Monday, May 7, 2012

Saddle!

So after over a year and a half of trying to get my english saddle shipped up from KY.. long story, not going into detail right now, maybe at a later time.. It will finally be here in a few days FOR REAL! And I don't have to pay for shipping. Which is good, because it wasn't my responsibility in the first place like the lady tried to claim. (Mother had already paid over a year and a half ago for it to be brought up to me and it was never delivered, in a nutshell).

Now, I have to decide whether I want to keep it, or sell it/trade it for a western saddle. Thing is.. I've had this saddle longer than I've even had my horse. It was a gift from my mother so I'm rather attached to it. It has my name on the back on one of those nameplate things.. idk. I feel like I might end up regretting it if I do get rid of it.

We'll see.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Horse Forum!

So I wanted to make a little post about a great forum that I've been a part of since '08.

http://www.horseforum.com

There is a whole bunch of amazing information along with amazing users on here and I have found it extremely helpful ever since I joined. I would recommend it for all horse owners/riders/enthusiasts! :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month!

As I mentioned before, my girlfriend Kina is terminally ill (Cystic Fibrosis, bilateral lung transplant, plus a whole grocery list of other shit). Two winters ago, she was on death's doorstep and struggled the entire winter. When spring came, she would beg to go see Beau so she could get on and just trot him in circles (hey no complaints here.. trot circles are awesome!) He would distract her from her pain and distressed breathing and give her something positive to focus on. I instructed her in ways to get him working properly so these sessions were beneficial to them both! In the spring, she got back up to cantering on her own, and was doing short hand-gallops by summer (all bareback I might add). She says Beau is the only thing that keeps her strong.

Just a side note: if you were wondering, due to her transplant, if Beau is really dusty she will wear a respirator and I will help groom him for her so her lungs don't get irritated or risk fungal or bacterial infections due to being on immuno-suppressants for her transplant. And no, she does not clean stalls or anything of that nature :P Only rides and does groundwork (and obviously grooming and care as far as her condition allows).

So, Beau leaned on Kina for a while there when he was sick, and now he can return the favor with a strong wither for her to lean on when she needs it :)

Here mommy, I'll help you breathe! (Sharing a loving moment...)



Beau loves her so much that he requests you show your appreciation!
Please check out these links!

Kina is in a documentary about Cystic Fibrosis and organ transplant awareness which follows the story of Eva Markvoort and her friends Kina Boyce and Meg Moore.
http://65redroses.com/film/about-the-film/

If you're in America, please tune in to the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) Thursday May 3rd (tomorrow) at 9/8central to see the documentary premier! It will bring tears to your eyes. This will be the first time premiering in America on TV. It's pretty awesome that Oprah recognized this!!!!


Kina's Great Strides CF Walk Page: Please donate to this cause!! Beau wants as many "tomorrow's" for his mommy as he can get!
http://www.cff.org/Great_Strides/dsp_DonationPage.cfm?walkid=7990&idUser=286716

If you want to know more about Cystic Fibrosis, go to cff.org

Kina's FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/nicole.boycewatson
Kina's LiveJournal: http://spirit-of-kina.livejournal.com

Feel free to add her on either page! She is very friendly and very open to discussion!


Remember those rhythm beads my friend got for Beau a while back?
Well, they ended up breaking. Kina's mom's dog (Curuk) got really sick and seeing as they had a ton of Beau's energy stored up in them, we let Curuk borrow them for a while to wear them. They were weaved through his collar and everything. He loooooves jingly bells and therefore adored the rhythm beads and would prance around with them on. Her mom believes they helped save his life.
One time, she took them off to groom him and she said he was really lethargic and sluggish.. yet when she went to put them back on, he SHOVED his head through them and started running around like a puppy again. Placebo effect? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it helped him and that's all that matters!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Well I figured I should post an update as it's been over a year and a half now since my last post and I kind of lost track of this when life took a turn for the busier.

Where to start.. It's gonna be a long post guys, bear with me @_@

First of all, I met a wonderful girl in April 2010 named Kina who has Cystic Fibrosis (genetic disease of the lungs ironically where they produce an excess amount of mucous among other issues) and a double lung transplant. She is my girlfriend now and has been for almost two years :) I am actually pregnant and we are expecting a baby this August!

Of all the things that helped Beau recover, I'd say she was one of the biggest influences. She has a lifetime of dealing with lung problems, not equine, but lung problems nonetheless. She instructed me to push him through it, ride him through it, keep him moving, run him a lot, and it would help him cough up the nasty mucous. (Which it did!) She also had me drum my legs (or arms, depending on whether I was riding or on the ground) on his ribcage to help loosen it up; similar to percussion treatments she had to get before her transplant to help get mucous up. Also helped!

