Thursday, May 30, 2024

Walk it Out

 We are 5 weeks out from Cinder's colic, and 3 weeks into our tack walking rehab journey. For the most part I've been really proud of how Cinder has dealt with no turnout and limited exercise, but last week she started to come unhinged a bit. 

Last Monday she kept trying to take off as soon as I put my foot in the stirrup to mount, and I ended up asking assistant trainer M to hold Cin while I got on. We stood for a minute at the mounting block after I was on, until I felt Cinder sigh and realize she wasn't allowed to blast off. For the most part, the first 3-5mins of our walks have felt spicy, but usually Cinder settles down after that. 

Last Wednesday Trainer M rode and said Cin tried to buck her off twice, once at the beginning of the ride and once about half way through. The next day I had a little mini lesson with assistant trainer N, and once again I had her hold Cin while I got on. Cinder was actually super relaxed and we spent our 30mins mostly on the buckle working on getting her to move off my leg and me to use less hand, especially my inside hand. 

Cin got ridden Friday by Trainer M and was very good, and I rode Saturday during my normal lesson time. I don't know if it was the early morning, cooler temps, the fact that there were four horses in the ring, or some combination of all of the above, but Cin was LIT. She decided she absolutely could not turn left, she spooked at the stall cleaners starting up the four wheeler, then kept spooking at the open door of the indoor. She was doing a fantastic pogo stick imitation, bouncing up and down. I never felt like I was in danger of coming off, but it was obnoxious and annoying. Trainer M and I did discuss getting some drugs from the vet to help keep Cin's brain inside her head. 

Thankfully, Cinder was quieter Sunday and Monday, to the point where I was able to do the second half of our ride on Monday outside. She did spook a little at then neighbor kids screaming while playing in their pool, but that's fair because I'm also scared of screaming children. I was hoping she'd get seen by the vet yesterday, as Doc is usually at the barn on Wednesdays, and was really hoping we could start trotting, but I haven't heard anything yet. Her clot is no longer visible and while I'm not palpating the area hard, I can't feel it either. Fingers crossed we can start doing more work and/or she can start getting some turnout soon! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

MDTE Spring Show 2: April 2024

 So the week before Cinder colicked, we did our second show of the season. I was waiting for the pro pics to come in before posting about it, and then they came the same day she colicked and I never got around to posting about the show. 

All photos bought from Lark Photographs

We hauled up on Friday to school and settle in. This show was about double the size of the March show, and the biggest one yet for MDTE. I was lucky enough to get on Cinder during a lull in the ring, but she was a little wound up and kept spooking at the sun spots coming through the windows in the indoor arena. She was backed off when we jumped, and we ended up adding in the lines, but Trainer M was ok with it as I was giving her a good positive ride and not letting her antics work me up. 

Saturday Trainer M asked if she could do the first round of the 2' hunters and I happily handed over the reins. It had been warm and sunny all day, but a storm blew in with a lot of wind and sideways rain right as I started to get ready. Thankfully, as cranky about the rain as she was, Cinder seemed in a much better headspace than on Friday. She and Trainer M won their round together. I hopped on and did a quick w/t/c in the outdoor before going in for the second round. I don't remember how we placed, but we did get all our leads and made the strides in the line. I was really happy with the rounds. My last class on Saturday was the 2' derby and oops, I did it again and went off course. Stupid bending lines. The rest of the round was great, but apparently I can't remember where to go. 

Sunday we had the Fun Class and the 2'3" hunter division. The Fun Class for this show was Simon Says, and they broke it up into juniors vs adults again. The sun was back and we were in the indoor, which unfortunately had a bunch of bugs and bees flying around in it. We had just started the class by putting one hand on our heads and were trotting around when a few bees started buzzing us and Cinder took offense. I chose life and dropped my hand to grab my rein and was the first adult to get eliminated. 

