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Author Topic: Life just outside the comfort zone  (Read 1322 times)

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 04:25:53 pm »

Well I am glad Gabby's vet returned my call today. Her Dex treatments will go on a bit longer. Weaning off this stuff is tough business. I am surprised when I hear people say they just quit it or got off in only a few weeks. The instructions I got when I left was every other day...for 10 days. Now that can be interpreted two ways and I was thinking the first way was wrong. It is 10 treatments every other day. Then 3 treatments every 3rd day...on that program we should see the end of Dex on July 27. I am to continue Zantac for a week beyond the final Dex...putting me at Aug. 3rd.

He was happy she is doing so well and said to me "I wish your horse could talk, I'd really like to know for sure what happened to her, where this all started". He did say he's pretty confident it was vaccine related but there is no way to prove it. Her immune system got way off and since the strep test came back negative he's confident there needs to be caution when vaccinating her in the future especially since she's had reactions in the past. Vaccines in the future? Really? I'm thinking "how bout NO!" Oh geez can't even think about going there.

So a few more weeks of Zantac smile...we can do this.
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2013, 04:26:35 pm »

Really? Minor freak out this week. Gabby shed her front feet frogs. We are talkin' whole frog looks like a farrier pared them away shedding. I knew in the back of my mind this is all ok but wow! They don't look like my horses feet. I sent a message to my new farrier (switching from the barefoot trimmer) who's going to shoe her on Thurs. and I was very thankful that he didn't laugh really hard...but just confirmed what I already had figured out...horses do shed frogs, sometimes very completely, and that she should be just fine (she's not gimpy in any way)....whew...ok...I guess. See every little thing has my attention...things most horse owners never notice...got me loosing sleep. If she drools at the wrong time, acts lethargic, poops less that 12 piles a day...I'm on a mission to find out "why?" Oui...I need a vacation...or at least maybe a night full of sleep where I didn't lie awake wondering about some lil somethin' or other for 2 hours...only to realize it's time to get up. Yeah...like that's gonna happen.
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2013, 04:27:01 pm »

Colic...the very word strikes fear in me. I got to the stables at my usual time today and found Gabby's stall mate down. Lexa is usually up and greeting me when I arrive and waits for me to feed her and Gabby every morning. Was a little surprised to see her down, but also saw a bit of a warning earlier in the week. A couple of days ago she was an hour and a half into eating her breakfast then suddenly walked to the middle of her stall and laid down. She got up when we called to her and acted like "hey sorry guys". Gabby's vet said to me several times "your horse didn't feel good days ago, if you'd been able to ask, she would have told you so". I found this to be true with Lexa...as a couple of days ago is when she acted a little weird with the lay down. She gets fed a funny grass mix that's sold out here called "meadow grass" and I don't like it's texture it's somewhere between bermuda and pine needles...hopefully her owner will consider a different hay for her. Right now I pray she continues to get better. She had some banamine, got walked and was acting pretty normal when I left. She will be closely monitored today...as I was walking her (her owner is on vacation) I wanted to cry...didn't want to have another horse end up in the clinic. Hoping my prayers are being answered.
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2013, 04:27:24 pm »

Whew...Lexa is doing fine. A day of feeding her small amounts every few hours (alfalfa instead of grass) and she appears to be normal today. Her owner told me "you guys do what you think she needs, since you are there and I am not" when I asked if we could not feed her the grass hay for a few days. We know the signs of colic so well I think we averted a potential bad situation quickly. This mare was not rolling, she was laying quietly almost as if maybe she was tired (some may have thought that actually) but when I got her up and she did a funny stretch thing (all fours in almost a park out position) as if she was trying to relieve pain...I knew that even if mild it was colic. No flank biting, no thrashing. From Gabby's stay at the hospital I knew that allowing her to just lay there was ok...they told me so long as she was quiet it was ok to leave her be. I only walked her for 15 minutes or so as they say sometimes walking only makes a sick horse more tired/ill. So happy she's feeling better...

