Friday, July 17, 2015

Two years

Happy Gotcha Day, shadow. Two years in the books and I love you more everyday. Thank you for always being my best friend <3

Friday, July 10, 2015

BABY horse.

It's been quite a while since I've have time to sit down and blog about anything. Life has changed quite a bit.

Somewhere along all of these transitions and changes, Shadow got a baby brother!

I would like to introduce our new addition Sweet Pusher Man "Push"

Push has been with shadow and I for a week now. He is an unraced 2 year old chestnut Tb currently standing at 16 hands!!

I have been looking for another horse on and off not very diligently and then out of the blue here was the perfect opportunity. Push was training to race but just wasn't cutting it. I was told he walked out of the starting gate and looked around, maybe trotted if they were lucky. He has no tattoo and he knows nothing. I'm not even sure he knows he's a horse yet. Haha

I found him through one of the horse groups on Facebook, and it just so happened to all fall together too easily. It was a Wednesday and Dom was here, I got a message to call the girl who had push, I spoke with her briefly and within minutes we were on our way to take a look.

Push was on stall rest due to a thrown shoe and a small abscess, but we took him out of the stall and let him run around and liberty. Dom loved him and kept saying "if you don't take him I will" no pressure, right? So that's exactly what I did.

Push came home last Saturday and really has a lot to learn. He has a lot of cuts and bumps and needs some  love and some weight , but I don't doubt I can have him looking great in no time. :)

Dom did her first session with him on Wednesday and he seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders. I was a bit nervous to handle him without her around so I was very anxious to see her by the time Wednesday came. To my surprise he learned very quickly and then walked right into the wash stall, cross tied and stood for a bath. Who knew it would be so easy. Lol

I am very excited to make push my own. He is a blank slate  and I can't wait to see what we can do together. I see jumping/eventing and cross country in my future!

Shadow on the other hand has been nothing less than amazing. We had some back soreness issues and actually had some acupuncture done which worked wonders. I think he is finally "finished" . I am just working on some fine tuning at the canter and then we can decide what direction we are going to move in. Maybe we can start practicing the entry level dressage tests and go to  a show or two this summer. Who knows!  I just love him so much and I am so amazed at the animal he is today. He really is my heart horse and I am so grateful that we found Dom because without her I'm not sure we would have made it as  the riding team we are today. <3

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

You Got It

After two years of calling and leaving messages, facebook stalking, and tweeting I FINALLY got my hands on one of Shadow's win photos as a 2 year old!

It came in the mail on Monday and I nearly cried. I am so so so happy to finally have this little piece of his history. I never got to find out much. I spoke with his breeder once, and they told me  a little about him, mentioning he was one of the "craziest" horses they ever trained and that he won them a nice amount of money. ( a little over 60,000 I believe) They then went on to sell him in a $90,000 private sale. Unfortunately that's where the information stopped because the person who purchased him has passed away, but they did mention to me that they thought he had never raced again after the sale. He only made a few starts in his short career, which made him pretty successful, I guess.

After speaking to them and doing all my research, and giving up and then starting to look again... 

here it is! <3 

Monday, April 20, 2015


Shadow has really been showing me what he can do lately. I think the fact that he is 17 only plays a role in my mind. He has been amazing me week after week as we lesson with Dom.

We have started jumping, as I mentioned in a post a while back (i think) and he has been doing great.
Gymnastics are what we are currently working on and he keeps proving to me that he will get it and be good at it.

I took an "almost fall" two weeks ago that scared me/took what was left of my riding confidence i think. So last week i was being a cry baby as Dom pushed me to continue our jumping lessons.

I should know by now that Shadow is my personal baby sitter. He would never do anything to hurt me and if things do go wrong he does his best to save me and keep me out of the way of anything that may potentially hurt me, but i am just not as tough of a rider as I was when I wasssss, let's say 10! lol

Blurry Picture from a Free Jumping video

Mike catching my "fall" on camera.
My body never actually hit the ground. My right leg got stuck in the stirrup, but i managed to wrap my arms around shadows neck and put my left leg down on the ground. When Shadow felt me hit his chest he put on the brakes and saved me! Now known as "The time April didnt' fall off" -_- lol

Dom continues to push me through our lessons even though i want to cry every time i see her touch a jump and Shadow continues to surprise me at how well he does and how good he really feels. What stifle injury?! :) 

This weeks gymnastics, Shadow rocked it. That last verical looked HUGE to me while I was riding, but it measured out to be only 2'6" and Shadow cleared it with room to spare, which means.. higher jumps. AHHHH 


I was scared, as you can see all over my face, HA

Video, I need ALOT of work, so don't even pay attention to me up there, but Shadow is doing EXCELLENT.

