Friday, January 30, 2009

Not so sure about March

Yesterday I rode both the boys. After I picked a whole wheelbarrow full of poop out of the arena. It only took twenty minutes, but still, it's annoying. I was also able to break up and move the dumped bucket ice and the icy snow in front of the door. That made everything more safe and ridable.

Albert was first up and he was a bit cheeky. Distracted and hyper, I had to insist that he focused on work. He was doing pretty well until we came across the diagonal at the canter. I was planning on working the counter canter so I didn't ask for a lead change of any kind, and we were approaching the opposite corner. He had anticipated a lead change through the trot, but when I pushed him past X he got a little tense. Just was the words "It's okay, just canter...good boy.." came out of my mouth he saw something in the corner and spooked big time. It was one of those "Oh crap!" spooks where he planted his front feet and spun into the wall, sending me out of the saddle and up onto his neck. Then he was really tense, figuring that I was going to paste him for spooking. After I got back down to the saddle, I just said "Come on!" in a happy vioce and we went on like nothing happened. He was still a bit tense at times but we did get some things accomplished in those 15 minutes. I really do hate his saddle though. It just doesn't fit me comfortably.

Kaswyn felt pretty darned good. It was nice to be back in my saddle and on my horse again. He was more than willing to trot and canter, even though the left lead canter started out a little rough. I decided that he just wasn't using his back end, probably out of habit, so I asked for more push and impulsion and he gave it without a problem. After cantering on the right lead for a bit the left lead improved a lot and almost felt back to normal. He still feels weak behind, and that he just needs to build everything back up again.

He's not the only one. I only rode each horse for 15 minutes and by the time I got off of Kaswyn my abs were screaming. My legs were wobbly too, and I was just tapped. I'm starting to think I might not be ready to show in March even if I can get the horses ready. I really really want to go, but I'm guessing I'll have three rides a day, and if I can't get through 30 minutes of riding then I don't know how I'm going to do three warm ups and three tests in one day without dying. We'll see where I am when entries open.

Remember how I said that there was no way that I was going to clean tack with no hot water in the barn? Well, there is a way because I did it last night. Yes, I'm a freak, because I cleaned my tack in icy water with the barn hovering around 25 degrees. I just couldn't stand it. I didn't do the best job ever, but at least my saddle, bridle, spurs, and boots are mostly clean. Which is a good thing because I'm doing the whole thing all over again tonight. After two days of pushing myself I know I'm going to be hurting on Saturday.

Oh well, it's worth it. I gotta get back in shape! Sore muscles be damned!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Barometer

I'm happy to report that the pony chiropractor came out on Monday even though it was really really cold. She checked Kaswyn all over and adjusted him, asking at one point about the spot in the middle of his back. She explained that he was reactive and hurting at the place where the thoracic vertebrae end and the lumbar vertebrae meet, but that this wasn't because anything was wrong in that area. Instead, she said that his pelvis was twisted a little bit and that was putting pressure on the middle of his back. Once she adjusted his pelvis, the pain in his back went away. So wonderful.

Otherwise she didn't see anything really out of alignment on him, and that he looked good. She watched him trot and walk on the lunge line after she adjusted him, and said that I could call her in a few months. I decided not to ride him that day but would wait until Tuesday.

However, I was called into a surprise meeting Tuesday evening, so I didn't have a lot of time at the barn. I was able to ride Albert for 15 minutes, and then I got on Kaswyn in a bridle but bareback for ten minutes. He felt really very good. He had plenty of energy, willingly trotted and cantered, and wasn't even warm or breathing hard when I was done.

I'm not saying I had a great ride though, because the footing is currently awful. The arena hasn't been watered or dragged in over two months, and has been extensively used as a turnout due to the freezing weather. Nobody else does any (and I mean ANY) work on the arena, so it falls on me to clean the manure out of the arena. There is a lot of manure in there too, since two or three horses will get turned out in there all day because some of the pastures are not accessible due to ice. And in this weather, the poop freezes and it's not safe to ride through. I didn't have time to clean the poop before the ride, so I had to ride around the frozen piles.

There are other frozen hazards too. Someone decided to dump three buckets in the arena a week ago, and of course now those puddles are frozen ice slicks. Plus the sawdust truck dragged snow into the arena when we got a delivery, and this snow has frozen into strips of ice by the door. The turned out horses have been rolling and digging in the footing, so it's very uneven and deep in spots. I would at least drag the arena but the door is completely snowed in and will not get plowed, and there is no way I can shovel that much snow and ice without hurting myself.

