Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rainy Weekend

I love my drive to Valley Mist on the weekend. At 7 AM the Oley Valley is still asleep except for the farmers. On my way to ride Nikki on Saturday mornings I pass several dairy farms, where I see the cows in for milking. The businesses that I pass are still closed at that early hour, and the occasional house has a light on where I imagine the inhabitants are eating an early breakfast, reading a book and enjoying the peaceful morning light. On my return trip the quilting supply store has a few cars in its parking lot, no doubt with eager patrons planning a project for the weekend. I pass Oley Valley Reproductions, envying the owner that I see every Saturday as he walks out to place the OPEN flag on the store sign. By that time the quilting store is coming to life with folks arriving for classes or supplies. Some mornings I yearn to join them to see if it is how I imagine it to be! The cows that had been in for milking are now grazing lazily around their pasture and a group of cats hang out on a porch swing of the farm house. I smile as I drive past them. Saturday morning appeared to be no different than the usual ones for me. I had a busy day ahead, because after my ride I was going to meet Michael and Isaiah at the ball field for a game, then rush home to get prepared for Isaiah's Tai Kwon Do belt promotion test at noon. I was itching to ride and happily pulled Nikki out of her stall to prepare for our ride. As I was grooming her, I ran my hand down each leg the way I always do. When I got to the right hind I thought' "uh oh...this does not feel right." Nikki's right hind ankle and fetlock were larger than normal with a small amount of heat. There was a small spot devoid of hair on her fetlock. Unusual for a Saturday morning, there were a few people in the barn preparing to leave for a show (most of the time they have left prior to my arrival). We were in agreement that there was a small amount of heat and a bit of swelling, so i led Nikki into the arena to see how she looked on the lunge. I thought she seemed a little off, but asked for opinions. Tobey (owner of VMF) thought she looked sound but suggested I do a light ride. There was a small abrasion on her fetlock, so perhaps Nikki wacked herself while rolling. That's certainly what it looks like. When I started to trot under saddle I thought that I could feel a slight unevenness. I am very sensitive to even gait. My plan switched to mostly walking with a small amount of trot on the straight away. After our brief ride I cold hosed the area, gave Nikki some bute and hoped for the best. Suki's skin was quite dry on Saturday, so she had a full treatment and a visit from Jennifer. Suki really likes Jenn,which I can tell from her behavior. Armed with peppermints for Suki and Nikki and homemade oatmeal cookies for me, we enjoyed our visit. I used the Aquafor agian on the very dry areas, and I do think that it is helping. After moisturizing her face, I realized that Suki would be going back outside, and petrolem in the sun would not be a good idea! After topping it with a thicker moisturizer containing sunscreen, Suki was ready to go back to Banker. It was still quite warm, so I re-dressed Suki in her fly sheet and shell. With heavy rain predicted for Sunday, the horses were staying out later so I put Suki back out with Banker. Jenn and I watched the two of them side by side, eating grass. Suki has never tolerated anyone grazing that close to her. It is beautiful sight. Sunday
Heavy rain over night, but just cloudy this morning. I headed out to VMF at 7:15. The cows were lined up outside the barn on Oley Turnpike Road, waiting to be milked. It was a chilly start to the day, with the expectation of heavy rain and wind later. We need the rain so I won't complain. Western Pennsylvania is expecting a foot or more of snow, so it could be worse. But the child in me thinks how much fun a late April snowstorm would be.... Nikki's anklke was still a bit puffy but she looked sound so Tobey suggested another light ride because movement would help. Again, under saddle I thought she felt not 100%. My ride was long straight lines with changes of direction. No lateral work. Nikki was happy and willing to work, and felt better as we progressed. I kept it light and short. We will keep an eye on it. Post ride I massaged Nikk's ears while she leaned into me. I breathed in her soft horse breath and rested my head against her. Life is good. Dentist tomorrow so Nikki won't work at all, and I will check again on Tuesday. On my drive back home I was suddenly caught by emotions as I pass by the former Pink Star, site of the fire. Sometimes it almost makes my heart stop, and today was one of those days. Suki was inside when I went to see her. While I had her on cross ties she seemed a bit on edge and I realized that she was hearing the horses across the street running in their field. I decided to change her bandage and moisturize the graft site. It looked great, just dry. I marvel that it is healed! YAY! When I finished exfoliating and moisturizing(the Aqufor seemed to do the job over night)I went back out to my car to grab the new roll of Elasticon. My car seat was empty....I had left my purse at home.... So no bandage tonight, but with rain expected again tomorrow I am thinking that Suki will be inside (much to her dismay). Without a bandage I thoroughly moisturized the entire area. Standing on the stool I leaned over Suki's back and rested on it. She turned around and nuzzled me softly. My heart melted and I day dreamed about a future of dancing....A great day with the girls...

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