Frustrated

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Rusty Hills Farm, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    This is just a vent. And maybe a question or two.

    My partner and I are not exactly teenagers anymore and after maybe 50 years of smoking, he's got pretty bad COPD--bad enough that arena work is now out of the question because of the dust. Which basically means no more cutting and no more reining. Both endeavors kick up a tremendous amount of dust. We were switching over to endurance, largely because McChickenWrangler's posts make it sound really interesting. We had begun some conditioning, both for the horses and ourselves.

    Yesterday we rode probably 5 miles. It's really hot here in Alabama and we are in the middle of a drought. It didn't seem dusty but it must have been really dry because we wound up in the ER around 2 am when even the emergency inhaler didn't help. He could NOT catch his breath. (Scared the you-know-what outta me!) Saw the pulmonologist this morning and he confirmed it. No more endurance training/distance riding. The doc doesn't think he should ride at all anymore. His lungs just will not take the stress.

    Now I am mad at myself because I'm thinking he pushed himself too hard just to please me. He knows how much I miss running the various reining patterns or cutting a cow or two, neither of which I can do now because of the dust they cause. Even walking into the house with dusty boots and jeans can set off a coughing jag. Yet I cannot give up my horses. I've personally bred every animal out there except the one mare we got from Texas A&M. They are my babies. I've invested probably 50 years of my life into my horses.

    Now here comes the question. If I stay out of the arena and do something that does not include any sliding, that would cut way down on the dust factor. Dressage is mostly exercises on the flat, right? Sorta-kinda like a very advanced form of reining? Can it be done on grass (I have a large, relatively-flat grass field nearby). I'm not even remotely considering competition, just looking for something interesting that the horses and I can work on together, something that will challenge us and be interesting to work on.

    I figure that as the riding area stresses the grass, I can move it around the field, which is about 5 acres. It's not perfectly flat and smooth like the arena but is still pretty even and fairly cushiony. No rocks or stones, just ankle-deep bermudagrass.

    So, do any of you dressage people think this might be doable? Can anyone recommend any good books and videos? I will probably stick with my stock saddle for a bit until I see if this is something that can work for us. If it is, I will likely take the plunge into proper tack, though I will probably continue to ride in my boots and jeans.

    Still trying to get my head around everything that is happening and looking for ways to make this work.

    To quote Ben Johnson in "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys": "Y'know what the worst part of gettin' old is?..... It's gettin' old."


    Rusty
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I surely hope someone can help you with this. I know very little about horses, but I have 50 + years invested in my dogs and know how something like that becomes a controlling factor over the rest of your life. (If it does not become the major portion of your life.) Good luck on working this out. Are there any synthetic surfaces that can be used for the training of your horses?
     
  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Is there any way you could change your boots and clothes before entering the house? Perhaps have some baby wipes to wipe down your hair and skin before entering the house so the dust doesn't spread and then jump straight into the shower? Bag up the dusty clothes and do a separate load in the wash. If you have a garage that would work perfect. Heck, even changing in the barn would be worth it to ride.

    I would just treat going from the barn/riding into the house as a sort of biosafety condition. If you take precautions to elminate tracking the dust into the house, I think that should eliminate any problems for your partner. Also, if he ever wants to go outside and watch you, he could wear a surgical mask. They even have ones with filters and eye masks now. I would say that would be the best option in dusty conditions, even if that includes just going for a walk or any other activities that might set off his COPD.

    I definitely don't think you have to give up your riding or even your reining. You'll just have to make some changes to avoid bringing the dust in the house. Even just dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning more often will help. Also, keeping your saddles clean and covered will also reduce dust tranferred to you. Riding horses can certainly be dusty!

    Another thing you can look into is a heavy duty air purifier. My brother has bad allergies and these really help him in his room.

    Good luck! I hope you are able to come up with some kind of solution to keep both of you happy!
     
  4. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Is there any way you could change your boots and clothes before entering the house? Perhaps have some baby wipes to wipe down your hair and skin before entering the house so the dust doesn't spread and then jump straight into the shower? Bag up the dusty clothes and do a separate load in the wash. If you have a garage that would work perfect.

    This made me stop and think. It would be a simple matter to enter through the laundry room door instead of the living room sliding doors--they are about 12 feet apart! I could ditch the barn clothes in the laundry room and use the bath next door to it for my shower instead of using the master bath, thereby eliminating traipsing through the rest of the house and exposing it to TONS of dust. Such a simple thing, really, and I just never thought of it! THANK YOU!

    [​IMG]

    Rusty​
     
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Living with a person who has COPD certainly has it's challenges. As I type my hubby is on his Neb machine.... We have lived at the ER over his career. His has chemically inducedCOPD from the military, so not only does dust bother him but chemicals as well, for years he couldn't even gas up his own car. Perhaps install an outside shower or changing room right by an entrance to your home. that way before you come in you can spray off or mist down or take a shower. Perhaps make a sitting room by the arena with a plex glass window and a/c so you both can enjoy the activity. Keep the area wet down as much as possible. Perhaps change out arena footing with some rubberized material, I think they have some on the market somewhere..... Perhaps their is an oxygen tank or oxygen machine, and mask that may be better suited for horse back riding individuals?
     
  6. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dressage can be ridden anywhere, a grassy knoll, outdoor arena, indoor arena and even on the trail. Dressage is on the flat up to Grand Prix--High School is where you leave the ground [​IMG]

    For books, you could go with anything by Walter Zettl, who also has videos as well. You could also buy FEI World Cup DVDs and just watch the riders.

    Good luck and I hope that everything works out for you and your significant other. [​IMG]
     
  7. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Phoenix, AZ
    Quote:This made me stop and think. It would be a simple matter to enter through the laundry room door instead of the living room sliding doors--they are about 12 feet apart! I could ditch the barn clothes in the laundry room and use the bath next door to it for my shower instead of using the master bath, thereby eliminating traipsing through the rest of the house and exposing it to TONS of dust. Such a simple thing, really, and I just never thought of it! THANK YOU!

    [​IMG]

    Rusty

    I'm glad to be of help! You always give pretty awesome horsey advice. I would hate to see you give up a style of riding you really love!
     
  8. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    For books, you could go with anything by Walter Zettl, who also has videos as well. You could also buy FEI World Cup DVDs and just watch the riders.

    Thank you! I am gonna trot over to Amazon.com and see what I can find. There are sooo many dressage books that it is impossible to just pick one without some input from someone who actually KNOWS something on the subject!

    [​IMG]


    Rusty​
     
  9. Gmsg01

    Gmsg01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do eventing, prefer the jumping to the fine detail of the dressage, but your area sounds fine. My friend does Parelli training. They have a system that includes DVDs, logs, blogs, clinics. It is possible to do a heavy concentration in ground truing too, and your partner could probably safely watch that. The outdoor shower sounds really useful, as do the micropore filters, air ionizers and the like. Oh, and another is to get rid of any carpets, and vacuum daily. Good luck!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. bogielousa

    bogielousa Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:HMMM, well, Maybe on a lower level it can be ridden anywhere with certain maneuvers, but I'd really hesitate to ask a horse to do the collection maneuvers on our hardpack clay or even on damp grass. There are days I'm hesitant to even trot in those conditions.

    Personally, I think changing clothes in your laundry room would be a better ideal anyway. I am a bit of a freak about dust and dirt in my house. I often change my clothes in the mud room, it's definitely doable, just keep yourself a change of clothes, a towel and maybe even some flipflops handy (I have a shower in my mudroom, so I just jump in the shower and put on clean clothes when necessary. I'll even hose down the dogs and leave them to dry in the mudroom when they're too dirty for my OCD cleanliness to allow them in the house [​IMG]
     

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