Monday, January 13, 2020

Recent Schooling

Klein has been jumping courses again and rising to every challenge like usual.  We have been doing a lot of ground rails on the flat too.  The other day I left the jumps really low and did some crazy bending lines and jumped everything on an angle.  She nailed every single thing I asked her to do.

Scroll through for a video.

Recently I've had her work on auto changes as well.  I have never put any time into teaching her to just change.  9 times out of 10 she'll land on the correct lead and we don't think much about it.  I have also had instructors tell me to be careful with teaching them changes because you may open up a door you're not ready to have open yet.  Meaning it just confuses them and if you're not at Third Level to leave well enough alone.  Klein is smart enough to listen and realize when we're out on course and she needs to just do a lead change, or if we are working on counter canter and she doesn't need to do a change.

I did teach her flying changes, and that's another reason I'm not concerned.  She doesn't just throw out the changes all over the place, I have to ask.  About a week and a half ago I spent some time teaching her automatic flying changes.  With Super B, I'm lucky that she just does them, and it was the way I ride with Super B to get them that made me think to give it a try with Klein.

Klein got it right away.  While she was late behind a little, if we do them regularly and she gets stronger at them, they'll be no issue and she won't be late behind.  All it means now is that she understands what to do and she's doing it.  Then the ride after that, we were on the landing side of a jump and she landed on the wrong lead.  She fixed herself immediately.  She never used to do that, but since I spent that ONE ride working on it, she totally gets it.  My girls are ridiculously smart.

We have also been enjoying walks through the neighborhood.  The weather has been beautiful so we take full advantage of it on the weekends.

Just a random goat, doing goat things.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Green Light Go!

Last week I took Super B and Klein in for their routine Coggins and had a follow up exam done on Super B since this week was the week where I could start getting back on her and walking under saddle.  I took them to the clinic because Klein is a fan favorite, and I wanted everyone to be able to see how Super B was doing, and how great she looks.  Every single person there had a part in saving her life.

Everyone was happy to see them and Super B and her vet even had a moment.  The vet put her head against B's forehead and B just stayed there, no mare glares.  She knows.  It was really sweet to see.  Everyone was thrilled with how B looks.  Her incision looks amazing and the vet palpated it to find everything has healed perfectly.  She gave us the green light to start walking under saddle this week.  She said two weeks of walking then we can introduce some trotting for the next two weeks.  After two weeks of walk/trot I will have another follow up exam done to make sure everything still looks good.

This was almost two weeks ago.  I will take a more recent one.  The little scab is now gone completely.

The vet said normally she says four weeks of walking first but is allowing us to trot after two weeks because I had that follow up exam done.  She said most people don't have an exam done unless there's an issue.  My jaw dropped.  What?!  Colic surgery is a MAJOR surgery.  WHY would you not have follow up exams at milestones?!  No chances will be taken with Super B.

Yesterday was THE DAY.  I hopped on her bareback and it's like she never had a day off.  I thought I was going to cry but I decided no, I'm not going to cry because we're not going to dwell on the past.  The bad days are behind us, we made it, we're here, she looks and feels great, we're only looking forward.

Today I tacked her up and I guess she thought since she had her works clothes on it was time to GO TO WORK.  She was WIIIIIILD today!  Last night we walked around on a loose rein.  Today?  I rode no less than three airs above ground.  She'll get it quickly though, we're JUST WALKING right now.  I feel bad for her because she wants to get out and go so bad, and so do I, but, that's just the way it is, she's not there yet.  We'll get there.  I wish we could just gallop off too, but that's months away.  You can't fault her for being ready to work.  I just laugh at her and tell her to chill, I don't get after her for being enthusiastic.  There's nothing wrong with that.

#topshelf #stunner 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Rough Times Behind

Like a fine wine.

First, the girls are doing GREAT.  I owe everyone a little back story on what poor Klein went through right before Super B's colic. 

Klein mare had a little vacation this summer like she usually does.  However, during that time she had a severe reaction to Habronema Muscae.  It's a reaction to a bot fly of all things, which is a mystery because none were ever found at our barn.  The vet told us they can come from a few miles radius so they HAD to have come from another property, ours is kept absolutely spotless and everyone is UTD on EVERYTHING.  We are in an area with a lot of barns so there are multiple properties within that few mile radius.  Though none appear to be slacking on upkeep or property maintenance, there is really no way to pinpoint where it started, we could only treat it and move on.

