Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So much to do, so little time

Cat's son was rushed to the ER yesterday. At first they thought that he had been given a drug called GHB, since he had many of the symptoms of this drug, but after he became coherent he remembered his day and he hadn't eaten or drunk anything that wasn't his own. They decided today it must have been heat stroke. They couldn't check for the drug as they said the ER lab didn't have the ability to test for it. It's a date rape drug and it's known as Liquid X or Liquid Ecstasy. It can sometimes be given along with a drink or candy and kids might not know it's been given to them.

Today is my "desk day" It's the day I run errands and pay bills. My bills are way backed up...so I guess that means next I will have no money once I pay them, but hey, that's why I work. I had the guy come to mow my field this am and that took a lot longer than it should have.

I got to play with Fiera for awhile when I was at the field. She was very ornery. I decided that I need to review some of my foal/yearling materials before I proceed. She has begun to kick out if you push her away and she's very pushy. I spent most of my time this morning working on the yoyo game to get her out of my space. She was a very quick study, but she became offended when I would ask her to leave my space and then try to reel her back in. Little goober wanted to stay away. Then I worked a little on circling and giving the hind quarters. This didn't go very well. She kept running into me forcing me to move my feet before starting her circle. Since I lose when I move my feet, and I lose if she plows me down, I think I will have to start here. I may call Jennifer up and have some lessons to get us started. Since she's just a yearling, I don't think I can work with her long at a time, but I'm definitely seeing some very obstinant characteristics. She's sticky and doesn't move...unless it's her idea. I did finally get her to move around me in a circle without plowing me down and I did get her to back away from me and face me, but I haven't really gotten her to yielding her hind quarters when I ask her to. But, I didn't want to make it too much work, so I let it go for the day when I got what I wanted a couple times.

I'm wondering if ground work with a yearling qualifies as aerobic exercise? She gave me a serious workout. She's really grown lately and I can see I need to spend more time teaching her to be more respectful. One of the things I have been doing today while I pay bills is listening to my Clinton Anderson DVD on Foals and Yearlings as a refresher course.

I have been sorting out papers on my desk, paying bills and feeling slightly depressed. I have money coming in, but it's not here yet...bills are due...it's just one of those things that happens from time to time.

I have been contemplating how much I enjoy being off work on Tuesday while Maggie is at her dad's. I would very much like to have a day to myself like this next year and not have to go to springtown. However, I also have a hard time turning down the $200/week of pay that I get from them. I'm just thinking at this point. I'm sure I won't give up the school.

I have been watching reruns of ER on TNT. I have been enjoying them, but think I might be getting tired of it. I don't have room on my DVR for other stuff anymore. I have seen them all before. I just wanted to watch through to get to the ones I hadn't seen.

Due to Maggie's horse having trouble with the heat, I think we're going to have to stay home this weekend. I dread having to cancel. I know the ride needs riders and we were really looking forward to going. I just don't want to risk Dixie's health putting her in a hot trailer to and from the ride. Maggie has another horse to borrow if the girth gall doesn't heal before the weekend (another reason not to go) and we decide to go riding.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Trace Trails

Maggie and I had the pleasure of riding the Trace Trails in Athens this weekend. I had been hearing about them from so many people and was eager to check them out as I think it would be a great site for a NATRC or STC/TTC ride in the next year or so. We went down on Saturday night late with Robin Timmons, who is an endurance rider. We rode out about 8 or so and came in after dark. Maggie said it freaked her out riding in the dark but I found I really liked it. Liberty was eager and forward and only spooked once at some unknown booger. We slept under the stars on our cots as it was too hot to sleep in the truck. The next morning we got up and rode before it got too hot. The trails are all sandy and pleasant. They have lots of ups and downs and are mainly in the trees. There are over 40 miles of marked trails at Trace. It was really great.

