Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Determined Little Girl.

It has been a good week! I think, since my last post. Bad Blogger. Really nothing has happened that was all exciting. Last week I got to go up and spend the day with Donny. It was great to get out and see him and the horses. While at his first barn where we met at, he had to go see the owner real quick so I went and saw Sherman. Love him. After giving him his attention I went to find Donny. He was with the owners fighting with a mini. I lied, not fighting but that was what it appeared to be. I guess the mini mare was having issues giving birth and the were trying to pull the baby out. It was the weirdest thing I have ever seen, and ickie! Full grown adults putting their arms up past their elbows with the sucking, slurping sound. Ickie! Sadly the mini baby didn't make it and they had to call the vet to come help. All the more reason I am not breeding animals.

Last weekend I babysat so nothing there. But I rode for the first time since the accident. The first time I rode bareback. Pippi had a minor cut on her hip and the western saddle pad was hitting it so mom suggested bareback. I lunged her first with her bridle then got a bucket and slide on. I was tensed and worried and Pippi felt everything I felt and turned tense herself. After I took a deep breathe she chilled too and lowered her head. I only walked and did circles but that was a start. I rode again yesterday in the English saddle. I lunged Pippi and she seemed fine, at the canter a little buck here and there but still. I hopped on and we tried to see if my toes would work in the stirrups, nope. So I just walked a few laps and felt how she was, then decided to trot. I can't feel anything on my cast but I am assuming I was either hitting her or squeezing or something bc she was rather speedie considering I couldn't post and she had been lunged. And she kept wanting to canter. I am thinking my cast was signaling it bc she never just goes into the canter after she was lunged. We ended up working thru it and did some circles and waves. I was rather frustrated. I wish it was easier. I figured since my Dr. T said I could ride, I'd be able to ride. Darn leg. Self pity party. Worked all winter in the snow, rain, and cold temps just to break my let when the weather Was nice and show season came around. I have picture but those will have to wait till a different post. After riding my leg hurt really bad. It had been bugging me some here and there. I doubt I will try to ride again till it is healed or I just have a brace or something. I know mentally that I can't have my heal down, toes up or that my leg will feel Pippis barrel but muscle memory wise that is what is suppose to happen. So I kept trying to put my toes up and my heal down. And I kept thinking I should feel Pippi but of course I couldn't feel a thing.

This weekend is the local schooling shows first show of the season. Donny is going to take Pippi and do a few classes with her both Saturday and Sunday. I'll be there to video and take pictures. She really needs a bath, like bad but this week it is windy and kinda cold. I am hoping Friday it is in the high 60s or it might have to wait till Saturday at the show. So there is the update. I go to the Dr on Friday for X-rays and I bet he will tell me in 2 weeks to come back for X-rays and a new cast. I rather him tell me the stupid horse size calcium pills I am taking magically healed it and after a few weeks in a brace, BAM I am done. Oh I Wish....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Equine Affaire is a Wrap.

     Whoooohoooo! Be prepared for a novel, hope everyone enjoys.

