October 31, 2012

Plastic Bags Aren't Spooky

After a recent lunging session with Dakota. I realized how not spooky he is and how tolerant he is of so much I throw his way. This isn't something I want to take for granted or just assume every horse isn't spooky. I've been with Dakota for so long that I know how he's going to react before it happens and I want to make sure I can get Echo to that point in her training too. With that, I've made a list of things I need to desensitize her to. I'll start them all inside, leading to desensitizing her to them outside. In the spirit of my least favorite holiday, Halloween, being today here's a list of things to make not spooky to Echo.
  • Tarp - Walking on and letting it touch her body
  • Plastic Bags
  • Giant training balls
  • Umbrella
  • Bag of pop cans
  • Different sounds - cell phone, bell, etc
I'm sure the list will grow, but it gives me a good place to start!

For those wondering why I despise Halloween - I hate the feeling of being scared. Hate. I hate the dark, things with mask freak me out. Ghost freak me out. Things jumping out at you. Skeletons, I hate death. Candy makes you gain weight. Creepy nightmare causing movies. I can't find any good points of the holiday so it's my time to be a scrooge. While everyone is enjoying the Halloween party at the barn I'll probably be sitting in the barn hiding behind one of my horses!

October 30, 2012


Well I'm back home to Michigan!

Yesterday was rough though. Stayed home all day with the worlds most intense migraine. One where I was super light sensitive and could handle zero noise. After sleeping most of the day and then lots of drugs, I finally made it to the barn about 5:30 last night.

While I was gone, fields had been rearranged yet again. This time, the smaller field has May, Indy, Echo and Glitch. The evil mare, Ezzy, is back out in the big field with the boys and everyone seems very content. Echo and Glitch were buddy buddy today and all was well in the fields tonight.

With the possibility of a rain / snow mix tonight and next few evenings, we were rushed to get the horses in tonight. The wind is nasty here so I can hardly imagine what it is like on the East Coast. So I got Echo and Dakota in and I'm pretty sure both were happy to see me. I gave Echo a big hug in the field and Dakota gave me his version of a hug. I cleaned stalls with both horses in, which was a lot easier than it sounds. Echo was a fan of having her stall door open and being able to look out.

I took Echo out and gave her a really thorough grooming. If she was a cat, pretty sure she'd would have been vibrating the entire barn with purring. Needless to say she was happy to bee groomed. Took her in the arena to do a light lunging session and she was really good going to the left and walked / trotted like her pro self. Next to the left she started good, and started being a dork after about 2 times around. Every time she passes the gate she tries to throw her butt into the corner and refuses to move. So this time, I moved one step ahead of her. I had the attitude of you like the corner so much, fine you're going to lunge there. I moved her so that the gate and side of arena gave her a corner to move through and started on a very short line length and made it a point of you ARE going to do this. After about two or three attempts to stop she realized there was no where to swing her butt into and had no real choice except to lunge. I moved out a bit and let her make a bigger circle. I ended her on a good note since tonight was by far the best she's gone to the right.

October 28, 2012

Bluegrass Love

Today's my last day in Lexington. I'm writing this before I leave, because every time I leave, I'm an emotional mess.

I try to hold my emotions in, but it never works. If I drive there, I start crying when I drive over the Ohio River bridge and I see the "Welcome to Ohio" sign indicating I'm no longer in Kentucky. I fly, I keep myself composed until the security person checks your drivers license and boarding pass and ask "How are you today?" Well what are you suppose to say? Terrible? Then they think you're some security risk and everyone starts looking at you funny, yes I did that once. So then you try to respond with "I'm good" but I know it is a lie and I start crying anyway. There's no good way for me to leave.

This was one of those trips that reminded me of why I moved back to Michigan, but in a good way. It reminded me of why I needed to move home, to finish school. Lets face it, not much you can do career wise without you bachelors or masters degree and if I wanted to remain sane I had no option but to leave my job and return to school. It made me realize the happiness I had while living in Lexington was worth fighting for even of it meant leaving for awhile. I'm very sad to be leaving my wonderful friends in Lexington but I just keep reminding myself the distance isn't forever.

Taking the Back Entrance to the Kentucky Horse Park
My Favorite Picture of the Trip

Main Drive on Walnut Hall Limited
Amazing Colors
Grave Site and Memorial to John Henry
Grave Site and Memorial for 1987 Kentucky Derby Winner Alysheba
Pathway Leading to Hall of Champions

The One and Only, legendary Cigar
Ikaros, Knabstrupper in the breeds barn @ KHP

October 23, 2012

Rain Rain Go AWAY!

