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Monday, May 28, 2012

Mel's on vacation and Farley's not skinny

I'm off for a lovely 4 day backpacking trip!  As this is a highly anticipated trip, I must admit I've deviated from my usual ultra light style and packed a few luxuries.  I've hiked this trail before and know that it is mostly flat and easy and for 3 nights, and I'll sleep better with my travel pillow (and I sacrificed extra clothing in order to have the pillow and not sleep with a lumpy mash of spare clothing). 

As I looked at the pack that took my 2 hours to assemble, I am reminded that just because it fits doesn't mean you should take it. 

Any whoo....

I went riding today.  It was a bit windy and Farley was just a *bit* snorty (actually VERY snorty) and had been off for a week, and I felt in the mood to go at a slower pace.  So we checked out a new trail, went down to the river, and had a lovely 2 hour ride at a walk. 

As I stood there, gazing at my saddled horse, I was impressed at how good she looks.  No, there's no muscle mass there.  But she's sleek, shiny, and has an incredible athletic "air" about her. 

She doesn't look skinny.

I even took a weight tape to her and compared it against measurements that I had when we were still competing and she's about right.  I'd say she was about a 5/9 BCS, which is just about right for a horse going back into work in the spring.  I'd probably want another 30-50 pounds on her going into a 100 for reserves (ignoring the extra weight that comes with increased muscle mass), but that isn't necessary right now.

Just 10 days ago I was trying to shut down obsessive cycles in my brain that she was too skinny.  What happened? 

I think this goes to show that with any subjective measurement, like a Body Score Condition (BSC), it is prudent to make several observations over a couple of days before making any radical changes. 

Probably, I was shocked because she had shed out of her fuzzy (and mass illusion) winter coat and for the first time I REALLY saw the loss of muscle.  Maybe she was a bit dehydrated for some reason.  Maybe she was standing funny.  Maybe I trusted my eyes more than my hands as I felt her topline and ribs.  Maybe I was stressed out from school, or maybe I was unconsciously comparing her to my clients quarter horses that I had seen all day. 

Whatever it was, I think it's a reminder to me that with something as subjective as weight, it's prudent to watch and observe and NOT freak out.

In fact, I'm hard pressed to think of anything that is solved through freaking out.....but I digress. 

I think one reason a horse that suddenly looks skinny to me sets off all sorts of alarm bells, is Minx.  One of the things that happened the week before she colicked is that she seemed to drop 50 pounds over night.  I'm a more experienced horseman now and would like to think I could pick up whether there was a medical emergency occurring and there's no reason to think that Farley won't live a long and healthy life.  I need to remember my own advice that I posted on the new100milers yahoo list: Ask me what went wrong for each and every one of my pulls on my record and I'll tell you I did too much, not too little.

See everyone at the end of the week!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Electrolyte Seminar TODAY (Wednesday)

Hey everyone -

Just finished my equine nutrition lecture (which was awesome and I have a TON of notes for you'all on Selenium/Vitamin E supplementation and balancing rations for the performance horse) and the professor,  Dr. Claire Thunes from Summit Nutrition was absolutely fantastic.

I stayed after class to clarify some points and questions because of the blog post I'm going to write for you'all, and it turns out that she is doing an electrolyte supplementation TELEPHONE seminar today (Wednesday).  5pm PST (that's California time, daylight savings) tomorrow.  You need to preregister at a website in order to get the phone number to call in.  If you are interested and want the link, please email me at and I will send you the registration link.  It is FREE.

I unfortunately won't be able to listen in since I have boot fitting appointments at 5p and 6p Wednesday --> so if you are planning on depending on my summary, it is not going to exist :)

FYI --> I originally didn't post the lecture's name and website contact because I wasn't sure how "public" the information was, but since there is a website and facebook page, I'm comfortable posting it now (updated 8:45 am Wednesday)

One more edit: here's the website to register:

If you still have problems, feel free to email me.  :)  Looks like it might be recorded for those of us that can't make it! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Myths of a vet student

I'm here, as a first year "graduate" to bust all those myths of those vet school hopefuls, the class of 2016ers (that would be the first year class NEXT year), and anyone else that thinks that we vet students magically have all the answers after 9 months of classes (or after 4 years...but I digress --> wouldn't want my halo to get tarnished or anything).