     On Friday mom and I packed up and headed to feed Pippi and off to Columbus Ohio we went. I was given a TomTom for Christmas from the family I babysit for bc I had stolen theirs a few times when I went out of town. Never used mine yet so why not since we didnt know where the Hospital was really. Well, TomTom had other plans, like spending the whole 2 hours trying to find signal. Needless to say finding the hospital turned out to be harder then it should have been. But we ended up getting there after some yelling and getting lost. To bad grandma (Donna's mom) had been taken to get a ECO test done right when we got there and we never got to see her, Really! So Donna grabbed her bag and off to Equine we went, only to not be able to find Handicap parking (more on that in a few). Lucky for us we found a decent spot and off we went to shop for a few before the Peter Leone clinic.
     During the Peter Leone clinic I got a little bummed bc I think Pippi would have done really well. Only three people ended up being in the clinic, the girl from our area ended up having to pull out bc the morning of her mare had a swollen stifle. Always next year for us. One horse was an OTTB who did jumpers with his professional rider/trainer. Second horse was a hunter TB with his little girl (maybe 16 or so but I could be way off). I really liked that horse but he needed some help. Both of the TBs were pretty tall like 17hh give or take a little. The third horse was a 15.3hh hunter/equ Paint gelding that really didnt look like a paint. He was not a fan of the arena at first but chilled out by the time things started. His trainer sat behind us. So if Pip had been in the clinic she would have been the smallest and the only real paint looking one. Peter set up a gymnastic line ground pole bounce to 18"ish cross rail, 3 big stride to 2'6 maybe oxar with a wide spread, 3 normal stride to a maybe 2'6 again oxar also wide spread. He had some jumps on the side too but I dont know how to explain that so we will ignore it. Peter talked for awhile about stuff, mom took loads of notes and then we got started. He had them act like they were in a Equ flat class at the trot, gave some opinions then had them canter big saying he wanted a 14' length stride. He also had them sit trot down the long side and reverse in the corner and instead of going straight to the rail, side pace/leg yield thinger to the rail. Two of the girls did really well for the most part, one girl did bad. She was on the TB that I liked and she steered to the wall not using her legs at all. He did some jumping thing with the side jumps, asking them to give a 6 strides from jump to jump then 5 strides. Two of the girls did well, the same girl who cant have her horse cross his legs at the trot was way way off. I felt bad for her up to this point. It was obvious that she was not as advanced and ready for this clinic as she thought she was. Then she got really bitchie and pouty about not doing well. HELLO! You are in a Peter Leone Clinic, He Went and PLACED Silver at the OLYMPICS. Goodness. Finally they did the gym line. All the girls went thru it and all did well. Then he set up a V rail. This is when on the oxars he puts two rails leading up from the ground in front of the jump to the first rail on the oxar. This is to get the horse higher over the jumps and folding more. First the rails are spaced out then moved closer together.
     After the clinic we were walking/wheeling to get some food and we saw Peter. Mom and Donna suggested I go over to see him and introduce myself. He Remembered Me and Pippi *insert Huge Smile*  He was super nice and told me that I should find a clinic to be in once I am healed. He had a book and a booth where he was signing them and a DVD. After eating we went to the building that was said to have his book and him in it. Well Peter was no where to be found but we found his book and bought it. Was told to come back on Saturday at 10:55am and he would be signing books again. Shopped the rest of the day and saw Fantasia which was good but not as WOW as it was the year before. After Fantasia we had another issue of finding our Hotel bc street signs and detours were all sorts of messed up. Like saying 71East when it is either North or South on 71 not East and West.
     On Saturday we got breakfast at Bob Evans by the hotel and went to Equine where once again there was no Handicap parking and no where near close to park and it was raining. Mom had had enough and went to find someone to complain to. The handicap area that we were told to park in was not marked so every car with a brain parked there bc it was close. We found a police officer who gave mom attitude and informed us that there would have been more parking if they hadnt decided that food venders were more important. Mom ended up just letting Donna and I out and going to complain to someone. Mom ended up finding a girl with a handicap sticker driving around who was in tears bc she cant leave her mom and cant find a good enough spot to park and no one would help her. Mom ended up going to customer service and complained. Donna and I went to wait in line to meet Peter. When Peter walked up he spotted me (how could you miss my green cast) and said "There you are, wish you could have been in the clinic, would have been fun." He signed my book, along with the co-writer and got pictures with both of them. Now I need to read my book. On Saturday it had rained most of the day and I had to keep covering my cast up.
     Now on to shopping. Pippi got a new sheet for $20, wire braiding things so I can use to braid her hair (if all goes well I will post something about it), saddle cart for shows, the book, and I feel like something else but I dont remember. It was pretty awesome weekend. I also got to meet Liz and Ali who both spotted me and my cast.  

Peter and help setting up the jumps
Beginning of the gym course.
The end of the gym course

Girls and Peter. Chestnut is OTTB. Middle is TB with pouty girl. Then Little Paint.
Peter Leone! 
His co-writer.
I look forward to healing and making an amazing video for next years Equine and try to get in another clinic.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

So Excited.

     Tomorrow we leave for Equine Affaire(:   I am very excited, bummed that I am not able to ride in my clinic but I get to watch it, better then nothing. And I found out a local girl got in the clinic I didnt get into. Guessing she got my spot bc she didnt post anything about it till late last week but still Congrats to her.

