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>To: My Readers; From: Tucker; Re: Plea for Return to Normalcy

May 25, 2011 2 comments

>Hello everyone,

Yes, it’s me.  She finally gave me some face time with you.  Well, actually, she doesn’t really know that I’ve hacked into the blog.  Hudson told me I could tap into the wireless signal of a nearby house, and since my field happens to be next to the farmhouse, voila, here I am, connected to the world.  Then he gave me a tip about making friends with a cat (which I’m really good at, obviously, see here and here — didn’t even need to mention “tuna”).  Once I was connected, it was just a matter of hacking, and I adore hacking!  I win hacks all the time.  Nothing to it, really.

You may be wondering why I’ve waited until now to address you directly.  This blog, after all, has been going on for almost two years now, and I haven’t felt a need to make an appearance yet, even though I absolutely could have, should the need have arisen.  Up until now I believe my mother has been representing my interests well… though at times, I feel she paints me in a rather comical light, even in more serious moments, like when our general welfare and safety is at stake…. 

I have no idea why you all find my bravery in these circumstances so funny, but humans are a strange and illogical breed.  Which is why I do, at times, “play the fool” for your general amusement.  I have learned, over time, that humans are easily amused, and prone to dispense treats with a frequency directly proportional to the amount of ridiculous tricks, endearing faces, and kind gestures that a horse displays.  Of course, treats are also dispensed based on level of performance, but truly, I perform well for my own satisfaction.  It’s a matter of pride, really, to do a job so well. 

Which brings me to my point.  My job.  I am a hunter, and while it took me a few years to catch on to the point of this sport, I have now mastered it and believe that I execute my role with tact, finesse, and style.  The tact, of course, comes into play when I overlook the occasional pilot error and recalculate the amount of strength and impulsion that will be required in order to clear the obstacle before us in a safe and efficient manner, and stifle my urge to express my displeasure with this situation upon landing.  The finesse allows me to make the above-described “recalculations” appear natural and effortless, a feat I have mastered over the course of several years of experience (believe me, she gives me lots of practice covering up these things).  And then there’s style, which really can’t be learned.  It’s something a horse is either born with or without, and I don’t mean to sound boastful, but like I said, I’m good at my job. 

In recent months, however, I have been prevented from doing my job.  First there was the awful month of March.  An entire month where I was denied my usual recreation and workout, and instead kept confined to my stall for days on end, for no reason that I could surmise at all.  The weather appeared fine and from what I could gather, the other horses with whom I am stabled continued to go about their usual routines.  I continued to receive daily food and care from the lovely individuals who appear to be responsible for me when my mother is not available, so perhaps it was simply an oversight.  For the life of me, I will never know what happened during that month nor why I was confined in such an unreasonable manner.  There was, of course, some talk of the minor abrasion to my right hock, but I can assure you, it was nothing.  I do appreciate my mother’s concern and her care for it, but honestly, I could have continued on with my job and would have been happy to do so.

Then there was a very brief interlude where I was again released to my field for recreation, though once again, for reasons unknown to me, I was returned to my stall for almost the duration of April.  April, as you may or may not know, is the month where Spring grass really begins to grow in earnest.  It is, quite possibly, one of the best months of a horse’s year (well before the “annoying season” as Hudson so aptly put it).  It is also the month when horse shows begin outdoors again, which I find to be far more enjoyable than those dreadful winter shows, where one shivers on a trailer only to be led into a bleak, dark indoor where one must collect one’s stride between fences as well as through corners in order to manage a tidy picture in the confines of such a small enclosure.  An outside course, in my opinion, is really the only way to show off one’s true talents.

This April, however, did not bring such joys to my life.  Instead, I was yet again trapped in a 12×12 space for almost the entire span of the month.  During this time, my mother visited frequently, but seemed fixated solely upon my coat.  We did not exercise at all, but instead she spent day after day, night after night, currying, brushing, polishing, combing, spraying, and fussing over me like a champion show poodle (there were even several baths, a disgusting practice of which I highly disapprove, and I hear that there have been talks of a contest my mother is trying to win, which will surely bring on even more baths).  I don’t mean to sound ungrateful.  I enjoy grooming and find it relaxes and soothes my muscles after or prior to a hard physical workout.  The extra benefit that it keeps me looking so well is an added bonus, and I do understand that there is a certain element of physical attractiveness required for my job.  My problem is simply that the workout itself was entirely lacking from our routine.

