Pin Oak Angst

As we discussed last year, and a few times in between Pin Oak is the top horse show in all of Texas.  It is a charity run to benefit Texas  Children’s Hospital.

Last year, neither Feather nor Bruno were ready for the show.  This last 12 months, Feather has only increased her abilities.  She was on the fast track to finally show and hopefully place at the big event.

In mid-January, Lauren went off of Feather, pretty much just bailed before a tall, skinny jump which intimidated her with its size.  She hit the ground hard.

She saw the family practice doc the next day, took her prescribed meds and didn’t get better.  Then she was off to the orthopedic surgeon.  She had MRIs.  The doc said her MRI was inconclusive.  No riding!  But she was ordered to go to physical therapy.

PT lasted one day.  Lauren hurt so much after the first session, she was referred back to the ortho guy. Then the ortho guy had to leave the country.  Lauren’s pain was totally debilitating.  We then got a referral to a spine specialist today.

We have been spending seemingly every waking moment preparing for the move.  Construction plans, arena configuration, packing boxes, giving a million things to the Episcopal thrift shop all have been done.  All continues to roll on our house move issues.  Today was spent tracking down the flood elevation certificate. Another $400 to get this piece paper.   Then the new buyer of my house showed up to be sure the septic tank was working right ( it was- thank God!).  This action required totally cleaning the house.

Lauren headed up towards Houston to see the spine guy.  I wish I had been with her.  But she did just fine.  While our general orthopedic surgeon thought her back MRI was inconclusive, this new doctor (specializing in spines) told her a muscle in her back was torn badly, although not all the way through.  And he agreed with the other doctor, in saying Lauren she had a ruptured disk.  He insisted that she attend non- strengthening sessions at physical therapy for the next month.

He told her she could ride on the flat. No jumping.  He warned her a move in the wrong direction would completely tear the muscle and she would be facing surgery.

So while Lauren is really yearning for Pin Oak this year she is not well enough to ride.  While I can tell her there will be other year’s it is still hard to be on the sidelines when your friends are entering the ring.

Yesterday, Dev readily agreed to work Feather.  Although off for over two months, Feather was ready to jump.  Pictures tell the story.  She was amazing.

Please keep

Dev taking Feather for a fly!

Dev taking Feather for a fly!

Please keep us in your prayers and hope that Lauren has a speedy recovery!  Thank you.



Momma, Winning and Stitches

Never a dull moment around here, all week when I had been stopping to see my mom, I had found her asleep in an almost coma like state. Wednesday, I found her sound sleep. Usually, I open her squeaky door and I will wake her up. She has always been a light sleeper. I don’t remember one instance of her ever falling asleep in a chair or even on the couch.

But this week my mother was unwakeable (is that a word?). At one point I laid down next to her, just to hold her hand. She opened her eyes for a moment, stared at me and said, “we have had some wonderful years, haven’t we?” Then I thought she died. It was horrible. I thought her sleeping meds were being given at the wrong time but the nursing staff says no. Saturday, Lauren and I found her sound asleep sitting up on the couch in the main lobby. We had difficulty getting her to her room. We laid her on her bed. Seconds later, we both pushed her further into the bed, lifting her body roughly (although not meaning to). She never opened her eyes.

It hasn’t gotten any better. She does not know me and is extremely confused. No pictures of momma this week as she would have been asleep in all of them! The doctor is running some tests. Please say a prayer for her!

We went Sunday to watch our friend, Kathy’s, horse, go in the jumper classic. We have seen this horse regularly since he was first purchased and have seen him jump well but not quite be a top, winning horse. His name is Capitano and he is a striking, bay horse. He was young when we first saw him go but the couple years of showing and training have done wonders for this horse. Cappy was last to go yesterday, with five horses already clean to the jump off. Trapp (the trainer and rider) rode him clean and in the time allowed to join the others in the jump off. Last to go again, Trapp knew the time he had to beat and that he had to go clean to win.

The Cappy I saw yesterday seemed thrilled to be asked for some speed. Trapp took some quick, tight turns amongst the course jumps. As he gunned it to the last fence, the clock showed he had the win if he could keep the last jump intact. Cap and Trapp flew through the timers and the win was all theirs. It was a beautiful example of schooling your horse along, not asking for too much, too soon, then reaping a great payoff when all your training comes together.

Feather’s beautiful face that we believe was grazed by a hunter’s bullet

We got home to find another bloody horse. Feather had been out in the pasture. It is hunting season. I think and the vet concurs, that a bullet grazed her. Google grazing bullet wounds. Looks like Feather’s face. So, it was off for an emergency session with the vet. We had been bragging at the show, that we had three horses hurt and we were now good to go. Stupid. Feather got some inter dermal (not sure if that is the right word) but little stitches inside the closing stitches. The vet hospital has broken ground on a new wing. I feel we should get a room or stall in our name.

