Friday, December 31, 2010

End of Year Review

Instead of breaking down all of my goals and analyzing them I think I will just sum up 2010 as Major Fail. That will save us all time.

Yesterday I was cleaning out my e-mail account when I got back to November I got sick. Ugh. I want to pretend that November never happened, let alone 2010.

In other news, (sit down) I have a diagnosis!!!

Yes, you read that correct. After going to hell and back we finally have a working diagnosis!

Arthritis.

On our 4th set of x-rays the Radiologist finally saw it! Between the C4 and C5 (or C5 and C6, I was so excited that I couldn't quite listen) there is arthritis forming. There are small bony protrusions, and the vet said that would explain her pain and neurological problems. I wonder if it got worse because she was in a stall for 8 months (Don't you love all my theory's?) There could still be something else going on, but for now...arthritis! We'll re-do the EMP bloodwork in another month or two to be sure.

What next?

Do nothing for now. We are going to watch her, do neck stretches, acupuncture and massage to see if there is any change. The next step is to start her on Adequan to see if that helps. The final option to keep her comfortable is to inject the joint. That will require a visit to the Spa, a little nap, and they would need to ultrasound the area while they inject it. AKA-$$$. So, I am starting a little savings account for just the horse. At least I know that this is coming down the road and can start saving for it. At this point Denali will have more money in her savings account than I do in mine (Thanks Denali.)

Last night I went out to see the beast. I haven't seen her in over two weeks. She's was in the arena with the rest of the herd. She actually came up to see me which surprised me since the past few times I didn't exist. We shared an apple until her boyfriend came up and moved her. She walked to a corner and pouted while the vet got the lunge whip.

The round pen is in the arena, and the vet wanted to show me what she has been working on with Denali. Denali didn't want to show us anything and tried to hide in the corner again. She walked reluctantly to the arena and the vet took off her blanket.


Holy shit, she looks good! Dare I say, you can't see my TB's ribs (at all) and she is getting muscles back. She is also getting a very nice white stripe on her butt where she was bit by the herd leader. They told me a few weeks ago that she got bit, I just didn't realize that it was that bad. She's also scaring on her front right where she had cellulitus.

Denali's leg, post cellulitus. She also has a lot of scaring on the back of her leg.

The vet lunged Denali and she looked so good! Well, you have to understand that "good" for Denali is looking somewhat horselike and NOT falling. I don't require much to make me happy. At first she did her normal, "I don't see you or hear you and will look everywhere BUT at you." After a few minutes she stopped looking everywhere and focused on the vet. She is definitely stiff in her neck, but as she warmed up she started to use it more.

Then the vet got the saddle and my heart stopped.

1. Denali had been in her stall all morning (still recovering from pulled tendon and they didn't want her to be running around like crazy in the mud.)
2. The herd was in the arena.

She tacked her up and Denali just stood there like, "Yeah, this is what I do. Iz a riddin horse." She made a squeal at her boyfriend and the vet had to remind her the difference between acting like a horse with a horse and how to act around a person.

She hopped up and Denali walked off, so she did it again and Denali stood still. They did some walking and trotting until her suspensory started to act up and she started to limp. The vet (both of them at this point) said that it's not going to finish healing unless it's used.

During the ride, out of the scary, scary woods came the most horrible noise I have ever heard. It sounded like a bobcat killing something followed by an owl hooting. I jumped. Denali looked at the woods and stopped, but that was it. I think the best way to describe Denali would be confident. I think that she is developing confidence being out in the herd.

One problem Denali is having is treating horses like horses and then treating people like horses too. She is trying everything she is learning in the herd with people. It's sort of funny, she does things and looks at you like, "Is this okay?" No Denali, no it's not okay.

Thank you so much for following our blog, and our crazy horrible 2010 with us. I'm hoping that 2011 is our year!
Like our new white stripe on our butt? I hope it comes in black and not white, but at this point she can be covered in scars, as long as she's sound I don't care!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

t-24 hours

Tomorrow we go back to Seattle. I always have mixed emotions about leaving. I love my family. My mom is great, but has a really hard time with me being 3,000 miles away and I always have to hear about it. Someday we hope to move back to the area, but for now I try to take it one day at a time.

Ready for the fight total? - 0

That's not good necessarily. Having little fights usually keeps us from having huge blow ups. I have bit my tongue a lot. She talks about her sister and how controlling she is of her kids (my older cousins) and how she is nothing like her (silence.) Oh well, what are you going to do? My mom and dad are very good to me, so I don't have much to complain about.

As for Ms.Slew we got her invoice for her massive work up. Ugh. It was discounted a lot, but still a little over a grand. Still no answers. I just want answers with a diagnosis.

We're going to start working her again. Gulp.

I guess she's been full of her self since she's been turned out in the pasture. She doesn't like leaving the herd, and she freaks out coming in and out without them.

NOT what I wanted. A herd-bound crazy mare. We'll see how bad it is when I make it out there again. Hopefully tomorrow night or Thursday morning. She hasn't had anything really done to her thanks to multiple injuries, so she is going to need to learn the words "work ethic."

Our floor in our house is re-done! Now to move back in. Oh the joy of a million things to do.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! Get anything good??

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!


From Denali and Crew (Denali is on the right.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Take over

My poor brother.

He is two years younger than I am. When we were little I HATED him. HATED, HATED, HATED. I use to beat the crap out of him on a daily basis. I remember coming home from college my Freshman year and trying to hit him (because I was mature, but in my defense he wasn't exactly nice to me either) and he picked me up by my arms and held me against the wall. He asked me if I was going to hit him again. I remember looking down at my feet dangling a foot off the ground thinking, hum...you're bigger than me now...shit.

Let's just say he's awesome and I love my baby brother so much. So much in fact that I have taken over his computer without his permission to write my blog. That's how much I love you! :)

The vet texted me today, nothing on the X-Rays. Damn it. She is sending it to the Radiologist to see if he sees anything. I know we should do the expensive test, but that is just out of the price range of what we can do. She's happy, and that's what matters.

My vet also learned how to fly a kite! She lunged Denali after she was in a stall for two days. Sigh. I wish my horse would understand that she is severely broken and she needs to take it easy for now. She's clueless. She thinks she's Seattle Slew training for the Kentucky Derby. She laughed at me when I told her that I refer to lunging as "kite flying." Denali is usually focused, and does a good job, but after being in a stall....forget about it.

I'm not sure when I will be able to commandeer the computer again, so I wanted to wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas. Thank you so much for all of your support and love you've shown both of us over the past year!! It has been a horrible year and I can only hope that 2011 treats us nicer! I also just realized that there are now 146 followers. Wow. Thanks for joining us in the past month, and to my long time readers thanks for following when all I was doing was training the beast....before things got really interesting!!

Merry Christmas to you and your ponies!!
Loves of Love,
Denali and her mom

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

damn phone

So I am still writing my blog on my phone.

Not fun.

Not fun at all.

Denali's old vet called to see how we were doing. I told her that Denali is happy, and as long as she is happy we will keep fighting.

Denali's new vet just called. We have good news (yes, I used the word "we" and "good news" in the same sentence.)

No bowed tendon, she has a strain of her extendor tendon, but no tears. Still fighting cellulitus, but doing much better. We figured she pulled it when she was really nerological and tripping over herself.

She also took x-rays of her atlas and her upper neck. I hope they find something. The vet said she's seen horses with arthritis in their atlas with some nero signs.

I just want answers.

