Friday, November 18, 2016

No Stirrup November

Look! I got to participate in no stirrup November!   Such a happy day!

It's been a long time since I've had this view. 
I also received the go ahead from the surgeon that it's time to start walking again!   2 months post op this is fabulous.  So I am weaning myself off of the crutches.  The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter by the day!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ch-ch-changes: the tack room

I have a decent enough sized tack room.  It could stand to be a bit bigger but it is workable with some creative space saving ideas.  Ideas I've been kicking around for going on our 2 years here.  My plan is to ask for the tack room remodel for Christmas.  I am not sure how that will go over or if it will work.  But seeing how it was going to be my fall project this year and that didn't happen for reasons we all know by now  Then maybe I can work those sympathy points one last time to get this project done.  I have decided to offer a contest for the best tack room design.  This is not an easy task so a measly $20 gift card may not be worth it and I get like 0 entries.  But if you're into that sort of thing, have some creative space saving brain, have had some tack room envy in your life then have at it!

There will be several requirements of what needs to fit in the space.  You all pretty much know all the things you have and need space for?  Multiply that by 4.  That's what has got to fit in this space.

Things to keep in mind in your design. 

I am a everything has it's place and every place has it's thing kinda person. Also kids work better when they know exactly where something goes. 

Everything is on the table.  I will not buy fancy items just for the sake of being fancy but I am not against spending on items that are helpful, organizational and attractive.

There are 4 people that need their own space for each item of tack for their horse/pony.  Saddle or 2, saddle pads, girth, bridle, whip, helmet, gloves, boots/horse and human, wraps, grooming kit and extra tack box stuff, etc.

I am fine with a communal space for things like saddle pads but ideally I would like each person to have a spot for each thing they have. Not sure if it's realistic but that is the goal.

Your favorite organizational products for the tack room.

What you have to work with:  12 Ft long, 6 Ft wide and 8 Ft high.  With a door at each end.

It can be in any format..  If you are computer savvy or would rather hand draw.  Links to items, picture examples even better for this visual learner.

So please blog land I need you show me what you've got!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Oversharing; post op recap

My little oversharing series continues.  I realized I never shared all the fun post op photos and X-rays with all my new hardware.

Recovery is coming along. PT was a bitch yesterday.  New Therapist was way rougher on the ankle.  I'd actually like to give her a swift kick, with the good leg of course.  I got scolded for taking steps in my walking boot with out crutches...oops.
When I first saw the repair job at 2 weeks post op.

I am 8 weeks post surgery going on 10 post injury. 

Here is a photo from today.  Remarkable, right?

My surgery actually went very well.  It was longer than expected and they did end up putting 2 plates and 12 screws.

  Geesh!  I kinda feel like they put my leg back together like my husband would have done a remodling project...just one more screw ought to hold it!
Yeah and throw a couple long ones in there for good mearsure.

But I cannot actually complain I have had no issues and am healing as quick as can be expected. 

Getting that dorsiflexion back like it's my job.
Gotta get those heals down again!
Aaaand  just because you sat through another post about my goddam leg here are some photos of the most adorable little creatures ever.

Started with 4 all but 1 found homes and his new Mom is coming this evening to get him.

I really wish I could keep them but I already have 3 cats don't need a 4th.

Mr Moley or Cindy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Oversharing; clinic recap

Thank you all who are sticking with me through this crappy time.  I most likely over share online and question myself on that regularly.  One thing I realized I hadn't shared with you all is the Clinic I rode in, in August.  Get ready for some retro postings!

The Cathy Weischhoff clinic

I got to ride one day and Elaina's trainer gave her the opportunity to ride both days.  It was quite a while back so I can't recall every little detail but can expound on the take-aways.

It started with grid work.  Grid work is amazing, and a fabulous training tool.  Unless your horse absolutely hates anything that appears to be a grid.  Yes that horse is Steady.  He hates them.  He gets very frazzled.  He has a huge stride so making 1 or 2 stride bounces generally set him off.  And they did.  He rushed, he flailed, he bucked after going through.  Then for the course work he was all worked up and was very rushy.  Cathy was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with us.  Like literally said those words, "hmmm I'm not sure what to do with you two so wait for a while".  I love the 

Still in our snaffle.  Mr. Toad's wild ride but nothing I haven't gotten used to. 
Cathy had the silly idea that I should actually have a bit more control whilst jumping.

