Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not good. Not good at all. Part 1.

A quick recap -

I took Kaswyn to OSU on Monday. He was supposed to have surgery Tuesday.
His bloodwork Tuesday morning came back with low white count, so the surgery was postponed until Wednesday. I left him in Columbus.
The surgery went well and I drove down and back to Columbus to fetch my horse on Thanksgiving.

I went out Friday, Saturday and Sunday to see him. He's on complete stall rest for two weeks after the surgery, so I was just able to go into his stall and visit with him. On Saturday I changed the bandage.

Sunday I saw him, and then took Lee (buckskin half-arab gelding) to a schooling show.

On Monday I stayed home and got some things done around the house.

Today, Tuesday, I got a call from the barn manager (she's a friend, too) in the afternoon. She said Kaswyn wasn't putting weight on the leg, so she unwrapped it because it looked like the vetwrap had slipped down and was maybe too tight around his pastern - right over his incisions. She wrapped it back up and said he should be fine until I got there.

I got to the barn and Kaswyn wasn't putting weight on the leg. In fact, his whole leg was shaking. I took him out of the stall and unwrapped the leg. It was very swollen and the incisions were weeping a little bit of blood and serum.


I called the OSU surgeon, who said she was alarmed that the leg was swollen and non-weight bearing. She said give him 2 grams of bute, ice the leg (but don't cold hose it, as getting it very wet can allow bacteria to get into the incisions) and see how he is in the morning.

She said I could clean the incisions with a bit of surgical scrub and a small amount of saline. Then wrap the leg up, not using vetwrap but a standing wrap. She also said that he was probably in so much pain she wasn't sure I'd be able to do anything with the leg without sedatives. She said if I was really concerned I could bring him down there, since they are open 24 hours a day. I told her I'd call her in the morning.

I cleaned the incisions as gently as I could, then tried to wrap ice packs around the leg. As I was doing this, Kaswyn was really pulling his leg away in pain, but was trying really hard to be still.

God I love that horse.

Anyway, after I had the ice packs wrapped to his leg, he started breathing hard and sweating. Then he starting shaking. His foot was hot, he was in pain. He looked all sucked up in the guts too. Things were going downhill and I needed to do something. NOW.

To be continued...

Part 2

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Thanksgiving, the short version

Very shortened, because I'm seriously beat.

Went to work this morning for about and hour, and while I was there OSU called and said I could come fetch Kaswyn who was eating, pooping and looking like he was ready to go home. The lovely Laura Goldman of the USA Para Dressage Team said she'd keep me company on my drive.

I picked her up at 10:30 am. The drive to Columbus is 2.5 hours. I got home at 7:00 pm. You know how that goes . . . a five hour drive turns into an 8.5 hour endeavor when horses are involved.

It rained the whole way down and back. It only stopped when we pulled into the barn at home, and just long enough for me to unload Kaswyn and his stuff. Then it picked up again. When I left the barn he was in his stall, bandaged, blanketed, and content.

Had to park the trailer (borrowed from Z, thanks lady!) in the dark, which was tricky since it's in a tight spot and needs to be parked correctly so that other people can hitch their trailers. I hope I did it right.

So Kaswyn gets complete stall rest for two weeks, liberally sprinkled with bute for a week or so. After two weeks he gets hand walked twice a day for ten minutes. Oh how we LOVE to hand walk! Whee! Then it's back to full work.

Prognosis is really unknown at this point. We'll know in a month.

Oh and I missed turkey dinner. Not like it's a big loss, since I don't really like turkey, but I miss my family. I just hope my hubby brings me some of his home-made cranberry sauce and leftover rolls from his mom's house. Cause that sounds pretty good right now.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday update - 4:00 pm

The surgeon called me at 4:00 to tell me the surgery was over and that Kaswyn was on his feet but not yet walking. She said he looked like he was doing well.

The surgery went well but was challenging. The other surgeries she had done were on horses who had never had a neurectomy, so there was more scar tissue in Kaswyn's leg than she was used to seeing. She expected it though, so it's not like it was a shock, it just made isolating the nerve more challenging. Also the nerve ending was higher up the leg than usual, since it had been cut once before and had retracted up the leg like a cut rubber band would. She also had to work around the neuroma, so the incisions were bigger than she would have liked, but she thinks they will heal up just fine.

She said she hopes that this will completely solve his lameness, but cannot totally guarantee it since there was so much scar tissue and visible nerve re-growth. If those nerves grew up and back towards the upper part of the sensory nerve then they might be able to supply some feeling to the foot. The only way to know is to wait and see.