From there, I moved Beau down to Georgetown, KY so he would be close to me while I was in college. Kina's body started rejecting her transplanted lungs however, and the riding classes there were a bit too strenuous on me to handle due to an old riding injury, so I ended up going up to Pittsburgh with her where she lived and staying up there.

From Pittsburgh, we moved up to Erie on November 5, 2010 and a few months later, Beau was brought up to be boarded at a wonderful 125-acre barn called Thunder Valley Stables in McKean, PA about a half hour from where we live. Since Beau has been up here in Erie, he has had pretty much 0 issues with his lungs. He is no longer on round bales like he was in Cincinnati (which more than likely contributed to his problems), no longer in a dirt paddock, and guess what? The owners of this barn happen to use shredded paper as stall bedding, instead of shavings, which is virtually dust-free! Perfect for Beau! The pastures here are HUGE and the horses are left out 24/7 over the summer, weather permitting. Of course right now they are just being reintroduced to grass so they aren't out quite as much, but she tries to keep them out as much as she possibly can, which is another thing I love. He is MUCH healthier up here. Not to mention that unlike Cincinnati being in the river valley where all the humidity and pollution ended up trapped in the air, the wind from Lake Erie keeps air pollution pretty low, and the barn is on a pretty high hill which also helps.

Is there a lesson here? YES! Environment is indeed a HUGE factor in horses with these kinds of issues. I cannot stress enough the difference a change in certain environmental factors can make for your horse. This just goes to prove it.

Kina and I along with several friends of ours rode him all summer last year without a single problem. I heard maybe one or two coughs out of him total, the ENTIRE season. He was fine in the fall too, no issues whatsoever. Her and I can ride him double, W/T/C/gallop with absolutely no issues, no coughing, no shortness of breath.

ETA: Today was his birthday, by the way! He is 11 years old and going strong! Due to the pregnancy I am unable to ride right now, but that certainly can't stop me from doing groundwork and bonding with him! I took some carrots and bought a bag of apples and went out to the barn to see him. He had a previous problem with running away from me in the field as soon as he saw me coming; I chalk this mostly up to the fact that lately I don't really get out to see him as often as I'd like and so every time I came, I would jump on and ride him. Of course now that I am forced to do groundwork with him, I figured, what a perfect time to fix this issue!

A little bit of background: Two days ago when I went to see him, he acted as though he was going to run from me again. I just ignored him, saying hello to the other horses who came up to see me, and kept walking towards the back of the pasture; my goal was to get him between me and the barn so that if he were to run, theoretically he would run towards the barn. I then proceeded with the pressure/release technique. I walked towards him in a zigzaggy line. Never straight on with a horse that doesn't want to be caught. As soon as he would turn away or make as though he was going to walk the opposite direction, I would either stop, turn away, or walk the opposite direction. Release the pressure as soon as it becomes too much for him. I did eventually get close enough where I decided to walk straight towards him, while keeping my head turned away and watching him out of the corner of my eye. No eye contact with him and therefore less of a threat to him. Lo and behold, it worked! I was able to pat him and then halter him and lead him out of the field. He was a complete gentleman, and once I got him to the driveway, I found out that apparently he has magically learned to ground-tie (no complaints there!) and so I brushed him, lunged him a little bit, then we proceeded to work on the "dragging me around while eating grass" issue he had. Took only one or two "snaps" of the halter and he was behaving beautifully. So proud of my boy.

Anyways, today (for his birthday) I was able to walk right up to him in the field and halter him. I gave him a carrot only after the halter was on - teach him that he will be rewarded for accepting the halter. I brought him out, fed him a few more carrots and an apple, brushed him, massaged his back and did some stretches with him that I found online, then turned him back out in the field and sat down to read a book with him :) Whenever I wanted to 'catch' him, I whistled at him and called his name, then approached with a carrot or apple in hand. I always made him walk the last few feet towards me, occasionally slipped the halter over his head, gave him a treat, took the halter off and walked away from him. By the time I left the barn, I had him coming up to me about 75% of the time when I called him!

I should hopefully be posting more here since I'm going to get back into groundwork and training with him (hopefully) over the summer!

Now, how about some pictures!

Kina on Beau last summer:


Beau and I last summer:


Today on his birthday:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Got a new vet. We found out the problem isn't in his lungs, rather he has a malformed trachea. It's more of an oval shape and has a point to it instead of being round like a quarter.

Trailered him to a place with lots of beautiful trails with a few friends and he did wonderful. We rode through a creek that was up to his stomach and he had lots of fun splashing around in the water. :P

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Haven't updated in a while, long story short Beau is on an organic herbal supplement by Blue Ridge Distribution and has been doing just fine. The cough is pretty much non existent and we've been doing pretty hard work, even bumped the jumps up a bit.

Been riding bareback/bitless bridle and he's doing fantastic.
Maybe I'll post some videos at some point if I'm not being lazy.

:)