Taking care

Lately, it feels like I’ve been running and running and I still can’t catch up. There’s been a lot of stress building up and I feel like I’m going nowhere from 5am to 10pm only to fall asleep and be back at it the next day. Added to all of this, not only has the weather been bad enough to where I can’t ride, when it’s nice out I’m too exhausted to ride.

So Monday, I asked for Friday off as a mental health day. I probably need more like a whole week off, but what can you do sometimes, right? lol So today, I’m going to ride. I’m going to play with my pony today, Saturday and Sunday. I’m going to enjoy my day off. I’m going to moderately catch up on what I want to and not worry about work or what I feel that I can’t get done. I’m going to rest. And I’m going to sleep. So, happy Friday/weekend to everyone! I hope it’s horsey filled.

And, to celebrate me getting Choco officially on my apartment lease, here’s a cute compilation of everyday Choco. Because doxies make everything better!

No news is good news

Well, it’s been quiet around here. Amber’s abscess is now almost completely gone. There’s maybe still a pinky nail sized spot that’s healing over, but the swelling in the surrounding tissue has dissipated and I can put her noseband back on 3 instead of 1. Her jawbone on the right side is no longer sore to the touch, and I’ve noticed she’s been pushing even more into the bridle – that is, when I freaking actually get out to ride.

Pics from left side because left side was clean lol. Also, she got a new pad!

Spring is usually nice in Vegas, and while we have a cold winter, it usually warms up in February, then cools down and the wind comes into the valley in March, and it’s generally gone by the first week of April. This winter has absolutely been the winter of sustained wind storms. We’ve had gusts up to 51 mph that completely whiteout outside to where you can barely even see the barn, and the barn is maybe 10-15 yards away. Usually, we have wind, but never for so many days in a row. It’s been pretty crazy, and it’s either not windy at all, or it’s 30+. The horses are as sick of it as we are, and since there’s really just desert around, that sand gets really harsh when it starts blowing.

They matched today. Amber was not happy about Whisper looking at her LOL

Saturday was really the only day I could ride, and it was another super successful ride on Whisper. Especially now that she’s much fitter due to lunging, she gives me a super canter from the start. It’s even a little “fast” for her, but it makes me so pleased that now “forward” is her new thought. She’s understanding that I want cadence and collection, and getting a lot more confidence in our “training” as well. She feels happy, ready to go, eager to please, and I’m just really pleased and honored she’s let me work with her. She’s a tough one, has continued to teach me patience, but the reward is huge. When you see me close my legs and lift my hand to take a bit of contact with her and she slows and sits back on her butt even just that tiny bit, it’s taken about 2 years to develop that response. She’s confident now that even if I correct her or have to correct her a little harder than usual, I always give her a wither scratch or a pat or a vocal praise once she does it. It’s so cool to kinda feel her calm down or try just that little bit harder once she’s praised. Her right lead still needs work – she tends to get stiff and to curl around your outside leg instead of your inside one, so we only do short spurts of really correct work to the right whereas we do almost the full arena twice to the left because she’s naturally better that direction. But she’s a rockstar, and while February was our only show for the spring season (no shows May to August because HOT) we’re not upset. It was a great introductory show, she was phenomenal, and we have more to work on that will help her succeed for next time.

I had volunteered as ring steward on Sunday – not knowing the show was last weekend. Oh well. It was the blast. The judge was so sassy and hysterical – I loved being her steward and scribe. But let me tell you – being a scribe and counting half scores for ranch riding and reining without coffee first thing in the morning was brutal. I shamelessly admit to using my phone half of the time lol. But she was very kind to the riders and gave them pointers. It wasn’t too windy yet to ride Sunday when I was done midday, but once I got home I fell into bed and slept. I was pretty exhausted. Plus I had some other things that really needed to get done (AHEM Mandy – way to procrastinate on taxes), and was still exhausted by the time I went to bed for work on Monday. So it’s basically been no riding and waiting out the wind.

