Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mare Walking~ A Rehab

Every step my mare took upon entering the stables, left a trail of bloody hoof prints. About  6 or 7 of them. The stable hired help left them for me to see. Once my man took the photos, he started to get blood off the concrete ! I went to looking at the injuries and he set himself to covering the blood with fresh shavings, from my mare's stall. I figured that since the blood flowed so strongly, that it probably carried any debris OUT with it too.
I brushed the hoof off, and pushed and prodded a little, looking for anything wedged up in the wound. Wa did  not tolerate much, as she weaved and yawned in pain. She also had an unusual edema on her right chest. Imagine 2 penny rolls, end to end under the skin and hanging. I looked for a kick or abrasion. There was just a  round score mark. I could only imagine that she ran into something.

 And the Hoof wound(s), I found a severely cracked heal bulb wound a few days later, as I soaked her in Hot Epsom Salts. (NOW I KNOW- it was an abscess that blew becasue of the insult of the injury)
Farriers view 1 week later.

Last fall the my PBO's got loads and loads of gravel, to make sure the pasture turnout entry area did not mushify into muddy mess. They are very conscientious about the horses and turnout conditions.
  As per normal, base rock was laid firstly, then the smaller gravel. Unfortunately, and this is not anyone's fault, the bigger stones always work themselves up to the surface. It happens everywhere I have ever been. With thousands of pounds of horses traveling and dispersing weight, and putting pressure on the always happens over time. So some sharper stones have begun to jut up and are on the sidelines as well. Last Summer, when the stone was laid, my mare was shod in front and they did not bother her summer hardened hinds.
This winter, as per normal in Oregon, it has been totally soggy- doggy -wet. Over the months of horses standing in wetter grounds, the hooves get softer. So couple soft hooves and soles with mare needs not an excuse to go fast, she loves to move! So almost 3 weeks ago at dusk, something scared the horses and they ran and ran , so the hired help told me.
Now put all that together- mud/rain , softened hooves and- Wala...injury.

This slice doesn't look that bad in photo's, but it is deep and with the bottom part of the frog skimmed off as well. She only would walk on her toe for 4 or 5 days.
With the slightest pressure I put on it with my hoof pick, it will part like the tides for Moses.

Soaking, soaking we have done...and my mare has been a model patient...she has never taken her hoof from the Hot Epsom Soak. She loves her "Bath" as much as I do in Epsoms, when I get home from my rides!
 I think the -Full dropper squirt-( for "~" C's question) of "Rescue Remedy" ( animal version)and TTouching I've done, really gave her a calmness. GRACE was given to me  too, as right before the accident, I decided to Cut her Rice Bran -OUT- of her feed altogether, along with minimizing the second cutting Orchard grass hay, and using the first cutting more.  She was getting crusty necked and had some fat pockets. I also had started her on a  Magnesium supplement. This has GREATLY improved her disposition and her NERVES have really calmed...even to her aversion to being brushed!!!

The routine SOAK in Hot Epsom Salts. After either a Nolvassan surgical scrub or Soapy 7% Iodine- IF the hoof is soiled.

I have to say...I adore my mare...she has been so happy to see me each time I arrive. I have had to go out every day for the Soaks, sometimes twice a day,  to make sure she moves and gets her circulation going.
Sometimes, she'll nicker to me, as I walk into the stall...I MELT!

I was advised, by my barefoot specialist, to not allow debris to enter the wound. So, I have used this cool boot I found through "ACTION RIDER TACK". It's the classic Duct tape design, with out having to cut the duct tape out every day. -Plus+ it breathes better, not being STUCK directly on the hoof wall and sole. I poulticed the wound as well with " CALM COAT" Wonder Wrap for the first 2 days.

The SOFT ARENA was a  friend and we would  go in there to run around...not running at first, as she favored the hoof. She sometimes played her "touch the object" games.

Then, after the first week of stall/run boundless, we played other games in the soft footed arena. We trotted together on foot, making nice seamless turns, in a rhythm together and going the other direction with hand arm actions only. She finally side stepped and backed for me, by the wave of an arm...and she has it down now...I raise my hands, and she will rear on command, coming down and looking cute, waiting for the cue to get  her treat!
 Our down time has been rather enjoyable..and a phase of horse ownership I that can't be avoided, as they always do seem to get hurt sometimes. But with the TTouches and these other  creative diversions...I feel like we've actually moved forward with our partnership.

