Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lots to cover

I've got lots to say. Lets just break this down into manageable chunks.

1) When I made the appointment for my horse to the the vet, I spoke to my vet about Kaswyn going barefoot to alleviate his navicular symptoms. My vets opinion on that is this - navicular syndrome encompasses not just the navicular bone, but can include adjacent structures like the surrounding ligaments and the heel itself. It is a fact that there are horses that have radiographic evidence of navicular bone changes that have no lameness at all. So it stands to reason that there are horses that have foot pain that, although they have navicular bone changes, do not have pain due to the navicular bone. If they have heel pain due to improper shoeing, or foot ligament strain due to improper hoof angles, and you let them go barefoot, get good trimming, and relieve the pain, then it appears that the navicular has been "cured". The truth is navicular cannot be cured. It is a progressive disease. You can treat the symptoms and that's just about it. My horse has MRI proof that he's got a large bone cyst in his navicular bone. Due to this my vet thinks that going barefoot wouldn't help my horse at all. There is too much prior evidence that the navicular bone is an issue.

2) I spoke to my blacksmith about having my horse go barefoot. He agreed that it would not help my horse be sound. He watched my horse trot, and his opinion is that Kaswyn is not lame. He is uneven. I agree with this. But why is he uneven? Habit, maybe? Does it really hurt? Is it possible that the first neurectomy is still working? Does bute and isoxuprine really make him better? The unevenness is so slight that it's hard to tell what exactly is going on. My blacksmith's suggestion? Have the vet give Kaswyn a long term foot block to simulate the repeat surgery, if that's possible. If Kaswyn doesn't go sound, then the surgery won't help and we probably shouldn't bother repeating the surgery. In this case, my blacksmith said that he could even up Kaswyn's stride with shoeing. He could shorten up the right front and make it even with the left front. It would effectively shorten his whole stride, and he wouldn't move as well as he used to, but at least he'd he even. But would he be out of pain, and is he in pain now?

3) Susan's father has been awesome and bought her a used trailer, which means we now can take the boys to the nearby park system for trail rides. There is also a polo field area with really nice arenas to ride in, so when we have time we can take them to the arenas to school, and then head down the trails for a bit to cool off. I also don't have to beg to find someone to take my horse to the vet anymore, since Susan said I can use her truck and trailer. Woohoo!

4) As soon as the trailer was delivered, I got sick. I've been sick ever since. I have a terrible cold that has settled into my chest, making it hard to breathe. My asthma has been in overdrive and my inhalers and pills don't seem to be doing a good job. Even sitting still is a bit of a struggle to get a good breath. It's annoying, to say the least. I can hardly walk up the stairs, which means riding down trail is completely out of the question.

5) The quest to help Laura Goldman get more funding continues. I've been getting some great ideas but there always seems to be something that stands in the way. So far I think the most successful thing I've been able to do it blog about it and ask for donations. So, that's what I'm doing again. Please, if you can spare $1, or 5 or 10, go to the USPEA site and donate for Laura Goldman. Or just donate for the team in general. Thanks everyone.

So that's it. I'm going to take my inhaler and sit quietly for a bit. Yeah, that should be fun, huh?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fearing the worst

Well, I was afraid this would happen. Kaswyn is lame again.

He's not like three legged lame, but he's certainly off. Not a lot, but enough that I can see it. I recently took him off of the isoxuprine, and he just doesn't look right on that left front leg. That's the foot with the navicular changes.

Here is the deal. Kaswyn pulled his lateral collateral ligament in that foot as well as had those naviclar changes. Dr. G said that if he stayed sound after the healing period for the ligament, then we probably solved the problem. However, if he went off again it was probably due to the navicular changes.

Kaswyn has had a neurectomy (he's been nerved) in that foot. So you'd think that he wouldn't be able to feel it at all, right? Not true. Deep pain is not eliminated with the neurectomy, and the advancing navicular changes could now be causing deep enough pain that he can feel it.

How about just repeating the neurectomy? Maybe not such a good idea, says Dr. G. Last time we spoke he said he's not sure he'd feel comfortable repeating the surgery. I've looked for published studies involving repeated neurectomies and I've not been able to find an entire study devoted to this.

I need to get Kaswyn back to the vet. He needs to have his shoes reset first, so I'm waiting on my blacksmith to call me back. I'm really afraid that it's the navicular that is causing him pain, and that Dr. G won't recommend repeating the surgery. That would mean that my horse would live with his foot constantly in pain. Do I want that for him? Even thinking about it makes me cry.