How much hair can one doxie lose?!

On the plus side, Amber got new fly stuff. She looks bubble wrapped which, let’s face it this horse needs haha. So far, I’m really liking the product. I do think Amber gets sweet itch tho, so I’m hoping her new fly mechanism will help along with more of TTT’s tea tree shampoo and perhaps some meds from the vet. Her rubbing and itching can get really bad. So, we’ll see how all of this goes.

Is she protected enough? Maybe not…..

Review: under the radar

Well, this was weird. Apparently something didn’t sync between my wordpress app and the online site so I lost my blog post that was scheduled for today. Which is weird. I have no idea why it did that, so here’s the gist of what my Review Wednesday was SUPPOSED to be.

Go check out Amanda’s post about underwear, summer, and trot sets. The comments are gold.

Since this blog post is about what goes under our amazing clothes that battle dead-heat-sweating-to-death summers, I found the Champion seamless performance body shorts mentioned in the comments and decided to try them. I absolutely love them. They definitely do the job of wicking away sweat (and I sweat  A LOT) and help keep you cool. They do run small (which I DID forget to mention before so I guess that’s good?) so size up 1-2 sizes. They do make breeches fit a little tighter, and are a bit expensive even for a 3 pack, but personally I think it’s worth it.

Those undies definitely helped in the heat of summer

My next one featured was the Danskin sports bra (this one is slightly different – mine have mesh backs). Most sports bras have a thick, tight strap that forms a racer back. These, however have always tightened and compressed my shoulder muscles to where I will get really horrible headaches. So I had to find a sports bra that helped keep the bounce to a minimum and then didn’t kill my shoulders. I love that the Danskin straps are a lot more like bra straps than regular sports bra straps. They’re narrower, and are adjustable as well. Plus, these are about $10, so you can’t really beat that.

Well, this is the less amusing or funny version, but hopefully still applicable to everyone. Happy Hump day!

Best Bday weekend ever

I usually don’t do much for my birthday, but my birthday was on Friday and I was ready to complete my 10 hr shift, but was actually able to leave early at 12:30! Yes! So I headed straight to the house to have a small ride on Amber. I actually switched out Amber’s saddles – her back has seemed a little sore recently so the way a western saddle helps disperse pressure and weight seems to have helped her feel better. For only the bit that we do, any way to help her feel better, right? But it was a good walk finished by a short little walk about around property. She was really super, and was actually pretty consistent on our walk.

So cute ❤

But, we actually have an actual abscess update! And yes, her abscess has STILL been draining. Why, might you ask, after nearly 4 months has her abscess still been around? Well, this is piece number one, a piece I pulled out of her abscess Friday night.

The large piece is the first piece the vet removed sometime in January and the little piece I pulled out – the squish sound was….ick

I was so shocked I basically threw it on the ground nearly screaming ‘what is that?!’ because I was absolutely not expecting to pull out this bone fragment. I had thought it was just a tough scab. Turns out – nope! This is why her abscess has persisted for so long. There was still a bone fragment that her body was trying to push out. When I went to clean her abscess Saturday night, I scraped up this:

Piece #2. I just….can’t really believe it. Wow

Bone fragment #2. I’ve been shaking my head all weekend. So, now I know exactly why poor Amber has had to go on 3 rounds of antibiotics and has had this abscess for so long. Poor girl. So many of the small things I’ve noticed about her attitude the past week or so can absolutely be tied to the fact that these bone fragments have been very close to coming out.

Look at that little smile. She feels so much better ❤

The mystery has been solved! I’m so relieved. Since finding the bone fragments Friday and Saturday, her abscess has shriveled up and started to close exponentially. It looks so much better than it has in a very long time. I should now be able to set her debridement up soon!