      I have been trying my hardest to keep Pippi and Chance in some sort of decent shape since I can't ride and truly work them. Mostly they have been lunged and I know they are both getting bored and I feel bad. So I have been trying to come up with ideas for fun work outs for them till I am able to ride. For Pippi I have lunged her over ground poles, easier said then done on a small lunge line circle. She likes to test and try to not go over them and I was having a hard time spacing them in a circle. Finally we got it right and she did really good. I also jumped her on the lunge line. My standards are still at Donny's, so I took water buckets and set poles on top. I only made on jump and she did really well considering. She only refused once and really that was my fault since I lost balance and pulled on the line. She seems to enjoy it. She has been pretty awesome since I broke my leg. She normally lets me catch her in the field, walks nice with me and hasnt pulled to much. With Chance the same thing really. He was a bit of a brat one way while jumping and would refuse for no reason and when I snapped my whip at him he kicked out at me. Uh, I think not mister! He got in loads of trouble. Thankfully Donna came and jumped him for me. Little Pickle, he would go one way just fine so it wasnt the height or anything. If anyone has any other ideas on how to keep them in shape from the ground I'd love to hear it. I basically have to stay in the field to work them bc everyone is worried if they took off I wouldnt be able to stop them. Probably right about that.

      I went to the doctors office today to see the cast nurse (who is my favorite there) and got my new cast. FYI getting a cast off is nerve racking, and tickle-ish and kinda hurts. I can now bend my knee, I rather not tho. OH EM GEE! talk about pain. It has been 32 days since I broke my leg and havent bent my knee since. It pops now and hurts like a son of a gun. My leg looks gross too. My foot is kinda bent funny at first till it relaxed and the bottom of my foot is still bruised from the kick, crazy. My baby toe is also bruised thanks to the case rubbing. My new cast is lower on my foot so it wont rub so much. But walking is still sketchie. I'd like to tell you that I got to get on Pippi today but that isnt the case. We are kinda squooshed for time and I need to really lunge her before I get to hop on up. K (trainer) says that walking around in a western saddle will do me some good after lunging. Donny is very much against it. He is afraid I will fall off and hurt something else since I cant very well hang on well. But I am going to walk on her, on Sunday. (:  Today I did get to drive tho for the first time since. It is also sketchie but not impossible so I will be able to take my babysitting job back, YAY.

New Cast, you can still see Dr. T's signature.

Soft at the top so I can bend my knee, not that I want to.

Back to Equine(: Im excited. Head out tomorrow after feeding Pippi and turning her out and be back Saturday night. Mom and I will drive up to a Hospital there to meet Donna and visit with her mom, Grandma. Then off we head to Equine. We are borrowing a wheelchair for me to use so I wont have to walk the whole time. So If you see me with my Very Bright Green cast in a wheelchair or hobbling around come say hi, I promise not to bite.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I use "Gadgets"

Since I am laid up and can't ride I thought I would post about the "gadgets" I use. I have seen and met many people who don't believe in gadgets to get a horse to do what you want. I use them tho. Say what you will but anything that helps me get my point across to Pippi or any other horse is welcomed.

I use draw reins. Hate them but use them, on a occasion. In the hunter ring I need a headset of some sort. Using the draw reins helps get Pippis head down, so we don't look like a darn Giraffe amoung many horses. I don't use them that often, many three times a month. And I don't even have them tight. They are mostly a guilding course. They also help me get Pippis hind end more engaged and relax her front. Now I lunge her in them. I have always done that really but more so now that I can't hop on her back. It helps build top line when I can't trot her on hills all the time. I don't see any problem using draw reins when done right. It is the people who crank them down and force a head set that I feel the need to slap.

I don't own this but I so want one. Neck Stretcher. Love it. Like draw reins but made of elastic stuff that don't force but suggest dropping the head. You only use it when lunging if done correctly but I love it. I hope to get one soon. I also like the German Martingale. One reason I hate draw reins is pinching my fingers but the German doesn't. If you can tell on the link the line connects to the girth then goes thru the bit to the reins and snaps on them. They are adjustable and easy to use.

When I say drop her head I don't mean AQHA drop. I want her poll to be the highest part still but I need her to be on the bit and for her hind end to be engaged. As pretty as Pippi is with her head up high, the judges will not like it.