Even as I begin to write this I know this is going to be more of a rant than a productive post. 

Saturday I got to the barn much later than I planned. I got wrapped up in watching Notre Dame football and taking too many cat naps with my sick kitty. The barn owner and her husband were going out for the evening, as they did Friday night so I was pretty much set to hang out with the daughter for the evening like I had the night before. The daughter, who I'll refer to as K (for her privacy if she doesn't want her name out there) is 14 and is at the point where she's becoming more fun to hang out with. Friday night we had a great time together actually so Saturday I figured wouldn't be too bad. She recently became vegetarian and I've been helping her find new things to eat, which always proves to be an interesting time for a usually picky eater.

K was riding her new horse, Glitch, while I was working on chores. He was well behaved so she convinced me to get on him and give riding a try. I only had my muck boots at the barn so they weren't the best thing to be riding in, but I got on for about 10 minutes. My knee felt great after and gave me the encouragement to try riding Dakota again soon.

Once my stuff was ready and K was done riding I conned her into helping me free lunge Echo. Echo didn't like the concept of two people with lunge whips in the arena at same time. She actually had to keep moving at all times and not play her game of run to one end and stop until someone gets to that end makes me run again game. K got bored of just watching Echo run around and wanted to set up a small jump for her to see how she handled it. I was quick to say no but told her we could to a ground pole. So Echo went to go over it. Freaked out. Got over it and hopped over the pole. Next time around she trotted fine over it and the next time cantered over it like a pro. Such a good girl!

Sunday I planned to have gone to get about 900 bales of hay to finish off out stockpile of hay for the winter. I apparently got there too late though and everyone had already left. So much for keeping me informed of what time they were leaving. So I was at the barn without much to do. I got stalls done and ready for the night and took Dakota out to graze. Echo was too happy sun bathing and I decided to give her the day off.

Sunday night the semi trailer full of hay went got there and because of the constant rain we've had for for about two weeks, we had to park the trailer in the indoor arena until we can get it stacked in it's spot. Which means no free lunging horses. Luckily there's a good area still that we can get a 15-20m circle going on the lunge line.

Since Echo's arrival, 15 days today, we've had only four days free of rain. Because our fields are essentially dry lots with run-ins, you can only imagine the amount of mud we're against. Since she's still not fitting in with the mares completely, she is usually kept in if it's insanely muddy out so that she isn't running from the boss mare and slipping and sliding in the mud.

The rain is seriously hampering my working with Echo this week. Last night (Monday) I get to the barn to find that the horses were kept in all day because of the weather. I get Dakota out of his stall first because he's practically climbing out and take him and lunge him on the line to let him kick up his heels. He was happy to take advantage of the dry ground and acted like a 2 year old, rearing and bucking. Then of course, it begins an insane lightening / thunder storm. Dakota had a chance to work off his energy so put him in his stall and cleaned his stall with him in there while it was storming. 

I hoped it would quit long enough I could lunge Echo for even 5-10 minutes. That didn't happen. We had a SMALL window where it stopped, maybe 2 minutes. By the time I got her out of her stall and toward the arena it started again. I tried tying her while I cleaned her stall but she was too hyped up between the extra energy and the storm so I had to put her in an empty stall while I got her's ready for the evening. 

Hopefully tonight is not as stormy since I suspect the horses have been in all day again today with due to weather. Hopefully my two stalls are still standing when I get to the farm tonight from the angry horses inside. Again, if they've been in I'll attempt to lunge both Dakota and Echo to get the bugs out of them and get a chance to clean stalls / prep them for the night.

Tomorrow I am out of class at 1:30ish and have to run to the barn and clean stalls very fast and get them ready for the evening. I won't have a chance to work them tomorrow since I gotta get home and meet my Dad so he can take me to the airport so I can get to Kentucky tomorrow :D

My flight leaves Kalamazoo at 5:20 and I arrive in Lexington shortly after 9pm. Nothing special planned for my visit, just looking forward to seeing some of my favorite people! I haven't decided if I'm taking my laptop or if I'll even get a chance to post while I'm gone. If not, I'm home late Sunday night and will post then of my adventure. I won't be back to seeing the horses until Monday after work.

October 19, 2012

Pretty in Pink

And pretty in purple. 

