Blog .:. November 2011 5 Entries
I’ve decided that, what with one thing and another, Ro and I are taking December off. I’ll start legging her back up in January sometime.
In the meantime, to keep things a little interesting here, I’m going to try to do a poem a day in December. These will be poems and articles and other generally horse-related nuggets I come across. This is all related to that literary site I’m perpetually working on.
So, if the idea of a poem a day bores you to tears, come back in January. Otherwise, I’m using the next ten days to start preparing entries, and I’ll be spending December tossing out whatever tidbits catch my attention.
Last week, I was standing in the barn morosely going over Ro when another boarder stopped and asked me what was wrong.
“She’s off,” I said.
Without pausing, the boarder asked, “Did you enter her in a show again?”
My show luck (or lack of luck) has reached epic status.
And for the record, I did enter her in a show.
Except this time, I really thought I had the universe fooled. I told everyone we were done with show attempts this year. Everyone. If you didn’t get the memo yet, the post office is probably just overburdened. It’s on its way.
Then I went home, shut myself up in a dark closet where even the cats couldn’t see me, and filled out my entry forms. I decided I wouldn’t even tell my friend who was going to come with me and keep me sane. I’d just go and announce our awesome scores later.
My plan was foolproof, but it turns out the universe is no fool.
And so, as I said, last week Ro came up… off. Not head-bobbing lame, but definitely not sound.
I watched her for three days, but there was no significant change. So - no show for us. Again.
I had the vet out last week, and the exam showed something a little unexpected (although it explains some things in retrospect). I decided to hold off on taking action until I got Ro to the chiro (which happened yesterday) and I could get a saddle fitter out (this coming weekend). At that point, she’ll have had two weeks off work as well.
At that point, we’ll reevaluate and decide whether chiro/saddle/riding approach will be enough to manage the issue that came up in the vet exam or if we need to get more aggressive.
Right now, I am feeling optimistic. I think Ro has had an awful schedule all year, going in and out of work because of the sinus issue. She’s only been back in a regular program for a couple months, and during that time we’ve found a whole near gear in her gait box. I’m hoping what we’re seeing is that I asked for too much, too soon and she’s just body sore.
And in the meantime, I can state definitely, unequivocally, no sneaky-tricks-up-my-sleeve-ly: we will not be attempting to show again this year.
We are clearly cursed. I mean, there’s such a thing as being unlucky at shows, but we can’t even get to a show.
Maybe I need to burn an omnibus or something, exorcise the bad luck demons. Too bad we’re still under a burn ban. Deleting the file from my computer just doesn’t have the same emotional cleansing effect.
Actually, it’s not lame at all.
Check out the Equine Lameness Diagnosis Test from some vets at UPenn.
They give you five different case studies to work through—you get history from the owner and can run through diagnostic tests, including xrays, ultrasounds, etc. In a manner of speaking, obviously.
Be careful, though—they reuse some things from case to case, so their links are all kinds of messy. If you need to go backwards (e.g. you watch the video of the horse moving and are ready to go on with diagnostics), use your back button—don’t rely on their “back” links. Their forward links seem to be ok.
If you get the diagnosis wrong, they’ll give you information on what you should have done and should have seen, which is pretty cool. Especially if, like me, you have no idea how to read an ultrasound in the first place and stare at it thinking “Hmm, that’s pretty. Pretty much like Greek to me, in fact.”
(Misleading—I know a few Greek words, like distichomythia, which my spell check seems to think should be “sadomasochistic,” from which we can conclude that I have a very sick-minded computer. Ultrasounds, to get back on topic, are more like, uh, um, Kenyan to me. I stare blankly and hope for someone to come along and translate.)
I took some video of my ride today. We are definitely making progress on the horse trot vs. the pony trot, which is good.
Since she was going pretty well today and the arena footing was good, I decided to trot her over some cross rails while I had the video available. I’ve been told her jump is cute and wanted to see if it was true.
She does have a cute front end:
She wasn’t doing much more than stepping over the jumps, so it’s hard to judge the jump itself. I think it has the potential to be pretty decent, though.
However, I’m pretty clearly at the limits of what I can do—I stayed out of her way, but my position makes me cry and I certainly wasn’t helping her any. Although, to be honest, I need more help than she does.
So, the next step is to get some lessons for me. And then—well. We’ll just have to see what happens then, eh?
Now that it is November, work is moving into the usual end-of-year crunch time. Yes, it goes on for two months. Fun times are had by all. In a manner of speaking.
So Ro is being ridden, sometimes. She doesn’t mind much either way.
Onyx and the kitten (who refuses to answer to either Pippa or Mica, or anything else, really, although a sharp “Hey, you!” will get a quizzical look, as if to ask why I am disturbing her activities—can’t I see she’s busy?) are settling down.
As I hoped, they are keeping each other amused.
Which is to say, the kitten has Onyx totally bemused. She sits on a chair somewhere safe and watches the kitten go. For hours. And then she looks at me and says, “You brought this thing in here. It’s insane. I am now questioning your sanity also.”
She has not quite forgiven me yet. She alternates between wanting to be petted and hissing and running away, usually at one and the same time. As far as I can tell, she believes I should be sterilizing my hands after touching the kitten and before petting her.
But every once in a while, when the kitten is otherwise occupied (read: climbing the curtains), Onyx joins me on the couch. I’m not allowed to touch her with my kitten-contaminated hands, but I am allowed to exist in her general vicinity.
This lasts until the kitten wanders over and tries to eat her tail, at which point they chase each other around the apartment for a while. There’s no more hissing and spitting while they do this, so I leave them to it. Onyx needs to burn some calories and the kitten will usually sleep for awhile afterward. All good.
The kitten also discovered the basket of cat toys that I had stashed on a shelf. These are the toys that Onyx used to teach me how to throw balls (seriously—Onyx’s sole interest in the various balls, toy mice, toy lobster, etc, was in seeing how many she could convince me to throw before I realized what was going on).
I am not entirely sure where all the toys are at this point in time. The kitten systematically pulled them out, played with each one for a while, and pulled some more out. Sometimes she went back to a previous toy, as if comparison shopping, and then she went and pulled out some more toys.
One should never settle for the first toy in life, after all. One must discriminate.
Here’s what I’ve learned about kitten’s tastes:
Flashing lights are not her thing.
Balls are far more interesting than mice.
Balls with bells are more interesting than balls without bells.
The lobster—which has a bell in its tail—is awesome. It has all sorts of claws and tail and such that she can grab and use to drag it around, and it makes noise.
I don’t mind the noise. It means she’s amusing herself and (probably) not getting into trouble.
Posts may slow down over the next couple weeks—with work ramping up, Ro is going to get a little bit of short shrift. And I am not (you may thank me later) going to turn this into a kitten blog.
But don’t worry. We’re all having a grand old time. It’s just the sort of comfortable, grand old time that doesn’t lend itself to posting much.
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