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


  1. Wa mare and KK - making lemonade from the lemons. (((☼☼☼)))

    Thanks for the update - glad Wa and your sis are recovering. So nice to hear that you're finding a way to enjoy the mare rehab.

    Also thanks for the rescue remedy info. I didn't realize there was a different version for animals. Love that stuff. :)

  2. Glad Mare and Sis are recovering well. Hope the foot continues to heal - soulds like things are going well so far.

  3. That must have been some wound KK! Glad things are on the up. Its really quite easy for horses to get injured. But that "gravel?" It looks rough. I wouldnt walk on that!!

    Stay safe!

  4. we may wait a bit for your blog entries but they are so worth it with the detail and images you insert.

    i am so happy wa has you. you are such a good horse mom, an example to us all. that she appreciates your care and understands what you mean to do when you treat her, that's a bonus. wa is blessed.

    and your trace clip is the nicest i've ever seen. did you use a level? did you stand her in a lake and then cut along the wet line? *lol*

    who wouldn't want to live in the gorgeous pacific northwest? you're killing me with your photo reminders.

    we wish you well, j and i.

  5. That looked like one nasty wound! I'm glad she's recovering and the sun came out to help you along! She is a beautiful horse!

  6. Ouch. Nasty looking cut. Sore spot too. Sorry for the both of you, but glad that she's healing well and that you're both enjoying each others company so much. Always looking forward to your posts.
    Don't worry about not visiting. There are more important things ;-)

    Hope your sister heals well and quickly too. It can take a looooong time for anaesthetics to leave the body and to return to 'normal' again ;-)

  7. Poor Wa mare. I am glad that the rehabbing is going well, but how will be prevented next time?

    Those big rocks look treacherous.

  8. Wow that's nasty rock! I can't believe they put that down for horses to walk on, pit run would have been better. Poor Wa, that is a bad place to get cut, every step must have been painful.
    I like your idea of going for horse walks, it's something I've been considering doing with Chickory and Rio (although not together!).

  9. Hope the Wa mare has a speedy recovery...your sister too. You have handled the situation beautifully and made the most of it. Nice to read one of your posts!

  10. we are truly kindred horse souls, both our mares constantly finding themselves into something and ending up at the barn on a daily basis for "rehab." I've yet to share my second tale of woe after the leg injury, but that is all cleared up and now we are dealing with something else, sigh.

    Glad you are finding a bright side to all of it:)

  11. Ouch! So glad her recovery is going well.It must be a stressful time taking care of her and Pantz and worrying about Wa and your dear sister. Don't forget to take care of yourself too.

  12. KC sorry to visit finally and to read of Wa mares nasty injury. Sounds like she is in good hands though and I'm so glad that you have had a chance to still get out and enjoy the warmer weather. Sun does restore the mind and soul!!!.Love you header picture too!
    Walk safe x

  13. Ground time has a marvelous and positive impact on a relationship; glad you're making the most of it (we play the "touch the object" game here too *laugh* :o)
    It's gone from dried up droughtville to a muddy mess around here with temperature swings that are nothing short of ridiculous (lows in the 60s to lows in the 20s overnight). This has to be the weirdest (worstest?) winter ever.

  14. Awwwww, poor mare. Sounds like rehab is going well. It is definitely mud season...

  15. *** C ***Guess that there is a SPRAY version od Rescue Remedy now too...but my experience is that sprays may contain the alcohol...I'm inquiring now.
    Thanks, I am a bit tired of the lemonaide has been a
    L o n g haul to get her back...and I AM WORRIED about the chances of relapse on that hoof- or another- since the conditions are the same . Guess there is bubble wrapping '~"

    Thanks Kate, I appreciate you stopping to encourage!

    Cheyenne~ Yea, they do always seem to find things to ensnare of tangle with...SIGH** Mostly human made hazzards though...we have to make sure the horses are safe >from US!

    You had me cracking up there with the waterline-clipper comment!
    I did a post on it with of course, the many photos of how we did it all. My sister brought her BIG DOG 35 yr old clippers-air vent to cool them-louder than heck they are!! The trickier areas we did with the small cordless. I am A HAIRDRESSER remember...I have an eye for lines!!

    Thank you DI!
    I have never seen a "slice" through the frog like this before...watching it fill in and grow back has been sorta interesting.

    You sure got that right about the drugs from sergury...siss is on her 3rd week now and she feels like crapola! She has stopped the pain meds altogether. This may prove difficult now, since she has startted P.T.T. ( Physical Therapy Torture)!

    Yea...the Base BOULDERS are terribly sharp at speed...1,000 lbs coming down on them is the problem! I have many mind issues concering her turnout now...second time to be injured in THAT TURNOUT. I did all the rehaqbing myself without a $150 vet call...but spent more than that -in Gas- getting there twice a day.
    I don't know, maybe a different turnout, I am thinking during the wet season, when her hooves are soft.
    We are the SMART HUMANS to make a good decision for the animals. She is the DUNMB horse....that lives with the environmwent we give her.
    She has NO CHOICE, and she is who she is...can't take the run out of her!

