From Lisa, Allie, Joey, Gracie, Evan, Herman, Fluff and probably Andrew too.
Hope uou have a great day!
Oh my goodness. Well, I hauled Allie to the vet yesterday for a check up and to see WHY she is continuing to suffer from snot-sposions on and off for months.
I was by myself and didn't anticipate any issues, but hauling your horse to the vet at 30 weeks pregnant is harder than it sounds ;p
My float has a canvas dust cover that needs to be rolled up when you use the float, and I normally just jump up and sit on the butt bars and roll it up that way. But that was 20kg ago... Pulling myself up on the butt bars and then balancing on them while trying to roll up the dust cover would have been rather amusing to watch. I had to laugh at myself. At least this situation is temporary?
Hooking up was OK, but I had to sit on the ground to plug in the little electrics terminal thing and to attach the safety chain. Because I can't bend, because there is a 1.5kg child in the way. Then I had to get up off the ground.
After all this I was puffing. LOL!!
She was in a total mood too. When I caught her, a big log truck came down the driveway past her yard. I thought she would just throw her head up in the air because she's normally quiet, but no. While I was holding her she reared straight up into the air over and over and was striking!! What a wench! I forgot for a moment that I am pregnant and I got stuck into her for it (growling, pulling her down with the lead) and when she came back down to earth she looked rather sheepish.
Putting on her shipping boots was fun too. She acted like it was the first time she has worn boots on the hinds..kicking out, dancing and hopping between her hind legs. I was like "ugh. Horse. Can you not?".
After all this I thought she would be a wench to load but she remembered all the hours of float training I've put into her and marched straight on and was very mentally in the float, if you know what I mean. No thinking about rushing off.
She travelled a little worse than normal though. Normally you can't even tell there is a horse in there, but yesterday she was shuffling and stamping a bit. We got there safe and unloaded like a polite seasoned pony though, so that's good.
First up, after sedation, she got an oral exam. They were really pleased - made comments like "that pack feels really solid in there" and "teeth feel good!". She did have some feed stuck between her teeth/pack and her cheek, so they flushed that.
They gave her teeth a quick float too. Better to do little and often. She is good for the dentist for another 6 months now.
Then I had to waddle out of the room so they could take rads. She needed another sedation because she kept throwing her head. I think she's sick of people poking and prodding her.
The rads looked good! The teeth haven't changed at all since last time. Christine doesn't want to touch them - she said we could remove the one in front orally but she has no idea how to get the one behind out because it's curved like a banana. Apparently she has consulted with a top dental vet in QLD who has told her to leave the teeth alone, "don't touch them". So we are very very happy that they aren't dying. If they were going to, we would have seen changes by now. WHAHOO!!!
The reason for all the on/off discharge? Her sinus cavity is chock full of scar tissue, which is reactive and sensitive. This is not a surprise at all to be honest.
What's the fix? More surgery, she said she would "have to scoop the tissue out like ice cream with a scoop". Which could mean even more scar tissue in the end.
For now, it doesn't affect her quality of life at all. She doesn't react to the discharge, except if it tickles her she will wipe it on her leg. Christine said if I was happy to manage it with occasional antibiotics and other management, then her recommendation is to leave Allie the way she is.
We both agreed that the surgery, while saving her life, also improved her quality of life overall too. Previous to the surgery, Allie would go off her feed at the drop of a hat, it was harder to keep weight on her. We think she suffered from headaches or it was painful to eat. Since the day of surgery, her appetite has been AMAZING. She eats everything I out in front of her.
Only one thing left to see now - how much this whole thing limits her performance. I think I need to scale back my hopes and dreams for her - if she can't breathe optimally I can't expect her to gallop cross country and jump while doing so. Hopefully we can do dressage, trails, maybe lower level eventing and some show jumping. I'll have to play it by ear and see how she goes.
Overall, while the whole situation has been heartbreaking and devastating for me, I am happy with the result and feel it has all been worth it. The horse is perfectly happy, and she is ALIVE which I am so so so grateful for. I've been allowed to keep my heart horse with me, when some others have had them tragically taken away. This outcome is more than what I ever dared hope for.
I took a little video, which you will probably have to copy and paste because I'm posting from the Blogger app on my phone. You'll notice I can't articulate myself well anymore - apparently that's pregnancy for you.
I'm really, really happy.
We are all reminded again how fragile our pony pals are.
Another blogger has just lost her beautiful andy gelding Steele in a horrible accident involving irresponsible neighbours who don't know how to control their dogs.
