Sunday, September 29, 2013

Why Do We Blog?

I began a blog really to reach out into the horse world and connect with other people.

I wanted to share my ideas.

I wanted to get new ideas.

I wanted to share my stories and cool things with anyone who felt like listening.

I wanted to learn how to do new things I had never even thought of trying before.

One reason I did not start a blog was to feel beat down by people that read my blog.

If you don't have anything nice to say than don't say anything at all.

Each and every one of us has blogs about our horses because we care about our horses and do what we think is best for them.

Everything I do with my Pony, I try to do for her own good.

Sometimes, it takes a matter of choosing between two less than stellar options.

Yes, Pony has been back sore.  She has been having god knows what problems...but I am on my own path to finding them, and theres only so much I can do right now.

I still believe her back soreness is stemming from chiropractor issues...

However, I unfortunately made the mistake of changing two things with her, which resulted in back soreness again.

Everyone has different opinions about what is best for horses bodies.

I think that bareback riding is no worse for a horses back for short amounts of time.

Last weekend I was faced with the option of A) Unsaddle and end my ride with her being a completely spazzed and freaked out giraffe who was completely crazed or B) ride her bareback and end our ride with a calm and happy Pony.  I chose option B because at the time it was what I thought was best for my horse.

If my horse cannot hold my weight bareback for ten minutes, then I think that she has some other problems going on that I need to figure out, any healthy horse can be ridden bareback for short amounts of time.

I don't blog to hear that I am doing something wrong or detrimental to my beloved horse.

Why do you blog?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wounds wounds everywhere

So Ponys wounds are looking better. Here is her leg this morning (day three) 

This was after I cleaned it. 

And here is her belly today. (I guess it is also day three)

So the belly still looks pretty nasty. But I'm thinking it actually is much goopy yellow today unlike two days ago...and no more ooze from it either. So I'm thinking it is healing from the inside out. For reference, here was the belly two days ago 

I think it's slightly less concaved now, it's less of a gaping hole. 

Pony says 'I'm sorry I hurt myself, I'll try not to do it again'

However, I did in fact jump on her today, and rode her for about 15 minutes total (I want to keep that blood circulating to heal it!) my friend said she looked slightly 'bouncy' on that leg but she was moving nicely. 

I asked her for a lope and she did a left lead (the one I was having chiropractic problems with) and picked up the correct lead with no problem and it didn't feel crazed or frazzled.... So we do have some small victories!

FYI, I tried to post this Thursday but blogger sucks....we have a little schooling show at the barn today, So excited!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In which I eat my words

No sooner than I told you all that I swear my horse isn't high maintenence, I went out to the barn to check her belly again, what do I find?

A bloody mess of a leg. 

My trainer wasn't out so I texted her pictures and called her and went to find BO. Trainer called back and said she would call the vet and send her out, she thought it needed stitches. 

So I hosed it off a little and waited for the vet to call and cried hysterically to my mom on the phone. 

I mean, why does this happen to me!!!!

So my trainer called me back and said she called four different vets and there weren't any that could come out tonight, and she wouldn't deem it an 'emergency' to call the emergency line and pay extra for an emergency call. 

So I was going to wrap it to keep it moist and get it cleaned up and the vet would call me to come out and stitch tomorrow morning. 

I went to get BO and she came up to help me wrap it. She cleaned it up way more efficiently than I did. 

This is what it looked like after BO cleaned it up. 

She said that she honestly didn't think that it would hold stitches, and that it would heal up nicely without them. There's no flaps of flesh, it's just pulled apart so I can see how the stitches could just be ripped apart....

Anyways, trainers coming out tomorrow morning to look at it and see if she wants stitches or not. But it's a really clean cut, but SERIOUSLY HORSE?!?!?  

Pony says I'm sorry. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

I swear she's not high maintenence

IIt really never ends with horses, does it? 

Good news : today pony has gone two days without bute and she isn't back sore. 

Bad news : she got a fly strike reaction/infection so I have been doctoring and not riding. POO!

Seriously. This horse has never had any problems ever, she just decided she's allowed to have some time off and be high Maintenence for once. 

I went out to see her on Thursday, and seriously overnight a huge lump popped up. 

So Friday I scraped the scab off, squeezed it to make sure it wasn't infected, (it just bled, no pus) put swat all over her belly and covered just the scab spot with desitin to keep it covered and gave her bute. 

