Odd things to combine but neither require a full post.
Most important is my Waggy Tails. She was in much better spirits Monday morning when Dusty took her to the specialist. Her biggest issue? She couldn’t roll over for belly rubs due to the pain in her leg. The pup is addicted to belly rubs and she became pretty pathetic when she figured out she couldn’t do it.
She went in to surgery around lunch and came out with a 15 hole plate filled with 10 screws (5 above and 5 below the fracture) as well as an intramedullary nail. That’s a lot of hardware. The surgeon said it went well, the fracture had a bit more comminution (fragments) than the X-ray led her to believe burnt cane together nicely.
She stayed the night last night and we will get her over lunch today. The plan is to keep her at the clinic for 6 weeks to let her have the needed cage rest and see where she is then. We need to do range of motion exercises to prevent contracture of the quads but other than that she shouldn’t need a lot of therapy.
All good news.
Second, I keep forgetting to announce this on here but our House Hunters episode is airing in the US on Friday 8/17/18 (this week) at 10pm EST on HGTV. I don’t have cable so my mom is DVR-ing it for me and I’ll watch it Saturday. There are so many things that happened during filming so I’m a bit nervous to see how they edit it and what the end result will be!
Who knows – they may make it look like I hated something I loved.
Tune in if you want to see me make an fool of myself. I’m so interested to see the spin they put on it and to go “but I didn’t say that about that!”
Sunday morning I hopped on the tractor to try to finish mowing the big pasture in preparation to move the horses out there this week. It’s been hard going to mow it between the raging storms every evening and the insane growth rate.
I was heading up the hill when I saw a flash of yellow out of the corner of my eye and turned to see Wyatt coming up the hill. I stopped and turned the tractor off to see what he wanted and next thing I knew both dogs and Wyatt were all on the tractor with me.
Now I’m a tractor nazi. I hate Wyatt being on there with me and am very paranoid about the high level of risk involved with a tractor and the addition of a running bush hog being pulled behind. I kicked the dogs off as they know they aren’t allowed on it and generally aren’t supposed to be near it. They had followed Wyatt out from the house.
Both dogs jumped down and I was talking to Wyatt and turned the tractor back on to go up the hill before kicking him off too. Thankfully I didn’t turn the bush hog on. I’m counting all my lucky stars and thanking every possible higher being for that one. I pulled forward slowly and immediately felt a bump followed by hearing the gut wrenching sound of a dog screaming in pain.
I slammed on the brakes and looked around. Waggy Tails was trapped under the bush hog. I froze. I didn’t want to raise it with Wyatt around fearing the worst and wanting to spare him that sight. Instead I screamed for Dusty who was out mending fences. I wasn’t thinking and poor Dusty heard me and immediately thought it was Wyatt who was in trouble.
He made it to the tractor at a dead sprint and I told him “I just killed Waggy”. Wyatt was sobbing. I was sobbing. Dusty told me to take Wyatt to the house and as I was walking down the hill he raised the bush hog.
Much to everyone’s surprise Waggy came hobbling out without a scratch on her. She was holding her back left leg off the ground but otherwise was in perfect condition.
Lucky doesn’t even begin to describe it.
We rushed her off to Dusty’s clinic and got her filled with pain meds while he got the X-ray machine turned on and ready. The radiographs showed a broken femur and that was all. I feared she broke her pelvis but that was fine as was all the internal organs he could see. Her heart and lungs sounded fine and her abdomen palpated normal.
Again. Lucky doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Dusty texted the ortho specialist in town and set Waggy up for surgery this morning. She will be getting a plate and screws in her leg to hold the femur back together. Poor girl. She will be on cage rest for at least 6 weeks. I’m so glad that I have a husband who cares for the animals like he does and didn’t even hesitate to call the specialist to set up surgery.
I’m glad the bush hog wasn’t on.
I’m glad I hit her leg only and not her abdomen or chest.
I’m glad it wasn’t Einstein as he is so small it would have killed him.
I’m glad it wasn’t Wyatt.
I’m pissed that I didn’t realize she had laid down in the shade of the tire and assumed she had walked off.
I’m pissed I ran my dog over.
