Friday, June 12, 2015

Meet Market Light (Marley)

I'm super excited about the Retired Racehorse Project coming to Lexington this fall. I love what their mission is all about and I support it whole heartedly.  In fact, I had hoped that I could compete in it with Canoodler but, and I figured this was true, he has been off the track too long to be eligible.

So I teamed up with my friend Christine's horse that is in training with my coach Emily! It's perfect and this horse is PERFECT!

The horse is a 3 yr old filly named Market Light (by After Market). We call her Marley. She is the spitting image of "Black Beauty". So well put together, so friendly and kind, and she loves to have a job and gives our coach, Emily no fuss about it!

My coach Emily Brollier in the saddle and my friend and Marley's owner, Christine Siegel standing by them.
She's just so trainable and nice! I love to watch them! Emily rides Marley on the same days as we work Canoodler so I see them all the time.  I am completely living vicariously through them as they prepare for the RRP Thoroughbred Makeover in October. So I signed on to be their photo/video team member.

Marley was once in training to be a race horse at Winstar Farm. Her owners realized she wasn't going to make it as a race horse and rehomed her to Christine. And here we are today.

You can follow Christine, Emily and Marley on their facebook page Market Light: RRP 2015 Makeover Competitor. Please "Like" their page! You will be able to see their progress and share in the adventures as we go along. I'll be there as often as I can with camera in hand!

Last week I created this video of Marley and Emily as they worked. She's a young horse and Emily explains in the video what her training goals entail. This will be a whole lot of fun to see her progress!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer is Here And We're Having Fun


Since the horse show in May, Noodle and I have been continuing our work with Emily Brollier and working through some of his physical issues.  We seem to work great right after he has a chiropractic treatment, then we slowly get stiff and grumpy and by 3 to 4 weeks later, he's spooking at everything and difficult to ride. Call the chiropractor and he's good as new and the horse I always dreamed of! 

I actually have Dr. Lark Carroll come out about once a month for the adjustment, then two weeks later we do massage and laser therapy. He also gets a monthly injection of Adequan. We are seeing improvements in him and his chiropractic adjustment don't seem to be as big as when we first started. Our last adjustment he only needed mild adjustments most everywhere, his right TMJ (jaw) was the only major adjustment - the month before it was his left TMJ! 

Dr. Lark Carroll making an adjustment in the hip of a Friesian gelding.
The combination of the regular exercise, massage and chiro are helping Canoodler a whole lot! It shows in his topline and the best result I'm seeing is that the roach in his back is going down and the muscles around his spine are getting bigger so it's going away!  The bad news was that my saddle was causing most of his back pain now. It took me awhile but I found a saddle fitter that came out and was able to add flocking where we needed it. The saddle fits him well and I can tell he's much happier about it. 

We are continuing on with training. I really love how we are developing. Both of us are improving and eventually I'll be able to really keep my seat in the tack at the canter. Darn those hunter/jumper days!

Here is a video of me and Noodle just before he had a chiropractic adjustment and after we had the saddle reflocked.

Considering he had tantrums and spooking fits just two days earlier I thought he was going darn well!

And then here is Emily working him after he had the chiro too. She can really get him to stride out so much better than I can. Must work on that!

Canoodler looked so good today with Emily Olive Brollier! He should... He was adjusted by Dr. Larkspur Carroll on Wednesday night and he's usually his best after that. He also had our saddle flocking adjusted to fit him better. But the icing on the cake is having an excellent rider on him to help him get his you know what together! I love the shoulder-in in the video!
Posted by Wendy Uzelac Wooley on Friday, June 5, 2015
So we are keeping on with our program. I hope to do some outings with him soon and see if we can gear up for another horse show in August.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Test post

Friday, May 8, 2015

This Should Have Been Our First Show

This was the show that should have been our first show...

It was quiet, fun and relaxed. If your horse was nervous and silly, nobody would look down their nose at you. We've all been there. This was an all Thoroughbred show.

This time I felt more prepared for showing. I had given Canoodler some calming supplement called "Perfect Prep". It has vitamin B and best of all Tryptophan! Yes, the stuff in Turkey that makes you sleepy. It seemed to help him take an edge off. Also, I turned my horse trailer into a box stall. It was much more inviting and he loaded easily both going to the show and leaving the show.

We got him to the Kentucky Horse Park and set him up in his stall there. I braided him up and "Stable Boy", my husband Matt, checked us in at the show office. Noodle seemed fairly relaxed this whole time.

