dancing horses

dancing horses

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Galloping Galoshes


As you can see Quaid is back home where he belongs. Paula and I drove up on Saturday and stayed at Karen and Jim's for the night. Once again we were treated to an incredible multi-course meal. The next morning we headed over the teaching hospital to meet with Quaid's care team and learn what to do. 

I'm going to show a photo of his hoof (sorry if you're squeamish). When this saga is behind us I am going to put all the info in one post- maybe it will be useful for someone. 

The surgery carved out the abscess and derided the coffin bone to healthy bone. 

This photo was sent by the farrier to my farrier the day
he put the shoe and plate on. 

 It seems huge but not as large as I was expecting. 

the medical plate

While I was being shown how to do this, Paula took a video. It's a good reference to have:

Once again, Quaid hopped on the trailer like it was no big deal and was great for the ride home. Carmen was happy to see him, until he breathed on her and then she was all 'I hate you'. Mares. 

The instructions are to remove the plate every 3-4 days, replace the old gauze with fresh soaked in diluted betadine.  Julia and I have done one change and the hoof was looking better already. I had so much in my head that I forgot to take a photo but will for the next change. The biggest danger right now is to keep water and dirt out of the open wound. The plate is not enough. The shoe is also wrapped in duct tape and vet wrap. 

It is, of course, the wettest time of year. 

fresh snow in March is pretty but it's pretty slushy.

Poor Quaid has been on some version of stall rest going on since February 3. For 2 he's handling it extremely well. Hell, he's handling it great for any aged horse. I hate keeping them in, I feel that they are happier when they can be outside. 

I had bought an Easy boot zip when this  all started and it seemed to work great. But I've only had it on him maybe 14 time and it completely disintegrated. 

10/10 don't recommend

I contacted Easy care inc and they said that it was not 'intended for this use' but acknowledged that it wasn't clear about that on the website (they have now changed their website).  But honestly, it's for horses, why would it be so fragile? Have they met horses? Anyway, on their recommendation I have contacted the vendor. I suspect that it's going to be fruitless and I will be out $115 (Canada pricing + shipping). *shrug*

There was too much snow for me to turn him out with a duct tape boot. I was worried that water would seep down. We had some nasty weather so both horses were in anyway while I figured out a solution. Which ended up being this: 

This boot is for soaking but I figured if it kept water in, it should keep water out. I drove to the tack shop in the city and picked it up to try. Do you remember wearing galoshes as a kid? Putting it on is like that. You wiggle it mostly on and then ask your horse to put his foot down to get it the rest of the way. It's pretty open at the top so I put a bell boot over top: 

It works, but I'm going to need a bigger bell boot. What is more money at this point anyway? 

Quaid is not in the larger paddock. I'm pretty sure if he runs around he's going to haul that boot off. So I have him in my small paddock right outside the barn. It's about 36 x36 (which, for the record, he was in with the easy boot too). It's enough to let him walk around and eat some hay. He can come in and out of the barn which he likes. Carmen is in the bigger paddock. So far it's all working. 

I just need to get him to the point of the hole being covered with fresh horn and then he can have more freedom. 

People ask me how he's doing and I always say the same: 'he's good right now'. I just can't let myself think that we're out of the woods. No matter what the vet says. I've been here twice before. I'm trying to be optimistic. Intellectually I know that we should be fine, this time we dealt with the underlying issue (infected bone). But emotionally I 'm not there yet. 

Just keep telling me it's all going to be fine. 

Friday, March 10, 2023

Let the Light In

There is a crack in everything, that's how 
the light gets in (Leonard Cohen)

 Things are beginning to look up. The vet has been calling me every day with updates:

Wednesday the X-Rays looked good and he was feeling good. 

Thursday the farrier came out and put on the shoe with the medical plate. He and my farrier have been in touch. They also began to reduce his pain meds. 

Friday (today) she called- he's doing great. They've stopped the pain meds and he can come home on Sunday! 

He'll need the dressing changed under the plate (about every 3 days) and some restricted turn out but that's all manageable. 

My friend Paula is coming over and we're heading over tomorrow to get him bright and early on Sunday. I really don't want to do a 5 1/2  hour drive, 1 hour at the vets and 5 1/2 hours home in one day. 

In other news: 
I was worried about Carmen being alone but she's been great. The first couple days I gave her trazodone but I weaned her off and she's being herself. A little lonely but not fretting. 

I've been beginning to celebrate my pending retirement. I've had a lunch and 2 dinners with various colleagues. It feels good to celebrate. I'm calling it the 'Teresa Farewell Tour'. 

I have worked with the best people.
Retirement is going to add 10 pounds I think

In a couple weeks Ed and I leave for a trip to Europe: Zurich to Paris on a river cruise. I am so excited. Even thought there's a lot I'll have to organise for Quaid, it feels like things are brighter. 

And in final, awesome news- my son is being posted back to Nova Scotia. We're all very excited.  Things are turning a corner. Finally. 

Monday, March 6, 2023

Quaid Update

 Hi guys, I am not feeling creative enough right now (too tired) for a catchy title, so I just settled for saying what it was about. 

I had a call on Sunday from the resident. It seemed that once Quaid had his Easy Ride boots taken off he became decidedly lame. They decided to go in and found a huge abscess that they drained. There was, to quote the resident, 'lots of pus'. 

I headed home on Sunday and went to work Monday morning. When I arrived my work laptop was acting up. Then I had an email from the college saying that they were trying to reach me. I tried to call on my cell but had a message that I didn't have a plan. Like what the actual fuck? I used my work phone and spoke to the surgeon who just wanted to let me know her plan. 

I then spent an hour sorting out the cell phone thing. There was an error with them registering my auto payment. It was affecting a few users. And of course it was mine. Honestly, with luck like this I should be buying lotto tickets. 

Later in the afternoon the resident called me. They have carved open his foot and derided his coffin bone to get rid of all the infection. They believe they got it all. They also perfused antibiotics into the joint. He'll be one some strong (and expensive) antibiotics to make sure. Wednesday they will x-ray again to make sure.

 If all looks good they will have a farrier put on a medical plate. This will protect the hoof while it heals. I wrote everything down and also double checked because I was sure he said that the shoe would only be on for 3 weeks and then it can come off and he'll be fine. I asked about that because his hole did not heal. He said that it was because there was an infection and that was impeding the healing. 

My farrier and I talked as well and I'm going to try to find out out who the farrier is they use so that he can call him. I am so not fucking up this recovery. 

I asked and the resident said that his prognosis was good to  have a good career. I told him that that was not my concern. My concern was that he be pain free and reasonably sound. The rest I could deal with. He seemed surprised by that. 'look' I said 'I have learned with horses that plans and things that happen are two different things. I love this horse and want him to have a happy life. The rest we'll figure out.' 

That's all I know for now. If anyone has experience with a medical plate I'd love to hear about it. I'll share updates as I get them. 

Old photo from before. Not gonna lie- I'm not going 
to miss the wrapping. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

A Lull

 Quaid is now at the Veterinary Hospital. 

Thursday night we were hit with a crap ton of snow. Easily a foot. That night, in the middle of blizzard my vet showed up to drop off some Easy Ride boots. She thought that they would help with the drive. 

Ed spent Friday plowing so I could get the trailer out. I usually turn it around so I’m facing down the gentle slope driveway. but it was so slick that I couldn’t get any traction. Ed came and put sand down so I could pull it up but that meant I’d have to go down the steep driveway. It was so slick we had to put chocks behind the wheels. I was freaking out. So I reached out to sone friends. He’s a class 3 driver and within 5 minutes had my truck and trailer turned around. I gave him a huge hug even though we probably weren’t hugging friends (we are now). 

On Friday it looked like he had an abscess pop on his frog. It was tender but he was putting more weight on his foot. I tried on the boots and he was immediately comfortable. I’m decided to leave them on overnight. 

In the morning the boots were off- one even flung into the barn aisle. But he was weight bearing and much perkier. I had made a cocktail for him (๐Ÿ˜€on veterinary advice) of bute, Tylenol and trazadone.  Julia came bright and early and we put the boots on. 

This horse guys.. I don’t deserve him. He walked out and on the trailer without batting an eye. 

The drive was completely uneventful and the roads bare. Other than some restlessness part way through I wouldn’t even have known he was there.

He unloaded at the hospital and walked right in. I met with the intern and resident. The plan of Monday to do the surgery. I won’t know how extensive until then. It could be just another hole or a big hole requiring a special shoe. I did tell them that I didn’t want him saved to live a life of chronic pain. 

