Thursday, April 24, 2008

The best laid plans

I had a great ride on Tuesday with the ring freshly watered and dragged. I had noticed the last few rides that Kaswyn was either lazy or weak with the left hind, or he had something else going on. It was obvious to the left that he just wasn't reaching with the left hind, but I didn't want to push it. The footing was pretty decent on Tuesday so I decided to get after him and see how much he was capable of using himself.

He was certainly stiff to the left, as always, so we spent some time suppling and bending on a 20 meter trot circle. I would flex him to the inside and then release, making him stay on the right rein on his own. The first few times he just grabbed the left rein again and pushed into my leg. In response I put my left leg on at the girth to remind him that he's supposed to stay off the inside rein. However, the gentle reminder wasn't enough and I ended up having to punch him off my left leg a few times to get him softer in the ribs.

Once he was willing to stay off my left leg (and his left side) I worked both directions by starting a ten meter trot circle and then leg yielding out to a 20 meter circle. This exercise felt really good, and made the canter very nice with lots of jump. I think I'm comfortable saying that he's going to be able to get back up to speed eventually. I just have to take it slowly and make sure I do it right so I don't end up with bigger issues down the road. And I can't really do much until we get the footing fixed! So frustrating...

While I was riding I noticed that there was one dry spot in the arena, so I ran out on Wednesday just to water that one spot. I was really excited about getting back on Kaswyn today so we could do some more suppling and strengthening work.

However, when I picked the girls up on Wednesday afternoon I noticed Lily's eye was red. I was hoping it was just allergies so I gave her some Benadryl. Unfortunately it did not make her eye any better, and before we went to bed I had to admit that she had pink eye. Her eye was pretty red and it was seeping a gooey discharge. Yuck.

Luckily Macey didn't have it so I gave Lily some eye drops and was careful to keep both our hands sanitized. This morning her eye wasn't any better so I knew she wouldn't be going to school. And that meant no riding for me. I also knew that Lily would have to come to work with me for about an hour because I had something that I absolutely had to get done.

She was pretty excited because she had been asking me for about two weeks if she could come to work with me, and I had been trying to figure out how I was going to make that happen. I have a desk in an office, but I spend 80% of my time in the lab, and it's not exactly a kid friendly place. I decided that she could come into the lab with me for a short time so I could get my work done, so I got her all dressed in scrubs, hair bonnet, shoe covers, and a mask. She was pretty darn cute.

She was very good for me while I worked and I finished up in about an hour. On my way out I told my boss that I might not be in tomorrow, depending on how her eye looked. If her eye looked normal she could go back to school. If it was red or goopy, they wouldn't let her come.

I headed out to the barn with Lily because I had to set up Kaswyn's meals for the next week. Friday will be his last dose of hydroxyzine, so if he stays hive-free for two weeks then we'll be in business for the allergy testing. Lily was also really good at the barn and played with the kitties and swept the tack room while I mixed feed. So I decided that I'd take her to the bookstore and buy her (and Macey) a book.

She was playing with the toys at the bookstore when I got the call. Macey had goopy eyes too. That meant that I had to come and pick her up right away, and that she can't go to school tomorrow either. It also meant - no riding for me again. Craig is busy all day on Saturday so I won't be able to ride then either. So just when I thought I was going to make some progress with my riding, I get thwarted! I also had to ask Susan to treat Kaswyn's feet. I think he's got a bit of thrush brewing in one of his back feet and I want to get that under control.

At least I'll get to spend two whole days with my girls. I'm sure we'll find something fun to do.


craig said...

Man, that kid is cute.

20 meter circle of life said...

Hope the girls are feeling better. Sorry about the thrush, its a everyday thing around here so I just treat daily till the rainy season is over.

Katee said...

I'm sorry to hear that your girls are sick, but you can tell Lily that even pink eye can't disguise her cuteness (and the scrubs just enhance it)!

My husband and I are considering maybe, possibly, potentially having children some time in the future. Reading your posts about balancing it all and posts like this one about the kinks kids can toss into your best laid plans, I have come to believe that one of the most important things to do before having kids is finding somebody to ride my horse. Someone to ride him when I'm pregnant and help ease any guilt I might feel when I'm nursing pink eyed children and unable to ride him myself.

I've never had anyone ride my horse but me. I've no idea where to start looking. Any tips/guidance/dos or do nots you could share would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Rising Rainbow said...

Rachel just had a case of pink eye too. The conditions must be ripe for it this year. I hope the girls are better soon. I know Rachel was miserable with hers until the antibiotics began kicking in.

I certainly get the "best laid plans" part of riding. Seems like I'm always pushing something or someone back farther than I want. Life just seems to have that way of bumping us and throwing us of course. I hope you get back to riding soon AND that your footing gets fixed.

dressagemom said...


Yeah, she is.

20 meter,

My horse doesn't usually get thrush since I'm pretty militant about picking out his feet. However when I can't get out to the banr for a few days then his feet don't get picked and then thrush happens.


I came upon my trainer purely by accident. The trainer before that I got because she was training/boarding at my barn and I had a chance to watch her ride and teach lessons. I would ask other horsie friends who they would recommend. I would also suggest that before you pick someone you watch them both ride other horses and teach lessons. Some people just don't communicate their ideas well and you need someone you can understand and work with. It's well worth a few hours of observation to get someone whose training ideals jive with yours.


We're working on the footing thing. There's a slight snag in the original plan, but we're moving forward. I think. :)

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