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Soggy, but improving otherwise

♥Nov. 3rd, 2014 // 04:25 pm
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This morning, we didn't put the boys out in the field because it was too soggy. Instead, they spent the morning in the stableyard, as it rained solidly....

Inevitably, shortly after we'd put them back in their stables it stopped raining (at least for long enough for us to mostly stay dry while we took Jo out for a walk). We've just had a lovely sunset, complete with rainbow over the autumnal woods.

I'm still worried about Esme, although possibly slightly less so than I was yesterday. She didn't lay again, today, and when I picked her up last night she was both noticeably lighter and a lot easier to catch than Magrat (picked up for comparison). On the other hand, today she's been spending a bit more time rootling in the grass, and she did nibble a bit of corn when I carried it over to the tree she was lurking under. The vet, inevitably, hasn't actually called me back as (twice) promised (and I doubt he'll do so in the next couple of hours), but if she's looking better again tomorrow then I'll just put it down to a cold (bird 'flu!) and leave it.

Edit: As I was typing, the vet called. He does think she's got a bit of a respiratory infection, so I'm off to get antibiotics, to mix with some porridge for her!

My shoulder is *much* better, I'm very pleased to say. It's hardly bothering me at all, either during the day or at night, so I'm hopeful that next week will be my last physio session, in which we just make some additions to my Pilates routine and note down a few exercises to keep up with for a while / do if it starts to be bad again. Mike's finger is also a lot better, and healing more cleanly than we'd expected. Remember, kids, don't get distracted while cutting up home-made pancetta....

Jo is now on antihistamines, but they don't (so far) seem to be making much of a difference. We'll keep it up for a week or so and see what happens.
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Vets and physios

♥Oct. 31st, 2014 // 04:22 pm
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Just back from taking Jo to the vet, as she's still very itchy. He de-botted her flop (or possible de-flopped her bot) again and said to keep an eye on her for the next 48 hours to see if she stops chewing her legs and then starts up again. If she does, we're to add bran to her food. If she doesn't, it might be an allergy (they've had a lot, with it being such a mild autumn) so we'll try a pill and a half of Zirtec each day. She seemed full of beans when we got back home and went to get the boys in, so maybe it is just her glands.

I came back from the physio with new exercises, after she made pleased-sounding noises at me: I'd gone from the Wrong Muscle doing about 80% of the work to about 20%. Should be zero, but that's progress. Plus, this time she's given me standing up exercises, after I explained that I was struggling to do them some days on account of not sitting down for large chunks of the day.

I had a moment of joy when I came back from Pilates to find the gate at the end of the valley was open. I drove through keeping an eye out for cows, and ready to go back and close it if I saw them, but they weren't there so I left the gate at this end open as well. But then Mike saw TWWOTV later and she said that the bin men had left it open and it was supposed to be closed: not sure if they'd wandered off or what, but they weren't there (though the gates were closed) when I got back from the vet.

No sign of the road repair guys, although they have turned around (so that it's visible) the sign at the top of the hill warning that the road will be closed for three days from 30 October. Um.
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♥Oct. 24th, 2014 // 04:39 pm
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I was pleased to be seeing the physio today, because my shoulder was even more sore this morning than it was yesterday....

Her conclusion is that my joints are a bit hypermobile, and because of something I didn't entirely follow this means that some of my muscles are too strong and others aren't doing enough (eg, when she had me my raise my arms over my head, I was actually doing a lot of the work with my neck muscles instead of my shoulders). And my shoulder joints aren't quite properly in the sockets (not sure if that was cause or effect.) It's been building up for a while, and just finally got to the point where my body couldn't compensate enough any more, hence the pain.

She's given me a few exercises to do over the next week (which mostly consist of keeping my shoulders back and down, so that the joint is in the right position), mostly to get things back in the right place, and then I'll go back next week to get some exercises that I should then be in a position to do. And that, plus her speaking to Pilates Girl to make some changes to my routine, should fix it. Hopefully.

The farrier had a poke at Baby's foot, cut a bit off and confirmed that he had just torn it a bit (probably on some flint): keep doing what we've been doing for a week or so and it should be fine.

I was hoping to ride GB, on the off chance that it was daily gentle exercise that made him a bit better yesterday. But it's grey and raining and my shoulders hurt so, yeah.

I changed Mike's plaster this morning, which may have been a mistake. We're going to leave it for a couple of days, this time, and hope that it scabs better....
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N Things

♥Oct. 23rd, 2014 // 07:44 pm
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- My shoulder really hurts. Waa. Physio tomorrow.

- Mike's finger also hurts, after a scissor-related incident this afternoon in the kitchen.

- GB hopefully doesn't hurt anywhere, after a week on the 'bute. Yesterday, he was Not Good when I rode him. Today, he was better but still Not Right. I phoned the Back Lady at home and left a piteous message with her husband. We'll see if she gets back to me.

- Baby has a bit of a manky foot; we've been cleaning it out and the farrier will pop in tomorrow (as he's doing The Horse Next Door anyway).

- The Road Guys still haven't reappeared, but have at least replaced the 'Road Closed' signs with ones saying that the road will be closed from the 30th for three days.

- Which, I've just realised, might be a problem: our Riding Instructor happened to mention to another client that we were looking for a horse (actually, probably two: one for each of us, because Mike and Baby just aren't progressing like they should be), and this woman said she might be interested in Baby for her other half. And she phoned today and we arranged that she'd come down on Thursday. Hmm. Note to self: ride him as much as possible over the next week.

