Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sweet Lilly

I visited Lilly at the barn today so I could check up on her and let her out to eat some grass. While she munched on grass I washed SMB and bell boots and rolled freshly washed standing wraps. With any luck I'll be using the boots and the wraps will be collecting dust!

I hung the boots outside on the hitching post to drip dry in the sunshine and Lilly came over, I thought, to see what I was doing. I stopped hanging the boots and turned around to face her. She very gently put her head on my chest. I wrapped my arms around her head and we shared a brief moment together. Then she went on her way, eating more grass.

It felt like she was thanking me for helping her feel better.

I love that mare more than I could ever express with words... I would do anything for her.

Monday, August 30, 2010

May I Present To You...

TADA!! A scab free leg!!

Woohoo! I picked the last few scabs off today. Her hair looks funny because I shaved around all the scabs, so some of the hair is longer. LOL

Her tendon still looks puffy to me, but I'm ok with that. She's not lame and the ultrasound showed her tendons look good, so I'm going to leave well enough alone. No more wraps, no more creams... just bare leg. She goes back out on pasture board Wednesday, so I'm giving her until then to relax in the stall. I'll start riding her towards the end of this week.

The goats were moved to their other pasture, so AJ is now goat free. That is a huge relief! So dare I say things are finally looking up? Probably shouldn't... although now it's too late.

Here's a picture I took at the farm today...

Still trying to learn how to use the camera, but I have figured out a few of the features! :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Battle Finally Won

Lilly's leg still has a few scabs left... there's a big one on her ankle that's stuck on there pretty good and a little patch further up her leg on the same side. The entire other side is free of scabs!! Her skin is a bit pink, and a little irritated in a few spots, though, so I cold hosed her leg, put some more cream all over, and left it unwrapped. I think the air will do it some good now that it isn't as attractive to bugs.

When I turned her out today I stood with her until she rolled... I knew she would, but she usually waits until I'm picking out her stall or somewhere I can't get easy access to the camera.

Does anything feel better than a good roll in the grass? :)

When she stood up and shook I got this funny picture of her face.

On the goat front, I noticed that the horses were mixed up a little bit, so I was about as happy as I could be, expecting to see the goats in their original pasture when I went down to check. Instead, I saw this:

The black billy goat was locked out of the pasture.


Moving one goat does not satisfy my request for a goat free pasture! So fuming mad, I stormed up to the barn and found the BO talking with a potential client. I suppose it was a good thing because I was having a difficult time keeping my emotions in check. I had decided I was giving him my 30 day notice and a piece of my mind. I was done messing around. The end!

He disappeared after the visitor left, so I called him on his cell and asked him to meet me in the barn. When he arrived I asked what the plan was for Lilly when she goes back out on pasture board Wednesday. I expected him to say she'd go out with AJ and the goats and I was going to explode.

Instead, he said she'd be going back out with AJ like before, but he was going to move the goats back over to the other pasture first. He wanted to mow it before putting them back in there, and hoped to get the mowing done today. He said in the meantime he took the tail chewer out to save the rest of AJ's tail.

I took a few deep breaths... and decided to continue my speech anyway, minus the 30 day notice part. He said he completely agreed with me about the goats and was sorry for all the grief they caused. He promised my horses would never put with the goats again.

After $725 in vet bills, a ripped hoof, an abscess, a puffy tendon, a healthy dose of cellulitis and dermatitis, 2 missed shows, and half of AJ's tail later, the goats go back where they were when I brought my horses to his farm less than 30 days ago.

Gee, thanks.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Almost There!

Lilly's leg looks SO good today... The cold hosing really loosened up the scabs and I was able to get a bunch of them off. Once her leg was dry, they curled up and I was able to get even more off. I think after tomorrow, her skin just might be scab free! :)

Because a couple of the scabs were still "wet", I wrapped her leg again to keep the flies off her leg, but today was her last day for meds and I think tomorrow I'll leave her leg unwrapped. I never dreamed this would all heal so quickly, so to say I'm thrilled would be an understatement. :)

She enjoyed being outside for about an hour today, but then she walked herself back into her stall, got a drink, looked out into the aisle and went back to stand under her fan. Someone is getting used to being SPOILED and is in for a rude awakening on the first when she goes back out on pasture board! She was cracking me up!

