Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tacos in Texas

I was in Texas for this past weekend and I'm pretty sure I ate more than my weight in tacos. Breakfast tacos? Check. Lunch tacos? Obviously. Dinner tacos? Of course. I could live off of tacos!

Why can I not buy breakfast tacos here?

I was down for a Equine Wet Lab for veterinary students at Texas A&M with a fellow eventer (though way more badass at eventing than I am), PR. Holy smokes, they say everything is bigger in Texas and they aren't kidding! The veterinary school is massive. I come from an itty-bitty veterinary college with a class size of 56. The class size at Texas A&M is three times that (which most school are a lot bigger than mine) but our entire large animal hospital, small animal hospital and teaching school are in one building that can fill up half of just one of the many Texas veterinary school buildings. It was MASSIVE.

One of the many buildings that Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine has

(Unfortunately this post is not going to have many pics because we sadly weren't allowed to take any for liability reasons)

We arrived on Friday in Austin and drove to College Station. The lab was on Saturday and we got to participate in four labs of our choice (there were over 20 labs to choose from). I ended up in Endoscopy, Abdominal Exploratory, Lower Limb Surgery, and Mare Reproduction. They were all really awesome.

Endoscopy was done on the teaching hospital horses. While we didn't get to participate hands-on in this lab, it was still very interesting. Especially because the horse was so chill about passing the endoscope whereas Jetta had been fighting like a madwoman last week when she had her colic. Anyways, while we had seen pictures, as second year vet students we haven't gotten to do much "in real life" stuff. Plus we got to learn about a new disease (to us northerners) that we'd never heard about, but apparently very common in Texas, Louisiana and Southern California, called cicatrix. This horse even had a mild case of it - it's an inflammation and scarring of the nasopharynx. Apparently it can get bad enough that horses affected usually end up with a permanent tracheostomy and the cause is unknown, though there are multiple guesses as to what it could be (reaction to fertilizer used on pastures? fungus?). It was awesome to explore the guttural pouch on a live animal and then go down to the stomach.

This horse even had some mild pyloric ulcers which look very different from ulcers elsewhere in the stomach, being puffy and red versus actual depression (ulcerations) in the wall of the stomach, though they are also much more difficult to treat (requiring almost 3 times the length of treatment than other ulcers).

Next was abdominal exploratory where we got to work with a recently euthanized horse and work through what we'd do on a colic surgery, how to relieve a gas colic, work through the intestines in order and figure out where the pain is coming from (intusseption, strangulating lipoma, dead intestine, etc). It was fascinating and very cool to see what you can do - pulling the intestines out, sorting through them and then replacing them just how you found them so you can recover the horse who is now supposedly pain free. Very neat!

The lower limb surgery was also very cool - we got to practice neurectomies of the lateral and  medial palmar digital nerves for horses with navicular and heel pain, and cutting the distal check ligament for horses with contracted tendons and severe club feet, on cadaver legs. I can't imagine doing this procedure on a live, standing horse but it was very neat to actually do it in person versus just reading about it.

Cool mural because ponies

And finally mare repro. I always jump at the chance to do some reproduction work with horses because it is so difficult to get real life experience with horses. Horses are very delicate and you can easily tear or introduce infection, whereas cows are much more hardy so that is where I have all of my experience. We practiced on preserved reproductive tracts, but we got to practice taking a uterine biopsy and placing the AI pipette into the uterine horn. Additionally we practiced placing and removing Caslicks.

Overall an awesome day of learning and I hope to be able to go back next year. I have my eye on some other labs - Advanced Lameness, Rectal Palpation, Emergency & Critical Care and Necropsy. They have a lot more resources than we do, so it's a really great experience for us!

Almost bought this cute mug while out shopping

They had a student pub crawl that evening, but we went home relatively early and ended up watching too much Say Yes to the Dress (my guilty pleasure reality TV show of choice) that night and slept in wayyy too late the next morning so we got a pretty late start for the drive back to Austin. 

Once in Austin though, I got to meet up with Lauren! I failed at documenting, but it was so nice to get to meet one of my favorite bloggers in person. I apologize for being the most awkward conversationalist ever, but hopefully it wasn't too awful. She took us to the most amazing tacos - Torchy's tacos - that were definitely the best we had all trip (fried avocado tacos? sign me up!). I also would have taken a large container of queso back with me if I could have.

That afternoon we explored South Congress street then I got to meet up with some cousins I hadn't seen in years for dinner, then found some live music to round out the night! I definitely enjoyed Austin immensely, minus the fact that I got to experience my first tornado warning. No thank you. But it is such a neat town, I can't wait to go back and spend more time.