The other thing we've done is what I call :  "MARE WALKING". I have done this from the first time we discovered trails and woods together, 5 years ago. I walk with her and we either" rehab" like this time, or we scale treacherous territories or we just go for an outing on foot,  for the fun of it...looking for green grasses and sunshine to take in while we spend time together.
THE SUN SHONE THE ENTIRE FIRST WEEK INTO THE SECOND week  of February's that for making you feel like things will get better!!!

SO, we prepared for our MARE WALK....I booted the mare up, with a "frog relief system" on her injured hoof and made it water proof...just in case...but, the dry weather made a huge differance, and the footing was not muddy! I also tacked her up-though I would be not riding her, I would sit upon her, as she grazed.
It was so nice, Sunny, warm and beautiful!
We strode down the road together...she heard some riders coming back to the stable here.

Once at the Sunny, grassed strewn location...I mounted up from a nearby log and she ate happily with me relaxed aboard her.

We were very near the "farmers field" that has a very nice-soft sawdust track around the parimeter...I decided to stay on her and walk the soft footed track. THAT was great!! She and I truly enjoyed the sunny time out.

What a blessing to have the sunny and dry weather for a week or so!

After my routines with my mare, I'd fly off to my sisters mare.My sis was now recovering from her knee surgery and not to be tempted to do more(while on DRUGS) as she had at first, feeling no pain and coming down from the stronger anesthesia stuffs. That story may come later...woo...she does not remember a thing and almost does not trust me when I say the things that occurred,as she came off the surgery drugs!

Often, it would be dark when I arrived to see Pantz mare. She minded not, as she longed to get herself moving in the arena- rolling, running and playing!!

Sometimes...we'd see each other in the day times for a graze session. Her pasture is closed off to spare it for a couple months, during our rainy season.

Then all over again the next mare and soaking....walking....
AND,once in a great while, grazing the small paddock nearest the long as she remains calm and does not rip around!! I keep a "trail boot" on her hoof as the frog is so soft and forming still.
I'd hate to Wreck all this rehab by allowing her to rip it open again, stepping on something hard!

So, that's how it  goes for us the last 3 weeks. It was great while the sunshine we've returned to a spot of hail, snow and colder temps again.
The  mud still has not dried up enough , not will it for sometime to allow the mare in her full run...she stands and pines for the other half.

Onward and forward we go. It is what it is and like I mentioned, I have enjoyed our  different times together. I have learned a thing or two about hoof and  abscess recovery.
 One of these days, when normalcy returns...I will maybe sit down and read and visit with you CATCH UP!!   Miss you guys!

It's all good.... I know there is a season for all. So while I must be a stables more often and not ride-
we are working on our show...I'm calling it

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rain and Shine

         While January was WET-WET-WET, this newly arrived February, looks rather nice.
The mare and me rode out during those very- soggy- days of last month and also, some of the prettiest sun spot ones. Sometimes  we  barely stayed dry long,  for the next front would roll in as we returned to the comforts of stable-cover!

I got to try out my new -Water proof quarter sheet- my sissy got for us at Christmastime. She intended on making the bottom piping ribbon RED, for us ALL AMERICAN RIDERS...but her machine broke as she stitched it, so we remain green till another time ( hope I won't need it till fall ) and that is so fine with us!
The sheet was fabulous in the downpours we strode through, keeping my leg covered to my mid boot and- the mare's rumpus too!

Wa mare was some what SHOCKED that we were going out in rain sometimes. There was actually a  person walking somewhere behind us, she was keeping track of  them with her ears here~

 She was very pleased  to go even with rains falling;  walking nicely out, as we left the stable most those sogged rides. The totally flooded and muddied turnouts kept the horses in their own runs for a week or so.
When the snow finally melted out in the country, it was replaced by these warmer, heavy- heavy rains.
 All the horses hooves were getting so soft! I began to ride out with Hoof boots, every time, for my mare  began wincing upon any rocks at all.
I was so toally pleased with my mare all these rides, she was willing and able, though we mostly HAD TO WALK, for the grounds were slick and sometimes deep with moisture. When we could find a place to trot or canter, she was meeted and measured in balance and calm. I  love her more and more, and riding  on bareback saddle has been core has never been better...I have stayed totally fit this winter with riding the softsaddle.