Unfortunately Dixie got overheated even though our pace was pretty slow. She began to pant and we walked in to give her a rest. We hosed, e-lyted and let her rest. She was always interested in food and her gums stayed moist and pink. Even after we hauled her home she was still panting. Her temp was also normal. Maggie was pretty worried about her as she has never done this before.

We're also still fighting girth gall issues. Maggie thought she's found a saddle they both liked but Dixie continues to gall.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has dealt with panting and it's causes. She was sweating and drinking and eating so we are puzzled.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trouble with Heat

Maggie and I got to ride at the Trace Trails today in Athens, TX. We had a pleasant ride in spite of the heat, except that Dixie had trouble with the heat. Her heart rate was fine, her temperature was slightly high, but not too bad, but her breathing was out of control. We trotted/cantered a little, but not a lot. We mostly walked. She was eating and drinking well and acted normal, except for the panting. I haven't been able to figure out what the problem was since she didn't seem to actually be hot. She didn't sweat as much as Liberty, but she did sweat. She also got another girth gall from the English saddle Maggie has been using, so it's back to the saddle drawing board. I'm not sure what we will do about The Other Half ride next weekend. Dixie was still panting when she unloaded at home in spite of multiple hosings. She got right off the trailer and started eating. She never had any signs of stress. Her gums weren't injected and her skin didn't tent. She was a little better after a dose of electrolytes, but I am very puzzled.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Crazy Day off

Today was the big day to have my new lasik surgery checked out. I came out 20/20 and I was very pleased. I was going to run to the doctor and then the grocery store and then come home and do paperwork. Well, all good plans seem to have a failure built in :-( One of my friends who I hadn't seen in awhile asked me to breakfast. I hopped on that...still time to do my shopping, right? Then I remembered that today was my day to pick up my organic veggies, so I had to pick those up, and then I remembered that I needed toner for my printer, so I could write my notes when I came home, so I stopped off for that too. Then I went to the grocery store, which, with my new system took longer, but saved me a ton of money. I have got a car load of groceries for $168 using specials and coupons from The Grocery Game. I also picked up a few things so I'd have complete meals this week.

So, after all that, I unloaded groceries and repackaged the meat and prepped for dinner. Then I turned around and it was 5pm and I have yet to actually do any of my paperwork yet.

I'm finding that I really do need one day a week just for me. Whether I use it to do housework, or ride or (fill in the blank) I'm finding that it's really a good thing to have some "free" time.

Going to make supper now...didn't get to see the horses today as I had to stay out of the sun.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bowling with dad

Maggie and I wanted to take Peter bowling today but we found out that it would be $60 for pizza and bowling for 2 hours or almost asmuch to bowl and rent shoes for one game. I was amazed. I had no idea.

So instead we have used a coupon to go to the Incredible pizza company in Euless. We are having a blast for half the price.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer is here, the craziness has begun

I have been so swamped since the last time I posted. I can't even remember when the last time I posted actually was, that's how long it's been.

Maggie left last Friday for vacation with her grandparents in Nantucket. She enjoys going to the island with Meg and Lori every summer. I think she missed last year because we could just never work it into the schedule, so we were double determined to get her there this year. Shawn was supposed to go with her and they were going to go for two weeks. But, at the near last minute, his new boss rescinded the approved vacation that the old boss had given him and he is now stuck not being allowed to take time off all summer. It was really horrible and I felt bad for him. Fortunately, Meg and Lori still wanted Maggie to come and they changed the dates so she could come up. I haven't talked to her much this week, which tells me that she has had fun and is really busy. I will pick her up tonight at the airport. I am hoping she feels like going riding tomorrow, but I think she may just want to hang out at home and chill.

