Thursday, March 17, 2011

Limerick's leg is doing fantastic!

What a relief...Lim's leg is well on its way back to being 100% again. She still has an ugly wound but it's pink and clean, and should close up soon. More importantly, the swelling and heat is almost entirely gone.

She can't be turned out until Monday, maybe Sunday (depending on the wound) and I have to keep her leg wrapped until then, but the penicillin injections are finished and I'm finally taking her out for short walks.

(speaking of those injections, she was a complete model patient for me! Each time I gave them to her, she stood perfectly still and waited patiently for me to finish. You need to inject them very slowly, so these injections aren't over with in the blink of an eye. What a goooood girl!)

Lim's leg on March 11--compare the area below
her knee to that of her normal right leg.

Lim's leg on March 16

The traditional "Thoroughbred gaze" moments
before she decided to do some acrobatics

Last night Limerick decided to show me just how much better she feels! I took her down to the grazing strip and all was well--she would graze, lift her head high and focus on some faraway point, then repeat. Nothing out of the ordinary for her.

But after a few moments I heard what I guessed was a dog barking (I found out later it was a small pack of coyotes, which are common around here) and Lim completely flipped out! She flung her head straight up, snorted, and went into a lovely capriole. It was like my mare had invisible rockets on the soles of her hooves--I barely even saw her move before she launched herself three feet into the air, her hind legs kicking back in unison with each leap. She did it again, focused on some faraway object I couldn't see (snorting and blowing like a bull all the while), then threw out a few more caprioles.

Finally, she settled down for a second and threw her head down again for a hurried bite of grass, then without chewing, flung her head back up again and snorted at the same faraway object. Abruptly she then pranced and cantered in place around me, the whites of her eyes flashing. Greatly amused, I tried very hard to reach for my phone so I could record the whole thing, but any move I made was greeted with a lot of dramatics and airborne moves on her part.

I couldn't stop laughing!

Finally I had enough. The last thing I needed was my injured horsey getting away from me and galloping off at top speed.

"Alright girl, time to go back to the barn, huh?" I said. With a little difficulty, I managed to move my prancing, piaffing, flag-tailed, snorting mare over to the driveway. She alternated between a prance/piaffe combo and a super-slow, high-kneed canter the whole way up the barn driveway, neck bowed, nostrils huffing and puffing. I had to circle her every few paces to slow her down.

There is a massive pothole in the driveway and when we reached it, she stopped abruptly, splay-legged, and snorted at it before launching herself over it in a tidy leap, knees tucked high. Of course, this made me trip over the pothole, and in response she threw herself into a frenzy of bucking bronc/Lipizzaner moves. I did my best to not laugh too much, lest I startle her even more and lose my grip on the lead shank.

Ah, Thoroughbreds!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In sickness and in health...

I thought it was draining and difficult to be personally sick for nearly three weeks. From a mysterious infection in my cheek, to full-blown flu, to bronchitis, and then lastly, the nasty side effects of the antibiotics prescribed for the bronchitis, being healthy is something that has evaded me since mid-February, and is something that I yet to have a full grasp on.

In the meantime, I continued to go to work and did my best to perform up to expectations. I tried to make jewelry when I had the energy While I am normally a neat freak, cleaning was far down my list of priorities. Sure, I still did it when I could, but not with the same level of detail and care. My husband had to play "nurse" and I really got to know the cushy contours of our couch.

Of course, running wasn't in the near future but riding? Yes! I had planned to give riding another try this past weekend. But then I had to cancel those plans because Limerick got her leg caught in a fence.

I suddenly had an education: as miserable as I was while sick, it really does not compare to the mental anguish of having a hurt horse. I've long known that when Limerick is happy and healthy, then my mind is at ease...and when she isn't right, then it weights upon me heavily like no other burden.

Since she is my baby, it's not a surprise that Limerick's health affects my mental state. But just how much is amazing. In this situation she had a wound on her leg, which in turn was swollen and hot. She had to be inside on stall rest, and I had to give her penicillin injections daily. It's not colic, or laminitis, or broken bones. But I was so anxious about the whole thing that it kept me awake at night, and I could think about nothing else. I visited with Lim as much as I could, and fed her an endless parade of treats. I told her she was a good girl and that I loved her. I iced her leg, changed her bandages, rubbed muscle rub cream into her shoulder and upper leg (yes, she loved it!). I made sure her fleece sheet was clean so she could have something super-comfortable to wear while on stall rest. I picked out her feet and made sure the rest of her was okay.

All the while, I was miserable. Sure, I no longer had a fever or a nasty wet cough. I no longer became lightheaded and nauseous when I stood up, and I no longer wanted to vomit at the very sight of food. But I was miserable...mentally. I was receiving an abrupt reminder that Limerick and I are connected, and my mental well-being is on par with her physical well-being.

She isn't out of the woods yet but rapidly approaching that point, and tonight I give the last penicillin shot. Can I breathe a sigh of relief? Not yet, but I can allow myself to smile.

Next time I'm sick, I'll think back to the time that I was ill for three weeks and had a healthy, happy horse, then abruptly the tables were turned, and the mental anguish that came with it was far worse than the physical toll of illness. I'll remember and be thankful that while my body is down, my mind is in a good place as my beloved mare stands outside in the sun with her friends, content and happy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

15 years!

She makes me laugh, and she's made me cry,
she's dropped my heart into my stomach and she's lifted it into the sky.
On her back and by her side
I've experienced some of the greatest moments of my life,
and together we've grown from
silly young girls into silly mature gals.
She's my horse and this month we've been together for 15 years!
I love you, Limerick!