Monday, 30 May 2011

Perfect Patient

Will start off this update by saying that Miss Kika is doing a lot better than she was on friday!
The swelling has gone down and although she is still lame she is getting a better extention when she is walking so i am hoping that she managed to not do damage to the nerve in her shoulder!
The vet was out again yesterday for a check up and was also glad to see that the swelling had gone down around the wound itself and that the haematoma size had decreased considerably in size - I have been massaging it under the cold hose and then massaging it again when applying the cream perscribed by the vet.
I hadn't cleaned anything before she examined K so that she could get an authentic look at it as it came out of the box, although i had been grazing her in the sunshine for over an hour at that stage. She gave Kika another shot of anti-inflamatories and told me to make sure to throuroughly clean the wound every day and get rid of any and all crustiness (don' worry have no pics of it as it comes out of the stable! - only ones of it post-cleaning). She said that the anti-inflamatories should wear off/run their course by friday, so come saturday we'll have a better idea of how lame she is without the drugs, although she did say that is she is still very bad come monday to call her again and she'll come back for another look. Tomorrow will be K's last day to receive the powder in her feed and the Hipopla-something (will write name down tomorrow) that I am orally syrringing into her's dose was decreased to 15mls for yesterday and today, 10mls for tomorrow and wendnesday and then down to 5mls for thursday and friday.

I mentioned that the haematoma is after shrinking greatly, however today i noticed (with the help of friends who were observing my new regime) that it is kind of after splitting in two. My fault i think with the massaging! I obviously wasn't massaging the whole thing properly and there are now two smaller lumps...Hopefully I'm not after doing something stupid and that now that i know and can massage both areas, that the haematoma will keep shrinking and then hopefully disappear completely!

Now for some snapshots from this evening, post-cleaning! (Taken with the "new" phone - so hopefully better quality than the last pictures - but still probably not great!)

The Haematoma(s)

Am not sure if the second one can really be seen from this angle, but you can see two lumps with a bit of a hollow in between them, or at least I can, but then again I know exactly where to look. I did snap a few shots from another angle, but as she was already in the stable at this stage it was a little too dark to see anything so i deleted them!

And now for a few of the wound itself post-cleaning. I am actually thinking now that she didn't receive a kick at all, or at least i don't think that that is what caused this damage. I haven't taken a pic of this as i'm not sure how strong my "followers" stomachs are, but in order to clean the wound thoroughly i have to pull out a bit the flap of skin on the left of the wound in the pictures. It is more like a stab/slice wound than a battering such as would be received from another hoof. I think (although haven't been up to check the field) that perhaps while fighting/playing in the field she somehow managed to come down on one of the stakes/posts that the wire is attached to in the field. Also not sure exactly how she would have done it, but the angle of the wound, the positioning and the slince/stab effect leads to me to think it probably wasn't a hoof that did it... But as she can't tell me, we'll never know so i'm not going to waste too much time specualtng over it!

She was so so so good yesterday to let me clean it all out, she stood good as gold, my mother who was with me, was very impressed by her as she is usually very impatient at being tied up in the wash bay area and stomps her feet etc. However she was noticeably more sore/lame as i returned her to her box last night. Admittedly we may have over done it on the grazing as we had started out in an area close to where she is currently being stabled (4 boxes down from her usual stable as that currently has another occupant seeing as K is supposed to be outside for the summer), but we were asked by the owner of the farm not to graze her there so we had to move her to another patch which was considerably further away and required more walking there and then back up which could have worn her out. Either that or the cleaning and massaging affected her! But it required more cleaning today then yesterday and she wasn't as sore going back to the box today so methinks it was probably the walk to and from grazing!
She wasn't as quiet with the cleaning process today, there was a bit more foot stamping and moving about as i had to kind of pick at the wound to clean out sawdust etc. In saying that though she was still very good, and as i have to be bent over she just rests her lips/muzzle on my back kind of huffing as if to say "it's hurting but i know you have to do it!" We also had to wait a little bit to use the wash bay as people were finishing up their lessons and with 28C temps their horses needed a cool down! So impatience may have also contributed to the moving and foot stamping...

