About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Horse dreams

Do you dream of your horse often?
My dreams change but are so vivid. I have been dreaming of Laz a lot lately and it's always me riding him bareback, like this image below from his birthday last April. The dreams are peaceful but I am so cautious in riding him for fear of his 'bad' back legs. In my dreams all goes well until the end, where he slips and falls and breaks his legs. I know it has to due with his laminitis in his hind, but it's torturous. I hope when/if we do start riding, he is fully recovered and I can get the image of him being broken out of my head (somewhat) to be able to enjoy him and not ride nervously. I miss being on his back and feeling that connection. Soon though.
On another note, my husband and I were watching the news the other day which featured yet another non-profit barn going into foreclosure. We both felt so awful for all those horses that who knows what will happen to them? What was their life story so far? I can only feel happy for the one little man I saved...so I'm putting all that into him.
Wouldn't it make for an interesting documentary to follow a horse (racehorse, show horse, farm horse, etc) from Foal to last days of life, to see what kind of lives these majestic animals live sometimes. I think it would put people into perspective of why we cherish ours so much.

On a funny side note-my cousin made this Avatar of me to seriously make me laugh so loud I almost sprayed coffee thru my nose when she emailed it. An Avatar is a replica of yourself (I think anyway) and this one she said represented who I am.
I'm in a riding outfit, with Lazarus (loose interpretation) wearing an Asian hat because when I was born to my Greek family, I literally looked Asian for about 5 years with my almond eyes and I ADORE Asian food, so it's been an ongoing joke in my family. She put us in a kitchen being I am a kitchen designer. Pretty well rounded, lol!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January is back...damn!

Well truly January really never left, but the usual cold weather did for a bit. And now she's back and frigid. Winds are up, snow whipping around in the air and brrrr, I think it was high of 20 degrees today but whatever the 'weather' really is, when it's windy, it's almost intolerable!

Even Laz's ear is a furried sight!
His sweet muzzle. I think he looks a bit un-loved right now due to his long shaggy coat, his long mane, long whiskers and totally outgrown bridle path. I'm leaving all to grow during the winter for his benefit, other than that bridle path..that is killing me and I have to get at it soon.
I think his whiskers give him a helping hand when feeling for his hay in this cold.
See how long his mane is?! Oh well, I guess the added warmth is for his benefit..I want to chop it come spring for a great makeover! :)
I kept going to the heated tack room for warm breaks during my visit with Laz, and look what I found. The two sweet barn cats, Lilo and Stitch...do you see the hugging?!
Laz even decided to stay in a bit today, on his own choice. In fact, I was soooo pleasantly surprised when he came in his stall after I topped his water off with warm water. I quickly took the chance to wrap his legs inside were the wind wasn't so strong.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Moments with Lazarus

As you all know, I love to capture moments of Laz on video. Why? Why not! :) No, in all seriousness..when he colicked suddenly which turned into his current battle with laminitis I thought I would lose him. Everything. My love for him since my childhood wants of having my own pony, was all put into him.
Now, I'm much more confident that we have not only a really good chance in saving him, but hopefully that I'll be able to sit on his back again and continue our bonding in that manner too. The videos provide me with as much Laz as I can get. If I could shrink him and keep him in my pocket, I probably would too! :)

These are just moments of time with him from this past week or so

Now, when I say he's a pig... I mean it! He was literally rubbing his face, very contently, in the sand while laying down when I walked in to video this.

When we temporarily opened up the other half of his paddock (we aren't vet approved for him to have this much space yet) to bring in more sand.

Mason and Ellie bonding

A new furry member!

Welcome Whitley! No, she isn't mine..no more pets for now for us! The BO's, C&J adopted Whitley, a Rottweiler/Shepard mix 10 wk old female pup from Detroit Animal Control this morning! Now their black lab mix, Caitlyn (Mason's girlfriend) has a new sister!

Look at how her little snout fits inside Laz's sweet snout!
C took her out to meet the rest of her family; Jazz (on left), Ellie (closet Roan) and Jessie (Ellie's Mom)
Ellie and Sawyer getting nose to nose with the 'littlest horse?...or a dog?"
Miss Whitley! She is TOO cute with her baby puppy breath, pin like teeth and bunny soft fur!
Love how Mare-ish Jessie is here with her flattened ears and wild eye! She is a Tinkerbell and makes me laugh at how girly she is. She obviously has a watchful eye over her herd.
Sweet old man Jazz, I think he is nineteen and still has a trot that could win blue ribbons
Sawyer giving J a kiss! Can you tell their horses are loved?
Miss Whitley taking a one eye open nap during barn chores cuddled on C's vest
Mason passed out in my car on the way home after running like a mad man at the barn. It is SUCH a treat that I'm able to bring him out there. He loves it.

