Vegas Sky

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About Vegas Sky

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Corvallis, OR
  • Interests
    three day eventing, dressage, jumping, reading, running, and the Great Outdoors
  1. Hi everyone, This post is probably going to be long because I've got a lot on my mind...where to start... My mare, Vegas, is 14 and we have been eventing for about four years now. It's been a little off-and-on as I've gone through school, moved around, and we've both battled serious illness. I joined Pony Club three years ago when I was 19 and since then the quality of our education has improved exponentially. I have had the opportunity to ride amazing horses and to learn things I never could have imagined. Vegas has turned true corners and changed into the remarkable athlete I always knew she could be. In March 2007, Vegas was hit by a car and sustained some serious injuries from that incident: ruptured joint capsules on the right carpus and right front fetlock that have since developed arthritis. Initially, we were just happy that she survived the incident and focused only on her recovery. She healed remarkably well and within three months we were competing in recognized events. Since that time, we have battled other issues as well, the majority of them unrelated - pneumonia, tying up, shipping fever, freak accidents that leave her with sutures, a small tear in her superficial flexor this spring...it's just been one thing after another with her, and her scars are quickly accumulating. But throughout all of this, she has always made a full recovery and returned to the work she loves to do...Until now. When we put her back to work early this summer after her tendon had healed, she began having unrelated soundness issues in the fetlock of opposite leg (the tendon and ruptured joint capsules all were on the right side). At first they were little issues that went away with rest, bandaging, and bute, but by the beginning of August we couldn't ignore them anymore. We went to an event and we were eliminated on XC because she refused the fences - very uncharacteristic of her. We knew something was wrong, so we shot some radiographs of that fetlock. We found arthritis on the medial sesmoid where it communicates with the base of the cannon bone - another, heretofore unseen, complication of her accident with the car. The changes, while not severe, were significant enough to earn her a grade 2+ lameness. We chose to inject the joint with steroids and hyaluronic acid - a combination that has worked wonders for her other arthritic joints. We did the injection ten days ago, and there has been little improvement. I've been around the block enough times to know that it's not working like it should - I'm a senior pre-vet student and I've worked for the vet who performed the injection for about 18 months now. I'm not an authority in equine lameness by any means, but I do know the basics and I know my horse better than I know anything. So now I face the decision of retiring my mare. She has not been sound for the past year and now we have this new arthritis that is thus far resistant to treatment. 10 days post-injection she is still not sound at the trot in-hand. She loves to jump and she loves to gallop in the open. When she's out there with her game on, her whole being lights up and she becomes a force to behold. On top of that, this horse is my baby. She is everything to me. I've had her since I was 16 - six years. She's the first horse I ever owned and I've taken her from a know-nothing green-broke pack string rental horse to a training level eventer and a second level dressage horse. Everything I know about riding I learned on her back. She's taken me from a scared, lost, lonely teenager to an adult with a career plan and a purpose in life. We've been from home to the other side of the country to another country, from high school to working student to full-time working to college, through the first crush and first boyfriend, heartache and triumph. I watched her get hit by that car, sure that I was watching my baby die, only to have her come back full force. I've rehabbed her through terrible injuries and illnesses, and she has done the same for me. We've been through it all together. And through it all, she has been my foundation. No matter what happened, she was always there to offer a canter to cure my evils. And now I'm losing that. I feel like I'm losing that part of me that she created. It's like I finally have to let go of the last strings that keep me tied to my childhood. I know that I can't ask her to do something that hurts, and I won't. But the situation isn't so cut and dry. There are always new therapies and treatment options available, and there's still the faint hope that with one of those she could have another couple years as a jumper or several more years as a dressage horse (which she loves more than jumping!), but at what point do I say no more? At what point do I retire her to broodmare status? When I discussed this matter with my vet initially, the answer I got was "when the joint injections stop working", but they never even started working. Do I take that as a sign that she will never be sound again, or are we going about treating this the wrong way? My heart is split. On the one side, I always knew this day would come - that after having so much trauma from the accident followed by so many other random issues, she would never be 100% again and that we would eventually face chronic lameness issues. But I never expected to retire her at 14. On the other hand, I know that I cannot and will not ever ask her to do something detrimental to her health, I will never push her beyond her abilities, and I won't take off ten years of her life to gain five more years of riding. Ultimately, I know the decision rests solely in my hands. If it were black and white...if I knew for certain that she would never be sound again, then it would be easy. But there's still that hope that she could still be worked and compete. She could still do what she loves...but at what cost? So my question for all of you is: how do you make this decision? How do you know it's time? And if it is time, how do you take an animal that loves to work and throw them in pasture for the rest of their lives? If any of you have had a similar bond with your horse, how do you separate your wishes and desires for them and for you from what you know is best for them? And ultimately, how do you know what's best? Sorry this got so long, but like I said, I've been mulling this over the past couple weeks and I still don't know where to go with it. I really appreciate any advice that you can give.
