Pendulum

Amber has been doing well – or at least, I think she’s doing well haha. I’m not expecting miracles about how quickly she’s progressing, but as with all progress she swings up and down. I started her at 10 minutes hand walking on the 26th that first week just to ease her into it, then went up to 15 minutes for the next 2 weeks. After the first week she was alarming us that she wasn’t really getting better and would not put much weight on the leg, so we upped the walking to twice a day and she’s been doing much better with the 2x a day regimen. This past Saturday was her best walk day yet, and she felt very rhythmic and cadenced. I’m not expecting that leg to be completely normal and exactly like the left one for a while – these things take time and I am really just looking for her walk to improve and be smooth, cadenced and easy and rhythmic. Her right knee initially took about 3 months of stall rest and hand walking before she was relatively okay to start a little bit trotting before a check up at 4 months, so I’m fully prepared for this to take just as long (I’m also being really careful haha).

I don’t like to make her turn in a tight circle a lot, so I tell her whoa while I close the arena gate and this is what she does lol. The train was moving too and it was pretty windy. Such a good pony mare lol

All of the detail is mostly for me so that I can look back on this in case something like this ever comes up later, but she has her good days and bad days. They mostly seem every other day or every 2 days, so on those mornings where she’s been stiffer I’ve given her a gram of bute at lunch so she feels a bit better by the evening walk. The last thing I want is for her to start resenting her rehab and the walks, and I can tell it’s hard for her. She has been more vocal with me – she’ll start grinding her teeth a bit and looking back at me when she doesn’t like something – while it’s not a habit I really want her doing, I am happy she’s actually trying to communicate her dislike with me instead of being all:

She’s pretty sore on her back – I’ve been riding with pads and foam half pads to hopefully help her a bit, but there’s only so much I can do. Sometimes they may not want to walk because it hurts but it hurts because they haven’t been doing anything…..It’s a vicious circle. But even her favorite stiff-bristle brushes hurt after a curry on her sore muscles, so I’ve gone to my super soft goat hair brush and she hasn’t ground her teeth or looked back at me with her nose wrinkled like “HELLO MOTHER I AM TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING.” So I am learning too but it’s hard because she does that same thing when Whisper is getting more attention and if my mom and I are tacking up at the same time, so is it me causing it or Whisper? Slowly but surely I am trying to learn and be aware of the VERY SMALL things she does to showcase her dislike (I mean, give me a break horse; I can’t read your mind).

So cute tho ❤

The good thing is, most of our sessions she actually is eager to get out. She wants to get out and walk, thankfully. She’s just meh when she’s not feeling well, which I absolutely don’t blame her for. We have had the poles out for Whisper’s rides, so occasionally I’ll walk her over a few, just to keep the walk from being exceptionally boring. She’s doing well – I think they’ve been helping her a bit, and she mostly hits them when she doesn’t need to bring that leg forward over the pole, but when she does she’s actually been quite brave in bringing it over. She doesn’t when it’s hurting a little more, but every time we go over I’m telling her how smart and brave she is and patting her. Her ears stay up as we meander along.

Saturday I thought we could up her to 20 minutes, and she walked really well with hardly any loss of rhythm. But the winds kicked up and she was pretty sedentary just standing there in her stall, and was pretty stiff Saturday evening for a 20 minute walk. Sunday morning she was still a bit stiffer than how she usually has been, so I walked her 20 minutes and took the walk time back down to 15 for the evening. That seemed to do the trick as she was a bit playful Monday morning from what I’m told – trotting a bit in her stall with her I’m-so-wild head shaking haha. Part of me is oh-dear-god-don’t-trot-yet and the other part of me is I’m-so-relieved-she’s-feeling-better lol. I think the surgery has absolutely helped her for the better, and while I miss riding her how I used to, I’ve been able to get into more complicated/finessed/finishing work with Whisper. She and my mom have been progressing really nicely and I’ve been finding a better balance between working Whisper and walking Amber. The only bad thing is that Amber has figured out that when the timer chimes its little tune on my phone that it’s stopping time and she halted on a dime the other night haha. Can’t say she isn’t smart lol.

Finally got the navy and light blue browband on her! I love it!

I certainly missed her while I was gone, but now that I’m back we’re still chipping away at recovery! It also helps when your mother is a saint and volunteers to walk your horse in the morning for you when you have to work at the crack of dawn lol. It’s super helpful that she loves Amber too (except when she’s mean to Whisper which is…ah…all the time haha) but it’s really great having someone on your side that cares about your horse as much as you do.

Home at last

I finally got back from the conference yesterday morning! As nice as it was to get away and have fun in this crazy fancy hotel (that somehow still had crazy problems because they gave me and someone else rooms that were already taken so they upgraded me and then charged us randomly for things that we weren’t supposed to be charged for and checked one of us out early randomly….) I am very happy to be back home with Amber and Choco.

I’ve missed walking her, and Choco was very happy to see me – of course I was very happy to see her too! Amber was a little mad at me for not seeing her for so long haha! Such a silly pony. Now time for a good, animal filled weekend.