So I had to ride around frozen bucket water, ice strips, and poopcicle piles. There is a little ray of sunshine to this tale of woe, however. Kaswyn's left lead canter felt pretty good despite the footing and limited usable riding area. Once again, my horse was trying to tell me something weeks ago when the left lead canter started to suck. He wasn't saying "I'm lame.", but was saying "I'm hungry and I don't have the energy to move my rear end." Every time this happens I say that the left lead canter is my barometer for how my horse is feeling, and then when the left lead canter starts to suck I always think that he's fine, that he's just being lazy or something else.

Next time I'm going to try very hard not to blow my horse off. When the left lead canter starts to feel bad, I will know something is wrong and I'm going to try and figure it out sooner. I feel guilty for not doing anything about it this time, and I don't want that to happen again. I should know better by now.

Oh, and I used the weight tape again on Kaswyn yesterday. Last week he was 988. Yesterday he was 1018. He's put on 20 pounds in a week thanks to those alfalfa cubes. I can't tell by looking at him, but I can tell by his actions and energy level that he's feeling better. I talked with Marge and she is going to switch grain back to a sweet feed. Half of the horses int he barn are losing weight and not looking good, so she's dropping the diet balancer grain. I really like the idea of low starch and low sugar, but it's just not working for Kaswyn and half of the other horses in the barn. The only horses who look good right now are all small arabs who could probably do fine without any grain at all. We're also going to give Kaswyn Equine Senior. He's never been on it but many people swear it's fantastic for putting weight on horses.

So, to sum up - it's cold, the arena sucks (and I'm sick of dealing with it), Kaswyn's back is fine and is feeling better, and we're changing his grain in hopes to beef him up before the show in March. And I'm not going to ignore my little chestnut barometer again.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pleased

Today, I am happy.

I went to the barn and took a ride on Albert. It's still really frackin cold here, like 22 degrees in the barn, so I just rode for about ten minutes. He didn't get sweaty or anything, but I was nervous about stressing him at all. It's going to stay pretty cold here for the next week at least, and I feel pressure that I have to get these horses working if I'm going to be able to get to that show in March. I need to get myself back in shape too, or I'll my legs will be noodles at the show.

This year for Christmas Craig and I bought a new video camera instead of buying each other gifts. So I had Susan get some video of me riding Albert. In the first clip you can hear one of the barn cats, Carmella, hollering at Susan and trying to jump up on her. Susan is trying to film me and keep the cat away from her at the same time, so it's a little choppy in spots.

You can also see that I'm not using the whole arena. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the sawdust truck came to deliver a load of sawdust, and dragged some snow into the arena with it. This snow is now frozen into hard ice strips, which I don't want to ride over. Second, someone dumped water buckets out into the arena, and the water has frozen solid. Not exactly safe either. You can see the three spots that I have to ride between. Not fun.

video

video

I think both Albert and I look at little stiff, and I was so bundled up that I felt like that kid Randy in A Christmas Story who had so many coats on that he couldn't move. Also the tack was dirty and I wasn't getting any stick on my boots, so my leg was moving more than I'd like. The hot water has been frozen in the barn for a week now, and there is no way I'm going to clean tack with icy cold water in 20 degree temps. Suppsedly the fix-it guy is coming to replace the heat tape today, and that should thaw the pipes. Anyway, overall I think Albert looks pretty good for not being worked for a month. The leg yields need work again, since he got himself all nervous and tense when I asked. I also forgot to use my seat and that doesn't help.

I also got Kaswyn out and put him on the lunge line for ten minutes. We started out at the walk and he walked about half way around the circle and then trotted off on his own. This was such a good sign! I also have video of him on the lunge line. You can still see his ribs, but he doesn't look nearly as sucked up, and his energy has certainly returned. You can also see in the second video that he's back to his old lunging tricks. He doesn't actually dive bomb me during the reverse, but he certainly canters off in an energetic manner.

