Let’s Play….What Is Wrong With My Horse?

Ugh guys.

I’m not panicking. I refuse to panic.

Temps over 100F combined with a hiatus to study combined with cementing myself out of the barn all added up to over 2 weeks without riding. Eeyore occupied himself in the pasture galloping around, playing bitey face with Pete, rearing and having a good time.

Went to a friend’s house and she has a goat named Lucy who has the run of the place. Now I want a goat.

Last night I finally got to ride. The temps were cool, overcast and windy. Watching him vibrate in the crossties didn’t instill a lot of confidence in me so I plopped him on the longe and let him rip. Literally at times.

He bucked and reared and farted and had a good time getting his wiggles out to the left and then I asked him to go right and he tried to nope his way right out of that. I got him to go but he was sulky, barely picked up the canter and only kept going because I forced him to. I didn’t think much of it. He had had his fun going left after all.

I tacked him up and hopped on to find a very compliant and content poneh under me. Really guys, we have come such a long long way from this time last year. We trotted and cantered left to warm up then turned to go right and he refused to pick up the right lead. He never has an issue with leads. Ever.

Wyatt trotted in his lesson last week for the first time. He was petrified but he did it. I was so proud of him.

Eventually he got the right lead, then swapped then got it again then sulked and got angry ears. It was obvious he wasn’t happy but was he not happy in the right lead or just because he was working?

Back to the left and no issues. Picked up the left lead, held it, worked on the 20 m circle. No issues.

The right? Same pissy, not wanting to pick it up, lurching into it behavior that told me he was not happy.

Well damn.

In the trot he was fine. I couldn’t detect anything off and he was happy enough to move forward and we even didn’t completely suck on the circle, but he did not want to canter right.

Well damn.

But I’m not panicking. You are panicking. Not me. I’m not having flashbacks to all last year dealing with right side lameness. Nope. I’m moving forward towards my HT debut in November. Yup. I’m fine.

Being a mom means doing trash pick up on Saturday morning with your kiddo. I will miss these days.

My game plan is to get under Trainer AB’s educated eye and maybe her butt too and see what she thinks. He was perfectly fine 2 weeks ago when I rode him last which was a flat school at home. He has been looking happy as a clam running around in the pasture. I couldn’t palpate any pain, swelling or heat anywhere and I made sure to really palpate hard around his left hip and SI area as that has been touchy before though it didn’t show up as any gait abnormality instead showing as a sensitivity to being groomed in that region. I found nothing. No reaction at all. I don’t know.

He is due for shoes next week and I may put pads on him. The ground is concrete though my arena is soft and fluffy. Maybe he is just sore from that???


If he is still weird tonight I’m going to make an appointment with the doc who did his lameness stuff last year. At least she will have her notes as a comparison. It may be a one off thing. Maybe he is sore from his pasture shenanigans or the hard ground or from his playing on the longe or maybe he got kicked by Pete or Gem or maybe he fell or maybe a few hundred other scenarios and he will ride perfectly fine tonight. Hopefully it isn’t anything and I’m just being paranoid but I have a gut feeling I’m screwed. We will see.



So….uh….yeah I did a dumb.

Want to hear all the excuses first??

I can’t recall another time in my life where I felt so stressed, stretched thin, and run down. I’m distracted. Pre occupied. Barely making it through my day without a panic attack.

Medical boards are Monday. I’ve been studying for 2 months. If I don’t pass these, I lose my hospital credentials. If I lose those, I lose my ability to accept insurance. If I lose that, I’m out of practice.

So it’s a bit important.

But I’ve taken important tests before and I can typically handle the study pressure. Only this time everything is piling up against me.

Pete can’t wait for the cooler weather to finally arrive this weekend. He doesn’t do heat very well.

Last spring Dusty signed up for a surgical wet lab. He asked if I had any plans or reasons he couldn’t go. Nope. I knew my boards would be in October but the previous 9 I have taken to qualify to take this one (this crap is a money laundering racket) have all been on a Wednesday so I figured him being gone for a Fri-Mon wasn’t going to be an issue.

Then they released the date for this 6 weeks ago and it isn’t just on a Monday, it’s on the Monday of the weekend he is gone.

Ok….I can work around that. Wyatt gets basically no screen time but when given it he will be zoned for the day. I’ll be that parent and plop my kid in front of a movie and study. My anxiety level dropped.

Me last weekend studying while I sent the kids and Dusty off on a hike to get out of the house

Except I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago with the realization that I have to be at the testing center at 715 am that day. Wyatt’s school doesn’t open until 715 am and I haven’t figured out a way to be in two places at once yet. Panic level: crucial.

Thankfully my mom agreed to get up at o dark thirty to come to get Wyatt ready for school and drop him off for me. Crisis averted.

Ok…things were looking settled. I’d be able to study all weekend and make it to my test.

Then the cub scouts schedule got published and Saturday is a major community service project that Wyatt needs to attend. There goes my morning of studying. Frick. Still….it should wear him out so that l can study all afternoon while he naps and then watches a movie. Sanity still intact.