The wind is not welcome

We’ve got a lot of wind in store for the next few days, and it’s not for the best since Amber won’t walk as much if at all so her stifle will be pretty stiff. But that’s what our 2x a day walk is for! Poor girl isn’t happy to be cooped up, but what can you do? I’ll miss her when I head off to Dallas on Monday, but I’ll be back early to play around with her.

Happy Friday everyone!

So.much.media

I have a lot of it from the long weekend. Most people took Friday to Monday off, but I’m usually the sole worker on Fridays so I decided to take Tuesday off instead for a good 4 day weekend.

Injured pony was finally able to have her run on Saturday. First she did this:

Ahhhhh, such a good roll!

Then she did this:

Sleeeeeeep
Yup, nap time again

And that was pretty much everything. She slept and slept and slept if it wasn’t too hot. All that bedding from her stalled time went outside, so she had a good 4-inch pad to lay on. She liked it I think lol.

OMG just let me sleep

Amber also started her walking Saturday. She’s good at times and ouchy at others – which is to be expected. She has remained a little stiff tho so yesterday I decided to twice a day of walking (as the vet recommended if she needed) and it ended up being just what we needed. After Saturday to Tuesday morning hand walking, she seemed ready (and let’s be honest bored lol) for me to just hop on bareback and walk around the arena for 15 minutes. I have missed being on my horse, even if at a walk. It very clearly showed me how my position has been falling to the wayside, but I digress haha. With me sitting atop, I let her pick her pace, and thankfully, she’s been careful with herself. She didn’t walk too fast or continuously too slow (as would happen hand walking) and seemed a lot happier. Still ouchy of course, but by the end of 15 minutes she was really starting to feel much better. Time and patience but we’re chugging away!

Thanks for walkies, ma! Snuggle time ❤

And it worked out because my DJD order arrived and I had time to put it on my Lund bridle and try it on Amber. It looks lovely, and while I haven’t put on the light blue/navy one, I know it’ll look good on Amber. One thing I was surprised (and really happy) about was that the snap fits the Lund bridle really well! It looks fantastic, and I am certainly in love.

SO LOVELY

Most days were chilling with Choco and Amber and resting, and spending time hanging out with my sister at her pool with her dogs. All in all, a good weekend before a short 3 day work week and then I’m off to Dallas for a work conference for a week. I’ve only been on one trip before, and this trip will help me with training and tools for work so that’ll be a good change of pace as well. I’ll miss my dog and pony, but that’s still a little bit away! Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone, and enjoy the excess media lol.

This browband is a keeper for sure!
Helping me cook as usual

What dis?

Choco, and my sister’s dog Oscar and Max the fraidy-cat pitbull lol
Regal doxie lol
#totallynotspoiled

Aren’t they just the cutest?! ❤

The special one

Amber gave us a good scare Wednesday night and all of yesterday. She was starting to look a little down on Wednesday, but I thought it was probably the nature of how after surgery progresses or whatnot. She’d gone off bute Monday morning, so perhaps she was really starting to feel the surgery now. And then she wasn’t wanting to put much weight on her right hind leg at all. Her leg remained cocked and as I continued to study her, her nostrils were a bit distended and she was drawn up in her belly. I quickly made up her grain with bute and stuck it right in her face. NOTHING. She even turned her head away.

That horse is like me – she never turns down food. Especially something as delicious as her grain. She didn’t feel hot or anything, but then she laid down to roll in her stall and lightbulb. When Whisper is really hot and sweaty and upset she rolls. So although Amber didn’t feel extra hot, I was sure she was. So I quickly got her in the crossties, and she didn’t move a muscle when I went to hose her down. Usually she protests her baths, and this time, she relaxed and stood still as I left her wet with both fans on her. She was immediately breathing easier, and interested in her grain again so phew. Bullet dodged.

She continued to be very ouchy on her right hind for the rest of the afternoon and her left leg was starting to swell more due to most of her weight being on that leg, so I texted my vet and asked if I could ask him a few questions since I was starting to get really a bit worried. When he called me (bless him lol) I asked if any of this was normal, and he was like “yeah, no it’s not.”

Of COURSE it’s not normal

He continued and said it could be an infection if there was a small bit of the suture that didn’t come out and was still in there but because there wasn’t any sign of drainage or puss (the skin has really been knitting nicely and the bumps have gone down even) we didn’t think that was it (THANK YOU because if it had been my fault with the sutures….). Other than that he wasn’t completely sure and asked that I take a video of her being hand walked in the morning and send it to him so he could see how she was walking. I gave her a lot of bedding so she could hopefully sleep easy, and then proceeded to hunt through RW and SP for anything to maybe help. I quickly nabbed some rehab pellets from SP that Amber had been on for her previous surgery (because hell it can’t hurt, right? lol). So that’s on it’s way soon.

This morning I hurried over early, and what do you know she looked much better, and walked much better. Really, this horse.

I sent it to the vet, and THANKFULLY he said she just looked a little stiff from being stalled. So she can start her time outside in her run a few days early, and she can start being hand walked early as well. So that’s really good news that she’s still healing quickly. I swear this horse is giving me gray hair and heart attacks lol.

