lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I have started consciously exercising.

The plan is a three week rotation that consists of alternating days of legs, arms, and core. Sundays are rest days and Tuesday and Thursday are Yoga, though I may throw Pilates in there too if I can find the time to look it up. The Yoga is fairly easy because I have "Yoga in a Box" that has a big stack of flash cards that makes mixing and matching poses easy without having to memorize anything (and the boys have fun with it too). The Yoga also makes sure I'm improving my flexibility and balance.

I am doing body-weight exercises because I have no equipment, don't plan on buying equipment, and free weights wouldn't be a good idea with little men running around. These include leg lifts (of various types), squats, lunges, sit-ups, planks, crunches (various types), pull-ups, dips, and push-ups.

I am looking forward to how I'm able to build strength. Right now I can get about three push-ups, which is pretty sad. I can do a dozen dips in a row, but pull-ups aren't happening yet. For the pull-ups I'm using the gate arches, but when I tried last week I had an odd stretching sensation in the top of my ribcage like my abs weren't quite ready to hold the weight of my lower trunk and legs. This week the same thing so it might have to wait until my core builds up a little more (it's not like abs experience stress and stretching during pregnancy or labor or anything... ha!). Funnily enough sit-ups aren't a big deal.

I should make note this week the number of reps I can do so I have a baseline to go off of.

And this is being cut short as it's late and I have an early day tomorrow.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
As usual I start with reviewing and commenting on last year's goals.
Conveniently under a cut )

Share some drawings here monthly.
Finish the driving drawing!
Start a painting of the house (at least do some thumbnails and get the final sketch transferred).
Use my Polaroid/instant film ...

Finish editing and properly name STP-REALLY!
Another 10 pages on Fire Forged Key. (Slow and steady wins the race guys.)
Start case report on Zetahra.

Tru-D pulling tire and drag. Walks around neighborhood, ponying, at least introduce the cart, start riding!
Cinnamon- break the Stink to drive!
Kitt dressage show, driving show, driving around neighborhood.
Get someone off-property a couple times a month, even if it is just across the way. Help keep them sane.
McKlintock- turn him into a good lesson pony who can fill Chewy's shoes.
Get McKlintock's eyes taken care of.

Take lessons myself for continuing education, maybe attend a clinic.
Promote driving side of business.

Temple work, idealy once a quarter at least.
Be a better visiting teacher (which means I need to take charge and not wait around for my partner to contact me...)
Continue reading Qur'an.
Read at least one book about religion and/or church history
Keep up with lesson reading for the Book of Mormon this year (preferrably in German!)
Build family history folder, preferably for both Chris and I, but at least get my side going first.

Self/Life in General
Have a healthy, baby boy #3 and get used to life with three kids.
Do some exercise daily outside of normal horse work, try toconvince Chris to join me.
Two-point for 15 minutes.
Do monthly goals and evaluations about overarching resolutions. This should help everything else fall into place.
Once things are settled see about doing counseling with my parents again. I've been at peace just leaving things as-is, but would like to have some sort of healthy relationship if possible.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I think I'm done counting my steps. I've had my step counter on my phone going since March for my own amusement. I do have to say it habitually undercounts my steps, especially on Sundays when my phone spends much of the time sitting on the counter doing absolutely nothing while I'm doing laps around the church with little men (we tend to get there early so we walk around to help the boys settle). There's also the steps before I even grab my phone in the morning (it hangs out in the kitchen to charge. I do not and never will keep my phone on the nightstand. And the steps after I plug it in for the night. I guess if I was serious about counting steps I'd get a watch or something that I put on first thing and took off last.

What I am actually interested in is stats while I'm riding, but I've got other priorities before getting into tech for that.

Anyway, here's the stats:

I started in March and averaged 10,463 steps a day.

The highest week that month averaged 12,355 steps.

The most steps walked was on March 8th with 18,910 and that was the most ever. Of course that included a good, long ride on Bud in all three gaits.

April averaged 10,263
The highest week averaged 10,604
The highest day the 19th with 18,430

May averaged 7,347
The highest week averaged 8,261
The highest day was May 6th at 12,913

May was weird because we were in Utah for a week and my phone did a lot of sitting in the car or in the ranch house so I actually averaged a whole lot higher than that.

June averaged 7,324
The highest week averaged 8,068
The highest day was the 9th at 13,183

June is when I realized that the battery in my phone was starting to have problems so it spent some more time being plugged in instead of on my person. I got a new battery and while it usually lasts the day it doesn't last as long as the battery did when I first got the phone, which is annoying.

July thusfar averaged 7,029
The highest week was 9,073
The highest day was the 18th at 12,269.

The beginning of the month the old battery was really dying. I'd have to charge it by 11am most days, which sucked.

Summer is also low on the steps list because fewer lessons and I spent more of the lessons sitting because I have to be out in it for 3-5 hours a day whereas the student is there for about an hour. Getting heat stroke or exhaustion is high on my avoidance list.

I will note that days I mucked my step count was much higher than on days I didn't. I am also happy that one of my working students has returned! It was nice getting the stalls done Saturday and being able to get the arena done today, and because it was done twice in seven days (did the arena Thursday) there were no fly larva as I raked it up, YAY!