If only I could be this relaxed

You know what’s coming don’t you?

Except…M then told me that homecoming is Saturday night. Are you kidding me?!?!! It goes until 10 and Wyatt goes to bed at 830 and well I couldn’t take it anymore so I told her I’d take her but she needs to find a way home. I’m not waking Wyatt up at 10 pm to drive to pick her up and I can’t leave him home sleeping alone and I can’t ask anyone else to do it so screw it. I just plumb can’t do it.

So that’s where my mind has been. Frazzled and distracted and crammed full of useless medical information that only comes in handy for board examinations.

Which leads me to my dumb.

The cutest scout there is

Dusty had the contractor out to give an estimate for the aisle on Sunday. It was under budget so we jumped on scheduling it and were surprised the guy could do it Tuesday. Great! Not being able to handle anything else on my plate, I left Dusty to handling it and walked away to return to my books.

They came, they did a great job and were done Tuesday night with instructions to keep the horses off it until Saturday. Ok..no biggie. We have fed in the pasture before they can handle 4 or 5 days without coming inside.

A couple weeks late but still funny. It was 98F yesterday. It will be 97F today. Where is fall?


I didn’t take the feed out of the barn.

Or any buckets.

Or any hay to supplement the dead pasture in this horrid drought.

Or any of my tack.

Or any brushes, fly spray, first aid items.

Basically, the horses are feral and PISSED OFF right now.

Eeyore is throwing things around in the pasture and giving me the nastiest looks I have ever seen. That horse does not take to being ignored very well. Gem is happy we have left her muzzle off for now and Pete is just miserable that he has his winter coat and it is remaining near 100F still and I can’t hose him off because the hose is…..inside the barn.

So uh…yeah…I’m dumb. Don’t be me folks. If you know your barn is going to be out of commission, please prepare….take feed out and buckets and your tack and grooming supplies and fly spray needs and your sanity as well.

If Eeyore lawn darts me for my ride Monday after boards, I will have deserved it.


15 Years: The Cementaversary

15 years ago today I said “I do” to Dusty. Nobody could have predicted the trajectory our lives would take and even with the down moments, I’d do the whole thing over again.

I was 22 and he was 27. Such young kiddos.

Since that fateful evening we have lived in 8 different cities scattered throughout 4 states. It took 13 years but we finally managed to get our dream farm.

I decided to go to medical school, attended surgical residency, became an associate then opened my own practice. My eyes are set on a new path but it’s moving slower than I’d hoped so we shall see what life brings for me there.

Our honeymoon week long horse ride from the French Alps to the Mediterranean coast. The best trip of my life.

Dusty left a good associate position and entered the emergency work force, has dabbled in relief work, returned to the associate life and now has his own practice. His eyes are set on adding additional associates and practice locations. This weekend he is off learning a new surgery technique in the knee to offer his clients.

We have been through infertility and adoption together which marked both the darkest and brightest times in our marriage.

A hand print in cement isn’t as strong as the print he has put on my heart. Wyatt is the best part of my life.

Dusty started running while I was in residency and hasn’t stopped. I think he found his true love. He has gone from barely completing his first half marathon to having multiple ultras and a 100 under his belt. He continues to push himself and find new challenges.

You all know my hobby story quite well.

Now sitting here looking back over the last 15 years I’m wondering how it all happened so fast. It seems like yesterday but also like a lifetime ago that we were two young kids building a life together. It hasn’t been easy or a given. Life throws some shady stuff at you. It also isn’t a fairy tale, romantic movie or field of daisies. Marriage is work. It’s a conscious decision to remain with the person you love, to remember to love them in dark times when everything seems piled against you, and to look towards more than yourself and your dreams for the betterment of the couple as a whole.

Dusty got me a cement aisle in my barn. It’s honestly the best gift ever. No more dirt everywhere. I love it as odd as that seems to most of the people in my life. No jewelry or flowers for this girl.

I’d do it again a million times over and I’m looking forward to the 15 and where life takes us.


The Barn Debacle

When I last left off in Tear it All Down, my barn had one half without any roof at all and the other half with enough holes to mistake it for a planetarium. Oh and a rain storm in the forecast. We had already expressed our displeasure and set up a meeting for Monday night at 6 pm to have all parties involved. When we hung up we left it with “do not come to the property tomorrow to do work prior to our meeting tomorrow night”.

You can all imagine how pleased I was then to show up at 5:30 pm and see that they were a) already there and b) had been working all day. Sigh. Listening was not their strong suit.

Holes everywhere in the initial roofing job.

The main factor in all our issues, well other than plain old fashion shoddy work, was the fact that the company we hired sub contracted out the work to another outfit which created a lot of middle man communication. They both were present though that Monday night and got an earful from me about all the garbage, food waste, beer bottles, cigarette boxes, holes in my roof and the wood work that my 6 year old could have done better. Of course, they nodded in agreement. What else do you do when a 5’4″ rat terrier is spewing insults and pointing out issues for half an hour? I wasn’t pleased and they knew it.

