Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Unmounted Accident - Head to Head

" this pic you can see part of my stitched-up incision and the beginning of my black eye!"
I like to think that I’m an intelligent woman and I know that I’m a proponent of helmet use when riding.  However, as bright as like to think I am, I never, ever thought to wear my helmet when in the stall with my horse, when I’m grooming him or just simply leading him in the aisle or even outside for hand grazing.  So, it's with great embarrassment that I bring you this cautionary tale of my weekend with my horse, the wonderfully kind, Valentino!

The horse-flys were bad, they were out in full force and they “seemed” to be the size of small birds!  I was in the stall with Valie, admiring his shiny coat and noticing that he had begun to gain weight while simultaneously talking with my friend, Liz Morris, who was standing outside of the stall.  I wasn't paying close attention and without warning, Valie violently shook his head to get rid of those annoying, hard biting, flys and.... at that precise moment, we collided, horse head to human head!  Then, in the blink of an eye, I was thrown into the other side of the stall’s wall in slow motion (or so it seemed) and couldn’t get up.  Valie, stayed where he was, without moving at all and while on the ground, the one and only thing I remember was how vulnerable I felt and it wasn't because my horse made an advance or spooked while I lay there, he was so very good, it was just because the fear of "what could've been" was like a blinking, neon sign - front and center!
In rescue mode, Liz and my friend/trainer/instructor Lindsey Canesi dragged me out of the stall and boy, did the blood ever flow, it was in my eyes, it was everywhere, I was disoriented, in horrific pain, nauseous and couldn’t focus.  The ambulance was called and after what seemed like forever with an additional scare in the ambulance when my blood pressure dropped to a dangerous level, I was in the hospital getting cat-scanned and stitched.  Despite a diagnosis of a concussion, I did not have a skull fracture, hematoma or brain bleed and after getting stitched up, it was then I realized just how lucky I was and how close I came to possible death.  ....dramatic you say?  In my humble opinion, I don't think I'm overreacting!

So, tell me, what's your reaction to this story?  Are any of you like me, a person that never gave a second thought to wearing a helmet unless you are just about to get in the saddle or are you someone that thought about wearing your helmet while doing any kind of ground work and just never got around to it or….are you one of the smart ones that wears a helmet from start to finish!

There it is, my story, and I've told it to as many people who will listen and to as many equine and and equestrian related social media sites that I can find.  Furthermore, I've made a firm decision to wear my helmet whenever I'm working with my horse because I just don't want to make the same mistake and expect a different result (they say that's the true meaning of insanity!).

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sunflower Meadows Equestrian - Lindsey M. Canesi

It's with great pleasure that I bring this announcement to my blog!  My boy Valie and I have entered "boot camp" with my Friend and Trainer/Instructor extraordinaire, Lindsey Canesi of Sunflower Meadows Equestrian.  You can find information about Lindsey on her website and you can also find her on Facebook, where she details the daily happenings at the farm!
SME is located at the beautiful Spring Garden Farm, owned by Kerri Arruda and located in Rehoboth, Massachusetts
The following photos shown are of Lindsey in the irons as well as several pics of the beautiful farm!  We have the good fortune of being able to train in the incredible indoor arena or outside in the Dressage Ring or on any number of beautiful trails that begin right on the property.  Further still, the turnout is incredible and my boy gets to enjoy "grass" grazing!  And, he is one happy camper!  However, I must also tell you that the reason we entered said "boot camp" is because things slowly slipped out of my control while at my friend Liz's barn.  But, let it be noted that Valie's bad behavior is no reflection on the level of extraordinary care that she provided.  Apparently Valie seemed to think that he longer had to and certainly no longer wanted to "work" anymore.  Hmmmm, somehow in that handsome head of his, he decided that he was retired and that meant, no rules applied to him.  The once docile horse I know and love became hard to handle, pushy and even somewhat dangerous.  I blame myself for this change in behavior because I was experiencing so many health and personal issues that I was no longer able to devote the same amount of time to him that I had for so many years but........things are already on the upswing and I have high hopes for a positive outcome!  Moreover, being that this beautiful farm is a very long drive for me, almost 1 hour/15 minutes from my house to the barn, being in "boot camp" is only temporary and when he "graduates" we will move him even closer to me than before!
November 1, 2014
Valie's days at boot camp have ended and while we did accomplish our goal, reverting "bad boy" behavior back to "good boy" behavior, other goals were not met and he did not fare well during his period of encampment.   And, as such, we are now in our new home and I will blog about said move and our new barn very soon!
"Over Fences"
Lindsey and Luna

 "....presenting  a few pics of the beautiful Spring Garden Farm, located in Rehoboth, MA and owned by Kerri Arruda!"
....view of the pasture turnouts, the barn and the indoor from across the pond

 ....the incredible tack room

                                                                    ....the spacious indoor         


Monday, February 24, 2014

Cosequin presents the OTTB Showcase & "Class Always Shows"

Cosequin Presents The OTTB Showcase 
Showing Class, Patience, and Understanding
 The Paulick Report - Thoroughbred Horse Racing News

Class Always Shows

I began to think about a return to blogging sometime after the first of the year.  But, being that I live in Massachusetts and we're experiencing one of the most horrific winters seen here in years, The Adventures of Cathy Ann and Valie had turned into The Non-Adventures of Cathy Ann and Valie!  In other words, there wasn't any horsey news in our lives!

