Sunday, March 3, 2013

My new year starts in March

Hey, yall. I feel like I haven't had anything to say, so I haven't said anything lately. But the long dreary winter of my discontent is finally fading away and life's about to be fun again.

Dixie and I have been climbing hills. (My new iPhone is awesome at most things but dear god it really sucks at taking motion shots.)

We go up a hill, then I hop off and we run down together, then I clamber back on and ride back up. Repeat, over and over again. Doing all those hills - combined with the awesome barn guys actually feeding my horse - has improved her conditioning somewhat.

October of last year:

Early February - filling out, but still very fuzzy:
Feb 8 '13

Early March:
March 1 '13
March 1 '13

With endurance, as with all things horse, it's just one damn thing after another. Dixie and I have worked hard to do all those hills, and it's obviously paid off - except that now her saddle doesn't fit so great anymore. She's filled out a lot and it's not quite wide/flared enough in the shoulders anymore. Our first ride is in less than two weeks, so there's no changing saddles now, even if finances allowed.

The AERC convention is next weekend, so I'll be doing a lot of window shopping there. I am leaning toward a Specialized, just so I can shim it to fit her properly - I just need to figure out what size/type *I* like. They're not terribly hard to find used, and they hold value well enough that I wouldn't really mind buying one new if I had to.

In other shameful news, I finally picked up a rasp. I hadn't trimmed Dixie since last year. Awful, I know, but she wasn't growing a ton of wall and we were doing all our miles barefoot. But I finally decided to cram her feet in her boots, and I had to whack off some toe and heel to make it happen. The boots still fit! I think I will order a Fit Kit before I buy new boots, just to test out 0's and 1's too, but I think she's still a 0.5 all around.

One more conditioning ride tomorrow and I'm done. I don't know if Dixie's ready for a 50, but I'm out of time so it'll have to do. There's rain coming in on Tuesday, then I leave for Reno on Thursday. We'll just do some light work next week, then I'll pack the trailer and haul back for Rides of March on the 16th!

Hoof pics, if you care to see them. Reminder: her heels are always contracted, no matter what, from the shoes and stacks when she was a yearling. When I say her frogs and heels look good for Dixie, I know they look awful in comparison to normal horses, but it is what it is with her. :)

No, I didn't take any after I trimmed. I just took her heels down level with her frogs and knocked her toes way back to the white line and called it good enough for now.


  1. I've already told you Dixie looks fabulous but I will say it again. And you need to post some pictures of that barn, it looks so pretty!

  2. Good to see you and Dixie are still alive and well, and getting ready for another awesome spring/summer/fall.

    1. She is looking good! Have fun at convention and saddle shopping (I love my trailmaster- Cartman has completely changed shape in the last two years and I've never had any saddle issues thanks to the shimming system.)

  3. Yea, funder Emerges!!! That Discount Tent Was Funny.

    Dixie It's Looking SOO Much Better...Happy Ears Too!
    I Like Your Workout Hill...I May Have To Give That A Go.

    You Still Use Renegades?

  4. She looks awesome. Can't wait to see you at Reno...wish Dixie could come along!

  5. Nice to see you back in Blogger world! Dixie is looking gooooood!

  6. That's the funny thing about hooves - the harder they work the less you need to do to them to maintain them.

  7. Good to hear some horse updates from you!! Good news that you guys have been in training and she is filling out...

    I have a Specialized trailmaster as well - love it, but hardly ever use it. I have the western fenders as I prefer that over the english. They are fairly reasonably priced considering they are semi-custom...

    Have fun at the ride and the conference!

  8. Big smiles to hear from you and see Dixie's shining face! We missed you both. She looks super!

  9. Hope you and Dixie have a great ride season. Yay--its spring!

  10. Wow! You're back! Dixie looks much better with a few pounds on her. There is NO substitute for hill work; no amount of flat work at any speed can equal what a few hills can do, especially for those important butt muscles - and the slower the better; develops great control. Good luck with the March ride; it's on my birthday.
    Bionic Cowgirl

  11. Glad to "see" you back, Dixie is looking great! Nice that you can do all those trails barefoot, those feet don't look half bad for all the "neglect" you've given them. Looks like you are ready to roll this season, I hope the weather cooperates for Rides of March! Wave as you go through Auburn, I'm too wimpy to try that ride so early in the season.

  12. So nice to hear from you! Dixie looks mah-valous - what an improvement over a year ago's pic. The barn looks really nice.

  13. I will just echo what has already been stated here multiple times. Obviously you are missed.. Dixie is looking good and glad to hear you are still riding and competing. Best of luck. Don't disappear for so long again!:)

  14. Oh as for the saddle. I love my Specialized. Once I figured out how to adjust it, it's the best saddle ever! Good luck!

  15. Amazing what a few groceries (grrrrr) and good care and conditioning will do. Dixie looks great! The hills look fun, and the tent had me in fits. ;)

  16. Dixie is looking GOOD!

    Holy hell, I knew her poor feet had a rough past, but shoes AND stacks as a yearling?!

  17. Yay! Spring must really be around the corner! It should be a good year for you with Dixie looking so good coming out of winter. I'd like to hear more about these specialized saddles everyone is raving about!

  18. Huge huge difference in Dixie's visible conditioning. Very proud of you two (even though I'm reading and commenting on this after I know you RO at your 50). Groceries is so important and I still can't read this post too closely or I start spiraling into a rant inside my head of what that boarding stable did to my 2 horses even while I really really really tried to do the right thing and thought I was doing the right thing and begged and pleaded and bribed.......Oh yeah. I'm seriously considering keeping Farley where she is now while I move an hour away starting this summer, just because I know they will FEED her while I'm gone during the week. See? I'm already starting to rant. Big breath.

    BTW - know exactly how you feel about the saddle thing. Reminds me of the first year I did Tevis. 4 weeks prior to Tevis I couldn't use the saddle any more. As in, it-is-touching-her-withers-I-can't-use-it-for-one-more-ride type of issue and had to buy a new saddle weeks before Tevis. I don't think that was the reason we didn't finish that year, but holy crap that was the worst timing EVER. Now I'm smarter. I KNOW her back is going to change and as long as my set up fits my horse "good enough" right now, I'm not going to go crazy trying to "fix it" knowing that in 90 days, Farley's back is going to look a heck of a lot different.

    Anyways - I'm totally hijaking your post and I apologize :)

  19. Nice to read your posts again~ Dixie is certainly gaining ground, now for more muscle! Good luck at the ride!


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