Resting along

I would’ve said chugging along but we’re not even doing anything so is it really chugging? lol Also, I’d like to thank everyone so much for sending us good thoughts and get wells! I really appreciate it!

Amber is doing well. I was able to take her sutures out pretty well and easily. Only one on her knee was a little tough and it bled a bit so I bandaged it up for 2 days just to be sure. It looks really good now and unless anything changes I’m leaving the bandage off but just with lots of silver spray since that seems to help keep flies at bay. Her stifle ones were pretty easy to get out – the inside one is still puckered – it doesn’t appear swollen or sensitive to the touch. I think it was just the way the sutures were that caused the skin to pucker a bit but that too has a lot of silver spray on it.

She got a good grooming and Peppy Spray! She was shiny lol

She scared us a little bit one morning around 4 am – we’re thinking she tried laying down on her right side and just had trouble getting up. Pretty similar to how I think she hurt her left leg in the first place but she didn’t seem any worse for the wear. Coincidentally, the next night/morning we could tell she was back to sleeping on her left side because of all the shavings on her. Girl really loves her soft bedding and I can’t blame her lol.

Her left hind is still just a little swollen around her fetlock mostly. It really doesn’t feel hot, and I think it’s also because she’s stalled and so the leg is stocking up. Since the swelling seemed a little bigger Tuesday night than the others, I bandaged it again with the combi wrap and a relatively tight polo to see if that helps. While the rope makeshift-stall guard has loosened with her being eager to scratch on something, she remains okay with being stalled. She hasn’t become destructive so I’m glad of that. But I know both she and I will be happier once she can access her run come Sunday, and I think once she has that area the swelling will go down again. She’ll have a bigger place to sleep, a softer place to lay down and snooze, and some space to wander a bit.

This was taken Saturday. You can see just a teensy bit of swelling (where you’d expect to see a windpuff) around that blob of fetlock corona ointment lol. It has since gotten a bit bigger so hopefully a wrap will help. You can also see just how many cuts she gave herself thanks to the corona.

Whisper has been doing well. We’ve had some good rides with lots of good progress. She just needs confidence in the fact that she can turn away from the rail on the right lead, and that it’s much easier when one is utilizing the butt lol. She really doesn’t WANT to use her butt but what is new right? We all work to get those hind legs engaged! Either way she has been really good, and we’ve been testing her fitness by having her canter a lot. Most of the work that we need to finesse now is at the canter, so now that she’s gotten fitter I can now actually ask her to do things longer and carefully go just that little extra. She always gets lots of breaks and pats, and she’s not sure this loping thing is really needed, but I’m super pleased with how her brain has been coming along through this. She’s getting a lot more confident in me again too that while I’ll push her out of her comfort zone a lot more than I have been, I’ll always be there to try to help her out and give her praise, and I’ll never ask for something I haven’t previously built upon. Little steps, and a lot more state of mind than physical, but I’m just so pleased that she’s not even getting anticipatory about things. She’s waiting for me to ask her for a gait or gait change, and I’m just glad she’s responding so well.

No pics of Whisper, so here’s the doxie. She LOVES yogurt lol

Other than really starting to get further with Whisper for our fall/winter show series, it’s been quiet (as usual) and pretty boring (as usual) as Amber heals and I’m busy with non-horsey things (as usual) so it’s been interesting juggling all of this. You’d think once your horse is down for the count for a while you would have more free time – not in my case lol. But dachshund snuggles are always the best, so here’s some pics of Choco to end this post lol.

Dachshund socks with a real dachshund! lol
She also loves sun lol

Moving Forward

Alright. Now that I’ve had a bit of a breather with Amber being home from surgery, it’s time to move forward. She’s doing just fine; I take her out of her stall to groom her and love on her, and unfortunately that’s all we can do for right now. She’s pretty bored but what can we do, right? lol I’m at least trying to give her plenty of attention. Plus, the Lick It that I put in her stall for her to start playing with has some score marks in it so I’m hugely crossing my fingers that now she’s actually starting to play with it because she’s bored. She’s not really a stall-toy or always-keep-my-brain-busy horse, but I also don’t want her to get destructive. So if this helps, we do it lol.

She likes to make sure she can see Whisper lol

As for moving forward, we obvi have to wait for everything to heal, but I have a few options. To recap on her knee, the bone chip wasn’t able to be removed because it was enclosed in the joint capsule, and Doc would’ve had to go through her old scar tissue as well as through the synovial fluid to reach it, and it would’ve caused a lot more damage than if he’d just left it. And from what he could see, where it is isn’t bothering her movement any, so he thought it best to leave it. I’m in agreement with him – her knee definitely isn’t the healthiest joint, but as of right now I’d prefer a horse that’s 80% sound versus 40% sound if he’d had to tear up all that soft tissue. So he backed out of the knee. Interestingly enough though, the swelling around her knee has actually gone down (that spot in the tendon just above her knee) and even the usual puffiness around her knee has gone down, too. So whatever he did I think her knee is feeling better as well which I’m of course pleased with.

