Thursday, April 28, 2011

Week full of ups and downs

Its been quite a week! Both at work and at home, lots of craziness. Got the contract sent off for Tres, so that was a relief! Now just waiting for our "shipment" to arrive, and Tres's cycles to cooperate :) but there is no rush. I wouldn't mind an early summer baby.

On the Topaz front, we're still working with the vet to resolve the issue, but its looking like she'll be slated for surgery sometime in the next month or so. The timing is actually good (well, as good as it could be), because she will have the surgery while Lauren is home for the summer, so by the time Lauren is back in the fall, they should be ready to get back to work and hit the ring!

Aside from that, I'm just trying to keep my head above water at work. We had a HUGE event today, 250+ people, including state legislators. It actually went off quite well, so hopefully now things will get back to my normal, manageable routine :)

Will update soon, just not much to talk about yet!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stalls are in and the contract is signed!

I really do need to get back in the habit of updating this regularly, sorry guys! Since I last wrote, a lot has happened. I spent 2 full days at WWU photographing their USDF dressage show, which was so fun! There were some BEAUTIFUL rides, and some lovely horse and rider combinations. I've sold a few pictures :) but am still deciding if its something I want to pursue in the future. If you're interested in seeing pictures, go here. While I was gone all day last Sunday, Myles was a busy bee at the house, putting up 2 of the three stalls! :) All that is left is the foaling stall for Tres. We're not using the stalls yet, waiting to get the stall mats in and a shavings bin built, but its nice to have them in the barn!
On the Topaz/melanoma front, the tests Quail Valley did were not conclusive. Despite my specifically making the appointment for them to biopsy the lip, all they did were compression slides, which showed a lot of infected cells (duh, it was oozing blood and pus, so clearly there was an infection). They wanted us to put her on antibiotics for a few weeks to see if we could shrink the lump at all. At this point, I was very disappointed with our last few visits- they came to microchip Topaz but didn't bring a scanner, I made an appointment for a breeding soundness exam for Tres and he was completely unprepared, the melanoma diagnosis off of just a physical examination.... so we decided to have a second vet out to see her and switch our horses over to a new clinic. Equine Medical in Columbia has a stellar reputation, as well as being one of the premier reproductive clinics in the nation, so we made an appointment with them. They biopsied the lump, and we should have results on Monday. Either way, its nice to have a vet that will do the requested tests and is just as anxious as we are for a course of action. I don't do the passive, wait and see approach very well, so its a relief to be on the same page with the new vet.

In other exciting news, I received both Tres's new registration papers and the contract for her breeding with Fugitivo XII!! I sent in the transfer of ownership nearly FIVE months ago, and IALHA finally sent it back. I can only imagine how long finishing Topaz's registration will take, but I will worry about that later this summer, after Tres is bred. I've got my paperwork for the breeding all filled out, except I'm still debating about which vet to use. I had been comfortable with the idea of using Quail Valley, but I'm still pretty disappointed in our experiences with them in the last month or so. So I am speaking to Equine Medical early next week to find out if they could fit us into their schedules :) I'm sure they are more expensive but I'd rather have it done right the first time!

Aside from that, the rain is really putting a damper on everything else. We've had horrible weather, including hail and tornado warnings, and it doesn't look like its going to let up any time soon. Today we had a brief break and a bit of sun, so I put the horses out front, even though the ground is still horribly wet. They are so focused on inhaling the grass they aren't being rambunctious, so thats good :) They can enjoy it for a few hours, then back to the barn lot and hay.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Barn Work!

Sorry I've let this lapse a little bit, things have been rather crazy at work! Still waiting for our contract to get the FXII semen shipped out here, but hopeful that we'll get it in the mail this week!

Some good news and some bad news. The bad news first. Topaz was being aimed at her first dressage show last weekend. Unfortunately, the Wednesday before the show, the growth on her lip (which our vet had diagnosed as melanoma), had grown considerably, and was bleeding. The vet came out on Friday to take samples, as it isn't really behaving like melanoma. We're still waiting on the results, but we're planning to have it surgically removed in the next few weeks. While we're sad that this is now the second show she missed because of injury, she still has a bright future ahead of her with Lauren :) and we're looking forward to their adventures in the next year!

Next, the good news! The ground finally dried up enough to get our contractor out here to do the dirt work necessary on the barn to get our stalls in! I came home tonight to find the barn floor all leveled out (and as a plus, the contractor removed our HUGE manure pile for his garden, yay!). Next comes laying the stall mats and putting up the stalls! We are VERY excited! Hoping to have everything done before we leave for vacation in July, then the foal paddock will be a fall project.

We're very slowly making headway :) I've also started a small side business. Since I go to horse shows and take hundreds of pictures anyway, I've started selling photos and videos. I photographed my first horse show last Sunday, the CDCTA Spring Dressage show (the one Topaz was supposed to be in). It was exhausting, but a lot of fun! I'm hoping people like the pictures as much as I liked taking them :) The big challenge will be this weekend- the WWU USDF dressage show, encompassing about 27 hours of dressage crammed into 2 days. I'm going to be EXHAUSTED at the end, but hopefully its worth it :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

New stalls!

Sorry for the delay, its been a long week! Earlier in the week, a friend forwarded me a Craiglist ad about some horse stalls. I've been interested in pre-fabricated stalls for a while. The barn where I used to board had home-made stalls, and I noticed a lot of issues with them. The few barns I'd seen with pre-fab stalls seemed to hold up better- but that came with a price! I had looked into buying the metal pieces and the lumber separately, and it got pricey very fast! So while I kept an eye on Craigslist for used stalls, most of them were either too expensive, or not what I was looking for. But the ad my friend Michelle (shout-out Michelle!) sent me on Monday looked perfect! Even the price was perfect. But the catch? They were 3 hours away. And because the price was right, they guy had TONS of interest and wanted them out ASAP. First person there with cash took them.

Of course, I was at work, so I couldn't do anything about it. This is where my crazy amazing husband comes in :) I called him, and before I could even finish telling him about it, he was looking up truck rental places. He enlisted some help, and took off. HOURS and HOURS later, he returned victorious! The stalls had been bolted into the barn, so they had to saw them off. Then the stall pieces weighed a TON! It took 6 full grown men several hours to load all the pieces into the box truck. Luckily gravity helped my husband and his brother unload them alone, which was good, since it was at about 2 AM! Now I'm stuck trying to figure out how to get them from next to the house, to into the barn, since they weigh so much! The ground was too muddy to drive the truck over there, and it had to go back to the rental place. Anybody up for a stall-moving day? :)

But they're PERFECT!!! 12 x 12, sliding doors, beautiful cedar wood, name plate holders on the door, windows in the sliding door, nice SOLID bars, swing out feeder and waterer... I LOVE them!!! Now just to get the barn levelled so we can install them, and find some mats! Topaz and Tres will be styling this winter!!! We got 3 stalls, which will transition into one stall and one FOALING stall next spring! (we will probably have to enlist more help to remove the divider next spring, haha).

I didn't have much luck finding pictures of ones that look similar, and of course, I didn't save the pictures in the Craigslist ad. So you will have to wait until we get them into the barn, then the girls will be the subject of a barn photoshoot :)