Tomorrow is Tristan's first day of school. I have Molly the mare and I'll also be meeting with Debbie and her mini donkey Pebbles tomorrow. We'll see what type of trouble/fun I can get into with a mini donk!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Arizona has a big fat high pressure system sitting over the top of it and the thing isn't budging. I think it was 118 yesterday. Walking outside felt like stepping into an oven and all the air was vibrating with heat. We hosed the horses down twice throghout the day and will be repeating the same today.

One of my clients baked cookies in their car yesterday. They said the cookies were delicious, if gooey, and one of her aunts would bake break in the car during the summer too.

I managed to get the arena mucked this morning with the help of a working student. We filled three cans and a little bit more. The stalls are still gross, but there are only so many workable hours in the day. A lot of my working students are passing on working for the summer or are out of town so I've been trying to pick up the slack, but most of the prime mucking time is filled with lessons (not complaining about earning money) so I have gotten a bit behind, which bothers me. I'm geatefull I've kept up enough to keep the flies from being too terrible, but it isn't my standard or desired level of cleanliness right now.

I finally ordered some new Ariat terrains because my right one has a big gaping hole on the interior next to my foot pad. Other cracks and holes are present, but I figure the 2" gap looks a little unprofessional. I let them go longer than usual because I want them to last at least a year. The hole has been there a couple months and keeps getting bigger so time to replace.

I am feeling better. I have a suspicion the multivitamin I was taking was partly to blame. I had run out and had decided I wasn't super keen on the gummies as they are a little too sweet and you have to take two of them, however the swallowing pill I swaped to apparently made me nauseous, which is terrible, but it took me a couple weeks to realize that might have been it. I picked up some chewable gummies Saturday and have been feeling better. Go figure.

Tru-D has sat around and done nothing the last few weeks. I don't think she's complaining, but I'd like to get her training moving consistently forward. We need to smooth out our long lining and I'd like to introduce some whip work while ground driving as well as introducing some noises like the pole or tire being dragged. I have a plan! It's just a matter of executing it.

It's supposed to be over 110 all week (over 43° C for metric system folks, which means it was almost 48° yesterday because I think they said it was 118° F). I will be doing my job then hiding in the house. Lots of gatorade, ice water, and filling my bandana with ice. This morning I had put several cubes in it and what I do is tie it around my neck so as the ice melts it wets my neck and back to keep me cool. This morning, however, it was pretty much dry after two hours.

While the heat is terrible I have been enjoying a slowed down schedule. Having only 10-15 lessons a week is a big difference from 20-25 and allows me to breathe and even get some stuff done around the house, especially with Chris gone during the day. I admit to being a bit of a slug the past couple weeks, but that should change as I feel better.

Der Versuch

Mar. 5th, 2016 08:54 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
So I have one of those health applications on my phone that came with it. Never downloaded it and I think it is one of those that you can't delete (like the worthless NFL app, Flipboard, and a dozen others that the phone company thinks I must need). It had a step tracker so I figured "what the heck" and turned it on last night. The preset goal is 6000 steps for the day, which I imagine is probably a mile and a half, maybe two for your average person's stride.

I checked it after my morning set of lessons and was pretty close to the 6000 mark aready. Then I went to work with Henry and Bud (Sue is still fighting something like pneumonia). Bud did awesome and rocked a nice loop at a good trot for, what I estimate, a three mile loop, which ended with him trotting over the Grate of Doom and made me super proud of where he is now. Sue's been wanting Henry to start learning the driving ropes so he took over the reins for the cool-down. We wove a bit drunkenly down the road, though it wasn't entirely Henry's fault. Bud knew home was behind him again and was pushing a little. When Henry asked him to turn around for home Bud just about turned inside out he couldn't swing around fast enough! He did walk calmly home and still wove back and forth across the road, but not bad for a first drive for Henry.

After the drive the step count was close to 10k ... woops! I guess driving counts as exercise in a two-wheeled cart. I then rode Kitt during my next lesson, which jumped the count well over 1200. The end of the day totaled at 14872 and 7.65 miles. I imagine my actual steps were between 8 and 10 and if the drive was three miles I might have walked 3.5ish (assuming a mile for the ride on Kitt).

I did find it funny that the program congradulated me for having my Most Steps Ever! on the first day I started tracking.

I might keep it on for chuckles and giggles, but it was interesting to see that I do walk a lot during a lesson, even when I am on the ground. If I was serious I'd get an actual pedometer.

Kash was fit for his boots today. The woman works for Renegade and my house happens to be between her barn and home so she was able to drop by on her way home from the barn. She had a big tote of shells that she tried on him as I finished my last lesson. I was glad I took the side trip to the feed store after Bud to snag a rasp. He was already starting to chip a little from his old nail holes so she was able to smooth those out to get a better fit. I also want to keep up on things better between trims and hoof nippets and a dull knife only get you so far.

She said they are working on designs for drafts, but the engineering required to get the materials to work for 1800lbs is different than 900lbs. I said if she needs any test subjects we'd be happy to do it! She said she'd keep it in mind and they actually do actively seek out testers and measurements for manufacturing new models. That could be fun!

