Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Little Things

Gearing up for a brutal week of tests and homework. Meanwhile, here are some little happy things:

  • If anyone was wondering what I look like when I'm not riding a certain fat bay, your curiosity has been quenched. Here's me and Sawyer, a horse I've been lessoning on for the last month.
  • My tall boots finally arrived!!! Formal review later, but in the meantime, hello, DeNiro Salento field boots! They're never leaving my feet, I swear. 

Totally worth the 4 month wait.
  • Phil and I went on a little adventure last night to Birmingham to see a couple hardcore bands at The Forge. Always good to escape Auburn for a bit.
  • Candy is settling into retirement well. Happy to graze, be a horse, and get carrots, kisses, and snuggles all the time.
So happy to have a little blip of sunshine!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Grumpy Gills

Sorry for the hiatus- second year of vet school has been absolutely nuts- 1-2 tests a week on top of quizzes and outside lab work, plus my job in the ICU at school.

That being said, I haven't been in the best mood lately. The 2 month mark for losing the sweet Dudz is coming up this Friday, and I haven't been holding it together well. Luckily, Wilbur and I have been spending LOTS of quality time together (whether he likes it or not).
 Baths for Wil-purr.
Bachelor pig is finally clean and no longer smelly.

I made the really difficult decision to retire Candy two weeks ago. He had severe arthritis in his hock that wasn't responsive to any of the joint injections the vet tried, and I decided it was best to just call it quits. The plan was always to retire him when I graduated vet school and had time/the funds for a second horse, so this has been a really tough time for me. Although he is "officially retired", I am playing the waiting game (I'm only ever an optimist when it comes to animals!), and hoping his hock fuses in the next 6-12 months. It's nearly there, so hopefully lots of trail rides will speed up the process. If it doesn't fuse, I'll probably end up sending him back to Kentucky to retire with his breeder. It breaks my heart to even think of being so far away from him, but the Kentucky grass is good (too good) for his old body.
The newly retired, very handsome Candy

Parents have vetoed all hopes and dreams of a second horse, saying it's an "adult sacrifice" I have to make in vet school. I'm not too happy about it, and contemplating pulling out some more student loans, but I think I'll give myself a while to think about it-really hoping Candy's hocks fuse, so we can continue until I finish vet school. The right horse will come along, and regardless of who foots the bill, where there's a will, there's a way.

It's weird to be "horse-less" for the first time in 5 years. While I can still trail ride, groom, and snuggle Candy, I don't have to stick to my rigorous "Ride 5-6 days a week" program that I had in place in undergrad and my first year. It's hard figuring out what to do with my free time, and it's hard figuring out what to do with a retired horse.

In the meantime, I've been riding a grey gelding named Sawyer in lessons, and might have a little crush on him. He's coming back into work after some time off, so it's nice to build our fitness together. It's so funny that after all my years in the jumper ring and doing combined tests, I'm riding a hunter/eq horse with a 12 foot (sometimes bigger!) stride. I'm slowly figuring him out- it's a weird process riding a new horse after riding the same one for ten (!) years. I'm taking lessons once a week to get my jumping fix, and I'm hoping to be back in the show ring by next spring (maybe sooner?). However- which show ring is the question: jumpers, hunters, or eq.
 Finally figured out how to drink from a hose and won't quit bugging me when I bathe him.
"Hello, I'm Sawyer, and I have a 16 foot stride."

Overall life is just kind of overcast and drizzly, but I'm trying to make the best of it; I've just felt so swamped with bad news after bad news, I'm hoping something good will happen soon. I'll try to post more often, to keep the posts from being small novels like this one.

Anyone have any recommendations for things to do with a retired, arthritic horse?