Hay guys!
All of a sudden, we’re at a year with Miss Mae!  To say that this year has been the most eventful of my horse-owning experience is an understatement.  I went from housing a low-maintenance, low-key adult appendix gelding to working with a very green, sick, hyper, off-the-track thoroughbred mare.  Mae and Ryon couldn’t be more opposite, and the learning curve has been steep but also extremely rewarding at the same time.

In 2017, we had one ulcer-driven colic session, two abscesses, four months of rehab from aforementioned ulcers, four different paddock mates, and six thrown shoes.  We have put the ulcer thing behind us and haven’t seen a flare up since she got here.  She continues to put on muscle, particularly in her hind end.  Her feet are looking so much better as well.  Even though they’re still teeny tiny, her back hooves have hardened and we plan to keep them unshod.  Her front shoes still have pads but the angle of her hooves is much better on them than they used to be.

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest differences between Mae and Ryon is that she is an athlete and he was more of a couch potato.  One of my favourite things to do with Mae is letting her loose to gallop around the big outdoor arena.  She loves the opportunity to stretch her legs and really zoom.  I wish we had pasture for her to do that in, with other horse friends, but it’s not in the cards at this point in time.  Luckily we do have a eurowalker, and my trainer will put Mae in that thing for an hour at the walk, which burns off a lot of energy.  Like most babies, she is the best behaved with consistent regular work.

An unexpected (for me) bonus to buying a green horse is that you get to train them exactly as you’d like.  It didn’t take her very long after we really started to work with her for us to get her flatwork to be wonderfully polite.  In my mind, she thinks she’s got the flatting thing figured out, and I have to consistently throw in changes into our routine to keep her on her toes.  After hacking out a few of my trainer’s horses, I’m able to see how the mare compares to our veterans, and I’ll proudly brag that she measures up quite nicely.


Mae is still in the process of figuring out the jump.  She has anxiety after jumping, and it takes her a few times over a fence to really get into a rhythm and feel confident and comfortable.  I haven’t done a full course with her yet, but there’s no rush to it.  I’d like to have a sane horse before and after the jump.  Although, I can’t complain too much.  Yesterday I decided to ride after stopping by the barn in running tights and running shoes and ended up doing a few crossrails for fun.  If I can safely jump around in that, we’ve made a bit of progress already.

For those of you wondering how Ryon’s doing, he’s happily living a low work-load life in Central Texas.  I haven’t sold him, and I’m quite happy with the current situation with his new caretaker.  We’ll see if things change this year with the arrangement but for now, it seems like everything is going well.

I love the energy everyone has at the beginning of a new year - reading all of your 2018 goals has me feel extremely excited for you and also slightly overwhelmed - that’s a me / not you thing.  It also gives me new ideas of things to try, ways to look at things, for both myself as a rider and for Mae.  For me, I’m going to try a new thing in 2018 and not create a list of defined goals.  There are certain activities I want to do with Mae, but these things will happen when they happen and I’d rather not force her into any of it before I can set her up for success.  One of my favourite things about working with green horses is seeing how quickly they progress and the areas that they start to excel.  I hope your next year of riding (or groundwork or whatever it is you want to do) is filled with surprising wins and progress where you least expect it.