Kash barely managed to get both feet in the same sized boot, which makes it easier (don't have to be picky about left and right). I ordered them this afternoon and since they're made here in Arizona with any luck I'll have them before the end of the week!

In other news ADHMA was invited to do some demos during the Queen Creek rodeo. They sent out an email yesterday (thanks for the heads up guys!). We'll probably take Ruby and the wagonette so we don't have to keep track of three of them. That and we can be there either in the morning or afternoon and I can shuffle lessons as necessary. I just need to hear back from Troy so I know where to shuffle them to.

They plan on doing a trail drive too, but no date yet. Maybe I just need to step up rather than waiting around for other people to start doing things...
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
It ruptured last night! I am so happy!

Pictures under cut because it really is ugly )

Less gross version: My thumb is feeling better and I am still treating it. I look forward to it getting back to normal.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Saturday I had some tenderness start in my left thumb. It felt like a small infection to start, which I have had on occasion. Some redness beside the nailbed that eventually ruptures given a couple days and it's all better. Well by the end of the day it was pretty painful so I started soaking it with some teabags to start because that's what I had.
probably too much information about an abscess )

I hope the tenderness and pain cut it out soon because you forget how much you use your weak thumb when you don't have it. Like buttoning things and opening doorknobs.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
After ten years without I picked up a pair of glasses yesterday.

I had lasixs in 2005 just before Chris and I were married (while I still had my parents' health insurance, perfect vision made a good wedding present) and was super crisp until I was pregnant with Tristan (yay hormones...). This last year and a little before (i.e. pregnancy number two) it started getting noticable and annoying. I finally went in last week and I have Astigmatism in both eyes and about 20/15 or 15/20? Whicher means I see at 15 feet what most see at 20. When I first had lasix it was 20/25 or something like that, super crisp!

So I put the glasses on and holy cow talk about input overload. Things looked a bit TOO crisp. I guess I didn't realise how bad they had gotten? They are still less than half the thickness of my old glasses and I guess the major thing is the astigmatism that is making things more fuzzy/doubled/whatever.

I am pretty sure I am going to use them when I am working on the computer, but I am not sure about anything else. I am sensing a gradual easing because it really was an overload wearing them yesterday. Of course after a decade of not doing something I guess it will take a bit to get used to again.

That said the decade of good vision was totally worth it.


Dec. 22nd, 2014 10:14 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Chris came down with a nasty stomach flu Friday night. It wiped him outso bad he slept pretty much all day Saturday, only up long enough to call out sick.

Saturday I had three lessons in the morning and then the clean-up potluck, which was a great success. We have a huge pile of bags full of rubbish that we will slowly throw away in our cans or take on a dump run, whichever happens first. Then I had two lessons in the afternoon and fed the herd, which pretty much made it a 12 hour day. I don't know how I had the energy for it all as I barely slept Friday night with Chris in and out of bed and suffering from the chills.

Chris had Kelhan and I sleep in Tristan's room to try and avoid spreading the illness. I slept poorly because Tristan has a slight cough and also rolled around and grumbled a bit and I didn't want Kelhan to wake Tristan so each peep out of him I grabbed him and nursed him back to sleep.

Needless to say Sunday I felt run-down and took the boys over to Marty so I could get a nap. I went down around noon and woke up a bit after two still feeling blah. Then it was a bit more than blah and I got the bug. I won't frighten you with the details, but there was a lot of purging off and on until 10pm. The boys stayed the night with Dave and Marty.

Kelhan apparently had some throwing up bouts and Tristan had a slightfever with congestion, but no throwing up (yay!). Kelhan's belly appears to have settled now and we're hoping Tristan doesn't get it *furious wood knocking.*

Thankfully it seems to be a 24-hour thing. A few hours of sickness and then feeling drained and generally blah. Poor Chris' abs and diaphragm are still protesting the abuse.

The good news: we should all be healthy for Christmas!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
So apparently some bloggershave issued a challenge in October. It has been a thing for a couple years I and I have just been too much of a hermit to notice. Basically you get your baseline then check in each week and have a final at the end. There are prizes for most improved and longest time, but on my side it is for the personal challenge.

I am trying for it and got my baseline on Kash this evening at six minutes, which is a little sad, but I did hike my stirrups a couple holes and did a couple of those minutes in the walk to warm up Kash. Double bonus: I tried out Kash's new bridle that arrived today. I ordered it through Dover and while I was going to go with the classic black with white padding dressage bridle they had the black on black Cob size on sale for an additional $20 or so off. The hoof supplement was also cheaper than expected and so was the half pad I picked up to try with the boy as well. The money saved allowed me to pick up a new large schooling helmet for students to use. I need another medium too, but one thing at a time.

The half pad seemed to do an OK job. I need to ride him again without it and compare the sweat marks. I am also unsure if the best place for it is above the regular pad or below it. Kash tends to lose out on the saddles as he is the only horse that isn't Extra Wide according to the Wintecs. He would do fine wide, but I am not going to swap out the gullet just for him (maybe if we were competing or doing heavy work). I also don't have the funds to get a saddle just for him (my Western one fits him fine, but no one else) so I am trying the half pad to see if I can get a better fit.

