Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year = New Me

I make New Years resolutions every year. It usually involves stopping drugs and trips to the porn store (things I don't do therefore I always keep my resolution.) I went to a Catholic High School and ALWAYS got into trouble with the Nuns because I continually said stupid shit like that at Lent. I was a horrible student. Actually, not horrible, but definitely a goof ball.

This year I plan to make REAL resolutions and keep them. I kept saying I need to write them down, I need to remember what my resolutions are so I keep them. Consider yourself lucky, you get to read my stupid resolutions (save yourself now!) I figured this was as good of a place as any.
Denali has resolutions she wants to make too, I told her I'd write them down on here for her too.

Here they go.

* Lose weight (I know, I know everyone makes this one!) However, I think I've gained 45 pounds since I got married. Seriously, 45 pounds! I've been married 3 years and I've gone downhill VERY quickly. I want to lose that 45 pounds before I'm 30 (December 7, 2010) so I have a lot of work to do.

*Stop snacking between meals (see above)

*No more Dairy Queen. :( Ophelia's mom and I are on a first name basis with the manager at Dairy Queen. Seriously, he gets a big smile on his face when we walk in. It's sad. We actually considered buying him a Christmas gift, but decided that would be creepy.

*Make healthy meals. Stop making my poor husband cook all the time. I cooked all the time in Denmark, and I think he misses that. I blame our kitchen, it's so small and I hate being in it.

*Exercise once I get the "OK" from the Doctor. I use to work out EVERY DAY, I even drove 10 miles just to go to the gym. Now I have a million excuses.

*Make less excuses.

*Less complaining at work. I promise to leave my principal alone! I don't complain as much as I do talk. I promise to not talk her ear off. I know I don't talk about her much on here, but she is amazing and I love her (but not in a creepy stalker way.) I don't get to spend much time with "normal" people so when I run into her I think I talk forever.

*Lastly, be a better horse mom. I have been sucking at taking care of Denali. I can't remember the last time I rode her! Actually it was the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Yikes. Sometimes I wonder why I still own her since I don't ride her, but I can't give her up.

Now for Denali's New Years Resolutions:

*Give Ophelia a 10 second head start before I try to attack her.

*Stop kicking the wall between mine and Juliet's stall when she looks over the top at me. (Boy does THAT piss her off.)

*Take bites out of apples and carrots instead of inhaling them all at once.

*Think before I freak out.

*Stop trying to kill small children.


I'm sure she has more, but that's all I have to write down. She's like for the BO's resolutions to include upping her feed and hay. That's not going to happen. It was a year ago today that I went to the barn for the first time, after being away in Denmark, to find out that she had lost a TON of weight and was "crazy." I really though I'd be less afraid of her a year later, but I'm not. I guess that should be a resolution-Stop being afraid of my horse. I won't say I'm afraid of her, but she does make me nervous!

What do you do for resolutions? Do you start them? I'd put down how much I weigh on here to document that but my husband, WHO I LOVE, sometimes reads my blog and I'll NEVER admit how much I weigh in front of him.

No news on "Little Gary." I hope that things are going well for him. Poor kid :(

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bad News on "Lil Gary"

I got a message on my phone today about "Little Gary." He got thrown out of his new foster home. They were asking me if I could come get him today. Unfortunately I'm on the East Coast, and honestly, I don't know if I could handle him again. I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to do my job (Somewhat good teacher, NOT GOOD PARENT.) Regardless I don't need to do any thinking since I'm not available to take him. This is going to sound horrible. He needs a residential treatment facility. He's not medicated properly, and until he is, he's going to continue to be unsafe to himself and others. He needs to be in a place where they can safely take him off all his meds, and then figure out what works for him. I am trying to talk them into putting him back into my classroom. That would require him being back in my school district. It's a huge district so I'm hoping someone in the district can take him. Poor kid, I feel awful and so does my husband, but we both know that is not something we are prepared to do full time. Go ahead tell me I'm horrible. I feel it....

Other than that I fell down the stairs today at my parents. I was walking down looking back at my mom while talking... They have a Ranch style house, and when I hit the landing I stepped on one of her monster golden retrievers. I jumped up and then went backwards down the stairs. My Golden, who's AMAZING, came running over to me as I layed at the bottom of the stairs, and licked my face then took off running to find my dad. He then came back and waited for me until my dad came. It was a true Lassie moment. What a good dog. I didn't think I hurt anything, I mean my knee is already fucked up (potty mouth, I know.) However, as the day goes on my back is turning black. Not black n' blue, but black. It hurts so freaking bad.

Okay, off to sleep and try to figure out what to do about "Gary." Think good thoughts!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bah Humbug



This was my Christmas Present, I THINK I wrote about it. It is SO Beautiful!! This photo doesn't do it justice, but I wanted to try!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday, whatever it is you celebrated. My husband and I are both from Pennsylvania so we flew back home last Tuesday. Needless to say I am NEVER coming home for the holidays again. I hate coming home. My mom, who I love, dis invited us to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Needless to say things were a little bit tense around here. We spent the holidays with his family instead. Maybe someday I'll write more about that here, but I'm over it and am not in the mood to revisit it anytime soon.

My knee WAS doing better. I was doing stairs, I was bending it, it was feeling 80% better.... THEN smart one (me) hit it off of a chair. I honestly thought I was going to throw up. It hurt so bad!

Denali's good I guess, lol. I haven't seen her since the 19th. Her trainer called to tell me she cut her nose, but she was fine. I swear that horse can hurt herself on a dandelion.

We fly back to Seattle on Wednesday. I wish we had more time off before work started up again. I'm not ready to deal with munchkins yet. I know, I know, at least I have time off. I went to a Christmas party yesterday and the first thing everyone asked me was for some work stories. I told my favorite story from when I taught middle school EBD (Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities.) I thought that I'd share a trip down "Memory Lane"

Once upon a time I had a student. I got him as an 8th grader and needless to say I thought he'd be the most difficult student I've ever worked with. I even went as far to say, "I'll never have another student as difficult as ........ " FAMOUS LAST WORDS.

One year to the day I got a phone call that I'd be getting a new student who was having a difficult time at his current school. My supervisor told me that he thought he'd do well in my program. I normally have an intake meeting, but downtown gave me some story about him needing to be in a school and that we didn't have time for a meeting. (Mistake Number 1.)

His first day in our classroom (picture 5 feet tall, 280 pounds - I kid you not) he started out well. Cognitively he was really low and I suspect (still) a genetic disorder. I'm not a Doctor and keep my comments to myself on this. ANYWAY, he was sitting at his desk, I was helping another student when he took off ruaddling (running/waddling.) My assistant went out after him, and I assumed that he would get him back. After about a minute I got nervous, put my one student in charge and walked out into the hall. I didn't see them, so I peeked out the door to see this new student yelling every swearword he knew at my assistant. I got frustrated with my assistant for allowing him to get out of the building (seriously, he was huge and he couldn't really run.) I sent him back in and I walked up towards the student who took off down the street. It was raining out (December) and I had left my coat in the classroom. He crossed the busy city street and started to tear off fence posts and throwing them at me, followed by rocks, bird houses, mail boxes (I wish I could say I was exaggerating, but I'm sure I'm forgetting some things.) He was still ruaddling and I reached in my pocket for my cell phone an realized that it was back in my classroom. At this point I was waiting for the cops to show up for his property damage (our school was in a nice neighborhood) and I was PISSED. My supervisor didn't give me any heads up and just gave me this kid with no indication that he was capable of this kind of language/destruction. I didn't want to restrain him because at this point we were 10 blocks from school and I knew he'd put on an amazing show once I touched him.


I decided I needed help. I saw a house with some lights on and decided that I'd run up and ask to borrow the phone. He stopped ruaddling (like how I make up words?) when I went up to the house. He continued to scream and swear at me while I was knocking on the door. My conversation went something like this...


Me: "Hi, I'm really sorry for bothering you. I am a teacher at (such a such a middle school) and I got a new student who isn't doing very well. I was wondering if I could borrow a phone?


Woman (peering over my shoulder at her rose garden being destroyed by my student who was tearing them up and throwing them at me.) : "Oh, of course you can borrow my phone (peering back over my shoulder) Do you want me to call some help? (referring to the cops."


Me (who at this point started crying) : "No, I'll be fine, I'm really sorry about your yard, you can contact the school for reimbursement."


Woman (handing me a jacket: "Tell you what, don't worry about the yard. Take the phone with you and you can keep this jacket (which said Microsoft Executive on it.) Just bring back the phone when you are done with it."

Seriously, NICEST WOMAN EVER


I took the phone, threw the coat on and walked towards the student. He started swearing at me and continued to ruaddle down the street. The first person I called was our schools Jack Ass Security guard who told me he couldn't help me because I was off school grounds. Jerk.


The next person I called was my supervisor. That conversation went like this


Me: "Hi, is this Scott?" (Not his real name)


Scott: "Yes, Hey, How's it going with Gary (not the students new name and apparently my fake name for all my students.)


Me: "I quit."


Scott: "What? Wait, What?"


Me: "I quit, Gary is currently at the corner of such a such street and just climbed up onto a garage roof. "


Scott: "I'll be right there." (Seriously 5 minutes later he was there.)


