Saturday, April 20, 2013

"On the Turn"

That " on the turn" is a cute little phrase I picked up recently, from a fellow horse blogger in the UK. She has a gorgeous horse with the name I adore, "BRUCE". Something we both have in our lives...a Bruce! She used  the phrase recently, referring to the weather, I believe. 

Ours  is TRYING to make a good turn for the better .
Warming trends  of 60-75 degrees, and out of the 30's! Spots of sun shining light! And SHADOWS HAVE BEEN SEEN....Amazing.
Also my weather App  mentioned some funny developments .. in the way it tells me what's coming.  It has been saying "spots of sun" for some time, in between the "periods of rain", or " Stormy periods".
 But in the coming days ahead ( yippie skippie for me) there are 2 in a row that say, " Plenty of Sunshine"! The weather app writers truly know how to make a girl smile, having those days, land on her days off!!! I am so looking forward to those soon!

My shoulder, neck and arm have been on the "GOOD" turn for health. My therapist read the Xrays with me last Monday. Damage to my neck, that has had whip lash in the past, and "little" bend to it.  Plus some bone spurs at C 4-5- because of whip lash in the past. It isn't as sore now...whew!
My Arm has been the worst though...keeping me from sleeping and has me icing all the time. 
But it finally changed a little, this week! I feel as though I could do  some stretching now. The swelling has ceased some, but the tingling fingers and aching upper arm, remains.
I am going to visit my sister's new soft tissue specialist this coming week, and maybe make an apt. -Tuesday.
 While I am still mending, and taking it one day at a time.....I just had to take the mare out for a hand walk(mostly), this week, a few times.

After grooming for about an hour, taking my time and finding out what the mare had to say about her body (stiff and sore from inactivity) we hand walked out. I put her tack on and brought the bridle too, into  the "Spots of Sun" day. 
 I planned on riding her home after she ate grass for an hour or so. We covered 3 1/2 miles and then, I got on before the Big hill home. She was great, waking slowly up it for me. It did not feel any different than walking  on the ground, for my spine.   Last week, I couldn't even drive in my truck over a pot hole or speed bumps, for the pain of it.

I noticed something about the mare 2-almost 3 weeks time since I have tacked her up, she appears to have lost some weight! Up 2 notches on the girth and 50- 75 lbs on the weight tape. Her flanks are sunken in a bit and she  appears to have lost so much muscle!
  For the past month she has been going out on a  mostly muddy dry lot, every other day now. Though she doesn't look skinny yet, and definitely isn't fat, I don't like changes to show up  suddenly, like this. 

In other Turning events, the nearby woods are under siege again...all around us they are clear cutting them. All the day long, thudding of the 30 year old + trees can be heard and felt. It is looking quite different and soon, will be bare, right up to our PBO's property. Good for light I guess. 
When I am there, the horses that are on "IN"  rotation, are pensive, snorting and mine runs in and out of her stall sometimes. 
With them getting closer to the barn in the next week or is going to have to be "ALL TURN OUT" is far too loud and scary for them, seeing the trees come down within feet of their paddocks, to be inside!    
Mine say's, "Get me out into the grass, please!" She is used to being out on BIG PASTURE, before we moved here. She had acres of it, all the time! Great omegas and tastes good too!
Her system is assimilated to the grass now, as she's had several hours a  day, for months, as we walk about on "Mare walks". First during her healing and now - mine. Fortunately, She has a high metabolism and has never shown symptoms prone to laminitis or founder, but the slow acclimation I have done, helps her too.

Yesterday it was raining terribly so, with some wind ... we  went out anywho, as it was not cold. Got drenched, through and through!!  But we made our grassy munch date for a few hours. Taking protection under Big Fir bows that overhung some trails, here and there. The mare looks forward to these  outings, as do I.

So slowly, I'm getting back to feeling like myself. 
After getting on the horse again, though only for tiny amounts of time, so as not to jar my spine much....I DO FEEL more like myself! I am a rider!

