Stephanie and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day(s)

Stephanie and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day(s)

After spending a very pleasant week in Mason City, Iowa at the USDF Region 4 Championships, I came home on Monday night and was greeted by a desperate, frustrated Johnny, two guys from a water damage restoration company, and three city utility employees.

A root ball had blocked the city’s sewer pipe, so sewer water was flowing out of our toilets and bathtub; it had been happening nearly all day before our sewer cleanout line could be located. Once it was located and the cap released, water drained into our yard instead of into our house (a vast improvement).

Our partially remodeled bathroom’s tile and brand new cabinets are expected to be fine, but about half of the other things in the house are a loss: the master bedroom carpet, one of the spare bedroom carpets, the hallway bathroom, the hallway hardwood flooring, some of our furniture. The walls will have to be opened and our insulation replaced and the studs dried out with dehumidifiers and fans. We went through something similar a couple of years ago when a pipe burst, but the sewage component makes this a bit more of a mess. Our homeowner’s insurance won’t cover the event, as the problem occurred with a city structure, so we’ll have to negotiate with the city for reparations for the damage. For now, Johnny and I are living large at the local La Quinta, the dogs are having the time of their lives at the barn, and the cats are living at home outside (they can’t stand the noise of the fans).

You might say, “But Stephanie, don’t you have a nice, new house to move into?” Well, sort of. We’ve been attempting to close on it for three weeks, but a problem with the deed has prevented us from doing so. The people we’re purchasing it from sold a chunk of pasture to my barn owner a few years ago, but the county never actually redrew the boundaries for either property or, apparently, recorded the transaction. Even now, we’re not sure if we’ll be able to close on Friday or if we’ll have to wait until Monday.

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And I’d just paid off my vet bill… :'(

Despite staying up far too late on Monday night, I dragged myself out of bed to take Gina to her vet appointment yesterday morning. Gina was full of piss and vinegar in the cool morning weather; she galloped around the pasture, bucking and squealing at me and nipping at Moe. She was scheduled to her 3-month ultrasound and a pneumabort vaccination. The vet inserted the ultrasound wand and looked. And looked. And looked. And finally told me what I’d already realized- “Looks like she’s re-absorbed the pregnancy.” She said it was fairly uncommon for embryonic death to occur post-heartbeat check, and assured me that we’d done everything by the book and that if I re-bred Gina in the spring, it probably wouldn’t happen again. (Most early embryonic death occurs between implantation at ~16 days and heartbeat establishment at ~45 days, and mares who chronically have trouble staying pregnant lose the embryo in that window.)

My breeding contract guarantees a live foal, and is good for 3 years, so re-breeding next year is definitely an option. My vet advised doing a uterine culture in the spring just to be sure Gina is clean, leaving the Caslick in, and proceeding as usual. It should be a moderately less expensive endeavor next year, as I won’t have two uterine cultures and treatments to pay for.

It isn’t all bad, though! Now that Gina’s not pregnant, there’s no hurry to get Candy ready for hunting by January. I can enjoy a full season of hunting on my best mare, and I can continue to work on improving my First Level scores through the winter and next year. Gina’s lesson kids can have just about a full show season on her next year. My budget is a bit more flexible now that I won’t have another mouth to feed in the spring. And let’s face it- that foal was probably going to be a gray gelding anyway!



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