It’s such a relief to have him there safe and sound. I can relax and not worry about his care- is he okay in his stall? Is his bandage okay? Does he need his meds?  Know others will make sure he’s fine  

Thursday, March 2, 2023

The Hard Stuff

 It's morning and it's time for yet another dose of medication. Antibiotics this time. I have crushed 12 large pills with sugar using my coffee grinder. I then add in a little maple syrup and some water. It still tastes awful. 

Quaid sees me coming in the stall, eyes the syringe and tries to run away from me. It's heartbreaking to watch him struggle on 3 legs in a small space. I go back out and grab his halter. Up until now I haven't needed it. But after repeated doses of awful stuff  (four times a day) he is done with this crap. 

I stand in the stall holding the halter while he eyes me warily. 

I know,  I saw softly. this stuff is shit and you hate it. Those are totally valid feelings. And you need to have this. 

I stand waiting, not approaching, not feeling anxious. Just breathing. 

After a few minutes, he gives a big sigh and comes over, gently touching his nose to the halter. I slide it on and fasten it slowly, murmuring quietly. I uncap the syringe and put in his mouth giving him the medication. I rub his neck telling him what a good boy he is. 

He swallows and again gives me a reproachful gaze. I drop the syringe in my pocket and offer him an apple piece. He takes it gently and then returns to his hay. 

 In the past I would have rushed to get it in. Now I know better. Rushing a horse will only add to the stress. He has no idea what this is about and it reminds me of when I had to force medications into my children when they were young. It's hard- physically and emotionally. But it's necessary. 

I don't know what this will do to our relationship. I honestly don't. I do know that when he comes home I will be spending a lot of time just being with him and re-establishing the bond we had  before all this hell. 

Horses are resilient and he will respond. I know that. 

It's just hard. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Stop the World, I want to Get Off

 Have you ever felt like you just want to curl into a little ball in the back of a cave and just pretend that nothing is happening? 

Really cheery start, I know, but it's honest. 

When I wrote last, Quaid was feeling great. Good enough to almost break my arm. Fortunately, he did not and, while it is a spectacular colour of black, purple and yellow, it is healing quite well. I had even started turning Quaid into the larger paddock and he was great. A little groundwork and greater turn out and he turned back into his sweet self. 

Until yesterday. 

Monday evening he seemed a little foot sore. But it's been really cold and there are a lot of frozen ruts out there. I was a bit worried but decided to wait until morning. By morning he was 3 legged lame. I wasted no time getting the vet out and she did some more x-rays. 

The good news? the bone chips are gone. They have been absorbed or flushed out or whatever. There was an old, dried up abscess (she poked it and nothing came out). This is the only good news. 

What she did see is some erosion of the coffin bone. She used a more technical term but I cannot remember it. Likely, this is because of the damage of the screw. The only treatment is to take him back to the Vet College for him to have surgery. They will open his foot, scrape the bone and (probably) put a medical plate shoe on him. 

Of course, winter has decided to start, so the earliest window for me to take him is Saturday. My vet assures me that this will make no difference in the outcome. And that the prognosis is still positive. And expensive. I have pretty much exhausted my insurance on the earlier treatment. 

She did say that if that screw had went in further back he would have been put down by now. 

All of this I understand. 

And still, FUCK. 

We think that he's got another abscess coming because of the bone issue. He's in so much pain. I have him on bute and acetaminophen. It's not helping at all. I hope that, if it is an abscess it blows soon. He's spending most of the day laying down. I don't know how to trailer him if he's that sore. I have asked my vet for advice. Maybe we could block it or something. I don't know. 

he's in too much pain to stand for long

I describe myself as optimistic by nature. But the past 2 months have emptied my resilience to zero. Or below zero. What is the term for negative resilience?  

send me all the positive, uplifting support you can. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

About That Light at the End of the Tunnel

In my last post I was talking about how well everything was going. And it is. But yesterday was rough guys. Quaid finally had enough of confinement, reduced movement and separation. And I was the casualty. 

