Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I LOVE Spring

Spring is making me really happy. I love these 60 degree days. They are absolutely wonderful and almost make me forget about the horrible winter we had. I am enjoying day after day of bright sunshine, cool breezes, and t-shirt temperatures. Let's just hope it is here to stay for a while! (Knock on wood)

Anyway, as always I will start with the weekly riding catch up. So we left off last Wednesday which was another very hot day so I rode bareback in the back of the property under the trees. Thursday night we were on a time crunch so we bareback again but in the ring this time. Friday was rainy and Satin was due for a day off anyway so she got one.

Then Saturday we went on a trail ride. It was perfect trail weather at about 60 degrees and sunny. I had brought my friend J over to ride with us. She rides with my friend H over at her farm, but her thoroughbred is quite silly on the trails so i invited her over for a fun trail ride on a safe QH. I let her ride the wonderful Miss Satin and I rode Satin's paddock mate (who is pretty much my step child) the also Jewel. K accompanied us aboard Smokey of course. This was only J's 2nd or 3rd time riding western and my stirrups did not go any shorter, but she made it work. This was only Jewel's second trail in quite a while, but she was behaved as always just a little energetic. J had thought we were only going for a quite stroll. She did not realize what K and I had in my mind or what our typical trail rides entailed. We did it all...jumped, cantered, galloped, did the hills, and rode in the development. J was unsure about jumping in a western saddle but she figured it out. After we did our medium canter and got to the spot we usually run she said, "Wait that wasn't the run?" K and I shook our heads and laughed and I kept checking back over my shoulder at J as we raced down the sandy stretch as Satin can sometimes be a handful, but I knew J could handle her easily. She had no problems and held Satin back a bit since she was unsure and it was her first time riding her. On the second shorter run however she realized she could trust her and let her go, easily keeping up with K and I. After the first run she said how she had never done that before and it was so fun. We laughed since we already knew that. Personally a good gallop is the best rush I can think of. Jewel was quite energetic and ready to go at the canter, never mind the gallop. Once she got her head thought she settled in and listened to me as I knew she would.

All in all we had a very fun trail ride. Satin and J got along well and J absolutely loved it. The rest of the day all she could talk about was how much fun it was and how she had never gone that fast before. And of course she said over and over how much she loves Satin. But, then again who doesn't LOL! She now refers to her as our horse and is making plans to expand her talents into an english career, haha! I told her I don't think Satin will appreciate a noseband keeping her tongue in her mouth as she likes to let it flop about when we are riding. Lol.

Sunday I went to visit H and J a the their farm and take some pictures outside. H's horse who I refer to on here and in person as Boyfriend was just recovering from an abcess, but luckily was looking good enough for light riding. J of course rode Mr. Bob. We got some gorgeous pictures. They rode in the grass field which made for a beautiful background. I will post some here later. Then I headed over to my farm and did some light walk, jog, lope work in the back grass field.

Monday,when I brought Satin in I found the crest of her neck and the back of her head by her ears swollen and puffed it. This was strange to me and K and I checked her over looking for tick bites or splinters. We found nothing. I called my barn manager D in and had her look. She could find nothing either and suggested taking her temperature to make sure it wasn't limes or something like it, since Satin had been getting a lot of tick bites lately. I took her temperature, which if any of you have not had the pleasure of taking your horse's temperature believe me you are lucky. Since I am squeamish and grossed out by these things (hence why I gave up dreams of being a vet a t a veyr young age) holding the thermometer in my horse's butt was definitely the grossest 2 minutes of my life, especially when she got some gross stuff on me, need I say more. Anyway her temperature was normal thankfully. D pressed all over it and she did not act as if she was in any pain. She said she could have sprained her neck playing or hit it on something and to just ride her and see how she was. K and I were planning to do some barrel work so I tacked her up and headed out. She was perfectly normal the entire ride, not acting lethargic or in pain even when I turned and bent her neck. We did the barrel slowly at first and then some faster ones and again she was perfectly normal. She was eager to get to the barrel trying to go before I asked and not acting in pain at all as she turned around it. Her turns were pretty good, but not her best because I was afraid to turn her neck too hard or too much. When I finished riding I felt that her neck looked better, like the swelling had done down. D said just to watch it over the next few days and keep taking her temperature.

That night I was talking to my friend H who has been around the standardbred tracks her whole life so I decided to ask her if she had any ideas on the cause of this unusual swelling. When I told her where it was she said right away "I know exactly what it is and you have no need to worry". She went on to tell me her horse and some horses she knows have get that to and it is an air buildup from grazing and is seen especially at this time of year when grazing season starts. She said it can be released when they whinny. I told her how I thought it looked better after riding and she said yes that helps release it too. She had asked her regular vet about it who had had no clue and then asked Dr. Patty Hogan, who anyone from NJ, and the East Coast pretty much, knows as a leading equine vet and surgeon. It was Dr. Hogan that told her what it was from and that it was nothing to worry about and did not hurt them in any way. H said boyfriend gets it so big sometimes he looks like a chipmunk. This put me very much at ease.

Tuesday was rainy, but when it finally stopped K and I hacked around the ring bareback as it was already after 7 pm, but I wanted Satin to at least stretch her legs so she was not sitff for my lesson today. She had some slight swelling again, but not as bad as the previous day and again acted normal and not in any pain.

Today I am finally having a lesson! My lessons had been canceled several times in the past month as my trainer R's mom has been sick and in the hospital, so of course I understand that she had to cancel. I am glad to be getting back on schedule though especially with show season right around the corner. The first show is May 1 since the April 11 one was canceled due to the EHV-1 outbreak. This weekend I am going on a judged trail ride with L, K, and S. It looks like a lot of fun. It is 6 miles and has various obstacles along the way like log jumps and gates. You get 2 minutes per obstacle and are judged on how well you and your horse handle it. I expect Satin will be an all star at this since she is great on trail rides and hunter paces and does very well in the trail classes at shows, as well.

Also this weekend I am going up to visit some friends at their college upstate and may visit J at her ranch as well. So looking forward to fun filled weekend.

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