Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Monthly Review + Goals

June flew by!  It seems like just yesterday that it was cold outside, and it was raining like it would never stop!  But suddenly its time for another review.... so here you go ;)

Looking Back on June...

What did I complete that I'm proud of in June?

  • I kept up the running and working out - even got back into it after a week of being sick!
  • Lady got to be sound again.
  • I made several big steps towards starting my small writing business.
  • I finished applications for going back to college in 2016.

What goals did I attempt in June?

  • Health: Diet.  I went vegetarian for the month and succeeded (except for broth once or twice). Doing that really made me focus on my protein sources and put careful meals together. I limited grains for the whole month and actually lost most of my cravings for bread-stuffs. I did great on the first week of NO sugar, and then slowly backslid again, oops. But I'm doing better on this too. I seriously feel a ton better.
  • Health: Exercise, etc.  The exercising went terrific. I'm up to being able to run for 3 minutes at a time and except for the one week when I was sick, I stuck to the 5K training schedule. I also committed to using less chemical products and I really improved here too, using more natural products (coconut milk and oil are awesome). And then this happened... Ooops.
Because hair dye is totally natural.
  • Horses.  We had a TON less rain, which was great! Comanche finally got to go out with the girls and they're all getting along beautifully now, although it took about two weeks to get there.  Sadly, because of Lady's health issues and busy life, I didn't squeeze in as much training time as I had hoped. And riding didn't happen.
  • Writing.  I'm ready and excited for Camp Nanowrimo to start tomorrow. My goal is 50K words.
  • Blogging.  I got my own domain name (www.katharine-marie.com) and its been onwards and upwards the whole month. Yippee!
I definitely have the cutest/sleepiest horse.

Goals for July!

I want to...

  • Write 50,000 words for Camp Nanowrimo.
  • Ride Lady again.
  • Get a saddle on Comanche.
  • Polish piano songs for college audition/prepare for college and moving.
  • Take time to look long and hard at my life goals.
  • Continue with the 5K training and regular workouts.
  • Keep the blue hair (aka redye at least once more).
  • Stay focused and productive by taking time over the weekends to recoup my brain.

I want to focus on this 1 habit...

  • Getting up in the morning and going right to work.  I'm horrible about being lazy first thing in the morning and it ruins my productivity for the rest of the day.

Monday, June 22, 2015


I'll confess - I laugh reading some of my favorite equestrian blogs when they talk about their tack-hoarding tendencies. I've always just had the equipment that was needed, spent my money on good feed and farrier bills, and enjoyed my horse.

And then I got into English riding last year. And suddenly, my tack collection started to grow.

Seriously, I only bought my first English saddle last February. At that point, I had one Western saddle, one girth, one saddle pad, one breastplate, one bridle, one bareback pad, and a few different Parelli ropes and sticks.


I own two saddles, three girths, four saddle pads, three sets of boots, three nice halters, a lovely hackamore, three sets of reins, three breastplates, five bits, a bucket a overflowing with lead ropes and lines, a blanket, and a host of grooming and care tools that I never thought I needed.
And then a few weeks ago a friend gave me a pair of side reins. I had been wanting a pair of side reins, so yay! :)

But then... I realized that I didn't have a way to use the side reins... My saddle isn't set up for them and my girth doesn't have side rings.

So I needed to scrounge up a surcingle to attach these pretty side reins to. But I couldn't scrounge anything up in the area or that I could afford! And then I went online to find some hay nets because of Lady's frustrating grass allergy and guess what?! I found a good deal on what seems like a nice surcingle with lots of rings and pretty things!

So I claimed it, and it turned out that the seller had a few other things that looked nice.

I may or may not have a surcingle, three new pads, and a new bit with reins on the way. Who knows.

At this point, I'm just going to take this as a normal part of my equestrian life.

And I might be going paddock boot/half chap shopping next week because cowboy boots + English saddle flaps = NO FUN.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Daily Battles

Hi everyone.
I almost didn't update today, but since I hadn't posted all week, it was overdue.

So far, Lady is not doing any better. She's spending time with her buddies today - hopefully that relieves some of her stress.
Her feet are doing better - she is only a bit tender on her left front. 

Because I found a picture from the endurance ride.
I bought good hay for her, but even with that and her daily feed, she hasn't put on any weight in a week. If anything, she's lost even more. When she runs out of food, she paces, and when she's tired of pacing, she stands with her head in the corner of the paddock.

She's physically and mentally tired and stressed. She isn't a horse that does well without a herd, and her instincts convince her that grazing is the only way to survive.

I'm not sure if she's actually allergic to insects or if she is just super sensitive. Either way, she seems to attract wasps and gets all kinds of fluid-filled lumps from their stings. The horseflies and botflies make her legs bleed when they bite, and now that its been raining, she's losing hair on her back and rump (strange, but she really isn't feeling well).

