Monday, November 25, 2013

Fancy and Life Update

SO, I told you I would clarify how things happened with Fancy. We got a call that a woman wanted to come see her. We scheduled a time for her and her husband to come out and see Fancy Smancy. Shane and I went out on Friday to prep her and make sure that everything was all set for her to be looked at.

Shane worked her on the lunge line. 

She worked really well in both direction. We have been working her half time in a figure-8 nose band and part time without a nose band. This is forcing her to understand that she needs to listen to the bit and accept that it isn't going to attack her. I think she had previously worked in a harsh port-shank bit. She does not like any pressure. So, this pattern of work has really been working well. After we take it off, she seems to really respect the bit more.

She is a really sweet horse, and such a cute mover. 

After Shane lunged her, I got on and worked her on the flat in both direction. She was doing really well. If I keep my hands down, soft, and loose then she really trots and lopes well. The problem is that she fights the bit and is looking for a fight. I think that she wants to have a soft mouth, but that she has been yanked on in the "cowboy" method in the past. So, she is confused about whether she is supposed to be in pain or not. My problem is not giving in the the fight. 

If we had the time and money I would have TOTALLY kept her and trained her to be a killer English Jumper Pony. I think she has the temperament and the brain to do that. 

On Saturday the prospective buyers came out to see her. The woman led her around and checked her out. She seemed liked she really knew what she was talking about. She asked a lot of questions. I was completely honest with her. I wanted to make sure they knew what I knew. They knew I had her about a month and that I thought she was great, but that I didn't know everything about her. 

Shane lunged Fancy for them, and then the wife rode around at the walk for a bit. Then the husband rode around for a bit. Neither got out of the walk. They did all the right things though, or so it seems. They checked her lateral flexion, walk, stop, turn, and backup. They realized that she didn't back up, but I think this is part of the bit issue that I mentioned above. They then had me get on and take her through the paces. They saw the issue that I had mentioned with the bit. The final hat trick was that they wanted to see what happened if the gate was left open. I jumped off and walked away and she just followed me and stood perfectly. The agreed to buy her on the SPOT! YAY!

Goodbye old mommy!

So, we got the brand inspection done on Thursday, and she went to her new home on Sunday. For those not from Western States, I will explain the brand inspection. I have never sold a horse in Colorado so I didn't really understand. The only horses I had bought were from auction and the brand inspection is built in to the paperwork. So, it dates back to the Old West days of horse rustling and cattle rustling. Basically, it is a government oversight to make sure that the horse isn't stolen and that you have the legal authority to sell the horse. A horse without a brand inspection is worthless in the western states. A Bill of Sale and Papers will get you so far, but a brand inspection is the end all be all. If your horse is ever evacuated to a fairgrounds for any reason (fire, flood, etc.) then only the Brand Inspection will get them free. Also, if you don't have one, then you can't ever sell the horse or commercially ship it. The inspector comes out and makes sure that the horse being sold is the horse on the paperwork. They also make sure that you have a brand inspection with YOUR name on it before they write one with the NEW name on it. 

Goodbye Fancy Smancy!

We are very excited to have Fancy off the payroll. We are going to be able to take care of the rest of our family much better. Hopefully one day we will be able to have another second horse. One that is more suited to Shane's needs, and then we can achieve our equine goals. First though, we need to achieve our human goals to become debt free and financially independent and able to save! save! save!

Frosty is still doing well! She got her feet trimmed finally, and so we are ready to get her back to work and get Shane back in the saddle!

In other news, we have found an amazing produce food co-op, called bountiful baskets. For only $15 you get an unbelievable amount of produce. Plus, each week there are add-ons like breads, wraps, extra veggies, a bushel of apples, etc. etc. This is the third week we have participated. The nice thing is that you only participate during the weeks that you want to participate. There is no obligation. You opt-in when you need it and you don't opt-in when you don't. You should all check it out and see if there is one in your area, it is sort-of nationwide! Here is our bounty!