As far as Laz news..my brown boy is continuing to look really, really good! We did more pilates, stretching, grooming, ..the norm in keeping his mind focused on positive things.

On another note, I saw a quote in Jane Savoie's newsletter that I thought was beautiful..I'm not sure who it was by, but here it is:

"Horses and Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Massage time

Mason patiently waits an hour in the car to head to the farm, his beloved place. He literally starts whining with excitement when I put on my 70 layers of horse smelly clothes, anticipating that he is coming with!
How can I say "no" now, so basically he's been coming out with me since October!?

So, I was reminded by a fellow bloggy friend, Frizzle, about equine holistic massage therapy and stretching.
I asked the BO, "C" about it and of course, she knew everything about it. What knowledge! She stretched his tail, we did belly lifts (he wasn't 100% in love with those) and I try to always do the carrot pilates weekly. C also stretched his shoulder by pulling his legs and it was SO amazing to see how Laz totally responded to it and LOVED it!

Here, I am doing the neck stretching that "C" taught me and he just dropped his head sooooo low and lovely and siiiggghed!
Kisses are a part of my therapy!
Here are just some cheezy photos that I asked "C" to take! I don't have enough of Laz and I...well, I can never have enough! :)
Please dont judge the outfit or no makeup!
Look at his eyes, he was soooo happy and relaxed. Licking and sighing, it was a great release!
"I need a pillow"

Laz says "thanks Aunt C and Frizzle for the reminder to my Mom that I like massages!"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Can I JUST be a horse!?"

I have to say, I think, Lazarus is being patient in his healing. For the most part, he relaxes, eats and drinks and maintains a good attitude. This video is from last week, when I arrived at the barn and it was just tender. Those moments where literally I felt my heart swell, like those days where you ride and you feel really connected and communicating perfectly. I HAD to pull out my phone to record it. Laz being sick has taught me to really cherish the time I do have with him, and I'm eager to have it thru photos/videos as well. After a quick tape, I put my camera away and just enjoyed it between he and I.

This video is from yesterday. I spent a good hour + chipping at the 3" ice layer that revealed soft sand underneath. We've had a couple of decent weather days and I really wanted to get his paddock back to level so when it does freeze up, he won't have to maneuver around holes, divets and hilly sections. C & J added two more tractor shovels of fresh sand just for his comfort as well. Not to mention, re-adjusted his stall door and opening so he won't bump his feet when going in and out of his stall. How lucky are we!?

You can see Lazarus was quite happy with his new sandy paddock and for a few minutes, reminded us that he just wants to be a horse!! :)
Also, this is the first time I've seen him roll onto his right side which is a huge sign of improvement in my eyes!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Paging Dr Jekyll..it's Mr Hyde!

Maybe it's horses in general, or maybe it's TB's? Do other horse owners out there sometimes wonder if their horses are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
Lazarus was a sweet calm boy when I first arrived. Being a good patient and taking some weight off his legs. He allowed me to come into his stall while still laying down and rub on him for a good 10 minutes.

Awww, my sweet boy! My Bubba...
Everyone was in a chill mood, it was a balmy 35 degrees and the sun was out for the afternoon.
Then the wind picked up, the sun hid away and my TB shot up from his snooze like someone lite a fire under him. From there, he was sweaty again (note: I had the vet out today and he said Laz is still doing fine..just normal ups/downs), and then ornery.
Then all the other horses were playful, running and bucking down to their pastures and back up to Lazarus and down again. That pissed him off. He wanted to run, he wanted to play with them. But what he could do, was hump his back, scream a little "weeeiii" and bunny hop around. He literally was spinning around pivoting on his left hind leg holding his right up protecting it. He dug a hole in his sand paddock (which thanks I had to fill back in!) He's done that before and calmed right down. Well, this time, he did it during my re-wrapping of his legs and almost jumped on top of me! It scared me! I think sometimes when he's in his crazy TB moments, he doesn't see/hear/think about me. I can equate it to my lab. Some days he is chill on the couch wagging his tail lazily and other days he is running so psycho that he practically blows my knee caps out. I had to wait 20 minutes for Laz to calm himself down (actually the other horses calmed down which in turn calmed him down) to finish wrapping him. I stood in the doorway on his stall/paddock just waiting and somewhat hiding so he couldn't knock me over. Yikes! I've been feeling like he's calming down and being such a gentleman lately that I'm hoping he doesn't come out of this and reverts back to crazy TB!!
I think the truth is...there will be days where he does and I'll have to embrace it and keep working.
Such is a Thoroughbred. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Keeping an eye out