Well that's all the news i have for the moment! Will know more come the weekend once the anti-inflamatories wear off and we can see how she moves without them. I'll also be able to start walking her more (pending lameness) after the weekend, slowly increasing the distances covered so as not to over-exert things!

Hopefully these images aren't too gorey! If they are please tell me and I can remove them and place links instead so that anyone who may not wish to look doesn't have to!
Not sure when I'll have anything new to report, probably not till the weekend when we'll have a better idea of how things stand, although if the haematoma(s) keep decreasing in size i may post a follow up photo - fingers crossed i can keep them getting smaller!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Poorly Ponio!

After not making it to the barn on thursday, despite great intentions to attemp some bareback schooling due to our saddle issues. I felt really awful when i got out to her yesterday (friday) evening to bring her in from the field for a groom and a massage - to find her badly lame on her front right leg and a nasty cut from what i suspect is a kick just above where leg joins her body (slightly under her shoulder).
With her hobbling and quite down in herself, i brought her in with a friend (A) and called the vet as it really was quite nasty and swollen and she has a haematoma on her chest which i hadn't noticed at first. I hosed her for the hour or so before my vet got to us (was on another call), in the mean time our (her) masseuse came to see her as word spread through friends that K was after getting hurt - she is also a homeopathy person (is there a special name/term for homeopathy practitioners?) and gave me some Arnica tablets and something called Belize tablets (spelling may be incorrect). Both tiny little tablet-things, like drop one and you're not going to see them again! She told me to give her 5 of each to take the edge off till the vet got there and help kick start the healing process - reassuring me that they wouldn't affect anything the vet might have to give her.

Vet said that although cut is quite deep it's positioning is not ideal for sticthing as any and every movement could cause disruption - that and the fact that the wound was not fresh so stitching it up was not a good idea. She gave Kika anti-inflammatories etc and advised that i keep it clean, which includes my having to pull bits of the skin flap up to thoroughly rinse it out and gave me powders for her feed, stuff that i can't remember the name of to syringe into her and cream (smells kind of like deep heat for humans but is green) to rub on the haematoma after cold hosing. I also have  a spray to put on the wound once cleaned! The vet said she'd be back tomorrow (sunday) to re-evaluate and see how she was moving and decide whether or not to alter the dosage of the syringe.
The main wound is near the shoulder nerve as such makes it difficult for Kika to extend her front leg properly when walking, forcing her to take short choppy little hobbles which really are awful to watch! So she is on box rest with minimal walking allowed. The maximum she can do is hobble to the nearest patch of grass for a graze and to see something other than the inside of the barn and the wash bay.
The poor pet was very sore last night especially when the vet was handling and treating the wound, she stood good as gold for the hour i was hosing her - almost dozing in fact, which is a testament to the pain she must have been in as she is not one for standing still/quiet for any length of time. She could put weight on it yesterday but was more inclined to rest it, however could put enough weight on it to hobble.

She was considerably better today, extention was better in walk than it had been last night so something must be working as i was afraid she'd be 10 times worse for standing in the stable all night and morning. I hosed the wound, cleaning it out as i was instructed without giving her any of her medications and she stood still not shrinking away from me as she had the vet last night - so again i am hoping this is a good sign that hopefully it may not be as bad/serious as was feared last night, although then again it could be the anti-inflammatories after kicking in and lulling her into a false sense of better-being... Also cold hosed the haematoma for 30mins, massaging it a bit while hosing - she wasn't so fond of this but didn't put up a fuss or menace meaness. Rubbed on her cream, gave her her other stuffs and sorted out her stable for another night indoors. I decided against taking her for a nibble of grass until vet passes again tomorrow as while i could def see an improvement in her from yesterday i don't want to risk doing anything that my have a long-lasting detrimental effect!
Vet couldn't say last night how long she'll be on box rest for or how long she'll be lame for, hence re-evaluation tomorrow and then again at the end of the week. Due to proximity to shoulder nerve of injury, she is being very cautious while the nerve 'regenerates' itself and starts the healing process before attempting to gauge lasting damage to mobility.

