Sunday, April 28, 2013

Laying Down

Has anyone ever taught their horse to lay down? I've been thinking of all of the fun things I can do with my cob while I'm waiting to be able to ride it. One of the things I want to teach it is to lay down. I've never taught a horse to do it but I think it would be a neat skill to have. I was watching some youtube videos on it (because obviously that's the best way to learn :) and realized that Roz is going to be my first victim. Hahaha. I figure I can't screw him up too badly since he's not young and impressionable. He's going to wonder what hit him. I need to find my clicker and pull that out, along with the cookies. I'm definitely not above bribery.

It has been fun to keep track of Rolex over this past weekend. Tarra and I have made it a goal to attend Rolex in 2015. I can't wait! Any tips from people who have been to it before? Also, go enter the contest that Equestrian at Hart is doing for a Rolex t-shirt!

There is a new proposed facility (Wallace Bridge) not too far from where we live. If they can get an easement modified and get plans approved it would potentially host another big event each year. They have proposed hosting the 2024 Olympics! Oregon could definitely use a huge equine facility for competitions. We currently have only one recognized event in the whole state. We are blessed to live about 30 minutes from where that event is held but it would be awesome to have another one, and something like Rolex!

Tarra and I had a fun discussion about our horse goals yesterday and here are mine.


  • First of all, we have always planned to do a Pas De Deux. The first thing Mystic and my pony will do is a Pas De Deux together. How cute will that be!? 
  • Win a Dover Medal 
  • Get my Bronze Medal
  • Ride/compete in a Musical Freestyle
  • Compete through Training Level
  • Do either a Novice or Training 3 day

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Field Trip

Tarra and I got to go on a field trip today to Winterlake Welsh. We had a blast! It was so fun to meet some Cardi babies and other beautiful cob girls. Here are a couple of pictures we got. Also, Cardi is going eventing this season! I'm really hoping he will come to Inavale for their event in June.
Drita and Yvette
Yvette licking my hand. Apparently Cardi loves to do this.
Toria- The mom of Yvette and Drita
Chloe- she is due to foal in about 2 months. 
I'm recovering well from my surgery on Tuesday. The first day was a little rough but each day has gotten better. This gorgeous weather really makes me want to ride, but not only do I not really have anyone to ride, I'm grounded for the next month or so until I have healed more.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Heart Attack

Yesterday did not go as planned. The reconstruction part of my surgery, swapping out my tissue expander for my final gel breast implant, went well. When they put the implant in they sculpt the pocket at the same time, doing their best to match it to the other side. I haven't seen it yet because I am still all wrapped up, but the plastic surgeon told my parents it turned out well. But, after completing the implant he moved to taking out my port. This is what I was most looking forward to having done, and the reason I scheduled the surgery as soon as I could after chemo. Otherwise, I would probably have waiting until the fall to finish my reconstruction. 

 When he removed my port he discovered that part of the plastic tubing had broken off at some point. Apparently he has never removed one that has done that, and at first thought he might have cut through part of it. I'm sure it gave him a mini heart attack before he realized that he didn't do it. When they discovered that a piece of my port was missing they did an x-ray to determine where it was. It had traveled through my heart and was sitting in a vein.

Waking up from surgery the first thing I was told was that part of my port was broken off and I would need to have another procedure for them to try to remove it. They expected to be ready for me in about a half an hour...and it was about 10:30am. In the mean time they transferred me to the hospital and hooked me up to a heart monitor. As were were talking I asked if I could or would have felt this piece go through my heart and everyone thought that might have been possible. 

Once that came out, I realized that I remember this happening. On March 15th I was house sitting and was in town by myself. I was having a weird fluttering or twitching feeling in my chest. At first I thought I was having a heart attack but nothing else was happening and I felt totally fine. I decided that I must be getting paranoid after all of this crazy medical stuff. I went to bed and told Tarra about it the next day while we were selling tack at the Canby Tack Sale. Tarra agreed with my paranoid assessment and I never thought any more about it. Crazy!

