Sunday, August 30, 2009

The C Word.....

Yesterday. 8am. I was happily ensconced as my RN self in the newborn nursery at work giving a brand new little one a bath. It didn't look like it was going to be a particularly bad day at all, at most we were slated to get four deliveries over the next 10 hours. I was skatin'! We have been so busy lately, this was the reprieve I had been dreaming of with weekend pay differential to boot! Of course, this was not to be so. That would have been just TOO easy. My cell rang and it was my friend Linda who keeps Jackson at her ranch.

"Hey Mindy, I came out just now and found Jackson down in his pen and he has gone down five times since I've gotten him up, what do you want me to do?" Now remember. I stand in a fishbowl at work. In our admissions nursery there are wall to wall windows so family and friends can ohhh and ahhh over the latest addition. And here I am as the coordinator (manager) walks in with tears starting to pour down my face. As soon as she and my co-workers heard, they pretty much pushed me out the door with blessings (thanks SO much guys!) to go and be with my horse. By the time I decided to leave, (one half hour later) Linda had spoke with the vet who was doing a clinic over an hour away from her house, covering for another vet. Of course! He is a traveling vet, (no office) but of course it was the one day he was helping a colleague out! Normally he could be there really quickly as he is right down the road! Linda had decided to put Jacks in the trailer and wanted me to meet her at the office. I said "NO WAY." Here we have a horse going down approximately every ten minutes and a woman on her own who just had knee surgery. This sounded like a disaster waiting to happen, and I told her I would leave work RIGHT THEN and come out. Jackson had been up and was staying up for periods of time, but if we got to a point where he needed to be constantly hand walked, I could not ask my friend who had just had surgery to even attempt this. Also, if we transported to the vet, again, she shouldn't have been doing THAT alone either. Especially with the vet one hour away.

I left work at the hospital to head out on the forty-five gut wrenching minutes to Pipe Creek. And OF COURSE, my car was on empty! I stopped and threw something into the Beetle's tank--SO many thoughts about my horse ran through my head on that drive. So many wonderful memories that made tears run down my face at the prospect of losing him. More thoughts about how much money I had in my bank account for vet bills, and the sinking realization that I would never have enough to cover surgery. Berating myself for not having colic/life insurance on him anymore, or having him on the Preventi-care program that would cover the cost of surgery. You name it, I needed to get there and see for myself because I was little Miss Worst Case Scenario.

When I arrived at the ranch, I RAN back to the horse pens to find Linda, and Jackson was up! He went down ten times all together, (I saw NONE of it) and Linda said when she found him he was wedged upside down against the wall of his pen. Not panicking, just upside down with his feet up in the air--stuck.We have no idea how long he was there. She helped him get up which wasn't easy (he is now Mr. Superficial Scrape--last count he had seven superficial wounds) and he then kept pawing and going back down. No interest in the grain she had in hand for the morning feeding (BOY, that is telling right there!) and no interest in the fact that his buddies were being turned out. Bowel sounds were always present and not high and tinkly either.

By the time I got there, he was in distress only because his buddies had been turned out to pasture and he wanted to be with them. I went up to him in my scrubs and clogs (hmmm...need to clean those before I work again) and gave him the biggest hug ever. So I settled in to watch and wait. I did let him out into the fairly large paddock area, but he wasn't going out with his buddies anytime soon, no siree. I sat and talked to Linda while she worked in her garden, and about one hour after I got there he pooped. I was ecstatic! I ran down the paddock to make an inspection. Normal form, normal color. Shortly thereafter he peed. He was still quite distressed over his "jail time" and gave us QUITE a show of bucking and running around the paddock because he wanted to be with his buds. Whatever it was had to have passed because NO horse would play and run like that who felt even slightly under the weather! I took him a small amount of hay to see if he was interested. OH YES! He dove in with his usual gusto and enjoyed it thoroughly. He was not given grain at all that day, just in case. He got to go out into the pasture under close supervision late last evening for two hours.

So far, we have had no more issues, and I never saw any of it as it was actually happening. THANK GOD, honestly. I am so grateful to have a friend who will take care of him like he is her own. I have no idea if it was colic, (it was MILD if it was!)or if he got himself stuck upside down for a protracted period of time, and that did something, but I am thanking God that he is fine. NOTHING was changed food or treat wise, and the pasture is the same as always (cruddy, almost dead...RAIN, oh for some rain...)! I have heard that due to the worst drought and the highest temperatures since 1919 they are seeing a much higher incidence of colic here in South Texas.

