Saturday, September 25, 2010


We are going on vacation!  It is our 1st real vacation since 1987!  Sure, we've had a weekend here and there, but a whole week?  No way.  It's hard when you have critters.  We are awaiting the ranch/house/horse/dog/cat/fish/plant sitters right now.  Our sitters are Rey and Jen.  Rey was Dr. Gary's vet tech for many years, so he knows our horses very well.  He's the one that named Paj, our delicate horse, "Bubble Boy".  Now Rey manages a small animal hospital.  His girlfriend Jen is a vet tech at another animal hospital.  So our critters are in very good hands.

We are off to the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY.  It is the 1st time this event has taken place in the US.  An added bonus for me is that Paj has the same sire as Pikardi, a horse on the Canadian team.  Plus Lexington is one of my favorite places.  Paj was born in Lexington.  It's horse heaven.  I'm pretty excited.

We need a vacation.  David has been working way too hard.  And I've hit a rough spot in my physical therapy.  The first part went just great.  But now we're working on rotation.  Ouch.  A week off is just what I need.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Up on the Roof Top

Remember the 4th of July hailstorm?
We're getting a new roof.  We are on Day 2, and I can't hear myself think.  It's not reindeer up there.

Our poor house!  At least it's not snowing.

Monday, September 20, 2010

An Eclectic Mix

This weekend our local horseshoeing supply/feed store hosted a swap meet and a long lining demonstration.
Jan scored a brand new pair of hiking boots for a pittance, and a lovely handmade wooden saddle rack.  I found a 50 cent soap dish and a nice pair of long lines I couldn't live without.

Our friend Tina drove Bella, a two year old Friesian filly, in the demo.
Sunday's activities included all of the above plus Diez, the famous bull, and a pancake breakfast.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oh Yes I Did!

Guess what I did in the early misty morning??

I rode Boomer!  Oh yes I did!

David hopped on him yesterday, and he felt and looked good.  So I got on him this morning, and we had a nice walkabout.  The only problem was getting on and off.  Getting on was do-able with the help of a mounting block, but getting off was a challenge.  I sat there thinking "Now how the heck am I going to get off"?  I'm 5'4, Boomer's 18.2.
But with the help of David, the mounting block, and a very steady Boomer, I was able to slide off without using the arm too much.  Yah!  What a good boy!

If it wasn't for David's help, I'd still be on Boomer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More on Boomer and Me

Yesterday Boomer's farrier Greg took Boomer's shoes off for the winter and trimmed his hooves.  He probably won't be driven on the lane without shoes, so we're moving toward getting him back under saddle and working him in the nice soft dressage arena.  This morning David saddled him for me, and I hand-walked him there.  The saddle didn't bother him at all, so tomorrow we'll sit on him and check him out.  We're one step closer to getting back to work!  Yah!

Physical therapy continues to go well for me.  My shoulder joint is loosening up "wonderfully", and I didn't even get the for-an-old-lady qualifier.  I've started strengthening exercises with 3 pound weights.  So far, that's the only thing I feel in my collar bone as opposed to my shoulder.  I had told my therapist I need to be able to carry water buckets, so she had me weight one.  They are 32 pounds!  We have a ways to go on strengthening, but it's a start.  The fingers are still lagging behind in loosening up, but I'm seeing some improvement.  So all is well.

Niles, my Protector Kitty, has backed off on his night vigils except for the days I go to physical therapy.  Those days, it's back to protection with a vengeance.

I learned about these cat videos from Sandy at  Thanks, Sandy!  That's my Niles.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Busy Day

This morning I gave David a hand in the barn for morning chores.  Then I walked Boomer down the lane.  We're up to about two miles now.  After our walk, I had a magical experience while I was laying a waterline to a new tree.  Remember the photo I took yesterday of a feather caught in a sunflower?  Today there was a golden eagle perched on the fencepost at that spot.  We locked eyes before he took off.  That was a thrill for me.  I've seen them from a distance here, but that was my first close encounter.

Next, I went to my second physical therapy session.  My very sweet and very young therapist told me that my shoulder joint is much looser than on my first session, and I am doing great "for a woman of my age".  Humph!!!  But really, I'm happy with my progress.  We are still doing ROM exercises, and I am antsy to start strengthening exercises so I can get back to carrying water buckets and cleaning stalls.