At this point my student did climb up onto a garage roof. I was waiting for the cops to come, I was waiting for him to fall through the roof (the garage was built into the hill side so that's how he got up on the roof for those who were wondering.)


Guess what he did next? Think about it? What could he possibly do next? He stripped...Naked!


I'm standing on the street with clothes flying towards me. It was about that time that my supervisor showed up.


Scott: "Oh, wow."


Me: (at this point I had been in the rain for almost two hours and was PISSED): "Good Luck, I am going back to write my letter of resignation."


Scott: "Wait, please wait. Don't quit!"


Me: "Ugh, okay, but stop screwing me over and cutting corners."


Scott: "How do we get him down?"


We finally got Gary off the roof of the garage, I think he got cold standing there in his socks. We got him into my supervisors car and back to school. We took him to the nurse's office and stood around taking his verbal and attempts at physical abuse.


It was at this point he peed on me. I kid you not.


Fast forward a few weeks. I put behavior supports in place and got Gary "under control." I'm going to be conceded here since no one knows who I am. I am very good at what I do (which is why my supervisors screw me all the time.)

It was raining outside and I forgot my sneakers at home. I had my rain boots on, and was talking to Gary about the weather. I asked him about my shoes, wanting him to generalize.


Me: "Gary, why do you think I have rain boots on today."

Gary (who got a super intense look on his face. He was looking from my shoes to me, and from me to my shoes): "I know!," He said with a super excited tone of voice, "So when I pee on you your feet don't get wet."


Me: Sigh, "Yes, that's exactly why."



So, if you haven't figured out by now I have a VERY exciting job. I am never bored, and I am always busy with something crazy. I have a MILLION stories and haven't written any of them down, but often play with the idea of writing a book....someday.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm still off on the back right

I am SO tired. I don't know the last time I have been this tired, nor the last time that my week has lasted as long as this. I thought that once Gary left that it would be a calm week. Instead they have all decided to fill the void of crazy. I was amazed at how crazy this week as been.

My knee still is killing me. I had my MRI on Tuesday and another appointment on Wednesday with the "On the Job" doctor. She tried to talk me into NOT going back to work. I said, "Oh no, I'll be fine." Ugh. I feel like I have cement in my knee. This, in return, makes me SO tired by the end of the day. I didn't tear anything, thankfully. However there is fluid built up around my knee that increases and decreases throughout the day. I also have something going on with my patella. She gave me some huge name, and told me that in her 22 years she has never heard of what is wrong with my knee (what the radiologist wrote down after my MRI.) I'm going to an Ortho doctor in January. I am hoping that by then it will be fine and I can cancel it.

Speaking of things that swell up throughout the day, Denali had her Sonogram today. The vet didn't find anything conclusive. She thought she saw "unhappy bone" in her fetlock, but we did X-rays 6 weeks ago and there wasn't anything MAJOR wrong with it, a little tiny shadowing, but that was it. I wasn't willing to re-do the X-rays. She's not off, it's not hot so I'm going to wait.

Denali's lessor came out Wednesday (maybe I mentioned that last time? I forgot!) and they had a lesson. I'm glad they seem to be getting along. Denali is a really good girl, but she needs ridden and I can't do that now. Boo. I'm glad someone can, and that she wants to ride her.

My mother and I got into a huge fight yesterday. I'm not even going to get into that, that's a whole other blog. My husband decided yesterday to give me my Christmas present. I'm in love. It's a photo of Denali's face he re-did using a program. It's BEAUTIFUL!! It looks like a painting, and I'm in love! He had it printed on canvas and I wish a picture of it would do it justice!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Exhausted!

Now for the story!

Monday (which is ALWAYS HECTIC in a BD room) my little guy was totally out of control to say the least. We all felt bad because we knew he was already in a horrible foster home and was probably really worried about going to another foster home. His bus was late because he tired to jump out of the back door so they had to wait for intervention to come ride with him. The entire day was concentrated on him. My poor other kiddos got neglected since at least two of us had to be with the little guy to keep him safe. It was very tiring.

Around 1:30 I got a phone call from the office that CPS was on their way and needed to talk to the little guy (I can't even think of a fake name for him.) I was confused, since I know a report was made a week ago, why they were coming that day.

The lady showed up and our conversation went like this.

"I'm here to see Gary" (fake name, see I can make one up!)
"Okay, I'll go get him, but it might be a minute. Last time I checked he was naked."

(5 minutes later after wrestling clothes back on him I walked him to the office.)

"Thanks. I need you to leave us alone so I can talk to him."
"I can't do that"
(At this point she got angry with me)
"I'm sorry, but I really need to talk to him alone and you'll just have to understand."
"Okay, but remember that was your choice."

(Office door closes)

( 0.3 seconds later)

(Office door opens)

"You can come in with us." (No shit! You think I want to be in there for fun!? "Gary" was unmedicated and totally out of control.)

During the conversation I found out that something really bad had happened to him in the morning. CPS decided that he couldn't go back to the house and the social worker would need to find him a place to stay for the night. I explained my concern over Gary going with people who didn't know what to expect. Yes, he's only 7, but he's very difficult to understand if you don't understand his background. He's very wild, and always in survival mode.

I walked back to my room and between the office and the classroom (20 feet) the Social worker had called me twice. She asked me if I was serious about taking him. I said, "Yes" because I didn't want him traumatized with yet something else added to his baggage. I needed to call my husband to get his SS number. He answered the phone and as I was talking to him I opened my outside door to see him standing there. He knew I'd be upset about Gary leaving, so he came to say goodbye too and to just hang out with my kids (I LOVE MY HUSBAND!) Long story short we became his guardians.

Last night was really challenging. I think he had a great night. It broke my heart when he started to make up his own bed on the couch. I know it's great when a 7 year old knows how to do things, but the fact that he was doing this because he's never had anyone to really take care of him is just so sad.

We watched Coraline and had dinner. My husband got him to eat all his veggies (something I've never been able to do.) He went "manic" twice during the night. I don't know how to explain that other than imagine Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He'd go from totally sweet to trying to figure out how to kill us. The episodes lasted for 20 minutes and the other one was almost an hour. Gary finally fell asleep at 10:30 (we tried to get him asleep at 8!) He's on meds to help him sleep and we didn't have those either.

I think I slept an hour and a half. I kept imagining waking up with him standing over us with a knife. Sadly, he would do this if given the devices. It's really sad. I was really worried about the morning because it was my responsibility to take him to his day care to await his new family. Something he didn't want to do. However, in the morning he was back to being at total love bug. I got him there all on my own. He didn't even try to escape.

He is going to a Therapeutic Foster home. I hope they give him the chance he deserves. I hope they are really trained to take care of him the way he needs to be taken care of. I hope he has a wonderful Christmas. My husband and I are still in the process of finishing our paperwork. We'd like to be a respit home for him so we can still see him.

That's his short story. I have a million more. I should write a book.

As for my horse (that's why I have this blog right?) She's doing well. I took her bell boots off of her outside. She's to lazy to run hard enough to tear a shoe off outside. Sunday my hubby and I went out to see her (the fourth time he's seen her since May.) We walked into her paddock and she came nickering up to me. THEN she saw him, and she took off running to him. DENALI IS OBSESSED with my husband. She always has been since she first met him. I have no idea how she remembers him, or why she loves him so much ( I know why I do!) but she does.

Tomorrow the lessor is coming back out to ride her. I had my MRI this morning and have another appointment tomorrow. I'm walking better, but it still hurts. I am just hoping that it's fine.

Okay, I've had 3 hours sleep in 24. I'm off to bed!! Thanks for everyones comments! I'll let you know how Gary's doing as soon as I hear!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize

My husband needs nominated for it.... My student from the previous post? He's currently sleeping on our couch. He's unmedicated and we're exhausted! I'll post more later. I also need to tell you about Denali yesterday! This is my reminder!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sucking at Life

I don't think I really think I suck at life, but I feel like it. This has been a real emotional week for me. For once it's not horse related. Monday one of my kiddos came in with really weird marks on his eyes. He said he didn't feel really well. I showed one of my assistants this little guys face and asked her what she thought it was from. She thought it looked like the marks that people can get when they are asphyxiated. I was shocked and thought she was crazy. Who would do that to a little boy? I asked him how his weekend was and he said it was fine. I took pictures of his eyes, and decided to call foster mom (you read that right, foster mom) to ask her about his weekend. She told me that some "crazy lady" got "pissed" at him at church and jumped on him. She continued to tell me that he said he stopped breathing, but she wasn't sure because she walked away. This my friends is the hardest part of my job. What I wanted to say: YOU ARE A FUCKING MORON WHO WAS ENTRUSTED TO KEEP THIS LITTLE BOY SAFE. What I said through a clutched jaw, "Have you contacted his Social Worker?"

A little background on "my" little guy. He is only 7 and has been through 6 foster homes in a year. He is not an easy kid and anytime I mention something crazy that happens in my classroom it is probably him. He is the one who wrapped himself around my knee and hurt me. He's thrown glue at me, hit me, bit me, punched me, thrown all bodily by products at me, but through it all I love him more than anything. He reminds me so much of some horses I have known. I know that SOUNDS INSANE, but think about it? He's never been treated nicely by any human being. He's spent 7 years being beaten and neglected. He needs to know what a loving home is and I can tell you from conversations I've had with foster mom (we refer to her as his "handler") he wasn't get that from her. I could write a whole other blog just on him.

