This blog has MOVED!

Please visit for the most updated content. All these posts and more can be found over at the new URL.

Monday, April 26, 2010

False alarm!

Written from the lobby of redgirl's hotel!

Please excuse the scatter-brained-ness of this post. It's WAY late, I'm tired, my face itches, and I'm stressed for a myriad of work and personal reasons......Now that I'm done whining - onto the post!

The summary of this wordy tale: Farley is (probably) A-OK!

This morning I iced and surpassed her right leg and called my vet first thing and begged and pleaded for an appointment ASAP.

Dr. S* was nice enough to make time for me during the afternoon, after his long day after regular business hours to see me. I was especially grateful after I learned (several hours later) that I was going to have to fly out to Alabama at 6am on Tuesday morning.

He palapated her leg and got a reaction after getting aggressive. I trotted her out in the round pen for him - both directions at various trot speeds. She looked pretty good - forward and actually sound, if a bit stiff (I expected some stiffness just because of how tough the trail was....not good, but expected).

I explained to him that if ANYTHING was wrong I would NOT be going to Tevis this year and so I REALLY needed to know if something was going on. Because the race was SO TOUGH and she had fallen on cardiac hill.

So we decided to ultrasound. After a long time of comparing the legs and taking measurements and looking at all the different structures, he annouced that in 3 of 4 measurements, the right suspensory was slightly thicker than the left. In his opinion this is relatively minor inflammation and I shouldn't worry about it. That this low level type of inflammation was probably present after most difficult rides, but I was hyper aware due to the obvious strenuous nature of the ride.

The plan is: Normal work. If I notice swelling or heat I am to notify him immediately, but otherwise to continue the way I normally would (1 week off, 1 week easy, then return - gradually - to regular work). Just for "extra caution" he's reccomending a recheck the week before Wild West just to make sure that the inflammation has dissapeared.

Lessons learned
So, this was probably a false alarm. BUT I still think it was money well spent. It gave me peace of mind for the moment (that no damage was done) AND gave me peace of mind for the future - it showed me just how nicely conditioned her tendons and ligaments are - they are bright and WHITE on the ultrasound with excellent fiber patterns - even in the old bow.

Above all - I yet again confirmed that I can trust my gut and I can trust Farley. Yes it was very very minor and not even an isue. No one else probably would have noticed. But I did and I was right. It gives me confidence that if I can pick up on something this minor, I WILL notice if something is not right with my horse.

It also gave me a second look at my motives and reasons for doing what I do. What is too extreme? How much of Farley's well-being am I willing to risk?

Tevis is still on the table. Here's what needs to happen for it to stay that way.
  • This "issue" needs to turn out exactly the way the vet says - no cause for concern and not really an issue at all
  • Wild West needs to go off without a hitch
  • I need to figure out footwear (ie, glueons at Wild West need to go off without a hitch)
  • I need to be in excellent physical shape - ie my knee issue must resolve and I must be able to consitently exercise without injury.

Sorry for all the injury posts - I think I'm hyperaware right now as Farley is worming her way deeper and deeper into my heart....


  1. Yippie! That's fantastic news! I'm so happy for you and Farley.

  2. Whew. I'm tired just reading about you worrying...I can hardly imagine how exhausted YOU must be, Mel!

    I'm glad to hear that it was (mostly) a false alarm. That is always good news.

  3. Yeah...I'm tires of worrying too. Which is why I'm currently wrestling with the question of whether I can continue to handle the inherent stress of doing very diffcult rides.

    On the other hand - after tevis my feeling was "wow! This is so much more doable than I thought. My feeling after this ride (both times) was I NEVER want to do that again. So maybe I just need to stay away from rides like that and that doesn't mean not doing the tevis?

    As far as exhuasted... I'll admit I spent the entire plane trip here sleeping!

    A friend suggested that this unplanned trip to AL might provide some distance and perspective and I think he may be right.

  4. Do you have to do the hardest rides to have fun at rides? That's what strikes me, that you keep taking on the biggest challenges you can find. You did Tevis, on Farley - you don't have to prove anything to anybody. :)

  5. I think I'm definately transitioning to more of a journey oriented e-rider and less of a goal oriented one.

    I love the 100 mile distance so I still want to do that. However, why am I wasting myself and my horse on a very very tough 50? Farley has nothing to prove.

    For me, I think I've transitioned from wanting to do Tevis because of the "toughness factor" to a wanting to do it because of my love of 100's. I love the journey it takes to get there, I love riding in the dark, I love the realationship it fosters. Sure - the Tevis is what started it all for me....but in reality, it's one of 3 100's that fairly close to me, so it's on my list to do. I don't think it was any less fulfilling to complete 20 MT than it will be to complete Tevis.

    So with that in mind, I think I'm starting to realize that I need to go with what I love (100's) and then do the least amount possible that will get me there - some easy 50's, a multi day. I don't need to do the toughest 50 in the region to prepare me or my horse and all it will do is burn me and my horse out to do it.

    Anytime I finish a ride and say how I NEVER want to do it was too hard. I haven't gotten to that point with Tevis, but I'm definatley there with AR....

    BTW - no offense to anyone that loves AR - I'm not bashing the ride. It's gorgeous and as long as you are prepared - go for it! BUT - it has beeen an eye opener for me of exactly what my goals are and what I want to do (or not do) with my horse. I will no longer "waste" my miles doing rides I do not enjoy and I end up worrying about my horse more than having fun.

    Melinda (who still looks like a pus-encrusted chipmunk because of the poison oak.....people on the plane were giving me funny looks...)

  6. So glad to hear Farley is OK! This subject kind of reminds me of something from horse racing, that every horse has only so many races in them, I suppose that is true for endurance too- might as well save those legs for the rides you both enjoy:)
    Karen W.

  7. This was an important step for me, and one that came slooooowly:

    why am I doing this? what are my goals? what do I really want to achieve and why?

    For me, now, it's all about fun. I have my 2,000 mile patch. I don't need to chase miles and points. I want to see pretty scenery and have fun.

    That means I'm no longer willing to ride any horse, any distance like I have in former years.

    It also means I'm now more willing to take a RO-AHF pull ("rider option - ain't having fun"). I think in the long run, understanding the goals clearly will help in achieving them.

    That's the theory, anyhow!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.