In a post last week, I wrote about a very rainy October interfering with my riding plans. Then my horse, Bear, developing a painful abscess.
Bear is on the mend. He was still somewhat gimpy a week after his vet visit, often wearing his Soft Ride boots for added comfort. He’s been about a day and half without his boots now. Looking good. Bear’s farrier comes out this week so it will be interesting to get his input too.
I have also been somewhat gimpy. Also pretty exhausted from all the extra work of keeping Bear separated from the other horses during his treatment and recuperation. All this coming on the edge of adding a third horse, Piper, to my backyard herd.
Even before Bear’s abscess, my body acknowledged the increased work load in distributing all that extra hay and shoveling all that resulting extra manure. My mind acknowledged the increased band-width it takes to make room for this new creature. All the plans, hopes, concerns. Expected and unexpected.
My body was hurting. My mind was busy. And then I thought I saw the first signs of Bear becoming foot sore. I wondered if the addition of Piper, who is now top of the pecking order, was still causing Bear to move around more than his old hooves could accommodate.
Their interactions seemed much more cordial to me than when Piper first arrived, but I couldn’t deny that Bear was now looking uncomfortable.
So I split the run-in shed and the rest of their paddock down the middle using plastic step-in posts and electric tape. Piper on one side. Bear and Shiloh on the other. I breathed a sigh of relief. I told myself this set-up would give Bear time to heal.
And then Bear quickly went three-legged lame, holding out his left front hoof like it was on fire. I called the veterinarian and reconfigured the paddock set up again. Now using an ever evolving configuration of the electric-fencing tape, depending upon how much space I feel is appropriate for the level of activity I want to discourage or encourage in Bear through the healing process. Bear in a small pen. Shiloh and Piper in the rest of paddock.
Since I don’t have actual stalls, I turned half of the run-in-shed into something resembling a bedded stall with shavings for a soft place for Bear to stand and lay down. Good for Bear. More work for me to keep it clean and fluffy.
Through all this, I kept up with my lesson-horse riding lessons. But due to my exhaustion level, Shiloh and Piper likely thought that their upcoming Winter riding break had started early. Finally after not riding either horse for two weeks, I got in a ride with each of them yesterday. Then promptly took a nap. I loved looking down at those now fuzzy-wuzzy ears, all prepped for a long and cold Winter.
By the way, if you have a horse with lameness issues of any kind, I highly recommend talking with your veterinarian and/or farrier about whether the Soft Ride boots would be appropriate for your horse.
They have been instrumental in Bear recovering from previous episodes of laminitis and abscesses (also in emptying my bank account- the boots are pricey as is expedited shipping if you need them overnighted for emergency lameness- just a warning).
You can read about the boots at http://www.softrideboots.com (this recommendation by me is unsolicited and uncompensated by Soft Ride).
So long story short, I’m still feeling run-down. But here’s something more fun to share with you as I wrap up my tired tale. While laying on the floor trying to keep my aching back from seizing up, I did some web surfing about various lameness issues. I came across the following interactive quizzes. Two are specifically regarding horse hooves. The other regarding general horse anatomy.
I enjoy the entertainment aspect of quizzes, but I also find that sometimes I retain the information presented more readily than if it had just been given in didactic form.
How about you? If you have some time, take a minute to check out the quizzes and let me know which one(s) you like best!
Still got a minute? Don’t forget to enter the latest The Backyard Horse Blog contest! Go here to find out more and get the entry link https://thebackyardhorseblog.com/2021/11/05/enter-now-to-win-a-50-e-gift-certificate-to-great-british-equinery/
Entries close tomorrow, Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 at 11:59pm!