I had a handle on it at first when these little sores showed up, the abbreviated version is that I had them under control and then they started to get worse so I took her into the vet where they debrided the wounds and kept her a few days to keep an eye on her.  She has ALWAYS been the most delicate flower when it comes to things like this.  She STILL gets an allergy shot every 30 days in the hotter months.  She has had it every summer over the past 10 years in Hawaii, New Mexico, Georgia, New Jersey, and now Vegas.  That's just a Klein mare thing that I manage just fine with the monthly injection. 

I was hoping that would help get rid of this thing, before I knew it was habronema.  Thankfully about 45 seconds after I unloaded her at the vet, our vet goes "OH, we can fix this!!!!"  I was SO relieved she knew what it was right away!  They immediately got to work on debriding the sores and showing me the habronemas that I NEVER would have found.  I knew something was beyond the control of the allergy shot and that it was something different than her usual. 

Oddly, remember seeing Bot fly eggs on horses in pastures in New Jersey but NEVER at our farm.  And the horses at the properties that I did see them at, never had a reaction.  It's just one of those things where one horse may react, and another never will.  Well, leave it to Klein if there is a possibility of a horse reacting to something. 

You can see the ointment on her left chestnut here.  She essentially ripped that chestnut off.

After a short stay at the vet Klein was looking much better and was responding well with Dex, Hydroxyzine, and a special ointment they mix at the vet.  Unfortunately, about a week at home and she started getting worse where the sores were bothering her and I couldn't stop her from messing with them, so, back to the vet we went.  It was determined she needed to stay on the Dex.  We had started a taper that week and she wasn't ready for that.  Upping the Dex again put the brakes on her messing with her sores almost immediately.

This was AFTER she came home from the first stay.  She was doing great, not messing with ANYTHING, then one evening I got to the barn and found this.  I saw her that morning, she was NOT like that.  I texted the vet immediately and took her in the next morning.

I will say this, for being a delicate flower, at least she has ALWAYS responded to Dex extremely well.  It has ALWAYS worked for her and she has never had any side effects, or any negative effect, from it at all. 

It was around the first time she was in the hospital that everything happened with Wes too.  So in addition to dealing with this I had to fly back to NJ to say good-bye to Wes, this was at the end of September.  I brought Klein home the day after I got back to Vegas and she was home about a week before she went BACK to stay at the hospital for a week.  Now, did I have to leave her there a week?  No, I didn't.  Why did I?  A few reasons.

Same night as the last picture above.  I was m-o-r-t-i-f-i-e-d.

Klein is so sensitive and was honestly starting to self mutilate (see above pics) and it was absolutely killing me to see this. I wanted to let her stay a solid week for the vets to do wound management there.  I could NOT keep bandages on her.  She would rip through them.  IF she did that at the vet, they were right there and could just re-bandage instead of her waiting for me to get off work.  That could mean hours of her being able to chew on them.  That wasn't going to do her any favors.  Also, if for some reason the meds started to appear to not work, all they had to do was walk a matter of feet into their pharmacy and get something else instead of me having to make an appointment, fit her in some where and bring her in.  I'd rather her be literal STEPS away from whatever necessary to make sure she was comfortable and healing.

Not thrilled with me.  Dr. Moser and Dr. Clawson are basically my besties now.  See how she's pulled her bandage down here?  Well, they fixed that...

She didn't touch these.

So, Klein was only home a couple weeks, and she never looked back after that, she never touched her wounds again, then Super B had her colic.  Yes, Klein had this, I lost Wes, then Super B had her colic surgery, all in a matter of weeks.  I don't care how strong you are, or prepared, you're not for that kind of streak. 

Despite all of this, Super B is acting like she never even had a surgery, and Klein is absolutely killing it lately. 

Obviously ready to go back to work. 

I rode with just a halter and lead rope until the left corner of her mouth was completely healed.  

What colic surgery??

Her incision, this is actually smaller now.  It shrinks by the day.  I will post a more recent photo in the next post.

