From Lisa, Allie, Joey, Gracie, Evan, Herman, Fluff and probably Andrew too.
Hope uou have a great day!
Oh my goodness. Well, I hauled Allie to the vet yesterday for a check up and to see WHY she is continuing to suffer from snot-sposions on and off for months.
I was by myself and didn't anticipate any issues, but hauling your horse to the vet at 30 weeks pregnant is harder than it sounds ;p
My float has a canvas dust cover that needs to be rolled up when you use the float, and I normally just jump up and sit on the butt bars and roll it up that way. But that was 20kg ago... Pulling myself up on the butt bars and then balancing on them while trying to roll up the dust cover would have been rather amusing to watch. I had to laugh at myself. At least this situation is temporary?
Hooking up was OK, but I had to sit on the ground to plug in the little electrics terminal thing and to attach the safety chain. Because I can't bend, because there is a 1.5kg child in the way. Then I had to get up off the ground.
After all this I was puffing. LOL!!
She was in a total mood too. When I caught her, a big log truck came down the driveway past her yard. I thought she would just throw her head up in the air because she's normally quiet, but no. While I was holding her she reared straight up into the air over and over and was striking!! What a wench! I forgot for a moment that I am pregnant and I got stuck into her for it (growling, pulling her down with the lead) and when she came back down to earth she looked rather sheepish.
Putting on her shipping boots was fun too. She acted like it was the first time she has worn boots on the hinds..kicking out, dancing and hopping between her hind legs. I was like "ugh. Horse. Can you not?".
After all this I thought she would be a wench to load but she remembered all the hours of float training I've put into her and marched straight on and was very mentally in the float, if you know what I mean. No thinking about rushing off.
She travelled a little worse than normal though. Normally you can't even tell there is a horse in there, but yesterday she was shuffling and stamping a bit. We got there safe and unloaded like a polite seasoned pony though, so that's good.
First up, after sedation, she got an oral exam. They were really pleased - made comments like "that pack feels really solid in there" and "teeth feel good!". She did have some feed stuck between her teeth/pack and her cheek, so they flushed that.
They gave her teeth a quick float too. Better to do little and often. She is good for the dentist for another 6 months now.
Then I had to waddle out of the room so they could take rads. She needed another sedation because she kept throwing her head. I think she's sick of people poking and prodding her.
The rads looked good! The teeth haven't changed at all since last time. Christine doesn't want to touch them - she said we could remove the one in front orally but she has no idea how to get the one behind out because it's curved like a banana. Apparently she has consulted with a top dental vet in QLD who has told her to leave the teeth alone, "don't touch them". So we are very very happy that they aren't dying. If they were going to, we would have seen changes by now. WHAHOO!!!
The reason for all the on/off discharge? Her sinus cavity is chock full of scar tissue, which is reactive and sensitive. This is not a surprise at all to be honest.
What's the fix? More surgery, she said she would "have to scoop the tissue out like ice cream with a scoop". Which could mean even more scar tissue in the end.
For now, it doesn't affect her quality of life at all. She doesn't react to the discharge, except if it tickles her she will wipe it on her leg. Christine said if I was happy to manage it with occasional antibiotics and other management, then her recommendation is to leave Allie the way she is.
We both agreed that the surgery, while saving her life, also improved her quality of life overall too. Previous to the surgery, Allie would go off her feed at the drop of a hat, it was harder to keep weight on her. We think she suffered from headaches or it was painful to eat. Since the day of surgery, her appetite has been AMAZING. She eats everything I out in front of her.
Only one thing left to see now - how much this whole thing limits her performance. I think I need to scale back my hopes and dreams for her - if she can't breathe optimally I can't expect her to gallop cross country and jump while doing so. Hopefully we can do dressage, trails, maybe lower level eventing and some show jumping. I'll have to play it by ear and see how she goes.
Overall, while the whole situation has been heartbreaking and devastating for me, I am happy with the result and feel it has all been worth it. The horse is perfectly happy, and she is ALIVE which I am so so so grateful for. I've been allowed to keep my heart horse with me, when some others have had them tragically taken away. This outcome is more than what I ever dared hope for.
I took a little video, which you will probably have to copy and paste because I'm posting from the Blogger app on my phone. You'll notice I can't articulate myself well anymore - apparently that's pregnancy for you.
