Friday, January 30, 2009

Stupid Owner, Bad Diego

First of all, I'm okay. Diego's training has been on hold for a couple weeks now due to the following incident that occurred on Friday 1/16:

Took Diego for a hand walk today and he was feeling really frisky and glad to be out. We came to this long dirt road with really nice footing and I lunged him around me a few times in a circle to try to get his attention back. He was feeling really fresh and had only ever been here twice before, so was kind of bouncing around. I left him on a pretty long lead rope and took off running with him (on foot). He got a bit a head of me, then spooked at the neighbor's dogs when they came running up to the fence and scooted forward more. I was just trying to pull him down when he cut over directly in front of me, ducked his head, and I thought "I'm going to get kicked" and POW! right to the face/chin. Very poor horse handling on my part, and it got me.


I didn't pass out or fall down, but face was bleeding profusely. I started walking toward the nearest house, where I could see they had a back gate. Their fence was wrought iron, so you could see to the house really easily. The neighbor lady came out, she had seen Diego go running by (I dropped his lead). She asked if I was okay and I told her "No, I need you to call my husband." Poor lady was pretty flustered, I was more calm than she was. We couldn't reach AJ by phone, he was working in the garage that afternoon and didn't have his cell with him (we've decided to put a phone in the garage, there is already a jack). I could feel that my teeth were all jacked up and NOT where they should be, plus I was still bleeding pretty good.

Diego had initially ran off down the road, but then came back and stood outside the lady's fence while I was sitting in her back yard (I didn't want to bleed all over her nice house). Once she convinced me to come inside, Diego looked kind of lost for a moment and then started heading for home. I was worried because I had crossed a street that has a pretty small buy steady flow of traffic. Didn't want him getting hit by a car... Thankfully there is a big church on the same side of the street we were already on, and they have a big lawn. So Diggy got sidetracked and started to graze. Someone caught Diego and tied him to a tree. She didn't really know about horses, she had him double-knotted to the very base of the tree, but at least he wasn't going to get hit by a car.

The nice neighbor lady drove me home. We stopped where Diggy was real quick and I asked the other lady if she could just move the rope up a bit higher so he wouldn't step over it. AJ was coming out of the garage right as I was walking up to the house, bloody towel wrapped around my face. I asked him to please go get Diego (He later gave me a hard time for telling him to go get the HORSE and not to do anything for ME). I called my dentist at him home and he met us at his office (close by our house). I was in his chair within 30 minutes of getting kicked.

I spent 2 hours with AJ as the dental assistant getting my teeth straightened out and putting more or less "tooth bondo" on them to hold them in place for now. My dentist put in a few temporary stitches to stop the bleeding enough so he could somewhat work on my mouth. Having an advanced digital office was a problem, since he didn't have access to his xray or my electronic files, but my hard-copy file had a picture of my teeth and they put that on my chest and more or less "matched things back to where they were." Thankfully I was numb for all of this (I went numb when kicked and then had the shots by the time the adrenaline was wearing off, so very little pain).

We went to the ER where I got 5 stitches on my outer chin and I think 6 or 7 in my inner lip, I'm split from canine to canine on the bottom lip. The cut on my chin goes all the way through the skin. My jaw's also fractured, but not broke all the way through and not displaced - so thankfully I'm not wired shut.

I'm alright though, thank GOD that I caught the hoof toward the end of the kick, not right in the power band. I won't know if my teeth are going to make it or not for several months (great). I'll also probably end up with a pretty nice scar on my chin. Lots of good drugs and soft foods for the immediate future.... Ugh.
Pic from the morning after.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy, happy, joy, joy!!!

Diego went for his first trail ride today and it was wonderful, fabulous, super awesome good! He's such a superstar!!! =) We went with friend Beth Kauffman and her horse Sutter, and just went on a nice long walking ride all over Beth's property in Washoe Valley (they have quite a bit!). He's not **that** super far along in his training (i.e. we've only trotted under saddle about 5 times in total), but I felt like my turning and brakes were in well enough working order to give it a go. He does have a very nice one-rein stop, and a good regular stop, so I felt that we should probably be okay as long as his brain was in good working order, which it was. At this point, I'm still riding 100% in my rope halter side-pull. He's only worn the snaffle bit twice in the corral at home, with no reins or pressure involved at all at this point.

Diego was very happy to sight-see along, he looked really relaxed and happy. He feels very solid, not wobbly or like he's still trying to balance. He's still getting the hang of "where should I put my feet" and would step on rocks and kind of shift his weight (leaving him barefoot will help with this) and he doesn't yet walk along as quickly under me as he does while not being ridden, but over all he's very solid feeling. We went through sagebrush, over rocks, and up and down a few small little ditch-type things. He was FABULOUS!

Only one little spook when two dogs ran up barking and hit their fence, he just scooted forward about three steps and then turned around to see what the heck it was. We sat for a moment and then rode off, Diego walked down about 50 feet and then wanted to turn around and go BACK to where the dogs were. I don't know why, but he was really intent on going back that way instead of forward toward the house/horse trailer (which he couldn't see) so that was the only little argument we had, that "No, you cannot go back toward the barking dogs." He's very much a sight-seer and was more likely to see something and then want to go over there to "check it out" than he was to see something and want to get away from it. A big plus.

He did NOT spook at the rabbits rushing out (although **I** did), the covey of quail that took off flying nearby, the black truck bed liner, the piece of shiny aluminum something, the tumbleweed that was so big it almost touched my stirrup that we had to walk right past, the teal truck bed, etc. etc. He didn't care at all when Beth and Sutter would get a ways ahead (she was super nice and would always stop and wait without my having to say anything), he just went along looking and checking stuff out. We did try to cross one loose soft ditch by their driveway rather than go down further and have to go across the culvert. Poor Diggy just couldn't quite figure it out - I don't know why that one was different than the others, perhaps because the footing was more soft and squishy, or perhaps because the fence was just on the other side? As we were on the blacktop road (not slippery thankfully), I didn't want to mess with him overly much and have an argument. Plus Beth said he looked like he might have been contemplating jumping across, not something we needed to be doing. =) Beth came back across and we went down and went over the culvert, which turned out to be a total non issue.

YAY!!! I have total perma-grin now and probably will all weekend. =))) He's really coming along great and I couldn't be happier with how he's been doing lately.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Update 01/04/2009

Diggy had two big milestones this weekend, # 1 we rode with other horses in the arena. He did good, he would tend to stop if he wasn't quite sure, but I'll take a stop rather than just about any other option so I was proud and happy with how he did. We worked on passing and being passed, both with the other horse(s) either going the same or the opposite direction as us. Then, because he was being SUCH a good boy, we did milestone # 2 and TROTTED under saddle! I almost didn't because he was being good and I wanted to just end on a high note, but my friend's commented that with how relaxed he was, it was actually the perfect time. So I trotted him a couple of times in hand first, so he knew what we were going to ask for, then I got on and my friend Sarah led him off and asked him to trot. He took a couple little scooty steps and then settled right into a super nice, relaxed, **OMG HE'S SO SMOOTH** trot. I even posted a bit, which I had to make myself do as it was totally unnecessary. So then we unclipped the lead line and did it all by ourselves, both directions. He was just such a superstar, I was totally stoked!

Friends Sarah and Kelli were standing in the middle of the arena giving me tail updates (he's got it up, now it's relaxed, it's out, etc) which I found very humorous and a good gauge of how he was doing. He was so relaxed and smooth and perfect about the whole thing, I'm glad I let them talk me into it. =)

First little trail ride will be coming after I make plans with a steady-eddy horse buddy to supervise. =)
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