There are four clips, and I tried to make them into one long clip, but the video editing software that came with the camera sucks beans, so we'll have to buy a video editing suite that is halfway decent.

video

video

video

video

Clearly, my horse feels better. He's still skinny, but Dr. B said he would steadily pick up weight with the addition of the alfalfa cubes. Tomorrow the horsie chiropractor is coming out to check his back and adjust him. Then I will ride on Tuesday. My thoughts right now are that Kaswyn is trained, and he just needs to get back into shape for the show. I'm thinking 4th level and Prix St. George. He knows his job. By the time Regionals rolls around we'll be in great shape. I'm pretty sure that I just need one score of 50% at each level to qualify for Regionals. I think we can get that done at the next show. In fact I know we can. It won't be a 70%, but I just want to qualify so I can concentrate on perfecting what we need to.

Albert will need a bit more work than Kaswyn, but I think he can handle Training and First Level. I think he'll get qualified at the March show, but he'll still need lots or work before Regionals in June.

Ohhhh, I'm starting to get excited about this year. Now I just need to get to okay from my boss to take the time off for the shows, and I'm all set. Well, then there is the little problem of getting to the shows, since Susan has a truck but neither of us has a trailer. Susan and I have a plan...we'll see if it works out.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Wait, what?

The other night just after dinner Lily decided she needed to sing. She picked a Christmas carol - Deck the Halls. She began -

"Deck the halls with balls of holly
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Tom the bar room shore aganzy..."

I said "Wait, wait. What was that last line?"

She said "I'll sing it again!"

"Deck the halls with balls of holly
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Tom the bar room shore aganzy..."

Trying not to laugh, I said "That last part, does it go 'tom the bar room shore aganzy?' "

Smiling, she nods vigorously "Yep! Want me to sing it again?"

"Sure honey, and we have to make sure you sing it for Daddy when he gets home."

Craig's reaction was much the same as mine, which prompted Lily to say "That's how it goes, right?"

Craig said "Not exactly, but it's close enough." Then he looked at me like I'd be able to explain. But really, I have no idea who Tom is, or where the Aganzy Bar is. I'm assuming it's down the shore.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finally, a ride

Last night I went out and actually rode my pony. I decided that I wanted to hop on and just walk him around because Dr. B said it would be better to make sure he did some light work to keep his joints from getting stiff in this freezing cold weather. Besides that, I really needed to get on him after four weeks of constant pain and obnoxious drug side effects. When I got to the barn and my horse was in the arena, and they were about to feed dinner. I didn't let him go in his stall, but just threw his bareback pad on him and hopped on him in a halter.

I have to say that he felt pretty good. He seemed to have plenty of energy, and I even asked him to trot a little. He was more than willing and had lots of go. I mostly walked, and I was only on him for ten minutes, but it was a glorious ten minutes of being able to connect with my boy again. On another happy note, my butt felt fine! No pain for the most part, although the posting trot was surprisingly more uncomfortable than the sitting trot. Since I was using a poofy bareback pad there was lots of padding, so it was a pretty enjoyable experience compared to what it could have been.

As far as Kaswyn goes, it's hard to say why he felt happy and energized. It could have been because he knew every other horse was eating, and that his food was waiting for him in his stall. It could also have been because I was actually riding him and he was excited to have me on his back after four weeks. Or it could have been because he really did feel better with the addition of the alfalfa cubes.

Oh, and I'm going to add corn oil to his feedings, on the suggestion of BrigJones. I had been using it with his herbal lameness supplement, but when I stopped giving him the supplement I also stopped the corn oil. So every night I get out there I'm going to give him a another small serving of alfalfa cubes with a healthy glug of corn oil. I figure he'll get a two for one deal with the corn oil - more calories and some intestinal lubrication to boot.

So, Mr. K, why were ya feelin so good yesterday? Here's hoping it's the food!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

He's just not that into working

Following Dr. B's instructions, I went out to the feed store and bought some alfalfa cubes. Kaswyn has been getting them since Sunday afternoon, but I thought that they might be running low at the barn so I picked up three bags. He'll be getting more than the other horses who get the cubes, so I want to chip in and buy some just to be fair. I also picked up a weight tape.

I know the weight tapes are not as accurate as a scale, but last night Kaswyn taped at 988 pounds. Last spring when he was at OSU he was 1140 pounds. That's 152 pounds less. Honestly he looks like he's lost more than that, but I know he's also lost muscle so he just looks crappy. I should take a picture and post it but I'm embarrassed. Regardless, I'll just be using the weight tape to see if his weight goes up with the addition of alfalfa cubes instead of using it as an accurate measure of his weight.

