Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nom Nom Nom...

Hand Walking Day: 8
Walking time: 5 minutes

Here's a video I took the other day of Lilly trying to eat hay out of her new hay net. I could watch her for hours try to get hay out of there! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Few Pictures From Today

Here is my attempt at taking a picture of me and Lilly. I thought more of her head would show up. :)

Here is the wild pony on her walk after 57 days of stall rest. LOOK OUT!! SHE'S CRAZY!! :)

And finally, remember how I said she gets poop all over herself in the stall... Yeah, here's what I have to deal with. How does one little pony manage to get so much manure all over herself? HOW?!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Things Are Better Today

Thank goodness!

Miss Lilly was doing much better today. She was still concerned about her new boyfriend, but she was much more calm and actually seemed more interested in me today. She was being such a love bug.

I filled up her hay bag, changed her wrap, picked her feet, and then we got ready to go for our walk. The stall she's in has a wooden 2x6 across the bottom of it that the door rests against and she hits that thing every time we step out. Today was no different... she about fell flat on her face. *sigh

She and I had a really good walk today. The sun was shining, it was warm, and I could tell she was really enjoying the walk. I did some reading yesterday about horses on stall rest and different rehab programs and a lot of people were asking for helpful ideas to keep their horses from rearing and going crazy when they took them out of the stall for a walk. Not Lilly... her eyes were half shut and she was anything but hyper. I let her stand in the sun for a while and take in the sights, sounds, and smells. I scratched her withers for a while and she could easily have fallen asleep.

Next she ate some grass, then we headed back to the stall. She was quite dirty and must enjoy rolling around in the stall all night because she's always got manure all over her. So I got my curry and started brushing. She loved it and that lip was going crazy. "That's the spot!"

Then I tried to clean up her behind a little bit... it was dirty from her being in heat and from the diarrhea. That seems to have stopped for now, but I wanted to get the dry stuff off. Unfortunately, it accumulates between her cheeks and the hair gets coated. The only way to really get it off is to curry it... even with washing, because it gets matted. It isn't as bad in the summer because she has a summer coat, but when the winter hair starts coming in, the manure just sticks. So needless to say, she HATES that (I would too, and I try to be as gentle as I can). She usually picks her leg up and pretends that she is going to nail me, sending me across the stall, but she never does. Then she'll try to hide her butt against the wall. Today, however, she kicked that leg out a little bit and her immediate reaction was really funny. When she did that, I yelled "NO!" to her and smacked her on the butt. She had a look on her face that said, "I know... I'm sorry... it just sort of happened!" Her head was hanging, her ears were droopy, and she was watching me out of the corner of her eye. I wish I had the camera because it was a priceless look. So I went to her head and gave her a hug... poor pony. I decided we had done enough de-pooping for the day.

She got lots of hugs and lots of kisses today. I think if she were dog sized she would have climbed into my lap. She was content just to stand with me, her head in my arms. She seemed to enjoy my company today more than usual. When I left to walk back to my truck she whinnied... so of course I turned around and got her another cookie. You should have seen her face! I couldn't say no...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Not a Good Day

Hand Walking Day: 5
Walking time: 5 minutes

I got to the barn early today to make sure I was home in time to watch my Steelers play. Lilly still had hay in her stall and she hadn't eaten her grain. Her new hay net (yes, it came early! woohoo!) hung against the wall, empty, even though I was hoping her breakfast hay would be put in there. She seemed restless and I tried to get her to eat her grain, but she wasn't interested. So I got her halter and took her out for her 5 minute walk. She did well. She seemed a little excited and I had to ask her to slow down and wait for me a couple times, but before long she was plodding along and enjoying the sunshine.

When I put her back in the stall, I took her halter off and turned her loose. She immediately turned around, bucked, and ran to the back of the stall. Talent, right? To manage all that in such a small space... so as it turns out, her stall neighbor can come and go in his stall and she is freaking out when she can't see him. Just as I feared... I thought she might get attached and have a fit when he leaves. On top of it all, she's in heat, so I'm sure that's not helping matters.

She kept running around, whinnying for him. I ended up tying her up while I cleaned the stall and took care of things to calm her down and keep her still.

I sent the barn owner an email today asking if that's the setup she's going to keep for him for a while. If that's the case, my vet mentioned a shot we can give Lilly that will keep her slightly sedated for about 3 weeks or so. I don't remember what it is, and she was doing so well we haven't needed anything until now.