1.  You don’t get to wear scrubs as often as you think.  Sorry to break it to you, but the white coat is the gold standard.  And if you are having a war on scrub pants like me, protesting the lack of fit for those "fat-bottomed" girls (it's a song in case you missed it....) there's no wearing jeans with a cute scrub top.  And just think, if you buy enough scrubs to wear them every day for class, you are stuck with a million sets of scrubs that designate you as a student after graduation.  NOT COOL. 

2.  Sorry to disappoint, bu yes, you do need calculus, stats, and physics in vet school.  And that biochem and o-chem book that you burned after finally passing it on the 3rd attempt?  Yeah......probably going to regret that choice. 

3.  Most of the information you give clients regarding animal maintenance is better googled than looked up.  I swear.  Do I know what to give an orphaned 1 week collection of chinchillas?  Nope.  Neither, apparently does my textbook.  But this website looks pretty good......Doesn't look too radical and not too many red flags.  Yeah.....we'll pass along that info.

4.  Your animal will get some weird disease in vet school.  Yep, it's true.  Just ask my classmate whose dog got MMM during the musculoskeletal block, or my friend whose cat ate a lily leaf the DAY we had our household plant tox lecture, or the classmate whose dog had a cornea ulcer during the ophthalmology block.   Start saving those pennies.  And no, you will have no earthly idea what to do medically for your pet beyond rushing your animal in for an emergency visit and plunking down that credit card.  I'm pretty sure Farley is going to start showing signs of star thistle poisoning any day, since Tess's attempts at poisoning herself with fuel injector cleaner was unsuccessful (currently in a toxicology block....)

5.  To those of you that say you need to put away your white t-shirts and dancing shoes (or endurance saddles) when you enter vet school, I say PHOOEY!!!!!!  I have more of a social life than I have EVER had in my LIFE!!!!!!  Yes, you will have no money.  Yes, there are tests to study for.  But, stop worrying about how hard the material is, and start planning on LIVING during school.  And that goes for anyone out there who insists that they can't have a social life, or do what they want to do in life --> prioritize and realize that life never changes.  If you are overworked and overwelmed now, it isn't magically going to get better just by virtue of moving, or because you are graduating, or because you are changing jobs.  You will have time to do what you want to do, and what you prioritize.   

6.  I've been told my during various stages of life that NOW (whenever that happens to be) is the best years of my life, only to find out that the next stage is pretty damn good too.   Happiness is a choice, not because of a life status, so no --> getting into vet school isn't going to make you magically happy, nor is graduating from vet school, nor is actually getting a job as a vet, nor is retiring.  If you aren't happy now, there's nothing magical about vet school that's going to change that. 

Toxicity and other ramblings

1.  Toxicology, or, "everything can kill your pet so give up now"

Toxicology started off like this:

"mmm....I have that plant in my pasture...and that one....and that one....and that one.  I'm pretty sure I've seen that in my hay.  I'm positive that my dog has at some point eaten that. OMG they are all going to die!!!!!!"

Merged into this:

"Let's see here.  Studying tox and how to treat.  mmm.....supportive care and prayer, supportive care and prayer....oh goodie --> if I have a cow that has eaten a nitrite thingy I can give it methylene blue. 

And ended like this:

"Oh look.  Tess *may have consumed a partial bottle of fuel additive that claims to clean injectors.  Oh well.  She seems fine.  I guess I should look up the MSDS.  No tox info.  She'll be fine (and well lubricated!)".

*empty bottle found in backseat floor boards because I forgot to actually use it.  Cap was off, bottle empty, no oily stuff on the carpet.  Tess spends time in the car during boot fittings without supervision....

We can contrast this to her consuming a single out-of-the-box red velvet cupcake and me immediately doing an exposure assessment and contemplating inducing emesis (never mind the fact that any cake mix that must add red food coloring to get the "red" in a red velvet probably doesn't spring for anything resembling real, significant chocolate content.