Back to Monday. I walked out of my office, picked him up and just started crying. I couldn't help it. My kids asked me what was wrong, and I told them I was just sad because I was getting so old. They bought it. I couldn't believe this lady! I asked him how Church was on Sunday, and he said, "I didn't go to church." I wasn't surprised. He loved his foster mom, and didn't want to get in trouble. A little while later, during Math, he said to me, "Have you ever stopped breathing?" No, of course not, but I didn't know what to say to him to make him feel normal. I knew from his social worker this wasn't the first time he's been choked. I asked him why he was asking me and he proceeded to tell me the story of church. How he was mad at this lady and kicked her, and how she jumped on him and pinned him to the ground with her knee. He told me how he saw his foster mom walk away and that was all he remembered.

I walked back into my office and called his social worker,her supervisor, my supervisor, and then CPS.

Wednesday, I found out that he was being removed from the home. I was so happy for him to be away from such a horrible woman. Then I found out that the new foster home was 75 miles away. I'm so upset. My husband, who is a WONDERFUL MAN, gave me the go ahead to try to get the paperwork in order to foster. We don't want children. Not anytime soon, Denali is enough of a financial (trying to think of a word to go here...burden?)

Thursday I found out that the paperwork wouldn't be through fast enough. The social workers supervisor tried to get the paperwork through, but it would still be about two weeks with all the holidays. He needed to be out of the home by Monday. On Thursday he asked me if he was a horrible boy. I asked him why he said that. Guess who told him that? I told him she was a liar and there was no such thing as a horrible boy. We talked about life and what he wants to be when he grows up. He told me he wants to be a dentist.....right after he's a murder. Sigh.

Friday we made gingerbread houses and watched Toy Story. It was a good day. I didn't have the heart to tell him he's leaving his school too. It's going to kill me on Monday to tell him it's his last day. His social worker asked us to wait.

My husband and I are still filling out the paperwork to be a respite home for him. That way we can go and visit him. In reality he should be in a residential treatment center. He needs 24/7 consistency and predictability. Mostly, he needs love. He can't trust anyone. He trusts me which I think is what kills me so much. He's made so much progress in the few months we've had him.

Today hubby and I went Christmas shopping for him. We wanted to make sure he has something to open on Christmas, and we're not sure if his foster family will do anything for him. I've met two kinds of foster parents, AMAZING and those who are in it for the money. (ONLY MY OPINION!) I really hope this one is amazing. He needs amazing. He needs a miracle !! We got him some clothes, a stuffed Lion (to remind him to be brave) and another little toy. I heard that song "I'll be home for Christmas" and started to bawl. PMS much? But still, I feel so bad for him.

Okay... enough of my ramblings. If you've gotten this far thank you. Maybe think good thoughts for this little guy.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dear Knee, I hate you...

Still not walking anywhere fast... If you can call it walking...hobbling maybe. I had an x-ray on Tuesday, and of course that didn't show anything. At least I'm assuming that if it did the Dr. would have called me. I am going for an MRI on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure my leg might fall off before then.

Hobbled to the barn yesterday for Denali's first lesson with her lessor. I must say it was really nerve wracking to watch someone else ride your horse. She did great with Denali, but it was still nerve wracking. I kept thinking of getting sued for Denali freaking out or something. I guess she spooked once, but I didn't even notice. I was really proud of Denali. She hadn't been ridden for a month, and she did a lot better than I was expecting.

The lessor told me that she didn't think she could continue because she just got a huge docter's bill. I asked her if she could ride and didn't need to worry about paying for the lessons would she'd be interested still. She said yes. My trainer and I worked out a deal, and so Denali has a rider. If Denali was totally broke with zero issues I'd look for someone else, but this way Denali gets ridden/trained/in shape. I can't ride her and my trainer can't ride her.

Have I mentioned another boarder is on crutches too? There are only 6 or 7 boarders/leasors at the barn. That's pretty bad odds! I am not on crutches, I HATE them, but am starting to regret not having them....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

$12,453.73

I did something that I said I would NEVER DO!! I am actually still feeling a little ill from doing it... I added up every penny that I've spend on Denali in one year. ONE YEAR! I could have a very nice little down payment on a very cute car. I wouldn't change that for the world. This isn't even including blanket cleaning OR training!! I just thought of that!

12,453.73 + 350.00(4) = I don't want to know

I don't want to know + 89.00 in blanket cleanings = I think I'm going to be sick

I think I'm going to be sick+ $350.00 Insurance = I'm going to throw up

The amount of Joy she gives me? Priceless... Seriously I am sitting here thinking of all these incidentals that I forgot! Yikes.

You're probably wondering, "Why in the hell would you add up those numbers?" Well let me explain. I teach kids with SEVERE behavior disabilities. Yesterday one of my kids (who was naked at the time) WRAPPED himself around my leg. I wanted to get him off without touching him (and giving him the attention he was seeking) I lifted my leg off the ground and held it there until he got tired. It worked!! He let go of my leg. My knee? Doesn't work so much anymore. It was okay for a few hours and after work it totally crapped out on me. I've been resting it since yesterday and taking lots of pain killers. Fun times for me. I am going for an x ray in the morning. (Although I know it's not bone) I've been sitting on the couch since walking isn't so comfortable and going out and handing the pony beast? NOT EVEN possible. :(

Tomorrow night is suppose to be the lessors first lesson. I hope she can make it, she was sick on Monday. She sounds like a really good match for Denali who DEFINITELY needs ridden. She's so bored right now. I feel bad. I like having her where she's at because she's so well taken care of, but it is 20 miles through Seattle traffic. Sometimes it takes over an hour just to get there. Plus I can't handle the cold. Maybe someone needs to ship Denali and I to the South for the winter. 1st we need to win the Lotto.

Speaking of Lotto I bought a ticket yesterday. If I don't write for a few weeks just picture Denali and I sitting in Arizona drinking Mai Tai's. :)

Humorous Side Note: If you go the the Bad Way To Sell Your Horse link, the featured "bad seller" is the boarding barn that Denali was at before her new home. (Dec. 8 feature)

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's my birthday and I'll blog if I want to.

I know, that's bad right? I laughed as I typed it!

I went to the barn on Sunday and proceeded to have a HORRIBLE allergic reaction to horses/hay/dust. I really thought that maybe I might die. I was sneezing and hacking until late last night. I took so many different allergy medications that I figured I'd either A. feel better or B. die in the night. Sadly I don't feel better, but I also didn't die, which is a plus.

I hate being allergic to the barn. It makes me very sad. Luckily I don't always have such a horrible reaction every time. Usually I'm fine, but yesterday it was horrible. I'm also allergic to Denali. Only in the winter and the spring when she's shedding, and usually I can make it through. I wear those stupid medical masks which helps and surprisingly doesn't freak any of the horses out.

I've tried shots, I've tried medicine, I've tried diet... nothing works. It's been a while since I have had shots, so maybe I'll go back to that. When I went and got re-tested the doctor told me that people are either not allergic to horses or a little allergic. I'm moderately allergic. Something he said he's never seen. Interesting.

When I was little an allergic reaction would send me to the hospital in about .2 seconds. It was bad and I spent half of first grade in the hospital with breathing problems (which came from the reactions.) Stupid Asthma how I hate you so. Okay enough of my medical history! Happy Monday to everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another follower?

Sorry I'm easily amused. :)

I went to the barn on Friday night. It was "one of those days." One of my students got thrown off the bus AFTER school. The bus brought him back and dropped him off. Sigh. I finally left work at 5 pm and ran home to grab Denali's medication that was delivered. I got home and my upstairs neighbor was gone. And there sat my package on their couch. Sigh. I finally was able to leave for the barn by 7, about two hours AFTER I told my trainer I'd be there.

I think I was at the barn a whole two minutes when the barn owner (different from trainer) asked me if his horse looked okay. He hadn't eaten any of is dinner. His heart rate wasn't elevated, his gums looked good, but the look in his eyes told me that he wasn't comfortable. He kept stretching his neck out and making chewing motions with his mouth, but wouldn't eat. I got his mouth open and thought he maybe broke a tooth. I massaged his neck and was talking to his owner about calling the vet when Sox layed down on the ground. He asked me what I thought he should do and I gave him my anal horse owner response, "Call the vet now!" Sox refused to get up and the vet said he was 10 minutes away. I sat on the ground with Sox waiting for the vet after several futial attempts at getting him up. It was the weirdest expereince. Luckily the vet showed up just as we got Sox to his feet. The vet quickly determined that he had a (and don't quote me) hyper active colon. He was colicing, and he didn't think he would have made it through the night. I was crazy, especially it wasn't the experience I've had with horses colicing in the past. They've always been thrashing around, trying to roll, and looking at their stomache. (This was at my first barn.) We took turns keeping an eye on Sox until 11:00pm when I finally went home. I live 20 miles away and it was late. He looked good when I left. I'm glad I'm anal.

Today I went out to the barn and lunged Denali for a little bit just in her halter. She had a bug up her ass. I can tell she isn't enjoying being ignored and I feel bad. I'm glad she doesn't try to kick up her heels outside on the icy ground, but WOW she was wild tonight. I was just trying to check to see if she was still lame, but then I had to spend half an hour lunging her because I didn't want her to think she won.