You bring your own container to carry all of the loot home. This is what our basket looked like!!! It is a normal size laundry hamper, not one of those smaller college hampers or something. 

Here is the loot all laid out. It was 1 head of leaf lettuce, 1 bushel of celery, 3 cucumbers, 5 huge normal potatoes, 2 GIGANTIC sweet potatoes, 4 yellow onions, 6 tomatoes, 6 apples, 1 bag of carrots, 1 bag of purple grapes, and 1 bushel of bananas. This all for $15!!! I just want to say bananas in Colorado are running about $5.99/lb! I would say it is a good deal. 

I used a lot of our produce to make a big pot of Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Chili. It was delicious! 

On Sunday mornings, Shane and I do a big cooking escapade. We get all of our meals prepared for the week, so that it is easier to pack lunches and make dinners at night. This makes life a whole lot easier and saves a TON of money. We were getting pretty bad just grabbing food out, instead of cooking at home to save time. Now, food is all made up and we don't have to worry about it. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


So, we sold Fancy Smancy. I will do a more detailed post later, but I know I hadn't posted in a while. Unfortunately, Shane and I sat down and begin assessing our bills and our lives and decided that for now, One horse was enough. We sold Fancy for a profit, but it wasn't as much as we would have liked. It is okay though. We have Frosty and we are happy with her. We are motivated and focused in the right direction for our family.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Getting the babies in shape...

Fancy is not nearly as far along as we were told by her past owner. I think that at one time she was probably a really nice horse, and she may have even done some rodeo. For the past two to three years...doubtful. She is extremely out of shape. I worked her on the lunge on Friday night. We didn't work very long, but she was running pretty fast and out of control. After about 15 minutes she was drenched in sweat.

Also, I haven't figured out a bit for her. I started her in a French Link loose ring and she was NOT having any part of it. Friday I put her in a mechanical hackamore...NOPE. My thought was that she may just be really far out of training. So, we are going back to square 3. I wouldn't say square 1 because she is a smart and pretty little mare, but she needs a lot of work on basics and ground work and obedience. So, Sunday she got put in a small full cheek snaffle, a figure 8 noseband, and side reins.

While Shane and I worked Frosty, Fancy was made to stand in the side reins to adjust to pressure on the bit in her mouth. For the most part she stood quietly, but at other times she was NOT a happy camper! 

She is still pretty cute though! After Shane rode Frosty, he lunged her. He is getting really really good at doing the ground work with the horses. He taught her some really good manners and worked her really hard (for her level of out-of-shapeness). I am not sure why she looks so downhill in this photo. She isn't really that downhill. Maybe the arena was slightly off?


Shane put Frosty on the lunge to start her workout. He wanted to make sure her head was in the right place. She did a really awesome job. So, he legged up and started working on small circles and steering. We decided to get him back to basics. He really wants to learn how to properly ride and understand the horses from the saddle. Like I said, he is doing awesome at ground work, but he still has a lot of work to do in the saddle. So, we are going to lesson format. I am working at him as if he were a lesson client. We have only done one lesson, but I think it is going great!

Frosty is such a cute horse. After he was done lunging, while he was working on steering, I put up the pole bending poles. He worked on getting her through a strange area and steering through the obstacles. He did such an awesome job. I didn't get any pictures though. 

I am working on getting the video rotated.

I then put Shane on the lunge line and he worked on trotting balance. He worked on trotting with no hands and keeping her going. Frosty is also very out of shape, so she is hard to keep at a solid pace. When he was tired (he now respects thigh muscles he didn't know he had), he set out to lunge Fancy while I rode Frosty. I attempted to trot through the poles, but Frosty's steering isn't 100% sound yet. I then knocked all of the poles over and we trotter and canter through the poles. They weren't set right, but she handled it like a champ!

