Monday, 30 January 2012

Horse and Heart

Title sounds like it could be a magazine but of course it's not. However there is a message to tell. My post is somewhat late and will be a little short on content. I said I would return with pictures of a trek held early January and also a two day ride this weekend 28th and 29th but due to Stella still suffering from her skin problem I did not go on the ride even though she had improved enough to give it a try. Also, I could not go on the ride due to my riding friends refusing to allow me to go with them and rightly so. More about that at the end of this post. Enjoy the photos.
  The above photo was taken at the Whangarei Rodeo, my substitute for not being able to ride I went along for a look and thought I'd post a photo or two before addressing the second part of my saga, the heart.
Both of the cowboys in the above photo walked away unharmed. The bulls also were unharmed and went on to embarrass other hopefuls later in the day. The children also had a run, and in tradition with New Zealands national pastime the children were invited to capture and retrieve ribbons from sheep. No, I jest, chasing sheep is not really New Zealands national pastime. We tend to spend a considerable time at the beach fishing, or pig and deer hunting, bird watching, plus horse trekking. Now the townies, they spend their time gridlocked in traffic, going nowhere fast, and suffering road rage.
They are on there way, and no children were hurt by the sheep in the making of this photo.
No sheep were hurt in the making of this photo. If you have never tried to catch a sheep, believe me if it does not want to be caught you are in for a run. When I was a kid it was a greased pig we used to try and catch. The prize being the pig dressed ready for the BBQ. I never did get to hang onto one long enough to claim the prize.
Another one bites the dust.
The only thing hurt was his pride.
 Just a few action shots, but this post would not be complete if there was not a photo of Stella.
I got side tracked, this device is used to measure the width of the horses mouth and can assist in getting the correct bit size. Run a light rope from the hole in the left end round the horses ears and secure to the right side. Place in the horses mouth in the position the bit would take and secure around the head. The wheel on the right end can then be screwed in to leave a gap a quarter if an inch each side of the mouth. Remove and read the measurement on the inside of the adjustable wheel. Take the measurement three times so as to eliminate mistakes. It is a handy tool to assist in getting the correct width of bit for ones horse.
 Here she is, badly in need of a wash and polish, and a comb through her mane and tail. But her skin has healed. She is holding a little weight however that will be corrected very soon when she goes back into work in prep for the next trek on 18 February.

My title horse and Heart. It is now time for the Heart. My story it may save your life.

On 23rd December while at work I developed pain in my back. I thought I had put my back out. By the end of the day I was feeling quite uncomfortable and spent the night with a hot water bottle on the sore spot between my shoulder blades.
The morning of the 24th I felt better but still with some pain, however as the day progressed and I tended to the horses the pain in my back had increased to the point I ended up with the hot water bottle on my back again. The pain was across my back and in my shoulder joints, also in the muscles under my upper arms. Both side.
25th Christmas day I felt fairly good, the pain only in one spot on my back bone between the shoulder blades. It was a restful day having a few beers and consuming far more food than my body required.
26th I did my normal morning clean up of horse poo and back came the pain. Same place in my back, shoulder joints and upper arm muscles. Back to the couch and spent the rest of the day with the hot water bottle again.
27th, while hanging out some washing the pain returned. Each day it returned it was worse than the day before but I was still putting it down to having put my back out. However on the 27th the pain was high, on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 being unbearable, it would be at an 8. I felt so bad I drove myself to our town hospital 25 miles from my home.

The local hospital completed a number of test and told me I had suffered a heart attack and was promptly dispatched to a larger hospital in Whangarei where I spent the night being tested, treated and stabilised. Come the morning of 28th I was moved to the heart unit at Auckland hospital where I underwent a procedure to correct the defects found.

I am very lucky to be here and was told so by the doctor, another day without treatment I did not have.

My message is this. I have been told the symptom of a heart attack is pain in the front of the chest and down the left arm accompanied with nausea and sweating.

My symptoms were pain in the back, in the shoulder joints, and the muscles in the upper arms. The pain I describe as a deep ache. Should you experience any pain as I have described that last for 20 minutes get it checked. You may save your life.

So that is why my friends would not allow me to go riding, but now Stella has improved and I am now 4 weeks symptom free, I intend to be on the next trek on the 18th Feb and will return with photos taken from between the horses ears.

I will be taking a GPS with me on treks. Just in case the rescue helicopter is required.

If you are new to my blog grab a coffee or beer and have a look at all of the posts. You may find some useful information, specially if you are a new rider or an older new rider. On that note Stella is improving in her attitude and has now developed a curiosity not previously demonstrated. As time goes by she is more accepting of me. Happy riding.  


  1. Stan: I did not see bits or spurs in your blog. We would love it if you could visit Tom Balding's shop in Sheridan Wyoming USA, next time you are this way. Toms small team handcrafts all of his bits and spurs right here in Sheridan. I would love to answer any questions you might have or provide images for you if you are interested. You can see most of our products at . Because most are made custom to order we are also creating a product "creator" in which you can put together any combination you would like including finishes. We hope to have this up and running by mid March. Thank you! Desirae

    1. Unable to call in on your shop however I have had a look at the video on the manufacture of Tom Balding bits. It is a pleasure to see such craftmanship. There is a need for hand crafted in this world of mass-production and, a need to hand down those skills.