In the evenings now when I am doing ground work with Echo, she comes out of it sweaty and in colder and colder temperatures the last thing I want is a sick mare. So I figured it was time to invest in a couple of coolers. I got her a black, classy Amigo cooler that should be here today, but in the mean time I got her a secondary cooler.

I told myself I was going to stick to my blue / green combinations of colors and not go crazy with pink like I have in the past but I had a moment of weakness when I saw this rug for sale on horze.com. I had a 40% off coupon and I couldn't pass it up. 

For anyone wondering, I'm officially in love with horze.com. Over the past month I've had two orders from there and nothing in either order can I complain about. I saw someone on a horse forum describe it as the IKEA of the horse world. Couldn't of said it any better myself. 

Again, as all new things I try with Echo, I had no idea if she had ever worn a blanket and if she did, how long had it been? So I started out, because its kind of wild colors with the contrast of white / color for them, just wearing it over my shoulders while I groomed her. She arched her neck and was snorting when she first saw it but wasted no time in putting her mouth all over it to see if it was edible. Next I just started rubbing it all over her body and she really flat out didn't care. I then just put the rug on almost just like I would if I was blanketing a horse I knew was fine with the process, again she didn't care. The only problem I had was she wanted to help buckle the front and kept trying to move the straps! I didn't tighten or cross the belly straps because she was so good I didn't want to push it, but that'll come next time!

Checking herself out and approving of her new rug.
Really wanting to get to her dinner.
Happily munching on dinner not caring at all about the blanket.
In other Echo news, yesterday (Thursday) was her third day spending the day in the mare field. She's starting to hold her ground against the grumpy mare Ezzy. Echo was flirting with one of the geldings over the fence and Ezzy came to chase her away and Echo apparently kicked her and made her go away. When I was there in the evening, it started drizzling an annoying amount of rain and Echo was hiding in the run in, well the older mare May, and the pony went in with her and Ezzy found herself not being allowed into the run in! So we're making progress on Echo fitting into the herd. Her new hay feeder got here as well and she was a bit annoyed with it last night but got over it pretty fast.

October 17, 2012


Well the title says it all. I've finally decided on a barn name for Woven Web, Echo. When I was younger, before I ever had Dakota, the barn I rode at had a filly named Echo. Ever since then I've absolutely loved it as a barn name. I've debated every name from Cava, Mango, Merlot, Charlotte, etc. I really wanted to use the name Cava, but it just didn't fit her. As one of my friends told me, I can always use it in the future to name a foal she might have. So with that, Echo it is!

I've gotten a little flack for the name from people saying it's a boy's name. But I grew up knowing a filly named Echo and she was awesome so :P to those who think its a boys name.

Yesterday Echo spend the entire day outside in the mare field. I figured it'd be best to have a go at it in the morning when they can all peacefully eat their morning hay. According to the barn owner it went smoothly and she was eating her hey while the others ate too. I didn't get out until 7:30 last night so it was past dusk when I was able to bring her in. I was a bit nervous about fishing her out of the field but she was hiding in the back corner and once she saw me about 20 feet away she came right up to me. Other than the fact I was happy she came to me, I was also thankful that was 20 feet of mud I didn't have to trek through.

I took her into the arena to make sure she didn't have any obvious injuries or beat up markings and she was full of energy and proceeded to free lunge herself without much encouragement from me. I finally got the energy topped off her and took her to be groomed. She continued her trend of being good and picking all 4 hooves up without a fuss - almost better at it than Dakota. Worse part of the night was my realization that she's WAY too smart and figured where I keep her treats. She pulled the velcro flap down from my stall door organizer and had her mouth on the bag before I could stop her. She didn't get any treats but she's made it clear her abilities to get into things. 

Also for two nights in a row she has cleared up her hay and I haven't seen a single piece left behind. Yay for hay clean up!

I'm off work at 5:00 tonight and with nothing major pressing me to get home I'll be going out and having a good round of respect lunging with her after our argument over it on Monday night.

October 15, 2012

Lunging & Ground Work

Well our weekend proved to be a wet one. I guess the weatherman can't be wrong when there's a 100% chance of rain. The rain kept me from trying turnout much more. Woven Web went out in the mare field for about 40 minutes Friday night with the same issues as before. I'll keep putting her out this week and hopefully get her to the point she can be out all day without being completely tortured by the herd. 

