Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Goals Recap

I've been putting off this post for a few reasons - namely because I feel like a lot of my goals didn't come to fruition and because I feel like a lot of them kinda of flopped due to the nature of things. Regardless, I think it's important to reflect on 2017 and what it has meant to me.

So, before I sit down and think hard about my goals and aspirations for 2018, I wanted to take the time to look back at what I had wrote for 2017 (quite literally in the final hours of the year). This entire year has been an interesting - from beginning a new partnership with my very first baby horse, to losing my sweet Suzie mare, and dealing with the inner-turmoil that is Adulthood.

2017 Goals Recap

  • Be comfortable, content, and retired. If anyone deserves the life of leisure, it's this mare. I would say that for the most part, 2017 was about keeping Suzie as happy and healthy as she could be, given the circumstances of her diagnosis.
  • Continue to utilize the pain management program set out by the Vet; continue with the injections and continually reassess her quality of life to ensure she is stable and happy. As readers know, I continued to manage Suzie's pain and assess her quality of life throughout the year. My little red mare remained stoic and sweet, but made it clear she was ready to go near the end of September. On October 16, 2017 I sat in the pouring rain with her head in my lap and said goodbye as she took her very last breaths on our property where we buried her beneath a cedar tree. 

See Carly, Spud has a cute lil snoot too!

  • Order a new cart for him if it is in the cards (financial cards, that is). Did not happen. With buying a new horse, the cart was put on the back burner, esp because I don't really *need* a new cart just yet.
  • Compete at 1-3 FDTs or CDEs at 1st Level. With local fires in the area of the shows, I was unable to attend as most were cancelled for the year.
  • Qualify for the 2018 BC Heritage Championships. I was unable to qualify due to shows being cancelled due to the fires.
  • Have him understand vocal cues for turning ("left"/"right" are the words I am using versus the customary "gee"/"haw"). This one we nailed! Little guy knows his turning cues!
  • Nail down the lengthens and free walk. Lengthens are better and free-walk is almost there. He's starting to lower his poll and stretch his neck.

It's amazing how much I am falling in love with this lady <3

  • Purchase a new horse (?!) Ironically enough, I thought I would be purchasing a 2017 foal from a breeder I have been following, but ended up purchasing a coming 5 year old Appendix mare that had just been started. Not only did I purchase a new horse for 2017, but I also took her to a few lessons, clinics, and shows.

  • Work hard to pay off debts that have accumulated from earlier in 2016. Does debt ever go away? lol. I'm slowly getting there. It's a tough road tho because once you save up for something or pay off one thing, another disaster occurs (like needing to purchase Ty a wheelchair).
  • Complete and survive my first year of my CHSE certificate - preferably ahead of schedule. Despite not sticking to the schedule I had set for myself, I am still ahead of the completion date for the courses. In addition, I've done quite well with the quizzes/ tests, which I am pretty happy about.

  • Continue to plug away at the property and work towards bringing the horses home. We continued to plug away - little by little! The hole is filled now so we can start to put up fencing next year and plan for the barn and the last bit of earthworks that need doing!
  • Take a trip with the SO somewhere - preferably to the island to visit my parents. SO and I went to Nanaimo to visit my parents, which is the only true "vacation" we managed to take. Next year we are hoping for more camping time and a few other vacations.

It's funny how looking at these goals doesn't give a good grasp on what the year meant to me and how it changed me. So much changed in 2017, and so many things will never be the same. And as always, there will be some 2017 baggage I will carry with me throughout the New Year and onwards. Still though, I cannot help but feel a sense of pride and gratitude for not only my horses, but my friends and family. In my darkest hours of 2017, I was fortunate enough to have horse (and non horse) friends, blog friends, relatives, and onwards rally together and be a large piece of inner strength for me when I really needed it.

That being said, 2017 was full of life-lessons and I am so very thankful for each and every one of them.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Year In Review: 2017

It's that time again! T'is the season of reflection and recounting what went down in 2017. It was a wild ride of a year - both filled with ups and downs.

Her ad photo.

January was a very busy month for me - it started out with blogging optimistically about my goals and aspirations for the year. As I did throughout the year, I kept Suzie's health and happiness as a forefront goal. Life kinda has a funny way of changing plans on us, and I soon found myself introducing the newest member to my herd - Annie. The rest of January was spent getting to know my new horse  and taking her new places.

Learning things.
In February, I started back up with my monthly goals and had a lot planned for Annie. I had a brief moment of panic re: buying a baby horse (which repeated itself many more times throughout the year). I did my best to be over-prepared and started trailer practicing with Annie, since she was not a fan of straight loads.

