Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday

Yup, we were fighting the crowds....
6:30 am



Then I ran out of battery on the camera....

And here's a shot of my most recent cooking disaster.

Now I'm going to have a big A** salad and wait for Todd to get off work so we can go cruise in the T-Bucket :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fall Pictorial


Cartman got his teeth done.
We attended and completed the 25 at OR100.  It was awesome, as always- I love that ride.
We attended and pulled at Jubilee.  Michelle and Tucker had to do the 50 w/o us and they completed! Yeah!
C injured his left front ankle while tied to the trailer at Jubilee.  Totally sound Friday afternoon. Slightly off Sat. morning at the start of the ride.  I made it 1/2 mile or so then walked him back in for a vet check.  She said he was slightly off.   By afternoon it was blown up all the way to the knee and he was lame at the walk.

I took him to Scott Hansen for x-rays and ultrasound when it swelled up again three days later.  No cracks, chips or tendon injury present.  Just a lot of swelling over the inside sesamoid bone.

C got two weeks off. Stall rest, wrapping, bute, surpass, for a week... then light turn out after a week. He was back in action in two weeks.  No swelling. 

I noticed some white hairs as his winter coat has come in. Panic ensues.  I make an appointment with Barb Apple to re-fit his saddle and give us a Western dressage lesson on 11/3.  I force myself to ride in the most beautiful Crates reining saddle in the world.  I still HATE riding in it.  Decided I don't care how good it looks on my horse, I'm selling it.  It is torture to ride in.

We did some easy 5 mile jogs on the path.  After another two weeks I took him out 10/30 and he was a butthead.  Strong in the bridle, wanting to get hunchy????  I took him into the sand for about 2 minutes to take some of the edge off.  He was still really forward all the way back to the trailer. 

Its started to get chilly at night, an he'd gotten pretty sweaty after our loping in the sand so I kept him up in the barn over nite.  The next morning, Halloween, his ankle had slight filling in it.  WTF?? 

I wonder if its been doing this after every ride, but showing up as filling after being stalled?  Previously I've always turned him out immediately after.

I decide to give him at least one month off.  I'm pulling his shoes and hoping this problem disappears after a rest.

So, to keep myself occupied with no horse to ride.....

I'm spending a lot of time with the dog.   He really needs a LOT of exercise to be happy.  And before it started raining we were spending a lot of time playing with Todd's new toy, the 1923 T-Bucket. 

I'm also determined to get back to blogging a little more consistently.   Alas, I hate blogging when I feel like all I'm doing is whining about my rotten luck!  That pretty much sums up 2013, so far anyway.  The year NOTHING went as planned:(

Still, there is much to be thankful for.  Happy November everyone!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


So, my new Garmin 310XT and V-Max heart rate monitor arrived in one day from the Distance Depot!

I pulled it, and all of the assorted wires, straps, and plugs out of the box Saturday morning, before coffee.  I tried turning it on but alas, it must be charged first.  This was probably a good thing as I can get a little "agitated?" trying to put together electronic/computer stuff...  This in itself mystifies me, as I am quite mechanical and love working on mechanical stuff.  I guess its the computer element that throws me off...  Anyway.  After some coffee and watching three U-tube videos provided by V-Max (they were excellent btw, much better than the crappy instructions that came with the Garmin.)  I had a working HRM/GPS!!!!

I put the HR belt on and took off at an amble around the neighborhood.   My resting heart rate appeared to be around 88????  Seriously?  It must have been the electronics phobia driving it up, surely I can't be that out of shape.   Eeek.  

That was what I told myself anyway, until a neighbor driving by actually stopped me to say  "Wow, I had to see if it was you, we don't usually see you out walking the loop!"   Hmmm,

I didn't actually get to try it out on Cartman on Saturday, we had trotted the 5 mile loop Friday after work and I just couldn't bring myself to do the same boring trail again the next day. 

I spent the rest of the day meeting Amber and Drew for coffee at Zojo's.  It was fantastic, as always, and it was really nice to sit and visit with NO time limit.  I really wish I could do that more often. 

We weren't set to receive any rush samples this weekend at work so I made myself not go in.   About 3pm I realized that I think I might be a bit of a work-aholic or something beause my mind kept thinking of things I could get done if I were to go in to work for a few hours.  Despite the slightly uneasiness this was causing I did resist. 

Instead I decided to swing by Walmart on the way home.  For the record, I despise Walmart.  Absolutely.  I hate Walmart, I hate the way they treat their employees, hate the way they run smaller businesses out, hate the way the public has to subsidize their business because they are too obnoxious to pay a living wage or give full time employment.  I could go on, seriously and that's not even getting into the whole people of Walmart thing.  Oh, and I don't like crowds either.

