Friday, August 29, 2014

Looking Back...

It has been a summer of disappointment and heartache to some degree. My dog was incredibly ill for almost a month after my husband and I were away for two weeks. She's better now, but I am fearful of another bout of pancreatitis when we leave next time, and that she may not recover.

Abbey f-ed up her leg with some pretty serious bone bruises in June (trainer said she busted through the gate in the field and was found in the aisle of the barn by the barn help that came to feed that night - no one told me for a month, and then it was by accident I think - grrrr). The hematoma that resulted never really went away, vet said if she seemed sound to ride. So we did. This was in the midst of her springing and throwing two sets of shoes, which also kept me from riding. Finally got the shoes sorted right before a show in the end of July - smaller shoes so that she doesn't overreach and pull them off, and bell boots for turn out.

Show went great, had some of the best rides ever on Abbey all weekend, then on the way home I let someone else wrap that hind leg with the hematoma, and when I took her out of the trailer, it was all blown up bigger than ever because the wrap was loose - maybe that's way, who the hell knows with these things. What. the. hell. So, another week of no riding, poultice, wrapping, DMSO, and finally a vet visit.

The vet did an ultrasound and then drained the hematoma, which reduced it in size by about half. Started sweating it with Furazone and DMSO, using a Back on Track standing bandage, and regular wraps so it is always wrapped 24/7. Took her to another show, since she was cleared by the vet. Kind of acted crazy on the lunge line Friday night, but was chill on Saturday. Trainer hopped on, and immediately asked if she look weird at the lope. I said, maybe, seems like she's swinging her right hind wide. I got on, and felt the same hunchy, stiff back, and not willing to go forward at the lope. Trainer attributed it to her leg and compensating for it on the left side. I cooled her out, untacked, and went to groom her and almost got my face bitten off by a twitchy-skinned mare face. Her whole side was spasming when I touched it, like flies were on her. And if I pressed at all it was like she wanted to come unglued. Rubbed it with beagle oil, and the next day it was better. Gave her a bath, lunged a little walk trot, walked around, and was pleased with her attitude at the show overall. She wasn't stupid or naughty, just couldn't ride. Bummer, big time. Tried not to be a sour puss and cry about it, but I did let some tears drop. It's just frustrating.

Vet checked again yesterday, and trigger points indicate more ulcers, and pretty severe this time. Vet suggested change of diet and to eliminate all grain. Trainer wants to just feed baking soda with grain, but I am over it and am ready to make a bigger change and one that has science behind it instead of some old cowboy lore. She also got a massage that morning for $85, which I don't think really helped at all. I still need to talk with the vet tech about the diet, she has a mare with ulcers who is on hay only with a supplement from Equine Health and Performance. I contacted the company yesterday, since the website is pretty terrible and have yet to hear back. Trying to avoid the beet pulp, rice bran, and alfalfa diet since that is a pain. Hoping to feed hay only with a supplement for additional nutrients, just not sure if we can feed grass hay only or if we need alfalfa in there as well for more protein and calcium, but if we do that not sure if we need to add rice bran to balance out calcium and phosphorus. There is just so much to wrap my brain around.

I am really questioning the whole showing thing. I have a horse that I couldn't use all summer, a lot of which is related to this dream of showing. I am still holding out hope that we can show in September when my mom is here to visit, and then I am looking forward to taking her shoes off, hoping that she doesn't have complications from that, and just training all winter. We will see where that takes us for next year, but that is a lifetime away right now. I love her, she's mine, and I have a safe horse I can enjoy even if I never take another lesson or ever go anywhere with her. Still, hard to let go of dreams and hopes. Gonna keep fighting a little longer.