She then puts a bubble elevator bit with a curb strap on him. I use the most very mild bit you can imagine on him, a loose ring, French link snaffle.  I use it for everything, dressage, XC and Stadium.  The strongest bit I've used to ride him in is an egg butt snaffle..haha.
This is after the bit change.  I can actually see the look of confusion
in his eye.  "WTH do you want from me lady?  I thought we had an understanding.
I run around and jump all the things and you hang on for dear life."

I've tried out stronger bits in the past and have gotten adverse reactions so I was a bit skeptical.  But it actually helped a great deal.  It backed him off a little more than what either of us desired but at least I found something that will back him off, this is a first after 7 years.  He didn't throw any fits but was a little confused as to what I wanted. "do you want me to go forward and jump the things or stop?" 

He never actually stopped but got sticky in front and took some deep spots.  I really enjoyed my experience in the clinic and was glad to find that this bit was a successful training tool.

Still hard for me to believe that in just a few short weeks we went from this...

To this.

Elaina's rides were great.

Not enough <3 emojis in the world for this. 
Thinking of getting it printed on a canvas for her
bedroom for Xmas.  What do you think?

She and Lego are making great progress as a team and when they aren't perfect I have to remind myself that she just got him in April and they are progressing so quickly.

Great team, indeed!

I wasn't there for their XC ride the second day but it sounds like it went even better than the stadium lesson.

 Ahhh I love those two together!

Saturday, November 5, 2016


Remembering the good ole days.
WinJan, my first horse.  We had some good, slightly dangerous times together.  But even at 8 months my 2 point was on point.

In all seriousness though I am healing quite well.  I haven't had any setbacks.  It's just a slow going process when you snap your leg in two.   I am %50 weight bearing which means I can get around most places on crutches alone which is HUGE!  Tough I am still quite limited in the things I can do because I am still on crutches.  I am now in Physical Therapy twice a week for the next couple months.  The Therapist is actually surprised at my range of motion.  I have only lost a few degrees in all directions.  Her comment was, "you know most people would love to have this range of motion."  Um, well I am not most people.  But while I do have a pretty good range of motion considering, the stiffness and pain is still present so it's not comfortable to do it.  It is ridiculous the size of my injured calf.  It has to be a good 3 inches smaller than my other.  Ugh, so ugly.

The good ole days when my left heel went down like a boss.

This was at the Cathy Weischoff clinic I rode in 2 short weeks before the big accident.  God I miss this!  Think my horse has scope?

I was doing some interneting the other day and was looking up injuries in the professional eventing world.  After a little bit  I realized I am in some good company.  Odd as it may be reading and hearing about other's injuries is strangely comforting.  I have spoken to many ammy's with similar injuries.  I have met others who had nothing to do with horses and have same injury by silly things like taking a bad step.  But when you hear that those at the top of the sport at sometimes the peak of their career had the same thing happen.  It just makes my problems seem smaller and it helps.  I think we can all remember Boyd's bad couple years.  In particular the time the he broke his leg just weeks after Silva's major brain injury and weeks before he was set to ride in Rolex.  Ok, Ok yes my problems seem quite small.  Then Peter Atkins already traveled to Europe with Henry and in training to compete in Burghley in just a few weeks and on a hack had a silly fall and had the exactly injury I have.  He was in top shape riding at the highest level and was determined to still ride in Burghley but ultimately when it drew closer had to withdraw because he knew he couldn't safely make it happen.  Then at his six week recovery mark signed up to compete at Luhmuhlen.  After dressage decided to withdraw since he wasn't quite ready and with their dressage score the risk didn't seem worth it.  It is a tough really shitty injury that is recoverable in otherwise healthy individuals but it is just a bitch.  Life just goes on hold for many months and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

I mostly appreciate comments of sympathy.  The I'm sorry's and get well's are uplifting to the spirit.  But one comment I had another mother make to me in a conversation that she was explaining how busy and hectic her life is says, "I could never do it".  Referring to being sidelined for  a couple months.  What  dumb remark.  Believe me if you dislocated your ankle broke both bones in your leg and had to have surgery to repair it with 2 plates and 12 screws you "could" do it.  Not that I was given a choice on the matter.  Again why I stick with animals.