Yesterday was to be Gabby's normal appt with her former trimmer and she was out doing a mare of my friends...I thought we had left everything pretty amicable in messages sent back and forth but maybe I was wrong. She saw me with Gabby and walked right by not even saying hello...our conversation was that I was going to shoe Gabby if maybe only temporary, to make her more comfortable as boots weren't practical for turn out. My friend is also shoeing her other mare as she is very ouchie on trail and in over a year she hasn't gotten any better. Boots are not an option for her as she's a posse horse and can't "look" different from the squad...if she's booted, her partner has to be booted...her partners are all shod. So while she thanked me for my business and all the referrals I had given, I guess she really is a tad miffed. Honestly I was kinda expecting it...and had seen a video she put up on facebook the next day with the comment "no horse needs metal on their feet" ... It is this mentality that honestly will put me against barefoot or against shoes for that matter ... if the practitioner becomes a fanatic...I'm out. Not every horse can be barefoot, not every horse needs to be shod, sometimes it's medical...that's what I feel mine is at this point. Making sure my horse is as comfortable as she can be while she recovers.
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2013, 04:27:43 pm »

My new farrier came today and put Nike's on Gabby all around today. I am so proud of Gabby for being such a good girl since she has not had to stand for a farrier that long for several years. Barefoot trimmers are in and out rather quickly with the grinder method. I had mixed feelings about it but I'm thinking I did right by her. Part of me didn't want the holes in her feet but the other part knows I was seeing excess wear where it didn't need to be long before she got sick. Farrier had told me at the consultation a few weeks ago he thought she had nice hooves...he still says so even after working on them. Some minor imbalance issues that can be remedied in a few shoeings. I knew there was something a tad wonky and knew I needed to react before it got out of hand. Oui...we are always a work in progress.
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2013, 04:28:32 pm »

Kinda not liking feeling like an episode of "What would you do?" but that is what I feel like right now. Been pondering what I should or should not do since Gabby and Mimi (my friends paint) were shod on Thurs. There are other people that use our former barefoot trimmer and I feel maybe I should say something about what has gone on with our two horses. Reason I get increasingly peeved is because I said to my trimmer so many times "If you EVER see any reason for Gabby to be shod, please tell me". I saw some changes in Gabby's feet a couple of trims before she got ill. Funny jamming of the coronet band and growth ring distortions on her rear feet. My new farrier, while telling me Gabby has great feet quality wise, pointed out the fact that she was trimmed inside long on all four feet. And while it is a possibility that she wears her feet that way (hence the need for shoes and why I said "If you EVER") she has the jamming that kinda makes me believe it was trim induced over a longer period of time. This trimmer was never going to suggest shoes for Mimi and when she was told she was ouchie on rocks she was told to use boots. I do know that a couple of other horses she is doing are starting to have a few issues...just don't know what I should say...or how to say it. It seems that when people start to have personal issues (both my former trimmers and my Mom's mare's former farrier have) their attention seems to go away from the job at hand. With a horse that can't happen, too much riding on their feet and potential soundness...yep, gotta figure out what to do. :o(
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2013, 04:29:56 pm »

Closing in on one final dose of Dexamethasone...Tomorrow will be the final day. We made it thru the every third day protocol...hopefully she continues to do well. From my understanding if she can't handle it, I will know pretty quickly. I want her off the drugs...this list of side effects is why...