Tomorrow morning they will call me with an update. If he is eating and pooping normally I will be able to go pick him up.

I'm ready to go get my boy. I hope he's going to be better after all of this.

Now I have dishes to do and little girls to play with. :) I'll update more tomorrow.

Wednesday updates - noon-time

Last night's blood work came back normal, as did this morning's.

Surgery should start at 12:00 (noon). They will call me when he is back up on his feet.

I'll update again when I know something!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I don't have good news to post.

I'm going to make this short, since I've got a pounding stress headache...

I took Kaswyn to OSU last night and dropped him off. This morning as I was heading over to the vet hospital the surgeon called and said his blood work came back with a low white cell count. She said this is indicative of an increased amount of endotoxin in his bloodstream, which can develop into diarrhea that could potentially be fatal. She did not feel comfortable operating on him today, even though she says he appears to be fine in all other aspects. She will repeat the blood work this evening and tomorrow morning, since it's possible to get a low count with a normal sample as kind of a fluke. If the white count is normal both times, she will operate. If it is not, then she will begin treating him for the endotoxins and he will stay at the hospital until his condition stabilizes (when the white count is normal). Then I have to take him home for two weeks and we can try this again.

I debated staying in Columbus but she said that even if she did the surgery tomorrow that she would want to keep him until Thursday just to make sure he was okay. So the earliest he could come home is Thursday, and he might have to stay longer until his white count is up enough.

I decided to leave him there, since I really should be back at work tomorrow. I cried for an hour and a half on the way home. Now, I'm not a weepy kind of girl, and I hate for people to see me cry, so it was really best that I cried in the car without anyone there. Now my eyes are all red and puffy - I look fabulous!

Anyhow, there is a long list of things that could have caused this, but a few are - shipping stress, change of environment, and antibiotics. Well, I had just driven him 2.5 hours to get down there, he choked on December 1st and then was on 10 days of antibiotics. So, yeah, great.

Right now I'm waiting to hear about this afternoon's blood work. I hope they call soon. Not knowing is really hard for me. And thinking about my poor boy down there alone without me makes me so sad. I asked the student who is assigned to him if she could get him out and walk him around a bit if he had to be there for a few days. She said she would.

So that's the update. I wish it were good news. But right now, it's not so great.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In the dog house. Part 3.

Part 1
Part 2

Macey started screaming "NOOOO!! MEGAMIND! I WANNA SEE MEGAMIND! WHAAAA!!!"

I said "Nope. And you know what? If you're going to have a fit please go to your room to have it."


So I picked her up, literally kicking and screaming, and deposited her in her room, where she continued to wail and thrash about.

I went back downstairs and Lily was wide eyed, and said quietly "Do I miss the movie too?"

Hmm. Lily hadn't done anything wrong, so it seemed sucky to punish her too. Meghan was on her way over, so I gave her a quick call. She agreed to take Lily with her and her son to the movie. I gave Lily money and instructions that she should be very good for Meghan. She promised she would be.

Macey was still wailing and kicking the wall in her room. I got out the timer and went upstairs.

"Macey, you have two minutes to calm down." I set the timer for two minutes and started it. "When this goes off, if you are still having a fit, you are getting a spanking." She screamed "NOOO!!" I put the timer in the hallway and went downstairs.

Ten seconds later, all was quiet. I waited another 30 seconds and went back up to try and talk to her. That ended with her throwing another fit, so I stopped talking, set the timer again, and went back down the stairs. Quiet again in ten seconds. We repeated this little dance for about ten minutes. Finally she stopped having a fit and just cried quietly.

Meghan showed up to get Lily. I allowed Macey to come downstairs, where she watched from the front door and cried (but not wailed) while we loaded Lily's booster seat, and then Lily into Meghan's car. Meghan's son said "Is Macey really not coming?" and Lily said "Nope, she blew it!" I thanked Meghan for taking Lily, and they drove away.

I went back inside, and Macey threw another fit. Again with the timer two or three more times, and she finally got it.

She was done. I held her and told her I loved her, and that I wanted her to see the movie, and I was sorry to have to do this. I made sure she understood why she was missing the movie. She was tired after all that, so we snuggled in bed and napped until they got back.

That was Saturday. I told Macey that if she behaved herself, listened to me, and didn't throw any fits, that I would take her to see the movie on Monday.