I did snap some pictures on my old phone while i was hosing her before vets visit last night - sorry very poor quality - typically new phone with better camera was charging at home as all this went down. Didn't get any after vet's visit or today as i forgot, will endeavour to think of snapping some more tomorrow for comparisons sake, although picture quality may make comparisons difficult...

Haematoma (left-hand side of pic as we look head on):

Slightly closer snapshot of wound:

Everyone from the barn has been so nice and supportive in enquiring about little Miss Kika's wellbeing, it really hammers homw how lucky i am to have managed to get a stable there. The people are lovely, kind and caring and really can never do enough for you or to help you!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Good Spins and more saddle issues

This will hopefully be a quick update before i peg it out of work for the train then airport as I'm off to Ireland for the weekend for a friends wedding!
Kika is going to spend the weekend lounging in the field - much to her pleasure as she is now in season and annoying the poor gelding (one of them anyway - the other one doesn't get a look in) she shares the field with the whole time! She's so mopey and "love-me" it's sickening to watch! The poor lad'll be all confused when she's off again next week and won't let him look at her sideways!
Anyways, I did get my spin on monday evening and she was good as gold. Horses were coming in and out of the arena as we were working, which in recent months had been distracting her and giving her opportunity to mess/an excuse to try something ... but Monday she was amazing and ignored everything but me and what I was asking of her!
As she had been so good monday, and i knew a saddle fitter was coming to the yard on wedensday i thought I'd be bold and sneak another quick spin on Tuesday - just cos i had a feeling i'd be grounded after the saddle fitter had a look at my saddle as i knew in my heart of hearts that it wasn't fitting her properly - hence why i was getting it checked! Once again she was a star, working properly and paying attention. I finally feel like the months of work are yielding results and we are getting back on track! I am now no longer windy at the thought of getting up on her and in fact look forward to it again! *blush*
We even tried our hand at cantering a couple times, our first attempt at that in about 3 weeks, as the last time we cantered she staretd bouncing with her front legs like she was half rearing - but having then watched her lungeing in canter i figured she was after catching something in her back - which was confirmed by the osteo when she saw her last week. So seeing as that was sorted out i braved a bit of cantering on tuesday, she was good, calm and responsive but her "bad" side is going to need some work now again as she just isn't as comfortable on it so will endeavour to work on that side while lungeing to build her up some more!

Typically this quick update is getting long again! *blush*

Wednesday the saddle fitter came and confirmed my suspicions that the saddle was not fitting, I wouldn't be suprised if it never fit her correctly as our issues can be pinpointed to the new saddle's appearance on the scene! Started off with bucking and plunging and culminated in teh rearing, which thankfully we have stopped by building up her back muscles but now the guilt has returned at my having ill-adviseably (although by anotehr saddle fitter) bought an ill-fitting saddle!
I am actually really annoyed at that saddle fitter, as i knew the saddle was not fitting properly and when I had him check it, fully prepared to exchange the saddle with him or have him fix it forme he swore the saddle fit fine and that it was the horse that was causing the issue not the saddle! Now I am the first to admit that she is no angel, but she still had never been as bad as she was from November - February!
Anyway, needless to say I won't be going back to him again for advice or purchasing needs.
The saddle fitter from wednesday was lovely and thankfullys poke english so no translator needed on my end, I'd love to have the monies to get one fo her saddles as she works as part of the Saddle 4 Life gang, wherbey they more or less customise the saddles to you are your horse's needs and tehn do follow ups on the pair of you adjusting as necessary. They use an adjustable tree or something so that you have the saddle for life no matter what horse(s) you use it on or how they develop it can be adjusted. Unfortunately they cost more than i currently earn a month, so that'll have to be a pipe dream for the moment!
My friend L, who has been so good to me the last few months was telling that the tack shop i usually use, teh guy who owns it also fits saddles and in fact sold her hers which fits her mare like a glove (this is a fact as 3 seperate saddle fitters have since told her so, ;) ), I will drop in to him probably next weekend and see if he might be able to do me a deal and either sell my "new" saddle for me or if he might take it in part or total exchange against another one.

