Monday, 29 October 2012

Updates on Everyone

Thanks to everyone for your support.  Honestly, I can't tell you how helpful it was to have so many people, online and at the stable, be so nice and supportive.  There are a few people in my life who, since I fell, have been anything but supportive, it was amazing to see how many people are actually nice.

My computer broke a while ago so you won't be hearing from me very often, not that I posted regularly before this.  I figured while I had some time on a computer today, I'd give everyone an update.


I've been better.  I've ridden a few more times, mostly just walking.  I can't ride for long, my arm does stop to hurt but I'm just glad to be back on a horse.  Socks has been a superstar.  She doesn't try to go faster than I can, she listen's perfectly and when I falter, which happens more than I'd like to admit, she stops and waits for me to collect myself again.

I've gotten more splints for my arm to help with mobility.  Other than that, I'm not doing much.  My sister got me into The Walking Dead so I've been catching up on that.  It's not near as scary as I always thought it would be but it's still pretty gross at parts.  I've been writing a lot more too, I don't really have anything else to do so I might as well try to get as much writing done as I can.


As I said, Socks is a superstar.  I love her, what else is there to say?  Her and Lily are getting alone really well, Socks stays out of Lily's way, but Lily isn't all over her like Felene, her last paddock mate, was.  She got a cut on her back right leg again.  My sister washed it out and it looks like it's just a scrap but I'm going to keep my eye on it.


Jimmy's been good, for the most part.  He's still going great in the bitless bridle.  It's amazing to me how much of a difference that made.  He's been good with his feet,  moreso, with people besides my mom and I lifting his feet.  My sister's friend from work wants to learn how to ride a horse so this past Sunday she came out and had a little ride on Jimmy.  He took care of her, although he did try to do his own thing when she wasn't firm.  Next time she comes she'll ride Socks.

The new problem with Jimmy is he's become very mouthy.  He's always been a nudger, you stand beside him and he just wants to nudge you.  That's nothing new, but now he's actually putting his mouth on people.

We do hand-feed our horses treats.  The rule is though, they only get hand-fed as long as they can be respectful.  I don't carry treats in my pocket except for certain occasions because I hate when a horse nudges my pocket looking for treats.

For example, when I walk up to Socks in the pen, walk by her in the barn, she's not looking for treats.  When I open the feed container in the barn, she will make her motorcycle (feed me) noise and her ears will perk forward, looking for treats.  If I walk over to her she will duck her head down, looking for them and if I don't have any, she quits.  Jimmy was the same.  However, lately, that's not the case.  He actually grabbed the front of my sweater, where my pockets are (that could be coincidence).  We could barely put on his bridle because he was too busy checking all of our hands for treats.  This literally came up in a week.

So on our part, we are going to completely stop feeding him by hand.  If he's not respectful, he doesn't get it.        So we're going to monitor him very closely, see if we can stop the problem but if that doesn't make it better than we need to face another possibility.  There are a lot of different people who go into Jimmy's pen.  His pen mate is a lesson horse (sweetest pony in the entire world, if I had the money I'd buy him in a second) so we are starting to wonder if maybe some of the people going to catch the pony are sharing his treats with Jimmy.  I really hope we're wrong, but the fact that his mouthiness has come up so sudden and he doesn't get that many treats from us, it has crossed our minds.

If he doesn't improve with what we're going to do, then we will talk to the pony's owner.  Not accusing, because I honestly have no idea, and no way to find out, if her students are feeding Jimmy, but I'd like her to be aware of the problem with Jimmy because not only would I like it to stop if he is getting treats, but there's a lot of little girls who go into his pen and I don't want him to be all over them.  It'd just make me feel better to know that her students know not to feed him and to just watch him.  I don't think he'd intentionally hurt anyone, but he could scare someone who isn't sure of what he's doing.


There's not much to report on her except I think she's going through another growth spurt.  I feel like I just measured her but she looks like she's gotten even taller again.  I can't tell her apart from the other horses in the pasture at a distance anymore.  She no longer looks like a baby and instead looks like a real horse.

She still hasn't hit her gangly stage yet either, which is surprising.  There are two other yearlings I read about, one a month older and one two months younger, and both of them have started into that awkward growing stage.  I assume it'll happen soon, maybe her next growth spurt.  Fonda hit it at 11 months and Socks was closer to 2 when she hit hers.

Winter has hit, with the snow and the cold.  (-6, it depresses me that in another month that'll be insanely warm for us)  On the negative side, I see Artemis less because it's usually dark when we get out there and if she's covered in snow, we don't bring her in just so it can melt, get her wet and then throw her back out in the cold.

On a positive note, the cold apparently makes her behave better.  We don't need to bother putting the halter on her to bring her to the gate, she comes with us.  We'll be by Socks pen and she'll be way out in the pasture and see us.  I know it's her because I see her head shoot straight up and she'll watch us the whole time and then come running once we're close.

And I believe that's everything.  Not much going on, it's cold, I'm focusing on healing.  I hope we can solve Jimmy's treat problem pretty easily and by ourselves, I don't want to accuse anyone nor have anyone think I'm accusing them.  I'll try to take pictures one of the next times I'm out, I just lose my willing to do so when it's cold.