The sub contractor pointed out the new side that was done that day (without permission I remind you) and asked if I was happy with the quality on work over there. He had fired the original crew of two men and had a new crew of six on the job. I took my time inspecting it. I went into every stall looking at it from all angles. Thankfully there wasn’t a hole in sight and the wood work was of professional quality as far as I could tell.

I told him it passed and that he could repeat it on the right side.

He smiled and said they already had removed all the holey tin and replaced it. I looked at him dumbfounded and went to inspect that side of the roof. It hadn’t crossed my mind that they would have done that since the wood hadn’t been touched and we quite specifically told him that the wood work had to come down and be replaced properly yet there I stood looking at the same crap job.

Look at the new wood. They didn’t cut it correctly so instead they used other pieces to span the ends and nailed that on top. You can see how some pieces are short, they aren’t square and well…I could have done a better job and I am not handy at all.

He asked me if I was happy and I responded with “No. Make this side look like that side in all aspects, wood work included, and I may be.” He grumbled something as I walked away.

That was Monday. That night it poured and they had not finished the roof which meant that the entire inside of my barn got drenched. We had unopened bags of feed in the feed room and apparently they aren’t waterproof because a week later when we opened one to fill the bin, it was moldy. As were the other 4, so we lost 5 bags of expensive horse feed because of them. I’m still a bit bitter over that. There were puddles everywhere and it took weeks to get the barn aired out enough to not be moldy.

Tuesday night I came home to find that they had “finished” the roof. The subcontractor was pleased as punch with himself until I pointed out yet again that the wood work had not been replaced. Instead he had them taken down, cut to span from rafter to rafter, and then put back up in double fashion. I was a bit incredulous. What part of “make this side the same as the other” was hard to comprehend?

Sub contractor was not happy. In order to do the wood work appropriately, he would have to to take all that tin off yet again, replace the wood, and then replace the tin. Not my problem. I didn’t do the original crap work, I wasn’t the one who proceeded to work when I was told not to, and I wasn’t the one who replaced the tin without permission.

This is where I was happy we had paid a small portion for supplies only because at this point, had we paid in full, he would have walked away and left it as is. As it was, we still owed him a significant sum of money and he wanted that money. Wednesday saw him remove all that tin for a second time, replace all the wood properly and then replace the tin for the third time.

Wednesday evening he waited for me to get home and inspect the new roof for what would hopefully be the last time. I walked in, approved the wood, and then saw a new hole in the tin. When I showed it to him, I could see him visibly deflate. He called his main worker who drove to our house straight away, removed that piece, replaced it and then we called it square.

Look at how light it is in there!!! I ADORE it. All of this light is coming from the 8 plastic tiles we added. Before this was a dungeon that even the lights wouldn’t light up enough.


He pointed to the judge’s booth attached to the arena side of the barn. We had not wanted this done because it didn’t leak and wasn’t necessary and we had told the guy we hired not to include it. Apparently that didn’t get communicated to the sub contractor because he had done it.

“I know we weren’t supposed to do that, but I didn’t know it at the time. Can I charge you for it?”


I explained to him that had the project gone smoothly and correctly without all the stress, the rain inside my building, the multiple conversations he didn’t listen to etc…I could probably be convinced to be nice and at least pay for the supplies he used to roof a building he wasn’t supposed to. As it was, no.

He left probably just as glad as I was that he would never be stepping foot on my property again.

In the end, the two day job spanned 10 days and was a royal mess the entire time. We lost bags of feed, had to deal with water inside the barn and they left behind tin that they stuck behind the barn and we didn’t find until a week later. The only thing that makes me happy are the new sun roof tiles we had them put it. They were more expensive but worth every single penny. The barn used to be a dark cave. I’m not sure why the original builder decided he had to make it for a snowy apocalypse, but that thing has no air flow and no light. The new plastic tiles let in so much light that I often think I left a light on in the barn. The farrier came out the week after this was all completed and even he remarked how nice the barn was with all the natural light. If you are ever doing your barn roof, you may want to look into these. I LOVE them.

So much light

You know what I don’t love though?

Dusty and I had joked that we would withhold $1000 of the money we owed until after it rained again. We didn’t because I’m not sure you can legally do that, but we were tempted. It hadn’t rained a single drop in the last 5 week until last night. It wasn’t a hard or long rain, but it was enough to wet the world a little. We have barn project #2 hopefully starting today (though that is already an issue god Lord but this barn is going to kill me) and the contractor was out last night to look things over one last time. Since I was in the barn, I gave a close look to see if anything had leaked. And….Pete’s stall has a leak in the roof. Everything else was dry and stable. Dusty shot a message off to the roofer but the chances of getting a response are basically zero. I am very tempted to sue his ass if he doesn’t respond and come fix the roof. We would win too but the headache of that is not something I need in my life which is already at 1000% stress level at the moment for a lot of things that I am not blogging about but probably should just to vent and get it off my mind.

Anyway…project #2 is about to start and it better go smoothly or I will tear this barn down with my bare hands.