  2. Making The "retirement" Decision

    Hi everyone, This post is probably going to be long because I've got a lot on my mind...where to start... My mare, Vegas, is 14 and we have been eventing for about four years now. It's been a little off-and-on as I've gone through school, moved around, and we've both battled serious illness. I joined Pony Club three years ago when I was 19 and since then the quality of our education has improved exponentially. I have had the opportunity to ride amazing horses and to learn things I never could have imagined. Vegas has turned true corners and changed into the remarkable athlete I always knew she could be. In March 2007, Vegas was hit by a car and sustained some serious injuries from that incident: ruptured joint capsules on the right carpus and right front fetlock that have since developed arthritis. Initially, we were just happy that she survived the incident and focused only on her recovery. She healed remarkably well and within three months we were competing in recognized events. Since that time, we have battled other issues as well, the majority of them unrelated - pneumonia, tying up, shipping fever, freak accidents that leave her with sutures, a small tear in her superficial flexor this spring...it's just been one thing after another with her, and her scars are quickly accumulating. But throughout all of this, she has always made a full recovery and returned to the work she loves to do...Until now. When we put her back to work early this summer after her tendon had healed, she began having unrelated soundness issues in the fetlock of opposite leg (the tendon and ruptured joint capsules all were on the right side). At first they were little issues that went away with rest, bandaging, and bute, but by the beginning of August we couldn't ignore them anymore. We went to an event and we were eliminated on XC because she refused the fences - very uncharacteristic of her. We knew something was wrong, so we shot some radiographs of that fetlock. We found arthritis on the medial sesmoid where it communicates with the base of the cannon bone - another, heretofore unseen, complication of her accident with the car. The changes, while not severe, were significant enough to earn her a grade 2+ lameness. We chose to inject the joint with steroids and hyaluronic acid - a combination that has worked wonders for her other arthritic joints. We did the injection ten days ago, and there has been little improvement. I've been around the block enough times to know that it's not working like it should - I'm a senior pre-vet student and I've worked for the vet who performed the injection for about 18 months now. I'm not an authority in equine lameness by any means, but I do know the basics and I know my horse better than I know anything. So now I face the decision of retiring my mare. She has not been sound for the past year and now we have this new arthritis that is thus far resistant to treatment. 10 days post-injection she is still not sound at the trot in-hand. She loves to jump and she loves to gallop in the open. When she's out there with her game on, her whole being lights up and she becomes a force to behold. On top of that, this horse is my baby. She is everything to me. I've had her since I was 16 - six years. She's the first horse I ever owned and I've taken her from a know-nothing green-broke pack string rental horse to a training level eventer and a second level dressage horse. Everything I know about riding I learned on her back. She's taken me from a scared, lost, lonely teenager to an adult with a career plan and a purpose in life. We've been from home to the other side of the country to another country, from high school to working student to full-time working to college, through the first crush and first boyfriend, heartache and triumph. I watched her get hit by that car, sure that I was watching my baby die, only to have her come back full force. I've rehabbed her through terrible injuries and illnesses, and she has done the same for me. We've been through it all together. And through it all, she has been my foundation. No matter what happened, she was always there to offer a canter to cure my evils. And now I'm losing that. I feel like I'm losing that part of me that she created. It's like I finally have to let go of the last strings that keep me tied to my childhood. I know that I can't ask her to do something that hurts, and I won't. But the situation isn't so cut and dry. There are always new therapies and treatment options available, and there's still the faint hope that with one of those she could have another couple years as a jumper or several more years as a dressage horse (which she loves more than jumping!), but at what point do I say no more? At what point do I retire her to broodmare status? When I discussed this matter with my vet initially, the answer I got was "when the joint injections stop working", but they never even started working. Do I take that as a sign that she will never be sound again, or are we going