Here's what happened. Yesterday was a rainy, cold day so the two horses were in for most of the day. Late afternoon the rain eased up so I let them out. But the small paddock was a muddy, puddly mess so I put him in the small paddock I created between the two  larger paddocks. At supper time I went to bring him in and he was a bit excited. I had left his halter on so snapped on the lead and began to bring him in. I don't know what set him off (could be him or perhaps something spooked him). Anyway, he went to run by me and I tried to stop him. Then he spun and kicked at me deliberately and got me in the right arm. I was in an enclosed space so couldn't really get away. 

I corrected him but it became pretty clear that my arm was useless so I got him in and shut the door. I then sat down and tried to not vomit. My fingers were tingly and my arm was numb but my elbow was overwhelmingly painful. I texted Ed who came running out the barn. He fed the horses and drove me to the hospital. 

The nurse, after triage, brought me right in and I had my x-ray in about 20 minutes. Then it was waiting for the doctor to look at it while I iced my elbow and felt sorry for myself. After a couple hours (and ice) the tingling/numbness faded and, while I still couldn't straighten it, my elbow felt better. This made me feel that perhaps it wasn't broken. The doctor came in and told me that my x-rays looked good. 

I was so relieved because, honestly, I don't have time for a broken arm. I know that this has been building with him- his confinement and coming three are making him challenge a bit more. I will be working on getting him to turn his ass away from me. Clearly he feels better so I can start to do some work. 

I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty shaken up. This wasn't a glancing blow but deliberate. Which I hadn't seen from him before. But he's young and we've been letting some things slide because I didn't want him to exacerbate his injury. I will fix this and it will be fine. I just need to keep that in mind. 

But enough universe. Enough. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Rock Stars

 Things are ticking along here on Oakfield Farm. Now that we're through the acute (and very stressful) part of the injury we're into the long haul of recovery. Hoof wound recovery is a marathon not a sprint. 

I'm at the stage where I can change the bandage every other day, unless it looks damaged. 

I told him that his fans wanted to see his ears up and 
looking cute. 

Quaid is quite a good patient. Especially when you consider his age (2 1/2). My skills in bandaging are improving. Ed bought me new duct tape that is very shiny and so his hoof looks like a baked potato. 

Turn out has been tricky with the weather. It's much easier when there's snow. But we've also had mud which makes it trickier.  My farrier suggested that I make a little paddock in the alleyway between the paddocks. It worked great. 

He's doing very well with the small turn out. When we hand walk he's got a bit of energy but, really, all things considered, he's been amazing. Especially since he's perfectly sound. I will start this week to let him out into the larger paddock to see how he does. 

I've been following Emma's blog for a while. But I've been paying particular attention since she's rehabbing Charlie's hoof. She bought this Easy Boot Zip for Charlie and I really liked it. I found a tack shop in Canada to get it from and I have to say I'm very impressed. It fits well over the bandage and has a cork base and some traction on the sole. 

I put it on him for the first time yesterday and he took it off. Sigh. Baby horses. I wish I could explain that his turn out situation depends heavily on me being able to keep his hoof clean and dry. So I did some thinking. 

The bell boot protects the straps so he can't get at them. So far it appears to be working. Fingers crossed it continues to do so. 

I finally got the x-rays from the vet college. He's the one that shows what happened the best. The probe was to follow the wound tract. We were very lucky. A little bit back and the outcome would be much much worse.

Because of our quick action and some wonderful vet care, our outcome is looking very positive. My vet is still cautious but every day that he's fine leads to a good prognosis. I am okay as long as he doesn't have any chronic pain. That is not fair for such a young horse. Other goals can be adjusted. 

I have this video I took before the accident. I had planned to share it on it's own post but things happened. This is the first time anyone sat astride him. The video is a piece of the work leading up to this. But for him it was no big deal. 

He's such a cool horse. 

You know who else has been a real rock star? 

This girl: 

She has dealt with separation, less attention and reduced turn out without complaint.  I can see how mature she has become. 

In addition I have some very human rock stars who have been part of this whole journey. Julia has come out every day (and every other day) to help me change the bandage. The one day she couldn't come, Tanya did. Paula helped keep me calm on the trailer ride and Karen & Jim gave me a soft place to land. My vet  and farrier have been accessible and helped me map out a plan going forward. 

Surround yourself with rock stars. It's way better that way. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

General Hospital

 I don't know if any of you young'uns will get the reference, but GH was a soap opera back in the day set in a hospital.  The precursor to Gray's Anatomy if you will. 