She kept her word, and I kept mine. The movie was funny, I got a little one-on-one time with Macey, so it was a win-win. And I think both girls will now believe me when I say I'll do something. I know that since then I don't have to repeat myself as often, which is nice.

Have we seen the last of the fits? I doubt it. But I think she's more aware of it, and she is working on it. That's all I can ask.

Now if I could just say I won't rake anymore. THAT would be progress.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In the dog house. Part 2

Part 1

Macey has been throwing a lot of fits lately. And tending to be lax about listening to me. Both girls, in fact, are a little too casual about blowing me off the first time I tell them to do something. When Craig tells them, they tend to listen a bit better, mostly because he'll put them in time out or give them a butt swat faster than I will.

This weekend Craig was out of town all day on Saturday, and I had to work in the morning. After I was home and the babysitter left, the plan was for my friend Meghan to come over with her son and we'd all go see a movie - Megamind. The girls knew they were coming over, and they were getting a bit rambunctious. I told them multiple times that they needed to settle down, eat lunch, and behave.

Macey had already had a fit about something, and truthfully she is much too old to be stomping around crying at the top of her lungs. She had stopped all this last year, but somehow it's crept back in to her repertoire. And Lily had already stomped her foot at me once and sassed me, so I gave the girls a warning, saying that I didn't like their behavior and they had better straighten up or we'd call off the movie.

Okay, okay, they said. We'll be good.

Three minutes later, Macey jumped on her sister who was lying on the couch. Lily yelled "Get off me, Macey!" and Macey just laughed. I said "Macey! Get off of your sister!" She did not. I yanked her off of Lily and said "Okay Macey, you just lost TV."


Macey had a huge tantrum. I said "Oh, you're going to throw a fit? You want to lose the computer too?"

"Nooo!", she screamed, throwing herself on the floor, kicking her feet. Yeah, it was one of THOSE kind of tantrums.

At that point I reached critical mass. I had been up very early for work, and I was sick of her crap.

"Fine. That's it. No movie"

That's when Macey lost her little five-year-old mind.

To be continued...

Monday, November 15, 2010

In the dog house - Part 1

This past week both Macey and I have gotten into trouble. Her more so than me, but she got more of a reward for changing her behavior (since I didn't change mine or even agree to).

Here's how I got busted.

My back can only take so much twisting before it starts to hurt. It's mainly the motion you make while sweeping, or raking. I don't particularly like doing either, but there are times when it's necessary. Like this time of year.

Craig usually rakes all the leaves because he hates it when I hurt my back and hobble around for a day or so. But here's the thing about that - he doesn't like to rake either, and really hates to rake anything complicated, like around and under bushes, or in the drainage ditch, or the window wells... you get the picture. He'll do the vast expanses of lawn, but mostly blows off the pain in the rear stuff. I like to have those all raked, so some years I just ignore it, and some years I bite the bullet, risk having a spat, and do it myself.

Here is how it went this year. Craig call me after I spent about 90 minutes raking the piddly stuff around the yard without his knowledge.

Craig: Hey, I see you called me?
Me: Yeah, I did.
Craig: (pause) What did you want?
Me: Um, well, I was looking for something.
Craig: ...and? Did you find it?
Me: No, but it turns out I didn't need it.
Craig: Well, what did you need?
Me: Zip ties, but I used something else so don't worry about it.
Craig: What did you need them for?

Can you tell I was trying NOT to tell him that I broke the rake?

Me: Well, I kind of broke the rake. But I fixed it with duct tape, so don't worry about it. But we need a new one.
Craig: Sheri, don't even tell me you were raking.
Me: Well, yeah, kinda, but not for that long and I just got the stuff that you hate to do.
Craig: You shouldn't be doing ANY of it. And you raked so much you broke the rake??!
Me: Well, you know when the pile of leaves gets really big... (ooh, maybe not the best choice of words there...)
Craig: (sounding exceedingly more annoyed) Uh huh.
Me: Instead of trying to move it with just my arms, you know how I put the rake against the pile and push it along, like a snow plow? Well, I did that and pushed too hard and the rake broke. But I put it back together, and it's all fine now...
Craig: I can't even talk to you right now. I need to go. (sounding livid now)
Me: Okay... well, see you when you get home...
Craig: Fine.