How far I have fallen.

What I've learned in tox can be summed up like this: lots of stuff that looks like food can kill your animal.  Lots of stuff that looks like scary chemicals is perfectly harmless. 
2.  My version of putting a picture on my mirror. 

Please forgive the lighting --> it would have been inappropriate to ask the professor to increase the lightening during the lecture while I took the photo.....

This is one of the pictures I adore, and some day, me and Farley will do it again.

We will ignore the fact that I wanted to cry when I saw her the other day --> she's dropped weight again, probably because I'm not riding her and she's just standing around (her appetite is stimulated when she's moving around, she has PLENTY of hay in front of her), her butt and shoulder muscles are GONE and there's no top line.  I worked on not panicking and reminded myself that oil+beetpulp/stable mix+regular riding does wonders and it's the journey that counts, not the fact that I have a scrawny ugly nag and just because she looks thin does NOT mean she's going to drop dead like Minx did.  No siree --> me and Farley can get into shape together and I'll lose weight while she gains it and everything will be A-OK (and if I'm being an ostrich and sticking my head in the sand, I don't want to be told that just yet).  

I sat down last night and put together a summer schedule for us both and I hope that this means I have FINALLY gotten my act together.  If so, it's only taken a FREAKIN' YEAR!!!!!!!  I blame it on the lack of backpacking.  And loss of income.  And a little thing called VET SCHOOL. 

OK - deep breath. 

3.  And now, I want to talk about YOU, my dear READER

When I write posts, the Reader is always first and foremost in my mind.  I am writing FOR YOU, my dear Reader.  These posts are never (OK --> rarely) intended as personal journal-like ramblings.  So it's not like I'm totally naive to the fact that you are actually a REAL person, reading this blog, and (of course) making judgements and decisions about me based on what I write.  

BUT, it's always insanely weird to me when my friends from "real every day life" remind me that they read my blog. 

Somehow I forget that The Reader = people who are not my family that actually know me in real life and aren't necessarily other bloggers.   

I usually stop, do a nervous giggle, and then frantically wrack my brain to see what embarrassing, self-revealing subject I've posted on recently. 

The "Going Commando" seems to be a rather popular one for my friends to point which case I combine my nervous giggle with a reassurance that I AM wearing underwear for whatever important, public event that we happen to be at......

I'm flattered that you'all are reading and I constantly amazed at the perfectly normal, amazing, talented people that actually read this blog.  Especially those of you that know me in real life --> extra koodoos to you that put up with me here AND in real life!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

More Black Stallion

Thanks mom and dad for supporting my Walter Farley obsession. And for not only choosing a wine for its label but also getting one that I will thoroughly enjoy drinking.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Me, less whiny

It's only fair that I give you, my fabulous Reader, an update. Very little horsey content. 

As usual, I wait to post until near the "bottom", which means that the upside isn't too far off. 

Thanks to your suggestions and some forced activities on my part, I'm feeling oh so much better. 

As I stood in REI today picking up some items for the upcoming backpacking trip, I had a revelation--> this seemed oh so familiar. 

In fact, as you might recall, during my preparations for Tevis 2009, I went to a sporting goods store, spent untold $$$ on backpacking gear, and then placed my packed gear in the corner.  Immediately after Tevis, I went on my first backpacking trip.  Solo.  

In fact, I think that one of the best tricks in my book is going to be scheduling a backpacking trip after any major event, whether it's the end of school year, an event that is arguably for "fun", or some other mentally draining thingy. 

OK --> so now I have something demonstrably makes a difference.  Plan a backpacking trip and then prepare for it piece by piece. 

I also went to the stable today and unloaded the rest of my horse gear (almost) and organized it.  The only thing better than riding is organizing riding stuff.  I SWEAR!!!!