I am also pleased to say she's doing much better on eating her hay. I've continued using the hay net and while there's still a bit mixed into her shavings, it's no where near as bad as it was before. She officially knows the sound of the treat bag opening and took no time in learning the joys of a treat here and there. 

Saturday instead of grooming her in her stall, I decided it was time to see how well she tied. She took it all in stride and just stood there picking on Dakota through his stall door. I think she enjoyed it, he was less than amused. I got a break in the thunder / lightening so I took her to the arena and decided to free lunge her a bit. A few friends have requested video of her but with her being off after Dakota beating her I've had to put it off. She was much better Saturday and so I proceeded with the video. It started raining hard again and lightening soon followed so our lunging session was pretty short.

Since i'm short and she's tall, I decided that she needed to learn 'head down' like Dakota knows and all of my other horses have known in the past. My goal: Either by placing my hand on the poll or saying it, she should lower her head. After applying slight pressure 3-4 times she started getting it and by end of the evening was doing it by my hand just sitting on her neck. Next up is saying 'halter' and having her basically shove her head in her halter. Dakota does the halter thing and I love it - he sees it and just puts his head in so I can easily get it on him!

Sunday shortly after I got to the barn the radio informed us we had severe storms heading our way. Again. So I threw Woven Web in the arena for a quick leg stretching while I cleaned her stall. Of course she was more interested in eating hay off our stockpiles of hay. So I grabbed her and put her in an empty stall. Moved onto Dakota and put him in the arena since he never goes after the hay and got stalls situated and it had stopped storming for a few minutes so I decided to have a go at lunging again. She played her normal game of lets only run along this side of the arena and go from the gate to the hay and back and forth and annoy my owner. So. I went and got the lunge line. I figured since we've had three sessions of respect lunging it wouldn't be too big of a deal and I was right. She went both directions walk and trot like a dream. I can't decide if someone has worked with her before or if she's just super smart. After about 15-20 minutes I ended the session on a good note. The training tarp was on the ground and after sniffing it she walked right on the tarp and stood on it until I asked her to move. Finally, I tested the 'head down' that i had taught her Saturday and she did it immediately. 

Loving this horse more and more every day!

Video of her lunging Saturday with a short clip at the beginning of her cantering earlier this week.

October 12, 2012

Quick Update 10/12

Nothing too major to update so this will be short. 

Yesterday was an extremely long day for me. I worked 4 1/2 hours, went to my accounting class, then I went and swam an hour before my water aerobics class. It was 7:40 by the time I got to the barn. I still had to get over to the farm I am pet sitting for so I quickly watered, threw hay, mixed grain and did a poor job of picking stalls. 

Woven Web officially is a pain with her hay. She pulled all of it out of the hay net and still continued to trash it. Maybe she wants straw bedding, but any rate her new hay bag can't get here fast enough. 

While I was doing her stall, I brought Dakota in and threw him in the arena with her. Figured it wouldn't be too traumatic since they see each other every night now over the stall divider. Wrong. Dakota was a bully and chased her around. Double barrel kicked her twice in same spot. Sigh. I finished his stall fast and got him in his stall. I went in the arena with her and she started giving me problems just leading her. Soooo I pulled out my short lunge line with a chain and decided it was time for a round of respect lunging. After 2-3 rounds you could see she was a bit sore in her shoulder from being double kicked by Dakota. So I ended it on a good note, covered her in a ton of liniment and headed off to feed the dogs and horses where I was pet sitting.

Today, I'm off work at 3:00 and running home fast then off to the barn for the rest of the evening. I plan on putting her in the arena and making sure she's still not sore from Dakota torturing her. If we're good to go, I'll be attempting turn out again with her. We may have to have another space conversation. Biggest thing is going to be for her to learn that its not okay for her to throw her shoulder into me every time I lead her.

October 11, 2012

Feeding, Diet & Turnout

First of all, I thought I'd share the diet I came up with for Woven Web using FeedXL. It's going to be changing a little soon. I need to adjust her weight, weigh the hay still and get the analysis from my 'custom' grain that my feed mill used based on TC Complete.

You can overall, ignore the salt level. I put it in there so that her sodium levels didn't show up in red and keep giving me warnings. She has a salt block in her stall and in the field so I'm not exactly worries about her salt intake. She also is currently on Mare Magic but doesn't provide nutritional value so I didn't add it.

