The Season of Giving

This year I am donating either 2 Starter Packages or 1 Premium Starter Package to Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue.

Blaze’s is Oklahoma’s state-wide rescue which works with local law enforcement when equines are involved to give the equines a safe place to live while they recover. Since December 2001, they have rescued 1,290 horses. 1,054 of those have been adopted. More about their role in rescuing abused horses can be found here.

To support Blaze’s this year if you mention Blaze’s in the comments when you buy here Blaze’s will receive a donation of 10% of whatever you buy.

Give Thanks

In keeping with the season and in no particular order:

I’m thankful for my Two Leaves Health business. I know this sounds self serving to put my business on here, but I’m thankful not only for the income it brings. My horses are healthier than they have ever been. I have a better handle on my own health. Horses who come in for rehab are recovering quicker. My friends and family know an evaluation is a good place to start on those little niggling problems they know are there, but can’t put a finger on.

I’m thankful for my horses. All are in good health and getting better. I manage a herd of amazing, smart, and talented equines.

I’m thankful for my family who may or may not understand everything I set out to do, but support me unconditionally.

I’m thankful for students who love and care for horses. The future of horses is safe in their hands. I watch them rise to the occasion over and over. This year I have been surprised at the intelligence, resilience, savvy, and understanding of my students as they embody the qualities of horsemen and horsewomen.

I’m thankful for friends who don’t let me fade out of touch and those I can call when something happens.

I’m thankful for Jesus who died so He could have a relationship with me. He gave me more than His death. He gave me life and the ability to spend that life with Him intentionally. I’m thankful for the journey He has brought me on. I am not the same person I was and I get to look forward to the future. My story isn’t what I thought it would be. Some areas are much better. Other areas I don’t understand.

I’m thankful for finished building projects while looking forward to finishing more.

I’m thankful for art. From beads to written word to writing. I enjoy the freedom to express what I wouldn’t otherwise say.

Last, but in no wise least, I’m thankful to those people who donated so the ‘ponies’ could eat. They nicker in gratitude before each meal. 😉

The Two Leaves Health Website is Finally Here

I have taken a lot of time off from blogging lately between Alanna and a project I have been working on. I’m happy to announce the official launch of my website TwoLeavesHealth.com

Do you want what’s best for your horse, but find the number of supplements on the market overwhelming? Could your horse be  better, but you just don’t know how to get him there? To let an evaluation turn uncertainty into confidence your horse is on the right track go here.

Alana

For those of you following Alana’s story I am going to start updating here.

For those of you who haven’t been following the story, here is where we are so far. I had a student who wanted to buy a horse, so we found her the perfect mare. At 16 and about 16 hands the chestnut paint mare is striking, if a bit skinny. She was recently rescued from a hoarder and has been gaining weight in the month since.

She arrived last Tuesday and seemed to be settling in well. She was still in new-horse quarantine when I walked out to feed her Friday morning and found her 3-legged-lame. There was no sign of trauma, but it was starting to swell in the shoulder and upper arm area.

The vet came out and x-rayed her. Despite finding nothing on the x-rays she wanted to put her down on gut instinct. She had seen a mare carrying her leg similarly who did have a broken leg and never healed. She conceded privately it could be something else including cellulitis, pigeon fever and a few other things.

I would have agreed she should be put down if there had been a break on the x-rays or any sign of trauma to the area indicating a break, but there weren’t any abrasions, she was in isolation so it wasn’t a kick and she was clean which she wouldn’t have been if she fell.

My farrier and I both had the gut feeling it might be an infection, so her owners are giving me three days to see what I can with alternative care. I evaluated Alana and put her on a personalized feed and supplement program supported by topical sprays.

Yesterday she was able to put a bit of weight on it, not enough to walk, but she would use it for support if she wanted to use or rest a back foot.

Despite her leg, she is still fast when she wants to be and enjoys eating even when stealing my lawn grass. Last night I heard a clatter and ran out praying she hadn’t slipped and fallen. By the time I got there she had pushed the gate open, someone had forgotten to latch it, it knocked over a bucket which was the sound I heard, hopped out onto the yard and was happily enjoying my lawn. I was able to get a rope around her neck and lead her back in without trouble, but I could tell she would rather be out where there was more grass. I couldn’t get irritated at her because she still enjoys life and wants to do things. I just make sure to latch the gate now.

My prayer for today is that she will be able to limp on four legs by this evening and will be fully healed without complications.

 

For those of you who have been wondering what happened to me, I have continued to teach. Horses and students have come and gone, but Cole’, Mint, Countess and Little Bit are still here. I have been taking classes in horse nutrition and alternative care which, along with teaching and starting a business creating custom supplement plans for horses and humans has taken up most of my time.

Day 31 – Class Dissmissed

Today we said ‘until we meet again’ to our coaches and fellow students alike. We have laughed with, encouraged, and helped one another for the last month. Now it is over. We have to come down off the mountain and go home to our normal lives.

Now that class is over I am looking forward to going home and starting the next phase. I have learned a lot here that I need time to put into practice.

Day 29 – The beginning of the end

Today marks the middle of our last week. Emotions are running high. I am looking forward to going home, but I don’t want to leave.

I had another successful passenger lesson on Cole’. I will miss having Chris to help me when I get stuck.

We had a theory test that will be part of whether we pass or fail the Fast Track. We won’t find out how we did until next week sometime. We all have been studying and sharing notes for the last week. My guess is that everyone passed.

Day 28 – Cantering

I have been beaming since this morning’s passenger session. I rode Cole’ at a canter without feeling like I was going to die! She is moving with less and less resistance. Her trot was getting a little more forward and she eventually offered a walk instead of stopping every time she came down from a trot.

Her back was a little sore after riding, so I red lighted her. Tomorrow I will be able to ride in a Parelli cruiser saddle I borrowed, and am considering buying, from a fellow fast tracker. I hope she will enjoy moving in the new saddle and learn to love moving with a rider as I learn to love to move with her.

Day 27 – Sucesses

Today was nice and cool, but only a tiny bit of rain that didn’t stop anything. I have been playing with Cole’ standing on a 1ft wide square log. Today she got all four feet on it! She has been walking her front feet on it for days, but today she offered to put her back feet on it and stood up for a few seconds. I think with another week or two she could walk along it with all four feet.

I rode her again today doing passenger lessons. I started in one of the round pens, but she was getting board. So I spent some time outside in the playground. I spent maybe 15 minutes annoying her and having her putting some effort into moving. I could have probably gotten results faster, but I am trying to build my confidence, so slow was good. After I got some effort into movement I got off, played with her on the ground, and got back on where there was no grass to distract her. She put effort into moving, even trotting over the tempting grass. We got close to the pens and I asked her to stop and I got off. I am happy with the effort she put into moving.

Day 23 – Riding Again

Today I rode Cole’ for the first time in a week. She is sound in front as long as she is wearing boots. Her hind end is getting better and the swelling is going down.

I discovered she has a lot of opposition when asked to trot. I asked her to keep at our pattern until she was pinning her ears less and stopped thinking about bucking into the trot every time I asked for it.