Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Arthritis returns?

Well, it looks like Limerick's hocks are bothering her again. It is not a severe case but I want to nip this in the bud before it gets worse.

Last night I sat down and removed all the SmartCalm from the Smartpaks she already had in her bin. Following orders of the Smartpaks will be without the SmartCalm.

If she continues to not consume her supplements then I will have to start giving them to her via oral syringe. I got into a good daily groove when I was giving her dissolved SMZs via oral syringe for some time so it won't be a big deal....and if I go on a trip, Lim is usually good for other people when they give her oral medication.

I am also considering having my new vet, Dr. Heinze, come out and meet the both of us and give Lim an injection of Adequan or Legend. I still have three vials of (good) Adequan from last winter, so this trip should not cost me much. I hope!

I can't believe how quickly Lim's winter coat has begun to grow in! Last week she was still a sleek, sassy thing. But almost overnight, she became a fuzzy darker brown. Now, either due to this (Who says mares don't have "I'm fat!" days, too!?) or because she is in heat, she's been Missy Crankypants lately.

If she were in heat, it would be a good thing....I feel like she skipped a heat cycle in September since the reproductive specialist gave her a shot of Estrumate in mid-August, thereby kick-starting her estrus cycles.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A video of Limerick

Yesterday I took a video of Limerick at walk/trot/canter in the round pen. She's been feeling a little "short" at the canter lately, although she doesn't complain when I ask her to canter, and holds it on her own just fine. In fact, she often shakes her head around or throws a mini-buck and otherwise acts like a clown when I first ask, and it's in a "Whee!" way, not a cranky-mare way.

You can see a little of that in the video. But what do you think--do you see anything here? Being ever-paranoid about her left fore foot, my brain always automatically blames that foot for every misstep she takes.

It's most likely something in her hind end, however. I suspect that thanks to the Lucky Charms-smelling SmartCalm Ultra, she hasn't been eating all of her supplements as she should. Besides the SmartCalm, she's also on Smartflex Senior for her arthritis and SmartHoof for hooves, skin, and joint health.

Hopefully taking her off that stuff, which I don't think works anyway, will help.

Limerick on YouTube

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pining for a trail ride.

I really want to get back on the trails with Lim before winter settles in. She was just okay (I’d give her a B-) during our one trail jaunt this year. I give her props for not exploding at the sight of a deer, a golf umbrella, a toddler being carried on the shoulders of an adult, absent-minded teenage girls chatting on bicycles, and a terrifying young tree menacingly tied to the ground from all angles (Lim disliked this creature the most). But she could have been far better, and I’d like to end the year on a good note with trail riding.

My typical trail ride pre-plan is to ride her for 30-60 minutes prior to leaving the property. Last time, there was an unusual July chill in the air, the sky was overcast with ominous clouds , and Lim kept shaking her head and acting goofy while I rode in the outdoor arena before hitting the trail. And the usually-calm horse we were with was spooking more than Lim. Not good signs.

I think next time I’ll ride her both days prior to the trail ride, then again for an hour before the trail ride. And I am going out with a couple horses that ride the trails multiples a week and are pretty much unfazed by anything…except maybe cougars.

Supposedly there’s a cougar loose in the Danada forest preserve area now. And why am I planning a trail ride? Well, I’m guessing the cat—if it is positively, actually there—will have moved on by then. Actually, this cougar is disrupting my running more than my riding!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

No shows this year, obviously.

I realized the other day that although I was so sure I would show Lim this year, it never happened. I was either not riding because she was being insane, or I was too busy mourning the death of my marathon plans, or this, or that.

I never got serious about it!

It's a shame but not a big deal. Limerick is physically and mentally younger than her 18 years. Her fitness doesn't spring back instantly as it once did but at the same time, I am confident that she could win just about any Green As Grass class at any time, providing she behaves.

She's a push-button horse to ride. She collects automatically, many times on her own accord. She quickly remembers leg yields and circles and serpentines. In short, there's always next year or the year after that.

By the end of 2008, after first seeing her rebound from arthritis and pedal osteitis, then thinking I was going to lose her--first as a companion, then as a riding horse--I was in a hurry to show her. I thought there was no better way to celebrate our return to riding than by riding in a show. But in the end, it wasn't necessary.

On the swollen udder/pseudopregnancy front, I am still awaiting Lim's return to estrus. The first, or worst, of the signs will probably peak just as my in-laws are visiting her this weekend.

"Is Limerick always so talkative and excitable? And my, she has a weak bladder!"

"Oh, uh, heh heh..."