I hope to make a few more videos for each year, will take awhile as I have tons of photos and videos and trying to pick a few is sooo hard :) 

Thanks Jackie & Shirley and everyone else for all your encouraging words over the years I have been with Barnmice!! I am looking forward to growing with you all over the next years and reading your blogs and accomplishments.

My family knows that I have loved horses since I could walk & talk but some of them can't see how a horse can be your life. You give up a lot of things to keep your horse. My husband has told me over and over that no matter what happens I have to keep Cooper.

My daughter was my joy when she was born, as I was told I could never have any children and she was a blessing. She still is the love of my life, but she has her own life now does her own things. Cooper has filled a void and helped emotionally more than any doctor could ever do.

It was a spur of the moment decision to get Cooper and I never even thought about how young he was or inexperienced I was. Well, actually I did, I had heard the old saying green on green makes black and blue, and read how your first horse should not be a baby. But I went ahead and got him anyway!!

I knew I had a long journey ahead of me. I rode as a teenager but only at trail farms, saving babysitting money as my mother couldn't afford to pay for my horse love and raising 4 kids on minimum wages. Then I would work at the barns so I could be around the horses and get free rides. My health had different plans in 1973 and my life moved away from horses and back in to the hospitals and doctor routine which I already hated having spent my first 10 years in and out of the hospital.

In 2005 my daughter took an interest and wanted to take lessons. I was overjoyed but she didn't share the same passion that I did when I was her age. Like a lot of young ones these days she just wanted to ride and get ribbons, didn't want to learn anything else about horses.

 

Oh, back to work, to be continued.......

 

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Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on March 19, 2012 at 4:42pm

In February 2008 I started to take riding lessons. I knew I had a few years before I would be riding Cooper and thought I better learn how to ride.  I knew quite a bit just from reading over the years. I had to learn to not let Cooper be so pushy and teach him manners; it was hard at the beginning. I didn't even want to tell him no, he was my new baby. Although this place had wonderful paddocks there was no indoor arena for winter work, so I looked around for a new place.

I moved Cooper to a new barn at the end of September 2008 with an indoor arena where we started to do a lot of the natural training with Jonathan Field dvd's. We were only at this barn for 3 months and I moved him again the end of December 2008. The new barn was 15 minutes from home. In the beginning it was fantastic as I was able to get out 4 to 5 times a week to work with Cooper. The barn manager got on Cooper for the first time May 30th and he had no problem with it at all. I got another new leg in August as the one before was not fitting right  and they decided I needed to have another one made. It was bothering me a lot, I went through many months to get this right, every new leg this happens. This stopped me from going to work with Cooper again. We stayed there until end of September 2009 and then I moved Cooper back to the first barn he was at when I first got him. Again there were a few issues with the barn he was at, not with any person, but with the barn itself. He was on outdoor board when we went back and was doing well. He did have a stall if the weather got bad but then a virus ran through the barn and he had to stay outdoors, which he loved. I didn’t get to see him very much as it was almost an hour drive with no indoor arena to work him.

I stopped taking riding lessons March 2010 as things were getting a little too costly for me. I had passed the Western Riding Level 1 and was working on the Level 2. I didn’t take the next levels test; I wish I had of before I left. Someday I will go back and try to take some more lessons and get another level or 2. In April 2010 I went to a Josh Lyons symposium and really liked his methods.

I moved Cooper again at the end of April 30 2010, it was still a long drive to go see him, almost an hour, but it had an indoor arena to work in when the weather was bad. We had only been there a few weeks and then Cooper spooked and ran over me on Friday May 14 2010. I lost my memory for about half an hour and spent the night in the emergency at the hospital. After this I was frightened of Cooper, I had lost my confidence and broke down in tears several times every time he jumped and spooked at something. I put Cooper on indoor board so he would be handled daily and also decided to get someone to put a few weeks of training on him. A young girl at the barn put 35 days training on him over the next 2 months. I started to do a lot of Lyons groundwork, giving to the bit and round pen work in the summer after seeing Josh Lyons.  I also went to a Parelli clinic as a participant with Fawn Anderson in June 2010. This was without a horse and in the afternoon I audited the riding class.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on March 19, 2012 at 4:04pm

