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Horse Spotlight November 2014 - Blu

What is your name? 

What is your breed?
Quarter pony cross

What color are you?
Blue roan

How old are you?
8 years old

How tall are you?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite treat?
Anything. I'm not picky.

What is your favorite time of year?
Summer becaus of all the trail rides

What is your favorite discipline?

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
Yes, a girlfriend named Summer

Do you prefer English or Western?

What are a few of your favorite things?
Food, being brushed, getting outside my stall.

What are your least favorite things?
Getting worked when it's hot.

What do you like best about your humans?
Getting food and being outside my stall.

Have you ever won any awards?
Yes in gymkhana shows 4ths and 5ths.

Tags: Blu

Rider Spotlight February 2014 - Talia Guidi

Rider Spotlight February 2014 - Talia Guidi

Name:  Talia Guidi

How long have you been riding?  How long have you been riding with Kim? I have been riding for 6 years, 3 with Kim

Who do you ride currently and who have you ridden in the past?  I currently ride Roxy and have previously ridden Cassie, Romeo and Titan (and Max, Cooper and Strawberry once).

What is your riding history?  I rode English before I came to Kim.  Now I show Gymkhana with Roxy.

Tell a little about your current mount:  Roxy is a spectacularly adorable and awesome little pony.  She's a princess and she knows it.  She's an awesome Gymkhana mount.

What is your favorite discipline(s)?  Jumping (Hurry Scurry)

What do you get out of spending time at Franklin Canyon Stables?   The people here are really nice and help you if you ever need it.  Kim is also the best instructor I have ever had.

Have you ever won any riding awards?  If so, what?  I have won 6 third places, and 1 fifth on Roxy.  I also won a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in English with Ginny Herron.

    • Roxy at State 2014
    • Roxy at State 2014
    • Roxy at State 2014
    • Talia and Roxy
    • Roxy as Bullseye - Halloween 2013
    • Waiting around at the 2013 Show of Champions
    • Getting ready for the show!
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Tags: Roxy, Talia

Horse Spotlight February 2014 - Roxy

Horse Spotlight February 2014 - Roxy


What is your name?  Roxy

What is your breed?  Welsh Pony

What color are you?  Buckskin with a white blaze and white on my hind legs

How old are you?  9 years old

How tall are you?  Im Fun-sized! (11hh)

What is your favorite color?  Purple

What is your favorite treat?  Anything edible...Plus a few other things...

What is your favorite time of year?  I love the beginning of Gymkhana season because I love barrel racing and pole bending

What is your favorite discipline?  Pole bending

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?  Not at the moment, but Romeo and I are close friends.

Do you prefer English or Western?  Western

What are a few of your favorite things?   I Love to EAT!

What are your least favorite things?  Fly Spray

What do you like best about your humans? I love when they snuggle me and give me food!

Have you ever won any awards?  I have won 6 third place ribbons/medals and 1 fifth place.

    • Roxy at State 2014
    • Roxy at State 2014
    • Roxy at State 2014
    • Roxy's First Day
    • Talia and Roxy
    • Roxy
    • Roxy's First Day
    • Lovely Roxy
    • Roxy doing gymkhana!
    • Roxy
    • Roxy Relaxing
    • Roxy and Cassie
    • Roxy Looking Beautiful
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Tags: Roxy

Rider Spotlight December 2013 - Bob Zenoni

Rider Spotlight December 2013 - Bob Zenoni

Name:  Bob Zenoni

How long have you been riding?  How long have you been riding with Kim?  About 15 months, all of it with Kim

Who do you ride currently and who have you ridden in the past?  I usually ride Johnny Cash but I have also ridden Max, Champ, Diamond, Titan, Cooper, Lakota, and even Jewel

What is your riding history?  Not much really. I rode horses a little as a kid when we would vacation at Lake Tahoe but I have now learned that was more about being a passive passenger and not really riding.

Tell a little about your current mount:  Johnny is a great horse; very friendly, patient, and usually well behaved. He is the equine equivalent of a Labrador Retriever.

What is your favorite discipline(s)?  Trails

What is your favorite thing to do at the barn (other than riding)?  I like to learn new things and every day at the barn is a learning experience. Horses are complex animals and there is a lifetime of learning in their care and training.