BUT... there is another ramification, from our mishap...fractured teeth. I went into the dentist, due to one breaking in my mouth, days after the fall. As the dentist was charting my mouth, he said "Fracture", several times over, and I got really nervous. Maybe a mouth guard isn't a bad idea  in the future, after all!
 I must have a crown on 2 molars. OH! So, many apts !!!
And for the mare too...her Semi annual vetting is approaching.

So, that is all for now, and that is ENOUGH TOO, for day at a time...make it through my work, and to all these apts. and then, see the mare in between all that!
 I am looking for those promised "PLENTY OF SUNSHINE" days my weather app told me about!

Hoping  a little SPRING HAS VISITED YOU ALL,  finally!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Off Horse On Mend

Scene of the spook jettison- incident

I had planned on our first outing for "Mare Walking" to go back to where I was so abruptly parted from my horse. Wa mare seemed reticent to walk the road, and as we did...flying fish(Trout) were 
flinging themselves from the waters to catch flies!! This made the mare jump, more than once. 
She was super good not to pull on me though. I can't have that going on right now.

It brought up a thought for my mind instantly too; though the fisherman was all the way across the pond, maybe a fish did a leap nearer to us- in the little section of waters seen above, at the same time? 
It is astounding to see these 7-12 inch, or better, beauties suddenly fly out of the water!  It made me crack up as this particular Trout jumped four times, in about 3 seconds.

Phone panorama of a place we walk

Wa has been enjoying these walks and all the grass grazing. I have enjoyed getting into the outdoors, in between working a little at the salon, and sitting with ice and a cat on my lap. 
The near constant ache is weighing on me, and I feel for those that have had these sorts of pains for years. I am about had with it, and the amount of drugs it does take to stay off  the ache-OH!

Mari cat helping me heal

 I have to be careful with these "Mare Walks", everything must be done with my right arm. I have been well pleased with the mare, as she still is acting as if "she KNOWS" that I am on the fragile side of life, at the moment. She has not pulled ahead or even made the rope taunt, as we walk and I allow her to graze .

I am waiting for my X ray results back soon. My therapist focused upon my neck and the C 4-5 disks Friday. The pain and tenderness there, with throbbing  left arm,  has me worried about the possibility of having fractured a disk. 
Of course, one of my friends from church came into the salon this week, she had a "ruptured neck disk" a few years ago. I have strict instructions not to cut her hair shorter at the she has a scar from the surgery. It made me slightly nervous thinking about that, as I looked at her scar. 
My Therapist has been reassuring me that he thinks; while I did injure my disks pretty bad, he knows the signs of burst disks and mine have shown lesser symptoms. My arm strength has not decreased and while the throbbing has continued, it has moved up my arm and out of my wrist and forearm, in the past 10 days.
I'll go with that positive till we read the X rays!

I will be thankful, as I truly am, that things were not worse and of course, be thinking of how I may decrease injury rates for riding again. 

I wished I had my VEST... but will be for the near future. 
My therapist also mentioned something that had me cracking up...Mouth guards.
Yea, I broke a tooth too in the fall. The first thing that hurt, was my jaw that day. Now I know probably ( like I mentioned) was open in  sudden shock and snapped shut. So, tomorrow I not only have to get my mare's hooves trimmed by someone else, though trusted, it is because I am unable to do it myself now. I go to a new dentist as well. I HAD to find someone  new and on our dental plan, as  somethings I need will be covered 100%.
So while I miss the mare terribly this weekend...and getting out in the out doors places. 
"the-entire-day-resting-healing-up-program", is what the Dr. has ordered...when I may steal it!
So I will think on our last 3 mile outing walk...The mare allowing me a pit stop here, but keeping an eye out for me, over her shoulder all the same!

And I shall think on the D'apple mare too. We got to ride  once or twice while my sis was at the coast a few weeks back, when Spring looked nice. 

D'apple mare was super for me, as we worked in the newly reworked round pen. It is awesome  having the new sand layers, with the boards around the pen, to keep the investment in place. 
Very soft, with no protruding, offensive rocks to make the horse have to think about anything but -YOU!
It was so warm, she looked dosey!

