Archives for April 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012 – Catch up on Blog and Rest Day

Too hot to ride today, so we took the day off (more or less), and I finally got caught up on this blog (sorry for the delay, but we have been a bit preoccupied lately…). I promise to do better in the future.

Saturday, April 28, 2012 – Another Ride at Cary State Forest

Headed out for a longer ride after breakfast today, taking some trails we’d never actually done before, and looping around in new configurations, which is really easy to do here, with so many combinations of trails and fire road (which are mostly grass and sand). We were out less than two hours, mostly because it got really hot earlier than we had hoped, and got out later than we had hoped, but we still did a lot more cantering than usual. Our average miles per hour has increased more than 2 miles per hour from our usual previous rides, so we’re happy about that. By the fifth or sixth canter, though, the horses were showing their tiredness, so we cut it short and headed back to the RV, where we settled in again, doing more to update the blog and other computer work. Enjoyed a movie, then off to bed. Fortunately, it’s still cooling off enough at night to have good sleeping weather, but that’s likely to change soon. Looking forward to heading north, though we still have no idea which we way we’re headed yet :-)!

Odd flower on the trail

Friday, April 27, 2012 – Shopping Day

Slept late, though woke up early and tossed and turned for a few hours. Did some shopping, and got back too late and tired to go riding. Did some computer work the rest of the afternoon, relaxed for the evening.

Thursday, April 26, 2012 – Ride Day at Cary State Forest

Couldn’t wait to get back on horseback today, so we saddled up and headed out for a short ride before it got too hot. Once the horses were warmed up, we started jogging, then cantering like crazy! They were so glad to stretch their legs, and we were so glad to be running, it was fabulous! We cantered for a longer time than I think we ever have, and we repeated it more times than ever in a short, hour ride. What a blast! Hubby is so comfortable with it now, and his seat is really improving. It’s true what Winston Churchill and Ronal Reagan both said, “No hour on the back of a horse is ever wasted.” Can’t wait to keep this going! Spent the rest of the day doing computer work, including starting to get caught up on this blog (which I’m embarrassed to say, was almost a month behind!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 – Ride on Amelia Island Beach, Move to Cary

 Got up a little later than we planned, but still had plenty of time to trailer the horses over the Amelia Island for a ride on the beach. It was a perfect day! The tide was out so the beach was nice and wide, it wasn’t crowded, there was no trash on the beach at all (a huge improvement over the Costa Rican Caribbean beach, which was full of driftwood and trash), and the waves, for the first time ever when we’ve been on the beach, were tiny. The wind had been out of the west for days, and it had really laid the ocean flat, so it was a perfect day to reacquaint the horses with a beach. Usually they’re terrified of the whitecaps, but today they did just fine! We even got several fabulous canters in. This was the first time Hubby had been on Clio since we got back from CR, and he was really encouraging her to do more, and she responded beautifully. I got they impression they’ve been just as bored with walking all the time as I had, so it was a fabulous time for all of us. We spent about an hour, just a short ride to get reacquainted and to start to get them back into shape after the long layoff, and it was grand! Got back to Cheers, packed up what little stuff we had unpacked, and headed down the road. Now, we had planned on going to the West Fire Tower area in the Osceola National Forest, which would have taken about two hours to get to, but at the last minute, we decided instead to go to Cary State Forest, which is just on the west side of Jax. Since we were going to work with our Jax client next week anyway, it didn’t make much sense to waste the fuel getting there, and we’ve been the Cary a few times before and enjoyed it, plus all the straightaways here will be perfect for working on the horses’ canters, which has become our next training goal, and finally, we were going to pass right by it anyway, so we just decided to stop there. The place was empty, we had it all to ourselves, and we arrived before 4:00, so we got settled in quickly, got the horses highlined (which they seem to like better than a stall, Apollo looked almost depressed when I left him at Cheers), got the satellite dish up and running, and settled in for a week of riding, rest and catching up!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – Easy Day

Little Mini cast a BIG shadow!
Slept late this morning, had an easy load out this morning, got back to the stable, everyone happy to see us. Unpacked and mostly lazed around (albeit alway on my computer doing SOMEthing). Enjoyed watching the animals graze around the property, and a mother hen teaching her four baby chicks how to scratch around for food. A nice relaxing day, as we came down hard from all the tensions of the last week or so. Love this pic at the end of the day, that’s a mini horse, but it still casts a big shadow!