But she should be ok. It’s a clean break and not shattered. It could have been so much worse.
That about sums up Cruze’s life with me. Which sucks for both of us. I had plans for him when I brought him home which amounted to a lot more than one flat lesson in a torrential downpour and one cross country school.
But such is life.
I’ve decided to put him out to pasture, per se I mean he always is out anyway, and ignore his existence until September 5th when the farrier comes back and assesses if he can be safely shod with pads or not.
I’m not going to attempt another arena ride until that point. It just pisses us both off and we get nowhere. Part of his under saddle attitude is no doubt due to being painful though a lot of it is just him trying to see what he can get away with. The problem is that I don’t want to push him like I normally would because I know his feet hurt.
If it ever stops raining I’d love to start taking him out on the trail with his boots on trails I know have forgiving footing. If we are stuck to a walk, might as well return to my love of the trail and get him some exercise and a change of scenery from walking figures in the arena.
In the meantime though, why not spend money?
First, he is going on a course of gastroguard. I don’t like his rough, dull coat and he has plenty of reasons between the move, change in life style, and foot issues to have sprouted some stomach issues. If I’m not riding right now anyway, I figured it was a good time to treat him for potential ulcers. Good thing Hubby is a vet and gets a killer deal on this liquid gold.
Second, I splurged online a bit. He needed a new bit as the chunky French link snaffle was a tad too small and he hated it. He had been going in a d ring myler, so I decided to order one and see if it made a difference. Damn those bits are expensive though. I tried it on him once and it made an immediate difference. No more chewing the bit or trying to spit it out. I only walked but he didn’t try to rip the reins from my hands one time and was much, much steadier and happier. Nothing like a perpetually lame horse with champagne taste.
In the same order I threw in a jolly ball toy with a likit treat. My hope was that he would take to eating that instead of his wooden stall door. Anyone care to guess how that played out?
He took one sniff, threw his nose in the air and immediately returned to the door. Sigh. I don’t know. I’m either going to just remove the stall door and replace with a stall guard or cover it in Tabasco sauce.
The other item in the box was a new girth. He takes a 48″ and hated Gem’s antichafe girth as much as she always did. It didn’t have elastic ends instead claiming the entire length had stretch and both horses really didn’t enjoy it that much. I want to stack the deck in our favor once we do return to riding, so I got him a nice fleece lined girth that he seemed to approve of by not trying to eat me as I slowly tightened it.
Of course the husband questioned why I spent money on tack items for a non rideable horse, but one can always dream of riding the horse you specifically bought and paid good money for to do just that.
The last item was Keratex to help harden the sole and hoof wall.
In reality, my “ignore him until September” is really “don’t get your hopes up to ride while continuing to pamper and coax his health along”. I have texted back and forth with Trainer about doing some ground lessons and learning how to ground drive him because why not? Might as well work on something and it may just help once we do get back under saddle. It can’t hurt.
So that is that. I refuse to get worried or upset until the farrier says he has enough hoof to shoe him. The big guy grows on me daily and has been fun to get to know better on the ground without the under saddle stress. The pace season will start at the end of the month and maybe we can spend the fall hitting those and enjoying the cooler weather together. We will see what time brings us.
Sorry for the delay. Wednesday’s I work at the hospital instead of my private office and I can’t do things like blog or buy horse items. Go figure that they frown upon that. And then yesterday…I don’t know. I’ve been in a funk in general in life lately. But today I got down to it, did some shopping around to come up with something worthy of winning and plugged the names into the random name picker thing.
This month saw four people getting out there and getting it done putting in a total of 14:35 hours during one of the hottest months of the year:
Emma Nadia Sarah O Betsy
Congrats to all of you for finding the time to help out. I hope you all had great volunteering experiences. July was a random drawing for a prize worth around $20 and the winner this month is:
Sarah O, please send me your address at agemofahorse at gmail dot com and I will get it ordered and potentially shipped directly to you.
What did you win?
A summer pack to get you through the dog days and into to the fall including a grooming bath mitt, a sweat scraper and fly wipes.
Thanks for participating! August has already begun, get out there and volunteer!
