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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Adventures of Rowdy - Part 3

The Adventures of Rowdy - Part 3

Written by Kathy Richardson

Edited by Amanda Elia

Wooden Horse Wednesday is back in action! The company has had a busy and eventful summer but we are ready to bring you the conclusion of this series. 

You can read Part One of this blog series HERE and Part Two HERE, and the following is a brief summary: 
Kathy Richardson purchased an Equicizer to use primarily as a form of rehabilitation from a devastating accident. In 2016, she was driving to pick up her Blue Heeler from his final cancer treatment and was rear-ended by a driver traveling at a high rate of speed. The impact caused her to to glance off the car in front of her at an angle and eventually land far from the road. Kathy was left with broken ribs, debilitating swelling in her leg, and two torn rotator cuffs along with other health issues that continued to arise long after the accident. The repercussions from the accident left her unable to ride and train horses for almost two years! She received her Equicizer, Rowdy, in March. He is named after her heart horse, an Arabian she owned for 24 years. As Kathy began to ride Rowdy at home, she found her condition improving along with her spirits!

4/9/19 – Surgery day!!  I know it seems strange to be excited about another surgical procedure but after being in pain for so long, anything that is going to help, even if it involves more pain at the start, looks good to me.  Surgery went well. According to the surgeon, hip replacements are easier than knee replacements and the healing process is supposed to be much faster.  

Knowing I am allergic to adhesives, a different type of bandage was used on my incisions.  Unfortunately, I ended up being allergic to that adhesive too, so within a few days post-op the surgical site was bright red, inflamed and incredibly itchy.  Fortunately, the staples did not come loose nor was there any residual infection following the removal of the bandages.  

I began physical therapy one week post surgery.  I was actually able to walk with a cane instead of the walker which surprised everyone, especially the surgeon.  Within a few PT sessions I began experiencing pain and swelling in my left knee all the way to my foot. The swelling became so severe my toes looked like little sausages.  So, it was back to the electric reclining chair for ice and elevation after each PT session.  

Because of the pain and swelling in my left knee, PT for my hip was suspended.  I was tested for blood clots because of the pain in my calf. Thankfully there were none.  When asked if I could ride, the answer was no, because of concern regarding my knee, not my hip.  The surgeon had been excited to see me begin riding again post hip replacement, but until the mystery of my left knee could be solved, riding was once again, a NO.

A bone density test was ordered.  While it wasn’t conclusive, it did show there was a problem.  A few days later, my left leg swelled and burned from the knee down.  Off to the ER I went. Once again, it was thought I had a blood clot, so I was immediately sent in for an ultrasound.  I have had ultrasounds before, but this ended up being one of the most painful procedures. Every time the wand touched my leg I felt as though I had been hit with a hot shot.  Tensing only made it worse and made the procedure last even longer.

When the ER doctor came in after the procedure I learned I had a popliteal cyst in the back of my knee, and the largest he had ever seen.  According to him, it would be a simple procedure to remove it, but required going back to the surgeon.

I received a completely different prognosis from the surgeon.  The cyst was a symptom of a problem, and not the problem. So, an MRI was ordered.  Once those results were read, it was determined I had torn my meniscus so another procedure was scheduled.  Fortunately I was able to get in one week later which was July 30. I guess that is how it works when you are a member of the “frequent flyer” club.  

Surgery went as well as could be expected.  I woke up to less than stellar news. The meniscus was torn, and could not be repaired.  Once trimmed, the remaining piece stood straight up like a bad cowlick and refused to stay in place.  It had to be removed completely which left me bone on bone. The surgeon told me I would know in 2 weeks whether I would want to schedule to have the outside compartment replaced.  (The inside was replaced in June of 2018). I also learned I was never a good candidate for a total knee replacement. For me, two partial replacements will be better than a total knee replacement.  I learned my ACL will not be removed which will give my leg even more stability.

8/2/19 – While I took the entire week off to recuperate, I could not believe how much better my knee felt even though I am now bone on bone.  The pain is gone. Unfortunately, not the swelling, which is what both the surgeon and I were hoping for, but I am walking so much better, with much less listing. I feel incredible.  