    Chronic or inappropriate use of corticosteroids including dexamethasone can cause life-threatening hormonal and metabolic changes.
    Adverse effects due to corticosteroid treatment usually occur with long-term administration of the drug, especially when high doses are used. Alternate-day therapy with short-acting preparations is preferred. Animals that have received long-term therapy should be withdrawn slowly by tapering the dosage and prolonging the interval between doses.
    Corticosteroids suppress immune response. Animals receiving systemic corticosteroids may be more susceptible to bacterial or viral infections. Systemic corticosteroids can mask signs of infection, such as an elevated temperature.
    Polyuria, polydipsia and muscle-wasting can be seen with prolonged corticosteroid use.
    Corticosteroids can cause or worsen gastric ulcers.
    Corticosteroids should be avoided or used very carefully in young animals both because of immune suppression and the risk of GI ulcers.
    Corticosteroids have been implicated as a cause of laminitis in horses and ponies. Some corticosteroids are thought to be more likely to cause laminitis than others and the dexamethasone drugs historically have not been considered to be in the higher-risk category. Pony breeds may be more susceptible to developing laminitis than horses.
    Although corticosteroids may be used in healthy older horses, they should not be used in horses with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction. These horses already may have high levels of natural corticosteroids and are prone to laminitis and suppressed immune-function.
    Corticosteroids should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Large doses in early
    pregnancy may be teratogenic. Corticosteroids can induce labor in cattle and has been used to terminate pregnancy in bitches.

I have watched her personality come back to the horse she was before. No more quiet mountain horse for me. :D That is what I was looking for...that is what I rightly/wrongly gauged her healthiness on. I often wondered if I was going to have a different horse after all this...she's shown me in the last couple of weeks that barring any complications...I will have the personality filled horse that left me in April, back.

We've been thru it. when I think about the whole process, it is no wonder as this comes closer to being over I get an overwhelming OMGosh feeling. I am still emotionally stressed although I am not one to outwardly show it...that's my Dad's fault...his genes at work there. The last 3 months...well...let's see...End of April rushed to the clinic after the field vets visit didn't provide the results needed. 80 mph rush hour freeway trailer ride to the equine hospital 40 minutes away. How we didn't get a ticket I have no clue...how Gabby was still standing in that trailer when we arrived I will never know. Bad vitals, bad blood work, inflamed intestines, a gut full of fermenting feed and the clinic vet tells me I have a very sick horse. They lavage her stomach every 2 hours for the first day til empty and start her on intravenous fluids, DMSO, Zantac and Banamine. Vet said if he calls me in the middle of the night, I'd have to make a decision about surgery. I didn't sleep at all that night.

They made progress that first week but so painstakingly slow. While she didn't need surgery the vet said with surgeries he knows what he's dealing with...she never showed anything to do surgery on...and I am thankful they didn't do surgery unnecessarily. They offered her feed, she got diarrhea and ended up in the isolation barn. I watched her lose weight there and altho she felt rotten I watched her seemingly get depressed. Isolation only has a few stalls, she had one other horse with her and the barn was lots quieter due to the restrictions put on visitors and personnel. Somewhere in the beginning of the second week they saw what looked like purpura (strangle/strep) so they put her on steroids and sent out a culture to UC Davis. She improved under steroids use but was essentially stuck there 2-3 days longer waiting for test results...they were not going to send her out without knowing. She remained in isolation cuz once your in...the only way out was going home. Test came back negative...we were released that day.

Went home with strict instructions and a bag of meds. Zantac every 8 hours, don't miss a dose, don't be late on a dose. Dex at 6 ml once a day decreasing 1 ml each week. Feed every four hours for the ulcers. Hand walks at least 3 times a day. Ok I can do this. Boss lent me his motor home and we parked it across from her stall. I could look out the window and see her, hear her every move. I didn't sleep much that first week home either. I gave food and meds right on the dot, and even took hand walks in the moonlight. I brought a very stiff horse home...first two days I though her feet were blowing up...my friend came took a look and said "no she's all over body sore". Rightfully so I suppose. 16 days in a concrete stall with straw for bedding might do that. She was lethargic, mopey and ravenously hungry not to mention peed like someone left the hose running...it was those last two things that ultimately led us back to the clinic with an impaction 10 days later...only a few days after a clean bill of health was given at a check up. She went back in with dehydration induced impaction colic. She didn't drink enough to keep up with the output. Memorial Day was spent wondering if she was going to relapse and the next 6 days were more worry of whether she'd make it out again. 2 days of fluids and she passed the impaction. She still got bellyaches when she ate tho. Clinic staff determined she was bolting her feed due to the drugs and due to them coming back to put a muzzle on not too long after feeding. Muzzle was to prevent her from eating the straw. Hay Net! Hay net pretty much saved her life. Bolting feed stopped, stomach aches stopped, improvement came quicker. We went home again. Dex was increased during that stay and we had to start the weaning process all over again.