What is your favorite 2013 memory?  When I first started, I was scared to trot, let alone ride at a canter. Kim is a great teacher and she now has me very comfortable cantering out on the trails.

What are your 2013 - 2014 riding goals?  I do not have any specific goals. I just want to continue to ride, learn, and see where it goes.

What are your long term riding goals?  Same answer as above.

What do you get out of spending time at Franklin Canyon Stables?   A couple of things come to mind. I have made some new friends who I enjoy riding with. Also, I like to watch the young people interact with the horses and each other. There is a good group of kids and teenagers who are very hardworking and responsible and have a lot of fun.

What do you get out of spending time with horses?  I find it to be very relaxing and a good counterbalance to the stresses of my job and everyday life.

Have you ever won any riding awards?  If so, what?  Not yet.

Tags: Bob

Horse Spotlight December 2013 - Johnny Cash

Horse Spotlight December 2013 - Johnny Cash

What is your name?  Johnny Cash

What is your breed?  American Quarter Horse

What color are you?  Sorrel Chestnut

How old are you?  14 years

How tall are you?  15.3 hands

What is your favorite color?  Green (hay)

What is your favorite treat?  Watermelon rinds

What is your favorite time of year?  Spring when the hills are green.

What is your favorite discipline?  Trail riding!  I will do arena work, but I really don't enjoy it much.

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?  Although I love people, I do not always get along with other horses so I am somewhat of a loner.

Do you prefer English or Western?  Western

What are a few of your favorite things?  Eating, eating, and eating.

What are your least favorite things?  Their willingness to bring me treats.  They don't do it enough!

What do you like best about your humans?  I like that they feed me.  I like it best when they leave me in my stall to eat and play with my neighbors, but I like going ton the trail too!

Have you ever won any awards?  I have done pretty well doing gymkhana in the past. I also used to be a roping horse, but I'm more of a "Most Awesome Lesson Horse at the Barn" award kind of guy. 

Tags: Johnny Cash

Leila's Lessons - Week 29 - A Happy Goodbye

Leila's time with Franklin Canyon Stables is drawing to a close.  We are enjoying our last few days with her.  She will be moving down to a Jumping trainer in Southern California.  After several meetings, we've decided it's in her best interest to move to another location.  Franklin Canyon Stables has a lot of great things, but one thing it lacks is an arena that's big enough to do much jump work. We feel we've developed her as far as we can towards her new career with the facilities that we have.  We look forward to seeing her develop further with her new trainer over the next few months.  She may even pop up in a horse show or two over the next few months.  Keep a lookout for more updates on her from our Facebook page.

Kris took a long 4 mile trail ride with her last week and was really able to let loose and just have a wonderful time cantering around the hills.  She said it was the best goodbye she could have asked for.

Karin has come to say goodbye and gave her lots of pats and a few treats. 

The kids will be saying their goodbyes and helping me (Rachel) get her ready for shipping tomorrow.

I haven't said my goodbyes, but will handle that tomorrow by grooming her up and getting her packaged up nicely to ship for her new home.

She will be missed. 

We cannot wait to see where you go next Leila!

Please enjoy some of my favorite photos of Leila over the last several months.  I have updated by adding some preship and a post shipping photo of Leila from yesterday.  She has settled in happily already in Los Angeles.

Leila's Lessons - Week 26

We have waited a long time for this.

We like to take our time with horses.  Or to be more specific, we like to take the time that each individual horse requires to achieve goals.  Luke was a special case.  We could push him every time we took him out of his stall.  He was always ready for something new...but also easily bored. 

Leila is our princess.  She really is a darling mare and we've all enjoyed having her so much.  We have taken our time with her to build her up slowly.  Teaching her as slowly as she asked us too.  Building up her muscle.  Building up her confidence and self awareness.  Letting her body mature before asking her to do more than she was ready to do.

Today was the payoff.  Today we lunged her over a jump for the first time.  She took to it immediatly.  I will say that I've never seen a horse more happy and more proud of herself.  She puffed up and paraded around when we stopped her and was just so happy she put her head on our arm and sighed.  Then she wanted to go again.  She was so relaxed and happy, it was beautiful to experience.  Please enjoy a few clips.