I'm really, really happy.
We are all reminded again how fragile our pony pals are.
Another blogger has just lost her beautiful andy gelding Steele in a horrible accident involving irresponsible neighbours who don't know how to control their dogs.
We do the best we can by our horses - many of us go way above and beyond. Teresa is one of those people, and yet here she is with her young, healthy horse buried in the ground.
Hug your ponies. Kiss their noses. Tell them you love them and don't for one second think it couldn't happen to them. We can't control everything.
What were my goals for 2014 at the pointy end of 2013?
Well, at the time, Allie was rehabbing her broken leg. I guess my biggest goal was to see that through, then get her back in work and off to the trainers to learn how to jump. I was toying with the idea of going eventing once or twice toward the end of the year, doing some show jumping, dressage days and just getting out and having fun.
We all know how well those goals and plans went. No need to dwell on shitty situations.
Next year, my goals are much more conservative. We won't have anywhere near as much money, Allie may need more surgery (or not, preferably), I certainly can't afford to send her to the bloody trainers, and I'll be lucky if I can get out to ride her 3 days a fortnight.
So my goals for 2015 for myself are this:
Enjoy your horse, in whatever capacity you are able to. Ride when you can, and never ever pass up an opportunity to ride her. But if that means riding once a month, so be it. Don't stress.
Feed her carrots. Stuff her beautiful face full of them.
Trim her feet often and get them looking amazing again.
Find somewhere closer to home to keep her, that fits with the budget and has an arena.
Keep her healthy. Do as the vet says, but research some other ways to help her. If this sinus thing continues to play up, find a long term solution.
That's it. Those are my goals. If I smash them, I'll be over the moon. But looking at them, they are realistic and I honestly shouldn't fail them. Because, honestly, I'm sick of disappointing myself. So let's change tactics and take it one day at a time.
I miss trimming.
My business was going so well before Allie was diagnosed. I was working WAY too much (what with a full time job as well) but I had about 60 horses on the books. I did at least 2, sometimes up to 10 after work each and every single day and then another 10 or so every Saturday, with Sunday morning normally taken up with 2 or 3. I did about 15-20 horses every week. I travelled up to an hour away from home to trim horses. I had clients that competed in different low level comps, with some paddock puffs and weekend or hard working pleasure horses thrown in. I did foals, young horses, big giant pricks of horses, ponies, horses with laminitis, navicular and various other issues (quite a few with behavioural issues). I was exhausted, but I was helping so many horses and every horse I worked on (with trim cycles nice and short like I prefer) had improvements every time I saw them. I had clients I was teaching how to trim, helping them find their confidence to look after their own horse's feet (under my supervision of course).
I loved it. And I realised that I didn't want an office job forever, I wanted to be out on the road seeing ponies and horses all day long.
When Allie got sick I couldn't handle seeing all these other horses when I felt my horse had no future. It broke my heart but I could not handle getting the occasional text saying "my horse is a little sore after his trim, should I boot him?". I couldn't handle the pressure of having these people depend on me for their horse being sound. In Sydney, we only have a handful of decent barefoot trimmers and we are all incredibly overbooked and find it very hard to fit in all the clients that need us. There are also some pretty shit barefoot trimmers too, who I'm not happy to refer my clients to. I limited my client base to what I could physically cope with and I always turned up when I said I would, always kept my appointments, even if that meant trimming 10 horses in the pouring rain. To be honest, I'm the most dependable hoof care professional I've ever heard of. I tried very hard to get that reputation and to keep it, to the detriment of my marriage in some cases.
I'm Facebook friends with a few of my (old?) clients. I've seen quite a few posts complaining about their horse's soundness and not being able to find a decent, dependable barefoot trimmer. I know quite a few of them can't wait until I get back to trimming. To be honest, neither can I!! To know some of my old clients with horses who had soundness issues have returned to shoes without my help and support. Gosh that breaks my heart. I've put so much effort into these horses, and I know these people need their horse to be sound, but I feel helpless not being able to help them while I'm away from trimming to have my baby.
Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest. Since taking a break, I've come to realise that I'm a fucking excellent trimmer. I didn't realise that trimming and keeping horses sound barefoot was so difficult until I had to watch my clients have trouble while I'm out. These horses were always sound under my care, some with boots, most without. Most just need a good, balanced, short trim every 4 weeks with dietry support and they're good as gold. Now, these same horses are struggling. Just because there aren't more trimmers out there like me, who trim like I do and are dependable.
