FB Hacked!

Last night, my (Rob’s) Facebook account was hacked. When I got up this morning, I had multiple email notifications about changes to my account. I had 2 different email addresses and a phone associated with the account. It looks like 1 email may have been compromised first and from there, the hackers loaded a email address, changed passwords, and removed all of my email and phone info. Of course, I clicked on all the “this wasn’t me” notices in my email.

This type of issue is one reason we maintain a family website and don’t just rely on social media for our communication. Facebook doesn’t have a helpdesk you can call or even chat with for personal profile issues. I don’t know if this will ever get fixed or not. I have found a ridiculous number of posts all over the internet that indicate people working on this type of problem for months.

For now, if you need to reach me, contact me via email or on my cell. I was able to make a post from my FB account on my cell phone and it was immediately replied to by a lot of people I don’t actually know. Don’t trust any of the comments on that post.

All About Amira

I’ve been struggling to write this post. I really love my horse, but what she wants and needs differs from what I want. I have decided to rehome her. This post is all about Amira.

We bought Amira in January of 2018. She was for sale locally and she was flat sided enough for me to be comfortable riding her with all my hip issues. She was 7 and had potential. Amira was an internet auction horse and was bought by a woman in Rhode island as a 4 year old, and then sent to Jeremy Reid for training in 2017. Her previous owner bought her from the training facility.

Amira in 2015 in the holding pens

Amira is 14.3-15 hand chestnut Stone Cabin HMA mustang. She’s a stout quarter horse appendix type build, but I would limit her to carrying 180 pounds or less. She’s around 1000 lbs maybe a little less. She moves like a quarter horse. She’s been my main distance horse for 5 years.

She has over 20 Limited Distance rides in distance competition and during the riding season she averages 25 miles a week or so. She rides WTC in the arena, backs up, turns on her haunches and forehand, leg yields and side passes. My kids have jumped her and she finds it exciting and gets rather forward. My kids took her to pony club camp a few times and she did fine. We’ve played with some games type stuff and she’s fine with it, but not fast.

I want to ride longer distances and the truth is that Amira would rather not. She’s a heavy muscled horse and struggles to pulse down fast in the hot and humid Northeast summers. She would rather do 15 and call it a day, than go out on a second loop. She just has no real drive to see what’s beyond the next bend in the road when there is perfectly good grass to eat in camp.

Amira trailers great, loads and backs off the trailer. She has traveled to rides as far away as 6 hours and always did fine in the trailer. She rides out alone or in a group. She prefers a smaller group and to not be last in line. She used to be really goosey about being last, when others came up on us, but is better now. She leads or rides in line just fine. Travels through water and over bridges. There have been times when she crow hops just a bit as you start the canter. She can spook at sudden things and if she does, it’s usually sideways and to the left.

Last year in August Amira had an injury to her left hind tendon sheath after a ride at Pinetree (she was lame at the finish). The tendon was not involved, but there was a lot of swelling, fluid and fibrin in her tendon sheath. We ultra sounded her twice and did prostride injections. She had the winter off to rest and recover. She has a small windpuff type bump remaining, but she is sound. Will it continue to need maintenance? I do not know. I had a hip replacement in December and didn’t start riding again until mid March. She hasn’t had any increased swelling or lameness as I have slowly increased her work load. I am taking her to a limited distance ride in August and she has done several rides in the teen mile numbers.

As far as management, Amira is an easy keeper, she lives out with a run in stall available, a netted hay hut and she eats a lb of ration balancer a day. When competing a lot, she gets adequan once monthly for joint maintenance, we also feed some flax and magnesium. Amira does best with solid fencing. We have wire fencing with a top board in most places and electric up top. If it’s electric only, it had better be hot. We have had her walking through her electric corral when camping. She will definitely test it. When camping she has a metal corral now with a strand of hot wire on the inside. She likes to eat so if she is in a dry lot and there is grass on the other side, electric only will not contain her. She could probably use a high tie, but we don’t have one. She straight ties to the trailer and cross ties in the aisle with no issue.

Amira does not like to be stalled. She is fine in a stall with a run out attached. She is fine stalled overnight in a fully closed stall if she can see others. She may try to go over top of a half door if the stall is closed off with three walls like most show stalls. We stall her during winter storms with no issue but she will churn up the stall and not drink well.