This is by far my favorite graph. I can look at it and cut certain things out when her levels are above what's needed. Looking at this again, I need to cut back the amount of Red Cell, not sure why I didn't do that sooner. In creating her diet, the things I had the most difficulty in making sure her levels were okay was Folic Acid, Digestible Energy, Copper and Zinc.

She continues to show little interest in her hay. There was a slightly more green bale and I gave her a flake of that the other day and she loved it. I think she's just resisting the fact she's not on full grass field and not familiar with grass hay. I broke down and put up a hay net for her last night. She keeps blending it completely into her shavings and proceeding to use it as bedding. Normally I wouldn't care but 1) Right now she's in her stall 24/7 so there's a big mess and 2) We still are in a hay shortage. I can't afford to be wasting hay at a time like this.... soooo we have a hay net. She seemed to like the hay net actually. But she kept pulling the hay out one piece at a time and was still uninterested. 

With her lack in interest in the hay, I've been giving her about a pound of timothy hay pellets at night with some water added so that she's getting a few nutrients from the pellets and a little extra water. Again though, she eats a bite or two and then is done with the pellets and does the same to her grain. Far from being food motivated. I realize it's pretty chilly here, and she may not get super thirsty but I still am slightly concerned about her water intake. She's only drinking about a half a bucket a day. If by the end of the weekend she's still not drinking a ton I may explore the idea of adding a bit of apple juice to it or something along those lines until she adjust to the taste of our non limestone water. I guess in the big picture, her not being a huge eater isn't terrible since she can stand to loose at least 50lb. I'm also fairly certain she's not stressed out. She falls asleep way too easily in her stall and is super relaxed when I put her in the arena when I'm cleaning her stall and getting her dinner ready.

Last night also marked the first time I've tried putting her out with the other horses. We've got two fields. With her arrival we decided to do some field readjusting. The big field is now all geldings with Dakota and the other boys having one big bachelors club. The smaller field, has 2 mares and a pony in it so it's the best spot for her. The first of the two other mares are May (28yr old paint) and Ezzy (7yr old percheron paint). The pony, Indy, is a little trotting bred gelding that was rescued out of a kill pen in Shipshewana. I got to the barn about 6:30 and put Woven Web out, ran inside and turned on the electric fence. Her encounter with May and Indy were rather uneventful. Ezzy however had other plans for her. The plan was rather simple, pin ears, chase as fast as possible and keep away from May and Indy. Woven Web ended up standing in the farthest corner possible majority of the time. She got the urge to come near the group of three a few times but was chased away every time. She figured out the fence lines and pretty sure she hit the electric fence once but once she decided she wasn't going to leave the corner I went and quickly finished her stall so I could get her back in. I figure we'll try again tomorrow when I have more daylight time and weather should be a bit nicer so the ground isn't as muddy.

October 9, 2012

The Good & The Bad

After the first day of spending time with Woven Web I've already learned about her. Everything that I've learned has made me like this mare even more, and in return I think she's already starting to like me back. There's a few things I have concerns about but most everything has been good.

The Good
I got to the barn around Noon yesterday afternoon to meet the farrier. They had just finished with one horse so they asked if I wanted to try her right away. Well, she was fidgety so barn owner's daughter put her in the arena and got her to move around a bit to settle down. I went and grabbed Dakota and had her see if his shoes were still good or if they needed to be reset. He was good to go and she plans on resetting him in two weeks. I took over lunging on Woven Web while they got another horse trimmed. First thing to make me like her more... the way she moves. Absolutely love love love her movement. I had the barn owner watch, she was impressed and told me I better do dressage with her and it pleased her when I said that was all I planned on doing with her. 

After about 20 minutes of stretching her legs she was great for the farrier! She picked up all four hooves without issue. She put up a little resistance when her back's were up too long, but the farrier (Jen) never had to put her hoof down and get it back. Jen said her hooves look good, but are typically soft Thoroughbred hooves. I think with a few trims, some sort of conditioner she'll be able to improve her hoof quality.

Once she was trimmed and I had Dakota back outside, I took all of her grooming supplies into her stall and got ready do do a full body grooming and clean up. The farrier was still working on other horses so it was my goal to just stay out of the way. She was nibbling on her hay but as soon as I started with the curry she stopped eating and soaked up all of the attention.

She tolerated being fly sprayed and letting me use my Calm Coat Spray on her. She definitely didn't like it, but she stood for it which is half the battle. 