My plan was to put Kaswyn on the lunge line for ten minutes, but he didn't want to work at all. I went three minutes on one side, then asked him to walk and turn around. Usually when I ask him to reverse on the lunge line he thinks it's really funny to act for a second like he's going to dive bomb me as he turns to face me, and then he tears off in the other direction. Yesterday he just walked in a half circle and half-heartedly trotted off. I only asked him to trot for three minutes on the other side, and then asked for the walk. He did one lap at the walk, then stopped on his own and looked at me like "Okay, can I be done? I'm not into this at all."

My heart is just breaking that my horse doesn't feel good. I'm not surprised, given how crappy he looks. I'm praying that Dr. B is right and he just needs some groceries and time to store up some energy. If he's not better in ten days then I'm getting Dr. B back out and we're pulling some blood.

I shouldn't worry right? He's just skinny...he'll get better. Right?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Two hands

On one hand, not much has been going on.

It's been so freezing cold that I've not been working either Kaswyn or Albert. Kaswyn has just not been up to working, and Albert has so much hair that I'm very afraid to get him a little sweaty. That would not be good in these arctic temperatures. So both boys have been getting turned out, either in the arena or outside (both with nice warm blankets). I'm sure they will not be happy when this little vacation in the snow comes to an end.

On the other hand, there is plenty going on.

I had an appointment scheduled with a chiropractor for Kaswyn on Saturday. She said she was going to bring a friend with her, since it would be about an hour and a half drive. She was supposed to be there at 11. Lily had an acting class (yes, I'm serious!) at 2:00, and we had friends coming over to party at 4:00. She called at 8:30 and said her car would not start, and that the battery was dead. We'd have to reschedule.

I told her I really didn't want to do that, since I had waited weeks to get someone to come out. She said she could get the battery replaced and be there at 12:00. She called back a bit later, and I missed the call because I was upstairs cleaning. She left a voicemail that said it wasn't her battery and she wasn't going to come out. She could come out next Saturday.

Now, I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it. If she had really wanted to come, why not ask her friend to drive her? If this had been her Monday - Friday, 9 - 5 job, would she have been able to make it? Maybe I've just been screwed over one time too many by people not doing what they say they will do, but I think if she wanted to she would have been there. I didn't call back, and I'm not going to. I can't do this weekend anyway since I have to work, and well, I'm a little annoyed. It's too bad because if she'd have been good at her job I could have recommended her to some other people. No way that's happening now.

I found another equine chiropractor who is actually a veterinarian, and she has been used by my friend Z. She is coming out next Monday. She is also much closer, and I hope more reliable. We shall see.

As far as Kaswyn goes, he looks terrible. He just keeps getting skinnier and skinnier, and I have been begging them to feed him more. They say they have been, and Marge was even getting concerned because she says he is eating what they give him. I thought that a few weeks of just hanging around and eating while I recover would pork him up, but if anything he looks worse. When I pulled his blanket on Friday I was stunned. He was sucked up in the belly, hip bones sticking out, and I could count six ribs with him just standing still in the cross ties. I felt simply awful. No wonder the horse didn't want to work when I rode him. He was skinny. He didn't look like my handsome man.

So I called Dr. B. We had a nice conversation about Kaswyn and I told him all of my concerns, which were his back end not looking good, him being skinny, not really wanting to work, and his back feeling like there may be a bone out of place. He addressed all of these concerns, starting with him being skinny. I have Kaswyn on the Progressive diet balancer, grass formula. He is also getting the Envision fat supplement. He was on that same feed when he moved to Marge's, but shortly after he got there he had that huge outbreak of hives, so I bought hay from the old barn, and a big load from the same supplier so his food didn't change. He dropped a little weight, which I attributed to loss of muscle while the hive issue resolved, but seemed to be holding his own.

I ran out of the hay in September, but I didn't think anything of it. He's been losing weight since which I thought might be because he was outside running around all day. When it got closer to winter there was also less grass to eat, and I thought that Albert and the other horse, Tao, were chasing Kaswyn away from the hay that was thrown down for them every day.

Dr. B said that horses with high energy requirements don't seem to do as well on the diet balancers. Hard working, hot blooded horses like racehorses and working arabians don't work well and just generally look like crap unless they get more protein. The grass hay is low in protein, and it's great roughage but working horses need more than just the grass hay and diet balancers. He wants Kaswyn to get one third of a 5 gallon bucket of alfalfa cubes twice a day and see if that helps with his energy level. He didn't think that I'd see his ribs fill in right away, but he said I should weight tape him once a week and see how it goes.