Sorry for the downer post. It's been a difficult week. I have a hard time seeing the bigger hopeful picture, which makes the daily battles that much harder.

Monday I'm going back to the vet to discuss strategies, and my barefoot trimmer will be coming out next week as well. Until then, we'll continue to fight the small, daily battles.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Catch-Up Post on Lady

I just had to go looking through my recent posts to find the last one I did about Lady.

Well, here is the update that you all have been so anxiously avoiding, lol. :)

I did very very little with Lady following the endurance ride. She pretty much became a wild pony... all three of my equines did. So when I finally got out there consistently again, starting last week, I was quite irritated with myself and discouraged to see that my poor little Arabian had lost too much weight and had absolutely ZERO topline remaining. Ouch.

Since Comanche was now out of quarantine, I immediately turned the girls out with him, thinking of course that nothing was better for two slightly underweight mares than some grass and herd-time.

Yeah, my mistake. I didn't really put much thought into the transition period between the overgrazed pasture they were on and the much greener and nicer pasture they were going into.

So when I pulled Lady out on Monday morning to start some conditioning again, I was more than a little upset to see that she was sore on her front feet, grouchy about moving, and overall pretty irritated with me.  At first I wasn't sure what exactly was going on, so I put her back out with the others when we were done working, but when I pulled her out Tuesday morning to to grain her and she was still ouchy and short strided, I figured out what was going on.

Me putting my sensitive little horse out on green pasture triggered a mild laminitic episode. My mistake caused my horse to hurt (lots of guilt going on over here).

Tuesday she spent all day in the small paddock and came out feeling better. I turned her out around 8pm and she spent the night on pasture again. Wednesday morning she was back to being lame, so she got to spend the day cooped up again. I waited until 11pm to turn her out that night, and brought her back in by 8:30 the next morning. This time, she came out almost sound. Yay! :)  So I decided to continue with that, turned her out at 11pm last night and brought her back in at 9 this morning.

Today, she was sound at the walk, dead lame at the trot, and wouldn't turn very tightly for me.

Super awkward picture, but showing the condition she is in right now.
I discussed the situation with my vet yesterday, and my hoof professional as well as my other very knowledgeable sources, and for right now we're going to treat her as an Insulin Resistant patient. As long as she's sound, I'll be walking her and hopefully building up condition again so that we can go riding. Until the grass is done growing/seeding, she'll be on hay almost exclusively.

Anyone who has ever dealt with laminitis, IR or EMS, or even Cushing's knows the kind of stuff I'm dealing with and the decisions that have to be made.
I'll keep the updates coming, at the same time that I do my best to keep up training Comanche. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

FOO Blog Hop: Weigh-In Wednesday

200th post!  Yikes!!

I've been lurking around these monthly blog hops of Fly On Over's for a while, and decided to participate this time around.

So, here are 5 health and fitness that have been with me lately.

1. Epona Fitness Wellness Group on Facebook

Epona Fitness is a terrific fitness group on Facebook for equestrians. I found it through the awesome dressage discussion group that I'm a part of, and they are always hosting fitness challenges with a new video or workout every day. Currently, it's a running program, with either a 5K or a 10K option, and I'm totally in for it! There are check-in posts put up every day, and getting to announce to the whole group that I finished today's workout is highly satisfying.

2. Vegetarian-ism

For the month of June, I decided to be as vegetarian as I possibly could. So far its been working fine and I hardly miss the meat. Today for lunch I ate my mom's chicken noodle soup - made with chicken broth - but only because I absolutely cannot resist that particular piece of my mom's cooking. Mmm.
But other than that, its been totally fine. As long as I pop enough almonds and peanut butter and other sources of protein I don't even notice the absence of meat in my diet.

3. Morning People

I am not a morning person. I'm a writer and an artist and I often stay up late working on projects - and I love my last hour or two of sleep in the morning. But now that its becoming summertime and the temperatures are bounding upwards (we had a 95 degree day today, what?!), I have to resign myself to getting up a bit earlier, especially if I want to get both my run in, and work with one of the horses before it gets too hot. Blech. But it's getting easier. :)

4. Swimming

We set up our pool again today, and I am crazy excited to start swimming again every day. Because I have some minor issues with my joints (from diet choices over the years) I prefer to do as few high-impact things as I can. Swimming is totally my favorite way to exercise. Besides... summer fun!

5. Spaghetti without Tomato Sauce

I know... sounds weird. But I'm IN LOVE with either spaghetti or linguine with toppings other than tomato sauce, especially since tomato sauce kills my stomach. Today I made my own alfredo sauce with butter, milk, and a bit of flour, plus spices. Last week I melted a bit of butter on my noodles, tossed in some roasted garlic cloves, and shredded parmesan cheese on top. Heavenly. And healthy!