But, they seem to be the only game in town for getting any ammo.  Todd and I bought the last 6 boxes of 380 ammo they had on our annual visit to Walmart a few weeks ago.  I decided to brave it one more time- in hopes they would have some 22LR this time.  No such luck, the shelves were bare,

I had made a beeline to the sporting goods section on the way in.  On the way out I could feel myself being pulled this way and that by the shiny displays at the end of every aisle.  So much stuff!  So cheap!   Look! Brand new towels for $1.99!  Cool plastic containers I could use to organize my horse trailer, $4.99!  I can totally see how a person  could get sucked in.  

A deep breath and sight of the sliding doors got me back to the parking lot.  Empty handed.  I believe I may be the only person that has accomplished that feat, I don't know.

Today is Sunday, and Michelle and I headed down to the path for a quick ride.  M's boy Tucker lost a hind shoe last week, so we were just going to do a short ride as she was riding her mare Coco.

I saddled C up, placed the electrodes where they showed on the video and my wrist started vibrating!  Heart rate monitor detected!   So, I'm already loving this thing.  I can stand six feet from Cartman and see that his heart rate was 33bpm. 

I was curious to see if the signage the county put up on the trail was accurate.  They claim it is a 5 mile loop but we've always been skeptical.   I was betting it was going to be 3.8-4 miles. 
We started off at a 3.6-4mph walk.

 Ha! Are you skimming this yet?  I promise not to blog a play by play each ride, but it really is fascinating to see this stuff for the first time:)

It turns out Cartman jogs at about 8mph, he will scoot up to 10-10.5 if I let him, but that seems a bit much.  His heart rate stayed around 114-120 for almost 2 miles.  It did start to climb up to 150 after a while but when I asked for lope it dropped! 

We ended up going on alone for a ways as Coco wasn't ready to go that far that fast.  We loped about a mile and a half and his heart rate got up to about 150.  This was at the turn around point so I pulled up and watched it drop.  In less than a minute he was at 70 and then 61-63.  It hung here and didn't want to go below 60.  I believe that this was because we were standing in the full sun and there wasn't much breeze.  I let him grab a few bites to eat and after several minutes he went down into the 50s.

The trip back was more of the same.  Eventually his rate hit about 175 jogging up a short steep hill.  As soon as we crested that hill I let him lope and it immediately dropped to 140.  When we pulled up in the shade he dropped down to 50bpm in a matter of minutes. 
So, this is going to be a fun and useful tool.  I'm quite excited to see how many miles our wooded trails are, and how far we've been going up there. 

It turns out the jogging path is exactly 4.95 miles by my new GPS watch.  I was shocked!  I'll try my best not to ramble on about this thing on every post but so far  I LOVE IT!

Oh, and for the record.  Cartman coughed exactly one time on both rides this weekend- once at the beginning of the ride each time.  YEAH!!!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I'm scared to jinx it, but on Sunday I took Cartman out for a quick 5 mile jog on the jogging path  (the woods are closed due to fire danger.)

We jogged and loped and he didn't cough one time!

I had heard him coughing on Thursday when I turned him out after having his shoes reset.  I was prepared to call the vet on Monday and report that it wasn't working. But now I am crossing my fingers that we are getting this under control.

I have decided to get a heart rate monitor.  I'm paranoid that I might not notice when he is having troubles, and being a TB I can't count on him to pull up on his own no matter what breathing troubles he is having.

I want one that is also a GPS and requires no tech experience to operate:) 

Sunday, July 28, 2013


After our ride last Sunday I called my vet out on Tuesday to check Cartman over and see what is going on.

He listened to C breathe, took temperature and re-checked him after a brief trot on the lunge line.  He said nothing appeared abnormal.  We were discussing the potential ride (and long trailer ride) over in Seneca Or. that I had planned on attending.  He said he wished it was another week off, but C seemed healthy enough.

I was really waffling, in particular due to the 7 hour trailer trip.  As we were talking Todd came out and gave C a couple of little BerryGood treats.  He immediately started to cough.  Uh oh.

At this point, the vet said he was concerned that C might have allergies.  He suggested putting him on Ventipulmin.  I explained that in the AERC rules pretty much all pharmaceuticals are prohibited substances.  It seems this is not common knowledge and most of my vets and the horse professionals I know are surprised by how strict the endurance drug policy is.

We decided that I would call down to Columbia Equine and see if Dr Hansen could get Cartman in for a more thorough examination, and possible a scope.

So, Wednesday I called right when they opened and they had an appointment available at 3pm.  I skipped eating (but did run and grab a coffee:)  so that I could get as much done as possible before racing off to Portland at 1pm.  Not a good idea to skip eating, but it is possible if I'm following a primal diet.

We made it to the vet clinic about 10 minutes late due to the dreadful traffic in Portland and the neverending construction areas on the freeway.

As I jumped out of the truck something looked amiss on the trailer.  A blown trailer tire. 

It was still on the rim but flat as a pancake.  I hadn't felt anything as I drove but it looked like someone had shot a big hole in the sidewall of the tire.

The vets were ready for Cartman so I put the tire problem out of my mind and headed into the clinic with him.

Dr checked him over, took his temp (100.5 I think), listened to my description of the coughing, and listened to him breathe with the stethoscope.  They performed something called the "slap" test where they listened to his breathing while popping him in the throat with the palm of his hand.

"Well, unfortunately..."  Not the words you want to hear your vet start out with.  "He doesn't appear to have any thing infectious, which leaves us with this being some type of allergic response... Although he's a little young for it....."  I don't remember the rest of the details of what he said at this point.  Dr Hansen was discussing it with another vet as well as with me and they were both asking me questions.

The other vet suggested putting him up in the barn (yikes!) in order to get him away from the pasture as they seem to think that the allergy is to something outside.  Dr H said we would start with putting him on Clenbutarol and Dex. in an attempt to stop the coughing episodes.   He said we would try this without stalling C, because he thought I might have a handful to ride if he were to be cooped up.

He said it might be "possible" to get him comfortable enough to attend a ride on Saturday- but he wouldn't really recommend it, and I again explained the strict AERC Drug rules, again these vets also were shocked.  We did go to the website and sure enough both of the best allergy treatments are on the prohibited substance list.  Surprise, surprise.

I was starting to feel a little sick to my stomach at this point.  Although they assured me that if it is  this summer pasture allergy thing that they do have a lot of luck using meds to keep a horse able to work, etc.  And that it might be possible to keep him on a low dose of the meds once this is under control and then withdraw the meds prior to taking him to endurance rides.

Whenever I get in a real emotionally stressful situation I tend to "check out" a bit.  It beats crying like a girl and all.  So, C got some IV shots,  I got the drugs, picked up the instructions and paid the bill.  The plan is to try the three weeks of meds and then see if the coughing returns after he is off them.  There are allergy tests available for horses but they aren't always very definitive for this type of allergy.

After almost an hour of fighting the jack ( a crappy scissor style thing), the lug nuts, and the spare I finally got that trailer tire off, just as the guy from Les Schwab pulled in.  I let him put the spare on and replace the lug nuts. Finally I headed home just in time to get stuck in that wretched Portland traffic for an hour.  We made it home about 8pm.

The next day Cartman's blood work came back completely normal.

Yesterday was day three on the meds, we did about 2 1/2 hours on the trail and he was still doing some intermittent coughing when exerting himself.  Also, I've noticed that he's wanting to go a little bit high headed and resistant (perhaps this is due to the breathing problem and not a training issue as it started about the same time as the coughing). 

So, now I'm just sulking.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dazed and Confused

I think I've been a little bit dazed and confused since the knee-meets-head incident. 

Last Wednesday, during our ride, Cartman was coughing, a lot.  Every time we'd do some trotting or loping he'd cough like he had something stuck in his throat.  It got progressively worse throughout the ride so we took it easy and did mostly walking for the last half.

I worried he'd got something stuck in his throat because that is what it sounded like, like he was trying to clear his throat.

Thursday I was really not on top of my game.  I put C on the lunge line for a minute before feeding that evening to see if he would display the coughing.  He did not.  I then head d up to the house and proceeded to leave the water on filling a trough and completely draining our 1000 gallon holding tank and sucking the spring dry over night. 

Friday Todd spent several hours fixing my mess with the water system.  I didn't hear Cartman doing any coughing but really wasn't home much.  Did I mention I just worked a 60 hour week?  It sucked.

So, finally getting to my point here....

Today Michelle and I did a ride on the trails, in preparation for the Seneca Stampede next weekend.  We took advantage of the Telegraph Run trail to get in  some good hill climbs at the trot and canter.  After our first canter set C started coughing again.  He was almost panting and that is not normal for him at all.  I've never really gotten this horse truly winded like this.

We walked for a while.  C's ears were up, he was forward.  We then did some jogging and he seemed just fine.  We pulled some really steep hills and after these he would do one or two small coughs.