about treating this the wrong way? My heart is split. On the one side, I always knew this day would come - that after having so much trauma from the accident followed by so many other random issues, she would never be 100% again and that we would eventually face chronic lameness issues. But I never expected to retire her at 14. On the other hand, I know that I cannot and will not ever ask her to do something detrimental to her health, I will never push her beyond her abilities, and I won't take off ten years of her life to gain five more years of riding. Ultimately, I know the decision rests solely in my hands. If it were black and white...if I knew for certain that she would never be sound again, then it would be easy. But there's still that hope that she could still be worked and compete. She could still do what she loves...but at what cost? So my question for all of you is: how do you make this decision? How do you know it's time? And if it is time, how do you take an animal that loves to work and throw them in pasture for the rest of their lives? If any of you have had a similar bond with your horse, how do you separate your wishes and desires for them and for you from what you know is best for them? And ultimately, how do you know what's best? Sorry this got so long, but like I said, I've been mulling this over the past couple weeks and I still don't know where to go with it. I really appreciate any advice that you can give.
  3. Hi, I don't frequent these boards much because of school, but I need help selecting the best possible boots for my mare. She is a training level event horse and sometimes when we school cross country she will come up lame for a couple days afterward because of an issue in her left front forelock (although the same issue can be found in the right leg as well, just more commonly in the left). The problem is that she gets sore/bruised within the joint, especially if we school a lot of drops or ditches. So I need a boot that will help support the suspensory apparatus, but I am overwhelmed by choices. I know that people argue that these boots don't really do anything, but I want to give her as much support as I can.
  4. Could This Be My Next Dressage Horse?

    Thanks guys! I had a lot of fun starting her under saddle - she is just a fun little horse. I think you are right Shiloh...just put some correct training on her and see where she goes. Oh, and I may try my other dressage saddle on her - it was fitted for Vegas, so I don't know how well it will fit Macy, but it fits me perfectly. I have the leg problem in pretty much every saddle that isn't custom made for me...that's what happens when you're six feet tall!
  5. Could This Be My Next Reiner?

    Ok, so I've been trying to sell Macy for quite some time now, but I never really wanted to - it's just that she stays at my parents' house and she deserves more than to be a pasture pet - she's 3 and has a lot of potential. So recently a possibility opened up where I could move her to where I board Vegas for an affordable rate, so she would be with me and I could work her. Here's my dilemma - I am an eventer and always will be. Macy was bred to be a reining Arabian. But I think she would be a cute dressage horse/low-level eventer. I would have fun taking her in any of those directions, as I used to ride reiners and still have a connection to a very good trainer. So what do you think? What would she be best at? Here are some videos of her (please keep in mind, she is very green):
  6. Ok, so I've been trying to sell Macy for quite some time now, but I never really wanted to - it's just that she stays at my parents' house and she deserves more than to be a pasture pet - she's 3 and has a lot of potential. So recently a possibility opened up where I could move her to where I board Vegas for an affordable rate, so she would be with me and I could work her. Here's my dilemma - I am an eventer and always will be. Macy was bred to be a reining Arabian. But I think she would be a cute dressage horse/low-level eventer. I would have fun taking her in any of those directions, as I used to ride reiners and still have a connection to a very good trainer. So what do you think? What would she be best at? Here are some videos of her (please keep in mind, she is very green): And a picture for conformation is attached. It's from her two year old year, but she hasn't changed much :)
  7. Introducing Marlie The Rescue Pony

