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.


  1. I'm sorry you're still dealing with issues, but happy for you that they're so much less than last year! Fingers crossed that you get more answers 🤞

    1. It’s so tough... On one hand I’m elated that she isn’t quite as bad as she was, but on the other, there is still a battle that needs to be won. I’ll take the good right now though, because last year I wasn’t able to even ride at all.

  2. Ugh. I hate that there’s a flare up. But this may help you identify the allergen.

    1. It’s certainly frustrating
      I wonder what is causing the issue... like I said in my post, I’m looking forward to the allergy testing but also nervous because what if it shows nothing?

  3. I really hope the allergy testing will be a big help for you guys. And in the meantime, I also hope whatever is blooming that bothers her goes away quickly! You're doing a great job managing her! Annie is so luck you are her mom <3

    1. I hope so too.
      I can hardly wait - hoping that it gives us a viable game plan going forwards.

  4. You’re doing all the right things. Annie is improving a lot since last year. Hope the July testing gives you some answers to help cope with her issues.

  5. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the allergy tests and shots help Annie out, I know it will take a huge load off your shoulders

    1. I appreciate the kind words. I’m hoping that the test brings us a lot of good information that we can do
      Something with.

  6. this must be so frustrating, i can't even imagine. here's hoping you can get some answers :(

    1. It’s very frustrating. But, trying to take the good in it still!