I've been taking pictures with my new camera, but I obviously know nothing about how to use it because none of them really turned out. They're all washed out and the colors aren't very vivid... I need to keep reading my book.

I got this one of AJ that I thought was pretty cute, though, and turned out ok.

Because I'm an evil person, I was teasing the goats with cookies to try and get them to stick their noses through the fence. I was trying to practice using my manual focus. Isn't he cute, in a STUPID GOAT kind of way?

AND, while I was down there, I saw the goat chewing on AJ's tail!!! Photographic proof of at least one goat snacking on tail hair.

I missed a really good picture of him chewing on AJ's tail because I was so irritated by the amount of tail he put in his mouth that I yelled and stomped for him to knock it off!

I left a note and sent an email to the BO since they're still in AJ's pasture and still chewing on his tail.

At least Lilly is doing better. That makes me so happy. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Used to Like Goats...

Lilly's leg looked really good today. It looks like what was affected is healing and there isn't anything new.

She got all her meds and I cold soaked her for 30 minutes. After the leg is soaked, the scabs dry and peel, so it's really easy to pick them off. I got quite a few of them, and the skin underneath is pink, but is actual skin. So once the scabs are off, she should be good.

She got lots of turnout today and I was willing to stay with her longer, but after about two hours I found her standing in her stall. I always leave the door open so she wandered in there to take a drink and decided to take a snooze. :) Guess she was done with the sun and the bugs.

I decided to get AJ and give him a bath while she was grazing. He did just what I thought he'd do in the wash rack, and that was FREAK OUT. It must be related to his cataract, because he's fine outside and has never minded a bath, but inside the wash rack he just goes crazy. He was so uncomfortable that he was prancing in place... goober.

So I took him outside and gave him a bath. He won't stay clean for long, but he seemed to enjoy it.

Here he is with Lilly, munching grass after his bath. Notice anything missing?

Go ahead... look again. I'll wait.




Here's a hint:

See it now?


I can not believe it!!

I showed the BO, and said, "I believe your goats chewed my horse's tail off." He acted very surprised and continued to tell me how he saw some of AJ's tail hairs stuck in one of the buckets.

Sorry, buddy... THAT did not happen because his tail got stuck in a bucket.

So while I'm mourning the loss of AJ's once beautiful tail, I'm glad it was his tail and not Lilly's tail. (Hers has finally reached the ground!) It also gives me the opportunity I need to really put my foot down about the goats. I made it perfectly clear that Lilly is never to be turned out with goats. Never, never, never... And I prefer that the goats be removed from AJ's pasture before they chew off more of his tail.

I think he's going to move them into the lane between all the pastures. Fine by me, as long as they're not in with my horses.

I just can't believe it.

Time to buy some MTG, I guess. :(

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Less Swollen...

With great anticipation, but also a lot of hesitation, I unwrapped Lilly's leg. Not sure what I would find, I was merely hoping for something that looked better than it did yesterday.

Here's what I found:

I think the scabs look worse and the black area is bigger than it was yesterday, but the swelling is pretty much gone. The swelling I was dealing with before is still there (why?), but less swelling is definitely a good thing. I guess I would expect the scabs to look worse as the skin dies, but I hope it doesn't get much worse.

I cold hosed her for 30 minutes again today and it really loosened up the scabs. Lilly let me know they still hurt, though, and I wasn't allowed to pick them off. She did let me clip her leg and I got some of the hair around the black parts off.

I think it looks better after the hosing and clipping:

Just for the heck of it, I took a picture of her now healed abscess.

Look at the line on her hoof... just like the vet said, it's a big one!

She got her antibiotics, her steroids, and her bute and was NOT a happy camper. Why did I keep squirting things down her throat?! I let her drink from the hose and eat some cookies to wash the icky flavors away.

I was on the fence about wrapping her leg after applying the cream. The thought of the bugs getting on those scabs made me ill, so even though the swelling was down, I decided to wrap her up again. The vet said it was ok to use a quilt and standing wrap (I wish I had some pillow wraps...) from here on out as long as her leg was super dry before putting them on. I think I'm going to leave her wrapped until this is all over. I don't want dirt and bugs on that leg.

