Saturday, October 19, 2013

We Did It!

Today was a milestone...I finally worked up the nerve to ride BMR aside.  I'm still pretty nervous about getting on him at all and still haven't worked up the nerve to ride him outside the paddock, but today I decided it was now or never and I'm glad I did.

Mind, I had some concerns since hunting season has just begun and given BMR's reaction to the noise, he's never been around gun fire before.  There was a hunter just out of sight, about 200 yards from the barn and with every shot BMR's eyes got bigger and bigger.  But he is at heart a lazy soul and after a bit any sort of reaction just wasn't worth the calories used.

I grabbed my old "M'Owen" to use, partially because it is so light and partially since it's an old friend that I really feel secure in.  After all, I've known this sidesaddle longer than I've been with my husband and together we've jumped hundreds of fences, ridden dressage tests, and headed down parade routes all over the country.  Proper fit is, as always, the biggest obstacle in riding aside, and this saddle will need some flocking to truly fit correctly, but the pressing issue was locating an appropriate girth which was small enough.  I ended up selecting the smallest humane girth I could unearth in the tack room and adding the only separate balance girth I own. (Those of you who read my blog know I'm a fan of the short balance girth.)   I'm also a fan of rule breaking in general, especially in rigid in disciplines such as dressage and sidesaddle, so frequently I'll follow my own counsel on what works.  I prefer a humane girth to the standard three fold for multiple reasons; once I found a three fold with humane ends...oh, why did I not purchase it?!  So, I'll use a humane girth even on a sport horse, but if I were going to be riding where I might be seen I would pick a nicer looking girth with keepers.  In this case, I ended up with both girths pulled up as high as possible, and yes, I am lunging BMR in a chambon.  I know this is anathema to dressage purists, but I find it works well for saddle seat horses being transitioned to sport disciplines, plus I just don't see evil in using it versus standard side reins.

The very picture of energy
Since our accident I always lunge BMR prior to mounting up, and boy am I glad I did since this is what happened:

Well, I'd planned on bending that leaping head anyway...
BMR really has some focus problems, and I thought that living outside would accustom him to uneven footing but this has not been the case.  While cantering on the line he was paying more attention to the other horses than his own feet, which slipped out from under him and heaved him down on to his left side, right down onto the pommels...down on to where my legs would have been!  I'm so relieved at not being pinned under BMR for a second time in one year, tho' I must concede that the ground was softer so I might have escaped  with only a few bruises.  But anyway, he lay there on his side for a few seconds, looking entirely unconcerned and actually nibbling at a few shoots of grass before climbing back to his feet.  When it was clear that he hadn't injured himself I gave the old M'Owen a closer look to find lots of new scratches and bent leaping head, which oddly enough fit better than it did before!

I suppose a sensible person would have thought, "This saddle has just suffered an impact and maybe it's not safe to ride in...", but a sensible person I am not so I mounted up anyway.  I must take a moment to convey just how terrified I was; I never know how he is going to respond and I can't count on him being sensible.  Even Owen has a sense of self preservation that I can rely on.  Plus, I really wasn't sure how stable the saddle was going to be.  As it turned out, it was a bit on the wobbly side, a combination of requiring flocking and girths being too long, but with careful weight placement (sit up on that right hip!) I was able to keep the saddle centered and riding well.  When I swung my right leg over I was sooooo very careful not to startle him, and very tentatively nudged him forward.  After a few steps it was clear he could have cared less what kind of saddle I was in and I started grinning like a Cheshire cat! (Like a possum in sh*t, my father would say in one of his more redneck moments).  I hacked him quietly on both reins, and even worked up the nerve to trot a bit, tho' I did keep myself well forward over my right knee since I'm still concerned that his back needs strengthening.  After seeing him fall at the canter a few minutes before I didn't have the nerve to try it myself, but he let me use my bat in place of a leg and bent well in both directions, and after a few minutes I decided to declare victory and put him up, carefully palpating his back for any soreness (there wasn't any.).

I do hope we are witnessing the genesis of a wonderful sidesaddle mount!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What to do about BMR?

