Calika

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This horse was my everything.

She was the first horse I ever owned. She was who I grew up with. She saw me through heartbreak and she saw me through some of the happiest times of my life.We got through Colic surgery. More than one major injury and more than one major move over 12-ish years together. Huh, you know what, I think I lost her pretty darn close the day we officially bought her.

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we were both babies

Calika came into my life as a late 4-year-old/early 5-year old ( I can’t remember for sure because I am getting old) when I started taking riding lessons again. I thought my coach was crazy putting me on such a young horse when I hadn’t ridden in a couple of years! I also could not for the life of me, understand what her name was. I kept thinking she was telling me it was Teacup – nope – definitely Calika.

I fell in love with her instantly. She was a tough ride for me coming back into lessons but we got through it. When my mom said we could FINALLY buy a freaking horse of our own I was over the moon excited….until I found out her price. Yeah, if you are asking, I did cry.

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literally me when i found out her $$

Once we started looking at other horses, and finding out how difficult other horse people were, it was pretty much settled that she would be mine. With help from my parents, we did a vet check on the muddiest day of life and she became mine back in I think 2006.

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I struggled so hard for quite a while with her. I kinda sucked at riding (looking back at videos ), and she sure let me know it. That didn’t matter, I was a kid and I finally had my first horse, whom I adored and knew she could do no wrong.

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bestest

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I was lucky enough to be able to bring her with me when I went away to University. She got to be extra spoiled when we left too, because my mom didn’t want her to be on outdoor board during the winter. She was worried about her “getting cold” at night during the winter so she funded the difference to keep her inside. Have I mentioned yet that technically my mom owned her? She called dibs on her front half, so of course I got the back-end. That’s okay, it was the best half – except when it stopped working.

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PC: Sarah Ingram
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and then we got sick

Who knew a horse not pooping for a little big would be so stressful? That was a long ten days in the clinic. And several of them were spent worrying whether or not we were going to lose her. Even though people kept thinking she wasn’t going to make it – she pulled through.

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in our gear for the first ride back

Our return to work was pretty un-eventful, because she is the best, until she hurt herself right before I decided to bring her back home again. Like literally two weeks before we went home. Then we had a couple of months of work and she hurt herself….again! This time pretty good. Two rehab’s in less than 12 months is not my idea of fun!

That second rehab had me start thinking about things. I knew I was never going to sell her, but I never expected her to keep up to the level that I aspired to be at anymore. That’s when Luna kind of appeared in my life.

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how could you not love this face

I made the decision at that point that Calika wasn’t coming back to the city with me. Looking back, I think all the things that happened to Calika were really her just trying to tell me that she didn’t want to leave her home. I wish I had listened to her better, maybe she could still be here.

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when i left her at home again

It wouldn’t take long for Calika to make her way back down to the city. I couldn’t say no to bringing her back to me. That’s when she found her new person. The kid of her dreams I think. I always joked my horse didn’t love me anymore, she had her own kid, she loved that kid to the moon and back

Her and that kid did so much together. She helped K grow as a rider. She brought her confidence back. I am so grateful for having such a magnificent horse and seeing how good she was to someone other then me. She took care of her her like she took care of me.

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her bestie jazz
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i spy a luna

But when she got hurt for the billionth time (girl was on a mission), she came back into my life, albeit for the final time.

1 week left of rehab….that’s it. That’s all we had left before we would have had the clear to go back to full work. 1 week. You never know when they are going to go. Even when you’ve had a brush with them leaving before, it doesn’t make it any easier when they do go. Seeing your vet upset when saying goodbye sure doesn’t help either

I thought writing about her this year would maybe help a bit, but I’m not sure that it has. Maybe after this weekend is finished, and I have this posted I will feel a bit better. But for now, my heart is still broken. And this blog post doesn’t do her justice, but I will keep on hoping that maybe I will feel a little less broken next year.

I miss you Big Red. 4/22/2016.

the best assistant/tear licker 
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We adventured today…

All by ourselves ! And even lived to tell the tale !

Lessons were running and it was a beauty of a day, so I figured I would try to get down the trails by ourselves. We’ve only done this once ever. And that one time includes having Lexie with us.

Going down the road is one thing. There aren’t things hiding behind the fence posts, and vehicles aren’t scary (just bicycles). But in the forest ? That’s like going into the basement where the Boogey-man lives 😅

Not to mention the one access point is blocked by a trailer, so you have to sneak by a terrifying pick-up truck horse eater to even get into the trails. Once we got through that it was smooth sailing !

