Saturday, 27 August 2011


So what's changed? Something has but I don't know what.

So we have the law of conservation of energy, is there a law of the conservation of friendship for me or is it as Mary Tyler Moore said:-

Sometimes you have to get to know someone really well to realize you're really strangers.

So my friendship with A is going down the pan, the distance between us is widening; yet my friendship with B has finally come good again having been on life support.

My friendship with C I treasure, it is one of those lovely ones where we don't see each other for ages but we can just go away for a night together and it is all easy.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Fred and the physio Treatment 1

Long story short from the knees up he is in amazingly good nick :@)

Bit of tightness in the neck which she released off, he has *very* odd hamstrings in that one of them (forget which one) on both sides has become fibrotic. Suspect more fusion of more spinous processes as he now has no back mobility.

N did some Polo stretches with him and Fred was 'can't be asssed' so went and located a carrot and suddenly he is highly motivated and my goodness can he stretch, hard to believe he is 24 looking at his range of movement.

N thinks hamstrings connected to fused spinous processes and was amazed given extent of fusion he was asymptomatic.

Fetlock mobility slightly limited and pastern limited too on fronts.

N happy for me to start riding him should I so desire and just be guided by Fred.

I do like N she was with him for two hours and this is the first body worker where he hasn't snapped the air, so made me out to be a big fat liar :@) having warned N of this tendency. No idea if N didn't go in 'so hard' as others but clearly he enjoyed it and was offering to mutual groom with me and really seemed to let N in.

Bless the Fredster, he is such a lovely pony

So carrot stretches and passive leg stretches

Comparison of equine and human skeleton

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

No regrets

Have been pondering about Arrow a lot; I am very good at navel gazing!

So before this weekend last time I was there riding was July 2006, Skunk died Sept 2006 that killed Arrow for a bit, went to watch Erik March 2007 then I got Chorrie and then in June 2007 hit the deck and shattered my confidence.

On the uk-r weekend Jan 2006, I had to ride Pooh as Slipper was being ridden by someone else and whilst not that confident I wasn't that bothered either.

I'm not convinced had I gone back earlier I'd have been confident enough to get benefit from going.

It is only this year that things really changed, so whilst I have foregone the opportunity to go for a few months I'm not convinced I have foregone years.

End of day we'll never know but I do think I wasn't ready to go until recently, so a case of when ready the teacher will appear.

So going to Sue will be the lemonade that I will make from the lemons of Chorrie's injury.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

20th / 21st August a weekend of why and wait

I was last at Arrow Equestrian riding way back in July 2006, then Skunk died Sept 2006, I went to watch Erik March 2007 then never saw Sue (SFO) again until I took Chorrie to ride with her at Waterstock November 2010, then we had 'the weather' hit, then I couldn't make a couple of Waterstock dates. Now I've been back to Arrow I can see what a fool I was to stay away, huge huge mistake! Not to mention Slipper has died since I was last there.

So I went with Pip travelling down Saturday before lunch, staying in the very nice on site accommodation and travelling home Sunday after lunch.

We arrived at 12:10 after a good journey down, saw Ron and got directed to our apartment so quick unload of the car and SFO appeared with a horse, so quick hello Sue then went off to ride and we went inside to load fridge with all the lovely food Pip had prepared despite so frantically busy since Remi went lame :-(

So realised we hadn't any milk *doh* but SFO rescued us :-) so went and sat with cup of tea and watched Sue ride.

Then went to meet Blackberry SFO's mechanical horse by way of saying hello to Pooh Bear who was dozing in his stable in the sunshine.

Pip up first, then my turn on Blackberry who is a canter model with leg aids set to be very sensitive and similarly the rein aid sensors.

Blackberry Lesson 1 - MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH - Canter seat positioning

So started off with back and side cameras on, then legs over front of saddle, then legs down. This was all about trying to achieve a 'filled' back, still need to expand my right side as I like to crunch it down. then moved on to canter and this is where my house of cards came tumbling down but also where we made significant inroads into why my canter aids were so hit and miss on S.

Somewhere since I was last with SFO (July 2006) I lost awareness of just how right hip forward feels and have managed to neatly reverse it. After much patient working through and over and over the same old ground I finally found something that is meaningful to me to help me with the feel.

'Sit right' and 'sit left' positions my seat correctly for canter.

Pooh Bear Lesson 1

So I was riding the ever lovely Pooh Bear. Started off on the lunge, SFO not much liking my rigid legs in trot, nor my left leg rather liking to go somewhat too far forward!

