Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Drumroll please.....

The verdict is in, well sort of. I called the vet yesterday on one of my rare moments not diligently taking notes in class or working hard for my money and he had some... ambiguous things to say.

We took more rads of Bijou's RF hoof this time. He said that he does see some things that are suspicious, such as some remodeling of the coffin bone to give it a little lip at the toe (I have yet to see the films, so I don't know how much we're talking about) which could have happened recently, or could have happened as a youngster. He also saw some slight navicular changes, mostly because that foot is more upright, and he thinks that all the tendons/ligaments working around that area might have pulled a few things slightly off kilter. He also said that her pastern bone doesn't sit as nicely in dead center of the joint as he'd like to see. So... what does this all mean? Not a whole heck of a lot since when we nerve blocked out those areas, she was still mostly off. That's when a whole picture type thing really comes in handy. I'm glad we did the blocks first, because now we know that all of that might just be 'normal' for her. Some horses have bone chips that never bother them, some have calcifications that should cause pain but just don't manifest as painful in some horses. Right now I'm not sure how much of this I need to worry about.

I had to rush through my conversation in order to get to my next class on time, so I had to cut short all the burning questions these findings brought up. What he did suggest as a plan of action was to shoe her like I had before (which made her sound) and until that wasn't working, we could continue like that. I'm a big believer in preventative medicine, so I'm already looking into getting some generic Adequan and/or some oral joint supplements to stave off any potential degradation of those joints. I have a friend who might be able to get me some of the generic at cost, so it might not even be thaaaat expensive.

Then I have thoughts like, if my young 6 yr old horse can't even stay sound barefoot, on really great footing, doing flat work, how is she ever going to stay sound enough to event no matter what I do with her feet?

I really love this mare. She's got the cutest personality, loves to be loved on, wants to please. I went out today and 'rode' her around bareback with her halter in her pasture (ok, so maybe we walked in like, 1/2 a circle a few times and I just laid there the rest of the time). That's the kind of thing I've always wanted to be able to do with my horses. I just met a girl the other day who wishes desperately that she could just go hop on her guy and wander around in a bridle, but can't because he's just not that kind of horse. I know that's not an amazing aspiration to have (and I've always been pushed to have aspirations) but is there really something wrong with that? I've really gained a trusting bond with this mare, she followed me around jumping little 6" cavalletti today and it was so cute because she would jump them just as high as I did. If I ran at them and JUMPED over, she would do the same, or if I just walked over them calmly, she'd follow along with her nose on the ground.

I'm at so many crossroads, my last year in college, what do I want to do as a profession, what do I want the rest of my equine career to look like, will I move? Where? Everything's up in the air and I guess I'll just keep taking things one day at a time.

Please, learn from my mistakes. Even if the horse is free (which Bijou was not), get rads and a soundness done, because this is no fun.

Friday, September 17, 2010

not much, but some

I've barely touched Bijou in the last week. I took her out for our vet visit, but I haven't wanted to do anything with her since we didn't get anything conclusive.

I've been doing lots of online 'stalking' instead. Watching tons of youtube videos and finding some amazing stuff. Some of the things have challenged the way I think about riding horses. I've found that some people ride in nothing but a string around their horses neck. That's taking bitless to the extreme! I have no idea how, but I want to start playing around with the idea.

I've also been hearing a lot about clicker training and playing with horses. I'll post more details later, but some of the video's are amazing. I started a little bit of play with Bijou today. I figure the basic thing is that I have to get her to want to follow me. I went out to her, stood a few feet away, and talked to her. She came right over to be scratched on. I obliged happily for a little bit, but then I stepped a few more feet away. I wanted to see if she'd follow me for a scratch, and she did, slowly but surely. We did this a few times until I had to go. I don't really know what I'm planning on doing with this, but the urge to get a bitless bridle (or heck, a shoe string around the neck) is getting stronger and stronger. I think I can do it. I've never spent that much on a single tack item other than a saddle, I know, I'm a cheapskate. I'm going to look into return policies just in case I need one to try but it ends up fitting badly, or not being the right bitless for Bijou and I.

I have my second vet visit on tomorrow, we'll see how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Vet Visit, still pending

The Dr. was in today, finally. He called me around 3 to let me know he was only running late, not standing me up again. He showed up, I explained that she's been on again off again for a while, and I think I was just chocking it up to her being unbalanced/unfit and young. Well now she's plenty fit and not that unbalanced but still off. So he has me run her up and down, nothing there, we go find a tough spot of ground and sure enough she's way off on her right foot. So we block the navicular. I'm cringing as I send her out to trot around hoping desperately that she's still off... and she is! PHEW! So it's not a navicular thing. We add more carbocaine to block the pastern, trot around, still off. More, to the fetlock, and she's not miraculously better, but much more so. We take like 5 views of her fetlock on x-ray and off he goes to run them through the developer. I won't hear back from him until tomorrow some time, hopefully.

