Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Unmounted Accident - Head to Head

" this pic you can see part of my stitched-up incision and the beginning of my black eye!"
I like to think that I’m an intelligent woman and I know that I’m a proponent of helmet use when riding.  However, as bright as like to think I am, I never, ever thought to wear my helmet when in the stall with my horse, when I’m grooming him or just simply leading him in the aisle or even outside for hand grazing.  So, it's with great embarrassment that I bring you this cautionary tale of my weekend with my horse, the wonderfully kind, Valentino!

The horse-flys were bad, they were out in full force and they “seemed” to be the size of small birds!  I was in the stall with Valie, admiring his shiny coat and noticing that he had begun to gain weight while simultaneously talking with my friend, Liz Morris, who was standing outside of the stall.  I wasn't paying close attention and without warning, Valie violently shook his head to get rid of those annoying, hard biting, flys and.... at that precise moment, we collided, horse head to human head!  Then, in the blink of an eye, I was thrown into the other side of the stall’s wall in slow motion (or so it seemed) and couldn’t get up.  Valie, stayed where he was, without moving at all and while on the ground, the one and only thing I remember was how vulnerable I felt and it wasn't because my horse made an advance or spooked while I lay there, he was so very good, it was just because the fear of "what could've been" was like a blinking, neon sign - front and center!
In rescue mode, Liz and my friend/trainer/instructor Lindsey Canesi dragged me out of the stall and boy, did the blood ever flow, it was in my eyes, it was everywhere, I was disoriented, in horrific pain, nauseous and couldn’t focus.  The ambulance was called and after what seemed like forever with an additional scare in the ambulance when my blood pressure dropped to a dangerous level, I was in the hospital getting cat-scanned and stitched.  Despite a diagnosis of a concussion, I did not have a skull fracture, hematoma or brain bleed and after getting stitched up, it was then I realized just how lucky I was and how close I came to possible death.  ....dramatic you say?  In my humble opinion, I don't think I'm overreacting!

So, tell me, what's your reaction to this story?  Are any of you like me, a person that never gave a second thought to wearing a helmet unless you are just about to get in the saddle or are you someone that thought about wearing your helmet while doing any kind of ground work and just never got around to it or….are you one of the smart ones that wears a helmet from start to finish!

There it is, my story, and I've told it to as many people who will listen and to as many equine and and equestrian related social media sites that I can find.  Furthermore, I've made a firm decision to wear my helmet whenever I'm working with my horse because I just don't want to make the same mistake and expect a different result (they say that's the true meaning of insanity!).

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sunflower Meadows Equestrian - Lindsey M. Canesi

It's with great pleasure that I bring this announcement to my blog!  My boy Valie and I have entered "boot camp" for the next several months with my Friend and Trainer/Instructor extraordinaire, Lindsey Canesi of Sunflower Meadows Equestrian.  You can find information about Lindsey on her website and you can also find her on Facebook, where she details the daily happenings at the farm!

SME is located at the beautiful Spring Garden Farm, owned by Kerri Arruda and located in Rehoboth, Massachusetts

The following photos shown are of Lindsey in the irons as well as several pics of the beautiful farm!  We have the good fortune of being able to train in the incredible indoor arena or outside in the Dressage Ring or on any number of beautiful trails that begin right on the property.  Further still, the turnout is incredible and my boy gets to enjoy "grass" grazing!  And, he is one happy camper!  However, I must also tell you that the reason we entered said "boot camp" is because things slowly slipped out of my control while at my friend Liz's barn.  But, let it be noted that Valie's bad behavior is no reflection on the level of extraordinary care that Liz provided.  Apparently Valie seemed to think that he no longer had to and certainly no longer wanted to "work" anymore.  Hmmmm, somehow in that handsome head of his, he decided that he was retired and that meant, no rules applied to him.  The once docile horse I know and love became hard to handle, pushy and even somewhat dangerous.  I blame myself for this change in behavior because I was experiencing so many health and personal issues that I was no longer able to devote the same amount of time to him that I had for so many years but........things are already on the upswing and I have high hopes for a positive outcome!  Moreover, being that this beautiful farm is a very long drive for me, almost 1 hour/15 minutes from my house to the barn, being in "boot camp" is only temporary and when he "graduates" we will move him even closer to me than before!

November 1, 2014

Valie's days at boot camp have ended and while we did accomplish our goal, reverting "bad boy" behavior back to "good boy" behavior, other goals were not met and he did not fare well during his period of encampment.   Anyway, we are now in our new home, Sunset Hill Farm in Dayville Connecticut and I will blog about said move and our new barn very soon!

"Over Fences"
Lindsey and Luna


 "....presenting  a few pics of the beautiful Spring Garden Farm, located in Rehoboth, MA and owned by Kerri Arruda!"

....view of the pasture turnouts, the barn and the indoor from across the pond

 ....the incredible tack room

                                                                    ....the spacious indoor         

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cosequin presents the OTTB Showcase & "Class Always Shows"

Cosequin Presents The OTTB Showcase 
Showing Class, Patience, and Understanding
 The Paulick Report - Thoroughbred Horse Racing News

Class Always Shows

I began to think about a return to blogging sometime after the first of the year.  But, being that I live in Massachusetts and we're experiencing one of the most horrific winters seen here in years, The Adventures of Cathy Ann and Valie had turned into The Non-Adventures of Cathy Ann and Valie!  In other words, there wasn't any horsey news in our lives!

My wonderful best friend, Liz Morris and her private Dressage barn, Pinebrook Farm continues to be a home to Valie and I!  We are very happy boarders amidst all her dogs, horses, a pony and a mule, a rather large pig, numerous chickens, two cows and assorted other barnyard invaders but one little downside is that we don't have an indoor arena.  Alternatively, we do have an outdoor ring (not useable in this weather) and an indoor round pen and as nice as it is, it's even looks like a covered Carousel, it's cannot take the place of a standard sized indoor.  And frankly, even hoofs with borium shoes can barely maintain balance on the kind of ice we're seeing this year so what to write about when you can barely walk your horse from the barn to the paddock or the round pen, ahhhh, nothing! 

So, without even one interesting equine anecdote, I turned to searching the internet for new and interesting equine sites, to research, to view, to make me smile, to shop, anything to keep me apprised on what's happening in the equestrian world and along the way, I stumbled upon a very interesting young woman.  Her name is Jen Roytz and she is the Marketing and Communications Director at the famous Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky,  And, after communicating with one another for several days, she asked me if I would be willing to be interviewed for the Cosequin sponsored series she's writes for racing site, The Paulick Report,  This series, The OTTB Showcase, is all about ex-racers in their new lives with their new owners!  And as for Valie and I, she asked how we became a team, what we've experienced and where we're at in this moment in time and thereupon, she created what I happen to think is a wonderful story about our life together!