Thursday, October 27, 2011

Royal Dublin Horse Show 2011 Video

Walking video... what do you guys think?

Okay, so she's not as lame as I thought she was. And I have a feeling a good trim will help her out. What do y'all think? And WOW about my little pity party last night haha!

She's going to get better :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Texas Picture Spam

I will be getting some pictures of Greta and I on Thursday. I realized that I have never had any nice portrait-style pictures of the Queen and I. So I'm going to change that. Now, for some spammies of Texas pictures. He's not as photogenic as Greta dear, but still cute :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Riding Texas

One of the boarders at the barn has graciously let me help in the long-term rehab process of 9 yo Dutch WB x TB named Texas :)

He is huge, and his gaits feel huge to me because I'm so used to wittle Greta girl (who, by the way, is having a blast in her new paddock making the boys in the paddocks around her fall stupidly in love with her and finally being queen of her own domain.) He is also a big sweetie, and not hard to love.

This is the big guy that I fell off of a few weeks back. It was also reeeeeealy windy Tuesday and cold, and I didn't think anything of it until Texman spooked at a mockingbird on the ground that flew away, proceeded to spin lightly and bolt, and I would've stayed on had he not made a 360 turn away from an upcoming tree that I was not excepting (we felt like we were going the OTHER way around the tree). Bless his heart, he waited for me to come get him, with that same old worried look on his face like he did something wrong, and I once again assured him that he did nothing I was going to punish him for.

All of my falls off Greta have been lame, uneventful ones. All the exciting ones happen off of geldings. They're always keeping on my toes. Or on my butt, whichever lands first.

Anyway, since this is my second fall on my head, my helmet needs replacing :( Anyway, here is the other reason why I need to replace my helmet, plus a cute crack on the inside. Yay helmets! Observe the aftermath, aka The Tear of Doom:

But hey, that could have been my scalp. That would take scalping to a whole new level. As for the crack... well, another reason to always wear a helmet. That crack could have been my noggin and not my helmet ;)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Exhibit About War Horses @ NAM London

Scottish artist Laura Antebi constructed this equine sculpture made of galvanized steel barbed wire (like the kind that littered no-man's land in trench warfare) for the War Horse: Fact & Fiction exhibit at the National Army Museum in London. This exhibit will feature artifacts, first hand accounts and, of course, memorials to both the honored and unsung equine heroes of Britain over the past 1,000 years, with particular emphasis on the Boer Wars, Crimean War, and the First World War. The exhibit's website can be found here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The game plan + question for the readers

I'm very glad I have been taking periodic pictures of Greta's fetlock. When I looked at her today I temporarily sank into despair that it had not gotten any better, until I looked at photos from a day after the initial diagnosis. She is on 24/7 turnout in a small paddock all to herself, and she was actually overtracking when she walked today, plus the swelling seems to be less than I thought it was. I have not seen her do that in a while!

Anyway, I needed to write down a game plan so I can feel better about continuing treatment:

1) lots of rest
2) corrective trimming: farrier is going to work with the vet and we're going to try to fix up the back feet in a way so she's not landing so toe-first and she is not sinking on her suspensory and is not so stiff in the hind end in general. I can barely stand to see her walk it freaks me out so much. I'm hoping it's just as the vet said: "If you stare at a horse too long you WILL find lameness!" haha
3) Vet comes out again on November 16th. She mentioned that some additions to the rehab regimen may be injections, and maybe even some chiro or massage work to make for the compensation in her hips and lower back.

Now, a question for the readers:

Have any of y'all ever heard of or have tried the Iconoclast Rehabilitation Boots? They sound really promising and have some great development behind them, and they will be cleared with the vet and farrier as well, but I want to try and accumulate as many opinions as possible.

Secondly, any opinions on RecoveryEQ?

Thanks guys!

My girl really worries me every now and then.

Pony is very happy to no longer be in a stall. She craves freedom!

Monday, October 10, 2011

For Andrea, Part 1

Okay, this is going to be a tearjerker, I'm crying right now as I type this. I know many of us have followed Andrea and Gogo from the start, or close to it, and have cheered them on as they proved that barefoot horses can do anything and later that they can make it through a nasty injury. Sadly, all good stories must come to an end, and not all ends are as happy as a Disney film.

I was watching Up the other night, because my roommate was out so I knew I could cry my eyes out in privacy, and could not help but think of Andrea and Gogo when I saw the scene above.