My wonderful best friend, Liz Morris and her private Dressage barn, Pinebrook Farm continues to be a home to Valie and I!  We are very happy boarders amidst all her dogs, horses, a pony and a mule, a rather large pig, numerous chickens, two cows and assorted other barnyard invaders but one little downside is that we don't have an indoor arena.  Alternatively, we do have an outdoor ring (not useable in this weather) and an indoor round pen and as nice as it is, it's even looks like a covered Carousel, it's cannot take the place of a standard sized indoor.  And frankly, even hoofs with borium shoes can barely maintain balance on the kind of ice we're seeing this year so what to write about when you can barely walk your horse from the barn to the paddock or the round pen, ahhhh, nothing! 

So, without even one interesting equine anecdote, I turned to searching the internet for new and interesting equine sites, to research, to view, to make me smile, to shop, anything to keep me apprised on what's happening in the equestrian world and along the way, I stumbled upon a very interesting young woman.  Her name is Jen Roytz and she is the Marketing and Communications Director at the famous Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky,  And, after communicating with one another for several days, she asked me if I would be willing to be interviewed for the Cosequin sponsored series she's writes for racing site, The Paulick Report,  This series, The OTTB Showcase, is all about ex-racers in their new lives with their new owners!  And as for Valie and I, she asked how we became a team, what we've experienced and where we're at in this moment in time and thereupon, she created what I happen to think is a wonderful story about our life together!

Monday, September 2, 2013


Here's a Hot, Humid, Summer's Day photo that depicts my boy, Valie, thoroughly enjoying a shower!
This photo does double duty - for one it shows you a horse that's truly enjoying himself while also reminding us that it's time to say, "Bye, Bye" to summer while simultaneously opening the door to the pleasure of  riding in New England in the Fall! 

And as for Liz, my friend and BO, the change of seasons is especially delightful because she no longer has to worry about hosing down all the horses.  And, since Valie is the only one that loves getting wet and the others give her a very hard time, that difficult aspect of horse care-taking is over until next year (unless, of course, we experience an Indian Summer!).

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Rest In Peace, Elena Asunta Yung

"'s been a long time since I've even visited my blog much less made an entry herein.  But, with so many changes in my life and a renewed devotion to riding, it's time to put the fingertips to the keyboard.  However, this post will not be related to horses and although I will return to blogging-all-things-equine in a day or two, I am devoting tonight's Blogger re-entry to the sudden death of Elena Asunta Young, a beautiful young woman that was about to become my daughter-in-law and whom, along with my son, had already given me the gift of three beautiful grandchildren.  I have chosen to copy a Mother's Day entry I made on Facebook because even though it's a few weeks old, it continues to mirror the very essence of how I am feeling and surviving.

"....on this Mother's Day, it is with a broken heart and unspeakable sadness that I write to let my Facebook friends know that my son, Ricky Dellacanonica, lost his fiancĂ©e, the love of his life, the beautiful and kind hearted, Elena "Lena" Yung, when she passed away on Wednesday, May 8th, of this past week.

In addition to leaving my son and myself, she leaves the children, Elijah Nieves, 8 years old, Isaiah Dellacanonica, 5 years old and Jordan Dellacanonica, 8 months old. She also leaves her wonderful parents, people I call friends and family, Ed and Kathy Yung, her brother Ryan Yung and many other family members and friends.

How are we supposed to accept a tragedy of this proportion? A 28 year old woman, so pretty, so talented and with so much to live for is suddenly and inextricably taken from everyone that loves her. And, in a split second of time, we are left to grieve a loss so monumental that words and expressions cannot even begin to describe how we feel."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Musings at Midnight

When I allow myself to think about the fact that I have not seen my Valentino for 6 weeks, I am saddened to the point of tears and to say that this pneumonia has "kicked my butt" is putting it mildly!  My most recent chest x-ray shows improvement but a nodule, albeit smaller, still remains in my lung and although I am better, the exhaustion continues to keep me from driving the distance to the barn.  I thank the heavens that he is at my best friend's private farm and had it not been for her and the excellent care she provides and the love she shows my horse, I would never have been able to concentrate on my recovery.  I am hoping that by this time next week that I will be on my way to the barn or at least planning a day when I can finally get there.  I can tell you that when I have a body that's actually up and running again, there will be no time wasted - all free time will be devoted to my grandkids, my dogs and my horse (and not always in that order).

