weeks later

In just one short week, there was a noticeable difference in Koda & Nemo. Some of what we experienced may have been attributed to the warm 80 degree weather, the kind you want to bottle - and then open up during a cold or rainy stretch. Unlike some other horses at the trainers, ours were handling our early jump from winter to summer pretty well - winter coat and all. Spring serves a transitional purpose, we just didn't get one this year. In reality, another week of training and strengthening was showing it's effect. Some weeks it shows, and other not as much. Nemo was no longer "racey". Koda's collection response was back, and he continued to move out. It always helps to be able to ride in the large outdoor arena.

Fast forward to this weekend. We recently got some much needed rain, that stuck us back in the indoor yesterday. It's just not as much fun to ride inside for horse or human. Koda's forward go, pretty much got up and went. Repeated cues were needed on more then one occasion. He seemed bored, more then anything. I tried to change it up as much as I could. There were some cones set out, which added a structure to move around. Our trainer spent most of our ride helping Brad & Nemo work on softness, and their lope. It seems to be the initial training focus, where both horses need work. Speaking of work, I need to spend more time on my side passes and attempted spins, they felt pretty sloppy...and I really like doing them.

On a different note, Nemo's bladder biopsy had to be rescheduled. The specialized equipment was out of state, being used for a training. Waiting another week turned out to be a good thing. When he went into the vet hospital for his exploratory procedure, the preliminary ultrasound showed the mass in his bladder had started to break down on it's own - it was a clump of calcium. They didn't need to do the biopsy, instead they were able to finish breaking the mass down and flush the calcium out. He was happy to get back to his home-away-from-home. Our vet will continue looking into things that may be contributing to the build-up, starting by testing our hay. We are pretty happy with the news, and look forward to many years together with our big entertaining sweet guy!

Leftovers are good!
Nemo figured out if he flips the tire at home, just right, the grain that was wedged between the tire and pan from his messy eating brother (Koda) pops right out and lands in the pan.


Sunday Stills ~ Transitions

Transitions are happening quickly in my yard, we completely missed spring and transitioned from winter into summer...

Lilac Buds

Rose Bush

Iris Bud

...I went on an outing yesterday with my local photography group, here is a different type of transition...

Holy Water
Can you see the stain glass windows?


she wasn't kidding

Last weekend we arrived at our trainers to find Nemo all about greeting us, and then there was Koda who glanced but wouldn't even turn around. Since he had an attitude, I went to love up Nemo instead. Eventually Koda decided to show some interest in our arrival, and then received a warm welcome. Somethings never change, you could flip a coin with that boy to see which one you've got that day.

As usual Brad was already riding Nemo by the time Koda & I entered the arena. 40 mile an hour winds were randomly blowing the new giant wall fan at the end of the arena open, slamming it shut, and creating weird loud creaking sounds. I thought a warm up lunge at that end of the arena would be a good idea. Remember the crazy lunging horse in the arena from a few rides ago? Well, that was us this time. Koda bucked, pulled, raced, and gave me dirty looks. Who's horse is this? I've only seen him act up like that once while lunging, when he first learned how as a yearling and was testing things out. That wasn't going to work this time either, and he quickly settled and chose to listen.

I didn't care much for the way Koda was acting, and opted not to hop on him right away. Instead we walked around and hung out down at the scary end of the arena, until our trainer came back from multi-tasking. I wanted her to ride him first, and see just what this new found behavior was all about. My horse was acting out of character, even for him. The winds had died down a fair amount, and of course Koda was perfect for her. I would expect nothing less.

I hopped on to find my sluggish boy was gone, and had changed into an energetic teenage version. Where repeated cues were needed in the past, it was one - and go. He didn't even try to quit until asked. Our trainer wasn't kidding when she said "Koda wants to go-go-go" and added "it's like they (Koda & Nemo) switched places". Fine with me, as long as Koda is listening - and he was, intently. I wonder if/how long it will last? I guess Koda has been this energetic since day one (two weeks ago) clearly happy to be back! Maybe he thought I was there to take him home, or more likely re-testing me. Nemo on the other hand seems like he could take Iron Horse, or leave it. He certainly doesn't dislike it, but I think he would rather be back in the pasture at home keeping track of his herd. Brad also found Nemo not to be his old ride, he was back to being a bit racey and high headed.

I had a good time riding Koda that day, he was different but fun. I really enjoyed his extended trot, didn't even know he had that cue...and I could even feel the gait was correct lol. It was obvious. I'm glad Brad asked about it, we missed trying their extended trot's before. Koda's lope was okay, somewhere along the way his cue for collecting got foggy. Our trainer agreed with me, and is working on it. He was still responding to the cue pretty well when we dropped him off, but in fixing other things he isn't anymore. I know it takes time to put it all back together. If only we could ride year round, there would be less to put back together.

I remember the mixed feeling of finding our horses different, in particular right after they start training. Sometimes I wonder if it's all worth it - but in the end, it always proves to be.


Sunday Stills ~ A Part of a Whole

Our beautiful early Spring weather inspired me to head out to a marsh...where I captured as much of a whole as I could, and got as close as possible to part of the marsh (without getting wet). Wish I could add the peaceful sound!

Cherokee Marsh

part of the marsh


nemo & koda update

Nemo and Koda went back to the trainers for a tune-up at the end of February. While they've both done well getting back to work, apparently it's Koda that has shown a real change. He wants to go-go-go, and is eager for his workouts. I'm not surprised. It was clear to me over the winter that he would rather be an indoor/outdoor horse with a job. Koda is happiest when he has something to do that uses his mind, as with many horses. He is a lower pecking order horse, who loves food and thoroughly enjoys the uninterrupted meals delivered three times a day at Iron Horse. If only the stables were closer, and I could afford it, he would live there full time. We are going up to ride this weekend, it will be interesting to see how he feels & reacts.

Koda at home, right before heading back to work

Both boys had their teeth floated, coggins, and shots done by our shared vet, conveniently at Iron Horse. When we dropped Koda & Nemo off, for the first time since his procedure, we noticed Nemo dripping....it was time for a recheck. You may recall he had calcium build up in his bladder, and had it flushed once before.

When I called Brad to see how the vet visit went, I knew from the sound of my hubby's voice that something wasn't right when they did Nemo's ultrasound. He didn't want to discuss it until I got home from work. Great. That was a long ride, with my mind running rampant. I figured he needed to be re-flushed, but there had to be more...

Our vet was pleased to find Nemo's bladder to still be of normal size, with less buildup. However, he found a growth. He tried to get what calcium had built up out, but the growth prevented it. Vet Dave was stunned, as the growth wasn't there on the first ultrasound & extraction. He is looking into the situation further, and reviewing Nemo's scans with his network of experts. It is likely Nemo will have to go to the vet hospital to get the growth biopsied. Our trusted vet is extremely knowledgeable, and we will be well advised. He is aware of the fact that Nemo is Brad's buddy, his heart horse. I am keeping the faith that whatever this growth is, there is something we can do about it to help our beloved big guy - who gives sooo much to us.

Nemo at home, right before heading back to work


Sunday Stills ~ Through an Opening

Took a road trip today, and found this looking through a snow covered fence:


See other views through Sunday Still openings


nothing like a good scratch

While I was busy snapping photos, there was some serious scratching going on at our place...

Nemo says "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours"

...apparently everyone was itchy...

duo-scratching the girls, who are never far apart
(Cierra & Harmony)

...somebody had to wait...

Koda getting scratched, and brushed

...but it was worth it!