Amidst my panic re: buying a baby horse, I hauled out for my first official lesson on Annie and experienced some trailer loading issues despite our practice. We finished off that February weekend by taking Annie to a very crowded indoor arena to jump around and she did really well, even in the trailer. By the end of February, I had disappeared from blogging due to a busy work schedule, but updated on the few rides I was still able to have in that time period!

Our fourth year anniversary was celebrated in March!
The beginning of March featured our "second winter" and I did the best I could by participating in blog hops and riding bareback (for the first time on Annie) in the snow. Thankfully the icy roads began to melt and I was able to wrangle up Spud to pony Annie from his cart - wherein she was super confused about the little pony's job, but was content to follow regardless.

Mid-March I took Spud to his first ever 3 day event (just kidding, but still one of my favorite blog posts). And back on the Annie front, I started to get less and less anxious about ruining the horse (although this would be a theme for many more months lol). Taking the farrier's advice after a particularly bad appointment, I started to work with my mare vs against her and it felt really, really good.

Perhaps the most important thing to occur in March was my four year anniversary with Tooz, who was living the life of leisure as a pasture pet and occasional pony-ride for my nephews.

It started out super fucking fantastic - with Spud expanding his fan-club at a little kid's birthday party. And just as quickly, April turned into a bit of a nightmare with Annie's trailering issues (and my stupidness). A very large portion of this month was dedicated to salvage what little trust I had left in my mare and to regain ground in the trailering department. Some lessons were progressive, and others brought us two steps back. It was a frustrating, but enlightening process.

There were some fun things we did in April tho - like teaching Annie to pony Spud for the first time, and giving her her very first bath since arriving home.

Spud continued to be a cool little dude and I started legging him up and documented a nearly 8k drive. The remainder of my month featured a "week long" post that talked about almost everything: lunging, figuring out leads, ponying from Spud's cart, standing tied while I bathed the other horses, trailer loading, ground work, and her first introduction to clippers. Whew, we did a lot!

The month wouldn't have been complete tho without some super fun facts about my main man, Spud.

One of my favorite pictures of her. Shame it has
Snapchat stuff all over it.
May brought a bit of negativity, as I began to doubt being able to completely solve Annie's loading problem on my own. I did manage to get a lot of riding in, which is mainly why a large portion of my posts are "week long" entries. A lot of typical baby stuff happens in these entries - moving away from the mounting block, etc - as well as that time my horses got loose and scared the neighbors horse over the fence (ugh). I was able to get some great moments in the ring, especially at the trot and had even more positive ponying sessions with Annie and Spud.

One of the most exciting things to happen in May was FINALLY getting through to Annie re: trailer loading and being able to haul her again for the very first time! It was such a relief! After the trailer breakthrough, I blogged about changing the rules on Annie - upping my expectations (and the pressure) as well as one of her first chiropractic appointments.

My favorite blog post of the month by far was celebrating Suzie's 24th birthday.

Another "lazy" post featured many photos of our shenanigans and my pride in my little mare for hacking out on her own, as well as another recap of other Boring But Important Stuff.

Best baby!
Returning from vacation with my parents on the island, I questioned my sanity in riding Annie the morning after getting back. All was well and I started to piece together a game-plan for Annie's right lead issues. We continued puttering around and even had a play day with friends which included a Mountain Trail Course that we enjoyed.

Near the end of the month, I took Annie to her first low-pressure event and completely lost my marbles due to anxiety. Fun stuff, but the mare was still a good girl! We also made some important progress re: resistance to my left leg. Mare was not happy to comply, but once we got over that hurdle, she was much more amicable.

Happy Canada Day!


We started out with another chiro appointment for Annie, this time with a new chiropractor who I ended up loving and continued to go back and see. Of course, I also blogged about my newfound fear in riding Annie, as she began to execute problematic behavior (mostly as a guise to see what she could get away with).

Trying to keep positive, I took Spud to the Canada Day parade and he totally rocked it like the super star he is.

Knowing I was a bit out of my element with Annie, I ended up taking 3 lessons from Trainer K and ended up making a ton of progress! Annie was also hot-shod for the first time and did incredibly well. I struggled to emulate those "clinic feels", but managed to eek out a lot of quality work and was proud of my mare.

Annie and I celebrated out 6 month anniversary in July, which made me step back and realize just how far she had come. I was proud of our progress, esp since I had never ridden a horse as green as her, but knew that enlisting the help of a professional may be the best option for us to continue to understand eachother and put the puzzle pieces together easier.

