Friday, September 30, 2011

Wide Girl Needs a New Saddle!

I could use anyone and everyones input - Riva has sadly outgrown her Kieffer dressage saddle.  It is so comfy for me - even though the seat size is too large - but not so comfy for Miss Diva any longer.  It is a medium tree and she needs a wide.  I looked in to having it adjusted by Kieffer USA - but the cost I can't justify since it still would not fit me.

I have started looking on-line and really want a saddle that can be adjusted or re-flocked down the road.  Riva is 4 now, but I imagine she still has some body changes coming.  She is wide backed, not high withered - she is Warmblood X TB.  I have been looking at used County saddles and Schleese (which are really $$$ - probably won't be able to go with Schleese).

Anyone have suggestions - advice?  I will most likely sell the Kieffer when I find something that fits Riva.  The Kieffer is too large for our other TB, Cheers.  Will try and get a pic of it and post if anyone is interested!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Some Great News!

This will be us at Oktoberfest in Edinburgh next month!  Dr. A cleared Riva for more work yesterday.  She said Riva's feet look fantastic and her trot the best she has ever seen her.  Much relief at our house :)

Dr. A took pre and post shoeing x-rays yesterday and watched her move.  We had her fronts re-shod and will wait to re-do the backs at the next shoeing in 4 weeks.

I came home, printed off the entry form for Oktoberfest, and will pop it in the mail today.  I am entering Riva and I in Intro Test B and Lex will ride Riva in Intro Test C.

Dr. A wants us to begin with 30-40 meter circles for the next two weeks, then we can add 20 meter circles - just not drilling her on them.  She wants us to take it slow.  Doc also advised not over practicing the test - as she said - Riva knows how to do 20 meter circles - she will do fine.

Excited to get her out to a show again.  I competed her at Edinburgh in April and in May we took her to Come Again Farms - but she was lame and couldn't compete.  Other than hauling to the vet, she hasn't been anywhere.  She has been to Edinburgh several times and always seems comfortable there.  We took her last October just as a companion for Hennessy.  Hoping she remembers!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New video of The Diva and her Trainer

Here is some video of Lex working Diva taken last week.  I can see so much improvement from the previous video we took about 3 weeks ago.  Riva's stickiness is disappearing - her trot is improving - her canter has gotten stronger and she can sustain it longer - she is learning to canter on cue instead of running in to it - and she seems much happier working.  We are still riding every other day until she sees the vet for her re-check this Friday. 

Tonight, Lex rode her very briefly and then gave me a lesson on her.  We worked on slowing the trot on the short sides and lenghening on the long sides - walk to trot and back to walk transitions - medium walk and free walk.  Lex then hopped back on and took her for her first walk around the galloping track = new feature at our barn!  Riva was a superstar and walked calmly around for Lex.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In her words

If you would like to read about Hennessy from Alexis's point of view, please visit her blog.  Thank you all for your kindness and support, for fellow horsewomen that you have never met.  It continues to amaze me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wake Up Grateful

I have a CD by Templeton Thompson titled "Girls and Horses".  The last track on it is the song "Wake Up Grateful".  I did wake up grateful today for the friends and acquaintances that have made their way in to my daughter's life over the past year - especially this summer.  Without them, Hennessy's injury, diagnosis and prognosis would be so much harder than it already is for her to handle.  Thank you to the bloggers who have expressed their support, thoughts, and prayers over the past week.  Sometime next month, we will have Henny euthanized.  Until then, Lex continues to groom, talk to, and hug him.  He gets turned out in a small pasture each day with Cheers, our other TB, and just gets to be a horse.

One of the things I am most grateful for in Lex's life is her new part time job that a trainer she met this past summer offered to her.  This trainer has already talked with Lex about a working student position, after she has completed her high school courses in October.  It is a dressage barn - the trainer gives lessons and trains horses for their owners.  Lex spent this past weekend on the property, staying in the apartment on the grounds, and worked.  We went to visit her yesterday and watch her ride - a lovely Fresian mare.  The trainer/owner wants Lex to ride the Fresian and another horse on a regular basis.  Lex can take lessons as she has time also.  This is a great opportunity for her to work on her dressage, receive excellent instruction, earn money, and further her education.  It is a beautiful, clean, well organized and run business.