She didn't get much turnout time because the Stanley Steamer guys were there to clean the carpets upstairs, so the gate was open and their stupid van was in my horse's turnout spot. I was able to turn her out for about 15 minutes to stretch her legs and eat some grass.

When I went to get her to put her back, the little brat ran from me TWICE... I know she's tired of being in the stall. I'm off from work tomorrow, so she should be able to have a lot more time outside to play.

AND, SillyPony's genius idea of a sign was the perfect solution!! I stopped at the Wally-World on my way to the barn and got a magnetic dry erase board to hang near her stall.

It says, "No turnout" and has my cell number so there are no more excuses! Thank you so much for the idea!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

By the time you're finished reading this post, you'll either think I have the worst luck in the world as a horse owner, or that I suffer from Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

Perhaps if horses had health insurance, the latter could be blamed on me, but since I pay a hefty price each time the vet comes out, that's not the case.

I took my new camera to the barn with me today hoping to get some practice and maybe even a few great shots of my horses. It was relatively cool today too, so I was planning on riding Lilly.

That was until I pulled her out of the stall and saw this:

At this point in the game, I am well beyond the breaking point, which I suppose is good for my sanity and mental health. After the initial shock wore off, I took her to the wash rack for a closer evaluation.

Ok, so her skin SMELLS BAD, is scabby, oozing, and is peeling off. Her entire leg from her knee to her hoof is about as swollen as it can get without bursting open, and the leg is HOT.

I immediately put a call into my vet, who did not answer. So I called the main office and begged them to get a hold of one of the vets to come out and look at my horse. She said she would have someone call me right away.

While I waited, I cold hosed her leg. Then I let her outside in the small paddock to munch some grass. She wasn't 'lame' but I could tell she was uncomfortable and even walked with a bit of a paddle on that leg.

Here's the leg on the other side after 30 minutes of cold hosing.

The vet finally called me back and asked if she had a fever or if I thought Lilly had been bitten by a snake. No fever and no obvious bite marks... Could it be fire ants? I don't think so because it doesn't have the typical fire ant bite look to it.

Bottom line, I have no idea what it is but PLEASE come help my horse.

She couldn't come until after 2:30 (but didn't actually arrive until almost 4). I let Lilly eat grass while we waited and I read my new Nikon book. I was in the lounge area when I heard the pitter patter of little hooves in the barn, so I went to see what Lilly was doing. She had walked down the aisle of the barn and was looking out the back window. I told her to come to me so I could put her back in the stall. Well, when she turned around she SLAMMED her head into the corner of one of the stall door guards.

Poor girl was shaking her head the entire walk back down the aisle. So even when I'm standing right there, she still manages to hurt herself. :(

The vet that came to see Lilly is new to me. She's the only one in the practice that I haven't met before, but she's super nice. When she saw Lilly's leg, she kept saying, "Oh my gosh! You poor baby! That is just... wow."

It's never good when the vet seems to be shocked and surprised by the look of your horse's injury. She said she hasn't seen anything like that not related to snake bites or spider bites. She just couldn't believe it.

So I filled her in on the history and that I suspected maybe she developed some kind of reaction to the Surpass. That's the area of the sloughing skin, but she couldn't imagine a reaction like that to the cream.

Here's the timeline:
Saturday she was shaved and had her ultrasound. Vet said to put the Surpass on the leg, wrap it up for the swelling, and turn her out that night.
Sunday I removed the wrap. It was a bit damp from all the dew on the grass, and I recall seeing that her skin looked a little irritated. I still applied the cream but skipped the wrap. I even rode on Sunday.
Monday I applied the cream.
Tuesday I was unable to go to the barn.

I thought she was getting turned out every night, but when I talked to the BO today he said he only turned her out Saturday night. I'm not sure what part of "Lilly can go out for 12 hours per day now" he didn't understand, but she was only turned out that one night.

So that kind of ruled out a lot of things. We thought maybe something got under her wrap when she was turned out, or maybe the wrap got wet enough that it caused the irritation. Maybe it is a reaction to the Surpass after all.

I don't know, but the diagnosis is that she's got dermatitis and cellulitis, and her skin is going to SLOUGH OFF. All of the red scabby stuff is going to come off and all the black looking stuff under the longer hair will also come off.