July saw a lot of small changes in Annie; some not completely noticeable until I realized "oh my god we are doing X, Y, Z", but I appreciated them nonetheless. We also went to a second Clear Round/Percentage Day with N and AJ - wherein Annie exhibited some herd-bound behavior but still did the thing and was a very good girl. We finished out the rest of the month with more rides, some road bumps and frustrations re: canter transitions in preparation for our first show at the end of July.

Her first show did not go so well in the Dressage portion thanks to me overfacing her with a Training level test (when we should've been doing walk/trot), but in the end, redemption was made and we were successful in the Walk/Trot flat classes and in the Hunter ring. I carried a lot of guilt in pushing my mare, but also was glad for the experience and Annie's efforts to feed me some humility - because boy did I deserve it.

And we had fun!
August was a fun month. It started out super hot, so we hacked out bareback lots and even tackled trail riding over some *real* terrain. As that last of the media from our first show trickled in, I reflected over the way it went down and how I felt about it.

Hilariously enough, nearly a week later the temperatures plummeted and Fall was on it's way. I began prepping Spud for the BVX show and laid in some good drives, as well as began to take the pressure off Annie and started to trail ride more. Although the pressure was off, I explored the importance of having a horse that is accessible through all of it's body parts.

As we all know, the BVX cancelled the driving classes and I ended up filling out an entry form for Annie. I knew better than to overface her and selected classes that were low pressure and easy for the both of us to compete in. A lot of the weekend went off without a hitch - we did Dressage and In hand as well as some Flat walk/trot classes. Despite some wiggles and anxiety, Annie did really well and I was pretty happy with her first "big and busy" show in the books.

We celebrated 3 years together <3

September was busy in the work-front, so horse time suffered exponentially. I was able to ride, but Annie was a bit of a fire-breathing dragon in some hacks. She started to pick up her leads more and more and more I realized how cool she was, even after having a lot of time off.

I also blogged about my disappointment in being unable to show Spud - the wildfires caused a lot of event cancellations, as well as dwindling numbers in competitors at certain shows. I couldn't be too upset tho, because sometimes shit happens.

I continued to do the Boring Baby Stuff with Annie and saw some progress and regression in the matter of two weeks - t'is the way it is sometimes! Patience, I learned, is a virtue!

This month also featured three years with Spud! Meanwhile, Annie and I continued to toodle in the waning daylight hours after work, which was a lot of fun. Taking a break from ring-work was well needed.

I also updated on Ty and his medical issues, which made me incredibly sad.

At the very end of the month we had a rainy schooling ride wherein we returned to the sandbox and although had issues at the canter, I was happy to see a lot of Annie's previous schooling was retained!

Rest easy, my sweet lady.
I wouldn't want to say October was a terrible month - there was some good information that came out, but it also was a very hard month emotionally.

With Annie starting to say NO more and more in our rides. And after experimenting with it a bit more, I did what any other rider would do - I booked a saddle fitting evaluation (wherein we found my Dressage saddle was a No Good Very Bad fit for the both of us and possibly caused some soreness issues), a lesson with a professional (who stated our issues were probably an accumulation of pain and naughtiness), and an exam with a veterinarian (who found swelling in Annie's spine and recommended a very neat supplement to help broaden her weight bearing area across her back. The Vet also stated her thoughts on saddle fit and naughtiness, stating it could surely be a bit of both).

Perhaps the most difficult day of my life was when I had to say goodbye to my sweet red mare and buried her on our property, beneath a cedar tree. Her comfort level was unable to be maintained and I knew it was best to let her go, despite wanting to hold on for as long as I possibly could. In her memory, I commemorated a Blog Hop on First Horses and enjoyed reading each and every post from other bloggers.

Lots of road riding
In November, I started little by little to ride Annie again and spend more time with her and Spud as my heart healed from the pain of losing Suzie. My mare surprised me by being a complete doll for our first hack out since Suzie's passing. I was proud and started to see the glimpse of what she would one day be like, which made me excited.

We visited Amanda (the chiro) and had Annie adjusted - she was given a week off to marinate in the changes. In that time, I reflected on our season and what we achieved throughout the year.

As we approached the 30 day mark of Annie being on her new supplement - Equitop Myoplast - I shared the changes with my readers. And as daylight is completely drained from this section of the world, I do my best to go back to the basics with my mare and make our road-walk hacks full of education and questions. All in all, I am ready for Spring.