Anyway, I thought I would devote today's posting to an old friend/trainer/instructor who was instrumental in getting me re-programmed back into horse ownership when Valie came into my life.  Her name is Liz Murphy and along with her husband, the wonderful Mike Murphy, they own and operate Legacy Stables in Mendon, Massachusetts.  Legacy is an incredible Morgan training and showing facility and to say that I think the world of them as it relates to the genuine "goodness" of these people along with their work ethic, their devotion to all the horses in their care, to the boarders and to the students is something that stays consistent and does not change with their ever-growing success as a stable and in the show ring, even on a National level.

I must admit that I was not one of Legacy's easiest students because as a woman in my early 50's, I constantly questioned my decision to become a horse owner again.  However, it was because of their faith and continued support in my endeavors or should I say my baby-steps, that when I finally moved on to a barn more fitting to Thoroughbreds and the Hunter/Jumper and then my discipline, Dressage, I was finally able to begin to recapture my former confidence and become the rider I used to be as a younger adult.  I can honestly say that this change came about because so much of the wisdom that Liz instilled in me during lessons, stayed with me, as I began anew elsewhere. 

So, without further delay, I bring you what I deem to be an incredible video (by JAS Equine Productions) of Liz in the show ring and with Liz's beauty, that of the horse she is riding, the dynamic music and the incredible performance that showcases her riding talent, this is one video that will make you stand up and pay attention!

Dragonsmeade Days Go On
And The Beat Goes On X HVK Noble Wine
Shown by
Elizabeth Murphy
Legacy Stables, Mendon, MA

BY JASEquine Productions

Saturday, December 15, 2012

From The Horse's Mouth - Dave Ribeiro

*photo credit to Equine Dental Services

I have Bacterial Pneumonia and am now well into the beginning of my 3rd week of being so ill that's it's an effort to walk from the bed to the bathroom.  I wonder how someone, like myself, who always dresses carefully for all types of weather, could have picked up a cold that turned into this dreaded illness.  I realize that the flu is not the same as pneumonia but I can't help but wonder because after almost 15 years of NOT having a flu shot, I get one this year and in less than a month, I am hit with this debilitating sickness!  Is there any correlation?  The Doctor tells me a resounding, "No"; so, I continue to think about things like, "....was I close to anyone that was ill, did I notice anyone that was coughing, sneezing, etc.?  I just don't remember but I continue to dwell upon the fact that I haven't been sick like this in a gazillion years and I'm annoyed and impatient and missing my horse like crazy!

During this down time, I have taken to making lists, lists of things I have either put off  and/or neglected and I am ashamed to admit that the top item on said list is a dental appointment for Valie.  I figure if I say it out loud, I will commit to making it happen! 

Therefore, without further adieu, please allow me to introduce a man that I like to think of as "the" premiere equine dentist in New England........

I recently realized that Valie is overdue for his visit with the dentist and as such, I am about to send an email to his dentist, Dave Ribeiro of "From The Horse's Mouth", with a plea to come out as soon as possible!  Being in a thoughtful mode this evening, I found myself thinking back upon Valie's previous visits with Dave!  And then, I remembered Valie's past experiences, pre-Dave, and what a nightmare it was for him and for me too.   When I stumbled upon Dave (thanks to Mike and Liz Murphy of Legacy Stables , I found a practitioner that had honed his craft so well that my horse didn't need sedation, even on his very first visit with him.  However, the prior two visits, one with a Vet and the second was with another Equine Dentist, were horrific and gruesome.  The Vet, who had no business practicing dentistry, scared my horse to the point wherein he was literally backed up into the corner of the wall and shaking like crazy!  The second visit was someone who had been touted as a great dentist but he refused to work on my horse unless he was sedated and that would have been fine, had he not scared my horse with his overbearing body language upon just walking up to him and frankly, I too would have requested sedation for myself if that big ol, mean-spirited dentist had walked up to me!

The following is my own testimonial and it was taken directly from Dave's web page:
"Dave, you truly impressed me with your knowledge of....
of equine tooth care and I clearly remember that you took the time to explain what work was done in a manner in which I, as an owner, could easily understand. Moreover, the skill in which you worked on Valie was evident because from the outset, the fact that he didn't need sedation proved that your easygoing manner and the connection you made with him must have earned his trust and put him at ease and that is a gift to the horse and the horse's owner! You made such an impression on me that I felt as if I had to write this testimonial to let you know that your work caused me to stand up, take notice and hold a clear memory of what transpired! You can be certain that I have and will continue to highly recommend you to anyone that needs an "Equine Dentist".”
~Cathy Ann Savino-Kedzierski

From The Horse's Mouth
Dave Ribeiro, EqDT, IAED-Certified
Cell: 508-846-6065
Office: 508-622-0059