Now that we are “back to work,” I’m sorry to report that our routine has been severely truncated.  My mother seems to have determined that the walk is the gait upon which we should concentrate, and we spend almost all of our time practicing it.  I’ve always felt that I have a lovely, natural, ground covering walk and need very little practice to master it.  I also enjoy being able to take in my surroundings and get a bit of sight-seeing done while walking and do not appreciate the level of concentration upon which she has been insisting while we walk.  In recent weeks, we do appear to be trotting with increasing frequency and intensity, which I must say is a good sign, and we are now occasionally cantering one circle at a time.  There remains, however, not a jump in sight (cavaletti and tiny cross rails do not — I repeat do not — count, particularly at the trot).  I’ve begun spooking at inanimate objects, in the hopes that she will “punish” this behavior by making me work harder, but to no avail.  She only pats my neck and reassures me, as though she believes I am genuinely frightened.

I write, therefore, to implore you to urge my mother toward a return to normalcy.  Tell her that she can ignore my panting and labored breathing, it’s nothing really.  Tell her that I am fit as a fiddle.  I am well rested and ready for work.  Summer is around the corner, and we have horse shows to attend!  Hitch up the trailer, fill the haynets, polish the tall boots!  What on earth is she waiting for?

Very truly yours,
Tucker M. River

>My Horse’s Conditioning Program for Returning to Work

May 5, 2011 2 comments

>Tucker got his chiropractic adjustment and acupuncture on Tuesday morning and his pelvis and lumbar area needed several adjustments, particularly on the right side, so that explains why he was relunctant to stretch his back and why I was having such a hard time keeping him straight (he was traveling with his haunches to the right).  Man am I glad that Dr. L came to see him!  She is a miracle worker.  He felt so great last night, forward, but not tense, so much straigher, and he wanted to stretch down at the trot, which was a great feeling.  He is still weak behind and has trouble staying engaged for any length of time.  He really pushes for a few strides, then he overdoes it and wants to get this big huge trot, and then a few strides later falls behind my leg because it’s too hard, so we still have a lot to work on. 

Apparently, after Dr. L treated him on Tuesday, he took himself for a little gallop in the field (feeling a little too good, birthday boy?), so evidently he doesn’t realize that there is an actual rehab plan in place.  I thought maybe it would be a good idea, then, to set one down.  Tucker is an avid blog reader (he even comments sometimes).  Hopefully he’ll read this and understand that I’d rather him not gallop around like his tail’s on fire for at least a few more weeks.

Grey Horse Matters offered me a link to a very helpful post that she did, where she outlines her program for bringing her horses back into work in the Spring after being in inconsistent work all winter — go read it!  She uses the British Horse Society as her guide, but modifies it to suit her needs, and I think I’m going to do the same.  Below is my modified plan.  The BHS standard is in in black, and my modified plan is in in green

1st WEEK
Walking exercise on the level. Half an hour on the first day, increasing to one hour by the end of the first week.

My plan:
30- 45 minutes total walking undersaddle in the ring, alternating between working walk and loose rein, increasing to 45 minutes by the end of the week.

2nd WEEK
Increase walking up to 1 hour by the end of the week.

My plan:
30-40 minutes total walking, alternating between working walk and loose rein, with 2-3 brief intervals of trotting, begin walking over poles, start doing easy lateral work at the walk, and by the end of the week add in walking over cavaletti and small cross rails and cooling out outside walking up and down hills.

3rd WEEK
Slow trotting, starting on the level, together with walking up and down hills.

My plan:
30 minutes – 1 hour of riding total, increase the number and duration of trot sets (as Tucker allows), with as much long-and-low trotting as possible, continue easy lateral work, cavaletti, and small cross rails at the walk, and by the end of the week start trotting over poles on the ground.  Cool out outside up and down hills, as weather permits.  If horse’s brain allows, begin riding outside on weekend. 🙂

4th WEEK
As third week.

My plan:
Same as above, maintaining whatever number and duration of trot sets achieved by the end of the week, and start asking for brief periods of working trot in between long-and-low trot during a couple of rides.

5th WEEK
1 ½ hours exercise a day, to include some trotting up hills and short, slow cantering on good, level ground.