So who knows how long she has been acting a fool in the stall... I'm pretty upset about the whole ordeal.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Leg Progress

Look how enthused she looks with all this attention!

So here are the most recent pictures of her leg. Compared to how they looked in the last pictures, I think the swelling has reduced significantly.

Outside view:

Inside view:

And just for fun, here's a video I took of Lilly when I was trying to get her to nicker at me. Pretty much every day she'll nicker when she sees me so I thought it would make a cute video. Of course you know when I take the camera with me she doesn't do it! I thought she looked cute anyway, so here she is. :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Every year at Christmas I wish I had a cute Santa hat to put on Lilly... then I could take cute, but embarrassing, pictures of her all dressed up. I still haven't bought one of those hats yet, though. Next year? :)

Today for Christmas we got rain... lots of rain. So I didn't walk Lilly, but we did walk yesterday. I think she really enjoys it. She looks all around and takes it all in. I think she's remembering the good old days when she got to be outside.

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hand Walking Day 1

Hand Walking Day: 1
Walking time: 5 minutes

Lilly is handling this whole experience really well. I know I keep saying that, but I just can't believe how she is behaving. She's comfortable in the stall, she stays calm, and after being in the stall for 51 days, I bring her out to go for a walk and she just plods along on a loose lead rope.

The barn where she's boarded is at the end of a dead end road, and part of the road goes through the property. So there is a nice flat surface for me to use to walk her. No worries about her slipping and no grass distractions either. :)

I do think she was a bit lame today. Perhaps it's just because she's on the hard pavement and therefore the lameness is more noticeable, or perhaps it's from the trotting she did yesterday on the longe line for the vet. I'm not sure, but she seemed a little off on her left leg.

My poor pony...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ultrasound Results

Today was the big day... Lilly's 30 day ultrasound! (Even though it was a little more like 40 days...)

When the vet arrived she examined Lilly's leg and we both decided it was significantly less swollen since she saw it last. Lilly has the "bump", which has been there for quite some time, so that doesn't count toward the swelling caused by the lesion. She thought it looked really good.

She asked me if Lilly was still sound and I told her I had no idea. I walk her around and let her eat grass, but she doesn't move enough for me to say whether or not she's lame, and I certainly don't trot her. So the vet suggested we take her to the arena and longe her a bit. The look on my face must have allowed her to read my mind which said, "are you crazy?" She said, "don't worry, we'll give her some acepromazine". So ace her we did, and while we waited for it to start working, the vet shaved her leg and got ready to do the ultrasound. When I took Lilly to the arena, I could tell she really wanted to be bad. She was shaking her head around, but just couldn't muster the energy to do much else... At least at the walk. When I asked her to jog she hopped around a bit but didn't get so crazy that we had to stop. The vet said she looked great tracking right, but was a little off tracking left, which makes sense since it's her left leg with the issue.

Next was the ultrasound. Getting a good picture was difficult, and we plan to do the next ultrasound in the afternoon when it is hopefully less COLD. So there is still a hole in her tendon that is obvious. It does, however, have tendon fibers running through it, so it's filling in, but it hasn't filled all the way in as I hoped it would. Compared to the last ultrasound, there is significant improvement, and the lesion is smaller, but there's still that hole. I wanted it to be all filled in, but the vet assured me Lilly is where she expected her to be, or slightly ahead of that. I thought perhaps with the plasma treatment the tendon should have completely filled by now...

So tomorrow I start hand walking her. 5 minutes a day for the first two weeks, then increased by 5 minutes each week until I'm walking her for 30 minutes a day. Then we'll ultrasound again in 2 months and assess her progress then. So at least 2 more months of stall rest.

The vet thinks we're still on about a 6 month time table to get her back to 100%.

I got some ultrasound pictures but they didn't scan worth a crap on my scanner so I tried taking photos of them, and that didn't work either. I haven't figured out plan C yet, but I'll get them on here somehow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Day Late

I had a great time in Michigan. It wasn't the same without being there on Christmas, but I enjoyed seeing my family and it was a lot of fun. There was snow, but not too much, which was fine with me. Trying to get back to North Carolina proved to be a challenge, though! It's usually Michigan weather I have to worry about, but not this time. How lucky I was to be trying to drive during one of the biggest snow storms to be seen in a long time! Instead of a 12 hour drive, I ended up embarking on a 23 hour adventure. One of the interstates was shut down so I had to travel about 10 hours out of my way to get around the storm, only to find out my alternate route was also shut down. I went through Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia (twice), Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and then finally North Carolina. I finally made it home yesterday morning.

