It's been a hot minute since I've blogged (what else is new though). Things are moving along - the horses are in relatively regular work and I've been trying (marginally successfully) to find routine with the new job and regular life. It's been hard though - the hours are quite long and involved, but I am thankful for this new opportunity and the ability to continue to finance my passions - as well as yanno... the lesser "fun" debts or adult purchases.
Things kinda took a bit of a nose-dive at the end of May with Annie, a few weeks following our very successful Anthony clinic. I had a funny feeling that her allergies were going to flair up around that time, considering it's when she struggled the most last year.
|This was a... not so great ride. |
She worked out of it, but it's not necessarily something
I want her to "work out of" either.
She's alright though - definitely better than she was last year (by a landslide) - but there is still some definitive irritation and it's lead me to a really difficult road. Unfortunately, it most likely means our clinic-season will have to be shelved until her symptoms subside, as any coughing will cause damage to the very delicate membranes in the lungs.
Since she already has damage from her variety of illnesses and ailments, its important that I keep her lung irritation to a minimum. For the moment, she is pretty happy to walk and trot without issue and some days, can move comfortably at all gaits without any inkling of a problem.
|Alternatively, this lunge went well.|
Mare didn't enjoy that I told her no snacky snacks, though.
I am trying to stay positive (but it's really fucking hard), because she is doing so well - lightyears ahead of where we were last year. But it is evident there is something environmentally related out there bothering her. So, for now, I'll keep managing it the best I can and continuing mindful exercise without triggering her symptoms until we can get our allergy testing done in July. She is game and healthy enough to do some things with, but the additional stuff like clinics and shows are just... not going to be on the table for the next little while. Some days we have 100% symptom free rides and other days we have several coughs at the canter - unfortunately, I cannot guarantee we will have a symptom free ride during a clinic and there is no real purpose in signing up for clinics only to have to scratch.
Such is life, I suppose.
|One of the pretty neat things is that she isn't on a butt-load of |
medication either. I started giving her some dex, but I honestly
have never found it made a huge difference in her way of going
like it does for horses who actually struggle to breathe (VS Annie's
moderate exercise intolerance).
We'll take it a day at a time - one ride at a time. I have no intentions of pushing her and having it lead to more issues down the road. Part of me is staying positive that she's doing pretty good considering everything, especially considering last year I couldn't even ride her at this time of the year. Eliminating the one source of hay eradicated a good 80-90% of her symptoms, but there is that last little bit that still needs some work. I'm both excited and nervous for the allergy testing - excited to get some answers, but nervous that the test will show nothing or the immunotherapy shots will not help. Of course, you don't know until you try, so we'll explore those options and fingers crossed that Annie continues to be (mostly) rideable and I'm still able to get in a good amount of saddle time despite putting a hold on clinics and harder schooling.
It's definitely not what I had hoped for, obviously, but its still quite a lot better than the alternative. So - trying to make lemonade out of the proverbial lemons.
|Still adventuring here and there with these |
two weirdos as much as I can <3
My mantra for the remainder of the season is "one ride at a time". If I have learned anything with COPD horses it is that things fluctuate and change so quickly that you have to appreciate the good and appreciate the little things. If we happen to have a good day, I have to take it at face value and appreciate the heck out of it. And if the same with the bad days - although comparing how she rode this time last year to now... there quite literally is no comparison. She's miles better, but still not exactly where I'd like her to be.
So, here it is. The frustrating world of COPD and all that comes with it - the highs, the lows, and everything in between.