And that time I didn't blog about hacking Annie out bareback in -23C weather
with Ty following in his cart. The weather has been completely miserable
the last few weeks - hopefully this wind chill warning breaks soon!

The beginning of December brought about an fresh pony who started to play up at the mounting block. From there, I began to introduce treat-training into our regime (and blogged about my plans for Annie's continuing education with Trainer K). The treat training would not only help me deal with the mounting block problem, but also the standing while mounted issue that seemed a theme throughout my history of owning Annie. We also began to use this technique with our "farrier practice".

Additionally, I blogged about some of my favorite things and encouraged others to do the same. At the two month mark of losing Suzie, I blogged about some very personal experiences during her absence and how I am overcoming her loss.

Of course, it wouldn't be a horse blog without awkward horse Bloob photos - complete with animated faces and everything. Onto less awkward things - I participated in the Blogger Gift Exchange and reviewed the 60 day change in Annie on the myoplast supplement. I also wrapped up the shenanigans of the season with a media heavy post of mine and Annie's lastest ride and Christmas photos. The best thing about December, though? When I received my memory bracelet for Suzie.

I am looking forward to another year of being involved in the blogging community and reading everyone's fun adventures. Thank you for welcoming me into this online community and embracing mine and my horse's journeys.

See you in 2018!

Monday, December 25, 2017

That Yule Tide Season

The equestrian in me is glad there hasn't been more snow, but the
child in me is sad there hasn't been a new dump before Christmas.
 Last week I kicked off the Christmas holidays with a solo-hack on Annie - I hadn't hacked her out alone in months. Typically we are met by N and AJ or I am ponying Spud; this time I wanted to attempt to canter her down the dirt road if it was safe to do so, so opted not to bring the pony along (and N was out of town).

Annie surprised me by being a very, very good girl. The work I've been putting in during her mounting and standing has been paying off - she walked off completely quiet and halted when I asked and walked off without trying to run down the driveway like usual.

Look at that super sedated walk!
Our usual hacks were hair straight back lmao.
If anything, she was certainly a little backed off at first, especially when we passed our usual meeting spot for AJ, but it didn't escalate past a little hesitance at the walk. She didn't stop or falter, just kind of felt sucked back a bit.

We were able to canter down the dirt road a few times - the first time we went up it, I asked for her right lead (which is notoriously her bad lead) and she willingly stepped into it and cantered off without any kind of theatrics. I haven't cantered her since her vet appointment in October and part of me was making the whole cantering thing to be more of a demon in my head. Her usual reaction when asked to canter would be to snake her head up and swish her tail, which she did none of on this ride.

Wondering why I'm not getting off and why
there are no cookies in my boots.
At one point, after hopping over a puddle, she switched her hind end and cantered disunited for a few moments before I brought her back down. She settled after the canter and walked the remainder of the way home, which was nice. We did some walk-trot-walk on the road back home but not much, as I don't like trotting on pavement much so we tried to stick to the sides where the dirt was.

Other than a few hand-walks and in hand work, I haven't been able to do much with her. The weather has hovered around -25 for the past few days so any adventure outside is kept very short. Despite this, we were able to do some fun stuff.

Like Ty getting his wheelchair on Thursday afternoon! After a Vet appointment on Saturday morning we discussed further options for keeping him mobile and happy - he can walk, albeit it very "drunk", but struggles to keep up and gets frustrated his back legs won't really work that well. Thus, enters the cart. It allows him to continue to walk with me and helps him balance. Think of it like training wheels for dogs. The wheelchair also raises his hind end a wee bit so he doesn't drag his toes on the ground, which is so nice.

We weren't sure what he'd do when he got hooked up, as he
can be kinda neurotic about things touching him, but he instantly
knew it was there to help and his eyes lit up <3

His second day in the cart - ready to roll!

^ His first time hooked up - acting like he's done it his whole life! Also, this is the first time in a long time he's walked ahead of me with any gusto!

Christmas Eve dinner at Grandmas house!

Forcibly entangling the dogs in lights is my kind of a Tuesday evening.

This weirdo kinda enjoyed it.

Trying to get onto the Nice List.

Out for a stroll, before the wheelchair came in. I usually have to wrap
his hind paws to protect them from being scraped on the pavement. He doesn't wear
them outside of walks since being on grass in the backyard it isn't that bad.

Attempting photos in -24C was not a good idea. We got some
silly outtake photos since we weren't very concerned about placement
or facial expressions.

The mistletoe headband Spud is wearing was $1.99. Best money I ever spent.