We were moving at an excessively fast walk but that’s better then stopping and spooking at everything. But the birds, that’s an other story – flying horse eaters are the worst type of horse eater.

It’s so nice to be out of the arena again ! Even if there is still tons of snow.

Spring, where are youu?!

It is already mid-April and there is STILL snow on the ground. Not just a little bit – a lot. And just last week temps were down to -20*C…so it’s effing cold !

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We aren’t seeing double-digit temperatures until pretty much the end of April.

Normally I don’t complain about the weather, but when my horse won’t come out of the barn because it is snowing AGAIN, we have a problem. That and we haven’t even had a break from winter since the beginning of December really. Usually the snow has left and it’s been warm and then we get snow after a couple of weeks of nice weather.

she was not impressed

Not this year apparently.

Please Spring, could you show up?! I really want to get out of the arena!

Review : Collegiate Anatomical Girth

About a month ago, I ordered in this girth hoping that Luna would appreciate it and be a happy pony  not be such a grump, and it would not pull my saddle forward.

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First thoughts right out of the box : it looks kind of cheap. There were some frayed threads and a piece of material that was kind of poking out where it wasn’t sewn very well.

I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of giving this girth a chance. Because I really needed to give this girth a chance.

The first couple of times I used it, Luna was pretty non-chalant about it. She wasn’t anymore girthy, or any less girthy then normal – I took that as a sign that it would be okay.

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I originally ordered this because my fitter had suggested it, and it looked like it was less curved then the Total Saddle Fit dressage girths that seemed to keep my saddle from being pulled forward, but did not fit Luna the greatest.

It seemed to do its job of keeping itself where it needed to be, without pulling my saddle forward. 1 point for this girth.

After a few more rides the inevitable happened – Luna gave me the big F U to this girth. So we cut out the handy carabeaner it comes with, thinking it was a pressure point. That didn’t help either.  Boo!

I didn’t get to use this girth much, so cannot review its longevity but here is what I can tell you more about it.

Pro’s

  • Handy carabeaner attachment vs. having just a loop or d-ring to attach anything to
  • It is a nice shape. Not too shaped like the TSF girths.
  • Easily washable as it is synthetic and you can just wipe it down and let it dry

Con’s

  • The carabeaner is too inset in the girth and doesn’t have any padding behind it really, so it seemed to cause a pressure point.
  • Not very padded – so if you have a princess like I do, they might not like it.
  • Cheap looking straight out of the box

Final rating : 3.5/5

If you are looking to try a shaped girth like this, without spending a fortune, this would be worth the money to try something. It is only $70~ CAD before shipping/duties out of the UK.

When you go shopping…

And spend all your monies, you get nice things.

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I have been on the hunt for a bridle for Ms. Big Ears for probably just under a year and have had no luck.

Either they didn’t quite fit her right, like the Shockemoehle Stanford I tried and had high hopes for because of its design features. Like the slight curve it has to keep all of the straps off of their TMJ area – that was my favorite thing about this bridle and I am so sad the rest of the bridle just did not fit.

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stanford

Or they are way more than I am willing to spend – like the PS of Sweden Bridles. Should I have bought one a couple of years ago before they were “in” and a reasonable price ? Yeah probably, but I didn’t. And now they are at an astronomical price so I definitely won’t be buying one at retail price. Specially when I don’t need/want a special fan-dangled noseband – I just need the anatomical crown they have !

That is an other issue – so many bridles that HAVE a more anatomical crown piece, also have an irregular noseband. Similar to the PS High Jump. Luna has made it very clear she want’s the plainest of everything except for the crown piece.

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high jump

Most of the bridles that I found that have ear “cut outs”, just have a slight indent which is not enough for her big ears. OR I found bridles on questionable websites or they were never in stock.

Now, I did find a bridle a few months ago on Divoza’s website – a Dyon flat dressage bridle – in brown ! BUT it was a bit more than I wanted to spend so I didn’t jump on it. Except that they sent a 25% off coupon….and then a 20 Euro off coupon a couple of days later.

So what did I do ? I finally ordered it and it should be here today! Here is hoping that it works and everything fits her weird head !

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look at these moose ears

What item have you had issues finding just the right fit for your horse ?