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Dressage Chit Chat #28

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Shantel - That really does sound like a bad bruise or an abscess. They can be so hard to really "find", but they can definitely make a horse three legged - LITERALLY - lame. It was the only time I have ever seen Razzie hop on three legs. About made my heart stop beating to watch that normally stoic horse hop on three legs and hold one foreleg up in the air. I thought it was broken the way he was acting. That was one miserable horse. Then I have seen a bruise/abscess that never caused heat or a pulse, but would cause intermittent lameness for months before it finally resolved. They can just present in so many different ways. I agree with your farrier - be there when he works on her. Hopefully with both of your there together, you will be able to figure out exactly what is going on with her.

~Shelly~

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Shantel, it really sounds like a bruise or abscess to me too. If she's short up front from the sore foot, she's also going to be short behind because up front, she's taking a quicker step. So she's not going to have time to get under herself with the opposite hind before she's stabbing it down to help support the weight. Maybe some pour-in pads would help for a while, and iodine really does wonders too if it's bruising from it being so wet. When Lucy was having bruising issues, I fed her on a slab of concrete so that she had to stand on something hard to toughen up her soles. That seemed to help the most, as well as giving her somewhere dry to stand (her "house").

We have one more duckling and it has a PERFECT heart on it's bill. It's so funny. So that one will be one of my spoiling rotten ducks. We have 2 more hatching, and 3 more eggs due now. The first duck's belly is looking a TON better, and he's eating and drinking some now. Still wobbling around like a baby though :)

I was going to do Lucy's shoes today, but I just woke up because I forgot to take my meds yesterday. Guess it will get done tomorrow.

Oh Shelly, Lieto could very well be growing, or if they got in a new shipment of hay that coincided with his increase in work, and the new hay wasn't as rich, that could be to blame too. I notice mine dropping a touch of weight when I get a bale that's not as leafy. I can now recognize which hay will make them drop a bit, and increase their alfalfa so they don't lose weight.

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I had a good ride on Fessor this afternoon. For now, our only focus is getting him to relax. So we mostly walk, and sometimes we might just do groundwork. I timed our ride for a time when his best buddy would be in the arena too. So no calling back and forth or separation issues. When we first got in the arena, he seemed a bit distracted and tense. So we started with some basic groundwork. I am so proud of how my blindie can halt, back, yield shoulders and haunches so very well. Granted, he did horsemanship and showmanship when he could see, so the foundation is there. But I use a minimum of cues, either a slight touch or a quiet word. Once he was more focused, I got on and walked. We "scribbled" our way around the arena, with frequent half circles or zig zags or circles. There's no real pattern involved, it's just a way to give us both something to think about instead of focusing on the dogs playing outside or the tree scraping on the wall of the indoor arena. We managed a fair bit of jogging. For now, he gets so tense there is no forward, only rushing. So we are asking him to slow down his legs, and for now that also means a short step. We got quite a bit of calm (though not truly relaxed) jog/trot. Our only real problem moment was when the jets flew overhead. He's heard them before, but they were a bit closer than usual so the sound was a little more noticeable. I wouldn't have cared if he just got a bit tense, but Fess used it as a reason to rear. He only went about half way up, but still! Silly boy. Once he got his front hooves back on the ground, I asked him to walk on and figure 8 at the walk to try and get him focused on me. He was better when the second jet went over a few minutes later, tense but not offering to go up. We were able to get completely around the arena jogging without needing to walk and defuse anxiety a couple different times. That's as much as we have managed in the past several days. So it was good. Listening to him breathe, I can tell he's not really relaxed even when he moves calmly for me. But I'll accept calm to start, and keep trying to help defuse anxiety. I am keeping things very low key and mostly walking for now. If the weather stays dry, we should be able to walk in the park this weekend. I'd love to spend as much time walking in the park as Fessor will allow. He needs more exercise, but until we get him relaxed I am just not riding him hard or intensely. The tryptophan/B1 supplement seems to be helping a little bit. Hopefully getting him on digestive support will make a positive difference.

Tracy

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I do have a little bit of good news, but I'm just shell shocked by some more bad news, though not of my own.

My friend's TB colicked overnight and died a pretty horrible death. This was quite an awesome horse, and just competed in a steeplechase last week, and won one a few weeks prior. He's just devastated.