Then, I got really wild and decided to buy myself a sundress.  I've wanted a sundress for over a year.  I've tried making myself one, and buying a cheap Walmart one.  None of them really were exactly what I wanted.  REI had one on sale and after trying it on 3 or 4 times in a row and asking Matt continually whether I was pretty in it (I HATE overhead florescent lighting in dressing rooms!) I bought it.  I normally don't subscribe to the retail therapy philosophy.  But screw it.  I haven't taken a shower for a week, I feel fat, useless, and un-pretty (even more so since learning that my full-time job this summer has fallen through) so if it takes a sundress that costs a fraction of what I pay in gas each week to help me snap out of it and focus on the good in my life, than so be it. 

I love the dress.  I immediately took a shower (over a week since my last), shaved (at least 6 months....), pained my toe nails (maybe a couple of years?), and put up my hair in a style that I had admired on my classmate, but had never actually tried to do. 

And now, I feel ready to face the world again. Start riding.  Start running.  Start eating things that support my health.  Get through the rest of this week with flying colors.  Do the right thing by my dog.  and my horse.  and my friends and family.  WHOO HOOO LET'S GO!!!!!!

PS --> AareneX I'm implementing some of your suggestions now and they are REALLY good ideas :).  Thank you so much!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Me being whiny

Hey folks -->

I'm having a really tough time.  Nothing specific, but I'm completely unmotivated to do anything I NEED to do, and totally unmotivated to do anything that I know will motivate/make me feel better such as running, riding etc. 

I'm grumpy, irritated, and unamused by puppy antics (Tess has pretty much stopped talking to me).  Part of me is not riding because I'm afraid that my current lack of temper control and general grumpiness at the world is going to translate into me being short and unfair to Farley (which she does NOT deserve) and other part of me feels like that's just another excuse not to ride and be lazy.  My knee hurts and I'm so tired and fat that the idea of going for a run makes me want to curl into a small ball and die. 

One more week of school.  Nothing specific bothering me.  I've been in this funk for THREE DAYS and CANNOT snap out of it.  I've tried being super focused in class (caffeine!!!!), not going to class (mmm....sleeping in), studying, not studying, eating junk food, fasting, eating healthy, going on walks, checking things off my to-do list, RSVPing for a party, shunning all social interactions, training tess, not training tess, cancelling agility lessons (more on that in Tess's blog later).  AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So when nothing works and you want something fixed, what do you do?  Blog.  It's worked quite nicely for a number of situations where I was at a loss, both on horse back and off.  So this is me being honest and whiny.  I don't know how blogging is going to help, but since it's:

a.  Free
b.  self-serving

I'm trying it. 

I'm going on a backpacking trip for 4 days the week after school ends and honestly, I want to be on the trail with my pack so bad right now it brings tears to my eyes, so my guess is I just need a mental break that consists of a lot of slow movement over the majority of the day, with plenty of sleep, and a couple glasses of wine.  (staying away from the wine until my trip since the thought of drinking right now smacks of self-medication in a BIG way --> wine is going with me on the trip by virtue of a platypus bottle). 

Back to learning about toxicology and nutrition. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Go endurance riders!

I have to say that of all the horse sports that I've been involved in, easedropped on, read about, participated in, had conversations with people who actually do the sport etc., ENDURANCE riders and the endurance sport continually blow me away.

My friend sitting next to me, reading this over my shoulder, added that we are all crazy too, but I digress.

Time and time again how we managing our endurance horses is corroborated by what I'm being taught in school.  It's the little things that we as endurance people worry about, that doesn't seem to have trickled into the other sports as widely.  Some of the little things may not matter to horses that aren't being asked to perform 100 miles, or at a performance level that approaches their maximum capacity, BUT, some of these "little things" are so easy to do, or just require a little change in an already established routine --> and the result may be a horse that stays sound and healthy a little bit longer. 

I don't always have time to write about every little thing that makes me want to pump my fist in the air and say "GO ENDURANCE COMMUNITY!", but sometimes, I've been in lecture for 3 hours, am not going to get a lunch break, and will have to look mildly interested at an awards ceremony for the next 2 hours (where I'm getting a scholarship!).  So I decide to completely ignore the current Q and A session for our CBL cases, bow to my caffeine induced maniac state and actually post something. 


I think it's been well documented in the endurance world that feeding fat to horses has a LOT of benefits and very few downsides.  In fact, I think that it's so low risk, and the benefit potentially so great, that every endurance horse out there should have fat supplementation whether they need it for weight gain or not. 

