Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where is november going?

Had a nice weekend. On saturday went out to the barn. Rode Classy in the outdoor arena and she was pretty hot so it took a while to get her going calmly with nice rythm. After she settled down we headed out to the fields. The barn is owner by a couple who trains thoroughbreds but are from England so hack them out the british way, not round and round in circles on a dirt track but on all these wonderfully groomed trails over the surrounding quarter sections. Classy and I went for a nice controlled gallop and good god that girly can move! Ended up by the south saskatchewan river which runs near the barn. Beautiful set of trails along the river valley edge. Lots of dog though but Classy was a very good girl with all the dogs. ALl in all rode over 2 hours which was a little long for Classy, but she wasn't hot or sweated up, just tired. DIdn't even want to eat when she got back, just wanted to sleep in the sun.

Trail ride by the river!!

Some photos from last week in the indoor

I keep trudgin away at the studying, December is going to be a rough month at school so I am trying to get as far ahead as I can.

My mom is coming for a short visit and I am so excited!! It has been so long since I got to see my family. Thusday we head home for a 3 day weekend and will be partaking of the fun known as Bar None with all my friends from undergrad.

Will post when I get back!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Best Day EVER!!

So yesterday there was a really cool surgery in. Last year they attemptd to fix a wry- nosed colt and it actually turned out really well. Now they had to do further surgery to remove a nasal septum in order to allow better air flow. I was running down to large animal surgery between every class to check on the progress. After class was over I went down to the equine ward and was asking one of the surgeons a bunch of questions about the surgery when a degloving laceration came in. De-gloving is when the horse lacerates around a point in its leg and peels all the fascia off down to a lower point. this horses entire leg from its elbow to its carpus was exposed with the huge skin flap hanging off it. The accident happened within an hour ago so It was repairable. Decided to take the horse to table top surgery. I was hanging around outside the surgery doors watching them prep when the surgeon I was talking to previously asked if I would like to come in on the repair. Of course I said yes! Hadn't been in on a surgery yet at school being only in second year. Surgeon lent me some greens so I didn't have to go down to laundry to find a pair and then I was in the surgery suite!!! Interns and residents were super cool, quizzing me on suture patterns, drugs, etc. I had an absolute blast!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boarding barn etiquette

Been busy catching up with all my class work that put off during mid terms. Gah there is so much to catch up on.
Classy has been going really well. She has muscled up so much all ready she looks like a different horse. We have been cantering lately and have also been going on trail rides. She has been so good. Learned what a half halt and is learning how to step up underneath herself more and carry herself instead of making me do it. I am sore! Its been a while since I have ridden such a big moving horse with regularity. We had a little accident on Saturday. It was nice out and the pony club was in the indoor arena so we were in the outdoor. She was cross firing into a corner a lost her balance and fell. We were both fine so I got back on and we continued on with our ride.
I have never really ridden in a big boarding facility, I have always ridden at Fern's place. Some of the crazy stupid neurotic things I have seen completely blow my mind. There is one crazy women with 3 very gorgeous horses all super well broke who lunges each of them for an hour every night (right when I am always there riding, and you aren't supposed to lunge when others are in the arena). I have never seen her ride them even though she talks as if she's won every ribbon available in the area. Strangeness number 2 is the electric heating pad under the saddle on the horse for an hour before riding every night which another girl is a fan of.
One last night takes the cake. The barn where we saddle up in is an old Mennonite barn with a fairly low ceiling. I am saddling up in one stall and hear a girl sacking out a young horses with the saddle in a neighboring stall. Okay cool, working with a young horse. She then proceeded to GET ON the horse in the small box stall with the ceiling so low that she couldn't even sit up fully. WTF! She was so proud of herself for getting on this horse for the 2nd time ever. I didn't say anything as I am the new person and don't want to come off as an ass or be somehow liable if she got hurt.
Should I say something?? what is proper boarding barn etiquette?