A couple of other, older at least, horses I know have also died in the past couple weeks. One was one of our first boarders, the pasture mate of my first horse Breeze, who died of cancer, and then later on of Riley, until he retired at a bigger farm. She had him for 20 years.

It kind of puts my bad spell into perspective.

My friend and Little Man, about 4 years ago.

steeplechase006.jpg

Winning

steeplechase007.jpg

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I just had two ducklings die tonight. The first one tht hatched in this group was doing fine one hour and dead the next. Then another one was looking kinda sluggish in his shell, so I pulled him out, and he did almost immediately. He was gorgeous too, lots of white. One egg was obviously dead, and the duckling inside looked fine (though smelled horrible). The other three eggs could be alive, or could be dead. There is one more hatching, and then Heart Duck. Hopefully Heart Duck makes it, because I don't like dead ducks :(

At least we got some rain today, and I got the weed & feed spread before the rain.

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shiloh-Sending good vibes for nice heakthy ducklings.

KTS-Sorry to hear about your friends horse.

Not a good day. Work was a killer again. I went to the barn and Cheese did not feel like being caught. She decided to plar ring around the round bale. It got to the point she was pissing off the other horses. If it wasn't so muddy it wouldn't have been so bad. So after 20 or so min I just caught her and brushed her. The wind was blowing a bit so that may have had something to do with it. Go home and made a pizza. I pull it from the oven and get a call. My sister's mare that has EPM is not doing so well.The BO called in a panic. It doesn't help that the one lady who does all the work at the barn, her horse colicked real bad. They are not sure if he is going to make it. So when my sister's mare went didn't eat this morning everyone went red alert. Now it is time for a nice long shower and end this day.

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KTS, I hear ya on putting things into perspective. I am so sorry for your friends. Gosh! And Little Man has Laylas face, even down to that tiny offset star. So sorry again. :(

Layla was so good about me soaking BOTH fronts last night. I decided to soak in ACV/TTO with very warm water and then wrap with the iodine/sugar paste. Poor Randy had to stand in front of her with like 10 carrots and keep breaking off pieces and feeding them to her so she would stand for the soaking. lol

I am going to give the wraps another hour or so and then take them off and resoak/rewrap until the AM.

Going to eat some lunch but Ill be back on later to catch up with everyone.

Oh and Emily, you should name Heart Duck, Rex, if its a boy, since Rex has a perfect heart on his left shoulder! lol

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If he's a boy, we already named him Romeo, but I hope it's a girl! I'm really bummed that out of 9 eggs, only 2 ducks are still alive though. I'm faring better with the chicks this time than the ducks.

Lucy has shoes on, and my back is killing me. The glue SO did not work, so I ended up using 4 nails in each shoe. I wasted like 15 nails because I would hit them and they would bend, so I would have to pull them out and try again. I started to get the hang of it on the second shoe though. It's not terribly difficult, since the shoes are plastic. I just used a sharpie to draw a line on the white line so I could see it, and then used that as my guide on where to nail. So if they are placed correctly, then I'll go add another nail to each shoe later. I do like how I was able to get the breakover back more than I could barefoot, which she does need. I'll just have to keep an eye out for forging since they stick off the back a bit much.

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Shantel: Have you ever tried Animalintex poultice pads? They have them at most tack shops. I swear by them for pulling out abscesses. They have long rectangle ones and hoof-shaped ones, and you can put them on wet or dry, and wrap with duct tape or vet wrap. When I know where the abcsess is, I cut it into a small piece and place just that over the spot, and wrap. I really think it works better than icthymol, plus it's white so you can see if you have any draining going in. They are about $3 a hoof-shape, so it can add up, but I think it works best.

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Jill thought she had some of those but when I went to borrow her soaking boot, she was actually out. Depending on what happens in the morning with the farrier, I may be going to get some as Ive heard really good things about them.

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Well farrier came this morning. Hoof tested and watch her lunge. She is now slightly head bobbing at the trot on the lunge and is worse to the left than the right but still sore to the right as well.

She now has strong pulses in both fronts but no heat/swelling/etc. Hoof tested sore on medial heel on left front. We decided to take off the shoe, relieve the heel, see if we have any improvement with the relief and go from there.