Andrea, I just cannot even being to fathom the heartbreak you are going through right now. All good things come to an end. And Gogo was more than just "a good thing". Gogo was a special mare, a partner, a friend. To lose someone like that is devastating. You cannot know how it feels until you feel it yourself.

Andrea, you have done the absolute best for a mare who is the absolute best. You know it is her time. You can see it in her eyes, in the way she carries herself. You love her enough to let her be free.

So know this: think of all the good times with Gogo. It was an adventure, even if it ended too soon. You two proved something to the world, and had a fantastic time all the while. You conquered mountains. You had an adventure.

And, while I cannot say I can speak for Gogo, I am beyond sure she does not want the adventure to end here. All you two have done, all you have achieved and learned, and all that Gogo has brought you will prepare you for your next adventure, whatever it may be.

And know that Gogo, deep in your heart and soul, will be watching over you every step of the way as you watched over her.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Putting things in perspective....

First of all, having a horse be injured (although making a stellar recovery so far! Yay R&R and BOT!) really puts things in perspective. I've always had my moments, especially the more and more I ride, where I want to do nothing but ride and work with horses for the rest of my life. It was very tempting and would have been quite easy to go be a working student with Wolfgang May at his new place (I could take Greta) this school year instead of going to college. But now that I'm here, having the first glimpse of me truly applying myself and not really having the option of riding 24/7, I'm starting to see the first real, tangible, palpable glimmers of the big picture. Having Greta be injured is the slap-in-the-face I need every now and then. And she doesn't seem to mind having some R&R either!

I love horses, I love riding, don't get me wrong. But when I got a taste of all the opportunities out there for me, for my love of animals and humanitarian work and conservation and just making a difference in the big scheme of things, my whole idea of riding as a living almost seems selfish. For me, that is. Not for others, just for me. It's a case-to-case situation.

When I know how much I want to make a big difference in the world, and when I that I really can, it makes me very excited and eager for the future. I can have a beyond-ideal job at a zoo or with a conservation program and still do geeky field studies around the world. I can share my love of animals with others, and try to instill a love and respect for them within in those people.

I just bombed my first set of exams. I felt horrible and stupid and like an absolute failure. I resorted back to my "easy way out": I'll just go back to the idea of riding horses for a living! In the long run it would be hard as ever, but for the time being it would be easy. After taking my pity party to facebook, plenty of people told me that it's not uncommon for to bomb your first set of exams in your first year of college. I still feel a twinge of stupidity, but I felt better. I set myself back on track and told myself that I'm in college and I really need to apply myself more than ever before. It was time to put on my big girl panties. I can do it, I just need to do it.

When I went out to the barn yesterday, per usual, Greta put things even further into perspective. I once again realized that while I love riding horses, I like just being around them. I will always have them there. If I intern anywhere I can't take Greta, I will find a way to be with horses. I want a job that I love doing, and can still support my big side hobby. I love horses, I love riding, and I would love to get into upper level eventing and upper level dressage and learn as much as I can. But I have this burning in my heart, and it's been there since childhood and definitely since I worked with rescue horses for six or so years, to see the world and help the world. Just something so I can say, "At least I tried my damnedest."

And who knows, I might do what a lot of humanitarians and conservationists do and say something along the lines of the beginning of Jennifer Connelly's speech in Blood Diamond. It might be too much. But at least I can say I tried and then go do something to help in the horse world. But I need to help. Lord knows I'm one of those weird people that likes be a sales associate because I can help people, even if it's with something as superficial as a really nice name brand (that I, too, rave about LOL).

Anyway, horses put my life into perspective, even if they skew that perspective now and then. Thanks to Greta, I have a reason to go to college and get a good job, and thanks to all that she and other horses have taught me - patience, kindness, humility, and a urge to help - I can find a job working with animals and conservation, it would be still be a good job, and it would be something I love doing.

Horses will always be there. I will always be that little girl who wanted nothing but a pretty pony. And I will always be that little girl who idolized Steve Irwin (and cried when he died) and Jeff Corwin and Jane Goodall and watched all those animals shows on TV like The Wild Thornberries and Zaboomafu, and movies like The Lion King and Bambi, and said to myself, "I love animals. I love nature. That is what I want to have when I grow up."

Thank you Greta, for all the life lessons you have taught me. For being my constant through all the ups and downs. You will get the best place in town at Wimbledon Village Stables when I go to work for the London Zoo, and we will hack around the parks and enjoy nature all freaking day ;)