Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Ugh... I just want to cry. I did cry. A lot. And I know it's stupid and I just need to get over it and keep chugging along, but... I'm just so freakin' tired of the frustration. I'm tired of trying and trying and not getting to do... not getting to progress... not getting to show. And I know... that's horses. And in the grand scheme of life... it's a horse. But for crying out loud... I'm just tired of being unhappy and frustrated. I just want to be back in hollyland... I am just done. I feel like we put in our time... I did the rehab. He was all healed, but... now we're still not right. And either it's because he's still broken or because I can't ride properly. I just want to have my happy sound pony back.

And then... to add to my crappy week.... Yesterday after my lesson I worked on a few horses and one of them leaned and yanked and I felt it in my shoulder/neck. I knew it was bad but didn't realize how bad until about when I finished the horse and picked up my stool. OUCH. I managed to be able to do the two dogs I had to do that day, but was is so much pain by the end of the day that I literally collapsed on the barn aisle in tears. It felt like someone was stabbing a sharp hot rod into my shoulder/base of my neck on the left side. Turns out.. I am pretty sure I subluxated my first rib, which was compressing the brachial plexus ganglion nerves between my clavicle and my rib. So it felt like a spasming charlie horse but worse. I've never had that kind of pain before.... I managed to blanket and turn the ponies out and came into the house. Mike had gotten me some tens units (as he had already lasered me before I did the two dogs) and some heating pads. With the tens unit on the pain was bearable but as soon as it stopped I was in pain again. I did 1.5 hours of the tens unit and then went to bed. I woke up at 3 and 5 am and had to do the tens unit again. Luckily I was able to get to my chiropractor in the morning and he fixed me. It hurt like a mother when he put it back into place and I thought I might vomit, but.. it worked. But at the moment, I wasn't sure it was going to work as it was still pretty sore. I ended up postponing UGA for the day and went home and took a 2.5 hour nap while icing my back. I woke up and felt soooo much better. It's been achy all day, like I got tased repeatedly there, but the searing pain is gone. This I can handle! But unfortunately, it's a bitter cold windy day. A high of like...45 with impressive winds. And tomorrow, my real day off, is supposed to be no wind, sunny, and warmer. I was looking forward to riding Dan and riding Fleck (finally.. it's been too long) and doing some yard work. But nope... now I have to take today as my day off and work tomorrow at UGA. Ugh... 

I did finally decide to go ride though. I figured I could do an easy hack and not risk injuring my neck/shoulder more. I almost didn't as it was cold and windy, but... then Mike was irritated with me and I just.... am so frustrated and annoyed, so.. I did. 

And.. it wasn't a bad ride, but it wasn't great either. I'm tired of "meh" rides. I want a good ride. I want to feel like we're ready to go show. We hacked and did some hills. Dan spooked at a small downed tree branch at the beginning of the ride but was great otherwise. Until we were trotting along Possom Trot and almost ran into some deer. Dan stopped short and I plowed into his neck, but luckily didn't come off. Then we did some cantering in the fields too and jumped one little log. Then we went to the jump arena so I could feel him out, and yep.. he still feels like he's head bobbing to me. We did a little bit of leg yielding and I worked on not arm wrestling his face and it was a little better, but still not what I want. Then the jumps were super low, so we popped over a handful. He was good but we weren't really focusing on anything so I'm sure we just plopped over them. 

It was a pretty day though, minus the wind and cold. 

Dangit man.....

Ugh.... why?!?!!!

I'm so frustrated. 

We had our lesson with Cindy today, which I was anxious to do because I wanted to see if he was better with contact. And... nope. :( Sigh.... He felt looser and more swingy but when I took up the contact, he felt much more head bobbing. To the point that since Freddie was there, I even asked him to check his feet for me in case it was a hot nail or something. Nope... Of course not. That would be too easy. 

Cindy said that he was very even but that I was arm wrestling him and holding him rather than encouraging him to lift. I had to try very hard to listen and do what she was saying. Not because I don't think that she's right, but because I was so worried that he's still lame. And it's frustrating that he's either lame or I suck as a rider and can't get him to go properly without looking lame. Sigh... Lose Lose. 