Speaking of animals, all of them are doing well.  The girls are riding and I am even getting out to the field to teach them.  Elaina has been riding Steady in preparation for her to ride him in a lesson next week with a big time show jump trainer.  It is good for him and great for her.  Wild as it may sound he is more like a school master and is teaching her how to ride correctly.  Haha my Steady teaching someone the ropes.  Lego, Penny, Lily are all fat happy and fluffy with their winter coats.  The goats are pretty much always finding trouble and simultaneously providing entertainment.  Not many things in life can be so bad but so funny at the same time.  Hank is great.  Still begging any unsuspecting newcomer to play fetch.  And the cats, they keep procreating.  Yes I know get them fixed.  I plan to but unless you have a farm in the country you will never understand the frustration of people dumping cats and me automatically getting more vet bills  because if I don't take them to the vet and get someon else's  cat fixed then I end up with a million cats.  The end product  is adorable and I usually don't have much trouble finding the kittens homes.  Two are getting picked up today.

You have to admit they are pretty hard to resist.

We took one last trip around the lake on the boat to look at all the fall colors.  I am grateful I was able to get out and do that at least once before the year is over.

I have much to be grateful for.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Getting Screwed

Literally I got all screwed back together.  I am doing fine.  I had surgery 2 weeks ago and all went well.  The first few days were really rough but after that the pain started to subside quickly.  At a week post-op I was pretty much pain free when I was resting with my foot elevated.  That’s a great thing after nearly 3 weeks of straight pain.  I am happy to be off of all narcotics and now take the occasional dose of acetametaphen.   I think I would be off of pain meds completely had a not had a minor set back by falling a few days ago.  I instinctually attempted to catch myself by putting weight on my leg.  Pain shot through my leg and I then face planted onto the ground skipping my phone across the pavement.  My leg has now started to ache again and some of the pain has returned but otherwise I believe I didn’t do any lasting damage.  No lasting damage to me.  My phone on the other had is a total loss.  I have had it a total of 6 weeks.  It’s not really been my month. The same evening of my fall my goats and kids were also attacked by a swarm of ground bees, getting stung several times.  Thankfully though there was no lasting damage was done.  But still universe you can stop now.  You win!
I guess I never mentioned we have goats now.  2 Nigerian Dwarf does.  They are entertaining to say the least.

The boredom is as awful and miserable as one might think and the fall just reemphasized my fears that if I don’t get my inability to sit still under control I am going to do more damage than good for myself.  Elaina has started riding Steady a bit here and there to keep him working at least minimally.  I have been considering leasing him out so he can stay in work.  But it’s not likely that I am going to find a 6 month lease over the worst months of the year.  I have potential interest in a year lease but then that just screws me over.  Ryan says I should share Lego with Elaina.  I am not sold on that idea.  And could I really trust anyone not to screw up my horse?  Doubtful.
The view from my spot on the couch.  She is like Snow White in the wooded forest :)

Summer, it was so much fun and a lot of chaos.  I am grateful we at least had a really good summer before I was grounded.  It can pretty much be summed up with Pony Club, boat and Jetski activities and all American family road trip vacation.  Can I really complain?  Ok yes I could actually complain for a good amount of time about how it’s not fair.  That I want to compete and after so many years of putting everything on hold finally everything was exactly where we needed it to be to have a really successful end of season at Novice level.  But who wants to read paragraph after paragraph of my pity party?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Winds Have Changed

Things were all going my way!  Finally after this long term plan of school and establishing my career to then be able to pursue my passion and fulfilling goals.  Just as soon as I finally burst out of the gate ready to conquer the world.  The area 8 Novice world at least.  We were ready.  Our dressage was balling our XC was on point and our Stadium was finally at a place where it was mostly controlled.  We hit our one schooling Event before we were to head into the fall ready for USEA events.  I even, for the first time in my life, joined USEA for myself and for Steady (talk about a wasted $130).  I had two entries filled out and ready to mail with coggins copies  printed and ready.  Then life decided to make my plans a great big joke and just laid me out.