Is this too much bubble wrap? I think not lol

Her stifle is more positive, but also a little more muddled. She had some bad cartilage in the joint and some rough points of bone, so he cleaned that up. Her cartilage was a little soft for a horse that had so much time off not doing a lot, but I’m wondering if that’s because she’s had the issue for 6 months (so inflammation could have been more damaging) instead of 2 since we weren’t able to schedule surgery until her abscess was completely healed. He feels that it’s got a pretty good chance of good recovery, but what exactly caused it…? We’re not really sure. There’s just some general degeneration of the joint, so while it’s positive, it’s also a bit of a toss-up. Still, not bad news lol.

But I do have a few options. I’ve heard some pretty good things about the laser therapy, and liked it when I’d had the other vet come by and do acupuncture as well as laser therapy for Amber. At that time the problem was chronic, so I don’t think it helped as much as it could have. But I can do laser treatments on her stifle and knee and see if that helps any more. I still want to inject her knee; she responded really well to that the first time we did so, so I think that’s another good step for helping her knee feel better. We could also do IRAP, which is what the Doc recommended.

All we did was walk 5 steps to the cross ties and she was happy lol

Which, I do want to try IRAP but it’s also….expensive. And it’s a recommended treatment every other week for 4-5 weeks so my eyes already feel overrun with dollar bill signs lol. The IRAP could also potentially really help her knee as well so I just have to figure out what I want to do and how it’ll all come out. But I have a few weeks to decide whether or not to pursue the 2 options. I want to see how she’s doing after a week or so of hand walking which will be in about 3 to 4 weeks. So it’ll take some time, but poor thing has been stuck with needles so much recently lol.

She’s been laying down and sleeping even though she has mats in her stall, so I’ve hurried to really bed down the stall nicely so she has a soft spot to be. As much as I worry that laying down might hurt her, I’m glad she’s comfortable enough to lay down and sleep! I’m sure that bit of sleep helps her heal even better. I took her left hind leg wrap off Tuesday, and thankfully the swelling had gone down a lot. It was still slightly puffy in places, and the spot on her hock I think she hit the worst was still a little swollen, but at least the lower leg looks better. She was super itchy on that leg, so after some good scratches and medicine, I bandaged it up again – this time with the combi wrap and a polo and not with too much pressure. I didn’t want the leg to balloon again, but I also didn’t think she needed it very tight anymore. Thankfully when I checked her Wednesday the hock swelling was down even more, and I felt comfortable putting that left hock boot on for sleeping. I still wrapped her hind leg (though lightly) with a polo since that leg is so cut up that I don’t want her to reopen those cuts or cut it more because of the mats.

Also, I finally got my plaque that Amber and I won at the 2017 year end awards banquet ❤

Since her sutures are relatively easy to get to (at least they look like it; let’s hope so lol), I’m going to try taking them out. I wasn’t able to get an appointment soon enough with the Doc to take them out until next week, and she’s a really fast healer. Unfortunately, because she heals really quickly, she also scars very easily. While having a few more scars won’t be bad, I know from past experience with her and sutures (her knee, the back of her elbow, and above her right eye) she starts getting annoyed at them and trying to scratch them or pick at them herself so I’m going to take them out either today or over the weekend.

As much as she’s being a funny girl and pushing her door open to get out of the stall, she seems content to rest. The surgery was stressful, and she’s definitely been calmer here than at the clinic.  While she finally seems content to rest, I think she is starting to feel better. Not only has she been less destructive, but she’s just seemed a little happier as well. I’ve noticed that she’s still careful bringing forward that right hind leg after standing for a while, but I’ve been really trying to be observant of her facial expressions and I think that stifle is feeling better. It’s difficult to explain, but her expressions when she’s doing just the little bit of walking around her stall look happier. She’s even started to “reach” a little more! (as in she doesn’t short that leg walking over the bar out of her stall which granted she’s only done once lol small victories right?) I’ve added some U-Guard pellets to her grain as well, thinking why not because my mom had them, and I think that’s been making a big difference in her feeling better as well. Thanks everyone for crossing their crossables and keeping us in your thoughts! She’s been much happier I think, and I’m hopeful that we’ll come back well from this.

When you’re itchy but your mother is tired of you taking your fly mask off so she attaches it to the neck cover LOL

I finally got to put another ride on Whisper, and she was her usual stellar self lol. I was excited to use the Equilab for this ride since it was going to be crazy, but was a wee bit disappointed.

I also don’t know why it shows we went to the front of the house (we didn’t) and I’m not sure what that black/white thing is either…..

We actually probably cantered for at least 7 of those 11 minutes spent walking. Perhaps Whisper’s canter is just too slow? lol Either way, she was a good girl and really started to get the hang of what I was doing (which was a cloverleaf pattern around 4 poles lol).

But I’d like your guys’ input as well on this! I’d like to see what I can do to make her strict stall-rest time happy, so I’d love to know what you guys have done for your injured ponies. I’m also new to IRAP so if anyone has any experience I’d love to hear it! Have you had any experience with Laser therapy as well for things like this? How has your horse responded to it? Or have you gone the route of traditional injections? How has that worked for you? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Review: Lund Eventer Snaffle Bridle + Lace Reins

Time for another Review Wednesday! This particular product is one that I’ve been wanting to review for a while, but I’ve wanted to have it for a few months before giving it my 2 cents so I could, with relative accuracy, give everyone a thorough review. So today on the docket is the Lund Saddlery Eventer Series Snaffle Bridle and their Eventer Series Lace Grip Reins.