But... we did get some good stuff out of the lesson. He felt like he was going in much more of a hunter frame, but he was lifting his back some. And I was able to get my hips to cooperate a little. I was pushing off of my toes, so Cindy was telling me to stop bracing on my toes. So... I admit it.. I got a little angry and was like "FINE..... How's this?!" and basically lifted my toes up so much that I basically picked my feet up out of the stirrups. Because I swear... I think I'm doing it, but clearly I'm not. Because once I did that, I found my seat better and my hips opened more like they are supposed to. It's just hard to get my legs to cooperate and my seat to not tense up. Then I was slapping the saddle with my butt, so I had to focus more on gliding, which did help and it did get better. 

So... some good stuff in there. Cindy even said we were getting something... I can't remember what exactly now, but... something got really good. :) 

Sunday, March 18, 2018



Oh happy day!! For multiple reasons. I'm not sure what happened.... I had a friend suggest that Danny might have sand in his gut and maybe that's why he was extra grumpy. So I started him on metamucil last night. We'll see if it helps. Maybe it was that. Maybe it was the jumping on Friday. Maybe it's the stifle injection finally kicking in. Maybe it's the fact that he knew we were going to get a jump lesson.... I don't know. But he suddenly seems MUCH happier with life. Much more like his pesky dennis the menace self instead of suddenly the sullen angry nasty Dan. And who knows?! Maybe it's me. Maybe I woke up on the right side of bed for the first time in awhile for the same reasons that I think Dan is happier.... we get to jump!!

We hauled to Morning Run for a lesson with Beth. And it was such a beautiful day too! We got there early and went for a quick spin in the fields. And Danny was Animated!!! He was springy! Holy moly was he springy! He was power trotting and tossing me out of the saddle almost. :) It was glorious! Wild.. and a little bit almost out of control. But I was so happy he was feeling good again. We didn't spend too much time out there as I only had 15 minutes before my lesson, but we had fun. We did a little canter and then he almost got a little fast and almost bolted but I was able to contain him. :) Good boy. Then we went and had a jump lesson. YAY!!!! FINALLY!!! It's been 7 months almost to the day. 
We had a good lesson. Beth started us out over a cross rail just... trotting over it both directions. Oh man was I rusty!! Jeepers. I kept jumping ahead of him and putting way too much effort into it. I was throwing my shoulders too much and getting my butt out of the saddle too much. Beth had me put the reins in one hand and put one hand behind my back as we jumped. That made it so much better. She said that I had to think about keeping my butt in the saddle and then pushing my hips back a bit. She said I was getting too forward. Aha! Yep.. I forgot. So we got better. Yay. Then we did a pole to a cross rail then a two stride to another cross rail. And it was the same thing. She had me get him a little bit together to the pole and ride to the pole, then I softened and let him do the rest. He was good. I was bad. But I got better and better. He was actually pretty straight at first and then when he wasn't, with my hand behind my back, I had to use my legs to steer. We did pretty good. He kept landing on the wrong lead but when I looked, he landed on the same lead. So yay! Then we added a little tiny mini course. We did the two stride, then turned and came around the corner and diagonal across the arena we did another cross rail, and then a turn and around another cross rail. Beth said that it has helped her to start counting from the corner. She said that we will count related distances and it helps, but that if we start counting from the corner (and pretending it's a related distance) it helps. So I did that, and she was ride. It does help. We had a rough round or two... mostly him getting behind my leg in the two stride the first time, but then we had some decent work. Both him and me. :) And... Beth said that she was quite impressed. She said that she actually expected much worse and that he did really well. She thought he was jumping better than he was before the time off, so whether it was the injection, the time off, him growing up, the increased flat work, or whatever.. he looked really good. :) YAY!! She also said that he looked much better up front. I agree. He felt pretty darn good. Oh, and in the beginning, she wanted me to warm him up in the canter by asking for a bigger canter. And if he didn't respond, whack! But he did. He was quite happy to go forward. Yay!!!

When we came home, we decided to try out the boots and practice! I just stood him in them for a minute. No ice, no water. But he was good. He didn't panic and didn't move. Granted, he was in cross ties, but still. Good baby boy!! Ah.... I'm so excited. I really hope that we're on the final upswing now and can get back to going and doing and not stressing and worrying nearly so much. :) Fingers crossed and praying hard. I'm so grateful for everything and trying very hard to not get greedy, but man.... I cannot wait to get out on the XC field and do some galloping and ... just get back to it!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Sneaking one in

So... sometimes I like the time change. Sometimes I get off of work early enough that I can sneak in a ride and don't get stuck working til dark. :) Yay! Today was one of those days. I was kind of depressed... I was afraid that Danny was still going to feel terrible and I was tired of being cautious and doing all the right stuff. I know... stupid.. But still. I was just irritated and grumpy. I almost didn't ride. BUT.... Mike was so nice about it and I knew I wouldn't get to ride Saturday. Partly because it was supposed to rain and partly because it was Mike's Saturday. So I rode... 