Need to think about bouncing my legs, and being over my knee, can't recall what Sue said about *why* my left leg actually go forwards or what we did to correct it :-(

Finished off with being off the lunge and doing a bit of trot work, pleased with that as I wouldn't have done that so soon two years ago.

Blackberry Lesson 2

Started off with legs over front of saddle then Sue did some hands on lengthening my legs which was weird as I wasn't really sure what she was doing but my legs changed and got longer. I assume some tense and tight muscles went from contraction to neutral.

Then confirmed that I still owned the canter correction from yesterday, then added legs to it.

Starting to look sorted, so plan was to take this to Pooh and see what I'd do when I had a real life horse under my a$$.

Pooh bear Lesson 2 - POTENTIAL MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH - Confidence is balance

Again started off on the lunge legs over front of saddle in walk, was threatened with trot :-) presumably if I didn't behave myself!

Then legs down and Pip remarked how much better they looked following Sue's hands on work than they did yesterday.

Then off into trot and putting one hand of back of saddle and turning to outside and then inside, this is where I had what I hope to be a light bulb moment! On the left rein as I start to turn to the inside a feeling of panic starts bubbling away and even doing 'what if' to 'what is' doesn't really stop the bubbles rising, not quite so bad to the outside on the left rein but still there.

On the right rein I'm happy to do inside / outside all day on the lunge.

So talked this over with Sue and I think that my balance on the left rein is compromised because I collapse right and slide my seat left so put me on the left rein so tendency is to go yet more left and add inside turn on unstable seat and is it any surprise I'm unbalanced and my brain start screaming 'you're not safe' and my body starts to react and the panic starts to bubble?

So did a lot of work on sitting far over to left and right and getting the inside leg down whilst keeping the outside seat bone anchored as need both to be stable and not feel the 'bubbles'.

Decided we'd leave canter and keep working on the trot as seems to be such a key part of what I need to really go forwards, and until I am solid and secure in trot not much point IMO looking at canter yet. Get a good solid trot base and be able to turn which ever way on either rein then we'll look at canter.

General musings

SFO has changed how she teaches steering (Andrew McLean)need to go over this again direct rein and indirect rein.

I wonder why Becky or her simulator didn't pick up my collapsed right side? I think from here on I will only use SFO with a mechanical horse as she has an eye for a very fine granularity of detail.

Lessons learnt


Need to record what Sue is saying as can't recall it the next day :-(

Take evening supper if eating in, will be much quicker and more relaxing to throw lasagne/garlic bread in the oven and open salad bags, go lie in Jacuzzi while lasagne cooks then drink wine and put world to rights!

Do not stay away so long, yes it *is* two hours by car, yet it *is* a fair old way, yes it *does* take a chunk out of the day BUT there is no one else like SFO. If you want SFO then to SFO you must go, there really are no substitutes!


  1. Petrol £30
  2. Apartment £25
  3. Blackberry £40 (x2)
  4. Pooh Bear £48 (x2)
  5. Arrow membership £35 (annual cost)
  6. Supper £10

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Is good enough actually good enough

So I'm probably a good enough horse owner but is that actually good enough?

Would my horses choose to be with me?

Do they benefit from my riding them as opposed to my looking after them? I can't think of a single positive benefit to a horse from it being ridden, the benefit is to the human, all we can do is make it as pleasurable and enriching an experience as possible.

I will continue to ride but it is for my good.

Friday, 5 August 2011

One lucky pony

So vet out to scan at lunchtime am lucky to have a vet 1/ who rearranges their day for me and 2/ who just happens to be the team vet so is bloody good :@)

He has set the check ligament (RF) back about six weeks LF he has stretched the suspensory.

The above does not seem credible given how much stress he put the leg under yesterday, not entirely sure vet could believe the scans. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen the scans.

Yesterday given his antics and the fact the tissue was not yet repaired it didn't seem possible we wouldn't be back to square one.

Yard owner has been beyond wonderful, icing it every hour for me yesterday, they are also going to build him a 6ft high pen so when he can go back out we will not have a repeat.

It has been a roller coaster of emotion this last 36 hours, am still slightly disbelieving that he got off so lightly.

I was sat outside his stable this morning looking at his soft brown eyes and it was a mix of love, adoration and heartache. Now it is just love and adoration.

He is also a charmer as he seems to have trained the vet to hand over some of her biscuit to him too.

So hand graze next two weeks then out in pony prison pen, no EMS on legs until physio has seen on 15th. Increase icing for 96 hours post injury then back to twice daily as from Monday. Decrease bute to one twice daily for weekend then back to one daily.

Scans 5th August 2011

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Down and out

That's how I feel.