    Sorry for disappearing again guys, but that's my life - nuts! I've been working hard with Vegas to get ready for our Pony Club rating on September 12, I finished my first summer biology class with an A - woot! And last weekend, I found myself entwined in the most interesting story at a horse auction. Now you may be wondering what I, of all people, was doing at a horse auction. Don't worry, I'm asking the same thing too, but I don't have a good answer yet. I had never been to one before, and I suppose that I just wanted to see what it was like and see if there were any prospects at all for a possible project, once Macy is sold. I asked a girl from the barn to go with me - we are rapidly becoming good friends. So last Friday we headed up to the auction to see what we could see. I took some essential precautions, such as bringing Mariah along and leaving the trailer at home. Somehow, though, I still registered for a buyer's number. We previewed the horses in the barn before the sale, and while there were some nice-looking, well-broke ranch horses, many of the horses looked to be in mediocre condition, and there were a handful that needed some help. One horse in particular caught Mariah's eye. She asked if I thought she looked pregnant, but I replied no, that she just looked wormy and maybe malnourished, and that I would seriously question the sanity of anyone who would send a pregnant mare to an auction yard. Just then they cleared the barns for the sale to begin, so we went to watch. Just before the first horse came out on the floor, the auctioneer announced that there was a mare in back that was foaling out, and since she was second in line, they would simply bump her to the end of the line so she would have time to deliver, then they would put mamma and baby through sale. Sure enough, it was the same mare that Mariah thought was pregnant. Mariah and I looked at each other, horrified that someone would let a mare foal out in an auction yard, then put a minutes-old foal through sale. I spent the entire auction sick to my stomach over it, so by the time they brought the mare out, I knew what I was going to do. When mamma came onto the floor, there was no baby by her side, which I found to be more than odd. I looked at Mariah and said "I'm going to do this" to which she replied "I'm in, whatever it takes". So mamma sold to us on that floor for $110. We looked at each other immediately after the auctioneer said sold and said "We just bought a horse!" My hands were shaking so bad when I went to sign the form that I could barely get my name out. We ran to the office, paid for her, and tried to find a way to get her home - I left my truck and trailer 50 miles away. There was no way I was going to leave a pregnant mare at an auction yard overnight! Thank the Heavens for Mariah, who immediately went to the loading dock and asked the first person she saw to take our mare home. Those people will forever have my gratitude for hauling a perfect stranger's horse 30 miles out of their way at midnight on a Friday night. On the way home, the realization of what we had just done began to sank in...primarily the fact that I bought a horse while my parents were out of town, using my college fund to do so. So mamma came into the barn at 12:30 on Friday night. The next morning, we had some issues to deal with with the barn owner and manager. I board at a pretty big barn, so I don't know either of them very well, but Mariah does. I was ready to take mamma to my parents' house, but she said it would be fine to take her straight to the barn. So when our barn manager found out (she can be a *%#^$ when you look at her wrong) she flipped a lid...but we worked it out and learned from our mistakes. Mariah and I got MAJORLY back on their good sides when we worked our butts off to save a colicking 27 year old gelding the next night :) We began feeding and pampering mamma immediately, and gave her the name Marlie...her mane was in terrible dreadlocks! But we cut it off and began currying the months of grime from her coat. We had her examined on Monday, and confirmed that she was not pregnant - after she showed no signs of wanting to foal Friday night, we began to question the pregnancy - and she still did not look pregnant at all; she just looked like a broodmare. Other than needing some groceries and a hoof trim, she was deemed to be in good overall health. We're keeping her in quarantine for three more weeks though, just to be sure she doesn't get anyone else sick - there was a horse at sale that had open, draining strangles abscesses So, this is Marlie! http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=1403...mp;l=54abbf8a8f She's an off-the-track Thoroughbred. She still has part of her lip tattoo, and between that, an approximate age, and her markings, we tracked her down through the Jockey Club. She's 14, had 9 starts, won once, and has produced several winning babies. But she has horrible reproductive conformation, and is now virtually impossible to get pregnant. Hence the reason she ended up at auction. She is very sweet and patient, but even after a week of rest and good food, she still has a very tired look on her face. When I bought her, I didn't really have a plan for her. To be honest, I rushed into it without a whole lot of thought for the long-term outcome and got very lucky that the horse I bought with only a few glances has good conformation, is not 35, has no unsoundnesses, and has a good personality. But now, our plan (I say our plan because Mariah and I are in it 50/50) is to get her back in perfect health, get her in shape (get rid of that broodmare belly!), and make