We headed down to the warm up ring and I got on. I warmed up Canoodler as best I could without any help. He started eye balling everything and looking for excuses to spook. I tried and tried to keep his attention and to ride every stride. It's a whole lot of work physically and mentally. I said to Matt, "I think I'm going to scratch." Then Emily, our coach, arrived. She was wearing capris and flip flops. She had no intention of getting on to warm up my horse. I think my heart sank into my stomach...

I discovered later that Emily planned this. I was going to have to face my fears head on! She talked me through what I had to do to keep his attention. I was getting better at foreseeing his distractions before he did. He wasn't an easy ride at all. But we kept moving. Even while waiting to enter the show ring, we had to keep moving in circles around Emily.

So we entered the ring and did something that sorta resembled our test. Canoodler was sucking back, jigging, and when I gave him more leg to move forward he'd hop into canter. In a nut shell we were perfectly awful. But we did it! Me and Noodle! We entered the ring, were not whistled out of the ring and completed the test! It was a moment I had waited YEARS to do - way back since I had Jaguar Hope.  So I cried when we walked out of the arena. I was so happy! I was able to conquer my fears and handle the situation!

I had an hour between my two tests. I headed back to the barn, untacked my horse and let us both eat and drink something.  Ten minutes later, I was tacking him back up, and heading back out. Canoodler was a completely different horse. He was relaxed, calm and looked lovely. He was fun to ride! He was the horse I know he can be!

Sadly, Canoodler's evil twin was the horse that entered the show ring. He was back to jigging, and I had to shoulder fore everywhere we went to keep him from getting away from me. At one point I had to do a tight circle with him to get his brain back to our task. -2 on our score but I didn't care much about my score. My entire goal was to just get Canoodler around the show ring and complete his test. He was not going to get away with his naughty behavior.

In the end, our 2nd test was about the same as our first test. Not so great. But my crowning moment with him was his transformation in the warm up. He was so beautiful in the warm up before our 2nd test.  In my mind the day was a great success! People there were fun and understanding of a green horse.  We had brief moments of greatness in warm up and even in parts of our test. And surprising me were several people from my barn who came out to cheer us on. That meant a whole lot to me! I really like the barn where Canoodler lives! Super supportive people and they make this whole horse training, showing thing fun.

There is no video from this horse show. Not enough helpers so I didn't take the camera. However, I did create a compilation video of Canoodler and myself from when we first started this journey. I thought you might enjoy seeing how we have changed:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Testing slideshow programs

I am investigating slideshow software programs and wanted to test things out. This gives me a great opportunity to show off the images of Canoodler's first show! Of course I had to make it a blog post!

Reliving our first show at the Kentucky Horse Park...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

First Show!!

I have so many things I want to say and so many emotions about the day that I've hesitated to post about our first horse show. I didn't know where to start!

First of all, I've wanted to take an off track thoroughbred I own to a dressage show since way back when I first started this blog. The horse I felt it was going to be about left me unexpectedly. The horse I hoped would do it after that, wasn't available to me at that time, the horse I got simply can't get to a show yet. Horses are like people and some are more nervous than others. It wouldn't be fair to take Ollie to a show, it wouldn't be fair to Ollie's well being.

So... when the "unavailable at that time" horse comes back into my life and we get to a show - tons of happy emotions for me!

Canoodler, my "unavailable at that time" horse, is a quiet steady guy 90% of the time at home. In the back of my head were his previous people who said he was "hot". I'd just never had a "hot" moment with him. Hot to me is Ollie. Ollie was bucking and kicking all by himself today because he saw me and was impatient to get into the barn to eat. That's what "hot" means to me. Lots of energy all the time.  Noodle is usually slow and steady. So I felt he wouldn't be too bad at a show. And for a first show, he wasn't too bad in my book. He was far from good, but he didn't rear, he didn't buck, he just would try to "run away" when he became afraid.

Because of his fear, I felt having a confident rider on him would help him more than having me on him. I had our trainer ride him for the show. Emily Brollier understands thoroughbreds and nervous horses. She was amazing to me and I learned a lot watching her. She worked to occupy Canoodler's brain in the warm up. They were never on a straight line, he was always doing something bendy and changing directions all the time.

Emily Brollier warming up Canoodler.
He tried to listen to her. He was truly trying but every now and again he'd do this:

Seemed it was horses coming at him during warm up that upset him the most. His nerves were rattled. But he did get through his test and I give him a ton of credit for trying so hard when every fiber of his being wanted to go home. Here is a video of his test:

I was elated he did it! I knew how hard it was for him but he did it! I was busting with pride! I see potential and I think we can work with his fears!

Emily brought out moments of a dressage horse during his test. Doesn't he look great?!