While I have not learned anything specifically about fat and equine endurance performance (although fat and it's relationship to dog endurance was discussed), some of the information presented was relevant.  I don't think anything particularly "new"from what I haven't heard from other sources, but I thought I would share anyways. :)

Based on my conversations with vets, other horse people, and my colleagues, I think there are 2 misconceptions when it comes to feeding fat to the equine. 

Equines don't eat fat "in the wild", thus it's weird to give it to them.
-It is weird, but for some reason, horses can metabolize fat REALLY well.  Measurements of the apparent digestion coefficient of added fat to horse rations are about 0.9 --> which is goobly speak for "horses do a damn good job at using that oil.  Horses have been fed up to 30% of calories as fat under experimental conditions --> Which is a heck of a lot of oil.  The cup or so that I feed (start lower, work your way up since adding too much too fast can cause diarrhea) is no where NEAR that amount, yet still gives the benefits of feeding oil to an endurance horse (at least from what I've read/heard from conventions, experts in the endurance/nutrition fields etc.).  So adding a cup or so shouldn't cause problems. 

It doesn't matter which oil I chose for my horse.  I'll get the available/cheap one.
-I too chose a oil that is cheap and available....but there are caveats.  Stay away from oils with high concentrations of omega 6 fatty acids (n-6 FAs).  They are considered pro-inflammatory.  This was confirmed during my lecture this morning.  Try to chose oils that have a high level of omega 3 fatty acids (n-3 FAs).  With these in mind, Corn oil is definitely OUT.  I think that corn oil is often suggested because it seems natural to people that corn = feedstuff that horses are known to consume.  Corn oil is high in n-6 FAs, and NOT a good source of n-3 FAs.  While other choices such as Soybean and Canola oil do contain n-6 FAs, they also are a good source of n-3 FAs, making them a more suitable choice.  Both are cheaper than other "specialty oils", and available in the grocery store.  At least in my area, a freezedried Soybean oil is available for people who don't want the mess of liquid oil. 

I've never considered adding fish oil to Farley's diet (expensive, patability issues etc.) but I know that people often add it to their dog and cat diets.  Something I learned today regarding fish oil --> "Diets high in polyunsaturated fats (especially fish oils) require higher levels of vitamin E in the diet.  Do not prescribe high PUFA diets without increasing the vitamin E concentration of the diet." I do feed Vitamin E because of my supplementation with a Se product.  Currently I feed a human grade vitamin E that comes in little soft capsules. I honestly have no idea how bioavailable that human product is in a horse.  I have no idea whether I'm throwing away the $22/bottle.  I could feed a vitamin E product made specifically for horses --> but unless I choose to buy from a company I trust, such as Platinum Performance/KPP/KER, I'm not sure I would trust whether the product has been stored correctly (vit E degrades), is bio-available for horses etc.  Because of the lack of regulation in this industry, you are trusting the company that the product works and is quality controlled --> which means spending the money and buying directly from a repuable company and not trusting the storage areas of the "middle man".  Feeding an oil that I KNOW has a high vitamin E requirement and not being totally comfortable with any of the products out there and/or having to add another expensive supplement to an already expensive oil, means I will probably look else where for a high n-3 oil (like the ones mentioned earlier) and avoid fish oil for now. 

So there you have it --> Some nuggets of information that I've integrated into my management protocol.  As always, it's easy to accept new information that reinforces what I already believe, but I believe in this case, adding a n-3 rich oil to a horse diet in moderate amounts is a good practice for endurance horses, and provides numerous benefits. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pics of the tack Corolla

Belated pics of the now retired Tack Corolla (I've moved back into my trailer). 

And yes, I picked my pics based on whether Tess was in them, not for the quality of the actual picture --> like focus and all that jazz. 

 2 flexi containers (cheap, from Target).  One with horse stuff (the boots are velcroed onto the handles), and one with human stuff.  Saddle pads on top, making a make-shift saddle rack which the saddle sets on.  It takes up about half of the back seat.  (the market basket in the floor boards doesn't count :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I really should have a check list

I'm officially done with another block as of this morning and am starting a new one (nutrition and toxicology) this afternoon.  Thus, a blog post.

