29 January 2009

Oh the Joy of Handwalking

Tonight was our first 30 minute handwalk. She was too funny! Totally willing to walk along next to me-although we did have to review that if you keep walking at the same tempo I do then it doesn't feel like I'm pulling your head along. But she was so upset that another horse was being ridden in the arena! I'm not sure if she doesn't like this particular horse or if it was that another horse was moving faster than her but it was so funny. Every time he would come around the rail by us she would pinch her nose and put her ears back and think really hard about how much she'd like to kick him. You could literally watch her brain following this line of thought. She cracks me up!

28 January 2009

Injection Junction, What's Your Function?

We saw the vet this morning. She looked at her withers and her lumbo-sacral region with ultrasoud. Wanda has some bad arthritis in her L5/6 joint. And on her right side by the base of the dorsal spines. We injected her withers with a lot of cortico-steriods. Hopefully that will reduce a lot of inflammation and pain. The vet wants to take it slowly and in stages so we can tell what's helping and how much. So she's on rest for a week-thankfully she can be turned out or hand-walked as long as she's quiet. I have quite a stock of tranqs on hand just in case-rest not being Wanda's favorite thing! The vet thinks this is a result of some severe trauma-nothing that I did which is a relief. It's still to early to tell if she'll really be suitable for work though. She'll probably always struggle with tucking her pelvis due to her L5/6 issue but as long as she's comfortable and happy I can deal with that. I don't need her to be the world's best dressage horse-just my best dressage horse! After this week off she can begin longeing in her halter for another week. At the end of THAT week, if she's not sensitive to palpation then we can try putting a saddle on her and see how that goes.

26 January 2009

Houston, We Have a Plan

Well, I just got off the phone with my wonderful vet and we have a plan! Tomorrow or Wednesday we're going to ultrasound her SI joint and her right withers. They both lit up on the nuclear scan. And my husband finally got me to understand that I tend to say nucular instead of nuclear so now everyone is happy. We're definitely going to inject her withers and probably her SI depending upon what the ultrasound shows. Her tooth is getting looked at by the dentist next week. And I'm hoping the saddle fitter can work us in sometime soon as well. Hopefully I'll have a horse I can ride again in the next three weeks.

21 January 2009

The Mare is Back in Town

Well, I picked up my mare from the vet clinic today. I got a copy of the report and some really neat images of her body. I haven't talked to my vet yet to get it interpreted but what I see so far is that she does seem to have something going on in her back and she has a tooth that probably needs to come out. So, after I talk to the vet tomorrow I'll hopefully have more information and then I get to call the dentist. And I'm now looking for a part-time job to help afford these tests.

Tomorrow I Hope to Get News

Wanda was dropped off at the vet clinic on Monday to prep for her scan on Tuesday. I get to pick her up and take her home tomorrow. I'm planning to longe the stuffing out of her when we get back to the barn. 3 days of no exercise + all the hay she can eat = high horse. I get a copy of the results tomorrow and a copy is being faxed to my vet so we should know if we got any worthwhile results from this test soon. I'm nervous. I'm hoping so badly that there's something that is easy to manage. I'm also terribly afraid I'm going to end up with a horse I can't ride. And I'm really hoping the insurance will cover the cost of this test because it's freaking expensive.

15 January 2009

Nuclear Scans and Other Fun

Well, the vet came on Monday. I thought I'd gotten my girl good and tired with longeing over the weekend but clearly not since she was high as a kite. She dumped me during the under-saddle portion of the exam. Nothing to make you feel competent like falling off in front of a relative stranger in yet another brand new, worn only three times before, helmet. Awesome. I had a mild concussion but nothing was sprained or anything so that's good. And I still have the paperwork so I can get a replacement for a reduced cost, so that's better. The vet is an orthopedic specialist who said that she thinks her interference behind is coming from the pain in her back. She thinks it is probably physiological and not just saddle fit. I've cancelled the saddle fitter for now until we get some more information. She is definitely in a lot of pain through her back. The vet told me about a number of possibilities, many of which are treatable. I'm feeling a little more optimistic but really, really scared. She's going to a local clinic on Monday for a nuclear scan on Tuesday, and then she'll be home again on Wednesday. Hopefully it'll be something we can treat and I'll have a happy horse sometime soon.

11 January 2009

My Mare is Smart

or at least a smart-ass-that counts too, right? Since I haven't been riding her this weekend I've been longeing and working on ground manners. She'll stand pretty well with her feet in one place (we've been working on it for a long time now) when the barn is quiet. I can even go in and out of the tack room which is a huge accomplishment! When there is action going on she usually inches forward so she can see what's happening. Always wanting to know everyone else's business-that's my girl! My husband came out with me this weekend and he hasn't seen her in a couple of months. He was impressed with the way her manners are coming along. It's always so nice to hear that since this is one area where I usually only see what still needs to happen and I forget to celebrate the little progresses. I'm normally quite good at that but not with manners. I've really worked on getting her to stretch over her topline and tonight she finally did release some of the tension in her back and swing it a bit. When I felt her back later it was more relaxed and the muscle wasn't locked in a spasm like it was on Wednesday. She's definitely avoiding bending her hind legs and curling her pelvis under herself. I'm almost wondering if she doesn't need another round of hock injections. Guess I'll find out tomorrow. I checked her range of motion with the "carrot stretches" and she's got really good flexibility-her back just hurts. Poor thing, I'm hoping we can get this resolved soon.

07 January 2009

Banging My Head Against the Wall

I remember so distinctly thinking it would be fun to own a horse. And it has been. But it has also been one of the most frustrating experiences of my entire life. Wanda is in pain, again. She began getting more and more girthy before the snow three weeks ago and I was going to ask my trainer at my next lesson if she thought we needed to get the saddler out. Well, the answer would have been yes. She's so sore now that just laying a hand flat on her back practically sends her through the roof. I quit halfway through my lesson today because I just didn't feel that it was fair to her to keep working. My trainer has also suggested that I call the orthopedic vet to see if anything can be done about her interference behind. I have an appt. on Monday and I'll post what she says. Now I'm feeling bad because it never even occurred to me to worry about the interference beyond getting protective boots on her. I didn't know doing something about it was even an option. But frankly it's the back that has me banging my head against the wall. Even when we got the new saddle this fall and it fit better and she was much more willing to swing through her back it was always tender. I'm not certain she has ever NOT been in pain and that is really frustrating for me. I'm in tears over it and I just don't know what to do beyond what I'm doing. I have a call in to the saddler so we can hopefully adjust the saddle fit again. Poor mare.

ya'll come back now, ya hear?