Monday, September 14, 2009

Liniment and Polo Wraps

My birthday is this week. Friday actually. I had planned a trail ride for Saturday with some friends and have been really really really looking forward to it. Really. My husband even offered to watch Xavier all day so I could have a nice relaxing time. This last Friday evening I received a call from Susan. She had gone out to ride Summer, pulled her out of the field and noticed something was off. She checked her over and saw that Summer's right front shoe was missing. She had a slight limp and was swollen just above her coronet band to just below her fetlock. The back of her pastern had some small cuts on it as well. I was worried but stuck at home with the baby so instructed her to cold hose her leg for 10 to 15 minutes, spray some Schreiner's Herbal Solution on the cuts and put liniment on the swollen area.
I went out the next morning (Saturday) and pulled Summer out of the pasture. She only had a slight limp and the swelling didn't look bad at all. I did the same thing that Susan had the night before but left out the liniment. She was in a good mood and enjoyed the attention, except for the Schreiner's because it stings a bit and she hates spray bottles of any kind. I put her back out to pasture and sent Susan a text updating her on the situation and asked her to repeat the process again that night. Before I left I even walked the fenceline of her pasture thinking that maybe she got caught up in some wire or something but couldn't find anything to confirm my suspicion.
Susan made it out yesterday (Sunday) morning to check her over again and sent me a text saying she seemed to be worse and the swelling had increased. Her limp was more pronounced so we decided stall rest for the time being would be best. I went out last night and managed to catch our barn owner Kristy and ask her advice. She suggested we do what we had been but thought too much stall rest might make her stock up and not help the injury circulate. She let me borrow some polo wraps and I wrapped her legs for the night. Not well since I'd never done it before but it was better than nothing. Poor Summer had a really hard time walking and seemed like every step was agonizing. I felt so bad for her. Gave her some hay and tucked her in for the night. This morning I made it back out and when I walked into the barn Summer's head popped up in her stall and she whinnied excitedly at me. Its been a long time since she's done that so it made me feel better about the situation. Leading her out of the stall was a little slow but I was pleased to see the wraps had stayed on. They looked like crap but at least hadn't fallen off and been trampled in the shavings. I unwrapped her legs and felt the injured one for heat. It didn't feel any hotter than the day before but the heat went farther up her leg than previously. She was still limping but it didn't seem to be as agonizing as last night although she was a little more hesitant to take that first step.
Here are a few pics of her legs first thing this morning. The scratches aren't too bad but they do seem to be slightly painful.

Its not really noticable in this picture but the inside of her right leg is definitely more swollen than her left.
Kristy suggested scraping the scabs off of her scratches so I spent a good 20 or 30 minutes doing this. I clipped the hair around her wounds and then cold hosed her for a while longer. She was SUCH a good girl. It definitely hurt but she was very patient the whole time. I did find a small thorn in her frog while I was doing this that I pulled out as well. Hopefully that was part of the issue and is now relieved.

You can see quite a bit of swelling in the pic on the inside of her pastern as well as the bulb of her heel.

Not thrilled at all with having her legs wrapped but at least Kristy showed me the correct way to do it. Looks MUCH better this time!

At this point I'm still trying to get ahold of my farrier and either have him replace the shoe or pull the one on her left so that she can at least stand evenly. I've left 3 messages since Friday and haven't heard back. She was just shod a few weeks ago in anticipation of my trail ride and he guarantees shoes for 6 weeks. This is driving me crazy. He's always really good about calling me back.
So basically my birthday plans may be on hold. It sucks but I feel even worse that she's hurt. Is it my fault for putting shoes on her? Would she have gotten hurt with or without them? I can't help but feel guilty but at he same time I know its kind of a freak accident. She'll probably be fine in a week or two and maybe the weather will still be nice. I'm sure it'll work out.....

UPDATE: My farrier called back and will be out tomorrow at 1ish to fix Summer's shoe! He is so awesome. Cross your fingers that it'll help her feel better.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Summer is currently on a full care lease until October 1st. I'm really excited to be able to have more time with her starting then but at the same time a little scared about our financial situation. My biggest fear is having to sell her, or not being able to cover all the minimum care she requires over the next few months. I was laid off from my full time job back in April, which was a small blessing since Xavier came so early, but at the same time a burden since we lost a couple hundred dollars a month of income. We are also coming into winter which is not a good time for my hubby's work and they've already warned him that it could be a tough season. Last year he spent almost 2 months getting laid off every other week. It was fine when it was just the two of us but now we have this little baby that requires diapers and formula and plenty of other things as he gets bigger. I know Susan will still want to partial lease Summer which will help quite a bit and I'm hoping I can find a part time job to bring in a little extra income. If not maybe I will try to see if I can work out at the barn and trade for board to help lighten the financial load. Summer is due to have her teeth floated before the end of the year too so I'm going to try and put a little bit away here and there to try and pay for it. Hopefully things will work out and Summer can stay right where she's at.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Its been a loooooong time since I've posted. Not that anyone has really noticed since I only have a few readers, but I still feel a little guilty. Life has been a little busy in the last few months. Just 3 short weeks after my last post I went into labor and delivered our little boy via C-section 7 weeks early. He was born on 6/8/09 at 4:53 am weighing in at 5 lbs 4 oz. No real reason for his early arrival other than I have an odd, heart shaped uterus and he seemingly ran out of room. He is very healthy and now at nearly 13 weeks old weighs in at over 12 lbs. Motherhood is trying and tiresome but I love our little boy and wouldn't change it for anything. Although I do miss seeing my pony....

