|December 11, 2014||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
I just wrote a beautiful, detailed, funny post about OCD (the horse kind, not the reorganize your closet at 2am kind). Complete with pictures and beautiful diagrams.
So why is this post titled “MerryLegs update” instead of “Osteochondrosis in horses”?
Because my blog composition software crashed. Inexplictably. And it was gone, seconds after putting in the final picture and doing the final edit. Gone. Competely gone. Even though I had saved it multiple times over the last 2 days. I tried the undo button. I tried quitting and restarting. But it is gone Gone GONE.
I won’t lie. I cried a little bit ( on the inside – I’m at an externship supposidly answering essay questions about mouse embryo stem cells). Felt physical ill.
But it’s gone. And I’m NOT composing it again. So it will be enough for you guys to know that I wrote it, that it was beautiful, and you would have enjoyed it. And now we will move on.
MerryLegs is doing well. Beautiful, big, tall.
Covered in mud.
(Decided not to dwell on the negatives)
Yes, she is still on twice a day antibiotics. No, I wasn’t kidding when I said at the beginning of this whole thing that recovery and treatment would be “for the long haul”.
If you are counting, it’s been almost 3 MONTHS since she was first diagnosed. All the other horses on the property with it (ML was the last one to break with it – no more thank goodness) have long since been back to their former happy, disease-free selves.
ML will be taking her number one thousand antibiotic pill tomorrow (and that doesn’t count the IV or paste super antibiotics she was on prior to the pills).
So, we are still firmly in stage 3 – a normal looking, non-infectious ML who is continuing on antibiotics.
As a reminder…
- Stage 1: where we were pretty sure she was going to die and we only bought things in 48 hour increments.
- Stage 2: where perhaps she would live, but only if she didn’t get one of the many possible secondary sequelas/complications so let’s just take this 10 days at a time.
- Stage 3: where we were pretty sure she would live, but she’s not out of the woods so let’s not be overly optimistic.
The good news is that stage 3 might be ending.
(even as I type this I’m sure she’s going to do – or have something happen to her- that’s perfectly awful. Because how dare I have optimism?)
In the beginning of January we will do some blood testing, take her off of antibiotics for 2 weeks, repeat the blood testing – and if everything still looks good….she’s cleared for normal life! WOOT WOOT.
This is all very good because…….
I’ve put her on my trainer’s schedule.
March 1st, the day after her three-year old birthday, Miss Merrylegs will go to my friend, fellow endurance rider, and awesome trainer (she has a wait list of several months for training so I knew I had to plan ahead) for a bit of growing up.
Ideally MerryLegs will be at Amber’s for 60 days, but if after 30 days Amber feels as if it would be a good stopping point for MerryLegs either for physical or mental reasons, she’ll come home after 30 days.
I want to emphasize that I do *not* expect or *want* a completely green saddle-broke horse at the end of either 30 or 60 days.
Here’s what I do want
- I want her exposed to formal training that will set her up for success as a 4 year-old, when I *will* expect her to be a green-broke saddle horse at the end of another 30-60 days. I expect that will consist of being saddled, and by the end of this time period, have a first ride or two.
- I want a glimpse into what might be our biggest challenges and what kind of horse she’s going to be.
- I want a training professional to provide a sort of “double-check” on what I’m doing with ML. Including identifying and correcting the holes that invariable occur when just one person is working with a young horse.
Here’s why I’m choosing to do this NOW, instead of later in the year.
- Horses retain an incredible amount of information and experiences. I don’t think doing this now versus doing it in six months will have that much impact on the kind of horse she will be at 4 years old.
- In March/April I have a couple of back to back out of town externships. The net result is that I will be away from home without eyes on her for about 4 weeks. That’s a long time. I’d feel better if she was off doing something, rather than sitting in her paddock.
- She’s ready to learn something new. I can feel it in my gut. She’s been here about 6 months, we’ve had some fun, and I can feel her asking what’s next. It’s similar to the feeling when I started Farley in endurance. I didn’t have any concrete plans of when I would bump up Farley to the next longer distance, but invariably after 2-3 rides at a distance, I would feel her asking is this it? Is this distance my job? I remember distinctly feeling that if I didn’t respond to that request as no, we aren’t there yet, that I was going to have a real problem on my hands. Now I feel like ML is asking that question. Is this is? Is hanging out with you and going on walk my job? No ML, it isn’t. I’ll show you the next step, and when it’s time, I’ll show you the next, and then the next.
I probably *could* teach ML most of what she will learn in those couple of months, here at home. So why don’t I save my money do it myself?
- But it wouldn’t be as consistent or as efficient as Amber teaching it.
- I think sending her off better answers ML’s question of “what is my job?”.
- If something happens to me and ML gets put on the market, she becomes a three-year old with 30-60 of pro training, instead of a three-year old that is “really sweet and willing and has ‘stuff’ done with her”.
Most importantly, I believe that horses grow up because of experiences, not because of years. Going off to a strange place, and working with another person will age ML in a way that staying home and learning the same things from me won’t.
I didn’t expect to feel as many butterflies in my stomach as I confirmed ML’s start date (dependent on the blood testing results) as I did. It’s really happening. The next “era” of my endurance journey really is beginning. It’s the “in between” years where Farley isn’t retired (yet) and ML isn’t rideable (yet) but the time is coming. Change is in the air.
What I posted…
Three years ago: Totally cool vetmed Fact
Five years ago: Life throws curveballs
PS. I had someone messaged me about my designation of yesterday’s post as “fluffy”. When I put a “fluffy” label on a post, it has more to do with my mind than the post content. The only way I get through writer’s blocks is by writing, but it can be really hard for me to do that if I’m feeling uninspired. Calling a post “fluffy” is a sort of permission for myself to write something up without diving too deep within my mind or being introspective, or to examine what I’m writing to make sure that whatever I *think* about something is consistent with my overall view and philosophy of the subject. Usually posts that are “fluffy” are a bit lighter, a bit more fun to read, and a bit more fun to write. Another friend pointed out that I could leave out “fluffy” altogether and just write the )*&()(&*&&% post, and of course she’s right. I was using “fluffy” as a crutch to overcome a writers block, and not thinking how some might view the use of a term as a judgement towards certain blog posts. So I might still type it into a post to help *me*, but I’ll try to remember to delete it during my (brief) editing process 🙂