Wednesday, August 31, 2011

...and it gets worse

At the barn last night, I could see that Limerick was very sore when I led her out her stall. Of course, I freaked, thinking it was her soles. But then a more logical part of me suggested that perhaps those stupid hoof boots were rubbing her raw somewhere.

I took her fly boots, bell boots and hoof boots off. When I took the right hoof boot off, she frantically tried to jerk her hoof out of my hands. After a couple tries I managed to get it off and checked the back of her pastern and heels.

Sure enough, there was a large, raw sore on the back of her pastern. Ouch! Poor girl. My heart sank and I felt had been a bad day, week, month, year and this was just the final straw.

There was a sore on the other pastern, too, but not as large. I put a large gob of human antibiotic ointment (the type with pain relieving stuff in it) and some aloe cream on a bandage and tried to wrap that to Lim's pastern with vetrap, but she would have none of it.

She is usually a very good patient so I knew it had to hurt! Which of course, made me feel even worse. I don't remember the last time I cried while tending to a horse wound--in all the years I've had Lim, I can on count on perhaps three fingers the number of times I've cried while tending to her medically, and this includes the daily bandaging of her laminitic hoof after it had been radically resectioned in 2002.

Finally I gave up on the bandages and smeared the ointment directly onto the wounds, gave her a gram of bute and put her back in her stall. I also decided that, at least for today, she should stay in from turnout.

(But as I was writing the last line, my barn owner emailed me to ask if she could do anything...and after some thought, I asked if she could let Limerick out onto the pasture with the others at 1pm. I figure that two hours of turnout on the grass will do her far more good than harm).

As for what to do next...I don't know. I could try wrapping her pasterns with vetrap then applying those boots again, but whether I can do that or not depends on the wound. We'll see tonight.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Barefoot horse....and farrier out of commission.

Well, I opened this window to compose a blog about Limerick being barefoot for two weeks as of August 25. But now situations are a little worse than I thought.

Long story short, Limerick lost both shoes last week before her farrier appointment. The farrier said that set us back to square one, and instead of putting shoes back on to her thin hoof wall, he decided to let her go barefoot for two weeks and grow back a bit of hoof, then re-shoe her.

We both didn't like the idea but knew there was no choice. I had hoof boots so the plan was to leave her barefoot and monitor her, and if she seemed sore then I would put the boots on.

Well, last night, she was sore. She was okay before that, but definitely sore last night. So on went the boots.

And today I found out my farrier is injured and out of commission for a few weeks. Ohhh noooooooo! I need to find a new guy to shoe Lim temporarily. I hate foot-related issues with her...they are so stressful.

Monday, August 22, 2011

No birthday ride for me--bummer!

Today is my 31st birthday (or as Miss Lim may say, I was foaled 31 years ago today...and if you ask my mom, I was nearly as large as a foal when I was born).

I had a birthday ride planned/hoped for, but alas, it is not meant to be...Limerick lost a shoe yesterday. But this time she didn't take out massive chunks of hoof along with it so that's something to be happy about. The farrier is already scheduled for Thursday, so I will just wait until then to have it taken care of.

I did ride her last Thursday with an audience composed of my parents and a family friend from the UK. Lim was great--very calm yet playful at predictable times, and she moved so, so, so! well! My dad told me she looks wonderful for her age and I agree.

I just wish her dapples would come back--they disappeared shortly after she colicked (and lost 100+ pounds). The weight is back but the dapples are not. Hopefully they make an appearance when her winter coat begins to grow in.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dentist today

Limerick had her teeth floated today. Since her appointment was in the late morning, I could not leave work to hold her. Instead someone else did, and she also texted me updates.

At lunch, I swapped the stilettos for muck boots went to the barn to check on Lim. When I arrived, she was already 98% awake from the sedative and being led out a stall by the barn guy. He led her over to me so that I could say hello to her, then turned her out in the big pasture.

As I watched, she wandered through the horses, looking for her boyfriend, Joey. I quietly rooted for her to find him quickly. And she finally did, and with a big whinny she galloped over to him, her eyes wide with happiness.

My friend! I've found you!

Her joy was so profound, so sweet and so intimate, that I couldn't help but tear up with my own joy for her.

I'm glad you found your friend, baby girl, enjoy the sun and the grass on this beautiful day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Goodbye, Niki

God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses. ~R.B. Cunninghame Graham

Today, the world lost a rare gem, a truly wonderful, kind, genuine woman named Niki. Always cheerful and upbeat, Niki instantly made anyone she met comfortable.

I remember when she was new to Gladstone, and had a stunning black Arab/ASB mix named Raven. How proud of him she was! And with him came all the horse supplies--blankets, tack, and more. We shared tack trunk space, and would both laugh at how much "horse crap" we had. But of course, how could we give any of it up?

I remember all the late winter nights at the barn, riding around the indoor arena with Limerick's fleece quarter sheet over her rump, all bundled up in my winter riding clothes. And Niki and Raven would often be the only other ones there. I would often stop riding and just start chatting with her until Lim dozed off beneath me. We would talk about places, kids (or our desire for lack thereof), our animals, our husbands, and life. She really warmed up those cold nights!

I also remember the first time she saw me ride--she praised my riding skills and said she wished she could ride like me. I told her that it took a lot of hard work, but that she could do it! And you know what? Within two years she won a blue ribbon in her first show on her beloved Raven. I was so proud of her!

Whether she had met you once or a thousand times, she always had a friendly greeting for you. And if I was too far away to lip-read her? She would instead give me a huge, cheerful wave. How could you have a bad day after that?

She was a beloved member of my barn family, and she will be sorely missed by all. But although she is physically gone, she will always be in our hearts.

May you be surrounded by horses, Niki!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Prayers for Niki

A wonderful member of my "barn family" was seriously injured in a trail riding accident yesterday.

Niki is one of those rare and wonderful beacons of light, with a smile and kind words for everyone she sees. She laughs easily and always genuinely cares about how you and your horse are doing. She worked incredibly hard to organize the barn, and Gladstone is a much better place for it. Although she recently moved her horse to another barn, we at Gladstone still consider Niki a member of the barn family.

Get well quick, Niki--hang in there! The world needs more people like you, not fewer :-(