The bridle was good, though the browband might be a little tight. I think part of it is waiting for it to mold to his head a bit more. if needed I will pick up a horse sized browband at a later point. Of course if I had unlimited funds I'd get him a saddleseat bridle with a green brow and noseband because I have always thought it would look good on him. I was tempted, but practicality won out (when would I ever ride saddleseat?).

Tomorrow I have training with Kitt. We will see if starting the two point challenge the day before was a bad idea or not.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I was curious. I noticed the other week that my belt was easily on the second hole whether I was wearing my 29's or 28's and I happened to have the thought while I was at Marty's to step on the scale. According to her little bathroom scale (not quite so accurate as the big fancy medical one she has) I am down to 130 again. None too shabby six months postpartum!

I admit I wasn't really thinking about being at this point until Kelhan was weaned (don't want to compromise the milk suppky while it is still being used!), but it is a happy surprise. I guess I am not doing as bad about moving as I had initially supposed (not a lot of concerted exercise outside of work and chasing children ... does bench pressing a baby count?).

... Or maybe it was partially stress-induced with last month. Also a possibility, but I'd rather believe the former.

I am heading out to work Panda and hopefully Sunny too. It's terribly hot, though, about 104, so I am hiding in the roundpen with shade! The good news is it is supposed to be below 100 in the next week and, with any luck, stay there until next year!
lantairvlea: (Default)
I haven't really worked out in years. Yes I ride and manage horses on a regular basis, but it isn't enough to really get me more fit. I need to cross train. Previous attempts were thwarted by school schedules, but that hasn't been the case in three years.

So I am going to make an effort to work out nearly daily. You will laugh at my current goal, but at the moment I'm running on the thought that something is better than nothing and if my body notes that it has done some work and burns a little bit I'm doing okay and again, it's better than nothing.

Current goal? Five crunches/sit-ups a day. I may be adding in a push up or two in there as I have been getting the sit-ups done regularly. Five sit-ups is not a lot I know, but the thought of having to squeeze them in invariably means that I get down and do some, more often than not I do more than my meager goal.

I would love to get back into some sort of weight/cardio thing, but it's finding the time to do it. Making time to do it. Something is better than nothing, and that's what I'm going with for now.

As it cools down I'm going to start working with Zetahra more and that is going to include going for "walks" around the neighborhood, maybe even some jogging, and that will help.

In other news Jed had his first jaunt around the neighborhood yesterday and he did awesome. I'm ready to just hitch him up and go, but Chris wants me to take him out a bit more. The only issue was at the last 100 yards or so and a big garbage truck came at us. I barely squeaked over and asked him to stand. He watched it and as it passed did a quarter turn away from it, but nothing more. Good boy. The thing was probably 15 feet away from us. Really good boy.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Monday I have my pre-op exam and next Friday is the actual operation to have the cyst removed. I'm not allowed to have any advil between now and then, I'm assuming it has something to do with the anesthesia. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but I start Tuesday and my body has been known to produce some rather wicked cramps. Let's just hope it's mild.... That's okay, I'm sure I'll survive.

I do need to know how long I'm not allowed to work around horses/teach lessons. For sure anything Friday will be out of the question, though the surgery is in the morning. Saturday will probably be out of the question as well. I'll just have to ask Monday.

Yesterday Opa's two palomino Fox Trotters arrived. I'm working them for him over the winter so they'll be good to go come the riding season up in UT. The mare has been worked under saddle before and I've ridden her myself at least once, but the gelding has next to no handling and will be a bit more of a challenge. I won't be the first one on him. After I do some good, solid groundwork on him I'll find someone else to put the first three or so rides on him. Part of this is for Chris' sake and the other part is that I don't like eating dirt if I can help it. Once I get a good handle on the ground with him I don't think there will be any issue. I think he's has about the same mind as the mare (they are at least half-siblings), but again, he's had next to no handling.

He's rather skittish and unsure. You should have seen him last night trying to eat out of the blue feeder. He was reaching as far forward as he could without actually stepping up to it, afraid that the thing was going to jump off the fence and grab him, I'm sure. So there's lots of desensitizing to be done for sure.

They'll be here for at least three, maybe four months, perhaps more, I don't know for sure, but in that time I'll get the gelding broke to ride and get the mare much more refined.

The first order of business, however, will be getting both of them thoroughly bathed. It's chilled a bit, but it's still warm enough in the afternoon for a good bath. This will be the first desensitizing step and also get rid of the caked-on filth that needs to be banished from their coats. After that I'll take some pictures and send them to my grandparents.

I plan on working them during the week. This should get me more motivated to be out there and working because, well, it's a job and I'm getting paid. I've been a bit slack in my riding because I've lacked the purpose and drive for working my own horses. Not that I don't want to, but since I haven't gotten myself in the mindset of it being an actual "job" I've allowed other things to get in the way.

And it's time for me to get going. Horses to work!
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
The scan yesterday went well (at least I assume so). It was a new machine and the radiologist (I assume that's what he was) was not in his usual office so he was slightly scattered trying to remember where everything he needed was and is probably part of the reason why instead of going in at 11 when my appointment was I didn't get in until after 12.