My plan:
40 minutes – 1 hour of work, begin trotting raised cavaletti and cross rails, start asking for a little longer periods of working trot between long-and-low trot, start asking for easy lateral work at the trot, add in some brief intervals of cantering in each direction.

6th-8th WEEKS
1 ½ hours exercise a day, to include trotting up hills and longer cantering periods. School work may include jumping and canter circles.

My plan:
6th week:  40 minutes – 1 hour of work, increasing duration of canter intervals.  Add in a couple of days with slightly more demanding working trot sessions, including a little more lateral work and some collection and baby extended trot.  On the other days, long-and-low trot and canter only. Continue cavaletti and cross rail work at the walk and trot.

7th week:  Same as above.  By the end of the week, canter cavaletti and cross rails.

8th week:  Same as above, continue cantering cavaletti and cross rails during the week, and take a jumping lesson at the end of the week.

It feels good to have a plan, doesn’t it?  Now Tucker, let’s get with the program please.  Galloping is more like Week 6 or 7.
_______________________________
Please note:  In case you’ve found this post through a search engine, Tucker is not coming back from a soft tissue injury, but rather a wound that was stitched and required 2 months of stall rest.  I think it is best to consult with your vet if you’re bringing your horse back from any kind of soft tissue injury, to prevent any further damage.  (Just trying to be a responsible blogger!)

>Happy Horses

April 27, 2011 5 comments

>Sorry about the lack of posts last week by the way, busy week at work.  So now for the updates:

Tucker has been turned out for a week now, and is definitely starting to feel like himself again.  He’s been a much more pleasant horse to be around.  The first few times he went out, we gave him some Ace just to make sure he wouldn’t go bananas and hurt himself, but after that he was content to graze and visit with the other horses across the fence line.

I’ve ridden him four times now, and that is going well too.  I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back on my horse again.  It was like my whole body breathed a sigh of relief as soon as I swung my leg over and looked down to see my favorite view:

I can’t explain it really, but this horse just feels like home to me.

The first three rides were at the walk, and I did my best to make it interesting for him.  The first two times, I gave him a 1/2 cc of Ace just to take the edge off, and realized the second time that I didn’t really need it, but I just wanted to be sure — again to avoid injury (either to him or to me).  During our walking rides I alternated between working walk and moseying along on a long rein, extended walk, collected walk, leg yields, serpentines, spiraling in and out circles, etc., just to try to keep his mind busy and get his parts moving.  He pretty much thought this was a complete snooze-fest, but complied nonetheless.  I thought I would be bored too, but surprisingly 30-40 minutes went by in a blink.  Amazing how much I missed riding my horse — it’s been two months since he’s done much more than walk, and almost three weeks since I’ve sat on his back.

Last night we trotted for the first time.  We did about ten minutes at a working walk, then trotted two or three times around, with a couple of circles thrown in,  then back to the walk for ten minutes, then trotted the other way, and then cooled out.  Believe it or not, he was huffing and puffing after just this little bit of work, but it was really warm last night so I’m sure that had something to do with it. 

He feels great.  Nice and relaxed, forward, not too stiff (though he was pretty stiff the first couple of rides at the walk), and very, very happy to have a job again.  I had a crazy moment right before I started trotting where I got worried about whether or not he was sound… but of course he is, and I was just being paranoid.

I have never met a horse that looks more pleased with himself after he works. I hope I captured it well enough in these photos, but my horse was downright cheerful after our ride last night. He absolutely loves having a job.

(Does this expression remind you of another photo?)

He’s getting nice and shiny too, which I love.  Guess that’s what happens when all you can do is groom for two months!  He looks so darn skinny though, I hate that.  He definitely lost muscle in his neck and his topline, and probably dropped a little weight just from the stress of stall rest.  He is a hard keeper and drops weight really fast.  All this nice spring grass will hopefully help take care of that though.

His leg is looking really good, it’s healing a little more every day and doesn’t seem to bother him at all.  Here’s the progress:

Much better than the way it was before, huh?

