Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NOT HORSE RELATED- Laser Eye Surgery

Ok so I had a couple of people ask about the laser surgery. I had the LASIK procedure or the flap and zap. I know I also have a little issue that most people don't have in that I have dry eyes because of the SSRI's for my headcaseness so I had to be more careful to keep my eyes lubricated.

Right ok basically had a few appointments and then I went in for the procedure. Basically you lay on a bed and you go under one laser that sucks onto your eye and creates the flap and then you roll around to the next laser that reshapes your lens and then they stick the flap back down and away you go. Well not quite. I do remember at one point being like shit I can't do this but I was always halfway through so I just lay there. You sort have to just go with it.

It truly was pretty unpleasant, I wont lie. Sort like the dentist but with your eyeballs. Yes you can smell your eyes burning but its just like a whiff of burnt hair, it's not that offensive. Your eyes are completely numb the whole time, you can feel some tugging but it never hurt or was uncomfortable. Just have to keep taking deep breaths and you are away.

Then afterwards your eyes hurt and my eyes streamed constantly on the trip home and my eyes closed themselves and then I had a sleep and when I woke up, they hardly hurt and they never really hurt again. It takes 9 hours for the first layer of cells to join up so after that time they feel a lot better. I did have to tape eye covers to my face every night for a week so I wouldn't rub my eyes in my sleep and I wasn't allowed to rub them for a month or something and when my time was up I was like yea rub rub. Soo good. And you have to use eye drops all the time but thats no big deal. I know my surgery was a lot milder than the version when they scrape a layer off your eye, rather than cut the flap so if you can get the flap and zap.

You really just have to hold still and let them do their thing, it is a bit scary because it's different but it was better than the last time I got a filling, or had surgery. And the outcome! It's amazing, my vision is beyond 20/20 I wear sunglasses all the time, I never get dust under my contacts or fog up my glasses. It's the best money I ever spent getting my eyes fixed. It was expensive but it's for life until I start needing reading glasses as an old person. It was more than worth it to have normal sight. I would do it again in a heart beat because its the best thing ever. And it's not like I have a very high tolerance for pain, I'm basically a sook. I know it comes with some risk, but I would recommend it highly to anyone.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Liebster award

It's always an honor to recognised by other bloggers. I can hardly remember why I started doing this, it was such a long time ago and I was quite gutted when my first blog wa sinfected with malware after 3 years and was destroyed by Google. This one is pretty old now as well though because this one started with the arrival of Kate and I must have had her for 3 years. Anyway it was extremely gratifying to be awarded the Liebster award by four different bloggers. I have decided to answer the questions from the first two awarders but I was also like to thank Danger Bunny and Hawk.

HOW TO ACCEPT THE AWARD: The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers.  Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued.  Here are the rules for accepting the award:

   1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
   2. List 11 random facts about yourself.
   3. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
   4. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
   5. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.
   6. Go to each blogger's page and let them know you have nominated them.

Eleven facts about me

1. I used to be really shortsighted and wore glasses until I had laser surgery which was terrifying but oh so worth it. It's incredible to just be able to see!

2. I continually struggle with my weight. It's a constant battle since I was 16 to not turn into a fatty.

3. 2 is caused mostly by my utter love of sugar and gluttony.

4. I am nearly always afraid I'm not good enough to jump as high as I do and this stops me progressing.

5. My Nana is going to teach me to knit even though my Mum has failed at this at least five times.

6. I have no idea what I am going to do with my life and career.

7. I have the most amazing boyfriend, whom I probably don't deserve but I'm not complaining!

8. Nearly all my horses have been brown or bay (9 at this stage)and plain- not much in the way of white markings- Butch is my first ever chestnut.

9. I badly want a sport type pintaloosa or a jumping mule.

10. I have a BSC in Animal Science and Physiology with a first class Honours.

11. Working with the horses has been my favourite job ever, even though I am so deathly poor. Thank God milking starts soon and I can get some relief work.

Thanks to Carrot Top here are her questions
Eleven questions from me
1. What's the last book you read cover-to-cover?
I just finished a book called Wool by Hugh Howey and it was AMAZING. Incredibly gripping and a little horrifying. I read compulsively!
2. Have you ever broken a bone, and if so how?
Oh dear- Elbow, wrist, ankle, wrist, nose and all the bones in the back of my hand. I really am a shocking rider in terms of accidents and injuries. 

3. If you could chose any super-power, what would it be?
Self-belief without arrogance
4. What would you change about the horse world that doesn't have to do with animal abuse or money?

because those are the two major drivers of bad things in the industry but I guess I would like to see people have to qualify to upgrade in Showjumping for everyones safety and enjoyment.
5. What are those 'Baby on Board' signs for cars really for? Nobody have ever been able to give me a satisfying answer.