After a GREAT lesson on Saturday, Kris, Arrow, Shadow and I prepared for a 8 mile hunter pace in the Assunpink. The first of many paces held by Monmouth County Hunt. It was so much fun!

We got off to rocky start, it took us an hour to get shadow on the trailer. Kris has first parked in the parking lot where there are some rocks which were hurting shadows feet (problem #1) so I asked Kris to pull onto the grass, still with no improvement.. We tried everything to get him on. Finally as a last resort i asked Kris to pull Arrow off the trailer so i could try and load Shadow. I pushed the divider out of the way and handed shadow over to her, and like that he walked right on, Arrow loaded on again not problem and we were finally on our way. 

I was a little nervous based on this only being our second time doing a pace like this and it was longer than the last one. We didn't have a great start at the last one either, which added to my nerves, but I tried to stay calm. 

Shadow and Arrow did absolutely amazing. It was the best 8 miles I have ever ridden. The view was gorgeous and the horses seemed to really enjoy it. Every chance they got they were cantering through the open fields or trotting through clear trails. Shadow had a BEAUTIFUL slow collected canter and his trot is FINALLY perfected. I spent countless days just trotting, trotting, trotting and now it is a thing of the past. I don't have to think about it anymore, we just do it. 

I know it is a lot easier for Shadow to canter straight and in large areas being he still doesn't have the balance he needs to carry himself and me around corners in the indoor, but that is still in the works, I have spent literally NO time on it at all, i don't even think about cantering, but i think now it is time to move on to it and get it perfected because his canter is in there and it is amazing. 

It is great to see that the horses enjoyed the ride as much as we did, and they get along so well. Arrow is a great friend to Shadow, almost reassuring him that everything is fine and doesn't mind when Shadow rests his nose on his butt and Shadow keeps Arrow calm when they are side by side on the trail and Arrow just cant wait to run and I can't wait to do it again. They make wonderful partners. 

 I could not be anymore proud of Shadow, as Dom says all the time, it is too bad I got him so late in his life because we would have made one hell of a team if I could have installed all this work into him at a younger age, I do sometimes feel as though I am working against the clock, but Shadow has other opinions and shows no signs of slowing down. He is my best boy <3 


Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Having an indoor has been a great asset for Shadow and I.

His trot has FINALLY become more consistent and i don't have to work so hard. He is doing great. 

We have been able to lesson every week when it wasn't snowing on a saturday and i couldn't be happier. 

I dont have much else to say other than that, everything has just been going smoothly so i am going to leave you with a short video to show shadow's progress from out last lesson. 

LOVE my boy. <3

Thursday, January 8, 2015


When Shadow lived at Bonni's, he was on a set feeding schedule of 7:00 am and 3:00 pm with his supplements in his night feeding.

With our move came a hiccup in his routine. He now eat between 8:30-9:30 in the morning and between 6:30-7:30 at night, with supplements in the morning. No biggie, he will just have to adjust.

I have noticed that he is not eating all of his morning grain since we have gotten there. He is still on the same food, the same out, the same supplements, just getting them at a different time.

While they do not eat until later, they come in right before the sun goes down, so around 4-4:30 and they are given a flake of hay to munch on until dinner time.

I was there for them to come in the other night so I helped the barn owner bring him and his pasture mate in and as soon as i let shadow into his stall, he dove his head into his bucket and finished what had left from the morning.

Then yesterday morning i noticed he had left about half of his morning feeding in his bucket.

He is still eating, everything, just on his own terms. I dont know if this is his way of adjusting, as if he is saving himself a "snack" because he knows he isnt going to get fed as soon as he comes in from outside or if it something else.

I am not really worried too much because like i said he is still eating, just not like he used to. He never left anything behind, ever.

I am going to give him another week to see if it lessens or stops, and if not i may switch his supplements back to PM and see if that has anything to do with it.

Any advise from anyone?