To give you a bit of background first, Lund Saddlery is a relatively new company. If I’m remembering correctly, they debuted on Facebook September 2016-ish. They make extremely affordable strap goods from quality Sedgwick leather – and you can’t beat the price! All of their pieces are within pretty much everyone’s budget, and I absolutely believe you’re getting really good quality for those prices. Two things about this company that so far I have very much appreciated and loved are 1) whenever you contact Lund on Facebook, you’re talking directly to the owner of the company and 2) Lund has monthly draws on facebook where you can win whichever tack piece is on the docket for that month. That means FREE tack! You can’t beat free tack, and I generally enter every month. Also, many other bloggers have tried out this brand’s strap goods, and Lund has all of those reviews on their page for you to check out, too.

It looks so nice!

On to the bridle! I was itching to get my hands on this leather considering I’d read so many bloggers’ posts about how lovely the products were. There was going to be a kickstarter in December, and originally I had planned to get my bridle and reins combo through the kickstarter; however, Lund was selling the eventer series snaffle bridle and lace grip reins they had used on their horse model for a discounted price on facebook. Me being generally impatient, I decided to snap it up. And then couldn’t wait until this came in the mail lol.

I’m not really an Austrailian nut fan – at least not on Amber. She’s already orange, and the orange-ish padding with the reddish leather I was just not the biggest fan of how it looked on her. I actually liked the natural look of it on Whisper better. She’s a liver chestnut, so the contrast of color looked good on her. But, after reading Karen’s post about darkening the bridle, I knew it would be no issue to get it a lovely Havana that I think looks very snazzy on Amber.

Getting it fitted….
She’s very excited lol
After the first coat of oil

I’ll talk more on darkening the leather later and go to the quality of the leather. I’ve never really had really good Sedgwick leather, but now that I have, I am definitely hooked. Out of the box the bridle was a little stiff, but as most Sedgwick lovers know and as I came to find out, it’s usually a bit stiff at first and takes a while to break in – however the leather lasts FOREVER. And I can absolutely see why. While the leather was a bit stiff, it wasn’t a cheapo-stiff-leather feeling if that makes any sense. It merely felt new, and you could seriously see and feel the quality straight out of the box. The padding on the monocrown, browband and noseband is Italian leather, and absolutely luxurious feeling. I of course hurried out the next day after work to try it on Amber and make sure it fit. It was a full size, which Amber definitely needed – browbands can tend to be tight on her since she ranges from full to oversize for that forehead and those ears of hers. While the circumference of her nose requires a full-size noseband, she’s a cob in the length of her head. Even still, the Lund bridle fit her very well.

See? Look at those mule ears lolol

I immediately took it inside and applied a coat of Neatsfoot oil. Neatsfoot will be your friend in darkening the leather. Karen suggests Belvoir as well, which unfortunately I didn’t have. I tried the Passier lederbalsam on it but don’t like it as much as plain Neatsfoot. The Sedgwick absorbed the Neatsfoot like no other leather strap goods I own, and it was brand new! The Italian leather padding darkened immediately with the Neatsfoot. I applied one coat, and it looked very dark at first. Once it all soaked in, it lightened and required more coats of oil.

For the next few weeks, I did just as Karen suggested – I’d ride and coat in oil, ride and oil, ride and oil, etc but not clean it with glycerin soap. It darkened very nicely, soaked up the oil like crazy, and after a few times I stopped with the Passier lederbalsam since it seemed to make the leather a little tacky and would attract the Vegas dust like flies. The Neatsfoot left it feeling soft and smooth. It stopped darkening after the first month of plain Neatsfoot, but I also haven’t cleaned it in a while. Haha oops. On the plus side, it absolutely looks no worse for the wear. I’ve left it in the un-sealed tack room and it has gotten wind, dust (like literally there was a 1/2 inch of dust because the winds were so bad), humidity from the rain and still looks new. I know most east coast weather is absolutely worse than mine, but Vegas is also extremely dry, and that can very quickly damage leather. So far, it’s taken the weather like a champ. As I’ve used it over the past 6 months, it’s only gotten softer, but still remains very hardy.

The reins are the exact same quality as the bridle. The front portion of the reins, just like the noseband and browband, are plain raised. Yet after a lot of Neatsfoot, it’s just as soft as the bridle. The laced part of the reins is still a little stiff and a little hard on my fingers, but that does help provide extra grip -especially if you’re wearing gloves (alas I was not lol). Even though the stitching is the same color as the bridle and reins, it’s all flawlessly done and really speaks to the quality of these strap goods. Because I was even more impressed with the quality than I had been before, I funded their tack trunk kickstarter and decided I’d try the rubber reins. I have heard so many stories of rubber reins melting, and I never liked how sticky they are, but they’re on my list of things to try.