1 point Me, 0 Denali

The one thing that I've improved on is I think I can say with confidence that she doesn't scare me at all on the ground anymore. I don't think she likes that I've gotten a lot more assurtive.

Tomorrow is my birthday the big 29. I won't be back out to the barn until Tuesday. I have already announced that I am going out to work my horse. We went out last night to celebrate. Let's just say it took me a while to get up this morning. On Friday I mentioned to two of my assistants that they should come out with us. My students were SO mad at me that they weren't invited to my birthday party. At least thats the way they put it. I told them I'd buy them cupcakes and that seemed to make them less angry.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanks Katherine!!

Here's my lease. Doe this make sense? Thanks to Katherine for her HUGE help at this!!
HORSE LEASE AGREEMENT

NAME OF HORSE: Storm City Slew (Denali)
SEX: Mare
AGE: 5
BREED: Thoroughbred
COLOR & MARKINGS: Black Bay, black mane and tail

I. PARTIES.

The parties to this lease agreement are _________________(hereinafter “LESSOR”), a resident of the state of Washington, residing ________________ and ________________, (hereinafter “LESSEE”), a resident of the state of _____________ residing at ____________________________.

THE PARTIES, in consideration of the mutual covenants contained herein, do hereby agree as
follows:

II. LEASE TERM AND PRICE:

A. LESSOR leases to LESSEE the horse on a month-to-month basis, beginning on
(_December 6, 2009_____). The LESSOR shall be paid by LESSEE as follows:
i. $0.00 for the lease of Denali
ii. $25.00 paid directly to Carolyn Parker for the first 4 lessons.
iii. $40.00 paid directly to Carolyn Parker for Lessons for every lesson after that

B. LESSEE shall NOT have the right to sub-lease the horse. Only LESSEE is granted access to ride the horse. No other riders are allowed to ride the horse unless authorized to do so by LESSOR, which will require that rider sign a waiver of liability form.

C. The terms of this lease is for a “free” riding lease. The LESSEE may only ride Denali in a lesson or with the LESSOR present until it is agreed upon by the TRAINER (Carolyn Parker) and the LESSOR that the LESSEE is able to ride Denali unsupervised. This is in order to make sure there is a good connection between the horse and the LESSOR

III. CARE OF THE HORSE.

LESSEE hereby agrees to keep the horse in good health, giving proper grooming and hoof care before and after riding. LESSEE agrees to properly cool off Denali before putting her back into her stall or her paddock after riding. LESSEE agrees to put on all brushing boots (front and back) and bell boots before Denali enters the arena. The bell boots are on at all times.

LESSEE shall humanely treat and care for the horse. If any injury to the horse occurs under
LESSEE’S care or supervision, LESSEE is responsible for any and all veterinary and/or farrier expenses. Injury or other health related issue with horse should be reported to LESSOR immediately by phone.

Shots, checkups and regular farrier care are the exclusive responsibility of LESSOR.

LEESSE agrees to the following terms of use: no jumping, barrel racing or other extreme equine sport; the use of the horse is strictly for Dressage.

LESSEE further agrees to keep the horse at the current stable location. The horse shall not spend the night away from current stable location, unless prior WRITTEN (via e-mail or letter) consent has been given by LESSOR. LESSEE agrees to follow LESSOR’S advice on how to care and train the horse and LESSEE further agrees to follow all of stable’s posted rules and regulations.

IV. CARE OF EQUIPMENT.

LESSEE hereby agrees to keep any equipment used in good condition including the saddle, bridle and grooming equipment. LESSEE agrees to keep all equipment in its proper location.

If any damage to the equipment occurs under LESSEE’S use beyond normal wear and tear, LESSEE is responsible for any and all cost of replacement.

LESSEE should notify LESSOR of any equipment issues within 24 hours of last use.

V. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY.

Conditions of Liability.
LESSEE agrees that LESSOR is not responsible for total or partial acts, occurrences, or elements of nature that can scare a horse, cause it to fall, or react in some other unsafe way. Some examples are: thunder, lightening, rain, wind, water; wild and domestic animals, insects, and reptiles which may walk, run, fly near, bite, or sting a horse; and irregular footing on outdoor or indoor groomed or wild land which is subject to constant change in condition according to weather, temperature, natural and man-made changes in landscape.

Neither LESSOR or stable or its employees and associates are liable for any accidents, injuries, or thefts to animals and personal property kept at the stable. LESSEE understands that horseback riding carries certain risks and dangers, and that LESSEE will use best judgment to always take safety first into consideration while riding the horse, including always wearing a safety helmet.

By signing below, LESSEE releases LESSOR of all liability in connection with any injury sustained as a result of LESSEE’S activities on the horse. LESSEE also acknowledges that horseback riding is an inherently risky activity and hereby releases LESSOR, and stable, and any other person associated with stable from ANY liability for injury, damage, or loss to LESSEE or LESSEE’S equipment.

LESSEE will NOT be allowed to ride the horse without the use of a helmet. LESSEE
understands that LESSOR is not responsible for any accidents, injuries, damage, or loss to LESSEE or LESSE’S personal property, in conjunction with the horse. Warning: There are
inherent risks of injury that you voluntarily accept in connection with your riding, and other activities (which are not limited to grooming, longing, feeding, bathing, hoof care, etc.) with the horse. LESSEE, as part of this Agreement, agrees to sign the Waiver of Liability attached to this Agreement.
________ (LESSEE initial)

VI. LESSOR'S REMEDIES ON BREACH.

This lease is subject to LESSEE’S performance of the covenants and conditions set forth herein. In the event LESSEE defaults in performance of any such covenants or conditions, and the breach continues for more than 30 days, LESSOR may, at __his/her/their__ option declare the lease forfeit. This lease agreement may be voided with 30 days’ WRITTEN notice from either party for any reason, or may be voided immediately if the LESSOR and/or stable manager deems that the horse's health is put at risk by acts or omissions of LESSEE. If less than 30 days’ notice is given by LESSEE, then payments for the next 30 days will be due notwithstanding. If proper notice of 30 days is given, then any monies paid in advance will be refunded.


VII. REPRESENTATIONS.

LESSOR represents that the horse is in sound health and that there are no known illnesses,
infirmities, or unsoundness. LESSEE understands that Denali was treated for EPM.

THIS LEASE AGREEMENT is entered into in the state of Washington and will be interpreted and enforced under the laws of that state.


ACCEPTED:
_____________________________Date: __________Phone: ______________
Lessor/Owner Signature
_____________________________
Print Name of Lessor

ACCEPTED:
_____________________________Date: __________Phone: ______________
Lessee Signature
_____________________________
Print Name of Lessee

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Vet, Lease Update

Tuesday night was a busy time! I rushed out to the barn in time to see one of the 12 year old 4-Hr's being taken for a walk by Denali. I was running late for my vet appointment so she was trying to help by getting her ready. It was really cute.
"You know your horse is really lazy."
"Really? Why do you say that?"
"I thought she'd freak out a lot more when I got her."

I lunged Denali for the vet who told me that she had "Good News and Bad News."

Good News (and I knew this) Denali looks A LOT better now. We're going to do one more tube of the Marquis and then pray she doesn't relapse.

Bad News, she's lame on her front right. She tore off her shoe a week and a half ago and got a new shoe a week ago, so this is understandable. I'm sure she'll be fine.

The vet is going to come back out to do a sonogram on her right hind. The lump isn't getting better and the vet is afraid it's an infection. She's not off and her x-ray was clean so we'll see how this goes.

Later that night one of the people who responded to my ad came out to meet Denali. I told her all the Denali horror stories and turned Denali out in the arena to play with her treat ball while we chatted. Actually, this was the same girl that came out and tried my friends Mustang last January at the old barn (I'll call it hell from here on out.) Click on the hell link to see pictures of why we left. ANYWAY, I remembered watching her ride and being impressed. My friends Mustang is a lesson horse and he'll only really go if he is made to go. He is lazy, and she did a great job on him. I didn't make her ride Denali.

Long story short, even thought I had 6 other responses I actually talked to, I picked her right away and we'll go from here. I have some "back ups" who might do fine, but they didn't ride and I never heard of their trainers.

She's coming out on Sunday to have a lesson on Denali. I told her I'd pay part of the first four lessons (making it 25$ a lesson) because I still have a training package left with my trainer. She'd be responsible for paying the $40.00 after this.

The mean thing I did? I didn't respond to all e-mails. I hate when people do that to me, BUT I also didn't like when people don't read that ad and respond about their beginner 12 year old kid riding my horse.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Maddie

There is one thing when starting this blog that I don't think I've ever shared. I've owned other horses (*gasp*) I've technically owned one and leased (stuck with?) another. I actually owned Ophelia, before I gave her to a friend. I bought her for $80.00. Her "owner" (can I call her that?) was going to take her BACK TO AUCTION because she had horrible feet and wasn't cutting it as a jumper. A friend of mine wanted her (not Ophelia's present mom) but the "owner" wouldn't give her to her. She'd rather taker her back to auction. Bitch. Anyway, I called her and offered her $200.00 (what Ophie was bought for) to buy Ophie as a pasture pal for Denali. Ophie was one of the few horses that Denali liked, and I knew I would only "own" her for a short period of time. Long story short, I couldn't bear to see Ophie taken BACK to the auction. Shortly after buying her, I gave her to another friend. This is who Ophie's mom started leasing her from. When she went up for sale again, my friend had fallen in love and bought her. That's a cinderella story if I ever heard one. Ophie went from living in a dark stall without any human contact (minus the barn owner) to being an amazing little dressage horse who is so loved by her human.