Ok, it's almost Christmas. What are you asking Santa for? I asked for a healthy Denali.
(I may have also asked for a new computer, but I know I am not getting that.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cellulitus

Update from the vet. Denali has developed cellulitus in her leg with the bowed tendon. She is on antibiotics and stall rest. Send her good thoughts. I guess it looks like a tree trunk. I hate being away from her. Ugh.

In PA on my phone so short post.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

As the Pony Turns....

And on today's episode of "As The Pony Turns" Denali is in love with Dollar, but Dollar loves Cricket, and Cricket...Cricket just wants to eat...what will happen?

That is pretty much what I think of in terms of Denali's life. It is crazy and she needs her own reality TV show. She is currently out in the pasture plotting world domination. Soon, very soon there will be a Bay TB in charge, and I will tell you now that she will NOT be a kind ruler. As soon as she is in charge, I will be locked in some tower (or grain room) somewhere.

In other news, and this news is crazy, the Vet called me with the results of the blood work. There was no sign at all that she was ever exposed to EPM, let alone had the disease. I guess she called our other Vet and talked to her for a long time. Best guess? The first test was a false positive, which is confusing in itself since the titers were just SO high. I guess that's why you do a spinal tape, but I still stand by my decision to not do one.

So what does this mean? It means that she still has a neurological thing going on. The vet said we could do a Myelogram, which I'd LOVE to do, but it would just cost way more money than I have (thanks Denali.) We did neck x-rays, and they looked "normal," but with the head shaking, jaw stretching, and tightness at the poll we are going to focus on the lump behind her ear, cross our fingers and start there.

If it is the lump it does explain the symptoms coming and going, it doesn't explain why she tested with titers SO flipping high, that my vet was positive it was EPM, and a year later no sign of exposure, let alone disease.

So, onward and upward with the mare-beast. We went to see her tonight and dropped off her new Smartpak. I wonder if Smartpak has a contest for the longest, because I'm pretty sure that we'd win, just saying. I have her on Smart Protect, SmartCalm, Smart Vit.E, Smart Repair.....You'd think I'd wise up and stop dumping my money into supplements.

 She was out in the pasture tonight so my husband and I walked in the pitch black up to the field and called for the princess.

Nothing.

Nada.

Zip.

Two of the horses came up and started to munch on some carrots that I brought. We were on our way to a Christmas Party and I had on my cute shoes, so I wasn't tramping through the field. After a minute or two we noticed there was a party of three standing in the moon light eating.

We yelled princess name again, and my husband whistled.

We got little interest from princess.

The two buddies she was with came up and she pretty much rolled her eyes at us, and  finally came up to the fence too.

"Oh, OH, you have food, why didn't you say so?"

That is what I've become, a carrot dispenser.

She wasn't being a raging bitch tonight (yay) but she still didn't seem very interested or excited to see us. She was pretty much like, "Oh, oh them? They pay my bills, but that's about it."

One of the herd bosses has a big tear in her blanket. I'm not saying Denali did it, but I'm also not saying Denali didn't do it. This horse has never had a problem before.

Sigh.

I'm glad she's happy. We are leaving for PA for 10 days Sunday night. The vet is going to do the tests while I'm gone, so we'll see what happens and what we find. There are lots of possibilities, none of them are very good. I think I'd prefer the EPM. 

I'm also taking bets as to how many fights my mother and I will get into while I'm home. Anyone want in?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

She-Devil

I think Pia's mom coined the term "Mare-Wolf" so that might be more fitting. It took me about two hours to get to the barn after work. On my journey, I stopped at the tack store to pick up some more Cocosoya oil (and side note: I am so FRICKING excited that they have it! So much cheaper.) The same woman who checked me out the last time was working. She asked me how I was doing with a very sad look on her face (since the last time I broke down bawling at the check out.) I quickly explained that she was still alive.

After tonight I wanted to kill her however.

I got to the barn and she was in her stall. I might as well have been invisible. She was a freaking psycho. She had just been brought in from the pasture where apparently she is now buddy, buddy with the herd leader. The care taker said that from watching the interaction she is jockeying for leader and just might make it.

JUST what I need. Crazy, hot thoroughbred who is in charge.

She will take over the world. Just you wait and see! How invisible was I? I had a carrot....she didn't care. It was THAT bad.



She kept looking for her friends and didn't care that I was there. Her back legs had dried mud caked on so I decided to be nice and brush them off. She was super naughty mare-face. She tried to kick, and so I gave her a big old whack. All of the sudden she was like, "Oh, OH, hey, what are you doing here?" Seriously Denali. She had a halter on, and someone holding her and she was still oblivious.

We had a halter on her and that seemed to really piss her off. She kept shaking her head, so I wonder if there really is something going on near her poll. I e-mailed the vet (e-mail #3,430) and asked her if there could be something wrong and if there is a way to check (x-ray or sonogram.)

Mare.

Mare. I love you so much.

Please stop stressing me out.

In other news, the front left has officially been diagnosed as a bowed tendon. WONDERFUL. She is still being treated as a pasture pet, so it is wrapped, but she is turned out. I can't keep her in a stall anymore. She's spent 7 months in a stall and she loves being out. The vet said it will be okay. I guess Wednesday she was sore in the morning so they left her in, but she seemed fine today. I appreciate the vet SO much. She evaluates Denali on a daily basis and decides what is best for her for that day.

We've officially have now majorly injured all 4 legs. I think she should get some sort of award at this point. Maybe I should?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

So, I didn't make it to princess tonight.Seattle it rains at least 4/7 days a week from November to March. You would think that people would learn how to drive in the rain, but alas, they do not. I quickly gave up on my quest to the pony, and have decided to try again tomorrow. Her caretaker sent me an adorable photo of her, and it makes me miss her even more. Due to our new in ground pool, I haven't been out since Saturday.

Pony mom Fail.

While sitting on the couch wasting time, I decided to try and catch up on blogs. First, thank you everyone for your kind words that you wrote for Denali, you truly are amazing people. Second, a lot of you blogged about things that made me think.

One thing was written by Wendy over at From Racehorse to Showhorse was about having and equine first aide kit.

Are you ready for this one?

As accident proof as Denali is, I do not own a first aide kit. Sure I have some things on hand, bute, thermometer, vet wrap, standing wraps, and ice boots. I use to own one, but mice got into it and I haven't replaced it.

Pony mom Fail II.

So new goal for 2011, buy or create a first aid kit. The Equine Hospital that Denali went to this July sells complete kits, but they are $200. They do come with everything, medication included (bute, banamine, and something else.) I guess I get worried about when to use meds and when not to use meds. I am like a new mother, I call the Dr. over EVERYTHING.

Right now I have it pretty simple, she lives at the Vet's barn and that is a walking first aid kit. She has access (or I guess I should say I have access) to anything she could possibly need. Ever. I hope that someday she can leave (although I do LOVE the barn, it's just way too far) and when she does I want to be totally prepared this time (because if I prepare I won't need anything, EVER.)

Wendy asked what her readers had in their first aid kits, but I want to know what should I put in mine?

Wednesday visit

So, Denali has 5 blankets. She has a rain sheet, a light weight, a medium weight, and a heavy weight blanket, and a cooler. More blankets than she needs, but I went overboard when I bought her.

I saw this today and ALMOST bought one. I have wanted a Pessoa ever since I bought Denali, but they were always more expensive than I can justify spending, and now Denali needs a blanket like I need another student. SO, if your pony needs a present buy one, and let me live through you!

Tonight is visit night! I can't wait!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Take a Bite Out of Crime

and you can just call me Crime.

