Thursday, January 31, 2013

Soccer...

Horse soccer that is! Tarra got a large horse ball for her birthday and also to assist her in getting Mystic ready for the All Breeds Challenge they will be doing at the NW Horse Fair and Expo in March. I figured Chevy might as well learn how to play with it too! He's generally very sensible and is not spooky so I figured he would be alright. Both boys were fine with it. Definitely unsure of how to really make it move around and Chevy didn't like having to walk right up to/through it to get it to move. Once it was on the move he was happy to follow along and would nudge it forward as we went. By the end we were trotting behind it some and he was doing great! Tarra and I plan to pull the ball out at least once a week as a nice way to break up the real arena work and expand their horizons. We had a blast!
Trotting away after Tarra gave the ball a big kick

Consulting with Mystic to see if the ball was safe to approach again....
He's getting it!
He's a good boy!

On the chemo side of things round 6 starts Tuesday. We are doing it a day early as their schedule was already full for Wednesday. I have been feeling really good since the last round. The first few days I was tired and achy. The first few days of this week I felt like I was fighting a cold but that seems to have resolved. I have been riding every night and have also had 2 really good work outs this week. It feels so good to have energy and want to do things. The weather around here has also warmed up and I am looking forward to an awesome weekend! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Found Him

I found my "normal" Chevy today! Yah! He's such a sweet guy. I didn't wear my muck boots out to the barn so I was hoping to not have to slog through the mud to bring him in from the pasture. He was about half way across it, grazing with his buddies but when I got to the gate and started calling for him he headed on over. I love having a horse that comes when I call!

I lunged him for about 10 minutes before shortening my stirrups a hole and hopping aboard. He walked quietly around on a loose rein and just felt settled. Once we got to work he was focused and forward. I'm hoping that we have finally turned a corner in terms of him understanding that forward is the answer. He gave me nice canter transitions and good work in the canter as well. The only area where he gave me some resistance was picking him up from a loose rein at the walk, to transition to trot. He either really sucks back or throws his shoulders around. I got after him with the whip for sucking back which makes him really mad. He's definitely got a red head temper. After a couple of little battles I finally had him really thinking forward and then he just wanted to jig. We did a few transitions and then I reassured him that it was okay to just walk. He got lots of praise and cookies when I hopped off tonight.

The Thoroughbred Exibitors Association posted their spring schooling show date today of March 30th. I'm hoping that can take Chevy and April may take Pants with us. It should be fun. It feels nice to be working towards some set clinic/show dates again. It certainly helps keep me motivated.

As far as how I'm doing after chemo yesterday....so far so good! I hope it stays that way. I'm feeling a litte bit tired but worked a 1/2 day. Ate lunch and took a little nap before heading in to the doctor to get my neulasta shot. Once I finished with that I went out to ride Chevy and then came home to wash my car. I haven't been nauseas at all which is a huge plus! It will be interesting to see what the next few days bring but hopefully I will continue to feel good.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rocket Fuel?!

I had to ask April if they have been feeding Chevy rocket fuel. She said they actually cut his grain down while he was on stall rest and she hasn't increased it again. He's turned out all day in a 5+ acre pasture so he doesn't have the excuse of lack of turn out either. Silly boy.

He met me at the gate tonight (as usual) and I got him cleaned up and ready to work. I opted to just lunge him since today was a chemo today and I was feeling a little sluggish. Again he was ready to go! He trotted a couple of laps before hopping right in to the canter. I like seeing him go forward so I hate to shut him right down, but at the same time I expect him to be obedient on the lunge line. We spent some time working on transitions and by the time we were done he was being very good. I am excited to see him acting like an actual young thoroughbred. His lunging has improved a lot and I am hoping to  start long lining him soon. His hock looked better tonight also.

Chemo round 5 seems to be going well so far. We'll see how I am doing in the next couple of days. The doctor and my nurses are extremely nice, and although I really don't enjoy sitting in the chemo room for 4 hours it could definitely be worse. My grandparents, and my friend Kellie came to visit with me, and my mom hung out with me also. My last 3 chemo appointments are scheduled and I cannot wait until March 6th. I am SO excited.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Still Wild

Mr. Chevy was a wild child again today! I was only on him for about 30 seconds before I opted to hop off and lunge. He felt like a stick of dynamite. We walked back to the barn to grab side reins to make our lunge session more productive. He actually worked pretty well. Once I got back on him he was better although not great. He had an attitude about trotting (as usual) but after a sharp reminder we got to work. He was forward but didn't try to pull anything naughty. I only rode him a little bit since I had already worked him pretty well on the lunge line. Maybe he will finally settle down tomorrow! The weather is supposed to be warming up and I think that may help us out as well.

I got a few pictures of Roz playing in the pasture this morning. He's feeling so good!