I also use spurs. I guess that it is kinda a gadget, maybe not, but I use them. Some days Pippi is on it, forward, pretty and floaty but other times it takes every once of leg I have to get her forward. I normally ride in my spurs so I don't have to make a trip back to my tack box to find them, but I don't always use them. I love when Pippi listens to my seat and calves but sometimes a bump with a spur once or twice gets her moving. Pippi have never been cut by them, or hurt. I think anything can hurt a horse but when using it correctly is when it can help the horse.

I give lots of treats. I think it is a gadget that most people don't think is one and most people use. It is my way of telling Pippi she was a good girl. I also give treats to the girls I babysit. I like to reinforce good behavior. When they are bad no treats are given. Pippi gets treats when she lunges nicely and doesnt pull. When she did good in a workout or when she comes to me in the field. I love the look on her face when she hears the wrapper of a peppermint or when she hears me open a bag of carrots. Chance is the funniest with mints. He bites them in half a few times them sucks on them forever. You can really hear him sucking and see his mouth moving. I'll have to get video of it.

So I think that's all the gadgets I use, at least that's everything off the top of my head. Think what you will but Pippi is happy and healthy. In no way does any of these gadgets hurt her, and since I hope to use them correctly they all help her. But I would like to hear your opinions of why or why not use one of these or another gadget.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good News and Ehhh News.

This week I have taken my finals from winter quarter, almost fallen down or up the stairs multi times, babysat, lunged horses and worked on scholarships (that should have been done forever ago but my leg got me off course). Today mom and I headed off to see Dr. T. I was super nervous and excited. Today was the first day I would see my leg since the accident and a new cast. Plus we were going to ask a million and one questions which I thought was sure to throw him off since normally I am silent during my visits. I wanted copies of my x-rays, I figured as much money as we are giving him I deserve paper print out of my leg. I wanted to know when I could ride again, well if he would allow me riding again after it heals. When Can I drive? I babysit all summer long and if I can't drive, the kids will need a babysitter who can take them to parks, pools, out and about. I needed to let the parents know to get a replacement. And I would like a better time frame then 2-6 months. I figured Google gave me the same answer and they didnt even see the x-rays. We got there early, got the x-rays and I asked for copies from the nurse I dont like (and she never gave them to me, Grrrr) and sat and waited. Dr. T is really good at not making us sit there forever. He came in and said my leg still looks great. WhoooHoooo! But there is not a lot of callus forming, which at the time I was like "Huh?" (I googled when I got home and Callus is like the connective tissue that forms around the bones.) I was all ready for my new cast that was going to go below the knee, Can you see YAY! But of course I have bad luck and didnt get the new cast. Better safe then sorry yes, But I would like to get some sleep and not need a nap mid day. So New Plan, going in next Thursday evening and will get a Patella something or another cast. I have never heard of this cast or seen it and it looks crazy.

Example of new cast.
So I should be able to bend my knee back, but not all the way forward I am assuming. Like I said, never heard or seen of this type of cast. Everything with the broken leg is something extreme I guess.

Once we established all that I let the questions fly.

-Do you have a better time frame?
-When can I drive? Will I have to wait till it is healed or in a different cast?
          You should be able to drive with the new cast
     Uhm? I cant bend my ankle but I can drive with my new cast? I guess I'll give that a try. Sound dangerous to me. But if I can then I can resume my babysitting job in the mornings and drive to school and to let Pippi in and out.
- When can I start riding horses again? After it is healed I am guessing?
          In the next cast you should be able to.
     WHAT!?! He says that even if I fall off it wont hurt my leg. Donny flipped out on me. I cant even get a boot on let alone put my ankle down or wrap my legs around her barrel. It doesnt look like it will happen.  But Dr. T who is the specialist says I can. I just wanted to make sure he would allow riding after everything is healed. Oh and for everyone who was flipping because I was lunging horse, Dr. T said go for it. The more I am on my leg the better.

So there. The fact that callus isnt forming or whatever is a little concerning tho he didnt seem to be bothered by it. Id like a better time frame oh so bad. I want to know if I will be showing at all this year or if it is a loss cause. The driving will be awesome, but I dont see how this will work out to well.  Next Thursday when I get my cast I will post a picture of it, more then likely it will be green so that when you see a brown hair girl in a wheelchair with green cast at Equine make sure you stop and say Hi(:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

23 days.