It was a pretty drive, though:

I didn't get out to the barn until today. Luckily, my horse-sitter took care of Lilly for me yesterday so I could get some sleep before going to work.

Lilly is doing well... she has a new buddy in the stall behind her instead of the pony and mini donkey. I'm not sure what that's all about, but I hope she doesn't become attached. If he leaves to be ridden I don't want her freaking out. I'll have to see what his deal is. Maybe he's on stall rest too...

Tomorrow is the ultrasound! Cross your fingers!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Off To Michigan

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Michigan for an early Christmas. I have to work Christmas day, so I'll be celebrating with my family early. I'll be back on the 19th and I'd like to request extra warm weather so I can thaw out.

One of the boarders offered to take care of Lilly for me while I'm gone, which I really appreciate. It will be nice being able to spend time with my family knowing Lilly is being taken care of. I told her to be a good girl!

So have a great week everyone! When I get back we'll be that much closer to the big day!! (The ultrasound!)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Trim Time Again

6 weeks comes and goes quickly around here! It seems like the farrier was just out, but Lilly and AJ were due again today.

We did AJ first and he was a good boy. He has such a hard time holding his hind legs up in the cold weather. (It was only 36 degrees today!) My farrier is really good about it, though, and works with AJ to get his hooves trimmed as best he can. It's always the left hind he has the most trouble with. AJ does better about his leg when I shovel cookies in his mouth, though. :)

Being that is was super cold today, Lilly was feeling GOOD. I brought her out of the stall and could tell she was a ball of energy. She didn't jump around or act badly, but I could tell she was ready to rock and roll if I'd just let her go. It is really wet at the barn because of all the rain and I was worried that she was going to slip, and because she was sniffing and snorting the whole way to the barn, I was a nervous wreck. Then she DID slip! She spooked at something about half way there and she slipped in the wet grass. She looked like a rocking horse with her front legs way out front and her back legs way out back. It even took her a minute to get her feet back under herself. I hope she didn't do any damage to her tendon. :(

She was spooking at EVERYTHING. It was like she forgot about everything in the world except what she could see from her stall.

Me: "That's just Tucker... He's a dog. Remember Tucker?"
Lilly: "SNORT, SNORT!! What's a dog??"

She was a really good girl once she was safely under the lean-to. Her shoes were reset and she had her pad put back on too. Our walk back down to the stall went much better than the walk up, although she was still full of it.

I'm terrified of the day she gets turned out again! I'll be ready with the camera!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Crazy Weather

Yesterday it was about 43 degrees outside. Last night it dipped down into the low 30's, and right now it is 75 degrees outside. Tomorrow we're back to a high of 45 degrees. And people wonder why I don't blanket my horses... how are you suppose to blanket for that!? Unless someone de-blankets and re-blankets for me numerous times per day, they'd either be hot or cold. So I prefer to leave them "naked".

AJ has shelter and a wooly teddy bear coat. Lilly is in the stall, so she has shelter whether she wants it or not, but less of a coat than AJ. AJ is a Michigander, and unless it gets really cold here, I leave him unblanketed for the entire winter season. We didn't blanket him in Michigan, so why would I need to blanket him in North Carolina? I try not to interrupt nature's natural way of doing things. He is getting older, so I keep an eye on his weight, and will blanket in extreme cold weather, but it's only for a day or two.

People at the barn think I'm mean...

I enjoyed the weather today, but won't be so happy about it tomorrow. Can we postpone winter? Please?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

She's Doing Better

I took Lilly for a little walk the other day. She isn't supposed to be moving around a whole lot, but she needed some sunshine and some grass. I was hoping it would help with the swelling in her back leg and in her udder as well. The pictures in my last post are from our walk.

So as of Saturday, the swelling in her leg was gone, but she still has swelling in her udder. 50% isn't bad, right? I also noticed after our walk that her messy rear end hasn't been quite as bad. She's still messy, but I haven't felt the need to wash her again with the hose.