Right well afraid i gotta run!
Thanks for reading and sorry I have no pics in this one!
PS: Please excuse any spelling mistakes!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Now and Then...One Year On

As promised (but belated) now and then pictures of Kika's first year in Luxembourg.
It still upsets me to remember the stress i felt upon seeing her when she arrived on the continent, needless to say revisiting these pictures makes me feel like a terrible owner.

9th of May 2010

Unfortunately i do not have pictures from the exact day of her arrival anniversary as I am a sieve-head and completely forgot to take pictures on the 9th of May this year. But I did snap 1 shot on the 10th on my phone, so sorry if quality isn't great!

10th of May 2011

Had the osteo out to her last week to remedy two little blocks in her left hip/backside area. We had been having a spot of trouble with our canter and when the osteo pointed out the blocks it all made sense, :p A saddelf itter was supposed to visit the yard that evening to deliver another livery's new custom made saddle (the price of it - Yikes! - madness if you ask me as his mare is going to develop so much once she starts working properly that there is no way it will still fit her in 6 months time, but no tmy money so not my concern!)...well anyway they couldn't make it as there were ill and are coming this wendesday instead so hoping to get my saddle checked as I am not happy with it! I can more or less pinpoint the consistent misbehaving to the saddle change and the last few times i last rode her she had sweat marks under the seat of the saddle where in my opnion if a saddle fits correctly there should not be any marks! I have had the saddle fitter who sold me the saddle check it on her since she bulked up and they maintain that it still fits, i fail to see how it can as her shape has changed a lot! So getting a second opinion...
Long story short have no real news to update with as I didn't ride her last week as I was advised to give her two days off after the osteo visit. So we lunged on saturday and then lunged in the pessoa on sunday. I am going to ride her this evening nothing strenuous as as i mentioned i am not 100% on my saddle fitting so just a bit to keep her ticking over. The farrier is coming tomorrow and then the saddle fitter on wednesday, so I'll aim to update again after that!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

"Professional" Photos

Will add these to the blog later incase anyone doesn't read it here so that they are not missing out, but figured i'd reward those that do check out this thread by not making them click on to another link, ;)
My good friend (L) who has been such a great help with getting K back on track after our wobbles earlier in the year had a friend of her's (Ka) come to snap some pics of her mare on her first outing in the field. As it happens L's mare is in the neighbouring field to Kika's so her friend kindly snapped some shots of her frolicking on saturday.
These shots are much better quality than my camera phone, teehee! I can't get over the colours!

The Chunky Monkey: (made me cringe when i seen her bulging out the side! Will have to get to work to trim her back down now over the summe!)

Playing follow the leader with D (Hafflinger)


And then a close up of the last one

The few bucks that were thrown were missed, but all in all they were very sedate for their first day out.
No harm really, means they *hopefully* won't have made a mess of the field and should have plenty grass for the summer ahead! Last night was Kika's last night in the stable, not sure if she realises this yet, but as from today she is staying out in the field!
Was slightly worrying about how she'd take this news as saturday, sunday and monday she was hanging out near the gate when i'd wander up there and stamp her foot in an "I want to go in" kind of way, but last night she was happy out grazing away and almost reluctantly came over to me when i went to collect her for our spin - which after about 25mins of not quite listening we got a good 10minutes of super work which had me smiling all night and still has me merry today!
Apologies for the pic overload!
The first two and the third from last are my favs!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Field Frolicks

