Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Playing Hooky

I decided to skip work yesterday since it was absolutely beautiful out - the sun was shining and it was a whole 52 degrees! The great thing about work is they don't care when I come in, so a quick text to say that my plans had changed and I'll work on Thursday instead and I was free!

I still can't believe we're a month and a half into the new year and I still haven't hit the trails. We were wayyyyy overdue. I don't think Jetta's ever been so excited for a trail ride. Once I started putting on her hoofboots in the crossties she knew exactly what the plan was and she started impatiently bobbing her head (her version of pawing).

We got to the trails in record time. Jetta's front hoofboots twisted off during the trailer ride. She's due for a hoof trim right now so the front boots don't fit right. I really just need to sell them and get another pair. They never really fit right. But since she's due for a trim and since I was just planning on just walking we decided to do it barefoot. Winter is so wet and Jetta loves standing out in the rain which makes for soft feet, but with that little bit of extra hoof wall she wasn't tender at all on the gravel.

She was so excited to get on the trail. At this trailhead there's a wide bridge that you have to cross first and usually she stops and snorts at it (you know, just to make sure you realize that if she wanted to, she COULD refuse to cross it if she felt like it). But today there was no pause at all and she did her excited speed walk over the bridge, almost slipping a bit on the damp wood because she was cruising so fast!

We had a great ride. I let her trot a bit on a flat spot before getting to the hill. She really wanted to power up the hill but she is definitely not fit enough for that and I didn't want to overdo it so I made her walk. If she could have grumbled about it she would have. We kept the ride short and only went for an hour, doing barely over 3 miles. But it was perfect. I really hope we get to go on the trails more. Especially once Jetta starts getting more of a big belly my plan is to just go on trail walks and mosey along just to keep her brain engaged and keep her a little bit in shape.

Earlier, over the weekend, I went over the mountains to a two-day mare reproduction conference. Holy cow did it make me nervous for all the things that can go wrong! I might type up some of my notes and post them, but we'll see how much time I have this week. It was a TON of really great information but I am going to be an absolute basket case. Jetta is officially over half way through her pregnancy and tomorrow she hits the 180 day mark. Baby nugget is about the size of a beagle now!

Friday, February 10, 2017


Oops, I did a thing. My poor bank account. Centerline Style had a sale for $30 off and I've been eyeballing a Lemieux outfit for Jetta (especially since Courage has been modeling the same one that I want and it looks stunning on him - another bay, blaze-faced TB!). Sooo... I bought it. It arrived Saturday (super fast shipping from Florida = awesome).

Then, Millbrook Leathers had a 35% off sale on their leathers which I wanted as soon as they came out. I always get bruises on my shins from my jumping leathers. Every time. So it seemed like a really neat concept to have thicker leathers to prevent that! They also say that they're supposed to make your leg more stable, but we'll see about that. I'm thinking that I need more strength building exercises than anything, but I'll take all I can get! (no extra charge for 2-day shipping from Colorado? impressive!)

All the pretties

So yeah. I'm STILL waiting on two of my orders that I made at the beginning of last month. One is because I went through the local farm store and they just take forever with special orders because that's how they roll. Sigh. Apparently I would have gotten the same deal through a Riding Warehouse sale as I'm getting stealing my BF's employee discount so... should've gone that route. I'm impatient.

The other order... I'm not really sure what's going on. I keep getting different answers every time I talk to her, that is, IF she decides to answer my messages. She tends to take at least a week to reply to me, if at all. Frustrating to say the least. I kinda never want to order from this shop ever again because everything was supposedly in stock when I ordered it 5 weeks ago, but it's now coming in next week supposedly (I was told it was supposed to come in a week and a half ago, but it was backordered without her knowledge, so now the ETA at the shop is next week) meaning it'll probably be 2 more weeks before I see it... sigh. 

Super attractive picture, but look at that belly!

I had to have a ride to try everything out - it looks awesome on her! Hopefully I'll get to ride in the daylight soon and get a better picture of it. Sadly I ordered the wrong size ear bonnet (should have known that "regular" was not going to fit her mule ears!) so I need to exchange that... My bank account is now on lock down until further notice. But I guess that's why I'm still working two days a week during school!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Weekly Update

"Remember how far you've come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be." ~ Rick Warren

^^A little vet school/riding inspiration for myself and anyone else who needs to hear that this week!

Midterm season has begun in full force... I have one today, one Monday, one Wednesday, one the week after, two the week after that, one the next week, then TWO WHOLE WEEKS off of big tests (usually not the case) and then finals. Fun, fun, fun.

Anyways, horse-y related stuff.

Hmm, belly is looking a little bit bigger to me! (possibly just fat, lol)

Starting with last Monday, I had a nice ride after basically not riding for almost 3 weeks. The weather was gorgeous and spring-y so we rode outside in the outdoor. I didn't do too much exciting, but it was nice to be out and on a horse!