That almost makes me laugh! "Keeping an eye out?" Like I haven't been doing that since I first got Laz and especially since early October when this whole mess started.
Well, what I mean by that is today he seemed a bit punky. His eyes were runny (it is cold and windy but today was actually decent) and he was sweating slightly behind his ears and in the front of his neck, above his chest, in a spot not any larger than a pencil length. In fact, if you look at the picture of Laz at the top of my blog, you can see a sweat spot. It was half the size of what is in that picture. Still, it concerned me today. He is on half dose of his anti-inflammatory and I talked to C about bumping it up, but when she saw him later today she thought he looked back to normal.
Being nice enough that I actually took off my ski/barn jacket (keep in mind, I still had one two thermal long sleeved shirts, a fleece jacket and a vest on) I thought I could yank his coat off and really groom him and look at him.

Proof that the sun was out! I love love love untouched soft snow like this when it glistens in the sunshine! Looks like sugar was dumped everywhere at the barn!
Here is the sweet boy, looking back at me while I was currying his body. He seemed to really enjoy it today. See how his eyes are in this picture...they were half cast the whole time I was out there. Now, the other horses were all in that vibe too, laying down, totally happy and relaxing..so maybe it was just the time of day/weather/????
For as much as I LOVE Laz's blanket (and love sticking in my hands underneath to get warm) I do like to yank it off and really look at him, groom him.
This photo is obviously before the grooming. Laz is not the horse that stays clean. Not for one minute. He lays down, he rolls, he buries his head in his hay to shake the fines out. You can see here, he favors laying on his left side which is always shown by his mucky left leg. It comes off easy enough. So between his leg wraps, quilts and blanket, it's nice to free him of that and just groom him thoroughly.
Before I left, I tossed his blanket back on and fed him a couple of carrots. Can I just say, I adore when he turns to follow me?! It's a fave of mine now. Simple pleasures in life.
Here is his snarky face below. He does this attitude thing when I feed him carrots (ONLY when I'm on the other side of this dutch door) he semi pins his ears back while he chews and waits for more. Like he is the king of the stable. When I first got him, that used to scare me. Now it makes me laugh because I know he is full of B.S.
Feel better Bubba!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter Bonding

I am so pleased with how quickly Lazarus is seeming to respond to his mega shoes. His personality has been super sweet in the last few days and just wanting to play, cuddle, he is enjoying being groomed and lately has been smelling me and resting his head on my head or tucking it into my chest. Just a lover!! And I couldn't be eating it up any more!

These few photos are from Friday and it was cold!

His mane almost looks iced frozen in time but I softly brushed that out for him. I am glad that I let his mane grow out long so he has that extra protection for the winter cold. It's killing me because he looks so dapper with a nice short TB cut. He looks a little unkempt right now but I know it's better for him.

These photos are from today, a sunny Sunday with much milder temps so it felt great to be outside!
Laz and Ellie like to gaze at each other over the gate and share his hay sometimes. They keep nice company and look at those blue skies!

Here is a close up of Ellie, she is a 1+ year old Roan Paint who is simply gorgeous!

Every time I pull out my camera phone to snap photos, Laz thinks "Oh..peppermints?!"
In addition to being so calm today, wanting to bury his head into me, he was moving pretty darn great. He came in 3-4 times when I was walking in between his stall/paddock to the barn to socialize more. Very encouraging!

Of course, I had to sneak handsome Mason in, who is doing well playing 'farm dog' and behaving nicely. It's so nice to be able to have him run around and get his play/exercise in while I'm there. On our hour drive home, he falls asleep before I hit the first stop sign. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Cone!

Lazarus was a trooper on Wednesday, getting all four new mega shoes on. He paid for it yesterday and C said he was in pain and not moving much. She moved him inside where he would eat/drink in close proximity and could lay down in his 2ft of bedding.
Today, however, he seems to be back on track and being his goofy self. He is recovering faster with round two of shoes in comparison to five weeks ago.