her feel like a loved horse over the next few months. Fortunately, I've been working several odd jobs lately that will allow me to pay for her medical and maintenance expenses and cover my half of board without using any of my college fund or my parents' money. After she is back in good form, we will begin looking for a forever home for her. IF she can prove herself - and that is a big IF - as a safe and sane kiddie packer, then she may very well have a home with my parents as a packer pony for my parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews. I would absolutely LOVE for that to happen, as it would guarantee that I can keep this horse that I'm falling in love with, she would have the best home any horse could ask for, we would be able to pay Mariah for her half of the investment that she has made and she would be able to see her and ride her all she wants, and I would finally have the horse that I've wanted for my family for quite some time. But if she doesn't work out as a packer pony, then we'll look for somewhere that she can be worked lightly and loved to death. I told you it was a long story :) But it's one that I don't regret at all.
  8. Dressage Chit Chat #26

    Shantel - Glad your MRI went okay...those things always suck. LST - Oh how I remember those days like they were last week...because they were. Just keep working. Don't be afraid to try new things when you ride. I know that part of my problem is that I get stuck in a rut going "this isn't working this isn't working this isn't working" for about 30 minutes...but when I try something different, even if it's WAY different, we start to make progress. Experimentation is the key to success! You may have to try a million different things, but you'll get there soon. Dobby - Glad to hear things are going so well for you. The transition to college was very gradual for me. I started at a community college that was like 13th grade more than college, then went to the east coast to a college that was supposed to be amazing, but was really only amazingly poor, then came back to community college for two quarters, took a summer and fall quarter off, then started at Oregon state this winter. I really like the freedom and flexibility of college as well. I have my own apartment, I have my horses very close to me down here, and I love my school. It might take you some time to adjust - the academics are not the hard part. I have no doubt that you'll be able to handle it. What gets most kids is the amount of responsibility that they must shoulder. You have to make your own schedule, choose your own classes, fit in LOTS of study time (an average of two hours study time for every hour spent in lecture), and everything else you have to do. And especially at large universities, if you don't do that, then no one cares but you. You are, quite frankly, just a number to them, and if you start to slide in any area, no one is going to be there to say "hey, do you need help?" That's what throws a lot of kids for a loop. But I like it that way. Yes, a large university does have the downside of classes with 700+ students, but I like taking all the responsibility and being able to manage my own life. No doubt you will struggle with some aspect of the transition, but you will ultimately get there and find a day to day routine that works for you. So, it is hot. Very, very hot. Today was the dressage phase of the combined driving event at Inavale. I'm working with my boss, who is the show vet, and a girl from my pony club. She's staying with me for the weekend since she lives about 80 minutes from the show grounds, and I live 15 minutes away. She's taking a nap right now, which I think is super cute - she's been sleeping for more than an hour! Tomorrow is the cross country phase, and we have to do all the heart rate/respiration checks on the horses, and judging from this weather, there will be plenty of horses that get vetted out, and some that will need some serious fluid therapy. It will be a busy day for sure. Vegas and Macy get the weekend off - I'm too busy and it's too hot anyway. It will probably do Vegas some good - she's been feeling a little pokey lately, either from her heaves or from her right front foot, which I have decided to inject the coffin joint. Hopefully that will give her some relief, but it also means that my pony really is Navicular I've been having some problems with the feeders at the barn not feeding Vegas what she needs (i.e. a FULL scoop of grain) or soaking her hay like it needs to be. So I decided to put two buckets out there - one for AM feed and one for PM, they are to feed what is in the bucket - nothing more, nothing less. That should be simple enough for them to handle. Her stall is right on the end of the aisle too, and just outside the door is a hose and a bucket for her hay to be soaked in. They are supposed to wet it down thoroughly and then feed it to her, otherwise her heaves will get super bad and she starts to feel really yucky and I have to treat her with expensive drugs. And she's