T touch "balance wrap"

 It has since turned fierce, resembling winter again. Like most of the country, high 70's then freezing overnights!
I missed the last lessons with trainer "C", because of the accident I had.  But my sister told me, it was a total crap day for lessons. The arena where D'ap is , is partially open and the Wicked hail and winds of the day, had them stopping  frequently so, for not being able to hear! 
I am glad I missed that.

My sister is still mending her Sciatica problems. She finally got to the bottom of why she has been in so much pain...Atrophied muscles around the nerves. 
So, she is now doing therapies to try to remedy it and heal up. So JUST MAYBE, she and I will ride "TOGETHER", sometime in the future. We have not since she moved up here last fall, due to her fractured ankle bone and now the Sciatic stuff.

Lots to look ahead to...and feeling up to par, is the first on the list!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Better Bareback + a Jettison

The past few rides I have taken with the mare have been on my bareback  soft saddle, which is stirrup less. Depending on what padding configuration is chosen, you may be rather close to the horse. None is necessary since it is just closed cell foam and can be hosed off. I like to use my Mattes Correction half pad. It is sheepskin and has pockets for shims the "Thinline" shims  I use for concussion distributions, away from vertical impact.

 I actually prefer my Soft saddle for  little trail jaunts. It is super comfy and there are no back sore issues, or slipping going up and down hills.
It has been interesting to employ the latest installment of learned riding, from trainer "C"  while on Dapple, to my mare. While using stirrups was the intended use for the "Wrapping legs", feeling the outside of your foot in the stirrups to the little toes. It  has helped me bareback!

Concentrating on the curve of my leg, like there is a string attached between them under my mare's barrel, and not  forcing the heal down, has done something nice for my bareback legs. It keeps my ankle more supple, lengthens my thigh and does not put a bigger bend in my knees.
It has definitely has helped me to sit back, and not grip with my knees, which can be a problem bareback.

The mare has seemed to relax more, as well. snorting and rising her back to me as we trot. 

I was recently paroosing horse blogs and ran across a gal that had been given some critical news from her trainer, about her hands. She began to use( in an attempt to steady her hands) the grab strap on the pommel to secure her handset by her pinkies, so she may remember the feeling for later.
 I tried this myself, and while it was higher than I usually carry my hands, something happened immediately, with the mare. She went down into contact as soon as I did it. Huh. It surely makes you carry them, and with elbows just a little closer to my sides, brushing them lightly. And it made the tightening the "armpits muscles"(thanks trainer"C") and core easier too.

Having some rather nice and springlike weather earlier in the week, all sunny and warm. we got 3 rides in a row in with bareback saddle. On the middle ride I took her bridle off, for a grass graze for 35 minutes, after some nice trotting sessions and a few canters.

Unlike the other day, with the mare able to stand nicely while I took a pit stop...she was somewhat frantic. So, I took her up the road a bit and into some brush, for my privacy sake!  I tacked/mounted up again and decided that a trot to the top of the lane, then a canter down the road by one of the ponds would be nice. Then home again.
We trotted up to the corner----- and WHOOSH------- all I thought I saw, before my mare Jumped 5 feet to the right and to the right again to face the monsters, was a large white thing.  I actually let out an expletive D*** **!   I thought, "why are you spooking at a paper bag!" 

Well, it turns out that it was a darkly dressed woman with a white sweatshirt wrapped around her waist, walking a dog! I was embarrassed  that I cursed, and apologized  She totally may NOT have heard it anyhow...having a 1,000 pound animal, appear like that! My wrapped legs may have helped me there, I was thinking, very thankful to have stayed aboard! My mare normally does NOT spook sideways. But it was alright, and we did canter off down the road as planned. and then home again.

Photo from last fall~

The last ride out, this 3rd week of spring, was gorgeous. I wanted to ride just an hour and get home. The mare was "In" this day, on pasture rotation at my stable.  That means she was all clean from the previous day's grooming.
 I *** LOVE the dry days for being able to get going with the minimal!

