Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I've had an interesting week.  I have a respiratory infection that has me grounded at home.  This has caused a variety of stresses in my life.  On the other hand, I was able to get to the vet before it closed to collect up more meds for the dogs.  Sam, the vet, just happened to be in the clinic when I showed up.  

The Good

If it involves the dogs, then it is in the good column.  My two little shits, er, darlings will be going to their first competitions to herd sheep.  We're going to Mayerthorpe to compete in the Alberta Stock Dog Association Arena Finals.  We'll be competing in the Ranch category so hopefully it will ease our way into the competitive world.  My mentor Ken is the judge which will likely not work into my favour.  I'm expecting to get a stern talking to after the competition.  That happens Monday of next week.  Immediately following I am entered in the Farm Fair trial.  We'll be competing in the Open category and this is where the big guns compete.  I am fully anticipating these competitions will be a learning experience and will help drive the training that the dogs need.  Ryder is about 95% trained and Diva is about 90%.  We're so close I can feel it, but certainly not at the level needed to be successful at competitions.  

Other great dog news is that I've found a different agility instructor.  We've been diligently working on our homework and the dogs are progressing nicely.  We start classes in November and I'm looking forward to a different teaching approach.  I've learned through the years it's always best to get different perspectives.  I was really pleased to hear her talk about Diva's potential.  Normally Diva is my Black Sheep.  

Speaking of Diva... she has officially started a diet.  Her metabolism doesn't seem to be awesome and she is and always has been on the chunky side.  It doesn't matter how much exercise she gets.  I took the dogs with me when I went to pick up their meds.  I weighed them.  Diva weighs in at 50.6 pounds.  Ryder - the larger dog - at 52.4 pounds.   I'm now feeding on a "time" schedule with separate dishes.  Diva gets less food plus some pumpkin to provide filler.  In December the dogs are due for their vet checks.  My goal is to see how effective the diet was.  We'll weigh her again at that point.  If she hasn't shown much progress I'll ask Sam to investigate possible causes.  

Also in the "Good" column is THIS HORSE!!!

I love her.  She fits me like a soft leather glove.  To be honest she is knocking Whiskey from her number one perch on my favourite horse list.  Her papers have been sent off to be transferred.  Every Saturday in the month of October I hauled her into Gorseline Stable and took a lesson on her.  She is so smart and willing to learn.  We started with ground poles.  Last Saturday she was trotting over cross poles.  My coach thinks she's going to have nice jumping form.  In the spring I'd like to send her for a month jumping training there.  That way I know my inexperience doesn't hinder her ability to learn how to do this.  

I also purchased an English saddle.  It's a Santa Cruz which isn't the top of the line brand, but it fits her and it fits me.  It's a great starter saddle that I can use to ride her in.  Eventually I'll purchase something fancy like a Luc Childeric.  My "new to me" saddle is in excellent condition and was super cheap!  I am notorious for scrolling the Facebook horse and tack pages.  I found a lady who was dispersing 75 pieces of English tack and equipment.  From her I bought two English "flash" bridles, complete with reins, gloves, and a new bit to try on Marnie.  All for $120!  I'm thrilled because they are all quality pieces.  I'm still watching for English pads, a sheepskin pad to fit under the saddle, new leathers, and jumping boots.  (I'll get pictures of my new saddle and post them soon.)  

The Bad

My ankle is seriously messed up.  

I have been going to the physiotherapist once a week.  Realistically I should have taken a lot of time off work.  I am blessed to have good benefits but always feel slightly guilty taking advantage of them.  The knowledge that I worked when I didn't have to is how I'm justifying taking time off next week to compete with the dogs.  My therapist has currently cleared me to begin yoga.  (Except I'm now stupidly sick.)  He also tells me that riding is good.  Go figure.  Walking, not so much... My ankle remains wrapped to help manage the swelling.  When I'm at physio they put me into the icy compression boot.  I'm struggling with remaining positive about this.  I'm frustrated that I can't exercise.  

I'm convinced the lack of exercise and increased work stress is destroying my immune system.  I've gone to a Naturopathic Doctor who has done some blood work to look into food sensitivities.  My guts are notoriously nasty, even with prescription meds.  My regular doctor thinks I may have food allergies, even though I've had clean allergy tests.  (I've been tested six ways to Sunday...)  I'm currently limiting to eliminating milk from my diet with interesting results.  My blood work results are back and I have an appointment next week to find out what they came up with.  

The Ugly

Yesterday I talked to Sam about Whiskey.  I showed her pictures of her standing - with shoes on.  I told her what the farrier thinks.  Basically, it comes down to this.  The vet sees no purpose to do x-rays.  She has said that there is a list of things we can do but to what end?  This is a horse who is now a pasture ornament.  She really feels that Whiskey sustained some sort of suspensory injury while she was gone.  This is causing havoc.  Her suggestion was to leave her be.  As long as she's not being asked to do anything or is not suffering then we maintain her.  She will not be bred again as she can't handle the weight (and the vet would not support a breeding in her condition).  As it is, we're working diligently to pull the weight off of her.  

I'm a bit torn as to what the right thing to do is.  Option A:  leave her to be a companion.  Give her bute on her bad days.  Keep up with maintaining her via vet and farrier care.  Option B:  Euthanize her.  

As her eye is soft and she doesn't appear to be suffering I'm inclined to leave her to be a companion.  When any of her conditions change, or my ability to provide her the care she needs change, then I'll make a different decision.  

It depresses me to see her hobbling around the field.  Last Saturday she actually loped a few strides, with a snort and a buck.  This is so unusual to see in her these days.  I remember when she raced the field for fun.  

I won't lie.  I fully regret selling her baby this summer.  Selfish of me, I know.  

I know she'll be a great nurturing Auntie to any baby that I happen to have on the place.

1 comment:

Liz Stout said...

SO exciting about the dogs and Marnie - and the tack finds! How thrilling!

I feel for you on the ankle and the GI sensitivities. I'm right there with you on the latter! Though I've yet to be tested on anything. Trying elimination/limited diets on my own first.

And ugh. Whiskey. =( Sending hugs and positive thoughts your way.