I don't know how a horse can have solid stool, but lift her tail every so often and spray the walls... or have it run all down her cheeks and legs until it drips from her ankles. It's gross, I know, and I'm sorry. I'm just frustrated. Seems like if it was going to be runny, it would be runny all the time.

She does drink a lot of water... I noticed today that the barn owner got her a giant muck bucket for her stall to be used as a water bucket. We had two 5 gallon buckets in there before, but assuming they were filled in the morning at feed time, they needed to be filled again when I visited around noon, and then probably again at dinner. Only to start all over again the next day. So someone is tired of filling water buckets... but it makes me wonder. She was on pasture before so I really couldn't monitor her water intake before, but now that she's stalled, I can see just how much water she is drinking. I wonder if that has anything to do with it... could she be drinking too much water?

I've had blood work done on her and everything came back normal. I have no idea...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Leg Pictures Again

Just a few pictures of Lilly's leg that I took yesterday. I think it looks pretty good. I know once horses have these tendon injuries, the leg never look normal again, so I'm wondering if we're done with swelling for the most part now. There is still some heat in the leg, but nothing like what I was feeling before.

I was going to say that I'll be glad when her hair grows back in but it'll just be shaved again for the next ultrasound. :)

Inside of her leg:

Outside of her leg:

Is it the 22nd yet? I want to see that ultrasound!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

JCHSS Results

The Johnston County Horse Show Series results are in, and Lilly and I did really well! I wish we could have made it to the last show, especially since it was a double point show, but we still accumulated enough points to win some awards.

In the halter division, which includes the halter and showmanship classes, Lilly and I tied another exhibitor for 6th place. So we'll win a ribbon of merit.

In the adult division, which for me included the english GAYP and english walk/trot equitation classes (and it also includes 2 western classes that we didn't show in), we ended up with 5th place overall. So we'll win a ribbon of merit for that division as well.

In the all-around division, we ended up in 16th place, with a total of 181 points, which doesn't win us any awards with the series, but I think we had an outstanding year! I'm so proud of us! :)

There's another surprise too, but I want to wait until after the awards banquet to share that one with you! ;) I'm SUPER excited about it, though!

I'll really miss showing her next year... :( Perhaps I can show Beau, though, and Lilly and I can come back full speed ahead for the 2011 show season.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lilly's A Mess

I'm fighting Lilly's diarrhea again. She was having a bit of a problem with it a couple weeks ago, but it wasn't too bad. Now, though, it's BAD. I washed her yesterday and today she was covered and caked again. I can't keep walking her all the way up to the wash rack every day to clean her up. She's supposed to be standing, not walking. I had to do it today, so I hooked up the hose and made a muddy mess near the front of the stall.

I'm at a loss... I don't know what else to do. We still don't know WHY she's doing it, or what's wrong. Obviously the supplements aren't working, so I might as well quite wasting my money.

The only reason I can think of, since it all started back up once she was put on stall rest, is that her digestive system has to have something moving through it at all times. It happened on the dry lot, where there's no grazing, and now it's happened in the stall, where there's no grazing. I don't know... does that sound crazy?

So since I'm grasping at straws, and have nothing better to spend my money on, I just bought her one of these:

It's a small mesh hay net that has small openings for her to eat from. My thought is that if it takes her 5 hours to eat 2 flakes of hay instead of 45 minutes, maybe it will help her tummy. That is, of course, as long as she doesn't get frustrated and rip the thing to shreds.

I . Just . Don't . Know

(I just got an email from Millers letting me know that the hay bag is on backorder until the end of January... fantastic. I only ordered from them because it was backordered everywhere else and their site said it was in stock!) :(

And to sweeten the pot, she was stocked up today and the right side of her udder is swollen. Her poor udder has never been normal, but it's quite swollen. It isn't painful, though, so I'm not too concerned. I ran cold water on both body parts since I had the hose out, so we'll see if they look better tomorrow. I'm sure some exercise would help them both but, well, you know... she's on stall rest.

She's being the best patient ever, though. She's doing really well in the stall and is calm as can be. It's almost like she knows she has to stay in there, or maybe she likes it in there. I'm not sure, but she's being such a good girl.

Her ultrasound has been scheduled for the 22nd. Probably 30 days after that, if her tendon looks good, we'll start the hand walking. I am praying for a pretty tendon!