We figure, with the upcoming show season and wanting to go a lot of places, we really do need to have our own trailer, so for the last 2 months we have been looking and finally made a purchase! We are very happy with it (as you can see below, haha), and we hope Fiz will be too!! 🙂
Looking toward show season, we have been slowly but surely gathering goods and products to help us properly groom Fiz for shows. There is a plethora of products on the market to help people properly turn out a horse, and we have already acquired many of those things. However, no matter how many products we buy and apply, his tail is not going to miraculously grow to drag the ground overnight. While we grow out Fiz’s real tail, we decided to give him a little help, so we got him a tail switch, or “extensions” for those of you unfamiliar. Check out how it looks!! We think it’s perfect.
Our last post, we added some pictures of Fiz’s barefoot feet (and how awful they were looking) and talked about our hoof goals leading up to show season. Today, Fiz had an appointment with his farrier, Bobby Ordner, who made and custom fit shoes for his front feet. Back feet will likely be done next time around. Bobby gave us a “progress report” on Fiz’s hooves, and was VERY informative and helpful. He worked for nearly 2 hours custom making shoes, and he also hot fitted them so they would be a perfect fit. Fiz didn’t mind, he stood nicely for almost 2 hours while the shoes were being made even, and didn’t even flinch at all the tools being used, the smoke from the hot shoes, nothing! Bobby says he’d like to see the back feet be a little more hard, more growth in the heels of all 4, and just a bit more toe all around and we will be where we need to be. He said the farriers formula and the Keratex (which we just ordered today) is a good game plan and will have us where we want to be definitely by the time we want to show.
A lot of you may know that we have not had shoes on Fiz at all during the time we have owned him. We have had him trimmed a few times but his feet just do not seem to grow!! Since we will be getting shoes put on him within this month, we have also decided that we are going to put him on the Farrier’s Formula supplement that SmartPak offers. We have heard a lot of wonderful things about how this supplement does wonders for horses hooves in the way of new growth, less cracking, and overall hoof health.
Since we plan to show in less than 6 months, and it’s getting close to spring (when hooves can start growing faster due to warmer weather) we feel now is the time to begin this supplement. We do not have experience with it, and we are eager to see how using it will help his hoof quality. In order to document the improvement we hope to see by using this formula and putting Fiz in a set of shoes, we have taken pictures of the current condition of his bare feet and we have also taken measurements of his toe and heel on the fronts. His front right toe is about 3 inches long, and front left about 3.5. While his heel bulbs are not quite touching the ground, the hoof wall at the heel is not measurable at this time. It is nearly non-existent, which makes us sad! He really needs to have good hoof wall growth in this area to be able to move like we suspect he is capable of. We cannot wait to get his feet in shoes, growing better, and overall healthier. When the farrier puts his shoes on, we will talk about options for showing later on down the road. Exciting stuff!!
Also to note, Keratex Hoof Hardner comes highly recommended to us by a friend who uses it on his OTTB mare. Once it warms up, we may try this in addition to the supplement. Our friend says he has seen a big improvement in the quality of his mare’s hooves and how she is able to keep shoes on better since he began using this product.
Anyway, here is what we have to document his current hoof condition, which we have analyzed as poor. His rear left hoof is in the best condition, followed by his rear right, the front left, and the front right being in the worst condition. He has a bad habit of pawing with his front feet, so we suspect that is what is causing his front feet to be in such poor condition. We really hope putting shoes on will help keep his feet from getting worn down like they are currently.
I realize that some of our readers may not know the difference between a good hoof and a bad hoof, so let me just show you what we are working toward. You can see Fiz’s hooves above, and compare them to these pictures below to see something similar to what our end goal is for his feet.
He’s a warm hearted horse, who’ll love me til the end… Ok, I’ll stop singing now and get on with my point. Fiz had a big day today. It was 60 degrees outside and we had plans to work him and wash his tail. He long lined wonderfully, then he got his crusty disgusting tail washed and braided up. We are glad it’s clean and dandruff free now, and hope it stayed that way for longer than the 30 minutes we watched him in the field before we left the farm this afternoon. We did discover another thing to add to the list of stuff Fiz thinks is going to kill him. A hair dryer. So for now, we have on that list: stationary mounds of gravel, clippers near his ears, and hair dryers. Kayla coming up off the ground throwing sand in the air is pretty scary too.