****after internet research****

Apparently it is still running- I thought it was over. Huh. 


I've become pretty good at wrapping. Julia (or Tanya if Julia can't come) help. I have to be so careful to not let dirt into the wound so having someone to hold him is incredibly helpful. I've been taking daily photos to track the healing. Sorry if you are squeamish. 

Last Thursday (the day after coming home)

He's getting it changed every day: animalintex, a layer of vet wrap to hold it, a baby diaper, more vet wrap and then duct tape.  
From today

Ordered a box of wrap from Amazon, 
hopefully it will work as well. 

After Wednesday, I can go to every other day for another week. I can't see the hole being healed in so have an easy boot zip on order. I also purchased a Tubbease hoof sock. It has a pad in the bottom and protects the hoof in silicone. I hope to put this on his foot and then the easy boot to go outside. 

In the mean time I have been working on keeping him occupied while Carmen is able to go out. When I clean the stalls in the morning I let him wander the barn. 

I find it amusing he chooses to eat from the hay net rather than the loose bales

When it's muddy out (and this year has been incredibly mild and muddy) I open the door to his stall so he can see out. I put up some boards across to keep him in. Quaid is not super happy with this but I found if I hung a hay bale by the door he settled right in. 

not sure how interested he is in the lick-it but it's there. 

When the ground is frozen I fit an Old Mac boot over the whole bandage and let him out into the little paddock. He chews on the boot but it really isn't a great fit- it was Irish's, but it protects his sole and keeps the bandage dry. When the ground starts to soften I bring them both in. Fortunately, neither seem to mind being in for a half a day. 

There is definite separation anxiety in both of them. It has shown me that Quaid needs work that he needs to focus even when upset. He did knock me over once when he was upset. I am more aware not and don't take his full cooperation for granted. 

Like I said, the weather has been incredibly mild and it would be good for riding. But I honestly have zero desire to ride. I find that looking after the horses, Ed and work is more than enough right now. In the grand scheme of things having some time off from riding is not a big deal. And Quaid being on stall rest for a few weeks will soon be a distant memory. I am so lucky that things are going well. I plan to do everything I can to keep it that way. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

A Happier Update

 Early Monday morning we loaded Quaid on our trailer. My friend, Paula had come the night before to accompany me and help. Despite his pain he loaded without issue and we hit the road. It took about 5 hours to get to the college. We stopped twice to gas the truck and to check on him. He was such a trooper but by the time we arrived he was stressed and totally over it. Not that he did anything bad, but he was calling and wild eyed. 

I checked him in and then was met by the Vet resident (not sure if I'm using the correct terms). Patricio was from Costa Rico and very familiar with Andalusians/Lusitanos. He was very charming (as most spanish/LatinX men are I find). 

Quaid walked right though the bay doors and onto the scale (weight was 400 kg). Then a vet intern took him from me and away. That was hard. I reviewed the history of what happened and they told me the plan:

x-rays, ultrasound and to see what was going to happen. They also figured that they'd have to do IV antibiotics and his stay would be about 5 days (longer if they found something serious). They promised to give updates as soon as the diagnostics were finished. I signed some paperwork and gave my credit card and then Paula and I left to go to my friend Karen (she had moved to PEI in the summer and was only 45 minutes away). 

I was exhausted but relieved that we got him there and he was in one piece. I knew that it was all out of my hands and that was also a relief. 

Particio did call about 2 hours later. I grabbed a pen and took notes. 

What had happened was the wound track had closed over part way down and a big abscess had formed above it. they opened up his hoof to drain and have it all packed. There was a small fragment of bone that was dislodged by the screw but they felt that that would reabsorb. His hoof was packed with sugar and iodine. Unless things change in the next day or so they expect a full recovery with no complications. 

To say I was relieved feels like an understatement. After I hung up I needed a moment to have a small cry (but one of relief not heartbreak). He doesn't need IV antibiotics. They think that the oral will be fine. 

This morning Patricio told me that he was much better and they would have more info when they change his bandage this afternoon. I am hoping I can take him home tomorrow but if he needs to stay I will leave and come back. I was hoping that it was fixable but I hadn't dared to hope that it was 'just an abscess'. 