8/3/19 – A blast from the past occurred today.  I was contacted by a woman I had met 6 years ago at a horse agility clinic.  I was invited to teach an agility clinic to 16 horses and campers on 8/9. I was thrilled she thought of me and she had no idea I had become a Horse Agility Accredited Trainer and judge which gave me more credibility to the camp director. My husband was worried I would overdo it since I had just had surgery.  The three clinics were going to take 1 hour each, with unknown horses.  

8/9/19 – The day of the clinic arrived.  I had spent the night awake, thinking about teaching, what I was going to say, wondering about the horse I was going to use, as I chose not to bring one of my own, while hoping it would not be too hot, rain, or my presentation would fall on its face.  A million scenarios had gone through my mind.

The day turned out to be a huge success.  I was given a horse who every counselor felt was a complete waste and turned him into a gentleman within 20 minutes.  At the end I had not only worked him at liberty, meaning no direct contact on the lead rope, but had him standing quietly, and attentively at my side without touching him.  I went on to teach 16 other horses how to be attentive to their handlers, while teaching their handlers how to be attentive to them. While no one advanced to liberty work, they all wove through a series of cones on a loose lead and back to the wall again.  I was exhausted at the end of the day but exhilarated too. I am finally getting my life back!!!  

8/12/19 – I am now two weeks post op, and met with my doctor to have the sutures removed.  The surgeon and I talked about the next step. I am going to start pre-hab physical therapy in order to build up my muscles for the replacement of the outside of my left knee.  The good news is that I am able to put it off until November, as going into the holidays tends to be a slower time for my business.

The next good news is that I am able to drive a car AND the BEST news is that I can begin therapy on Rowdy.  I was on Cloud 9 as I left the surgeon’s office and could not wait to get home and ride.

Once home, I immediately cinched the bareback pad on Rowdy, pulled up the step stool and mounted.  What a great feeling!!! I sat there and just enjoyed the feeling of being on a horse’s back again.  I was only able to stay on for 2 minutes before my muscles began to let me know they were starting to become unhappy, so with that I began the process of figuring out how to dismount.  My left knee is so weak that standing on the step stool to perform a traditional dismount quickly became impossible, for now. So, I had to lift my right leg over Rowdy’s head before being able to get onto the step stool, but I did it all by myself.  That alone, made me feel successful.  

8/13/19 – I got up early, dressed, and went into the front room where Rowdy lives.  After my morning cup of coffee, (first things first), I mounted up and this time began moving.  I managed to make it 3 minutes when I knew it was time to quit. This time I made the time per the timer on my watch. I still had to dismount by lifting my right leg over Rowdy’s head.  Whatever it takes to ride is fine by me. The stronger I get, the faster I will make it to a real horse.  

8/14/19 – I got up early once again, as I want to create a habit of riding every day and increasing my riding time.  As soon as I mounted I wanted to dismount. I could not believe how much my thighs ached almost to the point of burning.  This was NOT my idea of a good time. I rode the full 3 minutes but I kept checking the timer because 3 minutes felt like an hour.  I forced myself to sit quietly for another 30 seconds before dismounting. Then, I spent the day doing my best to ignore the pain.  

8/17/19 – I am happy to report I have ridden for 3 minutes every day.  Today was not only the first day I did not look at the timer; I also did not feel as though I had been riding for 3 minutes as it seemed to pass so quickly.  The feeling was exhilarating. I will stay at 3 minutes for a few more days to ensure this was not a fluke. Then I will begin increasing my riding time.  

We are so excited about Kathy's progress and proud of the role that Rowdy the Equicizer has played in her journey. With her determination, we are confident that Rowdy will one day become a compliment to Kathy's riding workouts on real horses. Leave your encouragement and thoughts in the comments below and please share this post!