I got great news when I got to the barn on friday evening. My good friend L, who has been so great in helping me with Kika exitedly informed me that the fields were being opened a day early and that we could all let them loose on Saturday the 30th of April. Cue an impromptu visit to the Yard Owner's house (he lives on the property) as I didn't knwo what field Kika was being put into and/or with whom. Found out that she was going in a "new"(ly) made paddock with 4-5 other horses. The good news was that two of the horses were the yard owners own, so we arranged to put them out at 10am the following morning.
So I went home all excited and plotting and scheming ways to knock some spat off of Kika before she was due to go out the following morning.
I know from past experiences that she has an unhealthy indeferrent attitude to electric tape and she the mood takes her is quite capable of going through it as if it is not there and pulsing with high voltage! *rolleyes*
My POA (Plan Of Action) was to be at the barn shortly after 9am, put her in the walker for a few minutes while i checked out the field, lunge her (mostly cantering as that's where she does most of her messing), then loose lunge her in the small arena (again prone to messing in canter - i mean speed building buckaroo type stuff) and then take her out to the field where she'd hopefully have had enough running to not do too much when turned loose.
Thankfully all went to plan, bar the messing she was supposed to do while lungeing! Of course, yesetrday morning she couldn't be bothered teehee! But she still got a good 5 minutes uniterrupted cantering on each rein and some more loose cantering in the small arena. At 10am off we trecked up to "her" field, i figured i'd hold her grazing until the owners showed up with their two horses to let them loose together. After 25mins, i figured they weren'tcoming so walked back down to the yard to suss out the situation.
Turned out there had been a bit of a change of plan and her field companions had changed over night. There was now only going to be four of them on the field (good news = more grazing per horse, ;) ) and better news was that that one of them is the horse of another friend (Cl) who K was used to grazing with and seeing on a daily basis as she's one of the "late" barn going crowd - those of us who are alwyas there late in the evenings nattering, teehee! Other good news was that L's mare (the other fiery red head mare) is in the neighbouring field. *dance*
So to cut a long story short (admittedly my waffling never is short), Kika got out yesterday a day earlier than planned. Of course she had to prove all my fears and worrying wrong by behaving well and not busting through wire! Unfortunately she and a pony mare were out together about 30-45mins before Cl's gelding was added to the mix, in K's mind that was more than enough time to establish her as leader of the pack and as such the pony mare was her property! Poor ould E (Cl's horse) doesn't get a look in and is continously being chased away by K. Another gelding was due to join them today, but unfortunately injured himself in the box while travelling from his retirement field to our barn for the summer (his owner has other horses at our barn), so I am not sure when he'll be joining our group - but he'll then be able to be a buddy for E and another poor unfortunate that I have no doubt K will be hounding once she comes into season!

For the first few nights we all wanted to keep bringing them in and ration the grass intake to begin with in the hopes of minizing illnesses related to too much grass intake after not really having had any since October (2010) although Kika, O and E have all been hand grazed for a few weeks by us, and actually on the bit of land that has now been made their paddock - ironically, ;)
In light of this we decided to bring the beasties back in at about 3-3.30pm (was about 10.45-11ish) when they went out. Wouldn't you know at 3pm, Miss Kika was at the gate (two strands of wire across the entrance/exit gap) stomping her front foot like a petulant child demanding to be brought back in. Thankfully (in this case) unlike the time limited paddocks, this field doesn't have a metal gate which K used to thoroughly enjoy hammering/kicking/stamping when she'd decided it was time to go back to the stable last summer. The Pampered Princess is in for a rude awakening when she realises that from wednesday morning on, she is not coming back in until the end of october - hahaha!

Right now after all that waffle, i did get some pictures!
So if you read all the above, here (hopefully) is your reward! As always (recently) these were taken on my phone, so please excuse the quality/lack of zoom. Hopefully they're not too small!

Yippeeeee! (Link to see photo larger)

O (L's mare is on the left in the neighbouring field), D (in the middle) and Kika on the right having a blast!
(Click here for larger image)

Kika and "her" pony mare D (gorgeous hafflinger)
(Click here to see larger photo)

O (on the left), Kika (in the middle) and D (on the right)
(Click here to see larger photo)

(Click here for larger image)

Happily Grazing
(Click here for larger image)

The face that greeted me - the "I'm ready to go back in now" look! (E the exile in the background)
(Click here for larger image)

And lastly a headshot, just because! ;)
(I think this one's clear enough not to need a larger image - if anyone want's to see it bigger, I'm more than happy to link it in! Teehee )