Now for the biggest news of the day, Fiz got to meet his new friend and hopefully long term pasture mate, a thoroughbred named Thunder. Thunder has just moved here from Michigan and we are happy he’s a chill guy with a good attitude. They seemed to get along really well and we are so pleased he will no longer be alone in the pasture! After all, horses are meant to be in herds, even if it’s just a herd of two, we don’t want him to be lonely! We really hope they become great friends and have a lot of fun together. Of course, in typical Twisted Sisters fashion, we documented the meeting via cell phone photos, so here they are!
As much as we had hoped Fiz and Thunder were going to be good friends and pasture mates, unfortunately it did not happen. Apparently, Fiz does not play well with others!! The next day, he kept picking and picking at poor Thunder and try as he might to ignore it, Thunder got tired of being picked at and went after Fizzy but Fizzy just kept on picking until they had to be separated. I guess Fiz is just destined to be in a pasture by himself! Oh well. His choice!!
Hey everyone, we are just here to share a piece of art that was made for us. We love this piece so much because it’s personalized by our friend, Emily, to depict Fizzy playing in the snow. We think she nailed it, and we didn’t know she had such artistic talent! Emily is a fellow horsewoman, member of the University of Louisville Saddleseat team, and Co-Owner of Mizmanagement. To visit the Mizmanagement site, click HERE.
In addition to using the stretchies for the first time, we also decided it was time to have a little fun with our versatile Saddlebred. While we do want him to step up to be a “show horse” when it’s time to show, we also want him to enjoy us, and us him. We want him to do things that aren’t considered “work” so he doesn’t get too burned out. After all, we aren’t asking him to be a super fancy, super exceptional, 100% show horse and world champion, we are asking him to be a county fair country pleasure fun mount! That entails doing other things, aside from his typical saddleseat training. So, we took off his saddle and tried him bareback for the first time since we have owned him. He was a perfect gentleman and he didn’t mind at all. Maybe we will do this more often! Of course, both Cindy and I had to try him out without a saddle! Again, excuse the terrible quality pictures, but you get the idea!
It’s almost February, and we are starting to get serious about showing. Our goal is set for June, so we need to start stepping up our game and Fizzy needs to start stepping up his. We are hoping warmer weather is right around the corner and we can start working Fiz more often. Not only more often, but harder. He has finally started getting in shape. He is to the point where he is no longer out of breath after trotting, or even cantering for a good period of time. Now is the time to begin to refine his training and start using some of the typical saddlebred training tools like chains and “stretchies” so while both Cindy and I were present we decided to put the stretchies on him for the first time since we have owned him. He did fantastic! A short video clip below, excuse the cell phone quality!
Since Fiz had already been out all morning the last snow day, he wasn’t so interested in playing. This time however, he had been in his stall all night. We have been having some really cold weather, so he’s had to stay in a little more often than I think he would prefer. He got out in the fresh snow and played and played. It was so much fun to watch and photograph! See the pictures and short video below. 🙂
I am convinced that Fizzy is the poster child for spoiled rotten. He has had a great Christmas. He’s gotten lots of nice new tack to wear, and he looks so handsome in it. He got a new german martingale, a new work bridle, a new show bridle, and new bits. I just wanted to share a few pictures of him wearing his new things. I don’t yet have pictures of him in all of the things, so I will update this post later with pictures of him wearing all of his new things. So, here is Fiz modeling his new work bridle and then below that, his new show bridle and show bits. Excuse the poor picture quality, they came off my cell phone. Even though he looks like a wooly mammoth instead of a refined saddlebred, you can still see that he sports his new gear quite well!
We got an ice/snow storm on 12/6/13. Unlike normal places where snow comes every year, this place acts like it’s some kind of newfangled thing that has never happened before in the existence of earth, and the entire area just shuts down like it is some kind of snowpocalypse. Not us, not Fiz, no… we would not be defeated by icemageddon; We braved the strange white surroundings the following day. We conquered and we survived.