We've made it thru the meds, made it thru a strict alfalfa diet, things are looking good we are gonna make it this time. 21 days total in the clinic, I was there everyday at least an hour most days more. I am not the same horse owner I was. I've learned more than I have ever wanted to about colic and about the original reason she went in...allergic reaction to a vaccine. It happens, and I would guess a lot more often than is reported. I know ulcer symptoms, colic symptoms a lot quicker now as a result. I lost sleep, lost weight and I spent nearly a month sleeping in a motor home/trailer. I continuously worry in the back of my mind that she will relapse. As time goes on I know it will get easier, more normal days and weeks will turn to months and hopefully years from now be a blip on the horsie health radar. I have learned, seen, been thru more in a few years than most go thru in their whole lives of owning horses. I think if I were 20 years younger it would have sparked me into a new career...but alas, I am not 20 years younger and I need a paying job today. :D Here's to better days ahead...We've got a special trip scheduled tomorrow to celebrate...going to enjoy every minute.
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2013, 04:30:21 pm »

I took Gabby on her first big trip since her illness. We went to Fiesta Island in San Diego with a group of our friends. My friend who organized it was so nice to schedule it to where we thought Gabby would be able to go. We had a wonderful day even tho I worried about her some and kept a close eye on her. Monitored her fresh water and brought her hay jail (hay bag) from home so she wouldn't eat too fast out of her regular bag I usually trailer with. She dined sea side and seemed to do well and actually enjoy the day. We played in the water and rode the short trail in the middle of the island. Temp was perfect, 70 degrees and sunny, so she never got too hot. So many times during the day I had tears in my eyes, just happy we'd made it here, so glad I was wearing sunglasses. She seems just fine since, we went on an hour long ride yesterday with a horse just learning about the trail. Gabby seems to like showing the newbies that rocks, bikes, bridges, people walking, lizards and moving bushes really don't eat horses. She can be such a trooper. She is 100% herself...all the way down to making a horse lead, who may not want to. Praying we continue down our current path.
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2013, 04:31:00 pm »

Gabby is off all medications as of Monday. No steroids and no Zantac. I feel we've reached a milestone. I think about how much medication I administered since May (not including a friend's horse who spent a month on twice daily Zantac) and it's kinda mind boggling... Over 2 bottles of Dexamethazone at 100ml each, and 3 prescriptions of 300 mg Zantac...somewhere around 1960 tablets ground in a coffee grinder. I've had comments from friends that I am "one dedicated horsie Mom" and "in 12 years of owning horses, I've never seen a relationship like the one they have". Never was a choice, never had a doubt that I "wouldn't or couldn't" I just "did". Didn't come without stress, still haven't gotten past a daily fear that something will go wrong. I've had a couple of scares,one self inflicted and one a fly spray reaction. Love my clinic vet who assured me on Saturday afternoon when I was called with the news that Gabby was covered in hives, that it was not meds reduction related..."it is a reaction to something else, totally unrelated, find out what it is". I'd dumped in the finally bit of Pyrahna fly spray from the gallon jug...must have been more concentrated and caused the hives. Vet said wash her off, don't use soap, if it's not gone by Monday we'll talk. The hives were nearly gone in 2 hours and completely gone by morning. All natural fly spray recommended by my friend with a horse that does the same thing...doesn't work as well but doesn't cause hives...at the moment.