The vet tried to clip her, but understandably Lilly was in some serious pain, so she didn't get to do too much of it. She said for me to clip it as Lilly will allow because it will be easier to treat that way.

While she was trying to clip Lilly's leg, she noticed the area where Lilly's abscess blew out. "Oh wow... That is a HUGE abscess!! WOW!" Impressive, right? We're all about that here at Team Lilly.

Lilly got Banamine, steroids, and antibiotics. I'll have to give her bute tomorrow for pain, more steroids, and more antibiotics.

Finally, she applied a cream to the leg that is used for burn patients and then wrapped the leg to try and reduce some of that swelling and inflammation.

She gave Lilly a couple cookies and a bunch of kisses and kept saying, "poor baby" over and over again. My poor Lilly. :(

So no turnout for quite a while, depending on how her leg progresses. Tomorrow I'll take the bandage off and if it's still really swollen I'll put it back on. If not, the bandage can stay off but I have to apply the cream every day and peel the loose scabs off, shave her leg as she'll allow and keep up the meds.

Since I didn't go to the barn yesterday I asked the BO what her leg looked like yesterday. He said, "about like that..." UMM. REALLY?? And you didn't CALL ME?? He said he thought I had already been out... and he thinks I would just leave her leg like that? So I'm pretty sure I made it perfectly clear that he is to CALL ME when he sees anything. ANYTHING.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fewer and Fewer Shows

My "Upcoming Shows" list keeps getting smaller and smaller...

I got a schedule change at work and I won't be off on Saturdays for the next two months. Luckily, I'll still be able to go to the state fair and I should have plenty of time to get Lilly back into shape by then, so I suppose that's one good thing about it.

But the last Paint show is out of the question for this year. Maybe next year...

I didn't get to ride yesterday or today... yesterday it rained and today I had some errands to run before work so I didn't have time. Her leg still looks terrible and doesn't seem to be any less swollen. I stopped wrapping it, though, because the skin was starting to look irritated, and I don't want to go through that again. So I'll just keep putting the cream on for now. The wrap doesn't seem to be helping with the swelling anyway.

In other news, I purchased a 'new to me' DSLR camera. I am SO excited to take some pictures of Lilly with it. The other day I was trying to get pictures of her rolling and got ONE because my dang camera is too slow. I'm fed up with it! So I marched home and found the perfect camera on eBay. It's a Nikon D40, which is a great beginner's DSLR. It came yesterday and I've been trying to learn how to use it... we'll see what I end up with tomorrow, but hopefully I can get some nice photos... eventually! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Riding Again! YAY!

It's been a long time since I've been able to post one of these:

Look, my horse is wearing a saddle on her back!


Her leg is still puffy today, but I didn't really expect that it wouldn't be. I unwrapped her leg while I rode and then wrapped her back up when she went into her stall.

Speaking of riding, she did quite well. I only rode for about 20 minutes and we mostly just walked around. We trotted once around both directions and she did really well. I think I'll take it pretty slow for the next week and then plan on getting back to a more normal riding schedule next week.

Lilly is turned out tonight with her stall buddy, Baby. I requested that she not be turned out with goats while she's technically on "rehab" and the BO obliged. So until she's done with her stall board she'll be turned out with Baby where she'll hopefully stay quiet and not run around like a goober.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Vet Said...

My vet graciously came out today to take a look at Lilly. It's her day off but since she couldn't come out yesterday she came today and didn't charge me the emergency call fee. I was very appreciative.

We did a lameness exam and she thinks Lilly is still a little off on the abscess foot, but nothing substantial. Since there wasn't any lameness with the puffy leg she wanted to ultrasound it to make sure the tendons looked good.

The ultrasound showed nothing out of the ordinary. Unfortunately, Lilly's tendons are UGLY because of her check ligament surgery and her recent tendon lesion. There's a lot of scar tissue in there so getting a good picture is a challenge. My vet had looked at the ultrasounds from earlier this year so she'd have a good comparison and the only thing new we saw was an area of darkness on her check ligament. Since Lilly had that cut, we're fairly certain it isn't anything. She's going to double check the other ultrasound pics just to be sure.