I have read every single encouraging word people have sent. It is overwhelming the support that Ed and I are getting. Joanne is coming to clean the stalls. A person who works at the feed store offered to deliver feed if we need it. Paula and Karen are godsends.  I don't know what I did to deserve such wonderful people in my life but I am incredibly grateful. 

Thank you. All of you. 

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Not a Happy Update

 Sorry guys. I am struggling here. 

Long story short- Quaid is worse. Vet ( my regular vet) came, looked at him and recommended we go to Vet Hospital. 

Best case scenario- it’s just an abscess

Next best- infection in the bone and needs IV antibiotics 

Next- above and needs surgery 

Worst- well we know that one. 

I just can’t. 

Friday, February 3, 2023

Disaster Averted. Probably.

 Buckle up folks, this is a bit of roller coaster. I debated about posting this but then decided to go ahead. 

When I last posted the situation was that I was recovering from my rib injury and Ed from his heart surgery.  Both of us have been healing slowly but well. My rib is barely a twinge. Ed's recovery is much slower- as we would expect when your chest is cracked open, heart cut into and all put back together. We're still 3 weeks off from him being able to lift anything more than 5 pounds or drive. 

Needless to say it's been quiet. Then this week I caught a virus. Not Covid (as least based on the rapid test) but a nasty bug all the same. It knocked me on my ass. Ed has been trying to help as best he can. On Thursday morning he told me to stay in bed and he could feed the horses. I agreed because all he had to do was throw in their feed and some hay. I clean the stalls after breakfast. When he came in he told me that Quaid didn't seem interested in his feed, just his hay. I didn't think too much just a 'hmm'. Sometimes he likes to socialise before eating. 

I had a moment of seeing Ed and I in our senior years as we had our morning coffee. 

Ed : I'll clean the stalls

Me: You can't because of your heart 

Ed: Well you can't because you're sick

Me: I can do it and I will. 

Ed: You are so stubborn

Me: back at ya!

In the end we both went out. When we came into the barn, Ed looked at Quaid's feed bin he still hasn't eaten.  I walked over and saw him standing there with his hind end shaking. Oh Oh!  I thought he was colicking. Then we saw that he was holding his left fore leg up. I went in and lifted his foot. I was horrified to see that he had a block of wood with screw jammed in his hoof. His hind end was shaking from not being able to put his weight on it. The screw was stuck in tight so I had to hold his leg while Ed grabbed the drill and backed it out. He was so good about that. Blood came out. I grabbed a pad and some vet wrap and wrapped it up. Within minutes he went over to eat. 

I left both horses in and called the vet. The receptionist was asking me where it was and I told her that it was between the point of the frog and his toe. This confused her 'there's a frog?'  I tried to explain and then gave up and said- about an inch away from the edge of his toe. 

The vet, not my regular vet but another horse vet,  called me back right away and said she needed to come and do x-rays. Absolutely I said. 

They came out within the hour. She looked at my wrapping job and complimented me on it. (side note, I am so glad that I took the Equine First Aid course a couple years ago. It totally came in handy). 

After some checking him over and giving of some tranquillisers we put his front legs on blocks and took the x-rays. He was so good for that too. 

The x-rays were not great. It looked like the screw might have hit the edge of the coffin bone or the lamina. 

The very front pointy part

This was not good. The risk is of dirt and infection that travels into the bone. She used words like 'career ending' and 'surgery' and 'risky'.  I had a bit of roaring in my ears. Her recommendation was to take him to the Veterinary college in PEI.  there they could do an effusion of antibiotics over days. I asked her if there was any way we could to that here. She said that it was possible that she could come and do one every day but it was risky and with the bitter cold coming (we're under a cold advisory of -40) it would be bad. 

This was bad news. First of all, I have never trailered more than 2 hours before and I don't drive it in the winter. The college would  require me to travel out of Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, cross a bridge to PEI. Second I felt so crappy that I wasn't sure I was actually able to drive. And, oh yeah, I'd be leaving Ed alone when he really shouldn't be doing anything. 

We were both freaking out but began to make  plans while the vet called the college to consult. I contacted Karen who lived in PEI. She kindly offered to pick me up and give me a place to stay. Even with my cooties.  

The vet came back and said I spoke with the surgeon at the college. He doesn't think you need to bring him. Because you called so quickly, he thinks it should be manageable by me doing an effusion today and then oral antibiotics for the next 10 days.  

I could have have hugged her. I didn't. Because cooties. But I wanted to. 

While she prepared the dose, the vet tech and I brought Quaid back out to soak his foot in a solution of warm water, Epsom salts and betatdine. He was so cute about it- he put his foot down and brought it back out 
Quaid uh guys? there's something there, not sure I should step in it. 
But with gentle persuasion he let us soak it. We then wrapped it with animalintex poultice pad, vet wrap and duct tape. 

He was then sedated again. When he was out the vet tech put a twitch on him while the vet put a tourniquet on his leg and injected into his fetlock. The idea is that this drives the antibiotic into the hoof to impact the bone. He was agitated by the twitch and part of me felt that he might be better without it but we persevered and it was done. 

We have a plan: 
  • 10 days stall rest
  • 10 days antibiotics
  • 7 days banamine
  • 3 days of soaking
  • then 7 days of dry poultice
  • by Monday I can hand walk him. 
The stall rest is so that he doesn't rip the bandage off and get dirt in there. I also am giving him some probiotics because of the antibiotics. As well as vitamin e to help with inflammation.  He doesn't seem so keen with the crushed antibiotics in his feed so I'm trying some creative solutions. 

A spoonful of sugar should do the trick
(feel free to add suggestions)

When they left I was exhausted- emotionally and physically. 

He is not happy. We're ripping the bandaid off on being separated from Carmen. My plan is let her out in the morning and have her in for the afternoon. She is hanging out with him a bit in his stall (she can come in and out).  
Quaid; let me out. I'll behave, I promise

I am glad that I have a barn cam - it allows me to keep an eye on him. He's also not enjoying the oral banamine. He's backing away from me and I feel bad. 

There is learning from this: 
1. call the vet for any hoof puncture. If I had left this we could be looking at a much worse outcome. There is also the possibility that I will end up taking him to the college anyway if he doesn't do well. I am determined to do everything I can to make sure it goes well. 

2. Quaid is amazing. By the time they were done both the vet and vet tech were in love with Quaid. 
I have old horses that are not this well behaved the vet said. And he was- all the poking, soaking, wrapping, etc and he was so cooperative.  She even shaved a part of his leg and he was like 'that's a neat sensation'. 

3.  While he's not happy being left in his stall he's not tearing it down or trying to climb out. I think I'll get him some stall toys to see if that helps. 

4. learn how to bandage and deal with emergencies. I had to remove the screw because him standing on it was going to do more damage. 

I'm going to obsessing on this for a while

Friday, January 20, 2023

Victory Log- 2022 Goal Recap /2023 Plans

January has been very busy. I ended up cracking a rib doing some work with Quaid- totally not his fault. Julia was holding him and I wanted to lay over his back. He had on his surcingle and I kind of 'floofed' onto  him. Unfortunately one of the metal rings was sticking up and it crunched into my rib. I heard the crunch and felt the pain. I slid off. Are you okay? Julia asked. I just need a minute.  I caught my breath and then did it again. Not hitting the rib again but still not good. Honestly, I treat my body like it's still 20. Anyway, it was very painful for a week and now is just cranky. But that kept me out of the saddle. Then Ed finally had his heart surgery that he's been waiting for. It was a valve repair and, while serious, not life threatening. He's home now and recovering. The last few weeks have been a lot and I just didn't have time to blog. I am definitely overdue on my goal recap. 

 I need to give credit to Jane for the blog title. She is writing a paper for her students on goal setting. She asked us to get started by thinking about what we accomplished last year. 

"In the meantime a great exercise is to write down your achievements in 2022. Be specific. Was your passion renewed? What did you learn? New movements? New understanding of the sport? Did you discover that you are a capable rider. What struggle did you overcome? These are just thoughts to get you started. "

I love the phrase 'victory log' so I stole it. Also, who doesn't love a coach who is so invested in her students not matter their horse, riding level or show aspirations.  The detailed goals can be found here: https://journeywithadancinghorse.blogspot.com/2022/01/playing-with-fire-2022-goals.html if you want the fine detail. 

1. Unlock Carmen gaits: definitely better. We are not shuffling around anymore and I have become more confident in sticking to the plan of forward.  I might not always get it but I'm not shutting her down so there's that. 