Klein has been back to work since before Super B's surgery.  They both are doing amazing.  Super B is more than ready to go back to work.  I'm keeping her busy as best I can with varying types of walks.  In about two weeks we have our appointment for a once over with our vet before I get back on her and start walking.

Doing a little hill work.  Just a little.

Out on one of our walks.

Getting back in shape.

Back in a bit! 

In addition to this I've been extremely busy with work and another career altering (in a positive way), amazing opportunity, along with finishing my thesis for my M.F.S.  When I say it's been a rough ride these past few months, it's no exaggeration, but, we're all good here now and we're not looking back or having pity parties.  That's not what Super Mares do, so I'm not doing it either.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Colic Surgery Recovery - One Month Post Op Update

First, thank you all for the kind messages, donations, and checking in on Super B (except for you, Floss, you can read my reply to your comment on the last post).  She has been doing AMAZING since she has been home.  Shortly after she came home she finished her course of antibiotic and Ulcergard.  She is only getting a tablet of Equioxx once daily.  Once she finishes her current bottle, she's done.  You would never know what she just went through.  Animals are so much better than us.

Last Saturday was the one month mark!  She has now moved to a stall with a run!  30 minute daily hand walks are not required now but I still do them almost every day because she enjoys being out doing SOMETHING.  Both Super B and Klein have always been workaholics.

Checking out the views from her stall with a run.

During our walks I will pony her off of Klein, or if we are hand walking we'll walk serpentines, 10m, 15m, and 20m circles, and figure 8's.  She's happy to feel like she has some sort of job right now.

Morning views on our walks that are *almost* as pretty as Super B.

Evening walks while being ponied from Klein.

More morning walks.

I still thank her every day for not leaving me.

Default beautiful face, always interested in whatever we're doing.

Her incision looks great and is healed all but one tiny spot that had minor oozing.  That has since stopped.  It is scabbed over and healing.  She is slowly gaining her weight back.  She has been getting additional alfalfa with her free choice grass hay.  I added Amplify to her ration balancer as well.  I'm still blanketing her with a midweight on the colder nights, otherwise she wears her Back on Track sheet at night.  It will stay that way until she gets a little more weight back on.

She got her make-up pedicure recently too.  She was due the Saturday after her surgery.  She was her normal self and was falling asleep in the cross ties at one point.

Power napping during her pedicure.

Overall, you would have no idea the hell she has been through unless you looked underneath her and see the incision.

As of January 9th I can tack her up and start walking for the following 30 days.  Valentine's Day is our day that we're free to go back to work.  Of course, I will absolutely be gradually bringing her back into work.  Also, before we advance to the next step of her recovery, I will have our vet do a once over on her every step of the way.  Even before I tack her up to get on a walk, the vet will be doing a full exam just to be absolutely sure we're good to go.

As beautiful as the sunrise.

Also, a word of advice to anyone that finds themselves in a situation like this (though I sincerely hope that no one reading this will ever be in that spot), you have to have an outlet.  Don't let that outlet be your family, your spouse, your co-workers, do something else to relieve it.  Of course, riding Klein helped me but, she is not an outlet for the extreme stress, pressure, frustration, shock, and sadness that came along with this whole ordeal.  People often say your horse is your therapist, that's true to a degree, but they're not there to be the sounding board for your range of emotions.

Your outlet can be a lot of things, for me, for years, it's always been the gym.  It helped me clear my head by just blasting a lot of Highly Suspect in my headphones and beating myself into the ground during workouts.  I spent a lot of time putting beat downs on myself wondering so many things, why did this have to happen to her, why couldn't it have been me, why one of my animals, they don't deserve this kind of stuff, etc...  I'm not saying you have to put on a fake smile and act like everything is ok, because it's fine to tell people it's not.  There are definitely times where if some one said the wrong thing to me, they'd instantly regret it when I replied...but in general...instead of taking it out on other people, I would add weight to the bar and use that energy productively.

I have always had a love affair with pull-ups.

Hover mode with double unders.

I feel like I even have some form of survivor's guilt.  This whole situation was so horrible I now feel even worse for my friends that have been through it and not come out on the winning side.