Leila had several other big moments the last two weeks.  She finally went into season for the first time (very late...I know).  Other than being entirely confused as to what was happening to her, she was just as wonderful and well behaved as ever.  Her attitude towards other horses has not changed.  She still doesn't nip or kick at other horses or lay her ears back.

She's really bonded with Kris our volunteer and they work together several days a week.  She really bonds nicely with people and does very well when she trusts you and respects you.  She'll do whatever you ask.  She loves her person.  Right now Kris is her person.  We really hope that she finds her real person soon.

Another huge moment for her is she's now a trail horse!  She has recently been taken back up the trail and she is doing wondeful with it.  She's really relaxed and enjoying herself.  We are so proud of her.  We have been varying our locations riding her so that she is used to being ridden outside, in a covered arena, in a small arena and on the trail.  Nothing is bothering her, inside or outside.

We also recently moved her to a different stall as she was getting overly bonded to her neighbor.  She took that with grace and quickly moved on.

She has grown quite a fuzzy winter coat and continues to slowly put on weight.  Here's a side by side of her first week with us and her now.  As you can see, her breast bone was incredibly prominant, as well as her ribs, hips and spine the first week.  She's really filled in, and while still a smaller horse, she's filled in the weight where she needed it. 

Are you her person?  Do you have an interest in jumping/hunters/eventing?  Are you an intermediate/advanced rider?  Do you plan on putting a horse with a professional trainer? Do you want a horse that absolutly loves you?  Do you want a horse that loves to be loved on and pampered?  If you're her person, we'd love to meet you!

Leila's Lessons - Week 21

It has been quite a long time since we had a Leila update (2 months!).  She is doing smashing.  She has gained around 100lbs and is really starting to fill out.  Please enjoy this video of her turned out and free lunging.  Please enjoy the video extravaganza below.

Leila has continued to impress and develop under saddle and we now have a super rider Kris, riding her 4 days a week (as well as her other work by other Neigh Savers volunteers).   Leila has endless energy and work ethic and will keep trucking through whatever you ask her to do for as long as you ask her to do it.  Want to work on her trot for an hour and a half? No problem.  Want to lunge her or drive her for an extended period of time?  She is perfectly willing to do whatever you ask her to do.  She's really started to mature physically and mentally and is using herself much better and figuring out what to do with her body.  We've also noticed from her turn out time that she is becoming extremely agile.   Please enjoy the video of her working with Kris yesterday.

Due to requests from several potential adoptors, we have started trotting her over poles in preparation for jumping.  We are not comfortable as a training barn just jumping this mare as she is and would like to build her up to it.  We prefer a more steady training method and don't want to throw her in too deep too fast since she is just now really starting to use her body well and mature mentally and physically.  Remember that in the 21 weeks since we recieved her she grew at least 1" and has put on about 150 lbs.  She was very physically and mentally immature coming into the program and wasn't ready for much of anything.  We've been working with her slowly to ensure that we don't screw her up!  She's got too much promise.

We did a pole lesson with her yesterday for about 25-30 minutes and she was a champ.  You can see from the video below that she went from worried about what the heck those things are the ground were -  to doing it like an old pro.  She is obviously very aware and concerned about where she puts her feet (unlike my lazy old TB that will just hit ever pole and not care a bit about picking up his feet).  We were very proud of her and can't wait to see how much she retains from this lesson when we try next.

Thank you all!  She's still looking for her right person.  She's had a ton of interest but none of them were the right person for her (for reasons varying from riding skill level to financial limitations).  We really look forward to meeting her future partner.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]

Pippa's Progress - Week 15

This week the girls had a photo shoot with Anne Corder.  This blog will mostly consist of photos from that shoot.  Thank you Anne for such wonderful photography of our beautiful girls! 

Pippa was PERFECT for her bath and we spent a long time making her gorgeous.  She is continuing to progress nicely under saddle with walk/trot and has even done some cantering lately.  She's learning to use her body better and really coming along.  Such a cuddle bug!


Leila's Lessons - Week 13

Leila is doing great.  She's really progressing under saddle and learning how to use her self.  She's a good girl and is continuing to impress us.  She's got real promise.  She still has that whole supermodel thing going on, however she's gaining weight slowly and steadily. 