We had been out for 20 minutes. It was a calm and relaxing ride. We did no trotting, just a walk as I allowed Wa mare to choose the  directions, we made a big loop. She chose the middle ponds to walk by, but since there were vehicles there, I knew we'd turn around soon. I figure since these folks pay to have the privilege of camping and fishing there, I shall leave them to their privacy and solace of the place, and ride elsewhere.

I made a mistake....................................
I didn't turn around in time, and just as I caught the view and eye of one of the fishermen, with his fishing poll overhead in the middle of his fly cast---------Crack----- the whip like noise!!!
Wa was gone from under me in 2 seconds, she stopped, dropped her shoulder, and whirled around to the right to evade the danger she perceived.
I am calling it a 185 turn....
My longer legs really tired to stay aboard my horse, as later I noticed the saddle sideways. 
What  I remember was, watching my left hand hold onto the  reins with a death grip (thinking don't let go and don't loose you horse!) as I started to hit the ground with force, and she leapt away, in the same direction we had come from.

I don't think I lost conciseness,  I saw Wa stop dead square and look back at me. That is the 185. She kept looking at me, without moving, as I peeled myself off the ground. I heard myself firmly saying "HO"! Then I thought to make the treat "click" noise...she received her treats as I got to her, still standing still.
 I thought my jaw would come off  ( I probably had my mouth open as I hit ground, no time for expletives this time!) it really hurt, and so did my head, leg and my left arm and shoulder were numb.
 I just started walking on the ground with the mare home, the same way we had come.
I called my sister, for accountability. I was feeling somewhat sick now. She asked me a barrage of questions: What day is it? "Survivor night, Wednesday!" I said. I got all questions correct and she said she'd come to help me ...but I stayed her off till I got to the long hill up to the stables. I called again then, letting her know I would make it and call again, before I drove.
 I knew I couldn't do everything with one hand up that hill, so I decided to use a familiar mounting stump nearby, it is super tall and I step onto Wa from it.

***Here where I really let out the stress of what happened...Wa not only turned herself around towards the stump, she walked over to it and side stepped up, then waited for me! 
I got on and BAWLED ALL THE WAY BACK to the stables...using my right hand to secure reins and mane, she took care of me by walking so ultra slow up that hill...I didn't know it was possible, truly!

So, there you have it. I am glad I had my helmet on, it took the brunt of my -whipping to the ground- head. I had my I.C.E. tags on the mare and me too. So, if I had been knocked out...all the numbers to call were there, as well as the mare's facility and my sister's number. I never looked back at the fisherman...poor guy saw it all! But I hope he said to himself, "That's a great horse!" Cause that is what I thought, after all was done...A flight response is natural to her, all the other stuff she did to help me, was her choice. She knew...I know she had to know, I needed it.

I am out of commission. While I did go back to the stables yesterday to check in on Wa, it had been 2 days  since I had seen her. And I did take her for a grass graze for an hour.  I over did it and am in worse pain than before.
 Ice is my friend, some strong drugs, and my therapist, whom I see again tomorrow.

See ya all soon, take care! Something like this makes one re evaluate all. My sister says, "You better be a saddle girl" . But, I got dumped from a stand still off her mare while wearing a saddle. So-When It happens, it happens fast!
Bareback saddle or just happens.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Staring at Spring

The signs of spring are all about, and we here in the PNW have thoroughly enjoyed the light and warmth of it all!  At home, even our cats are enjoying what it brings! 

 Glory B our rescue kitty, stares at a springtime visitor.....

And he stares right back at her!

Fortunately, he stayed up there and she stayed down. It did not amount to anything but a -frozen in place- staring contest.

While the first week of springtime was quite  stormy-volatile, we made the best of it at the stable by doing extra grooming, working in hand and over poles in the arena.    After one grooming session, a stablemate noticed the cool hair formations right off the "Grooma" massage tool.  The large faced rubberized brush, doubles as a nice shedding implement!  I took a sample home and put them on a plate. 
 Here is one of the "WA"ffles Teehehe!! 

