"Smile! It keeps your brain from falling out when you're frustrated!" - Clinton Anderson (Downunder Horsemanship)

"They say boys never grow up, their toys just get bigger. I say I never grew up, my 'My Little Ponies' just got bigger!" - Me

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wayne's World

Wayne's world lately has consisted of four walls, one with stall bars, and lots of fluffy bedding. He gets a morning and evening view of the barn aisle that might offer a peak into the outside world depending on if one or both barn doors are open. And occasionally getting to have the hay window in the stall bars open so he can hang his head out of his stall. But otherwise, that's about it. Stall rest is definitely not fun.
But really, he seems to be handling it much better now than he originally did. No more nipping me while trying to bulldoze his way out. I think he's getting used to the fact that he's stuck in a stall right now and there's not a whole lot he can do about it.

And it's not like he's never been stall kept before. Honestly, this is the first barn I've kept him at that wasn't of the mentality that "stallions have to be stall kept". Every other barn I've been at has either let him out during the day, then put him in a stall at night. Or kept him stalled almost 24/7 because "stallions can't be trusted outside". And really, it's only in the past year that he's been on complete pasture board. Heck the guy that had him before I got him used to keep him in the pasture 24/7 with the mares in the summer, but come winter, all his horses stood tied in standing stalls 24/7, only getting out of their stalls long enough to get the stall cleaned and get a drink of water once a day.

So Wayne can do stall bound, it's just a matter of getting back in the habit, which he finally seems to be doing. I wish he could go outside, but that bowed tendon says otherwise right now. But at least we have a pretty busy barn. The number of horses and boarders has I think about doubled in size over the last year, so there's always people coming and going throughout the day, so at least there's plenty going on around him to help his mental state. Someone's always going by or stopping to say Hi, both human and horse, which is good, because Wayne is a VERY social critter.

And it looks like he has a stall rest buddy for the next two weeks as well. One of the geldings in one of the stalls across from him managed to jam a piece of wood deep into his frog out in the pasture yesterday that required a vet to sedate him and a farrier to dig it out, resulting in stall rest for two weeks. So, I guess if two horses need to be on stall rest right now, they might as well be on it together, and keep each other company across the aisle. Though I think Wayne is handling stall rest a whole lot better than Dusty right now.

So Wayne seems to be settling in. I had to laugh the other night, I had opened his hay window for a while since the barn was quiet, and he'd been hanging his head out looking around for a while before heading back to work on his haycubes some more. The barn owner came down to do chores and started to shut his hay window for the night, and Wayne popped his head up out of his haycubes and gave her the dirtiest look, as if to say "Don't you shut my window!"

We discovered that the big plastic feed tubs that I normally use for his hay cubes in the pasture was a bad idea to use in his stall for his three daily feedings of hay cubes. He kept kicking bedding into his haycubes as he moved around to see what was going on, then he didn't really want his food once it was full of shavings. And they never remove empty dishes from his stall, they just keep sticking full ones in there, so every night when I'd get down there after work, he'd be kicking around/tripping over 3 empty feed tubs. One, fine, but three, that's asking for trouble. So, I put the feed tubs away, hauled out my stack of buckets for putting his haycubes in, hung a couple of bucket straps, so now there's room to hang at least two buckets of haycubes, and if it ends up being too hard to unhook one empty bucket and replace it with a full one, I suppose I can probably rearrange and make room to just keep hanging buckets three times a day and end up with three haycube buckets hanging in addition to his water bucket and mineral salt bucket when I get down there at night. Holy buckets!

As far as the bowed tendon, that seems to be doing pretty good too. I'm still icing it twice a day, morning and night. Gave up on the frozen veggies though. Found a couple of refreezable cold compress packs that actually stay soft while frozen, so no more mushy, leaky veggies. The packs seem to get SUPER cold though, and it says right on them to cover with a towel before applying. So I hauled out the sewing machine again, and two old wash clothes off the stack of rags, sewed three sides together, put a seam down the middle, stuck a cold pack in each side of my new wash cloth cold pack cover, wrap around leg, secure with a polo wrap, and boom, a cold back that stays put and covers his tendons on both sides from knee to fetlock! Works great. He's less than thrilled about it, but still easier than the bucket of water or veggies method! Though the first day I put it on him, he stood there holding that leg in the air like he was getting ready to paw and looking at me as if to say "Damn that's cold!!!" Oh the things my horses have to put up with.......

While the cold pack was a success, I think the rolled foam I bought was a bit of a fail. It would probably be great for short term use or as a shipping bandage. But after being on for 24 hours, the foam just seemed to crush down too much and let the bandage get loose and slide down a little. Not terribly, but just enough that the double figure eight wrap around his fetlocks for support wasn't giving much support anymore. And he definitely needs that fetlock support right now. So back to the good old leg quilts under his standing wraps, and his bandages are staying snug and supportive again.

So over all, he seems to be doing pretty good. He's walking a little better. There's not much heat, and very little pain response when you palpate the area, that alone is a huge improvement over Saturday. His fetlock isn't nearly as dropped as it was when he first injured himself. The support wraps definitely help, but his fetlock isn't nearly as dropped now with the wraps off either. His whole tendon area was swollen from knee to fetlock, and you couldn't really see the bow, but could find it by feel. But now you can see where the bow is located, and while the bow is still swollen, the tendon area below the bow is finally a little less swollen. And we've been able to back his bute down to a half a gram morning and night for now, and hopefully back him down to a half a gram a day soon. He's eating great and seems to be in good spirits.

So hopefully we're on the right track. Another two weeks of stall rest and then we'll see where we're at. Still just taking it day by day. He is still laying down some (though not remotely as much as he did last Saturday when he reinjured himself), but here and there I'm not worried about, probably good to get off his feet and let his legs rest a bit, and that should decrease over time as things heal. I felt bad last night because I had put him back in his stall with his cold back on while I took care of my mares. And just as I was getting ready to get him back out of his stall to get the ice pack off and put his standing wraps back on, he decided to lay down. So I had to go in there and coax him back up, and he's looking at me as if to say, "But I just laid down!!"

He's definitely not in the clear yet, and I need to keep that in mind, we need to take this day by day. But hopefully if we can keep him quiet, and with lots of good thoughts and prayers, he'll stay on the road to recovery. His spirit is definitely there, now if we can get his body back there too!

Wayne - 5-15-10


  1. You might want to look into Ice Boots - they come in different sizes and the cold packs are very flexible and comfortable for the horse. Glad Wayne seems to be coping and doing a bit better.

  2. OMG I'm so going to have the theme from Wayne's World in my head now when I see him:)