Amira wears 4 shoes when competing. Currently in Easyshoe Versas up front, a composite shoe, and laterally weighted eventers behind. She interfers behind if she wears normal shoes and scratches up her fetlocks. We have gone barefoot and booted her in the winters. If she was in normal shoes up front she would likely need rim pads as she has very little concavity. Her fronts tend to grow big and flat, pancake like, so frequent trimming/shoeing is key. She isn’t great for shoeing, not explosive or nervous or anything, but likes to rip her feet away when nailing. A tip for your farrier is a good idea.

Amira is solidly safe. I let my 14 year old trail ride her alone. She is not for a true beginner or someone timid. She has buttons and can be forward when traveling at speed with other horses. She can babysit someone at a walking trail ride, but if you’re trotting and cantering I would say advanced beginner for trot and intermediate for cantering and hunter pacing. Just in case she crow hops a little, you gotta be able to yank her head up. She does have a nice stop and one rein stop as well and will stand at a mounting block for you to get on.

The best fit for Amira is likely someone who wants to pleasure ride and trail ride, has an open boarding/stall situation and good turnout. She will need a blanket in the winter as she doesn’t grow a giant coat and gets cold preferring to stand out in the weather. She’s low man in the pasture and not mareish. None of that squeal and kick crap going on with this mare. Would be better if she doesn’t have lush green turnout as she would likely get fat.

So, if you’re still reading. And still interested in Amira, message me or send me a text/call at 860-886-3644. I haven’t set a firm price, but it is going to be in the mid 4s. The right fit is important to me. Happy to host meet and greets at the farm, we have trail access and a small grass/sand riding area.

North Country Showcase 2024

Sawfish Lamanchas attended the North Country Showcase 2024 ADGA show at the Deerfield NH Fairgrounds. Temperatures were over 90F in CT when we hit the road on Friday afternoon. We hit a little traffic on the way there but the goats traveled fine and in under 3 hours were arrived to temperatures in the mid 70s. We had coordinated with our friends at Blue Hill Too and arrived all at the same time to camp next to each other. It didn’t take long to get the pens set up and covered with a canopy, tack area set, and travel trailer rigged out. It was nice to be ready to eat dinner at 6 and not be stressed through the evening. We took 5 milkers, 2 dry yearlings, and 6 kids for a total of 13 goats.

This show was a “6 ring show” which means we showed the goats under 3 judges Saturday (Ed Cavanaugh, Anna Thompson Hajdik, and Emily Thompson) followed by 3 different judges on Sunday (Barb Norcross, Todd Biddle, and Joanne Karohl). There were over 400 goats there and it was great to see the quality from New England.

We had a great weekend, but I’ll spare the expense and say CH (pending) Majenli LK Carolina’s 2x Champion, 1x Reserve, and 1x Best of Breed was the highlight of the event.

Sawfish AS Porsche is Amanda’s milking yearling and the first udder we have freshened from E.B. Farms LL Regal. We are definitely pleased with the improvements we see over her dam, Sawfish Camellia. Tulsi and Jasmine were also in attendance. Tulsi is such a sweet, chill goat.

Chili and her daughter Kipu are Recorded Grade due to a DNA exclusion. We were pleased with Chili’s placings throughout the weekend and look forward to her continuing to mature.

This year’s kid crop placed about as we expected. We didn’t come away with any big wins, but we got valuable feedback on the strengths of various bloodlines relative to others in the area. Unfortunately, we were too busy shuffling goats to get a lot of junior pictures.

Overall, we learned a lot and were very pleased to see Carolina get the wins we knew she was capable of.

Camping at Mashamoquet Brook State Park

This past weekend Rob and I went camping at Mashamoquet Brook State Park in Pomfret, CT, a whopping 30 minute drive from home. The campground we stayed at is called the Wolf den. We have a big anniversary coming up and with Rob’s surgery next week, we decided we needed a getaway. The farm is pretty much a constant source of projects and work, and we forget to take time to relax if we are at home.

We left home on Friday afternoon after Rob returned from work and Quinn and I came home from our ride at Arcadia. The park is 10 minutes or so off of 395, but tucked back into the woods. There was a total of 6 out of 35 camp sites occupied, mostly with tent campers, but few RVs. It was very quiet. Only one site (ours) has electric and water (which was leaking and had to get turned off). Rob brought his amateur radio equipment, and set up a portable station and I brought books.