Not only did we force him to be a subject of photography among the strange white stuff, we also saddled him up and rode. (Thanks to that awesome indoor arena, where it is dry and not windy, we were able to do that!) I think he actually enjoyed both the snow, and working indoors. We spent some quality time with him cooling him off in the indoor as well. He enjoys following us around and harassing us for peppermints and/or treats. He licks like dog. Begs like one too. It’s quite pitiful, actually.
After a really long weekend, Fiz and all of his stuff have finally gotten settled in at his new home at Hunters Brook Farm. At Hunters Brook, many things are going to be different from his old home. Instead of being out on pasture 24/7, only getting fed hay in the mornings in winter, and not having an option of being inside, there are many new amenities we will enjoy at the new farm. Fiz will be fed as much hay as he wants to eat, he will be fed grain twice daily, he will be inside in a stall during bad weather, he will be outside as much as possible when the weather is nice enough, and he will enjoy working in an indoor arena as well as outdoor. He will have complete full care, and he deserves it.
He will also be surrounded by many other animals that he did not get to see at the old farm. There are chickens running all around the farm. There are also goats, cows, and mini horses. He seems most interested in the chickens and the goats. Once the farm owners see his personality, they will decide who they should try and turn him out with. Hopefully he will find some friends on the farm. I am sure there is at least one horse on the farm that he can get along well with. He needs interaction with other horses, and it will be very good for him once a good match is made!
We are very happy about our decision and look forward to spending more time at the new place. So far we have been very pleased with them. They purchased the hay we bought at the old place, and they let us bring our cabinet full of Fiz’s stuff (bridles, saddles, harnesses, and equipment) and our jog cart to the farm. We are grateful for the new farm and are happy we found such a nice place for our boy to live. We are very happy he is getting the daily attention and care that he is very much deserving of and we are looking forward to seeing if and how this type of care will change his appearance and demeanor. I am sure there will be plenty of pictures in the future of him at his new home.
It’s a new day, a new adventure, and a fresh start. Again. It’s a good thing. 🙂
Here are some pictures of Fizzy at his new home!
Now, in the saddlebred world, we are a little weird about our horses feet. Good feet are of the utmost importance in any discipline, and the condition of Fiz’s feet weren’t in great shape when he came to us. They were trimmed very short as a result of not being reset while out in the field (as told to me by the previous owner) and we assume he pulled his shoe(s) off thus, messing up his feet. We waited and waited to get him trimmed until his feet had a chance to grow out some! We were finally were able to have a farrier come out just to do a little trim to even out his feet. So, here’s some pictures after they were all trimmed up. If you know anything about saddlebreds, you will notice how short the toe and the heel is. The farrier suggested we use turpentine on the bottoms of his feet to harden them up, since he was so incredibly tender footed. He also said white feet are usually always softer than the dark feet, which is news to us! The turpentine has worked wonders for Fiz’s feet, and has allowed us to consistently work him for the last several months without him being sore due to feet issues and tenderness. This is a trick we will have to remember for future reference!!
Most people don’t realize, horses need dentists too. Their teeth never stop growing, and the way they eat causes their teeth to develop jagged edges and different issues, making bridling and riding them painful if it’s not taken care of. It also makes chewing difficult if the teeth get really bad. Horses with bad teeth will not be able to chew well and they can lose food out of their mouths, causing them and their owners to have to work much harder to get the amount of nutrients needed to maintain a healthy weight.
We wanted our guy to be pain free, and have no excuses to be angry in the bridle or develop any weird issues due to trying to compensate for his mouth hurting. So, we had a dentist come and float his teeth. It’s called floating, but it’s essentially filing down all the jagged edges where the teeth are smooth and even inside the mouth. Equine dentists also remove teeth that are troublesome. Fiz did not need any teeth removed, but his teeth were pretty sharp. Dr Adrian Robertson of Bannon Woods Equine came and floated teeth for us. Here she is with her assistant, working on Fiz! Fiz thanks her for his smooth, pain free mouth and so do we!
We posted about our trip to get our first cart, but what we did not include in that post is that we met the seller at an all breed show. While there, we sat down and watched some of the show. And a show is just what we got. Check this out… These are gaited MULES. Yes, you read that correctly. Mules. That are GAITED. So naturally, we HAD to get a video. I mean, GAITED MULES people.