Constantly on the verge of tears, when he did it the first time I didn't feel like this, this feels something like how it felt when I lost Skunk and yet C is alive and in no danger but I feel almost as low.

I feel responsible, it wasn't my fault what happened but it was my responsibility and I failed to keep him safe. The first time was just bad luck this one was preventable and I failed.

Seriously considering giving up riding and just having ponies as pets.

Yet in the midst of my misery I know I am blessed, I have a wonderful husband, YO, vet, physio and friends.

Back to square one?

So good scan on Monday, physio yesterday all going well.

Mucked out this morning as normal thought I'd pooh pick as I often do (1 day in 3) whilst C is out in his pen.

Take him out to pen make sure he is settled go to get wheelie from gate. C goes down to roll, bit too close to fence but am too far away (as have moved pen to be on decent grass surface) to get to him.

He rolls right over catches foot on fence pings fence, fence collapses C gets up and stands there scared, still too far away. Fred goes over fence that is now down, C hesitates but decides to join his best buddy. C and F spend what seems like hours but was probably five minutes maximum charging up and down. C stops as he is now non weight bearing on his previously injured leg.

Remove cool boot (bought new yesterday and now shredded and totally ducked) and he hobbles up track. Ice leg which has blown up, arrange for vet to come and scan tomorrow, take ice off go and move Fred and pooh pick.

Ice back on check good leg and good leg looks to have gone too, hardly surprising if 3 months of box rest leads to 30% reduction in elasticity. Not surprised at all it didn't stand up to his antics.

Had I not walked away to get the wheelie I'd have got to him, yes taking him up track with Fred loose would have been interesting but damage would not have been as great.

Am in a very dark place right now, please don't tell me it'll be OK because you know you really don't know that and I can't abide false hope. It ducking well sucks and sucks big time that is my reality.

Am lucky to have such a good YO who is icing it hourly plus a vet who is rearranging her day to come scan it.

I know I'll get through this I've got through worse but at the moment my hope is on life support and I just have no fight or strength left. It feels similar to when I lost Skunk and yet it isn't life threatening but I'm not coping today.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Scan 4 a new hope dawns

So today was scan number four twelve weeks and five days post injury.

Bad news

Total spend to date about £1800, scary how it adds up but the following are currently my averages per week

Supplements £15
Physio £45
Scan £50

so basically £110/week, that ignores extra livery care costs, extra petrol when doing both ends of day, laser hire in first month, two sets of cold boots at a shade under £300. Hopefully insurance will pay up for the vet, laser and physio my claim is in am awaiting a decision.

So that's the bad news in summary a check ligament injury is not cheap to rehab if you go the route of ultrasound, monthly scans and herbal supplements that are essentially faith based!

Good news

Now for the good news the scan looks much better than the last scan :@)

Lots of linear fibres and very few cross fibres, it is looking a bit less linear at 14cm but overall it is good, so good in fact we are going to keep on keeping on for another month and not start a formal walk programme. Can also see on the scan space starting to appear between structures on ultrasound so good good news.

Vet's reasoning is it is healing in a linear way on current regime and that formal walking is used to reduce cross fibres which we currently don't have hence stick with current regime and add in five minutes walk a day to his daily trips to pony pen.

Lessons learnt

1/ Expect a bad first scan, even if too bad an injury as Chorister's was for stem cell or IRAP you can still get good healing using old fashioned methods of cold therapy and anti inflammatories.

2/ Second scan isn't going to be that great either you're only a month post injury and soft tissue heals slowly

3/ Assemble a good team around you:-
  • vet
  • physiotherapist
  • livery yard owner
  • friends

4/ Try and stay happy, you might as well, because the time doesn't pass any quicker for being miserable nor does the injury heal any faster or better.

5/ Bury the bodies of those who say 'It is only a few months' under the largest patio you can find as there will be quite a collection of bodies! See also points 6/ and 8/ .

6/ Bury the bodies of those who don't understand that whilst you are grateful it isn't worse that also doesn't mean you're not going to mourn for what you've lost and it is bloody hard work! I am allowed to be sad, it is a sad thing that has happened; if you don't understand that then say nothing.

7/ Do not underestimate the healing power (for both of you) of biscuits, chocolate, love, Peppa Pig and small girls.

8/ You will meet people who know more than your vet despite never having been to vet school, they too belong under the patio. The only exceptions are those who have treated more check ligament injuries than your vet, they may be spared the patio treatment.

9/ Hope and desperation trumps common sense I know this because I am using an untested herbal supplement upon which no trials have been performed, there is no known efficacy, zilch nada. Yet here I am using it just in case it might help.

10/ Hiring a laser see 9/

Chorister 1st August 2011