I see I made an error in the second comment on this blog, the one from January 16 2012. It was July 2007 when I found Cooper and August 2007 when he came to be my horse. I was told he was born June 28 2006 but 2 veterinarians say he could be a few months younger, maybe from 4 to 6 months younger.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on March 19, 2012 at 12:31pm

Hopefully I don't bore everyone too much. For me from birth to about age 11 I was in and out of Sick Kids Hospital and had several surgeries, spine, bladder, legs and feet. I made it through some iffy surgeries and am lucky to be alive and walking. Of course back in those days they didn’t care too much about leaving big ugly scars and craters on you. I still have some bulges and a scar that is like the grand canyon on my lower back. From 1973 I spent many more days/months over the next few years in and out of the hospital with infections in my foot and leg. I stepped on a board with a nail in it once and thought the board was stuck on my shoe with gum. I did not feel the nail through my foot because of the myelomengingocele. I used to ice skate but always skated on the side of my foot as I could not keep it up straight, this left a big hole in the side with a bone showing that calloused over. The doctors cut it out and it left a huge ulcer in the side of my foot. I had a dollar size plantar wart which I didn't feel, they removed it and that left another ulcer that would not heal. I was not diabetic back then, it was the lack of feeling from what I was born with. Over the years I would have a toe and a bone removed in my foot, then another and another. Finally in 1980 I had the left foot removed. I started to feel better, as I was always sick from infections. When all this first started in 1973 I had told the doctors to take my foot off but they kept trying to save it. I had been to a lot of camps and seen many different disabilities so it did not bother me to have my foot removed.

About a year after the foot was removed I tried to go back and work with horses. I went to CARD to volunteer. I couldn't walk around in the arena dirt leading a horse; I couldn't walk very far at all or for very long. I was very disappointed and put my horse dream on the back burner until 2007 when Cooper came into my life.

I got Cooper in August 2007 and to September 2008 we did a lot of groundwork as Cooper was just a yearling when I got him, maybe even a several months younger than what I was told. When I was younger and worked around horses I never learned anything about them. Back then it was you got on, kicked to go, pulled to stop and hung on for dear life if they took off on you, which I did have happen. I would go to this barn by myself and spend a lot of time grooming and sitting and talking to Cooper while he stood in the cross ties. The barn managers husband would always wonder why I would sit there for so long in the cold winter and she told him to leave me alone, that I love spending time with Cooper and that he is good therapy for me. And he was great therapy. Being around my horse was the best thing for me. My family noticed this also, there was a little less arguing at home.


To be continued......

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on January 16, 2012 at 3:40pm

In July 2006 while vacationing at my Mother's house in Elliot Lake we went for a ride to see a ranch that my Mom always wanted to see. This place was for sale, no, I could never afford that, but we asked if any of the horses were for sale, and sure enough the guy said ALL of them. My daughter's friend was with us and she wanted to buy one of the young horses that was there and I liked the other one, the bay. I was hoping to someday buy our own horse and things moved very quickly. We had the 2 of them down to their new home in August 2006.

The trailer guy who brought them to Caledon for us thought he was going to lose them on the way, they weren't in very good condition. We didn't have an experienced person look at them first or a vet check done. For the first 1 1/2 years I spent a lot of quality time with him, bonding, learning to lead and talking to him :)

My daughter said she would help but she became disinterested and other things in her life took priority over a horse. She stopped taking lessons not too long after we got Cooper. I was a little broken hearted about that but nothing was going to stop me from still following my childhood dream. She would always say she would come to the barn with me then make other plans. The first few years my daughter was very jealous of Cooper but I think she has come to realize how much good Cooper is for me. I don't get angry as much like I used to. 

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