I was not able to write about this until today.  The reality of all of it was just too much for me to bear emotionally.  But I've been doing my best to work through the emotion and get down the practical reality of what my life will look like for the next several months.  So what is it that has set me back?  Well here is the story:(get some snacks, its a long one)

Saturday late morning my 3 girls and I went on a trail ride.  I decided to ride in my dressage saddle because my stirrup leathers on my jump saddle were being borrowed by E.  This is relevant to the story that is why I point it out.  The weather was beautiful.  Such a perfect day.  When we entered the woods we heard a chain saw.  Figured the neighbor was downing some trees.  As we got farther into the trail we saw that was indeed the case.  There were a couple newly downed trees.  Which of course the horses were a little snorty at, but walked past completely uneventfully.  Everyone was well behaved.  We stopped over at the neighbors house for about 30 minutes to visit then started making our way back.  We came around the trail on a different route then we passed the first time around.  Steady stopped and froze when he saw the downed tree.  I let him look for minute and kicked him on he moved forward.  When we approached the tree I initially was going to walk around it.  At the last second I thought, "I want to jump that log".  I trotted a few strides.  Steady reluctantly popped over it then  upon landing came to a complete halt.  Being in my dressage saddle I had no forward stability like I would in my jump saddle. I fell forward onto his neck and he balked at that a little.  I knew I was coming off immediately because of my loss of stability when falling forward.  I got myself upright he bounced left and I did a flying dismount off his right side.  I say flying dismount because I knew I couldn't help coming off but I also knew it was slow enough I could control it.  I came down landed on my feet but mostly on my left foot.  As soon as my feet hit the ground I heard a snap and saw my left leg just above the ankle go completely 90 degrees.  I knew immediately I had just broke my leg.  From that moment forward it was like an out of body experience.  I am sure it was the shock of it all that kept me going.

First thing I said was, "No way I just broke my leg"  I then quickly grabbed my foot and put it back straight.  I could not stomach looking at it sideways.  I then said, "girls you need to get my phone, call your dad and tell him I just broke my leg and I need help fast."  I guess it was the fact that I knew I needed to get myself and the girls out of there before I could let the reality set in of the amount of pain I was in.  Because I kept thinking, wow this is really bad and I knew in my head that it hurt like hell but I didn't actually physically feel very much pain. I was extremely calm.  Macy pointed out that I am the one with my phone.  Elaina had immediately dismounted and grabbed Steady.  Steady BTW was just as shocked as all of us that I had come off.  Last time I actually came off of Steady was over 4 years ago and only 2 times in 7 years have a come off of him.  Then for something so completely uneventful he did not see that coming.  He didn't really do much of anything.  Definitely not anything that should typically warrant a fall and by no means a fall bad enough for that kind of injury.  Anyways, I get the phone and decided to call Ryan myself then there couldn't be any miscommunication about the problem or location.  My words on the phone were, "Ryan I broke my leg really bad.  You need to come get me as fast as you can.  I am down at the shooting range.  I am  not joking.  Are you going to come?"  He said yes and I hung up.

The wait:

To add to it Lego got a big horse fly on his butt.  He was panicked and started spinning in circles.  Elaina tried to stop him but she was also holding Steady.  Lego came inches from trampling me and wasn't calming down.  I knew I need to move.  So I grabbed my leg with one arm and drug it while I army crawled to a log safely away from Lego.  I told Elaina to let go of Steady and get the horse fly.  She did and of course Steady wasn't going any where.  I waited what felt like 2 hours but was more likely about 30 minutes.  The whole time I was just in disbelief that this was actually happening.  I could not wrap my head around it.  There was a moment that I started to black out.  I explained to the girls that I might pass out. That if I do do not panic.  That it isn't a huge deal if I do and that it will be fine.  That I was going to lay down just in case I do I don't fall over. Thankfully I never fully lost consciousness. It was wild to me that I was so calm and in control in those moments.  Ryan showed up with the neighbors Gator, two pieces of wood and some ace bandage for a splint.  I was freaking out about my boot.  I knew the swelling was getting worse.  I knew as soon as I showed up to the hospital that they were going to want to cut it off.  I kept saying I need to get my boot off.  Ryan refused to oblige my request assuring me that it was a terrible idea.  I finally conceded and he held the wood while Elaina wrapped.  Those Pony Club wrapping skills sure came in handy! The nurses were impressed with their splint job. Our neighbor came down with Ryan and took the girls and the horses back to the house to get them settle back at home.  Thank God for amazing neighbors.