Yes, I have been very remiss in my postings... but then, I've been very remiss in my equine activity.  In fact, parts of me wish I'd never learned to ride in the first place.  My accident with BMR damaged me seriously in many ways and it seems the most lasting one may be to my confidence. As of my last set of radiographs one of my vertebrae is very stubbornly refusing to heal, and according to my orthopedist may never do so.  "After all, " he said, "at your time of life (careful here, Doc; you're heading onto thin ice) , bones may fail to heal on their own." So what does this mean? Surgery? Apparently not worth the effort. But could I ride? I showed him a YouTube video of a dressage rider sitting an extended trot in an attempt to convey just what I planned to subject my middle aged bones to. He shrugged. "If you can stand the pain, fine..." although clearly he thought I must have taken a harder blow to the head than I let on since I wanted to return to such activity. No, he didn't approve but I wouldn't actually cause any additional damage, provided of course I didn't repeat my feat of performing as an equine airbag.

BMR has not been standing idle all this time. He spent some time with an advanced event trainer, and since his return I've been working him regularly in the long lines. I've even been lunging him over gymnastic grids with some heights up to 3' and he floats over.  So what's the problem, you may wonder.

Honesty, fear. I'm terrified of riding. My first few attempts to ride consisted literally of me willing myself into the saddle, sitting rigid with terror for a few seconds at the halt before bailing from the saddle to the ground, bringing me to a hand shaking, cold sweated, heart pounding state. This went on for several weeks, and I must add that BMR quite approved of this new easy going training regimen, and before too long he began to modify it in his favor. He quickly discovered that taking a step or two backward only hastened my departure from his back and it wasn't long until I'd trained him NOT to stand for mounting. Simply placing my foot in the stirrup cued him to shift backward and I now lacked the backbone (pun intended) to stand up to him and put him in his place. 

Therefore I returned to ground work and driving, which is odd, since in general I consider driving to be more dangerous than riding; but I had no fear concerning sitting behind him. My fear even extended to reliable Owen, who I have been regularly taking out aside. He senses my hesitation and like any wise old equine is quick to take advantage. Not that he did any thing horrid or dangerous, but he would test me. In the past he never would have hesitated to cross a bridge or hop a log, but lately he practically thinks out loud "Does she REALLY expect me to do this?"  Even in ring work he's a bit slow to respond and there's usually some commentary (snort, puff, unnmpf) to go along with the work. I don't trust him fully as I did previously, and now open fields that once I would have galloped across with reckless abandon are now traversed in a careful collected trot.

Naturally my fear has resulted in frustration and anger that I have been taking out on others (humans, not quadrupeds) and this has not gone unnoticed by those around me. I m clearly not the rider I once was and it has been suggested that I sell BMR, an act I toy with from time to time. But if I sold him, I would sell it all and hang up my aprons for good. Sometimes I find myself mentally drafting advertisements for a huge sidesaddle and accoutremont sale, including one supreme school master and a Baron horse trailer.

I have pushed myself as far as riding BMR around the paddock next to the barn, and his basic flat work is coming along well; he picked up the leg yield and shoulder fore at the trot very readily.  Two days ago I summoned the courage to hack him out in the field...we started walking away from the barn toward the gate, and BMR stopped dead, tucked his head to his chest, and started running backwards.  It's amazing how quickly a smaller horse/pony can get behind your leg, isn't it?  I pummeled him with my heels but he ignored me and started shaking his head, exactly what he did prior to going over on me this spring.  And yes, it's just a plain old pony temper tantrum but it scared me nonetheless.  I immediately turned him sharply to the left, kicked him up to the trot on a 10 meter circle, and before he knew what was what, we'd passed through the gate to the field.  Once out there I actually had the guts to pop him over a small line of bounces.  After the first trip through he put his head down and bucked a bit (you know, kept bouncing even tho' the bounces were no longer there!), but I kicked him forward and by our second line he had settled down went through quietly.  Bruce had been watching us, and he thought BMR was going quite well.

Is this back crying out for a sidesaddle or what?

I know the answer to BMR is to tire him out. I get feedback from others stating that on days he is worked his ground manners are much improved, but pushing him harder is also pushing me harder. Still, something in me just can't give up and walk away.  My paltry goal with him is to show him at USET in the walk/trot division next year...walk/trot? Me, an FEI level rider aspiring to Walk/Trot? 

Pretty pathetic.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Well, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

So what else dayss someone like me, who is recovering from 4 spinal fractures and more or less learning to walk again, do but register for a 4 day dressage clinic? In long reins.  In 100 degree weather. While bundled up in several inches of foam and neoprene back brace.