And I'm so glad I did. We had fun. I decided that today was a "No agenda" day. And if some logs happened to get in our way, we might just have to jump over them. Danny felt good, but still wasn't chomping at the bit to go and do. But we had fun. We mostly walked. We did all the hills we could find. We trotted some. We cantered some. And.. we found a few logs to jump! (And I'm so bummed because I have a video of us jumping a lot into the sunset but my phone somehow erased it. Ugh!). He was great. He just cantered and jumped out of stride. Granted, we were just hunter-ing it... nothing fancy. But still!!!!

It was a good ride and I think we both had fun. We finished up jumping a few little logs in the cross country field too. :) Cause, you know?! :) 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Easy Hack

So... after his stifle injection and shockwave, Dan had Wednesday off. I cancelled my lesson with Beth and we just went for a nice easy hack this morning. It was COLD. We did as many hills as we could.  We mostly walked, but some trotting, and a tiny bit of cantering. He felt decent. He was kind of lazy and didn't really want to go and go fast. It wasn't that he was fighting going... just that he wasn't asking. He was happy to just mosey around. But he felt much looser in his shoulder :) So... maybe!! I also couldn't feel the hopping but I didn't have him on contact. So we shall see. I hope this does the trick. He's still not moving the sticks at the hematoma, so... yay!

Cindy and Cindy

So..... hmmmm..... We had another lesson today before our vet visit. Cindy worked him hard. Lots of cantering. He felt good... I didn't feel the actual hopping thing, but he still felt fussy and pissy. He was trying though. And he maybe felt a bit more animated and less sluggish. But just fussy. Cindy Adcock came to watch and said he looked great. Which is lovely to hear, but he just felt fussy and resistant and not harmonious. :( We did tweak his saddle a bit which will hopefully help. And... I'm so flustered now that I can't remember what I learned in my lesson today. :( Sigh...

So anyways... I did that, then worked a bit, and then we had our vet appointment. First... I'm super proud of my lameness skills. Because.. I was right! And... Danny is a twit! We ended up riding in the "arena" down behind the old barn so that Dr. G could see what I was feeling. Although he did look at my video and already had it figured out based on the video, what I said I was feeling, and the dent in his shoulder. Anyways, I picked him up to start working and he suddenly spun and bolted and almost ran over Dr. G and almost dumped me. In his defense, there was some deer that had bolted. Sigh.. that's not embarassing at all. ;) Thanks Dan. Good grief. And then of course he was on edge. But we survived. So... Dr. G ultrasounded his shoulder and sure enough... no bursitis, but the tendon and the muscle were hamburgered. :( Sigh.. So we shockwaved it. And we shockwaved the crap out of it. And.. funny story... I had to run to the house and asked Dr. G to "tame the beast" while I was gone. I came back and Danny got fussy and Dr. G said "I really hate to tell you this, ...especially you, but... he stood like a statue the whole time you were gone". Seriously horse!?! Ugh. I laughed and told him I thought that Freddie was coming early now because he hoped I wouldn't be there so that he'd behave better. Anyways... we shockwaved that shoulder and he said to go ahead and ride but that we should probably shockwave him again in 3 weeks. Then we talked about his right hind. He felt that the hematoma wasn't an issue but that there was a bit of stifle issues. We ended up injecting his stifle, mostly because I wanted to start jumping so I could prep for Gibbs. He said that ideally we would work on getting him fitted up and doing hills before we started jumping, but said that if I kept it small and slow and steady, it was fine. But the injection would help that. I don't know if he realized how much work Dan has been currently doing. Although to be fair, I do need to up my hill game.