Another thought I've been pondering "Can you love a horse too much?" This one hit me cuz I am sure those who know me and Gabby think we are over the top and that I'm nuts. How did she and I get to this place...where I will do all I possibly can for her? How can I not when she does the same for me? My kids are grown, self sufficient and busy doin' their thing. My oldest is having a bunch of fun with his new job with a mtn bike company and my youngest is out of state and enjoys playing in a band...they don't need daily monitoring or calls from me...I have never been the overbearing busy body Mom who needed to micro manage my kids life. My hubby and I sort of let them "live and learn". Fortunately they had the good sense to not make life altering bad decisions. So my fur kids have become my passion...My hubby understands this and even tho he may not be over the top...he loves the fur kids too. Being together for 31 years (married nearly 30) he and I pretty much know what we got...and there's no changing it now.

Everyday I get now is a blessing, every ride, every nicker, every cheese lip smile, daily begging for my coffee (just one drink please) and every wackadoodle move she can pull off in the arena I cherish. Yesterday we took the girls to the river to play in the water...she miss stepped only one time...this trail has everything on it. Not hard physically but it makes them use the thinking part of their brain. 5 water crossings (one with tree root exit), one hill with a narrow rock passage, some sand, down tree limbs acting like cavelettis and a rock garden...done with no problem. I didn't expect her to be herself out on trail...but she was...then I suppose with all she has done in the last few years, why wouldn't she be. I am not the same rider I was, will probably never be, trouble free rides need to lead to trouble free days afterwards. Yes, maybe it is possible to "Love a horse too much" but if so, I will live with that
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2013, 04:31:35 pm »

Gabby has been nearly three weeks meds free! I have gotten to where I worry less, sleep better and not think every phone/text I get is to tell me something is wrong. She is completely 100% herself...only if I look at her hooves can I tell what she has been thru. Her personality is back...all of it...sometimes more than what she needs to have.:o)) She seems to have bounced back in the best shape that I could have hoped for at this point. I have been diligent about how I feed her and how I exercise her. Still waiting to get her off the straight alfalfa all tho I think that was the best diet for her to help her heal.

Having her shod is probably one of the best things I could have done for her as well...or maybe just using it as an excuse to start looking for a better hoof care provider. Gabby no longer does the funny winging out thing I used to catch in the corner of my eye...all because the trimmer left her high on the insides of all four feet. Hoof care in S. California is a challenge as there are so many who say they can and it takes several months or a year to see they really can't. Word of mouth doesn't always work either because you are always at the mercy of how much that owner actually knows about feet.

We ride nearly every day even if it's just a short putz thru the hood. I still don't trust to let her out in the pasture area (too many random weeds) without a muzzle (which I haven't tried yet) so she is confined to the 1/2 acre arena for her run amok time. Every morning I let her in there while I'm cleaning so that she can stretch her legs and I can see she's moving ok before I go to work. We have been riding with another boarder that's horse is pretty green...one on one Gabby is amazing with the newbies and seems to enjoy showing one the ropes...I am so proud of her for that.

I appreciate all my friends who keep an eye on her (feed her lunch) and those who help with things I might need or want to try by lending those items. I am still so thankful to be part of a wonderful group of horse people. Some have said "you do the same for others, so why shouldn't you have help too?" I just never think about what I do for others as any big deal...just part of another day...happy to do it...never want anything or expect anything back. Payin' it forward at work I guess...

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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2013, 04:32:01 pm »

Wow! Two months have gone by...some days go fast and others go slow. Gabby continues to do pretty well. Over two months meds free. Got her back on a primarily grass diet and she continues to look happy and healthy. Feet will be a work in progress for awhile. We are hoping the damage done can be monitored and treated by her farrier...he seems to think we will know more as time goes on. Big giant stress ring is over half way down...next 6 to 9 months will tell us more. I feel like I have a farrier who can handle the job tho.

I have weeks where I think I can relax...then someone else's horse gets sick and starts my worry all over again. My friend has a mare that will mild colic every few weeks. Get off her feed and what not...then that puts me on notice to watch every lil thing again. Gabby's stall mate coliced which led her owner spending a few nights camping in a motor home...yeah, I get to worry some more. Just when I'd gotten to the "not counting every poo pile" place...it started all over again.