Now, hearing him say "add alfalfa" makes sense, since the hay from the other barn had quite a bit of alfalfa in it, while Marge's hay has none. Her hay is nice, but it's just a grass mixture. Since September he's had no alfalfa (except when he had the tooth issue, when he got soaked cubes cause he couldn't eat hay), and so has lost weight.

I asked about his back end not looking good, since we just injected the hocks. Dr. B said that it takes a lot of energy to move the hind end, especially for dressage, and he feels that Kaswyn just doesn't have the energy stores needed to push like he needs to. Add to that a few weeks off and he thinks he's just stiff in those joints. He thinks ten days of supplemented alfalfa will bring his energy up and he should look and feel much better.

I asked about Kaswyn's back, and he said he might have something out of whack, but he thinks that if it were enough that I could feel it that Kaswyn would have a hard time even walking or standing. He said that it could very well be a muscle spasm or knot in his back, and that a chiropractor or massotherapist could certainly help, but he doesn't think Kaswyn has a pinched nerve in his back.

So the plan is to get him working, feed him alfalfa cubes, and call Dr. B with a report in ten days. If his back end doesn't look better he will come back out and take a look. I will get out there today and check out the boy, who I ahven't been able to see since Friday. They started him on the cubes Sunday, so hopefully he'll be a little peppier. Even if it's cold I'm going to get him on the lunge line for ten minutes to get those hocks moving. I'll not ask a lot, just move him around a bit. When it gets warmer I'm getting on. I can't wait!

I'm also in search of a product that we used to feed in California. It was called All-In-One and we used to free-feed it to horses who needed weight. As in, we'd buy a large plastic garbage can and bungee it to the corner of the stall, then fill it with All-In-One. It's basically chapped alfalfa with molasses, and my friend Cheryl always said that it looked like smooshed horse poop to her. But it's awesome stuff and I hope I can find some, or someting similar, cause that's the way to go to put weight on horses.

As far as me, I'm not doing so well. The flood of blood has returned. Dr. OB says it could mean that the ablation didn't work, but that I should wait three months. If I have three periods then it certainly didn't work and I could have it repeated using a different method. Which I could do at the same time as my possible repeated hemorrhoid surgery. I'll write about that whole mess later. I just don't have the patience for that right now. I'm too angry about it, and really fed up.

Fortunately for right now my butt is healed and I'm getting on a horse soon. Come on winter, go away!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Freezing much?

Forecast in Cleveland for the next few days -

Today - High 13, Low 7
Thursday - High 9, Low -3
Friday - High 4, Low 3
Saturday - High 17, Low 17

Last night in the barn it was still 30 degrees, so I lunged both horses. Albert was his typical self, but he's in decent enough shape now that I can lunge him for ten minutes without him getting soaking wet. Kaswyn is still in good shape too, and I also put him on the lunge line for ten minutes. I just wanted to make sure that he wasn't able to work out of his weird looking back end. After ten minutes he did look better, but he still wasn't acting as energetic as usual, especially for a horse that is used to working and hasn't been getting out much because of the weather.

Regardless, it doesn't look like he'll be doing any kind of work for the next few days because of these frigid temps. Brrr!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Three things

1) I am not cut out for taking medications

In the past 6 weeks I have taken tons of medication. While each medication has done it's intended action, either pain relief, reduction of anxiety, or anti-inflammatory, they have also provided me with a delightful list of side effects. For example, the Vicodin knocked the pain out. However, it made me constipated, and no amount of stool softeners and prune products (dried or juice) could keep my poop from being rock hard. And let me tell you, that is the LAST thing you want after butthole surgery.

So I switched to Motrin, which also worked really well on the pain. However, I can only take that for 4 days or so and then I get terrible stomach pains and nausea. Soft poop, but still a hurting tummy. So it was back to Vicodin. You can guess how it went from there.

Last Friday at work I tried Tylenol in a futile attempt to find something that would take away the pain without crippling me intestinally. Tylenol did not even touch the pain, so I walked over to see Dr. OB to ask him if he could prescribe some laxative that I could take with the Vicodin. Instead he gave me some Toradol, saying it's an NSAID and that it should be okay on my stomach, wouldn't make me sleepy, and is a great drug for pain.

I filled the script and then went home to look it up before taking it. The list of side effects is startling. Most importantly, it can only be taken for a maximum of five days because it "can cause peptic ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding and/or perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. ". Uh, kinda scary. But let me tell you it worked great on the pain and I felt fine until Sunday night.