Camera is not working :( sorry, no pictures yet.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Midterms are finally over. FINALLY! Wrote the last one yesterday. It was microbiology and went a lot better then expected but I still managed to get all the silly swine organisms mixed up by then end of the exam as they all end in suis and parasuis! Room mates and I celebrated by going to a nearby all you can eat chinese buffet. YUM!
Then tried to go out riding but forgot that the arena is booked tuesday nights by a dog agility group. So Classy and I just visited and had a snack.
Been getting some grades back. Got 81% in pathology. We have had lots of students falling ill with H1N1 and so it will be a long wait for marks as we have to wait untill everyone has written the exam to know our marks.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Time off??? never!

Well although I made it through the tough week of exams, there were still a couple more to go so I have been hiding out and digging in deep to get through. Write the last one on Tuesday which is Microbiology. It has suffered from "last exam" syndrome up to this point, that is it has been completely ignored so I am a little bit worried. Oh well, we will prevail!
Friday night was the first happy hour of the school of which I was one of the organizers for. Of course it was in celebration of Halloween. It was followed with a pub crawl of which we will say no more.
I went as Dorothy from the wizard of oz...

Spent Saturday recovering and went riding in the evening after pony club was finished. Classy was super distracted by the fact that there were other horses in the arena. Couldn't go more than 5 steps without stopping and when she doesn't want to move she is adamant about it!! Well the other horses eventually left and then it was a 180 degree flip. All of a sudden all she wanted to do was MOVE and do so at a very fast very disorganized trot. not good for hungover rider. No more sweet feed for her!!
Sunday morning went again to the barn. Took a crop with me just in case we had to "i don't want to move argument" again. it was good thinking on my part. We spent this morning ride just working on listening to leg signals and giving to the legs. After a short time with some stick reinforcement she caught onto the idea and we had a great ride. Lots of transition work to get her listening and more responsive.
Then went home and studied all day for microbiology.
I took my camera to the barn to get some pictures but unfortunately it died before I got on...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I'm a survivor!!

I made it through the week of hell!!! Still 2 midterms to go but they are quite spread out over the next couple weeks.
Went riding yesterday afternoon after the last exam, it did wonders to help clear my head. Then some friends and I went out for a celebratory dinner to a really good local mexican restaurant. yumm!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A breath of fresh air

Been out riding sunday and tuesday and again today! Classy has been doing really well, everyone at the barn thinks she is just stunning and can't get over how well behaved she is!!
Here is a video from today, everyone was busy so I set the camera on the mounting block so just fast forward through the horse-less parts. The weird background noise isn't be saying whoah a hundred times a minute, its pigeons.
I had SUCH a fun time this afternoon, back to the parasitology books though now for me!

Monday, October 19, 2009

exams, again

Well it is semester turnaround week. Had a pharmacology midterm today that invovled verabtum memorization of 98 different drugs along with their method of actions, contraindications, etc along with a bunch of theory.
tomorrow is a virology final
Friday is a parasitology midterm
Its a rough week from our standpoint!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day one:

Woke up early this mmorning, and by early I mean 8 o'clock as I wanted to get to the barn early before anyone else started riding in the arena as I wanted to lunge Classy out good before I got on her. Got to the barn and gtrabbed Classy, saddled her up in the barn then headed over to the arena. We lunged for about 20 minutes and at first she was a little heads up and crazy but she eventually settled down. She had never been in an indoor arena and everything was a little spooky at first. After lunging I grabbed one of the girls doing morning chores to give me a hand getting up the first time as I was a little nervous. Clasy though was a doll, it was like she never had any time off and she sure works better when she has some room to move. We did a lot of walking, serpentines, circles and whoahs and ended with a good 5 minute trot doing similar. We then went back to the barn and untacked, she got her goodies and then I turned her back out.
So I have a horse, and indoor arena, other girls to ride with, but you know what was missing: my mom. Mom has always gone riding with me ever since I was born, she was the person to spark my love of horses and even though she may not always ride, she is always there to debeif with after riding and be my ground man when things are a little iffy.
Sorry, no pictures.No riding till wedndsday but will probably drive out to check on her tomorrow night.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A horse of course!!