No one ever said I look for the easy way out.
Christian & Owen 

During a walk break

Collected trot

Shoulder in right

Shoulder in left

Half pass right, lovely experssion

piaffe, a little tense

Canter pirouette, left

Half pass, left

A more expressive piaffe

Fine tuning the passage

Well...a few days later and I can still walk. Sorta. With a cane. On flat surfaces. With lots of percoset.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


You never know how riding aside and the internet will alter your life.  It enables you to make connections that never would have surfaced before.

In my case, it was a farm invasion by federal cavalry on their way to Gettysburg!  Cindy Westbrook of Wildhorse Fashion contacted me a few weeks ago, looking for a place they could overnight on their trek to the 150th anniversary reenactment of the battle of Gettysburg.  I assured her she was more than welcome here, and since we are only about 20 something miles south of the site our farm was a perfect stop over.  Last week three very large and loaded horse trailers came down our drive, laden with reenactors and cavalry horses.  We were able to clear out some fields and places for them to camp, so their horses had a chance to roll, stretch their legs, and just be horses after their three day trek from Utah. Cindy's group mostly does Manifest Destiny reenactment (Cavalry vs. Indians) but they were falling in with the 3rd platoon of the Federal Ohio Cavalry unit, and Cindy had made several new period habits for herself.  Her own personal mount was a PMU foal that they adopted several years ago; he's a quarter horse/percheron cross and has turned into a wonderful reenactment mount. He's big, black, and impressive but has that calm almost dopey personality of the draft. The rest of the horses were a mix of quarter horses and some Missouri Foxtrotters, and they were really nice horses.  This invasion definitely sparked up our horses...and Owen had a thing or two to say about other horses occupying HIS field without his say so.

Cindy and her unit stayed with us several days prior to moving on to Gettysburg, so we had a chance to do some activities.  The first morning we garbed up and I took them on a mounted tour of Cold Saturday.  Most of my riding habits are still packed up, but I managed to unearth my light blue ACW habit and by some miracle the appropriate hat to go with it.  I also found two corsets, but had to skimp on the other appropriate foundations garments. 

My back is still killing me, and the lumbar fractures have not yet healed, so I gave plenty of thought to the saddle I would use.  I ended up choosing the Manorgrove, a decision that was to haunt me for several days.

Here we are riding down the lane in front of the main house.  That's Cindy in the foreground in a mulberry colored linen habit.  Her husband Scott is riding the little palomino, and you can see me on Owen in the background:

Here's the cavalry in formation in front of the main house: Alan, Scott, Tyrell, Daniel.  Funny thing...we trooped over through Cold Saturday, and there was Garnett (the current owner) in front of the house, taking it all in as if a mounted cavalry unit hacking through the property is something that happens all the time.  He called out, "Hey, aren't you guys 150 years too late?"

It was a really appropriate remark, since exactly 150 years prior to the day we were riding out there was a cavalry battle between JEB Stuart and Corbit not far from us in Westminster.  In fact, the cavalry passed right through Cold Saturday, and while not many people know about this skirmish, it is significant in that it delayed Stuart from reaching Gettysburg on time, leaving Bobby Lee without support.  There is much conjecture on how the battle would have turned out had Stuart been there on time.

Here we are passing in front of our former residence, the little stone house:

I had decided on taking the long loop around the property, rather than retracing our steps to return to the farm, and this meant crossing a creek named Beaver Run.  Normally this is a lazy creek about 30 feet across, but we've had such a wet year that it was running fairly deep and while Owen has crossed it before, this time he wasn't so keen.  Having all those sabers rattling behind him didn't exact relax him either, so after much encouragement he leaped into the stream, crossing it in a few bounds.  The bank on the far side was about 2 1/2 feet high and he proinged right up it without hesitation.  I should mention that Sis has been taking jumping lessons on him from an event trainer during my lay up, and Owen has become rather fixated on showing off his new skill.  I hadn't expected him to treat this creek like an obstacle on a cross country course...and so got totally left behind when he made his great lurch upward.  Jumping up banks aside is always harder than when astride anyway, and I took the force in my right knee and back although I let the reins slip and didn't catch Owen in the mouth.  Owen took advantage of this and once safely on terra firma gave me a series of bucks before I could gather him back.  Here is where my saddle selection caused problems, since that Manorgrove has a flat firm seat, not a nice sweepy one, plus is has a flat safe which torques the right knee a bit.  Usually this is not of concern, but I was riding with a torn ligament in that knee plus all those fractures; I felt  something give.  We rode out a few more miles on the trail, which included some logs which I jumped over plus some really steep hills that required my using that right knee and thigh heavily; I was in so much pain I could barely stand it and cut our ride short.  When going up the last hill I actually had to hold onto the saddle with one hand to keep my position.

