Saturday, January 29, 2022

the hunt is on

I'm not gonna bore you all with a long backstory on why it's been so difficult to get jumping lessons, and how long its been since we were in a regular program. Suffice it to say, it's been difficult. And it's been a long time. 

On one hand, I am *so. over. it.*

On the other hand.... Good lord, anybody who's been hangin around these parts long enough knows I've been shipping out for lessons for years at this point. And it can be such a freakin hustle. So exhausting. I legit thought those days would be mostly behind us by moving Charlie to the farm where he lives now -- but ya know, things change and such. 

actually shipped him tacked (under the blanket) since it was a 15min trailer ride and cold AF outside
But I *do* want jumping lessons. For a few key reasons, some of which might be simpler than you'd think. 

Mostly, having a coach there produces an automatic accountability structure. If I'm paying for somebody's time and counsel, I better be, myself, prepared and ready for it, and stepping up to the plate. Secondly, it kinda just ensures that we *do* it. 

Bc --- I already know my own solo schooling sessions can be a tad underwhelming. I'm not always motivated to dismount to reset heights, distances, or jump configurations. And even then, once we get going, without somebody there reminding me about niceties like balance and impulsion and connection etc, holding me accountable, it often takes a couple unimpressive efforts and/or mistakes for me to get my ass in gear. 

turned out to be a good choice since he was kinda high as a kite coming off the trailer, didn't want to stand still at all
Plus. Ya know. I'd like to get better haha. Like. Yea sure, Charlie has demonstrated beyond any shred of a doubt he can cart my ass around pretty decently even as our combined technique has grown rough and dusty from lack of coaching. But, I also probably don't have to convince you that it could be better lol. 

I honestly don't really need much from a coaching relationship, tho. Convenience factors 100% play an oversize role in my selection process over other qualities. True story: I'm not driving 1.5hrs each way to ride with Sally up at Kealani whenever she's in town. Even tho they're great lessons, it's just not sustainable for me, or for Charlie. 

I want convenient location, predictable schedules, and prices accessible enough that it's not too hard to convince another barn mate to fill the second trailer spot. Plus, ideally, somebody who might be invested/available enough to coach at bigger shows too. So I've had my eyes and ears open for the last couple years for potential fits.  

majestic pony <3 and omg i actually brushed his mane for once.... trying to get brownie points on that whole "first impressions" thing....
A couple weeks ago, I learned of a trainer new to the area and working to build out her clientele. She's on the younger side, but has an impressive enough CV -- having trained with some of the most recognizable names in eventing and show jumping. She also has the distinction of taking the same horse from upper level eventing to grand prix show jumping, and keeping that same horse sound enough that he's still going now even into his late teens. 

There's a saying that you should "learn from people whose horses grow old." In other words, we should value a training approach that doesn't use the horse up, but focuses on longevity, rather than "flash in the pan" bursts of glory that aren't sustainable or repeatable. Given Charlie's high-mileage and somewhat delicate constitution, this is obviously appealing to me. 

simple jump configuration allowed for versatile track options, while also giving the new coach ample opportunity to observe how i accomplish things like.... steering, and balance, etc etc etc
So we had our first lesson together last week. Being new to the area and without a farm of her own, this trainer is all aboard that same hustle-bus I've been riding since the Isabel days: trying to find rentable indoors in wintertime. Dammit if she didn't hustle tho, working her butt off to secure a convenient location after our original plans fell through. 

This first lesson also ended up being a private. It may be in the future I'll get other barn mates to join me, or she'll have other students to form a group. But eh, it's always nice to get 1:1 introductions anyway. 

lol charlie thought it was all very much beneath his dignity, but was, of course, foot perfect
From the point of an actual lesson, I don't set a high bar for the "first time." Esp in this instance where I'd ideally like to form a long term relationship vs say, a clinic-style experience with packaged nuggets of wisdom to take home.... It feels like the new trainer kinda has to learn more about us first before we can really learn from her. Does that make sense? 

So she put us through our paces on the flat, observed how we go, asked questions about what's normal for us, and expounded on her own training philosophies. Then she put us over a series of patterns with very small fences (diagrammed above), explaining what she looks for in putting the track together, and common pitfalls she often sees in her own students. 

My impression is, well, she's younger and probably generally newer to the teaching side of things. But she seemed to have a good eye, and seemed to get a pretty good read on Charlie by the end of the ride. 

Charlie can be a little tricky in that regard bc, as you all know perfectly well, he's a multi-faceted creature lol. And in this ride, he was on his best "school boy" behavior -- not hot or up like at a show, but not bored and sluggish like he can be at home. He was very workmanlike, and took perfectly even steps to every single little jump. 

Tho, of course, Charlie made sure *I* understood he wasn't particularly inspired, haha. The trainer noted he had his ears pinned on me the whole time around, practically daring me to somehow mess him up haha. Except when one of the little jumps went up to something like 2'3 (the blue and yellow vertical behind Charlie in the above pic) -- for that one he finally perked up and had a little fun with it lol. 

he takes his role as barn manager very seriously, and came over to inspect my work on mucking out the trailer after we got home <3
So it was hopefully a pretty instructive observation opportunity for this new trainer. Apparently her own horse is pretty similar in attitude to Charlie, so maybe that'll give her good insights into how to plan exercises for him. 

And in the meantime, I appreciated her focus on the flatwork. It isn't exactly the same flavor as what Charlie and I do with more "purist" dressage-y folks, but that's ok too bc the intention is basically the same: be able to move the horse around, move his quarters around, adjust his balance nose to tail, side to side, etc etc etc. 

We'll see what happens, ya know? I'm too familiar with the hustle of securing rentable rings while juggling schedules etc to make any predictions. And at a certain point, I'll need to see real value and return on time investment to justify continuing. But idk, my gut reaction is pretty positive, and I'm inclined to go a little ways down this road with this new person to see where it leads haha. 

Evaluating a new training relationship is so complicated, there are so many considerations.... And I know what I've outlined as priorities above haven't always been my top priorities in the past. And might not be what you'd prioritize either. Curious if there's anything I didn't touch on that would be make-or-break criteria for you?

Friday, January 28, 2022

you were right

Gotta admit, I had my doubts haha. But Teresa -- you nailed it. This bud bucket's for you!

Happy Friday, y'all!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

since Iggy

It's been just about 3 months since Charlie lost his best horsey friend, Iggy. Obviously it's not unusual for there to be changes in large groups at busy boarding barns -- horses come and go from Charlie's herd for a multitude of reasons. 

Horses transition to different groups, leave the farm entirely, or go on brief or extended stretches of stall rest and/or limited turnout. Charlie himself has gone through various shifts in his turnout routine, including lengthy rehab stints and even moving farms in 2017. And ya know, it's never really been an issue. 

don't let that majestic confident stride fool you, charlie is happiest when he's nose-to-tail with a trusted friend
But with Iggy.... I dunno, it's different. He and Charlie were so close, always together, always going through the motions of life in lockstep with each other. 

Charlie did get to say goodbye, at least. He saw Iggy in the barn shortly before Iggy shipped up to New Bolton. And based on Charlie's reaction in that moment, it seemed like he knew Iggy was sick and possibly dying. You can call that anthropomorphizing if you want, but I believe it. 

And actually, Charlie happened to see a deceased horse about a week later (a dearly beloved elder statesman of the farm who was humanely let go, but not yet interred) and had a pretty strong reaction so.... Yea. They know, ya know? 

bentley and charlie have always gotten along, my sense is charlie is gravitating toward him as his new BFF
Since then, there have been some observations and perceptions that I'm inclined to link with this change in Charlie's social life. 

First up -- not long after I wrote about Charlie's "great hoof year," including crediting his farrier as a key player in Charlie's wellness.... Well. Charlie flunked a farrier appointment. As in, the farrier had to make a snap safety assessment based on Charlie's behavior, and opted to end the shoeing session and reschedule for another time. 

apparently charlie was dancing around like a maniac with ants in his pants, wildly tossing his head around, and disinclined to let steve get a hold of his hind feet.... yeesh buddy, c'mon :(  
Some background: as you may know, Charlie's home farm is large, large enough to secure fixed-day weekly visits from 3 farriers. Boarders can simply add their horse's name to their farrier's list for that week, and staff take care of details like bringing the horse in and holding as needed for the farrier. Charlie's farrier comes on Tuesday mornings, so I'm almost never actually there for the appointments and have only really met him in person about a half dozen times, tho we communicate often via text. 

It's been my understanding, however, that Charlie's generally a pretty reliably decent citizen for his shoeing appointments. Barn staff all seem to agree on that point, and actually my farrier confirmed that himself -- saying that's what made this particular episode with Charlie so unusual. 

more charlie and bentley, plus moose nose cameo <3  i  love this pic bc the longer you look, the more awkward it gets
He said that had the shoes been in rough shape, or had there been some urgent necessary reason for Charlie to get shod on that day, he could have made it happen -- possibly via some strong-arming of the horse. But he did not feel like that was in Charlie's best interest, nor did he particularly want to risk injury to his own self. 

Of course, I agreed completely and apologized profusely on behalf of my emotional 1,400lb wrecking ball of a creature.... And we scheduled a follow-up appointment where I could be there to hold the horse myself. Naturally Charlie was on his best behavior for that appointment too, so who knows, it could have been a fluke. 

Y'all already know I tend to be a little trigger-happy when it comes to 'better living through chemistry....' So, that episode, combined with some other really fussy and unsettled behaviors I observed in the horse, prompted me to put him on another multi-week Ulcergard protocol. 

Charlie's not really a classically ulcery horse, but I still end up treating him 1-2x annually -- mostly due to his travel frequency. This seemed like as good a time as any, so we went for it. Obviously I'll never know if the treatment truly makes a difference unless I scope the horse, but eh. 

did 7 total full tubes/day, then the tapering protocol outlined above. always check with your vet first about your horse's medical care
After a couple weeks with the liquid gold, Charlie returned to his normal sedate and relaxed self. Would the change have happened without the medication? Mebbe. Possibly. Probably? Idk. The change happened, tho, and that's what matters to me. 

So... At this point, only one remaining aspect has changed about Charlie since losing Iggy. And.... it's kinda a weird one. Charlie's bathroom behavior is.... different

Like, yea. He's a retired race horse. He's always pissed like one, ya know? True story: for the first year or so of owning him, he'd pee within minutes of dismounting from a ride. Better get him into a stall ASAP bc homeboy's gonna GO. Even now, I avoid cross tying him after a ride. 

clearly he's been busy out in the field since he's legit covered in mud spray lol
Lately tho.... he's peeing before rides too. Actually, he starts 'assuming the position' basically the moment he gets into the cross ties. Doesn't matter if he's coming in from the field, or if I'm pulling him out of a stall. He gets into the cross ties, and wants to GO. 

Obviously, I'd prefer if he didn't, thanks. So I usually try to stop him and throw him back into his stall. Where... as often as not, he'll get distracted by hay or whatever, and won't pee. Then I'll pull him out again and, boom, back to assuming the position. 

He does usually pee once back in his stall (even if it takes multiple trips lol), at least, so it is a genuine urge. And he'll definitely pee in the cross ties if I leave him. Honestly, half the time I groom and tack in his stall entirely now, rather than deal with it. Tho, naturally, Charlie has his own preferences about our routine and often wants out of the stall, go figure. 

So idk. It's strange. Definitely a shift in behavior too. Could be coincidental, of course. And sure, I've considered potential health implications. But I dunno. I honestly think it's related to Iggy. 

oh sir, you sure are a character!
My best guess is: Charlie and Iggy were always together. Maybe whenever Iggy peed, Charlie would be like, "Huh, great idea, buddy, I'll pee too!" Or some horsey-consciousness variation of 'monkey see, monkey do,' ya know? And now that Iggy isn't there peeing.... maybe Charlie isn't peeing as much either? Then he gets to the cross ties and is like, "Wow geez, yea I really gotta go!" And actually, at this rate, maybe the cross tie area itself is becoming a new trigger? 

Like I said, I don't really know. It's weird. It's not really something I've seen or heard about much with horses -- that even such basic physical functions could be impacted by their separation? Idk what else could explain this change in Charlie, tho. 

So. Overall, on one hand, I'm relieved to see Charlie behaving more calmly and relaxed, and appearing to forge closer relationships with his herd mates. He was a little depressed there for a minute, but seems recovered. This peeing thing tho... Ugh. Buddy. Hopefully this passes too?? Preferably not via a smelly puddle in the middle of our tack locker aisle?? 

Monday, January 24, 2022

2021: Greatest Hits Edition

One of my favorite things about maintaining this little corner of the internet is how it serves as a thorough and comprehensive documented history of my horsey life since 2014. 

Sometimes it's hard to keep up, and there are definitely many many details that fall through the cracks, ultimately forgotten or lost in the passage of time haha. But, for better or worse, I usually get the big stuff captured (events, notable clinics, adventurous outings, etc) and indexed via my Events page

True story: you can scroll to the bottom of that page and work your way up to get a complete rundown of literally every major (and many minor!) horse event I've done with Charlie and Isabel since 2014. Fun memories, yo! 

So.... Rather than reinvent that particular wheel for 2021 with a down 'n dirty rehash of the year, here's the indexed greatest hits version, complete with links to the full posts!

January 10 - Gymnastics Clinic @ Good to Go Farm

epic gymnastics clinic at Good To Go Farm. So. Many. Bounces. OMG.

March 7 - Arena XC Schooling @ Loch Moy Farm

that time i completely 'noped out' after driving all the way out to Loch Moy for a derby... ugh. got on and still jumped like 5 things so it kinda still counts tho?

1st Place: Novice Level
Dressage: USEA Novice A - 33.8% 
Stadium (max 2'11): clear

getting my shit together at Thornridge! would be a theme for the year ;)

May 5 - XC Clinic with Sally Cousins @ Shawan Downs

legit the only xc lesson we took all year, and it was a banger with Sally at Shawan Downs!

W: Novice Level
Dressage: USEA Novice A - 33.3%
Stadium (max 2'11): clear
Cross Country (max 2'11): W

still 'noped out' at the actual Shawn Downs HT bc mental health is hard sometimes.... tho show jumping was lovely, hands down one of our best rounds of the year. if you click through to watch one video, this might be your best bet

June 6 - MDA Schooling Dressage Show
2019 USEF First Level Test 1 - 62.9%
2019 USEF First Level Test 2 - 62.3%

struttin around 1-1 and 1-2 at the MDA show!! yep, turns out he was a first level horse all along!

July 17 - CT @ Thornridge Manor
1st Place: Novice Level
Dressage: USEA Novice A - 36.7%
Stadium (max 2'11): clear

gettin into the groove with Thornridge CTs, these events were so good for my mental game

there goes charlie just casually blowing my mind at the Fair Hill derby <3 <3 yea yea i fell off at the ditch, but eh who cares when your horse is just gonna go jump around like that!

August 21 - CT @ Thornridge Manor
4th Place: Novice Level
Dressage: USEA Novice A - 31.7%
Stadium (max 2'11): 16 penalty pts

bein a good boy again back at Thornridge CT, even tho we kinda went bowling whoops... 

dressing up in wings for the tranquillity hunter pace bc obviously

September 12 - MDA Schooling Dressage Show @ OF
2019 USEF First Level Test 3 - 59.86%

ooooh we did 1-3 at the next MDA show too! fancy pony <3

September 18 - CT @ Thornridge Manor
3rd Place: Novice Level
Dressage: USEA Novice A - 32.6%
Stadium (max 2'11): 8 penalty pts

truly, it was the Summer of Thornridge lol

October 10 - MDHT Starter Trial @ Loch Moy
6th: Novice Level
Dressage: USEA Novice A - 35.5%
Stadium (max 2'11): clear
Cross Country (max 2'11): clear

did manage to squeak in one full 3 phase horse trial tho, at Loch Moy <3 i'm really glad we made this happen even tho i fully expect to still deal with some anxiety paralysis about bigger shows womp

October 30 - CT @ Thornridge Manor
1st Place: Novice Level
Dressage: USEA Novice A - 30.7%
Stadium (max 2'11): 4 penalty pts

halloween CTs are best CTs. ok let's be real, any CT is apparently my jam!

November 8 - Fall Hunter Trials @ Tranquillity Manor Farm

or any derby sorta thing -- like the hunter trials pairs class at Tranquillity!!

December 23 - XC Schooling @ Tranquillity Manor Farm

tho obvi we never get tired of fun low key xc schooling, finishing the year off at Tranquillity


2021 was an important year for us, I think. Charlie was the healthiest and happiest he's been in the 5 years I've had the privilege of calling him mine. And I am proud of the work we did in solidifying our basics, while also staying true to the reasons why we do all this in the first place: to plain old have fun and enjoy this horsey life to the fullest! 

Friday, January 21, 2022

sitting the trot?

So. Ok. This blog is home to a long and tortured history on the various ways in which I kinda suck at riding. Specifically -- that whole bit about how to actually sit on the horse. Rider position and all that. 

This last year FINALLY felt like we opened a new chapter in that regard, tho -- aided almost entirely by the roughly half dozen(ish) lessons I've taken with Molly since September. 

photo of my attempt at sitting trot, circa 2019 dressage clinic at Thornridge. this pic basically serves as a comparison for all the others included below -- note the rotation of my legs from hip to toe. pc Austen Gage
(also, if you're reading this post on your desktop computer using a feed reader and the images aren't appearing... ugh, i'm sorry, i don't know why it's happening but it seems widespread across the platform... the mobile app doesn't seem affected tho, and of course all images appear directly on the site itself!)
Long story short, in that September lesson, Molly basically completely changed my leg position. Or, at least, she guided me toward the "feeling" I needed to recreate in order to commit this new position to muscle memory. 

The "feeling," for me, is like having my toes point toward Charlie's armpits, and when I want to turn, positioning both legs as if I'm on skis. So, if I'm turning left, both toes (and accompanying attached limbs) rotate left, bringing my inside left leg onto the horse at the girth, and my outside right calf off, with right thigh on

video evidence of said attempts here: link to youtube

It was not news to me (or to any of you, or to any of my many past trainers) that my clinging, nagging legs were counterproductive and poor form. But ya know. Knowing a thing is not the same as doing a thing. 

throwback picture to this summer, during the lesson where Molly first started addressing the rotation of my legs, working to get my calf and heel off the horse 
So finally being able to develop the right feeling and positional awareness was apparently what made all the difference. And we've been practicing that feeling ever since. 

The craziest part, tho, has been the almost immediate and undeniable positive validation from Charlie. I literally trained this horse with my legs glued to his side full time. Everything -- and I mean everything -- he has learned from me, was learned via a shit ton of leg

putting the new positional mechanics to work in 1-3 a couple days later
So imagine my absolute shock when I took my leg off..... And suddenly Charlie just, idk, breathed deeply (thanks to a newly liberated rib cage, I'm sure), and proceeded to instantly transform into a soft and supple and delightfully capable dressage horse. 

I'm not even exaggerating -- we rode First 3 in a show something like two rides after that transformative Molly lesson, and it was hands down the happiest and most attentive Charlie's EVER been in a dressage show environment -- despite being his most advanced test yet, natch. 

ok i know i know it's a different saddle from the very first picture, but i see real differences in how my leg hangs from the hip
I always thought part of what makes dressage so hard is that it's not "self evident" for horses. Like, you don't have to explain a jump to a horse. They don't need help understanding when a distance feels uncomfortable, ya know? Or when they knock a rail -- that's their own appendage hitting a pole. They experience it directly. 

Dressage tho... How do you explain a perfect 20m circle to a horse? Or a "late" transition? How does the horse know what is "good"?? 

Turns out.... It really is all about that feeling. Charlie knows when something feels good. Like stretchy trot. Sure, he can still lose balance and run onto his forehand... But he can feel that too. And the more Molly adjusts my position on the horse, the more easily I can stay out of Charlie's way so that he can just sorta innately achieve that softness and balance and suppleness -- longitudinally AND laterally. 

stirrups are at least 3 holes too short here haha but i like this pic bc you can really see how the change in leg rotation gives me a whole new foundation from seat through torso
This is playing out in our rides in two main ways:: 

Laterally.... Charlie just.... goes now. I used to think that lateral work with this horse required massive amounts of energy and manhandling and literally molding all 1,400 pounds of Charles into shape using my own 5'3 frame as rebar. But.... Now that I'm not death-gripping his rib cage with my calves, it's like I can sorta just adjust hip position, thigh contact, and rein flexion and Charlie just merrily floats right on along. Crazy. 

The second main way these changes are playing out is that... All of a sudden, I can actually sorta sit the trot. Like, don't get me wrong, it still kinda sucks. But I can DO it. Compared to that first video at the top from 2019, where I could only go a couple steps at a time then had to post again -- all the while being almost completely useless with the rest of my aids while attempting to sit.... Yea, it's completely different now haha. 

thank you charlie for being such a good dog while i try to learn this stuff!!! pc Amy Flemming Waters
And it's not like I can even specifically say what I'm doing differently either -- there isn't like a bulleted list of "My Top 5 Tricks for Finally Sitting the Trot!"  And naturally I currently have exactly zero videographic evidence that I'm even telling you the truth haha. 

But. It *is* happening. And to me, it's crazy. Honestly kinda exciting, too. Especially right now with the nasty weather and limited riding options, it's nice to have some new tricks to play with during our otherwise monotonous evening rides under the lights. Nice to have some "winter bootcamp" goals that are all about me, knowing that Charlie is basically already primed and ready to go once I get my shit together. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

awkward is as awkward does

It's been a quiet start to the year around these parts. Conditions were mild and reasonable.... right up until they weren't anymore. And the last few hoped for outings of the season (like a derby at Loch Moy!) were sadly swept away with the snow storms. 

pictured: boys literally taking down the fence bc of course the grass is always greener, right? (hint -- look for that white line trailing along the ground...)
But. Eh, nbd. It's been a pleasant sort of quiet. And Charlie's actually been doing really really well in our admittedly kinda monotonous routine. He feels physically incredible, after what was undoubtedly his soundest year on the books with me. 

and, naturally, by the time they finally got let out onto that grass, mother nature unleashed some murder on it, whoops. where there's a will, there's a way tho!
And we're still clinging on to semi-regular Molly lessons, emphasis more on "semi" now that it's winter. Charlie has learned so much from these lessons, it's incredible. 

Mostly our work in between sessions focuses almost entirely on me just... practicing the mechanics. It's almost as if the work is somehow innate to Charlie. Like, by the time I figure out how to achieve a certain position, he already knows the rest. It's cool. I like it. 

ooooooh that's nasty tho
But ya know. Charlie will be Charlie, lol. Sound or otherwise, he still can't really go all that long without some sort of interesting ding. And this time, it's a doozy of a looker on the point of his hock. Not hot, not sore. Kinda maybe a little itchy.... But just... funny? And big. 

the actual dimensions of a tennis ball tho, why omg
And I tried to be so so SO reasonable lol. I texted the vet, pointing out that he had a fresh tick bite all the way up the inside of the leg, and the whole thing up and down had a little bit of weird fill. Occam's razor, and such, we figured the simplest solution would probably be correct -- and the swelling was likely related to the tick bite. 

houston: we've found a source
Probably, tho, I should have kept investigating. Bc while our hypothesis was "tick bite," my treatment plan included movement and light exercise to work out the swelling. On Day 2, tho, I found a somewhat fresh wound that better explained the localized nature of his swelling.

legit had an identical wound on my elbow after falling backwards on a flagstone pathway a couple years ago
It's not a particularly significant wound, in and of itself, tho I did opt to rest Charlie rather than exercise him at this point just to help ensure it would heal quickly. 

yep, turns out, charlie bashed his own self on his own stall wall
Some additional sleuthing around his stall uncovered a small fresh looking blood smear on the stone outer wall -- right at hock height. Bleh. So, it kinda seems like it was self inflicted, but probably still a solid blow. 

Charlie's stall neighbor, adorable pony god of mischief Loki, is a notorious wall kicker at feeding times. And honestly this was one of my chief concerns when Charlie moved into this stall a couple weeks ago. But... to be perfectly honest, I've never seen Charlie even acknowledge Loki's antics, let alone participate or return fire. 

So... While the injury could have come from him kicking the wall, I'm more inclined to think he was just plain old awkward. Which.... Hopefully is a mistake he'll only make once? 

gross. but.... harmless?
Anyway. Again, the horse is VERY sound. And the wound healed in like two days... So he's returned to work without even the slightest hitch to his giddy up. My vet had wanted to take a quick peek early on, tho unfortunately a miscommunication meant the horse was turned out in the far pastures instead of kept in. So she just dropped off some scripts I ordered and assured me the horse would be fine. 

In our last Molly lesson, tho, she compared it to the "capped hocks" chronic condition that some horses have (where apparently they occasionally need to get fluid drained from the bursa?? idk), and encouraged me to work harder to get the swelling out lest the condition become permanent. 

ugh sir, you're still beautiful tho <3
My vet doesn't think that's particularly likely in this case, and rather believes the swelling will resolve on its own -- tho it may take a while because of the location. Just to be safe, tho, she's helped me source some expired Surpass. Bc just like everything else in the world right now, supply chain issues make getting things shockingly difficult haha. 

So. Here's to starting off the new year with an appropriately ridiculous, but ultimately (hopefully?) harmless, notch on the belt for Charlie, King of the Dings. Anybody else ever see something like this? Any tips or tricks for getting swelling out of a hock bursa???