She had a marked improvement on the lunge with just the relieving of the heel under the shoe. He believes it is a bruised heel and not an abscess. He left me his hoof testers and wants me to test her in the morning. We know the heel will still be sore tomorrow but he barely had to squeeze the inside of it and she was flinching so we want to see if she has any improvement with it. I am going to put terpentine on it for now. Her foot is so soft that its flexing so no more soaking. Its the perfect condition to allow an abscess to pop if it is one but we dont think so.

If she has marked improvements each day, then later this week he is coming back out to actually shod her and we are probably putting heart bars on her to help stabilize the foot and relieve the pressure on the heel and frog on the left front and actually help the right front not contract as much and get the frog to actually bear weight.

So at this point, it is really pointing to a badly bruised heel. Thank God it doesnt appear to be more involved than that but I do have a call into my sports med vet in Ocala that if she isnt better by the end of next week, I am bringing her down for xrays, etc before we actually do anything with the shoeing.

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Hopefully it's just a bruise. Lucy was seriously lame for months, to the point where the vet truly thought she was navicular, from some bruising. She was sore in the heels too.

Well, miss Lucy's shoes are still on! I rode her yesterday a bit, and she's got a bit more knee action shod than she did barefoot. She looks a bit more uphill too. She is standing with her toes pointed into the ground a bit, but I think it's a combo of the soft sand and an optical illusion because the shoes are so set back. I'm not totally sure I like how set back they are, but she seems to go just fine in them. I'll try to set them forward a bit next time. She does feel different to ride, like she's a bit slower to respond to my turning and positioning aids. Could also be because she was in a bratty mood all day yesterday. My friend's mare has been in heat for 3 weeks straight, so I'm sure Lucy's hormones are going mad too.

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Emily, Layla has so much more knee action when we put the NB shoes on her which are extremely helpful in moving the breakover back more than you can barefoot. Did you bevel the toe that was sticking over the edge of the shoe? I know this is a technique the NB farriers use when moving the shoe back for the breakover. The slower feeling may be because she is actually able to get her fronts up and take a bigger stride. Add that with the hind shoes that had a nice trailer behind and move the breakover back too (not NB though) and its a dramatic difference in how she moves. She is so much more confident pushing off behind with her shoes. I wish Layla was in heat for 3 weeks straight. Shes SO relaxed and wonderful when shes in heat.

The whole pulse thing has me a little freaked out but she is only sore in the medial heel on the LF, not sore anywhere else, and theres absolutely no heat. I have to test the heel in the AM to see if it is as sensitive and then call my farrier.

Went next door and rode my neighbors Oldenburg mare again. My neighbor called this AM to tell me she heard from her sister who boards with her that Layla was off. So she wanted to let me know that I am welcome to ride Caroline any time I would like. So that was nice.

I went over and tacked her up. Used Bens bridle as this is a BIG mare, very thick and big boned. I wore spurs this time as the first time I rode her I obviously didnt know how she was... well she is LAZY! So I put her in the round pen for like 5 mins if that to make sure she didnt have any willies in her (no one is home here or at the neighbors!) and she was fine. We spent a bit walking, getting her to flex longitudially (SP!!!), halt when I want to halt, a little LY, etc. Just did lots of big circles, serpentines, crossing the diagonal at the trot. You can tell she was ridden by hunter riders as she wants to just plow around on the forehand and not take contact. But I got her to settle into a really nice trot and take contact. She has a tendancy to fall around the corners but balanced through them after a few times. I found on her I had a tendancy to get ahead of her in the trot and I would loose my balance forward. So I really had to concentrate on letting her lift me in the posting trot. Layla has such a smooth and nonspringy trot that I am not used to being pushed in the trot. I found when I waited that her tempo was much smoother.

We did canter but that needs some more work. Of course shes leaning around the corners and on the forehand like she was doing a course but has nice auto changes on her (of course not like we want for dressage). She has a tendancy to want to break at the canter but picks it right back up. I didnt do too much as shes out of shape and really just wanted to instill that we can go forward and stay there for a bit. Once shes stronger Ill work on bringing her back onto the haunches and sitting more in the canter.

All in all she did REALLY well and I really enjoyed her. It really helped to take my mind off of Laylas foot. I was able to hose her off and I scrubbed her socks with Orvus and they were actually WHITE! Hopefully her owner noticed when she came to feed.