I suppose I will never know.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Horse By Any Other Color Is.....

Ozzie and I!

Allison, Ozzie and I

The horse with the beautiful bay color is named Ozzie! (I have always wanted a bay!!) She is my friend Lorri's horse and is also an AngloArab like Jackson, but of the mare-ish persuasion--perfect for the plan I have concocted which I will get to here in a bit.

Yesterday, with Jackson's wound looking better, but certainly not ready for a girth, I took a lesson with Allison on Ozzie. I have only ever ridden Oz for the equivalent of 10 minutes, but since Lorri has trained her to be quite the dressage horse, I wasn't worried. And I'm glad I took the opportunity to experience Ozzie! Don't get me wrong. I LOVE MY HORSE and I treasure every ride. But being able to ride an accomplished very well trained horse was sooooo nice. Obviously, when you are a pretty novice rider yourself riding your greenie horse, you are learning BASICS. And basics for TWO gets HARD! Which is fine, I don't mind. But it was really refreshing to be able to concentrate on ME and not be so worried about my horse. We worked on my issues and threw in some new things which will help so much with my riding. I even got PUNCHED! Yep! Allison came up to me while I was on Ozzie and punched me in the gut to demonstrate how tight my abs need to be. I may bruise... LOL! Picture the sweet (well not ALWAYS, at least during a lesson... :) 79 year old lady in the pics coming up and sucker punching you. Well, that worked anyhow! My abs turned to stone. Ok...semi stone, they need quite a bit of work! HEE HEE! Allison has so many cute (but not always cute while you are trying your VERY BEST..) expressions, one of them being, (in her haughty English accent, mind you)"RIDE YOUR HORSE!" I can't count how many times that has been yelled across the arena at me. One day I got, "Mindy, RIDE that damn horse for the love of God!" I love it! The annoying thing is, when I take lessons I give 150% so hearing that during the lessons does make me clench my teeth, (as it does everyone I know who takes lessons from her :) I SO want to shout back, "Well, what the HELL do you think I'm doing?" :) But, I must confess, I always give a bit more after that. I RIDE my horse!

The only thing that made me a little nuts while riding Oz was the fact that EVERY TIME I changed directions my diagonals were wrong!! I have NEVER had this issue on Jackson. I am always on the right diagonal! Not a hard fix since I've been doing that since I was young, but puzzling. The only thing I can think of is that Oz is so much smoother than Jackson that I just didn't feel the change like I do on him. Any ideas anyone? I am so perplexed by that one. And of course humbled...diagonals, wrong, WHAT??? HA! Always, always something!!! But diagonals? Sheesh!
My friend video-taped me yesterday, THAT should be interesting. I hate seeing how bad I can look, but video helps me improve so much, seeing what you look like is always a good thing, and obviously I then have a better picture in my mind of what really needs work. I'll just be adding to the list of course, but I bet I see a few improvements too! Fingers crossed anyway!

OK...NOW for my plan. Let me know what you guys think! I have found a sire for Ozzie. He is also an AngloArab and is...drum roll please.... Jackson's full-blooded brother, Bugsy! I have recently been in contact with Bugsy's owner and she does dressage with him and shows locally. She says he is very mellow and sweet. He also has a red rating with the American Warmblood society, which is an honor, considering he's not, a-hem, a Warmblood. But really. How cool would it be to have a family member of Jackson's in my little horsey circle? I have been in touch with Bugsy's owner and she said she would be up for I have to work on Lorri. She has had lots of babies, started them and trained them..Ozzie being one of them. She also has Kite whom I think she may want to breed more than she does Oz...Kite is a Polish Warmblood/Arab cross. I love how much more filled out Bugsy is than Jackson, I think mainly due to the fact that Bugsy is a stallion. But the face is like looking into Jackson's....

Bugsy standing for the American Warmblood Society where he got a red rating...

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Stitch In Time....Saves?

Me contemplating the wound and taking out the stitches. Deep in thought, but none too happy.

This is the best example of the "pooch" up by the leg which will be in a prime location for girth rubbing. BLAST!

Surgery girl

These after pics really don't show the pooch which looks A LOT worse in person....