Can we look at how fat my horse looks from this angle? Please, feel free to laugh at her expensive, I've earned that with her high maintenenceishness. 

Saturday, I cleaned it up with some Betadine and then it started pussing a little. I did a warm water compress and after that I was able to squeeze it and have a stream of pus come out. Finally, when it was all out I put swat all over her belly and covered the spot itself with neosporin  

Saturday after I squeezed and cleaned and applied antibiotic. That's what the yellow goop is. 

I couldn't come out Sunday, but this morning I went out and first saw that the swelling had gone down massive amounts. Then, I noticed it looked like it had been lanced. 

I cleaned it up with some water to soften the dirt that had accumulated and then some Betadine to make sure the wound was clean, and then I saw it was basically a gaping open flesh wound on her belly. So nasty. She must have gotten down to roll and scratched her belly until the abscess blew. 

This is what it looked like today after I cleaned it and the abscess blew. Nasty huh? 

So I'm going to go out again to wash and reapply neosporin. I think it's going to be absolutely fine as long as I keep it clean and the flies off of it. 

If anyone comments and says its pigeon fever I'm going to virtually punch you in the face. 

I posted this picture ^ on Facebook late last week and had a bunch of know it all friends comment and say it was pigeon fever in really bitchy ass ways that made me super angry and inferred that I know nothing and don't take care of my horse. 

Let's be honest, I am one of the most observant people and nothing happens to pony that I don't notice. 

Point of my story about pf? Pony has a history of getting a swollen fly strike infection there, but it's usually swollen for a few days and goes away, it's never ruptured like this before. However, I don't think it's pigeon fever. Other than the obvious flesh wound, she is very healthy, alert, no fever, not dehydrated. She doesn't look like a sick horse. 

Obviously it could be pigeon fever. Which is why I am obviously keeping an eye on it, and if it doesn't get better ill call the vet, but I'm not going to pay for a ranch call when they're going to tell me to keep it clean and flys off of it. 

But in my opinion even though its now a gaping flesh wound, I think it's much healthier, all of the infected dead skin and flesh is gone, leaving healthy skin, so it's just a matter of keeping it clean!

Poor girl

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm Back!

Hopefully for good!

Thank you to Cindy for checking in on me, it reminded me that I probably need to get back to blogging!!

Basically, Pony has been off for 3 and a half months.  I got tired of constantly posting that nothing had changed....I have basically been playing the waiting game.

Here's a recap for anyone that hasn't paid attention or doesn't remember (and I probably didn't do a very good job being clear with what was going on either!)

May - I noticed Pony's left lead was getting kinda 'off'.  It was rougher and more erratic, not very easy to ride.  This happened slowly over time so I didn't notice it at first, but I figured that chiropractic was possibly going to be needed in the future, but it wasn't a pressing matter since she was fine!

June - I went on vacation for 2 trainer took her on a easy short trail ride but other than that she stood around (she's on a mini a half an acre with three other horses).  When I came back from vacation, I rode her bareback the first day back and she was great! Super calm, we played with the ball with a few other horses, we stuck to mostly walking though.  I took her walking around the ranch and she started pissing me off, lots of trying to trot, not wanting to stand, just generally being annoying.  The next day I rode her western...the fun started when I mounted and she flew sideways.  After that, she gave me a crazy trot, her lope was a completely erratic gallop.  I put her in the round pen and I found out she couldn't pick up her left lead at all.  She physically could not get her hip underneath her, she would throw her hips to the middle of the round pen and balk.  She came up SUPER back sore.  Clearly, since she hadn't been ridden, it wasn't a saddle fit or rider error. I began rehabbing with massage therapy, lunging, carrot stretches, linament gel etc.  I tried to ride every few days and I got more and more frustrated with her because she was crazed.....her version of telling me something is painful is getting faster and bracey.  So difficult and frustrating to deal with.

July - I had the chiropractor come out.  She popped Pony back into place...most notably her left hip was out and her vertebrae right where a person sits were rotated left.  Also her neck was slightly wonky.   I gave pony a few days off then started riding again.  She was an absolute dream, I was amazed at the night and day difference that it made! She felt so good, light and springy, slower than her normal crazed self, and so responsive.  It was awesome! After about two or three weeks, we took the horses to go swimming.  She was doing lots of crazy trotting in like chest high water (cause she's a spaz) and it turns out thats the part thats hardest on their back...chest high water.  So the next day she was sore....and then the day after that.  And it didn't get any better.  She was back sore, butt sore, tight EVERYWHERE.  So I gave her a week off and had the chiropractor come out again.  She was out in most of the same places, notably that left hip and vertebrae.  I gave her a few days off and started to ride her again, and she was bracey, head like a giraffe, crazy eyes, trotting every few steps and absolutely crazed.  I gave her a few more days off, and it didn't get better.  I gave her a week of massage and lunging her in a nice long trot, nothing helped.   She slowly was able to pick up that left lead again, but she just got crazy when I was on her.  Some days she seemed really good when I lunged her, other days she would rip the lunge line out of my hand and be bucking around the arena.

