Green Horse Tales is a new series where riders share their struggles, triumphs, and adventures producing a “green” horse. Today, Horse Junkies United blogger Ashely Harvey shares the ongoing saga of her and her young horse Valhalla, also known as “Baby Oscar.”  Send us your green horse tale to hello(at)heelsdownmedia.com.


The Adventures of Baby Oscar: Part Two

We last left off with some background information. You can read part one, or you can go off of this: Donnie = level headed cool dude and Oscar = spicy, lanky, and slow to grow up. Baby Oscar’s competition season began in 2016, though it’s a rather anticlimactic story of getting him used to eventing, atmosphere, and the world beyond the racetrack and his barn.

This year I would like for Baby Oscar to move up to training level. It’d be nice to make a mid-season move up, but I’d be thrilled to end the year on a soft training level move up. We seemed right on track to make these goals a reality. Oscar has been performing better than ever at home and is really starting to get his brain on track. Things were looking good!

Then came time for the first official barn cross country schooling of the year. I had already taken my other horse Donnie cross country schooling in Kentucky prior to competing at Spring Bay, but I wanted him to go out again before our move back up to preliminary level. After figuring things out, I decided to attempt to take both horses cross country schooling. In my head, I had it all worked out so that I could seamlessly switch between horses and give them both a good school. Thus helping Donnie be prepared for his upcoming event and to get Oscar ready well before his first event.

As in anything with horses goes, things did not go according to plan.

Both my difficult loaders popped right in the horse trailer. That was a surprise. Upon getting to the cross country schooling location, I popped Donnie off the trailer and began tacking up. Oscar was fairly antsy, but I figured he’d calm down. Well…Oscar did not calm down. When it came time for me to get on and ride off, Oscar would lose it whenever Donnie was more than 20 feet away. I decided to chuck him in a stall at the facility. Upon opening the trailer back up, I discovered that Oscar had kicked off the stud wall in my trailer. Doh! Bad pony! After putting him away, I hopped on Donnie and had a spectacular school.

After pulling Oscar back out of the stall, I had discovered a large, superficial cut on his hind end. A few people had encouraged me to just not put hind boots on him and cross country school him anyway. As a conservative when it comes to horse care, I opted to cold hose it, vet wrap it, and load my horses back up so that I could properly clean and disinfect Oscar’s leg when we got back to the barn. Cue a week off for Oscar and lots of scrubby and cleaning for me. Oscar was sound, but I felt that it wasn’t in his best interest to push him when he was hurting and could potentially hurt himself more or risk an infection.

Now we’re back to the drawing board. We still need to find a time to cross country school, and free time is not readily available in my life. Thankfully, Baby Oscar’s first horse show isn’t until June, so I know we will figure out something.

Stay tuned for the next adventure of Baby Oscar!