Friday, August 29, 2014

Day to Day

Any idiot can face a crisis.
It's day to day living that wears you out.
- Anton Chekhov
I hate that this year's blogging has become the tracking of my back maintenance.
However, it has such an impact on my riding, I feel it is important for my own reference. 
So, back the the doctor I went for a follow up from my most recent injection.
She said, "Referring you to the surgeon."
Knowing from my research that it could come to this mattered not.  My blood ran cold.
We are going to try one more injection, which she referred to as "the mother of all injections."  She called it a "caudal injection" and explained how it allowed much more steroid to be applied to the area.
The thought of surgery absolutely terrifies me.
The thought that this is as good as I get terrifies me just as much.
Next week will be another MRI (the last one was about a year and a half ago).
The week after that will be the caudal injection.
I must call today to set up my appointment with the surgeon...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rehearsal Is Over

This is for real.
Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal.  Live this day as if it were your last.
The past is over and gone.  The future is not guaranteed.   -Wayne Dyer
 I think this may well be my new mantra. 
Everyday, I try to live this, but I can always do better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Whatever You Call It

You may call it Boring.  You may call it Fundamental.  This week, I am calling it Physical Therapy!

Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.  -Jane Wagner

My first ride back after my most recent injection involved stretchy, bendy flat work.  The most exciting thing we did was canter serpentines with changes through the trot.
My second ride after my most recent injection involved grid work.
Thanks Coach!
We trotted through poles on the ground.  A LOT!
Then, we got a cross-rail!  I was wondering if I would be up for it...
When it became a 1-stride to another cross-rail, I was feeling pretty good about things!!
All of a sudden, it became bounces!

I admit.  Part of me might have paniced just a little.
Not because I'm scared of bounces!  I actually like bounces quite a bit.  But because it really requires my core to be stable because there is no time for recovery.  I had no idea where my core was standing.
I survived, and my core seemed to be keeping up just fine, but Fancy Pony was jumping funny.  I couldn't put my finger on it...
Next thing I know, as we were approaching the grid, Coach was changing those last 2 cross-rails to verticals!

Ok, Ok.  They were only 2'.  I don't really understand why my heart jumped in my throat for a moment.  Fancy Pony wasn't rushing the jumps.  She was respectfully carrying me to them with quiet purpose.  It was really so easy, I could focus everything on myself!

On the far side, I realized that line felt better than ever!
Well, Coach said, she was actually respecting the fences that time!

We ran through a few more times while I had Coach really scrutinize my lateral balance.
My third ride after my most recent injection was bareback.
Oh, glorious discoveries!
Trotting was magnificent!  Fancy Pony felt like her back was a table!!  She had so much muscle for me to sit on!
Hallmark Bareback Butt
Canter work left a bit to be desired.
First of all, she was confused about the depart.  She wasn't sure I actually meant "canter".  Once we worked that out, her departs were smooth and quiet.  Her downward transitions (even when she dropped out) were balanced and drama-free.  The canter itself was flowing, if somewhat heavy to the front.  She was obviously having a more difficult time without the saddle to distribute my weight, but she could carry me without hysterics, drama, or wiggly-ness.

At one point, I caught our reflection in the mirror.  For once, we actually looked the same way I felt: carefree and gleeful!
We really are still making forward progress!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

More Bad News

Sometimes, I can live in denial.
In fact, I'm pretty good at it when I want to be!

1) I have 2 bulged discs.
2) Bulged discs never heal like new, so they will never go away.
3) Sitting hurts my injured discs.
4) Riding helps my disc pain.

Obviously, I moved recently.

You have probably guessed where this is going...
I was careful about moving heavy boxes.  As in, I called Hubby to do it.
I packed boxes on a table to minimize repetitive bending.

One week after we finished moving in, the ache in my hip came on.  I was wallowing in my chair at work.  I gripped my steering wheel with white knuckles...  I called my spine doctors...

They got me right in, and sent me straight for an injection to the left S1 nerve root.
They think that the STRESS of moving led to a chemical reaction as opposed to a mechanical impingement, but the pain feels the same.
...Here's hoping the relief comes soon...
I can't ride if I can't drive.

No jumping this week!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Dreaded News

I'm sure you all remember Cricket...
Who, me?
The favor for some friends... 
She went from zero:
ok, maybe a tad above zero...
To Awesome:
Awesome number 1

Awesome number 2 3 months!