Once dismounted I knew I was in real trouble.  I did get Owen put away, and limped to the truck to go home.  Mom had a nice dinner planned for all of us so I had to somehow pull myself together, which included taking some oxycodone and hooking myself up to my electrical simulation unit.  I did manage to get through dinner and the next day the cavalry unit headed off to Gettysburg.  We had planned on going up to see them (and Bruce, who was also in the reenactment) but I ended up stuck in bed for the next three days in serious pain. 

But I did get to see them all again, since after the battle was over they came back down to our place for a few days to let their horses unwind and take in some local sight seeing.  You should have seen those horses drop down and roll, followed by burying their heads down in the grass...they had been picketed out for the previous three days and they were thrilled to be turned out.

I really wish I could have been more active while they were here...indeed, I wish I could be more active period.  I had planned on taking both of my boys to Camp Leaping Horn this year, but it's doubtful that I could even manage the drive up.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013


For some reason, Loki or whatever mischievous deity that I've managed to insult continues to tie my life into knots. 
I mentioned previously that our builder had skedaddled with a sizable chunk of our money, leaving us with no house to move into.  We had then located an adorable little stone cottage that met our needs but literally the day prior to closing Bruce had to be hospitalized.
Hospitalized is an understatement.  He had been battling what seemed to be a severe cold, but early one morning he stumbled into the room stating that he could not breathe.  I immediately drove him to the ER, where they started him on fluids and IV antibiotics while ordering a slew of tests.  As I paced nervously by his side he rapidly slid into shock and was subsequently rushed into the critical care ward.  I stood by helplessly while he lost consciousness and was placed on life support.  It turned out that he had a severe pneumonia that led to septic shock, and now he was literally fighting for his life.  The hospital was doing all it could for supportive care, but what he needed was a top level trauma center, and after much finagling and begging a bed was found for him in a shock trauma center in Virginia; the kicker was that a snow storm was coming and we had less than 2 hours before all of the Medvac flights were to be grounded.  Within 20 minutes he was loaded onto the helicopter...only to have its rotor blades slowly shut down.  We panicked, fearing that Bruce had taken a turn for the worse, but as it turned out the helicopter had broken down.  This flight was Bruce's best chance at life, and with the clouds quickly closing in, a second helicopter was sent; the staff had to clear out a parking lot for it to land in, since the helipad was occupied by the immobile one, but this second attempt was successful, and within 30 minutes Bruce was being settled into a new critical care room just as the snow flakes started to fly. His was the last area flight for the next 24 hours!
After 9 days in a coma Bruce began to come around.  That time is a blur for me, since I stumbled around in another plane, unable to grasp that the man I loved more than anything in the world was fighting odds stacked highly against him.  I barely slept, was unable to eat, and couldn't bring myself to leave his side all that time. Bruce was running a fever of 104, had renal failure, and less than 25% of his lung function.  According to the numbers, he was supposed to be dead.
But he did pull through, and made exponential progress once off the ventilator.  He was transferred to a rehabilitation facility for a further week, and one afternoon I received the happy news that he could return home the following afternoon.
Having been through the wringer and feeling as if I had lost all sense of self and orientation, I headed to the farm for a ride.  It was a beautiful day, and some saddle time would certainly do me some good.  Alas, Beamer had one of his "young and stupid" horse moments and started crow hopping at the canter.  I pulled his head up only to have him rear, lose his balance, and topple over on top of me.  Then he had trouble getting up, so he thrashed back and forth over top of me, his legs flailing in all directions. I was wearing a helmet, but he still managed to clobber me in the face with one hoof before rolling over me one last time and heaving to his feet. I lay in the area for 20 minutes until Mom found me and called an ambulance.  I was rushed to a shock trauma center of my own!  After seemingly endless CT scans, radiographs, ultrasounds, and bloodwork the results were in: four fractured lumbar vertebrae, some cracked ribs, a bruised liver, and a torn medial collateral ligament to one knee. I was in intensive care myself for 4 days prior to discharge.
That was a few days ago, and now Bruce and I are both convalescing at my mother's house since we are unable to care for ourselves.  We are staying on the pull out couch in the living room since stairs are out and we have some health care professionals that come check on us every few days.  We both have been given our own PT regimens along with handicapped parking placards for both cars.  Our lease on the stone house is up this weekend, but how we'll get moved is beyond me.  For the past month we've been in the hospital more than at home...I can't remember the last time I slept in my own bed with my own cats!
For what it's worth, I have no intention of reining in my riding ambitions but I am concerned about how I'm going to sit the extended trot after this, plus it's my RIGHT knee that's injured.  How I'm going to manage riding aside is troubling.  I hope I don't have to make the switch to offside...with all of our medical bills I don't see much in the way of new saddles in my future. 
Someday this will all seem rather humorous.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Poor Little Beam Beam

