"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, March 23, 2011

Fall off the earth?

Did I fall off the earth?  No, just haven't had much positive or fun to report lately.  I started this blog to share the fun I have with my horses, past and present, but it seems like things have spiraled toward the negative all too often lately, and a blog that's all negative is just depressing.  And the past still hurts sometimes.  I miss my Wayne something awful still.

But how are the girls doing?  So so.....  (if you want to skip to the fun stuff, head down to the pictures at the bottom, otherwise welcome to my horse life)

Cody's knee surgery has been anything but successful so far.  We hit the 3 month mark on March 2nd and she's still dead lame.  We've past the 3 1/2 month mark, and last Saturday she refused to put any weight on it.  She's a little better now, but still not as good as she was, and even then she was anything but sound. 

The vet came out Feb 1st and x-rayed her knee and sent them to the surgeon at MSU.  He said the x-rays looked good, but behind schedule as far as healing.  So we decided to give her till mid April or so and re-x-ray and re-evaluate, and see where we're at, see if it looks like things are healing or not.  Dr. Caron says he's never had one of these surgeries not work, but I'm worried sick Cody's going to be the first and I'm going to end up losing her too. 

But I'm trying to keep my spirits up.  She's had a lot of things going against her over these 3 1/2 months, that's for sure.  This ridiculous weather, insane mud, rough frozen ground, deep snow, ice, ice, and more mud and snow, lack of sufficient bedding to pad the front of her stall, among other things.  She's also the oldest horse he's ever done this surgery on, going on 17 this year.  And then there's Cody's momentary lapses of reason from time to time.  I had to quit hand walking her in the indoor arena, because every time we did she wanted to roll first thing, then would explode in a bucking fit as she got up and could hardly walk after that, so hand walking has to be done on the driveway....when it's not insane mud or sheer ice.  And I hear she was trying to canter in her pasture the other day.

So we're taking things day by day and we'll see what happens.  Working on getting her weaned out of standing wraps right now, and hopefully out of a knee wrap soon.  Trying to keep my chin up, but I worry.  My luck seems to be in the toilet lately.  Having just lost Wayne those few months ago, I'll be all the more heartbroken if I lose her too, and questioning my place in the horse world.  How can something I love so much just go so completely wrong over the past year.

Lady, she's doing ok.  She started having some lameness issues in December (on top of some sudden major diarrhea issues that seems to have been encysted small strongyles and sand related, resulting in Panacur Power Pacs and Sand Clear for both the girls), so I gave her several weeks off, then slowly started working her on the lunge line, mostly at the walk with a little bit of trot to try to get her back into shape, but even doing that a few days a week and her lameness came back.  Not real noticeable, but something just wasn't right.  So I certainly didn't want to ride her.  I haven't been on the back of a horse in three months.  I think this is the longest I have ever gone without riding since I first bought Wayne back in 2002.  A little depressing.

But I did get very lucky, since the vet student that used to board with us (and who's wife used to use Lady for riding lessons one day a week), got Lady into MSU for me for the musculoskeletal rotation he was on.  That was pretty exciting!  Lady went up to MSU for the day, and Jesse and the rest of the students in his group went over her from head to toe.  Basically a full lameness exam.  Flexion tests, movement on straight lines and circles on hard and soft surfaces, nerve blocks to pin point painful spots, and about 50 x-rays of her knees, hocks, and front feet, and consultation with the two vets overseeing the students.  And since it was a learning experience for the students, I didn't have to pay a dime for any of it!!! 

What did we learn?  She has some pretty good arthritis in her left knee that was causing the lameness I was seeing.  So I'm now three for three on screwed up left knees.  At least Lady's most likely isn't from getting kicked in the knee like Wayne and Cody, it's probably just wear and tear, but still, what are the odds?  Apparently I have no luck when it comes to knees.  Makes me scared to even think about ever own another horse someday, at least not while I'm still having to board anyway.

So when our vet came out a couple weeks ago to do vaccines, we injected Lady's knee to see if that would make her a little more comfortable.  It seems to have helped, but then I haven't done much with her lately, either haven't had the time with doctoring Cody, or this rotten weather has left me unenthused about doing much of anything.  I did work her on the lunge line for a bit on Sunday, but that didn't go as well as I would have liked.  My intention was just to walk and a little trot, but Lady had her barrel horse brain on and was a complete dork ripping around at the canter and cross canter, head tossing and galloping a couple times for a good 10 minutes before she finally settled down to her normal self.  She looked and was moving great!!!  But was very sore the next day.  Maybe this weekend I'll get her back out and try again.

Thankfully her hock arthritis doesn't look any worse now than it did from the x-rays taken a year ago of her hocks.  For now, I skipped injecting her hocks, since last summer she did pretty good on them, and if old man winter would just GO AWAY, I think that would be a big help too.  But we'll see.  She'll be 17 this year too, and from the history we've been able to piece together of her life before I got her, she seems to have been used pretty hard at a young age, so I guess it's to be expected. 

But hopefully I can at least keep Lady trail sound.  And pray that I can get Cody healed up and sound again.  These last 5 months have been really tough.....

So to keep this from being a completely depressing blog entry, some pictures of what the girls have been up to lately......

Cody gets some love tonight from sweet Miles (be sure to check him out at Miles On Miles):
Thoroughbred Kisses

Lady finally got some shipping boots of her very own, instead of always having to wear Wayne's pony shipping boots, which really were way too small for her!  And she got to try them out on her trip to MSU!

Cody is determined there is grass under that snow somewhere if she just digs far enough!

The girls discover the new mirrors in the indoor arena!  Lady was a little puzzled....then curious.....then didn't really care, she took it in true Lady form.  She's so darn cute!

Hey, that looks like me?!?!
Who's that pretty Lady?
Cody was a bit more dramatic.  Typical of Cody.  She did the stop dead and whip the head around with a bug eyed stare, then had to go check herself out.

Whoa, who the heck is that?!?!?!
Mirror mirror on the wall.....


  1. Keeping my fingers crossed for Cody.

  2. Having a whole succession of problems like that can be really trying - and it is hard when you can't ride - I've been there too. And older horses do begin to have their issues. Keeping fingers crossed for improvements and sending good wishes to you and the horses.

  3. I am telling you, 2011? Can SUCK IT so far. I know how hard it's been for you and your kids. I have to believe things will get better soon for everyone. In the meantime, LOVE all the cute pics:)