Join the blog hop over at Fly On Over!

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Three Horse Herd - Maybe?

It's a sad day when you don't have pictures to share... I'll get some tomorrow, promise!

Saturday was the big day!  Comanche's vet-recommended 60 days were up since his gelding, and him and the girls could finally get together like one big happy family.
I was nervous because I've only had two horses for six years and Lady and Tempest are really really close. Adding Comanche could be the catalyst for a fight.

Anyway, after a few issues at the gate, because OBVIOUSLY everybody needs to be really close to each other while we're walking through the gates... the girls ended up in the new pasture, and we caught the boy.

My girls have been low on grass in the other pasture for a week or two now, so they were just happy to have grass! They hardly cared when I let Comanche loose, but he cared a lot and went running over to see them.

Lady had fun doing her whole pawing/striking routine that she does when she meets a new horse. Tempest squealed and tried to kick everyone, and Comanche did a LOT of sniffing around wherever either of the girls would let him.

So far, since then, whenever I look out at them, the girls are hanging out and Comanche is nearby, but obviously not really part of the "group" yet. We'll have to see how things play out.

The most interesting episode was actually this morning when I brought Lady out to work with her, leaving Tempest and Comanche alone in the pasture. Comanche always gets excited when I work with one of the other horses, but Tempest nearly had a meltdown. It was obvious that she was MAD - that Lady and I would dare to leave her alone with a crazy baby horse. He kept trying to get close to her and she bit and kicked him like I've never seen before.

Guys. I have a mean pony.  o.O

Lady was well-behaved (I'll post about her later on this week), but even she found the situation a bit strange and unnerving and called a few times - strange for her.
When I turned her back out afterwards she acted like she had never seen Comanche before and had to go check him out all over again. Of course, that made Tempest furious and she kept getting between them, biting their noses, kicking out, and squealing.
Nobody was getting hurt, so I let them be and went inside out of the heat.

Two hours later when I checked on them again, the girls were off by themselves again and Comanche was wandering around by himself.

Go figure.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Comanche Moon

Remember this guy...?

He is arguably the cutest little boy I've ever seen. I would say he's the cutest baby I've ever had, but I'm afraid that Tempest beats him out on that count. Baby ponies are definitely the cutest.

However, Comanche is definitely growing out of the cute stage and going through the awkward stage before he becomes handsome, lol.

Just like with Lady, he's been getting some time off lately, with all the rain and mud and flooding and MUD and storms and tornadoes and MUD.  Did I mention mud?

However, his brain has started settling down a little bit. He doesn't quite act like a little stud anymore, he doesn't rear or kick as a first or second response. Instead, he actually thinks about things.
He's only a three year old, so there's no telling how he'll even out by the time he's five or six, but I'm quite pleased with how he is doing right now. He has a lazy streak, which is just fine, he can be pretty stubborn, and he does argue with a lot of things, but there are just so many things that he doesn't know and wasn't taught at a wee young age.
He doesn't like flappy things (aka saddle pads).
He doesn't like things tight on him (aka girth), but he's getting better here.
He does like scratches, especially on his withers, and he likes treats.
He likes lots of treats.
He likes calling to the girls.
He is super confident and not spooky.
And he definitely likes attention and a kind hand.

Best news of all?  He gets to finally be introduced to the girls this weekend. If all goes well, we'll have a three horse herd in a week.  *fingers crossed*

Monday, June 1, 2015

May Recap / June Goals

May 2015 Goals
  1. Fiction Writing: Finish setting up the plot and outline as many scenes as possible. Write 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time.  Done!  This was fun :)
  2. Blog Work.  I failed again.
  3. Ride Lady 10 times.  We were getting somewhere, and then flood-disaster-status-Texas took over. 
  4. Start saddling Comanche.  See above.  I hate flooding.
  5. Read 2 fiction books and 1 nonfiction book.  In reality, this turned into 3 fiction books, but same thing really.
  6. Do some form of exercise every day, even if it is just stretching.  Kind of?  4-5 days a week.
  7. Drink more water.

June 2015 Goals

...divided by priority, then listed as steps to be taken...

Health: Diet and Exercise.

  1. Eat no corn products or meat, and limit grains and sugar.
  2. First week of the month will be completely sugar-free (taking a challenge).
  3. Start getting rid of chemical products and take better, more natural care of my skin and hair.
  4. Start a 5k training program.
  1. Preferably enjoy some sunshine with a lot less rain than May (not really a goal, but whatever).
  2. Get pasture arrangements moved around - Comanche gets to be turned out with the girls!
  3. Fit in as many rides and training sessions as possible before the summer turns hot!
  1. Prepare my story process for July's Camp NanoWrimo.
Blogging "Fun".
  1. Move my author blog onto it's own domain. Finally.
  2. Keep moving forward with the improvement work that I've been doing on both blogs.