Classy arrived in fine style this afternoon!! She seemed no worse for wear after her 7 hour trailer ride from Alberta other then a little stocked up.
Met the barn manager Liz, she showed me around the place before Classy arrived! It is a really nice place you can see here at E and J stables It was pony club day so there were a lot of moms and younger girls around. Everyone was so helpful! The barn is an old Mennonite barn with stalls and feed storage on the main floor with tack storage in the loft above and its kind of a free for all, claim a space and utilize it as you see fit. That has me a little worried but I will survive. There is a nice indoor and an outdoor ring with riding from 6am to 11pm. Tons of trails maintained throughout the winter in the neighboring fields as well as a 1 km ride to the river valley with lots of trails.
Once Classy arrived we walked around for a while to stretch her legs and get used to the sites and sounds of the place. She's not used to a busy stable but she will certainly be bomb proof after a little time there(as well as pigeon proof, she thought they were terrifying!) After about an hour of walking and rubbing her legs down I put her in her pasture. Large pasture with about 10 other mares. Classy was a little bit shy and got pushed around at first but eventually buddied up with a big paint and dark bay and managed to get in at a hay bale.
Tomorrow I am heading there early in the morning to get a good lunging session in the arena before it gets busy and then hop on up and get the filly and myself back working! I am so excited I don't think I'll be able to sleep.

A gelding at the barn my mom will drool over

Classy and her buddies

All she wanted to do was eat

More eating

and a picture of Louie helping mom study...


Last weekend was thanksgiving up here in Canada which meant a long weekend for me!!
Got off of school mid day Friday and drove my truck back to Alberta. My grandparents were visiting from Manitoba for the weekend and it was really nice to see them. Spent most of Saturday helping Fernvalley with weaning, holding horses for the farrier and freezing in general. Sunday we set up panels for the winter pen for Eurus and Phoenix and went and got bales for the babies. Mom and I even got out for a ride in a short burst of sunshine! We then went home and ate turkey(which I got the majority of the leftovers from!)
Monday was pretty much clean up and get ready to make tracks back to Saskatoon. The weather had been iffy for the past week, but I was an hour out of Edmonton when I ran into a huge snow squall with zero visibility and very icy roads. Truckie and I ended up in the ditch at one point and luckily I have 4x4 low on it so we were able to climb back out. Then later in the drive an hour away from Saskatoon I stopped for gas and managed to lock my keys in the truck. So 2 hours later someone finally comes to unlock the truck for me. It was a very long and eventful drive back!
I did absolutely zero studying over the weekend so really had to buckle down last week as midterm season is upon us! I wrote a general pathology exam on Thursday and am spending the weekend studying pharmacology, parasitology and virology for exams next week and.....

CLASSY IS COMING TODAY!!!!! I am so excited!! I will post pics once she arrives.....

Digger and I

Mom on Blue

Deer in the field

Tossing bales

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Its been super busy here but not a lot interesting has gone on. It turned very cold and has done nothing but rain for the last 2 weeks. It was-6 when I woke up this morning!!
Last week, thursday--> sunday was a huge open house at the vet college that is put on every 3 years known as vetavision. All students work at a booth (I worked at the dairy booth). There are things like large animal surgery, small animal surgery, clinical pathology, gross pathology, bugs and worms, wildlife medicine, exotic medicine, etc. there are over 30 exhibits!! all students also had to volunteer at admissions, concession, gift shop, etc. all in all it was about an 8 hour commitment all 4 days for me. Here is a clip from the local news on vetavision if you want a peek at what went on! There are also live animal demos such as the dairy booth, petting zoo, poultry, beef, horses, llamas,sheep, alpacas, exotic animals, fistulated cow that you could stick you hand into, etc. All in all it was a success but left me tired and a very unproductive weekend homework wise. It was fun setting up though as we had to move about 200 bales and I love moving bales. It was a fun alternative to class :)
click here to see a clip on vetavision
I am super excited for the upcoming thanksgiving long weekend. Can't wait to go home, see the family, the horses, and just forget about studying for 3 days! Grandparents will be down from Winnipeg who I have not seen in a very long time.
I've also had to get a new lap top as my old girl finally died on me and classes have been going so fast I can no longer keep up with pen and paper! The 1st laptop I bought was a dud so I am now on new lap top #2. Hopefully its a keeper!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

the first is always the worst

Well, as i posted earlier, i wrote my first exam of the new school year last week. The first is always the worst. I always find myself wondering if I will still stack up with everyone else? am I still good enough? will I survive this year? At least this year it was a fairly easy midterm that I managed to get 95% on! That is a lovely little confidence booster!
Will post again later this weekend about vetavision, the vet school open house that is going on over the next 4 days(which = no real school!!!)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

and so the "just in time" scenario begins!!