Sooooo can one person have too many pads? I don’t think so…

Saturday, while not a horsey day, was absolutely the best day. My birthday, my sister’s birthday and our mutual friend’s birthday are all within a few weeks of each other, so we all decided to have a spa day. It was seriously the best day ever. We got our deep tissue massages first, spent a lot of time in the wet sauna, and grabbed food at the pool bar. It was pretty awesome because we all just walked out to the pool in our robes and spa slippers. We got so many looks but it was worth it! We got free shots out of it lol. Then it was time for our facials, hung out at the sauna some more before heading to a barbecue place for some amazing food.

There was so much food. We ate it ALL lol

Then dessert as well, and we got 2 free pieces of birthday cake. The waitress was really great. Best day ever. So relaxing.

Banana pudding and chocolate cake. Yum

Sunday we had a great but simple ride. Amber and I just walked around, but I hopped on Whisper for a bit and cantered her. She was absolutely fantastic. The lunging has absolutely helped Whisper’s stamina and fitness which is perfect to help keeping rides short but very effective. I was super pleased with how well she’s coming along! Amber was happy to be out for sure!

A friend came over around noon and we watched the 2nd Lord of the Rings movie as part of our movie marathon. It was only the second movie, but it was the extended version and we talked a lot about theory and concepts so it took a bit longer lol. But we had a great time. Seriously, the best weekend ever. As I said I usually don’t really do anything for my birthday, but this time I really wanted to do some special things because happy birthday to me, right? haha. I also bought Amber some good fly stuff so….does that count as a birthday present to myself? I think so haha.

How did your weekend go? What did you do? I hope it ended up being a good weekend!

Friday rambles (actually just pictures)

Well, I was going to have a different post ready for today, in which I forgot. Because it’s been that kind of week haha. So, have fun with a bunch of random pictures from this week haha. Happy Friday all!

So clean after (FINALLY) getting a bath!

Leaping doxie!

LOL her ears
I have never had this much trouble worming this horse ever. I was able to save it by getting what dropped out of her mouth on cookies and she ate the cookies. #istillwon
Look at her face. She’s not even remorseful.

Her color is just so rich ❤

Review: SleekEZ grooming tool

For today’s Review Wednesday, we’ll be covering the SleekEZ grooming tool – and just in time for shedding season! I’m sure they are easily found on many websites, but I got mine off of Amazon and it’s the 5-inch model. I love Prime shipping, and since it came with Prime shipping, I decided to go for it. I bought this particular product last year in the beginning of April (is it a little embarrassing that I had to go ALL THE WAY back in my Amazon orders to even remember when I bought it?) just in time for the horses to start shedding since the barn where we boarded didn’t have lights to help hurry on the shedding process.

I didn’t get the 10 inch version because I have small hands, and a smaller one would allow me to get into the smaller spots on the horse. I usually use the SleekEZ on every part of the horse except knee/hock down and their faces. I save that for curry combs. This is basically my go-to tool for shedding. In terms of ingenuity it’s not “cutting edge” if you will – a block of wood encases a small, ridged blade.

What I love best about it though is that the blade not only grabs hair on and underneath the surface, but also picks up dust and dander from the horse’s hair. You can see this in one part of the video I am including here. Amber had just recently rolled in the arena, and the blade is actually releasing puffs of dust into the air as it grabs the dander as well. The SleekEZ also pulls the loose hair from the top as well as any loosening hair underneath. In both of the shedding seasons that I’ve used it, the horses have shed out much faster using this tool than just using a curry comb. Amber usually has very coarse winter fur, especially on her hindquarters, and this tool really makes getting that coarse fur off so easy. Plus, since Amber is a scratch monster, she LOVES this thing.

She does NOT however, love selfies lol

Whisper is more thin-skinned due to her TB influence, and she’s not the biggest fan of grooming. She also has baby fine fur that doesn’t respond to the usual rubber curries – the fine hair just slips off of the curry comb. And yet even Whisper likes the SleekEZ. She’s falling asleep by the time my mom finishes, and the fine toothed blade even picks up her hair. She was actually fully shed out by the middle of April last year instead of the end of May as usual.

