Friday, November 26, 2010

TACK Friday!

For me, the idea of waking up at 3am and spending the day at the mall, elbowing and shoving 5 thousand other half-crazed, jacked-up-on-caffeine-and-holiday-discounts shoppers is about as appealing as repeatedly stabbing myself in the eye. But I do love a good deal. Solution? Stay home and shop online -- lots of great deals, but with zero threat of bodily harm.

This weekend is VTO Saddlery's big sale. And since I need a new pair of paddock boots, I figured it was the perfect time to buy them. I found my Ariat paddock boots, selected my color and size..."Add To Cart" *click* "Aaaaaahhhh." It's like internet heroin.

But, of course, you can't just buy one horsey item, especially during a huge sale! My gloves seem to have wandered off into Lost Glove Land a few months ago, so I added a pair of MacWet Gloves to my cart. Then I browsed through the bit section; I've been lusting after the Herm Sprenger Duos and the Nathe mouth bits for the longest time, but I just cannot justify spending over $70 on a bit. And then I stumbled across this. It's a Korsteel Flexi Flavored Eggbutt Mullen Mouth bit and it's only $30 (pre-discount!). Yep, that got added to the cart, too.

By now, I had that blank, glazed-over look that one gets from repeated "Add to Cart" hits. And then I stumbled across the best deal yet -- a Soft Touch girth for only $20 (BEFORE the discount!)!! Eeeeeeeek! They are amazing girths and I've been wanting one for EVER!!  Deal of the century!

So, did any of you get some steals & deals on tack today? Or did you go the more traditional route and get into a knock-down drag-out brawl over a toaster oven?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Eight Month Curse

Uuugghhh. What is going on in our little horse blogging community? First it was bad news for Gogo, then even worse news for Denali. And today I received some sad news of my own.

The past three animals that I've taken in have all died within eight months -- first, my little Jack Russel mix (picked up off the streets) developed Acute Lymphatic Leukemia; then Mac suffered from a massive colic; and finally Zamboni the barn-cat had a seizure. So, I had my fingers and eyes crossed for Sasha girl; I kept saying, "Just make it through the end of November and you'll have broken the eight-month curse, girl."

Ever since I've had her, I noticed that her back left leg toes in, and she doesn't walk straight on it; she brings it more towards her midline. She's only appeared to be in pain from it once or twice when she overdid things physically; and I had my vet take a look at it the last time she had a routine exam. He said that it was probably an old ligament injury, and that I should keep an eye on it and bring her in to be X-rayed if it started bothering her.

Well, with the cooler weather, she's been more active, and has been a little bit NQR on it a few nights. So, today I took her in for X-rays.

Oh. my. Gawd. The second I looked at them, even my untrained eye knew that they were very wrong. Apparently, some time in the distant past, Sasha was hit by a car. And nobody took her to the vet. Of course not. Why would you take a dog to the vet if it had been hit by a car? (That was sarcasm, if you couldn't tell.) Her whole left hip is collapsed, and she has bone spurs everywhere. Her right side has hip dysplasia and more bone spurs.

So. Where do we go from here? She has to lose a lot of weight. She can't go for long walks, but I'm supposed to try and get her to swim as much as possible. She's on Rimadyl for pain. That's all we can do. If she had been surgically treated after the accident, she would have been fine. That's what kills me. But since she wasn't treated (and it's far too late for that now), she has a year, maybe two, before that hip just falls apart.

Of course, I will not let her suffer. The minute she's in pain that the Rimadyl can't help, I will do the kind thing and let her go. I'm just so tired of people not doing right by their animals. I'm tired of cleaning up other people's messes.

At least she's comfy in her 2-layers-of-memory-foam bed!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Moving On

Well, it certainly has been quite a while since I blogged about any of my own riding adventures. Things have definitely changed quite a bit for me. I was riding a Thoroughbred gelding named Fortune who does the 3'6" jumpers up in Wellington; but, unfortunately, I felt that I needed to move barns (don't you just hate barn drama?!), so I'm no longer riding Forty. Luckily, I am a resourceful girl with a lot of horsey connections, so I wasn't without a pony to ride for too long.

Since last weekend, I have been riding Certs, a lovely little Appaloosa gelding. He and I have a very special bond -- a few years ago, Certs came down with a serious case of enteritis. He was a very sick boy and required 24-hour care; he was on IV fluids, had a gastro-nasal tube that was literally stitched into his muzzle (I called it his "snorkel"), and had to have his front feet in buckets of ice water 24/7 to prevent laminitis because of a very high fever. I pretty much got a crash course in nursing care (learning to change IV bags, etc.) and stayed with Certs every night to oversee his care. Let me tell you, it was nerve-wracking; I had to keep an eagle eye on the line of IV bags, make Certs kept his feet in the buckets of ice water, give him medicine, make sure he didn't lie down, etc. The poor guy was so uncomfortable and constantly snorking up the most disgusting-smelling stomach juices. But the good news is that he pulled through it and is none the worse for the wear. Certs' owner Jeanette still calls me Night Nurse Meghann. :-)

You might not believe that Certs is an Appaloosa, as there
is nary a spot on his sorrel hide -- but I assure you, he is
a full-blooded, registered solid App

Doesn't he look laid-back and innocent? Well, I was certainly under that impression; so imagine my surprise when, yesterday, I walked Certs up to the mounting block and he threw a tiny tantrum. He kept wanting to walk forward, but when he felt some pressure on the bit, he did a half-rear/pull-back/run-backwards move (which, of course, ripped the reins out of my hands), and then high-tailed it back to the barn! Hhhhmmmph. How embarrassing! Well, that earned him one all-expenses-paid trip to the round pen. 

Luckily, a few minutes of round pen work and a five-minute session on standing still while being mounted were all Certs needed to remember that he does, indeed, have manners. He is such a trickster! Jeanette warned me that he can be quite the devious little devil at times. Actually, I kinda like that, as it will keep me on my toes. Thankfully, today Certs was much better and it only took a few gentle reminders to get him standing as still as a statue while I mounted.

It has been quite a while since Certs was ridden, but luckily he is a pretty straight-forward ride. His trot is bone-jarringly springy (like, if you try sitting to it, you can feel your brain sloshing around in your skull), but his canter is awesome! It's smooth, balanced, and sooooo comfy -- like Jeanette said, it just kinda sucks your butt into the saddle! I'm pretty excited because, once I get Certs into shape, I can start jumping him.

OK, so this picture is pretty crappy, but it's the best I've got. I look huge on Certs (he's only around 15.1 or 15.2), but thankfully he doesn't feel tiny.

Hopefully, I'll have some better pics soon. :-)