Even though I only have 2 items of theirs, I’m already wanting more. Part of me wants to get a black dressage saddle now just to have an excuse to buy their dressage bridle haha. But I plan to also try their calfskin leathers, the rubber reins, their 4 point breastplate….things that I probably don’t need but the leather is just so nice! Rob, the owner of the company, is very honest and forward with all of his information, and it’s such a relief to be able to actually talk to the owner of the company and get good answers in a timely manner. I’ll definitely be buying more of their products in the future.

While I got my bridle discounted, the Eventer Snaffle Bridle is $175 USD and the reins are $95 USD; however, those prices INCLUDE shipping. It’s a very affordable bridle, and definitely much more worth the purchase price than other bridles I’ve had. Five stars from me!

I did a thing

I wanted to get this out before it was potentially too late for anyone else to miss the deal, but I did a thing.

I’ve been following Michele’s post about wants and saw KC’s comment about getting the newer Cambox 3 that’s coming out. So after Amber’s surgery and me finally getting her home, Sunday afternoon I figured “oh what the hell.” So I browsed on by Cambox’s US site (I made that mistake before by not being able to grab it Thanksgiving because I was on the Europe site). Bad idea, guys. I shouldn’t have done this.

Cambox ISI 2 (Pic from Cambox website)

And what do you know – the Cambox 3 is a pretty good deal if you preorder. There are different “packs” you can get – pack 1 is the basics, and instead of $458 it is on a preorder sale of $372. Then there’s the pack 2, which gives you the basics, an extra cap and 2 Velcro fasteners for $379 instead of $484. Oh my. The older Cambox 2 is $295 and while that’s still not cheap, I didn’t feel as if they were all that separate in price with the preorder deal. Hmm. Since I REALLY don’t need a helmet camera right now (and really for a while) I figured I’d speak to the online chat guy whose little chat window popped up on my screen. I asked him when the expected ship date was, and he said the end of May. Sooner than I’d ever be needing it (at this point I felt I wouldn’t need it till like November knowing this mare lol) but I was like “oh okay cool thanks.” I will just sign off before I decide to do something I shouldn’t. And then he proceeds to tell me they have a Mother’s Day discount.

Um. What.

Preorder discount and the pack I got. And look! You can get it in blue too. (Pic from Cambox website)

It was 10% off. Not a whole lot, but enough for me to perk up. It brought the whole thing down to $349 (that included shipping). And as I pondered and pondered, I just decided to go for it. Why not? It has wifi, I can control it with my phone (though I’m not technologically challenged it’s still a nice feature), it has 720p 60fps instead of 720p 30fps that the Cambox 2 has, the memory capacity can go up to 64 Gb, and – while it’s only 10 minutes – it has 85 minutes of record time vs 75 minutes. Cambox 2 has plenty of fun colors and bling, but for a helmet cam I prefer something a little more muted. (Hint: I got the black and not the blue)

Looks pretty cool to me. (Pic from Cambox website)

So. I did NOT need a helmet camera, and while I probably could’ve gotten an equally good or better deal for Black Friday or July 4th or Labor Day or lots of other holidays, this was my “congrats your horse made it home after surgery” gift to myself haha haha ha ha ha…. Now that’ll be coming to me at the end of May, and once I get it I will be sure to document everything for everyone lol. But reading Amanda’s post this morning with RW’s new addition of the UHWK Sports Action HD Helmet Videocam, I remembered my poor great decision of buying the Cambox and figured there may be a Memorial Day/preorder deal that someone can hop on.

(Pic from Cambox website)

Now off I go to sell some more things I don’t use…..lol.

Home at last

It was certainly stressful having Amber away and at the vet’s, but once I saw her Thursday I was relieved and happy that she was doing well. I couldn’t get up there to see her on Friday since I worked all of their visiting hours, but I knew she would fine and did evening chores for Whisper. I went to visit Amber Saturday morning (no Whisper ride because long story lol) and she was definitely a lot perkier than when I’d seen her Thursday. She was begging me for scratches and occasionally nibbled on her grass.

I checked out her knee and stifle – they were both warm but that was to be expected. She didn’t seem sensitive to the touch and as I looked down I saw this:

OMG WHAT DID YOU DO

Cue the heart sinking. It’s worth noting that this horse doesn’t get edema just because of a little cut. She’ll have a deep gash that’s bleeding and it still won’t swell. So for this leg to be so swollen like that – she had to have hurt it pretty badly. It was also pretty sensitive to the touch. My guess (from minimal evidence mind you) is that because she had a stain on her fly sheet around her stifle that wasn’t there when I saw her Thursday, she tried to lay down or was trying to get up from laying down, didn’t realize how much it hurt, got her leg caught in between on of the rails and pulled it out. UGH MARE. I would also think that perhaps she kicked but I surmise that’d have been more difficult to get both sides of her leg so badly. Thank you, Amber. I love all these mini heart attacks.

Her makeshift stall guard until the 2 weeks are over. So far it’s holding up well!

Dr. W came by to chat with me about her recovery, told me she could go home tomorrow, and then was surprised at Amber’s left hind leg. And proceeded to say she was trouble with a capital T. Why yes sir; yes she is. They wrapped her up and because the swelling is so bad she needs to have a bandage on it for 2-3 days. Seriously this horse needs a double-padded, bubble-wrapped stall.

