Saturday, February 26, 2011

Looking up

Things are improving in my little horse world.

First, Kaswyn's leg has pretty much stopped swelling. It's cool and non-puffy pretty much all the time now. So the question is - what do I stop first and how do I stop it? Do I wean him off the bute and keep wrapping? Or do I stop wrapping and keep him on the bute, then wean him off the bute? I need to call Dr. G and find out what he thinks, but I think it's time to wean him off of something.

Also, his wound is just a small scab now. It's scabbed over before, but when I put pressure on those earlier scabs I got serum and gunk that would seep out along the edges. This scab is really dry and I hope that in a week or so it will fall off and I'll see skin underneath.

The next great thing is I had a fantastic lesson riding Lee on Thursday. My trainer is fabulous! In like ten minutes she completely changed how he was going. She had me give him a little rounder frame, and had me do a fantastic exercise for a young horse to help develop bend and later suppleness.

We started on a 20 meter circle at one end of the arena. She had me take hold of the inside rein, use my inside leg at the girth and really ask for true bend (bend in the direction of the circle - as in if we were going to the left then then I took on up the left rein and he was bent to the left). Then at the top of the circle, where the open end of the arena was, she had me keep the same bend but make a circle in the other direction, but a slightly smaller circle. We were then essentially making a figure eight, with the 20 meter circle on the bottom and the smaller circle, which was like between 15 and 10 meters, on the top. But I was to keep the same bend of the large circle, so on the small circle I was counter bent.

As I was preparing to make the smaller circle, I changed my diagonal on the centerline and then turned my shoulders into the circle. This, in turn, moved Lee's shoulders onto the new circle but I held the old bend, so now he was counterbent. I still pushed him with the new outside leg to keep the counter bend. The most challenging thing was keeping him on the bit, confirmed in the contact, and having adequate impulsion. After doing the exercise both directions I could feel a difference in his suppleness and ability to move through his back.

She also helped us with the canter departs by having me really make him fill the outside rein. She said "Think of the outside rein as a glass. You need to fill the glass in order for him to load the outside leg and be able to do the depart by planting that leg. That way he won't need to use his neck so much in the transition." So I really shoved him into the outside rein, and what do you know? Wonderful departs. Well, one GREAT one, the rest were at least better than before.

There is a show (Class A, USDF recognized) in three weeks. Lee will probably go to the show. I'm just not sure if I'm showing him yet. I really want to, but it's not my choice. We'll have to see!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I took a fall

Yup. That's a picture of my back and the big honkin' bruise and road rash I got from falling last Friday. And I wasn't wearing my helmet! But I have a really good excuse!

See, I didn't fall off a horse. I didn't even fall AT the barn. I fell getting out of the shower. Here is how it all went down -

I got out of the shower and, as usual, dried of as much as I could while I was still inside the shower - you know, cause inside the shower is still toasty warm. When only my feet were still wet I stepped out of the shower and onto the bath mat. Then I started to dry one of my feet. I had just picked it up and wrapped the towel around it when I leaned back too far and lost my balance. I quickly put the foot I was drying back down, but then a bunch of things happened all at once.

The foot hit the tile floor and not the bath mat, and either the foot or the floor was wet.
The foot slid out from under me, so instead of catching me while I was falling it sort of helped catapult me backwards.
I tried to put my hands back to catch myself, but they were all caught up in the towel so they were of no use to me.
I fell back against the counter of the sink, and then slid down the sharp edge of the counter, grating my skin on the way down.
I landed on the floor, wedged between the toilet and the sink, with the scale tipped up over my shins and my butt in the garbage can.

I fell kinda hard, and made such a racket that the cats, which usually hang around when I take a shower, ran for their lives. When I got myself untangled from the bathroom accessories my ears were ringing. I did a quick check to make sure I wasn't broken, and then I looked at my back in the mirror.

Then I started to laugh. I wish SO much that I'd had the whole thing on camera. I'm sure I looked ridiculous! Somehow I bashed my left leg up a bit. I'm not even sure what I hit it on, since I went down in such a spectacular heap. But I sure banged it on something cause it's got three nice bruises on it. I giggled for a bit and then, of course, posted the pic to Facebook and called Craig to have him look at the picture. He was concerned that I'd hit my head and didn't know it. I'm pretty sure I didn't hit my head.

Good thing too. I really don't want to wear my helmet in the shower.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Laura says...

Laura Goldman wants to give a big thank-you to everyone who sent her a card. She doesn't have internet access at the medical center so if you sent her an email she won't get it until she gets released some time in March.