Lex even got a change to compete at CAF on Saturday, spur of the moment.  She was to compete Beginner Novice on one of the trainer's horses - combined training and event derby.  Unfortunately, the horse slipped in warm up, after the first dressage test.  They did not realize until after they completed their 2nd test that a back shoe had shifted and a side clip had embedded in his foot.  So, they pulled him out of the competition before their jump round.

Some pics I took when we visited on Saturday:

Fell in love with this little filly!  She is so sweet :)

This Llama just made me laugh every time I looked at it!

Going out to ride Riva this afternoon.  We had some very good rides last week.  We worked on trot poles in the outdoor arena on Friday afternoon - had not done that for was fun and Riva liked doing something different, I think.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hennessy's diagnosis

As I posted last, the news was not good or what we had hoped for.  Hennessy has two torn muscles in his left hind leg - the cruciate is 80 % torn and the medial meniscus is 75 % torn with the lateral meniscus inflamed.   Our vet determined this with x-rays first then an ultrasound.  Only two treatment options were given by our vet - stem cell treatment, which would involve two rounds plus 6 months of stall rest - followed by 6 months of very small pasture turn out - followed by hand walking, then riding.  She could only offer a  20 %  chance of full recovery after this course of treatment.  The other treatment option - 6 months stall rest - followed by 6 months very small pasture turn out.  This treatment would only give the outcome of Henny being a pasture mate for the rest of his life.  And with either treatment option, there is always the chance of one or both muscles tearing further - or completey apart and he would immediately have to be euthanized.

Henny is a stall walker if left inside - and he stall walks at feeding time - and turn out time.  So if we tried to stall rest him, he would have to be under mild sedation all the time.  He is a hard keeper - we struggle to keep weight and muscle on him.  So he would lose all conditioning.  And he is 15.  He also has an old knee injury on the left front.  The vet said stall rest would put more strain on that knee and most likely cause swelling. 

Hennessy loves his job - eventing (ok, mostly the jumping part of his job) - and we just can't see subjecting him to either treatment option.  He is our daughter's horse - she picked him out and loves him dearly.  This is understandable hard on our entire family - but of course, she is suffering the most at losing her partner.  He took a girl who once said 'I never want to jump' to a brave young woman with determination and skill. 

I know many more horses will come and go in Lex's life - but it does not make it any easier. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

No Words

Not good news at the vet today for my daughter's horse, Hennessy.  Please keep my youngest daughter in your thoughts as decisions are made on what is best for her best friend.

Riva, Henny, & Life In General

Time has gotten away from me lately!  I spent the first 3 days of the week in Kentucky for an Aunt's funeral.  So good to see family that I had not seen since I was 16 yrs old.  My Uncle lives on a farm outside of Flemingsburg, KY - beautiful state.  We used to visit a lot when I was younger and I was always disappointed because none of my relatives had horses.  Not good for a horse crazy girl!

While I was away from home, Lex rode my Riva for me and took excellent care of her.  I was on the road on Wednesday for 8 hours driving - but still went out to the barn that evening to ride. Riva is doing really well.  Her canter is developing - she can go about 3 laps around our outdoor jumping arena now on both leads.  Lex has been taking her for walks, under saddle, around the pond and hay field.  I rode her around the pond on Wed evening and she was perfect.  She is getting brave :)  Fingers crossed that she will be cleared at her next vet appt to do 20 meter circles again - next visit is Sept. 23rd. Lex has been doing a few steps of shoulder in with her at the walk and Riva is understanding what to do.

On the bad news side, Hennessy, Lex's horse, has been lame since she returned from her working student position and last competition at the beginning of August.  He was getting much better until he did a sliding stop in to the water trough in his pasture, about 2 weeks ago.  He is a stall walker when he is kept in, so he has been turned out with our other TB, Cheers, in a small pasture for the past two weeks.  We have seen some improvement - seems to be mainly in his left hip area.  He rests that leg most of the time right now.

So Lex and my husband are taking his to the vet today.  Hoping and praying whatever is wrong is fixable.  He is 15 now and has jumped for years.  Trying to be optimistic.  When we bought him for Lex, our plan was to sell him when she graduated high school and went off to college.  She will actually graduate in October of this year - she attends a non-traditional high school - and she most likely will go to another working student position for a year.  So - we would be trying to sell him in the near future...but certainly want him sound for the next owner.  Henny is a wonderful horse with heart - he would jump the moon for his girl and takes great care of her.

So many bloggers out there right now with eventers with lameness issues - rehabbing and making decisions on what is best for their best friends.  My heart goes out to every one of them.