That contrast dye is weird stuff and, as prescribed, I've been drinking fluids like I don't think I ever have before to flush the crap out of my system. It must be working as the frequency of bathroom visits have increased dramatically.

Hopefully the results of the scan can be processed quickly and I'll be able to get in and have the cyst removed before the end of next week. It's getting rather annoying having to shift my head around in order to lay on my left side comfortably. Certain types of pressure are also rather uncomfortable, such as a shirt collar getting caught on the lobe. I'll be glad when it's gone and done with. I'll hope that I don't get another one ever. Of course with my family history it's doubtful that there won't be a recurrance, but I can hope.

After the scan yesterday Mom took me to lunch, which was rather nice. I was slightly starving as I wasn't allowed to eat or drink 4 hours before the scan and, well, by the time it was over with it'd been more than 6.

After lunch we hit the Verizon Wireless store (we're on Alltel and it's been bought out or merging or somesuch by Verizon) as Mom had to get something and I've been meaning to get a new phone as my current one has a crack in the hinge, which pops ominously when opened and closed. Since we're supposed to be getting new phones anyways as we switch over to Verizon I figured why not.

Of course my desire for a "Just Plain Phone" was rather squashed because they don't really make those anymore. My only requirement is that it stores numbers and can text. Not that I text a lot, but it's how I communicate with my riding instructor who is deaf. That desire thwarted I went to the other end and eyeballed the nearly indestructible phone. You know the one that can survive in 10' of water and be run over by a truck or something like that? It definitely wouldn't have been a bad choice considering what most of my phones have gone through (irrigation water, creeks, and other things...). I wouldn't use the push-to-talk option or most of the other features on the thing, but my other choice was the Blackberry Pearl flip phone. It's the complete opposite of my "just plain phone" desire, but if it's not one extreme it's the other, right?

Anyway, I'm being schooled by Chris on the phone's doodads and I've announced a couple times "I can see hours at a time vanishing into this thing." Of course, Chris was anti-cell phone before he got his phone (same as mine, Blackberry Pearl flip phone ... or rather, mine's the same as his). I don't think I like the calendar on it and will probably continue to use my faithful Palm, which in addition to its large screen, has the option of a stylus, which makes jumping around and selection options much easier. The Palm also has more options when scheduling things.

So far so good, though.

The Horse Show was on Saturday and once again Ola and I loaded up Kash and Panda and headed over. Panda did wonderfully. She was steady and much more relaxed. While she still eyeballed the people leaning on the rails she was more accepting of them and didn't get as worried about what they were doing.

Kash did better than last time, though he started out a little worse. He was actually rearing when Ola first rode him into the arena and she said he was very much trying to take off. Unfortunately there wasn't time before our first class to work him out of it so I went in solo again in the first walk-trot class.

Between classes Ola worked with Kash a bit on the lunge line and he did wonderfully, responsive, respectful and all that. However when she got on him he didn't do so beautifully. He'd be fine standing still, but when asked to move forward, according to Ola, that's where the issues started. I had her get on and instead of asking for him to move forward, as for a couple side or backwards steps. We managed a half dozen passable walking steps before stopping and calling it good. After a lunch and water break I ended up getting on him and working the boy. He was definitely distracted and a little tight. I just worked him around the grounds, walking him down to an open area next to one of the other arenas where they had some speed events going on. I spent most of the time just asking him to move off my legs. Yield left, yield right, shoulder here, hip there, just things to keep his mind working and redirecting the energy. I didn't worry about him trotting to fast, just keeping him moving and listening to my seat and leg. He softened up and started to quiet down (he had been whinnying to the other horses rather persistently.

Once I had him moving nicely in the walk and trot I returned to Ola and had her work with him. He returned to some tightness, mostly due to her nervousness and I helped her work through it. His usual trick of popping his shoulder out returned and I had to really emphasize the use of her leg in order to get him to move over. They got to the point where they were working pretty good together. Ola asked if I'd ride him first in the covered arena during the break before our class and I did. I had her ride Panda and offered that the two of them ride in the next class together if I couldn't get Kash sorted out.

I once again worked on getting him to relax and move off my leg. Managed to do some figures, but the other horses in the arena were quite distracting to him and the longer I rode the more he wanted to magnetize back towards the gate. Nearly caused two wrecks, one of which was around a rather hot and flighty saddleseat horse. I ended on a good note at the far end of the arena, hopped off, and walked him out the gate.

Ola and Panda were getting along famously and with a little extra coaching they went into the second class that we had signed up for. Kash and I stood outside and cheered them on. They did really well, though Panda did get a little fast in her trot at one point, but none too shabby. I would have felt rather bad had Ola not gotten a chance to at least ride in the show, thus I had her take Panda in.

Panda is a very honest horse and does what you ask so long as she understands. Kash is not necessarily deceitful, but he demands proper riding, especially when he is in a more excited frame of mind. I am glad that he did much better than the highly distracted, nearly unresponsive thing he was last time, but I was a little bummed that Ola missed out working him in a class. She did get to ride though, which is good and she had a good time and felt better for the whole experience (Kash's antics included).