Beamer just hasn't responded well to the abscess therapy. One day he's a little better, the next not so much so today Liz returned to radiograph his hoof.  The best that can be said is that Beamer found the entire process very entertaining, especially so since he was the center of the ministrations of three females.  But he did his very best to examine all of the equipment thoroughly,  not because he was nervous but because it made for some fascinating sampling.
Still, the rads were not encouraging,  showing several different gas pockets, each the result of a separate abscess pocket. The deepest pocket lies immediately next to the coffin bone, which itself is not infected but does show periosteal reaction to the bacteria. This requires immediate intervention in the form of increased hoof soaks, stronger poulticing, and oral antibiotics.  OK, this all falls within reason but I'm headed to Florida on Saturday for ten days. Sis is farm sitting and if this were a normal equine it would not be a problem. ..but it's BEAMER we are talking about.  Very few horses have the agility to pull their own tails and fewer still can pull the elasticon from your hands while you wrap a hind hoof but he is one of them. Again, Beamer is not bad boy but is a classic case of ADHD and I'm concerned Sis won't be able to treat AND babysit at the same time, so I have 24 hours to either find a layup facility or arrange for additional help.
Beamer, like Owen, evidently cannot stand the idea of my being bored!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping

If I was to pick the theme song of my life it would be, "Taken in , taken in again," by Mike and the Mechanics. Still horribly  reeling from the blow to our bank account inflicted by our previous builder, we were again stunned by the latest bid which came in easily $50K over budget..
Are you kidding me?  Given that the first guy skedaddled with our deposit how could we possibly iNCREASE our budget for the house?  And if that weren't bad enough we just got served with a mechanic's lien from the original architect since the contractor never paid him and he has to make his payroll somehow; so he's come after us for $25 K, due the moment we break ground even though we aren't even using his plans but had the added expense of purchasing a set from another architect.  So what does any other wronged and innocent party duped out of $75, 000 do but immediately go out and buy a house?

Don't get me wrong,  I love living at Cold Saturday but we can't keep forking out $1, 500 per month rent with no equity in sight.  So we found an adorable little stone house about 10 minutes from the farm.  It's not in the country and not an ideal location but it does shave 15-30 minutes off my morning commute, plus it has room for me to organize all of my sidesaddles, habits,  and appointments.  Quite simply, it's just a lovely house.

There's no room for horses but the cats should enjoy it.

And speaking of horses, Owen is laid up with a prolapsing disc that' s affecting his lumbar spine and Beamer is still horribly lame from his never ending abscess.  Tomorrow Liz is coming to take radiographs.  I'm spending a fortune on lame equines!

Friday, February 1, 2013

And Never the Swain Shall Meet

One thing that's really hampering my posts these days is lack of internet access,  forcing me to write these from my phone. I suppose that qualifies as some sort of new literary genre similar to the new Twitter short story which should add a bit of charm.  But I'm also still bogged down with whatever illness I'm incubating and no doubt I was not improved by yesterday's foray out into the wind and cold.  Not good for bronchitis to have 40 mph winds raring down your throat but like most devoted horse people I had to put my own welfare on the back burner. ..doctors will never understand.   I popped out to the barn from my sick bed only to find Beamer shivering out in the cold...on 3 legs.  I will admit to 5 minutes of internal turmoil whilst in my flu befuddled state I frantically tried to text another vet. Yes, my previous experience in equine medicine told me this was a simple abscess yet the female middle aged horse owner in me won out.  I couldn't get a signal in the barn and was forced to stumble out from the shelter of the barn into the raw wind to find a signal.  We didn't name this farm Woodwind for nothing.