I plan on returning when my baby is a few months old. Mid next year. Just taking it slowly and keeping it local, maybe doing 3 horses a day 2-3 days a week. Sometimes taking bub with me, sometimes while Andrew has bub.
I just need to wait. I'll be back out there making a difference again soon.
|I feel enormous.|
|My little kitchen helper.|
|See that happy white puppy on the left there?|
|He was super pooped after.|
|First time getting her teeth done without sedation. She was such a good sport about it! This dentist was a gem - I think she is going to be Gracie's lifetime dentist.|
|This is just terrifying...|
I just want to see clean, dry nostrils on my mare. Is that too much to ask?
So after the antibiotics finished, Allie's nostril was almost 100% back to normal. Just a little clear discharge. Then yesterday happened.
We had gale force winds, flash flooding, hurricane type weather roll through. And today, her nostril is goopy, dusty, heaps of gunk, running and worse than before we went on antibiotics. :(
I had a bit of a breakdown. At the moment I'm crook with a head cold, I've had hardly any sleep this weekend and I just couldn't handle it. I cracked it and cried on the phone to Natalie all the way home from the horse. I'm convinced that she has to have her teeth out, that they're dying, that we won't be able yo get the huge hole to close once the teeth come out and that I'll have to have her put to sleep.
Natalie talked me back from the ledge (so to speak) explaining that she isn't a normal horse with a normal sinus and normal immune response in that sinus. She is going to struggle for the rest of her life. She thinks the new gunk in the nostril is from the weather yesterday - it's pretty dry and dusty at the moment, her yard is dusty her hay is dusty. So we have a new plan.
Her feed is already wet each day (she is on copra, sunflower seed and oaten chaff with some other supplements) so we will be wetting her hay down, resting her yard so it grows some grass, and generally keeping her in dust free environments to see if she can clear this up. If it doesn't after about a week or so, back to the bloody vet it is.
Gah. I just want her to be better now. Please?
Everyone is talking about breeches. This blog is equal parts boring and depressing so I guess this topic is a nice one to escape to that everyone can relate to.
We call the long ones jodphurs here and the short ones that have the velcro at the mid calf breeches here in Oz.
I have a variety of the same type of jodphur in a bunch of sizes as I have lost/gained weight over the last few years. I HATE HATE HATE sticky bum jods. Hate them. They're shit to ride in and shit to wear around. The crotch never sits right on me and believe me, I've tried because I love the look of them. I also don't like high rise or hipster jods. They have to sit just right though when I'm on because I have my belly button pierced and often take it out to ride because the rise I like irritates it. I don't really have winter and summer ones because it doesn't get that cold here. 0 degrees Celsius (32f) is about as cold as it gets. It does get hot (like, 45 celcius) in summer but we don't ride when it's that hot anyway. So I have the same thickness for both summer and winter.
Years ago when I was working at an endurance training property I was bought my first pair of jods that I actually wore. I remember telling them that I could ride all day in jeans and they laughed at me, saying I should just try a pair of jods. Once I did a few days training with them I realised that I needed the jods. I've been riding in jods since then (unless I'm super lazy and am already wearing jeans).
So normally for riding I wear a pair of jods (that are always too long for me even though I'm quite tall), folded up with my socks on the inside, with my top boots over the top.
Sooooo interesting, I know. :p As a reward, have a random picture from my phone of my dog meeting Natalie's dogs for the first time. CUTE.
|Look at me. So happy. So Naive|
|So pretty all clipped with a false tail in.|
|Miss Allie. In all her muddy, muddy glory.|
|But she looks so cute!|
|No helmet. No hair tie. No saddle. Really, it's lucky I was even wearing boots.|
|Summer coat, winter fuzz ears.|
Allie has been good. Natalie's friend Hania has come to ride her two days in a row now - I've followed them to the dam and had a hop on myself too.
She has had a snotty nostril that smells a little off. No food particles, just white or slightly yellow/green and not continuous. Just keeping an eye on it for now.
|Concentrating on her tootsies.|
|She's looking FIIIINE|
|These are video stills, obviously.|
After Val's lovely post about horse time post-baby, I've been thinking hard today about when I want to return to riding and in what capacity after I have the bub.