So, being a good boy, he treated himself to a snow cone!
Slurp, slurp, slurp!
Enjoy Bubba! (just stay away from the yellow snow)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Two more steps on to the road to recovery!!! (we think)

I think some of you can tell, that I never want to jinx anything...but the positive side of me always loves to siiiiing good news! So (chirp chirp) here we go!
Lazarus had good..er, great xray results!!! Meaning no more rotation! The custom shoes with wedges and Equi-pak are creating the support he needs to keep his coffin bone stable in his hind legs. He front feet looked great and actually he grew (in 5 weeks) a lot of foot which shows good signs of the blood pumping properly from heart to hoof and back up.
Yes, yes, yes!!!!
I have to say, walking into the vet's to review the xrays last night, I had a surge of panic and fear. It helps to have the best support of not only my husband, but of the barn owners, C & J where we board at.
This was a great idea of C and the Vet, placing Laz's feed tub in front of him to keep him happy and occupied while the farrier worked on his two back hooves. He was nerve blocked but still those two hurt the most, and we want to do everything to keep his G.I. from flaring up with anxiety and ulcers. He was happy to munch along. Sorry about the awful quality of pictures...it was at night, fluorescent lighting and my blackberry phone. (yada yada)
Laz only has a few welts remaining. Something quite interesting I learned from Vet is that welts/allergic reactions are caused by something the horse has been exposed to before. They can't have an allergic reaction to something entirely new to their bodies (go figure?!) AND that it takes about 4 months for an allergic reaction to completely cycle through and leave their bodies. For now, we are holding off on the supplement G.U.T which seemed to cause the reaction. Perhaps an ingredient in it, etc. Totally sucks because I am a HUGE fan of Uckele's products and not to mention I spent the money. Oh well!
My Champion, Lazarus!
It was a tough day for him but he truly handled it the best he could.
Question for all of you; if you have a horse like Lazarus, that chews, head bobs, and weaves when nervous/anxious...how have you broke that habit? I've tried to talk soothingly, distract with carrots (that works for as long as he's eating a carrot), rub him and shout "Quit!" (which I hate because if I were nervous, someone shouting at me wouldn't help!)
Any suggestions?! I'm assuming it's time and that some habits may never stop.

Above is a picture taken from Oct 2008, the day I decided...'yup, I'm buying a horse. My first horse, this sweet little everyday looking Bay."
I've enjoyed so many moments with him and have learned a lot about this long battle with laminitis. So, from here, the vet still can't assure me that I can ride him 100% BUT we are moving in the right direction. Laz will have 3-4 more shoeings done (6 week spread in between) and with each shoeing/xrays, will tell us more.

However, I am SO thankful (inspired by this blog 'From the Horse's Back') to mention this. Ringing in the New Year, still having Lazarus living and wanting to fight makes me incredibly thankful!
Thank you Lazarus! I love you my sweet brown boy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Holding his own"

Literally the words from the vet!!
"Holding his own!"
That is great news to hear and I'll know more details as I finish up my work day later and then head out to the vet to review xrays tonight and discuss his options with the farrier there as well.
So far, I'm very hopeful!

I'll post more details as I get them, as I wasn't there this morning due to work but will be tonight to review everything and see my boy!

Thanks for all your good wishes and prayers, seems they are working!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Good thoughts!

Tomorrow is a big day for us.
The vet and farrier come out in the morning to take xrays (before shoe removal and after). I head out there to meet with the vet at 5 pm (and C & J the barn owners) to review what the xrays tell us, and then back to the barn for the farrier to put on another round of his special 'couture' shoes.
I (we) are hoping for stabilization or improvement....and for no signs of new or further rotation. Lazarus just deserves to get better and live a life pain free. It would also be a HUGE bonus if I could ride him again in the future! One year is just not enough, I felt we were just making huge strides in our partnership of riding.
So, that being said...this is for our good luck tomorrow-it's Lazarus's shoe in fact that I keep in my office for high hopes! I'll post soon after we get him comfortable again! It's so hard to focus on work during days like this, but in order to keep him (aka pay the vet bills) I need to!
Sweet Laz keeps fighting and seems to be emotionally fine!

Here is my beautiful boy, this past spring feeling good and looking spirited!
This is our goal.