The stupid time change now means that it is getting dark well before 5:15. I get off work at 4:30 and it takes 30 minutes to get to the can see the issue? Shane works evenings, so he has been put on get the ponies in shape duty with side reins and a lunge line. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A transition decision

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Shane and I discussed this decision for a long time, and we feel extremely comfortable with what we came up with. We have decided to buy and sell a few horses. I think that this will allow me to connect, ride, and train while still allowing my heart to heal.

The surprising part of this decision was his decision to put Frosty up for sale. She will be our first buy/sell horse. She was originally supposed to be sold (about 18 months ago), but we decided to keep her. He has no decided that he is willing to let her go. He has formed an attachment to her, but she is not his heart horse. She is a work horse, and we aren't work horse people. So, she is officially for sale, though I will be EXTREMELY picky about who gets this little mare. If you know anyone looking she is the smartest and sweetest thing in the world.

Such a lover girl

Cute little Daisy Cutter movement

Great confirmation for a still growing 4 year old. She measured in at 15.05hh and 1050lbs on Sunday.

"I love everyone!"


Saturday we went to the Adams County Auction and picked up a sweet little bay paint mare. She is about 14.1 and 8 years old. She isn't AS broke as I thought at the sale, but we got her for an amazing price and I think that she will be a fun project/sale horse.

She has very straight front legs and is a little over at the shoulder, but besides that I think that she has a solid conformation. What do you all think?

She doesn't look as over in this picture. Even though she is only 14.1, she takes up a leg well. She is very stout. Those stirrups are set for my 5'10" husband. 

I think she has just the sweetest little face. 

Anyways, she is on the broke side of green/broke. When I rode her she did NOT appreciate the bit I chose, so I will need to figure out her preference before really making a solid determination on where she is in her training and where she can go. It is very obvious that she was on a rural ranch or country farm, because the cars constantly driving by, dogs barking, kids screaming, buses braking, trucks honking, etc that comes with being in the city kind of makes her nervous. She is really settling in well though. I would love to be able to get her sold within a month or two. I think she would make someone an amazing long term project. I even think she would make a cute English pony. I would like to get about $1500 out of her before I do too much training to cover costs and fees. Does anyone know someone in Colorado that is looking? 


As I start out on this new endeavor of giving horses a second chance of finding a forever home, a job, a new lease on life, or a combination of the three, I find myself wondering about my blog. Should I start a new blog as I start a new adventure or should I continue to write this blog as a memorial to Trinity. This is her legacy. Its not like I have a ton of followers (but I LOVE those of you that do follow my blog, even maybe in silence). Let me know what you think...I know your out there!

Friday, October 25, 2013

She was only on loan

There is a new blog that I am stalk following. That means that I found it, fell in love with it, and have gone back to the BEGINNING, and am now stalking this person's life story. I haven't told her that I am stalking her yet, but you should ABSOLUTELY check out The Process of Learning. It is such an inspirational story.

While stalking a bit after I wrote my last depressing post, I came across this quote in the very next post:

"All the animals in the forest are Mine and the cattle on thousands of hills. All the wild birds are Mine and all living things in fields." Psalm 50:10-11 

I had forgotten Psalm 50 through all of this and it was an extremely helpful and inspirational reminder that the Lord loaned my Trinity to enjoy, get me through some tough times, help me adjust to moving across the country twice, help me meet new friends, and to love me unconditionally. She is now needed back home with him. It really does help to comfort my heart. 

Thank you Ashley, I have never met you, but you have really helped me in ways that you wouldn't even know. 

My sweet little Goober.


SO, I have been digesting my new reality for the past week or so (since being back from Mexico). I still don't think it has fully sank in that my girl is gone forever. Thank you to everyone who has reached out and been so kind and understanding. Your support means the world to me.

I'll start by saying I'm sorry for the long post and no pictures. I promise to provide some in the future...

I went to the barn last Sunday to see Frosty and to break the news to the BM and other boarders. Everyone was so supportive. Frosty seemed fine. People talk that pasture mates know. I don't know if it was because Trinity was taken away to a different stall when she was sick, then moved to the hospital, and then passed there. Frosty was extremely attached to Trinity, but doesn't seem to be showing signs of depression or any upset-ness (word? I don't know...).