On Monday I had a ride scheduled with a boot client whose boots kept coming off at the canter.  The idea was that we would ride together on the trail and I would watch them to get an idea of what was happening. 

Everything went well.  I killed wasp nests, cleaned out my trailer, loaded Farley (thank goodness she still remembers how to load in a trailer and hasn't regressed to naughtiness of when I first got her with all this time off),  was only 15 minutes late, and managed to find a place to park the trailer.  (BTW - the trick of making up a really wet, elyte rich mash for the horse to drink/eat in the trailer really works!).  M* was all saddled up and ready to go.  I made a few boot modifications and went up to get Farley.  Whoo hoo!!!!!! 

Until I realized that I was missing a critical piece of equipment.

Umm...that would be my saddle. 

I had just picked up the trailer from my parents that morning and in the hustle and bustle of trying to get it cleaned out and stuff transferred around, the saddle never made it out of the trunk of my mobile tack corolla.


No spare available either. 

I took a deep breath and decided to do this thing bareback. 

I put on my helmet, and took off my expensive (gifted) sunglasses.  Knowing me, I'd fall off and break them in half.  I also at the last minute remembered to take off my Crocs and put on "real shoes" for this deal.  I was a bit rattled I suppose.  :)

I reminded myself that Farley had only bucked me off once --> during a jump lesson. 

I briefly regretted my choice of riding tights that were very thin cotton things, and I won't even TMI my readers with my even more regrettable choice of underwear.  Let's just say that it wasn't exactly bareback riding attire.  

I ignored the fact that I haven't done any real bareback work since before her injury almost 18 months ago.  And since I have cantered her exactly once undersaddle since the injury, it goes without saying that I wasnt all that confident that I could stay on bareback through anything but a jog at this point.

I also decided to ignore the fact she hasn't exactly been an angel on the majority of the trail rides. 

And that there are lots of nice pointy rocks on this trail.  Which alternate with hardpacked gravel roads. 

So off we went. 

At one point I suggested that I ride up ahead and then stop and have M* canter towards me so I could watch the boots, but for some reason, instead of actually putting this very sensible plan into action, I found myself looking at a stretch of gravel road and actually saying the words "let's canter". 

And Canter we did. 

I was even able to look behind me and down to watch my clients boots (BTW --> issue resolved, they stay on beautifully now). 

Was it the most graceful ride I've ever had?  No.  Did I have one hand wrapped in mane with my bicep fully engaged, sucking me against that wither?  Absolutely.  Did my butt stay on that mare through walk/trot/canter/hand gallop?  Yep.  Even through spooks from random objects at a canter?  Yep.  Did I even trot and canter some single track?  Yep. 

In short, I did a conditioning ride on the trails bareback. 

I will say that by keeping one hand in the mane, I sacrificed some control over speed and and direction.  As good as Farley has gotten at one handed reining, I'm just not as effective at speed when telling her in no uncertain terms we are NOT going to jump that puddle and she CANNOT do something nasty to the mare next to us.  But since I didn't die (or fall off) it was probably worth it :).

I'm so proud of us both.  That partnership that was built over many miles is still there.  My fat a$$ (and yes it is --> that's what sitting here and not studying will do to you) still knows how to sit deep and go.  And that amazing thing was I wasn't even sore the next day --> a bit of pressure soreness in ummm...sensitive areas....but no real muscle pain from gripping.  Which means I was actually riding more or less correctly!!!!!  Theoritically.....if I get a girth gall and still have 10 miles to go at an endurance ride, I could have a glass of wine, slip off her saddle and still make it.  Realistically I should take ibprophen instead and jog it!  But I'm just sayin'