In the afternoon, I gave Boomer a bath and trimmed Paj's mane before my hero Dr. Gary and his tech Stephanie came to give the horses their fall shots.  They vaccinated Reggie, Paj and Boomer, checked their teeth (all good) and cleaned their sheaths.  Dr. Gary rechecked Boomer, and said to put that good boy back to work.  Yah!  Boomer is a little larger on the left side of his withers and may always be, but he's sound. 

We all went over to Jan's, where Dr. Gary vaccinated Elvis, Lakota and Zan.  Dr. Gary has been our vet for 35 years.  He is such a kind a competent person.

I also found a new-to-me plant.  Jan, who's a botanist, says it will be easier to identify it when it's more mature.  Meanwhile, David has named it "Star Weed".  I like that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Prairie Changes

On my morning walk with Boomer, I found this feather trapped in a sunflower along our lane.  David leaves the sunflowers for the birds when he mows. 
As we walked along, I noticed how the prairie is changing.  Golden asters still line our lane,
but the autumn blooming rabbitbrush is making its presence known.

The grasses have dried out and developed seedheads.

The yuccas have seedpods.
Can Fall be fall be far off?

In the afternoon, I found this handsome spider on our horse trailer.  I think it's a black and yellow garden spider, but it's a little odd to find one here.  Like the name implies, they usually like gardens, not horse trailers on the high prairies.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

1st Physical Therapy Session

It wasn't that bad.  I have been through physical therapy before, so I was expecting the worst.  Before, the sessions seemed like torture, with me seeing stars and on the brink of passing out.  This was nothing like that.  The therapist manipulated my shoulder and my fingers, and yes, there were moments of pain, but nothing sustained, and nothing I couldn't easily handle.  She took me through range of motion (ROM) exercises, and the joint felt warm and stretched when we were done.  And yes, I'm sore now, but not bad.  It was so worth it.  I definitely have more mobility in the shoulder joint and in my fingers, so I am very encouraged.  Yay!

Monday, September 6, 2010


This weekend was the last show of the year - Championships!

Both Suzanne's horse Phamous and Jan's horse Elvis had a great show.  Phamous, the spunky 19 year old Arabian, was in the 60s in all of his classes.  He earned his 14 year old rider a 1st place in a class filled with fancy warmbloods!  Go Phamous!  His ride times were early, so I missed every class.  I just have not gotten used to how long it takes me to get around with a broken clavicle.

The Futurity was a nail-biter.  The scores from Training Level Test 4 and First Level Test 1 are combined for the placings. 

Team Elvis went into high gear primping.

After the Training Level test on Saturday, Elvis was in second place with a smokin' score of 71.8%.  On Sunday, he earned a 69.167% in the First Level test.  The scores were so tight (and there was math involved!), we really didn't know if he was champion or reserve until the awards ceremony (click here)

That's owner Jan, Elvis, breeder Jeri and rider Shannon.

Phamous is going home to get pampered by Suzanne.  Elvis gets to enjoy a nice break at Jan's home until the weather gets bad.  Then it's back to work!  Stay tuned for photos of these good boys relaxing.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Boomer and I are Getting Better (Warning - Graphic Content)

We went back to the doctor for a checkup on my clavicle.  The x-ray isn't pretty, but it's good news.  The break will probably calcify and I probably won't have to have surgery.  We'll know for sure in six more weeks.  Meanwhile, I get to start using my arm "as tolerated", and I only have to use the sling "as needed".  I will be starting physiotherapy twice a week for range of motion and strength issues for both my arm and my fingers, which are quite swollen and stiff.  I can't wait to be of more help in the barn.

Here's today's x-ray -

Boomer seems completely better.  I hand-walked him down the lane just over a mile this morning, and he was almost on the verge of being fresh.  Dr. Gary said we could start to put a bit more work on him "as tolerated".  Hmmm.  Isn't that what the doctor said about me?

I want thank my fellow bloggers.  I was very nervous before the trip to the doctor, and I spent the morning looking through my favorite blogs.  It calmed me down.  I love the beautiful photographs everyone takes, and I thank you all for sharing your life.

And a huge thank you to Jan, who fed the horses for us while we were away.  We also visited her twice today.  What can I say, I was nervous.  Here's Jan's cat Neville, who's been seeing too many doctors himself lately.