My situation is that I can't keep my horse at home right now. We are paying off our first home and we won't have the chance to buy or rent property in the near future. I do have her on agistment 20 minutes away with great facilities... if you keep racehorses. There is no arena. There is another agistment less than 10 minutes away (35 minute walk) that has great riding facilities and fencing but is rather pricey. I'm hoping to keep her there and possibly do one feed up a day to help reduce costs.
But... when can I ride? I will have a little person who needs me to be there most of the time. I won't be returning to work for at least 12 months, possibly more. However I hope to pick up some easy weekday trims that I can bring baby to (i.e. local quiet one or two horse trims that will take an hour max).
I've been reading and researching what other new mums do with their riding. I've heard about women who only ride if the bub is looked after by someone else (partner once or twice a week, or their mums, or child care). Other mums put bub in a pack n play and pop them next to the arena while they ride and if bubs cries, they hop off, tie up the horse and tend to bub. Others leave bub in the car with the AC or heat going the whole time they ride. So much petrol! Others again try to time rides with nap times.
What do I think is OK? I would love to ride 3-4 days a week. Maybe using a combination of bringing bub (depending on weather), leaving bub with Andrew, family or friends. I'll probably bring bub to do chores as incan easily make feeds and pick up poo with bub in a carrier or settled in the shade in a pram.
I'm fully aware that the child will be demanding and that I will have to drop everything when s/he needs me. I also know that I could end up with a colicy baby or one who has lactose or allergy issues or who can't sleep or would otherwise be difficult to manage and I will deal with that as best I can if I have to. BUT I also believe that bub needs to fit into our lives, not just us change our whole lives to accommodate bub. I have to get some pony time in. Regular pony time. I get that I need to be flexible and if bub is sick I will just have to leave Allie not worked but if I can manage a routine where I cover all the baby's needs plus get out to the horse once a day and ride 3-4 times a week we will all be so much happier. I would LOVE to be able to get out to just one show late next year. Just one. Maybe even a baby little eventing show?
Andrew is reluctant to give me much on this. I know he won't want to be left alone with bubs multiple times a week while I'm off riding, even if it only totals 3-5 hours a week. But to be honest, although he will be working full time, so will I - full time doing baby stuff, house stuff (ugggghhhhhhhh I am the opposite of a housewife), blah blah blah. I will need the time with Allie. I get that I can't expect him to look after baby solo every single day as soon as he walks in the door while I zoom off in my jodphurs and ride. It's not every day that I'm asking. Once, maybe twice a week on weeknights, then for a couple of hours on either a Saturday or Sunday morning. If he didn't make more money than me it would be him staying home to look after bub!
Any advice/opinions/words of wisdom? Am I expecting too much? Am I expecting too little? I am not afraid of hard work. I've waited a damn long time to get out and ride this horse properly. I can make this happen with the right planning and the right support.
On a side note, Timehop tells me that today in the 1yr anniversary of Allie going lame when she broke her leg. She's been out of work for 12 months.
I've got ME back again. It feels amazing.
I'm finding joy in the little things again, multiple times a day, like I used to. An awesome old song on the radio, my big round belly jumping out of time with my own heartbeat, my pony's dapples blooming in the springtime sunshine.
I feel like Lisa again, with a default happy that is the underlying emotion in my life.
Life really is good. I just forgot that for a while.
We rode Allie today!!! She was super forward, quite rushy, but tried super hard and listened. She had a lunge first, then we hopped on.
Natalie rode first, just walk and trot. When she was listening to Nat, I hopped on. It felt amazing to sit in the saddle again.
After I did a little toodling around, we got Gracie out and went for a little walk/trot up the back. We found a dam that wasn't muddy around the edges and let them have a play. Gracie rolled and I laughed my arse off at Natalie with her wet boot! Then, after a while, Allie stopped pawing the water and she rolled too! I had to hop off, and the witch refused to get up out of the water! Eventually she was done, my saddle was muddy, my socks were wet and we were both laughing in stitches. It was like in the old days when we were kids. We did some trot sets through the water for about 5 mins, then headed back home.
Both girls got a wash, my saddle had a quick clean, and now I'm exhausted but so happy.
Have some crappy video stills from my phone.
I am ENORMOUS. I'm in the white shirt. Nat's in the blue.