The BM was amazing and is letting Frosty stay in the big paddock. Shane and I need to decide it that is where we want her. Their old large run and enclosed stall is still available and a small single horse run is coming available. I know that I don't want the single horse stall, because I do like Frosty having room to move around. The BM said if we decide to stay with the paddock, she could find Frosty a nice paddock mate. She is the best. I am so glad we moved locations.

We are going out this afternoon after I get off work. This is one of those days that won't end. I am hoping Frosty Pants is still in good spirits. During Trinity's illness she scuffed up her back leg. Last time I was there it was still showing some swelling. If it is still swollen today I will stop and get some Furosone and do a sweat wrap and try to get the swelling down. I feel really bad that it wasn't better cared for, but Trinity was my only priority. Looking back, I am glad I did what I did, but I do feel awful about Frosty's leg. She isn't lame or even tender, so I think it is just some built up fluid. I think some work and a sweat wrap with fix it right up.

I have been reading all of the blogs I follow and I have really been thinking about my future. I am happy with Frosty and training Shane to ride and enjoy his horse. I do know that I will need something to call my own again. I have been tossing around a couple ideas:
  1. Getting a new horse. Shopping around and finding a small, broke but mot made, little pack horse that I can enjoy and just goof off with. The downside is that I don't see myself rebonding with another horse like I did with Trinity. If I go with this option will this horse always be a second or third or even fourth in my life? Is that fair to get a horse knowing it won't be loved with my whole heart? I am not saying I wouldn't love it. I would love it and care for it and cherish it, but it wouldn't be Trinity...
  2. Starting a horse flipping "business". This way I would get project horses and resell them. I have always wanted to do this and I think that I would be really really good at it. I was always afraid of getting attached, but I think that I am in the place where I wouldn't get so attached anymore. The downside here is the initial investment in a good project horse and the volatile horse market. There is no guarantee. We are floundering in our budget since the wedding a honeymoon and I am not sure if I am ready to make that sort of investment. It could really work out, and it could really not. If it doesn't though, wouldn't that just be the same as having another horse (see above)?
  3. Getting a weanling and raising it up. I always wanted a Trinity baby. I know that I can't do that now, but maybe if I started at weanling I would be able to form another bond. The bond would never replace Trinity (EVER), but perhaps this is a way that I could open my heart in a totally different manner and really embrace the life of this weanling. The downside to that is Shane and I would still be sharing a horse for at least 3 years, because I wouldn't be able to ride my new project. Would that be so bad? We have dreams of riding in the mountains and camping and I couldn't do that with a weanling. Plus if we want to have kids, would the breaking take a back seat? Do I want to be breaking a horse when I have a new baby (or kids at all?). 
I am obviously not going to make a move (unless something really comes along and smacks me upside the head) until at least the first of the year. I know that Trinity wouldn't want me to stop being passionate about horses and wanting me to give another horse a chance at a better life. How do I do that though? What do I do? How do I make the decision?  How to I convince myself that she isn't coming home?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

...the end of an era

I haven't known how to write this post, where to start, what to say, or how I would get through it. I think the simple answer is that there is no answer. I don't think that it will ever be easy ever again.

I will not prolong the post. I lost my heart horse on October 11, 2013. My loving, amazing, gorgeous, honest heart horse.

As you read in the last post, we were on the upswing. Tuesday we had gotten word that her WBC count was up to 3.4 and she was passing feces. Wednesday we got a call that her WBC count was in the normal range and she was eating. Wednesday evening we got a call that she was feeling a bit uncomfortable and they believe that she had a small reimpaction. Thursday morning they told us that she had passed the oil they gave her. The impaction was gone; however, her WBC count was back down.