2. Solidify 2nd level movements: So much better, especially her SI and HI. The lengthens are coming with a lot farther to go. I wouldn't say that we're a solid 2nd level but we could do a test and not only not die but have a reasonable score. 

3. Improve my riding skills- definitely better. I am more balanced and softer. Having regular coaching and using the PIVO have definitely helped. I can sit her canter so much better and independently move my shoulders and hands. I can get my butt in the saddle so that it's sitting there and not tight (which pops me out of the saddle). 

4. Push my comfort zones- I probably could have pushed more but we did go to a show and I was not conservative about it. I definitely could have hauled to more places. 

But we did go to a few places

5. Improve my partnership with Carmen. I'm calling that a win. We play a lot with liberty and she really likes it. Under saddle she will challenge at times but I don't have that sense of hitting a wall. With the exception of the show with the pigeon of doom. However, I learned a lot from that- thanks to Jane. Also recognising that at times Carmen throws some moves in to get me to back off. But now, thanks to Jane, I am more confident in what to do and stick to it. If all we are capable of doing is a 10 metre circle then we ride the crap out of that circle until we can move on. If, at this point, you think I'm being mean, let me share that there is a big difference in scared Carmen vs 'I don't wanna' Carmen. When she's frightened she looks to me and wants to investigate things. The I don't wanna Carmen looks for a way to deke and get out of work. Funnily enough, when we ride through all this she becomes happy in her work and just does it. Two photos from the same lesson. 

6. Improve my overall fitness: it's a bit of a mixed bag. I did well but work, chores, riding etc. I definitely improved my core. 

So overall I feel that I had a good year with Carmen. There were other things this year as well. Quaid arriving and Irish passing were big changes. 

It's a good time to think about my goals for this year.  

1. figure out what it means to be retired. I have been either working or in school since I was 15. I have no idea what it's like to not have that responsibility. So it will be interesting. But I am looking forward to having not riding be a choice rather than dictated because of work. I will, at some point, volunteer but I won't even think of that until fall. 

2. Continue to work on keeping Carmen with me rather than making her own decisions. This will require both mental and physical work on my part but that will be good. 

3. Show: there are more shows this year and I want to try to get to as many as possible. 

4. Support Quaid in becoming a grown up horse. The little guy will be three this May. I'd like to have him going under saddle and doing light work. I want to take him with us to shows so he can hang out without the pressure. 

He's definitely growing

5. Have fun with the horses. I want to take both of them to an Obstacle Clinic, do some hacking, maybe try something new. 

6. Work on my riding skills- increase independence of seat and hand, sit Carmen's trot and be able to ride with softness and no tension. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Giddy (and Up)

 While most of North America was in the grip of bitter cold temperatures, Nova Scotia escaped the worst of it. Our temperatures were pretty temperate for the time of year. We did get a cold snap for over Christmas but right after we had some pretty balmy temperatures. It was a lovely gift to have such warmth and sunshine. Ed even joked that he used to be jealous of those who lived in BC but now we seem to be getting the nicer weather (no offense to my BC friends). 

Nice to have this view in December

I have enjoyed some great rides out in the warmth and the sun. Even when it was cloudy it hasn't been bad. The ring is in great shape and I made the most of it. 

I also noticed that the back field was pretty green. So I decided to let them graze on it for a few hours each day. It has lead to a lot of excitement and glee from Carmen and Quaid. I may regret it in the spring when I have to repair some damage but it was worth it. 

Enjoying  a post ride graze (yes I leave the line
loose. No she doesn't run off. Yes she sometimes steps
on it but has figured out how to be careful). 

Carmen:  Coming in hot! Look out! 

Quaid: ooh that was impressive.

Quaid: what are you up to doggy? Can I come on the walk too? 

Carmen: Forget the mutts, c'mon! 

Quaid: wheee. Did you see mom? Did you see? Show my internet friends! HAI freinds!

Quaid: now get one of me looking Majestic AF.

Me: do you know what AF means? 

Quaid: of course- it means 'absolutely fabulous', 

Me: .....yes, you're right. Not super grammatical but it works. Okay. Aaand ACTION!

Carmen: I am AF too. 

Me: yes, yes you are. 

Today we're back to colder temperatures but that is okay. It is perfectly fine if winter starts in January rather than November. 

Galloping and looking majestic AF