And Miss Julie is doing well too.  We wanted to quarantine her since she came from so far away, just to make sure she wasn’t sick and wouldn’t be bringing any foreign bugs to the other horses.  So, she’s been a little cranky about being stuck in a stall, but she’s starting to go out now, so that should settle her right down.  She’s been very well behaved about hand-walking and grazing so my guess is she just doesn’t like the idea of being stall bound (can’t say I blame her).  I helped Allison groom her last night and she seemed to enjoy it, although she needed some gentle encouragement that the show sheen bottle was not going to hurt her.  She got over it quickly with some patting though, and appears to be very smart.  She is very affectionate and likes to groom you back when you scratch an itch for her, which is very sweet.  Here she is greeting me when I pulled into the barn last night:

Sorry about the bad photo quality and the glowing eyes, but I thought her expression was too cute not to share.  I have some better ones on my camera from the night we shipped her in, so I’ll post those soon. 

All in all, two very happy horses… I must be doing something right!

>An HP in DQ Land: My Dressage Lesson

April 18, 2011 8 comments

>Since Tucker is still out of commission (though the vet is coming to check him today — cross your fingers), I have been looking for other rides on the weekend.  I’ve been curious about dressage for a while now, and figured now would be the perfect time, especially since I’m boarding Tucker at a barn run by a dressage instructor (Cindy), who graciously offered to give this hunter princess a dressage lesson. 

I have to admit to a bit of naivety here.  I’ve probably spent a collective 20 minutes in a dressage saddle in my lifetime, occasionally hopping on in someone else’s tack to help a rider get her horse past a spooky corner or something of the sort.  So going into the lesson, I figured how different can it be?  My stirrups will just be longer.  I can adjust. 

Haha.  Haha.  Ha.  About the time I picked up my posting trot, the mare I was on was probably quite confused, and thinking to herself, “You seemed to know your way around tacking up… but… clearly you have never been on a horse before?  Are you okay up there?  Are you having some kind of seizure?  If not, can you please get your feet out of my elbows?”  Cindy had to walk over and put my leg back where it was supposed to be a couple of times.  It didn’t stay there.  In fact, I pretty much lost all communication with the lower half my right leg and couldn’t tell you what it did for the duration of the lesson.

Now, to state the obvious:  Dressage is completely different.  The seat is different, the leg is different, the hands are different, the posture is almost the opposite of how I normally ride.  My hip angle usually stays closed.  My weight is down in my heel.  My hands follow, all the time.  My shoulders are angled a little forward.  I close my leg with the back of my calf.  I send the horse forward by sending my hips forward.  All this: out the window.

I had the hardest time finding my balance.  And quickly learned that the aids I normally use were close to useless.  It sort of felt like I was speaking Spanish, and the horse was speaking French, and occasionally we’d hear a word that sounded similar and be able to communicate for a brief second.  Then we’d lose each other completely again.  But, thankfully, this mare was very tolerant of my complete incompetence and for the most part tried to understand what I was attempting to tell her, in my bumbling, yet earnest, kind of way.  I did have moments at the trot where I “got it,” and they felt lovely.  Brief, but lovely.

Highlights of the lesson:  Upon my first canter depart, I did what I normally do, which is slide my hips forward.  This resulted in ramming a rather sensitive area into the pommel of the dressage saddle, which, er… took my breath away, so to speak.  I then spent the next ten strides or so trying to figure out where the tack had gone and why I was sort of floating and swinging along like a piece of driftwood.  I wondered whether it looked as bad as it felt.  Glance to my left… instructor laughing hysterically.  Excellent.  It looked worse than it felt.  I then tried desperately to find someplace to sit.  Whenever I found it, the mare would break.  I could not for the life of me correct this problem (Cindy explained it was because I was sitting with no strength coming from my chest/core.  Makes sense now).

Then there was the downward transition.  Where I got run away with at the trot.  This is the point at which I realized my position would have been excellent… had there been skis strapped to my feet and a boat in front of me.  Sadly, that was not the sport in which I was participating, and was rather ineffective for the task I was trying to accomplish.  Eventually, the mare got sick of speed-trotting in circles and decided to walk of her own volition, for which I was quite thankful.  Cindy had been trying to get me to move the horse right to left and regain her balance and focus.  I finally accomplished a few steps of this once we had come back down to the walk.  After looking down to verify that my right leg was, in fact, still attached to my body.  Since my brain had apparently completely lost contact with it.