It has been 23 days since the Accident that led to me breaking both the Tibia and Fibula right above my ankle and messing up the ankle joint. It has been 20 days since the closed reduction procedure to set the bones back. I go back to the Dr on Friday morning to get xrays, and a new cast that will be below the knee. I'll post a picture of the new cast so if your at Equine Affaire Friday or Saturday come say Hi to me, I'll be in the wheelchair. I am thankful something worse didnt happen but this is a total bummer. I am often a bit depressed. It is a total bummer that I had to give up my spot in Equine Affaire clinic with Peter Leone, bummer that the weather is nice (after all I have been riding in rain, snow, cold and wind all ding dang winter) and bummer that I am going to work my little ass off when I get the clear from the doctor to ride again. I am gonna have to get a seat again, learn to flex my ankles and all of the above. So total bummer.

I did get to see the girls I babysit last week and this week. I went over there and played and had dinner. It was nice. The 2 year old said my cast was a big band-aide and kept telling me "Careful Manda, Careful." So stinking cute. This week I even get to babysit all day yesterday and Thursday since they are on spring break and I'll be there Friday night for Date Night. It is so fun but man they wore me out. I only have the older 2 girls who are 8 and 11 while the 2 year old is at her normal day time babysitter. They helped me make lunch and got me drinks and whatever when I ask.

I got frustrated when I started going down to the barn again. I couldnt really do anything at first besides brush horses. I tried to lead Pippi but she took full advantage of me and kept tripping over my crutches. But finally we figured it out. Pippi Learned to Walk a Cripple. *insert big smile here* I only use in crutch and lean on her as needed. We still have a few issues like her thinking Im stopping her when in reality I am just loosing my balance. But progress. And if that wasnt good enough I LUNGED PIPPI and CHANCE. *insert BIGGER smile here* Yes thats right. Last week I decided that it was the only way to keep her in some kind of decent shape. Yes Donny (best friend/ Mr. Tell me what I am doing wrong and I tell him what he is doing wrong) said he would come down and ride her once a week but that is only going to do so much. So I tacked Pippi up, saddle, bridle and draw reins. Stuck the lunge line on her and off we went. For the first time I only did walk/trot bc I was afraid A) she would take advantage and drag me half way to China and B) I didnt think I could spin fast enough at the canter. I normally only lunge in draw reins when Pippi is being stupid with her head or as a refresher but it helps build/maintain topline and she normally acts more controllable with them. She was awesome. I gave her a few confusing signals that caused her to stop and look at me. I lunged her again on Saturday and lunged Chance (who hasnt been lunged in forever, like last year forever). Pippi didnt get a saldde or anything this time. And I let her canter. She thru in a few bucks but never really pulled on my line. I figured since I was in the field if she ran off I could just let go and she could run around till she was done. Chance was a bit confused. But did awesome. I love the way he looks at me like when I tell him to halt. Such a good boy.

I like that head set.

Obviously the draw reins are not tight at all.

I look just lovely.

On Sunday Donny came down, got Pippi and I loaded up and off we went to his barn. He worked Pippi really good for us and rode his OTTB Sherman. He has had Sherman for 45 days and Sherman was ready to race this month before Donny went and got him. I got jealous, just a tid bit. Donny felt so bad that I got jealous but I worked thru it and had an awesome evening. Donny also gave me a lecture about me pushing it with my leg. Blah Blah Blah Mr. Protective. As with Sherman, I like him but of course I like all of Donny's horses for the most part. Sherman is pretty chill on the ground. He has been a brat under saddle for a few weeks but it starting to get it again. He man be to dressage-ie for hunter but I really like him over jumps. Donny has a few rules with Sherman. For the first 60 days Donny was only suppose to ride Sherman - no jumping, working on head set, or really anything besides riding. We broke many rules on Sunday. We jumped, tried a flying lead change, worked on headset and collection and extension. (: But this is the first time we have in 45 days so if you think about it we did good.
Donny and Pippi when she still had energy

Sure Money "Sherman"

Pretty Boy
He loves me.