She said it made her day and she was really floored. So thanks a lot. You guys are awesome.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Laura Goldman injury

I got a call from Laura Goldman on Tuesday. We talk once a week or so, usually about horses and riding. This time Laura had some bad news for me. She took a bad fall and broke her hip.

She wasn't riding a horse - she fell in her kitchen, of all things! She had surgery and will be recovering in a medical center for six weeks. Well, her doctors say six weeks but she is working hard to get out of there ahead of shedule. I visited her yesterday and despite just having surgery and doing hours of physical therapy every day she is in good spirits.

If anyone out there wants to send her a card, here is her address at the medical center -

Laura Goldman
Room 105
One David N. Myers Parkway
Beachwood, OH. 44122

I am sure she would love to hear from the equestrian community that she feels so connected to. I know some horsey cards would lift her spirits and give her some inspiration when she needs it.

I'll keep you updated on her progress. Amazingly she doesn't seem discouraged and is more determined than ever to get back in the saddle!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Pictures of Lee

I've been talking about Lee for months, and promising pictures and video. Well, here are two pictures.

These were taken at his first show, a dressage schooling show on November 28, 2010. He is a buckskin registered Half-Arabian gelding, and in these pictures he is three years old.

Isn't he cute? He's for sale!

I'll be posting video from that show soon.

On the Kaswyn wound front, the healing is slowly progressing. It's just taking forever to completely close up. The swelling is down and the wound looks great, but it's still there. And he still has pain and sensitivity behind the pastern. So I'm still waiting...and wrapping...and waiting...

In the meantime I get to ride Lee and Ivy (purebred Arabian mare) and sometimes Pip (Half-Arabian mare). So at least I'm keeping busy. I'm happy at the new place, and Kaswyn seems happy too. Now if winter could just be over. That would really make me happy!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


I complain every year about winter. And here I go again.

I'm sick of it already and it's just February. Here in Northeast Ohio we can have snow in April. So I still have months of this crap left.

Yes I know we're having a winter storm, and it's nasty out, etc. It's not the driving on the roads that I don't like. It's being cold at the barn. I just get tired of bundling up to groom horses, then taking off the jacket to ride, taking off another layer when I get sweaty, then back on with the jacket when I'm done so I don't get chilled, and then switching the helmet for the winter hat. Put that horse away and get out the next one. Repeat the clothing shuffle.

I will say that I'm loving my Under Armour cold gear mock turtleneck. It's fantastic. The first time I rode in it it felt really weird, because I could feel air circulation but I didn't feel chilled or cold. Then after the ride it kept me warm until I was ready to get on another horse. And I had something weird happen last night. I rode two horses and then headed home from the barn. When I got home I took off my sweatshirt and it was wet on the back and I couldn't figure out how that happened. Then I figured out that the Under Armour shirt had wicked the sweat away and the moisture had ended up on my sweatshirt, keeping the Under Armour shirt and me dry. Yay for technology!

Also I have two samples from Absorbine to try out but it's too cold! They sent me Showsheen and HoofFlex, both with a new delivery system. I can't wait to try them but I think that they might not work so well at 20 degree temperatures. So once it warms up, finally, I'll be able to give them a try.

The cold hasn't kept me from riding. I ride two horses a night usually, sometimes 3 or 4 depending on what's going on. Sadly, none of theses horses is Kaswyn. His wound is really healing up now, but he still has sensitivity behind the pastern and is still just a bit off because of it. And I can't blame it on the inflammation, because that is completely gone. I can feel the bones and everything back there.

I'm trying not to get too upset about it but I fear that my time of riding my horse is over. My plan is to wait until the leg is totally and completely healed - like the scab has fallen off and hair starts to grow, and there is no inflammation when I stop wrapping him. When we get to that point I will re-evaluate. If he still has pain behind the pastern, with no inflammation and no open wound, then I will take him to Dr. G one last time and get his opinion on what's going on in there, and find out of there is anything he can do. I'm done cutting my horse open, so surgery is out.

I am interested in trying to find a horse massotherapist that has experience with nerve pain and possibly adhesions in the leg. I have a feeling that those nerves behind the pastern are inflamed or there are adhesions that are causing pain. Perhaps breaking those adhesions up will make a difference. But I'm confident right now that he doesn't have an injury there, because he's had so much time off that anything he could have pulled or strained would have healed by now.

So right now I'm waiting. Waiting for winter to end, waiting for show season to start, and waiting for Kaswyn to finish healing. And I want it all to hurry up, already!

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr