Do Over

I think often about what I would have done different with Finn. I try to have no regrets, and I absolutely, 100% know that I made the right decision in giving him up and getting Avalon, but still, the last 6 or so months with him were just so strange and difficult.

Since moving to my new barn I thank my lucky stars every day how great my horse has it now. She has a spotless dry stall every day, clean water, hay all day, the best food, the best barn manager, and the safest property I've ever been at. It is honestly horse heaven. I often think about what would have happened to Finn if I had never moved him last summer, and if I had never moved him back to the barn we were at in New Hampshire. Would everything that had happened, have happened? Probably not. He would have still had all the underlying issues that would have limited him, I'm sure, but maybe not to the same extreme. While we were at our last barn he was in a paddock of 6 geldings, mostly Thoroughbreds. One day one of them reared up and managed to come down on Finn's back. In trying to get the other horse off of his back Finn half-reared and knocked the other horse over completely backwards. I did not witness this, but did hear about it from the barn manager. At the time Finn was having back issues but not to the extreme as he was after this.

There were so many times that I would go up to the barn and all the horses were practically attacking each other in the paddocks. There wasn't a week that went by that a horse didn't come in from turnout with an injury that either required stall rest or stitches. All the horses were constantly on edge, rearing while being brought in from turnout, kicking and whinnying in their stalls, pawing in the aisles. It was NEVER just one horse, it was ALL of them. There was nothing about the barn that seemed like it was stressful, or dangerous, but still, the injuries and behaviors spoke for themselves.

My current barn has I think, 15 or so horses, and in the few months I haven't seen the vet for an emergency once, or a horse exhibit ANY bad or aggressive behavior. There is no whinnying, or running. There's a bunch of calm horses that happily go about their day. I'm not sure what the difference is, and I alway wonder if Finn would have been better here, and wish that I would have found this barn last year.

But, I wouldn't trade what I have now, and the bond I have, with my little one for anything. She is such a love, so easy going, and loves to do stuff. I measured her today and she's surprisingly 14hh, and she will be 2 in September. I hope she puts on some more height!

Today she also got her first bath and I couldn't have asked for it to go any better. She stood tied, danced a bit, but really started enjoying it at the end. She has the coolest personality. She loves to watch me do everything. She even let me hose her face!



Today Avalon had her first experience with the equine dentist! While I couldn't be there due to work, hubby was able to go and keep me posted. When Avalon got her Spring shots a couple of months ago I had asked my former vet when she recommended Avalon to start getting her teeth looked at. She told me when we started training, so 3ish. When my barn manager told me last week that the dentist would be up today and if she wanted Avalon looked at I thought it was probably a good idea for him to at least look in her mouth.

I'm sure glad I did!

While I think most vets are great at what they do, when it comes to my horse's mouth I always trust an equine dentist after a bad experience with a vet floating Finn's teeth a couple of years ago.

I've noticed that when Avalon is chewing that she sort of moves her tongue to the side like she's pushing the food back, but I didn't make a big deal of it and just passed it off as how she eats, because I'm trying not to be obsessive and neurotic about things when it comes to her!

Well, once the dentist was inside her mouth she had tons of points that were actually wearing on the inside of her mouth and clearly very uncomfortable. The dentist told hubby that it is a misconception that younger horses shouldn't get looked at/worked on, as that is the most important time to check out their mouths. He also took out her wolf teeth so we wouldn't have to do it a few years down the road. She was super well behaved too, and the dentist did everything possible to make it a positive experience for her. I'm sure her mouth feels a whole lot better now!

Wolf teeth!


June Goals and May Goals Review

Oh boy where did the month go!? I'm finding that not having a horse that is lame all the time is leaving a lot more time and money to do other things than worry and stress. It's so nice spending time with the family now that the warmer days are here!

Avalon continues to be amazing. I really didn't do much with her this month, but we still accomplished a lot. She is turned out so much more at the new barn (most days 7am-7pm), and all that turnout is making for a tired, happy pony! She's also put on lots of weight and is so shiny. 

Here's our May review:
1. Walks! I want to take Avalon on lots of walks- trails, road, indoor, outdoor, around the property. Done. We've been walking all over, through puddles, up hills, outdoor, indoor, around the property, down the road. She hasn't said no to anywhere I've asked her to go.

2. Work more on tying. Meh. She really is not great at standing tied, especially in her stall. We've been working on giving to pressure. Although we didn't do great with standing tied see below for our biggest accomplishment to date!

3. Give her a bath. Nope! The weather this past month has been horrible. Rain, rain, and more rain. Bath this month for sure. 

4. Expose her more to clippers and spray. Clippers she's doing pretty good with, and spray she is doing awesome with!! I'm now able to spray her whole body, mane, and tail, without her really moving at all. 

5. Expose her to tarps and other scary objects. The tarp doesn't faze her, and everything else that she's been exposed to on property (including kiddie pool), she's good with. 

6. Take a field trip. Unfortunately barn mates didn't go anywhere this past month. Hopefully something we will accomplish by the end of the summer, or I need a trailer!

7. Expose her to long lines.  We didn't start this either, but it will definitely be something we're going to start this week. 

Now for some big news!

While Avalon is not great at standing tied and tends to dance around....we kind of skipped that and moved right on to cross ties!! She is now very successfully cross tied. She will stand for 40+ minutes, I can brush her, pick all of her feet, walk behind her, spray her, and use clippers for a short amount of time. She barely moves and is excellent about standing and giving to pressure on cross ties. I'm pretty amazed at how easy it was to get her cross tied, as she never was before. Today I even threw a pillow wrap over her back as a makeshift saddle pad. 

She is also so butt high and awkward right now. I think she'll be putting on some height this summer.

Here are our June Goals:

1. Give her a bath.
2. Work with long line attached to her halter and possibly with a surcingle too. 
3. Work more with clippers and give her a bridle path. 
4. Work more in the outdoor ring.
5. Take her for a walk on the trails.