Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bragging rights

I have to do a little bit of bragging about how well several of my 'kids' are doing.  No, not the human kind, although they are doing pretty well themselves.  There are two Khan offspring that I bred that are competing in the Pacific Northwest and doing a great job.  The first is Asil Tumay (or Tommy), who is a 2006 Astrachan x Anastasia gelding, owned and shown by Shannon Mayfield.  Shannon has had Tommy now for over a year and this year he did 1 endurance ride (Home on the Range) and several horse shows.
Galen and Cathy, Shannon and Tommy and Monica and Danny at Home on the Range in March 2012

Just recently, Shannon took him to the Eddie McMurdo Memorial show in Walla Walla, WA a few weekends back and has this to say
"I was really proud of him.  We competed against all other breeds, and he did really well with the competition.  There were some fantastic national quality show horses there, and we ended up winning the novice horse class!  Totally thrilled.  =:)"

Earlier in the summer, he went to the Pink Ribbon Classic and here are a few photos:

They have been racking up the ribbons, cups and other assorted award items.  It will be great to see what they do next year.
And then there is Mazaly, a 5 year old Astrachan x Mirija (7/8 Teke 1/8 Hanoverian) mare, owned and ridden by Catrina Mettam of Centerville, WA.  Mazaly has done 3 shows/events this year and has really blossomed.  Catrina brought her up to the ATAA Conference this past weekend and she and Maisie (Mazaly) jumped our outside jump course with Monica and Magdan. I just got a new computer and still haven't found all my old files, but will upload some photos as soon as I do.  Maisie is a full sister to Mahri and Andre, both of whom are still here at CGAT and ready for their forever homes.

The two horses on the bottom are Mazaly and her owner/rider Catrina Mettam and Magdan and his rider Monica Bretherton.  Both horses were bred here at CGAT and both are Astrachan offspring.
Thanks to Betsy Wandler for taking these photos!

Of course, I have to mention Danny (Magdan) who did 5 LD endurance rides with Monica this year and has also been jumping.  Danny and Monica have been really doing well and we're thinking we'll do some shows over the winter.
Monica and Danny at the Mt. Adams LD ride 2012

Monica and Danny jumping September 2012
It will be great fun to see how everyone does next year.  I'm planning on getting Mahri started this winter and getting Andre to the next level.  Goshen will continue his training too, so I should have lots more big grins to report.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Upbeat, not Beaten

It's been a very busy month or so here at Cascade Gold.  I had ankle surgery on August 21st, where they found a big tear and several adhesions.  Happily, they fixed them up and said I should end up back around 100% on that leg.  That will be amazing, as I've struggled (ignored) this problem for years.  This year though, it came home to roost.

Last year's "medical adventure" put me on 'stall rest' for about 7 months (breast cancer surgery and radiation), so I started 2012's conditioning behind the curve.  We did our conditioning, moving up from walking in the arena to trotting/cantering 3 or so hours on the trails.  In past years, that has been enough to get me and Galen ready to go for our first LD of the season.  Ahh....the glories of age!

We went to our first LD, Home on the Range, at the end of March.  We went at a conservative pace, as we had Danny there for his first ride and I wasn't sure that I was really in top shape.  This turned out to be not so good for me, as when we came into the first vet check and I got off, I thought I'd somehow broken my ankle.  I suspect that is when I did the big tear they found during surgery.  Now, a SMART person would have Rider Optioned right then, but I'm an endurance rider (or right now, an LD rider), so I took a bunch of advil, found someone to trot Galen through the vet (thank you Monica) and continued on.  By the end of the ride, I wasn't a happy camper, but we finished and more advil and a bunch of beer made it bearable. 

We kept conditioning and I decided on a new strategy for our next rides - go faster to spend less time in the saddle!  Galen has the years of conditioning, so he's all for this.  So, I went out fast and Monica and Danny went at a reasonable pace.  This strategy worked fairly well, as we got 11th at Mt. Adams (would have been around 8 or 9, but I couldn't get off to walk him in and it took a few minutes to pulse down), 3rd at Grizzly and 10th at Klickitat.  All good right?

Well, Klickitat had a few routing issues and we ended up doing around 37 miles.  I think 25 would have been ok, but that last 10 miles I had to have Galen walk most of it, as my leg was screaming.  No doubt it was saying something like "You idiot, listen to me!'. In fact, I know it was.  We came in and I was so sure I was way down in placings that I didn't even ask where I was, although we came in 10th.  Galen was NOT happy about that boring walking in and let me know it.  I had big blisters on my hands that night.  Both of us were a bit disgruntled at the final vet check.  Once again, I was a grade 3 or 4 lame and I had to ask someone (thank you John!) to trot Galen out.  But, good drugs and more beer and I was soon feeling fine.

But, it finally did sink in that my leg wasn't getting better, so off to surgery I went.  We had tried some injections (nope, didn't help much) and I had tons of tests, where nothing showed up.  But, as my leg man said "We'll see what we find when we open you up".  And they did find something - a big longitudinal tear on the tendon and a bunch of adhesions.  All that was fixed and now it's just the boring aftermath - no weight bearing, physical theraphy and lots of time with my leg in the air.  But, he tells me that if I do my physical theraphy, I should be back to 100% sooner or later.  I'm really looking forward to that, because I plan that next year will see us moving back up to 50s and doing lots of rides (the original plan THIS year).

It did make me think though, as we get older, we can't skate by on the 'sort of' conditioning we used to.  Or, maybe that is just me...I do tend to think that 6-8 hours of farm work a day along with conditioning SHOULD be enough to get everything working right.  But, what works at 40 obviously doesn't work quite as well at 50.  Sadder (and sorer), but wiser!

So, if there is a moral to be found here, what would it be?  Don't expect what worked 10 years ago to work now?  Take better care of yourself as you get older?  Or maybe, don't be so dang stubborn and ignore obvious issues.  I have plenty of time to think about it.