We waited and waited to get any other news as to when they would be taking me in for the next procedure. Around 2pm the nurse got the okay for me to have clear fluids so I finally got some apple juice. They came to get me around 3:45 and started the procedure close to 4. They went in through my femoral artery at my groin and used whatever cool tools they have to go up through my heart and grab this piece from my port, bringing it back through my heart and finally out through my groin. It was so weird! They numbed me up and gave me drugs to make me sleepy but I never actually did sleep. It took about an hour, as it was hard for them to get a hold of and they kept trying different tools. I watched part of the surgery on their screen, and I felt them pull it back through my heart and out my groin. 
The 4 inch piece they pulled out

Once the procedure was done I had to spend 3 hours laying flat on my back to help decrease the risk of the femoral artery bleeding. I was able to have a little bit of water, applesauce and pudding, although with out being able to sit up, it was a bit tricky. About an hour an a half in to that time I asked if I could get up and use the restroom since they had me on IV fluids all day. The answer was no, so I just had to wait. From about 7-8 the lady who I was sharing a room with kept asking my mom to help her, so she would press the lady's call button and when the nurse would come in she would either forget what she needed or say she couldn't breath. The nurse was being called every 5 minutes, if not more frequently. It made me laugh a little bit and I was SO thankful that I didn't have to spend the night, but I also felt really sad for her. From previous discussions we had heard earlier in the day the woman was a smoker and had done some serious damage to her lungs. Evidently she was also having heart problems, and the doctors couldn't give her any timeline for when (or if) she will be able to get out of the hospital. Be thankful for today, and all of the good things in your life. We aren't guaranteed tomorrow. 

Finally, a little after 8pm I was allowed to get up, get dressed, use the restroom, and be discharged. Yah! My dad had left the hospital a couple of hours prior to make me a yummy dinner of rice and teriyaki chicken tenders. Dinner was in my hand as soon as I walked through the door. I topped it off with some chocolate m'n'm ice cream from my little brother, and I went to bed. I'm feeling alright today. Definitely sore and a bit uncomfortable but nothing too bad. Thank you to Kellie, my parents, and my grandparents for hanging out with my at the hospital yesterday, and for all of the love, prayers, and good wishes from everyone. I'm excited to have this all behind me and I'm looking forward to being completely healthy in the near future! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Surgery #3

I go in for surgery round 3 early tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to having my port out!!! I'm also getting my final breast implant in, which is supposed to be a lot nicer than the expander that is in right now. I will be off for the rest of the week, resting and healing. I'm supposed to be really careful as I will have internal sutures to hold the implant in the right spot. No working out for a month, but I can start walking in about 2 weeks. I'm definitely grounded from riding for now but I'm looking forward to getting back in the saddle as soon as possible. Then I've had a sensitive tooth for the last couple of days and I realized that I've lost a filling. How annoying. I guess I'm going to try to get in to the dentist this week too.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lazy Sunday

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon around here.

Rozzy was napping in the green grass.
Annie was lounging against a hay bale watching me work. 
Both dogs were enjoying the sunny day. 
And seriously, how many hoof picks, and combs does one girl & horse need!? 

Fly Control

With this lovely spring weather comes flies and I'm trying something new this year. Yesterday I ordered Roz SmartBug-Off Pellets and a new fly mask.  Normally I would use fly spray, even though it doesn't seem to work very well. Since my cancer diagnosis I've been more sensitive about the use of chemicals. Although I'm sure that fly spray didn't cause my cancer, any way that I can limit my exposure to potentially harmful stuff, I'm going to. I still plan to use Repel-X lotion and Swat ointment (with gloves of course), in front of his sheath, where he gets the most bites. I'm really interested to see if the SmartBug-Off helps. How do you fight the flies?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lovin' Spring

I spent some quality time grooming Roz this afternoon. He's not a horse that has ever really appreciated being groomed, but regardless, I try to brush him once or twice a week. Today, he was eating it up. He must be itchy with all of his hair shedding. After a thorough grooming I turned him out for a couple of hours. With the grass coming on strong, in typical spring fashion, I don't want him to overdo it. The weather is supposed to be sunny and in the mid 70's this next week; perfect for some time out on the grass.
Sucking up for a cookie. Isn't he charming?

Beautiful, green pastures.

Mr. Sassy himself. I realized flies were out and decided to go grab his fly mask. Of course since he had just been let out he didn't think being caught was a good idea. He did give in pretty quickly once he realized I wasn't taking no for an answer. Goofy pony!
I was recently asked what his mane is looking like since I roached it in November. I think it's at the cutest stage yet. 