Bannie, mooching for treats!

Of course it isn't a Christmas photo without a picture of Roxy riding Spud.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings to all of my readers!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

60 Day Myoplast Update

I didn't manage to get any "true" 60 day photos, as the days were quite dark by the time I got off work and my attempts at setting Annie up for a conformation photo were particularly terrible. But, I did get photos about two weeks after she had finished up her supplements, so it'll have to do. For those curious, here are my previous 30 day photos.

Now, let's see what kind of changes I saw in Annie after the 60 days was up (because any excuse for a photo dump):

*Disclaimer: I do feel as though my results would have been better had Annie been in consistent work as per recommended by the Veterinarian who prescribed the supplement. Unfortunately, it just wasn't feasible due to our weather and lack of arena space. Still, I think we did OK and the results we attained were well worth it!

Top: Day 1
Middle: Day 30
Bottom: Day 60
Left: Day 1
Right: Day 60

Left: Day 30
Right: Day 60
Top: Day ?? (This was before Day 1)
Bottom: Day 60 (It's a photo of a photo...)
Top: Day 30
Bottom: Day 60

The actual image from the "Before/Afters".
It was flipped as apparently I only took photos of Annie facing to the left.

Final thoughts?

I'm pretty happy with the product - it obviously did what it was meant to do. I found that after the 30 days there wasn't much more growth, but obv that may have changed had Annie been in regular work. After the supplement was completed, I felt like she "deflated" some and her back lowered more than it had. I am not sure if this is because she wasn't being "fuel fed" the muscle builder or not,  but it was interesting to note. She seems to be evening out everywhere again, as in the 30 day photo it looked like all her growth from the supplement was concentrated in just her back whereas in the final 60 day photo, her chest has expanded, her shoulders, her girth, loins, etc.

As we continue to cold turkey ourselves from this product, I'll keep tabs on how her body continues to change and how her unworked muscles change. I feel like it was a good purchase to speed up the process, as well as help her fill out more. Could I have done it the old fashioned way? I'm sure I could've - but this supplement was a huge help in this drastic change.

I think this is the first supplement I've tried that has actually done what it advertised to do. 10/10 would purchase again.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve

When Suzie passed away, like most equestrians, I cut away sections of her mane and tail. I had wanted to (at some point) have a bracelet or keychain tassel made in her memory, when I was ready.

I was kind of picky about what I wanted though, because I wanted something I could wear every day (if I wanted). The typical horse hair memory bracelets are very delicate looking and I feared I would snag it on something and end up breaking it.

After a few weeks of research, I came across Enter At A's studio and after a few questions, I placed an order and sent a portion of Suzie's hair. I was nervous about it being lost in the mail, but since I had cut so much of it, I knew I had "back up" amounts should I need.

I needn't worry, as it arrived just fine.

A few weeks later, I anxiously began to check my mailbox and finally, I was able to see the bracelet for the very first time.

The elegance of a buckle back is just so appealing to me.
It makes it easy to put on as well, as most bracelets are
hook and eye set ups.
The pictures really do not do it justice - the hair is quite secure in the little slot in the leather and doesn't snag or catch on clothing. I chose a very conservative color scheme (brown/black), but Enter At A can do any color combination, which is pretty fun if your horse had a certain color associated with them.

The bracelet itself is a bit stiff (which is to be assumed with leather), but I imagine it'll break in eventually with more wear. It isn't super uncomfortable unless it rests on my wrist bones, but I just turn it off-center for the time being until it stretches more. 

The bracelet means so much more to me than any other piece of hand jewelry I own - it holds an infinite amount of value. I find myself staring down at it and tracing the braiding from side to side, reminiscing about my time with Suzie and how fortunate I was to call her my own.

It's a nice nod to my red mare, and a beautiful honor to her memory.

Trying to get photos of my wrist was awkward so I
settled for a mirror selfie in the bathroom.
She will continue to be missed, but I feel more connected to her and find myself comforted by the bracelet and what it means to me.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

2017 Blogger Gift Exchange: Thank you Grey Flannel Horses!

I promise blog posts will resume as normal shortly - the Holiday season is inherently busy with friends visiting and much baking being done. The horses are doing well and I have a few Annie Things to blog about, but for now it'll have to wait because OH MY GOD THE GIFT EXCHANGE!

This is my second year participating in the exchange and I love that it helps all of us Bloggers intermingle and get to know one another on a more personal level. This year, admittedly, I didn't give my poor Secret Santa to go off of other than Annie's color is purple (so sorry Heather)!