Please contact us at info@equicizer.com if you are interested in what the Equicizer can do for you or someone you know!

www.equicizer.com

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Adventures of Rowdy Part 2

Below are the first few diary entries Kathy Richardson has made, chronicling her recovery journey with "Rowdy". If you missed Part 1 of Kathy's story, you can read it here.

3/5/19 – Rowdy arrives. The delivery happened at the barn so it was a few days before Rowdy and his delivery box were brought to the house, unpacked and assembled. Talk about easy!! Rowdy went together in a matter of minutes. Then, the next decision was where to put him.

3/11/19 – I wanted to make sure my doctor was OK with me riding Rowdy, so all I could do was admire him and give a ride to our boarder’s daughter when she came to deliver Girl Scout cookies. When I showed the website and pictures to my surgeon, he was totally OK with me riding Rowdy and gave me the go ahead as long as I promised not to overdo it.

How embarrassing to discover I needed a special step stool so I could climb on Rowdy, but I am using a bareback pad and not a saddle, per the surgeon’s recommendation. The next embarrassing moment was learning I could not swing my right leg over his back without assistance, so my understanding and supportive husband helped me lift my leg over him. To be on a horse was the most exhilarating feeling and for the few seconds I was able to sit, there was no thought that Rowdy was not real. Less than 1 minute later I needed to get off as the pain in my hip was excruciating. The final embarrassing moments were being unable to perform a traditional dismount, needing assistance to lift my leg over Rowdy’s head, instead of performing a traditional dismount, and then needing more assistance to get off the step stool. I was exhausted after that short ride.

3/13/19 - The pain from stretching unused muscles in my hips and core from my short time on Rowdy’s back 2 days earlier kept me from getting back on sooner. I have decided that until I am able to mount and dismount unassisted I will not ride alone. As I mounted from the step stool I needed assistance to lift my right leg over Rowdy’s back. Today I picked up the reins and moved Rowdy forward and back at a nice, slow easy walk. I managed to ride for one timed minute before stopping.

Once again, I was unable to lift my right leg over Rowdy’s back so my husband lifted my right leg forward over Rowdy’s head and then assist me as I climbed down the step stool. I could definitely feel the stretch in my hips and my core afterwards.

3/16/19 – I took another ride today. Ray had to lift my right leg over Rowdy’s back but it was not as painful, nor was my hip as stiff as before. I rode for another timed minute before feeling the need to dismount. I still needed assistance lifting my leg, forward and over Rowdy’s neck. There is no way I can swing my leg towards his tail, for now.

3/19/19 - I met with the Physical Therapist who will be assisting me following my hip replacement. I showed her the website with the Equicizer and received an enthusiastic OK from her, once again, with the caveat to not ride every day so I don’t overdo it. Today, I rode 90 seconds before needing to stop and dismount. While that might not seem like a lot of time, it felt as though I had been riding much longer. I could feel the stretch in my hips and my core and noticed I was not in as much pain as I was the first two times I rode.

3/21/19 - I had another pre-surgical doctor appointment today. As I was going down the stairs to the car I discovered the pain in my right hip was not as intense as before and my hip seemed looser and more cooperative. WOW!!! Already?? Amazing!! I keep showing Rowdy to every health professional I see and they are all encouraging me to ride, but remind me to keep it in moderation. I came home from my doctor's appointment, and I climbed onto Rowdy all by myself!! My right leg dragged over his back but I did not need to have help getting on, which was a huge victory!!

I sat on Rowdy for 30 seconds and then rode him at a gentle walk for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Another victory!!! I still needed help dismounting and had to have my right leg lifted over Rowdy’s head and neck, but I was able to climb off the step stool without assistance. Another victory!! But I overdid it, as I pushed myself to become independent.

3/24/19 – My right hip has been so sore that I was unable to climb onto Rowdy until today. My right leg still dragged over Rowdy’s back but I managed to mount unassisted again. I picked up the reins and rode at a gentle walk for 2 minutes, before dismounting. My hip was so stiff and hurt so much that my leg dragged up and over Rowdy’s neck as my husband lifted my leg to get my legs on both side of the horse. I needed help climbing down the step stool. So, 2 steps forward and 1step back.