Friday, April 19, 2013


Roz has had a lump on his chest for about a week. I thought that it might be a bug bite or something like that and have just kept an eye on it. Today, when I got home from work I gave him some hay outside and checked his lump again. Standing in the sunshine, with his winter coat shedding out I realized that there was a tick in the middle of his lump! Yuck!!! How gross. I ended up running back in to town to get a tick twister at Petco. It came right out! It's really weird because we rarely have ticks around here and I've never had a horse get one. Poor Rozzy Ridge. I feel bad that I ignored it for a week but I didn't have any idea that it was a tick.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Countdown Begins

Pants turned 2 today! Now we can start counting down until his next birthday, when we can start riding him. He has really grown up in the past few months and I can't wait to see where he will be in another year. It's incredible to think that 2 years have already gone by, since the day he was born. 
Checking out his balloons
Not the best shot but you get an idea of his size

Wearing his birthday hat

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Good News

Annie's blood work came back fine! I'm so glad there isn't anything really wrong with her. I hate worrying about these critters. I'm glad I had it done and it's nice to know she's doing well. Yah!

I got home today and had my awards in the mail from the Oregon Dressage Society. At some point I will have them mounted on a plaque. Now, I have to figure out what horse I am going to steal to get a plate for 2013....

I also thought Jen might enjoy seeing this welsh cob perform his 3rd level freestyle. He's the other welsh cob around here, besides Cardi, that I really enjoy keeping an eye on. I saw him at Devonwood a couple years ago, with his winning first level freestyle. What a cool dude!

Tomorrow marks 6 weeks since the end of my chemo treatments. My hair is really starting to grow in again and I'm getting new eyelashes and eyebrows. Once it grows a little more I plan to take monthly pictures to document my hair growth. I'm looking forward to having long hair again someday!

Some fun Pony Expressions Photography news, I will be out at Inavale on May 12th for the OSU Hunter/Jumper Team show, and I will also be out there June 1st & 2nd for their One Day Horse Trials. I'm looking forward to it! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Life is Good

We have been having uncharacteristically dry weather here in Oregon. Roz has gotten to go out on the pasture the past few days. This was how I left him yesterday morning when I went to work.

I got an update on Pretty today. Here's the email I got....

"She is doing excellent. She is so talented!!! I got a new phone last week, so I don't have any [pictures] right this minute, but I can assure you she is great. We finally figured out her 'hard keeping "quirk" as we call it. She likes to have her own pasture!! She actually stays pretty fat that way with her grain & platinum every evening. She spent a lot of time in California with the trainer. He LOVED her. It's funny because she tried to dump him on their first ride. And it's certain she liked the warm weather more than the cold we have had. She comes in every night for her blanket still, when the other horses run the other way. She is a wonderful mare."

I'm so glad that she is doing well. I will share her photo as soon as I get it. 

Annie and I went for a nice hike today after I slept in. She has been behaving a bit oddly since Easter. Mainly I have noticed that she is drinking at strange times. We are going to do some bloodwork this week to make sure nothing is going on. Since I decided to get bloodwork done she seems to be back to normal. She certainly was energetic when we went hiking today and didn't act like anything was bothering her.

The view from our hike
She enjoyed having the windows rolled down on our drive home.
Heading home with my sweet mutt.
Later in the day I headed up to the barn to watch Tarra and Mystic jump. Mystic was awesome as always. He is gearing up for his first season of eventing. After watching them for a while Tarra asked if I was interested in riding in muck boots. I'm always game! Hahaha. I haven't jumped since the last time I jumped Mystic on Christmas. He is such a different ride than Roz. Roz has always been one of the horses that gallops to the fences, and you just hold on the for the ride. Mystic needs continued leg to the fence. We have several awkward spots until I got him really going. I'm definitely out of shape for jumping but it was fun. He's such an honest, sweet guy and I enjoyed hoping on him.

It's hard to see from this picture but I've got a big smile on my face. Thanks Tarra!
Then I brought horses in at the barn and saw this gorgeous rainbow. I'd say that was a pretty good ending to good day. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

He's Here!

We have been waiting for the arrival of my first nephew and he was born this morning! It's hard to believe that he finally here. It seems like just yesterday we were talking about how much we had to look forward to this spring, if only we could make it through the hard winter of chemo treatments. Isn't he adorable!?

And, in case you didn't hear. Cardi won the CDI Freestyle in California last weekend. How cool is that!? The weekend before he was the first welsh cob to ever compete in a CDI. He's a super star!