    Shirley~ is NOT GOOD ROCK to have around was not supposed to be the ratio it has turned out to be. Now I have to live with that mistake.
    There is Remedy- but- IF- it is taken care of,is the question.

    The walking is So good for them...builds such confidence and respect as you need your space as a walker on foot with them. I always carry my training stick in case something is spooky and I become an obstacle to run through.
    I also taught the mare to help me up hills that are steep or too slick,by going ahead at walk and letting me use her tail for my balance behind her. It's nice teamwork.

    Thanks Lori.
    It has been long and labor intensive...but when the weather is crap, not too bad...I have begun to ride anothers horse at the stable as she is had a baby and the horse has not been ridden for 10 months of so!

    Yes Sasha, the bright side is always there...casting shadow upon the ugly situations!
    I sure hope your mare is alright...write me an email!!

    Funny you should say that about taking care of myself too...I did have to go to the Dr. during all this, got run down and ill.
    I am better now...we are ALL on the mend.

    Sally dear,
    Yes the sun is nowe out again...QUICK get out too!

    Jenn, Yup, the 60 during the days and the 20's at night...too strange!

  16. Glad to hear that Wa mare and your sis are recovering. That's a nasty looking injury. Seems like you've got it all under control and she should be back to her old Wa mare self soon. So nice that you are both having a fun time on the ground, that's important too.

    Wonder if they could have that big stone rolled with a heavy machine before they put more small stone over it? Hope it stays sunny for you and Wa.

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  18. I can't imagine your frustration, you are a wonderful "mom". I find it hard to believe that large, sharp rock was not removed, or better yet, never allowed to be put down in the first place. Covering it up will never work... it is almost reason to go to another place ... injuries like this will just keep happening. I'm so sorry.

    Eddie (the "third" horse) is just a fantasy. I have two daughters and we could all own one, and YES, the two we have are horses that are/will be just as fantastic. I'm lucky. And with school, the girls do best sharing their horse. But he will make someone a nice trail horse... I'm promoting him around my barn.

    On another note, I just LOVE all the trials you ride...

  19. That boulder field looks nasty--ow! Glad to hear things are on the mend and the weather is improving. Couple that with longer days--yay!

  20. Hello, sorry my comment is so very late. Glad to hear you are doing such a cracking job looking after Washashe, but then I would expect no less from you, you take great care of your mare, it’s nice that the rehab has made Washashe and you even firmer friends. It’s also good to hear that your sister is doing better now I hope she’ll be fully recovered very soon.

  21. Late to this - sorry!

    Happy rehab wishes to sweetie Wa and your sissy. So sorry to hear of Wa's ouchy injury. She is just the best and deserves to never endure such a foot problem. Poor honey. Happy thoughts your way!

  22. Thanks my friends for the encouragement....week 5 has proven discouraging for horse and human....
    She's getting very restless. I'm wondering how to remedy her injury does NOT reopen, or happen to another hoof. By the Grace of God the rock object did not hit bone in the hoof capsule!

    Sigh, I did have one gloriously sunny ride...
    ( our 1 day of the UFO)...
    I better post about that before folks think I've lost my happy go lucky attitude!

  23. Hello!
    I can't believe it, somehow I totally missed this post in my blog list!
    I'm sorry to hear of Wa mare's injury... now semi-long ago. I hope she's still healing! It sounds like you do a terrific job as her horse owner. :) And as tough as it is when they're hurt... I agree, somehow it seems to build our relationship when we're forced to do lots of ground work. I've found this even in the past when I've been too weak after sickness to ride and resorted to ground exercises. However, I'm sure you miss the regular rides, so I hope you're able to get back to it soon! Wa will be in my prayers. :)

  24. whew, glad she's going to be all better. i used to hand walk my horse a lot, for his brain. Walking is highly underrated by many people for many reasons! Hmm, that sounds like a good subject for a post.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  25. Oh, Kacy so sorry Wa is hurt and you are not being able to ride. Poor Wa, hope she gets healed up soon....sending good energy your way!!
    I have been riding a bit, between rain, we have never really had much snow this year. The nasty PMR stuff is back and making me ache all over so I don't get to ride for long. but any ride or time spent with Gilly is great. I haven't written on my blog in a long time...maybe soon.
    Hope you and Wa are on the trails again soon.
    Blessings to you....

  26. Wounds take time to heal...hope Wa is better, and your both enjoying time together on the trail - by hand or mounted. Wishing you both sunnier sky's!

  27. Hello again!
    You haven't posted in so long--I hope you and Wa are both ok, that Wa is continuing to heal.

  28. Great blog - why not come and post it at Haynet an Equine Social Blogging Network? Come and have a look at

  29. Thinking of you and sweet Wa! Hope you are well. Poor Wa and her feet. I have been missing to from the blogs and was thinking of our sweet friend Kacy yesterday and wondered what you are up to. Take care sweet friend!


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