The nearby camp nature trail by the brook had beavers and I saw at least 3 turtles laying eggs in the meadow. The wetland brook area also had great blue herons and tons of red winged black birds. The beavers have dammed up the brook, so no fishing is possible, it is more of a wetland.

The weather was gorgeous. No rain at all. Saturday we slept in, went on a few hikes, took a nap (me), read, and Rob played radio. Our main hike was on a nearby blue trail that was fairly technical with rock covered hills, and boasted an indian chair and a table rock rock formation and supposedly the wolf den of the last wolf to be killed in CT.

Saturday night we grilled steaks, baked potatoes, along with sauteed green beans and mushrooms. Yum! We sat by the fire after dinner and just enjoyed the quiet.

Below are a few pictures from the weekend. We will definitely try to do some other local staycations again.

A step in the right direction

Two years ago in February we bought SA Fiona in KY. She’s been a bit of a challenge. She is 11 this year, but had never been broke to ride. She is sensitive and was very herd bound when she first came, making it a challenge to even work with her safely without another horse present.

We started riding her in October of 22, but the weather shut us down, and last spring we started again and she did most of her 100 miles walking trails and learned to walk and trot in the arena. We had some saddle fitting woes, and worked extensively on reducing her reactiveness to anything touching her, bugs, saddle bags, legs, plastic bags, ropes, scary things and did a lot of long lining.

Quinn has been riding her more since getting out of school in mid May, and taking Fiona on longer and longer trail rides. Last weekend Alex and Quinn did 8 miles in Pachaug. Exposure to dirt bikes, cars, screaming camping children, mountain bikes, is all a part of riding in Pachaug State Forest. Our property backs up to the forest and offers hours of trails straight out the back.

This morning Quinn and I loaded up Amira and Fiona, and headed over to Arcadia management area in Rhode Island. It was the first time putting Fiona on our trailer since she came. She loaded right up behind Amira with only the slightest bit of hesitation. Unloading at the Horsemen’s area, we discovered she really didn’t want to back out, so Quinn let her turn around in the tight space ( she was in the third stall of our four horse slant load). It spooked Fiona a bit, and she quickly exited leaving Quinn behind, but luckily I caught her on her way out. In hind sight, I should have collapsed the rear tack to make things easier and more open.

Fiona settled pretty quick with some grazing ( Amira is a good role model) and we tacked up tied to the trailer. Then we went into the large grass arena and walked on foot before mounting and riding around another few minutes. Fiona seemed to take it all in stride, so we headed out on an 8 mile ride down to midway and back. We walked and trotted and it was uneventful. Even with mountain bikes that didn’t stop and loose dogs, no one died.

Back at the trailer, we realized we had never sponged Fiona before…just rinsed her with the hose at home. Lots of things to work on. On the way home we flipped the position of the horses and loaded Fiona first, so she would have more room getting out. Amira prefers to back out anyway. We will work on some trailer loading and teach Fiona to back out should she ever have to ride in a straight load.

Quinn was very happy with Fiona today and it was certainly a big step towards Fiona becoming the horse we want her to be. We will continue to expose her to new things and plan to do a camping outing with the horses soon.

8th Grade Awards

The school year is coming to an end and with the transition to high school looming, 8th graders have a stacked schedule. We have already been to the last middle school band concert and field trips abound. Tonight was 8th Grade Awards night at Griswold Middle School and Amanda cleaned up. We didn’t keep exact count of everyone, but we are pretty sure that her 8 awards was the highest for an individual. She received:

Griswold Players Art Award for outstanding achievement in the arts

Sharon Kivlin Memorial Award for demonstrating a strong interest and achievement in Science while exhibiting positive attitude and work ethic

CT Association of Schools Scholar Leader (see Celebrating Amanda) for outstanding scholarship and leadership

Griswold Administration Association Award for highest grade point average in 4 subjects: Geometry (taken at the high school), Social Studies, Language Arts, and Science

Griswold Administration Association & Faculty Book Award for the two students with the highest overall grade point average

When she opened all the envelops, she found 6 books (only 1 she had already read) and checks totaling $115! I think she was happier about the books but plans to spend the money on more books.

Celebrating Amanda!

Our baby turned 14 on Saturday! Quinn took Amanda and two friends to the Providence Mall to go shopping, eat food, and play at Dave and Buster’s. We weren’t invited. In addition to a bunch of clothes, Amanda wanted a new tack set for JJ in her pink and purple colors.