- It also might be a problem on account of how the road is full of cows, and I really can't see the Road Guys agreeing to work with them around. In one of those mysterious coincidences, the cows were by the main road and Not Very Near Neighbour phoned Bad Farmer to say she was worried about one of the calves. The next morning, they were in the valley, out of sight. Spooky.

- We had Alison and M staying at the start of the week. On Saturday, Mike's entire family, yea unto the third generation, is arriving for the weekend (and his mother is staying on afterwards). There has been much doing of laundry and making up of beds. Also, on Mike's part, baking.

- We've had no mobile phone signal since early on Saturday afternoon (I mean, actually none, not just the very small amount that we usually get). This afternoon, Mike phoned Virgin to ask when the mast would be back in action, and was bizarrely told that, as they had no report of the mast being down, they needed him to try to make five phone calls in 24 hours, at least half an hour apart, and then email him the details of them. He did actually do it, but I can't honestly see any reason why he couldn't have just made it up. I think I'll ask Mrs Next Door to report it to ee, as it's their mast and she has a contract with them.

- I've got a few possible horses that I'd like to look at. Need to wait until the family have departed, though.

- We've started moving the boys across the field. They have already eaten the new bit bare.... They're nearly as bad as the ducks!
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[insert muttering along the lines of 'and this is what we pay our taxes and/or bills for?']

♥Oct. 17th, 2014 // 03:12 pm
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So, having not shown up at all on Tuesday, the road guys came on Wednesday, hung around chatting / doing some cash-in-hand work for TWWOTV, and then did a half-arsed job of clearing the gravel from the road before vanishing at about 2pm.

They haven't been seen since, although at some point they took away their steamroller (which can't actually be called that any more, can it?).... roadworks.org now lists the end date as Monday, rather than Wednesday, so presumably they are still going to do two days of work, just Not Yet.

I'm somewhat irritated that they've just left the 'road closed' signs at either end of the road, and wonder how many delivery drivers have decided not to risk it. Fortunately, the vet did risk it yesterday (doubly fortunate, as neither the message that she should go the long way around nor the message that they hadn't turned up so she was ok to come down the hill had actually been passed on to her by the office staff), so GB has had another blood sample taken (predictable response; no actual injury to me, which was a win) and Baby had a couple of little lumps and bumps pronounced 'just keep an eye on it' level of interest.

Last time we had a riding lesson, our instructor suggested just putting him on 'bute (horse ibuprofen), to see if it fixed his leg and generally made his life easier. I'm a bit twitchy about the idea, as it's not something they're meant to take long-term, but given his age 'long-term' isn't such a great length of time as it would be for, say Baby. When I raised it as a vague idea to the vet, she whipped out her metaphorical prescription pad before I was half way through the suggestion. Unfortunately, she'd been giving out a lot of the stuff already that day, so I said I'd go into the surgery today and pick up a box.

This morning, knowing what they're like, I allowed fifteen minutes for the process of walking into the surgery, being given the box of 'bute, paying and leaving. Stupidly, I forgot to leave another ten minutes for the failing to find the prescription, the finding of another vet who knows GB, the conversation with that vet about why I wanted it (actually, that was about thirty seconds: "He's getting a bit stiff, is he?" "Well, he's got a problem in his nearside hind that-" "Yeah, sure, I'll sign it."), the faffing, the sorting out the error on my invoice for last month*, the figuring out just why there was a £110 credit on my account from January**, the explaining that actually I was going to get the discounted price for the vet's visit*** on account of their credit card machine wasn't working when I tried to pay for it yesterday and, of course, the waiting for the person coming the other way through the gate to figure out that he had to press the button to open it (after which he drove to the car park entrance and parked in not-actually-a-space, so that I had to reverse half way around the stableyard so that the person behind him could actually get into the carpark; the person behind and I exchanged bemused looks as he went into the surgery, oblivious).

* which I phoned them about weeks ago and never got a reply to; we figured out that I'd phoned to pay***, told them it was for w, x and y, but only w and y got put on my account when they did the recording for the day, followed later by z, so there was just a random amount of z-x to pay, to which, naturally, I said 'what is this? that number appears nowhere on my charges'.
** looks like the vet never actually logged the visit in which she took blood, sent it off for testing, and gave them their jabs. Again, I'd phoned to pay on the day*** and just told them what I was paying for.
*** if you pay on the day, it's £10 for the call-out fee (on the day when they're in your area anyway). If you don't, it's £26. (If you want a vet on when it's not their day to be in your area or to do a job that takes longer than about half an hour, it's More). Unfortunately, this means that people are paying before the vet has handed in her list of what she's done that day, so you just have to guess. Previous Horse Vets had a 'pay within seven days for the discount' rule, and that was a lot less hassle.

The actual vets there are good, but their admin team leaves something to be desired (see above re: not actually telling the vet that the road was closed / open).

And then I Pilated, which was actually a bit painful: I've been waking up with a sore shoulder (not the one I hurt) for a month or so, and it's been taking longer and longer to stop hurting each day, but today it actually hurt during Pilates. Mike, having had enough of the increasing whinging each morning, had already told me to see what Pilates Girl said, and what she said was 'Hmm, that's worrying, you should go and see Downstairs about it', so I have a session booked with one of the physios for after Pilates next week.

Jo has had her first shower of the season, having done a really impressive job of coating her head and back in badger poo followed by lying down on her belly in a patch of mud that she felt qualified as a puddle. Poor Jo.
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