Now I just want to sleep like this one lol

She needs to be on strict stall rest for 2 weeks before I can start hand walking her, but she definitely wants to be out and moving. Thankfully, I’d asked Dr. W about stall size on Saturday because she’s essentially got a big 48×48 stall area, and it turns out she can only be in a 12×12 for those first 2 weeks. So my dad and I grabbed some old glider airplane rope and made Amber a makeshift stall guard. It’s lashed as tightly as we could get it, but whenever we leave the property or it’s night we’ll close her door to make sure she hasn’t managed to be destructive again. So far (knocking on wood that I don’t jinx myself) she seems to be happy with the setup as long as she can look outside and stare at things lol.

Right front bandaged, right stifle sore, and bandaged left hind. REALLY mare lol

An unexpected but good outcome is that she has also lost weight. It seems that having her food off of the ground helps her not eat it ALL when she’s just bored lol. I’m hoping that having her grass in a net will help with that, and so far (granted it’s only been a day lol) it’s doing well.

Whisper was so happy to see her, and stood in her second stall like this with Amber for a very long time ❤

We’re on a bit of a slow road to recovery, but I’m hoping she comes back better and more comfortable!

I am that person + Amber update

I discovered, when dropping Amber off at the vet Wednesday, that I have become THAT person.

Oh my goodness mom WHERE have you taken me?!

Let me explain. For most of my horsey life until a few years ago, whenever the horses stayed at the vet or were having something done, we used a disposable halter and never really brought anything else. No boots, no special food, no nothing. Also, I thought it was a bit stupid. Okay, so the horse is staying at the vet’s for a few days. Big deal. Why do these horse owners have to bring EVERYTHING for their horses that will be very well cared for?

Let’s go mom! – Amber before our little walkabout on Tuesday

I had felt pretty good when I’d show up, hand the horse over and leave and be an “easy customer.”

Haha. Ha ha. Ha.

The best view is between these ears ❤

I say this all in good fun at myself by the way lol. But I have become that person that I thought was silly. Not only did I bring Amber for the stay, but I brought her grain – complete with her joint medicine because I hope it’ll help through the surgery – I brought her fly mask, fly boots, fly sheet and neck cover and a healthy dose of not wanting to let go lol. Of course, all the ladies at the vet were just great about everything and bearing with my overbearing-ness lol. Yes, maybe I brought too much stuff – my vet jokingly told me that I brought the kitchen sink – but they understand how much we love our animals.

This was pretty cool with Equilab for that ride

I brought all of that tho because she will grind her teeth at the flies buzzing around her because they won’t leave her alone. If the sheet and boots help her to have an easier recovery, well then I wanted to help that. Necessary? Eh, probably not. Silly? Yeah probably. But as I said before, they all understand how much we love our horses, and it is totally great to be THAT person that cares about their animals and maybe brings a little bit too much rather than too little. Because we do care. These may not be 4* horses or Derby winners or futurity champions or the next WEG champions, but they’re the world to us small-time people who love our horses. So I fully embrace becoming THAT person lol.

We’re not very good at selfies because she thought the phone was edible lololol

Also, as a quick aside, where did spring go?! It went from rainy and 60 on Monday to freakin 103 on Wednesday. WTF Vegas. I’m not ready for it to be so hot yet.

As far as how Amber is doing? She’s just fine. The vet texted me (with a picture; they are awesome) that she was up and standing and doing well. Apparently she was also ridiculously hungry since she didn’t get fed in the morning lol. Even when I visited her she was all about that food. She was still a bit out of it when I came by, and sweetest of mares she walked up to me as I opened her stall door even though her legs were obviously hurting her. I just love this girl.

Yup. Never gets fed this one lol

She wasn’t into scratches at first so she was really in some pain, but after a few minutes she finally started to get into it. She was definitely in pain tho, and leaned into me when I held her head. She then proceeded to (very slowly so it was kind of funny) try to keep me away from the other mares around her – even one with a foal lol. Apparently I’m hers lol. Because then when I left she was fine haha. She still adored the babies tho, and has gotten used to the donkey that she was next to before. She’ll have to stay until at least Sunday, and poor Whisper keeps staring off into the distance waiting for Amber to show up. She really misses her.

One of the little babies there! He’s so precocious too lol

Unfortunately, the bone chip wasn’t removed from her knee. From what I can remember Dr W saying (and we’ll talk more on it this weekend) the chip was in the joint capsule or enclosed by the other bones of the joint or something and he would’ve torn up a lot more than if he just left it. Which, I kind of figured as much, but was still hoping it would come out. Oh well. Her stifle looked okay – some damaged cartilage in there, an old, very small meniscus tear (with no scar tissue thank goodness but I’m wondering if that’s what happened when she suddenly was lame March of last year), and just a bit of bone roughness. He cleaned it up, said other than that it looked pretty good, but still a bit concerned that the cartilage seemed soft. She seems to be a good candidate for IRAP (taking blood, spin down the plasma, insert plasma into joint and it helps inhibit inflammation), and I want to try that but we may wait a little bit before doing it.