The photo above cracks me up because I'm the only one who is so happy! Noodle wants to go home, Emily's abs are killing her from riding him defensively for so long and I'm cheesing it from ear to ear! I love them both!

I also want to do a shout out to my friends at our new barn. What a wonderful and supportive group of people! Many of them were showing too, we went to the show as a group and hung out as a group. Their support gave me much more confidence that I was doing right by my horse. He can overcome this with miles under his belt. I loved that my first show was with such a great group of friends!

Finally, I must say that I could not have done this without the support of my husband who likes to refer to himself as "stable boy" at horse shows. He was a trooper and he took wonderful photos to document our weekend.

We have plans for another show and plans to manage Canoodler's fears now that we know them. I bet we will improve.

For the record, our test was Training Level Test 1 and he scored a 51.52% which was good enough for 5th place.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


February was a little tough on us keeping on track with our riding. Mother Nature really stuck it to us as with most of the United States.

Our show was cancelled because of the conditions which really bummed me out. I can't do the next show because I have to work that weekend. We will try and perhaps have Emily show Canoodler so he can get show experience.

In the meantime, we are keeping on. We've had real nice rides and working to the right seems to be improving a lot! Having said that, one day I got him out to ride and noticed that he was off on his front right. There was a big weather change and I think it affected him in a bad way making him sore and tight in his neck/shoulder area and coming out as being "off" on the front right.  Like people, he has good days and bad ones.

We've also had Dr. Lark out to adjust him which he loves. He's amazing after a treatment! The massage work and laser therapy by Michele Haman is also helping him. I'm just keeping with the program. It seems to be working.

So here are a few photos of us from today:

And just to see, I wanted to do a comparison of his build.

Here is Noodle on the day he arrived at the farm in mid October, 2014

and here is his in November, really before I put him into full time professional training with Emily Brollier:

And here he is today:

According to Dr. Lark Carroll, the worst of his problems are in the base of his neck and to quote Michele Haman "He was like a turtle with his head in his shell". He kept his neck compressed in and hollowed his back. You can see in his current photo that his neck does look more relaxed and longer! And his back is beginning to come up with his new added strength.  Validation that he's improving!

Monday, February 2, 2015

One Month Progress Report

Canoodler is progressing along just fine. We've been working with Emily Brollier for about a month now and he's getting better and better each ride.  He has some physical issues (Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together) and we have a team to help him out with Core Therapies doing chiropractic work on him and Equi-Librium Therapy doing massage and laser therapy. Fitness is also a big part of this as he's weak on his right side.  We hack out with others and now I feel pretty good about hacking him alone in the fields he knows.  I try really hard to change things up and keep him happy.

Canoodler and Quinn heading out to the fields across the street from the farm.
Canoodler, after he drinks will keep his tongue out for a few minutes just like small foals do when they suckle.  In the background he is receiving a laser therapy treatment from Equi-Librium Therapy.
Canoodler is pretty good, no, he's actually WORLDS BETTER than Ollie at going out for hacks. He's not perfect but he's real good.

Me and Canoodler out in the fields. Photo by Christine Siegel.
We are planning on the Snowbird Schooling show at the Kentucky Horse Park at the end of the month.  I'm super excited about it and hope we have a fun time!

So here is our video comparison.  The first video is from January 1, 2015.

And here we are on February 1, 2015

I think we are on our way!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Emily Brollier, Training and Shows! Oh My!

Canoodler and I are getting into gear. Winter is a slow time of year for our business so this is the best time of year for me to work on my riding.

Emily Brollier, a dressage trainer, comes to the farm 3 days a week and rides a variety of horses there. She is the bomb! You can learn about Emily out at her website:  Canoodler and I have weaseled our way into her schedule and we're loving it! Emily understands us. At one time she used to work at the track as an exercise rider so she has a lot of experience with thoroughbred race horses. Bonus for us!

This was us after our first lesson with Emily...

Canoodler is pretty green but he's smart. We are working on him getting on the bit, carrying himself in a good round frame, and building up his muscles so he can do it longer and better!

I have so many little goals I want to meet this year. One of which is to get to a show. Both Canoodler and myself are greenies in this department. The immediate plan is to hit the Snowbird Show at the Kentucky Horse Park at the end of February. We'll go in the Intro classes because we both need the introduction to dressage showing.  I'll reevaluate after that show and see what we need to do from that point.

In the meantime, I had another great ride on Canoodler with help from Emily today. I video taped from my iphone how Canoodler is coming along with Emily in the saddle. He just started to do work at the canter with her.

Can you tell? I'm very excited about this horse!