Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas &/or Happy Holidays!

From Lisa, Allie, Joey, Gracie, Evan, Herman, Fluff and probably Andrew too.

Hope uou have a great day!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

So, we went to the vet...

Oh my goodness. Well, I hauled Allie to the vet yesterday for a check up and to see WHY she is continuing to suffer from snot-sposions on and off for months.

I was by myself and didn't anticipate any issues, but hauling your horse to the vet at 30 weeks pregnant is harder than it sounds ;p

My float has a canvas dust cover that needs to be rolled up when you use the float, and I normally just jump up and sit on the butt bars and roll it up that way. But that was 20kg ago... Pulling myself up on the butt bars and then balancing on them while trying to roll up the dust cover would have been rather amusing to watch. I had to laugh at myself. At least this situation is temporary?

Hooking up was OK, but I had to sit on the ground to plug in the little electrics terminal thing and to attach the safety chain. Because I can't bend, because there is a 1.5kg child in the way. Then I had to get up off the ground.

After all this I was puffing. LOL!!

She was in a total mood too. When I caught her, a big log truck came down the driveway past her yard. I thought she would just throw her head up in the air because she's normally quiet, but no. While I was holding her she reared straight up into the air over and over and was striking!! What a wench! I forgot for a moment that I am pregnant and I got stuck into her for it (growling, pulling her down with the lead) and when she came back down to earth she looked rather sheepish.

Putting on her shipping boots was fun too. She acted like it was the first time she has worn boots on the hinds..kicking out, dancing and hopping between her hind legs. I was like "ugh. Horse. Can you not?".

After all this I thought she would be a wench to load but she remembered all the hours of float training I've put into her and marched straight on and was very mentally in the float, if you know what I mean. No thinking about rushing off.

She travelled a little worse than normal though. Normally you can't even tell there is a horse in there, but yesterday she was shuffling and stamping a bit. We got there safe and unloaded like a polite seasoned pony though, so that's good.

First up, after sedation, she got an oral exam. They were really pleased - made comments like "that pack feels really solid in there" and "teeth feel good!". She did have some feed stuck between her teeth/pack and her cheek, so they flushed that.

They gave her teeth a quick float too. Better to do little and often. She is good for the dentist for another 6 months now.

Then I had to waddle out of the room so they could take rads. She needed another sedation because she kept throwing her head. I think she's sick of people poking and prodding her.

The rads looked good! The teeth haven't changed at all since last time. Christine doesn't want to touch them - she said we could remove the one in front orally but she has no idea how to get the one behind out because it's curved like a banana. Apparently she has consulted with a top dental vet in QLD who has told her to leave the teeth alone, "don't touch them". So we are very very happy that they aren't dying. If they were going to, we would have seen changes by now. WHAHOO!!!

The reason for all the on/off discharge? Her sinus cavity is chock full of scar tissue, which is reactive and sensitive. This is not a surprise at all to be honest.

What's the fix? More surgery, she said she would "have to scoop the tissue out like ice cream with a scoop". Which could mean even more scar tissue in the end.

For now, it doesn't affect her quality of life at all. She doesn't react to the discharge, except if it tickles her she will wipe it on her leg. Christine said if I was happy to manage it with occasional antibiotics and other management, then her recommendation is to leave Allie the way she is.

We both agreed that the surgery, while saving her life, also improved her quality of life overall too. Previous to the surgery, Allie would go off her feed at the drop of a hat, it was harder to keep weight on her. We think she suffered from headaches or it was painful to eat. Since the day of surgery, her appetite has been AMAZING. She eats everything I out in front of her.

Only one thing left to see now - how much this whole thing limits her performance. I think I need to scale back my hopes and dreams for her - if she can't breathe optimally I can't expect her to gallop cross country and jump while doing so. Hopefully we can do dressage, trails, maybe lower level eventing and some show jumping. I'll have to play it by ear and see how she goes.

Overall, while the whole situation has been heartbreaking and devastating for me, I am happy with the result and feel it has all been worth it. The horse is perfectly happy, and she is ALIVE which I am so so so grateful for. I've been allowed to keep my heart horse with me, when some others have had them tragically taken away. This outcome is more than what I ever dared hope for.