So since all scanned well, what's causing the swelling? We don't really know. She's not lame and the tendons look good, so it could just be irritated from the trauma involved with the abscess, or maybe she irritated it at the same time she ripped her hoof. She said the swelling might be around for quite a while or it could go down in the next couple weeks. It's hard to say.

To try and help the swelling go down, I have a $65 cream to apply to her leg once a day.

She wants her to have some turnout, but no more than 12 hours per day and she wants me to keep her leg wrapped, especially when she's turned out.

I think Lilly is just so thoughtful... I got some hoof wrapping practice in, and now I get to practice wrapping her leg again. Don't want those skills to get rusty!!

Look at that superb wrap job! ;)

While I had my vet handy, I asked her if she's ever seen any goat caused horse injuries. I told her about the goats and why I think this all started and my fear about what could happen. She said she's never seen anything involving horses, but we did agree that Lilly could cut herself on air.

So for the time being, she agrees no goats. We don't want her running around until she's had a few days of quiet turnout. So maybe I'll rethink my goat position... maybe.

The best news is that she cleared me to start riding again. She said take it slow and don't do anything that's too difficult for Lilly but at least we can get back out there and start riding again. In honor of such good news, I posted what I've worked on to be my first 2 weeks of conditioning rides. For now I might have to skip the pole work, but I think the rest of it would be ok to do with her.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Halter... Again!

I got my replacement halter in the mail today. I think it fits her much better, although the moons still limit how much the halter can be adjusted. I think it's a keeper anyway. I really like the silver.

Like an idiot, though, when I sent the other halter back I put the lead in the box with it and they shipped me a halter only. So I'm lead-less.

They said they'd send me one out right away. :)

Lilly's leg is still puffy but the vet will be out tomorrow at 9:30am... hopefully it's nothing, but I'll sleep better knowing she didn't re-injure her tendon.

Here she is getting in a good scratching!

I haven't been able to talk to the BO about the goat situation since our phone call, but depending on what the vet tells me tomorrow, it might be time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Still Puffy...

Lilly's leg is still quite swollen. I think it is more swollen today than it has been all week. She's still sound, but there's a little bit of heat in her leg.

I called the vet because I can't take it anymore. I want her to come out and at least take a look at it. If she doesn't think we need to ultrasound, then I'm ok with that, but it looks really bad. She can't come until Saturday and the other vet (the one who was Lilly's vet during the tendon lesion fiasco) can't come until Monday.

Not what I was hoping, but I'll take the Saturday morning appointment. She said to keep Lilly in until then just in case, so she's officially back on stall rest.

The BO finally emailed me back yesterday about Lilly's turnout and said he was just planning on putting her back out with AJ and the goats during the night when she's turned out and then putting her back in the stall during the day until she goes back on permanent pasture board (if that ever happens...).

Well I've decided that I do NOT want her back out with the goats. I'm sorry, and I hate to be high maintenance, but I do not want that mare turned out with goats. My nightmare is that she gets gored by one of the goats or her leg gets cut open from a goat horn. How likely are those situations? Not likely... but could it happen? Yes. And if it can happen to anyone's horse, you and I both know it will happen to mine.

So I emailed him and told him so.

He called me this evening and said his plan was still to turn her back out with the goats. I stressed that I didn't want her with the goats and he said, "well what do you want me to do with them then?"

Ummm... that's not my problem. Those are your goats and these are my horses, and I don't want one of them pastured with goats. I don't think it's too much to ask to pasture my horse with other horses and not goats.

He exclaimed that they aren't vicious goats and they're afraid of the horses and he thinks it is highly unlikely that she'll be gored by a goat. He said they don't even hang out with the horses.

Well, that's nonsense because AJ was grazing with the goats today. All of them, happily grazing together. He thinks she's more likely to be injured if he turned her out with other horses than leaving her with AJ and the goats.

There's another boarder at the barn that doesn't want her mare turned out with goats. He accommodates her, why not me? In fact, her mare has private turnout. Goatless, private turnout.

We're going to have a face to face chat tomorrow. Am I being unreasonable?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Play Time!

I gave Lilly a bath today. She's pretty clean already from being in the stall but since she's been shedding so much I thought she could use a nice, warm bath.

Something I've always noticed but never really pointed out, is how she has specks all over her neck and chest. It isn't noticeable unless she's wet, but then they really stand out. There are light colored ones and dark colored ones that look black.