On Monday evening, we attended the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Scholar Leader Banquet. Amanda was one of two students from Griswold Middle School chosen for this award. The GMS Principal explained he allows the teachers to make the selection of awardees each year. The award is bestowed based on scholarship, leadership, and community involvement. The event was held at the Aqua Turf Club and included a formal dinner. Each student got to choose a teacher to attend with them and Amanda chose her 7th grade Language Arts teacher.

Amanda will be attending the Marine Science Magnet High School in the Fall.

Nutmeg Classic 2024

Last weekend was our first goat show of the year and the only ADGA sanctioned show in CT. The Connecticut Dairy Goat Association 2-ring Nutmeg Classic is held in Somers, CT and we took 8 goats. Quinn and Amanda did all the clipping to get the goats ready. Since the temperatures in CT this time of year can still be rather cool in the evenings, we opted to only use a 1/2″ guard to leave a longer coat to avoid dealing with blankets for the goats. For showmanship, the judge commented that the longer coat impacted placing for both Quinn and Amanda. Maybe next year we will do a shorter clip for the May show. The judges were Todd Biddle in Ring 1 and Aprit Hitch in Ring 2.

Both Quinn and Amanda used new goats for showmanship this year. Amanda chose E.B. Farms Sunstone Tulsi and Quinn used Lucky 4-Leaf E Red Hot Chili. They clipped udders at the show on Saturday morning. Amanda placed 5th of 13 and Quinn was 2nd of 3.

For the breed classes, Chili is a recorded grade due to a DNA exclusion in her pedigree after we bought her. Unfortunately, there were not many Recorded Grade at the show, but she still won Sr. Champion, Best Recorded Grade, and Best Udder in both rings.

Tulsi was the only Lamancha milker we took. As a 2yo, 2nd freshener, she placed 8 of 9 in Ring 1 and 5 of 9 in Ring 2. While she isn’t as big as some of the others in our herd, her udder has great texture and capacity.

For the Junior Doe Show, we took 2 dry yearlings and 4 kids under 3 months old. Sawfish Kipu (recorded grade) is Chili’s daughter and was 2 of 2 in both rings. In the Lamancha under 3 month class there were 9 entries for both rings. Sawfish Chrysi was 2nd Ring 1, 1st Ring 2; Sawfish QS Bali was 6th Ring 1, 3rd Ring 2; and Sawfish Tahiti was 9th Ring 1, 4th Ring 2. For the yearlings, there were 11 entries in both rings. Sawfish QS Ferrari was 11th Ring 1, 6th Ring 2 and Sawfish AS Tesla was 3rd Ring 1, 5th Ring 2.

Overall, we had a good first show. In particular, we were very pleased with how Tesla looks in the ring and think she is going to continue to do better as she matures.

Sometimes plans change

Back in January, I posted about the Border Patrol Challenge and my running goals for 2024. In February, I got thrown from Gamble and had some down time due to the resulting bruising. I am happy report that I was able to recover and complete all 20 Border Patrol Challenge Trails for a total of 184 miles. Rusty completed 19 of the trails (I didn’t let him do the 26 miler).

During my CT scans in February, the doctors had noted bilateral inguinal hernias but told me not to do anything unless it became a problem . The weekend after I finished the last trail, I was running a local-ish 16 mile trail race when some pain developed – it became a problem. Since that race, I haven’t been running at all. I had to withdraw from the Traprock 50k and I’m now scheduled for surgery in June. I have been advised not to run until 4-6 weeks after my surgery, so sometime in July. That means the Twisted Branch 100k won’t happen either and I’m not going to get my 1000 miles in 2024. It’s disappointing but at least the issue isn’t more severe.

Gamble went to see Geoff Goodson for at least 3 months of training. It was definitely the right decision and Geoff is making some great progress and they are over in Salem so it’s close enough for me to stop by after work occasionally.

We have been doing a lot of projects around the farm, but we are trying to make time for relaxing occasionally. I put 4 shoes on Fiona for the first time and she was surprisingly chill about it. So this afternoon we took the mares out: Anna on Amira, Amanda on JJ, and I rode Fiona.

We will be putting some miles on the mares because they need wet saddle pads to build confidence and stamina. It’s likely to be a light year for our endurance riding but heavier goat shows. The goat status is a whole other post…

The story of our lives with horses. And goats.