It’s also safe on Dachshunds! We got the mini one, the 2.5 inch SleekEz to use for Choco. She’s hairier than my sister’s dachshund, and she’s usually shedding almost all the time. This little SleekEZ pulls up Choco’s shedding undercoat like crazy, and leaves her feeling much sleeker. Most of the time she’s okay with it, but sometimes she’s not so fond of it (as she was the day I was attempting to video lol). It’s even worked wonders on my sister’s pitbull Max.

Personally, I love it, and would get one in a heartbeat if I needed it. The only con about this product is that you need to wipe the blade off occasionally because the dander will build up on it. I either tap it on my boot or run my fingers down the blade and it cleans it right up to keep going.

Also, it may not look like the SleekEZ is getting a lot of hair off the horses and doxie in the video, but all videos were filmed when they were not having “let’s lose a lot of hair” days haha. But every day it continues to get enough hair off to shorten the shedding process, and I know Amber and Whisper enjoy losing their hair faster – especially since it gets so hot here!

Easter Weekend

Was a blast. I was able to hang out with family and friends and it was an all around good time.

SO ENTHUSIASTIC. Not lol

I had actually wanted to post Friday, but our internet crapped out on Wednesday, and we were unable to get a technician over until Saturday afternoon. Such is life tho I suppose right? It doesn’t help I drove around town and replaced our DSL cable and that didn’t fix it. But Amber and I had a good ride. She was a little worse in the sense that she was a little more agitated, but she was actually listening really well, and trying really hard, so it was only a ten minute ride on Wednesday. Yay!

Thursday I decided to hop on very quickly since I didn’t have much time and only walk/jog around a small, flat area by our barn to do a very short, sweet, successful ride. Amber was really super, and when she got a little upset, relaxed very quickly and I hopped off. It was about 5 minutes total probably. But it was very light, Whisper was within seeing distance and she got many praises and scratches. Our future neighbors (they bought the property behind us a while ago; the county just keeps delaying their stuff) came over and the kids just loved Amber. We met them a while back and the older brother just adores Amber, and I absolutely love that she loves kids.

SO FREAKING CUTE
Yup, that’s the spot!

Even Whisper was super excited to hang out with the kids for a bit, even though she’s generally not the most egregious horse when it comes to showing affection. She loved that little girl. I was so glad I was able to whip my phone out and snap as much as I could. It was adorable.

SO MUCH CUTENESS

Friday Amber had off, and Saturday was a very light hack around the arena to stretch her legs and watch my mom ride Whisper. The both of them are coming along really well (especially since neither of us has been able to ride Whisper much), and her canter is really coming along. Lunging has really really helped in Whisper’s fitness I think. It’s hard to work Whisper for long periods of time because she thinks she’s in trouble and gets agitated. So it’s a little hard to do rides as fitness, but I think we’re starting on the right track.

This is the ground squirrel we named Scamper lol

Sunday I popped over to the parents’ house – a little early to give me time to ride Amber a bit. So we saddled up (and WOW it was like 80 already; I was wearing my summer pants), and rode in the arena for a bit. She was happy walking and I asked for a teensy bit of trot, and she was a good girl and was slow but okay. She didn’t seem as happy to do more than walking as she has been, so I kept it at a walk and she was pretty content at that. We kept it easy and relaxing for the both of us – just spending some quality time together. She got many loves, apple pieces as an easter treat, and many scratches. It seems like while her abscess is STILL dripping, it’s hopefully (keep your fingers crossed) really starting to close and I can take her up for her debridement very soon.

My sister and her boyfriend came over shortly after as did my friend, and we all had a great time chatting and hanging out and eating. My sister and I were goofy as always. Have fun with these.

Totally sisters. Happy Easter everyone, and I hope yours was awesome!