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Feeling His Oats

I rode Chevy today and he felt great! He met me at the gate (as usual) and seemed happy to get tacked up. We had walked about half way around the arena before he spooked, at nothing. I picked my reins up and started putting him to work. He was balky when I asked him to trot but one hard tap with the dressage whip and we were off. He normally warms up slow but he trotted forward right from the start. I don't want to do a lot of circles on him right away so I was taking him all the way around the arena. He got lots of half halts and I ended up working on a lot of transitions to get him to settle in and pay attention. I opted to do his cantering on the lunge line since he felt ready to explode given the opportunity. He was actually better behaved on the lunge line than I expected. After cantering both directions I hopped back on to cool him out. He felt more settled and had quit looking for something to spook at. He's normally very laid back and not at all spooky...but how can you blame him when it's 30 degrees outside and he hasn't been ridden in almost a month? He felt sound to me and was bouncing right along. It will be interesting to see how he feels tomorrow. I kept our work out fairly light, about 25 minutes. Once finished I washed his tail and his socks. He thoroughly enjoyed the attention.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy and Healthy

Well round #4 took WAY too long for me to recover from, but I'm finally back to "normal." Thursday was my first day of feeling good again, and then I had Friday off work. I slept in a little bit, and then took Annie in to town for a bath. We have a self service dog wash that I enjoy taking her to. It was nice a quiet and I spent quite a while cleaning her up, blowing her dry, and brushing her out. She looks gorgeous right now. It was her first time riding in my new hatchback car. In my previous cars she has always ridden on the floor in the passenger side. I wasn't sure if she would try to jump over the back seat to get closer to me but she was perfect. She whined and put her foot up on the seat when I first got in the car but I just old her "no" and she was fine. After her bath I stopped at Curves to work out and left her sleeping in the car. I had one of the best works outs I have had in the last couple of weeks. It's amazing how much easier it is to work out when you have energy! 


I checked Chevy yesterday afternoon and he is much better! I'm going to start riding him again tomorrow. He's moving naturally with that hock and looked great on the lunge line. I'm planning to put him lightly back to work over the next week and hopefully we will be all set. I'm planning to take him to a dressage clinic on March 16th if everything is fine. I was initially planning to take him to a dressage show in March but the one I want to go to is just a few days after my final chemo treatment. I could do it if I needed to but would be easier for me if it were later in the month. Then I got news of this clinic opportunity and I think it will be more beneficial for us anyway. We will clinic in March and then plan to show in April. 

After checking Chevy I came home and rode Roz. He's so dirty and hairy right now! It's a never ending project to keep clean so I mostly don't worry about it. Thankfully, it's been dry here for the last couple of weeks so when I clean him up it actually does last better than normal. With riding him again I'm beginning to regret roaching his mane. It's starting to grow back but it's not growing as quickly as I expect it to, and I miss having mane to grab when riding him bareback. I hopped on him from the edge of our horse trailer and had to make a bit of a leap to get on him as he hadn't stopped that close. I made it just fine but I miss that little extra security of a mane to grab! 

I have decided that he is almost getting fat! It's really a great problem to be having the middle of winter, with a 20 year old horse. He came in to the winter slightly thin, and I ended up switching him to an active senior grain. I'm glad I made the change because I feel like it has really helped him put on weight. I'm going to cut his grain back slightly and re-evaluate in a couple of weeks. Also, I turned him out on pasture today since the ground is dry/frozen. He actually trotted around a little bit and looked so good! I haven't really had a good chance to see him trot for a while but if I didn't know better I would say he was sound. Yah for happy, healthy ponies (and humans)! 


Monday, January 14, 2013

Cold and Frisky

There isn't anything too exciting to report around here. My week of hand walking Chevy was interesting. The stud chain and gloves definitely helped us a lot. He really wasn't trying to be naughty, he was just feeling good! It's actually nice to see him being fresh and frisky since he is normally so lazy. His hock is slowly improving. He's getting limited turn out this week and hopefully will get to go back out with the boys by the weekend. He still isn't sound but he's getting closer. I'm looking forward to getting back in the saddle with him soon. In the mean time I think I will take Roz for a spin this weekend.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chemo #3 (and #4)

I've made it through chemo #3 on December 26th, and tomorrow is chemo #4. This marks the half way point and the completion of the A/C phase of chemo. For #5-#8 I will be getting a drug called Taxol. It's supposed to be easier than the drugs that I am currently getting and should not cause the nausea that has been so difficult. 