I think it needs to be redone. BIG HUGE SIGH OF DEFEAT....Sometimes you never know if you are doing the right thing. It seemed simple enough! Remove the tiny mass that was rubbing at the girth area. AH, NOT! After taking the stitches out there is a big pulled up area that looks worse than what I started with! Now I have not been riding in three weeks and if the vet fixes the obviously UNFIXED area, I will be out of MY horse even longer! Thankfully, I DO have other riding options, but I WANT to ride MY BOY! I think the vet should fix this free of charge. If she will not, I will take him to another vet. I may anyway. Money is really tight right now being the single mom with Mile's dad in Iraq. They have messed up his pay so we have gotten no help so far.... So while many of you may not understand why I would take him back to the same vet, that is why. And, could this not have happened with any vet's work? Always quite possible. Working as a nurse and going to the OR for c-sections, you sometimes see the best docs not always do what you would think is the best incision ALL the time. Well, I need to send the vet some better pics then the ones above which really don't show how bad that area up near the leg looks. She's really nice and I think will do right by him, I am just frustrated. On the up side. It happened in the hottest darn part of the year you could possibly want to ride in anyway (temps of 102 degrees daily). My best riding buddy just had knee surgery and is out for four to six weeks recuperating. My dressage trainer has been sick and cancelled our last lesson where I was going to ride Lorri's AngloArab. Soooooo. YES, Mindy things can always be worse so SMILE! Also, I had had some really bad news two weeks ago that my dressage trainer Allison was moving! I hadn't even had the heart to blog about it. But I got good news! Many factors have changed her mind. She won't get what her house is worth and at her age has decided to stay put! I am SOOO happy! Her lessons are worth their weight in gold, really, no joke. I have had many instructors and she is a perfect fit for me and Jackson. I did a little dance when I heard!!! Not to mention, I have lost 36 lbs. so I guess I'll start wearing riding pants again. I suppose this is good news, but I still think I AM WAYYYY too fat for the darn things. I just simply refuse to be too fat for my horse!!! HA! I lost the weight to be a better rider! :)

Laughing with Allison....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beauteous Is My Horse Indeed

Well, since returning from my vacation to see my family on the East coast (Philadelphia), I have not been able to ride! Jackson had his small but MASSIVE surgery and I want to make sure that it is completely healed before I ride him. The vet said two weeks, but I say longer. I am not thrilled with the way it looks, but I will be taking the stitches out on Wed. so we shall see! I called the vet and she explained that she made the incision longer because of the area that it was located; she felt it would heal better and I wouldn't have as many problems in the future if she made a longer cut. The theory being it would have less scar tissue in the girth area to rub and breakdown in the future. Makes sense, but we shall see. I did give him a big scrubby bath and bridle path trim the other day, but of course I forgot my camera so I missed photo ops of the shiny beautiful guy! Since (sigh) I don't have tons of fun horse rides and lessons to post (serious withdrawal) I am going to post some beautiful pics of Jackson I took about a month ago. I even had the last picture turned into a photo pendant by our fellow blogger at Five O'Clock Somewhere! It turned out so great, I wear it every day to work! And she has it on a Scrabble tile, the letter on the back is a 'J' for Jackson!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wondrous Words of Wisdom...

A Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. An embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

If you don't send this to other people....Who cares?

George Carlin

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I left for a week to see my family in Philadelphia, where I am having a fabulous time. But I will blog that for you all soon....
It all started two weeks ago-- Jackson popped up with a 1cm x 1cm bump right at the girth area--what a terrible location. On the first trip to the vet she excised some cells and gave me a salve to draw it out, which I did not expect to work, and lo and behold it did not! So my friend kindly took Jackson in for his SMALL surgery while I am gone. Mainly because it was in such a bad place and the girth was rubbing it raw. Linda sent me pics last night and this is what has become of a 1cm x 1cm bump!!!! HOLY .....! Being a nurse, I really feel now that I should have done it myself! (Not to mention the bill...) CARNAGE! Have any of you had any similar experiences???? Do you guys think this is going to SCAR? Lord above! My poor baby!

P.S. Winter--We will obviously have to abort riding plans for a couple of weeks, I had really hoped we would be able to go the non-surgical the time we ride together you will be used to your new beautiful guy, eh?!!! :)