starting to get sick again because one feeder in particular is not soaking her hay like it should be. So I talked to one of the feeders and we will change to really soaking the hay between feedings - the AM people will put it in the bucket and fill it for the PM people, and vice versa. That way it has a chance to get super wet and it will be easier for the feeders. I don't want it to be a huge pain for them, but my horse does need to be taken care of properly. One of the feeders, who was mad after she read my note (which could have been nicer, I suppose, but the nice approach has not been getting us anywhere the past few weeks) was like "well, can't she just take an antihistamine?" UM HELLO????? If that's not "just treating the symptoms", then I don't know what is. That's a little bit like "I'll just go outside with no sunscreen because they have really good cancer treatments these days..." I don't want this to be an issue, but when it comes to Vegas' health, I don't mess around. I will be as nasty as necessary to get the message through, even if I do make a few people mad. But hopefully the new system will work and no one will need to get mad, because I REALLY like my barn and I do NOT want to move. Off to get a snack and do some much needed homework. This whole midterm-every-week-during-condensed-summer-classes thing is killing me. But I got a 91% on my first one! My friend and me will go out to take care of the ponies later when it has cooled down about 25 degrees - UGH!! Have a GREAT Independence day everyone and keep those ponies safe during the fireworks!
  9. Dressage Chit Chat #26

    Too tired and too busy to read and reply... Vegas has been doing FABULOUS!!! We're really starting to figure things out! Monday we had a great dressage school - 45 minutes total ride time and we got things done! Her trot at the end of the ride....to die for. But I was POOPED. That horse is work. Yesterday we went out XC with my trainer and she jumped everything we put in front of her...well she had one dirty stop going into a training combination, but that was totally my fault for throwing myself on her, so it wasn't really a dirty stop, so much as a dirty Megan move... She didn't even blink at the banks, ditches (well a little bit, but she was still a rockstar!), or water. I'm going to a schooling event later this month, and I think we may try our hand at training level. Macy, my three year old, has been living down here in Corvallis for the past month so I can put some training on her. She'll go back up to the parents' at the end of this month. She's been really fun to start! Yesterday we went on our first trail ride, and we even crossed a baby creek! and by crossing a baby creek, I mean rocketing over an 8 inch wide strip of water 1/2 inch deep...babies Hopefully someone will decide to buy her soon...she needs a new home. Summer term is going well. I weasled a 91% on my first midterm after my prof threw out five very poorly written questions and I argued my case on a sixth. Two more weeks for the first session, then we start session two. Just got a call from my doctor. I have mono. That explains why I feel like CRAP and have for the past few weeks, and will continue to feel like crap for the next three months. Yay. Gotta crank out some homework before volunteer orientation at the humane society, then a church comittee meeting, then out to the barn later tonight to ride - it is WAY too hot here! All you guys in the midwest and east can have it back, we don't want it!
  10. Critique My Scholarship Essay

    Thank you thank you thank you! You're absolutely right about my wordiness...it's something I've fought for a long time. Now that this is done I just need to put everything together and send it off!
  11. Critique My Scholarship Essay

    Final rough draft: There is one thing in this world that I live for. It is what wakes me in the morning, and it is my last thought before I fall asleep. That thing has four legs, hooves, a long tail, and nickers to me every morning. Her name is Vegas. Vegas came to me when I was at a crisis point. Had it not been for her, I do not know where I would be today. She saved my life. Two years ago, the tables were turned when she was hit by a car. Her injuries were very serious; she nearly lost her life. But one man, the veterinarian treating her, brought her back to me. He gave me the greatest gift I have ever received: the life of my Vegas. I have never forgotten this. Indeed, I am reminded of it everyday when I look at the scars that cover her beautiful legs. And as I am reminded, I feel the desire to do for others what my veterinarian did for Vegas and me. He comforted us, healed us, and brought us back from the edge of breakdown. To be able to use my education to do the same for others ? whether they are human, horse, dog, cat, or bird ? would be more than the fulfillment of a lifetime?s ambition. It would be the opportunity to ensure that others can experience the feeling of completion that comes from the connection between humans and animals.