Last week Anne Corder came out and did a photoshoot of both of the girls.  Leila got a beauty treatment and then proceeded to roll in her turnout later at the end of the shoot!  Figures! :D  She also had to wear a halter way too big for her.  Poor girl.  Our one leather halter belongs to a gigantic old guy. 

Please enjoy these lovely photos of Leila by Anne Corder.  Thank you Anne!  You have done a fantastic job.

    • Leila
    • Leila
    • Leila
    • Leila
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Pippa's Progress - Week 13

Pippa has really started to shine in the last couple of weeks.  Since she had her visit from the chiropractor, she's really started to cooporate under saddle. 

Several weeks ago the chiropractor found some areas in her back and her neck that needed to be adjusted.  She also found that she had tender feet and that she possibly had some ulcer problems.  She had adjustments made to her neck and spine.

We had her feet re-trimmed with instructions from the vet and are trying to grow a little more heel.  She will probably be assisted by back shoes when she has solid wall to nail to. We are also treating her for her possible ulcers.  That should make her much more comfortable and happy.

As of Thursday, she had a 2nd appointment with the chiropractor.  She found that Pippa had kept the adjustments she'd made three weeks ago and that she needed no further adjusting.  She noted that her movement had greatly improved and it was obvious that she was much more comfortable.  She said she most likely will not need regular adjustments and that she didn't expect  to need to come out again. 

This is what we had expected to hear as she has has been wonderful to work with over the last several weeks since her first adjustment.  She's really started to put it together in the arena and is coming along in her training.  She's a very small and compact mare, so she doensn't have a big bouncy gate.  We really think she has a future in dressage or hunters.  As you can see, she's not carrying a tiny rider.  She carries a normal adult well and there will be no limitations with that.

She has also been ponied regularly up the trail over the last several weeks to get her used to being out in the world.

She continues to be a doll on the ground and does everything we ask of her.  She's very calm and well behaved for grooming, walking, bathing, shoeing and everything else we throw at her.  She's incredibly well built with lots of bone in her legs.  She is sturdy and can carry more weight for her size.  She's got very lovely and sweet face and it's regularly been said by several people at the barn that she's one of the prettiest horses they've ever seen.  You must meet her and see for yourself.

Pippa is looking for someone to really love her.  She really values human attention.  She's more willing to learn now that her issues are being resolved.  She is sound for most disciplines.  She is really in a good place in her training now and we feel she's ready to go to a new home.  She needs a home with a single rider who can make her feel secure and at ease.  Her adoption fee is $1,000.  That's a real steal for a mare this kind and lovely.  If you are considering adopting Pippa, please contact [email protected] and fill out an adoption form.

Leila's Lessons - Week 11

Leila is figuring things out.

With some time and training this horse will really blossom into a champion (at whatever she does).  She's really going to be something!  She's young, sound and willing to learn. She can be goofy when bored (look at that tongue in the video), hasn't got a full understanding of her body yet, is a bit of a lookie-loo.  These are all things that will be cured in time.  Other thand those things, she's perfect.  She has no bad behaviors and is really a charm to be around.

Leila is brave (she looks at everything and wants to go check it out).  She doesn't really spook (and when she does it's just a stop) and she's very curious.  Because of this curiousity she will probably be a very nice jumper.  She's got a nice big trot and could really turn some heads in a dressage ring as well once she starts using herself more correctly (and she can really use herself better than is shown in the below video...the rider just wasn't asking her for it.  I hope to show some more polished riding next week).

Leila is still thin as she has the metabolism of a hummingbird right now.  We are feeding her an additional 4-5 flakes of hay every time she is worked on top of her normal feed to get weight on her and she is starting to respond by putting on more flesh.  Given a few more weeks and she will probably start looking like Luke with a little hay belly and we can back off to normal feeding.

Leila is very sweet and likes being around people.  She leads well and is reasonably well behaved with all ground things (baths, grooming, shoeing, etc).  She acts up from time to time like a fresh OTTB will, but she's easily corrected and just needs to feel confident that you are doing something that will not hurt her.  She dosn't put up big fights and cause big scenes.  She just needs to be confident in your ability to take care of her.  She's similar under saddle.  She is young and lacking confidence in her body, so she needs someone to really hold her together and give her that confidence.  She does not act up under saddle at all.