Truthfully, I didn't rake long enough to hurt myself (well, not much anyway) and I think the yard looks better. I did piss off my husband in the process, and that's not good. But we don't need to have this argument for another whole year, so that's something. Craig doesn't get why I care if all the leaves are raked perfectly. I think I've gotten forgiveness, if not understanding of my obsession with having a clean yard.

Now Macey, that little girl got in trouble with me. And it wasn't pretty.

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Move. Part 5.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Kaswyn was choking. Now, I had never seen a choke before, but I thought Albert was choking once (I wrote about that here). Based on what the vet has told me, this time Kaswyn was certainly choking. For reals.

He had gobs of stringy, foamy spit coming out of his nose, and every now and then he'd cough up a big glob of it. He also was trying to swallow but would just make a weird little strangling noise instead of actually swallowing. Then occasionally his whole body would shudder, he'd lower his head, invert his neck so that it was bent in the opposite way that it should be bent, and he'd wretch out a big glob of gunk. It was awful to watch.

My trainer was about to leave with her trailer to come and get us, but I called the vet first and told them they needed to send someone out fast. Then I let my trainer know. She said she was coming over anyway because she heard Kaswyn retching on the phone and she wanted to make sure he was ok.

Marge made her way over too, so just as the vet arrived there were four of us to help her - my trainer, her mom, Marge, and I.

First Kaswyn was sedated lightly. This actually went a long way to making him comfortable, since the vet said just relaxing the throat muscles helps. Then she passed a long tube up his nose and into his throat to try and dislodge whatever was stuck there. From the first globs that came out of the hose, she surmised that it was a big hunk of pelleted grain the Kaswyn decided not to chew enough and then swallow in one big gulp.

Once the tube had drained as much as it could, it was time to pump water in there to try and break up and loosen the clog. It took almost an hour of pumping water, draining, trying to advance the tube, pumping more water, more draining, etc, to get the clog broken up and pushed into his stomach. Poor boy got a bloody nose from it too, but with the big huge hose that had to go in there and all the manipulating that had to be done I'm not surprised.

When it was all over the vet said I should not move him to the new barn until Saturday (it was Monday) because moving them to a new environment weakens their immune system and that chocked horses were at risk for aspiration pneumonia. For the next two weeks Kaswyn would not be allowed to have any hay. He would have to eat alfalfa cubes with his grain, really soaked and sloppy with water. Towards the end of the two weeks he could go to wet hay for two weeks, then normal diet.

Since the risk of aspiration pneumonia exists with choked horses, Kaswyn had to be on 10 days of antibiotics. The vet also gave him a shot of banamine and gave me enough banamine paste for the following three days. This is to help any inflammation in his throat go down so that he won't have as much discomfort eating.

To check for pneumonia we had to check his temperature twice a day. If it gets to 102 degrees then we have to call a vet out immediately. She said even 101.5 would be cause to take his temperature more often, because usually if it gets that high then it's probably just going up.

So in the end, Kaswyn did not move on November first. But I did get him moved to the new place. He's been there since Friday and he seems to be settling in well. I've ridden him once, lightly, and he was just fine. He never spiked a fever or had any issues with eating his cubes. He went to eating wet hay yesterday and I'm sure he didn't have a problem.

I've ridden a few of the other horses there, including Lee, the buckskin half-Arab. I'm having a lot of fun. It's really nice to have people to ride with, or at least people to talk to. Most of the time at the other barn I would show up and ride the two horses and never see anybody. It got lonely. So I'm thinking this is great.

Sure, I've got the share the arena, which I never had to do before. But it's a bigger space so there is plenty of room for someone to lunge in one end and have two people riding also.

The drive is longer, and I'm not liking that, but the pros outweigh the cons. right now it looks like it's going to work out very well.

So what's next? Kaswyn's getting surgery at OSU on November 23rd to fix his painful neuromas. Right now he's sound due to the last serapin injection. Lets hope the surgery makes it permanent!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Move. Part 4.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

I told Susan I was moving Kaswyn, and I don't think she was happy about it. I can understand that. She liked having me around to talk to, and she had just gotten that trailer so that we could go out trail rides together. We hadn't been able to go much lately due to our work schedules, and I suppose we could still go, but then she'd have to come and get me. Possible, I know, but not as easy.

Then I told Marge. I was straight with her and told her that I was tired of working on the arena. She said she understood, and that she would do it but she just can't physically get it done anymore. She was sad to see me go and hoped that I was making the right decision. I would be sad to leave too, but it would give me more time to ride instead of doing arena work.