If you are new to reading this blog, I teach students with severe emotional/behavioral disabilities. I have 11 students (when I should only have 10) but they are amazing little guys (and girl.) They do "blow" once in a while, and when they do it gets hairy. Today was one of those days. I gave my student a consequence (aka, go sit in your seat) and he lost control. He took a nice bite out of my arm, and after yesterday's flooding I hope this doesn't become a daily thing this week.

I got out of work and turned my phone on to 9 text messages. Three of them were from the vet.

Guess who had a saddle on today?

Guess who had a bridle on today?

Guess who was RIDDEN today??

Ms. Denali Slew!! I was so excited. She said she can tell she's green but she listened really well and they only did some walk/halt exercises, but she called it a success.

After I guess Denali kicked the herd leader in the chest and he, in return, bit her in the butt.

Looks like we both got a bite taken out of us, but only one of us deserved it! (hint: she only has 2 legs.)

It was funny, I talked to my trainer and told her about Denali being ridden. She seemed offended that she called Denali "green." I reminded her the last time she was ridden was September (by me, and who counts that?) and before that it was July (again, me) and before that....April!! That's 9 months, and a long time. I would consider Denali green too, and told her so. Plus I'd hate to change the name of this blog to Broke and Broken (Denali and me.)

We had to pack up our stuff and move out of our house today. Our landlords mom is in Hawaii and offered us her house. And by house I mean mansion! It's HUGE and amazing and I just might not leave. I wonder if we change the locks if we can stay?

Two more days until I get to go see princess. I can't wait!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

...gently through your apartment....

sigh.

If it can go wrong, it will. We came home from church today to a new in-ground pool in our house. Fun times. I had to call and cancel my shift at the Giant Warmblood barn. I am glad she is so nice and understanding. I've spent the past 12 hours cleaning up the new pool and water features in our basement apartment. Not so much fun, not so much fun at all!

So, for the rest of my weekend.

For my birthday I had a pretty amazing opportunity given to me. I was able to have the animal communicator come back out on Saturday to "talk" to Denali. I'm not going to lie, she really is amazing. I know that may make me sound crazy, but this is the same woman I had out to talk to Denali in August 2008. I asked her if she could tell me anything about Denali's neurological signs....

and this my friends is where it gets crazy (or crazier, depending on how you feel)....

She instantly started to write on her piece of paper and Denali sort of stared at her with this stare. It was pretty intense. The animal communicator asked me if we could bring her out of the field so I ran and got her halter. She then went on to explain that Denali is feeling a pressure right behind her right ear next to her atlas. She got the sense that the pressure was scar tissue, but that she can't be 100% sure. Sure enough, if you feel behind Denali's ears it does feel a lot different than the other horses. There is no indent, and Denali HATES, HATES, HATES, when you touch it. She was really sensitive on Saturday to it and it was hard to go near her head at all.

A while ago, Denali had a pretty nasty cut behind her ear. I didn't think anything of it because by the time I saw it, there was a scab, so I didn't do anything more about it other than putting some medicine on it.

If this is true, that would explain the intermittent neurological signs. It would explain why she looks so bad one day and almost normal the next. AND, in September I started to notice her stretching her jaw ALL the time. I knew it wasn't normal, but everyone said that she was "fine." Denali's vet came out to do a clinic and I briefly talked to her about it (after warning her again that I was nuts) and she said it was worth looking into.

The communicator also called me out on my "guilt" and she said I need to work through that. If you know me personally you know I always feel bad about everything all the time. That has more to do with my upbringing than anything. She also asked if one of her students could use me for a Guinea pig to work on my horse fear (which was almost gone, but not going to lie, since being used as a soccer ball, a bit nervous.) I really hope that works.

Denali said she loved being out of her stall, and that she'd really like to feel her feet again. I didn't have may questions, but got some sort of answer that I wanted. We'll see what the EPM test says when it comes back. I asked if she can tell if the horse has EPM, and she said she can't. She can tell what the horse feels, aka, not her feet, and then trying to figure out what is causing it is another story.

I was debating whether or not to even mention the communicator here because I am afraid that some people will think I've gone off the deep end, but you know what? Thanks to the new pool in my house I can!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oh Well.

My lovely photo came in 4th :(. Oh well, worst things could happen (see November.) I think I drove everyone I know INSANE to try and get them to vote.This morning I had my craziest idea yet. I made an "invitation" on facebook and invited all my friends to it, "Vote for Me." I should have been crazier earlier in the week.

Tomorrow I get to see Nawlers. I got a gift that I'm using tomorrow. We'll see how it goes before I look totally crazy and tell you what I'm doing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hot Horse In the Country

I am trying to make Wednesdays the day I go out to the barn. It's almost 50 miles from my work, and it takes a long time in Seattle traffic to make it out there. I sneak out the door as soon as I can and leave.

...almost 2 hours later....

When I got to the barn Denali was in her stall. I was a bit nervous to see her in her stall, because I know that the Vet had wanted to put her in the pasture, and when I went there on Sunday she was out in the pasture.  I looked in her file, but didn't see anything glaring as to why she'd be in her stall. That's good. Then I noticed that she was sweaty, really sweaty. After a few minutes, she was trying to pee, but nothing came out. She seemed to try to pee a few more times, and at that point I freaked and called the vet's office and left a message for the vet.

I continued to hang out with Denali and freak out. The caretaker showed up, and I told her my worries. She tried to take Ms. D's temp, but Denali WAS NOT HAVING IT. We decided to turn her out in the arena. She was in her stall because the herd was being really mean to her. I guess they've been running her off her food, and when she's tried. to join the herd. She's in her stall untill the shelters are built and they can break the herd up into two groups.

While in the arena, Denali didn't do a whole lot. Then I pulled in the wheelbarrow and layed the stall fork in the wheelbarrow. I have a video on my phone and I can not for the life of me figure out how to get it of my phone onto my blog. Sad.

I can't describe what I saw. It was hilarious. It looked like my horse was getting sexual with the end of the fork.

Long story short? We think Ms. Mare's crazy behavior was from being in heat. Rip, roaring, heat!!

In other news, I have until tomorrow at 5 pm to get votes for Smartpak. I don't think I'm even close, and I've driven EVERYONE I know crazy, but if you can talk your friends into voting for me that would be awesome.

How to vote is in yesterday's and the day before yesterday's posts.

Thanks.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vote and Nawlers

This will be short and sweet. I have tendinitis or something in my right arm so typing hurts a bit late at night. Went to see Denali, she didn't seem to feel well, so I freaked and called the vet. Long story short, she's doing better. Denali. Really??  Also, found my camera!!

And for my newest purpose! Please vote for me! It's easy. If you could convince your friends to vote that would be great too!! Feel free to embarrass me on your blogs, your facebook, etc.

More on Denali tomorrow when I can use both hands! (She's more important than any contest!)

1. If you are already a fan of Smartpak, skip to step 2. If not "like" Smartpak on Facebook by clicking here first, and then click on the second link.

2. If you're a "Fan" of Smatpak just click here to vote. (You need to "like" the photo to vote.)

So, like away!! Have your friends like, your horses, your enemies (I don't really care.) Vote, Vote, Vote

Vote! Vote! Vote! (Read Me!)

(and then convince everyone you know to vote too)

You can vote for me in two easy steps!!

1. If you are already a fan of Smartpak, skip to step 2. If not "like" Smartpak on Facebook by clicking here first, and then click on the second link.
2. If you're a "Fan" of Smatpak just click here to vote. (You need to "like" the photo to vote.)