What I learned:  I learned a few things that I can definitely apply toward my hunt seat riding.  First, I tend to twist my torso, so that my right shoulder is always forward.  Cindy advised me to look at the wall whenever this happened (tracking left), and voila – fixed.  Something I am going to continue to do to keep myself sitting straighter.  Second, opening up my chest.  By stretching taller instead of hunching my shoulders, I gain more strength in my core, which gives me more stability and leverage.  I used this on the equitation horse I rode on Sunday and it definitely helped.  This is not a new critique — instructors have been telling me this for years — but I did get the feeling a bit better sitting in that dressage saddle, since I basically lost all control when I hunched forward.  Third, the half halt starts from the shoulder (my shoulder).  I love this.  I haven’t really thought of it this way, but it makes sense, and I think will provide a more subtle way for me to increase a little pressure on the rein for my very sensitive horse, and I’m always trying to find a way to be more subtle with him.  It also keeps me from breaking at the wrist, which is a terrible habit of mine.  Fourth, my hands need to be more still, steady contact, instead of fidgeting with the bit.  Hard habit to break, but something I definitely need to work on, in any discipline.

Things that are really sore right now:  The tops of my feet (!), my shoulders, the sides of my torso, and especially, the outside of my hips/thighs.  I really don’t use these muscle groups when I ride.  I suppose, arguably, I do use my shoulders.  But not quite in the way that I used them on Saturday.  And I definitely don’t use the outside of my thighs.  Holy cow.  The first word out of my mouth on Sunday morning was “OW!”  Followed closely by “I’m coming, I’m coming,” as I hobbled slowly toward the cat food.

All in all, definitely learned something, and definitely had fun (despite the pain).  How many of you have taken a lesson outside your discipline, and what did you learn?

_____________________________________________
p.s. — I’m not holding out on you… Julie’s travel plans shifted a little, so she won’t be home until Tuesday night.  I’ll take lots of pictures, promise!

Categories: BCEC, dressage, injury, Julie, lessons, Tucker

>The Things We Do for Love

April 6, 2011 6 comments

>There is nothing like treating a horse’s injuries to remind us of how much we love them.  So much, in fact, that we are willing to completely and utterly humiliate ourselves in CVS.

I plan to get some elasticon on Thursday, when the tack shop is open later, which I’ll use to make an extra large “band aid” over top of my regular gauze (not all the way around the hock, so as not to constrict the joint).  So, I just needed some supplies until then. 

So I found these at CVS (hoofpick included to give you a sense of scale):

These actually fit pretty well over the injured area.  I don’t think they are sticky enough to stay on without a standing wrap over top, but hopefully they’ll stay in place beneath the wrap better than just a plain piece of gauze (which didn’t stay).

Speaking of which, it was looking a bit better today, although I’m not so sure that I want his hock to permanently have its mouth open like this.  While he is not a conformation hunter, I would rather this look a little prettier.  Still, it’s better than yesterday. No bleeding today.

Where was I?  Oh yes, CVS.  So, I get up to the counter with my three huge pieces of self-adhesive non-stick gauze, and hand them over.  The guy behind the counter looks at them, looks at me, and asks “Are you okay?”

“Oh, they’re not for me,” I explain, “they’re for my horse.”  He eyes me quizzically. “Well they do say ‘All-Purpose,'” I say, smiling.  He doesn’t get the joke.

“What’s wrong with it?” he asks.  He still hasn’t started ringing me up.  Apparently, he is concerned that he may have to call the Humane Society or something.  I can see his wheels turning.

“He cut himself,” I tell him, hoping that the inquisition is going to end and I’m going to get to leave soon, and actually make use of the self-adhesive non-stick gauze I am trying to purchase. 

“So, shouldn’t you like, call a vet or something?”  Suddenly, he is an expert in equine veterinary care.

“She’s seen him,” I sigh, slightly exasperated by having to defend myself to the CVS cashier.  “He had stitches, and then after we took them out, the wound split open again, so we’re just keeping it bandaged while it heals.”  Why am I now feeling the need to explain the entire situation to him?  Do I really think this kid is going to call the Humane Society?

At this point, he literally raised his eyebrows at me and sort of shook his head, and proceeded to ring up my order.  By the time I was back in my truck, I was already laughing and thinking about how I couldn’t wait to tell this story on the blog.  Judgy McJudgerson at the CVS probably isn’t a follower, but just in case: lighten up dude. 

