Thursday, December 20, 2012

Getting There

It's taken me quite a few days, but I am finally starting to feel better and recover from having the flu.

Monday I stayed in bed all day and just rested and slept. Thank goodness N was able to take care of Emmy and Cool at the barn for me! Tuesday I still felt pretty terrible, but the aches and chills were gone and I was feeling bad for having N take care of two extra horses for 3 days in a row, so I dragged myself out to the barn to turnout and clean stalls. That about did it in for me, I barely made it through the stall cleaning before I was totally wiped out and ready to go back to bed. I think I've spent a half an hour every day since Sunday just soaking in a hot tub and trying to feel better, this has really been terrible!

Yesterday I was feeling sick in the morning but I started to feel better as the day went on. I managed to finish some Christmas shopping (its amazing what a hot peppermint mocha from Starbucks can do) and make it out to the barn to turnout and clean stalls. After all of that, I still didn't quite feel like death again yet, so I decided to push my luck and try riding. I set up a little 4 stride line of cross rails for Cool and rode him and jumped him through it. He was actually pretty good for having nearly a week off of work! He cantered the line in about 4 and a half strides when left to his own devices, so I held him back and made him do it in 5 strides instead (which was really tight but I don't want him learning to just RUN down the lines). That was actually the first line that I've ever jumped him through and I was very pleased with him! I've been having some trouble with his left lead though...I'm wondering if it's just s strength issue? Or maybe even something in his stifles? Like a weakness that is starting to come out because he's building more muscle else where? Some days are better than others...but Wednesday was definitely a bad day for the Lead Fairy. Either way, I was SUPER pleased with the way he handled jumping his first little line!

Of course, after riding I felt like dying again. Clearly, that was just too much to ask. I managed to make it through teaching my evening lesson on Emmy and then went home for a hot shower and some sleep! I think I was totally passed out before 9pm. Today I felt even better than yesterday, although my lower back has been killing me since riding. Am I really that out of shape from being sick/just in general? This is so pathetic of me...

I didn't ride at all today because my Thursday lesson (that I teach) asked to move their lesson up an hour and half, which was great for my evening but it cut into my plans to hack Emmy a little. Oh well, hopefully the world is still around tomorrow so that I can ride her a little, it's been way too long! Emmy behaved well for both of her lessons, it makes me proud of her to watch her tote around walk/trotters, even if she looks at me like she wants to kill me sometimes. What a good girl!

In personal news, my grandmother is still hanging on, which is good because I am going to try and go see her Saturday. I've been holding off because I didn't want to give her any of my germs and I wasn't feeling well enough to make the hour and some drive home to meet my mother to go visit her. My grandmother has been having good days and bad, but the doctors have informed everyone that there is nothing more they can do and its just time to keep her comfortable until the end. My grandmother said something to my mom the other night when she was upset, comforting her and saying that it was alright because shes "had a long life." What a dignified woman, even down to the very last. I hope that my siblings can all make it back in town in time to see her also, I know it would make her so happy.

Wishing you all the best of luck for the "end of the world" tomorrow...


Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Overview

What a weekend this has been...

I did ride Cool late Friday night after the horse show. E happened  to be at the barn as well so she hacked Emmy for me, which turned out to be a really good thing, because I didn't even leave the barn until midnight as it was. Cool was really good again, although he was much more tired after burning up all his energy the day before and so out lead changes were not clean in either direction. I went back to doing simple changes with him after blowing completely through the left/right lead change. The only thing that I can really think of is that he was either a) a little sore from the day before or b) just not as fresh and since he's really lazy by nature, he needs to be really fresh to get the changes right now. I know that Johnny was the same way when we first started with the right lead canter, he had to be really fresh in order to even pick it up. That's alright though, at least I know that there ARE lead changes somewhere in there! Cool was however, very sound to ride so that was good! I left his bandages off Friday night and told my friend N (who was going to take care of them sat/sun) to check his legs for swelling. She texted me Saturday morning that his legs looked good and I stopped at the barn briefly on my way home Saturday night to check them myself also. They did look good and tight. Hopefully a few days off this weekend will do him some good.