But there were some sticky spots that had us concerned...
For one, once she started to "un-compress" herself, she got so far, then one side sort of stopped getting better.  Or at least, it got better more slowly than the other side.  Her stride seemed to get a bit uneven and we didn't have the same level of push on both sides in the trot...

She still swapped behind at the canter, but it got better on big, sweeping turns...
No jumper turns for this pony!!

Her toes started dragging...
Enough to wear them clean and shiny at the bottom!!

Well, they had the vet out to look at her.  We figured at this point, it wasn't an "out of shape" issue...

We expected to hear "sticky stifles" or "arthritis" or "she needs hock injections"...
The preliminary diagnoses came back as EPM.
The dreaded news that rocked my world a couple weeks ago.

Gut-wrenching!  I know!!
Just when we all figure out the Cricket actually LIKES this jumping thing, we wonder if she will actually be able to do it.  Can we make her any better?  Can we prevent it from getting worse?

The uncertainty of it all is the worst part...  Only time will tell!
I welcome your stories and experiences with this perplexing condition.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pony Yoga

So, the other night, on a trail ride... my rock star trail pony was suddenly doing piaffe...
When I asked her to stop, she moved on to "down horse" (which is much like "down dog", except the horse is doing the yoga, and the rider has not yet dismounted)... 
Seriously.  Her legs were straight out in front of her, and her chest was nearly on the ground! 
While I truly appreciate her athleticism, that is really a disconcerting position in which to find one's self.
Athletic Pony (obviously not our trail ride)

I'm guessing we walked through nettles somewhere.....  Itch weed...  Something...
She seemed fine by the time we got to the barn!
I washed her legs, anyway, just to make sure...  But, she should really do Pony Yoga on her time instead of mine...

Friday, August 1, 2014


Oh, it's been a while...

I bet you were wondering what manner of fun I have been having with the Fancy Pony...

Well, I haven't.
I've been having fun of another sort!!

We bought a house!
Nothing can disrupt your comfortable life quite like closing on a house and moving in.

This is what the week looked like...

Meet at the title company to close on the home.  Oh, by the way, hubby needs to be here, too!  (Call hubby, and he drops everything to leave work and join us)
Sign all the papers.  Let my girlfriend buy me lunch!
It's a good thing we skipped the margaritas...
Go home and call utility companies to start transferring stuff over...

Go to work like normal...
Take the night off to celebrate!  Dress up for dinner, and make hubby drive to the restaurant (and home).  This time, I did NOT skip the margaritas!
Ready to celebrate!
Set my alarm for the morning festivities...  Because we don't take possesion until Sunday...

Wake up with the alarm.  Breakfast.  Charge to the ranch, where I pick up my dad's truck and trailer.  (Again, Dad, I know you aren't reading this, but THANK YOU SO MUCH!)  Dad workd out a much better deal than U-Haul.
Drive back to the OLD HOUSE.  Down the dead end street.  Let me tell you how well I backed that trailer into our driveway!  Let the loading begin!  All day...
Go to bed exhausted...

My friends had asked me to coach Cricket at the show.  We made these plans before we ever bought the house.  We should have been moved in for a month...  But closing had been mushed back...  So here I am, on moving day, coaching at the horse show!  Because that is the kind of friend I am.
(Hubby, I know you probably aren't reading this, but I still want you to know how incredibly grateful I am for your patience and understanding.) 
Cricket and CG made an admirable team.  They took some purples and reds and blues...  I dunno.  It's 4H.  The colors are all messed up...

Showmanship - coming right up!

The best classes, of course, were Hunter Hack and Trail!

Look at them go!!!
They had a lovely line over the fences, but then Cricket drifted left really bad to the left and I don't think CG had her left leg ready to support her...  Or, it could be just plain weakness...  More on that later...

Ready for western pleasure
This spooky horse ROCKED IT in trail!  Once she really saw the rope for the gate, she was petrified, but she tried her best for CG...

working the gate...
They ended up pulling the standard over, but that mare didn't spin or jump...  She just gave it really big eyeballs!
360 in the box
Nevermind that they turned the wrong direction.  Claustrophobic Cricket was comfortable with it!

After the show, I rushed home, met my friends, and started moving into the new house...

Utilities fiasco ensues...  All day...
Meanwhile, we go back for one more load of stuff...  Moving, moving, etc...

Oh, yeah!  We have a swing!!
More of the same.  Move and clean...
You get the idea.

Now, we're to the part where we just have to unpack and settle in.  It's pretty overwhelming!
But, we get to call this homestead our own!!


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