  12. Dressage Chit Chat #26

    ES - Yep, Davis and Colorado State are the other two schools on my top three list. I'm still trying to pick two more to apply to (five seems like a good number to me). I'm planning on taking a tour of Davis and CSU this September during my 3 week break. Beck - Great job at the show! Sylves - Congrats on the truck! How did the baptism go? Those are always exciting... Lauren - I am definitely sending thoughts your way. I hope everything goes well for you. Sad that your brother had to leave, but I'm sure he'll have a good time in Europe. I'm very close with all three of my siblings, and when any of them have moved away or I have moved away, it's always been very hard. I'm glad Scotch is doing so well...and as for the grazing muzzle...better a frustrated pony than a foundered pony... Shantel - I'm interested to hear what they say about your MRI results, if you don't mind. I go to see my doc on Wednesday for some of the same things, but throw in muscle spasms and vision changes as well. Hard to tell...OMG I like snakes too! I think they are way cool! I wish we had big snakes like that here, but the biggest we have are gopher snakes that max out at a scrawny 3 feet. On the eastern side of the state, on the other side of the mountains, there are a lot of rattlesnakes, but I don't mind them staying on the other side of the Cascades. I'm glad Layla is doing so well for you! You two have made some major breakthroughs. CSA - I'll tell you how I'm feeling below. I had some weird things with the mare brain yesterday too - put the 10" kids' saddle on her for some pony rides with the niece and nephews then hopped on bareback in the pasture only to be treated to a bucking fit. What the heck?? This is my dead broke horse, but she got a wild hair for some reason or another. I rode it out, but promptly hopped off. Too bad about your trainer's SO - not a fun situation to deal with. Dobby - Welcome back. I didn't hear what happened, but I'm glad you're feeling better and CONGRATULATIONS on graduation! It wasn't all that long ago for me (3 years)...it sure was an exciting time. Any idea what you'll be studying in school? I'm sure that pony loves you as much as you love him. He'll miss you too. Major life changes like these are never easy, but they are necessary and often open many more doors than they close. KTS - Good luck to Frasier and to you. I've only sold one horse before and in the process of selling another. My gosh does it suck. I wasn't especially bonded to Lilly, but when she left I was a mess for days. Boocoo - glad you had such a good lesson. I've been having good lessons lately too. Beau sure is a super star! I am not jealous of all you people in the heat right now! It's been a very nice start to summer here...in the mid 70's with medium humidity. In mid-May we had an Oregonian heat wave - high 80s! I HATE heat, and I hate humidity even more. Give me the rain any day. Started summer session today. Break was nowhere near long enough (11 days). My first four week course is the first of the general biology sequence. I've already taken the third course of the sequence, so I'm doing the first two, then the third class of general chemistry in the last summer session, then a whole three weeks of summer before I start an 18 credit fall term. Ugh. I'm back from the barn early...I was bringing in Vegas and Macy from pasture when Macy stepped on my toe/foot. She already crunched that toe pretty hard on Mother's day, and it never stopped hurting, and this one hurt so flipping bad through the phalanges and 5th metatarsal that I was almost swearing out loud. I barely made it through cleaning stalls and I knew there was no way I could get into the saddle, so I headed back home. The four minute drive was torture with my manual traney (stupid clutch). Hurts to walk too much and hurts to put ice on it, but I'm pretty sure it's not broken. I've got a Dr appointment Wednesday, and if it still hurts then she can look at it. It's a crying shame though...both of my girls needed to be ridden today. Tomorrow's jump lesson is going to be NO stirrups! We had a great father's day yesterday. We gave Dad a gift certificate for an albacore tuna charter. The season runs July to October, so he'll pick a date that he wants to go, and me, the brothers, and the brother in law will all go with him. It was also my parents' 30th anniversary yesterday. They gave each other lovely gifts. I've been feeling...stable...the past week or so. No new symptoms have popped up and the ones I have are not getting worse anymore. In fact, the muscle spasms are slightly better, and I'm adjusting to the vision changes and loss of fine motor skills. I can actually eat meals again without becoming ill, which is very nice. I go in Wednesday to see if they can find an answer as to what's causing all of this. Gotta finish my scholarship application and do some biology homework now though - have a great night everyone!
