Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Show Time!

Abbey and I went to the show, and man, what an experience that was! I have so much to write about, and not enough time right now. Also took a LOT of photos :) It was an amazing experience, and I have been bitten by the horse show bug, so hopefully next year Abbey and I will be in the show pen instead of on the sidelines!

Here is a beautiful shot taken by Eye of the Horse Photography.

Really love it!


Proud mama!

I will post more soon!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy Days Are Here Again! or Corneal Ulcer - Day 4

Hooray! K looked at Abbey's eye yesterday and said that she was happy with the way it was looking. The cloudiest spot is really gone, and there is just a vague haze where the spot is, you can see it with the flashlight app on my iPhone.

Since she was in again all day yesterday, I got her out and rode bareback even though that is a bad idea - can't correct her as well without the platform a saddle provides, so we were sloppy and I hope I didn't teach her too many bad habits.But, at 10:00 PM the barn is so peaceful, it was nice.

More antibiotics in her eye this morning, and again tonight, then we pack up and head to Lansing, MI tomorrow for the weekend! So excited and nervous, although tired from getting up so early all week for meds... will sleep well tonight I think!

Things just look sunnier today... a lily and a little friend said "Hello!" on my way to work this morning.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Corneal Ulcer - Day 3

Today it looks even better, the most cloudy spot is getting less cloudy, and overall or might be a bit smaller. I think we are going to the Apple Blossom show this weekend!

Abbey is still on stall rest tomorrow and we leave Friday, so hopefully it's even better by then. I think I am going to be able to stop obsessing over the whole thing tomorrow, and I'm sure K will be happy about that since I've been on the high maintenance side this week 😬.

Took a late night bareback ride, which is not great for my back...Sciatic nerve issues from training for a few marathons (notice I said training not running... Too many injuries!) Also it's difficult to make Abbey go correctly when I'm out of whack and she's confused about my aids without spurs, etc. Just more practice I guess.

Anywhodle, I'm off to sleep! Nighty night blogosphere... Wonder if anyone will read this ever, besides me.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

75 and Sunny

It was a beautiful, cool evening. Abbey was doing much better and we had a green light to ride. She seemed tired of her stall, so we tacked up and started out easy. It was a good ride, we worked through our kinks and had some nice walk, jog, and lope work. I didn't have to get in her face too much, which is nice.

Just getting back into the swing of things. Going to check on her again in the AM.

Some photos from tonight, isn't she beautiful?

Corneal Ulcer Day 2 PM

Much better looking today, about the same as this morning. Abbey was more fussy tonight, which must mean that she's feeling better, right? K said that as long as the swelling is down then I could ride. Did antibiotics in her eye, a little compress, and another gram of bute.

Weather is great, 75 and low humidity, so I think we will go for a lunge and a ride. Just play it by ear. The arena is watered so hopefully not too much dust to bother the eye.

The ulcer is the cloudy spot on the left, the horizontal squiggle is just a reflection. iPhone camera is not the greatest. 

Corneal Ulcer - Ahhh!

As every horse owner soon learns, you have to ride the horse you have that day... at times this means not riding at all but instead tending to an injury.

Yesterday after work, I went out to the barn to keep working on our canter over ground poles, but wouldn't you know it, Abbey had a swollen right eye with a little yellowish discharge. My trainer, "K", was away judging a county fair on the other side of the state, but luckily she is awesome about taking calls about this kind of thing no matter when or where she is.

I told her that there was a small cloudy circle, about 1 cm in diameter that I could see on that eye.

Not a photo of Abbey. Photo taken from website here to illustrate the cloudy look the lens of the eye can get.


She said it was evidence of a scratch and that we should treat it with Gentax (gentomycin) which is an antibiotic that treats gram-negative bacteria which can cause a secondary infection of the cornea, leading to more serious complications. We also gave one gram of bute to reduce inflammation and irritation so she would not be tempted to rub her eye and aggravate the ulcer. Lastly, I did some cold compresses (lucky for us we have ice-cold well water here in Michigan!) with a clean towel for about 10 minutes. Again, this is to reduce swelling. She is also on stall rest to keep her out of the bright sun and sandy paddock where she might irritate it even more.

I didn't call a vet out because K has a lifetime of experience with horses, and unless it gets worse then I feel confident in her plan for treatment. Luckily K has everything we need on-hand at the barn.

Good news is she is an A+ patient when she is injured, so I was able to administer the Gentax to her eye by myself by holding the upper and lower lids open with one hand and carefully squeezing the ointment in with the other hand. I am a little nervous about cross-contamination because the tube of ointment I used is also being used on another pony in the barn, who has a similar injury. I guess this is an Rx, so I cant just order more... may just use the extra tube K has on hand and pay her for that... hmmmm.