The next day we were supposed to go to Waco because we are also obsessed with the show Fixer Upper so we wanted to go to the Silo's, but we decided that three hours of driving round trip was a bit much, so we went to the Dover store instead and did a little more exploring of downtown. Dover was great because they had the shirt I've been drooling over for the past year on clearance and the only one they had was in my size! Plus I picked up some bran mash for Jetta since I don't want to buy a 50 lb bag of wheat bran just to make a couple mashes.

Overall, a fantastic horse-centric trip!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Thank you everyone that offered some good thoughts for Jetta! Just a quick post to say that things are finally back to normal. Jetta finally started drinking about 48 hours after her colic... probably because she refused to drink out of her fancy, spendy new heated bucket. In 18 (and lower) degree weather. Brat. 

I finally added a couple regular buckets after trying all sorts of stuff to keep her hydrated - electrolytes, soupy beet pulp, watering her hay down, etc. And the new buckets did it. She officially hates non-icy water. Sigh.

Two empty regular buckets... one full heated bucket

We just hung out at the house this weekend, it was nice to have her in the backyard where I could check on her 3 times a day. It snowed pretty good so I was kinda stuck at the house and did exciting things like watch 5 movies in one day. Though I did get to neuter my roommate's kitten - my first ever kitty neuter (spoiler... it was very easy).

I let Jetta run around in the outdoor arena for a bit since she was hyper from being in a stall for so long. I got some neat pictures of the snowflakes and spent some of my cooped up time playing around with photoshop.

Tiny perfect snowflakes

My favorite

Friday, January 6, 2017

It's Always Something

This was supposed to be a post about our first trail ride of the year and all the snow we've been getting, however, Jetta had other plans...
Sooo much snow for our area

Snowy confo shot

I borrowed my roommate's trailer and made it to the barn all excited to tack Jetta up and head out. Instead, when I got there I found Jetta pawing in her stall. Not that unusual since she just had her stall cleaned and she likes fresh bedding, but when I put her in cross ties she could not stand still, pawing agitatedly which she never does. She pooped twice in those first few minutes so that was good. I started walking her around the arena and she got worse, legs buckling, trying to kick her belly and bite her sides. I gave her a dose of banamine and continued walking her, I couldn't get a hold of my roommate (the vet I usually use) so I called another vet and he said to give it 30 to 45 minutes for it to kick in and if she wasn't comfortable he could come see her. 45 minutes later she was magically much more comfortable, eyes bright, ears perked and no longer pawing or trying to lay down. I was so relieved. I've never seen her in so much pain, it was so hard to see her like that. I stuck her back in her stall where she nibbled at her hay that she had left that morning (which is so unlike her to leave food uneaten).

I took the trailer home and put my truck away and came back. Jetta was now laying down in her stall. She didn't seem 100% comfortable, but she was no longer breathing hard and didn't show any signs of trying to roll. She had pooped again. I asked the BM to keep an eye on her and went home for a shower.

When I got back an hour later, Jetta was still laying down, she was kind of grunting with every breath and no longer seemed happy. Though she still wasn't trying to roll. I called the vet I talked to previously and he was worried that she was brewing an impaction so I might want to take her to the vet school hospital. I finally got a hold of KP (the roommate vet) and she said that I could bring her to the house so she could palpate and tube her when she got home from work.

Poor uncomfortable baby

My friend KG came to keep my company and brought me warm things to drink while we waited for roommate's husband, DG to come pick us up and take us to the house. I had bought Jetta a heated water bucket and she drank about half of it before we loaded it up to go home.

Once home, KP palpated Jetta but didn't feel too much. Nothing seemed impacted, but her colon was pretty full. We tubed her just to be safe. Jetta did NOT like having a tube stuck up her nose, even with sedation on board. So that was a struggle. But she got a bucket full of water and mineral oil on board so hopefully that helps. Her heart rate was still at about 60 bpm before the whole ordeal so she still wasn't very comfortable.

I woke up at about 2am to check on Jetta. If her heart rate was still at 60 bpm then I could give her more banamine to keep her comfortable. She ended up being at 42 bpm so I held off on the banamine. I gave her a couple handfuls of hay (she was very angry that she was not being given any food) and went back to bed. In the actual morning I checked her again and she was quite upset that she hadn't been given any food. She could barely stand still while I took her heart rate again, it was about 36 bpm so that was good! I gave her half a flake of hay, she pooped again (basically this post is all about the poop) but she hadn't drank any water.

Feeling a little better

At lunch I checked on her again. Still no water drinking, I couldn't see if she had pooped again, but her HR was 32 bpm and she was bright and happy seeming (besides being starved to death). She got another half flake of hay and some electrolytes to see if that would get her drinking.

And then tonight, she seems to still be doing well. But still no drinking. She had pooped and still had a HR of 32 bpm. I gave her some gatorade in her water so I hope she likes it! Fingers crossed she starts drinking (because I might have to) soon because I can't take any more stress right now.