I don't know when we'll try to go next, but the EVAHA curcuit is over with so I'll have to ask Kim if she knows of any nice, close low-grade shows on a Saturday.

And I need to eat lunch. One of these days I'll update more regularly so I'm not writing novels with each post...


Oct. 15th, 2009 02:08 pm
lantairvlea: (Default)
I've had a cyst in my left earlobe for years. I had it before I got married, I think I might have had it the tail-end of High School, but I figure it's been at least six years.

Two weeks ago it goes from being a small, round something in my earlobe that I had a tendency to finger because it's there, to a massive giantly swollen thing that might just extend into my jaw area. It swelled up pretty bad and was angry and red. Went to the doctor, was given antibiotics and a list of ENTs (Ear-Nose-Throat) to choose from and wished good luck.

Went to an ENT, had it looked at, he declared the need for a CT scan. Went to a second doctor, only to find that said doctor was sick, so I filled out paperwork and set up another appointment for tomorrow. They called me saying that the doctor is still sick and set up another appointment for next Friday. The imaging place for the CT scan called and, unfortunately, their place is down for maintenance until Tuesday. Drat. So I get to have a billion x-rays of my head taken so they can see how large the cyst (or cysts as the case may be) is (are) and if they come into contact with anything important because they don't want to be surprised when they go to remove the thing due to some important facial nerves that run by the ear.

So in the meantime my left earlobe is a bit swollen, though not so bad as it was, and I get to wait and see what the CT scan says about the location of the cyst(s) and what the ENT wants to do about it. Second doctor, who is currently sick, hasn't seen it yet and I'm not sure if I'll go to that appointment or not.
lantairvlea: (Default)
The day after I got heat exhaustion.

Tuesday I was outside far too much for the temperature that it was outside and, lo, suffered from the exposure. I don't think I've ever had heat exhaustion or other heat-related issues before, but there's a first time for everything and probably explains why I didn't know I had it until the day after. The really odd thing is that I didn't feel nauseous until the evening rather than while I was outside, so I initially thought it might have been something I ate, but now I'm rather positive that it was simply being outside in the heat too much.

As prescribed by Mother Trout I drank lots of water yesterday and downed a 32oz thing of gatorade throughout the day. I'm feeling much better today and the change in weather definitely helps.

It went from 105 or so on Tuesday to 95 or somesuch yesterday and this morning it was in the 60's and, I think, will barely be topping out at 90. It seems that October arrived and the weather suddenly realized that it's supposed to be Fall or something.

Today was pretty good. Started out by spending over an hour trying to get the new Macate reins on the Bosal/Hackemore for Sunny. The ones that came with it are horsehair and, which they kind of feel cool, they are pokey and scratchy because you really can't get single strands of horsehair that long. The Macate reins are some 20' or so long because not only do you get the loop that goes to your hands, but it also makes up a 8' portion that is loose that can either be used as a lead or as an "assistance" like a crop or somesuch. I redid the knot several times before I finally got it right.

After that (and feeding both the horses and myself) it was off to driving, which was good and slightly exciting. They blocked off the area that we normally drive down, but we didn't notice it until, well, we got all the way down, which required turning around and heading back. There was some slight harriness (not actually a word, but I'm using it anyway) when I had to ask the mare to move between a large concrete pillar and the bubbling irrigation water. My instructor took over and got the mare moving before we got ourselves into a mess because I didn't just tell her "yeah, go forward" and she started goobering a bit at it.

Overall it was a good drive and a good lesson, I'm still learning a lot and it's starting to feel like I'm getting the hang of it and have some more control over the situation. My hands are definitely getting better and the whip is getting moderately easier to manage. I need to get myself a better whip as the ones I have are not large enough, at least the little stock whips aren't. They might be okay once we get the cart all fixed up and I'm sitting up in it, but as far as ground driving goes they're entirely inadequate.

I also need to do more ground driving. The weather's getting to the point where I don't really have an excuse to not be working horses outside until noon or so and, well, groundwork (driving specifically) is something I can do without much worry even when no one is around.

After driving Mom and I headed off to the San Tans for a trail ride. We ended up being out for about two hours or so, which was rather nice. Dakota was as slow as molasses and Sunny and I had to play "Lost in the Desert" in order to prevent from 1) running her over and 2) leaving her in the dust. Had Mom lead most of the time (it seems almost any time I'm out on a trail ride I'm in the lead ... regardless of the horse I'm on) and by the end of the ride she had Dakota moving out and off of her leg fairly well. It helped that she now had a crop (my suggestion) as, truth be told, she's not terribly effective with her leg, partially due to not knowing how to use it and partially due to physical limitations (part of me still wonders if most of it isn't in her head...).

Sunny did most excellent, especially considering the last time she went out was January first and since then her time under saddle has been sporadic to say the least. I've done two lessons on her, ridden her maybe three times, and Chris had ridden her a couple times and that's about it. She's my mother-in-law's horse and, well, despite the best intentions she hasn't ridden much. It's a good thing Sunny's a horse that can sit.