Let me add here that I'm currently trying to wean myself off of the anxiety drug Celexa. I'm following the proper protocol for reducing the dose, but I'm still getting the lovely withdrawal symptoms. Sunday night I got hit with the gastrointestinal issues for both the presence of Toradol and absence of Celexa in my system. This included, all in one night, weird feelings in my head, constipation, sweats, nausea, and diarrhea.

So today I went to work with no pain meds. And happily, I did just fine. A little uncomfortable, but manageable. The plan is to not take more pain meds, and to hopefully get rid of the Celexa without having too many more issues.

In short, drugs for me are no good. Wait, is bourbon a drug? I don't think it counts.

2) I may have a new equine chiropractor.

I'm pissed. I have been trying to get my old chiro up here to see my horse for damn near a month. With the economy in the dumper, I really don't think I should need to beg this guy to take my money. It's clear that he doesn't need or want my business that badly. So I found another gal, a licensed human chiropractor who has training with the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. She is located much closer than the other guy and is coming out this Saturday. Imagine that, actually getting an appointment within a week of my first call! I should not be amazed, but I am. I just hope that she is good at what she does. When we spoke on the phone she seemed knowledgeable. I figure it can't hurt, since she doesn't use mallets for adjusting but uses her weight plus pressure points and some massage therapy. She said that she will note all the reactive areas that Kaswyn has, and at the end of her treatment I will see that he is no longer reacting in pain to those areas.

Man, I really hope that will be the case. She's not too expensive, she's close by, and her schedule seems to work with mine - weekends are good for her since she does humans during the week, and horses on the weekends. If this all works out I won't have to wait so long to get my horse seen. And I won't have to beg, either.

3) I have got to get back on these horses and start riding!

Show season is just around the corner, with the first show in March. If I want to not embarrass myself I really must get back in the saddle! I think I'm also going to have to do at least a trace clip on Albert the Yak. That horse has so much hair right now! But even if he was clipped, feet trimmed, and my horse ready to go, I still wouldn't be able to ride.

First, my butt is not quite ready yet. I'll give it one more week, then I think I can try sitting in a saddle. Second, it's going to get way too cold around here to work horses. I know some people will work them in any weather, but I think you can cause undue damage to a horse's lungs by making them breathe air that is too far below freezing. I know the nasal passages will warm the air somewhat, but at some point it can't warm the air enough to prevent some freeze damage. If it's 25 or lower I don't like to get them breathing hard, and if it's under 20 I don't work but will hand walk. So I guess it's a good think I can't ride yet, since the high temperature for later this week will be 9 degrees.

Good lord, why do I live in Cleveland? I hate winter. Blah.

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to being drug free and able to ride on a horse who has had his back adjusted and aligned and is comfortable an happy. Wish me luck on all fronts!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Spinning

Hi.

Well, I can't guarantee the quality of this post. The simple fact is, I drank a little bit of bourbon this evening. Perhaps it was more than a little bit. Anyhow, I'm now drinking water like crazy in a vain attempt to avoid a killer hangover tomorrow. Considering I have to work and all, not being useless would be a good thing. However I'm still just a bit too alchololated to go to bed, and so this is what you get. Feeling lucky? :)

Okay, so today I went to the barn and worked Albert. Stuck him on the lunge line for 10 minutes and since the horses didn't get out today (too much ice around here) he ran around like a fool and got all sweaty under his nice thick coat. So he got stuck in his stall with a cooler and Kaswyn got the lunge line as well. You didn't think I was actually going to sit in a saddle yet, did you?

Kaswyn was only sort of interested in working, which is fine since I would like the chiropractor to see him before we go back to work anyway. I still don't have a date that he's coming out, which frustrates me to no end. I still think I can feel a vertebrae out of place about halfway down Kaswyn's back. Makes be nervous about really working him or riding him and I think his back end looks odd.

I can't think of anything else to add, except God bless and have a good night.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Too much

I went to work today, but went home after half the day. I had planned on working a full day and then going out to clean up Mr. Stinky McMudderson. However, my butt hurt me so badly that I had to go home, get off of my feet, and take pain meds.

