Wednesday, September 22, 2010

And now, for your weekend Snot Update:

I know you've been patiently waiting for the latest Snot Report.... so, without further adieu: The forecast is DRY (with a slight chance of slobber!). YAAAAY.

I went out to the barn on Sunday and he still had a little snot, so I settled for grooming him and popping him back out in the pasture. I really wanted to air on the side of caution. Its not like we are competing or have any deadlines with which we are working.

Monday, I took the day off work to catch up on housework and sleep (we went to a Tom Petty concert a couple hours away and didn't get to sleep until really late Sunday night). After the house work, I was getting ready to go to the barn (wearing jeans and boots just in case Granite looked well enough to ride). Areosmith "Back in the Saddle" came on TK's Ipod shuffle (he equates it to a Magic 8 Ball) and he told me that it was a good sign and that I'd get to ride. TK is ALWAYS right, and proved so in this instance as well :) I got to the barn to find Granite hauling ass around the pasture chasing Reno. He looked good and healthy and his nose was clear, so I saddled up-- for the first time in a month! This was also the first time TK has ever seen me ride!

Granite was hyper (a rarity) and kind of bratty. He tried to stop at the gate and I tapped him with the crop (I went with no spurs but I carry a crop) and he kicked out. This is the first time he has EVER done that. So I kicked and cropped to tell him that was UNACCEPTABLE! And then he had a bucking fit (also a first). I was really worried bc TK is very protective over me and I was afraid seeing that would make him resent Granite or be concerned when I go riding. I don't want any of that bc he is so very supportive of my riding and my horse. I was wrong however and he told me while he was surprised, he trusted me and my riding abilities. Yay (I love that man!). Anyway, I think I won the argument with Granite. He got his act together and the rest of the ride, while sloppy, was uneventful.

I headed out to the barn yesterday to find a dry nosed, bright eyed, obese grey horse. I love Tuesdays because I get to go to the barn (ride?!) then go running at the park then I go to the grocery store then home to cook (shocking) for the bf then we get to relax. It is the best day of the week. Yesterday was even better because not only did I get to ride, but it was probably the best ride we have had since I first got him back from Becky!! He was really attentive and cooperative!

Things I tried to focus on:
-Moving Forward
-Bending into corners
-Leg yielding (especially when he decides to come off the rail)
-Walking over poles
-Weaving in and out of cones (using bending and leg yields)
-Trot transitions.

Things I avoided:
-Asking for collection
-Long stretches of any one activity

I basically wanted to engage his mind using bending and leg yielding exercises. I wanted to keep him on his toes by weaving in and out of things and going over poles. He gets frustrated when we do one thing for too long, so I wanted to keep him thinking and moving. I wanted nice trot transitions, but left his head alone (i.e. in the air and chewing on the bit--- grrrrr) at the trot and just focuses on moving forward freely. We did some backing up and turns on the forehand. I had a very responsive and cooperative boy and I left the arena feeling like all of my frustration was actually worth it if I can have rides like this more often!

Was my ride perfect? Hell no! Was it what I was hoping we would be doing in late September of his 3rd year. NOPE, I thought we would be much farther along at this point. But-- we made progress. I asked for a few basic things of him, and while I may not have gotten the desired responses immediately, I ended up getting them! I was really pleased because I made corrections, and I got reactions and if I can get that more often, I feel like he and I can move forward together :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

On the Mend... and the Only Child contemplates sharing

I am writing this while eating a Healthy Choice (Ginger Chicken... not so good... pass on this if you ever consider it) and waiting for my work meeting to begin at 7 P.M. During my "dinner" break, I took the opportunity to go visit the big man at the farm. He galloped up to me (still thinks he is getting dinner and meds; silly man), then he bit Reno and met me at the fence.

I was pleased to see only a mild amount of dried snot in both nostrils! Yay for dried snot and not snotty snot! I haven't taken him into the barn since this debacle started (3 weeks ago!) and its really obnoxious to try to hold him and groom him while he grazes. He is certainly not much for standing like a gentleman when there is grass to be had. Loser. But I groomed the man and baby wiped his nosey wosey. By the time I took him back to the pasture, he has a little bit of CLEAR snot in his right nostril. Hell, I will take it! Only one side and its clear! That means he is healing and he can kick the rest on his own and without additional rounds of antibiotics! We have concluded that he got the flu. Yes, he has been vaccinated, but there are like 42 billion strains of flu and they are only protected from a few. I don't want to be over optimistic or jinx this bit of progress, but I am guessing (hoping, praying, thinking....) that I will get to get back on his back for a light hack on Monday. That is my aim if he continues to make progress. I don't want to push his immune system and I want him to have plenty of time to feel better before I ask for anything (not like he gets much work with me anyway since I work most weekday evenings and am off gallivanting on weekends these!). That leads me to my next topic...