They had a Mexican food truck come to this show and the pork nachos were the best horse show food I've ever had 

Cinder pulled her classic move of just barley tapping the rail of the first fence in our first 2'3" round and pulled it, but the rest of the round was great. Again, we were able to get all of our leads and made the strides. In the second round she spooked at the sun spot coming through the window again as I was picking up the canter, causing us to get the wrong lead, but the rest of the round was pretty darn perfect. I was really, really proud of us. The under saddle was also pretty darn perfect. I didn't let her break in the canter or pick up the wrong lead and we won! That with thirds in both the over fences rounds gave us the reserve champion for the division. It was a fantastic show and I was really so happy with both Cinder and myself. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Not Today Satan

After my last post Cinder took a turn for the worse. She spiked a 104 temp on Friday the 3rd, and pretty much wanted to die. Thankfully Doc Wilson was at the barn when Cin got really sick, and watched her for a couple of hours. The new antibiotics take about 48hrs to really kick in, which would be around midday Saturday, and unfortunately there wasn't much we could do other than oral banamine and cold hosing Cin to combat her temp. Doc absolutely did not want to put anything in her vein due to the abscess and clot, and we would only take her back to the hospital if there was absolutely nothing else we could do at the barn. 

Trainer M made sure Cin was bribed fairly compensated for all her shots with cookies

  Saturday morning saw Cin's temp down to 102, and when I got to the barn around 10 she was at 100.5. I had cried the whole 1hr and 15min drive up to the barn, so those numbers made me feel a lot better. I took Cin out for her 30min hand walk and graze, and seeing her so sore was heartbreaking. Her neck was obviously hurting, as putting her head down to eat took a couple of tries.

Saturday night her temp was down to 99, and she tried to smash Trainer M against the stall wall during the temp taking process, so we all cheered that Cin was feeling better. Doc stopped by again, just to check on her since I'm pretty sure it was her new life's mission to keep Cin alive. 

Sunday Cin looked so much better, way more alert, and was able to graze a little easier. We did our hand walk and graze, and every time we took her temp it was under 100. I was supposed to go out of town Monday-Thursday, and had been waffling on going, but with all signs pointing in the right direction, I decided to go. And thankfully Cinder kept getting better while I was gone. She had her last dose of banamine and antibiotics on Wednesday, but she's still on the ulcerguard and surpass on her clot. 

the best view

Doc cleared Cin for tack walking on Friday, and I gave Trainer M the honors as Cin hadn't been ridden or turned out in over two weeks. It was our first really hot day, around 85 when M got on, and Cin usually melts in those temps so I was hopeful that that would discourage her from being naughty. And it did. You could see Cin start to think about spooking, then decide it was too much effort. I rode on Saturday, and for the first few mins Cin felt a little up, then settled in really well. 

Now the biggest hurdle is clearing the blood clot. Doc wants to take it very conservatively, so Cinder's lost turnout privileges, and is tack walking only. We started with 20mins, and can add 5mins per week for the next four weeks, and then we'll recheck the clot. Cin is also allowed hand grazing. She's lost a fair amount of weight (I actually had to go buy a girth in a smaller size), and while she's back up to her pre-colic rations, we're not adding anything while she's rehabbing. Doc would rather her be skinny and quiet instead of adding a bunch of food and making her hot while she still has the clot. Fingers crossed the next month is uneventful and Cin can tolerate the walk only work well!

Friday, May 3, 2024

The Neck

 Cinder finally made it home from the hospital on Wednesday. They called me around noon and said she could be discharged anytime, and I was there 30mins later. 

Unfortunately Cin did develop a blood clot at her IV site, plus the abscess. Her temperature was normal on Wednesday when they sent her home, and I was given a weeks worth of SMZs. I was also given surpass to put on her neck, and instructions to keep her on ulcergard for a few days and to take her temp 2x/day.

Her lovely new haircut with the slight swelling from her clot

Thursday morning saw a return of her 102 degree fever. She was wearing a light sheet as the overnight temps were in the high 30s/low 40s, and after having her sheet off for an hour her temp was down to 101.3. Doc Wilson, our normal vet, was called and she wanted to hit the infection with some harder drugs. So now Cinder is on penicillin and gentamicin, in addition to banamine and ulcergard. She's on soaked hay, in a hay net, small soupy grain mashes, and 30mins of hand walking with 10mins of grazing.  She's also getting heating pads on her neck. 

First fresh grass in a week

Obviously we're not even a day into this routine, but I got a message that her temp was 100 this moring, she had normal poops, and was good for her am shots. I'm so thankful for Trainer M's team for taking charge of her care, and keeping me updated. I feel relieved that she's at a barn that takes such great care of her, but also guilty for not being able to get out there everyday to help. Fingers crossed we've turned a corner, and the new antibiotics will kick this abscess's ass.