So, like away!! Have your friends like, your horses, your enemies (I don't really care.) Vote, Vote, Vote

(I actually don't really know what the prize is, but I really like winning things, and that hasn't happened in a while.)

Update: Not doing too bad, but really would love to get more votes. Thank you SO MUCH to those of you who vote!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

30th








There is nothing worse than teaching 5, 6, and 7 year olds on your birthday. They want cupcakes...they might revolt and there could be some sort of hostile take over. If you read about a hostage situation on CNN that would be me. Tied up and gaged because I don't have cupcakes. Here's hoping that I am able to survive to the end of the day....





There was so much stuff I wanted to accomplish by the time I turned 30. I think the only thing I did successfully was survive to 30. But hey! I still blog, I usually quite stuff after starting it. This is the most committed I've been to any thing. Tomorrow I will post the links to VOTE for the Smartpak contest on Facebook. Then you can force all your friends to vote. If they don't want to vote, I have 10 tiny kids, and I will tell them that they have cupcakes. It could get scary. How scary? Clown Scary.

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Show Me Your Horse and I'll Show You Who You Are."

I have that quote on my facebook and for some reason had to giggle at it tonight.

 So, looking at Denali one would say that I'm constantly breaking, crabby, really love to eat. Sadly that's all true. Are you and your horse anything alike?

Another Reason Our Follower's Rock

I got the nicest e-mail last week from one of our followers Karla. She makes bitless bridles and rope halters (and I wish I had that skill, I'm lucky I can tie my shoes!!) She has kindly, offered to give Denali 25% of the sales from each bridle or halter that is sold. How nice is that?? I don't know what else to say, thank you!! I wish Denali understood how much she is loved by people all over the world. She is one lucky pony! I keep telling her, but she doesn't seem to get it.

You guys rock, pure and simple!! We love you!

Pete

Yesterday after visiting with Denali I worked at the Giant Warmblood Barn. I love it there. I love the horses. They are some of the most amazing creatures ever. It's amazing to see them in their stalls, looking like every other horse I've ever met, but to get the chance to watch them under saddle. It truly is amazing.

I got to the barn early and decided to pull Pete out to groom him.

Can we say  Hot Mess??

The poor guy's tail was so full of crap, and he has scratches SO BAD. His owner really is never out. Pete is HUGE. He's at least 17 hh, but probably bigger. I took him to the wash rack, but there was only one cross tie because one of the Giant Warmbloods decided to do some rearranging. I turned the hot water on to scrub the legs with some medicine, and asked Pete to stand there. I was preparing for a battle (because with D, that's what I'm use to) but he just stood there. Perfectly still without moving. I was shocked. Even when I was scrubbing his legs with the medicine, he stood stock still. Without being in the cross ties. His tail is SO GROSS. I scrubbed it the best that I could, but it is still gross.

Does anyone have suggestions for scratches?? They are bad, really bad and although I don't get out there much I want to try and help him when I can. I have MTG, but wonder if that is effective at this stage.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pony in a Pasture




Princess (who still has a swollen spot on the outside of the left hind) eatting grass in the pasture with the rest of the herd. She wants nothing to do with them. Nothing at all. One of them, who is the SWEETEST boy EVER, was trying so hard to be her friend. The whole herd was over eatting grass and Dollar (I think that's his name) looked up and saw her by herself, and walked over to her. Denali, Denali was unimpressed. I tried telling her that he was being nice, but she just turned her butt towards him, and went back to eatting some grass.



Dollar, being rejected by Ms. Denali Slew. :(  She was standing at the gate when I showed up, and standing at the gate when I left. I hope that she decided to wander around and explore. I don't think she feels really well. When I was leaving the barn she was standing at the gate nickering at me, and I of course being the mature adult that I am started to bawl. I hate having her so far from me. I know it's the right place for her, but I hate that I can't make it out everyday.  


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Surprise!

My wonderful, amazing husband shocked the hell out of me last night. He had planned a surprise party for me, and I didn't have a CLUE! I usually pride myself for my ability to figure out what is going on, and usually am pretty good at figuring out what is going on.

Not this time.


Vote for me!

We met a friend of mine for dinner, and I thought something might be up, but it was so low key and normal that I figured, "nah," plus my hubby as been so busy taking care of my broken self and our broken horse that I didn't think that he would have time to buy me a card, much less plan something.

Enough about me, I'm still technically 29 until Tuesday.

The vet sent me a text message last night that Denali did well with the two horses in turn out, but during the initial excitement she took a few neurological steps. Sigh. I know it's hoping for a lot, but I would really love to have a horse that is able to be ridden. That's down the road and I'll pray for that once she's healthy. For now I am happy she's alive still.

Today I got a taste of how parents must feel when they see their kid being ignored or teased. I went out and bought grain and beet pulp and then drove out to see Ms. Slew. She was turned out in the arena with two other horses. They were pacing the wall of the arena looking out towards the pasture where the other half of their herd was. They didn't give Denali the time of day. She didn't even look at them either. Denali stood at the gate of the arena the entire time I was there. For a while the little horse with the broken neck was laying down sleeping (talk about freaking me out, I've NEVER seen a horse sleep that deep EVER.) Denali was standing there near the pen watching her sleep. I think that little horse is her buddy, but it's hard to tell.

I was feeding Denali a carrot when one of the other TB's (Seriously, all 3 of them match) came over. For the first time EVER, Denali left food and me when a horse came up. She wasn't happy about it, that's for sure.

I drove our truck over and sat and watched for about half an hour to see if she'd interact with them at all. Nope, nothing. She stood there watching the little grey mare (with the broken neck.) I felt bad leaving her today. She didn't seem very happy. I think it will be better when she is turned out into a pasture. Her front left looked a little swollen, but I'm not worried since the vet will check it tonight and wrap it if she thinks it needs wrapped.

Wednesday starts the voting for Smartpak! Don't forget

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hilarious


So if you're on Facebook and "like" Smartpak then you may or may not know that they are having a contest, "What were you thinking when you wore THAT to the barn?" The winner gets something... I don't quite remember what it is, but yesterday I figured what the hell, I'd include this photo of my 5 year old self (Note: Things haven't gotten much better, but now I wear a helmet and boots.)

I woke up today and found out I'm a finalist! I'm pretty excited, but this means I will probably drive you crazy next week when they have the actual voting. It amazes me that my parents would let me on a horse when I was little without a helmet. About .3 seconds after my parents gave me the reins to this little guy, he took off at a dead gallop into the woods. I don't remember it happening, because I was 5, but I do remember turning him around and coming back out of the woods with him. I started riding lessons not too soon after (always with a helmet.)

Also, Denali must have gotten a cell phone!! :) She sent me a text message last night and a picture of herself. The caretaker may have hurt my feelings, but I love that she's sending me pictures of my babypie.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vet Update


Have I mentioned I love Denali's vet???

She left me a voice mail that the swelling is gone in Denali's leg, and it was probably just a contusion. She said at first she thought it was a bowed tendon (which would make sense because that's our luck) but that it looks normal again and she isn't wrapped. 

She said that my theory as to why Denali got sick, and then subsequently made such a recovery is plausible. She also said that Denali has been on Dyno Booster since arriving (which boosts the immune system.) That would make sense to me. Whatever, I'll take it.  

Tomorrow my little girl is going to be introduced to another horse. She hasn't been turned out with another another horse since last April, and even then she would chase Ophelia around with sticks. We'll see how this goes. I'm so nervous about her getting turned out.