And.... so, I mentioned how ANGRY Dan had been the last few days. Like going after horses in lessons, extra cranky to be around, extra cranky to tack up. That morning he even half lifted a leg at me when I went to undo his blanket straps. Then seeing him spin when I was riding... Dr. G suggested that perhaps I consider estradiol for Dan. He said not only would it tighten his stifle ligaments but it would also help with the ADD and anger. He said it would make him much happier with life. So.... I'm debating it. I just worry that the anger is pain related and I don't want to just mask it. But I figured I'd see how he responds. I also worry that maybe he's just as frustrated as me with the not jumping and not doing... or responding to my feelings. Sigh.. I know... he's a horse!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Vascillations up the wazoo!

So... I basically prayed that God would give me a clear sign (And not like... a feeling... like a dream where he basically shouted down... DO NOT SHOW.... or GO, SHOW FORTH! because clearly I don't listen and can't hear). I prayed that I would know and would feel peace about my decision. 

Friday I was gone from 7 am to 8 pm as I had continuing education all day and then went and worked on Liz's dog. I had talked myself through a few decisions and had talked to some friends, and had basically landed on.... IF he doesn't move the sticks at all, I would take him and try to show. And yes... I know... why risk it? It's just a schooling show... And some of my friends said that. And there were those voices in the back of my head the entire time. Including mine. But then.. you know me.. I kept arguing... But he wasn't lame. But he didn't move the sticks. But everything else looked good. But it might just be a hematoma. Argh...

So when I got home Friday, he didn't move the sticks. At all. And was maybe a smidge sore, maybe not. It wasn't blatant and wasn't consistent and seemed to resolve with manipulation. So... Saturday morning, he didn't move the sticks. So I loaded him up and picked up Peri and Sunny. We had to go to Jade's first and work on a horse for her, so we did that. Dan and Sunny sat in the trailer and talked smack. :) We got to Chatt about 2 hours before our ride times so we let the boys in their stalls for some water and a pee and got checked in. Then I groomed Dan. Luckily, despite not having a bath he wasn't filthy. Only his feet were, so I spot bathed his feet with green spot remover and a sponge with water. We tacked up and headed down. 

Once we hit the busy area.... past the barns and in the area with the office, the bathrooms, the concessions, the vendors, etc... Dan got electrified. He was popping up, dancing, jigging, fishtailing, and basically bouncing!! Peri was a bit ahead of us and I'm not sure if that was it but she either didn't hear me or chose to ignore me and kept walking calmly and politely ahead. I managed to get Dan to the arena and luckily it was just Peri and I in there. I tried to walk him but he was on edge and vibrating so I finally gave in and let him trot. After a few circles of trot he got oxygen to his brain and started cooperating. :) ha! So then I did a bit more walking and then started to warm up. He actually felt really good at first. He was a little bit heavy on the right rein but typically that's the case. We did a good bit of warm up... walking, trotting, leg yielding, lengthenings, canter, canter lengthenings... And then took a little break. I asked Kelli and Katherine and neither said they saw anything. However, the longer I rode, the heavier he got on the right rein. I felt the occasional rein lameness but nothing more. Katherine said she saw the rein lameness on occasion but didn't see anything in the hind end. Great! I'll show. So I warmed up a bit more... and then suddenly.. he got worse and worse. VERY heavy on the right rein and I almost started to feel an actual lameness. It was subtle, but I felt it. Kelli was way off on the hill and chatting so I saw that Diane had stopped warming up for a few minutes. I asked her to watch him go and she said that she saw a very subtle lameness. She said they wouldn't ring me out and she had to look for it, but she did see it. I asked which leg and she said Right. I asked front or back, and she said back. Sigh... So I scratched. I figured that the adrenaline had worn off and now he was sore, whereas in the beginning, it was just an adrenaline rush covering it up. 

So... I scratched. I walked around the hills and watched some riders go, let him graze a bit, and did some hill work and our walk work while we waited for Peri's second ride. Then we walked back to the barn. And of course... he still was NOT turning the sticks. Ugh... So frustrating. Maybe I should have ridden. Maybe it is just a hematoma and he was just a little sore. Which... maybe not the fairest of things, but... it wouldn't make him worse. But I am so afraid of having to start all over again.... 

I don't know. Now I don't know what to do... I really cannot fathom how I'm going to handle walking for 4 more weeks. I'm not sure I can do. I'm not sure Dan can do it. Not when I was expecting to get to start jumping tomorrow. Not when I've been (sort of) patient for 7 months... not when Gibbes is in April and I was so looking forward to it. 

So yeah... I just want to go cry