To prove that people with children think other people care they have children.
6. What are your 3 favourite words?
Currently (I'm fickle) Totes, ludicrous and voluptuous.
7. What's the most 'out there' thing you believe in?
That a poor, ordinary, limited support type girl of 28 can jump a grand prix in the next two years despite fancy horse power.
8. Describe the last time you laughed out loud.
Watched The Hangover II today and I laughed out loud many times.
9. Mares, geldings or stallions?
I have only ridden a couple of stallions and they are certainly something else to ride, but my love goes to mares. Tough little fickle emotional fighters. I'd take a mare nearly everytime.
10. Who would you most like to go on a trail ride with?
My little sister. I miss riding with her so much
11. What's the most ridiculous thing you've bought for riding or horses?

 expensive stirrups with an angled foot pad I now despise because they don't grip well, or Ear bonnets my horses don't need but I like because they look cool.

And also toAmberRose who asked these questions

11 Questions that I made up for you :)
1) Do you have a camera?

2) If so what make and model?

3) When did you first start riding?

Always ridden, my Mum rode and I used to hassle her for rides and I got my own pony when I was two.
4) Have you always loved horses and had them in your life, or is it something that you started later in life?
Always, always, always. Mum says I have horse shit on the brain. That being said I don't know if I would ride if I didn't compete because I really hate trekking with such a passion.
5) What's your favourite colour for your horse?
I only use brown gear and I love classic not flash, so I tend to accessorize in black or white.
6) When you were little what were your equestrian dreams?
Go to the Olympics
7) Other than riding what do you spend your spare time doing?
I love to read, soon knitting haha, currently exercising a lot trying to get rid of my fat ass before Spring, hanging with the family and friends, the boyfriend or the dog.
8) What is your favourite job to do at the stables/yard/barn?
I love feeding because I like how the horses are so delighted to see me even if it is only because I'm the lunch lady.
9) What is your least favourite job to do at the stables/yard/barn?

Mucking out or clipping/ It's a toss up.
10) Which famous horse and rider team inspire you the most?
I don't know why this is such a hard question to answer! I love Cumano but not so much Jos Lansink..Probably Ben Maher and Tripple X blow my mind at the moment.
11) If you could meet any famous horse dead or alive, real life or from a story who would it be?

I'd really love a ride on Cumano, I love those big powerhouse types which is completely not what I own but there you are.

Ok I'll try to find 11 bloggers but no promises.

Nuzzling Muzzles
(Re) Training as an Adult Event Rider
The jumping Percheron
Dairy of a young horse
Eventing akhal tekes
Stuff that Perf does

I think 6 is pretty good going. My questions for the six are:

1.Who was your favourite horse?
3.What person has most affected negatively or positively your attitude towards riding?
5.What are the three things you couldn't live without?
6.If you couldn't compete/take part in the discipline you do now, what sort of riding would you do?
7.What is your dream job?
8. If you were given $100,000 tax free what would you buy first?
9. Do you like Feijoas?
10.When you are all worn out and need a drink, what is it that you drink?
11.What are your favourite pair of footwear.

Good luck guys! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where is the line?

This is something of an issue that bothers me and I know that possibly I will get some flack for it, and it's a difficult and contentious issue. I know that growing up on a farm and having a pragmatic approach to life and death colours how I see things to a large degree. I know that in many other countries horses live in truly deplorable conditions and genuinely peoples livelihoods depend on horses working in conditions we would never even consider for our own horses.

The picture of the mare above is a horse in Egypt suffering from babeoisis/malaria and clearly severely neglected. Like that mare is thin like you really never see horses. It's pretty clear Egyptian horses are tougher than any of mine because they would die before they ever looked like this. So I imagine it took a huge amount of resources to bring this mare back to the health you see today and thats fine and ok, but I guess where I start to have an issue with it is that the mare is functionally unsound and can only be hand walked because of arthritis in her front fetlocks.

So I guess my question is this- how do you determine which of the horses gets the resources, in a country of poorly treated horses, some of the horses who have whole families dependent on their incomes. It's tricky isn't it. Especially because every horse is beautiful in it's own way, and they all have personalities. I guess this picture struck me because it was put up as an in your face to the nay sayers who said the horses should be put down. Top be honest I think she should have been, because I feel like she took resources away from a sound horse, so that she could hobble around. Personally my favourite way to see a horse is playing in the paddock and with severely compromised fetlocks the mare will always be experiencing pain. I feel like part of being a horse owner is being prepared to stand up and do the right thing even if it feels too hard.

I feel like so often rescues are saving horses in their twilight years and that are already severely compromised and calling them Miracle and Hope, and huge amounts of money are going into horses with a limited prognosis and quality of life, while the sounder younger versions get passed by, because they don't have such an emotional pull. By all means remove the horses from bad situations but then let them go. When did death become the worst thing for a horse? No more suffering, no more struggle, no more pain. I feel like it takes more courage to put a horse down than it does to pump money and resources into one.

