Friday, May 29, 2015

Spring is wound season

Poor Limerick presented with a wound on her right hock last night. When I saw it, my blood pressure went through the roof. Most wounds don't bother me, but wounds over a joint--no matter how small--make me neurotic.

The swelling was very minimal and clearly from trauma to the tissue, which is expected. And although the wound had a bit of a scooped-out appearance, there was no puncture. Thankfully.

I have no idea how she did it, but that's horses for you. There are a couple new horses in the herd so that probably has something to do with it. My husband also found a protruding nail head in the stall at exactly the right height. It was free of hair and skin but it was also a possible cause. As a precaution it was nailed back into the wall.

I hosed the wound for 10 minutes to clean it and bring down the swelling. Then I patted it dry with clean paper towels and applied a thin coat of antibacterial ointment. I gave her 1 gram of bute for the swelling and some ProBios to help counter the negative effects of the bute and possible pain on her digestive system.

Before hosing.

After hosing.

After a restless night I visited Limerick early this morning to check on and treat her leg. I had horrible visions of a very lame Lim with a blown-out hock dancing in my head before I saw her, but to my extreme relief she was no worse than last night. If anything, the swelling had gone down a bit.

I hosed the wound and general hock off for five minutes and applied a thick slab of antibiotic ointment to the wound itself, and a thick layer of Corona ointment around the wound as an insect deterrent. Then I sprayed her legs heavily with fly spray.

All the while, Lim gazed at me sweetly with happy, content eyes. That look alone not only melted my heart, but gave my spirits a much-needed boost. I cuddled her head and kissed her blaze and told her I loved her, and that I was so happy her leg was okay this morning.

This morning.

Ready for turnout!

Hopefully the wound still looks good tonight. I truly hate wounds around the joint because they can turn very bad very fast. The first 48 hours will be very telling.

Bonus photo of Lim looking cute in her new mosquito sheet.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Common ground at the barn

I was trying Limerick’s new mosquito mesh fly gear on her last night (a purchase of belly band extenders is warranted, and the boots will be returned in exchange for a larger size) when I saw the husband of a new boarder petting his wife’s horse in a dark stall.

I flicked on the light switch for that horse’s stall. “Here’s the switch for the light,” I said.


“The light switch—it’s here if you want it,” I said.

“I’m sorry?”

Abruptly finding myself on the other side of the glass, I realized he was hard of hearing and repeated myself a third time.

He thanked me and I returned to Limerick. A few moments later he asked me what the mosquito mesh was for. I told him that Lim hates mosquitoes and that they couldn’t penetrate the fabric, which I held up to show him. He apologized for not hearing me the first time and pointed to the tiny hearing aids in his ears. I smiled and laughed and said, “It’s okay, I can’t hear well, either!” and pointed to the digital hearing aid in my left ear.

He said he began losing his hearing as a young man and needed to get the hearing aids at age 45, and now he was 70. He asked me when I began to lose my hearing and I told him I had meningitis when I was very little.

Our words and curious looks danced around one another. It was fascinating to have this sort of discussion, and I could tell he felt the same way.

We talked about Limerick a little bit, and when his wife returned from returning some grooming supplies to the tack room, he relayed a summary of our discussion to her. With that, goodbyes were said.

This man and I could not have been more different, yet we found common ground in our deafness. Although I already knew this, our encounter was a reminder that being open-minded can take you on the most interesting excursions. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Limerick on the grass

Christine sent me this photo of Lim grazing in turnout on Monday. Doesn't she look happy?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Happy 24th birthday, Limerick!

Yesterday was Limerick's 24th birthday. A box of gingersnap cookies courtesy of my husband, and a lot of cuddling, was the order of the day. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

It's always nice to see your horse doing this after recovering from a hoof abscess.

I free-lunged Limerick on Sunday to see how her feet were. To my relief, she was sound and I was able to ride her Monday and yesterday.

Here are a couple clips from Sunday:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Quick update: Limerick, Calusa Red breaking his maiden, and Deaf Women History Month

Limerick developed a hoof abscess a couple weeks ago so our riding has been on hold, unfortunately. She seems to be slowly returning to normal, however, so hopefully we're back in the swing of things soon. She has been doing well otherwise, and has her boyfriend Call Shot wrapped around her little hoof.

Lim after being groomed last night. She is not impressed by camera phones!

Christine's homebred racehorse, Calusa Red, broke his maiden in his third start last Saturday. I was already there to shoot the Illinois Derby so the timing couldn't have been better. I was absolutely thrilled and that race was the most exciting part of the week. You can see these photos on my Medium publication, Racing Reviewer.

Lastly, I came across this article today about Deaf Women History Month. The article was published April 1 and Deaf Women History Month is apparently March, so the timing is a little odd, but I thought it was pretty cool. I can attest that intense observations of social behavior and a deep sense of empathy are traits that I also carry with me. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The dapples are emerging, so spring is officially here.

Limerick's dapples have begun to emerge from beneath layers of shedding winter hair and dirt, not unlike the blades of green grass and daffodil leaves emerging in yards and gardens around here.

I am no poet but I was inspired to write this:

Dead vegetation
And hair
Flattened by pressure
From wind and hand
Float away
To feed the earth
And leave behind
Blooming dapples and life