Hellish

The last week and a half has, for the most part, been hell.  The day after my last lesson, Friday 2/20/2015, I had to take my baby girl Boston to the doggy Oncologist.  She had to have blood sent to Colorado to find out the kind of Leukemia she has, and she was so sick and anemic that they opted to start chemotherapy as if they were treating a regular aggressive form.  She responded well to it and was finally eating.  Monday she had to go back for an L-SPAR.  Since my baby girl Zoe was seeming to be going in  a good direction I wanted a lesson on Tuesday.  After lunging Breeze, I got on and felt good and just opted to ride him on my own while Trainer trained Jackson.  It was all going good until I tried to go to the right.  Horrible! He was literally trying to go through the fence.  So I just backed off and walked and tried to keep him off the fence at a walk.  We were doing pretty good for a while so I thought maybe we could try trotting. Nope.  Bad idea.  So we went back to walking.  Finally, I just don’t want to be on him anymore.  So I get off to finish cooling him down a bit.  Trainer was talking to Barn Owner this whole time, so when she was done I asked if she could take him around to the right.  I just didn’t want it to end on a bad note in his mind and muscle memory. He went well and they worked for about 5-10 minutes.  Then she rode him up to the barn.  I walked Jackson (not comfy yet riding any horse on gravel at the moment).

Zoe learning she has to stay overnight for her first round of Chemo
Zoe learning she has to stay overnight for her first round of Chemo

After un-tacking the horses, we worked on loading Breeze in the trailer.  In a matter of about 10 minutes, Trainer got Breeze to load into his straight load on his own.  Twice!!!  How awesome is that?! From a horse that would not take a step towards the trailer to walking ALL THE WAY IN on his own.  That was awesome.  I was high off that accomplishment for the rest of the day and night.  I also put a pretty nifty trailer hitch lock on my trailer that my dad had given me.

My new trailer hitch lock
My new trailer hitch lock

So after Tuesday, Zoe wasn’t seeming to be doing that well.  But she wasn’t worse.  This past Friday was her second round of chemo.  We dropped her off at Sage in Concord, CA (it was that or UC Davis, Davis is closer but not compassionate enough).  My parents and I go to the Corner Bakery to eat and before our food was ready, the vet was calling.  Turns out she is to sick to do chemo.  We go back to Sage and have a long talk with the Oncologist.  Turns out, her blood work is not up to par for chemo; her heart beat is irregular, and her anemia has gotten so bad that she needs blood transfusions.  Well that would be fine and dandy if she wasn’t given only about 6 months to live with the Chemo.  So no point in blood transfusions. Especially since she has lymphatic Leukemia and is resisting the chemo.  You know when the vets “give up” it ain’t good.  We were told she has about 2-3 days before her health starts to deteriorate and gets worse.  So you can imagine how me and my family felt after that news.  She just turned 7 and she is her grandpas little princess.  He spoils her like crazy.

Zoe guarding her new radish
Zoe guarding her new radish

After her vet appointment I go to check on Breeze, and find a lump under the skin about the size of a golf ball right at his elbow. It’s the skin and not the joint, Thank Gaw.  I am messing with it, pulling, squeezing, pressing, and he is not even flinching.  So what ever it is, it’s not causing pain.  Took pictures and sent them to the vet after Googling it.  Vet confirms my theory as to a shoe boil.  Great!  Luckily nothing to much to worry about.  Just cosmetic.

Right elbow, shoe boil
Right elbow, shoe boil

IMG_20150227_132252408_HDR

IMG_20150227_132324324_HDRBecause of Zoe,  I hadn’t worked Breeze at all.  So for my lesson on Saturday, Trainer schooled him for me, because I was feeling to sick about what I was going to have to do to my baby girl.  He was a little unsteady in his lesson.  Trainer worked on lead changes and then some jumping.  He was a hot mess with jumping.  He just didn’t want to pick up his feet.  After his session, I walked him out to cool him off.  Trainer explained that his skill has decreased and would benefit from her schooling him for a while.  I agreed.  I had a feeling I was ruining him.  I have no confidence because of my fear.  And I know it is translating to him.

Sunday I lunged him in the round pen with side reins.  I am comfortable while doing groundwork, so I figured that I’d get him on a training schedule with me on the ground and Trainer can work with him in the saddle.  His lunging session went well.  We did mostly walk and trot.  a little canter but he was being stupid with it so I 86’d the canter.  But then I got the bright idea of, “hey, lets work on loading in the trailer.”  Well, it went great, at first.  He loaded twice on his own, but mommy couldn’t leave it at that.  He didn’t want to play any more.  I couldn’t get him to go in.  A few times I was able to get him to go halfway in but I just kept getting the lead rope tangled around itself, he wanted to face me, not the trailer, UGH! So lets just see if you will go in if I lead you in. Yes! Okay, lets see if I can get you to load yourself. No.  Okay let me try to lead you in again. No. He actually pulled back. Oh no! Not this stuff again. At this point my confidence, and patience was plummeting even lower, and the frustration, and irritation was increasing fast. Before I get to the point that he completely refuses and I completely break down, I try to load him by leading him in.  Success! Time to call it. Quit while we have not fallen to far behind.  Now, with knowing I had basically been setting my horse back on Saturday and then ruining the self loading thing, I am feeling like I shouldn’t even touch my horse at this point.  I was so down, I went home changed my clothes, laid across my bed, and cried myself to sleep.

I felt a little better the next day, Monday.  I decided to give Breezy Boy the day off.  Today, Tuesday, I put him in the Arena and free lunged him/played chase.  We lunged at walk/trot to warm up, then I sent him into his canter.  I let him run himself tired.  He hasn’t been able to play since Jackson and him were separated.  He has a new pasture mate, Dundee, but he doesn’t play.

Dundee.  Breeze's new pasture mate.
Dundee. Breeze’s new pasture mate.

IMG_20150225_145135981

Breeze was definitely enjoying himself. Tail up, snorting, trying to do his best Arabian stallion impression.Once he got tired, we went back to lunging at a trot then down to a walk to cool out. He was good and sweaty.

As for Zoe, the last two days have been great.  She seems to be getting better and acting more like herself.  Hopefully a miracle is happening, not the “eye of the storm.”

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