We have had some fun rides with friends lately which takes my mind off the worrisome things and put it more on "how can I torture my pony with goofy stuff" mode of the past. We did a Halloween costume ride at the local preserve. 13 horses (no that wasn't planned just happened) and everyone had a good time and all the horses, including the stallion, was well behaved (even Gabby who was in heat). Many of those on the ride are people I love dearly...the ones always there when I need them and care for Gabby as if she is theirs...they were so happy to see "G" out and about being her goofy self. I don't know when my worry will completely subside. I thank God everyday I arrive and see a happy looking Gabby hoping to mooch a taste of coffee (she gets a taste once a week)  waiting for me. A friend posted a comment on Facebook of "when do you completely get over it" as she has dealt with a prolonged illness as well...I put up..."never, I don't think it ever goes completely away". My fault completely, I take the blame, I let my fur kids worm their way into my heart and wrap themselves tightly around...Just who I am.
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2013, 04:33:00 pm »

Another month done and gone...My family and friends told me I would worry less, and replace the memories of Gabby's illness with good ones from rides and days yet to come. Back then, during those sleepless, worry filled days and nights I doubted it. Every day I thought I'd come and find her sick again. Every day that I didn't became a huge relief. We are back to our goofiness in full force. Riding the trails, riding the shopping centers, sharing the horsie love to anyone who cares to be slobbered on. I am so grateful to still have her with me and thank God, my family and friends everyday...twice a day actually as I am at the barn that much.

 

The pics above were in my cell phone...they are of when Gabby was in the clinic. I never deleted them, never downloaded them, they made me cry to look at them and still bring tears to my eyes. I had a very sick horse and when I took them I feared they could have been the last photos I had...I didn't want them to be my memory but at the same time they gave me a bit of hope as she was at least trying for me.

 

What a difference the eyes make...above a few days after she came home...below...just last Sunday.

 

The pic below...no explanation needed.

 

Back on the trails and not a single indication anything was ever wrong...except we are now leaving shoe prints instead of just hoof prints.

Spreading the horsie love with even the tiniest of fans.

The pic below...well...no explanation for that either. :O))

 

Yes, my friends and family were right...so many good days have replaced those memories with better ones...I hope that trend continues for many years to come.
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2013, 04:33:24 pm »

Things seem to be rolling along. Gabby appears to be doing well..appears because until she learns English and tells me she's fine when I ask...I won't ever know for sure. On another note I have an unreasonable amount of guilt in what happened to a friend. She took a horrible fall on a New Year Day ride that landed her in the hospital with a broken collar bone, 3 fractured ribs and a bruised lung. Why do I feel guilty even tho I did nothing to cause the accident? Because if it hadn't been for me, she would have never had the horse...if I'd been there when she loaded "that" horse in the trailer (I had just left 5 mins prior with Gabby) I would have done everything possible in convincing her to not take him. "Him" is a coming 4 year old KMSH that came off 90 days of training this fall. "Him" had only 2 outside the ranch rides with Gabby and I prior to her thinking taking him on that ride was a good idea. Now she's broken and I seriously don't know where this horse is gonna end up. She may not ever have the patience it takes to let him become a good trail horse...the lack of patience in allowing things to go slow...has ended badly. She will recover in time and be back on trail with us...will my guilt in it all go away...I don't know...in time maybe. I blame myself in just about every situation whether good or bad...blame myself for Gabby's illness as I am the one who gave her the vaccine...I made that choice. She says I shouldn't blame me...she made a bad decision...I still blame me as I'm the one who's always had the ability to throw common sense into a bad idea.
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2013, 04:34:16 pm »

