Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Broken finger!

Well, my pinkie finger is broken. Colin tried to get me to go to urgent care last week but since I already had a doctor's appointment scheduled for yesterday I decided to wait. Went to the doctor and showed her my finger and she said, "that doesn't look right" and ordered an x-ray. Radiology is at the hospital, not at the doctor's office, so she sent orders over for me to show up following my appointment. Must have been a slow day for injuries because they saw me right away and I was in and out in 15 minutes.

Colin called me at work this morning with the news that the doctor called and said that indeed my finger is broken at the joint (closest to the fingernail). It isn't displaced, but in order for it to stay that way they want to put it in a splint. Colin went and got a temporary splint and doctored my finger, but not before I took a picture of it.

I wish I had a Mac because I'm sure there are photo tools I could use to circle and use arrows to show where the break is. You can see that the bottom of the finger (by the knuckle) is bruised, and you can see a cut at the top (closest to the fingernail) joint where the break is. I hope I get to see the x-rays when I go in on Friday to get the bona-fide splint.

It isn't too painful, but it is throbbing a bit so Colin gave me some of his super-duper Tylenol to help it feel better. I will figure out how I can keep riding with my splint on!

Last weekend I took Mac for a trail ride and rode him bareback and he was so good! I got off to walk with him up a long hill so that I could get some exercise, too, and found a big fallen tree to use to get back on. We saw a few bikers and he did well with them. We also saw some other riders who crossed our path and that was a good schooling opportunity because he wanted to go with them and so I made us go the opposite direction. We passed another group of horses, and then another, and each time he was better (not that he was ever bad, he just wanted to follow them). I think growing up in a herd like he did makes him more tuned in to seeking out a herd for (perceived) safety - he's inclined to turn to horses vs. people. I want him to know that I am his safety and I will be the lookout and protector for him.

At the staging area I met some nice ladies who were about to go out on the trail and gave them my number so I could show them some other trails this summer (they trailered from out of town). Really, I just love trail riding!!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mac's first show!

Well, we didn't enter the show, but we went to the show!

There was an outbreak of EHV-1 recently, and because it is very contagious I didn't enter the show because I wasn't sure if/when it would have been over. The outbreak is over, but it was too late for me to enter the show (that and my dressage saddle isn't here yet), so I decided to just go to hang out and show Mac what it's all about.

I was kind of nervous ahead of time because I didn't know what to expect, but he walked off the trailer like, "oh, where are we today?" No excitement, no shenanigans, nothing. There was a gymkhana on one side of the showgrounds, and a dressage show on the other, and our paddock was under a tree in the middle so we could see a bit of everything.

Put him up, walked around and found my friend who was there, and then went back to fetch Mac. We hand walked around the show grounds for about an hour, grazing, watching the dressage, watching the gymkhana, watching the water truck, checking out all the stuff he doesn't get to see at home. I kept thinking he'd find something a Big Deal but he didn't.

I watched my friend ride her test, then I tacked up Mac and we went for a trail ride through the XC course with my friend and her pony. He found some of the XC jumps pretty interesting, but he marched right ahead with his big swinging trail ride walk. We got back to the show grounds area and went to the warmup ring where we walked around for a bit. My friend decided she would leave and go back to her paddock and I stayed to continue to ride Mac and do some trot work. I was glad for this opportunity to school this situation (friend leaving arena) and while our circles drifted toward the gate, he was really well behaved. We had some good trot work and so I finished with that and gave him a sponge bath and put him up for lunch. Watched a few tests and came home.

So hopefully I'll get my saddle soon and there will be another schooling show that I can actually enter!

Expletive, expletive, expletive!!!XXX***&&&%%!!1

I just wasted over an hour trying to figure out this stupid blogger thing and FINALLY I was able to get the email address changed to something else. Stupid technology.

Speaking of expletives, there was an episode of Myth Busters about whether or not swearing reduced pain, and indeed it does. If you hurt yourself and you swear, your perceived pain is less than if you didn't swear.

Which leads me to my last lesson...