It's hard to believe it is the first day of fall, and was also the day of my first midterm!!! It was a relatively slack course and the midterm was very easy, but we'll see what the verdict is in a couple weeks when the grades arrive. The course is called evidence based medicine and currently has been teaching us about the science of trashing research papers. Very scintilating
Second midterm is Thursday and is Virology. Pretty self explanatory there, but we still have crazy long days and are starting to drown in the memorization piles. Between the different viruses, bacteria, parasites, and drugs we have thousands of things to memorize. Big thanks to who ever invented the flash card!!
I am also anxiously awaiting the arrival of fernvalley's mare Classy, it will make being out here so much more bearable and give me an incentive to get the homework done in a timely fashion and not waste time on certain websites.....
peace out!
I leave you with my boy Digger...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

the weekend

Well, not a lot of studying went on to say the least.
Friday night was the annual "round - up" event which consists of dinner, silent auction, and a huge dance. We were lucky this year in the fact that the first graduating class of wcvm, the class of 1969, came to party with us! Room mates and I started out at a friends house "predrinking", in order to save money once at the party. We play a drinking came known as sociables which is quite fun. We then walked to the hall where the dinner and dance was at.
The wcvm has a tradition known as "skits", where the class hosting the upcoming event does 5 short 5-8 min skits to advertise the upcoming event to the other classes every day. Here are a couple examples. They can either be digitally done or live.

skit examples


Room mates and I dressed up for the party! (I am in green)

So partied hard Friday night.

Saturday was the annual softball tournament. I have never played softball before so figured I would give it a shot! There were about 30 students who crawled out of bed hung over and got to the field. Had a lot of fun, actually managed to hit the ball as well as get hit by the ball (I have a few bruises). There was also a lot of beer drinking going on! It was a beautiful sunny day around 26 degrees so It was a lovely way to spend the day.

my first attempt at hitting the ball, I not only managed to hit the ball but also get hit by the ball in the course of the day.

That's hard work!! Refueling between matches

Look alive!

Pets had fun too!

Sunday I did the dreaded landry now that our machine was fixed. Also caught up on homework by studying in the backyard and enjoying the lovely hot weather. Roomies and I ate lots of icecream too ;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Have you ever had a day when everything just "clicks"? I finally did!! Had a lot of general pathology today which is a very interesting course as it is the first time we are learning the science of how things go wrong.

We have an amazing professor who uses great analogies to help us get the concepts and is a big supporter of jumping right in and getting in there, "you learn nothing from the sidelines and we are all here to learn from every ones mistakes" are his famous quotes. He expects a lot of us and ensures everyone gets a chance to practice.

So far we have been learning how to describe lesions, come up with morphological diagnoses and learning the pathology behind things like the different kinds of abscess', cell death, organ change, etc.

The class really comes into its own though during the labs. The labs are held in the pathology seminar room, and 24 students from the class head down and working in pairs diagnose a lesion. The rest of the class then enters the bleachers and the 24 students take turns going through their specimens with the prof correcting them at the end of their presentation, I unfortunately was in the first group of students to have to do this.....

So I have a brain covered with these little black spots. Description: random multifocal to coalescing black round lesions 2mm to 5 mm in size. The lesions are invasive into the cortex and not well demarcated. morphological diagnosis: multifocal melanosarcoma of the brain. Sounds impressive right? after only 1 lecture? AmAZING! (fortunately the profs other favorite quote is "you are allowed to remember" and I remembered the brain from a photo in the previous lecture ;) ) This is never the less a harrowing experience as you stand in front of your peers blowing smoke out your you know what and preparing to get a lecture from the prof on how everything you just said is wrong.

