my chest. I remember the hoof making contact. Then I came too about 10-15′ from where I was initially standing and was laid out. I could not breathe. Of course I was in my bedtime clothes but my phone was under my left hip that was on the ground. My watch had time to go through the questions and started the emergency process. My πŸ†˜. Thank God. While I was face down in the dirt, gasping for air, three people called me asking if I was ok. I could not respond as I had zero air in my lungs. I was spewing snot too. (Had bronchitis and the snot evidently got kicked out of me) and all I could say was HELP. I was scared, alone, and in horrible pain. My three people jumped into action. Sadly, while I was trying to answer their calls, I hung up on 911 😩. Luckily my friend Tori had called them. My watch sent out a GPS of my location. Again, my phone was under me. I managed to get a little air back and get to my knees then my feet but could not stand upright. My brain was still on letting the other horse out so I did. Then I went out the main gate and crawled to the living quarters of my horse trailer as it has a soft place to sit.

My friends showed up. They found me! Yay!!! Helped me inside and I knew I was bad off. I heard the sirens. I managed to get my friend to pack my purse with essential items like chargers, iPad etc. We did forget to dress me but it’s ok. Ambulance picked me up and took me to the trauma center in Dallas. The force of the kick had caused my heart to go out of rhythm and swelling in my chest cavity. I still don’t know how I didn’t break ANYTHING. My husband showed up and they did the full work up. I stayed for 3 nights and four days.

Now that I am home, I realize how lucky I was to only get kicked in the chest by one hoof vs two. I do have whiplash and a concussion. I have some insane bruising. I am not ok but I am not broken. Thinking back, I’m so glad I made the investment for my safety!! If my watch wasn’t on me, no one would have known. Im guessing it would have been about an hour before I was able to make calls. Think about that. How quickly does it take for a human to bleed out? What if my heart was in so much distress that I had an actual heart attack? What if I had punctured a lung? I am so blessed to have gotten care so quickly!!!!

Zbar Lynx To Cash doing his happy kick

I hope that this will make everyone stop and think. What safety procedures do you have in place? How often are you alone with your horses? Do you realize that this was a split second fiasco? Are you ready for something like this to happen? What is your plan?

I’m going back to sleep now but I sure hope my post helps someone!