My friend Erin came out to see her. While I was on the phone with my KY bestie to give her an update on Woven Web, Erin took it upon herself to test out what she'd tolerate. She proceeded to rub the lunge whip all over her, let the lead line wrap all around her legs and even stood there when Erin decided to put her hands on Woven Web's back and jump up and down. I may have to redo training plans at this rate. She's taking everything in stride. Still won't be pushing her, but seems like she has a great mind.

The Bad
She is resisting eating her hay. You can tell she is wondering where her grass is. She definitely doesn't know what treats or grain are. She mouths her grain but doesn't gobble it up and will go sleep even if there's available grain. The only thing I can think of is that she doesn't like the electrolytes I've been putting on in attempt to get her to drink more water.

She's a bit pushy while she is being lead. We already made progress on that yesterday but it will be a few attempts to get it through to her that she can't bully me.

Only thing she didn't like when I was grooming was me messing with her ears or around her poll.

October 8, 2012

First Encounters

With such a busy weekend, everyone forgot that the farrier was coming out at Noon today. So I took advantage of that and got Woven Web trimmed. She was way better than I expected!! Very good girl. I dewormed her today as well since no one is really sure the last time it was done on her. 

I'll ramble more on her tomorrow, but for now, here's a bunch of pictures. Lets face it, pictures are the best part!

Watching the farrier trim the other horses.
Hair Cut! Still needs to be pulled but already better.

With my friend Erin

Safe and Sound


The day went nothing like I planned. Shipper had been telling me all week that she was showing at some barrel racing event in Louisville. Well... Saturday night when I talked to her on our way to see the gelding she told me she was in Glascow KY which is 3 hours from Lexington rather than the 1 1/2 to Louisville. I asked her for a general time that they'd be in Paris to get Woven Web and she said to plan on Noon. Okay, fine, no problem. I let all my connections know the update and we continued onto see the gelding and test him out (they ended up buying him). So yesterday (Sunday morning) they call at 11:15 and say they're on the road and will be there in 2-3 hours - so 3:30 max right? I talked to them at 2:30 and they informed me they were still 2 1/2 hours away!!!!! I think they took the scenic route or something because 5 hours is a long time for a 3 hour drive, even with an empty horse trailer. At 5:15 I got a call saying she was loaded and they were off to get the gelding. By 9:00 I finally called and they said they were in Indiana heading out way. So we camped out on the couch, trying to sleep, waiting for another call.

She arrived with the other horse from Kentucky (that my barn owner's daughter got Saturday night on our fast trip to see him) at about 4:18 this morning. 

She was extremely happy to get off the trailer and was very.... eager to get inside the barn. We put the two in the indoor arena so they could walk around and stretch their legs a bit before we put them in their stalls for some hay and water. You could tell the two bonded in the trailer because there was no squealing or kicking between them and I'm pretty sure she already went into heat for him. Someone forgot to tell her he's a gelding I think.

I can tell she's going to be a handful just by how she acted being led, but I'm already in love with her! She's absolutely gorgeous and I think she's at least 16.2 1/2, possibly 16.3. Once she was quietly munching on her hay in her stall I sneaked in for a few minutes and just pet and talked to her. Very very sweet girl!

Since I got very little sleep I'm not working this morning, most likely not at all today. I'll be going out this afternoon to groom, feed, and hand walk her around and of course snap some pictures.

October 5, 2012

T Minus 48 Hours

As the week closes and 5:00 nears for me to head home I'm thankful this week has flown by and yet terrified. 5:00 means I'm within 48 hours of Woven Web. Trying to find things to distract me from watching the clock but it's harder than it sounds.

List of the top things bugging me. Probably not a great list but writing it all down seems to help my semi frantic brain.
  • Shipper falling through for some unknown reason. The person I'm using has many many great reviews from other customers but that only slightly eases my mind. 
  • How she'll settle and adjust to Michigan life. She's on pure grass right now in a huge gorgeous Kentucky field and I'm sure the shock of being on no grass, hay only and a new routine is going to boggle her mind for awhile. 
  • How I'm going to get along with her in general and how she's going to handle her new life.
Only a short Finite Math assignment for over the weekend, Accounting homework is already done which leaves me with Micro Economics exam as the only thing that will take up enough time to distract me. Doesn't help though that the Econ exam is due by midnight on Sunday and the testing center at the college isn't open on Sunday like I thought so I have to cram to take it Saturday morning at 9am. Of course in my typical fashion the amount of studying I have done for the exam is at 0. Literally 0. 