Abbey's Eye Day 1
Puffy top lid won't open fully, and she holds it closed most of the time.

K said she probably got the ulcer from a piece of debris in the pasture, but I wonder if it was caused by me hosing her face off... we are practicing standing nicely for that and there was a lot of head tossing and eye rolling when I first started with that on Sunday afternoon, so the water pressure may have caused some trauma, or may have washed something into her eye. I then turned her out and she rolled right in the sand, rubbing her head everywhere in the sandy pasture, which also could have done it. I think I will let her dry all the way from now on in case her face was still wet and that caused the sand to stick to her face.

This morning, I went back out to check on her and see how see is doing. Swelling is much reduced, eye is open again, but I can still see the cloudy spot, which is not any bigger. I googled some things to see what I could learn, while trying not to freak myself out. It's a tough balance.

I found a good article here about corneal ulcers in horses here. It is a little scary ready about all the things that can happen, but good to know what to look for in case it worsens.

So, I am really hoping that Abbey is better in time to leave for the show this weekend, but I am going to keep her home if it's not fully resolved because I don't want to risk her sight for one weekend of fun.

I will post another update tonight after I go back out to check on it - we aren't out of the woods yet!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Best Laid Plans and Looking Back

There are no mice or men in this post, but somehow things have still not gone according to plan. I was planning to post at least weekly, if not each day that I rode or had a lesson or went to the barn... that was six months ago, give or take. I don't even think that this post can be about Abbey, because how do you not wirte a book about six months of time? What have I been doing with all my time? I feel so lazy!

Baby Abbey

Big Girl Abbey

Let's take a look...
Taking Lessons
Crossfit AZO
Being a Wife (not always the best one, but he likes me anyway it seems)
Working a "real" job in an office, but where I get to wear yoga pants every day - good for comfort, bad for the waistline
Traveling for work
Traveling for fun
Working my dream job as a photographer at Kristen Karen Photography(booking, shooting, editing, creating, delivering)
Drinking coffee
Trying to lose weight
Weight Watchers meetings
Cleaning a little
Cooking food
Reading blogs
Reading books
Seeing friends
Having pool days
Shaving my legs
Washing my hair
Giving myself a pedi
Drinking beer
Drinking wine
Drinking margaritas (hubby's are the best!)
Floating in the pool by myself and reading a book (multitasking!)
Watching Breaking Bad (Just one more "episode" please!)
Movie night sometimes
Real Housewives of Everywhere
Actually losing weight
Gaining it back
Losing again... it's a process, right?
Petting my dog
Feeling guilty about not getting more done each day

So, I guess I have been a little busy. Once I am finished with photography this summer/fall (that's another post for another day) then I would really like to write more. This whole life balance eludes me most of the time.

I try to remind myself of what I learned from a yoga teacher; when you "do" yoga, it is called your "practice". You might be asked, "How many times a week do you practice," or, "what school or yoga do your practice?" The point is, it is never done, you are never finished, there is not one summit to climb and be done, but rather each day, each opportunity to practice is it's own unique summit. Surely there are poses that can be honed, breathing, focus, meditation that can be improved. But, does one fail because one has fallen out of a pose today that was held longer yesterday? It is easy to feel that way sometimes in yoga, in horseback riding, and in life in general.

So, I want to remember more often that each morning I wake up I get to choose how to attack the summit of the day. Strike out hard with furry and reach it in record time, or go at a more measured pace that allows me to find the moments of calm and perfection in the ascent.  Or, as I watched on National Geographic Ultimate Survival Alaska last night, sometimes you set out, only to be turned back by forces stronger than you. You may not make it to basecamp, but are instead forced to hunker down and improvise a shelter until the weather breaks. It doesn't make you a failure to not have reached the summit, it makes you wise to know when the conditions are right.

Stopping to smell the flowers... and maybe eat a few.
And, when you are within sight of the summit and are struggling with each breath and step, don't forget to look behind you to see the miles of trail you have overcome, the thousands of feet you have climbed. So, this post really is about training Abbey, because the details may not be important right now. We are nowhere near the summit of being a finished team, but when I turn around on the trail and look back to January of 2011 and see that little filly playing in the field, or to a more recent January when we were both scared and wondering what the future held at our new barn, I can't help but smile at all the peaks and valleys we have already crossed. I think that getting there is probably more than just half the fun, it might even be all of it.

This is the life :)

PS - Abbey and I are traveling to Lansing, MI this weekend for our first show expereince with some fellow barn mates and my trainer. We aren't showing, but just going to get our feet wet. Also, yesterday we went exploring in the neighbors field. Abbey seemed excited about it, and wasn't afraid of walking in the tall flowers and uneven terrain, even though she is terrified of the evil horse-eating pothole in the driveway. More on that later :)