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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quick Farley update & other study procrastination

Yesterday Farley continued to be nonreactive to palpation of her fetlock/swollen area and was trotting sound....but still had quite a bit of edmea/effusion/filling so I saddled up and went for a walking trail ride around the orchard. Because she's lazy and tends to stand around all day, I had a feeling that by getting her moving the filling might go down enough I could assess it better.

Used my new saddle with my fleece pad (in shorts and keens with an EQUESTRIAN APPROVED helmet) and headed out.

She felt GREAT. Forward, swinging back, interested, focused. On the way home she broke into a short trot or two and the steps felt sound, even though it was VERY brief.

After the ride the filling had almost completely dissapeared and I was able to evaluate it much better. It's still not completely normal, there's some little bumps and things that weren't there, but it's early to tell whether there's any permanent changes. The body's inflammatory response is a glorious, scary thing and it will take a couple of weeks before I can conclude that any of the various "new" things I'm feeling are there for good. It's nothing major and could be anything from thickenings of the skin where a bump is healing itself to an irritated area, to the soft tissue responding to the inflammatory response that's been in that area.

I think my strategy for the next week or 2 will be to ride her at a walk on our "ride days" (every other day) and monitor for the return of filling. Once the filling doesn't come back, AND she remains negative to palpation, AND remains sound on the trot out and lunge --> we'll start some slow short trot sessions. After a week of that, if everything remains good, we will return to regular work, with close monitoring for anything different on that leg. I figure that by my next ride in the beginning of November I'll be out of the woods and can declare her my perfect pony once again.

New Saddle --> felt really really good on the trail. The fleece cover worked great. Trying to decide what girth I want to use, and need to "twist" the fenders so it puts less stress on my ankles and knees holding the stirrups in the forward position. Even with the fleece pad on the saddle, it seems like it has a very narrow twist, that's super comfortable. Still playing with the details of the set up --> after yesterday's ride I want to attach my saddle pad to the front of my saddle (my saddle pad has loops for this purpose) so I can slide the pad further back without worrying that I"ll lose it. The more forward position that the company suggested for placing the saddle works very well and doesn't seem to interfere with her shoulder movement like I thought it would. Something about the more western style panels versus the flocked english panels. Still concerned about the wither clearance, BUT I'm going to leave it to the company for their opinion, and I've decided that since there isn't contact between her wither and the saddle now, I'll just monitor. It's a problem for almost all the saddles I've tried on Farley, and as her back changes with her return to condition, chances are I would have to switch saddles no matter what I started with. I have a back up saddle right now that fits her, so if it does happen at a ride (like what happened at the end of Wild West one year) I can switch out the saddle if necessary. I also might be able to do something with the pad.

-It feels really nice to have a saddle that I'm doing little things to --> puttering around so to speak. Nothing that is requiring a large amount of time or brain power, but keeping me busy enough that my brain stays happy.

I have a MAJOR final (end of the block) on Thursday, and really should not be blogging. So I won't even take the time to edit this one, post it, and swear to have more self control over the next couple of days and NOT BLOG!!!!!!!! Just like my self control for *not* eating the entire carton of icecream last night or *not* buying a chocolate croissant this morning. Right. No blogging until after Thursday!!!!

(comment about the food in the above paragraph - I'm at my ideal weight right now, and was going to try and lose 2 or 3 more pounds so it would be an even 15 pounds and not a funky 12 or 13 (saying "I lost 15 pounds" or some other round number sounds so reasonable. Saying "I lost 12 pounds" sounds like you are obssessing....but if I say "I lost 10 pounds" I'm not giving myself credit for those important pounds which make a big difference on my 5'1" frame!). However, I know from experience that once I get under 125, my body goes crazy craving sweets. It likes 125-127, but NOT 123-125. I think I'm being reminded of this right now and should accept my inveitable fate of maybe being a couple pounds heavier than I would like, BUT able to eat according to my beliefs of what healthy eating is, without wanting the junk food).


  1. I think it's incredibly cool that you have this new understanding of WHAT is going on with the inflammatory process. So glad she's feeling good!

    Good luck on your block final!!

  2. Hey, not wanting to confuse the matter, but just wanting to give you some options for the future, as far as saddles go...

    If you want an 'Aussie' saddle (what we call a stock saddle) or one of it's variations (stock with fenders, or half-breed which is like a hybrid between western and stock), for security but want more flexibility with wither clearance, you could consider a Bates or Wintec (Australian made, Bates is leather, Wintec is synthetic). They come with a changeable gullet so you can adjust that as her condition changes. They aren't cheap, but the synthetic ones are good and you can get reasonable second-hand ones (well, here at least).

    If you really like the dressage position in that style of saddle, the Ammo saddle has a nice position, not sure about wither clearance though...

    (I ride in a Mackinder endurance saddle which fits most arab types but can be custom-built too.

    Hope that information helped, and wasn't too confusing!

  3. Oh, hey... I totally forgot to tell you that the Mackinder saddles now come in Poley (that means that they have the leg roll things that most stock saddles have). I was at an endurance ride yesterday and saw heaps of the new Poley style Mackinder saddles, and got some really good feedback on them too.
    They have a flexible tree so you don't need a seat-saver or padding on the seat, as they are pretty comfy (stock saddles are so hard!). Plus I've never had my horse get a sore back with this saddle!


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