Feather with her new stitches

Snowboy is beginning to look a little suspect, as the only horse not needing vet care in the last three weeks. We should install a camera so we can see what is really happening when we leave the barn.

I have been diagnosed with Shingles so figure the stress is getting to me. Thank you for riding along and keep us in your prayers.

Try Again

Those of you who do not see my additional posts on Facebook, all I can tell you is, it has been a little rough. You knew about Bruno smashing his face into a shatterproof light fixture. A lot of blood, an emergency visit from the vet and 12 stitches above his eyes.

Meanwhile, Mickey continued to be lame with multiple abscesses in his hoof. Then yesterday morning, I arrived at feeding to find a circle of blood a couple feet wide and just as long. Examination noted it was in Kid’s mouth. I awakened Lauren. We got him cleaned up and I made the 70 mile trip to work. I was just getting settled into a pretty good working routine when Lauren called to say Kid was bleeding profusely again. He need the vet quick. She set out with Kid and the trailer. I left work in a hurry trying to make the vet as fast as Lauren. As I drove along, I just knew, this was it. The 32 year old horse was dying. Either he was losing too much blood or stitching a wound inside his mouth was going to be too expensive and too painful.

Dr. Criner holding up Kid’s lip for examination

I had cried all my mascara off long before I got to the vet. I was thinking back to Kid’s first years with me. I discovered I have Kid longer than any horse in my long, horse history, over ten year had past. He is the best behaved horse I have ever owned. I was already thinking about what a huge blow his passing would be. Granted, he is of the age where I know it is coming, but I wasn’t ready for it now.

When we got to the vet, Kid had lost a lot more blood in the trailer. I still thought there could be no happy ending to this story. Old horse gushing blood does not a good ending make!  Our Mickey spotted his old friend, Kid, and neighed to him!

Dr. Criner (DC) got some pain/tranquilizer meds on board and got to looking at his mouth that she keep calling macerated. We were trying to find if he had bit his tongue (like off) or knocked out teeth or what. Finally, with Lauren having the special duty of holding his lip to stem the bleeding, we were able to watch DC push her finger all the way through the flesh and out the other side of Kid’s lip. It was horrible.


Kid was stumbling about like a drunken sailor now.  We moved him out the grass so he would have a soft spot to land if he went down.  In the end it was decided it would be impossible to stitch the wound.  We got some heavy duty antibiotics on board to ward off infection.  Kid told me it clearly was not his day to die!

We waited as the bleeding clotted off and Kid was awake enough to trailer home.  I watched Mickey come out to load, sound as can be.  Then I  paid off both Mick’s and Kid’s extensive vet bills and we headed home.

Feather was perpetuating a rumor at the barn to Snow and Bruno, that if you went off in the trailer you were not coming back!  Pix left a week ago.  No sign from her.  Mick left Monday and he was gone.  Now, Kid had left just this morning.  But she was neighing louder than any of them as the trailer pulled in with the weary boys.

I appreciate everyone’s concern and well wishes.  I pray we are done with the vet for awhile and so does my checkbook!

Shot to the head-a Bruno Story

A phone call from Lauren is often a bad thing. We have recently had more than our share of vet expenses and I am not including any of the money we spent on OTTB Bruno at Texas A&M. Lauren was babysitting Kendyll and wandered out to barn to let her see the horses. Instead she saw blood, and then more blood. She found Bruno with blood streaming down his face.

Upon conversation with one another, we decided with the amount of blood, exposed bone and Bruno recent reluctance to load in the trailer, we would call the vet out to our place. I started my race home.
20131028-184313.jpgthe shatterproof glass casing-I think Bruno hit it from the bottom with great force. 


Best we can figure, because Mickey is not testifying based upon advice from his lawyer, Snow B. Go, esq., is that while the boys were confined to their adjoining paddocks (due existing injuries) they started playing a horse sized game of Red Rover. I believe Mickey tried to crossover the fence line to Bruno’s side when Bru reared to stop him. The ceiling is only about 14 feet high. I specifically ordered shatterproof globes for my barn lights. Well, the fixture was in fact shatterproof, but Bruno must have hit the light fixture straight on like a giant jack hammer. The bulb inside the globe shattered as did Bruno’s face.

By the time Lauren got outside (it had been about two hours since she had been out to check on them) it looked like the worst of a gory movie site. She was notably distressed as we discussed alternatives. I called the vet. He said he was on his way. When the vet arrived, he had not seen Bruno yet. When he did, he remarked, “Holy crap!! That is bad!”

By the time I got home, Dr. Poehler was finishing his well designed twelve stitches in a upside down rainbow shape between Bruno’s eyes. He was cleaned up as well as was possible. Dr. Poehler was not convinced that Bruno’s bone was not broken but there was not much that could be done about it.

Bet ol’Bruno is nursing one hell of a headache! I wonder how long this will set us back? Thank you for the outpouring of well wishes from so many of you. As always thanks for riding along!


what’s left of the light fixture (the glass cover is perfectly fine)