It looks like she has mottled skin, but I can't seem to find much information about it on Paint horses, just Appys.

Her tendon is still swollen, but I believe it is slightly less swollen than yesterday. Wishful thinking maybe, but I'll take what I can get!

After her bath, I turned her out to eat some grass while I cleaned her stall and refilled her water. I happened to glance out at her and saw her rolling around. I tried to get my camera but it takes FOREVER to turn on and get ready to take a picture. By that time, she was done rolling and bucking but was still running around a bit.

She hasn't been turned out in the pasture yet. I haven't been able to get ahold of the BO so she's still on stall rest. I think I'd rather she stay in for a bit longer anyway. When she was playing around she was still quite gimpy.

She sure was enjoying herself, though!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Off Stall Rest

Lilly's tendon was still puffy today and looked about the same as it did yesterday. I tried to jog her around the front of the barn to see if she was lame but couldn't really tell. Her abscess is on the right foot and the tendon is on the left, so it was difficult to tell what was what. I grabbed the longe line and took her out to the arena to do a few circles. She jogged sound for about 5 or 6 strides and then started limping a little bit, but it was all on the abscess side. She looked ok otherwise.

I put another call into the vet to let her know the tendon was still puffy but there wasn't any lameness in that leg. She said areas that have been swollen before will sometimes swell much easier, so she thinks it's just related to the abscess and nothing to be too worried about. If she was lame, she'd want to come out and look, but we don't figure she could have reinjured her tendon standing in the stall.

So fingers crossed that the swelling will be gone in a couple days.

She wants me to start having her turned out now that she's mostly sound. I'll have to chat with the BO to see where and when he can turn her out. AJ is currently pastured with the only other pasture boarded horse, so Lilly would be the 3rd horse in the pasture. I hate groups of 3...

She's paid up on full board through the end of the month anyway, so I don't want to turn her back out on pasture board until the 1st of September.

I turned her out a little bit today to munch grass and get a little bit of exercise. She did more munching than exercising, but at least she was walking around.

She was only outside for about 30 minutes but came back in covered in sweat. It's a hot one out there today. She was happy to get back in her stall under the fan. Spoiled pony!

Monday, August 16, 2010

For Sale

10 year old Paint mare for sale. Sweet temperament, not mare-ish, and gets along well with other horses. Has PAC and APHA points in halter and performance classes. Great showmanship and hunt seat horse and has also been ridden on trails. Prone to abscesses, tendon injuries, diarrhea, eye allergies, and other various ailments and injuries. Must be shod up front to stay sound. Stands well for vet and farrier (she's had a lot of practice). Clips, bathes, and trailers well, assuming she's ever sound enough to take to a horse show. Very high maintenance.

Any takers?


Hmm... didn't think so.

I called the vet this morning and she said it was ok for my farrier to put the shoe back on as long as the bottom of Lilly's hoof looked ok. She said since Lilly was still sore and had some puffiness above the coronary band I should keep wrapping her hoof and applying the wet poultice. I'm almost out of those, so I asked about picking some up from the vet tomorrow. (More on that in a minute...)

My farrier was originally going to come out this afternoon but that would have required him to take the wrap off in order to get the shoe on. She would be unwrapped all night, which wasn't going to work. I called him and he came out early to accommodate. She is now officially shod on both front feet! Woohoo!

He tried to keep the nails away from the injured part of her hoof. I could tell she was a bit uncomfortable having the shoe put back on, but she was a good girl.

She was doing much better with the shoe back on. I turned her around in the wash rack and she looked about 99% better. A little gimp, but if you didn't know she blew an abscess I think it wouldn't have been noticed.

After he left, I took some pictures of her hoof and then started soaking it. Once she was soaking, I started brushing. I worked my way all around her body, brushing her mane, scratching her withers, brushing out her tail, and got all the way around to the other side where I started brushing her right front leg. You know, the leg with the recovered tendon lesion, when I saw THIS!!



There was some heat in the leg, but she didn't seem lame on it. I would have noticed right away when I was testing the new shoe. Swelling is often seen in the same leg with the abscess (so I'm told), but not in the other leg. Sure, she's stalled, so I might even expect her to be a little stocked up, but that right there is localized tendon swelling around the tendon we spent 6 months rehabbing.