3/26/19 – I climbed on Rowdy unassisted again today. My right leg still dragged as I put my leg over his back, but I mounted unassisted and my husband said I had better control over my leg. I rode 2  minutes at a slightly faster walk. I like the feeling in my core as I am building up my strength. It no longer feels strange. I had difficulty dismounting and had to slide farther back on Rowdy so my husband could lift my leg over Rowdy’s head. I have no strength to do it myself, and the pain from the joint is excruciating but I am confident I will get there, especially post surgery.

3/27/19 – I came home from the doctor, after learning my surgical date is 4/9, and decided to get on and see how much strengthening I could do between now and then. What a huge mistake I made. I hurt so badly I could not get off soon enough and was screaming in pain as my husband got me off Rowdy. It was a good, but unhappy, learning experience. I can see I won’t be riding every day for a long while.

4/8/19 – Today is the day before surgery. I had to stop all anti-inflammatory medication, since March 29 so with each passing day the pain has become excruciating and sleep has been eluding at best. Doing the day to day tasks has been more than enough, so I have sadly had to admire Rowdy from afar. But the end is in sight and I am so optimistic to have all of this behind me.

We're sending Kathy all of our thoughts and prayers as she is now 5 weeks post surgery. We will have another update from her soon to hear how her rehab with Rowdy is progressing! 


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

NEW Series - The Adventures of Rowdy

Kathy Richardson recently purchased an Equicizer to use primarily as a form of rehabilitation from a devastating accident. She received her Equicizer, Rowdy, in March and shortly thereafter came to us with an idea. She wanted to start a diary of sorts to document her journey back to the saddle using the Equicizer and was curious if we'd like to be a part of it. We said we'd love to and we are excited to announce that we will be working together with Kathy to bring you a new guest blog series "The Adventures of Rowdy". 

To kick things off, Kathy shares some backstory on what originally lead her to discover the Equicizer...


My name is Kathy Richardson. My husband and I own Rusty Bar Ranch, a boarding, lesson and training facility in Roy, WA. Life was good and my business was thriving until 9/20/16 when I was on my way to Olympia to pick up my Blue Heeler, Boo Boo from her final cancer treatment. I was less than 5 miles from my home, and slowing down for the upcoming traffic light, when I was rear ended by a driver traveling at a high rate of speed, who, according to witnesses, never even touched his brakes. The back of my seat broke; I twisted sideways and landed on the center console, breaking it and 4 ribs. I laid there helplessly, staring at the roof of my car, until it came to a stop. After getting out of the car I learned from witnesses exactly what had happened.

Following the initial impact, I glanced off the vehicle ahead of me, at an angle, flew over the northbound lane of traffic - which, fortunately, was clear as the light had just turned green - went straight between a telephone pole and advertising sign, barely 15’ apart, and missed the parked U-haul truck by inches, before coming to a stop 75’ from the edge of the road. Unbeknownst to me, at 3:32 PM that afternoon, my nightmare began.

Due to the severity of my injuries which included 4 broken ribs, not caught at the time of the collision, and an intensely swollen right leg, I had to stop all lessons, GS training days, and birthday parties. I also returned the 3 horses who had just arrived for training. It was 6 weeks before the swelling in my right leg went down enough to allow me to put on a sock and a shoe.

A month after the collision I began experiencing migraine headaches so intense that any sound, smell, or light made me violently ill. I have a friend with MS and while I could sympathize with her migraines, for the first time I could now empathize with her. After complaining to my doctor about my inability to lift either arm, (the result of having both hands on the wheel at the time of the collision) an X-ray in December revealed the broken ribs on my right side from landing on the console. X-rays also revealed that I had torn the rotator cuffs in both shoulders.

Starting in February 2017, I have had an injection in my spinal cord which finally stopped the migraines, rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder, an upper and lower GI in an attempt to understand why I could not keep food in or down, and 3 abdominal surgeries, over the summer, which eventually fixed the GI issues.

