Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Hard to Say No

Thanks everyone for the positive thoughts for Comrade. He is still at Morvan and on his way to healing completely. He took awhile to clear the salmonella test but finally came off iso last week. Peggy said he has put on 80lbs and has eaten them out of Dengi. Hopefully he can come home in another week or so.


Someone is looking good!

In other news, I think I just might be turning a corner in my own healing. I hesitate to hope or even write it, but there it is. It comes at a good time since Roscoe seems to have lost all his exercise riders. The teenager was not unexpected once school started. Kelly was a hit. She had all these plans and then poof... no more. I can understand the time to come out is tough. She did offer to care lease him for a year and bring him to her trainer's. It was hard to say no, but too many factors make the situation difficult. I promised Roscoe he could have turnout buddies and live as normal a life as I could give him. That would not happen at a boarding barn. Plus the added difficulty of him being an active breeding stallion. Kelly does not have a trailer, so I would have to pick up my trailer then go pick him up before a collection which would be a nightmare timing wise.
I think she thought there was a chance I would let him go because we have started Ember. Except Roscoe is my therapy pony, who keeps me motivated while dealing with all my health crap. So we will go back to the slow track we were on and continue to build from the progress Kelly made.

Recently I have taken him out into the turnout for his rides. He has to figure out how to hold himself up on the uneven ground. The first day he said it was too much work, but the next ride he went right to work. A benefit is that he can't run through stuff as easily and slows down. Then when we go back in the arena, he listens to my cues better. We have had some really fun rides. Maybe if I keep improving we just might be able to do a first level test in the winter series.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Tongue Tied

Send healing vibes for Comrade.

 Like me, his recovery has been slow. And now his tongue is infected again. He has been making funny faces and having some issues since the surgery. The vet said the scarring could make him chew funny. So we began to think we were worry warts. Then Thursday he did not eat his food and was drooling like crazy. Even at his worst before the surgery, he always tried to eat. Peggy arranged for the vet to come Friday. Of course by then he was colicky from not eating. Banamine helped him feel better and eat some hay. The vet came and looked at his tongue. Sure enough it was squishy. The options were another course of antibiotics for a longer time or bring him back to the hospital. Peggy chose the hospital and fortunately he could go right away. The vet who did the prior surgery kicked himself for not having Comrade come back for a follow up. He said this time they would get it fixed. As he poked and prodded the tongue, it exploded push. About 1.5 cups of that nasty white stuff. He could stick his finger in the tongue and feel the bottom.  To keep the wound open and draining, they cut a hole all the way through. Then they tied a rubber tube through the hold around the tongue.  Comrade was literally tongue tied. The vet figured it would not last long but it would help.
Peggy had a minor panic attack when she received an update on Saturday. A different vet  said that around midnight he had a "seizure." Then he kept going as if it was not a big deal. Peggy finally asked what him having a seizure means. The vet proceeded to say "his temperature went up." And a light bulb moment, the vet's accent made "fever" sound like "seizure." She could relax again.
The next update was less exciting. Comrade had diarrhea caused by one of the antibiotics. So he had to go on a sort of isolation until he passed three salmonella tests. He also lost his tube.
Hopefully he will be home next week and be on his way to being completely fixed! We certainly could not have done the targeted flushing that the hospital can, but we miss him. Comrade though is loving all the attention. He even nickered at the vet.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Playing Catch Up

I was excited this year to get Ember started. Those plans have been pushed back since I could not even think about crawling on him. Mom and I have both worked him on the line a few times. He has some really nice movement. But he also still seems to be figuring out how to use those long legs.
Well Saturday Roscoe got a Magna Wave tune up and I wanted to let him be fresh for Kelly. Mom headed out to ride Rosemary and I decided to bring Ember out. And for the hell of it, I put the western saddle on him and brought my helmet. He was full of it on the line and I questioned whether I would be able to get on him. Plus the big horse flies were out.

Ember did well with the distractions. When Mom finished working Rosemary, she ponied him to make sure he was tired. It took some work because Rosemary was not thrilled to have her grandson tagging along. It was so fun to watch. From the side he looks big next to her, but from the front he is half her size.


Then it was the moment of truth. Rosemary calmly stood by the fence as we brought Ember to the mounting block. Even over a year later, he had no issues with me getting on. He was more worried about being sweaty. Mom led us around with no drama. Maybe we will get him started a bit this year. I still may explore having a pro get him cantering since he is the least balanced at that gait.
We hoped to try him again on Sunday, but the horse flies were about to carry the horses away. Ember especially was seen running for the shed many times. Ah well there is time. I am so proud of him. I can't wait to see him work under saddle. We may be playing catch up after my down time, but we will get there.




Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Time Flies, Enjoy some videos

Sorry for dropping away. I am slowly getting some energy back and hopefully with a dosage change I will continue to improve.
Roscoe has continued his once a week training with Kelly. When we had a heat streak early July, she came out really early to work him. Kelly Ride 1 Kelly Ride 2

Then she asked if she could do a lesson with her trainer. UH Yes, please educate my pony.
The lesson allowed Kelly to breakthrough some of his naughtiness by getting him forward. The trainer said that once he started going forward, the rest can follow. He has been better since the lesson. I managed two rides in two days and paid for it for the next few days. I am hoping to at least be able to help him build some muscle with more consistent work. And maybe if the medicine kicks in more, I can build some of my own. Her trainer was quick to say that once a week would not be enough and that my rides would need to activate him to be effective. Ah well, I will do what I can. I know that Roscoe has improved with the little Kelly has done so far and I know my pony can still grow at a slower speed with what I can give him.

Anyway Roscoe also had to work his other job in between riding. So far we have one confirmed pregnancy and are waiting to see if Tawe took with 4.0.

Here are some videos of Kelly's lesson. I have not uploaded the first two from my camera yet, so pardon the gap.





Thursday, July 18, 2019

Finally Answers!

I am not the only one who has been dealing with health issues for a long time. Comrade has been having weight loss, diarrhea, making weird mouth gestures, having a hard time eating food, swollen tongue and mouth ulcers off and on for almost 10 months. Peggy has had the vet and the dentist out, put him on tummy medicine, changed his food, gave him lunches, but nothing has worked. Just like me he would be good, then having an extremely bad day.



We worried he would colic from not eating. Well Sunday he was the worst we had seen him. During it all he has always eaten his food. It may take him an hour, but he wanted the food. Sunday Comrade could not eat even really mushy food. He tried, but then would go to the water trough and stick his head in like an alligator and wash the food out of his mouth. For the first time, Comrade walked away from his food and he did not even attempt to eat hay. Larry told Peggy she had to get the vet out the next day.
Luckily the vet made it out a couple hours after her call. Comrade did not even want to graze. So not him. The vet found his tongue swollen, but not reactive to manipulation. So they took x-rays of his head at various angles. Both Mom and Peggy saw something, but waited until the vet confirmed. He had a possible foreign object in his tongue.
This was not something he could handle and recommended Comrade go to Morven (Marion Dupont) and see the mouth specialist. Even better the vet was able to get him in the same day. So Mom and Peggy loaded him up and took him in. They said that the drugs our vet gave him brought his appetite back and he ate some hay when he got to Morven.
Morven has a CT scan for horses which is the biggest reason Comrade was sent there. And sure enough his tongue lit up with an object. The hard part was that it was in so deep they could not pinpoint its location. An ultrasound showed a massive abscess in the tongue but not the object. Mom and Peggy left him in the vet's care and headed home.
They were going to open the abscess and hoped the object was in the same area while he was standing. Unfortunately they did have to drop him and use the fluoroscope to locate. They removed an 1 1/2 inch wire from his tongue.

 They believe the intermittent bad days were when the tongue would swell from infection and then resolve. The vet said getting a foreign object in the tongue is not a frequent happenstance in horses. Comrade stayed at the vets yesterday and was already eating hay even with on open wound on his tongue. Gotta love Cobs. Today he was supposed to come home, but he popped a fever. Hopefully all the good medicines will get him on track and we will have our fun cob boy back home soon.
It is such a relief to finally have answers. We felt helpless as he struggled. Sometimes it is so hard to get the urgency of a situation across to a vet. So send healing vibes to the big Red Boy!
Oh and DaVinci is doing so much better. His swelling is nearly gone and the bites are no longer as angry.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Progress, A Bumpy Road

Finally after almost a month and the load dose of the new medicine, I am starting to feel improvement. I am not losing weight and slowly gaining energy. That said I still have bad days that pop up, but at least I was able to go back to work half days. Barn chores are not as exhausting. Hopefully soon I can tackle all the long toes awaiting overdue trims.
I am not the only one improving. Roscoe has made super progress with both his riders. Then he began to show some issues escalating to throwing his head up at the canter. With Kelly, we were not sure if it was the bit/bridle change or having too thick a pad. Then when he was just as resistant with the teen while jumping with a thinner pad, Mom knew there was an issue.
She put his saddle on and found it was rocking and pinching him which blocked him when he tried to lift. So we put Comrade's saddle on and it worked so much better. Mom convinced me to ride him on Thursday to see how he moved in the saddle. I had helped Mom drop/stack some hay, so I was shaky, but game to try.
Back in a saddle after over two months