The contemplation of sharing....
As I may have mentioned, I A) have an anxiety disorder and B) am broke. This leads to lots of dwelling on my precarious financial situation. I typically start to panic over it all (I'm talking job situation, what ifs, future housing arrangement, savings, loan debt, etc......) around noon every day. Most of the time when I go for my long runs, I think about job applications or other crafty ways to increase revenue and reduce expenditures. I will obsess over other things too-- but as of now, the finances are the most immediate pressing issue and thus the focus of my insanity.

ALL of the to say,
I went on a 4 mile jog after the barn on Monday and spent the WHOLE thing thinking of brilliant ways to solve my life problems. Usually, this practice proves fruitless and simply leaves me with a headache and a resolve to "let it be" (at least until noon the next day), but Monday I had what may just be a brilliant idea! waiiiiiit for it......


Ok: 1/2 lease the horse!

Here is my thought. If I am 'stuck' at my current job for a while, that means I am also stuck waiting tables. Which means on ideal (lightly scheduled, no rain or travel or extra plans) weeks, I can only ride 4 days a week. Once I get a solid and dependable W-T-C out of Granite, wouldn't it make sense to find a high school/ college/ young adult who wanted a nice quality horse to ride and even show at a great price?! They could ride 3 days a week, I can ride 2 or 3, we can work out a situation with them/me showing when he is ready. I would only ask for 1/2 of the board and I would do shoes and vetting. This way, he would get the attention and exercise he needs and I can't always give him. It will take that stress of being inadequate off of me. It will alleviate some financial burden from me and will even help to beef up Granite's resume if he shows a variety of divisions between the leasee and me.

 I mean there would be some concerns. With such a green bean, I would need to find an experienced rider and someone who was 'on the same page' as I am about his training and his future. I would also want someone I could trust and that I would be happy to encourage in their riding goals. This could be difficult as I am not at a big training/lesson barn. It would have to be a fairly independent person. And Granite's youth and training process will determine, to a great extent, when and if this idea is ever feasible. But, its an idea and it has some very real merits.

So... what do you think? Pros? Cons? have you experienced 1/2 leasing on either end? Weigh in on this one for me, as the idea is still in its infancy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

That Snot-Nosed Kid!

Oh.... Granite. We have completed 13 days of antibiotics. All symptoms of illness are gone except for this:

Color me a frustrated momma! We are going to call the vet and see what he has to day tomorrow. He hasn't had a fever in two weeks and we haven't heard him cough in a week and a half. His eyes are bright and he has plenty of energy. He gallops up when he sees me because now he gets fed twice a day so he can have his dose of meds. I'm glad the med have helped (although have not yet cured) but a side effect is....


The big man needs to get better for a multitude of obvious reasons, but I have got to get him back into work and only eating once a day-- the kid is getting FAT!

Updates to come.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Football Funsies and a Slow Recovery

First and foremost: The Gran Man.
I went to check on him Tuesday night. Attitude, eyes, breathing, energy levels all looked good. Still had some snot. The vet recommended (on Tuesday) 5 more days of 2x a day antibiotics. We have seen improvement, but he's STILL not there yet. I've had to work every night since, but got a report that Granite has been enjoying the new crisp morning air and running around and not coughing! Also, I have heard that he has a crusty nose, but not must fresh snot of which to speak. So, I can't wait to assess the situation with my own eyes, but its looking positive at this point (but you never do know with horses, do you?). I will go check him out Saturday evening (which will be the last of his additional 5 days of anitbios.) and I assume we will make a determination as to if he is well or if we need some more vet intervention. Cross your fingers. I am ready for my boy to be well (and to get back on him!).

I have to wait table tonight (ughhh, not getting that job makes for no light at the end of the tunnel-- at least for the foreseeable future). TK coaches his Varsity football team tonight at a home game! His JV team (for which he serves as head coach) won last night for the first time this season! I am so proud and so jealous that I have to be working tonight and not cheering on Western Guilford High School!
But, the exciting news is, if I just make it through 7 more hours of my day today (so depressing after you have already accomplished 7 of them), I get to look forward to tomorrow. I will be packing up and heading out at 9am with TK and his family on their PARTY BUS to go tailgate and watch the Wake Forest v. Duke football game (I am a UNC fan as you may know, so boooo Duke). TK's family wants me to drink the Wake Kool-Aide and become a fan (his parents are Alums) but I'm somehow doubtful. But I subscribe by an "Anybody but Duke" motto and I love football in all varieties (favorite sport next to anything equestrian of course!) so I am pumped for the game on Saturday (and the forecast in the low 80s!).