I think the worst thing was knowing I'd have to leave Albert behind. I love that little horse and he has SO much talent, and has made me a much better rider. But I know Susan won't move him, because she cleans stalls in exchange for board. Why would she move to a place where she has to pay board just so I can ride him? She can only walk on a horse because her back is so bad, so moving him would only help me.

I finally came to terms with leaving Albert by recognizing that he's 18, and he's not really thrilled with the places we are going in our training right now. He doesn't like flying changes and doesn't want to learn them. I could press the issue, but I felt like the last few months have really made him unhappy. And I am suspicious that he's got something brewing in the right hind. He's not lame, but he swaps leads a lot on the lunge line going to the right. So I guess it's best to let him retire. He's done some great things in his career, and I'd rather leave with him still liking me rather than have him dread me ride him by pushing the flying change issue.

I made arrangements to move him on November 1st. My trainer would come over and pick us Kaswyn up after work. The day before the move I went to the barn with Craig and we loaded up all my crap and moved it to the new place. When we got there I saw that there was a hay wagon loaded with hay in the middle of the arena. Hmm. Well, lets hope that's not there for a long time and that they were just in the process of moving the hay into the loft. Cause I'd hate to ride around it for weeks. I'll have to ask about that.

Anyhow, everything was a go. I showed up on Monday to get Kaswyn ready to leave. My trainer would be arriving in about 30 minutes and I wanted him to be clean and ready to go when she pulled in. I opened his stall door and right in the doorway of his stall I saw what looked like watery cat puke. "Huh??" I said out loud, and then looked at my horse.

Kaswyn turned his head towards me and I said "What the hell??" Then I realized what was going on, and I called the vet, trying not to panic.

To be continued...

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Move. Part 3.

Part 1
Part 2

I showed up at the new barn and the trainer (we'll call her AM) got the little buckskin half-Arab ready to ride. He was only three, but had spent two semesters at a local equestrian college learning how to be a reining horse. He wasn't cut out for that, so his owner sent him to AM to be a dressage horse. It was a good decision, since this horse moves much more like a dressage horse than a reiner.

I watched AM lunge and ride him, and he seemed sane enough so I got on him. He's really very nice. He doesn't exactly get connection to the bit, so we worked on that a little. And every time I tried to turn him onto a circle he dove for the inside. So we worked on that too. By the end of our 20 minute ride he was actually making a decent connection with my hand and was attempting to stay on the outside rein.

Then AM brought out her horse, an Arabian mare she's trying to sell (and has seince sold!). She told me she wanted to move her from being a Country Pleasure horse to a dressage/sport horse, but that she's HOT. She'd taken her to some dressage schooling shows and the most prevalent comment she got from the judges was "tense".

So I watched her ride the mare, and made some suggestions. Then I asked if I could get on her. It was true, this little mare had a lot of go in her, but she wasn't spooky or insane. She just knew that when a rider got on her back she was supposed to GO GO GO. That kind of "go" is good, but it has to be tempered with calm focus so that work can get done.

Like most Arabians trained for the main show ring, and not the dressage ring, this mare was used to backing off the bit. I worked with her for ten minutes or so and by the end she was kind of getting what I wanted with connection. Then AM got back on her and said she felt a difference.

This was FUN.

After she was done riding, AM started talking about how she thought I could really help her with some of her horses, because I speak her "Arab" language. It's true; I know how Arabians are trained for the main show ring so I know what they are used to. I know how they think, so I have a pretty good idea of how they will react to the things I do.

I also know where AM is coming from. I went from main-show-ring-Arab-girl to the dressage ring. I struggled with dressage concepts and had to figure out how they fit in with my horse and how he was already trained, and how I already knew how to ride. I made it work, and it was looking like my past experiences, both the successes and failures, could help AM and her horses.

We started the discussion of me moving to her barn, and about how I could help out with some of her horses. Not all of the horses at the barn are her training horses, or all Arabians. But the ones that she rides are all purebred or half-Arabs.

This could be a great opportunity for me to ride different horses and make myself a better rider. I also love to help people out. And AM is planning on taking horses to schooling dressage shows, as well as some A rated shows, and I'd be able to get a ride and stable with her and her friend TF, who also helps her with her horses.

Plus the buckskin, Lee, really had some potential. I like him.

AM also does all the turnout, so she said she'd be sure that Kaswyn would get out every day. So the bonuses here are full care, slightly cheaper board, 7 day stall cleaning and turnout, outdoor arena, a trail, new horses to ride, and people to go to shows with. The turnouts are flatter and not rocky, with safer fencing.

