26 March 2011

A Quarter Century

So yesterday was my last day at Wimbledon, and also my 25th birthday. My friend there, T., asked me how it felt and I said, "No different from yesterday." Her response? "Good girl."

But it was a great last day at the yard. I went out on a ride, it was a sunny, warm, beautiful day, and for lunch we ate the Haagen-Dazs ice cream I brought to celebrate my birthday. It was a good ending to a good placement. I don't know if I lucked out or what, but I will definitely be going back to visit and maybe take lessons (though it is a bit far from here).

Tonight, I'll be celebrating my birthday with friends that are coming back from their respective lambing placements. Tomorrow, I'll be taking a train to Reading to start my dairy placement.

2 weeks down, 4 more to go!

21 March 2011


With horses, colic is probably the most prevalent disease that occurs (or at least that's what I seem to hear all the time from trainers I've worked with, friends with horses, etc etc). But really, colic is just a blanket term for so many problems that occur with the equine digestive tract. So when one of the horses at my equine placement became colicky, a wide array of ideas went skittering through my head. So many things can go wrong with the GIT (gastro-intestinal tract) of a horse. Impaction, torsion, intussusception, etc ad nauseam.

Anyway, Trilly (the horse) was acting off all day yesterday. Stretching her head down, pacing in her stall, and the big important: not eating and not passing any feces. BIG problems. So vet comes down, I become his shadow. White mucous membranes, slow capillary refill time, little to no gut sounds...all bad signs. He was nice enough to let me borrow his stethoscope so I could take a listen to the gut and see if anything was happening (which really, there was nothing to hear). I got a load of good information from him, which I have to say I probably won't forget. Too bad the practice he works at doesn't take veterinary students!

Good news: Trilly is doing much better. Diagnosis was probable impaction. She was tubed and given a mixture of electrolytes, probiotics, epsom salts, and a human medicine that aids with constipation (hint: it works). Main problem that probably caused the impaction was the fact that she's been on stall rest for 10 days due to an abscess (poor thing).

Lesson to take away from this: it's really cool to have some validation in what I've learned thus far, and to actually KNOW what he was talking about!

18 March 2011

Day Five at Equine Placement: rain.

Today was the first day at the stable yard that has rained THE WHOLE DAY. Pissing rain, really. Not even a good hard pour, but enough to soak you to the bone. I'm truly glad I thought to pack a second coat because I needed to switch halfway through.

Best thing about today, though: I got to ride for the first time in 5 years. The last time I rode a horse was just after selling mine in 2006 (heartbreaking, I don't recommend it unless absolutely necessary). Since then, I've just not been able to ride because of school commitments, work commitments, etc etc blah blah excuses excuses. Getting back in the saddle (literally) was the easiest thing I've done in my entire life. But now, I won't be able to go so long without riding because I just can't give it up. It was such a wonderful feeling being able to do a nice long hack on a great horse and just enjoy the outdoors (even with the rain).

7 more glorious days of this placement. I'll be disappointed when I leave.

14 March 2011

Day Two at the Equine Placement: ouch.

This week and next I'm at my equine placement in Wimbledon Village. I've been getting up at 5:30am for the past two days to hop onto a train at King's Cross by 6:30ish. It takes about an hour to an hour and 15 to get to my placement. My body hurts. A lot. I'm getting calluses in places that haven't had calluses in about...5 years? I smell like poop when I get home and I have to take a shower immediately. And I've been falling asleep around 9:30pm because I'm so damn exhausted.


This is the best damn time I've had in ages. I've tacked up, I've 'skipped' stalls (which to me is mucking, but just getting the poo out of all the stalls). Today, I cleaned 10 saddles. I sweep, I feed, and I'm loving it all. I forgot how much fun it is to spend the ENTIRE day outside, especially since it's been so beautiful in London for the past few days (fingers crossed it stays that way).

And now, dinner, movie, bed by 9.

11 March 2011

End Scene.

My second term here has just ended today. Exam is done and over with (thank god) and I have 7 blissful, school-free weeks ahead of me.

First stop: equine placement for 2 weeks starting this Monday. I get to stay at my flat (yay!) and commute daily (boo...).

Second stop: dairy placement at the University of Reading for 2 weeks. I get to venture out of London!

Third stop: Somerset for 2 weeks of lambing. I have to say, I'm really excited for this...but I'm sure I'll get over that excitement after being there for a few days.

As for this weekend, I'm relaxing and hanging out with my college roommate and one of my best friends, C. I can't wait!

06 March 2011

Hell Week.

For those of you who have ever been in theatre, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout.

We had our last lectures on Friday, which I skipped in lieu of enjoying the sunny day we had. Also, we aren't getting tested on them. I had a date with the Regent's Canal walkway, and I took it. It's really beautiful over there, if you can avoid looking into the canal and seeing all the trash there. But the willows are starting to bud, and I was in heaven. Spring is definitely my favorite season.

Today, I'm at Yumchaa with my friend D. who has just admitted to being a caffeine addict. Yesterdays's total: 2 red bulls, 2 Lucozades (a UK energy drink) and 2 large coffees. D. is having a mochaccino, I'm having a tea (no drugs for me!).

Just 6 more days and then I'm free for 7 weeks!!

Well, free if you don't count the 6 weeks of placements I have...