August - All of august I would come out and hand walk her, grain her (I thought she had a selenium deficiency as well, I got her cured of that though, she looks really good and isn't eating dirt anymore!) and try to ride her every once in a while.  Sometimes I'd hop on bareback (we could lope in the round pen bareback and brideless, but she acted so funny, she would reach back with her head and ears pinned.  At first I thought it was a learned response, I couldn't tell if she was actually in pain or just thought she was in pain.  Everytime I rode I would leave feeling so frustrated and upset.  Other people offered me horses to ride, but thats not the same!! I rode her once and had the absolute last straw.  she was fine walk trot, then I let her lope to the right.  I sat back, dropped the reins.  She gave me a working canter for about four laps around the arena then stopped and looked at me.  I turned her around to the left, and let her lope.  It was a PRCA completely crazed gallop around the arena that wasn't going to stop anytime soon.  Clearly, this isn't something I was imagining! (There was never any visual lameness, everyone said she looked fine)

September  - Finally, I had the chiropractor come out again (visit number 3). After having had about a month off, the chiro was able to very clearly see where she was out, unlike the second visit where she was so tense everywhere she looked off everywhere.  So that was good.  She was of course out in that hip again, as well as the vertebrae.  Her poll was also stuck in flexion.   (Chiro said carrot stretches forward and up are really good for horses if any of you do carrot stretches...if you can get their chest against a fence and have them stretch their necks out and up!) Chiro recommended two days off, ride her walk trot today and tomorrow, and add some lope in on saturday!

I decided to do two consecutive weeks of five days of bute as well.  Adjustments are difficult because their bodies get used to their muscles working one way, and then the muscles continue to work that way and pull the adjustments straight back out.  My theory is that she strained something in her back when we went swimming, and then she was so sore and tight that the adjustments were pulled right back out almost immediately.  My goal this time was to let her body accept the adjustment.  I am keeping her buted through tomorrow, see how she feels on monday and decide if she needs to be buted next week as well.

I rode her today, and the difference was amazing.  (Don't forget, she was buted though) I could feel that she was thoroughly's amazing the difference between her 'relaxed' before the adjustment and after.  Before, she would walk trot fine for the most part, it was once you added the lope that she became a fire breathing giraffe.... but I can now see that her relaxed walk trot was much more subtly tense than she was today.  She was loose everywhere! She trotted nicely, I kept up an even posting along the rail and she did such a good working trot.  Not fast or crazy, just slightly extended.  I could feel her swinging through her hips so much more! I'll see how tomorrow goes (walk trot again) and hopefully she doesn't turn into a crazed horse come saturday when I can add lope..... fingers crossed! Wish me and Pony luck!

Basically, I have been so frustrated because it's hard to know if I was even on the right track with it being a chiropractic problem at all! There are so many different things that back soreness and 'I feel an offness' could be! I got so frustrated not knowing what was right to be doing with her (work her through it? stay off of her? chiro? could it be her hocks? stifles? nothings wrong and its just my riding? I anticipate and get tense and then she does!) and it was frustrating to come home from the barn frustrated and then rehash the shitty day!

Which is why I haven't been posting! I have been keeping up with reading your guys's blogs though (until like two weeks ago at started and I started a new job!)

I'm not sure if I've posted this one yet, but I love it! Pony isn't quite sure what to do with me....thats why we get along so well, I'm the only 'person' she's ever had that's crazier than her!

P.s. this off time has helped our relationship! She NEVER runs away when I go to get her anymore, she even nickers when she see's my car pull up sometimes.  She will sometimes walk to the gate, and sometimes walk towards me when I have her halter.  I put her in the arena to play the other day, and she walked away from me, turned around, and walked right back over to me! She has never done that! She will usually walk towards me as long as I am walking towards her, but she JUST started to come up to me when called or invited.  Crazy how it's taken a year to get here!