Shane and I left Thursday morning to head up to the mountains for our bachelor and bachelorette parties. I was with my whole family and my best friends at the Wine Bar when I got the phone call. Trinity had developed Colitis X. Wikipedia defines Colitis X as "a catchall term for various fatal forms of acute or peracute colitis found in horses, but particularly a fulminant colitis where clinical signs include sudden onset of severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, shock, and dehydration. Death is common, with 90% to 100% mortality, usually in less than 24 hours." They believed that they had caught it early and wanted to start her on a treatment course. The treatment was EXTREMELY expensive and had a success rate of less that 25%. They believe that the colitis was caused by an extreme build up of Salmonella due to the multiple long lasting impactions. My best friend was at the wine bar with me, and she had lost her pony 2 years previously to the same illness. She was an amazing support along with my mom and mother-in-law. I made the decision easily. I was distraught, but I was at peace. I called Shane and let him know what was happening and made the arrangements for the following morning.

My best friend and I with our babies that we lost to this awful illness. 

Shane and I enjoyed the rest of our events. I know that Trinity would not have wanted me to leave my wedding festivities. The vets stayed with her and made sure that she was extremely comfortable. Early Friday morning Shane, my friend, my mom, and I drove to the hospital. I spent about 30 minutes with Trinity before my daily vet arrived. I had asked him to come and be the vet due to his long relationship with me and Trinity.

I loved my baby more than life itself. She taught me so much about everything. I had 4 horses previous, and Trinity taught me more than all 4 of those horses combined. I know that she loved me and that she would want me to move on. I will continue to ride. I will continue to train Frosty and Shane. In fact, I will probably get another horse some time in the future. Nothing, NOTHING, though, will ever replace my love and devotion that I feel for Trinity. I will always use everything that she taught me, I will always do everything to honor her memory. 

My vet gave me a small vase with a single white rose. I honored my baby girl the next day at our wedding by placing the vase on the table with our Sand Ceremony and Marriage Certificate. I am going to get the vase engraved and always keep a single white rose ready for her. 

Crossing the Bridge

I stood beside your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying; you found it hard to sleep.
I whinnied to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you. I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was with you at my grave today; you tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you, that I'm not lying there.

I walked with you toward the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I put my head against you, nickered and said, "It's me."

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know that I was standing there.

It's possible for me to be so near you every day.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."

You sat there very quietly, then smiled; I think you knew.
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll gallop across to greet you, and we'll stand there side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there's so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out...then come home to be with me.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A REALLY rough weekend

I haven't written in a while because I wasn't sure what the end of the story would be...I know that seems weird, but I didn't want to start writing one story for it to end up as a totally different story entirely...

As I wrote in my last post, things have been INSANE with getting ready for the wedding, which is a short 4 days away now...EEEEK! On Thursday night, Shane and I were just sitting down to dinner and relaxing. It was a rare moment of calm for just the two of us when the phone rang. He is waiting for a call about a job, so he answered it. It was our barn manager. The line was extremely staticy and all he heard was horse and colic. THE DREADED C-WORD!

We slammed the TV and DVD player off, dressed VERY warmly VERY quickly and took off to the barn. When we got there it was my worst nightmare. Trinity... 1 year ago to the day from the colic that ended in a surgical suite. She was exhibiting most of the same symptoms as before. She was kicking at her stomach, trying to fall over, and just looking very dejected. I called my normal vet with the vitals and he told me to call the hospital and have them come out (he was out of town).

The vet came out and felt a severe impaction in the Pelvic Flexure (NOT SAND!! YAY! I guess...), but said he also thought it was very serious and may need hospital fluids. We are very short on funds, so we decided to give her the night and see how she did with the oil, epsom salt, and electrolytes. We were up every hour to check on her and she seemed okay, but not better. By morning she was worse. I couldn't miss work, because I had only been there a week! So, Shane called our vet's on-call doctor and she came out to see Trinity. She said that she couldn't feel the impaction, but that he arms were much shorter than the Emergency Vet. She gave Shane instructions for the day and left.

The Pelvic Flexure is Letter E on the bottom of the image.