She's been regularly ridden in the arena for the last several weeks and ponied up the trail on a regular basis.  She should have no issues with trail riding when we do decide to go that way with her.  We think she's too nice to be just a trail horse for someone though.

Leila should be ready for adoption soon. I'm not certain what the adoption fee is, but be on the lookout for that. If you are intersted in Leila, please contact [email protected] and fill out an adoption application.  Leila is ready to meet you!

Pippa's Progress - Week 10

Pippa has had a light week as we are waiting for the chiropractor to come and look at her.  She has an appointment on Tuesday.  We are hoping a series of treatments really help her under saddle.  She's so well behaved with everything else that I think that this will make all the difference in the world for her. 

Pippa was extremely well behaved on her trip up the trail being ponied.  She was quiet, not spooky at all, and very calm around all the other horses.  She looked around at things, but never jumped or acted like a former race horse at all.  Her attitude is more 25 year old quarter horse lesson horse with all these things we're throwing at her.  She takes everything in stride and trusts we are not going to take her anywhere that's unsafe or do anything to her that's going to hurt her.

We'll let you know how the appointment goes this week and what the chiropractor says about her.

I will be out of town until July 6th, so you probably won't get another update until after that date.


Leila's Lessons - Week 8

This week Leila had a few new adventures. 

She had a beauty treatment and had her wiskers and bridle path clipped.  She also had her hair braided.  She was a good girl and stood fairly quiet for us.  Her lips are evidently very ticklish and she kept trying to push the clippers away with her lips (or nibble on them).  It was cute and we'd much prefer this kind of behavior than some others we've seen clipping other horses.  She enjoyed all the attention from Kim and Grace and we had a good time being a little silly. 

This week we also took Leila and Pippa up on the trail to be ponied.  It was a very windy day and Leila took it like a champ.  While she did spook at a few things (namely another horse sneezing...haha), she was well behaved. She's not aggressive at all with other horses and wanted to play with Champ more than anything.  It was good for her to get out and experience new things and new places.

Leila continues her turnouts, driving and arena rides on a regular basis.  She continues to slowly progress.  We've hit a weight plateau with her and are hoping that she hops over it soon and starts gaining again.  She's literally eatting as much as she can and still not gaining weight.  Her teeth checked out fine and she's been wormed, so we're just waiting for that race horse metabolism to wear down.

I will be out of town until July 6th, so you probably won't get another update until after that date.

Pippa's Progress - Week 9

This week Pippa continued her slow, relaxed rides.  She also participated in a large group lesson with many other horses and riders.  She doesn't act a bit mare-ish.  She's very calm, relaxed and content sitting in the big group and fine moving around in the arena as well with tons of horses around.  There's no ear pinning, kicking or squeeling with this girl.  We're very happy with her.

We also introduced her to the Ball this week, but Kim managed to somehow not get any photos of her while I was pushing the ball around.  She was more than great about it just being led around with the ball.  In fact, she didnt' really care about the ball much at all and would just shove her face into it and stand there.  She wasn't worried, spooked or even all that intrigued by it. We did not ride her with the ball because her back is a bit sore and the kids had put the wrong saddle on her.

Pippa is waiting for a visit from a chiropractor as soon as we can get them out.  We think her back is sore and that is a reason for some of her resistance from time to time under saddle (she offers NO resistance on the ground to anything) and why sometimes she appears off with no obvious location lameness.  We have figured out that a few of our saddles are not working for her and have moved her to some cushier English styles she goes in better until someone comes to look at her.  It's a pity we can't have a custom saddle for every OTTB we get (though at least we have about 40 to choose from at Kim's barn to try her in). :D

She is holding weight well now and her coat is covered in dapples.  Several people have told me that she is the most beautiful TB they've ever seen.  She's got sturdy legs, big feet, and lots of muscle and compactness.  She has beautiful, sweet face. 