On Sunday, I get to have a reunion with my 4-H club! YAY! They have asked me to judge Pets and Goats at the Central Carolina Fair as a fundraiser for the club! I haven't been able to help my kids as all in months (since taking the 2nd job) and I was thrilled when I was available for this opportunity. I know virtually nothing about pets and goats, but they assure me that this will not be a problem. It should be interesting and I will try to take some photos of the experience. I promise to report back immediately.

I plan to scoot over and check on the big man after my official judging duties have been fulfilled. I hope to find him WELL....

THEN... its the Regular Season Opening game for my beloved WASHINGTON REDSKINS vs. their arch rival the Dallas Cowboys (ops, I threw up a little in my mouth while typing those words...ugh!). I will be positioned at a bar with my lovely bf, D, and two of my favorite grad school friends an hour before kick-off in order to heckle any Dallas fans who may be nearby. I have already announced my impending tardiness at work on Monday morning (don't ever say that I am not proactive).

So, I hope you all get in muuuch more riding than I will this weekend. But I will be doing one of my second favorite things: enjoying football with my faves (minus my Daddy who is the ultimate football viewing buddy).


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Breaking News:

This Just In:
My pony is feeling better. I checked on him twice a day all holiday weekend. I haven't heard him cough all weekend, his eyes are bright and his energy is back. After 7 days of antibiotics, I still have some yellow/green discharge, although it has decreased substantially. Becky called the vet to discuss, and he had put G on 5 more days of antibiotics. So-- looks like we have dodged the vet visit bullet another day. And I'm happy to see visible signs of improvement. I was definitely scared for a while there. I'll be really pleased after a few symptom free days and when I can finally hop back on the big man (after over 2 weeks).

My tall boots broke again last week! This is two times in about a dozen rides. I returned them to the WONDERFUL sales girl at Horse& Rider Inc. in Greensboro, NC. And this time, instead of a replacement, I asked for a store credit. That way I won't spend the money allocated for tall boots but I can try to save up another couple of hundred dollars to get a nicer pair that will hopefully endure. I'm very glad that was taken care of.

I got a phone call this morning that I did not receive the job for which I was a finalist. They will officially appoint the other candidate tonight. I am still in shock and don't know how I feel about it. The work isn't exactly what I want to do long-term and the location is near where I want to be, but also not spot on. So, the positive side is that maybe I will find that truly perfect match. The negative leaves me working two jobs and struggling with money and working an under stimulating job. I do trust in the process however, and think the right thing will come about at the right time for me.

ReCap of my weekend (sadly non -horsie):
TK took me to the Zoo saturday (the weather had a hint of fall, which is my fave, so I was in hog heaven). Then we checked on Granite again before getting Mexican food and watching some college football.
Sunday was a cookout with some friends and more college football. It was a blast.
Monday was some quality time with TK's family, some pool time with my friends, more checking on the pony, then a walk, wine, more college football (can you tell I LOVE football season).
I had a really great and relaxing weekend. I guess I needed it to prepare for getting bad news today!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Intrepid Riders Faction Blog Award!! aka: A Bright Spot in my Week.!

Soooo, I was pursuing the blogosphere (while taking a mental break from real work) and realized that Gingham and Pia of Pia's Parade awarded ME with the Intrepid Riders Faction Blog Award. Um... cooool! I seriously needed a pick-me-up and if this wasn't it, I don't know what is! Thanks soooo much!

Here are the lovely words that Gingham had to say about me and the Big G:

This award made me immediately think of Rachel and Granite who blog their adventures over at Dapple of My Eye
Rachel has had her guy from the beginning and while my girl Pia might be "green," Granite wouldn't know a single thing if it weren't for her partnership, patience and training.  They've had their fair share of setbacks and delays as they make their way down the road together, but I admire the persistence and trust that Rachel always seems to display.  She's one of those impecable owners who balances, multiple jobs, friends, relationships, and big life changes without taking away from her main man Granite.  
Thanks for sharing your story Rachel! I love keeping up with it!

NTREPID RIDERS FACTION ~We strive to go where others only dare to go with our horse loves...healing,being respectful of the horse, riding, playing, camping, jumping, swimming and traveling down the trails of life. . . . with the horse in Heart ~ Overcoming many obstacles and sometimes weather, to ride!