Another call to the vet.

She didn't seem terribly concerned, but wanted me to wrap it for the night and see how she looks in the morning. If she looks the same come morning and I want to play it safe, she said she'll come out and do an ultrasound to see what's going on.

Then I can get some more poultice wraps. How convenient for me!

"Look, mom! I still have TWO good legs left!"

At least my old, retired horse is sane and sound in his pasture. He's happy with his goats and his new friend Lenni (who is hiding in the shade).

I finally got in touch with 3 Gems about my halter. Sometimes when you emphasize words with all capital letters it gets people's attention. So my halter is going back tomorrow and they're going to send me a horse size one just like it.

I might throw it in for free if you decide to buy my 10 year old Paint mare...

Still no takers?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

90% Better!

If I had to put a number on it, I'd say Lilly is about 90% better. She's still pretty lame when I turn her around in circles (in the stall or in the wash rack) but she is definitely much more comfortable today. I think some of the lameness is from the missing shoe.

She was looking so well I decided to pass on the bute today. Hate that stuff...

Her hoof is starting to look pretty icky, so I wrapped it up today, but I didn't put the wet poultice on her hoof hole. I just put a dry pad over the hole to pad it from the wrap. I want to see how things look dry, so I'll check that out tomorrow.

My farrier is supposed to come out tomorrow at around 3pm. I'll be getting ready for work and won't be able to meet him out there, which I hate, but we were thinking she'd be better by now. I'm even running out of poultice pads and Vetrap because the vet and I decided that 6 days worth would be more than enough.


I plan on calling my vet in the morning to see if she wants me to postpone the shoeing or go ahead and have him put the shoe back on as scheduled. I think it would definitely help with her lameness but I don't know if it needs to stay off for wrapping purposes.

I've been grooming Lilly while her hoof soaks since she's decided to do me the favor of standing still while it soaks. Her lip just goes and goes, so I figure she's decided it's a good trade off. She is still shedding like crazy!

I have to use a broom to sweep up all the hair when I'm done with her.

I must admit that it's going to be difficult to turn Lilly back out on pasture at the end of the month. I'm really loving this whole stall board thing. I get to the barn and my horse is waiting in a clean stall, with fresh water. She's clean, white, and not sweaty... it sure is nice. :)

I still haven't heard back about exchanging/returning my halter. I'm really getting irritated... when I was looking to purchase, I would get email responses within 5 minutes (not kidding...) and I haven't heard a peep from these people since last Wednesday. The policy for returns/exchanges states that if it's less than 14 days since the item was received, it is returnable. If it's after 14 days, only in store credit will be issued. So I'm not sure if they're trying to hold out for the 14 days so I can't return it or what. I just want to get a bigger size!! At this rate, though, I might just return the halter and move on since they've suddenly decided I'm no longer worthy of their time. I'm going to be calling them in the morning as well.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekly Routines?

I was going back through my posts reminiscing about the good old days when Lilly was sound. (It was such a short period of time that it really didn't take me long to get through the posts...) I came across this fairly recent post I wrote about goals. I wrote it shortly after Lilly was cleared for full work but before our first show of the year.

I set some goals.

The first one was to go to the JCHSS show on the 26th of that month. We made it there, won our showmanship class, and Lilly did really well for me in the hunt seat classes. Our first show since Lilly's injury! WOOHOO!

The second goal was to make it to the Paint show next weekend. I was feeling a bit cautious about speaking of my goals out loud because I was afraid I would jinx myself. But then I kept rambling on and on and at the end I said, "My goal is to make it to that show. I don't see any reason why we can't make it happen!"

Yeah, so I think I may never set goals ever again. Well, at least not on web paper. Perhaps I'll set goals in my head where the goal stealers can't find them.

Since I can't work my horse and don't have much else to do (I'm really throwing myself a pity party, aren't I?) I've been trying to come up with a weekly routine that I can use when riding Lilly. She never really got back into shape because of my trip to Alaska, the extreme heat, and now this abscess, so I wanted to organize exercises into a routine we could follow each week when I'm finally able to ride again. I was thinking of exercises we could build on so as she starts go get back into shape, we can increase the workload. I want to incorporate ground poles to improve her topline, maybe add in some longing, and work on transitions.