I tried to get some cute pictures of Tucker tonight, but they were mostly fails:

The infamous headless horse
But this is my really cute face…
doesn’t this deserve another mint?
I hear the train a comin’
It’s rollin’ ’round the bend,
And I ain’t seen the sunshine,
Since, I don’t know when…

>Day One

April 5, 2011 4 comments

>

This is going to be my own little blogging challenge of sorts… how to keep you all entertained when my week consists of grooming my horse, in his stall.  Then again, I am the proud mother of one of the goofiest horses in the world.  We can probably still keep you amused.
Tucker was actually in very good spirits when I got to the barn today.  He was very happy to see me and really enjoyed his extra long grooming session.  A guy can still look good, even if he’s on stall rest, right?  He has finally decided to shed as of last week, so I got to work currying away his clipped winter coat, and I can already feel a soft, smooth spring coat working its way out.  Can’t wait until our mousey brown/gray color is gone until next winter! 

So first, the cute pics.

Let’s see… Pretty sure there are mints in here somewhere….
Ha! Mom’s jacket!  Definitely mints in here!
(My jacket was flung through the air moments after this photo was taken)

“Somewhere out there….”
[cue Disney music]

mmmmm… salty….
The first casualty of the week. 
There were no holes in these bell boots 24 hours ago.
(These have since been removed.  I think rubber is likely harmful if swallowed.)

And now, the gross pic:
Not supposed to look like this!
And all bundled up for the night.
The End.
Categories: injury, photos, stall rest, Tucker

>Sorry Tucker…

April 4, 2011 6 comments

>

Ick.  I got a call from Allison on Sunday that Tucker’s cut wasn’t looking very good.  She sent me a picture and it was definitely split back open, and bleeding a little.  Not good.  I had cleaned it out on Saturday and was already concerned that the flap wasn’t adhering, which was allowing tiny debris to get trapped in the cut, a recipe for infection.  But I cleaned it out and slathered with triple antibiotic, as instructed, and hoped for the best.  Apparently at some point on Saturday afternoon/night he must have rolled in just the right way and torn the cut back open again.  Ugh. 

I was with my family celebrating my grandfather’s birthday, so this news was met with a lot of “why is that horse of yours always getting hurt?” and “does this mean you are leaving now?  We haven’t even sat down to dinner yet.” and “what’s this going to cost you?”  Very difficult to hold your tongue in these situations, isn’t it?  You want to snap back something about how your horse actually in the grand scheme of things does not hurt himself too frequently, and we should all just be happy this injury is so minor, and I don’t really care what it costs me as long as he is okay, and yes I very much would like to go take care of him but I know it would only further alienate you all from my horse so I’ll just stay here and stare at my phone all day, okay?  …But then you realize your grandmother is 88, and she’s really very sweet, and she just wants to spend the day with you.  So you hold your tongue, and play nice, and pretend your mind isn’t elsewhere all day.

I texted my vet (who is awesome, and very accessible for these kinds of things), and sent her the picture above, and asked if there was anything we could do, and whether she needed to see him.  She said there wasn’t really anything to be done (we can’t restitch it at this point, since there’s not enough skin to debride), so no need for an emergency Sunday vet call.  But, she wants him in his stall for the week, no turnout, no handwalks, no riding… a little hand grazing if he can stay quiet.  Basically, she wants him to walk as little as possible, because every time he moves his leg, he prevents the cut from closing.  She also wants us to keep it wrapped so it stays clean, but advised that the hock area is very sensitive to tight bandaging, so be sure the bandage is lightly applied. 

So I texted Cindy (my other barn manager), explained our vet’s instructions, and apologized.  My horse is once again going to be the most obnoxious kid in the barn this week, so I promised wine.  Lots of wine.  Then Allison and I talked again, she agreed to take care of the wrapping, and I told her where all the supplies are located in my trunk (triple antibiotic, nonstick gauze, standing wraps).  Despite the frustration of not being able to be there myself, I really was grateful to have someone there who I trusted to take good care of him.  Here is her excellent wrapping job:

Now how is that for service?  Not only takes care of him, but sends you photographic evidence too?  Such peace of mind for a neurotic mother like me. 

Sigh.  I’m really sorry Tucker.  This week is going to suck.  But it’s only a week (hopefully), and although you don’t know it, you could have it much, much worse.  There are horses who have hurt themselves and then ended up stuck in their stalls for months at a time.  Just imagine that (I know you can’t).  And please, please try not to destroy the barn or drive anyone nuts.  I know it won’t be easy… but could you try to remember your manners, for me?

Now, off I go to check out Brooke’s facebook post about 101 Things to Do with Your Stall Bound Horse.