Denali around humans (unless you're a massage therapist who doesn't listen)


The place where Denali is located is beautiful!! The pastures are perfect! They are big with 5 boards and hot wire. There is gravel by the gates and lots and lots of grass to nibble on. I know Denali is going to LOVE it. I just hope she is able to play well with others. The vet thinks that her mare is more dominate than Denali. I've been trying to explain that Denali is sweet and innocent around people,but put her in with another horse and she turns into a wolverine. She is vicious, bossy, and plain rude. That's part of what the vet wants her to learn, how to be a horse. As far as we know Denali was with her mom in Kentucky and sold as an 18 month old where she came to Seattle and was kept in a stall. She doesn't really have "horse manners" and doesn't know how to act around other horses. This will be an exciting adventure. I'm just hoping that when I show up on Saturday she's not chasing any of them around with a stick.



Denali with Horses (or if you're a massage therapist who doesn't listen)


I saw him on the Fugly Blog a few weeks ago (he's adopted now, duh! How could you pass him up??) Isn't he just the cutest thing ever! I've never seen a Thoroughbred who was colored like him, have you?  I was in love and wish that Denali needed a brother (well, I wish I won the lottery so that I could buy her a brother.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Never Trust a Horse With Hind Legs

Ponykins Side View
There's Princess!!

Notice her front left? Sigh.... if it's not one thing it's another. Luckily, her medical chart is on her stall, so I was able to NOT drive the Vet crazy and just read it. The file said that she was swollen on Monday, but no lameness at the walk/trot. It said her left hind started out sound, but after 10 minutes of walk/trot she was lame (3/5 on what ever magical scale they use.) That made me sad, but it's only 8 months after her suspensory tear. I'm hoping that it heals.

Then I read the next part, "No neurological signs" I did a little skip and a jump. Yay!! I've been doing a lot more reading on EPM, and got a really interesting e-mail from one of my readers. It also mentioned that horses who were treated for EPM (even if "cured") should never be given a 4 way vaccine. That the body is recovering from EPM and the neurological symptoms can show up again stronger. Something like that, but regardless she's doing so SO much better!!

While I was there the caretaker came out. I introduced myself as Denali's owner and she went on and on about how much she loved Denali and how she was SO, SO sad that we were going to put her down and she didn't understand why.
Really.... Why??

Yes, she's looking great, she's sound doing better. I'm sorry you weren't there when my horse lost control over all four legs and took a nose dive into the arena footing. I'm sorry that you weren't there when we hand walked her and she seemingly had no control over her whole body. I'm sorry that you stayed up at night because you were so upset.

How do you think my husband and I felt?? Do you think that we WANTED to put Denali down? Do you think I wanted to lose sleep (and 12 pounds, thanks Denali) for weeks because I knew something was wrong? No, never. We worried, we cried, we were sick. Then we were sick when she was "fine" and the only reason she was still alive was because it snowed.

She made me feel really bad. My trainer came out with me and made me feel better. She saw Denali fall, she saw her wobble around, but still. I'm a good horse owner and she made me feel that we thought Denali was just a machine that we get rid of when she can't "perform." Oh well. I'm over it.

We groomed Denali up in the arena. I scrubbed the gunk from her face (thanks Uncle Jimmy's) and started to groom her up. I asked my trainer to old the lead rope because I didn't want to get kicked. Then she gave me the best advice ever, "I never trust a horse with hind legs." I don't know why I laughed so hard, but I did.

I brought Denali and her new "friends" a 25 pound bag of carrots. We were totally out of treats (we fed everything to her before Thanksgiving because we thought we were losing her.) I sat the bag outside the arena, fed Denali a carrot, and then walked over to say hi to the horse with the broken neck. Denali tried to lift the entire 25 pound bag of carrots up with her teeth then she noticed that I was petting another horse. SO NOT OKAY!! It was hilarious! My mare threw a FIT! She came flying over to where I was standing and threw her head into my arms. Ha, affectionate? No, but she defiantly had only child syndrome and GOD forbid if I show any other horse attention.

I hope to get out to see her on Saturday again. It took me 2 hours to get to the barn, and an 1.5 hours home. That's fine, I am just glad I still have my girl.

Welcome December

December is one of my favorite months. My birthday, my brother's birthday, Christmas, Belsnickle (at least the memories make me smile), and a 2 week break from work (and hopefully this time I will not be broken so I can enjoy it.)

One thing I haven't mentioned on here is that I have a few horses that I'm going to be riding. When I thought I was going to be losing Denali, I couldn't sleep. I would sit up at night, most of the night, and just think. My back hurt to bad to lay down, and my mind couldn't quite running. My husband and I have invested everything (emotionally and financially) in Denali, so there will be no replacing her. Not anytime soon. However, I wasn't sure I could survive not having a horse to love on.

One late night I ended up on Craigslist (where I usually peruse the poor horses who have BYB as their owners). I came across an ad for a horse for lease. The horse sounded perfect for me, and I figured I'd e-mail. What could it hurt.  The world is a small place. It turns out the ad I replied to was for the horse I ride at the Giant Warmblood Barn. The woman I work for is amazing. I truly want to be like her when I "grow up" (even though she's only a year older than I am.)

She was wonderful. We talked about leasing, and riding this particular horse. Then she mentioned Pete.   Pete is a Thoroughbred. He's HUGE. He might be the biggest TB that I've ever met. I LOVE HIM. One of the first times I worked at the barn I walked out into the pasture to collect expensive ponies when her 5 year old 18 hand (I kid you not) Dutch Warmblood came CHARGING at me. Pete came charging too, ran in front of me just as this other horse was approaching, looked at him and pinned his ears and chased him away. Pete saved me and it was love. Pete's owner is busy and doesn't get out. Pete needs ridden and is recovering from some lameness issues and needs some light work done. Pete's owner asked me to ride him, and I'm excited.

After Ms. Denali's Thanksgiving Miracle, I stopped and talked to the owner of the Giant Warmbloods. I explained that I couldn't afford to lease her sweet ponykins. Money doesn't seem to be the problem, he just needs ridden too, and right now she doesn't have a working student.

So now, I have 2 horses to ride, 1 horse to do ground work with and Denali to figure out what in the hell is going on. I wish I had better skills, and more confidence in myself as a rider. I explained to someone the other day (Pete's owner actually) that not too long ago I use to consider myself and intermediate rider. I would ride almost anything and had very little fear (but I was never stupid.) Buying an 4 year old OTTB will really make you re-evaluate your riding skills. I'm now a VERY cautious rider, and still don't know how to deal with a spooking horse. I freak. I have 0 confidence (hence the blog title.) The two horses I'm going to start riding are lesson horses, bomb proof, and I'm sure it will be good for me. Now it's just a matter of balancing work, Denali, ground work with the other mare, and then finding time to ride the other two horses. I'm not going to start riding until January, so at least I'll have a slow start.

Welcome December (be nice!)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good Bye November

November was rough to me this year.

It started out simple enough, like every other month. I would work and then drive out to the barn to visit Nawlers. A few days into November I got bashed in the head by one of my students and got to spend a day at the hospital for a concussion. Fun.

My job is oh so fun, but that's a whole other blog....

Then the Holistc Vet came out the first weekend, and that started the whole downhill slide. The following weekend I recieved 8-9 kicks by Denali, and wound up in the ER for a whole day. That week was horrible, I honestly have never experienced pain like that. I am finally starting to feel a little bit better. The following weekend we determined that that Denali wasn't getting better and that we were going to put her down. The final weekend it snowed, and Denali was saved. Somewhere between getting kicked by Denali and now I lost my camera. :( It wasn't cheap, and I can't replace it. Boo, show up camera!! Please? I can't keep taking pictures of Denali on my phone.

