Sunday, April 26, 2015

Less Than a Week

Less than a week off and I'm already itching to get back into the saddle.

Candy's left pastern area/fetlock has swollen up again, and I'm back to cold-hosing and Bute 2x a day on top of changing his standing wraps twice a day.

Sawyer is still "off", just kind of gimpy, for lack of a better word. My instructor, H, is really trying to push his owners to get a full soundness workup. I hope we get to the bottom of it and I hope it's fixable. He really will be a great ammy horse, and if we can just figure out what's up with him, he'll be a lovely 3' packer. I'll be bummed when/if he sells, but at least I'll have saddle and show time in the meantime if/when he gets sound.

Unfortunately for me, I've picked up running en lieu of riding to help keep my anxiety and depression (and my waist line) under control. I say unfortunate, because my parents are THRILLED I'm running. Our whole family runs (except me) and everyone always gets excited when I run ("You're a naturaaaalll", "You're so athletiiiiic").

I'm almost a little irrationally nervous that if I continue running, they won't help out with the horses because they're happy I've found another outlet. But that's just my paranoia and venting setting in.

After the drama of being tossed by a super fresh potential lease horse, a serious discussion with the parentals about finances (thanks, vet bills!), taking care of Candy, and Sawyer's on/off lameness, I've decided that once Sawyer sells, I will take a really good look at my riding career/hobby -decide what I want out of it, and determine if I can afford it, and proceed from there. One day at a time.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Taking a Break

Burnt out and financially strained (thanks, Candy), so I think I am going on a hiatus from riding for the forseeable future.

Just doesn't bring me joy anymore; just heartbreak and arguments with parents. Time to reach out.

Friday, April 17, 2015

New Developments

It's been pouring rain, and Sawyer is still a little sore so I haven't ridden outside of a short 15 minute hack in the last week.

Candy is doing fab-u-lous! He's putting weight on his left hind, the swelling has gone almost completely down, and he's about as sound as his lil arthritic self can be. He's still loving the stall life, but I picked up a Likit refill and a Uncle Jimmy's Licky Thing (sugar-free) to keep him entertained. I think he fancies himself "King of the Barn" and always looks so proud of himself in his stall: "I've got a window, I've got a fan, I've got a Jolly Ball. This rocks." I've decided to keep him in Alabama with me rather than retiring him with his breeder; an 8 hour trailer ride would be too hard on him, and his breeder's board is more expensive than what I am paying for pasture.

I'm sure the other stalled horses think he's ridiculous.
Sawyer has officially officially been put up for sale, and the owner wants him to sell quickly. I'm still ~*toying*~ with buying him, but the funds are not there for his asking price (without parental help), and I'm not sure I want a Hunter for at least the next two years. I really do love him, and think he's a great kid, but I'm just not sure purchasing him would benefit either of us. I would more than likely sell him after graduation since I have no idea where I will be when I'm done with school, and wouldn't be able to afford to ship a horse (or two) away from the East Coast. Who knows what will happen though...
True fact: never seen this movie. I also don't know what I want.
However, I am really (guilty-ly) excited to be trying a new potential lease next week! He's a former mini-Prix jumper and looks super fun! Even if we don't get along, or the finances don't work, I still expect it to be the best hour of my life. :) And you know, school's out in 3 weeks. (4 finals, 1 surgery to go and I am half-way a veterinarian!!)

- K&C&S

Monday, April 13, 2015

Thing 1 and Thing 2

This past week did not go as planned. At all.

Finally recovered from the GI bug from hell to take a total of 1 final, 3 exams, and 6 quizzes in the past 2 weeks, and for some reason thought it was totally sane to show this previous week in an AHJA show (I'm chasing points- living my 13 year old self's dream!).

I flatted Sawyer Tuesday for the first time in a week (sick, tests, etc.) and he was BEAUTIFUL. I got a couple steps of stretchy, nose to the ground trot with his hind end really swinging. We've been working on using our hind end, and Sawyer is slowly learning that collection is his friend (because I also do really mean things like lateral work, and going in a straight line is nicer than going sideways). I also got a few solid leg yields at the trot and canter, which felt wonderful. By a few, I mean like a step or two, but that's progress.

