Friday, April 20, 2012

I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

It's been a while-and somewhere in the midst of all this stuff going on, Spring has sprung! This time of year is always busy-but somehow, this year it seems busier than ever. Between schooling the girls, work and horses it appears the time got away from me!

There has been so much I've been wanting to share,so here goes: My main focus in the past month has been moving our horses closer to our home. Because we live in a borough, (or town, for those of you not familiar with the term, we can't keep them on our property.) Not that we have any room, mind you, but it would make it oh-so-much-more convenient! I'm happy to say we are now at a gorgeous farm nestled in Buchanan Valley, just five miles away as opposed to fifteen at our previous barn. The drive is absolute heaven with the beautiful orchards and mountain views.
It doesn't hurt that there is a fabulous winery on the way-Ried's! I teased Kathy Reid that as soon as I can figure out some back trails, I am going to ride my horse over for a lovely glass of wine....

Arriving at the barn, we have a welcoming committee... (Teagan the cat).
And here is our little barn mascot, Lucy (a sweet corgi puppy.)
Oh, and don't forget the neighbor's dog, Daisy!Here are the cute minis that always brighten our day!
It hadn't even been a week at the new barn and our 29 year old mare, Imp (Impressionable) thought we didn't have enough on our plate and decided she would choke late on Friday evening, March 23, less than one week after our move. Let's just say the vet muttered under his breath as he was shoving a tube down Imp's throat, about 10 p.m. in the evening, that he had only seen one other case like this, and it didn't end well.

We prepared ourselves for the worst. I had always envisioned these types of things would happen peacefully, and our animals would quietly pass, with no pain. I don't think people are ever quite ready to handle when the time comes to say goodbye to their beloved four legged friends, but I tried to get the kids in the right mind set. I was so proud of how my girls handled it all-so calm and mature, for the most part. I felt like I was an actor in a movie, playing a role that I wasn't really prepared for.

We spent the night in our van-(I have a new-found appreciation for mini-vans as places to actually get some sleep,) checking on the poor mare every hour. Each time I went to her stall, I held my breath, fully expecting the worst, but lo and behold, that feisty little mare held her own. By the next morning, she had stopped the uncontrollable shaking (a side effect from tranquilizers) and her labored breathing was back to normal.

We were instructed to administer 28 horse pills a day (antibiotics) and 2 pounds of mash every four hours for the next four days. Doesn't that look yummy!

The big concern was that she had aspirated some fluid in her lungs and that she might have pneumonia. (We got very good at taking her temperature. For those of you who have never done this, trust me, it's a real treat and it doesn't involve the front end of the horse!)

And, because she doesn't really have any teeth in the back of her mouth, we needed very soft "grass" hay for her to dine on. It was pouring rain that day and we couldn't take her outside to graze. Being the end of winter, most everyone was at the end of their supplies of hay because the grass was coming in so locating this type of hay was next to impossible. Thank goodness for a little angel named Mary on a farm up the road.Horse lovers, unite!

I'm happy to say dear "Impy-do" as we have lovingly nicknamed her has fully recovered and enjoys eating her daily mashes-I have managed to get it down to a science and am happy to say I only am feeding her once daily now because of the all the wonderful grass that has now come in.

Don't ask me about my aussie sheperd, Ella, who decided to ingest a bar of Ivory soap two weeks later.....yes, "Throw Up Dog" is fine.
Me? Well, I'm a little worse for the wear, but I wouldn't have it any other way. xoxo Andi

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Reflection for a Tuesday Morning

On my way home from Inn I often tune in to NPR and catch a few minues of the Diane Rehm show. I was listening to an interview with a writer, Cheryl Strayed. "She was in her 20s and facing a life crumbling around her so she decided to go on an 1,100 mile hike alone. She describes the brutal, physical and psychological journey in her new memoir titled "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail."

I tuned in when Diane was asking Cheryl about her mom.

" mother got a horse named Lady. And she had always been a horse woman growing up. Horses were her religion she always said. They were her obsession. They were her greatest passion. And so it meant a lot to her to get this horse. And even though we really couldn't afford a horse, you know, she worked in exchanged for the horse's room and board and she worked out a deal even to buy the horse. And she bought this gorgeous, gorgeous horse named Lady. And Lady was a part of my life, you know, since I was five or six.

"Describe her for us".

"She was a beautiful 16-hand chestnut mare and she had this wonderful, elegant gait. And, you know, she was really my mother to me. And so after my mother died, Lady would be -- I would often go out into the pasture and just put my hands on her and I felt closer to my mom."

When I heard this it made me think of the strong parallels in my life with my horse Dancer-it was so comforting to hear that there were others in the world who were so passionate about horses in the same way I am. As I was driving, I entertained thoughts of how I might be remembered after I am gone....(not that I plan on that any time soon, mind you) but my wish is that my legacy will include horses, and how happy they made me.