Just Relax…

For the last two weeks I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to grab a video of canter work.

You know…the AQHA princess and I smoothly working Western Dressage movements like the serpentine with canter-walk-canter transitions. I really wanted to show more progress.

Monday night when I brought H.M. (Belle) in I didn’t notice anything odd.

I usually don’t walk a 360* inspection around her every night.

THAT’S going to change.

Text to Karen Tuesday morning, confirming lesson time: “The princess gashed her right hip last night, I didn’t notice it until this morning. I think she’s fine.”

Karen (with her usual abundance of caution and wisdom): “Let’s wait until Thursday, I’d rather her be 100%.”

Me: “You know…I’m thinking she goes out of her way to get OUT of work!”

Karen: ” No-one said she was stupid! She has a union card!”

That’s why I love Karen! She can crack me up in an instant.

So I doctored Belle up, did ground work with her Tuesday pm and ‘let’s refresh our memory on how to s.t.a.n.d. at the mounting block nicely’ work Wednesday evening….

It worked.

Thursday morning (yesterday) dawned bright and we had an early, cool of the day (almost 90) and shade from the oaks, lesson. Despite not being ridden at all in a week, she was a good girl. She even stood at the mounting block like a lady. Great lateral work, trotting poles, transitions….

But no canter work yet.

She was tiring, and we ended on a good note. (And I didn’t pass out from the humidity and increasing heat) Plan for next time…canter early in lesson!

The good news…I really WANTED to canter! That is a huge breakthrough my darlings!!!

A quick hose off and out with the boys she went. That was the best part of a quickly downhill day for both of us.

I hopped in the Ram and went to the feed store, bought feed, went to Stuff-Mart, etc…

Got home, bedded stalls and got feed and hay ready. I called the horses in and the boys cantered up as always, Belle strolled up as always.

But….when I closed her gate and positioned her fan she went right down and rolled. Crumb!!! That’s New!

I grabbed a halter and brought her right back outside. Annnnnd…Let her loose to see if it was just another “union card thing“….. Nope, she dropped and rolled two more times! Colic alert!

I grabbed my stethoscope to listen for gut sounds, which I heard faintly. She was dull acting…lethargic.

I performed gentle belly lifts on her, pulled out my red light therapy light and worked all the points for colic AND called the Vet at the same time. Better safe than sorry!

I also used my favorite Essential oil for tummy distress on her belly, Digest Ease from Eden’s Garden.

Digest Ease™

And I called my neighbor and friend Robin because I didn’t have any banamine. She has horses, and she’s a small animal vet. The more team support the better I say.

The most important member of the team at the moment pulled up in record time and started “the process.” I told Dr. K. everything I had done, he asked a few questions and watched her for a few moments. “Let’s see how she is when you walk her to the good grass in the front yard”

….now, you know Belle would have to be hog tied or on her deathbed to not eat that really good green front yard off-limits grass!

Well…she nibbled at it, and slowly dragged me to a few lush spots. I decided the princess wasnt faking it, because normally I would be hollering and halfway across the yard at this point!!!

Doc was a bit relieved….”good sign” he said, “let’s take her temp.”

Belle was a lady and permitted the indignity, indeed, she had a low grade fever. A quick blood draw showed a slightly elevated blood count, but not panic mode. We cold hosed and scraped her, and then he gave her a banamine shot.

At this point my friend Robin also arrived. After all of us watched her mope around by the barn (No more front yard for you deary) she passed a pile of manure and pee’d……YAY!!!

Only horse people celebrate poop!!!

With instructions from the good doctor to leave Belle out and keep an eye on her, I thanked Dr. K. and made plans to spend the night in the tack room/art studio.

With the two geldings joining her, Belle had company and extra night time turn out. They were all confused.

I was….relieved.

Not too bad…

A Futon, a fridge….a new painting on the easel to work on. I checked the princess every half hour.

By midnight the mosquitoes made putting everyone back in stalls with fans a necessity. They were all notably happier. I could tell by the rush to the stalls and the happy munching of the good timothy hay. Poor Belle got a few scraps….

But, she had an uneventful night and I am so grateful!

Grateful that I had a protocol of my own I put into place, grateful that doc came quickly, (and left a tube of banamine), grateful for my friends checking in on Belle. Grateful Belle is…well, Belle. My princess.

Here is the aforementioned new painting in process.

From my own photo reference from Triple J arena, at a reining show.

For a peek at where we school? My arena behind the barn!

Shade trees are WORTH GOLD in the summer!

And a final note about my workouts with Winston my Equicizer. I did a gym session with my daughter at L.A. Fitness Wednesday am. Her trainer took us through an upper body workout. She noted, like I discovered when I started working with Winston, that my left side was weaker. Yup…fractured wrist in January. But, I could actually DO the gym machine work this week. And, like working with a new riding clinician, I picked up a few targeted excercises to focus on to further strengthen my left side. Cool!!! A date with Winston tonight!!!

By the way, I told you a couple of weeks ago that our Alpha Dressage Association GMO club (USDF Group member organization) came out to my place for the meeting. Everyone got to ride Winston…what a hit!

Comments: “Oh my, that’s a real canter!”, “This is fun!” , “Geesh, I can tell that’s a workout!” “You can watch tv and ride!!!”….

And so many more. I LOVE my Equicizer! (He’s a party animal!)


I’m heading out to feed now.

Relaxed because I’m NOT in control.

God is!…..What a relief!

So, you have a GREAT weekend! And, relax!

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