There was some initial "Oh I'm outside, I've gotta go somewhere!" but all she tried was a little jogging, which was easily managed. The couple times I asked her up into the trot she volunteered a canter (which for Sunny is about as fast as most horses trot...), though she came back down well enough. She's a good horse, even if at times she feels like she only has half a brain. She did quite well with the bicyclists that we ran across. The last one she was so disinterested as he passed that she turned away and looked the opposite direction as he came towards her. Unfazed, but easily distracted.

Mucked, freed the horses to enjoy the arena and the moderately cooler weather, took a nap, and here I am.

I'm almost done with page 29 of Shifting Times. If I'd been working on it instead of typing this I'd probably be close to finishing the last panel, but ... y'know. I need to do better about that "Sacred Studio Time" thing. It might be easier once it cools down and that's the first thing I do in the day rather than cramming it in the middle and putting it after the horses and other things. Wake up around 5, feed horses, feed myself, draw, paint, and whathaveye until 8 and then start the day with the horses or whatever else needs to be accomplished. Sounds like a plan.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Of course, I think Mom's more glad.

Yesterday I took Mom to the hospital so she could have the filter removed that they put in last week. Her appointment was at 7.30 (well, she was supposed to be there at 7.30am). She didn't go back for the procedure until after 10.00 and I hung around until Dad got there a bit after 10.30. I spent my time drawing, chatting a bit with Mom (until they took her back). I didn't get home until well after 11.00 and then ran some errands.

The procedure went off without a hitch and Mom was done around the time I got home and she was able to head home that afternoon. I had lunch with her this afternoon and, apart from the giant bandage on her neck (they had to go through the jugular vein to retrieve the filter ... ew) she looks great. She might be able to start riding again in the next month, which she is excited for.

My mind is melting at the moment. and I don't think I can really throw things out in an interesting way so here's a list:

Took Kash to training, which started out a bit blah. I was unusually stiff, not tense stiff, but my body wasn't wanting to work the way it usually does. Perhaps I should have stretched a bit first. I think I felt it more in my calf and knee than anything, but Kim said it was through my whole body. I managed to work through Kash's "popping shoulder of death" much more effectively than I have in the past. It's amazing what keeping a grip on that outside rein can do! I've only known it was the answer for two years, now I'm actually applying it!

Towards the end he was doing quite awesome and we were getting that ... I don't know, te best way for me to describe it is like hydroplaning in a car. The horse's energy is forward, but you're able to "glide" the body into various positions. Just a little bit for shoulder in, fore, haunches in, etc. and it's effortless and wonderful. Also had a really good, collected trot going on for a few strides, which was great.

After getting home I cleaned out the trailer, did a lesson, and went to the dentist. They said I'd be numb for about an hour after the filling was done (re-filled actually, not a new one, but an old one that needed to be re-done). Ha. I didn't start getting real feeling back until after 2.00 and the filling was done around, oh 10.30?

And now I need to head off and feed some horses!
lantairvlea: (Default)
So life is continuing to bound forward. Mom had her surgery on Monday to put in the stint as well as having a filter put in to prevent the blood clot from going places where it could cause issues. The clot was supposed to be blasted to pieces, but they had issues with it as it wasn't "normal" (like many of the issues my mom has had over the years, she's getting tired of being "unique"). so the clot is still in there and hopefully being broken up by blood thinners. Monday I get to take her to the hospital so they can remove the filter and I don't know what else.

Horse-wise, I did really good working everyone last week. Super good actually! I got to trot on Cinnamon for the first time with Marty's help on the ground. She's still not really used to a bridle yet and I haven't even touched her through reins on a bit so I've been using just the lead rope on her halter. My "breaks" consisted of Marty on the ground as well as bending Cinnamon's nose towards the rail. She was nice and light to it, had she not been there would have been a lot of one-rein stopping and bending.

I'm quite pleased with how her training is progressing, even if it is slow compared to what most would expect. We have time, she's only two and a half and I'd rather have slow, smooth sailing than get pitched or create resistances that will have to be worked out again.

Speaking of resistances that have to be worked out. I worked one of my student's horses this morning. They just got her a couple weeks ago (with me being hesitant on the idea) and she shipped in from ... I think it was Minnesota or somewhere out yonder while I was in UT. It took me some 20 minutes to get the mare to stand still so I could get on last time, this time she stood fine, though we did have a bit of a discussion about not running me over when I tried to pick up a back foot and she shot forward and into me. Fun.

Once I got her moving out of my space better and finished with the grooming and tacking up I worked with lateral flexion from the saddle. Basically picking up on one rein and bringing her nose towards the girth (right behind the front legs). I'd hold the rein until 1) her feet stopped moving and 2) she gave in her neck to release the pressure on the rein. Once she loosened up on that I walked her around and started asking her to yield to my inside leg. I know she knows how to do it mostly because of how she reacts to the leg pressure. With Jinjer she'd feel the leg pressure and move forward (Maryanne too), but this mare, Amber, you put the leg on and instead of moving forward or away, she braces against it and if the pressure stays, then she moves forward. This makes me think she's probably had to protect herself against harsh leg cues in the past.

