Where In The World Is…

…Carmen Sandiego?

Ha! No no no. Not Carmen Sandiego!

My Cheetah! Where has my Cheetah been?

Who me? Who you lookin’ at?!

I have heard some say that not only have I been somewhat absent (sorry!), but so has my main gal, Cheetah! In my defense (in truth this is not much of a defense, so just go with it), I was exposed to the ‘rona and I still have no idea how I did not contract it. Everything just came to a stop for a couple of weeks while I quarantined it out. I can not complain much about that though as Merle and I just camped out at the farm. Even with all the rain, mud, and cold, I can not complain about it. At least my manure spreader was working!

Anyway, I shall tell you where exactly Cheetah has been.

First, she gets the heat of the summer off every year because, well, she deserves it. That and the fact that she breaks out in hives when I ride her under tack in the heat of the summer ever since I bred her. So she gets to spend the summers frolicking and grazing and getting stuffed with treats while being groomed.

Then, I mentioned a while back that she was experiencing some on and off lameness in addition to a soft tissue issue (hey look, I am a poet!) that popped up some time during the summer. We tackled this check ligament issue first as we could see it. The remaining lameness that presented was somewhat odd and perplexing (well not really, in the end, go figure) and did not go away with time come the end of our prolonged Texas summer.

I then called my vet back in for a full lameness evaluation. I had a pretty good idea of what the problem was after some time to observe (hey, actually using my brain), the lameness presentation itself, and her age. He performed the lameness evaluation (on a terribly cold and almost wet day, sorry no pictures!) including a couple of blocks and some x-rays to ensure we were correctly and completely targeting the issue. This was all a first for me after a whole life of having and riding horses.

All of that to say, my girl is finally starting to feel her age! At almost 17 years young. She has arthritis in her front coffin joints. In the end, I think the check ligament issue on her right front was caused by her compensating for the arthritis in her left front being more painful than the right. Once the diagnosis was made, we quickly made a plan with both my vet and farrier to help make her feel more comfortable.

The first step was getting her coffin joints injected. Another first for me! And let me tell you, it is pretty creepy how easily the needle goes in. The came on Christmas Eve morning. Merry Christmas, Cheetah! Christmas Eve was another very cold and windy day, but luckily, my vet’s clinic is not far from the farm.

After being shaved and thoroughly scrubbed clean, her joints were successfully injected and bandaged.

She was happily back home and resting in her cozy stall by 8:40 AM.

Middle sister K and I proceeded to have way too much of a good time that night and stayed up till 2 in the morning! Even still, we were up early to tend to our charges. A toddler for her and animals for me! After feeding, I took Cheetah’s bandages off and took her out to hand graze in the yard.

Then a couple weeks after her injections, we decided to put her in a slight wedge shoe to improve her angles and to help relieve some of that pressure on the joint. My farrier and I had actually been independently thinking of putting her in a wedge even before this.

I am happy to report that she is no longer feeling her ‘age’! She is back to moving like a million bucks. Therefore, we can start her slowly getting back into shape and getting back to adventures. Woohoo!

Given how long she has been out of work, her age, and the resulting issues, we decided to go for another new thing! A couple weeks at a rehab center! I wanted her to have a low impact, strength building start back to make sure to not over work anything too quickly in addition to hopefully knocking the edge off before I actually start riding her again. I have more hope in the former!

Anyway, AquaPlus Equine Center is a new, state of the art hydrotherapy facility with an aquapacer, CET saltwater spa, pool, and exerciser walker. They are professional, open in communication, and good horsewomen. I was very impressed. Cheetah seemed to settle right in.

Cheetah has enjoyed two weeks there building her core back up. We opted not to swim her in the pool to keep her from hyperextending, but I could see a change in her top line and hindquarters even within the first week.

I pick her up tomorrow and I am so glad to have my girl back and feeling herself. We are officially ready to rock and roll! Tentatively. Scratch that. Knock on wood. Cross all the fingers. And toes.

How about the rest of the crew you say? What have they been up to?

Well, Lito and I go on many little adventures followed by margaritas and Mexican food when we are not riding at home. I am currently bit shopping. I know there has to be a bit out there that he likes better than what I am using or have used before. It is proving to be a little tricky as he has a big tongue and a low, soft palate. I have a few different ideas of what I would like to try, but if anyone has any thoughts or ideas for us, let me know! He also gets many treats.

Merle is wondering when his trip to the spa will be or when he is getting another treat. Most likely the latter.

No matter how goofy he is, he is just so cute and handsome. He gets the pleasure of coming most places with me still and I love it. He is currently at day camp with my Aunt M because my HOA is tearing down and rebuilding a brick wall attached to my townhouse. He loves this as he gets a big yard to play in, cousin dogs to play with, and lots of attention. More attention than I can give him while in the office working.

The rest of the herd is doing well too and seemingly have been enjoying all the extra attention they have been getting all year. A positive thing to come out of this strange season!

Well, enough for now. Go get another cup of coffee and have a lovely day!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Day By Day

No worries, if you were. Still chugging along over here!

Excuse me, are we finished with this yet?

Just trying to catch up on life, day by day. An odd thought if you ask me, when you really think about it. Catching up on life. Sometimes, stuff just adds up in life and there is not much time left to do anything but get what rest you can and wake up in the morning and do it again. AHAmoment. Tackle the day you have when you get it, and get done what needs to get done. No more, no less. Just like riding the horse you have that day. Sometimes, the basic needs are all that gets accomplished, and that is more than OK! One step at a time. Just let go and let Him because He is our strength. With Him and trough Him, all will get done, in His time! And it will be beautiful.


Working, injured horse, equine health scare, hours and miles in the car, moving, mom’s knee surgery, broken cars, change, and a whole lot of other every day life stuff has kinda added up over the last month and my conversations with y’all have suffered. For that, I am sorry. But, we are no worse for wear and hopefully slowing down a little! It is easier to remember to breathe when there are not so many things going on, but just like H said, slow down and take a breath and then take a step. If I would have remembered that, maybe I would not have had that diesel incident!…or lack there of, as it were.

I do not have much to report and that is OK. This too shall change, of that I am sure.

I do have a couple good news updates and many things to celebrate.

We finished Lito’s rehab/physical therapy exercise regimen yesterday with complete soundness and the vet came out to check him. He was cleared to be on full turnout again and to slowly return to full work! Relieved is what I think I feel, but it is a slow release. One day, one step, one breath at a time! I will ride the horse I have that day and we will get back to where we were! I am celebrating this!

 

Does this mean we can’t go to the farm every day anymore?

Also, I am finally and officially moved into my townhouse. Let us not discuss how long that took me. Way too long, but that does not matter. What matters is that Darcy and I are there and we love it. It feels good and we have already met a neighbor! I have a few things left I need to tend to, but we are 90% there.

Anyway, that is where we are.

I will leave you with this, my final thought. Brought to you by Owen Temple. Make it a beautiful life. You do only get one. We are surrounded by beauty and light if we allow ourselves to see it!


“Not gonna give up, not gonna give in
Making a life, not just a living”


Like seeing my horses basically every day for the past several weeks. Darcy. The green grass and trees. The blue sky and clouds. The breeze that kept us cooler. The sound of hoof beats on our dirt road. Lito’s attitude and heart, golden rod coat, Beatles-like mane, and cute pricked ears. Like finally having my own place again. Like my cousin marrying the woman of his dreams and being with my family. Celebrating Father’s Day with my dad!

Wedding fun with mom and sisters.

 

The best Pops.





Walk in love, dear readers! Until next time. Very soon.