Pre-colicking snow selfies

We'll take any and all good thoughts we can get!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Goals

I didn't do any formal goals this last year. After failing miserably at every single goal I had in 2015 and with being in vet school, I knew I would be lucky just to get to the barn and ride a few days a week.

I did have a couple things on my mind I wanted to achieve. I wanted to get two 60% scores at First Level with Misty. I wanted to go to the Inavale one-day horse trials. I wanted to sell Misty. And I wanted to take some lessons. And I wanted to breed Jetta.

I managed to get only one score at 60% at First Level on Misty but we worked really hard at it and were so close multiple times! It can be hard for a stock horse in the dressage world! Jetta managed to get two 60% scores at first level at one show (where we had the worst rides of my entire life) so that was good I guess? We didn't get to do any second level showing though.

I did get to do the fall one-day horse trials on Jetta and we actually did Novice! We had a silly elimination over a ditch in a sort of "coffin" combo, but otherwise she was fantastic especially when we went xc schooling the week prior.

I did end up selling Misty to a wonderful home, but I do miss her a lot.

I did not take any lessons unfortunately.

And I did breed Jetta!

This year again is going to be a slow horse year. Jetta will be pregnant for most of the good riding season since she is due August 1st. This means I won't be showing or taking lessons. I'm hoping to take her on a trail ride at least 2-3 times a month to keep her in shape and from being bored. As she gets more and more pregnant, this might turn into just hand-walking around outside.

My main goal is to have a healthy, happy little foal. I am trying so hard to keep my hopes down since I have seen anything and everything go wrong with foaling. I am so nervous!

I am hoping to find a horse to ride in some capacity during the spring and early summer. This is my last free summer so I want to make the most of it. The goal is to find a green horse that needs miles or someone who just doesn't have the time for their horse. And maybe even get to show said horse. Free is the name of the game.

Once my (hopefully) bouncing baby buckskin is born, I aim to take it to get approved with RPSI since there will be another inspection at the same barn as last year. Also, get the baby its lifetime registration with USEF.

Once baby is weaned, I want to get Jetta started back under saddle, maybe in time for some fall showing if things go well.

Of course, once baby is born there will be a lot more goals in terms of bringing up baby, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself just in case something does go wrong. We shall see!

Monday, January 2, 2017

All the Presents

I love Christmas, mostly because I love giving presents and I love spending time with my family and the little traditions that we have.

I'm super excited about the gifts I received, and since I participated in the Blogger Secret Santa, we'll start with those!

Carly was my Secret Santa and I love what she got me! I got a set of gray polos with a very pretty blue velcro pattern. I have always wanted to buy some polos in this style so I'm really excited for them! They're going to look awesome on Jetta. She also got me a couple things from Beka's metal smashing shop - a bracelet with a cute little turquoise horse shoe stamped into it and also a halter tag for Jetta's little nugget!

I absolutely love my presents, so thank you Carly!

Then my parents also got me some cute stuff for the baby... A scrapbook to put all of my baby pictures in, and a Breyer mare and foal. The mare looks pretty spot on for Jetta with a very similar blaze and one hind sock. The foal is (supposed to be) buckskin and they said we'll get it painted for however the foal's markings turn out! I thought that was such a thoughtful gift.

I also got my truck tent! I can't wait to try this out. I'm going to buy an air mattress for it and then it will be perfect.

My roommate got me a foal halter which is absolutely the cutest thing ever - it's so tiny. 

Then, the bf's mom outdid herself and bought me a Pella (the required brand and color for my vet school) palpation jacket! I'm so excited to use it, it's going to be awesome!

Of course I had to buy myself Jetta some presents as well. I ordered some Majick Equipe Color Elite XC boots in turquoise (obviously) as well as some aqua leather gloves. Can't wait until those get here!

All in all it was a great Christmas and I'm so thankful for my horse, friends, family and bloggers!

Happy Holidays and New Year from Jetta and myself!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

December 10 Questions

Thanks again as always L for the great questions!

Does your horse need shoes? Nope. I have never had a shod horse.

What do you think of the barefoot vs shoes debate? I have my beliefs and refuse to get in a debate over it and it's ridiculous how bent out of shape people can get between the two. Doing what's best for the horse is paramount.

A Misty hoof
Favorite season for riding? Late spring or fall. Perfect trail riding weather! Not too hot, not too cold, beautiful foliage, what's not to like?

How many shows do you think you’ve gone to? I have no idea... too many to count over the years. I started with 4-H and Open shows, then dressage league shows and High School Equestrian team. I've done a couple recognized USEA events and one recognized USDF show, mostly just little dressage or derby shows! I don't get to do as many shows as I would like any more, but I went to at least 5 this year.