Super tired today... about to head to bed. Im so old! Its 9pm!

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So you noticed the difference with the hinds on Layla? I've been thinking about that with Lucy. Only I don't think I want to use the plastic shoes on her behind, because that removes my height lift in the front.

Today when I rode she felt like she was still getting used to being shod. Almost like she's not as sure of herself because she can't feel the ground as well. She's been barefoot for almost 4 years now, and then suddenly she's in shoes with pads. So I guess it might take her a few days to get used to things. I do wonder why she looks like she's standing with her toes pointing into the sand, and if it's something I should worry about or not. I would think it's just how the shoe is set back and the sand is so soft, but I hope it's not going to be an issue.

I did jump her some today and she had a ball with that. Just an x to a 2' vertical.

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HUGE difference with hinds on Layla. Like H.U.G.E. She gets like a Springer Sewing machine without hinds on and gets super quick and short behind. Put the hinds on, boom, stepping under, engaging, pushing off.

Lemme see if I have pics of her without shoes... of course her movement will look totally different because she wouldnt come over her back....

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Different angles but hope that helps.

Hoof tested Layla today - no reaction. Put her on the lunge, sound both ways w/t/c. The tiny little glitch I see I know is her RH as shes due for her injections. But totally sound up front. So farrier is coming some time this week and we are putting heart bars on her for now to help because its been SO wet and she needs a little more support for now.

Didnt go to work this AM... have been having a tough time with the meds switch. This morning, went to feed the horses, and they would not come in. Finally got them in and it was time to leave, still had to wait until they ate to turn them out, dogs were jumping on me and getting mud everywhere... and I just lost it. Total melt down. Randy was worried about me. Usually in the evenings I get really upset and just start crying. I know its the med switch but dang its hard. Was a total mess this morning so I had to call in. Luckily got in to the Drs and got the different dosage that she wanted to give me in 2 more weeks today. Should take a week to settle... I hope it comes faster.... blah.

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What did you switch to?

I'm going to put hind on Lucy, but not sure what to use. I don't want to use the Eponas because I want the height boost in front. I am going to use a small wedge in front next time though. Her heels like to get under run, so I like to keep them low, plus if they get long then she ends up with major thrush. Can't take the toe down any further. So I'll use a small wedge up front to get the angle better.

I think the main issue with finding shoes for her hinds is that they are kinda oddly shaped. They won't fit into a normal hind-pattern shoe, but they probably aren't going to fit into a front shoe either.

I saddled and bridled Annie today and she took it all in stride.

Edited by shiloh04

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I am totally off of Zoloft and am on Wellbutrin. I was on the lowest dose and the dose that isnt time released. I was going into manic fits of crying over stupid things, getting extremely angry and wanting to be physically violent... not good. It hit a sharp downward fall when I took my last few doses of Zoloft every other day last week. So I am now on the Wellbutrin XL which is 2x more mg than what I was on and it is time delayed release. We shall see.

Be careful with the wedges esp if she likes to get underrun. They only should be used for a short time as they can actually crush the heels over time. Have you checked out horseshoes.com? Fabulous website.

Layla has very unique feet as well. My farrier spends a LOT of time shaping her shoes, esp the fronts, to fit. After learning, I realized that my previous farriers were trimming her feet to fit the shoe, not vise versa. Thats why I switched to my current farrier. He came out for an emergancy call when my farrier was out of town. Layla lost a front shoe. So he had to put a whole new one on. The time he took and the patience he had to get the shoe to fit sold me.

Layla has just a wide web steel shoe behind. He opens up the back and bevels the edges to leave a nice, wide trailer in the back for support. She is in natural balance shoes up front. Must have alum. up front as she moves funky with steels as they weigh too much.

After Mark comes out to reshod Layla this week, Ill take photos. I dont have any ones that arent more than a year old.

Took pics today... will have to get on my comp to get them uploaded....

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Ahhh found some solar shots from Sept 2008... best I can do for now!

LF

IMG_5377a.jpg

LH

IMG_5378a.jpg

RH

IMG_5379a.jpg

RF

IMG_5380a.jpg

*sigh* seeing that reminds me that I WILL get the deep sulcus in her RF to go away again! Stupid wet winters.

Anyways... lets compare to like 1-2 yrs prior...