More cute babies! This one full on peed right in the alfalfa, then went to eat it and acted all innocent like “omg is that MY pee that’s there? Hogwash” lolol silly filly!

While we don’t have solid news on future potential, I’m still relieved everything looked pretty good, we have a few steps forward now with more knowledge, and we’ll see how she responds to this surgery clean up. So glad that’s over!

Figuring a few things out

This weekend was a bit of an odd one. I didn’t do much and it went by too fast, but that’s generally how it goes, right? lol. Saturday morning was a bit tense because it seemed Choco was having a few problems. She was moving her leg funny and seemed a bit out of sorts for her usual perky self, and my mom and I surmised that perhaps it had been the teensy bit of milk I gave her that morning. Which then I felt really bad, and opted to leave her at the house to make sure she was feeling better (she was by dinner time but not like her usual self so I still wanted to have her stay at her most familiar place). By the next morning she was her usual self so that was a note – no more milk for the doxie.

I decided to get some new/fun hair for summer!

I had a hunch for Amber, so Saturday I decided to put Amber’s English stuff on again. I had my one ECP contoured xc pad that was shimmable, so I put all available shims in it to pad up the shoulders. I left the thickest shim in the rear panels for some cushion since while Amber’s shoulders have lost muscle, her back won’t ever get narrower. It just remains a table. I also put on her breastplate and tightened it to help keep the saddle forward and used her passage girth instead of the kavalkade. All of this seemed to do the trick – no unpleasant faces or clicking her teeth together like last time – she looked exactly as she always has. Once I hopped on I could immediately tell the difference. She was forward, ears pricked, super happy to be out walking. I felt bad for not realizing sooner, but sometimes it takes a little while.

Happy poneh

So Saturday was a weird day with that but I hopped on Whisper and did some cantering with her as a prep for Sunday. She’s been a bit “behind” recently – not in work but in behind the leg and not wanting to work. Part of it my mom and I think is that just in the past few days she’s been working herself up again in her stall – pacing and pacing but then having no energy for when we actually go to work. It’s a new thing for Whisper to not want to work, but we think between her pacing and then wanting to stay close to Amber when we ride on weekends has been affecting a few things. She was resistant to my leg at first because “I didn’t think we worked near Amber!” but came around quickly and did a few canters and circles and hopped off.

Sleepy poneh

Sunday was a good riding day too – Amber was tacked up western and again very happy to be out and walking with ears pricked. I rode Whisper first, and ended up putting English stuff on her! Since I was planning to use a lot more bit contact, I like to switch to a snaffle instead of her usual shank bit. I wanted to put English on her tho since I can feel better what her body is doing. She was absolutely unhappy about starting to work immediately lol. Silly girl! I worked a lot on her turn on the haunches both directions. She gets a little stuck and wants to move her haunches instead of her shoulders away from the pressure. It’s hard work – a turn on the inside hind requires a lot of suppleness from the body and a forward momentum. And Whisper was not forward lol. But the turns really helped her to think about getting off of my neck rein and my leg, so that when I went to work on her steering at the lope, it was quite a bit easier. It’s not that she doesn’t steer or can’t – it’s just not finessed like it is at the jog.

Wild poneh

Especially going on the right lead, Whisper doesn’t like to turn away from the rail. I think a lot of it is her old habits from previous never-leave-the-rail training, so we’re chipping away at that. It’s just uneducation, and what she doesn’t understand is that if she’s collected turning is so much easier! lol The lightbulb has finally gone off in her brain for her right lead canter that my mom and I are so so happy about. For a few weeks now she’s had the pace and rhythm and just overall great collection on the left lead, and it’s finally clicked to the right as well! So Sunday I just worked on steering, sometimes just trying to steer gently off a neck rein and once in a (large) spiral at the canter, really getting her to collect up and realize that steering is so much easier when one is not inverted lol.

Hippopatamoose’s caboose lol

She did get upset – she’s not used to having very thinky/intense types of rides. But I was super proud of her in that as I continued to praise her with my voice and a scratch on the wither, while I could tell she was still upset she was still trying hard to do what I was asking and to remain calm. Huge leaps for her. The turns helped immensely in getting her off of my leg, and it’s only a matter of time before she really gets her turns down.

Monday, just to make sure everything was good and Whisper wasn’t too upset with me I hopped back on her western for a quick ride. Because she’d had a few harder days recently, I gave her a full body massage first. She absolutely loved it! I finally got Equilab to try so I wanted to try that for our ride – and then forgot haha. Either way, Whisper was great. Her turns were great, and her steering to the left was good. While it wasn’t as good or collected to the right, she was trying hard and maintained pace. We probably rode a grand total of 5 minutes, but it was a great 5 minutes and I was super proud of her.

Yawning poneh

Today Amber gets a bath in preparation for her going up to the vet Wednesday. It’s going to be so weird not to have her for 4-5 days, but I know she’ll be well-cared for. She was when she got her tooth done. Hopefully I’ll get to go see her Thursday after work and then find out how everything went! I’m excited to finally be getting this done but now super nervous too lol. Hopefully it’s all good news!

Gonna miss this girl ❤