I got the call at about 3pm that it was time to head to the Large Animal Hospital. Not again...but yes. We got a hold of the trailer person that the hospital recommends, loaded up and headed out. When we got there the same vet from Thursday night examined her. He said he definitely still felt the same impaction. He did an Ultra Sound and wanted to put her on fluids for the night.

We also had a decision to make...Were we willing to do surgery again. We knew that surgery would fix the problem immediately, but we were just not in the position. It was very very hard to make the call, but we said that we couldn't do surgery again. Friday night and Saturday morning, Trinity was very tired and slept most of the time. They let fluids flow open and free to get things moving.

Poor Baby! They left the nasal tube in to drain her stomach every three hours, so that is why she has the muzzle on. 

Sleepy Pony...

On Saturday mid day, we went to visit and she was looking so much better. They let us take her for a walk and she was closer to herself. She was nuzzling us and neighing to the other horses. I was feeling very very encouraged. 

Mom, I look like a unicorn...don't take pictures!

Trinity, from the magical land of ICU. 

Then it happened...Sunday morning I got a call saying that she had taken a turn for the worse. We rushed to the hospital thinking the worst. We decided that we could only fight this for so long. It wasn't fair to Trinity or to us to keep pushing her. We met with the vet and he said, the diagnosis was not good. The entire impaction had moved to the small colon.

See where the intestine narrows between letter E and letter F? That is where it was sitting. 

 As I have explained before...I HATE the equine anatomy. Whoever thought it was smart to have the horse digestive system need to defy gravity in order to complete the cycle, was on crack... I digress. Basically, most impaction break-up before they hit this point, but hers was like a cork plugging up the hole. On top of that, Trinity's White Blood Cell count dropped to .8. A normal range is 5.5-8. This put her in extreme risk of developing a secondary illness. She had been classified as "Yellow" in ICU, which means that all tech's had to glove up, wear booties, and a gown to work with her to avoid giving her something. The vet was concerned of tissue death, due to the plug pressing against the intestine wall and not allowing blood flow to circulate. He said she had 24 hours to pass it before we were critical. 

Shane and I spent a large part of Sunday crying and fighting and loving on her. We knew that by Monday night, if she hadn't gotten better. We were going to have to make the worst decision of our entire lives.

Daddy loves sick pony.

Mommy loves her more!

As we were leaving, I gave Trinity a talking to. I told her that I needed a phone call by 10 from the vet with good news! I meant the 10am phone call that the vet promised to make after his staff meeting. At 9:56pm the vet called me and told me she had passed a fairly large pile of fecal matter. He said it was very dry and not the whole impaction, in the least, but it was good news! I never gave Trinity and am or pm, so she DID listen to me!!!!

On Monday morning the news was even better. She had passed a few more piles and her White Blood Cell count had gone up to 1.4. It was still VERY low, but the news was encouraging. On Monday night we went down and she had passed 4 more piles throughout the day, and they had started feeding her small amounts of hay several times a day. THANK GOODNESS! My pony is here to stay! She is such a fighter!

The biggest concern now was the White Blood Cell count. Shane and I are leaving town Thursday morning (for Golden, only about 40 minutes from the hospital) and then Sunday we are leaving town for Mexico. My concern is bringing her home too early and her catching something. Then I would be out of town and then what? We spoke to the vet and they have a small rehabish type barn for a fairly reasonable price. Once she is off fluids and had a high enough WBC count to be safe, they are going to move her there. This way we can enjoy Mexico and we don't have to worry about her being exposed and without vet care. 

This morning, we got a call that the WBC count was up to 3.4! We are getting better. The vet said this is a really goo pace to be increasing. Too fast and that would indicate a secondary issue. We are doing good though! THANK EVERY HIGHER POWER POSSIBLE!

The tough conversation will remain...what if this happens again. As much as I hate to discuss it, she is apparently predisposed to colic. She has coliced 3 times in 20 months. 4 times in 5 years... We can not afford to do this again. So, we are going to do a lot of preventative supplements and care. Nevertheless, we are going to have to have the discussion... and I hate it...