And yet I am amazed at how much we have learned. We actually sound like doctors!! Another component of the class is a seminar at 430-530 Tuesdays and Thursdays as the clinical pathologists from the schools diagnostics center for the public presents interesting cases from during the week. Not only did I understand everything in seminar today but I actually was able to clarify some lingering questions from a case I saw this summer!!!
It is so nice to be learning something that comes off as being so relevant to our future careers, but also that I understand it!! This is reassuring....

Pathology lab during open house:
the room has an amazing video and live streaming televisions so no matter where you sit you always can see the good parts!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Whirlwind weeks!

Wow! Busy first couple of weeks.

The first week of class went really well. Lots of parties as we now second years welcome the new batch of firsties to the program. Welcome bbq Monday, Tuesday recovery, Wednesday night was hurricane party(where we have house parties, get our first year buddies tipsy, dress them up in silly costumes and take them to the bar), and the list goes on. Lots of fun.

The jello shots for hurricane party that I hosted
The start of the party
The costumes
The end of the party, oh dear!!! At least it wasn' me this year!

First weekend was pretty slow, not a lot of homework yet so went for ice cream, to a nice pub called Winston's, and spent Sunday sun tanning down at cranberry flats, a local beach along the south Saskatchewan river (it was +30!) Also biked over 35km till i got a flat tire.
The second week we buckled down to class. We are currently taking general pathology, virology, evidence based medicine, micro biology, pharmacology, medical imaging, pain and analgesia, and parasitology (enough with the _ologies!) It was a long 3 day weekend this last weekend so my room mate from last year who house jumped with me came home with me for the weekend. We had fun riding horses, playing badminton, and enjoying my moms fabulous cooking!! I sure makes me miss living rural though.
What biking in Saskatoon looks like!
Sun tanning by the river
Swimming in the river!
Sydney and I our for a ride at Fernvalleys place on Greymares horse Blue and my gelding Digger!
Go Sydney!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reloaded and ready for action!!

Here is a recap of the summer.
Work was amazing. I got to work with alpacas, bot belly pigs, dogs, cats, chickens, horses, bovines, and everything in between. After meeting up with classmates for a bbq Saturday and swapping summer tales I got to do an unbelievable am out of hands on at the clinic I worked at. I did everything including: monitoring anesthesia, all iv injections on every species, intubating surgical patients and prepping for surgery, geldings, lots of palpating and ultra sounding, AI, and the list goes on. I was very sad to leave there and come back to Saskatoon but am reassured as they have offered me work post graduating as well as other potential opportunities!

ultra sounding dairy cattle, see the fetus on the monitor?

A truly shit eating grin for fern...

Alpaca baby(called "cria")

Ultra sounding horses

Elk herd surveys and counts for CWD

Lived out at the farm and spent every waking moment with the horses. Diggers was a saint after an initial period of him being super crazy excited about working. Got the barrel pattern down flat, jumped over 3' with the nice standards I built, got flying changes down and just had fun!

Worked with Eurus a lot. He is such a big boy but is such a gentle giant. He is willing to do anything as long as he knows there will be a snack involved. He long lines like a pro, takes a saddle(and a rider!!!) Only got on him once as he is only two but is all ready nearing 16hh!!
we've come a long way from here.....
to here!

Also been riding a young mare of Fernvalley's Classy. She went to a trainers for 30 days(the future vets new rule about riding young horses that are not hers). She has been a real sweet heart and I can't wait for her to get here. Yep that's right! I will have a horse while at school!!!! Sanity will be that much closer this year.

And had lots of fun in between
Went to watch Lipizzaner's and cried they were so beautiful

Hiked to the top of a mountain with my bro

Got very drunk at an outside concert with my lil sis so badly that fernvalley had to come peel me off the side of the highway puking.

Bought my first vehicle!!

and took in lots of the beautiful Alberta scenery
All in all it was a fabulous summer, but I am still excited to be back at school. This first week is pretty hectic with us 2nd years throwing many parties for the 1st years but there is some real class.
Will post as the ride gets going for the 2nd time around!