Even more exciting -->  Farley's feet are OMG so good right now.  She was trimmed that morning and I mentioned to the trimmer that she is so sound at a trot over gravel.  It's amazing.  At Oroville (where I rode), I got confirmation of that --> not one sore step at any speed, over gravel roads.  Later on the single track we had big 'ole rocks of all sizes and she didn't even hesitate.  After the ride there wasn't one split, crack, or chip.  It was absolutely freakin' amazing.  I've vaccinated less in the last 18 months than I ever have because I haven't traveled anywhere, and I think that was a HUGE part of it.  There's no other explanation.  I've ridden her less, she's just come out of winter/wet weather.  The only good things have been a decrease in vaccine and wormer frequency and very consistent trimmer that isn't me.  She's due for her vaccines and a worming and truthfully I'm a bit nervous about it.  Will I lose her awesome feet?  Obviously a dead horse does me no good and being a responsible boarder means that I WILL vaccinate and worm, but I'll be doing what I can to minimize the impact. 

A note to all horse professionals --> Cookies work.  

Farley, although pocket sized is not a pocket pony.  She doesn't introduce herself and can be a bit standoffish to people.  Although I feed her by hand a lot and we've shared more than a handful of apples and granola bars, she doesn't nuzzle for treats. 

My trimmer makes a point of feeding cookies to her when the visit is done.  I've thought it was a nice gesture, and Farley likes cookies so I've always given permission.  I think the trimmer has trimmed Farley 3 or 4 times?  At the end of this visit (I think visit number 4) she was actively going past my shoulder to go up to him and mug him for cookies.  At first I couldn't figure out what she was doing...but apparently she has figured out that this guy that she sees every 5-6 weeks gives her 2 or 3 cookies at the end.  Horses are way more smart and have better memories than I give them credit for.  Who would have thought that a handful of cookies over the span of 5 months could have made such a difference in her attitude towards this one person?  As a vet I'll definitely be asking my clients if I can feed a cookie or two after the visit.  If I practice equine vetmed.  Which I'm definitely NOT doing.  I swear. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012


This continues to be a "non-post" as I "study" for my final.

Just wanted to vent on my frustration with technology.

I love the internet.  It's wonderful. I wouldn't be blogging and connecting with you'all if it wasn't for the wonder of technology.

BUT --> The "wonders" of technology is lost on me presently as I'm having to apologize to a client (who is not no longer a client) as "technology" has managed to screw me TWICE with the same person in the span of 2 weeks.  An email that apparently was not received, an order that magically didn't go through. 

When I started Boots4Mel I made a promise that I would never make excuses to a client.  Never.  I would apologize --> but never make excuses.  It's a good rule.  I would rather a business take responsibility for an issue rather than make excuses, even if it isn't entirely their fault.  I want to be honest up front, stand behind my product and my word if it dissapoints, or isn't as promised. 

I've had to make some apologies over the last couple years (yes!  it's been plural years since I started my business!) but situation was by far the hardest one for me not to make excuses for.

It's good for my character. 

So is Tess.

One of my draft posts is the theoritical prayer to God that apparently Tess was sent to answer.   For example, if I had prayed for such silly things as "patience" and "humility". But as I'm not posting (see!!!!!  NO POSTING.  This is not a post), self-deprications about my character will have to wait until after exams.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


You know you aren't spending enough time with your horse when you start giving your horse dog commands. 

"break"!  I said as a took off her halter tonight.


I'm pretty sure that I've never said "break" to Farley in my life. 

She took it to mean she could walk off and eat her hay.

Working on a post (shhhhh....don't tell anyone since I really should be studying for my final on friday....) but need to get to bed so I, showing great control and restraint, saved it in draft form.  Must.Study.And.Pass.Block. 

And go catch the puppy.  Who is running around the backyard at top speed growly and barking her head off in a full set of zoomies and probably wants to engage me in a fine game of chase, tug, and how-dilated-can-my-eyes-get.  Me thinketh that she was in a "high" mood all day and had to practice considerable restraint in order to half-way behave herself most of the day.......Note self --> give her more opportunities to blow off steam during the day. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Over 3 years ago Minx died and I STILL cannot talk about the incident --> even briefly and in passing without getting very anxious and emotional. 


The depth of the heart that our animals can touch is absolutely amazing.  Let me never forget as a vet the power of the human-animal bond.