Then there is Maddie. Maddie was a friends horse who lived on one of the islands around Seattle. She had her up for lease and a girl at my barn was looking for a new jumper. I agreed (don't DO THIS EVER) to pick her up and share the lease with the girl. Maddie was a huge TB with four white socks and a beautiful blaze. She was perfect! I went over on the ferry to pick her up. She loaded beautifully and I was excited to get her back to the barn. On the way to the barn I got a phone call that this other girl was thrown out for lying and that she wasn't invited back. I worked at this barn and couldn't get board cheaper anywhere else. So, through a series of events I ended up with Maddie, and Denali.

Maddie and I didn't get along. She hated Denali, and Denali didn't like her, but not with as much hatred as Maddie had for her. She beat the crap out of Denali once and the scar on her back is STILL healing (a year later.) She was a beautiful girl and had amazing bloodlines. http://www.pedigreequery.com/made+for+running

After three weeks, this girl was allowed back at the barn. It was summer and I had time for two horses, but WOW was I worn out. I signed over my half of the lease to this girl (with my friends permission) and no longer "owned" two horses.

The reason that I am writing about this now? I found out that Maddie died. She coliced really bad and died last week in her stall. The girl who owns her and I don't' talk anymore, so I don't know the details, but it makes me really sad.

So to her I say, Rest in Peace Maddie. 1997-2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Skills

Look what i finally figured out after, oh? a year! Lol. I'm pretty excited!

The vet comes out tomorrow to give Denali her follow up appointment for her treatment of EPM. She was labeled a "Grade 1" by the vet over a month ago. The vet said with treatment she could improve 1 whole grade. She never was truly "affected" as many people read about. But Denali just misplaced her feet. I didn't think anything was wrong with her, but Denali backs straighter than ever now. She looks so good now! She's lost some muscle, but I just can't get out everyday.

I think I've mentioned it before, but Denali's meds were only $900.00 (for 5 weeks of treatment) vs. $1000.00 (for 4 weeks of treatment) from the vet. I got her meds from Allivet.com SO EASY!! And so cheap! Just to throw that out there for others who may need to buy meds!

Lease

So I made an ad! I put it on Craigslist last night. It's hard to write an ad about your horse. Here is her ad

http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/grd/1487496670.html


I've had a bunch or responses. I actually have one person who I like, it's so hard to try to find someone to ride your horse. To quote SprinklerBandit "Leasing out your horse is an interesting idea. I've thought about doing that with Izzy if I get to a point where I can't ride her enough, but the idea that someone else could do something stupid to her kind of scares me." (Another good blog if you want another good read.)

This is why I want the leasor to take lessons, solidly in the beginning. This is also why the lease is FREE. I want them to use their money to take lessons on Denali. I want her to progress with a lessor, and I'd rather they spent their money on lessons than with paying me. I'd keep her no matter what.

I'll keep everyone posted. I actually gave the one I liked this web address. We'll see if she responds once she reads any of my babbling!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Denali in Pictures

So, things are crazy right now, but I just wanted to post some pictures of Denali. She seriously is SO SHINY! Especially in the sun (when it does come out.) Maybe she's a vampire? I know that Ophelia would agree with that. I'm going to go order more Cocosoya oil as soon as these pictures are up! I 'm going to try to find someone to share Denali with me. I made an ad, but trying to find the perfect person to share your horse is hard. The lease is really cheap, and only covers the lessons that I want her lessor to take.

Anyway, our horrible attempt at taking photos!

Look at how long her tail is now!! Yikes! I almost forgot about it until I took it out of the tail bag!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Leasing Denali

About 9 months ago I put Denali up for lease. I had a very nice woman come out and ride her and she really liked Denali. I chickened out. We were at the old barn and it was crazy! I didn't want anyone riding her in the unsafe outdoor arena (no fence and a large highway down the hill.) I think I'm at that place that I am ready to find someone else to ride her. Especially since our trainer won't be back on her anytime soon. Denali has so much talent, more talent then I think I'll ever tap. I know people sometimes sell their horses when they have a horse with loads of talent and they don't. I don't think I could ever do that. When I have more time, I'll get more talent ;0)

She does so well for experienced riders. They all love her. I just want someone to ride her and keep her work ethic. I can ride her, but I am working on me, along with working on her. It's hard to think about "sharing" your horse, but she is amazing and would bring someone else a lot of joy. I'd love to find someone who would want to show her. We haven't gotten there yet, and we were (are) suppose to go in January. I keep putting it off because I'm terrified.

I started feeding Denali and have changed up her grain/supplements. She's getting around three pounds of grain a day. It is specially made by some place up north. I don't have the content on hand. She gets Trifecta supplements, vitamins, mare magic, Vitamin E, a little bit of corn oil, and now Cocosoya oil. I swear she's gained weight in the past four days. She LOVES Cocosoya oil! I still haven't washed my jacket, she kept licking me. I took her blanket off tonight and she was SO SHINY! I know it can't happen that fast, can it? It was impressive.

My hands are so cold from working at the barn. Brr...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving (What Are You Thankful For?)

I'm wondering what you're thankful for? I'm thankful for my amazing husband, horse, family and friends! It's been quite a year! (Hell, it's been quite a week!) A year ago I was in Denmark being super depressed that I couldn't have a "Thanksgiving" meal.

So, let's hear it! I ramble enough, and you kindly read it! (Also leave your blog addresses so I can read about you :) )

These boots are made for running.

This morning I went to the barn for Denali to get her shoe put back on. She spent about twenty minutes running around the arena like crazy. I figured it was okay since the farrier could just fix the other shoe if she clipped that one too. I was blowing out the aisle way when I noticed a different truck out front. I walked outside to see him watching Denali, who was showing off even more. She's such a ham. She'll do anything for attention.

"That's a beautiful horse."
"Yes, she is"
"Full of fire is she?"
"A little, let me get her so you can do her shoe."

His face was pretty awesome! I don't think he was expecting her, but like 99.9% of the time Denali was a perfect angel for him. I was a proud mom. She knows when she can be totally psycho and when she has to behave. I kind of get a kick out of when she does insane things in front of people. She has a bad reputation, but really is a kitten at heart (well, maybe a Puma.)

While getting her shoe done, our trainer (who just had surgery mind you) came walking down the driveway from her house with her walker. Denali was pretty sure it MIGHT eat her. She wasn't sure. I'm glad that my trainer (who should have been in bed!) noticed and yelled out to her. Denali, although confused, went back to not caring. Reminded me of this poster I saw at the 4-H show in August. I wish I knew what she was thinking sometimes...



Spent the morning making a list of what we need at the barn and then running the errands. It was fun, I LOVE shopping at feed stores and tack stores. I picked up Denali some hot pink bell boots to wear since she likes me to spend all my money on her.



She wasn't too thrilled at the idea of wearing hot pink.
Come on Denali, at least look at the camera!


That's better!

I also got the Cocosoya Oil in the mail. I am giving her 4 ounces a day now. I installed the pump and was trying to get it to work when I proceeded to COVER myself in cocosoya oil. No big deal right? Well, Denali thought I was a giant lollipop or some sort of moving salt lick. She LOVE IT. Me? Not so much. I'm excited to see what she looks like on it. I'm also adding tons of Vitamin E to help offset the effects of EPM. The vet will be out on Tuesday for another appointment. I can't even begin to think how much I've paid for her in the past two months. Ugh. I know other people have it worse, and for that I'm thankful for our good fortune. At least she can be treated. I couldn't imagine putting thousands of dollars into Denali and then losing her. I know someday I'll probably have that experience. Hopefully not for a LONG time.


It's November in the PNW (Pacific North West) and that means Rain, LOTS OF RAIN! That' actually NOT a lot of mud where I'm at. This is her right hind, her lump is on the side of her fetlock. You can sort of see it in the picture. It's slowly going away!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Earning teacher of the year....

This week is parent teacher week at my school. There are no students. That I think might be my favoriate part of teaching elementary school. If you're just tuning in, I taught middle school EBD (Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities) for 5 years before coming to the "dark side" elementary school EBD. I was terrified, I was upset, I was dumbfounded when THIS is where I ended up. I WAS NOT PLEASED. I hate small children, no offense, I didn't think I could deal with kids. Not happy. Not happy one bit. Althought, through the past 49 days (which I know due to my scoops of ice cream on my "Count to 100" chart in my calander time area) I have learned to love the little ones. I actually find myself sad when I put them on the bus on Friday afternoons. That is mostly because they get all crazy over the weekend, but they are cute and they do love me.

I went today (due to my lack of students and parents) to visit the kids I had last year at their new middle school. (Our middle school closed due to lack of funding.) Picture this. I have on no makeup, NONE. I look like a hot mess with jeans I plan on wearing to the barn in two hours, and an old hoodie that is a bit too snug on my evergrowing fat roll. My hair is a mess and my "curling" cream I put on it today decided that it would make it straight. Sigh... Oh well, I didn't care.

I got to the school around lunch time and sat with them in the cafeteria. Advice. If you ever are feeling extra crappy, and think you look like shit, sit in a middle school cafeteria. I think I was hit on around 10 times by different boys. I informed them all that:
A. I am a teacher,
B. You have really bad taste in women and
C. That's gross.

I forgot what ragging hormones are like at that age. I do not miss that at all!! It was pretty funny though.

Going out to the barn after my last conference. A lot to do in a short period of time. I am eatting my lunch at the moment and should finish and get back to "work."

Yesterday I had a Kindergarten student's parent complain about her child being "bullied" by one of my kids. I told her that her son shouldn't feel too special because this particular student does it to everyone. :)

I do work hard. I promise! Actually, I become pretty anal and crazy about my job! Don't ever get me started about behavior modification, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, etc. I LOVE IT! I can discuss behavior at lenght with anyone. I love changing behaviors, I love everything about it!

and by Friend I meant Trainer...

I called my trainer on the way home from the barn on Sunday to tell her I forgot to put away a blanket that I left out by mistake (the red cooler in the pictures.) She sounded odd on the phone and when I asked if everything was okay she asked why I was asking that... Odd. She told me everyone was fine and that she had to work something out and call me back.

Sure she did...she was on the way to the hospital in the back of an ambulance and probably didn't want to be rude.

That being said, guess who's working at a barn now? My trainer, who I love and refer to her as my "horse mom" didn't want anyone to know, not until she can tell people (so for my facebook friends Shhh!!! e-mail me if you have questions.) I think there are 4 of us who have taken over barn chores with other people thrown in here and there.

Think Good Thoughts!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bad News

I was in the middle of posting my blog yesterday when I got a phone call I didn't expect. You may have noticed that my writing just sort of stopped and that was it... I had good reason.

I'll explain more later, but a friend of mine broke her femur riding yesterday and is in surgery now. She doesn't want anyone to know yet, so once other people know I'll tell the story here. Just asking for good thoughts sent her way!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22 in Pictures

Went out to see Denali tonight for the first time since Tuesday. I suck at being a horse mom. I've been feeling under the weather, I finally gave up and am going to the Dr. tomorrow. I wanted to at least let Denali remember that I love her even if I do suck at riding her. She (even with her Rambo Supreme with a hood) was COVERED IN MUD! She looked pathetic. I felt so bad. She even came up to me in the field, which doesn't happen in the winter usually. Her ears had dirt in them. How she did that, I have no idea!

Guess what else she did? I turned her out in the arena and was talking to our Trainer about my lack of proper horse ownership skills, when we heard what we thought was thunder. Not thunder, my horse running around the arena like a bat out of hell. It's pretty impressive. I don't have any video of it, which is something that I would have REALLY LIKED to have. She does AMAZING flying lead changes, and some crazy stops. I know that's hard to believe, so you don't need to. SOMEDAY I'll get it on video...someday!! Lol, I feel like I'm telling stories.

It was during this CRAZY running around that Ms. Denali proceeded to tear off her front right shoe. I saw something silver flying through the air. This is the first shoe she's lost in almost a year. That ended my plans for the day, although I wasn't planning on riding her anyway...


Decided to soak her right hind (the one that's been swollen for a few months) to try to see if that would help take down some swelling. She was a good girl for the soaking, but it probably helped that I put two flakes of hay in front of her. She didn't budge the whole time. I had to remind her a few times to keep her foot in the water/Epsom salt mixture.

































After ten minutes of soaking the lump on her leg looked a lot better. Not 100%, but a lot smaller. And now for a semi confirmation shot. It's not the best, but it's still a shot. I tried!


















This video was from Tuesday night, but no mater what it's too dark. I tried.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wind Storm

Wrote my blog this morning thinking that I wouldn't have a chance again to write a lot later this week, but I'm so excited/proud that I had to babble on here.

There has been HUGE storms here in Seattle. Imagine high winds/excessive rain two things that Denali doesn't exactly enjoy. I was suppose to have a lesson tonight but on my way to the barn my trainer called to tell me what the weather was like on the east side of the lakes (Sometimes it's TOTALLY different and only 20 miles, it's weird.) Ophelia's mom and I were already stuck on the 520 bridge so we figured we'd go out to see the girls for a little bit and skip riding. I haven't seen Denali since Saturday and I was starting to miss her.

Got to the barn and it was PITCH BLACK. The power had gone out. It reminded me of how horror movies start. Ophelia's mom and I grabbed flashlights and walked out to their paddock. Denali has a Rambo Supreme blanket with reflective tape on it. As soon as we flashed the lights the poor things took off running around. We figured they assumed we were aliens. We walked into the paddock and started walking towards them. I yelled Denali's name loud enough so she'd hear it and the sweet things stopped running and stood waiting for me to get to her. She was so good (this is the horse who would jump 10 feet in the air at any sudden movement 6 months ago) and let me put her halter on. Walking in towards the barn she had her head up higher and she definitely looked nervous, but kept looking at me sighing. I know that sounds stupid, but it felt really good.

Let her run around the arena to kick up her heels (after the lights came back on) with Ophelia. They were so cute! I almost think that they do synchronized running. They'll roll the same way, run and turn almost as if they practice it. It makes me sad to think that someday down the road Ophelia's mom and Denali and I will go our seperate ways and the girls won't have each other anymore. That's not for a few years so I'll worry about that later.

Exciting news? We made Denali back tonight and she almost looked normal. Her legs went straight back, the way that they are suppose to! I think the meds are working! Fingers crossed!!

I really appreciate everyone's comments! Read my other post from today because I really want to hear what you think about feed and horses. Also :) is it a bad thing I want 4 more followers to make it an even 25 (yes I realize that 25 isn't even) ? Probably... ;) Thanks everyone!

Diet

The following is my OPINION. Don't be mean if you feel different.

I thought I'd talk about diet today in horses. It's such a crazy thing if you think about it, how little things added to the diet can help make or break a horse. I'm still only a year and a half into horse ownership, and honestly only about 11 months into realizing HOW important diet and supplements are for a horse. I know that some horses live their whole lives on a few flakes of hay a day and they're super healthy and happy.

Thoroughbreds are fed a diet of alfalfa on the track, it goes through them quickly and gives them the energy they need to perform the way that they do. I'm still not sure who to believe in the "hot" issue. Some research I've read said there's no change, and others say that it makes them hot. I lean towards the it makes them "hot" and puts extra water weight on. (Again this is my experience and my opinion only!!)

Denali is on a diet of Timothy/Orchard grass. She gets around 6 flakes a day, two in the morning and four at night. They're huge flakes. In addition to this she gets about three pounds of grain in the morning, and two pounds at night. In her grain she gets vitamins, Trifecta supplement, mare magic, and a probiotic (when I remember to buy it.) The BO also throws in corn oil for some more fat content. Since her bout of EPM, I am going to add Vitamin E to her diet to up her daily ration over 5000 IU. The vet is getting back to me about how much I should be giving her. I've seen good things about adding extra Vitamin E to horses with nerological problems, the vet wasn't so sure. I am going to also add Cocosoya oil to her diet. (Thanks for the tip!)

Any ideas? What do you feed your horse?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Secret Mission

After buying an OTTB, you'd be amazed at how many people are involved (and love) the breed. While at the track this past April I met a woman who rescues, rehabs, and retrains OTTBs. I told her how I got Denali, we exchanged e-mails and have talked off and on since then. Her rescue is about two hours from Seattle, and I just never made it down there. A few weeks ago I gave her a little donation to put towards a new rescue that was a last minute addition from the auction. I wanted to come meet the horse, and we planned on a date. Things changed and we didn't make it down. The weather started getting crappy, so it was either yesterday or next Spring.

Ophelia's mom, her SO, and myself drove to the little town of Elma to see Second Chance Ranch http://www.secondchanceranch.org There is only one word to describe Katie and the horses at the Ranch - Amazing! There are around 40 horses on the property and they all look awesome. I loved hanging out with them! Ophie's mom SO, went into pony overload, he had a great time. There were a few that I really wanted to take home. One was named Eva Rose, and she looked like a smaller version of Denali. She had the same sweet face. Another horse, who has wobbles, was probably the sweetest thing ever! (That's a hard statement to make since I really wanted to bring them all home.) There was a Dutch Warmblood named Ollie who's profile online said he was 18.2. I honestly have never seen a horse that big!! He was HUGE! His head was the size of my torso.

I did learn a lesson-don't walk through a herd of thoroughbreds with a treat bag. No one nipped, no one kicked, no one did anything "rude." They were very well behaved, but they did follow us around like puppy dogs! One of the horses had a cut on his shoulder, and I found it hilarious that when Katie was leading him towards the tack room to clean it, all she said was "Coming through" and everyone stopped what they were doing and moved out of the way. Even if that meant leaving their delicious lunch.

If you have an extra $5 or $10 dollars lying around, there's a donate page on the website. :)

I had a lot of fun visiting the horses. The one that I "helped" was in foster so I didn't get to meet her, but that was fine. We're going to plan a trip back down this spring to do some volunteer work. I told a friend that I was going to look at horses, but I couldn't bring one home because my husband would kill me. She said, "well the barn's not technically home is it?" Funny.