Leila's Lessons - Week 7

This week Leila met the ball!  It's hard not to compare the horses, and I think I should here.  We waited until Week 10 to introduce Luke to the Ball, but we decided that it would be great for Leila mentally to do this in Week 7.  Remember that Luke was already 1 month off a race when we got him and 3 1/2 months from a race at the track when we introduced him to the despooking objects. Leila last raced just two months ago!  We think she's doing fantastic!

This was good brain work for Leila.  She's very mentally immature and has a hard time focusing.  This gave her something to really focus on and other than a couple of ADHD moments...she really focused hard!  She was a little worried about the ball at first glance, but walked right up to it and sniffed.  She proceeded to get really interested and started pushing the ball around with her nose, trying to bite it and kicking it with her knees.  She still needs someone to stand next to her to keep the ball rolling back and hitting her body.  She's not too keen on that idea yet, but she'll get there.  I have no doubt this one will be pushing the ball around all by herself soon.  Enjoy the video!

She's slowly putting on weight.  She's quite the hay burner for now, but we're hoping once her track metabolism slows down, she'll need less feed to keep her at weight.  We had rear shoes put on her and it really has helped her soreness.  We were able to work with her much more this week because of it.  The really great thing about her (and Pippa as well) is they are not human or horse aggressive AT ALL.  There's not even a bit of mare attitude in there.  It's really a blessing. 

As a little bonus, below is a video of Leila's first time driving with long lines.  This was actually from Week 2 and I somehow overlooked it!  She's obviously very new to it, very thin, and very uncertain.  She has come such a long way since that second week, it's amazing to think it wasn't that long ago.  These horses are amazing.

Pippa's Progress - Week 8

Pippa has continued to flourish under our new direction with her.  After three weeks with only one rider she's calmed down immensely and really relaxes under saddle and lunging.  She's becoming a real treat to watch.  She's so affectionate and kind.  She just needed a strong leader to bond with and really start trusting.  We are so happy! 

While Leila was freaking out and spooking at everything the first half of the week due to the wind, Pippa was calm and relaxed and I filmed this video of her on the windiest day of the week!  She didn't hesitate to do everything she was asked in a reasonable and relaxed manner with absolutly no spooking! 

She is going to be great for someone that can dedicate their time and and give lots of love to her.  Her body is looking wonderful and she's keeping weight and muscle.  She's responding to leg and really learning to relax and respond to her rider's desires.  We are so happy with our progress and really are proud of her.  Her rider has been VERY dedicated to her and gets her out and works with her 4-5 days a week every week. 

Leila's Lessons - Week 6

We have not done a whole lot with her this week due to a couple of things. 

1.  She's having some problems with her hind feet.  They're sore because they are so short.  We are going to have the farrier try and put some shoes on her and maybe some pads.  Her hoof wall is very thin due to over-rasping at the racetrack. 

2.  It was REALLY windy the first half of the week.  She is still very "up" from the track and gets spooked easily.  We had a rough time with her at the beginning of the week due to massive wind.  She scared herself several times grabbing dried up grass while I was hand grazing her.  She was not herself the first half of the week.

3.  The last half of the week was REALLY hot and human and horse didn't feel like doing much.

4.  Kim has been dealing with a massive injury in one of her other horses that is taking up a large portion of her time.  If you're curious to read about it feel free to read my blog on it (warning there are some pretty graphic images).  It's pretty amazing and this horses' will to live and cooperation has been inspiring. 

Leila's traing has been light this week.  She is learning to be less spooky and trust us more when we tell her it's ok. Any extra time off the track is good for calming her more. She's started to put on weigh slowly.  It seems her metabolism is still so crazy from the track she is pretty much eatting constantly. We are hoping to get her hind feet situation remedied quickly so that she's not in discomfort any longer.

She's got such a lovely bounce and float when she trots she looks like one a Saddleseat show horse.  She's really going to be a nice one between her looks, movement and personality (She'll be nicer than Luke)!

Colonel's Injury and Rehab


Colonel is a 13 year old Quarter Horse gelding who we retired last year due to arthritis in his neck.  He's a wild ride and we found it best to retire him and let him live out his life in pasture where he can relax and not put stress on that neck.  He has been happy and sound ever since he was turned out. 

Colonel was living out his life in pasture until one day a couple of weeks ago, Linnea woke up and saw him outside her window completely lame.  She went out to check on him and this is what she saw. Needless to say she had to take a moment to calm herself down.

