Just limping around with a sprained ankle. People have suspected it is fractured, but I’m pretty sure it is a bad sprain. I can walk on it, and I have been riding, haha. The mobility is impacted and the ankle is very stiff, but generally it’s not that painful? My leg tendon that I twisted hurt WAY WORSE omgggg. Fortunately that has been improving through me rehabbing it/stretching it every day, which was absolutely excruciating to start with.
So, I continue to sit around, though I am more mobile and actually able to drive (it’s still a bit tough on my ankle given the limited mobility of it).
Sadly I had to leave my dear Mr. Oats while I was travelling in Mexico for the past five months. He was left in the very capable and caring hands of my barn friends and his half-leasor, Chris. Unfortunately it immediately went downhill, with a series of health issues for Mr. Oats 😦 He experienced really horrible diarrhea due to his hay (sensitive to high sugar, despite how $$$$ the hay I buy is!), and then refused to eat his meds (he is on Previcox for arthritis, and Prascend for his Cushings disease), and then the worst of all worst things happened: Serious lameness due to a problem with his hoof. More accurately, my amazing barn friends would pick out his feet, and BLOOD would gush out. Needless to say he was in a lot of pain, and lame intermittently.
It was apparently challenging to diagnose as well (as it ended up being the literally perfect shitstorm: My vet was going through serious health issues, and we had a stand-in vet. Very nice but did not know what was going on!). I really did appreciate the thoroughness of the stand-in vet but GOD DAMN was it expensive while I was travelling. I had one month of 7 thousand dollars in vet bills, hay bills, board, car insurance and horse insurance. Almost none of it was from travel? Good christ!!
So, the long story was…It was close to 4 months of drama, drama, drama, drama and oh? More drama! Yay. Shoot me.
It was immensely stressful and I almost flew back actually. My leasor certainly did NOT sign up for this shenangians and I felt sooo horrible that I was traipsing off in another country enjoying beaches, etc. when everyone was really struggling at home. The stress and guilt ate me alive inside. It was horrible.
To top it off, my fabulous leasor was also going through serious health issues and wound up in the hospital as well. And our barn manager who keeps the whole shitshow running? Her mother passed away as well. So, like…good news all around, right? Shiiiit. It was not good, and I felt very guilty.
I called my regular vet when we were in our last leg of Mexico and he said to just schedule an appointment with him when I got back. He was not concerned- just said as long as there is no swelling coming up in his leg, he’s fine to wait. So we waited a few more weeks (what’s a few more when he’s been off for four months, eh?) and I had an appointment with him on Apr. 14. I got back into town on the Wed. of April and he looked good actually! Much to my amazement!
For months I’d been hearing pretty bad, seriously grim things about his foot/lameness. Words like coffin bone infection, or a hoof tumour (keratoma) were tossed around. It was the worst case of all worst case scenarios pretty much every single day I was gone. Looming over me like the nastiest black cloud, it did colour a lot of my trip with negative emotions, fear, stress and guilt.
I saw that Oats was pretty darned sound, so the day I got back he went for a walk, and then I started riding the next day! Vet appointment came and the vet is known for being a bit of a gloom-and-doomer and he was like nah, this is a puncture wound. Big deep one, would have taken ages to heal and no wonder the horse was lame- it’s super painful! We then had a few weeks of more on-and-off drama, as we struggled to get the hole to close in. I left it open to give his poor chafed heels some healing time, and the second I did that, BOOM! A sliver of hog fuel got jammed in the hole, Oats almost fell to his knees in pain. I jumped off, pulled the splinter out and it gushed blood. I was SO sure this was it, end game due to my stupidity.
He was fine! I booted him though to ride the next day (sound!) and the boot rubbed the everloving shit out of his poor feet…Damned if you do, damned if you don’t eh? He developed really nasty heel abscesses and was foot-dragging lame one day. What a freaking time of it eh?
The next day, he was fine! Hah. WTF horse?