So, November I don't hate you, you taught me a lot but if you could put in a good word for me with December that would be great!
Thanks.

"Ribs"

Ophie's mom wrote this post. Since I'm still waiting to hear from the vet, and thought I'd save my crazy dream for a later time I figured now was good enough time as any to post it!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last week I nearly lost my shit in the barn aisle at the place where I
board my mare, Ophie. Why? Because some one asked me a deceptively
simple question:

“Why is your horse so thin?”

First off, let’s be clear. She’s not a rack of bones: she’s got a
nice fat pad over her ass, her flank, her haunches, poochy little bits
on her chest. But, you can see her ribs.

There, alright, I said it. You can see my horse’s ribs. I could see
her ribs when I first got her two years ago, and yes, you can still
see them now. At no point – summer, winter, spring, in work or out -
have you ever been able to not see them. And it’s not something I’m
fully at ease with – which is why when some one asked me, “Why is your
horse so thin?” I heard:

“Why are you such a shitty horse owner?”

Why is she so thin? Because her metabolism is the love child of a
greyhound and Kate Moss. She eats (minimum): 5 flakes of hay, 4lbs of
beet pulp, 3lbs of low-carb, high-fat grain, 2 cups of oil, and a
vitamin/mineral supplement. I would feed her a partridge in a pear
tree too if I thought it would make a difference. Yes, I realize this
diet would make some horses feet fall off, but for her, this is just
for maintenance – god forbid if we actually wanted to build condition.

I know some of you out there are itching to share your weight and
condition building success stories. You’ve probably a favorite
supplement, but here is why I’m not going to add it to her diet:

Because I’m pretty sure she’s fine as is. And even though in a
perfect world I wouldn’t be able to see ribs, I’m prepared to live
with it. Because she’s shiny, happy, and energetic. Because she gets
her teeth done regularly, has no parasite load, and doesn’t have to
compete for food. Because she has beautiful, springy, well-digested
manure. Because her vet is happy with her condition. And okay,
yeah, our trainer critiques her musculature but she is a crazy
perfectionist and thinks Totilas “has room for improvement” too.

But, um, I didn’t say anything. And not just because I live in fear
of starting/being involved in barn drama. But because I also
volunteer at a horse rescue, and I’ve learned there that the horse
world is largely self-policing, and that there are a lot of people out
there who through ignorance let their horses get into all kinds of
shitty shape. Sometimes a horse is thin, or his feet are overgrown
not because of malice, but because his owner genuinely does not know
how to take care of him. Am I saying ignorance should excuse poor
treatment or abuse? Absolutely not. What I am saying is sometimes it
is a good idea to ask.

Hey, I notice your horse is losing weight pretty fast this winter –
are you worried?

Do you need a farrier recommendation?

Are you sure you want to put him up wet?


Could the girl at my barn have phrased it a little better – sure. But
ultimately, I’m glad I’m surrounded by people who are a little too
nosy rather that not nosy enough. Lord knows I made ridiculous, huge
mistakes when I first got my horse. And mostly, it’s been through the
guidance of my peers that I’ve become a better horse owner. So, I
guess I’m glad she asked me why my horse was so thin.

And come to think of it, if you have had really good luck with a
particular condition-building supplement, I guess I would like to hear
about that too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Now What?

So a few days before Denali was suppose to be put down I cancelled her Smartpak. I cancelled everything that involved her. EVERYTHING. I knew I wouldn't be able to deal with it, so I decided to be pro-active.

Ugh.

I'm glad, don't get me wrong. I'm really glad.

Here's my question: Do I keep her on supplements? I'm nervous about buying them in buckets, so I'd probably stick with the Smartpak since I can just donate those if something happens to her. I don't want to have 56 days of supplements on my hands.

Denali's SmartPak was as follows:

TractGard 1 scoop(s)
BioFlax 20 1 scoop(s)
SmartCalm Ultra Pellets 1 scoop(s)
Absorbine Flex + Max 1 scoop(s)
Vitamin E 1 scoop(s)

With her Nero Disease (or whatever it is) I still feel strongly about having her on a high source of Vitamin E, but Pia's Mom introduced me to a different source of Vitamin E that's liquid and I'm going to use that instead.

I don't know what to put her on. I want to help her joints and connective tissue.

Ideas?? Anyone??

As for Ms. Denali I won't see her or hear about her until at least Wednesday. That's the one thing I don't like. At her old barn I could text her or call the barn manager anytime day or night and she could walk out to Denali if I had a specific question.

I have the Vet's personal phone number, but I don't want to bother her right now. We'll be going back to Pennsylvania at the end of December and I'll save my anal texts until then. It's also twice as far to Denali's "new" barn. It's 44 miles one way. The amount of money that we're "saving" is worth it. The peace of mind that Denali is already at the Vet's barn is worth it. Downside there isn't anyone there all the time like at our "old" barn, so I do worry that she'll fall or get hurt and no one will find her until morning or the night time. I guess I need to stop worrying. Easier said than done, after coming SO CLOSE (4 inches of snow to be exact) to losing her, and then getting to keep her has still wracked my nerves. It is one of the greatest gifts I've received.

One more question. Have any of you ever heard of this?? It was suggested on an EPM list serve (I'm still going with the EPM diagnosis until we figure something else out.)

How Not to Pick A Barn, or, A Prologue to How I Met Denali's Mom

by Guest Blogger, Ophie's Mom:

When I decided to get back into riding as an adult, I asked some one I
worked with where she rode - and then promptly forgot the name of the
place she told me. Then I went on Craigslist and searched for
"horseback riding lessons". One of the places that popped up had a
familiar sounding name, so I ran with it. For simplicity's sake,
we'll call it Below Average Boarding Barn.

I went out there, had a lesson on one of their lesson horses, and
because I was Riding Horses Again, and simply didn't know any better,
I ignored all the (somewhat glaring) signs that something wasn't quite
right at BABB. I was soon happily working one day a week cleaning
stalls in exchange for lessons and a part-lease on a little arab named
Najah.

I didnt know it at the time, but the barn manager/trainer (who leased
the property from absentee land lords) was sliding deeper and deeper
into debt. And things were getting worse. So, in case you ever find
yourself in a similar situation here's a handy list of things that
should be big, glaring neon signs of A Problem:

- The boarders never stay for very long. And they get weirder and
weirder as time goes on. We, for example, had a crazy woman who owned
a little peruvian mare. Every time she saw me she told me the story
of how she had a car accident and couldn't ride anymore until she
found the smooth-gaited peruvian. Every single time she saw me. And
we saw each other 2-3 times a week. We also had a divorcing couple
who between them had two stalls and one horse. They would move her
back and forth between the stalls in some sort of passive-aggressive
ownership assertion dance.

- Soon, when I went to clean stalls, there were never any new
shavings. The first time, I figured, whatever - she probably just ran
out and hasn't had time to pick some up yet. But then, there were
never any, ever.

- Horses start appearing and disappearing randomly, without
explanation, and sometimes in really crappy condition. Let me just
take a second to interject here - it's not like I was completely
oblivious, especially not to this last bit - but a horse would come in
looking like shit, and when I asked it was all "oh, he's a rescue" or
"she's being rehabbed" And, being new to horses as an adult I thought
okay, yeah well maybe, but -

- The vet never comes out. Ever. You'd think a place that had 20+
stalls and pasture-boarded horses on top of that would require at
least occasional vet visit. Yeah, no. And let me just say, if you
are "rescuing" horses, but cannot afford to have the vet come out even
once? You are not actually "rescuing" the horse.

- The only people who seem to ride regularly are a swarm of
increasingly feral middle- and high-school aged girls, who form
ever-changing alliances and vendettas with/against each other in a
perpetual battle to make each other miserable. At BABB, their
favorite tactics were stealing, or simply disposing of each other's
tack, helping themselves to the grain/supplements of boarders, and
finally helping themselves to the boarder's horses. Which may not
actually have been as bad as it sounds, because, remember none of the
other boarders were ever actually there, and for a few horses
(including Ophie - but that's another story) this would be the only
time they got out of their stall, ever.

I will not even go into the state of physical decay the property was
in, except to say the toilet was sinking into the floor. Seriously.

But for better or for worse, I was able to ignore most of that, most
of them time. Why? Well, partly because of Najah. When I was a kid,
my fantasy dream horse was a fire-red chestnut arab. He would have a
perfect crescent moon mark on his forehead, and no other white. He
would have a dished face, and huge intelligent eyes. He would have
nostrils that quivered with excitement as we got ready to race through
fields and forests. He wouldn't walk: he would prance, and probably
toss his head impetuously.

Oh whatever, you know you totally had an embarrasing dream horse too.

Anyway, here is what Najah actually was - a chesnut arab gelding, with
a white mark that might pass for a crescent moon if you squinted
really hard, or maybe if you were drunk. He was also in his mid
twenties, and his favorite activity was napping in the sun. The first
time we rode, I went to get him from the field and he, napping of
course, lifted his head up, looked at me, and heaved this huge sigh
like, Okay. Fine. If you insist. It was instant love on my part.

He was lazy, he balked, he was so round that my leg would constantly
slip forward off his barrel, throwing me into a chair seat. He bucked
if you hit him with a crop. He bucked if you asked him to canter.
Sometimes he just bucked for fun. But his favorite trick was to
simply abandon the activity at hand and go stand in the middle of the
arena and refuse to move, which he got away with because he had a
career mostly hauling little kids around. We soon reached an
agreement: I wouldn't haul on his face, bounce wildly on his back, and
would spend lots of time grooming him - in exchange he wouldn't balk
and limited his bucking to special occasions.

You know, looking back at BABB, it's amazing how much stuff I put up
with, or ignored. And I think it has to do with that rush you get
when you're first bonding with a horse. Especially if you've been out
of the game for awhile - it's like: Oh yes, I remember you, I remember
this. How could I have gotten by without this in my life?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Exhaustion

I'm sick. I called to complain to my mom and she said she was surprised I lasted this long due to stress. I don't do well with stress. I get sick to my stomach, I get headaches, I get quiet...this time I got a cold. Boo. I know I shouldn't bitch about a stupid cold, but I did.

My husband and I woke up and went to church this morning. The church didn't even burn down when I walked in the door, so I saw that as a good sign. I figured I needed to go pay a visit to the big guy to thank him personally. Be it God, or some other divine intervention, there is no reason that Denali should still be here, but she is. She was so week last Sunday it was depressing. Her legs wobbled, her ribs showed (more than normal) and less than a week later she was so much better.

I went to lunch with some friends who wanted to meet my mare. One of them is from Portland and sent me a really nice message about how sorry she was that Denali was put down. Yep, another interesting conversation. We went out to the vet's barn, and Denali was HILARIOUS. She came trotting up to the wall of the arena and then proceeded to nicker, nicker, nicker. She followed me all over. There is a port-o-potty opposite where my friend and I were standing, I walked over and Denali followed me the whole way. Once inside she couldn't figure out where I went, and started running around. No falling. None. She does snap, crackle, and pop much worse than I remember. I wonder if it has to do with the cold, and the fact that she hasn't been out of the stall/small paddock for 8 months. My friend even noticed. That made me nervous.

There is a little cute QH there who has a broken neck :( Denali could see her from the arena and she kept perking her ears at her and nickering this low, low, nicker as if to say, "Hey, you okay?" I feel so bad for this little mare, she looks miserable.

I tucked a thank you note into Denali's medical chart for the Vet. I am still just in awe of how generous she is of her time. We just started seeing her November 6th, and she is already doing so much for us.

On my way home from working at the Giant Warmblood Barn I stopped at Denali's barn (old barn??) to explain the great opportunity that we were given. I feel bad. I picked up the rest of her stuff because I don't expect our trainer to hold a stall for her. I don't know how long we'll be at the vet's barn, and I want to be fair to her. Horses + Change terrifies me. I don't know what I'm going to do once we leave the vet's barn (optimistic here!!) Denali isn't an easy horse to board. She high maintenance, I'm high maintenance. It's bad combination. I'm still going to cross my fingers that she is still able to be ridden. If she's not, boarding will be easier, but I'd rather have a horse I can ride. At least I have a horse, hu?

I know I'm jumping the gun here, and probably thinking too far down the road. At this point I'm going to STILL try still take it day by day, but that is just exhausting me.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for a guest blogger this week: Ophie's Mom. You may remember her from the super awesome 101 Things to Do With Your Stall Bound Horse.

Also!I thought that you'd like this. I suggested Denali's name when I didn't think I'd have her anymore. They picked it! Another Denali, and I hope this one finds an owner to love her as much as I love my Denali.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Love Denali's Vet

I just got off the phone with Denali's vet. Denali was a good girl today for turn out, was super easy to catch, and stood quietly for grooming. Good girl Nawlers. I feel bad that I didn't make it out there, but I'm still recovering from our roller coaster ride.

Then the vet made my year.

She offered to keep Denali at her barn, and do physical therapy with her for a beyond reasonable price. I started to cry. It is unbelievably generous of her, and I am eternally grateful for her offer. In exchange I am going to work with one of her rescue horses. Gulp. I'm a bit nervous, but I'm up for a challenge, especially if it mean that my husband and I can afford to treat Denali. I explained to her my work I do at the Giant Warmblood Barn, and said I would see about saving up hours to get some professional training put on this mare of hers.

We still do not understand why Denali did the sudden turn around, we may never understand horses are amazing creatures. We are just thankful for snow! There are too many coincidences to think that there isn't a higher power at work here, and this coming from a person who doesn't consider herself religious.

We have cancelled the truck and are going to go with it to see how she does. The vet is going to start to evaluate Denali this week to see how her neurological signs look. If all looks good then she is going to incorporate Denali into her herd so Denali can HOPEFULLY learn how to be a horse too. This is done in baby steps, but hell, I'll take baby steps!! We are taking this in a guarded sense of hope, we know we still might lose her, and it might be something totally out of the blue, but at this point I like hope.
Thanks Paigley!!

No news from the vet today. We are not going out to the barn, we're both exhausted after the past few weeks we've had. I got a beautiful bunch of flowers today from our neighbors that said "Condolences." I have some explaining to do.... Fingers still crossed, and we're not out of the woods yet.

What Now?

We are still at a loss as to what is going on. We've cancelled the truck for the time being (yay.)

Our options are as follows.

1- to say no more diagnostics, let’s just see how she does,
2- try Marquis (or one of the other treatment medications) for a few months and see how she does,
3- do a myelogram, EPM titers, ultrasound the left hind leg, specialist referral, etc, as needed to continue working up her case and try to find a diagnosis and pursue treatment once a diagnosis is found.

