Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Whirlwind of Life

The past month has been possibly the most hectic that my life has ever been as an adult.

In terms of horse world, Casey and I have experienced a roller-coaster of experiences. Shortly after my last post (early March), Casey went lame. And it was THAT leg... ya' know, the cursed one that had the suspensory ligament tear. I, naturally, went into helicopter horse mom mode, because I was sure that she was broken. My trainer thought it was just a stone bruise, so we gave her some time off. After that, Casey seemed to be "sound" and looked great, but when riding her I could just feel... something... Nothing that I could truly define, but enough that I knew things were not right. After some waffling, I decided to just have the vet out for her. The way I saw it, I would be stressed until I either knew what was going on or things got better on their own (which I doubted would happen, because things had been carrying on in this matter for a couple weeks).

A recent photo in which she is not backsore

So I had the vet out. He immediately ruled out any sort of leg lameness and ended up determining that Casey was just incredibly back sore. He checked her saddle fit (again) and still thought it seemed like a good fit, so he decided to do some bloodwork to see if her vitamin E or selenium levels were off (as both can cause body soreness). We then played the waiting game for the results to come back (for some reason this particular test takes a while to come back). In the meantime, I spent my time riding Olive, a lesson horse who had a bunch of time off due to a nasty cut on her hock, and just playing around with Casey. She was sound enough to be lunged, so we did a lot of lunge-work to try to keep her fitness up. After a week and a half, the results finally came back. Her selenium levels were perfect, but her vitamin E levels were super duper low. So after conferencing with the vet, he recommended that I stick her on a vitamin E supplement and thought that would make all the difference.

The cute pones being her perfect self

The supplements that I ended up ordered were SmartPaks. Since I was ordering them anyways, I opted to throw in the Dark & Handsome supplement as well so that I could get free auto-shipping. I'm super excited to see the difference that the supplements make. I hope that the vitamin E alleviates the back soreness entirely and I'm also hoping that the Dark & Handsome one results in a super shiny, super-dappley pony. I was a bit worried about if Casey would eat them (she's super picky & the Dark & Handsome one had some reviewers commenting on horses refusing to eat it), but I fed the horses last night, and it seemed that Casey was chowing down, so I think we're good.

It looks like Casey is starting to shed out into dapples, but I want MORE!

Once we knew what the problem was, I went back to riding Casey. I think that the time off did her good because she has felt great. It took a while for the supplements to arrive and so I only started her on them yesterday, but even without being on them, she's been doing really wonderfully. We've just been working on flatwork, and haven't been doing super intense rides, but she feels balanced and light in the bridle.

Casey being nice and balanced

Yesterday's ride I introduced trot & canter poles back into our routine, and she was awesome. I had set the poles up as a "course" (can you tell I miss jumping?) and Casey was calm while trotting. At times I had to rebalance her a bit, but I wasn't having to hold her back. Since she was so good, I opted to try a line at the canter, and OMG she was fab! She got a tad excited at the second jump, but when I half halted she came back nicely and added the extra stride. Proud mom moment right there!

Her canter is becoming so DREAMY

Outside of horses, my life has been exciting & wonderful, but also super exhausting. We ended up buying a house! It's in exactly the neighborhood we wanted, on a quiet street, and, best of all, we could afford it! We ended up closing right before Spring Break, and so then literally spent the whole week of vacation working on remodels. The house had really good bones, it's a solid 50's ranch style house, but the prior owner did not take the best of care of it. She smoked in the house and trashed the carpet.

Proud homeowners!

Once it was ours, we tore out the carpet & subfloor, tore out a hideous half-wall, ripped out all of the old baseboards, installed click-laminate flooring, installed new baseboards throughout the house, painted everything, and thoroughly cleaned. All of that was done with just some help from family members, no professionals involved at all. In addition to that, we also had to move everything from our rental to our new house & clean the rental. It was exhausting, but also amazing. There's nothing quite like hating something and then having the power to destroy/change it. After living in rentals for most of my life it's so liberating to own a home. Now that we've finally finished the remodeling and moving process our life is starting to mellow a bit. We still have things that we want to do with the house, but for the most part, we've taken care of the major things. I'm probably going to have a lot of summer projects that I want to do, but those can wait until I'm on vacation (oh the wonders of being a teacher).

Living room (this is the flooring that we installed ourselves)


Master bedroom with our new bed - it takes up almost the whole room, but no regrets!


And the sunroom! I'm so excited about this. Having a sunroom was on my house wish list, but I never expected to get one!

So that's my whirlwind of a life! Here's to hoping that I can go back to a normal routine!

Hopefully we can get back to normal so I have plenty of time to spend with my girlie