Friday, June 18, 2021

Pasture Paradise

These wide open spaces aren't a regular occurrence at
home, but a short 60min drive and land is in abundance.

Near the middle of May, I got the "go ahead" from our "regular" Vet (I say "regular" because there is really nothing regular about our Veterinary situation in the North. This Vet, however, is the one we have dealt with the most over the last while and knows a good majority of my horse's history) to send Maizey out to pasture for a majority of the summer. I was both pleased and slightly uncertain about sending her out - it's always a bit nerve-wracking to send your baby out to the big, wide world! 

N decided to send AJ with Maizey, so it was good that they would be going together and at least have some familiarity in eachother's presence at a new place. While we do not have much for pasture-land available in our little town, the next town over certainly does. We found a place that would allow for both horses and seemed like a good fit for some of our requirements - mix of gelding/mares, smaller herd, large pasture-space, safe and secure. We hauled them out at the end of May and after an initial scuffle, they seemed to settle in quite well.

Aside from the normal scratches and nip marks, Maizey has faired pretty well and since it's a smaller herd-setting, they've gotten used to one another quite a lot faster. The horses there are also pretty level-headed aside from one, but it isn't necessarily a deal-breaker. Everyone just gives eachother a wide berth if needed and it seems relatively civilized. 

The gang's all here.

I've been out several times to check in and say hello - I've avoided trying to do much more than that, because this time is meant as an opportunity for Maizey to be a baby and grow. Having just turned two in May we still have a long ways to go before I'll be sitting in the saddle (if ever), especially since a lot of it depends on her health and wellness. 

I'm in no rush, especially not with Maizey.

We're hoping the horses can stay out for the remainder of the Summer, but I know N has some reservations on AJ being out there that long. Which, sucks a bit but I can also respect that she has to do the right thing for her horse at the end of the day. We'll figure it out if plans go awry or change, as they often have a way of doing so.

Quite literally they are joined at the hip - hilarious to
think of, considering AJ was not very nice to her in the 
early days.

For now, both horses are enjoying their vacation (although I imagine both are quite fed up with the sheer amount of precipitation we've received over the last few weeks) and I'm hoping that once we receive some better weather, they explore further into the 90 acres they have access to.

While it has certainly been odd not seeing her every day, as she is boarded across the street from my other two, it has also been a very large breath of fresh air. I think I needed the mental and physical rest from managing boarding at two places, while trying to shuffle exercising, training and spending time with all of my horses. It's something I've struggled with in the past, and with working excessive hours most days of the week, I am having a tough time trying to figure out my time management. 

Onwards and upwards though - I have so much to be thankful for and although it's a hectic and busy life, I need to stop and count my blessings every now and then. Twelve year old me would be absolutely tickled and overjoyed to see where I am now, especially with the abundance of horses I have, haha. 

One day at a time and one ride at a time, right?

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Making Lemonade

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.