Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Cinder vs the Hospital

 Last Thursday I got a text around noon from Trainer M that Cin was a little colicky. She hadn't eaten all of her breakfast and wasn't touching her lunch alfalfa. They gave her banamine and were watching her. I got up there around 3, and took her out for a walk and she finally passed some manure. A pic was sent off to the vet, and because Cinder hadn't had anything to drink since that morning, we made some soupy mash for her per the vet. She drank some, but as the hours went on, not enough, and the vet came out around 7:30. All vitals were good, and gut sounds mostly normal, but she was starting to get a bit dehydrated so she was given electrolyte paste and walked some more. She ended up downing about five gallons of soupy mash and seemed to be getting better. 

Around 9:00pm she got very uncomfortable, very quickly. The vet was still there, and a quick listen indicated no gut sounds. We discussed sedating her and doing a rectal, but then Cinder tried to go down, and we decided to send her to the vet school. Trainer M quickly hooked up a trailer, and off we went. 

At the hospital, they were able to feel a small colon impaction, but felt that we had caught it quickly and they believed she could pass it without surgery. She did have a slight fever upon arrival, but they put her in a regular stall and got her hooked up to IV fluids. I left around 1am on Friday, after giving the ok for surgery, if she needed it. I got about 3hrs of sleep before heading off to work, which is on the same campus and the same street as the vet school. I got a call from vet school around 10:30 saying she hadn't passed any manure, and her fever had gotten slightly higher, and they were worried about a possible salmonella infection. 

I got off work at noon, and was able to have a quick visit with Cin. They had moved her to an isolation stall, but she had passed three piles of manure and was obviously very pissed and hungry. Fecal PCR tests had been sent off, and I was told we'd have results in 24hrs.

I didn't hear anything else till 10ish on Saturday morning. Cinder had pooped a little bit more, and had started getting some soupy mash, much to her delight. She did attempt homicide on the vet students, so I assumed she was feeling much better. I was then told that we wouldn't have the fecal PCR tests till Monday, but as her fever had broken and she seemed much better, they weren't as worried about a salmonella infection as they had previously. They were going to slowly start refeeding her, and if all went well, I could take her home Monday.


in her isolation stall 

I got a quick update on Sunday morning, mainly that she was very hungry, eating and pooping well. She did have some swelling at her IV site, so they pulled the IV. The vet said she was a little worried that Cin might have developed a blood clot, so they were going to ultrasound the area to check. But we were still on track for a Monday afternoon discharge. 

Since I had been getting updates around 10am everyday, I eagerly awaited my update Monday morning. At noon, when I hadn't heard anything, I called and was told there were numerous emergencies and I would get a call back within the hour. At 2pm, when I still hadn't heard anything, I called again. I was told I'd get a call back in 10-15mins. At 2:45 as I was dialing the phone, I finally got my call back. They had just finished the ultrasound on her neck, 28hrs after they said they were going to do it. Thankfully, there was no sign of a clot, but there was a lot of inflammation. The vet was more worried now about an abscess forming. They had sedated her, so I needed to wait a few hours for her to wake up before taking her home. The vet also suggested that it might be good for her to stay so they could monitor the IV site, and since it would be late by the time she'd be awake enough for me to take home, I agreed to leave her for one more night. At least the preliminary fecal sample had come back negative for salmonella.

So of course, in my morning update phone call, Cinder has spiked a 102 temp and has the beginnings of an abscess in her neck. They started her on antibiotics, and FINGERS CROSSED FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, she can come home tomorrow. She's totally over the colic at this point, and I'd rather treat her at home for the abscess than leave her there any longer. I'm really upset about the lack of communication, and the lackluster care Cinder has received. Why did it take them 28hrs to ultrasound my horse to check for a blood clot in her vein? Why, when the horse was supposed to be discharged at 3pm, was no one calling to tell me that that wouldn't be possible until 2:45pm?  I'm 100% sure that we can manage the abscess at home, and she's going to be so much happier. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Spring has Sprung

 We've been in that weather rollercoaster know as spring for the past few weeks now. A few warm and sunny days, followed by cooler and wet days, and I even had to wait for my car to deice yesterday morning. The trees, flowers, and bushes are all flowering and pretty, and thus the pollen count is sky high. So far I haven't seen many bugs out yet, but apparently they're here. 

The murder mares, Gin and Cin, as coined by my lesson mate on Saturday. 

I got a report that Cinder was bucking and running like a crazy horse in turnout last Wednesday, and was super worked up when bring brought in. When I was grooming her on Thursday before my lesson, she was Very Not Happy with me brushing her belly. I leaned down to take a look, and found edema just in front of her teats, weeping blood. I asked Assistant Trainer N to look at it, and she texted pics to the vet. 