Also, I got the results of Roz's follow up fecal, after deworming him with Quest, and he is parasite free! Quest has a residual affect so we will do another fecal on him around the beginning of September and see where we need to go from there. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Loop

Well I went out to grab Roz to head up to the barn for a trail ride today. He nickered at me as I came outside and again as I was hooking up the trailer. When I finished I grabbed his halter and went out to get him. He had decided that since I so obviously needed him should get good and muddy first. Note to self: catch the pony before you hook up the trailer.
Once at the barn I took Roz over to the arena for a couple of minutes to watch him go. He look pretty sound on his front feet but it beginning to look a bit more creaky behind. I suppose that's what getting old does for you. Tarra and I both hopped on bareback and off we went. We were having a great time and the weather was cooperating nicely. We have been out for a while and the "Map My Run" app that I was using said we had gone 4 miles. Tarra mentioned the loop since she thought it was about 6.2 miles or something like that. We figured it would be probably just as fast, (if not faster) to continue around the loop rather than turning back. Some of you may remember Tarra and I trying to find this over a year ago, in this post.
Thankfully, Tarra has since ridden the loop with a fellow barn mate so she (mostly) knew the way. This whole time Roz had been taking a few random odd steps behind but he seemed game so we opted to continue on. Well....that was a bad decision. I told Tarra to remind me to never ride "the loop" again. It didn't go well the first time we tried to ride it and it didn't go well today. At the 5 mile mark I decided to get off Roz and walk because I just didn't like the way he felt. He definitely seemed to have an easier time with me off of him. The real bummer about this trail is if you weren't going up hill (and some really steep) you were going downhill. There was hardly any just nice, flat, easy trail. Then it decided to pour on us. By the time we had made it back to the barn we had gone 9.4 miles. Ouch! Thankfully my bog boots are pretty comfortable and we were walking fairly slow. 

Roz seemed fine on the walk back and I pulled his bridle off once we got closer to the barn so he could grab some grass along the way. I loaded him right up when we got back and headed for home. Once at my house he wouldn't back out of the trailer so I ended up just letting him turn around. He was noticeably lame after standing for only a short time on the trailer. 

After looking him over well I think it may be his stifle. It feels like something is "catching" as he walks. It's definitely not every step or anything like that but often enough that you can tell something is up, and I felt it the strongest walking up some of the hills. It's a good thing the pony has some time to rest now! I will give him a little bute over the next few days and I will see how he's doing. The next trail ride he goes on will either be to the beach with a lovely flat, sand surface, or to some easier trails around here. Either way we are never taking the loop again! 
Sunday morning update: He is looking much better this morning. Yah! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I have to say, I am very impressed with the generosity of people some times. I saw this link on facebook yesterday. A fundraiser for a dressage rider and trainer from the state of Washington. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer around the same time that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After treatment she had one clear scan before finding a lump in her neck recently and being diagnosed again with cancer. She has been preparing for her first season riding Grand Prix and needs financial help with her medical bills to be able to show this year. She raised over $9000 in one day! How cool is that!?

On another note, I keep forgetting to mention that my hair is GROWING! It started out super fuzzy and blond a couple of weeks ago but now it's starting to get thicker and darker. From what I've read 4-6 weeks post chemo is when it should really get going. Yesterday was the 4 week mark for me. One of these days soon I'm going to have a full head of hair. Yah!
Roz and I on Easter Sunday. Can you see my fuzzy hair? 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

5 Years

Yesterday I started taking Tamoxifen. It's a breast cancer treatment drug for those people who have estrogen sensitive cancer. That's what mine was, so estrogen was stimulating the cancer to grow. We don't want that! At this point I assume I'm cancer free, but research has shown Tamoxifen helps to reduce the risk of breast cancer. At this point I will be on it for 5 years. It sounds like such a long time and I think of all of the things I hope to accomplish in the next 5 years. I should have both my car and my student loans paid off. I should have a riding age Cardi baby by that point, and I can't wait. It sounds like a long time to me but I know it will go by quickly. I'm also thankful that it isn't something I will have to be on for life. It does have some side affects, as all drugs do, but hopefully it won't cause me too much trouble. Everything seems to be going well, as of day 2.

Then today I visited a dermatologist due to a dark colored mole I have on my back. I showed both the plastic surgeon and my oncologist this week and both suggested I have it checked out. Thankfully it's just some funny blood vessel thing, not even a mole at all. I was very happy to get that news and know that it is not something I need to be worrying about.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Oh Baby

I got another opportunity to take photos of Roxanne and her foal this evening. Jolene is so cute! Enjoy the photos!
Beautiful Roxanne
Walkin' under mom 
Being sassy with her momma 
Jolene coming over to say "hi" to me. 
I think she might becoming a jumping horse! 
Figuring out how to eat around those long legs!