My first recognized HT

Do you consider yourself a good rider? Yeah, I think I'm a good rider. Not particularly great, but I've got the basics down and can get on unfamiliar or green horses and put in a semblance of some good work.
How experienced do you think someone needs to be to own a horse? I don't necessarily think you need a lot of experience as long as you have someone who IS experienced to help you along the way. Working at a feed store and even at my barn I see people who are absolutely clueless in every single way about horses, yet they buy one and have no one helping them. They don't know what to feed, what tack to buy, how to measure them for any of that tack, how to know if their horse is colicking, how to clip, etc.  When I got my first horse my family was fairly clueless, but we had a great trainer that literally taught me everything from the ground up.

So long ago, so clueless

Have you ever gotten into a fight with your trainer? Yes, that first trainer on my first horse... She was an incredible trainer who I owe everything to. But my first horse was 16 years old, he was a ranch horse before I got him. We turned him into a great horse, but he was never going to be a show horse. It just didn't click in his brain how to do precise movements, etc. But she kept pushing me to show him in pattern classes when it just didn't work for us and I got into a screaming match with her over it at one point. Definitely regret it, but it's never happened again. I respect my trainers and the trainers I choose for myself now know what to push for and I have the appropriate horse to push in that way!
Describe your dream horse? I love horses with a little chrome, especially a soft spot for blaze faces. I like a horse with correct conformation, uphill and more short-backed horses. Personable and sweet on the ground, with a good work ethic in the saddle. Nothing fancy with gaits, though I wouldn't mind a horse with a little bit better gaits than Jetta. Not spooky. I like horses that are more than one-trick ponies since I love to trail ride, jump and do dressage.

Does anyone in your family ride? Not anymore. My dad grew up on a ranch so he rode a little when he was young and my mom loved horses when she was younger and actually bought herself a horse when she was in her late 20's. They tried to ride a little when I first got into horses and my brother actually took some riding lessons and went to horse camp with me, but no one besides me was really into it.

If you could ride any horse in the world, which one would it be and why? Probably Snowman. He just sounds like such a cool horse, I would love to have been able to ride him. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Year In Review

Seems kind of silly to do a year in review post, since I did barely anything this year, but I think it always puts in perspective what I did do this year, and it's fodder for the blog!


I didn't do much this month, evidenced by my two measly posts. Mostly I was just riding Misty, still hoping to sell her and working on schooling her jumping, with some fun western stuff mixed in. I miss that girl!


This is when Jetta decided to pop both hind splints just because she's impatient and rude and enjoys kicking the stall walls. Sigh. Her left hind has a giant goose egg left behind, but she's perfectly sound, she was never that lame to begin with. Misty went to her first dressage show of the year, which Misty did really well in except for a few spooky moments when the wind sounded like it was going to blow the whole barn over. We scored two 59% which was very disappointing, but this particular judge just never did like Misty.


Also boring, but I got to go to the nearest Dover store while I was in San Diego which was exciting!


This month was a lot more active. I audited an Eric Smiley clinic which was great. I got to go on several trail rides with Misty and just did more riding in general now that there was more light. Bought Misty more matching western tack because matching reasons. And that's about it!

Matchy matchy


I had a great dressage show on Misty and FINALLY broke into the 60's and we had an absolutely awesome cross country school. And more trail rides.


I took Misty to a fun derby, where she was amazing in dressage (scored a 27.8!) but was naughty on xc about a fence that went from sun to shade, but we still placed second! I also sold Misty which was very bittersweet and rough, but she went to a great home. Still miss her. I started riding my poor neglected Jetta again and even took her for a trail ride. The biggest milestone I think was surviving my first year of vet school! What a rollercoaster ride.


I went on a ton of trail rides, both with friends and alone. I jumped Jetta for the first time in forever. And I floated Jetta's teeth all by myself!

Drunk pony


Just lots of schooling dressage on Jetta. She was being really awesome! I went to Nicaragua for two weeks for a volunteer veterinary organization and I bred Jetta! I took Jetta to a dressage show where she was absolutely AWFUL but the same judge who hated Misty, apparently liked Jetta enough to give us a 64% and 67% at First Level.


I posted about my little bun in the oven! And posted about saying goodbye to Jazz which was terribly sad, even though I hadn't seen her in a couple years. I took Jetta xc schooling and she was absolutely AMAZING. I entered her in Novice for a derby. We got eliminated over a ditch.... Lame. And I got Jetta approved for breeding with RPSI! And then I headed back to school. It was a busy month.

xc schooling

My little nugget!


I spent way too much money on "accessories" for Jetta and I took pregnancy announcement photos for Jetta.

**so shiny**


Nothing too exciting. I went for a fall trail ride, body clipped Jetta, snuggled ponies and that's about it!

I need a tiny one

Did some No-Stirrup-November rides


And then you're caught up! This month has been nothing new or exciting, evidenced by my lack of posts. I hope next year is even better, especially with my little nugget being due!