Roscoe was my rock. His new fitness helped make up for my lack. I was able to get him to do stuff I could not before. Once he figured out the saddle would not hurt him he was willing to work. I even did some canter loops both directions. He is so much straighter and his lateral work is easier to ask for. It really felt great to ride. And it was great that Roscoe has moved forward even when I stalled. As I rode, I did not feel sick. Now as soon as I stopped reality came back. I had to hand my pony over to my Mom to take care of, while I sat down shaking. So maybe I won't try riding alone any time soon.
I was excited to see if Kelly felt a better pony with the different saddle. Well Roscoe reminded us that he is a stallion that morning by slipping past my poor dad and running into the old guy field. He unfortunately beat up DaVinci who always is a target because he goes out with Dottie. She of course was in season. Dad was alone and it was a hard call to get when he told me DaVinci was red. DaVinci let my Dad cold hose him until Mom made it back to the barn.




 He is hurting like hell and will be on SMZs and banamine for a bit. Once he is over the acute pain, we will get him a PEMF body treatment. Luckily he stood for his PEMF treatment of his hock which he injured a little while ago and we did not want to lose time. Roscoe is an amazingly well behaved stallion, but given the chance he will act like a wild stallion protecting his mares. We do not blame him, but we do have to reassert his gate manners. Moments like this make you realize just how behaved he is normally.

 DaVinci got some hits on Roscoe too. As I tacked him up, I told him he was not allowed to whine. He did work well since he could actually lift his back. His stretches and lengthening were better. Plus she could actually work the canter. She ran through First 3 and had a much better test than the first time she tried it. Kelly is aiming for Lexington next year. That seems doable as he continues to progress.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Handing Over The Reins, Part II

I started June receiving a denial from my insurance for the medicine my doctor ordered. A definite low point when I was already having to use sick leave and feeling bad. So my insurance snail mailed the options they would allow and we started the process all over again.
Well amidst that drama, a friend contacted me on my birthday and asked why I was not riding. I told her about my health decline. She asked if Roscoe's dance card was full and if she could ride him. Hell yes!

This is a friend we met years ago when I put out a request for someone to ride Winston. She was the one brave enough to take on an arab who takes off in an open field. She got Winston to the point where we could ride and enjoy him.
Three teens riding the three cobs on the 4th of July

Roscoe now gets worked twice a week, on Wednesday by the teenager and on Saturday by our friend. Mom is able to help the girls ride both the red boys. They kind of get a dressage lesson while Mom makes sure the boys don't slack off. Then on Saturday, Roscoe gets a mental and physical work out with our friend. She got the feel of him the first ride and he tested his limits. It was pretty amazing to see Roscoe change under her guidance. His holes were obvious and she began to plan what to work on to fix them. One of the first is to get him to go straight. Even as little as he is, he can feel like a wiggly worm. It makes asking him to do lateral really hard. When she rides I can see some of what Lauren is trying to get me to do.



Last Saturday, she worked on getting him elastic in his posture. She took him from long and low, to a working frame and even onto a more upper frame raising his base. Roscoe's ears were on her with this new challenge. She was a little unsure if he was cheating since she normally rides bigger horses. Her boyfriend came and took pictures so she could review and see what Roscoe was doing. At one point she asked him to open his trot in the upper frame and asked if he could be rounder. I told her he definitely could because he looked like the horse chess piece. Roscoe improves each ride and shows hints of what he could be capable of in the future. She ends the more recent rides by running through a first level test. Roscoe had his mind blown when she did 1-3. They are no where near ready, but it is fun to see him thinking really hard.



It is a bit of a drive for her to come ride, so I was really happy when she asked if she could still ride when I was feeling better. Definitely. Roscoe is happy and being challenged in a way that I do not have the education to give him. She is even talking about showing next year. I may have to save my pennies and get him registered with USEF. I hate being sick, but the fact that it has brought the opportunity to share Roscoe with others has been a good aspect. I wish I could improve as quickly as Roscoe. Now to find some short cheek pieces so Roscoe can wear the bridle she brought. We put him in a loose ring and a flash so he does not open his mouth too much to avoid the cues. Cob heads can be tough to fit.

And not to be forgotten, here is 3.0 "Turbo" who earns his name by zooming around. Such a cutie!