And as a final note, it's almost been almost three years since Sisco passed away.  She was my sister's foal and she lived a mere 37 days before she caught pneumonia and died.  I was there the day she was born and the day she died and trying to keep her alive that day was the hardest thing I've ever done.  She was so adorable and although we didn't know her for very long, we often think of and remember her.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I Rode

You read that right, I finally got to ride again.  I had a doctor's appointment last Friday.  I only see my doctor every two months now so I figured I might as well ask him although I was expecting his answer to be no.  I was surprised.  He actually said yes.  I can only walk on her for now and I can work up to doing more. 

So on Saturday my mom and I went out.  We caught Socks, who was actually kind of weird from the start, and my mom saddled her up.  My mom held her at the mounting block while I got on, very awkwardly, and walked beside us for the first lap.  There was a lesson with two people going on in the arena at the same time so she couldn't stay in with me, but she stood at the gate watching.

And now for the reason I've been avoiding writing this post for a few days, it was terrifying and horrible disappointing.  I didn't hesitate getting on Socks because I knew that if I did, I wouldn't be able to do it.  I've spent so much time in the past four months telling myself it wasn't the horse's fault (which it wasn't, I truly believe that) it was an accident.  I kept telling myself that I'd be fine on Socks, I didn't fall off of her, we've been partners for nine years and she'll take care of me. 

It couldn't stop the horrible anxiety I felt.  I honestly could barely breathe.  I had to focus on breathing and trying to calm myself down.  I thought I'd get better once I actually started to ride.  It just got worse.  I made myself stay on her but I was ready to get off after one lap. 

Socks was as great as I could hope for, but it was obvious she was picking up on my anxiety, although I think everyone in the barn could feel how nervous I was.  She kept herself either pressed up against the wall so my leg dragged against, or ten feet away from it.  She didn't shake her head or try to trot, she just wasn't going to walk right where I wanted her to. 

In a way, that actually helped me a little bit.  It annoyed me and it forced me to get strict with her and get her to walk where I wanted.  I actually forgot about being terrified for a second and focused on her.  It didn't last, but at least I know I can do it.  And my right arm, the broken arm, is so weak.  I tried to ride a lap holding my reins in my right hand and I couldn't do it, it was too weak to hold up for that long. 

I wore a splint on my arm, just to give a little extra support.  I don't think I will next time because taking off the splint was actually much more painful than riding was.  I also talked to my physiotherapist about it and he didn't feel that I would need to wear it.

On Thursday we'll be going back out and barring any more pain than usual, I'll be riding again.  I'm really nervous for it, because our stable owners will be back and will most likely be at the barn, as will most of our barn friends, if this is like any other Thursday.  It's stupid, but I am actually nervous about having people watch me ride.

All this said, I know one day I'll be able to ride her without being terrified.  I will keep getting back on her until I'm not afraid.  I hope it won't take too long, I don't want to subject Socks to my fears any longer than I have to.

Also, I said actually way too many times in this. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

Attack of the Burr Monster

Lately Artemis has been trying to make a new fashion statement.  Each time we've gone out for the past few weeks, we've been greeted with this sight.

My mom likes to joke that it's her crown.  I don't know where she's finding them, she didn't have this problem last year but this year she's covered in them, and not just in her forelock.  She's somehow managed to get her mane and tail tangled with them too. 

The first time we brought her into the barn to get them out, the father of one of the lesson students just burst out laughing.  He didn't think we'd be able to get it out and offered to cut it off for us.  I preferred to at least try first.  Call me vain but I'd rather spend as much time as it takes to get them out then cut her forelock and have her look stupid.  She's at least an angel when getting them out.  I stand on the stool and it takes me extra long with my bad arm but she'll stand there for as long as it takes. 

We brought her into the barn last week.  It was...interesting.  We didn't go out to catch her, but she followed us up to the gate so we figured we might as well.  I hung with her while my mom went to grab her halter.  At first leading, she was fine.  Then E started the feed truck up and she was done.  Everything was suddenly terrifying.  The wire fence was going to eat her, a pigeon flying overhead was a blood-thirsty monster.  It seems like  a certain little princess needs to go into boot-camp.

She's grown too, she looks massive.  I can no longer look out in the pasture and tell which is her just by her size.  We measured her last week and she came out to 14.1 hh.  Another inch and a half and she'll be the same size as Jimmy. 

Socks and Jimmy are doing well.  Socks is the same as ever.  My mom's been focusing a little more on riding Jimmy.  He's still going great in the bitless bridle, his stops are amazing.  He'll start to get stupid, trying to go his own way instead of wear my mom wants him to, but the second she says whoa and pulls back a bit, he'll stop dead.  He's so much better than he ever was in the bit.

In non-horse news, I've been given night-time splints for my arm.  They're working really well, although they're extremely uncomfortable to sleep with.  I've gained five more degrees in my arm after a week and a  half of using it and just today we added even more to the stretch.  I have a problem though, I've been taking it off in my sleep.  I've never had a problem with sleep-walking before but the past few mornings I'll wake up and everything on my night table will be rearranged and my splint will be on the floor.  I have no idea why I've started this now, or how to stop it. 

We'll be working with Artemis this weekend, provided it doesn't freeze us out.  We went from baking hot to freezing overnight.