I didn't get any pics before we put cream on it

Vet called almost immediately, and we made a game plan. We're assuming Cin got stung by something, probably more than once, as this seems more than just bug bites. Cin got put on bute and Zyrtec for a few days, as well as vetasan ointment. It took three of us to put the vetasan on the first day, me holding her shoving cookies into her mouth, Assistant Trainer M holding up a front leg, and Assistant Trainer N applying the ointment. She was better in the following days about having the ointment applied, and it only took one person thankfully. 

I didn't ride in the lesson, and Cin got Friday off as well. When I went out Saturday for my lesson, she had the slightly manic look in her eye that said she needed to do something, so we did the flat part of the lesson and then watched the others jump. She was actually better than I expected her to be, but Sunday the bute and Zyrtec fueled ADHD was in full effect. There was lots of cantering involved in that ride, but we were able to end on a good note. She's been of the meds since Monday, so hopefully she'll be less manic for my lesson today.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Assist Me

 Trainer M's program includes two assistant trainers, ML and N. ML usually teaches the beginners, while N usually plays more of a barn manager/show groom role and teaches when M is on vacation. Well, Trainer M has been on vacation for the last week and a half, so not only have we had our first lessons with both ML and N, but Cinder has been ridden by both of them as well. For those that are counting, N was person #4 to ride Cin, and ML was #5. 

sharing the last of the show pics

I was a touch skeptical going into my lessons with both AT ML and AT N, mainly because I haven't really seen them teach much. I have seen N ride, and she's a very soft, sympathetic rider so I figured she'd be ok with Cin. I got good reports back on Cin's pro-rides; she did try to pull some "who the hell are you" shit with N, but they worked through it. ML told me she's a sucker for a chestnut mare and prefers the hunters, so she loved Cinder. ML also took Cin out on her first trail ride around the property and said she was perfect. 

I've have enjoyed my lessons with both ML and N. The weather's been cold and rainy, so we've been focusing on pole and cavaletti work in the indoor. We struggled a bit in our lesson last Thursday doing a  quasi circle of death, it was cavaletti on the short side, to a cavaletti bounce, two strides to another bounce on the long side, ground pole on the short side, to another cavaletti bounce then a short five strides to a ground pole on the other long side. Cinder said no thanks, that's a lot of work, and kept trying to duck out to the left when we were tracking right. N mentioned that I was dropping my inside shoulder, which I've heard plenty of times before, but suggested I think about dropping my outside shoulder to square myself up and help hold a counter bend so Cin can't run out to the left, and I've never heard it phrased like that. It really helped. I have to remind myself that it's good to lesson with different people, even if it's just to hear something I've heard dozens of times said in a different way that makes more sense. 

Monday, April 1, 2024

MDTE Gallops Saddlery Preview: Sunday

 I decided to sleep in Sunday and not play jump crew and it was nice to have a somewhat leisurely morning. I got to the show around 9 and watched the jumpers go before getting Cin ready. We had the 2'-2'3" medal and the 2'3" division on Sunday. 

 I did wear my spurs, which made Cin a little pissy about having to go forward, but more in an annoyed don't tell me what to do way, rather than an I'm exhausted way. We did a quick warmup, jumping like three fences, and then went in first for the medal. I almost forgot the halt after fence four, but was really happy with the rest of the round. We ended up winning!

Trainer M came in to hand out ribbons and give congratulatory scratches 

The medal has no oxers, but the 2'3" division does, and I'm not going to lie, they looked big standing at the back gate. I realized I haven't jumped an oxer since before my riding break, and I let that get in my head a bit. In our first round I didn't really count our strides, just tried to ride forward and keep my leg on and told myself the oxers were nothing to worry about. It worked, and we won the first round. Cin was getting tired, and despite my nice first round, I psyched myself out in the second and got a bit discombobulated. I ended up having to circle coming into one of the outside lines, but was able to fix our falling in issue and keep going. We rightfully placed fifth out of five for that one. 

I swear it looked bigger

I was determined to not let Cinder break in the flat, and to have crisp transitions and we almost did it. She was really good tracking left, and for most of our time going right. She did decide to break in the canter going right, just as we passed the judge. I did call her a bitch under my breath, hoping the judge wouldn't hear. Either she didn't see the break, or everyone else was way worse, because we placed second. With that, we ended up reserve champion in the divison. 

Despite our little bobbles, I was really really happy with how the show went. I was nervous showing after not riding for months, and switching trainers, but Cinder has grown up so much that everything was old hat to her. We know what we need to work on going forward, and I can't wait for our next show later in April.