Eventually I got her loosened up enough to move on to trotting, but she immediately stiffened up again against my inside leg and, as time was short, I got her to yield well once and called it a day. As I told the woman who was watching (friend of the kids' mom), I probably could have just jumped on and did some walk-trot-canter work and the mare would have moved around fine, or at least passably so, but I'm rather picky about how my horse moves. I don't want to feel tension underneath me because a tense horse isn't fun to ride and a tense horse isn't happy being ridden. A tense horse is also more likely to get hurt because they're not yielding and giving to the pressure, but trying to fight against it and causing more stress on the musculo-skeletal system. Could you imagine trying to dance with someone who was constantly pushing and rigid?

I wasn't terribly impressed the first time I worked with the mare, and I'm still not super-impressed now, but she may shape into a descent pony for the mom and kids so long as her issues can be addressed in an understanding way. I don't think she'd respond well to coersive techniques, which I think she's been a victim of before. The friend noted that one of the reasons they had for selling the little mare was that she didn't do well in the dressage phase of the 3-day events they were attending. I suspect that the mare could do quite well with it once the tension that's built up in her is worked out as she's wonderfully light in the hand and comes on the bit nicely ... until you start asking for bending through the ribcage that is, which again, I think has become a learned response due to previous ... uneducated aids.

I know in the video I saw of the mare before they purchased her the hands of the one riding her weren't too sympathetic. The mare also has a bit of a ewe neck with a massive amount of muscle on the underside of her neck, which means she's spent a lot of time with her head in the air bracing against the bit rather than giving and rounding up.

If I'm anything, I'm definitely conservative when it comes to evaluating horses. There's very few that I've simply fallen over and thought were awesome at first meeting and I've met quite a few at this point. I'm also a button pusher. If there's something needing to be tweaked, I'll generally find it.

In other news. I'm slowly working through cleaning up all the pictures I took of my artwork from the past semester and will be gushing artwork out of my ears shortly!


May. 12th, 2009 07:23 pm
lantairvlea: (uncertain mrr)
So Mom's in the hospital with a gigantic clot in her leg. She gets to recline in a hospital bed as they pump her full of blood thinners to break the sucker up and get the blood flowing normally so that the swelling will go down, which it has.

Opa and I went over again this afternoon and dropped off her laptop (apparently they have free wi-fi in the hospital for the patients), some books and other things to alleviate the boredom that is bound to come from having to lay around for several days.

That said she will be missing my graduation, however given the current situation I can completely understand. I just want her be healthy. It's a vague hope that she'll be out of the hospital Thursday, it's more likely she'll be in there for a week. Again, gigantic blood clot. It runs from her groin to her knee. HUGE. Apparently both radiologists came out to oogle at the thing. I'll have to joke with Mom about being eligible for the Guinness book of world records.

The good news is that it should clear up perfectly fine and she can fly home when finished. Once home she can schedule to have a stint put in for the poor vein that's currently being squished by two arteries, which is what caused the blockage in the first place. The doctor said it's called "Nutcracker Syndrome."

Opa, Oma, and I will be driving back home tomorrow morning.

All in all, could have been much, much worse. Glad that they caught the clot before it did any damage and it's getting taken care of.

It's sad Mom won't make it to graduation and won't be going to UT with us ... if we end up going to UT that is.

We're playing it by ear. See what happens.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Yesterday Mom and I headed off to CA. Today, we're still here. We were supposed to come over, rest the night, and then leave this morning to take Oma and Opa back home with us so they could be at my graduation (not safe for them to fly right now with the H1N1 thing going on), however, Mom's leg had something else planned. It swelled up about half again as large as it usually is this morning. Aunt Tina came over and the pair of them went off to the urgent care and last we heard Mom's getting an ultrasound done to be sure she doesn't have a bloodclot or somesuch going on.

Needless to say that our return home has been postponed. I don't know if they'll end up flying me back, if we'll leave later today, or if it'll end up being first thing tomorrow morning.

I canceled my lesson for this evening and I have two tomorrow, but not until the evening again.

So we'll see what'll happen. Either way we'll make it back (before graduation day!).

In other news, I had training yesterday morning, which went quite well and Kash was awesome, though he did get a bit distracted when another horse trailer pulled up. I'm unsure if his distractedness was influencing me, or if it was my slight curiosity about it that caused him to become more and more distracted. Heading out of the arena he all but ignored my cues to stop. It was like a magnet was pulling him towards the other horse and its handler. I turned him away from the gate, came 'round again, asked him to stop, and again he walked right into my hands. A couple more tries and he finally stopped on cue and I popped off and rubbed him fiercely, letting him know that was the right response.

A couple times he got into a really powerful trot, which was cool to feel and we worked on lengthening his canter a bit. We lengthened and came back to working and lengthened again, trying to get him to loosen up a bit in the canter. He'd try to cut in a bit and fall on the inside shoulder as I tried to bring him back to the working canter. The first time he kindof dive-bombed Kim, I felt a little bad about that, but I wasn't quite ready for his sudden cut-in. The next few times were less dramatic.

Ah, Aunt Tina just called. It is a blood clot, a rather large one apparently ... full length of the leg? I don't know if that's really possible, but either way I severely doubt we'll be heading home today.


lantairvlea: (Default)

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