In the last few weeks I've been able to find a little time here and there to sneak away and have actually been able to visit Miss Summer. She's been happily spending this summer turned out to pasture and on a full care lease to the wonderful Susan. I was a little worried at first that if I wasn't working with her she would forget everything we've accomplished over those last few months. The first ride on her though since having the baby pretty much cleared those worries right up. She was still moving off my leg, neck reining right where I left her and even seemed to be a little softer in the mouth. A little on the lazy side but still pretty much the same horse. Susan has been doing a great job working with her. Two weeks ago we even ventured outside the arena and rode around the property. We did of course start schooling in the arena as a warm up and just to make sure her head was in the game. Just to make it interesting I opened the gate on the south end of the arena before hopping on. She found this VERY distracting, especially since she could see two other horses just beyond the pasture where this gate opens up into. I started off working her on the opposite end of the arena and got some good circles, stops and backing from her. Once I felt confident she was listening there we went to work in the entire arena and I did my best to ignore the open gate but to make sure I didn't let her slow down or pay too much attention to what was outside. Occasionaly on a pass she would drop her shoulder towards the gate and almost try to dive out. A few times of this and I decided to work her right next to the gate in small circles, first going one way at a trot until she relaxed and started paying attention to me and then reversing and going the other way. It didn't take long and eventually she was completely ignoring the open gate. As soon as she was bending into the circle and collecting up nicely I slowed her to a walk and we headed for the gate. We stepped outside on a loose rein and wandered around the small pasture. I asked her for a few stops and backs, got them quickly and willingly and then moved on to a few small circles. She was light and responsive and happy to be out in the sunshine, so was I. We ducked back into the barn aisleway and rode out into the gravel parking lot and across the little road to the big hay field. Still on a loose rein but a little faster than before, we explored the big field. Summer loved it and never once stopped to eat or tried to take off in her old famous speed walk. I loved just being able to meander around and not have a death grip on the reins, checking out each and every little cluster of trees and shadows. It was a great day.

Now on to present day.....We have several new boarders at the barn and I'm really excited to get to know them. One girl has a 2 year old QH filly (if I remember correctly) named Rip'In and she seems to get along with Summer really well. I met her the other day when I was out there with the farrier having Summer shod and she seemed very nice. The newest boarders are a little like having celebrities in the barn since I've been reading her blog for at least 6 months to a year. They do alot of eventing and dressage and I'm really excited to be able to ride with them. I was leaving Monday just when they were getting their horses out so I didn't get to talk to them much but tonight when I went out to the barn I was able to meet their horses, McKinna and Pandora. They just happened to be turned out with Summer and when I pulled her out of the pasture they tried following us up to the gate. Pandora, the larger of the two, got really brave and walked so close behind Summer she could have laid her head on her rump. Summer seemed a little irritated but didn't even try to kick her. I gently shooed Pandora and McKinna away so they wouldn't slip out of the gate. They were both very polite and stood quietly to the side while I opened the gate and brought Summer out with me. It was really nice to not be crowded and not once did either of them show any aggression.

Tonight Summer and I hit another milestone. I loped her for the first time since I got pregnant and after one lap on half the arena I asked her for a jog and she actually did it! Before, loping would get her so excited and hot that if I asked her for anything slower than a lope she would go straight into her high headed, bone jarring death trot. It was awful. But not this time! And I don't even think Susan has been able to lope her in some time, other than on the lunge line. I loped her both directions in small circles and each time she would come back to me just as calm as before I asked her to lope. I was beaming! The worst part about the ride was my butt slapping the saddle several times which I'm not sure if its due to me being out of shape or the fact I was riding in Susan's saddle. Her saddle, a Crates, has a slick seat and my cheapy one has a felt type seat that seems to keep my hiney in place a little better. Next time I ride I'm going to use my saddle and see if that makes a difference. Another good part of the ride was that I actually had a looser rein while loping. Seems like both Summer and I are coming along pretty well. Hopefully soon I can get out and ride more than once a week.