I never really talked about chemo #3 because right after I get a chemo treatment just thinking about it makes me feel sick. It's amazing what a powerful tool your mind is! The smells of the chemo room make me feel yucky too. I commented on the smell last time and both my mom and my friend said they don't smell anything. It smells like alcohol and I don't know what else. Using hand sanitizer for at least the first week after chemo grosses me out because of the alcohol smell. It's crazy. I also am supposed to have something cold in my mouth when they administer one of the drugs. The first time I sucked on an otter pop. The last two times I have chewed on ice, but now even the thought of it makes me queasy. So tomorrow I've ordered a vanilla milkshake. :) The worst part about the whole thing is actually the flush they use when setting an IV line in my port. As they flush the line I get a metallic taste in my mouth. They have to do this a few times during the course of my chemo day and just thinking about it afterwards can make me gag. Yuck!

Usually the first week after chemo I can hardly think about having to do it again, it seems very overwhelming. When I get to the point where I'm at now (the end of 2 weeks), I'm feeling normal again and although I dread going through it again I at least feel able to do it. I'm really hopeful that the final 4 treatments will be easier.

Overall round #3 wasn't too bad for me. I work a few hours in the morning before going to chemo, and then work 2 half days to finish off the week. That lets me take a nap in the afternoon before going to bed around 7pm. By Sunday I am done taking all of the medications that I have to take post chemo and by Monday I go back to work full time. I'm normally fairly tired my first couple of full days at work but as the week goes on I improve. My appetite normally returns around day 5 or 6 and then things really start getting better.

A lady from church made me an awesome paper chain to count down the weeks on. After tomorrow I am down to my final 8 weeks! 8 weeks until my final chemo treatment and a happy healthy life. I can't wait!!!
Round 1
Tarra and I,  Round 2
Kellie and I,  Round 3

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Quality Time

I got to spend some quality time with Chevy today. He was thrilled to see me when I got to the barn this afternoon. I cleaned his stall and we went for a nice walk with Tarra and Mystic. He came out a little bit stiff but not too bad. It didn't take a lot of walking before he was moving well. After our walk I hand grazed him for a while before putting him away. I know it's going to be a long week for him but I hope we are on the right track to get that hock healed up and get back to riding soon.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Stall Rest....

Chevy's hock isn't showing any improvement so we are going to give stall rest a try. He's walking great, but still stepping short in the trot. He's such a sweet boy and met me at the gate even though he was at the very far side of the field when I went out to get him. Hopefully we will see some improvement this week. I have a dressage show that I am hoping to take him to in March. It's only a few days after my final chemo treatment, so we'll see if I'm up to it. 

I took Roz for a spin today! It's the first time I have been on him since our beach getaway at the beginning of September. I've walked him down to get the mail a couple of times in his new hoof boots and have been planning on hopping on one of these days. He has been snorty and looky on the days that I've taken him down there, but he was an angel today under saddle. I only ride western a couple of times per year, but it's the saddle that I had at home so he had to play western pony today.

He got his feet trimmed yesterday and the farrier thought his feet were looking great, especially for it being the dead of winter. Yah! I've been impressed with how well he is doing barefoot. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

On Hold

It was an absolutely perfect New Years Day. It was quite cold but I don't mind since we actually got to see the sun. Rozzy Ridge got to go out on the pasture for the first time in a couple of months. We've had quite a bit of rain and we are trying to keep the pasture from getting torn up. Horses are so destructive with out even trying. We also have sheep, and they are on the pastures all year but their little hooves just don't destroy the ground like the horses do.

Leaping for joy in the pasture
Isn't he a handsome dude!?
Paddi and Annie keeping an eye on the wild horse
Things are currently "on hold" around here. Chevy got in a kicking match with another horse on Christmas Eve and he hurt himself. At first his pasterns on both hind legs were swollen, although the right leg was worse. Now his pasterns look fine but his left hock is swollen and I won't be surprised if he ends up with a capped hock. This is very poor timing on his part as I have him listed for sale. He's not going to be the eventing horse that I want him to be with out a lot of time and training and he's really too lazy for my taste. It's disappointing since I was really hoping to have a nice horse to show and ride in the next few years but I also feel like the timing is right for me to save up some money and purchase the welsh cob I have been dreaming about. I've mentioned before that I really want a baby out of North Forks Cardi and that's what I plan to get. I'd love to get one that is going under saddle but realistically there is no way that I can afford that. Plus, I like the idea of raising and starting him myself. It just means that I won't have a real riding horse for a while. I'm lucky to still have Roz to play on, and I'm counting on him teach the baby. This gelding recently came up for sale and if I had 35k laying around I would totally go buy him! He's a half brother to Cardi and is so cute. My absolute dream horse is a bay with 4 white socks and a blaze. I've never had one but someday I might....

I'd love to find Chevy a great dressage, trails, all around kind of home. He's not a bad horse by any means. He's easy to have around, loves to hang out, meets me at the gate 90% of the time etc. He's just under motivated for the riding that I want to do, and will need a very consistent rider to teach him to jump nicely.