Ok well the thread on vaccines reminded me of my journal and wow! I haven't been here in awhile. We've been busy busy busy...When Gabby got well I took the vet's advice to get her out moving as much as possible. Horse keeping in S. Calif. can be a challenge as most facilities don't have all day turn out for all the horses. I wouldn't want her in with other horses unattended any way so I am her sole source of entertainment. So I turn her out in the am before I go to work in the little acre turn out...to do whatever it is horses do...in her case run amok a little and eat a few weeds, then I put her back and go to work. Then 4-5 days a week we ride. I love riding our local preserve. It is close by (I can get there after work and ride til dusk), it's safe (I know if something happens to me riding alone someone will eventually find me), and we like playing with the mtn bikes on trail. Keeps things interesting. Not to mention the promoting of the breed we do. Most people know her breed now, often times guessing it before I tell them, many have complimented me on a job well done bring her back when I tell them how I nearly lost her and feel so blessed to still have her.

We are still helping a friend bring up her boy...the one that had the accident New Years...she chose to keep trying and slowed down, fully understanding she put him somewhere he wasn't ready to be. He is her favorite horse now (she has 3 and feels bad to say she lubs her boy best). He has a lot of try and reminds me a lot of Gabby at his age (4.5). We try to set him up for success every ride but give him new experiences as well. We found he is part sea horse and loves the water too.

Gabby and I have made new riding friends...more Rockies! That has been a lot of fun, meeting new ones and seeing the differences in the lines in the breed. Gabby is still the knucklehead of the bunch...has way too much personality for her own good sometimes. I wouldn't have it any other way...she keeps me on my toes but not in a way I can't handle.

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Our trip to the beach this year

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She loves her Gatorade!

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We are still doing silly stuff, like riding the lake levy on a busy summer day. The horses really don't know what to think about all the activity.

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Gabby takes her mentor job pretty seriously...

 

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So this is where we are...I am less fearful as time goes by that I won't come find Gabby sick...there is no evidence she ever was other than the shoes she now wears because I sort of freaked out last summer looking at the bruising she had...unintentional good result from that tho...is she has a hoof length that seems to work well as her gait has improved significantly. Our trails are hard pack sand paper and the amount of riding we do seems to wear her feet off quickly...wear out pacing growth for the most part.

Oh well for now, I keep on going with our current program, it's not broke so I'm not gonna fix it. Everything the same, don't change anything. This is the first spring/summer out of about 5 years that I didn't battle some sort of mystery hives mess that everyone wanted to tell me was because of this or that...and this year what did I not do??? I didn't vaccinate her...wrong....maybe...but how could I risk possibly killing her this time around...every year things got worse...I only wish I'd caught onto the cycle sooner.

 
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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom

wakemom

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Re: Life just outside the comfort zone
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2013, 04:34:43 pm »

Well some may think I've once again lost my mind. But if we aren't learning and trying to advance in whatever our chosen passion is, well, things get boring. When I got Gabby as an unruly coming 3 year old she was virtually a wild child and I was her third owner since leaving her birth farm. Many times I wondered what we'd become and was I going to die trying to get there. LOL We both learned along the way...page by page and step by step. Lot's of trials, many tribulations but I seem to have a gift (so my friends, coworkers and some family members say) of a ton of patience. I rarely let anything bug me or detour me. If one thing don't work, I try something else...move on...figure it out.

So...what have I gone and gotten us into now?  We are on a mission of a "tack less trail ride" bareback and no head gear. Why some may ask...cuz I believe we can. :) I started the real training for this about a week and a half ago. We ride our local preserve a lot by ourselves. Sometimes bareback in a side pull, with no hands using leg only. We have cantered, gaited and back to whoa...with no hands. I think we can pull this off. The trail is shared with walkers and mtn bikers...the only concern I have is that she may want to "play" with a mtn biker but so far she seems to fully understand I allow her to chase a mtn bike from time to time (my hubby) we just don't go after random bikers. So training has progressed to bareback, halter and lead rope with out hands used. We rode nearly 3 miles this way on Friday...there was a time when I wondered what I'd done getting a young filly...that was 6 years ago. Is this a big thing? Maybe not to some but I know where we started, where we've been, and am enjoying new challenges even if I make them up as we go. :o)

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Cheryl~Gabby's Mom
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