I took a little video, which you will probably have to copy and paste because I'm posting from the Blogger app on my phone. You'll notice I can't articulate myself well anymore - apparently that's pregnancy for you.

I'm really, really happy.

Monday, 15 December 2014


We are all reminded again how fragile our pony pals are.

Another blogger has just lost her beautiful andy gelding Steele in a horrible accident involving irresponsible neighbours who don't know how to control their dogs.

We do the best we can by our horses - many of us go way above and beyond. Teresa is one of those people, and yet here she is with her young, healthy horse buried in the ground.

Hug your ponies. Kiss their noses. Tell them you love them and don't for one second think it couldn't happen to them. We can't control everything.

Thursday, 11 December 2014


What were my goals for 2014 at the pointy end of 2013?

Well, at the time, Allie was rehabbing her broken leg. I guess my biggest goal was to see that through, then get her back in work and off to the trainers to learn how to jump. I was toying with the idea of going eventing once or twice toward the end of the year, doing some show jumping, dressage days and just getting out and having fun.

We all know how well those goals and plans went. No need to dwell on shitty situations.

Next year, my goals are much more conservative. We won't have anywhere near as much money, Allie may need more surgery (or not, preferably), I certainly can't afford to send her to the bloody trainers, and I'll be lucky if I can get out to ride her 3 days a fortnight.

So my goals for 2015 for myself are this:

Just enjoy.

Enjoy your horse, in whatever capacity you are able to. Ride when you can, and never ever pass up an opportunity to ride her. But if that means riding once a month, so be it. Don't stress.

Feed her carrots. Stuff her beautiful face full of them.

Trim her feet often and get them looking amazing again.

Find somewhere closer to home to keep her, that fits with the budget and has an arena.

Keep her healthy. Do as the vet says, but research some other ways to help her. If this sinus thing continues to play up, find a long term solution.

That's it. Those are my goals. If I smash them, I'll be over the moon. But looking at them, they are realistic and I honestly shouldn't fail them. Because, honestly, I'm sick of disappointing myself. So let's change tactics and take it one day at a time.

Sunday, 7 December 2014


I miss trimming.

My business was going so well before Allie was diagnosed. I was working WAY too much (what with a full time job as well) but I had about 60 horses on the books. I did at least 2, sometimes up to 10 after work each and every single day and then another 10 or so every Saturday, with Sunday morning normally taken up with 2 or 3. I did about 15-20 horses every week. I travelled up to an hour away from home to trim horses. I had clients that competed in different low level comps, with some paddock puffs and weekend or hard working pleasure horses thrown in. I did foals, young horses, big giant pricks of horses, ponies, horses with laminitis, navicular and various other issues (quite a few with behavioural issues). I was exhausted, but I was helping so many horses and every horse I worked on (with trim cycles nice and short like I prefer) had improvements every time I saw them. I had clients I was teaching how to trim, helping them find their confidence to look after their own horse's feet (under my supervision of course).

I loved it. And I realised that I didn't want an office job forever, I wanted to be out on the road seeing ponies and horses all day long.

When Allie got sick I couldn't handle seeing all these other horses when I felt my horse had no future. It broke my heart but I could not handle getting the occasional text saying "my horse is a little sore after his trim, should I boot him?". I couldn't handle the pressure of having these people depend on me for their horse being sound. In Sydney, we only have a handful of decent barefoot trimmers and we are all incredibly overbooked and find it very hard to fit in all the clients that need us. There are also some pretty shit barefoot trimmers too, who I'm not happy to refer my clients to. I limited my client base to what I could physically cope with and I always turned up when I said I would, always kept my appointments, even if that meant trimming 10 horses in the pouring rain. To be honest, I'm the most dependable hoof care professional I've ever heard of. I tried very hard to get that reputation and to keep it, to the detriment of my marriage in some cases.

I'm Facebook friends with a few of my (old?) clients. I've seen quite a few posts complaining about their horse's soundness and not being able to find a decent, dependable barefoot trimmer. I know quite a few of them can't wait until I get back to trimming. To be honest, neither can I!! To know some of my old clients with horses who had soundness issues have returned to shoes without my help and support. Gosh that breaks my heart. I've put so much effort into these horses, and I know these people need their horse to be sound, but I feel helpless not being able to help them while I'm away from trimming to have my baby.

Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest. Since taking a break, I've come to realise that I'm a fucking excellent trimmer. I didn't realise that trimming and keeping horses sound barefoot was so difficult until I had to watch my clients have trouble while I'm out. These horses were always sound under my care, some with boots, most without. Most just need a good, balanced, short trim every 4 weeks with dietry support and they're good as gold. Now, these same horses are struggling. Just because there aren't more trimmers out there like me, who trim like I do and are dependable.

I plan on returning when my baby is a few months old. Mid next year. Just taking it slowly and keeping it local, maybe doing 3 horses a day 2-3 days a week. Sometimes taking bub with me, sometimes while Andrew has bub.

I just need to wait. I'll be back out there making a difference again soon.

Friday, 5 December 2014


I'm a very lucky girl. He's a good man and a great husband.

Sunday, 30 November 2014


Today I re-read a bunch of papers that were written about horses that had odontomas similar to Allie's.

Gosh it put things into persective for me. So far, Allie has had one surgery, 5 days at the vets post surgery, then 2 weeks at the vets about 2 months after surgery when the pack slipped and they had to flush her sinus. She hasn't had to have any teeth removed (yet, keep your fingers crossed) and is doing well except for this on again off again snotty nostril. Plus, she was 7 years old when first diagnosed.

So, with that in mind, here's some case studies of other horses:

  • A 9 month old quarter horse colt had one in his lower jaw. During surgery, they broke his jaw removing the mass and 2 teeth. The poor thing had to be fed through a tube for 21 days. He was discharged 49 days after the surgery. 3 years after surgery, the horse had no issues with mastication.

  • An 11 month old quarter horse filly had an odontoma in the same place Allie did - the upper jaw. She had a similar surgery to Allie, through the sinus. They removed the mass and one tooth. She started to bleed out during surgery (just like Allie) and so they closed her up and gave her a blood transfusion. Rads after this showed that they had left some of the mass behind, so a second surgery was scheduled 21 days after the first. They removed the rest of the mass, plus 3 additional teeth! 150 days later, she had another procedure to tidy up (abnormal tissue was removed via currettage) and a dental bridge was installed (which was later removed when the hole filled in with granulation tissue and bone). 4 years after the initial surgery, there was no return of the odontoma, the horse had no problems with mastication and maintaining body condition, but had to have her dentals done every 6 months (undertandable, with 4 teeth missing).

So, what does this tell me? Allie is extremely lucky - she hasn't has any teeth removed yet (hopefully it stays that way) but only 2 teeth looked fishy to the vet anyway. She is still recovering. Her appetite is amazing (considering how easily she used to go off her feed all the time pre-diagnosis). She is fat, happy and just waiting around for me to pop this kid.

I can't wait now to get her next check up done, get some rads, see how it is all healing. See what the next steps are.

Plus, I really should get the all clear on that let hind suspensory - we never ended up getting it checked because she still hasn't returned to full work!

This is just a major bump in the road - but we are at the top, teetering on the edge of the fun ride down the other side.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Just a little general update on things that have been going on around here.

Nostril Roller Coaster
Allie's nostril sort of cleared up - then this afternoon it was pretty snotty and a bit stinky again. It is like she heals just enough to stop me taking her to the vet and then has another issue a half a week later. This time, it might have been caused by the weather again - Sunday we had a 45 degree day (113F) and then yesterday afternoon we got a windy, thundery rainy storm roll through. Might have whipped up a bit of dust up there? God knows. I'll give it a few days and see how it settles. And no, I am not dealing well with this but I am trying to ignore my anxiety.

Preggo Lady Stuff
So I am 26 weeks and 5 days pregnant now.

I feel enormous.
The baby kicks and rolls and moves ALL DAY LONG. I thought they were supposed to sleep sometimes? I had a glucose tolerance test this morning to check for gestational diabetes. If I am negative, I won't hear anything. If I am positive, I will get the result at my next midwife appointment.  I had three bloods taken. It was not nice. You had better appreciate this, kid.