At the end of our ride we were untacking at the trailer and I turned around and spotted the tiniest little bit of yellow mucus in his left nostril! 

Crap!  How could I be so stupid not to think the coughing just might be a little cold???? That would explain the coughing.  But, he has never acted "sick" at all.  So tomorrow I will put in a call to Doc and see what he has to say about this.  Unfortunately my thermometer fell out of the medicine cabinet and exploded on the tack room floor, so I can't take a temp tonight.  Tomorrow I'll pick up a new one.

Crossing fingers that we get to go!

Friday, July 19, 2013

For the Dog Lovers out there

I just found this blog and am really enjoying it:

On a more somber note, by heart breaks for those who have lost loved ones recently, too many tears are flowing out here in the NW.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Knot Head

Me, not my horse:) 

I was feeding Cartman his beet pulp and electrolyte mash this evening after a relaxing 2 hour trail ride.  I'd noticed some of the dreaded bot fly eggs on his front legs in our pre-ride grooming session but hadn't had time to scrape them all off.  So, I decided to do a quick scrape job as he ate his grain.

Stupid me, I leaned over to get some on the inside of his left front leg, just as the dogs tore off after a neighbor dog.  C isn't a big spook but he basically spooked in place- with his front legs flying out and smacked me right in the head.  I went rolling across the stall.  Ouch. 

It swelled up into a goose egg immediately but no dizziness or anything so I think its just going to be sore.

Apparently I should have left my helmet on tonite!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gettysburg Treasure

A friend at work just got back from a big Civil War Re-enactment in Gettysburg.  He was there for two weeks and had a great time.  Despite the oppressive heat and humidity the re-enactors were out there in heavy wool uniforms- can you imagine?

Today he came back to work- and brought me a big surprise :)

Check out these beauties!
I can't wait to have them put on a bridle for Cartman- being plain bay, he really could pass for a cavalry horse.  Thank you, Jim!

After work Michelle and I jetted up to do a short ride on the trails.  It's kind of funny, we rode for an hour and forty minutes (a short ride).  Several years ago that would have been a REALLY long ride for me! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

3 Hours, 4 Creek Crossings, Countless Logs

Today I decided to do a solo ride on Cartman.  I had hoped to be at the trailhead by 8am but was moving a little slowly.  Last night I spent three hours hauling and stacking, and then re-stacking 40 bales of alfalfa and what was left of last years grass hay.  Cleaning out the hay barn is one of my least favorite horse related activities, but I do really enjoy having the years supply of hay in the barn.

We did get in quite a bit of trotting and cantering down one particular stretch of trail, it is hilly so I usually let C trot or canter up the long grades and then we walk down the downhill portions.  This particular trail is an old logging road, so there is packed gravel covered by forest debris a!nd grass in spots.  The old H/J rider in me cringes to hear Cartman's shoes clippity clopping down the gravel sections, but this footing is solid, doesn't contain hidden holes, and I think after the last three years of slowly working him on it he should be somewhat adapted to it.  I sometimes insist that he track in the center of the road (where the grass has grown up) if I can see well enough to avoid holes or large rocks.  This seems to annoy him a little and he will move right back over to the tire tracks as soon as I let him.  Go figure.

We spent about 45 minutes doing this first section of trail and getting in our "cardio".  Then it was down the windy forest trails to a beautiful creek crossing and up some steep hills!  About half way through our ride we spooked up two deer.  They trotted away from us and then stood absolutely still and watched us as we walked by.  We spent the next two hours climbing hills, crossing creeks, and climbing more hills!

Can you find them?  There are two.

C is such a funny guy, I tried to get him to stop and take a break and graze for a while and he would have none of it! He would grab a bite and then head off down trail, walking and eating at the same time.

Here are some pictures of our ride:

heading out

this is new!

going down

crossing #2

C in purple flowers

more wooded trail

Someone else has been through here

My favorite view

This trail is getting over grown

the sun finally makes an appearance

back into the woods

another crossing

this crossing has some mud

C puts his nose down and checks out how deep this mud is!

we went over a bunch of logs today, some were big!

Happy, happy, happy!

When we got home I gave C a bit beet pulp mash.  He stuffed his head in it and didn't move for about 10 minutes!  When he was finally done I had to hose him off.


 Then it was back to the pasture!

C scratches on his brother.  Taj has the white hind sock.

C feels TOO CLEAN!

Bonus points for making mud in July


So very itchy

I luv ya man!

Cartman thinks I got Buddy just for him, he is fascinated with dogs.


Back to business.