We do the best we can by our horses - many of us go way above and beyond. Teresa is one of those people, and yet here she is with her young, healthy horse buried in the ground.
Hug your ponies. Kiss their noses. Tell them you love them and don't for one second think it couldn't happen to them. We can't control everything.
What were my goals for 2014 at the pointy end of 2013?
Well, at the time, Allie was rehabbing her broken leg. I guess my biggest goal was to see that through, then get her back in work and off to the trainers to learn how to jump. I was toying with the idea of going eventing once or twice toward the end of the year, doing some show jumping, dressage days and just getting out and having fun.
We all know how well those goals and plans went. No need to dwell on shitty situations.
Next year, my goals are much more conservative. We won't have anywhere near as much money, Allie may need more surgery (or not, preferably), I certainly can't afford to send her to the bloody trainers, and I'll be lucky if I can get out to ride her 3 days a fortnight.
So my goals for 2015 for myself are this:
Enjoy your horse, in whatever capacity you are able to. Ride when you can, and never ever pass up an opportunity to ride her. But if that means riding once a month, so be it. Don't stress.
Feed her carrots. Stuff her beautiful face full of them.
Trim her feet often and get them looking amazing again.
Find somewhere closer to home to keep her, that fits with the budget and has an arena.
Keep her healthy. Do as the vet says, but research some other ways to help her. If this sinus thing continues to play up, find a long term solution.
That's it. Those are my goals. If I smash them, I'll be over the moon. But looking at them, they are realistic and I honestly shouldn't fail them. Because, honestly, I'm sick of disappointing myself. So let's change tactics and take it one day at a time.
I miss trimming.
My business was going so well before Allie was diagnosed. I was working WAY too much (what with a full time job as well) but I had about 60 horses on the books. I did at least 2, sometimes up to 10 after work each and every single day and then another 10 or so every Saturday, with Sunday morning normally taken up with 2 or 3. I did about 15-20 horses every week. I travelled up to an hour away from home to trim horses. I had clients that competed in different low level comps, with some paddock puffs and weekend or hard working pleasure horses thrown in. I did foals, young horses, big giant pricks of horses, ponies, horses with laminitis, navicular and various other issues (quite a few with behavioural issues). I was exhausted, but I was helping so many horses and every horse I worked on (with trim cycles nice and short like I prefer) had improvements every time I saw them. I had clients I was teaching how to trim, helping them find their confidence to look after their own horse's feet (under my supervision of course).
I loved it. And I realised that I didn't want an office job forever, I wanted to be out on the road seeing ponies and horses all day long.
When Allie got sick I couldn't handle seeing all these other horses when I felt my horse had no future. It broke my heart but I could not handle getting the occasional text saying "my horse is a little sore after his trim, should I boot him?". I couldn't handle the pressure of having these people depend on me for their horse being sound. In Sydney, we only have a handful of decent barefoot trimmers and we are all incredibly overbooked and find it very hard to fit in all the clients that need us. There are also some pretty shit barefoot trimmers too, who I'm not happy to refer my clients to. I limited my client base to what I could physically cope with and I always turned up when I said I would, always kept my appointments, even if that meant trimming 10 horses in the pouring rain. To be honest, I'm the most dependable hoof care professional I've ever heard of. I tried very hard to get that reputation and to keep it, to the detriment of my marriage in some cases.
I'm Facebook friends with a few of my (old?) clients. I've seen quite a few posts complaining about their horse's soundness and not being able to find a decent, dependable barefoot trimmer. I know quite a few of them can't wait until I get back to trimming. To be honest, neither can I!! To know some of my old clients with horses who had soundness issues have returned to shoes without my help and support. Gosh that breaks my heart. I've put so much effort into these horses, and I know these people need their horse to be sound, but I feel helpless not being able to help them while I'm away from trimming to have my baby.
Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest. Since taking a break, I've come to realise that I'm a fucking excellent trimmer. I didn't realise that trimming and keeping horses sound barefoot was so difficult until I had to watch my clients have trouble while I'm out. These horses were always sound under my care, some with boots, most without. Most just need a good, balanced, short trim every 4 weeks with dietry support and they're good as gold. Now, these same horses are struggling. Just because there aren't more trimmers out there like me, who trim like I do and are dependable.
I plan on returning when my baby is a few months old. Mid next year. Just taking it slowly and keeping it local, maybe doing 3 horses a day 2-3 days a week. Sometimes taking bub with me, sometimes while Andrew has bub.
I just need to wait. I'll be back out there making a difference again soon.