We have bought a bassinet and a cot/change table duo. It looks fancy in the room.


Joey is continuing to get better with the training we are doing (as am I). The biggest thing we are working on is impulse control. He's getting there.

My little kitchen helper.
He had a play date with some other puppies at the dog park for the first time a couple of weekends ago. He had a blast.

See that happy white puppy on the left there?
He was super pooped after.

Gracie hasn't been doing much of anything either - she has been a bit sore over the back. She had her teeth done, had a massage, and is now waiting for Nat to find the time to get her back in work.
First time getting her teeth done without sedation. She was such a good sport about it! This dentist was a gem - I think she is going to be Gracie's lifetime dentist.
In Other Horrific News...

One of my trimming clients was towing 2 horses with a friend when a tyre on the float blew out, flipping the float on it's side on a freeway going probably about 80-90km/h (50-55 mph). The horses were trapped and had to be cut out of the float via the roof. Both horses are ok - have some deep gashes and some brusing and will be sore for a while. But they are fine.

The people are fine too - very shaken, horrified and incredibly sad. The driver (my client) has been accused (on Facebook, by strangers) of being drunk, speeding or driving while tired. That she somehow did something wrong and that is why this happened. Unbelieveable! This could happen to any one of us. Any one. It just happened to her and the poor woman needs to heal from that. Why does the horse community turn on each other so easily?

Also, her float was towed off the freeway at the closest exit and just dumped on the side of the road by the freeway operators. This is ridiculous. I'm outraged and horrified and angry on her behalf over the whole ordeal. I hope nothing like this happens to anyone I know (or to me!) ever again. The people and the horses are so lucky to be alive, let alone to escape with relatively minor injuries.

This is just terrifying...

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


She's still pretty, even from the left side.

<3 my frankenhorse.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Horse Welfare

We had the Melbourne Cup in Australia today and a horse died directly after the race from possible heart attack or similar. Facebook is blowing up with opinions and fighting. The whole thing has made me think about horse welfare and what that means to me.

Good horse welfare to me is caring for horses in a species appropriate way according to the 5 freedoms. From the RSPCA website:
  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  2. Freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease: by prevention through rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
How often do we truly look at our husbandry practises with a focus on good welfare from the animal's point of view? Can we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, be honest with ourselves and assess if we really are providing our horses with everything they need?

We all love our horses very much, that is beyond doubt. But how much of their care is for us? How much is for them?

Let's take a closer look at what horses really need. Keep in mind these two words: species appropriate!

Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
The average horse requires 30-50 litres of water a day. It is generally accepted that horses should have free access to water at all times while not working. So that is pretty easy.

Diet on the other hand... oh boy. That is ne BIG subject! But basically - horses have evolved to be trickle feeders - their stomach produces digestive juices all day long, whether they are eating or not. Their stomachs also don't have a huge capacity compared to their size - 9 to 15 litres. They are designed to take a few small bites of grass and chew while they walk to the next patch. Bulk of the diet should be pasture or other roughage, with a small amount of concentrate to make up the difference on calories, vitamins and minerals. The bigger the feed, the quicker it moves through the digestive system. Feeding large feeds is actually wasteful.

Hardly anyone around here feeds hay, and we don't normally have any grass. Large meals once or twice a day are the norm. This is not species appropriate feeding guys!

Freedom from Discomfort
Horses evolved to travel up tp 80km a day in search of food, water and shelter. They like wide, open spaces (all the better to see predators with) and will rest while another horse stays awake and at least semi alert to keep watch. Horses can learn to be confined, but they are not born that way. Species appropriate environment is a paddock with friends, with shade trees and an open sides shelter.

Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease
I think, in general, horse owners like thos ein the blogging community excel in this area. We are not afraid of a vet bill and will involve whatever professional is required to keep our ponies healthy. But prevention is always better than cure - aside from freak accidents, can we really be sure that we are doing all we can to prevent injury, pain and disease in our horses? Are we feeding a diet high enough in appropriate forage to avoid colic or have we got our mineral balanced so that th ehorse doesn;t have a magnesium definciency causing mucle soreness? Do we all ride in a fitted saddle?? Do we ensure their feet are done every 5 weeks to ensure a long toe doesn;t contribute to navicular disease? So we warm up properly, cool down properly, and keep the training program paced appropriately for the fitness and current streanth of the horse? Do we never push the horse past what she is able to give us? Do we have safe fencing, compatible herd mates? So many variables in this one.

Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour
This is the I think we have the most to achieve, the most ground to cover, to get where we need to be. Normal behaviour in horses is varies and hotly contested. Can we all agree that horses need freedom to move, freedom to socialise, freedom to release stress in a healthy and normal way? Stress behaviours (cribbing, weaving, wind sucking, agressiveness, etc) are clear indicators that sometimes, we let the ball drop on this. I am rather against 24/7 stabling. I understand that inclement weather  or injury may necessitate stabling but we should get them out in a herd as soon as possible again.Would you agree? To me, stabling or intensive yarding next to a neighbour is not enough (probably because I am a barefoot person and their hooves go to shit when kept confined). Horses need to groom each other, follow each other, watch over each other. It is convenient for feeding to keep them seperate. But there is that word again - convenient. For the carer, not the horse.

Freedom from Fear and Distress
This is a hard one. Our horses often react to situations that are completely non threatening in an inappropriate way. Gracie is rather scared of traveling. Does this mean we should never put her on the float? Horses often display seperation anxiety. Does this mean I should never take Allie away from Gracie to ride? No. Training and fulfilling all other species requirements are key here. If my horse lives a stress reduced life, she will be more equiped to deal with stressful situations when they arise in an appropriate way. She won't overeact, she won't melt down. Avoiding mental suffering in their day to day lives is key here. Temporary fear or distress is fine. Daily fear or distress is not. Tick all the other boxes and this one can often fall into place.

So guys - what are your thoughts? What does horse welfare mean to you? Can you honestly say you provide the very best for your horse according to his needs? I know I can't. Allie is kept in a large yard without another horse in with her. I am not happy about this at all. There isn't any grass in there either, so a slow feeder hay net is required to be filled every couple of days - but this encourages her to stand in one place all day and eat, which doesn't fulful her exercise requirements. I'm pretty happy with her diet other than that and she is rather good at dealing with stress. I would love to move her to paddock turnout with a herd of horses, but I refuse to turn her out with shod horses. Hind shoes can kill, I have seen it. So that is my compromise, but I am not happy about it at all. How about you guys? What do you want ot change about your horse care? What do you think you do well?

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sick of Nostrils

I just want to see clean, dry nostrils on my mare. Is that too much to ask?

So after the antibiotics finished, Allie's nostril was almost 100% back to normal. Just a little clear discharge. Then yesterday happened.

We had gale force winds, flash flooding, hurricane type weather roll through. And today, her nostril is goopy, dusty, heaps of gunk, running and worse than before we went on antibiotics. :(

I had a bit of a breakdown. At the moment I'm crook with a head cold, I've had hardly any sleep this weekend and I just couldn't handle it. I cracked it and cried on the phone to Natalie all the way home from the horse. I'm convinced that she has to have her teeth out, that they're dying, that we won't be able yo get the huge hole to close once the teeth come out and that I'll have to have her put to sleep.

Natalie talked me back from the ledge (so to speak) explaining that she isn't a normal horse with a normal sinus and normal immune response in that sinus. She is going to struggle for the rest of her life. She thinks the new gunk in the nostril is from the weather yesterday - it's pretty dry and dusty at the moment, her yard is dusty her hay is dusty. So we have a new plan.

Her feed is already wet each day (she is on copra, sunflower seed and oaten chaff with some other supplements) so we will be wetting her hay down, resting her yard so it grows some grass, and generally keeping her in dust free environments to see if she can clear this up. If it doesn't after about a week or so, back to the bloody vet it is.

Gah. I just want her to be better now. Please?

Friday, 31 October 2014


Everyone is talking about breeches. This blog is equal parts boring and depressing so I guess this topic is a nice one to escape to that everyone can relate to.

We call the long ones jodphurs here and the short ones that have the velcro at the mid calf breeches here in Oz.

I have a variety of the same type of jodphur in a bunch of sizes as I have lost/gained weight over the last few years. I HATE HATE HATE sticky bum jods. Hate them. They're shit to ride in and shit to wear around. The crotch never sits right on me and believe me, I've tried because I love the look of them. I also don't like high rise or hipster jods. They have to sit just right though when I'm on because I have my belly button pierced and often take it out to ride because the rise I like irritates it. I don't really have winter and summer ones because it doesn't get that cold here. 0 degrees Celsius (32f) is about as cold as it gets. It does get hot (like, 45 celcius) in summer but we don't ride when it's that hot anyway. So I have the same thickness for both summer and winter.

Years ago when I was working at an endurance training property I was bought my first pair of jods that I actually wore. I remember telling them that I could ride all day in jeans and they laughed at me, saying I should just try a pair of jods. Once I did a few days training with them I realised that I needed the jods. I've been riding in jods since then (unless I'm super lazy and am already wearing jeans).

So normally for riding I wear a pair of jods (that are always too long for me even though I'm quite tall), folded up with my socks on the inside, with my top boots over the top.

Sooooo interesting, I know. :p As a reward, have a random picture from my phone of my dog meeting Natalie's dogs for the first time. CUTE.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Allie Stresses Me Out

I'm going to put pictures of Allie at comps in this post to make myself feel better worse.

Look at me. So happy. So Naive
Ugh. So Allie has had a snotty nose for about 4 weeks now. Started off in both nostrils (I thiught it was a cold she had picked up), then after a week it moved to just the left nostril, never been particularly bad or particularly smelly. Slight odour, sometimes stronger, sometimes not. She has been eating normally this whole time.

Because it wasn't going away, I emailed the vet and she has put her on 10 days of antibiotics. Two days in, and the discharge is getting worse.

So pretty all clipped with a false tail in.
I'm trying to save judgement until after the course finishes. But I can't help thinking that it might be those teeth causing issues.

I hope they aren't dying. Poo bum sticks.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Hand Gallop Blog Hop: What's in a name?

Seeing as there is nothing more interesting happening than a snotty Allie nose that seems to be clearing, let's do a blog hop, shall we?

Ballymount Alleycat - Allie

Miss Allie. In all her muddy, muddy glory.

Allie came with the name Ballymount Alleycat. They called her Alleycat which a) doesn't suit her at all and b) I hate. Years ago there was this poor old Standardbred mare crippled with navicular at the property I used to agist my OTTB which broke my heart. Her name was Alleycat, and to me the name is cursed.

She is so sweet.

So Alleycat wouldn't work for me. I just called her Allie for short and to be honest I love the name for her now. She has a nick name of Al-bal or Allie-ballie thanks to Nat. No idea where it comes from but it has stuck!

Back when she was still pretty from both sides...

Honey Badger - Gracie

Don't let the cute face fool you. She is out for your blood.
So when we first got Gracie she looked like a feral horse straight from the bush, which she pretty much was.

Super feral.

Nat named her Gracie simply because she liked the name Grace. We all know now that she can be a mole of a horse and is rather graceful while tearing around the paddock kicking at your head. She is so marey. So, so marey.

The Honey Badger thing is best explained by this video:

Seriously, Gracie doesn't give a shit. She eats ANYTHING. She takes what she wants, does what she wants, is a general bad ass and really doesn't need any human in her life. She is the opposite of sweet affectionate Allie.

But she looks so cute!
When Nat took her to her first show, she wanted a show name for her but couldn't come up with anything. We joked about Honey Badger, but I don't think Nat was serious about it. Too bad for her that I did the online nomination for them. I chose Honey Badger and it really has stuck. We love it now. She lives up to it on a regular basis.

Shaun's Image - Beckham

"Getting REAL sick of your shit Lisa..."

Beckham's sire was a TB from New Zealand called Young Shaun. Apparently Becks looked just like him, therefore Shaun's Image.

He really was quite handsome.
His stable name when I got him was Gus. Weird thing was, the old man who I got him from was also called Gus. He looked like a Gus, with his big round belly and short chewed up tail. But I hated Gus. Hated it. I couldn't find a name I liked but my mate Casey suggested Beckham. Now, I'm not a soccer fan at all, but the name really suited him. So it stuck.

Gosh I miss that horse.

Wombat - Pom

Oh my sweet pony. Sweet, long suffering pony.
Wombat was my first pony I got when I was 12. He came with the name Wombat. I don't know anything about his history, we bought him from a dodgy horse dealer.

No helmet. No hair tie. No saddle. Really, it's lucky I was even wearing boots.

His nickname was Pom. After about the first year or so I hardly ever called him Wombat. Always Pom. Some people assumed that was his only name! The way a 13 year old girl progresses from Wombat to Pom is this: Wombat>Wombie Pombie>Wombie Pom>Pom.
I shit you not.

So cute, so yellow.


That is the look of a pony who suffers ownership by a 13 year old pony obsessed girl.

Anira was a sweet old long suffering paint pony we bought from another dodgy horse dealer. Can you tell we didn't come from a horsey family?

Anira is a nerdy nerdy nerdy name. I am a super nerd, just FYI. It means desired in Sindarin Elvish from Lord of the Rings.

So she got that name because Natalie (being about 9 years old at the time) desperately wanted a paint mare. This horse was too old and too expensive but she got her because she was a paint mare. The poor pony only stayed sound for about 3 years after Nat got her and retired not long after. She was also always a crazy hot ride. All she wanted to do was go fast, jump, or do sporting events, which her arthritic hocks couldn't handle.

Summer coat, winter fuzz ears.

She was super sweet and quiet on the ground so she wasn't any trouble to have around really. She was loved and I know Nat still misses her terribly.

That's it! What a great idea for a blog hop.

Saturday, 11 October 2014


So Amy wrote a post that included how cheap it was for her to keep her ponies at home.

Made me remember that I recently went through the costs for the yearly bare essentials of keeping a horse in my little part of the world, Western Sydney.

Agistment:$80/week (this gets you a large grassed yard with decent fencing and depending on the situation, normally either half or no care - so DIY mostly).
Feed: $30 a weekHooves: $50 every 5 weeks (trim because I'm a barefoot person)Teeth: $150 by vet dentist with sedation once a yearVaccinations: $300 a year
So bare essentials = $6,690 a year. $557.50 a month for one horse. That's 9.1% of the average full time Australian income (a quick google puts this at $72,800 per year including tax. To be honest, in Western Sydney it would be about $10k less than this).

This makes me wonder - how much does it cost to keep a horse in your neck of the woods? Just agistment (or board or wheatever you Americans call it :P), feed, hooves, teeth and vaccinations. Also, how much of the average wage is this?

Monday, 6 October 2014

Spring fun

Allie has been good. Natalie's friend Hania has come to ride her two days in a row now - I've followed them to the dam and had a hop on myself too.

She has had a snotty nostril that smells a little off. No food particles, just white or slightly yellow/green and not continuous. Just keeping an eye on it for now.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunny Sundays

I took the opportunity today to ride with Natalie. We did the same as last time - quick school then headed up to the back. This time we walked around the racetrack with a small trot near the end, then headed over to the dam for a play.

Natalie rode the two of them through the dam. I took some video. First up is Gracie - note how cranky she is about the water splashing her in the face on her second go around.

Be warned, I swear at Gracie in the beginning of this video. She was rubbing her head on me.

Allie rolled in the mud AGAIN with me! I thought I had her, we were walking forward but nuh. She has finally discovered the joy of rolling in the mud and I couldn't stop her. And I spent an hour and a half cleaning my saddle before the ride too. Witch.

It was an awesome ride. The weather was stunning and warm, the ponies were happy (if a touch spooky) and we had fun.

Can't ask for more than that on a Sunday.

Concentrating on her tootsies.

She's looking FIIIINE

These are video stills, obviously.

Zoomy pony

Friday, 26 September 2014


After Val's lovely post about horse time post-baby, I've been thinking hard today about when I want to return to riding and in what capacity after I have the bub.

My situation is that I can't keep my horse at home right now. We are paying off our first home and we won't have the chance to buy or rent property in the near future. I do have her on agistment 20 minutes away with great facilities... if you keep racehorses. There is no arena. There is another agistment less than 10 minutes away (35 minute walk) that has great riding facilities and fencing but is rather pricey. I'm hoping to keep her there and possibly do one feed up a day to help reduce costs.

But... when can I ride? I will have a little person who needs me to be there most of the time. I won't be returning to work for at least 12 months, possibly more. However I hope to pick up some easy weekday trims that I can bring baby to (i.e. local quiet one or two horse trims that will take an hour max).

I've been reading and researching what other new mums do with their riding. I've heard about women who only ride if the bub is looked after by someone else (partner once or twice a week, or their mums, or child care). Other mums put bub in a pack n play and pop them next to the arena while they ride and if bubs cries, they hop off, tie up the horse and tend to bub. Others leave bub in the car with the AC or heat going the whole time they ride. So much petrol! Others again try to time rides with nap times.

What do I think is OK? I would love to ride 3-4 days a week. Maybe using a combination of bringing bub (depending on weather), leaving bub with Andrew, family or friends. I'll probably bring bub to do chores as incan easily make feeds and  pick up poo with bub in a carrier or settled in the shade in a pram.

I'm fully aware that the child will be demanding and that I will have to drop everything when s/he needs me. I also know that I could end up with a colicy baby or one who has lactose or allergy issues or who can't sleep or would otherwise be difficult to manage and I will deal with that as best I can if I have to. BUT I also believe that bub needs to fit into our lives, not just us change our whole lives to accommodate bub. I have to get some pony time in. Regular pony time. I get that I need to be flexible and if bub is sick I will just have to leave Allie not worked but if I can manage a routine where I cover all the baby's needs plus get out to the horse once a day and ride 3-4 times a week we will all be so much happier. I would LOVE to be able to get out to just one show late next year. Just one. Maybe even a baby little eventing show?

Andrew is reluctant to give me much on this. I know he won't want to be left alone with bubs multiple times a week while I'm off riding, even if it only totals 3-5 hours a week. But to be honest, although he will be working full time, so will I - full time doing baby stuff, house stuff (ugggghhhhhhhh I am the opposite of a housewife), blah blah blah. I will need the time with Allie. I get that I can't expect him to look after baby solo every single day as soon as he walks in the door while I zoom off in my jodphurs and ride. It's not every day that I'm asking. Once, maybe twice a week on weeknights, then for a couple of hours on either a Saturday or Sunday morning. If he didn't make more money than me it would be him staying home to look after bub!

Any advice/opinions/words of wisdom? Am I expecting too much? Am I expecting too little? I am not afraid of hard work. I've waited a damn long time to get out and ride this horse properly. I can make this happen with the right planning and the right support.

On a side note, Timehop tells me that today in the 1yr anniversary of Allie going lame when she broke her leg. She's been out of work for 12 months.


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Got Me Back

You guys.

I've got ME back again. It feels amazing.

I'm finding joy in the little things again, multiple times a day, like I used to. An awesome old song on the radio, my big round belly jumping out of time with my own heartbeat, my pony's dapples blooming in the springtime sunshine.

I feel like Lisa again, with a default happy that is the underlying emotion in my life.

Life really is good. I just forgot that for a while.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

We rode Allie today!!! She was super forward, quite rushy, but tried super hard and listened. She had a lunge first, then we hopped on.

Natalie rode first, just walk and trot. When she was listening to Nat, I hopped on. It felt amazing to sit in the saddle again.

After I did a little toodling around, we got Gracie out and went for a little walk/trot up the back. We found a dam that wasn't muddy around the edges and let them have a play. Gracie rolled and I laughed my arse off at Natalie with her wet boot! Then, after a while, Allie stopped pawing the water and she rolled too! I had to hop off, and the witch refused to get up out of the water! Eventually she was done, my saddle was muddy, my socks were wet and we were both laughing in stitches. It was like in the old days when we were kids. We did some trot sets through the water for about 5 mins, then headed back home.

Both girls got a wash, my saddle had a quick clean, and now I'm exhausted but so happy.

Have some crappy video stills from my phone.

I am ENORMOUS. I'm in the white shirt. Nat's in the blue.