Tuesday I went to a talk about orthopedic bone disease in young and growing horses. Yay more things to worry about in my baby! But very interesting to learn more about OCD, bone cysts, etc. since they are topics that we're covering in radiology right now and I can actually find and diagnose them on radiographs! (most of the time at least)

Lots of lunging

Friday I went to an absolutely awesome talk on equine cardiology at the Endurance conference. It ended up being a 4 hour talk, but it was so worth it. We had a really, really rough cardiology unit in physiology that wasn't well taught last year so it was nice to have all of that drudged up again and explained in a way that made a lot of sense. Plus I definitely remembered more than I thought I would. We got to hear different types of murmurs in horses, lots of physiologic murmurs from endurance horses (cool note - fit, hard working horses are pumping their blood very quickly and efficiently causing turbulent blood flow which can make a low grade murmur when at rest, that goes away with exercise, typically not a huge deal - crazy to think about when you always hear about murmurs always being so bad) and it was great that the vets attending had the same issues with diagnosing systolic vs. diastolic murmurs, etc. that we were having.

Cutest little mini-me. I need him.

I've been doing a lot of lunging Jetta in the vienna reins since I haven't had too much time to ride. I think it really helps keep her in shape because when I finally got to ride again on Saturday, she felt super nice, really lifting the base of her neck, reaching for contact and lifting/swinging her back. We had a short ride, but it was a really excellent one!

More lunging this week, then I rode yesterday. I didn't lunge before I rode since I lunged her the day before and she was super hyper so I'm pretty sure she got that all out of her system! She felt really good again when I got on and we had a lovely start to our ride. It kinda ended up snowballing as I started picking at her transitions and getting more bend, etc. She decided bracing was a much better technique, sigh.  Our canter-trot transition is the worst thing ever right now, but upward transitions are really doing well, shoulder-in is great, spiraling in and out on a circle at the trot is great... it's really just that downward canter-trot transition!

I'm not bad, I'm cute

I'm hoping at some point the stars will align and it'll be dry enough for a trail ride without me having too much on my plate to study for. I need to be in the forest for an hour or so on my pony, it's been too long!

Slurping up her bran mash I made for her

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Buy My Things!

Well I was going to write a real post, but I have a bunch of stuff for sale so I thought I'd share in case anyone was interested. All shipping is not included, but I am somewhat flexible on prices. I need monies, I can't stop buying things that I don't really need... (I have issues!)

Toklat T3 matrix half pad, size large (18-18.5" saddles) $75

De Niro Leuca boots, size 38 (US size 8), medium calf, standard height, excellent condition $400
Not really sure this is readable, but here's a size chart

Tailored Sportsman, wrap collar, size 34 (fits more like a 36 I think), some minor thread pulls. FREE

RJ Classics long sleeved wrap collar show shirt, size 38, snaps came undone (included), tiny hole on front. FREE

Ariat soft shell jacket, size medium $40 SOLD

Dressage pad, navy blue, suede-like top with quick dry lining $20

Grand prix techlite Rylie show jacket, black suede collar, inside zipper under buttons, Women's size 12 regular (fits like a normal dress size 6)
Sorry I'm awful at taking attractive pictures of things, but I can try to get more if you need. Let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Baby Update

Can't believe Jetta is quickly approaching the half-way point of her pregnancy! Yesterday we hit the 150 day mark so I now have a bunny-sized little nugget growing away.

The baby is starting to grow hair on its face and even sprout little eyelashes!

Jetta has had her first Pneumabort vaccination (EHV-1 vaccine) and recently upgraded to a much better quality hay (which she definitely appreciates but holy smokes that sucked getting the bales into the loft at the barn). Loft storage always seems like a great idea until you have to move hay and feed into it.

There is still so much time left until she foals and I'm still stressing out, though I'm sure I'll be worse as it gets nearer and nearer. I had the weirdest dream the other night where she foaled early (though still after the 320 day mark) and her foal came out a buckskin paint! I was so upset!

We haven't been doing too much lately with school and how cold it has been I haven't had much motivation, but it's been nice and warm the last couple of days! It was a balmy 52 degrees at the barn the other day, felt like spring almost!

Lots of lunging miss crazypants

I'm still not quite sure what I want to do with Jetta this spring and summer, then after she foals. I'm pretty sure my only option is to take Jetta to my parents once I'm out of school to foal. We've got a 3 acre pasture at my parents and a big foaling stall with a run. I need to get the grass tested for endophytes before moving her though, plus the fencing needs a huge re-haul. We may just move the round pen up to the barn to make a big paddock for her.

We'll see how comfortable she stays once her belly starts getting bigger to determine how much riding I'm going to be doing this spring.

My roommate said I can bring the foal to the house when I wean it. That way I can walk outside to play with it and it'll (hopefully) have another foal to grow up with. After Jetta's foal is weaned I'm thinking about moving to a barn close to the trails, where I can just walk across the road to them. It's a lot more expensive than the barn I'm at now, but they have great care and I think the turnout and trail access would be worth it for my 3rd and 4th year at vet school where I won't be riding much.

We shall see!

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