Oh Mr. Oats…we had our first lesson back on Thursday! He was such a gem, I love him and missed him SO MUCH. I now owe a LOT of favours to people, whooo boy. I am just lucky, so lucky, that it turned out ok~
I’m not actually that interested in re-hashing my entire five months in Mexico, chiefly because in my real life, I’ve already shared it extensively and it’s feeling more than a bit tedious to go over ALL of it again. So, it ends in Lo de Marcos, though trust me there were endless adventures, mishaps, great opportunities, excitement and everything.
Coming back home in April surprised some people, as I had said six months. We came back at Easter (so, two weeks early) so we could spend Easter at my sister’s new place and have Easter as a family after we had been out of country for so long. It was super nice to see her new house and enjoy some fine dining, good wine and stories!
That being said, I was SUPER anxious about getting home. I was kind of feeling like it was wayyy past due. Oats was a huge question mark and the uncertainty and daily stress was eating me alive. I had gained a significant amount of weight and was struggling with the feeling like my body was no longer my own. I needed a real routine back (hah, I say as I currently am out of work for oh, six months?). I guess I needed my home life back more than I thought.
Still, I relish the adventure we took part in and I am glad we took the time to also visit family at Easter. A nice bookend to our trip.
And how is the Oats situation? Stay tuned for tomorrow, and I’ll share more! 🙂
And it has been interesting to get back, that’s for darned sure. Horse drama, teeth drama, more horse drama, my poor legs not loving running back in Canada again, getting locked out of every single password two-factor-authenticator drama and more! Wow!
Thanks world, I did need a reminder about how real life kind of sucks and can be difficult, and that it will encroach heavily on the jet-set travel lifestyle I did become so fond of.
Honestly, I needed to come back. I was dealing with a lot of stress and fear and frustration due to an ongoing problem with Mr. Oats and it was seriously eating at my brain. No way i wanted my dear friends having to manage this for so many, many months- and the fun continues now that I am home 😦
I have been back for two weeks now! It’s crazy. The adventure was crazy. It’s so hard to encapsulate, all of it. How do you tell people about your whole life? I was a different person then.
I’ll try to do some updates, now that I am NOT WORKING whoop whoop! (I have six months left in my sabbatical, which is amazing and kind of insane all at the same time). How do you look at six weeks of your time without your head exploding? I don’t know? But I guess I have time to figure it out.
Another fun day! Wow this fall has been sooo busy, I can’t keep up! This is a new club and I am loving their ethos- low key, supportive and fun 🙂 Oats and I are NOT fast but as English riders, we are welcomed and having a blast.
We did barrel racing (our weakest), pole bending, keyhole, surprise class and stake class. They were such fun and I borrowed hoof boots so Oats would be comfy this time. He was still very unhurried, lol, but he’s a solid citizen and very safe to show at this venue. Also, the Western horses all had a meltdown about the miniature x-rail in the keyhole lol so that was Oats’ time to shine!
We won the keyhole and might have won the surprise class (holding a lacrosse stick with a ball in it, you ride the stake pattern and on the way back, you deposit the ball from the lacrosse net into a basket!) Oats was a superstar about it 🙂
Love my boy! We also had our friends come, including Oats’ leasor, and it was really awesome to see everyone out again on such a gorgeous day.
Wow so we had a busy weekend and the horse show was a blast!!!
I loved watching all the adorable Welsh ponies, shetlands, minis, Fjords, New Forest Ponies and it was just so cool to be there. It was also an extremely HOT day, so we had to be very careful with the heat and the sun and old Oaty, who can tolerate things well but he is an animal and you have to respect their needs.
So, we parked it in the shade for a lot of the day, as it was a loooooooooong day, lol.
We got there early for the Sport Pony halter class, where Oats behaved himself fairly nicely, only getting a little irritated at the end of the class. He placed fourth in that one, and then it was time to tack up for our first u/saddle classes. We had a LONG wait, due to a class conflict. So, it started about an hour later than we thought…and I was getting hot hot hot! I hopped off and parked Oats in the shade.
Then it was our turn! We did the adult hunt seat equitation, where we rode well and the judge was very complimentary (the very kind Peter Holmes) but I got dinged hard for carrying an incorrect whip, whoops! And I am kicking myself, because I KNEW better lol. Doh!