Also, what is everyone's take on Bran Mash? I have read so many articles some say yes do it and some say no don't. I have always given it to my past horses, but never to shadow and now with all the reading I have done, I am a little torn on the subject.

Thanks for your help!

Monday, January 5, 2015


On Thursday Shadow moved to his new home. 

He settled right in and was acting as though he had been there the whole time. 

The move itself was quite uneventful, as expected. Shadow doesn't really care about much.

It took a few minutes to get him on the trailer. It's not that he won't go on or fights me to get on, he just doesn't want to. He will walk onto the ramp with all four feet and perch himself there like, "okay i'm on, let's go"  and then eventually gives in and walks on. Needless to say, learning how to self load will be in our future. 

I said goodbye to Bonni, and off we went. 

He came off the trailer and went into his new field with his new pasture mate, made a little bit of fuss, then five minutes later they were sharing a hay pile. 

I hung around for most of the day, once he settled I left with Greer, and her husband and her son and of course Will to get some lunch to say thank you for all the help, then I ventured back to get myself organized. 

I helped the barn owner with a few things that she wouldn't have had to do if it weren't for me and shadow moving in, like getting a stall ready for her mare since we took her old one, and moving some things to the new hay trailer.  I helped her bring some horses in and a few other things all while Shadow continued his day peacefully. 

The indoor was quiet, so I brought Shadow in from outside and turned him loose to see what he would do. He was absolutely crazy, galloping and bucking and carrying on, calling to his new found friend for about 10 minutes and then he was over it. 

Once he calmed down I brought him back outside for a while before it was time for them to come in for the night. When he first came into his stall he was a little nervous. He was fussing with his hay and walking himself in circles. He is not used to having a stall that is completely enclosed. He likes to be able to put his head out, but he will get used to it. He does have a window for when the weather is nicer. We can open it up and he can put his head outside, but who really wants to do that when it is freezing out? The barn in pretty warm, so there is no point in making it colder. I did open the door and put up a stall guard for him so he could bring his head out into the isle since i was going to be there for a while.  He eventually calmed down and went on to eating his hay. 

Finally around 5:30 I went home. The barn owner doesn't feed until about 6:30-7:30 at night, so that is going to be a big transition for him,since he is used to eating on a set schedule of 7 am and 3pm. She texted me and let me know that he ate all of his grain that night and settled in nicely, then texted me again Friday morning to let me know he ate and went out like a perfect gentleman. I'm so proud of him, I think I had a harder time with this then he did. 

Friday night I went back with William to lunge him in the indoor. He really did great. He was moving very nice and i could barely tell he has been off for over a month. He was a little nervous with all the new noises and the walls and the MIRRORS, but he kept his cool and we even got a few minutes o riding in.  Mirrors are definitely the bad guy right now. We had to walk up to it very slowly, while snorting at the horse in front of him.  We eventually got close enough and he bashed his nose into it, realizing that horse was him. He is now alright with them, but every now and then he forgets and spooks. To be expected. 

Saturday Dom came out! I managed to schedule perfectly around the other trainers lessons and Shadow did great. It was really nice to hear Dom say we both looked happy. 

Sunday the Barn Owner has a meeting for all of the boarders and I hung around for while. Shadow had almost like a foam around his lips. I don't really know how to explain it, but I looked in his moth and he has just foamy saliva in his mouth, something I have never seen before? It wasn't excessive, I kept an eye on him, he was eating and drinking, everything normal. Once the trainer was done with her lessons the barn owner and I decided to ride. I took Shadow out of his stall and just checked him over because I wasn't sure why his mouth was like that. As I said, he was eating, he had belly noises and was completely acting normal. So I continued on to getting ready to ride. He was great, it took alot of work to keep him from breaking into his canter and just keep him trotting, but he was really so good. When we were all done all the foam that was in his mouth was gone and he was still fine. The barn owner threw then their flake of hay that they get before their dinner and he was eating again tucked away in his stall. I didn't think much more about it. I am so happy with the outcome after not doing anything for a month, he really gives his all every single time.

I really think having an indoor is going to a great thing for us. I really couldn't be happier. 

Shadow's new stall :) 

Getting to know everyone. 

First time in the indoor. 

Not so sure about this stall, ma. 

Our first ride in our new place <3

and this is how he felt about this indoor business!