I have some books like 101 Arena Exercises that I'm going to re-read to get some ideas, but I'm really unable to find anything on the web. I thought there might be some conditioning guidelines available out there but there really isn't. I know it totally depends on each individual horse, the goals, and the discipline, but I was hoping to find a structured basic routine I could get ideas from.

Something like:
Warm Up - 10 minutes of walking and stretching
5 minutes of long trotting in both directions
10 minutes of walk/trot/canter transitions

But I have no idea. What's too much of something and what is the criteria for increasing the amount of time? How do I know when she's ready for 10 minutes of long trotting instead of 5, for example? Increase by 5 minutes per week?

If anyone knows of some good books or online resources I'd love for you to share them with me.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Abscess, Shedding, and Halters

Same old, same old...

Lilly wasn't any better today than she was yesterday. Her hoof is pretty mangled, though, and she's not used to being shoeless. So I'm guessing that some of this lameness is probably due to the fact that she's not shod. That was a big part of her lameness the last time she had as abscess as well.

There is still quite a bit of fluid around the area where her abscess hole is. It looks like there's still a bunch of stuff that needs to come out. I wonder if all the nasty is going to come out of the hole that's already there, or if she'll end up with more than one hole? It's a pretty large area...

In other news, Lilly is shedding her summer coat like crazy! It's mostly her white hair but I ended up with piles of hair on the ground after I got done brushing her. I had to keep knocking the curry on the floor to get all the hair out. I've never had a horse shed as much as she does in the summer.

In halter news, I got an email back about my halter and they sent me this picture of the proper way I should adjust Lilly's halter.

My other halter was too big to properly adjust on her head, so it was nice seeing how her halters should look. The problem is, either the halter is too small, or the moons are causing all my problems. I adjusted it like the picture shows and the moons were resting right on Lilly's cheek bones. She acted quite uncomfortable, so I either have to keep the halter and leave it like I had it adjusted yesterday or return/exchange it for something else.

Considering the cost of the halter, it's going back. I might try a horse size or I might just return it and look for moon-less halters. I'm still waiting to hear back about the horse size halters. They're not as quick to return my emails when I'm trying to return as they are when I'm trying to buy. ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Lilly is about 50% better today. She's still quite lame, but she can put weight on her hoof and isn't hobbling around nearly as much. Making progress!

Here's her abscess area after I soaked her hoof.

You can see the blowout hole and the area that is still filled with fluid. It's still tender to the touch, but she's much more tolerant of me messing with her hoof today.

After all the treatment was done, I took her outside to get some more pictures of her wearing the halter. I contacted the place I bought it from this morning to see about exchanging it and maybe trying a horse size instead, or just looking for something without moons. They requested I send some photos to help them see what I was talking about and perhaps assist me with fitting it better on her head or suggesting something different.

I met the boarder that has the gorgeous black and white overo Paint that's stalled next to Lilly. She's super nice and definitely a high maintenance show horse lady. :) We talked about showing (or lack thereof) and she seemed excited that I show Lilly, so I'm hoping we can get together for some shows. It's always more fun when you have another person to show with and to keep you motivated. She thinks she's going to take Baby to the Paint show next month so I might rethink my plans and take Lilly to that one as well.

I haven't been able to ride very much lately and Lilly won't have her shoe back on until Monday. That only gives me 3 days to get her ready for the Paint show. Who knows what will be going on with my halter too... it would be nice to have it for the Paint show.

We didn't get to talk too much because the BO came by to talk with her about why he left her very black mare in the sun until 11:00am today, so I felt the need to walk away and give them some privacy. LOL Hopefully I'll catch her at the barn again soon.

She did mention that the goats were put in Lilly and AJ's pasture the same day that I brought them to the barn. She said she knew that for sure because her mare was going in the pasture where the goats were and she absolutely did not want them in the pasture with her mare. So they were moved over to Lilly and AJ's pasture where I'm assuming Lilly freaked out, ran around like a lunatic, stepped on her shoe, and here we are today... show plans ruined for possibly two shows.

Guess he forgot about the part where I said "give them a couple days..." I know he didn't mean for anything to happen, and probably didn't think THIS would happen, but still.