Full credit to the rescue that saved this mare who was clearly on deaths door, they did a fantastic job to save her, but was it at the cost of horses in a less severe condition getting the less acute help they need to keep them in a good condition? To heal their saddle sores before they get infected, to provide feed before they are emaciated, to help with hoof care before they fall?

Honestly when I saw the horse with a prosthetic leg I felt a little ill, because that horse will never get to play in the paddock and to me that's the bar. Happy animals play and if they feel well enough, comfortable enough and in a tolerable amount of pain then they play. Is keeping the pony alive really for the benefit of the pony- or is it for the benefit of the people. I hate to think what this cost for this pony to walk around and I don't want to sound like a merciless cold hearted person, I just feel like there was money that could have helped several horses spent on this pony, whose quality of life is always compromised.

I found this story when I was researching foot problems with Connie and this I have a really big issue with. This 2 year old filly " Special" (Always with these names) who sloughed her entire hoof wall off. Then she shed her pedal and navicular bones.Her foot grew a new hoof wall and a sole but there was no internal structure to her foot. She lives in a brace for her whole leg to keep weight off of her non hoof and really has no quality of life at all. DAY1
DAY47- Note she can't really weight bear on that leg, because the foot has no internal bony structures to support her weight.

I mean it's clear why this one was kept alive, being the full sister to a top barrel horse whom won like a phenomenal amount of money so Special has the bad luck of being kept alive for egg harvest. This isn't ok! I hate to think how much was spent on her vet bill while sound useful horses were neglected.

I hate that there are horses out there suffering. I'm all for rescuing horses out of bad situations and providing new homes and lives. I respect the right for people to spend their money on their horse - though I feel rescues need to be more responsible with their donations because it's other peoples money they are using- I just want people to think really hard about whether or not the ends justify the means. Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a sore, damaged, worn out horse. A dignified end is sometimes the best you can offer. We have to be so careful because horses are so stoic and will endure huge amounts of pain but still prick their ears to see you. We are the care takers and it's our responsibility to look after them properly and sometimes that means that we give the grossly injured/ neglected horse a nice meal and a lot of love and then give them a peaceful goodbye.

Friday, June 14, 2013


So I had a pretty good birthday present the other day (I'm 28 now- running out of time in my GP by 30 goal) because when I lunged Connie and Butch and their movement looked fantastic. Connie bopped around on the circle and had many many bounces and bucks so clearly she feels fantastic and so she should, the little fat bum. She can come into work soon for a slower build up than Butch will need. Connie throughs hard to the andalusian and doesn't maintain her fitness at all, while Butch being  TB living on a hill will come it so much fitter. He has got the hang of his feet on the side of the hill too, he hasn't just slid straight past me for ages.

The arena is currently going in at work and we really need it because the ground is getting seriously wet. Its a miserable drizzly June, still more babies to break in and I really feel like my riding is getting bollocks. I don't know it's hard being under the bosses eye I'm starting to get so insecure. I need to sell my saddle as well. Someone convinced me I needed an 18inch and I swim in it, it doesn't really support me and I think that would make me happier. Though perhaps it's because I have been riding in the bosses and it's nicer!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Motivation LOW

Just for fun a picture of My little sister and the horse she borrowed after Bob died. This horse was called Cow for obvious reasons. This picture makes me laugh everytime.

Winter! Every year it does this to me. I just can not be assed. Though to be fair having both of my own horses injured doesn't help. And normally there are a couple of horses at work that are my projects but I don't have any one at the moment. I don't think I'm not sure. I have been mostly fencing because the whole operation has been moved and then my boss got really sick so I have just sort of been riding everything.

Which is good but though the arena (omg omg!!) should go in next week, at the moment we are very much at the whim of the weather conditions. I can't even remember the last time I jumped a jump it's been so long! I can't wait to get jumping again. I am so tempted to drag Connie off of the hill having had 5 months off and now being a mane flicking snorting wild horses, but with only about a month until we start conditioning for the next season she may as well stay on the hill until then.

Went hacking yesterday on two different rides and managed to time it perfectly to get caught in both showers of rain. And I had a guy come out because he had a hideous black and white stallion behind a terrible fence on the roadside so he supervised him as I rode past. Best part was how he was like yea he has jumped out before. Awesome. Slow clap for you my friend. Pretty sure by law you need to have two fence lines between the boundary/road and a stallion but what do I know.

In other much happier news I have finally got motivated about something and i'm getting my lard ass in shape. After being so unhappy in the old job and stuffing my face with anything with sugar on it to make myself feel better, I had gotten to whale like proportions. I was even using another show coat because mine looked truly awful. I'm making a little progress which is amazing but there is still so far to go. It's so easy to get fat and so impossible to lose it again. that hardly seems fair. Still it must be only 3 months until the seasons starts up again. Yay!! Oh I am going to jump some sweet ass jumps this year. 1.30m or bust!