In the end the reasonable part of my brain was validated and when Liz arrived armed with hoof testers and a knife it was indeed proved to be an abscess.  Beamer totally charmed the Dr and her tech with big eyes and adorable little ears; they felt sorry for him but I think he's just fishing for attention.

Despite both of us being on the biddy list I do have some sidesaddle topics to report, mainly that Beamer is going to be a bear to fit.  He is narrow, slab sided, and has no withers.   Conventional saddle fit wisdom neatly compartmentalizes horses into narrow, medium, wide, etc. but the reality is more complicated than that.  Consider that the foretree has to fit several distinct parts: withers, rib cage, along with two moving shoulders.  We like to think of horses being consistent in their assemblage of parts, i. e. cobby and round, narrow and throughbreddy (that's an old scientific term!) but horses are illiterate and have not read the manual.

I am planning a more detailed and anatomical post but in the mean time suffice to say that keeping a sidesaddle well positioned on him is going to require professional assistance.   My little Martin & Mayhew has the best chance of fitting,  while Jeannie's Swain, for which I had hopes, is totally off the mark.  When I tried Beamer I only noted his mutton withers without assessing the rest of him.  I naively assumed he would be round bodied like an arab.

This long point of the M & M has a fairly good fit:

The saddle fits fairly level but needs some flocking in the front to make it stable.

But you can clearly see this Swain would be disastrous to ride in...there's a huge gap between the point and his rib cage.

 Who knows...? Perhaps little Beamer will need a compass point saddle.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pneu Year, Pneu Horse...Pneumonitis!

To put everyone's miId at ease, I am the one ill,  not Beamer.  And there's not much in the world as frustrating as having a new horse and being confined to bed.   My only interaction with him has been via Bruce's cellphone.   Still,  he's been far from idle,  and upon their first meeting he and Owen managed to escape in search of the proverbial greener grass.  They did find some slightly more palatable but it being  mid-winter there just isn't much out there.  Still, coming from Oklahoma,  Beamer seems to find our freeze dried dead orchard grass to be just the thing.  Wait until he sees Spring!

I helped Shelley and Jeannie out at the ISSO booth at the Horse World Expo last doubt that's where I picked up my current malaise.   But I came home with more than just a virus  and drove home sitting amongst a sea of pommels and leaping heads. I haven't even had a chance to sit any of the sidesaddles on Beamer yet though I have been planning some new habits.  I see him in a nice dark Brewster green.  Obviously,  he supplies his own bling.  I can't wait to get him into combination ride and drive classes...aside, of course.

But in the meantime I won't be going any where that doesn't have an oxygen canister handy.

Monday, January 21, 2013

And My New Horse Is Where...?

"At some sale barn in Missouri" said the hauler when we finally got him to answer his cell.  Beamer shipped out from Oklahoma on Saturday and was supposed to arrive here today but when we failed to hear from the shipper Bruce and I started to panic.   It seems the original hauler got sick, arranged for a substitute driver who then passed the buck to a buddy of his...all without updating me!

When I tried to contact the original shipper with whom I have a contract his website had been taken down as of this AM..
So where the #=#×/^%& is my horse?  The most recent driver said he was told to leave the horse in Missouri and that was all he could tell us.  Where Beamer is and who is taking care of him heaven only knows (I sure don't), though word is we should expect him some time this week.

I'm headed straight away to my bank to get a refund on my shipping deposit and if Beamer is in any way harmed there WILL be hell to pay.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bounding and Re-Bounding

I'm not sure if Owen has gotten wind of the forth coming changes to the stable line up...or if his new drug regimen is agreeing with him but his old cheeky self is back!  He'd been turning into a reliable hack but since his diet change and Prascend dosing his bounce is back.

Too much so.  When I rode him aside yesterday he bounded forward as soon as I was in the saddle.  He pranced around so much that I couldn't even find my stirrup,  so since it was getting dark I just bailed on it and did without.  He quickly worked up to the tempis, surprising me with a line of 3s, at which I called it quits.  Wish I could say the same about today.  He was expressive enough, but as soon as Savanna drove past to do the barn he lost all focus, food eclipsing flying changes.  He passaged artfully back to the barn and I must say he's looking fitter.

But he won't be happy when he's no longer the only barn cutie.  Beamer ships out on the 19th and arrives about 2 days later.  Beamer, however,  lacks Owen's fabulous sidesaddle grabbing withers.

M I a QT or whut?  Beamer as a baby.