So enough rambling. I took off work today to go take my BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) which I studied for a lot LAST November (I finished my program last August) but since then not so much. I had a mini nervous break down the other day when I was trying to study for it. I'm not going to pass, and that's fine. I don't need it for my job. It's funny though, I've told NO ONE what I'm doing today. Work thinks I have a doctor's appointment. HA, then no one can ask me how it went.

I am going to up Denali's intake of Vitamin E. I've been reading some good articles on horses with EPM and adding Vitamin E to their diets. Still not 100% convinced that she has EPM, but oh well, blood work can't lie and the drugs can't hurt her.

Have a great Monday! I only have 4 days of work this week, then I'm done! Well, I need to go to work Monday and Tuesday, but no kids which in my head means no work.

Thanks for following our crazy journey!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Change of Plans

So my semi-secret trip today had to be changed, so I should have pictures of it tomorrow or Monday. I'm excited to talk about it. Until then...

Went to the barn today and drug my feet the whole way there. I had talked to my trainer about wanting to get a better seat and that I don't think my confidence is going to improve until I KNOW that I will stay on and can handle her. I'm such a huge chicken. A chicken and her Thoroughbred, that should be the title of my blog.

Anyway, after doing everything possible to slow my arrival I got to the barn and moped about. I finally went to get Denali. There's just something about her, I don't know what it is. She does not see me for days and still as soon as she hears me she nickers and screams and comes running to me. I feel very loved.

We went back on the lounge line for our lesson. I felt so much better! I looked funny and confused the little barn girls, but I felt good. I didn't realize how much Denali reacts just from my seat. I can't ever relax my hips enough to use them properly. I kept squeezing my butt checks together and each time I did it she took a step backwards. It was pretty funny and I am pretty impressed. So until I feel better, it's back to the lounge line. Actually, I'm just going to pretend that I never have seen a horse and we'll go from there. :0)

Denali went from her 2000 lb dose of her EPM meds to the normal 1200 pound dose. I don't see much different with her. I hope something changes. Denali does have some gross dandruff/fungus type stuff on her forlock. I put some MTG (Mane, Tail, ?? -- Smells like bacon) on it and hope it will go away.

Okay, need to rest up for our trip tomorrow. I can't wait!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Magic Pant FAIL

enSo the pants may keep my ass in the saddle, but they don't keep me from freaking out. Lesson 1. Rode Denali on Wednesday night and about had a heart attack. I honestly almost died. It was horrible. She was fine, and my trainer told met that it was the best I've looked. She figured out what I'm doing wrong with my legs and we're going to work on it next time. I just need to keep riding.

Denali must be feeling some effects from her meds. She went TEARING around the arena for about 10 minutes, nothing like her video, like...well.... a race horse ;0) She was whinnying and screaming. She's also in season so she was just a hot mess (as my middle school students use to say to me.)

Happy Friday!! I'm hoping to go look at horses tomorrow. I'll explain that next time :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Movie Night

At the tack sale on Sunday, where I bought my magic pants, I also bought a DVD of 4 horse movies, National Velvet, International Velvet, Black Beauty, and The Story of Seabiscuit. I'm sitting here right now watching International Velvet after watching National Velvet last night. My one comment on the movie is that you'd think that the writer would have maybe watched National Velvet and noticed that "The Pie" was a chestnut with four white socks and a beautiful blaze, NOT a bay. Sorry, that's a stupid complaint.

Today being Veteran's day, I don't need to go to work. That makes me VERY excited. I was really excited about sleeping in, but the husband woke me up at 8 to let me know he was going to let me sleep in. Sigh. Needless to say that was the end of sleeping in.

Denali's leg is still swollen, so I'm going to try to do a nitrofurzon-epsom salt sweat wrap. I've heard it really helps, I'm still trying to figure out how do do it in order to keep her sane and it dry. She hates stall rest and it's muddier than anything outside. Seattle's winter is here. It started raining on Saturday and it hasn't stopped yet. I HATE RAIN. We get the weirdest weather patterns here due to the mountains being so close to the sound. The clouds form , but can't make it over the moutains so it just dumps...and dumps...and dumps...

Also, Thanks for following the blog!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Magic Pants!

I hadn't planned to go to the barn today, but this morning my trainer called me at 9:30 (something that NEVER happens) and my first thought "something's wrong." Well, luckily nothing was wrong and she was just calling to tell me she found a really nice tack sale.

A few hours later Ophie's mom, Ophie's mom's SO, and myself went to the tack sale which was at an amazing H/J barn. I found two pairs of schooling breeches for $15.00 along with a hanger for my tack locker. I was pretty excited.

Went to the barn and decided that I wouldn't be a chicken so I took the wild pony beast (Otherwise known as Denali) out of her field and groomed her up, threw on a pair of my "new" breeches and took Denali into the arena and hoped up. I rode her for about 3 minutes when she decided that she saw dead people and needed to take off at a dead run. I really thought that I was coming off, I even almost lost my iron, BUT thanks to my new magic FULL SEAT BREECHES my ass didn't budge! I ran Denali into the wall and then gave her a good pet for stopping then went back to the working trot.

I only rode her for about 10 minutes total, but since I was the only one in the barn, and I had Denali doing everything I wanted her to do I called it a success and hopped off. I'm not even sitting here writing this still cowering in fear. I feel hopeful! Hell, last time she did that I came flying off. I love my magic pants.

And now, for some video of my wild pony beast. Take note of her stupid boots she has to wear when she's going to run since she keeps gashing herself.



Notice that she WAS running and THEN she saw the camera. She's such an attention whore. She cracks me up sometimes. (That's Ophie she's turned out with.) This was day 2 of medication. She actually got excited when she saw the tube of meds. It must taste okay. I also give her lots of treats once she swallows them.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I'm going to pull out my hair...

Guess who has two new gashes? One on her front right and the other on her left hind. Right now the only "good" leg is her front left. The only one swollen is her left hind. I bought some stuff (which I forget what it's called) to put on the swollen leg. It's suppose to help with the swelling. I hope it helps soon!

She looked depressed today, but it's been CRAZY weather in the Seattle area, so I feel depressed too. It's probably NOT her, just me over worrying again.

Got Denali's meds last night. Gave that to her today too. She wasn't impressed. I can't imagine doing this for the next month. Ugh. Thank god for her trainer.

One new cool note. The barn manager had out a saddle fitter. She hooks all these cool things to a pad and it tells you how well your saddle is balanced and how well it fits your horse. I opted to NOT do it since I'm afraid she'd tell me it didn't fit properly (she hasn't had a problem) and then I'd freak myself out until I bought a new one. I don't have that kind of money. ANYWAY, I own a Harry Dabbs Dressage Saddle. I traded my old (key word) Kieffer to a random lady for this "new" saddle that she said she never used. I felt really bad when we traded, but it was her idea and the Harry Dabbs saddle fit Denali where my Kieffer did not. WELL. I've alway been skeptical about if it was real or not, since it doesn't look like other Harry Dabbs saddles I've seen. Anyway, I just asked her if she had ever seen Harry Dabbs saddles (since I never see them in the store around here) she said "yes, they are some of the nicest saddles I've worked with." I asked her to look at mine to help me to determine if it was real or fake (which is what I've always suspected.) She was shocked at the condition of my saddle (really it looks new) but she said it has been reflocked. Guess when it was made? In the 70's! How cool is that? I have a vintage saddle! That's pretty cool I think.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

How long...

I wonder how long until I stop having mental melt downs. I went to the barn and got Denali tacked up for one of her training lessons. Took her to the arena and waited for our trainer. She was helping my friends BF tack up and I got bored so I grabbed his helmet and hoped up on Denali. I got her going long and low, then she spooked and that was the end of me. I stayed on for a little bit, but then hoped off Denali once I got her going the way she should go.

Why am I such a huge fucking chicken.

I really piss myself off. More then usual. If I could just get over my confidence issues, and my fears I think I could really ride. BUT of course I always freak out and end up frustrated and angry. I don't now what my problem is. UGH. I thought about taking a lesson on a different horse, at a different barn, with a different trainer to see if I could work through my issues elsewhere. Maybe I need to get drunk before I ride.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sitting at Work

What do I do at work when I am totally exhausted? I look at my blog and try to figure out how to make it look "cool" not that it really matters. I look at some of these bloogs with a cool header and think "hum..." how do I do that? What I'm really trying to get at is I appologize for always changing how this looks and especially when it's a real eye sore.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I miss the sun

It now gets dark at 4:50 now. I don't get out of work until 4 o'clock and even then I'd argue that it's "dark out." I miss the sun. I miss the warm weather. I miss the long days.

Seattle has a term that I've never heard anywhere else that the local weathermen use:

Sun Breaks

They use "Sun Breaks" as part of their daily weather update, "Today will be cloudy with some sun breaks." I think it's funny. I also find it hilarious that my students all say "sunny" when I ask them what they think the weather will be like for the day (during calendar time.) Finally I asked them today, while the clouds rolled in, "why do you say sunny when there is no sun?" Their response, "Because if we keep saying sun maybe it will come back out." Have I mentioned how cute my kids are?

Haven't seen Denali since Sunday. I rode her for a little bit, she did great. I got the 'okay' from the vet for the online Rx. Hopefully she'll get it soon and start treatment.