I''ll have to try again tomorrow. I certainly don't want to spend too many days away from my feisty Arabian boy, or I'll get another nasty look and coat tug!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Pride

Today the whole family headed out to the barn, because the girls wanted to ride Albert. I told Susan we were coming, and when we got there Albert was all tacked up and her friend was walking him around while Susan got ready. Susan was planning to ride for a few minutes before the girls got on him. I said hello to Kaswyn really quickly then I headed out to the arena.

Susan rode for a few minutes, and then Macey was itching to get on. We got her helmet on, bucking strap set, and stirrups adjusted. I was leading her around on Albert and she says "Mama let go of that.", pointing to the reins. I said no, somebody has to steer Albert and tell him where to go, so she says "I want to hold those and steer him around!"

So I let her steer him around at the walk for a little bit, and we practiced turning, stopping, and going. Then she says "I wanna gallop!"

I told her she had to learn how to trot first, so I grabbed the lunge line and told her to grab the bucking strap and we would trot. I got Albert trotting and she said "Oh! Oh! He's bouncing me! Stop!" So I stopped him, and she said "I don't like trotting, my butt bounces all around!"

So I asked her to stand up in her stirrups, then sit down. I had her do that a few times and told her that was called posting. I said if she did that while Albert trotted then her butt wouldn't bounce in the saddle so much. We went back to trotting on the lunge line, and she'd make it around one time and then we'd stop. Each time I was saying "Stand up! Sit Down!". After the first two times I said "You're really learning it honey!" and she says "Actually, Albert is teachin' me cause he bumps my butt up when it's supposed to go up."

I was so, so proud of my kid. She is three years old, and she gets the concept of posting. I'm not saying that she's perfect at it, or that it's pretty, but she's doing it and staying on.

We did it a few more times, and the last time she was able to go around me twice on the lunge line before I stopped him. Then she said she wanted to gallop. I told her that no, she had to get really good at trotting before we could gallop, and she says "Oh-kay." We asked Lily if she wanted to ride, but she had no interest at all.

Now, I have to say that the girls don't come out to ride that often. The last time was this summer. I think I'm going to have to bring that kid out more often and work on her riding. She really does love it and absolutely has talent for it.

Susan helped me put Albert away while Craig herded the girls so I could get Kaswyn out. I opened his stall and I said "Hey boy!" What I got from him was an ugly face, pinned ears, and a sharp grab and tug on my coat. He wanted to make it clear that two weeks away from him was far too long. Of course I just laughed and said "I know kid, I know."

I put him in the cross ties and tried to clean him up a bit. But he was SO caked with mud I was having a hard time getting it off. Usually you can just curry that stuff off, but I don't know if he rolled in cement or what but the currying and brushing just wasn't doing the trick. The kids were getting hungry so I knew I wouldn't have time to Miracle Groom him. I did the best I could and then stuck him on the lunge line for a few circles just to see what he looked like. I still don't like what his back end looks like. I hope the chiropractor can come this week!

I got Kaswyn dressed in his blankets again, gave him an apple, and headed out. I told him I'd be out tomorrow to really get him clean. I think I might have to hot towel him in the really bad areas. I told Susan that if she wanted to ride her horse I could give her a lesson, and she said she'd take some Aleve and then see how her back felt. She really does want to ride but it gives her so much pain to do anything but walk. It sucks.

I'm going back to work tomorrow, then back to the barn to clean up my filthy boy. Believe it or not, I'm looking forward to it, even if I can't ride.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Improvement, at last

The past two days have been much better for me pain wise. I actually think things are healing down there, and I'm able to get up and around a little bit more. In fact this morning Craig let me sleep in, then when I got up he went back to bed for three hours. I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and fed the girls lunch without being in intense pain. Now that's progress!

Tomorrow I want to go to the barn. I know this will be met with some opposition from Craig, but if I'm planning to go back to work on Monday I need to get myself up and around again. I'm still a little weak, having lost ten pounds during this whole thing, so I have to get moving and get my strength back. I'm not going to ride tomorrow, but I want to get both horses out, groomed, and maybe lunged to see what's been going on with them for two weeks. It's hard to really tell how they are from Susan's reports. She's been busy with work and has had to clean all the stalls since I've been out because the other stall cleaner took vacation. I imagine she didn't get either one of them worked as much as I'd asked her to. Well, I didn't want Kaswyn worked anyway since the chiropractor hasn't been out yet, but I really wanted Albert occupied.

I'm guessing that both horses will probably be filthy, and the arena will be a wreck with hay and poop everywhere. At least I have a brand new bottle of Miracle Groom!

 
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr