Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Minis are coming the Minis are coming!

Well this is one excited family. Around October 19th, we will be the proud owners of two miniature horses. They are both males, and the buckskin paint's name is Gizmo and the bay's name is Cavallino. We purchased them from a lovely couple named Debbie and John Driggers at Delta Shamrock Farms. Gizmo is around four months old and Cavallino is six months old.
Why you may ask are we getting two miniature horses? Well, there are lots of reasons. We have always loved horses and once owned a quarter horse named Chap. Julianna and Emily spent a year riding at a friend's ranch and were both good riders and very much loved it, but Julianna in particular LOVED IT. Last October she broke her ankle (not related to the horses) and it healed and she did rehab, but several months later she began to have weakness, sharp shooting pains, and discoloration in that foot. After x-rays, MRI's and several doctor visits of all sorts, we got two diagnoses of CRPS. CRPS stands for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which is a nerve illness and it used to be called RSD (Reflexive Sympathetic Dystrophy). We have two friends with this illness and it is capable of rendering someone wheelchair bound or in horrible pain for life. The good news is that many times it goes into complete remission in children. It's a hard syndrome to understand but the basic way it works is that when a part of the body is injured, the CRPS can travel to that part of the body and tells the nerves there to continually fire. This causes the sharp shooting pains, sensitivity to cool air, or even a fan blowing on that part of the body, severe pain, and weakness. The solution for this is to desensitize the affected nerve by using that part of the body and trying to get the nerves to "shut off"- not completely but to stop "overfiring".
Jules has had the episode in her left ankle which lasted for four weeks and a couple episodes in her right hand causing pain from her ring finger up to the wrist and weakness in that hand and wrist. Riding horses is not permitted, due to the risk of severe injury if she were to fall off the horse. We can't put her in a bubble but we have to limit the chances of her getting severely injured. So that means for the time being that riding horses is off the menu. So we prayed and talked and started thinking about ways that she and our family could still enjoy horses without the risk and my dear friend Laurel suggested getting a couple of miniature horses. They cannot be ridden due to their size but are horses in every other sense of the word. They are about 30 inches tall at the shoulder when full grown and are very easy to keep. So for Julianna's 12th birthday we took her to the Driggers' farm and told each girl to pick out a horse. I thought she was going to faint. So Jules picked Gizmo (the girls named the horses) and Em picked out Cavallino. This is very much a family project and this will be another way for us to spend time with our children at home, outside, and all helping with the care, feeding, grooming, and loving of these tiny treasures. The hand exercise in grooming and training them will be just what the doctor ordered for Julianna's hands and will be great for both of the girls. They can be walked like dogs (funny, huh?) and taught to do tricks, but mainly they are going to be here to be loved, trained to be handled, and to be another great way our family can bond. As the girls get older there are alot of things competing for their attention- good and bad. We encourage the good things such as youth group, good friends from school and things like that. This will be another good activity that they can share with those friends and family. We'll keep you posted on the babies' progress. Right now we have a run in shed to build and a pasture to get ready. YIPPEE!!!

1 comment:

Donna said...

Yippee!! So, where will they stay, in the pasture beside your house I assume? They're beautiful horses, I'm sure the girls are crazy excited!