In December of 2017 I began experiencing a great deal of pain in both knees. PT did not help and in February of 2018 I was fitted for a knee brace to take the pressure off the inside of my left knee which was bone on bone. One month later I saw an orthopedic surgeon and in June of 2018 I had the inside of my left knee replaced. In August of 2018 I had the outside of my right knee replaced.

Since the collision I have been unable to ride my horses, teach lessons, or clinics, or drive a vehicle any further than from my house down to the arena and back again. Within a few months of my second knee surgery, the pain in my right hip became more intense and my gait was off balance and quite pronounced. Physiotherapy and PT only made the pain more intense. Even the orthopedic surgeon felt I needed to give my knees more time to heal so my gait could improve.

I decided it was time to do some research to see what I could use to get me back in the saddle again. I came across The Equicizer website, and read everything about them. A testimonial from a woman in Australia who had encountered many of the same health issues as me, as the result of a collision, resonated with me.


Meet "Rowdy"
I immediately contacted Frankie and Kayla, and placed my order in November 2018. In December 2016, I lost my best friend of 24 years; my 31 year old Arabian, Rogala Signet, barn name Rowdy. When asked if I would like to model my Equicizer after any particular horse, I immediately knew I needed to memorialize Rowdy, hence the upcoming blog, The Adventures of Rowdy. Each Equicizer is hand crafted and they are built in the order they are purchased however I wanted to be in the saddle NOW so I was still disappointed to learn I would not be getting Rowdy until February 2019, but I told myself good things come to those who wait and I was certain I would not be disappointed.

Rowdy arrived the first week of March. He was brought into the house, set up, and moved around a few times until we found the perfect location for him. He looks so much like my own Rowdy I was moved to tears. Frankie did a beautiful job recreating him from the pictures I had sent and I am so grateful. I hope you'll follow along as I begin my Adventures with Rowdy...

Kathy Richardson

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Equine Affaire 2019

Equine Affaire 2019 。°。°。°。°。°。°。°。°。°。°。°

Who:

°Equestrians, horse lovers, and anyone connected to the horse industry. There is representation from almost every discipline and breed under the sun! 
°Owner of Wooden Horse Corporation and Equicizer creator Frankie Lovato, Jr will be at the Equicizer Booth with Office Manager Kayla Jarvinen.

What:

°A four day expo with educational, entertainment, and shopping opportunities galore!

°We are bringing along two Equicizers (see SPECIAL OFFER below) and a limited quantity of All Purpose Riding Pads and Elastic Rein Attachments.

When:

°Thursday, April 11th through Sunday April 14th. The expo opens daily at 9am and goes until 7pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and until 5pm on Sunday.

Where: 
CLICK TO SEE A LARGER VERSION

°The Ohio Expo Center at 717 East 17th Ave, Columbus, OH 43211.
°The Equicizer booth numbers are 230/231 and we are located in the Bricker Building. If you enter through the main doors of the building, Equicizer is to your left down row 200.




http://picasion.com/gl/aZTm/




As we announced last week in our newsletter, we are offering a palomino Elite Equicizer at Equine Affaire for a 10% discount! This is a very special price, and in addition you will not have to pay the shipping fee. You can take the Equicizer home as soon as the event is over.


Regular price: $3995.00 + $450 shipping
Sale Price: $3595.50 + tax - no shipping necessary





We JUST learned that a SECOND Equine Affaire Equicizer has become available for the event! This is an Equicizer that was not available as of two days ago so we're excited to be able to offer it. This second Equicizer, a black Classic, was used in the filming of Celebrity Big Brother this year. This horse is also being offered at a 10% discount with the option to waive the shipping fee by taking it home at the end of the event.





Regular price: $2995.00 + $450 shipping
Sale Price: $2695.50 + tax - no shipping necessary



Note: At this time, these Equicizers are reserved for Equine Affaire attendees only. If a horse is not claimed by the event's end, it will be offered for sale afterward at the discounted price. Shipping charges will apply unless you would like to pickup from Norwalk, Ohio.