Monday, January 25, 2016

A long overdue update!

A lot has happened since I last wrote here.

Limerick is well but she had a turbulent late summer. In early August, she was badly kicked in her right upper foreleg. The wound required x-rays, stitches, endless yards of bandaging, antibiotics, and a completely different turnout situation for her once she healed.

Fortunately she is 100% sound, and a scar is the only sign of what she went through.

Near the end of August I unexpectedly lost my job of 7 years (yeah, that was a rough month). But I found a better job in a field that I had my eye on all along: marketing.

Here are some photos my husband and I took of Limerick and I on my 35th birthday (August 22).

In October I photographed American Pharoah winning the Breeders' Cup Classic, and met him!

Be sure to check out my work on Racing Reviewer!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Articles about American Pharoah on Racing Reviewer

If you were wondering what my thoughts were on this year's Triple Crown winner, then take a look at the racing pieces I wrote for Racing Reviewer.

Kentucky Derby Week in Review

Belmont Stakes Week(s) in Review

History: Rewritten

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Death of Joey & general update on Lim

A couple years ago I wrote a post about Lim's then-boyfriend, Joey.  A few months after that post, Joey's owners opted to move him to pasture board. He had a hard time adjusting to the change and lost weight rapidly. 

A good friend of a pasture boarder, Barb, took pity upon Joey and, with his owner's blessing, took him under her wing as if he were her own horse. With her love and care, he gained weight and had a spark in his eye. But, always burdened by the toll of old injuries, the damage was done to Joey's hind end and he had a hard time moving quickly.

On Sunday July 5, Joey no longer had to worry about keeping up with the herd as they traveled to the lush grass of the front pasture. He no longer had to worry about the brutal winters blanketing Chicagoland in recent years. With Barb by his side, he was put to sleep.

Limerick was walked over to his body to say goodbye to an old friend.

Lim and Joey, summer 2012

Limerick has been okay aside from some vague hind end lameness, not unlike what she had in 2013. I think the soreness was a compensation injury from having sore front feet. Unfortunately, it appears my farrier's handiwork--and professional courtesy--have gone downhill in recent months. So I found another farrier and am hoping that he can do great things for Lim's feet. 

In the meantime, while Lim's feet grow out a bit, my vet okayed her being put on a month of Previcox. I also scheduled a session with the equine massage therapist and an equine chiropractor, Sig Hansen, adjusted her. He will adjust her again in a couple weeks, and again in August, to ensure that her body is nicely aligned. I lunged Lim last week to gauge her progress and she is, happily, sound!

Unfortunately I can't ride her for another reason. On June 25, the day before I was to leave on a solo drive to Kentucky, someone (I have my suspicions as to who) took a great big bite out of poor Lim's back.


I've had her for over 19 years and have never seen a bite like this. And from the comments of a few other seasoned horse folks, many of them haven't seen one this bad, either. 

Luckily it's healing nicely but since it's smack in the middle of her back, right on her spine, there is no way I can ride her until it's at least 97% healed. 

Such is horses. Such is life.

Day 1, after hosing.

Day 2, after hosing (many thanks to my husband for tending to Lim while I was gone the following day!)

One week later. Looking good so far.

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.