Basic Conformation: Axcent vs. “Ideal”

Basic Conformation: Axcent vs. “Ideal”

I have always been pretty good with conformational faults and spotting unsoundnesses in horses thanks to my past 4-H and horse bowl experiences. This semester I am taking a Equine Biomechanics and Conformation class and I was excited to realize that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. Sure I can tell you if your horse is camped under behind, over in the knee, or croup high, but I wasn’t able to look at a horse and figure out their overall balance.

To be honest, when I purchased Ax his conformation was the last thing on my mind. I know – bad idea – but I knew he wasn’t falling apart, he had no unsoundnesses, and he was put together relatively normal. Over a year later, I figured I could test some of my new knowledge and see how Ax holds up to the ideally balanced equine. (“Ideal” being based off of physics and geometry to benefit the basic horse.) Continue reading “Basic Conformation: Axcent vs. “Ideal””

Sharing is Caring

Back to school. The three words most students dread after a nice break from the prison we are stuck in five days a week. But not me. I have been back at school for a few weeks now. Horseless. Right now, back to school means my Prince is making the trip for his second semester at college. But this trip has a bit of a different schedule than last semester because Ax is getting a second mommy for the next three months! Continue reading “Sharing is Caring”

First, There Was an Angel

Before there was Ax, there was a pony. Well, an Angel, really. This is the first part of my fairytale.

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Cue the flashback to 2005.

I had been riding for a few years at a lesson barn when a client of my mom told her about a six-year-old, bay Morgan mare she had for sale. I don’t remember everything about trying her out except that I fell off during an attempt to pick up a canter. Yes, I fell off my first pony before she was even mine.

Despite the fall, I was convinced she would be my pony and apparently my mom agreed. A few weeks later, Smithfields’ Irish Angel was on her way to the barn I took lessons at for a one month lease. I didn’t need that whole month to fall in love. By the time those 30 days were over, Angel was mine.

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Well, she was technically my mom’s since there was a lot of training to do with her before she was really mine. Fast forward a few years and she was finally sane enough for my horse-crazy teenager antics—or maybe she wasn’t, but she had no choice. Once I began riding Angel more often, my mom found a horse of her own, Blue. Then I could finally consider her to be mine.

As far as showing goes, I skipped the walk-trot years and jumped right into the thick of it. Literally, jumped—my first show consisted of Angel spooking at just about everything in the ring. A few years later, she was a pro. Between 4-H, high school equestrian teams, open, and breed shows, Angel and I were a tough team to beat. In our six years of showing together, she carried me to multiple ribbons, trophies, and titles.

 

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Out of the show ring, she really was my angel. She was my best friend and my annoying little sister all at the same time, and I loved her for it. She took my flying through the fields when I needed to run away and was my mane to cry into when I needed to let go. I spent most of my middle and high school years going to the barn at the end of the day.

Going to college was tough because it meant leaving Angel at home. I was growing too tall to show her anymore without looking like a giant, and I couldn’t afford to board her at school. My last show with her was at The Big E during my sophomore year. She was an angel, per usual, and proved to me that she deserved her show retirement.

Now, I still hop on every now and then whenever I go home and it brings me back to when I was little, running away in the fields. Even though my mom rides her more than I do now, she will forever be my pony.

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My Happily Ever After

This is probably the closest thing I will ever come to writing a fairytale, so I am going to take full advantage of this moment.
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Once upon a time…there was a princess searching for her long lost merman prince. No matter how long she stayed in the water and how much her fingers pruned, she couldn’t find him. Little did she know, she was looking in the entirely wrong place…all she had to do was sit patiently for him to come to her. And that is exactly what happened. He snuck up on her and jumped out of nowhere. Well, trotted really.
*Cue the typical flashback waving and blurring of the movie screen edges*
I was happily planning my dream summer on Martha’s Vineyard when a phone call threw me for a loop. “Lease Axcent.”  Those two words together in once sentence coming from my mother’s mouth just about made me pass out. Was my mom REALLY trying to convince me to lease a new horse? I couldn’t possibly lease a new horse AND go to the Vineyard all in one summer. Could I? Well, I did.
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Like a lot of relationships, Ax and I started out as awkward friends. He would jump and I would look like a sack of potatoes. I would balance my corners and he would trip on flat ground. He was my best friend in a new place where I knew no one. He was my shoulder to cry on and mane to cry into when my parents left me in what I was convinced was my own personal hell (let me tell you, I was the so wrong it’s not even funny). We spent those first days together and fell in love…me with him and him with the peppermints in my pockets. What happened next was a turning point in our relationship. Things escalated…quickly. We slept together. Though let me tell you shavings in your breeches and rubber stall mats are not the most comfortable thing to nap on. In my defense it was a rainy cold day and he was already napping, I just cuddled my way over next to him.
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But of course, at the end of that happy, butterfly in your stomach period, things go downhill. Fast. The Prince and I were at the end of our time together. But someone was watching over me or I just had really good karma that day, because after a few weeks of not knowing what would happen to us, I got my happily ever after.
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I had found my Prince (well, bought really). Even though he isn’t a merman, I think things turned out pretty darn well. My Prince turned out to be a goofy Warmblood from the south that has no clue how big he really is. I had been looking for a prince with no feet, and I ended up finding him with four!