Altho not the same breed of dogs, I could totally
picture my dog Ty as the dog on the left and Roxy
as the one on one on the right!
Heather at Gray Flannel Horses knocked it out of the park tho with some SUPER cool gifts. Color me surprised when I realized she was a Canadian also - always great to meet a fellow Canuck, and a new blog to follow!

That's a TON of stuff!
Background: Pillowcase
Front: Decals, Ornament and Treats!
I was blown away at the amount of stuff that was in the box! Holy cow, I certainly didn't expect that much. The presents were just SO cool and they all seemed to have carry the theme of silhouette/cut-outs. Which maybe was intentional? I especially loved the decals, simply because they really look like Spud and Annie.

They really LOOK like the ponies!! Crazy

After looking at the decals I picked up the ornament and lamented at the fact we had chosen to erect our 1' tree instead of our normal 8' tree. The ornament would be too big to hang, which made me sad. As I showed the Boyfriend, he told me the back part of the ornament had writing on it...

How perfectly beautiful is that?!

How completely thoughtful and beautiful. It will have a special place on our bookshelf, sitting next to the Hamer and Clay ornament I received of Suzie last year from a friend.

I was just blown away at the amount of time Heather took to check out my blog and really get to "know me". The gifts are just wonderful - I will eventually get a throw pillow so I can use the beautiful pillow case (once you get throw pillows, does that make you a real adult?) and the horses will get to enjoy the treats on Christmas Day.

Thank you once again Heather and special thank you to Tracey for organizing this entire event again. I am so very proud to be part of the blogging community!

Merry Christmas everyone! <3

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Bloob

Trying to off-set the awkward mare mammary pics
with a bridle I ended up buying over the weekend.
Last Saturday during another saddle fitting evaluation with Kelsey, I noticed Annie's udder was swollen. And at risk of having my blog pulled down the wormhole of weird google searches, herein her horse bosoms will be known as The Bloob.

Mare was not pleased with my poking and prodding of The Bloob and the area was hot to the touch. I took into account her temperature and found it to be slightly elevated, but not alarming. The area was scanned for any scrapes or otherwise, but none was to be found.

Bloob: "Hehehe, I'm just here to have fun!"

I took photos, sent them off to friends and also sent a quick e-mail to my Vet (who is 9 hours away). I buted her in an effort to manage the swelling a bit more. I didn't necessarily want to overdo it in this aspect, especially if we were battling something much more sinister.

(As a sidenote, the fitting went well - she still is suitable for my jump saddle despite the changes her body went through and we discussed some leather/color options for my custom saddle (hoping to put the remainder of the deposit down in the new year).)

As would any other horse owner, my initial reaction was that The Bloob was a toxic balloon of infection and was going to overtake my horse. Thankfully I have some good friends who gave me assurance it was probably nothing more than some edema. Winters can be tough for horses, esp when their paddocks are covered in snow and they'd rather just eat all day and wander through the trails they've made because heaven forbid they have to break trail.

The following morning after discovering the swelling, I found The Bloob to be even angrier. The area in question looked like an inflated water balloon and made my own chest ache. I palpated the area again and it was HOT HOT HOT. Mare seemed less agitated with me touching it and even humored me when I attempted to milk her like a cow to see if I could urge any kind of liquid out. (My poor lady).

Stripping her blanket off, I went for a long hand-walk with N and AJ. Periodically through the walk, I checked her "under the hood goods" and found The Bloob was starting to dissipate, which is a great sign. And although my little mare was certainly not feeling 100%, she was game enough to spook at random snow piles and hack out bareback in a halter so we could get some trotting in.

Arriving back at the barn, I temped her and it read 102.5F. I instantly felt bad for clambering aboard when she clearly was not feeling good, but felt some success in being able to eradicate The Bloob. The Vet e-mailed me back at this point and her instructions were to hand-walk and trot Annie, as she also believed it to be edema. So, I guess I can't feel too badly?

Good girl!
By the following day her temperature dropped to a much more respectable reading and The Bloob started to disappear. The once hard lump began to feel more like jell-o and it was no longer hot. And as of Wednesday, everything "under there" feels normal. I am thankful it was nothing more than some swelling from standing around eating vs an infection that could've done more serious damage.

At work during lunch, the Boyfriend looked over and raised an eyebrow as I scrolled through my camera roll. It features many photos of The Bloob and I'm sure if someone got a hold of my phone for even a second, they would think I'm into some very weird horse stuff.