 Now the second week, was truly~ LOVELY!

The mare takes in the sights around her, as the light makes everything worth taking second glances.

We had one particular outing last week in which I wish I had a video of the event that occurred!  I am calling the mare my 
"OnTrailTB", after we finished,  a sort of race.

We were doing some trotting about the trails, as they had nicely dried, making secure footing, for some speed.

We  trotted down a long road away from home, then up the hill towards another  LONG stretch of grounds. Being between the rows of evergreen plantings,  it is very soft footing without rocks.  There so happens to be a nice road as well,  just to the left, on the other side of the larger row of deciduous trees.

We had already seen a couple fat bunny rabbits and the token Jack Rabbit that lives in those trees. He with his longer ears and legs, could reach nearly 3 foot tall, should he stand all the way upright!!  Appearing for a second, he  ducked into his private forest once we began up the lane trotting.
While I was asking the mare for transitions from longer to shorter...all of a sudden...a Plump grey squirrel (the size of a small dog) popped out of the trees onto the road to the left of the mare and me.  He decided to run straight up that road, paralleled to us. We soon joined him, as we continued trotting.  While I was not racing him, we did gain in trotting speed with my attention not focused entirely upon the mare.
I was laughing out loud, as this rather large squirrel, that kept slightly ahead of us but never looked back, just ran and ran and ran! When we finally came to the end of the lane, he ducked back into the tree grove, out of sight.  We stopped and then decided which way to go from there, as my "Cardio Trainer" App on my phone, spoke up in his  British voice saying,  " 7 miles per hour". 
That was one fast squirrel, I say!
What a hoot that was, delightfully and so naturally derived from our surrounds! My kinda fun!

The week up to Easter was fantastically busy, and fun in it's own way too, in the salon. I had my "all star line up " as I call them. Faithful clients of the past 25 years, showed up for appointments made, 12 weeks ago for the Holiday.  I Love springtime hair styles!!!  I am always surprised with some of the requests, and so willing to comply for a change always. It revives my creativity, and is always a blast. 

Right before Easter Sunday, I decided to jaunt about with the mare early in the morning time. Knowing that Sunday  would be full of Church and family, and not too much time for horsin' around.
 I packed a light fare of Banana w/ Almond butter and an Espresso coffee for me. The mare was still eating her hay when I arrived, but I convinced her that it would be worth it to come away with me!

GORGEOUS! What a day!!!! 
While the mare delighted in eating the luscious greens of springtime grasses for an hour or so,  I nibbled my treats as well. These outings are fantastic times to contemplate blessings and riches of spirit. The mare seemed to do her own meditations, often she'd stop chewing to stare down the trails. She seemed very soothed....Springtime was tasting and looking fantastic!

I am proud of Wa mare for standing well when I tied her, taking a pit stop. I had not done this for awhile, going out of sight. Sometimes she acts like she may be the "ceremonial offering" to the beasts of the wild, and gets a bit frantic...this time, not one move. It was awesome to spend the early hours in nature with the mare. Calm and soothing, clearing out  some cobwebs of unrest and doubt.

Easter Tidings were abundant and full of Joy and a refreshing of spirit. Our Service at church renewed me in a different way; reminding me, " therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW."  2 Corinthians 5:17 
Letting go of the old ways of living...yea!
The transformation of the mind, depends upon what one chooses to dwell upon, and  to live for. Being not conformed by this world we live in, 'cause ya'll know what it can do to one's spirit. is such a Peace allowing oneself to let go of  bad habits and mindsets that stunt. I wish to be free of those that hinder, and full of that which  seeks to serves others; their best always. Being kind and longsuffering.
 God knows, I have needed that from Him!

Peace to you!

The mare totally agrees with me too..... Being found in a peaceful way, things always go better! She has been such a love lately. Having a bright sky and a warm breeze, that will always help the mind's eye too!

Sending  Peaceful Springtime's offerings to you all; in hopes you were able to enjoy Easter, and be refreshed in the ways most beneficial to you!
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