We had a good lesson and afterward as I was taking Mac's bridle off and putting his halter on, he stepped on my foot. Using my favorite expletive that starts with the letter F, I yelled at him and pushed his shoulder. Which caused him to startle and pull back. Honestly, I cannot remember exactly what happened, but my fingers were caught in the rope halter and when he pulled back the halter squeezed tighter and tighter on my fingers and when he finally stopped and I got my hands free, I said some more bad words. Three out of my four appendages were just brutally assaulted!

I got his halter on, but had that "this hurts so bad I want to throw up" feeling in my stomach. I did not throw up but instead ran my hands under water and sucked it up and stayed calm and finished untacking him and loaded him on the trailer for home. My foot hurt and my hands were throbbing.

When I got home I unloaded him and gave him a bath, then gave Tomato a bath, put them out in the pasture, cleaned out the trailer, and went in the house to ice my hands and foot. It was pretty hard to do - ice both hands and my foot all at the same time - but Colin came down from the neighbors' house and helped me out.

The long and short of it is that my foot no longer hurts, although it looks ugly:

And my fingers look normal but still feel weird. Maybe there's nerve damage there? My middle finger on my right hand is still kind of numb...maybe it is just the nail bed...there's a lot of pressure in there. The pinkie finger on my left hand also hurts. Don't know if it is broken or sprained or whatever. It isn't straight and it hurts to type. If it is broken, it is just the tip.

So I got out the Blocker Tie Ring that I bought years ago and will attach it to the trailer and start using my leather halter regularly (instead of the rope halter) - less stuff for my fingers to get caught in, and easier to work with!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stupid Google blogger!

I've been wanting to check in for a while but something is going on with Blogger that makes my usual email not work and I have been temporarily unable to access my blog. I found a work-around for it but am not pleased and I do hope they fix this soon!

So the latest...I had Mac fitted for a dressage saddle! The same people who came out to do the Western saddle last year came out a couple weeks ago with a huge selection of dressage saddles. We started with about 15 saddles and put them all on his back. From there the selection was narrowed down to 10 saddles. I sat in each of the 10 saddles on the rack and from there whittled it down to 5. Then we tried each of the 5 on him and I walked up and down the driveway and narrowed it down to 3. We went to the arena and I gave each a proper test ride.

From the test ride it was quite obvious which one I liked the best. I of course wanted to like the least expensive one the best but that didn't work out! The one I chose is a Frank Baines Capriole. This particular saddle had nubuck seat and knee rolls, and the rest of the saddle was buffalo leather. It felt so nice and like it was already broken in!

Unfortunately, the seat size was too big.

I really debated for a long time about getting a smaller seat size because I'm so in love with THIS saddle. So I ordered a trial saddle from another place but in a smaller seat size just so I'd have something to compare it to. I did like the smaller seat size better so I've got one on order. And now the waiting, ahhhhhh, it will kill me!

Now on to the weather. We had TORNADO warnings here last week! It was last Wednesday, my lesson day. I can't believe I did it, but I took Mac for his lesson (granted, I didn't know at the time that there were tornado warnings). He was a bit distracted, to say the least, but I lunged him in side reins to get him focused on work and when he was then I got on and he felt wonderful! One the heavy rain set in we stopped and stood in the arena for a while and I called it quits because I wanted to get him home. Looking back on it it was kind of a dumb thing to go to my lesson in that weather, but I'm proud of how he handled it.

I was hoping that we'd get to go XC schooling this weekend but our weather has been so horrible that we got rained out. I was hoping that this schooling would let me know if I should enter a horse trials in July but since we didn't school I have decided against it.

I was hoping to take him to a schooling dressage show at the end of the month but there have been two new cases of EHV-1 diagnosed in California so I'm not sure if it is worth it to go or not. There have been no cases reported in our county, and all the horses have been at Western barns, but I just don't think it is worth the risk. I think there's a bit of time still to make the decision so I'm just going to wait.

In the meantime, I get to ride in the loaner saddle for a couple more days before I have to return it, at which time I will pout and stomp my feet until I get my new saddle!