This Award is dedicated to those Horse lovers and riders that inspire others to go deeper in ability, knowledge and understanding of the Equine(s) they have been entrusted to.The good of the horse is the ultimate goal apart from pressures to achieve ribbons and fit into lesson schedules.

~Some of These riders are fearless, when it comes to weather conditions and the forecasting of them...being with their horses, fills these folks' soul and takes the cares out of daily routines.

~They are unconditionally loving to the horse and may have rescued it from known ailment or living condition.

~Others have researched and purchased/ acquired their horse, to find a difficulty in temperament or a physical burden within the animal. Yet, Being dedicated , they have persevered to proudly be in partnership with their horse, lovingly striving for deeper awareness's between them.

~Some horse lovers may have been riding for years and suddenly, had an accident that takes them away from the great joy and freedom they have, being aboard such a magnificent animal. ~They have allowed the healing horse to rise in their hearts once again, and beckon them back!

~Fear is not my normal response to things ... just a desire to achieve higher understanding of what may lay ahead of me with my mare, that truly is a gift to my heart and soul. I always seek out knowledgeable and caring individuals to assist me, in any quest I may look into.

I am taking with me the good I have leaned from caring individuals that have shown great single minded LOVE to the horse, and am leaving the dust of the bad behind me, not allowing it to fetter my supreme desire to be all I can be : as a rider to my mare or gelding and also - to allow- her to be the Equine athlete she truly is!

There are not many rules with this award...JUST :

1)that you give it to only one person
2)link back to this post, so they may have an understanding to it's true nature. 
3) You may use any or all of the written descriptions, with the award picture.

While I think SO MANY of the people whose blogs I follow fit this description, I'm going to have to pass this award on to Marissa over at Tucker The Wunderkind. 

Marissa worked her tail off in Law School to be able to FINALLY own horses of her own. And now she owns two of the finest equines around. She has raised Tucker (and is in the raising process with Julie) and has been through so many of the same trials and tribulations with him as I am currently going through with Granite. It is so inspiring to know that if you preserver these magnificent animals will be worth all of your effort, ten-fold. Tucker is knocking them dead in the big leagues now, thanks to the unwavering dedication of his mom, and they both continually provide inspiration to those of us who would like to follow in their footsteps (ahem... Granite and his Mom). So keep leading the way for us Marissa and Tucker!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Still Sicky-Poo

My baby boy is still a sick puppy. We called the vet after seeing no improvements on Monday. He recommended trying 5 days of antibiotics 2x a day and since he has a 104 fever, bute once a day until it comes back down. Granite is a snot factory and you can see in his eyes that he feels like shit. He can't come in the barn because the vet is afraid he may infect others. So there went our plan to keep him out of the heat and in front of a fan. He has had 5 doses of antibiotics so far and itsnt looking any better (or worse, fortunately). I don't want to wait for the whole five to get an alternate treatment plan. Becky is heading out of Town for labor day and my boy is miserable. If he isn't showing considerable improvement by tomorrow morning, I'm going to ask the vet to come out and re-evaluate the situation. I'm worried about my man and hate to see him not feeling well, so the sooner I can do SOMETHING for him, the better.

In other news, I had my second round interview last night. I think it went well. I believe that I had decent answers for the 6 questions that were asked of me from the 7 elected officials. I also think I did an adequate job of engaging them with the 3 questions that I asked them. The interview only lasted 30 minutes and they didn't tell me what kind of time frame I could expect as far as a decision goes. Originally, I was told that an offer would be extended during the 1st week of September (you'd consider that next week--right?). Mine would be a conditional offer (if I were the preferred candidate) because they have not yet spoken with my Town Mayor or immediate boss. I like to think both of them wouldn't have anything to say that would cause a retraction of the offer.

I hate the waiting and the not knowing which way my life is headed. I don't really have a plan B except to continue with the being broke and working two jobs and applying for new things. I also don't want to look at signing a new lease because I was hoping for a change of geography in addition to an employment change. But thats another can of worms...

So this week, I work 3 doubles, waiiiiit to hear something, worry about my horse and probably have the vet out. Then this weekend is to include lots of time with my rock, TK. We are going to the zoo, to a cookout and to see Secretariat. I hope to be able to catch up on some cleaning, some running and some visiting with my sick pony as well. Oh life.... I know its going to get better and I am so fortunate to have Eva and D and TK and my other close friends here to support me in the craziness-- but its still hard to make it through the days sometimes.