  13. Critique My Scholarship Essay

    Good points tempi and shiloh, thank you. Here is another version, using a different (and hopefully more personal) approach. Definitely a rough draft - I don't have time to finish the last few sentences - I still have about 50 words left - because I have to run to class. What do you think? There is one thing in this world that I live for, day after day. It is what wakes me in the morning, and it is my last thought before I fall asleep. That thing has four legs, hooves, a long tail, and nickers to me every morning. Her name is Vegas. Vegas came to me when I was at a crisis point in my life. Had it not been for her, I do not know where I would be today. She saved my life. Two years ago, the tables were turned when she was hit by a car. Her injuries were very serious; she nearly lost her life. But one man, the veterinarian treating her, brought her back to me. He gave me the greatest gift I have ever received: the life of my Vegas. I have never forgotten this. Indeed, I am reminded of it everyday when I look at the scars that cover her beautiful legs. And as I am reminded, I feel the desire to do for others what my veterinarian did for Vegas and me. He comforted us, healed us, and brought us back from the edge of breakdown. Now, I have the opportunity to use my education to do the same.
  14. Critique My Scholarship Essay

    So...I found a scholarship program for undergrads working to improve the lives of pets and their families. I think pre-vet qualifies... :) Anyway, I want to be sure I have a screaming good essay to send in with my application. The topic is "In 250 words or less, explain your desire to improve the lives of pets and their families and how you will use your education to do so." Here's what I've got - 218 words: My desire to improve the lives of animals is something that is inextricably linked to the fundamental core of who I am. I cannot deny it any more than I can deny the laws of nature that govern our existence. As such, I have chosen a path in life that will allow me to fulfill that strong desire while still providing a way to realize my educational goals; this path is veterinary medicine. It combines my love of science and medicine with the opportunity to fulfill a commitment I made to work for the betterment of all living creatures. I have seen the joy and benefit that animals can bring into peoples? lives. I have also seen the afflictions that animals often suffer through the neglect and ignorance of their human counterparts. If I can prevent this suffering in just a few animals? lives, whether they are dog, cat, horse, or bird, then my goals will be fulfilled. If I can show other people how much happiness and benefit can come from involvement with animals, then I will have given them the same gift that has been given to me. Pursuing a career in veterinary medicine will not be easy, but it will allow me to pursue the goals and desires that motivate my whole purpose in life.
  15. Please Critique This Essay

    Long story short: I'm a pre-vet major going into my junior year. I need funds for next year. The Banfield Charitable Trust has a scholarship program to pay my full $11,000 in tuition for next year. I have 250 words to "describe your desire to improve the lives of pets ad their families and how you will use your education to do so." So here is what I have - 218 words. My desire to improve the lives of animals is something that is inextricably linked to the fundamental core of who I am. I cannot deny it any more than I can deny the laws of nature that govern our existence. As such, I have chosen a path in life that will allow me to fulfill that strong desire while still providing a way to realize my educational goals; this path is veterinary medicine. It combines my love of science and medicine with the opportunity to fulfill a commitment I made to work for the betterment of all living creatures. I have seen the joy and benefit that animals can bring into peoples? lives. I have also seen the afflictions that animals often suffer through the neglect and ignorance of their human counterparts. If I can prevent this suffering in just a few animals? lives, whether they are dog, cat, horse, or bird, then my goals will be fulfilled. If I can show other people how much happiness and benefit can come from involvement with animals, then I will have given them the same gift that has been given to me. Pursuing a career in veterinary medicine will not be easy, but it will allow me to pursue the goals and desires that motivate my whole purpose in life.