After my rides, I would jet on over to Pantz's stable. My sister injured her kneeVERY badly during a work physical training, in late December. So BUSY -BUSY- with 2 horses and 2 stables!
It ususally was dark by the time I arrived to see Pantz. But, the snow shadow of her mare, made a neat photo for my sister . She had surgery scheduled and while she managed to keep working light duty at her job, I made sure her mare was alright, up here in Portland.

It began to sunshine a wee bit, just before February came along, and I was able to ride with one of my stable freinds!

OH! The glimmers of warmer times ahead, made these rides perfect- even if we were all decked out from head to toe now -with insulation!
The air being so very crisp on these gorgeous "Looking" cold, dry days...the mare's breath hung in the air, like fog!

A really funny thing occurred to us on one wet ride out. It's only funny for me,  because my mare is well spook proofed. We had the quarter sheet on and while it is rain proof it is NOT wind proof!
Some wind came up fast, from another storm coming in before we could get back.  We had just come out of the woods to a clearing, where the clear cut area  slash was being burned away in huge piles. A far off pile of slash was smouldering...the whitish smoke would appear thickly,almost animal like, then get blown off. It would appear, and then disappear. The mare was fascinated, and high headed, holding her breath watching this. We could NOT smell the smoke, for the wind was coming from behind us.
All of a sudden, as asked her to move forward and closer to the billowing white forms, the wind caught the quarter sheet! It billowed too, above our heads, as it came off her back end- almost over and off ! I had a flash of thoughts quickly enter my head about if she'd react but- no problem, she hardly noticed. She was way more intrigued by the smoke
. WHEW! I knew right then, I would have something sewn upon the mid section of the quarter sheet, to the front of my legs, for keeping it RIGHT-WHERE-IT-NEEDED TO BE!

Excuse my photos..they are ALL from the Phone these days. My antiquated computer has totally shut me out of loading any more images from my camera. I really must  go forth and trade it in soon. So for now...the smart phone comes in handy. I found a neat case that allows me to take photos even in the rain, though it does add a sleight "blurry softening effect" to all the photos, through the plastic.

Our water world trails, at every turn we made a couple weeks in a row

It brought many a new mud bog

Tried to turn down this trail, nope, tis a new creek now!

How about this way?

This road was okay, by the ponds. The waters were contained and stayed inside the set boundary.

All these are from 2 weeks ago.
Then, the last Saturday in January, I got "THAT CALL" again from the stable. My mare had gotten injured running around when some fireworks or machine gun (sounding )shots had spooked her and Theo at dusk, when the stable hired help arrived. My B-man went out as soon as we got the call.
It appeared to be a terribly deep cut  through my mare's frog, a bad heal wound on the same Lf rear, and a mysterious edema- on her right chest, the size of a quarter just hung there. She definately was in pain and bleeding badly from the frog. She was weaving and yawning to try to calm herself.

I have this cool can I found at the second hand store, it has Greek looking people and horses...and this dude, he is doing a TTouch!!

I have Ledum Homeopathy (puncture wounds) -Anrica  and Rescue remedy. I gave them all to her in some oats.  I "TTouched her" then  Nolvasan scrubbed the hoof thoroughly, before an Epsom salt soak for her  Hoof that was injured. The good thing was, it bled SO MUCH...if anyting was in there, it got fluched on out. It did appear to be a very clean cut. But boy, what a bruise...she would not let me touch it hardly!

She seemed to appreciate all and calmed down very quickly.  I also gave her 2 grams of Bute, put standing wraps on her hind legs, before we finally left for the night.

I'm wiped...double horsey duty, mine and sissy's and double duty with my own, making sure to clean, soak, wrap and also cold hose legs and chest each day last week.
So, next post will be the outcomes... Sisters Surgery and my mare's health overall.
It's all pretty good!
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