Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Blog

I have started a new blog about a young, green broke mustang gelding I purchased a few weeks ago. I hope that he will learn and grow into a good solid endurance partner. Choosing a new horse was very difficult. I miss Riyah so much. A non-arabian gelding is different enough that I'm not constantly comparing 'apples to apples'--this is more like 'apples to oranges'--and is probably a healthy thing for me at this point. Anyway, please feel free to join the journey once again as I blog about the adventures and experiences I encounter with my new partner, Monte Cristo Flyboy, as I try to bring him into the world of endurance riding.

Our blog address is:

Friday, August 19, 2011


Riyah, my beautiful sweet girl, was quietly laid to rest yesterday evening out at Judy's ranch. I am still in shock. Still crying. It's midnight and I can't sleep. I keep seeing the last two months going round and round and round in my mind. It has been a long and painful ordeal, but she is in pain no longer.

I had bad news at her vet appointment. Deterioration of the bone. Another bone chip. Serious inflammation. The vet could offer me no hope. He recommended that Riyah be put down. I am devastated, but I am glad she isn't hurting anymore.

There are no words for what I feel. Those who have been through this know what I mean.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


This rollercoaster is so hard to deal with. Poor Riyah. Her leg doesn't look good. Still swollen and painful. I can't tell if she is getting better at all. Some days I think she is worse, but other days she seems a little more comfortable. She is still quite lame, and last week she had two days where she was on three legs again. It's so hard. I know it will take time, but I don't like to see her hurting. I give her a shot of Adequan (5cc) every four days. She also gets Rapid Response twice a day in her beet pulp mixture. I give her Bute on the really bad days, too. I am trying to be patient and keep telling myself these things take time. I just want to see enough improvement to know that we are on the right coarse and she is getting better.

I have been really down lately. It's the worry and the not knowing and the grief associated with lost dreams and just the fact that I really miss our rides together. She was such a fun horse.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Two Weeks Past Surgery

Riyah has made it to the two week mark and had her follow-up with the vet. He thought she was moving better than pre-surgery. Her hock is still quite swollen, but he told me that was not unusual at this stage following an invasive procedure like she had. He injected the joint with Adequan, and I will give her 5cc IM every 4 days for six treatments. I am also giving her Rapid Response HF+ which should help, too. The vet told me that was a good backup to have going.

Dr. Cody also instructed me to start hand-walking Riyah (yay!) 15 minutes a day. When I got home I walked her around in the arena and she was happy to be out of jail! The first thing she wanted to do was roll in the sand! I am going to re-arrange the panels in the barn to give her a slightly bigger area and to let her wander outside to stand in the sun. That should be good for her.

Keno and the Babysitter are hanging out with Riyah. Keno has stepped up to the plate and is back in the number one spot as far as riding goes and I must say he seems happy about that. We had a great ride in Payson Canyon last week and had fun jumping a few logs here and there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Riyah Is Home Again

I picked Riyah up and brought her home yesterday. She looks good--perky and interested. Thin, though. She is eating her hay well, but I am going to add beet pulp and oil and a little kelp. She is actually walking much better than before the surgery. Getting that joint cleaned out must have helped. Of course, she is on Bute, too.

Written on the papers I brought home from the vet clinic:

Prognosis: "Guarded due to advanced cartilage damage."

Recommendations: Two weeks stall rest. Adequan at two weeks. Hand walk/ small turnout 4-6 weeks. One year rest with controlled exercise.

We can do this. The hardest part will be controlling her exercise when she starts feeling better! She is going to want to run as soon as her leg will let her if not before!

I am better today than I was on Monday. It's been rough, but I received a note from my very wise-beyond-her-years 19-year-old daughter that really nailed what I have been going through right on the head. She sent me a quote from C. S. Lewis that read:

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less contrary to God's will than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness...We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as a way in which they should break, so be it. What I know about love and believe about love and giving ones heart began in this.

I think that is a really true but really tough statement. Thank you, Hayley.

I took Keno out for a good ride this morning. We both needed it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Not So Good

Oh man, oh man. Why, why, why do I so easily and freely give my heart to these animals who then have complete power to make devastate me? Dreams are so easily shattered and the pieces just dissolve and float away like the salt in my tears.

Riyah's surgery was this morning. They spent 40 minutes prepping her and the surgery lasted another 2 1/2 hours. I stayed and watched it all through the observation window. Dr. Cody called me in to see the screen before he finished up and gave me the bad news. Riyah has pretty significant damage to the cartilage in the joint even though he successfully removed the bone fragment, debris, and other gunk. The cartilage is eroded (actually it looked shredded to me); he thinks it was either injured somehow that day at the arena (hyper-extension type injury?) or it may have been going on for a while even before that. (Possibly due to the fact she was so malnourished during her first couple of years.) It's not good either way. Bone on bone is hard to fix.

Riyah will not have an endurance career after all. She may be ridable in 9-12 months, if her cartilage can fix itself. He told me that was a big if. Dr. Cody says realistically he gives her a 70% chance of being brood mare sound only. We talked about stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma pros and cons. Extremely expensive and not scientifically proven to make a difference, but an option if I want it.

Anyway, by the time I left I was reeling from the blow. I had big dreams for this mare. I knew the risks going in, but I jumped in with both feet and fell in love with her anyway. I kept it together long enough to drive myself home, and then I fell apart for a little while. It's OK because I'll put myself back together tomorrow so I can go pick Riyah up and bring her home. It will be a long road to recovery. We'll take it a day at a time and see where the road leads. I can only make the decisions I need to make today. The rest will have to wait and see what the future brings.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Long Weekend

It's going to be a long weekend for me. Riyah is at the vet clinic in preparation for her surgery on Monday morning. They will start at 8am. I will be there, of course, and I may watch if I am able. If it was someone else's horse I would jump at the chance, but I don't know how I will feel about watching my own horse go through it. Anyway Riyah was very relaxed about settling in at their barn. Maybe she was bored stiff with the same view from our barn during the last three weeks of stall rest and was happy for a change! Or maybe she realizes that this is the place that can help her and she's just ready to get on with it!

I have sold the truck shell, Roger's saddle (he never used,) and my Freeform endurance saddle, so I can just about afford this procedure! Nothing like liquidating your assets! I still have my Aussie endurance saddle and my jumping saddle for Keno so they were extras, anyway.

I hope Riyah will be good and everything will go smoothly for her this week. I have talked to a couple of people who have been through this and I feel better about it than I did last week!