Hope all is going well with everyone!! Soak up some sun for me!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pony, Pony, Pony

Went out last night to quickly see the girl. Gave her her treat ball and let her just be a horse for a little bit. She was shaking while she was trying to eat her treats, my husband got upset (it's the first time he's made it out in two months) when he saw her. "When are you getting the medication? Why can't the vet hurry up." It made me glad to realize how much he does love her. The Vet said she was fine to ride. Her rating is only a 1 on the Neuro testing. Denali is tight in the tendons, so I think part of her shaking is from stretching down to eat the treats. She's always done it, so I'm interested to know if it is from the tight tendons or if it is from the EPM. Hum...

I ordered her medication last night from an online pharmacy. It was a lot less than the vet quoted me. I still don't have a Rx for it yet from the Vet. I am hoping that she'll give it the "okay"

Today I went out to the barn, but thought that drinking 2 bottles of wine on my own last night would be a good idea, so I didn't ride very long. Denali's trainer rode her for about forty five minutes. I rode for about ten minutes. She was very forward and smooth. Her swollen leg is still swollen. (Left hind fetlock.) It looks really bad today. It has some scabbing on it, so I assume still that she stepped on herself (which she's started to do-hence vet out) She's not off at all, and it was x-rayed clean two weeks ago. I wish I knew what I could do t get the swelling down. Ideas? The Vet said it could be permanent. When she's worked it goes down a little. She'll start stocking up because she doesn't run around much in her paddock in the winter.

Happy November!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

The Vet didn't call me back yesterday with a deficient yes or no on the medication. I found it for so much cheaper online, but I need her to fill out he Rx for Denali. I'm ready to start treating her now, and I'm over myself. No I'm just anxious to get the medication because I don't want any serious side effects to start with Denali.

Please hurry vet!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

EMP and Denali

I have been doing a lot of "what ifs" today.

What if Denali didn't step on herself when Ophelia double barrel kicked her.
What if I had called a day earlier and had gotten her normal vet.
What if I would have said, "skip the blood test." (It was really expensive itself)
What if I would have let her trainer lunge her...
What if....

What if I lose Denali?

If Denali wouldn't have gotten kicked and then hurt herself than I wouldn't have called out the vet. If I would have let Denali's trainer lunge her than she would have been less lazy and her "issues" would have been less pronounced. If I would have said "no" to the blood test then we would go on assuming it was a different issue.

Regardless through a series of events I know what's wrong now. Something I would have never have thought of before.

So at first I was very upset, but the way my husband put it, "A few thousand dollars is a lot less money than the price of your counseling for the rest of your life."

Very True!

Based on her neurological problems, along with her high titer. The laboratory is spinning out her blood to see how high her titer is. The vet, based on Denali's numbers, suspects that Denali does indeed have the disease. There are two options from here. The vet said she can refer us to the Equine hospital where Denali would need to have a spinal tap to determine if she is does have the disease. The other option is to skip the spinal tap (which is around $500 dollars) and go directly to treating her. The treatment is around $1,000 dollars. The vet said she feels that there is only a 5% chance that Denali does not have EPM based on her high numbers. Sigh....

I did find the drug online for a lot less. It is being sold through an online pharmacy. I could save 500 dollars on the drug. The Vet quoted me $1000 for one month of treatment. The online pharmacy has the price set at $780.00 and most importantly they'll sell single tubes of the medication. The vet said if she needs two months that I would need to buy two groups of medication for $1000 each. If she only needs an extra week than I can buy a tube from the online pharmacy. Hopefully the vet will okay the Rx.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Positive

I'll write more later, but just wanted to let everyone know that Denali tested positive for EPM. Her counts were so high that the vet feels strongly that it is the disease and not an exposure. THIS FUCKING SUCKS! We could do a spinal tap to be 100% sure, but with the vet being 95% sure and her neuro problems (that i still don't see) I think we're going to treat it. Now where to come up with the $1,000 a month.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wanted: 4 more hours in the day

I really wish I could have more time in the day. I essentially work 9-5 and that only counts the time I teach and have meetings right after work. That doesn't include the time it takes me to plan lessons for 8 little boys who are on all different levels. Sigh. That doesn't leave much time for me to ride Denali. This makes me really sad and I wish that the real world wouldn't get in the way so much! Other people do this and ride. I don't mean to complain! I just hate the fact that I need to drive 20 miles one way to get to Denali at night. In Seattle traffic that can take between 30 minutes or 2 hours. Ugh.

Anyway! I keep babbling on here, but have no pictures for a while so I thought I'd upload a few videos of Denali being "tortured" by me and my poor trainer. (Have I mentioned I love my trainer?) I still think she's lazy and not neurological. What do you think? I made a million videos and this is the first one I could get to load.




Neither video is of very good quality. I have a great one of her being ridden, but can I find it on my camera? no! Ugh.



Tomorrow I'm suppose to get the blood work back, I'm also going back to the barn for the first time in a week. Denali's doing really well in training and I got good reports from her three sessions this week. I am feeling better about her diagnosis, but am still hoping the vet is wrong. As soon as I get the blood work back then I'm calling another vet. What's the biggest vet bill you've ever had?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nerves

I think I'm going to be sick.

Tomorrow I am flying back to Seattle from my cousin's wedding on the east coast. What ever happened to direct flights? It took me 12 hours! (Yes, you read that correctly) to get home on Friday and I leave again tomorrow to head back to my beautiful girl!! (Oh! And the husband!) BTW, have I mentioned on here that the husband has put off buying his new truck (his dream truck) until we know exactly what's going on with Denali. He wants to make sure we can treat her if that's possible! What a wonderful guy!! I love him so much, and although he's not into horses (his only fault) he still loves Denali.

Anyway, tomorrow the bloodwork should be back. I don't know what I'm going to do. I really hope it's negative because then that would just add fuel to my "there's really nothing wrong with her" fire. She's the horse love of my life. My husband asked me the other day if I loved Denali more than him. I love Denali different than him. He is the best thing to ever happen to me! I am so lucky to have found him. Still, I feel this weird connection to Denali that I've never felt with any other horse. So to answer your question honey (because I know you sneak a peak at this blog once in a while) I do love you more than Denali, but she loves me more than you :)

Rambling...sorry. Tomorrow is the flight back and also I need to have a meeting with my principal when I get back. One of my assistants and I got into it on Thursday before I left and I e-mailed her to vent and I guess she talked to him...long story short I'm a nervous wreck!! Ugh! What a week!!

Keep your hooves crossed for Denali!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Back in Training Day 1

Today was Denali's first day back in training since the accident in September and the Vet appointment on Saturday.

I love my pony. She is amazing. I feel like I'm floating on air when I ride her. She did a great job last night. She loves working, and she loves me.

I drove my trainer insane tonight making her help me perform Nero test on Denali. We still don't see "it" and I think that maybe she was just feeling lazy on Saturday. Horses can be lazy right? She definitely has an old dip in her hip once in a while and a hitch in her step once in a while, but not daily and not always. She's an OTTB, I'm wondering if these things are Nerological in order or lazy/sore/OTTB thing. Sigh.

Seriously. It is driving me INSANE!!!!!! Ugh.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Blues.

Today was rough.

I DID NOT WANT TO GO TO WORK! That is how I feel every Monday, but especially today. Last night I proceeded to wash all my work clothes at the last minute. I was excited and pulled them out of the dryer and noticed that they had a few red splotches here and there. I looked closer and realized that I ruined my entire teaching wardrobe. All of it. I washed and dried my clothes with a red pen that exploded all over. I sat and cried and cried. My poor husband. I honestly don't know how he puts up with me.

Needless to say that after the vet appointment, and after the dryer incident I was not relaxed and ready to teach small children who bite me and call me names.

BUT I did have a super nice thing happen to me, which made going to work worthwhile. I got beautiful Gerber daisies and chocolate brought to me by a previous student's mom. She made me cry. I'm pretty sure I finished eating the chocolate before we even finished the chocolate.

Tomorrow's another day. I still spend every minute I have free thinking "what if" as it concerns Denali. I am going to continue training Denali to compete in Dressage. She loves to work and she gets very naughty when she just sits. She hates to be bored. If she does end up needing to retire at least she is happy now. I'm still praying (and have asked pretty much everyone I know to do the same) that Denali will be fine. I really don't see what the vet sees. I can't wait for the blood work so I know if I should get a second opinion or not.

Thanks for your support everyone!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good Day

I had a good day with Denali.

I love Denali.

She saved me.

It scares me to think I won't be able to save her.

Went to the barn today armed with my list of Nero Tests they use to diagnose Wobbles. The poor thing, she put up with me moving her legs all over the place, sticking a pen on her, pulling her tail, etc. She passed everything with "flying colors." The only thing that she didn't do so well with was when I picked her tail up, she let me with little resistance. BUT NORMALLY she sucks it down harder than anything.

I'm so nervous and worried.

Tacked Denali up and took her in the arena. We did lots of lunging. Her hind end does look a little "funky" but I think I'm reading too hard into things. We also did work along the rail, but I didn't get on her. There were about 12 people there to just check out the barn, and I didn't want to embarrass myself. She got nice and sweaty which makes me happy. She is SO out of shape!

Her face is swollen on the right side. My trainer thinks it's from having her Nasolacrimal Canals (That's what my vet bill says) flushed. I hope so.

I love my pony.
I love her more than chocolate.
That says a lot!