So now I need to organize appointments and arrange transportation to the vet for Kaswyn. And worry about what Dr. G will have to say.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More about donating for Laura Goldman

Well I've had a great response from my last blog post about getting some support and donation money for Laura Goldman. Thank you to everyone who has donated! It's really wonderful to see the horse community come together.

I've also gotten some really great ideas for sponsors, and I'm following them all. Mostly I'm not getting responses back, which is expected but disappointing. So also a big thank you to everyone who has emailed or posted comments for ideas. I haven't given up yet, and those of you who know me know that I can be a bit tenacious about things. I want what I want, and I'll push until I get it. Not always a great trait to have, but in a case like this it can be an asset.

Also, Jen from Equine Epiphanies posted Laura's story on her blog, and then left a comment for me that I think is very important, and something that I should have mentioned earlier -

"Just donated: I'm going add a blurb to my post (and you might want to too) that her name needs to be entered under "Add Special Instructions" which is very small and easy to miss (it will be after you enter the donation amount). Thought I'd let you know since there are no riders listed in the database, you have to go through the "generic" donation button and then specify Laura after you log into PayPal. "

So if you want to donate, follow this link -

Click the DONATE button.

Add a donation amount and click Update Total (yellow box)

Log in to Paypal or use your credit card. I used Paypal so I'm not sure how the credit card way differs from Paypal.

Once you are logged into Paypal you will see a link to the left of your total donation that has a plus sign in front of it and reads "Add special instructions to the seller". Click that, and a box will pop up. Then you can add something like "This donation is for Laura Goldman."

Click the Donate button at the bottom. Don't you feel great now? :)

Thanks everyone. I will see if I can find out how much has been donated so far. I'll keep you updated on any progress!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Help me make lemonade

While I was a semi-finalist in Purina's Live From Lexington contest, I met Laura Goldman (here is my blog entry including her). She is a para equestrian for dressage and will be competing at the World Equestrian Games. Here is an article about the Para-Dressage WEG Selection Trials, featuring a great picture of Laura in competition (below), from Phelps Media Group -

Photo © 2010 Lindsay McCall/PMG

Laura is a super lady and I feel blessed to have had an opportunity to meet her. During our conversations I found out that Laura needs to come up with about $5000 to help cover the cost of competing. There just isn't enough money available through the US team to completely support all the athletes, and Laura and the other team members have to make up the difference.

When I lost the contest, I decided that I'd try and make lemonade out of lemons (not that I was bitter or anything ... okay maybe I was, a little. I'm only human, you know). I started trying to find a company to sponsor Laura. In exchange for a sponsorship for her, I offered to blog for said company from WEG. Even though I wasn't getting a free trip, through the generosity of my family (and another source that I'm not sure I can mention at the moment), I will be at WEG for the whole first week. That's eight days of blogging. So the deal was, sponsor Laura, and I blog for your company. Win-win, right?

I contacted as many big name equestrian companies as I could think of. Most of them were kind enough to respond, but none of the responses held good news.

"We don't do sponsorships."
"We already sponsor WEG competitors."
"We don't have the means to help you."
"We already have bloggers in place for the games."
"We are not interested."

A bunch of thanks, but no thanks. I will say that SmartPak was a fuzz away from making it happen. They were really stoked about it and for a day or so I thought it was going to get the green light. Alas, their financial people just couldn't make it work. Such a bummer, since I love that company.

I really want to help Laura. All I have to offer is my blogging. But I will pimp myself out for a company willing to help a woman who has more determination than ten average people. And she has a disease that tries to keep her from riding. But she does it anyway, and gives muscular dystrophy the finger every time she saddles up.

So this is where I ask for your help, and your ideas. Do any of you work for a company that might be willing to give this a go? Do you have any other ideas to help Laura out? I know I could start some kind of donation web site, but I'm afraid that time is running short and that might not do it. I've already contacted Ariat, Progressive Nutrition, Nutrena, SmartPak, and Absorbine, to name a few.

By the way, Laura doesn't know what I've been doing, but once she sees this she'll figure it out. :)

Please comment on my blog, or feel free to email me at dressagemomblog (at) yahoo (dot) com. Or if you want to, send a donation to the United States Para Equestrian Association ( IN LAURA GOLDMAN'S NAME. I am told that if you donate specifically in her name, it will go into an account that will benefit her personally. All donations are tax deductible.