For most of the week my friend Karen has been here visiting from KY. She was my activity assistant at Red Banks Nursing facility in Henderson, KY when Maggie was just a baby. Her boys were 3 and 5 when we met. Now Maggie is almost 12 and her boys are almost 14 and 16, so we've known each other awhile :-) She had to have foot surgery and was told she can't walk on her foot for 4 weeks. So, I suggested she recover at my house. I thought she was coming next week,but I was confused...she called me last Friday and said she was coming Monday. It was fine. I had nothing planned for this week, but I was really bummed that she and her boys missed Maggie. We did a few things that required being on our feet, but mostly we just hung out. I ate out alot (that was bad, bad bad for my wasteline) and we went to see Star Trek the movie, which was great. I bought Peter rock band 2 for the Wii and the boys enjoyed playing that as well. It was a super laid back week.

I rode for about 10 minutes this week. Too much going on to ride much. Dana came over and we fed and rode a bit. One of Karen's kids rode Dana's pony and he seemed to enjoy that as well.

I did just get an email that seems to indicate that Liberty and I might not actually have placed 3rd last weekend. I'm not sure if it went out to everyone or if it just went out to people who had a status change. I will know later. Of course, I'm disappointed, but that's the way it goes sometimes. The ride manager was really gracious and told everyone to keep the prizes she gave everyone and she's going to get new prizes out to everyone. Sometimes this happens with NATRC rides too. I never minded having to change ribbons much, but when I'd won something cool, I hated being asked to send my prize to someone else, especially if it's something I had already used and something I really liked. I know that ride managers probably suffer a lot of pain when they have to make these changes. I know how I'd feel if it happened to me.

Liberty choked on me this week. He hadn't done that for a really long time and I was worried about him. Usually I have to put a hose down his mouth to get the pellets lubricated and get him cleaned out but this time I used dynamite relax and release and it worked great. I squirted relax into his mouth and then I squirted release onto his throat and massaged his throat. The combination of both seemed to remove the blockage much more quickly than any time I have ever used water to clean him out. I will have to start making sure he and Fiera are separated at feeding. They were playing musical buckets and that seems to be when they have the most trouble. I also had bought a bag of low carb feed made by Dumor as I wasn't able to get over to Grapevine to pick up feed and the texture seems to be different.

Karen left today and Maggie doesnt' get back until late. I'm not sure what I'll do when I get done for the day. I may go ride for a bit or I maygo home and enjoy a quiet house...except that it's liable to feel lonely after having company all week.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Maggie at the Airport

Maggie and Peter are at the airport. I just heard from him that it is so crazy that even though they were there 2 hours early, he may not be able to get her on her flight. Also, there are no other flights to NY today to get her to Nantucket. It's ugly all the way around. The flight was even late...Meg and Lori (Maggie's grandparents) are helping him sort it out. They say since she's an unaccompanied minor she might be able to get on earlier. Another attendant told Peter that they would begin to pull the people for this particular flight, but Peter says it's so jammed that he doesn't see that actually happening. He told me to go ahead and go...I'm just praying she makes her plane.

I am headed out to my trail challenge. I'm nervous about leaving while her situation is up in the air, but Peter told me to take off, so here I go...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vacation This Week

I have been on vacation this week and I can't believe how quickly the week has flown by. Monday I took Deli to a Christian riding camp called the Flying G Ranch http://www.flyinggranchtexas.com/. She will stay for the summer and if she works out as a lesson horse I will donate her to the camp permanently. Tuesday Maggie and I hung out in the am and watched TV and played with Sims 3. We're really into Bones right now and I still like to watch ER. I have them on the DVR. In the afternoon we ran errands and went hiking on the horse trails near our horses. I wanted to scout them before we rode the horses down the road to the trails. Yesterday Maggie went to her dad's and I took Bonnie down to get a haircut from the lady I bought her from. We were going to ride (I didn't haul down to her house as I was going to ride Freeley) but I forgot my helmet and Bonnie took forever to be trimmed, so we hung out, trimmed, chatted, went to lunch, trimmed and chatted some more. Then I drove home in a terrible storm, which was no fun. Today Maggie and I got adjusted at the chiropropractor and then had pedicures. We checked on the horses in the rain storm and then came home. maggie is packing to go to Nantucket and I have been surfing and watching reruns of ER. Tomorrow I go to a trail challenge by myself. It will be weird not to have Maggie with me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

