Monday 18 July 2011

Head over Heels and Heart-attacks

As usual I am hoping this will be a biref update and that I don't paint myself in a "bad-owner" light! *blush*

Lungeing was going really we on saturday, we even moved back up a gear for a smooth, calm, controlled and  most importantly un-laboured & balanced canter. When we changed direction we were walking and trotting building herself back up and finding our rhythm going in the "scary" other direction (aka: bad rein and if that wasn't enough it is also the side she injured). She was trotting away happy out and settling when out of nowhere she must have hit a light patch of sand and down she went on her head!
Trying to remain calm i didn't rush her and calmly moved towards her, clearing the lunge line out of her way for when she was ready to stand, in fact when i got to her head i unclipped it. She was worrying me with her slowness to rise and after unclipping her she gave me more cause for concern with the way she was holding her mouth open and seemed unwilling to move her jaw, so not only had she gone down while working on her injured side, I was now worrying she may have broken her jaw!
However after a few moments she did move her jaw in a side to side motion, like humans might, she also closed her mouth to swallow but then let it hang open again - not particularly easing my worries any! She was still laying on the ground!
After a few more minutes she did rise and shook herself a little, i noticed a tiny graze on her shoulder thankfully above where she had hurt herself in the field and that wound proved it had healed as it did not re-open!
Deciding the best way to do damage control was to have her walk on the lunge again so that i could see her moving i asked her to do just that, she was still favouring her jaw slightly and took a few turns to relax it and do a bit of chewing - that sight in itself gave me no amount of relief! She was walking alright so as she was still warmed up from the pre-fall lungeing i thought it best to try a bit more trot as that'd be a good way of finding out if she had done more damage than met the eye at walk. When she was trotting without lameness i pushed her into more of a working trot (we had moved away to the other side of the arena at this stage - to avoid a repeat fall) all still going well we tried a teeny tiny bit of canter which was just a smooth, calm, controlled and balanced as had been on the other rein. Slowing her down i cooled her off with walk-trot transitions, thankfully she had stopped favouring her jaw and to my untrained eye seemed none the worse for wear considering the fright she gave me.
I brushed off the sand that had remained on her coat from her tumble, hosed the graze and sprayed it with the stuff that had been used on her injury wound (some kind of bio product - label in german and can't remember exactly what is in it). I had already prepared her "feed" before lungeing her so i fuigured this would be the best test of her jaw and see whether she could eat it (I will highlight that I had put my thumb in as if asking her to take the bit after she initially stood from the fall to check she hadn't bitten her tongue), her "feed" consisted of carrots rolled in garlic and some lekkerli horse treats (multi-vit, apple/red berries and banana flavours). It's not so much a feed I give her as a bit of a treat/reward...everything in there required a small bit of chewing so my thinking was if she could handle that she hadn't damaged her jaw in the fall.
Turns out i needn't have worried on that front, she had no problem chowing down on it and showed her appreciation by picking up and tossing the bucket when nothing else came from it!

As I led her back out to the field after caring for her feet, I rang home to tell someone what had happened, my mother gave "oh no the silly girl & what did she do that for" reaction, as i spoke to her Kika was her usual stalling/spooky self going for the field so the Mammy was reassured that she wasn't too badly affected by it.

That was traumatising enough, but as usual these things don't affect me in the moment as *touch-wood* I usually remain calm and clear minded and just do what i think is best in the situation. After turning her out and on my stroll down home i did begin to wonder/worry that horses might get concussions and that perhaps i shouln't have left her out and then i was also worrying about having given her the bit of a snack and what if that made her colic! Her field is that bit away from the main houses that no one would know she was unwell unless they happened to be passing on the way to the woods and as this was after 8pm at night there weren't going to be many passing! All i could do was scold myself for worrying about things i have no control over, and remind myself that anything could go wrong on any given night and I wouldn't know till the next day (now really - with that thought I should be a motivational speaker, right?!). So i had to just get on with it and wait and see what the next day would present me with.

Sunday dawned wet and grey, I didn't get up to Kika till 5 going on 6pm and the Mammy came with to see what she was after doing to herself. The Mammy would be fairly practical like myself and try not to worry about things outside of our control, so she is a handy person to have around to keep you calm should your silly side take over. Admitetdly we do both prefer not to scare the other one when we can help it and will both stay silent as opposed to syaing something out loud that we might later regret! eg: When Kika arrived she had the pair of us very worried but neither one commented until we had her safely in our control in Lux, hahaha - only a few months later did teh truth come out as to how worried the pair of us had been about her condition when she arrived. The photos I took on her arrival in Lux are an improvement on the sight that greeted us when we went to see her in her Belgian stop-over.
Anyways we walked up to the field from our house and I'll tell ye right now the bloody mare had me worried (hence teh heart-attack mentioned in the title!), she was lying flat out on her side with the two boys (E & G, her field companions) standing around her, but not too close! I was having palpitations and worrying that I had done the wrong thing in letting her out the previous evening, but i had figured allowing her the ability to keep moving would be better than cooping her up in a stable and seising up if she had done damage to herself in her tumble...
Anyways, the Mammy called her name as we approached and we saw her muzzle move slightly as we stirred her from her sun-bathing! Flat out in the muck so she was and happy out with herself, she pulled herself up into a "normal" lying position and lay there looking at us quite literally like Lady-Muck! By the time i got into the field, the Mammy had mocked her from the sidelines into getting up (along the lines of "get up ya lazy yoke!" ;-) )

I'll tell ya i was having awful bad thoughts when i saw her flat out in the field, it is not the first time i have caught her lying down, but considering the previous days events my imagination ran away with me! *blushing*
She came in had 20minutes in the walker then 20mins or so of lungeing, walk-trot transitions and then an even smaller than yesterday bitteen bit of cantering. Oddly enough she cantered smoother on her "bad" side then she did on her typically good-side, she was a little bit sore so i didn't bush her too hard figured i'd just keep her ticking over and see where we stand this evening.

So that was my excitement for the weekend, hopefully my melodramas don't make me out to be a soppy worrier, as usually i'm not, but I'll admit she has me a little on edge and I want to wrap her in cotton wool. But rest assured i won't she is still an animal, no matter how much she means to me, and will be treated as such to the best of my ability - despite the treats and easy re-building work. Hopefully it will all come together soon! I had been hoping to get the saddle fitter out this week and all going well returning myself to the saddle (hopefully a new one that fits like a glove) next week...but we'll see where the weekends escapdes leave us with that "plan".

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