The negatives? No more overnight turnout in the summer. Probably less time outside, since at Marge's Kaswyn gets out all day long (or all night). Ten minutes farther from home.

And I'll have to leave my little Albert behind. And Susan.

To be continued...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Move. Part 2.

Part 1

One evening weeks ago I went to my trainer's barn to drop something off before I went to ride. We ended up chatting and I found myself not wanting to leave her place and go deal with the arena, which I knew was dry, dusty, and in need of a dragging. and pooped needed to be picked out of there and holes needed to be filled. I know that it's bad when I don't want to go ride. I told her what was going on in my head, and she and I started to brainstorm to find solutions.

Eventually I asked about a barn I know she teaches in, and it's a place that has Arabians. There is a trainer there but she's just starting to really get into dressage. She's been taking lessons from my trainer for a couple of years, so I had my trainer contact her and ask about board. I wasn't sure if I would move there, but I wanted to get more info.

We ended up going over to the barn to have a look-see. I'd actually been there before and had met the Arab trainer. I looked at a horse she had for sale when I was looking for Kaswyn. I remembered the barn and she remembered me.

This barn has an indoor and an outdoor arena, grass turnouts, round pens, and a trail around the property. And the arenas are maintained, so I wouldn't have to water and drag anymore. Still, I was hesitant.

My trainer had to leave, but I stayed and ended up talking for a while with the new trainer. She showed me a horse she had for sale, and the horse in the next stall caught my eye. A half-Arab buckskin. Ohhhh. He was three, and he was cute as a button. I said I'd love to see him go. She said sure, stop by the next Monday and I could watch him work, and ride him if I wanted.

Yeah I wanted to ride him! I told her I'd be there.

To be continued...

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Move. Part 1.

I'm moving Kaswyn to a new barn today.

I hate moving my horse, even when it's to a better situation. I hate moving all my crap. Why do I have so much stuff anyway? Every time I move him, more stuff ends up at home in my basement but I never seem to have less to move the next time.

I also hate moving him because I'm always afraid he'll be unhappy or at least stressed for the first few weeks. I'm sure it's like being the new kid in school for him, since he'll have to make new friends for turnout and figure out where he fits in the pecking order (the bottom, usually). And then I worry that the first night in his new stall will be scary for him, like a kid sleeping away from home for the first time.

Now I know he's not a kid, and he's not even a young horse. And he's lived in lots of different barns and gone to lots of shows so he'll be fine. But still, I worry. Because I love him and I don't want him to be unhappy.

But now onto the question I keep getting. Why am I moving him?

Well, that's complicated. I'm moving him out of a friend's barn. And I'm not happy there. It has nothing to do with the barn owner and my friend Marge, or Susan, her niece (and also my friend). In fact I feel rotten leaving them.

Here is the situation. Marge has been in the boarding and breeding business for a LONG time. She's ready to be done with it, and only has 9 of her 29 stalls filled with horses right now. And that is the way she wants it. I think she wouldn't have any horses on her property if she didn't have two of her own. She's tired of feeding every day, turning out every day, paying insurance and upkeep and all the hassles that come with boarding horses.

I am the only one who rides there. When I came back to her barn it became apparent that Marge wasn't going to deal with watering and dragging the arena. I mean, why should she put in that much time and effort for one boarder? All the other horses are pretty much retired and just get turned out every day. So it would be a lot of work for her, and I started doing it myself.

After almost three years I'm sick of it. I started not wanting to go out to the barn after work because I'd have to spend at least an hour (if not two) watering and dragging the arena at least once a week, if not more in the summer when the footing dries out. I want to just show up and ride and not deal with the arena.

Yes I'm paying board. But it's not expensive board, so I can understand not getting every little thing I want. I don't blame Marge for not wanting to do it. But now that I don't want to do it either it's time for me to go. I know she wouldn't agree to pick up the arena work just to keep me. She's looking for less work, not more.

So that is the major reason. The fact that the barn doesn't have an outdoor arena or anyplace to ride outside are also points that I considered. And the pastures are kind of muddy, not flat, and a bit rocky. Sure, Kaswyn's done fine with it, but I HATE scraping mud off my horse. I realize that he will roll in any pasture and get dirty, but this mud is pretty tenacious.

All this added up to me considering moving Kaswyn. Then, something tipped the scales and my decision to move was made.

To be continued...

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr