I’m Alive!

All I can say is that was one rough tax season! Tax reform certainly did not simplify anything for those of us in the trenches trying to help people with their taxes. I rode Maestro on April 6th then didn’t even see him again until April 13th after clocking 87.25 hours at the office. I’m still tired, but I figured it was time for some updates on all the boys, especially for those of you that don’t follow me on instagram (you can get to that from the feed on the right).


As you know from my last post, Phoenix had been having a rough winter of digestive issues and after a long drawn out process and a new vet involved we figured out he was full of sand despite prior supplementation with a sand clearing product. We did our treatment and the follow up X-ray showed good news. Regardless of the fact that not all of his symptoms were fully resolved (ie not completely normal poop) P was feeling better and eating better. When the vet came back more recently for spring shots we didn’t redo any X-rays and he did not hear any sand. We decided to continue on with the Assure Guard Gold (forever, I’m sticking with what works just getting down to a normal dose versus the loading!) and I’m slowly tapering the Bio Sponge now. If we get off the Bio Sponge at some point great, if not, he gets what he needs.

Before treatment – line on x-ray marks deepest spot of sand

After – similar location on his body and you can see a lot of sand gone and what is there is on the move

After – a slightly different view but also shows the remaining sand on the way out

In the middle of all that Phoenix celebrated a milestone birthday on March 25th – 30 years old!!! I never thought I would get to spend this many years with my best furry friend and I feel so fortunate. Seriously if I think too hard about it especially after the tough winter he had I would cry. It’s best not to think too much about what could have happened had I not gotten another vet involved since P is obviously not a surgical candidate. In the end just another example of why we should always trust our gut and advocate for our horses.

Currently P is wearing a Greenguard grazing muzzle outside most of the day so he doesn’t make himself feel crappy by eating too much grass too fast, something he did last year. I’ll have to review it after some further use but it was fairly easy to fit and he learned how to eat with it quickly. He’s getting a serving of chopped hay at night in addition to his regular hay and I’m giving him extra pelleted feed to try to get his weight back up. The vet was pretty confident that the grass would do most of the work for us.


In the last post I talked about Stampede’s front ankles, and I’m literally still wrapping one of them over two months later. I’m sure they would heal faster with some air flow but they would also get ripped open because of Stampede and his various other antics and issues so wrapped they stayed. When P had his recheck I had the vet look at the ankles and we made a change to Alushield under the bandages which led to much faster improvement. I’m almost done wrapping the second leg, but I’m not rushing the process.

On April 9th I came out in the morning to find the extra door on Stampede’s stall all messed up and Stampede himself looking banged up. Looking back at my cameras in the barn, he had been doing his usual sleep deprivation thing but not caught himself and fell into the wall and down to the ground. Thankfully he did it around 5:30AM and I was out there just after 6:15AM so I got him started on NSAIDs pretty quickly. He was definitely sore but between quick meds and moving around all day outside he did okay. It’s upsetting that despite the fact he has a double stall and gets down and rolls outside every day, he continues to avoid laying down to sleep.

On the plus side he came out of winter at a much better weight than last year and is enjoying the fresh spring grass.


I’ve been in a bit of a weird place with Maestro. Last year I was so happy to show and to have a horse who was healthy and happy to jump but this year I really was hoping to see some good progress on some of our problem spots, in particular the lead changes, after spending a month an a half focusing only on flat work over the fall. I keep finding myself increasingly frustrated because I can do lead changes on the flat but struggle once we are in a course (so not as controlled or lifted of a canter). Trainer can do them while jumping so clearly it’s an issue between me and Maestro that is just taking forever to figure out. Add in his propensity to get nappy about my leg sometimes (especially at the end of winter and indoor season) or his outbursts of squeal hop in frustration/anxiety at trying to figure out his job and it’s been a struggle for me mentally. On a good note, we seem to be able to get the strides in lines most of the time now instead of locking up (knock on wood). Also I spent quite a few nights riding him alone at dusk outside during tax season and really had some great flat rides.

Maybe I’m just expecting too much? At the same time though many people excel with horses they’ve brought up in less time, even when they were green like Maestro was/is. A lot to think about but ultimately I’m trying to give us the summer to see where we get to. I’ve already jumped twice outside and although we had some other issues with his excitement level I have gotten a couple good changes.

I’ve also spent some time considering if anything else is bugging Maestro to prevent him from doing his job well. He carries a lot of tone as his masseuse says. He just always has muscles that are a bit tight and he likes some time to relax and stretch out at the trot at the beginning of his rides. I’m considering trying some kind of muscle supplement for him just in case he’s sore from that. If anyone has recommendations let me know. He got his back shoes for the summer a few weeks ago and I’m also getting his saddle fit checked on Friday just to cover another base. Otherwise he lost some weight over the last couple months, certainly the first time I’ve ever been able to see any rib on him, so he got his food upped for that recently. I need to get him scheduled to get his teeth done here soon as well since the vet said he had a few sharp spots. Hopefully everything will work out for us and jumping (with lead changes) will start being fun again.

I’m slowly getting back to a more normal life and catching up on all the things that had been put on hold for a while but it will be a bit yet before I can relax I’m sure. The pasture poop and fallen trees certainly don’t clean themselves up!



  1. CobJockey

    So glad to hear from you again, and happy your survived tax season! Mr. P continues to be my favorite of all time <3 love him and so glad he's feeling better!

    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Aww, thanks. He really is a special guy.

  2. fishwithfeet

    Glad to hear you made it through tax season!

    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Very glad it’s over that’s for sure!

  3. Stacie Seidman

    Glad you survived the season!
    So glad the older gentleman are feeling better! That’s so scary with Stampede’s falling! Yikes. Glad he’s ok.
    I think you’ll probably have an easier time with your changes outside. And try not to compare your and Maestro’s journey to others. Every horse is different and they all have their own timeline.

    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Both the chestnuts like to keep my heart rate up sometimes! I have jumped twice outside now and had okay changes both times (the last time also included a mid-line squeal and an extra forward pony, lol). I’m trying not to get caught up on time or others but it feels like maybe there should be a timeline set on how long before I decide if it’s just not a good match? Never felt that way before so not sure how I should be thinking.


Leave a Reply