The drive:
The trip there was wretched.  We don't live close to anything and I am usually grateful for that fact.  But taking a trip to the ER in that much pain I wished we were closer.  Ryan was my complete and total hero.  He drove as fast as he possibly could.  Running red lights when he could and determinded to get me help as quickly as he could.  He never once mentioned anything negative as he well could have in that situation given his feeling towards the whole horse thing.  He just kept reassuring me that he would get me help as fast as he could and that he is just grateful it was only my leg and that I was OK otherwise.  I was angry.  Very angry at myself for doing it.  I knew anger at myself wasn't rational but I felt really stupid for letting it happen and I think that is where the anger came from.

The Hopital:
They got me in immediately and I'd say within 15 minutes of arrival were administering Fentenal.  It didn't do a whole lot for the pain.  They then gave me a double dose of Fentenal.  That finally knocked off the edge.  It was time to address the leg.  I asked them to try to pull off my boot first.  They said they didn't think it was good idea but would try it if I wanted to.  BAD IDEA.   OMG  Mind you we didn't know exatly what was wrong with my leg at this point but as soon as he tugged a little it felt like he was ripping my foot off.  I screamed and cried from that moment on.  I was out of my mind in pain.  He felt awful for even trying.  He cut my boot as fast as he could.

RIP my lovelies

  And that was that.  I couldn't bring myself to look at my leg so I do not know what it looked like.  I just couldn't handle that image in my head.  I am glad I didn't because the flash backs of the sound of the snap and seeing my leg at 90 degree angle haunt me over and over.
Nope NOT supposed to look like that.

But I knew from how it felt what it most likely looked like.  They told me it was mildly deformed and obviously broken.  I was still hoping for good news at that point but the more and more I was realizing there was very little hope to be had.  But to be honest I knew it was as bad as it was the second it happened.  I just hoped I was over reacting.  I got xrays and then the Doc came in to explain my injuries and the immediate plan.   First off my foot was dislocated badly and that has to be put back into place.  Secondly you have a fracture of your fibula and Tibia.  The piece on the Tibia is floating and we are a bit concerned about where it will go after the dislocation reduction.  Of course I asked, "how realistic is it that I would be able to ride in a competition in 4 weeks?"  He laughed and said, "You could be looking at 6 months before you are back on a horse."  That was the moment I realized the actual severity of it all and it was crushing.  He said it so flippantly like he almost thought I was joking.  I guess I can't blame him pretty much no one on earth understands how serious we take this thing that we do.  That it's not just a hobby we do to pass that time.  They can't fathom the commitment and effort put into the "hobby" we do.  It's not his fault he doesn't get it but damn if it doesn't sting my heart with equal amounts of pain that a pretty much severed leg does my body.  The best news I heard since arriving was that they are going to put me under to put it all back into place and splint it.  I as terrified to let anyone touch me so I was relieved I wouldn't remember any of it.  And that was that.  They put it back and we were on our way home shortly after that with a referral to the Orthopedic DR. 

We won't get into the last several days I've been at home writhing in pain and waiting to get into the ortho.  But I am extremely blessed to have a doting husband and children that have done everything humanly possible to make this as easy as anyone could possibly make it.  The kids are on full barn chore duty and Husband has taken over the running of the place. 

And Hank don't forget the miraculous healing powers that the Corgi possesses.

I just get to sit and heal.  Well not healing yet because I am not officially put back together yet.  I finally got into the ortho today and got the run down of how to get me on my road to recovery.  It all starts with surgery that is scheduled for Tuesday.  They will put in a plate and several screws.  They are not sure exactly how they will put it all together until they get in there but they may just leave the Tibia piece to do its own thing because they don't feel it will make me any less stable if they leave it alone.  The bad part is surgery means full recovery will take significantly longer but the good news is that once the surgery is complete my leg will be much more stable than it is now.  It looks like 10-12 weeks before I can even consider starting up normal tasks or getting back on a horse.  I am happy to find out they do not plan to permantely cast it at any point and most of my recovery will be spent in a boot.  I can't walk on it at all for 8 weeks but at least with a boot I will have more movement and less loss of function that I will have to regain after recovery.  And I can take it off and itch my leg if I need to :)   I will be completely couch bound for another 2-3 weeks.  I forsee the mental game of all of it being a bigger struggle for me than the physical one.  Thanks all for reading and am sorry there will be no horse content on this blog for quite some time.  Maybe I can do some fill in's with the kids stuff?