October 4, 2012


While Woven Web news is quiet, I figured I might want to write a post to better introduce Dakota for those that may not know about him or our story together. 

January 8th 2001 I skipped school for my mom to take me to look at the 6 month old Thoroughbred gelding I had found in the newspaper classifieds the day before.

I knew I was going to buy him before I even got there. I knew it, my Mom knew it but neither of us would say it. After about an hour of drooling over him I handed over the $600 for him and arranged shipping him the 20-30 minutes to Paw Paw.

When I first got him, his name was Spider. Ewww. So a name change was a must and flipping through my StateLine Tack catalog I saw the name Dakota on one of the halter name plates and knew then it would be fitting for him.

So Friday January 12th he arrived at the farm I grew up riding at. It was a temporary place for him to go since they were in process of moving and selling the farm. 6 weeks later he was moved to a different farm, about 15 minutes from my house where he stayed for 2 1/2 years. There, I taught him to lunge and began training him for riding. 

In 2004 I moved him to a farm really close to the High School which was super convenient after school. They became my barn family and I think I spent more nights at their house in high school than with my Mom. I continued riding him english but began to ride more toward a dressage aspect. 

In 2006 after finishing high school I moved to Lexington KY for nearly the next five years. Naturally Dakota had to go with me! My best friend and I found a farm about 1/2 hour north of Lexington and she was living next door so it was the perfect situation. That of course took a turn for the worse when her and I headed back to Michigan over the holiday's and left the horses with the farm owner in Kentucky. Three weeks later we came back to five severely thin, starved and dehydrated horses. My friends mare was 8 months in foal with a filly we had bred and planned on owning together. She aborted the foal the day after we found her in that condition. Dakota was the second worse in condition. The vet scored him at a 1.5 body scale. When we moved the horses the next day things just kept getting worse. We had freezing rain, the horses were in a small dry lot and the water tank was at the bottom of the 'hill' in the lot. Dakota found himself knee high in freezing mud when he tried to get a drink. He got himself loose and I walked him down the street to yet another neighbor until he was strong enough to get on a trailer to move him to a farm closer to Lexington. Many IV's, long days of worrying and a lot of medication he was able to get on a trailer and moved closer to Lexington. We reported the owner to animal control but we unfortunately didn't have any written agreement of her care for the animals while we were gone so no charges could be made. 

After a few other farm switches, in February 2009 I moved him to a farm off of Russell Cave Rd in Lexington. Probably the best move yet since I was able to get there daily and I met great people there including my best friend that found me Woven Web. 

In December 2010 I moved home to Michigan to finish college. I left a few days before Dakota but he arrived December 23rd safe and sound back to the farm he was at while I was in high school. 

15.3 Hands  Sire - Paint / AQHA  Dam - Thoroughbred  Dk Bay
3 Months Old With His Dam
Jan 13 2001 - Day after arrival
Yearling Dakota
My pretty 2yo
First solo ride together
2006 - First day in Kentucky
Dressage <3

Best Friend.

October 3, 2012

Weaving the Web - Part 2

Pedigree - Dam

Woven Web's dam, Summer Queen, foaled in 2002, was bred by Marylou Whitney.

Her sire, Summer Squall (Storm Bird x Weekend Surprise - Secretariat) who is half brother to A.P. Indy, was predominant force on the racetrack. At two he won four stakes including the Hopeful Stakes (Grade 1) and Saratoga Special Stakes (Grade 2). At three, he became a classic winner in the Preakness after his second place finish in the Kentucky Derby. In addition to the Preakness, he took the Jim Beam, Pennsylvania Derby and Blue Grass Stakes as a three year old. He raced through his four year old year adding the Fayette Handicap and second in the Pimlico Special Handicap to his resume. He entered stud at Lanes End Farm in Versailles Kentucky where he sired 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Charismatic. Pensioned in 2004, Summer Squall lived out the rest of his years at Lanes End until he scummed to old age at 22.

Bred in Canada, Storm Bird (Northern Dancer x South Ocean - New Providence) was champion two year old in Great Britain and Ireland in 1980. Aside from Summer Squall he also sired major sire Storm Cat.

Summer Squall's dam, Weekend Surprised (Secretariat x Lassie Dear - Buckpasser) was a homebred for the Farish family at Lane's End. In her racing career she won three stakes, the Schuylerville Stakes, Golden Rod Stakes and Pocahontas Stakes. As a broodmare, other than Summer Squall, she produced the likes of A.P. Indy, Honor Grades Tiger Ridge, Eavesdropper, and Weekend in Seattle among others, earning herself the prestigious broodmare of the year award.