Monday, April 23, 2012 – Work Day

Woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the skyline of Jax. Spent the day with our client doing personal coaching. Change of plans, second day of work to be postponed until new staffer is hired, could be next week, likely later. A decision was made to have us back to help with speech preparation with our client next week, so we’re going to stick around the area until then, recharging our batteries and taking a break from all the excitement and physical labor we’ve been experiencing lately, and to get caught up on a lot of paperwork that’s been pushed to the back burner for months now. Had a pleasant evening in the hotel (though I have to say, this Hyatt has a LOT of customer service problems…), before retiring at a reasonable hour.

Sunday, April 22, 2012 – Discharge and Travel to Jax

Jax Skyline
Cheers Horse Ranch

Got up before dawn in order to be at the hospital early to press the issue of Hubby’s release. He hadn’t even had breakfast yet when I got there at 7:15! Sat around awhile waiting for doctor’s to visit and comment, last one to give discharge approval finally showed up around 9:30. From there our very efficient nurse Craig whipped through the discharge papers while Hubby showered, and we were out of there by just after 10:00. I had done as much packing and departure prep as I could, and it wasn’t long before the horses were loaded and we were on our way! Arrived at our next stable, the Cheers Horse Ranch near Yulee. We chose this spot because it’s the closest one we could find to Amelia Island, one of (if not THE) only beach in Florida where horses are permitted. We hope to have time to go riding on the beach before heading out to wherever (we haven’t decided where yet!) It was a very busy place, with a birthday party going on, and lots of activities, and all the horses there seemed happy and mostly healthy, though there were a couple of skinny rescues Debbie (the owner) had just acquired. It didn’t take long to get set up, and soon we were overlooking the round pen with a mini trotting around it. Horses were put up in nice box stalls in the barn, and Billy was allowed to roam around, but we kept Marina on a leash at all times, as there were lots of cats around, and apparently Marina plays too rough with cats, a sad lesson we learned at my brother’s house. In any event, we packed up and headed into the Jax Hyatt where I client had booked us a room, once again leaving our critters and stuff behind in someone elses’ care. Can’t wait till we’re back on a normal schedule, all this darn work keeps interfering with our riding time! : -). But at least we’re able to stash away some extra money for the inevitable dry times…

Saturday, April 21, 2012 – Hospital

Morning view of Goat in Tree
Good news, the swelling has gone down enough to take surgery off the table, but not enough to be discharged from the hospital, so we spent the day together until I had to leave to get home in time to take care of the animals. Sorry we had to miss our second day of observing at the Dolphin, but staying health ALWAYS takes priority! It looks like he’ll be discharged tomorrow morning, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. One of us HAS to be in Jax tomorrow night for work days Monday and Tuesday, and I’d hate to have to go alone!

Friday, April 20, 2012 – ER and Admittance to Hospital

Woke up to Hubby having swelling in his finger spreading to his hand and heading down to the wrist. Dressed for work, but headed straight for the nearest hospital, Florida Hospital at Celebration, where we were admitted into ER in very short order. After a battery of tests (though I could have told them what he really needed was a round of antibiotics), they finally started him on an IV of (you guessed it) antibiotics, several hours into it. After much alarmist discussion about possible surgery on his arm (!!), they transferred him via ambulance (really??) to their hospital downtown to be looked at by their orthopedists. More tests, more doctors, more antibiotics, and they finally decided to wait until the next day before deciding anything. I headed back to the hotel to check out while they were transporting him, then spent the day by his side unti about 7:00 when I left to feed the animals and get back before dark. Not the way we were planning on spending the day! Swelling in his finger had gone down a bit by the time I left, though, so we’re hopeful we dodged the bullet of surgery and more serious complications, which apparently was a distinct possibility, had the bacterial infection spread further.