Friday the farrier declared the abscess blown and Cruze good to go back under saddle. I watched him walk off sound and happy with full length strides and was satisfied with our plan moving forward.
Saturday morning I brought him in for breakfast and saw this
Guess some big orange butthead heard the news and needed to find some way to remain “retired”.
Good news is that it is superficial, there is no swelling or heat and he is sound on the leg. For the moment anyway.
Bad news is that it’s over a joint and healing that could either be easy or a royal pain due to the motion of the skin. For now I put him back out instead of in his stall mostly for my own sanity plus the above no heat, swelling or pain thing.
I’ll check on him regularly for the need to be stalled. In the meantime if anyone knows someone in the market for a sorta sound accident prone pain in the butt gelding please let me know.
Confession time: in the 9 years I’ve had Gem and Pete I have had to call the vet out twice. Once when she cut her hoof half off and again that same year when she had a colic scare. Both were due to the bad boarding situation she was in and we quickly left. Even with her hoof injury she never took a single lame step.
Lameness isn’t something I’m experienced with and when it comes down to it, I’m a newbie with problematic horses.
Cruze has continued to be off going right under saddle while being perfectly sound gallivanting in the pasture. I stopped riding him last week when it started getting worse instead of better and decided to just wait until the farrier came out to get his advice on the situation. I was finally able to secure a new farrier that came highly recommended by Trainer and whose work I have personally seen on an event horse and liked.
I always start a new farrier off with Gem. She not only has freakishly amazing feet, but is also an angel in the cross ties, half the time falling asleep. It’s a nice introduction to how I train my horses to behave for the farrier. She was her awesome self with no issues and no concerns. Then it was Pete. He is a bit harder since his feet like to crack and he is prone to white line. He was also a good boy, stood still, picked his feet up in advance of being asked and walked off better for it.
Then it was Cruze. He can be a total jerk with his legs often pulling them violently away from your hands. He no longer does this to me as I scolded him severely for it but he tests new people still. I quickly corrected that and apologized. Bad manners for the farrier is very embarrassing.
I filled him in on the last two months of hoof woes. The lost hind shoe exposing lamina resulting in being crippled and getting his first vet call. Then becoming sound only to repeat the process on the front which has not resolved any where near as quickly as the hinds. Plus the pesky right side lameness in the better looking hoof that is getting worse and not better.
Right away he diagnosed that issue. Cruze had freshly blown out an abscess on the lateral heel. Ugh. I admit to feeling like an ass. I had noticed the spot looked odd last week but thought it was his hoof boot rubbing which is why I ditched the boots. He continued to get progressively more lame and I didn’t even think to make sure that wasn’t an abscess brewing.
Thankfully it has blown and should grow out and he gave the green light to hop back on him thinking he should be as sound as his feet will let him be once again.
Of course I have family in this week so I won’t get to test that theory for a while.
Other than that the verdict on his feet is that they suck. In general. More specifically he has paper thin soles that remain “squishy” (his words) even after two months of pasture, being bare and hoof supplements topically and orally.
My question to him was: could they thicken with time and a better hoof growing down or is this genetically him?
His answer? They will certainly improve with all that but if I want to ride him on anything but mattresses and jump him, I should shoe him and forget about it.
Unfortunately he still doesn’t have enough hoof to shoe, so the plan is another 6 weeks bare, use keratex three times a week, and then shoe with leather pads for a cycle. Hopefully we can ditch the pads after the initial go and remain in shoes. He said I could go bare behind but I’d have to be very careful on the footing and if I’m planning on eventing I’d be best off just shoeing them too.
So that is that. He needs to grow enough hoof to not end up in a cycle of pulled shoes and lost hoof wall, but this guy’s opinion is that I should just shoe him all around as he was sound shod before. As long as this guy is as good as his reputation makes him out to be, he should be able to trim/shoe him in a balanced manner to counteract his tendency to want to be high right and low left and get him moving better so we can go back to having fun and growing as a team.
We will see what six more weeks brings us. In the meantime I’m going to hop on him hopefully sometime soon and see how he feels now that the abscess is blown. Hopefully he will be sound and ready to roll at least for flatwork lessons and ground poles.