He says it could be that she has a little bit of a lack of cartilage around the joint, or something else, he's not sure what. Hopefully the x-rays show something, because I want to know what it is! I guess I should count myself lucky that I can just slap plain ole front shoes on and have her be sound, but I want to make sure I'm not doing anything to her that I shouldn't.

Also, I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my little 6 yr old mare has been pin-fired. No one really knows why the race track trainers do this, but they do. I have no clue if this has anything to do with her soreness but ya...

I called the vet today (after not posting this post late last night for some reason which I forget) and he says that her x-rays show.... nothing! I don't know if that is good or bad at this point. The Dr. wants to come back out to do some more lower limb pictures (why he didn't already is beyond me) just to rule out anything down there. Those were the ones I wanted anyway, so yay! Or boo, considering I have to pay for them. Let the diagnostics continue!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Will anything ever go as planned?

My vet called me at about 3 today saying that they would not be able to make it out for my appointment at four basically because everyone else was more important. Someone had a bunch of horses they weren't prepared for about a 30 minute drive north, so the vet needed extra time there, and they were going to skip me in order to get him back to the clinic for his clinic appointments. I have another appointment for Thursday at 3, let's see if this works out. The thing that bugs me is that they have a 24 hr cancellation policy, if you cancel you get charged like $25. I want to have them take that off my bill because they canceled on me! If I didn't have to wait for the vet I could have gone to school Twin Rivers on my other mare.... URGH!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hurry up and wait

I made an appointment with the vet today for Tuesday the 7th at 4pm. That's five days away. That's a long time to formulate really crazy worst case scenarios. I think I'm just going to stick to walking her around, maybe some lateral work and lots of stretching with no thinking allowed on my part. I don't know how sane she'll stay if she doesn't get the chance to get sweaty, or how sane I'll stay until the vet gets here. I'm a worry wort, can you tell?

I'm off to fight the urge to google lamenesses..... wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not a good day

Where to begin. I started today, the first day of September, by realizing that I have only 19 days left until I begin the rat race of trying to obtain a degree. The degree, I have discovered at the end of my third year, that will get me nowhere I want to go. So, I guess you could say that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Went to work, where I got my first evaluation ever. There were 5-6 categories, and I only got "excellent" on one. I thought I was valued a little more than that. So not only am I working hard at a degree that doesn't get me anywhere, but I'm working my butt of at work to not be fully appreciated.

Went to the barn after paying out the nose when I dropped off rent and board. Not a particularly good feeling. Went to get Bijou and began my grooming. She was a little antsy which is just annoying since I know she knows better by now. I picked her four feet, and realized on the last one that she had thrown a shoe. Oh boy... I had decided that after my last scare of not knowing what was wrong with her feet to make her sore enough to need shoes, that the next time I needed to swap out shoes I would get some radiographs just to rule out anything that radiographs would show. I had also planned on saving up for the ensuing vet bill over the next 6-8 weeks, hopefully giving me enough to feel comfortable spending that. Well, since she lost the one shoe today, I put in the call to the vet to see if they could come out sooner rather than later. The only problem is that I'm not quite comfortable with paying for it yet. I did get one piece of good news, the farrier used a different shoe that's softer and he's also been having problems with them coming off. He's decided to re-do the shoes for free with his standard shoes because he feels like it's his fault. I don't know for sure either way, but it's really nice of him.

After all this, I feel like giving up. If Bijou has something wrong with her that won't let her jump... I dunno if I will keep her. I hate that, but it's not fair to either of us. Of course I would disclose everything to any potential owner, but I really like her! I don't want to sell her, I don't want to buy another horse. If she doesn't work out... I just don't know how I will keep doing this whole owning horses thing. I know I can't keep two horses, I just don't have time for two personal horses. I learned that when I was (am) trying to do my other mare along with Bijou. I just hate this. I don't care if everything doesn't work out perfectly, that's fine, but when it all comes crashing down around you over and over again? I guess I shouldn't say that yet, but I'm preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

I know I'm probably being way over-dramatic... but I just don't deal with not knowing very well. Everything should turn out just fine, and I'm just going to try to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

In other news, I pulled the wild beasts mane today. It went from probably 8-12 in long to only about 4-6. She was a pretty big snot about it, but I think it's because I only walked her around rather than work her before hand. I'll try to get some pics of that just because I like them.