Options 2 and 3 are going to require $$$ and at this point we're over $7,000 in vet treatments alone. Hell, #3 alone is going to cost at least $5,000.

It's just a matter of balancing what we can afford, with what is best for Denali. After emptying your bank account twice, it gets frustrating, but a happy frustration. To think, I was going to cut her tail off on Thursday night because I wasn't sure that I would be able to do it on Friday. She'd be SO mad at me right now if I would have done that.

I still can't get over the fact that if it hadn't snowed, she'd be gone. Still taking it a day at a time. Maybe I should change the name of this blog to "As Denali's World Turns." She provides enough drama to have her own TV show.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Roller Coaster

There's Denali this morning, after the vet called us out. She's a sweaty, sweaty mess, and totally dirty because she kept running, then rolling, and then running. Fine by me.

To say that my husband and I have not been on a roller coaster ride of emotions would be a HUGE lie. We're still confused, very confused. We haven't talked to the vet since we saw her this morning so we don't know how Denali looked once she calmed down and stopped running around. The vet said we'll know more once Denali's adrenaline is out of her system, but today she looked good.

The past three weeks have been horrible. A horrible ride with both Denali and I coming so close to death. I'm still shocked that I didn't break anything when she trampled me. What would have happened if the truck wouldn't have cancelled??? We were not going to let her out to run around because we didn't want her to get hurt.

We still don't know what is going to happen, and I will feel better once we hear from the vet again. We have the truck "on hold" for now. I am getting sick just thinking of the vet bills. Unbelievable stress overall, and hopefully it will be worth it with some definitive answers.


Confused

Confused is the best way to put it.

I don't even know how to explain this.

The vet called us this morning at 8:30 and asked if we could come out and talk to her. When we got there Denali was in the arena running around doing flying lead changes.

She is sound.
She didn't fall.

We are all confused. Very confused. The vet doesn't have explaination, we were crying because if the truck hadn't cancelled we would have just put her down.

That's still not off the table, but I did call our old barn and asked her to hold Denali's stall JUST in case.

I feel so bad for dragging you through this. I feel horrible and sick. We are going to check her on Sunday to see how she is doing and re-evaluate. Today she is turned out, and it's probably the adrenaline, but Denali looked good.

I understand if you hate me. I do.

Maybe we got a miracle? Maybe we're getting a few more days? I don't know, but we are all confused, very confused.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cancelled Truck

Truck cancelled, so now we have to wait again. They have 4 inches of snow. Not sure how much longer I can handle this. I just want to bring her home and forget this whole thing even happened. I just want to wake up from this nightmare.

Happy Thanksgiving

(picture from last summer, if I remember correctly she was lame, and I was sad, so this picture works)

Waking up today was hard. It was hard to get out of bed. Getting out of bed meant that it was indeed a new day and one day closer.I had a horrible, horrible dream last night. I am sure that bad dreams are normal, it was so obviously not real, but I couldn't help myself. My brother (who keep in mind is a pharmacist) was putting her down, but only gave her ACE, Denali woke up and got scared and ran away and then we couldn't find her. Someone did find her and put her down before I got there. I hate bad dreams. It's hard to believe that it's tomorrow (well, if the weather holds out) and if it can't be tomorrow, I just don't know.
My heart hurts, it actually aches which I didn't realize was even possible. Even with the approaching loss of Denali I am still thankful. I have to be.
  • I am thankful for the 2 years, 4 months, 2 weeks and 5 days I have had Denali in my life.
  • I am thankful for all that she has taught me and the love she showed me.
  • I am thankful that on that July day 2 years ago, I was at that auction, bought that pretty bay filly and gave her the life she might not have had.
  • I am thankful for my husband and the joy he brings to my life, even in my darkest days.
  • I am thankful for my family and their health and compassion.
  • I am thankful for the roof over my head, and that even in this economy I have a job (although there are the days I just want to walk away.)
  • I am thankful for my readers and the help you have given me through this journey.
Happy Thanksgiving


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The soul would

have no rainbow

if the eyes had no tears.

-Native American Proverb

Warm Mash on a Cold Day

My husband.

My poor husband. I know I'm driving him crazy. For a week I was unable to get out of bed and make it to the couch because I was physically unable to do to my bruised kidney/ribs/everywhere.

For the past week he has had to remind me to eat something, shower, etc. He's offered to go for walks, he's made all the preparations for Friday on his own. This morning I heard him outside on the phone with the vet, he wanted to make sure that everything was set for Friday and that we would be able to be out of there before the truck comes. He's called the truck and re-confirmed pick up time. He's done everything and for that I love him even more.

The roads are a little better in the Seattle area today. School was still cancelled, but my husband offered to drive me out to see Denali since we haven't been out since Sunday. He boiled water and put it in the thermos and we were off. We grabbed our mail. Denali's new dressage boots are here. Great....her smarktpak will be here next week. I cancelled it too late.

I explained to my husband that I wanted to give Denali a warm bran mash, but didn't want to stop at the barn before we went out to the Vet's barn. I didn't want to see anyone. He offered to stop at the tack store to pick up some bran mash, and even offered to go get it for me. (This from a man who is not a horse person, remember he's a huggle -like a muggle, non-horsey person.) I told him I'd be fine and I wanted to go into the store and pick it out for her.

I did fine.

And then I turned around and saw the Cherry Lik-its.

I lost it. I went from fine to bawling uncontrollably in .2 seconds. I just walked out in the middle of checking out. I left my credit card, my mash, and my husband. Luckily my hubby explained to the nice woman why I was acting like a crazy woman.

We continued the 30 minutes to the vets barn (it's a little over an hour from our house.) It was so quiet and so peaceful we were the only ones there. I started walking in the barn, and yelled out Denali's name before I could even see her. Right on que she started nickering like crazy.

I'm going to really miss that. She has the best nicker I've ever heard.

We fed her some treats, she still doesn't like sugar cubes! I went about making her a warm bran mash, which she was VERY excited about. She licked the entire container clean. Not a spot anywhere.

I went to give her a big hug, and it bothered her. Her neck must be sore because I wrapped my arms around her and she didn't seem to like it. She usually will let me bury my head into he neck and stand there for as long as I want. Her neck was sore when the vet checked it out a few weeks ago too, I don't know what EPM does to the neck, or why it would hurt. I didn't even think about giving her bute. How bad is that? I feel really guilty about not giving her bute. Tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll remember to bring out some bute.

My husband and I picked up most of her stuff because I know that Friday, Friday I won't be able to do anything.

We gave her some more love, lots of treats and left.

Her hind legs look wonky, swollen in weird spots and weak. I think that weak would be the best way to describe it. My husband and I talked about it and we might not let her run around. I don't think she'll make it 2 steps without falling. Who knows, I'm just going to listen to my heart the crack of dawn on Friday.

We stopped by my barn on the way home because while driving I developed this overwhelming desire to have my things at home. I honestly don't know where it's going to go. I don't think I can part with any of it. Not now. Not the things she used. My trainer was about to give a lesson to one of the little girls who leases. I couldn't form sentences to talk to anyone. I talked to the horses. I took my tack locker and Denali's buckets. I took her red treat ball that she loves more than anything. I loved watching her play with it.

Sigh.

I'm not even through with this process, but I already have advice if you ever need to lose your best friend. Don't wait a week between deciding and going through with it if you don't have to.

*edit* The weather might take a turn for the worst, again. That would mean that letting Denali go might need to be postponed. If that happens....I don't know if I can stay strong much longer.