Left - Summer Squall    Right - Secretariat

Storm Bird
Weekend Surprise
Summer Queen's dam line is another to admire. The female family belongs to American Family #1, the best of the American Families.

Summer Queen, who was unraced herself, has a total of seven registered foals. Three have raced with two being winners.

Summer Queen's dam, Queen Inca (Capote x Inca Legacy - Saratoga Six) produced four winners including, Colonial Inca, Tale of the Queen, Cat Tale and B G Queen Legacy. Queen Inca also produced Inca Prize (by Prized) who became the dam of graded stakes winner Inca King. 

The third dam in the female family, Inca Legacy won three races on the track and is half sister to three graded stake winners. As a broodmare, Inca Legacy produced seven winners. Catinca (by Storm Cat) was winner of the Grade 1 Ruffian Handicap along with multiple Grade 2 and 3 races. Gulch Legacy was a winner at the track, but more impressive was  her producing Stone Legacy who placed second in the Kentucky Oaks. Inca Legacy's other winners include Storm Legacy, Inca Slew, Inca Silver, Broad Legacy and Lisa's Fast Step.

Fourth in the female family is Inca Queen. On the track Inca Queen won major stakes such as the Top Flight Handicap and Sheepshead Bay Handicap. She was also placed in the Coaching Club American Oaks and Hempstead Handicap. As a broodmare she was the dam of eleven winners. Hail Bold King won the Pegasus Handicap (Grade 2) and was a national track record setter for 1 1/8th miles in the Genesis Handicap. Hail Bold King also ran 2nd in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Laurel Futurity and Arcadia Handicap among others. Exile King won the Grade 2 Rutgers Handicap and was third in the Arkansas Derby. Her gelding, Manny's Prospect won the La Jolla Handicap (Grade 3). Two of Inca Queen's colts Magoo's Magic and Metfield were take winners in the Huntington Stakes and Sheridan Stakes respectively. Her other winners include The Four Arts, Slew the Queen, Inca Princess, Germany, Senza Paura, Saratoga One and Moskey (VEN).

Finally, Inca Queen's dam, Silver Spoon was a brilliant race horse. She was a chestnut daughter of Triple Crown Winner, Citation. Citation was by Bull Lea, Calumet Farm's foundation stallion. Silver Spoon'd dam, Silver Fog carried blood of Equipose, Belnheim II, Man O' War, Peter Pan and a slew of others. Silver Spoon stood at 16.1 hands and as a foal she injured her hip and walked forever with a hitch in her gait. Her first race was a $8,000 claiming race at Belmont Park. Thankfully for her owners there were no takers. She was then sent to California where she dominated her division. Silver Spoon went on to win the Santa Susana Stakes (now the Santa Anita Oaks) and the Santa Anita Derby. Only one other filly has accomplished this which was Winning Colors in 1988. In the Santa Anita Derby, Silver Spoon defeated eventual Preakness winner by 2 1/2 lengths with her ears forward. She was then entered in the Kentucky Derby, the only filly to do so between 1945 and Genuine Risk in 1980. She ran fifth in the Kentucky Derby, the winner was Tomy Lee. Silver Spoon ran against Tomy Lee again, defeating him in the Cinema Handicap. In 1978 she was inducted to the Hall of Fame. She died in 1978 and was buried at C.V. Whitney's farm that is now part of Gainesway Farm. 

Born February 18th 2008, Woven Web was also bred by Marylou Whitney in Kentucky at Marylou Whitney Stables. 

In January 2009, Woven Web was part of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. As hip 2183 and part of book 3 she was cosigned by Gainesway and was purchased by John Little MD for $3,700.

She was bred in 2010 to Don't Get Mad and foaled a healthy filly in 2011 named Lovely Surprise.

With Woven Web's pedigree and prominent race horse sire's and the likes of Seattle Slew Alydar, Secretariat, Danzig and Unbridled, she should has a pedigree to support the sport horse world breeding.

Far Right - Lovely Surprise (Don't Get Mad x Woven Web)

Top - Silver Spoon on Sports Illustrated Cover  Left - Silver Spoon winning one of her many stakes  Right - Silver Spoon with her trainer and stablemate

Left - Seattle Slew  Right - Capote

Left - Saratoga Six   Right - Alydar

Triple Crown Winner Citation