Had an exam Thursday, so skipped riding Wednesday, and scheduled a lesson for Thursday. Bring him in for the lesson. All 4 shoes. Check. All 4 shoes tightly attached to his feet? Nope. So into a stall he went to be reshod in the morning. Can't ride Sawyer? It's ok; I'm savoring my freedom, so I go to bring in Candy. Candy- who is 3 legged lame and has a left fetlock the size of a very angry baseball. So naturally, I call the vet out, get the news that it's tendinitis, sesamoiditis, or synovitis, which all have lengthy recoveries attached. There go my lofty dreams of getting him re-X-rayed to gradually introduce work. I wrapped and sweat Candy's hind leg, gave the boys peppermints, a kiss on the nose, and called it a night. (Then proceeded to cry, and eat my feelings in Chinese food at the boyfriend's place)
It took 5 days, but he can put his weight on his left leg!

Being semi-productive during the 45 minutes Candy has freeze pops strapped to his leg

"Yes, I like this. Look at my fan. Look at my hay. The barn hand kisses my nose every time she walks by. I like this"

Get a call from my trainer the next day: Sawyer's right hind fetlock has swollen up. So now, I'm wrapping 6 feet twice a day (all 4 of Sawyer's and Candy's back feet), sweating both broken fetlocks, and icing Candy's now very hot, very painful fetlock twice a day, for 45 minutes. Obviously, for Sawyer, the show was a no go. Between gimp 1 and gimp 2, I am spending roughly 3 hours a day at the barn, not riding, just doing standing wraps.

Yesterday- Sawyer's fetlock returned to normal and he got turned out for a day of rest, and light work today. This morning (at 6:30 am), Candy got iced and wrapped; his fetlock has almost returned to normal, and he is like a little king surveying his kingdom on stall rest- he loves it.

On the bright side, my standing wrap skills have returned (I used to be able to slap on beautiful ones in fractious TB mares in under a minute a leg), and I taught the boy-frand how to do standing wraps. He was actually pretty good- I was impressed. I also got to deep clean my trunk and first aid kit, which needed to be done!

Can't wait to see what disasters this next week has in store...

-K&C&S (aka K & Gimp 1 & Gimp 2)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Crazy Times

Sorry for the long break between posts. Spring Break was a little nuts, then I got a really bad GI bug thanks to my elective that stuck around for 2 weeks through one hell week (3 quizzes, 1 final, 1 exam- all right after Spring Break). I have ridden Sawyer 3 times in 2 weeks.

Over Spring Break, my parents were down to visit, then the weather was bad. Managed to pop on Sawyer for another mini-clinc/lesson with Jason Costick (who remembers me a "K with the nose ring"). Sawyer was really good; we worked on finding distances using my leg to dictate the take off point as well as working on the "effortless" look a lot of hunters have. Being a quieter rider should help Sawyer find his lead over fences, and/or prep him for the change in the corner. I'm working on doing a simple, 1 trot step change until Sawyer is strong enough for a flying change. At the end of the day, we jumped a 3'6ish vertical! Sawyer is really starting to figure out life.

Last week, did some gallop sets with Sawyer. We never hit a full gallop, but I focused on really opening up Sawyer's stride and getting him to reach with his body while keeping organized throughout. It seemed to really help his brain. I researched his Jockey Club tattoo and found out he had about 3 starts and no finishes- so that in and of itself might be why he refuses to move faster than a hand gallop.

Finally think my illness is gone so I hopped on him last night for a pretty intense flat session. I worked on lateral work at all 3 gaits to really encourage him to be flexible and fluid through his hind. He gets leg yields at the trot and walk- it's not perfect, but it's there. There's a basic understanding of haunches-in and shoulder-in at the walk. Leg yields at the canter were lovely to the right, but sticky/not there to the left. We even got a couple steps of GORGEOUS stretchy trot (nose to the ground); it was so refreshing to feel him round through his back and swinging with his hind. I think with a little more transition work and lateral work, he'll actually become a pretty solid mover.

I might be showing this weekend- haven't decided. It all depends on how good he is for my lesson tomorrow.

-K & C & S