On Parking and the summer heat

I have a huge pet peeve. I have a parking place at my barn and it's painted off as a no parking space for me. Today I showed up and a huge truck was parked in my spot. I couldn't pull straight into my field to get my trailer b/c it was backed in so far that the hitch was in my way. I went into the guy who owns the place...no problem, it was a patient (he's a chiropractor) and he was leaving. So then I come back later, and there is another truck in my spot...not backed in just quite as far so I could get in and out, but still there. Not a patient...probably a worker at the other business as I was there an hour and no one came out. So, tomorrow back to ask the land lord and the other renters to stay out of my parking space. The land lord said I could have it and I have been there longer than the other people. I realize this sounds really silly, but the lot is really full and there is no where to park. My spot is in the shade is ideal so I get why they park there, but it interferes with my ability to get in and out of my field and that upsets me. I hate the idea of showing up to haul somewhere and being stuck on the outside b/c someone parked in my spot and kept me out...Like I said, just a pet peeve and needed to vent.

Monday, June 1, 2009

LIberty wins Indian Territory

Liberty took his first blue ribbon in novice heavyweight horse at the NATRC Indian Territory ride Memorial Day weekend in OK. I was shocked, amazed and terribly pleased. There were 10 novice heavyweight horses to start and while I knew we hadn't had any huge mistakes, I didn't realize we were really doing that well. He had great P&R's, even after the really hard trot up a rocky hill and he is getting more patient at obstacle work. It made me realize that we are making training progress and that the 2nd placings at Pole Canyon wasn't necessarily a fluke. I just swelled with pride at my little horse.

The ride was amazing. Indian Territory has always been one of my favorite places to ride. I already blogged about Saturday and have just been so busy I haven't gotten around to blogging about Sunday.

The obstacles Sunday started with a trot by and we were required to trot on the gravel. My horse is barefoot and this is a rocky ride, but he came through with no problems. I had started to boot him on Saturday, but since I have never really ridden him in boots and didn't know if they would stay on, I didn't want to risk losing a brand new pair of boots or making his feet sore from a rubbing heal strap. The first obstacle was the horsemanship judge hiding on the power line. The second obstacle was a transition, which he did fine, but I failed miserably by being off balance. It was great though b/c I knew exactly how I'd done it wrong and the cards just confirmed it. It's great to finally be finding some self awareness. We had to sidepass in hand, which he did really well considering I had never practiced it without a stick and he had a sidepass in the saddle which was more of a backwards, forward, wiggly movement than a true sidepass. But, my silver lining is that he stood still for me to pin a ribbon on a tree and he moved into an object in a sort of sideways motion...something he has previously not been willing to do.

Some of the ironies I found to be that when we lost points for backing, it wasn't b/c he backed too quickly (like we lost points at pole canyong) it was for not being quite straight. Our vet judge does her back judging differently than most of the vets and that was troublesome to me. As an aside, we need vet judges very badly, so I will learn her system and play her game just like we figure out everyone else's systems, but I confess to not liking it much. She judges the backs by 1, 2, 3, etc. He was a 1 at check in and a 2 at checkout the first day. She said that he not sore, but his back was tight, and we lost a point. I confess to being bothered that I lost a point for being stiff, but not sore. We were climbing hills. Heck, I was stiff too. The second day he went back down to a one...but of course, you don't get the point you lost back. The flip side is that if she judges everyone consistently, it shouldn't be a big deal. It's just different.

Liberty is really settling into being a mature horse. He's showing a willingness to listen and I think he's beginning to enjoy our partnership. This summer, my new challenge will be city riding. That should make riding real trails a piece of cake.
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