Oooooh! 2006! Lordy... talk about crushed underrun heels and unbalanced feet. Now you can see how special her fronts are.

LF

IMG_1771.jpg

RF

IMG_1774.jpg

LH

IMG_1776.jpg

RH

IMG_1775.jpg

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This is what my previous farrier did with his wedge pads ... literally this heel you could wiggle it back and forth! Guh - what I wish I knew then!

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Thats her clubby right front

Left front

0524062245a.jpg

And yes, those are size 00! Shes in size 1s now!

Just look at this heel... bad mama jama

0524062243a.jpg

Ok... enough. You get the idea. Lord have mercy!

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Shantel, Layla did have some funky feet! They look TONS better now. No wonder she's moving better. How long between the front being improved and shoeing the hinds? I kinda wonder if maybe the stifle issues were caused by those funky hooves, maybe from compensating? Ouch!

Lucy's fronts fit PERFECTLY into the Eponas. The shoes were a touch wide on the sides, but I just rasped that away. The nail holes lined up perfectly. Shape-wise, I think the Eponas would fit her hinds really well, I just wish they were thinner.

The thing with wedges on her is that I can let her heels get long, but that's when they start to run under. So I keep them lower to keep them from running under.

I was on 75mg of the Wellburtin XL when I was at 130lb. You should do fine on that or even a little higher.

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Shiloh ? Nope, no new load of hay, so that wouldn?t account for the weight loss, so it either has to be the constantly fluxuating temps, a growth spurt, or the increased work OR it could be due to the fact that he was pulled off the Doxy a week and a half ago. Sorry to hear about your ducklings. Glad to hear Lucy?s shoeing went well. I?m not surprised that you noticed such a change in the way she is going. Give her a chance to adjust to the shoes. Wow, got Annie going as well?!?! You have been busy!!

Tracy ? Glad to hear you are working out Fessor?s anxiety.

KTS ? Sorry to hear about your friend?s horse.

CSA ? Sounds like your work days are going about as well as mine are. *sigh*

Shantel ? You can keep your snakes!! YUCK!! I can second the poultice pads that KTS suggested. They are fantastic. That?s what I always use. Glad to hear it is looking like just a badly bruised heel. Takes time to heal from, but thankfully, that?s it. Just time.

Well, Lieto has been off the Doxy for a week and a half now, and he is definitely showing signs of relapsing. He is not a happy horsey at all. The vet will be out tomorrow to assess and decide the next step in our treatment. The BNT suggested that perhaps it wasn?t so much a relapse as just that we pulled him cold turkey off the Doxy, and she has seen other horses crash and have bad outcomes like this when they aren?t slowly weaned from the Doxy. She suggested that rather than needing a full blown second round of Doxy, he may only need to be restarted then slowly weaned off the Doxy. So we?ll see what the vet has to say. I suppose a Lyme titre will tell whether a full course of Doxy is needed or whether he just needs to be restarted and weaned off the Doxy. In any event, he NEEDS something because he is really not feeling well and has made that blatantly obviously in our past few rides. We had to cut the lesson very short last night, and he will not get worked again until the vet can check him.

In case I don?t make it back on here again before the weekend, hope everyone has a Happy Easter!! easter.gif

~Shelly~

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I still live! I have been lurking, but haven't really had the time to post!

KTS-Sorry about your friend's horse as well...that is so sad.

KTM-Wow, she had some wonky feet! Those shoes were soooo small for her! I haven't seen NB shoes with the toes like that before. We had them on one of my mom's horses for a while.

CSA-I presume this sunny warm weather has hit your area as well:-) Nice, huh?!

Shiloh-Sorry about your duckies. I need to take pictures of some that have shown up on my pond so you can tell me what they are.

Smithereens- :crazy:

Spring break flew by and school started back up on Monday. I reseeded part of the pasture, rode, dealt with my separation anxiety dog, and a barn cat with and ingrown toenail that took me a week to catch. The cat had surgery and my dog started on her own anti-anxiety meds....I get to pick them up at the pharmacy with mine. HAHAHA!

I went from no lessons all winter to two this week and two days at a clinic this coming weekend! Beckham is LAZY!! He doesn't look bad, just really needs to get hot off my leg and in front of my leg. ARG!

Well, need to walk dogs and get back to the barn. Take care everyone!

