Sunday, April 19, 2015

Birthday, Anniversaries, Vets, Oh My

On April 14th Sheza turned 4!

Also, somewhere along the line, Rory got large. She's been here a year this Thursday. 

Rory fresh off the bus, April 23rd, 2014
this week
the You Shall Not Pass (until I say so..and do it politely) game
 the girls! and a noodly dog
 Apache has been here 5 weeks now. He's shed out and gained some weight and muscle and is now out on a bigger hilly pasture. This week he had an afternoon dental and was already trotting the fence line showing off early the next morning. After a chiropractic check/adjustment he'll be entering the work force here! Can't wait.
open wide for doc

showing his mini buddy Napoleon how to strut
 enjoying the bigger digs
getting bootylicious
Blaze also had a dental and he and the rest of the herd had their spring shots too. I lost my long time local vet last fall and after a good experience with Scrappy's diagnosis recently, this was my time using Loomis Basin Equine as a call out. Everything went smoothly and the ponies behaved themselves well. It feels great to have a working relationship with vets that can come to me, again.

Blazey dental
thanks ma, my toofs needed that 
 Meanwhile I've been adventuring about trimming hooves and fitting Renegade boots with my trusty assistants. Can you spot them?
Booting has got me out all over beautiful new countryside and experiencing fun new horses like this adorable Icelandic rocking Vipers:
another cute client--gotta love an Arab face!
I'll also be riding a friend's sale horse at Cache Creek 50 in 2 weeks, so that's an exciting chance to get back into ride camp. If you're interested in a 100 mile experienced 10 yr old bay Arab gelding, email me at for more. Or come check him out at Cache Creek!!

When not hoof and boot adventuring, here's a few other favorite activities my assistants and I take part in!

Stay tuned for training, the 50, and an all in the family swap yet to come!  Also Happy Anniversary and love you to my husband :-) 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Entire

We had a proper storm. Two inches of rain at least, hail, wind, and horses spurning the fancy sheds. But not immune from shivering tragically and inspiring warm mashes and blanketing. I'm so firmly wrapped around their hooves!

Fie upon your fancy shed, human
spring is blooming, budding, stretching, delighting the eye
 Riding is catharsis, caring for my herd is therapy, and snatching golden evenings with my husband and dogs the mortar in between. 
 great galloping wieners
My original crew dog, Georgia, has made a wonderful turn around after knocking at Forever After's door. She is glossy and gaining weight, her little rat tail ThumpThumpThumps when I walk into a room she's lurking under a blanket in. The cat gets herded and she weaves between hooves as I trim them and scold her. It isn't forever, but it's for now, and it's wonderful.

 Sheza turns 4 next week
 I pulled Apache out for a stroll, some grazing, grooming, and a hoof trim. Today was the first day he immediately relaxed in the cross ties and even, *finally* relaxed his plywood neck! :)
He's super sweet and willing, but he startles at his own startles and in general is pretty tense in the neck and head. He is holding his breath less but this was definitely the first relaxed lowered head time in the cross ties. I still don't have his hooves to where I want them but they're coming along! If I can force myself to make time for it once a week the adjustments really come along nicely. 

I have the same vet clinic that diagnosed Scrappy's back coming out to vaccinate the herd and do a few dentals next week. I suspect Blaze, Desire, and Apache may need their teeth addressed and my 6 1/4 need their spring shots. I gave vaccines myself for years but I don't relish it and aside from needing dentals having Loomis come do it all lets me establish a working relationship with them on my herd, since I've recently lost my usual vet.

fine horseflesh, April 2015..
anyone else noticing Rory is as big as Scrappy..err

Scrappy is going out to pasture for a year with a reassessment and possible controlled progressive rehab to follow. I need the year to wrap my head around it all, honestly. I have heard all the reasons why his injury may not be the end for us in endurance but it all tastes like bitter lemons when faced with the pain he endured for my hobby. I'm sure it will temper with time but I feel through my horse's breath and at the moment the thought of building him up so I can ride on an injured spot in his back just sounds wrong. I know my physical limitations as far as 2 pointing the entire ride, too. So I'm not deciding anything now, just mulling it all over and reminding myself that yes, I acted to the best of my knowledge and ability in the moment for his welfare. But still. I am growing as ever, stretching, embracing bitter truths, I suppose. 

Spring, entire. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Scrappy Vet Lumbar Diagnostics: The Results

First I must say that as a consumer, I had a great experience at Loomis Basin Equine, particularly with Dr. Langdon Fielding. Information exchange was thorough, clear and continuous and Scrappy was well handled. Plus it was fun to chat here and there between times about Rushcreeks and endurance!

As to the results..not great. We went in chasing the back soreness that Scrappy has exhibited after "higher" mileage (30+ miles) since after the LD I did the week after I bought him, almost 2 years ago now. We've played with saddles, chiro, acupuncture, horse carriage, rider's riding, a few months rest..finally I surrendered to utter science. For reference,  Scrappy was last ridden at Mojave 50 a month and a half ago.

We started with a lameness/flexion exam (sound!). Dr. Fielding did some hands on and found Scrap to be (a bit inconsistently) responsive to palpation of his midline lumbar.  
Next we x rayed the area of the back (nothing egregious on x-ray), and finally we ultra sounded.

Scrappy a little derpy on the good stuff
ready for imaging
 Sure enough, in the very spot the soreness shows up, about where my seat bones would be when riding, we found a compromised ligament. It was clear as day on the ultra sound, the smooth stretch of ligaments in one pictured area, and the disrupted and "spotty" looking injured area. Because the ligaments don't heal completely cleanly on ultrasounds always anyway, it's pretty hard to determine the timing of the initial issue, but I've been dealing with it right along and it's "active," as in doubt that last damn 50.

Recommended Protocols:

1) 1 yr pasture, no riding

2)A Controlled rehab program, essentially like rehabbing other ligaments, on a timeline and gradually increasing, stretches, ground work, side reins, work over poles, etc. With re-ultra sounding possibly useful, though potentially not conclusive

Not favored by either of us, and not scientifically proven to be useful for injuries to this area:

3)Steroid injections or platelet treatments

The caveat? Scrappy's downhill-from-the-croup conformation is a serious PITA not just for saddle fit, but for the long term healing/performance of that compromised area.

I don't really know what else to say at the moment..I'm properly gutted that after doing my best with my teenage mare and finally retiring her, I've spent another 2 years investing my heart and soul into a wonderful creature-- who most likely was hurting right along, to some degree, whether he showed it or not. There's certainly support for the first two recommended protocols as far as theoretical healing, but all things

Back home, Scrappy says he likes hanging out with fillies better than endurance anyway..