Early Sunday morning, I woke up at around 1:00am and was absolutely FREEZING. Literally shaking because I was just SO cold. Mind you, we have a gas well on our property, so we keep our heat at like 70 degrees all the time, so there was no reason for me to be cold. I stumbled to the closet for a hoodie and then tried to go back to sleep. The whole time though, I knew that I was getting sick.

When my alarm went off at 3:00am for the horse show I felt like I had been hit my a truck. Every muscle in my body ached, my head hurt and when I got up and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth I just sat on the floor for a little while trying to decide if I was going to throw up or not. The boyfriend woke up and asked me what was wrong. When I told him, he told me to say home from the show. Of course, I couldn't do that. I was the only groom working for this barn and I only had until 6:30 to lunge the horses before the show closed the indoor ring for lunging. My first horse showed at 7am. I had to go. I got ready, took some cold medicine, bundled myself up and got in the car to make the hour drive to the horse show.

I slugged through the morning lunging and feeding but all the while, I was freezing cold and in so much pain from all of the muscle aches. It's been uncharacteristically warm outside for mid-December and on Sunday it was about 50 degrees out (plus we showed indoors so it was about 60 in the arenas), but I just couldn't stop shaking! By 7am I sent my horse to the ring and curled up on a tack trunk wrapped in a wool cooler. When the trainer and client came back, I was sitting on a step ladder with my head in my hand. The client took one look at me and said "go home." The trainer agreed. "You are so sick" she told me "we can manage." I felt HORRIBLE leaving the horse show when I was the only groom there, but I was too sick to argue. I told M (the trainer) that I would never leave the horse show like this if I didn't think that I wasn't going to make it the whole day. Everything that I ate or drank made me feel like throwing up, I could barely tighten the girths on the horses saddles and there was no way that I was going to be able to move tack trunks later in the day. I felt so bad leaving, but there was no way I was going to make it. One of the grooms from my old barn of employment saw me walking through the warm up ring and pulled me aside and said that he would help M if she needed some assistance. "Go home mi hija" he told me and then followed it up with "you look like shit." Oh Javier...never one to sugar coat anything lol. I barely made the drive home and then went straight to bed. I've literally been sleeping for almost a straight 24 hours, aside from the boyfriend waking me up every 4 hours or so to make me take flu medicine. I'm pretty sure that I have the flu :(

Amidst all of this weekend chaos, my grandmother has also been in the hospital since Thursday and is really not doing well. She's been hanging on by a thread. I wanted to go see her today, but since I'm sick I can't :( I have a feeling that I won't get to see her one last time unless I can get better by tomorrow and she hold on strong. My poor mother is a wreck...this is the only grandparent I have left. Please say some prayers for my family. I don;t generally put a ton of personal family stuff in here, but I feel like some extra prayer are always welcome.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Lead Fairy Part II

Many of you may remember a few years ago when I called upon the Lead Fairy to come down and pay Johnny a visit, which said fairy so generously did when Johnny suddenly began picking up his right lead canter. The same Lead Fairy must have paid Cool a visit over the past week because


The left to right change wasn't very clean, but the right to left was almost perfect! I was SO proud of him!! This is the first time that I have ever really asked him for a flying change, lately it has just been simple lead changes. He was awfully fresh tonight, so I can only assume that this helped him a lot, but I was just SO pleased and amazed by him! We did a single canter pole, a 4 stride line of canter poles and then a set of 9ft bounce poles, followed by a small vertical on the diagonal before working on the lead changes. After riding, I fed him TONS of cookies and took him out for grass. After grooming him back off, I linimented his legs and bandaged them all just to be safe. His hind leg swelling has gone back to normal with a little bute, turnout, liniment, ice and stable bandages. I want to make sure that it stays this way! I didn't give Cool any bute today, so I am curious to hack him early tomorrow morning (before heading to the show again to groom) and see how he feels without the bute in his system. I'm wondering if he was so good today because he still had the bute in his system? I'll be curious to see...I think that he really need to see a chiropractor and get his back adjusted.