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I was thinking about riding Fessor a bit yesterday, maybe walking him in the park, until I started grooming. He was very sensitive while I curried him, and we JUST started him on a 10 day course of cimitidine (generic Tagamet) for suspected ulcers. Instead, we did some basic groundwork outside where his best buddy could see him. Fess likes his buddy a lot, and his buddy gets separation anxiety. So in a sense, I was working with two horses at once. When Fessor called to Cash, I just told him this was my time and asked him to keep moving his feet. When he focused on me right after Cash called to him, I told Fess what a good boy he was and kept on working while trying to keep things very matter of fact. Once he was done, I put Fess in his paddock next door to Cash and both boys calmed down. I then went to Cash and talked to him from outside his paddock. I don't know if he understood any of it, though I tried to visualize my meaning as I spoke to him. Essentially, I tried to communicate that I would always bring Fessor back to him if I could. If we were both alive and healthy, I would bring Fessor back to him. If we were going to be gone, I would tell him so that he would know. And that it was ok to relax. I don't know how much if any got through. I was too exhausted today even to do groundwork. I just gave Fessor his meds and took of his sheet since it was approaching 80 and going to stay in the upper 40s or low 50s tonight. I'll work Fessor again tomorrow. I don't know if that will be gentle, relaxed riding or ground work or some combination of the two. If Cash's owner rides him in her lesson tomorrow night, then I will ride Fess at the same time for sure. If she rides Eli, then I'll have to decide whether to ride Fessor or not. Either way, we're taking things very easy right now.

Not too much else going on. We're having some fantastic weather right now. 73 yesterday, 80 today, 81 tomorrow... It doesn't feel much like March or early April! No complaints though -- sun and a breeze should help dry out the paddocks after the floods! I took the dogs to the dog park this morning and enjoyed watching them play. Sharing a nap early this afternoon was fun too! :)

Tracy

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Finally got some nice weather. I got to ride a bit after work. Cheese is still very energetic. She should settle down next week(hopefully.) So walk work was a no go. I'd rather get something productive done than nag on her about slowing down her walk. Worked on canter-trot transitions. I really tried focusing on my posting to slow her trot after we got the downward transition from the canter., I realised I really need to loosen up my legs. I get tense and start gripping with my knee. We got some real good transitions, for Cheese that is. Cheese had the most perfect canter for one stride. I decided to cool off with a road hack. The road is a small hill. Poor Cheese was tired after the walk back up the hill. Hopefully the mare will get some brain cells back soon and we can start getting lessons again.

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About to head to Randys softball game....

Made it to work yesterday and today. I will say that it is really nice to have a job that actually makes me happier when I am having a really hard time.

Lunged Layla yesterday as Sarah came over to ride but accidently left her saddle at home. So I let her use mine. Layla did really well and shes 100% sound. Farrier came today to put the heart bars on but realized he didnt have one to fit her clubby foot. So hes coming back tomorrow after he fabs one.

Its already 83 here today. I am one Floridian who HATES the heat, the bugs, the humidity, the having the shower 4 times a day. Oy... I have been overly spoiled with this very long and cold winter. Bah humbug on summer!

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Its already 83 here today. I am one Floridian who HATES the heat, the bugs, the humidity, the having the shower 4 times a day. Oy... I have been overly spoiled with this very long and cold winter. Bah humbug on summer!

88 today here, north of you!! 89 tomorrow, and mid 80s all week. It was 32 two mornings ago. Horses are colicking like crazy, my poor vet is swamped. 3 friends have lost horses in the past week. Holding my breath here, watching the ponies carefully.

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Yeah, my sister lives in Kansas, and it's been hotter there than it has been here. It's been lovely where I am, just gotta remember the sunscreen.

Well I had an emergency root canal today. Apparently the braces I had as a teen pulled my teeth back enough that one of my bottom teeth woudl hit against the backs of the top teeth, and over the years of grinding my teeth when I sleep, that one tooth got bruised and infected and super angry. So my dentist squeezed me in to check it out, and ended up doing a root canal. The danged tooth still hurts like nothing else, and I can't take any more darvocet without throwing it back up. I can't wait until the bruising, infection, and angry nerve in my jaw finally chill out some.

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It was 80 here today...last Thursday I woke up to 3 inches of snow. It was lovely though...nice breeze, no humidity...

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