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More “Firsts” for Gwen July 18, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 4:27 pm
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This week, despite it being the hottest week so far this year, brought more new experiences for Gwen – a lesson and a saddle fit. Unfortunately, Debra and I both forgot to take pictures and video so I don’t have any visuals. I’ll blame it on the heat.

Monday afternoon, I did a lesson on Gwen with my current instructor, Brandi Benedict of Son Rise Stables in Lovettesville, VA ( . Brandi had me work at a walk and trot on asking Gwen to bend slightly, move away from my inside leg and soften her topline. It was pretty obvious that Gwen had never been required to do that. She went through lots of different positions, but eventually she started to drop her head and relax her back. Mind you just for a stride or so, but hey…it was an attempt and at this point that is all we are looking for. Debra said she could see Gwen thinking about what was being asked of her and Brandi mentioned a few times in the trot that she was going to have a beautiful trot once she learns to carry herself. We didn’t work too hard as it was very hot and Gwen was not very fit, but overall everyone was pleased with her effort and I have confirmation of what to work on until Brandi can come back.

The next day, saddle fitter Gina Perilla ( came to check saddles for several of Debra’s horses. We asked her to look at what we had to see what would be the best fit for Gwen. As it turns out, none of them really fit her. They are all too wide. The best option currently is one of my saddles. However, it would be best to find something slightly narrower. So, Debra and I are on the lookout for a 17.5 inch, medium-tree dressage or all-purpose saddle that doesn’t cost a lot of money. The idea will then be to sell the saddle with Gwen. Of course, Gwen was a model student for everything and continued to thrive on the attention.




Just this morning, Debra sent me pictures of Gwen’s tail. When she arrived, she had rubbed out the top of her tail and had a bad sore underneath it. Well, you can see from the photos that her tail is starting to grow back nicely. It will take a long time to come in completely, but it’s made a lot of progress in 5 weeks.

tail 5 weeks


It’s Already Been a Month July 12, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 12:25 pm
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First of all, I want to thank everyone who is following this blog. It’s great to know that you have people supporting and cheering for you, and Gwen is happy to have admirers. She has already been at Debra’s for a month. Time flies! She is very settled into her surroundings and has made some good horsey friends. We thought this would be a good time to compare her physically to when she got here. This photo on the left was taken while at Camelot and the one on the right was taken on July 11. Her weight was pretty good when she got here, but her topline has started to smooth out and Debra keeps her spotless. Her hair coat, mane and tail are feeling much softer.

G glamour shot  Gwen conf July 2013

You can also see in the first photo that her legs had serious cuts. Those have healed very nicely as you can see below – the first photo showing her left front leg and the second showing her left hind.

front leg July 2013  hind leg July 2013

However, there has continued to be some residual swelling in her left hind leg. It does not seem to bother her, and she has not been lame, but then she is a stoic mare. Debra decided to have that leg checked out to make certain there wasn’t something going on with a tendon or ligament. So, off we went to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, VA. This was a good test for her. We were curious how she would handle the situation, but of course, in true Gwen style, she took it like a pro. Strange horses whinnied at her, but she didn’t call back. She looked around, but was more interested in eating grass. She went everywhere and did everything that was asked of her. Well, except for getting on the scale, but then a lady doesn’t tell her weight, now does she?

Gwen Morven

Dr. James Brown examined Gwen closely, watched her move and pronounced her good to go. He felt the residual swelling was due to the minor case of scratches she currently has or possibly because of a previous injury. She has evidence of what could be an old wire cut at the back of her heel so who knows what happened in her past. But, she showed no signs of lameness so he felt no need for additional diagnostics at this time. Within an hour we were back on the trailer and headed home. It was definitely the easiest visit I’ve ever had to that clinic!

Gwen was happy to arrive back at the farm, went right into her stall, got a drink and went to sleep. She was tired from her busy day! We couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome. A sound horse who went to and from the clinic like a pro. Next week we have a saddle fitter coming to look at her and then possibly a little show on the horizon. It’s going to be fun!