I didn't get to ride Emmy today, but that's alright because she was a LOON when I rode her the other night. Which is wonderful, because it means that my old lady is still feeling good, but she actually considered bucking me off! (Cool also threw a couple bucks in after jumping today...he was just full of himself!) I'm glad she feels so good, I can't wait to ride them tomorrow morning. I'm really trying to get back in riding shape...I used to ride so well and now my equitation is really terrible...and I haven't jumped anything of a reasonable size in FOREVER.

I keep taking my camera to the barn and then forgetting to use it...I wish I would have gotten a video today :(


Monday, December 10, 2012

Busy week, but good news!

Sorry for the lack of updates! I have been busy the last two weekends grooming at horse shows. It feels good to be back making some money and getting my  "horse show" game face back on. It's been a lot of work, since I am grooming for a new barn now and am the only groom working, but it's also been good!

Here is some more good news: I had an interested party come to try Johnny last Monday and he was fabulous for them!! They came to try him at 3:00 and by 6:00 I had a phone call saying that they wanted to take him home with them the next morning. His new owner, is now the mother in law of a girl that I went to college with. I stopped by his new barn on Wednesday to drop off his contract and a collection of his blankets for her. He is living in a very nice, insulated barn that never gets below 50 degrees, even in the dead of winter. Johnny was laying flat on his side in a big, fresh clean stall, totally passed out sleeping. He was sooo happy! The new owners also had a REALLY good chiropractor come out and work on him. He is also scheduled to get his feet and teeth done soon. I have gotten text updates and pictures every couple days since then. I hope that this home works out really well for him. He seems very happy there!

Here are some photos of him:

Sleeping in his new stall...nice and comfy!

With his new owner at his new home!

I'm pretty pleased with his new situation, I know that his owner is going to body clip him soon to finish cleaning him up. I hope the situation stays this good!

In other news, Emmy sprung a shoe on Thursday running around in the pasture. The farrier came this afternoon to fix it and re-shoe both her and Cool. My friend, N, took care of Emmy and Cool all weekend since I was working, so I haven't seen them since early Friday morning. Cool's left hind leg was REALLY swollen today and kind of warm, but he seemed sound when I turned him out in the indoor arena (it's been raining for DAYS). The swelling went down a bit with movement, but it didn't go away completely. Another horse in out barn has been having swelling in all four of his legs (vet thinks a virus...blood work came back totally normal though? Weird...) That horse is on antibiotics, but I'm hoping that Cool isn't getting what he has...the girl who took care of them all weekend is the owner of the horse with the virus. I linimented and wrapped his legs tonight and gave him a gram of bute. I will ice it tomorrow also. Hopefully it will be ok! Johnny went through something similar a couple of years ago (read about it here). Interesting....


Monday, December 3, 2012

Warmer Weather!

I've been away for a few days because of work, so sorry for the lack of updates. This past weekend (thurs-sun) I was grooming at a horse show. Every horse in our barn (except one) was either champion of reserve champion this weekend!

The trial with the leaser for Johnny went well, but my conversation with his current owner told me that a lease was more of a temporary "time buyer" versus a solution to the problem, which is exactly what I was afraid of. In the meantime though, I did have an old college classmate of mine contact me about coming to try him for her mother in law. Her and her mother in law are coming later this afternoon to try him out, which means that, for the 5th day in a row, I have to drive ALL the way back to a barn right next to the show grounds where I was all weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love riding Johnny, but I haven't seen my own horses since Friday and this barn is over an hour from my house. Hopefully though, we can work something out with John. I don't know that he is going to be a quiet enough mover for the mother in law, but we can at least try right?The leaser is ALSO coming tonight at like 6pm to try Johnny again...ahhhh!

As for me, I'm headed to go run some errands and then go take care of Emmy and Cool. The weather here is so warm today...currently 55 degrees and its only 11am! Cool is getting body clipped today...I'm tired of walking him out forever after I ride him! guess I better get headed over there to do that...I'll take some photos of Johnny and Emmy and Cool tonight.