Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The most recent time I went up to the ranch, I met up with D____, and we went down to the local vet clinic to buy some 4-way and West Nile intra-muscular shots.

I was telling D___ how I swabbed my horse with rubbing alcohol before and after the shot, and the vet came up and said "Ya don't need to do that. There's no way you'll get the site really clean anyway. Just be sure to go straight in, and pull back on the plunger to make sure you haven't hit an artery. It'll be fine. I've only ever seen a horse get an infection once. She had a pretty big lump blow up on the site, but it went down again and she was fine. So no need to worry so much."

Hey, okay. :)

So I'd just been kind of a paranoid horse mom. It happens when you're a new horse mom, ya know?

Anyway, D____ and I went back to the ranch with our shots. We got our horses, and she turned to me and said "uh actually needles make me really nervous and I've never done this, will you go first?"

Well sure! I'd give Sol Ace once before, when I had him trailered up to the ranch. And when I feel like I need to keep someone else calm, it actually helps me stay calm. So while D___ held a feed pan with some goodies in it up for Solomon, I pinched the skin on his neck near the shoulder where that big triangle of muscle is, and, while talking about every step I was taking, I put the needle in, pulled back to make sure there was no blood, and then gave him his first shot. Solomon was an angel and didn't even twitch. He DID twitch on the second shot, but quickly calmed down and took it.

Then it was D____'s turn. She was a bit nervous and I thought about offering to do it, but I realized that if I had, I would be robbing her of the experience. So I held Magic the Arab's pan, and talked about each step D___ was taking. She did great! She did both shots, and then she let herself breathe. I told her she did really well, and that it was over, and talked her through a couple of deep in through the nose, out through the mouth breaths, just like sensei had taught me. And then I said "and you know what? What you just did was a 100% success. That was all you. You did it yourself! Nobody can take that away from you, and you'll carry that with you for the rest of your life."

Oh hey, I was channeling Bo!

Another new thing, another positive experience at the ranch.

After that, I hung out with KizmetRanch, who had come down to visit for the weekend. We sat on the grass and chatted, and we shared an orange. Solomon got some orange too.

I got distracted with peeling the orange, and Solomon decided to mosey on over to DeDe's truck to try to eat something out of the bed. DeDe took exception to this action, and chased him away. I got scolded for not keeping a better eye on my horse, and then A___ chased Solly around on her horse Nick, as though she were cutting a cow. Poor Solomon could not quite believe what was happening, heh!

After that little adventure, I put him away again. That was not the best day to be a Sol-Sol. He got shots, and he got chased around!

He also got lots of nose-kisses though, so I think he'll survive, somehow. :p

KizmetRanch hadn't had the best day, riding-wise. Bo pulled out Missy, a cute young bay, and rode around on her a bit. She's a forward horse. I suggested maybe bringing out Teddy Bear, so we pulled her out and had DeDe evaluate her- that abscess she had was pretty big, and those can take a while for a horse to recover from. Bo found the site of the abscess when he trimmed her feet. DeDe declared her okay for walk-trot. I'd seen Teddy Bear galloping around a few weeks prior, myself. Remember the pictures?

Anyway, we got KizmetRanch on Tedders, who took her for a nice little ride around the front field with the barrels.

After that was done, Bo let me get up on Teddy Bear, and I rode her out in the field, with her "crutching" on Bo. That is to say, Bo walked in front of us, and she followed him. I focused on radiating calm, moving in synch with Teddy Bear, draping my legs while keeping my toes up, and keeping my hands low and soft and quiet. I think I did pretty well, too! We even did a few walk-trot transitions, and I did not come off, or even feel like I would. Hah, go me! That was the first time I'd ridden since I think January. It really felt great to be back in the saddle, and helped my confidence a lot, too. I admit, I get bored with the round pen. I don't get bored with riding. I just, from time to time, think "walking in a straight line and going somewhere might be nice."

Okay once in a while I think "hey cantering looks really fun!"

But I can wait for that.

At the end of the ride, Bo said "okay Ev, it's time to practice your emergency dismount, so anytime you're ready..."

So while Teddy Bear was walking along, I executed a nice neat stirrup-less dismount from a Western saddle. I stuck the landing, bouncing lightly on my feet. Teddy Bear stopped when I vaulted off of her, because she is a good girl.

It was a great day, full of nice people, nice horses, and success!

No comments: