Monday, October 29, 2012

Here Comes Sandy!

October 26, 2012

It has been an insanely busy week. Michael was away on business all week, I had a lot going on at work and Isaiah had all of his school and after school activities plus an assembly to prepare for at the end of the week. For the first time in more than 3 years I did not go to the barn for 2 days in a row (other than when I travel). All is well, of course, and the girls managed to survive without me! Fortunately Meg rode Nikki on Thursday and Suki requires a lot less maintenance than she used to. That alone feels like such a huge milestone. When I look at those early photos it is hard to imagine that we would ever get to this point of recovery. That is the message of hope and inspiration that I believe can help my fellow horsemen whose horses are currently in the early and middle stages of recovering from burns.

Suki finally had a full spa treatment and both she and I enjoyed it. My amazement over the status of the graft site continues, and although there is occasional mild bruising when Suki has a hardy roll, I no longer freak out over it. It is kept well moisturized, and because she is always wearing some type of clothing, even if I miss a day the skin does not appear dry. The right side of Suki's neck however, is a different story. Even though I keep her mane long enough to cover where there is not full hair growth an extra day shows signs of some drying. Still not as bad as before though!

So hurricane Sandy is expected to have an impact where we live. At this point we are trying to squeeze in as much turnout and riding time as possible. The rain is expected to arrive Sunday, so Saturday will be my last day to ride, and possibly the last of turnout for the next few days. Fortunately J added small paddocks to the front of each pasture, so once the rain ends and the pastures are too wet for the horses they at least have some place to go out, even if it is only for short periods.

Saturday, October 27, 2012
The afternoon was nice, although cloudy. Nikki was in a good mood and we had a nice ride. I did the "bow" exercise with her and she was nicely responsive. I changed the leg yield part to a few steps of half pass and I was rewarded with some nice steps. I also started a bit of haunches in, which confused her at first but then she performed it brilliantly. It was a pleasure to not have to think about hurricane Sandy or other responsibilities for awhile! Suki, of course was angry that I worked with Nikki first and showed her displeasure by glaring at us from the gate and occasionally calling to Nikki! I did Nikki first because it was quiet at the barn and I could have the arena to myself. We have more boarders who ride now and although it is never crazy busy, it is nice to have the arena to myself!

Once Nikki was back outside I brought in Suki who was glaring at us from the other gate while I put Nikki back in her pasture. I love how Nikki always stands by the gate and nickers to me for one last sweet. Sometimes I can barely hear her voice, but I can see her nostrils flutter in an almost silent nicker.

As I was grooming Suki's shoulder she turned around and snuffled my arm. I love when she snuffles then leans on me. Many will argue that it is not a display of affection....I disagree. It is recognition, familiarity and comfort for them and us. By this time several boarders started to arrive and I said to X while Suki was leaning on me(the one who takes every opportunity to insult me and act like a know-it-all)"I can't imagine not giving her the chance to recover. She is so happy and healthy." X's response. "Either decision would have been the right one. You would have gotten over it". Apparently we have a different view about life! Yes, I would have recovered emotionally but there would have been a hole in my heart for a long time. But I would have questioned my decision. However, if the veterinarians told me that it was best to put her down, I would have. When I decided to put down Jenny I knew it was the right decision for her. While I still miss the girl, I have never questioned that decision or thought "what if". It was the best thing for her, even though it broke my heart to let her go. No one will ever be able to convince me that it would have been an equally "right" decision to not give Suki a chance at life. For ME and MY horse it was the only decision that made sense given the circumstances. For someone else the right decision for them might have been different. Every situation is different and must be evaluated as such.

Sunday, October 28, 2012
The girls get one last chance to be outside since the rain has not started. A little breezy, cloudy and very dreary, but the horses were out for most of the day. I brought Suki and Nikki in for dinner groomed them and dressed them in light weight sheets. The barn is ready for Hurricane Sandy with sand bags for in front of the doors. It's a sturdy barn and ordinarily does not have flooding issues, but this is no ordinary storm! We are hoping for the best.


  1. Ha! Suki talking junk :) X sounds like one of those who look at everyone around them as mere investments, to be sold off when the profit margin drops.

  2. I am so glad that you made the right decision to spare Suki life. She deserved the chance and the vet staff knew that she was worth every dime you spent on her. I hate people like X that think they know everything. I would consider the source. Suki is such an inspiration to all things living out there. Sorry if I missed spelled some words, as I didn't use spell checker. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hope for the best that Suki and Nikki that they are tucked safe in their barn!!!! Mitzi

    1. Thank you Mitzi. I can't imagine not making that decision. I think some people just don't get it.
      So far so good, here, but wind and rain picking up.
      As always , we appreciate your support!

  3. Fran, I love reading about your horse. I think Suki and Nikki are amazing. I don't have a horse, but maybe I will get that off my bucket list. I do have my two special dogs and would be so lost with out them. I have had one since he was a puppy and the other one was my father's. I have had her almost 9 months. She has been raised around my little guy so they get along real good together. The little girl belonged to my father and he passed away so I took her as she is a good fit in my family. Having her helps me get through the rough days. I love being able to talk to them as they keep all your secrets and never share them with no one. I just wish they could talk and tell me what going on or how they feel. We enjoy your evening and stay safe. Mitzi

    1. Thank you. And I totally agree about animals!And yes, I would love to know what they are thinking and how they feel!
      That is wonderful that you have your father's dog...I am sorry to hear of his passing.

      Very glad that the storm has passed with minimal damage. Were you affected by Sandy?