She immediatly called Kim and the vet on call Melissa Keiltey.  She immobilized him and waited for Kim and Melissa to arrive.  After an evaluation, Melissa let us know that he'd completely sliced through his tendon, muscle and flesh down to the bone.  She said that most vets would put him down, but she'd delt with this kind of injury before successfully and wanted to give it a try if Kim was willing.  Because we all love the horse so much and he wasn't acting out, it was decided to try and save him.  Melissa cleaned him off and stitched him up beautifully.

There was a big hunk of skin missing, so it wasn't a total success as some of the wound was left uncovered.  She told us that the skin would start growing over on it's own to cover up the wound and the tendon would heal itself and grow back together. 

After 1 week there was still some doubt as to his survival, though the tissue looked great and there was plenty of bloodflow to the area so the flesh didn't start to decay.  He was having issues walking due to the tendon and was in pain.  It was hard for us to continue at this point and we thought about putting him down, however Melissa was convinced we should keep up treatment, so we went with her expert advice.

We had to come up with a solution for his antibiotics.  At twice a day, giving them intravenously was not an option.  They had to be given orally.  They tasted awful (I tried them...ugh!) and Colonel was choaking on the fluid.  We felt horrible for the guy.  We had to find another solution.  Kim created a mixture of peanut butter, apricot jelly, antibiotics and bute which we give to him in a paste.  He likes it so much he'll lick it out of the bowl we mix it in!  It has solved our problems and makes him look forward to his dose of meds!

Colonel has been such a good sport about his treatment that we've really had no choice but to continue.  After 3 weeks of steady treatment, changing wraps every other day and two times a day dosing of antibiotics Colonel has made a huge turn around.  His fiesty attitude is back, he's moving around quite well, his pain is greatly reduced.  He is REALLY enjoying being back at the barn and being the center of attention and is shiny, happy and healthy.  We are expecting a full recovery for him so that he's able to go back to his happy retirement (with a few fencing modifications so that he doesn't do this again)!

Update: Colonel had to have some necrotic tissue removed from the injury site.  The wound is healing well.  He's a smart horse and taking care of himself.  A week after the tissue removal, the wound is looking great. 

Thanks to Melissa Keiltey and her skilled hands for giving Colonel another chance at life!

12 weeks after the injury, Colonel is doing great!  He's trotting mostly sound on his leg even with the severed tendon.  The wound is still not 100%, but we expect in another month he'll be almost perfect.

Tags: Colonel

Pippa's Progress - Week 7

While Pippa is incredibly gentle on the ground (I’d trust her with the smallest child leading her) and VERY sweet and affectionate, she’s put up some fight under saddle when asking her to do things she doesn’t want to do (more fight than we would have expected).  She’s been a challenge for us in a way we didn’t really expect.  We knew we needed to rethink the situation so that she continued to progress nicely, and so two weeks ago we decided to take a new route with Pippa.  She was fighting us more than we wanted and we knew another horse with a similar personality that we had trained differently, and knew we needed to readjust our plan.

Pippa is under the singular care of one rider right now (she is the only one training/riding her, under guidance from Kim).  The theory is, that she will bond with her one person and then she will be more receptive to new things asked of her.  So far, it’s working like a charm and she’s not fought us a bit since we switched to this new method. 

Pippa is doing a lot of lunging to work on her commands and to use up some energy.  She’s a very energetic girl!  She’s learned the meaning of the words walk, trot, stop, woah and responding really nicely to them lunging.  She’s also being regularly ridden at walk/trot.  She’s very good at collecting at the walk and learning at the trot (some days are better than others).  She’s not mentally or physically ready for cantering yet.  She’s learning to respond to leg (but not over-respond).  Our main goal at this time is to get her to relax under saddle.

We are not taking her up the trail right now as she’s not mentally ready for it yet.  She’s still a little nervous under saddle.

Pippa has calmed right down in turn outs (she still likes to run), but she’s not as wild as she used to be.  As mentioned before, she’s really good on the ground and walks on a loose line and follows your lead.  Pippa grooms up, bathes and saddles fine and picks up her feet nicely for you. 

She is looking for her special person (and she REALLY wants to be loved and to love her human).