Oh well, Oats was behaving himself perfectly 🙂
Next class: Hunter under saddle, and Oats was so good at it, and we placed first!
Next up was the hunter hack, and we had to jump two little fences. Video below: and of course, Oats was a star. We had a chance to warm up over it once, and it was set a little higher, maybe 18”? They knocked a rail off for the class itself, to Oats’ disappointment. Hah.
He was first that time too! Then our ‘suitable to be a dressage horse’ class, and we were second in it. Oats was getting hot and I was getting tired too. A long lunch break, and then we zipped over to ride the trail/agility class- and I messed it up, but it was fun! 🙂
Then our final classes of the day: Barrel racing and pole bending! I scratched the keyhole race, as I noticed Oats was getting too tired by the end of barrel racing, poor guy lol. We placed first in the pole bending!! Third in barrel race. 🙂
It was a super long day but the volunteers, competitors and sponsors were absolutely fantastic. Big kudos to everyone that kept the show running safely, well and happy!! We loved it!
In a painting! I commissioned a painting of him earlier this year, and was able to pick it up two weeks ago, when I was grabbing my race bib for the Oak Bay half actually.
I love it so much!! The artist is a colleague of mine and incredibly talented 🙂
And how is the old boy? Oh being a terror, like usual 😉 On Saturday I rode, and then let him have turnout while I cleaned his disgusting horse blankets, and then went to bring him in- he can’t be on grass for too long right now, it’s too rich and he is a Cushings pony so too much grass is a big no-no…And I watched as he freaking BLEW past me, and galloped into the farm yard. He went from paddock to paddock, fighting and instigating chaos with each horse. Every time I went to get him, he basically charged past me or AT me. Asshole.
He then went back into his own paddock? Weird.
Guess he’s a time-limited terror?
He’s been super fun in my dressage lessons, mixing in a little test-practice, with some little fences, all kinds of little things to do and all fun! I haven’t had a Working Equitation lesson in awhile, due to being away in Port Townsend, the race, and then this weekend I didn’t have my car (because I was supposed to be in a bachelorette party, which got cancelled)…So I am hoping we can revisit WE practice this weekend.
He does really enjoy it, and I’m hoping there is a WE show in Aug. so we can strut our stuff! (but NO BANKS PLEASE jesus).
Man, I haven’t had a good dressage lesson in…2 months? Soo many things came up, unfortunately.
Nov we had extreme flooding, so had to wait for the roads/arena to dry up, and there was a gasoline shortage too. Fun!
Dec we had abscesses for weeks (not so fun), snowstorms, holidays. Boy that really adds up! We also had extreme cold- a week and a half of -9 so people had frozen pipes, frozen/black ice on roads and a ton of snow. Needless to say, not a productive month.
Jan my trainer got COVID so we had to wait until she was feeling better, and now she is! Yay!
And I was thrilled with how lovely Oats was feeling. Man this guy- 20 years old and he blows me away with how lovely and accepting he was in my lesson. We worked on a little pole circuit, and to the right he was foot-perfect. To the left, we started off really well but managed to kind of blow it to the pink poles. SIGH. Something to work on, as I know going left causes my body to twist in ways I don’t really want, lol. Oh well, guess it can’t be totally perfect, can it?? It was close!
That’s right, on my last day before holidayyyyys…!
And some bummer news, I no longer have a jump trainer 😦 I knew this day was coming, and fair enough: She now has to travel a great distance due to owning a farm up island. I was kind of surprised she lasted this long~ but with the increasingly bad weather making travel on the Malahat a dangerous proposition, combined with a lot of her students either not riding due to lame horses or varying schedules…I totally get it.
Just a bummer, overall but a very fair reason.
Here’s to the many years we shared- it was great! 🙂
And a video from our last real jump lesson- it was very fun. As I step Oats down from most of our competition jump lessons, it’s nice to look back at the great things we’ve done. I love our partnership and how it has grown and progressed over the years, much like my relationship with my now-former jump trainer.