Thanks everyone.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

My trainer Lauren on Skyy, and me on Albert with our Top Ten ribbons. Good ponies!

Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, 2009.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

My trainer Lauren waits with Skyy to receive their Top Ten at the awards ceremony.

Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, 2009.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

My trainer schooling Skyy while it's raining. Amazingly the footing was still awesome (thanks Otto Sport!)

Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, 2009.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

Are you taking my picture?

Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, 2009.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

Barrels of bourbon! How is this Sport Horse Nationals? Well, the show was in Kentucky, so I took the one day I had no classes and went to a bourbon distillery with a good friend. It was awesome.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

Waiting in the trees for our ride time.

Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, 2009.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

This picture makes me laugh. Albert's head is huge, and I have a silly look on my face.

Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, 2009.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

Whoa, Albert! Don't go anywhere! Crazy pony.

Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, 2009.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

More walking during the warmup for Skyy at Arabian Sport Horse Nationals 2009.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

Skyy and I walking as we school at Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, 2009.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

Skyy and I schooling at 2009 Arabian Sport Horse Nationals. We're getting some bending action going on here, but it looks like I'm being a bit restrictive with my left rein which may be making him resistant and a little tight in the neck by his poll.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

Skyy (Wildfire Skyy) and I schooling at 2009 Arabian Sport Horse Nationals. You can see how grippy I was with my leg in this picture. I've tried really hard to get rid of that problem.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals Images

I realized I had a ton of pictures from 2009 Arabian Sport Horse Nationals that I've done nothing with. So for today and the next week of so, I'll post an image from that show.


Albert (Tariq El Kaiyoum) and I before the First Level Amateur Awards ceremony.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Better late than never

Although the Live From Lexington contest ended weeks ago, I've neglected to thank a very important person who helped me out. It's pretty terrible that I haven't thanked her publicly yet. I didn't even remember to thank her in my last post on the contest blog, and they've closed access to the blog now so there's no going back to edit it. I'll admit that when I wrote that entry I was pretty tired but that's really no excuse.

Fellow blogger and horsewoman Stacey, who writes the blog Behind the Bit, really went to bat for me during the contest. Her blog is terrific, actually much better than mine. She posts every day (and I could never keep that up for long), has well researched articles (with references at the end!), and always has something relevant to say. She also posts some great videos of fantastic young horses, photos and videos of her own young horse, and commentary on current events in the equestrian world.

Stacey submitted an entry to the contest in the beginning, and I was shocked that she was not picked as a semi-finalist. We chatted and I found out that she made the Top Ten list, but since she didn't submit a video with her entry she wasn't considered. Honestly, if it weren't for the video thing she would have made it, no problem. She's greatly connected to both the blogging and equestrian communities, has hundreds of followers and I'm sure a much larger "silent" fan base that read her blog every day. I know I do.

We became internet friends during the contest, and I think Stacey is a really great person. She posted many entries on her blog about voting for me in the contest. She also posted on bulletin boards, really getting word about the contest out there and giving me great press in the process.

So why did she do it? She wanted me to win, I guess. I didn't ask her to do it, she took it upon herself to champion my cause. Which is really great of her, and very unexpected.

So thanks Stacey. I know that mentioning your influential blog on my little blog isn't really that much, but at least I finally said thank you in a voice lots of people can hear.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


It seems I'm out of the woods.

I somehow dodged a bullet and Macey only puked while Craig was home. She complained that her stomach hurt and didn't eat much for two days, but kept down what little she did eat. Lily never had any symptoms, but I was still worried that she'd spike a fever and get the throw ups.

Craig has been gone since Thursday afternoon but is coming back this evening. It's been stressful for me and I haven't slept very soundly because every noise at night made me think one of the girls was up getting sick. I'm just not confidant that I'd handle a puking situation very well on my own. My paranoia is really ridiculous, and I hope that I can be rid of it eventually.

My plan had been to ride Thursday and Friday, but with Macey sick that went out the window. Now I'll have to wait until tomorrow, since Craig will get home too late for me to get out there today. The footing in the arena is likely to be totally dried out so I'll have to water on Monday. That means lunging and no riding which is a bummer. Ah well, I'll do what I can. It will be great to see my boys!

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr